RET campaigners want urgent seminar

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The Outer Hebrides Commerce Group (OHCG) have called for the Comhairle to hold an urgent seminar following the publication of the report looking into the effects of removing RET for commercial vehicles.

In a letter to Angus Campbell, Leader of the Comhairle, Vice-Chairperson of the group, David Wood, said: “I wish to thank you and the majority of your colleagues for supporting the Outer Hebrides Commerce Group in our campaign opposing the removal of affordable ferry fares for commercial vehicles to and from our islands. 

“The publication last Friday of the Scottish Government sponsored investigation into the removal of “RET” was a clear vindication of what many of us have been saying for over a year. 

“The economic ruination being visited on our families and communities cannot be over stated. We have for the first time, a clear, unambiguous and creditable analysis of the impact the SNP Government’s flawed ferry policy has on all currently living and working in our islands.”

He continued: “On behalf of the OHCG I would respectfully request that the Comhairle urgently agrees to host a seminar to discuss this report; how we can continue campaigning in a consistent and coherent manner, on ferry fares and also the implications of the removal of the Air Discount Scheme. 

“It would be reasonable to expect that our MP and MSP would attend along with representatives from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The consultants from MVA consultancy who undertook the study should also be invited to set the scene, and outline their main findings. 

“The OHCG is due to meet with Angus Brendan MacNeil MP at the end of next week. In the meantime, he is gong to share with us all the letters he sent on behalf of his constituents and the letters he received from the Transport Minister.”

Mr Campbell said: “I am Happy to meet with the OHCG – and hope the whole of the Western Isles would be united as a whole – we should be working together on this.”