Only recently returned from a photo safari in South Africa, Grace Strong, Bute Community Council chairman, presided over a session on local issues and concerns, which made saving the White Rhino seem no big deal.
In his transport report, Frank Baxter said the community council had been asked to comment on the rail and ferry timetable for winter 2017-2018 proposed by Transport Scotland.
Ferry times were largely driven by the train timetable, with demand for platform space at Glasgow Central meaning there was little room for manoeuvre. Don Williams pointed out that ten of the 16 departures from Rothesay were on the hour, an eminently sensible arrangement, unlike the mish-mash of departure times from Wemyss Bay.
He pinpointed the unsatisfactory 1257 train connection from Central, arriving at Wemyss Bay at 13.47, but with a 58-minute wait for the ferry, leading to a total journey time from Glasgow to Rothesay of two hours 23 minutes. Don William’s proposed the community council recommend it was in favour of the status quo and this was carried.
Following a previous report by Marlene Hill on 161 empty houses on the island, a member of the public claimed tenants at Watson Place in Ardbeg were being moved out, prior to the building being demolished. Martin Caitlin suggested that if Watson Place was demolished, the rubble could be used for a causeway to cross the Kyles between Rhubodach and Colintraive!
Concern was expressed at adverts on mainland buses for social housing in Rothesay. It was agreement that if ACHA was inviting people to the island to take up housing, it had an obligation to provide jobs as well.
Jean Moffat raised concerns about Bute Community Land Company (BCLC), describing it as “an accident waiting to happen” but that it should not be allowed to die. She was delegated to contact board member Peter Vincent, urging the overdue AGM should be arranged for an early date, with accounts circulated beforehand, to allay concerns.
The congestion in High Street from 8-9am and from 3-4pm was a source of local anxiety, with Peter Wallace reporting a call for a complete ban on parking posted on the council’s Facebook page. The narrow street has to contend with traffic to the school campus, the Health Centre, Victoria Hospital, Creamery, Thomson Home and the Annexe. It was agreed to write to Argyll and Bute Council suggesting a 20mph speed limit might be a partial answer.