At a meeting in the County Hotel in Stornoway last week, the Outer Hebrides Transport Group agreed to change its name to the Outer Hebrides Commerce Group, appoint office bearers and adopt a constitution for a Group that’s going to lobby on behalf of economic community of the Western Isles.
Newly appointed chairman, Calum Campbell, of Polybox Ltd in Stornoway said: “Clearly, those involved in the transport group did sterling work to highlight the negative impact the 50% ferry fare increase is having on our economy. But at our meeting it was agreed to widen the Group’s appeal and secure support from even more island based companies. We already have over 100 companies signed up pledging support to fight the further 50% increase which will be imposed next year. But we need every business large and small to get involved. I’m looking forward to working with businesses and councillors from across islands”.
Co-ordinator of the Outer Hebrides Commerce Group, Gail Robertson, said: “I am delighted that our lobby group has expanded and is widening its appeal. Every family and business has been affected by the ferry tax. We have to remain focussed on campaigning against the 50% increase the SNP government intend to impose next March”.
Calum Campbell added: “Our newly formed Group already enjoys the support of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and we have representatives on our committee from Barra to the Butt. We will shortly be inviting our MSP to a meeting, to see if he can persuade his fellow SNP government ministers, not to impose next year’s 50% increase”.