Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) is inviting applications from residents of the rural communities covered by the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract to form a Community Board which will have the primary purpose of being a voice of the communities on strategic issues.
The creation of the Board was part of CalMac’s successful bid to operate west coast ferry services for the next 8 years, along with the appointment of a Director of Community and Stakeholder Engagement, which has been filled by Brian Fulton.
Brian Fulton said: “CalMac has always placed a high priority on stakeholder engagement activities and has traditionally managed this through a combination of formal and informal meetings and events, however the scale of our network and the way people are spread across it means this can be a challenge.
“The Community Board is therefore being formed to bring the aspirations of local communities directly to the main CalMac Board with a view to driving economic growth. After widespread informal discussions with local representatives from across the network we have created its Terms of Reference and are ready to start recruiting members.”
The Board will comprise 12 members plus an independent, paid, chair. It will be separate from the CalMac Board with secretariat services provided by CalMac’s Community and Stakeholder Engagement Directorate. CalMac will not be represented on the Board.
He added: “We are keen that the Board focuses on the high level strategic issues facing their communities, and we also see it as a great opportunity to bring together a group of people who are knowledgeable and well-informed about the network as a whole and not just their own area or route.”
Brian Fulton said: “We want to be sure that the Community Board remains fresh and relevant and therefore propose that membership will be for 12 months in the first instance while the Board is set up, with the expectation that after that membership will be for 24 months, with the option of an extension.
The Board will meet twice a year with travel and reasonable out of pocket expenses reimbursed. It is proposed that the first board meeting will take place in early October, 2017.