U-turn welcomed over A82 summit
LOCHABER MSP Kate Forbes has said community councils in the north and south of Fort William will be invited to next month’s A82 summit.
Last Tuesday, May 23, there was outcry from Lochaber communities following a letter from Transport Scotland stating CCs would not have a seat at the table in discussions.
Fort William and Ardnamurchan councillor Andrew Baxter raised concerns that communities would be excluded from the meeting in Crianlarich on June 23.
With the 167-mile A82 covering different local authorities, organiser Transport Scotland had said not everybody involved in the A82 could be invited.
However, Ms Forbes has ensured there will be representation of community councils after raising the matter personally with Transport Minister Humza Yousaf.
She said: ‘ To make tangible progress, it’s clear that not every single person who lives or works on the A82 network can be invited to a meeting but I agree that there should be local representation.
‘I have represented the views of community councils and spoken to Humza Yousaf and to Transport Scotland, who considered my views.’ Mr Baxter told the Lochaber
Times: ‘The government clearly saw a traffic jam ahead following its decision to exclude community councils from the A82 summit and has now executed a speedy U-turn.
‘There was widespread disappointment and anger among community groups that they were being prevented from having their say direct to the transport minister. I hope the government genuinely listens to local opinion.’
Iain Jenner, on behalf of the Association of South Lochaber Community Councils, said: ‘It is reassuring that they [the government] have embraced the spirit of the Community Empowerment Act, 2015, in being inclusive in this way.’