Despite the bitterly cold night, there was a good turnout for last night's Community Council meeting.
1. Lochaber Transport Advice and Booking Service:
Steve Plimborough explained that the group is a partnership set up to help 'join up' services for those who have difficulty in travelling from remote areas to such things as hospital appointments, lunch clubs and even the shops. If you need some help, contact LTABS on 01397 701 022 for details.
2. Community Broadband Scotland:
Campbell Cameron attended - Sandra Byrne is moving to another post. The new broadband due to start working between July and December next year will most benefit those within 3km of Kilchoan's 'green box' - a device not necessarily located at the exchange. Huge steps have been made by Dave Kime to survey the present provision, but this needs to be completed - all Kilchoan needs surveying - and presented in a way which will have impact with those deploying the £millions available. Dave and others from Glenborrodale will be meeting with West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company shortly, but participation from outlying communities on the north and west coasts is essential if they want to get connected.
Two doctors have been appointed to the Ardnamurchan practice. Both are on 3-month contracts, one to work 4 days a week, one to work one. NHS Highland is seeking more doctors.
4. Emergency Responders:
Two people, Jessie Colquhoun and Maggie Hallsworth, are shouldering the bulk of the work. The Scottish Ambulance Service has deployed a nurse for short periods to give them a break. A potential recruit to our ERs is being interviewed shortly, but this will only bring us up to three when we need a minimum of six. The recruit, who has to move into the area, will be looking for a house to rent - can anyone help?
No use has been made of the video-conferencing unit in the Learning Centre even though our ERs are fully trained for it. The satellite broadband costs alone are £5,000pa.
We have road subsidence at Ardslignish Brae, Camas nan Geall, and near the Sonachan, the road is in a dreadful condition by the Sanna/Portuairk turn-off in Kilchoan, the contractors who have laid the broadband ducting have wrecked road edges in many places, and winter weather is just making things worse - look out for potholes. Highland Council say they are doing something about Camas nan Geall.
There is a suggestion that over-night road gritting is to cease.
Fares are to go up 4% in 2015, 2016 and again in 2017 despite huge drops in fuel costs.
Advice is to lock your cars and houses - a car stolen recently in Lochaline ended up in Yorkshire. And, yes, they are targeting those who drink and drive.