Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll & Bute, and Alison Hay Scottish Parliamentary Candidate welcomed the announcement by Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, that a 5p per litre cut in fuel duty would be piloted in the Inner & Outer Hebrides and the Northern Isles, subject to agreement from the European Union.
Alan Reid said:
“This cut in fuel duty will help the fragile economies of the Argyll Islands. I have long campaigned for a reduction in fuel duty in remote communities. If the pilot is a success, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t, the scheme should be extended to the Clyde Islands and remote communities in mainland Argyll”
Alison Hay said:
“This would be a tremendous boost to the economy in Argyll & BUte. We have so many island communities that depend on the use of private vehicles for travel and this will help keep the cost of living in these communities down. I hope that the scheme could be moved quickly on by the EU and that it could be extended to include remote mainland areas in the future.”
A similar scheme operates in France, Portugal and Greece, so the EU should have no objection to its introduction here. Here on Tiree, the price of a litre of diesel is 142p and petrol 140p compared to the national average of 118p and 115.2p respectively.
Councillors Mary-Jean Devon (Oban South & The Isles) and Roddy McCuish (Vice-Chair of Oban, Lorne & The Isles Area Committee) show their delight at the letter sent by Ann Austen Service Manager of the Social Work Departmment in response to the Day Service / Lunch Club’s letter to her Department.
Councillors Roddy McCuish and Mary Jean Devon held a surgery at Tiree Business Centre on Monday 7th Sept. Top of their agenda was our much cherished Lunch Club which is known as the Tiree Day Service.
Councillor Devon showed An Tirisdeach the letter which said “Sincere apologies for the manner in which people were notified of the intended closure of the Day Service. We will re-assess the situation over the next four months.” The Lunch Club were given assurances that the Club would be up and running by the 11th of September.
“We will be doing our utmost to keep this vital service”
Councillor Devon confirmed that this crucial service will run as normal until a consultation takes place. Councillor McCuish added ” Coming over here today can only endorse what Ann Austen said. It was handled poorly and having seen the facility for myself along with my colleague we will be doing our utmost to keep this vital service.”
Both councillors were unanimious in their unequivocal support of the Day Service, aware that the Lunch Club and Craft Class helps, amongst others, the elderly and the vulnerable. “We would encourage islanders to contact their councillors with any concerns regarding the island. We knew nothing about the situation until Mrs. MacCallum contacted us and we are thankful that she did.
“Sustaining communities in fragile rural areas is a big priority for us”
We will be more than happy to help continue this crucial service. Sustaining communities in fragile rural areas is a big priority for us, and we are committed in our support of islanders for these essential services.” The councillors pointed out that they can only act on information they receive and are keen that islanders keep them informed of issues that affect our community. Both councillors are aware that the problems islanders face are often unique to island life and do not always have a mainland equivalent.