Mull wants to keep £1.6m pier fees wind­fall money

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

‘GIVE us the money from the pier’ was the call from Mull Com­mu­nity Coun­cil to Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil af­ter it learned the in­crease in pas­sen­ger pier dues would mean more than £1.6 mil­lion land­ing in coun­cil cof­fers. Un­der gov­ern­ment leg­is­la­tion the group feels it is en­ti­tled to take over the run­ning of the pier to put more back into sup­port­ing the res­i­dents’ and tourists’ in­fra­struc­ture on the is­land.

The com­mu­nity coun­cil’s ferry rep­re­sen­ta­tive Neil Gold­smith said there were ‘murky waters’ over whether or not the group could have the re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He said: ‘This is the big­gest area for fer­ries and who­ever runs the pier would have to do so in a pro­fes­sional man­ner.’

Mull Com­mu­nity Coun­cil chair­man Billy McC­ly­mont said he be­lieved it was up to the com­mu­nity to put a bid to the coun­cil and to gather the sup­port re­quired to take the as­set from the lo­cal author­ity.

Mr McC­ly­mont said: ‘If they are not fund­ing the up­grade of the pier to the stan­dard we need, and while our road sur­face is not cop­ing with the in­crease in ve­hi­cles, we should be able to take over the pier and the associated dues to make things work on Mull.

‘We need to keep the money where it needs to be spent.

‘It is high time we ap­proached the coun­cil to keep the £1.1 mil­lion and the extra £ 500,000 due to Mull from pier dues this year alone.’

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