Excerpts from issue 42/15 16 May 2015

ballygrant ceilidh

A meeting of the Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee took place on Islay recently and incorporated a ceilidh in Ballygrant Hall.

Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body - 2015

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CalMac seek views on future of lifeline services

CalMac Ferries is embarking on a tour of Scotland's west coastal communities to ask ferry users how the customer experience can be improved on their lifeline services. Board members and senior executives from CalMac's parent company David MacBrayne Ltd will host 24Ępublic meetings in mainland ports and on more than a dozen Clyde and Hebridean islands over the next month.
This programme of public meetings is designed to gather public views on the delivery of ferry services from 2016 onwards. Along with the information already collected, this will help shape CalMac's bid for the next contract.
The meetings are the latest part of the company's activities to engage with the communities that rely on ferry services, and follows more than 70 meetings with key individuals and organisations undertaken last year by the team preparing CalMac's bid.
The present contract expires on 30 September 2016, and the process to select the operator of the next contract for a period of up to eight years is underway.
CalMac is responsible for the operation and marketing of the CHFS routes under the terms and specifications of a contract produced by Transport Scotland, a division of the Scottish Government. That contract sets out the parameters within which the service must be delivered, dictating everything from the fares charged, timetables, and routes, to the ports and vessels that must be used on those routes. The vessel fleet is owned by a separate organisation, Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL), which is also responsible for the design and procurement of new ships. CMAL also owns approximately half of the 50 ports and harbours on the CHFS routes and is responsible for their repair and maintenance.
CalMac is responsible for operating and marketing the ferry service to the specifications set by Transport Scotland, including on-board services such as retail and catering, and ongoing maintenance of the ships serving the routes.
The meeting on Islay will be held at ICCI, Bowmore on Wednesday 20 May, 7-9:pm.
The full programme of public meetings is available at www.calmac.co.uk/community-engagement-meetings

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Gilson Gray

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Windless off Portnahaven

Kirstanne McDowell of SSE writes:
I am writing to provide an update on the status of SSE Renewables' Islay Offshore Wind Farm project. As you will be aware, following a company wide review of SSE's offshore wind farm projects in the UK, a decision was taken to halt further investment in the Islay project in March 2014. Since this announcement, and following ongoing engagement with the Crown Estate and other stakeholders, we have agreed to exit our agreement for lease for the Islay site.
We would like to thank the local residents, community groups and stakeholders of Islay who have engaged with us and provided meaningful feedback in relation to the development over the last few years. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on kirstanne.mcdowall@sse.com

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Jazz on a summer's eve

Former winner of the Perrier Vocalist of the Year Award, Julia Biel will play the evening jazz concert at Islay House Hotel on Friday 22 May. Often played by Jamie Cullum on his BBC Radio 2 programme, tickets for her performance are available online at islayhouse.co.uk or at the door on the evening, following the open afternoon with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

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to subscribe or advertise, contact ileach@ileach.co.uk

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 30 May 2015

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islay info

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islay community council

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Islay Diary 2015

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