Local News for Thursday 20th September 2018
LABOUR MSP QUESTIONS FERRY ISSUES
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant has asked why it has taken so long for Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for the Islands is to address a Forum on the Western Isles Ferry provision.
Rhoda Grant, MSP said, ‘Whilst I welcome the news that Paul Wheelhouse will eventually address questions on this severe issue, I am perplexed as to why he did not address it during his recent visit.
This visit comes on the back of the sustained pressure from many stakeholder groups including Outer Hebrides Tourism, CNES, the Business community, Islanders and Scottish Labour. Only last week I challenged the Minister to be transparent on the funding fiasco surrounding the MV Loch Seaforth.’
Rhoda Grant, MSP concluded, “every time a new ferry is commissioned it results in millions of pounds being spent having to accommodate the design of the boats.
Against all opinion and advise SNP Ministers decided on a single large ferry for the Stornoway route rather than 2 smaller ferries which would have fitted the existing port facilities and provided resilience to other routes during planned maintenance. Surely if the advice had been heeded we would not find ourselves in this Perfect Storm.”