What Are The Facts About Potential Job Creation From Bringing Oil Rig Decommissioning to Hunterston?

The question of jobs generated by bringing decommissioning to Hunterston underpins much of the local and national support for the project, but a careful look  at the evidence reveals that the claim of jobs in the hundreds made by advocates of the project are highly contentious.

Peelports estimate the creation of up to 250 – 500 ‘Job Equivalent Years’ generated by oil rig decommissioning. We’ve tried really hard to get information about the way that they have arrived at this number, but have not been able to get any facts about the workforce modelling or assumptions that this figure is based on.

‘Job Equivalent Years’ is an interesting metric, as it can  mean different things depending on the definitions and assumptions that are used. Without access to the modelling that has been used, we are left to apply common sense logic  to understand what the statement means in terms of actual jobs. This leads us to reach the understanding that decommissioning at Hunterston will deliver an estimated 250 -500 years of the equivalent of a ‘job’.  In terms of actual jobs  this equates to:

– 1 job for 250 – 500 years
or
– 25 – 50 jobs for 10 years
or
– 50 – 100 jobs for 5 years

The widely reported evidence of job creation at existing yards indicates that the figure of between 25 – 50 jobs is the most accurate ie: Dales Voe (N=50 jobs)/ Dales Voe (N=35) / Dundee (N=10) / Methyl (N=30). This has been confirmed to us by Professor Tom Baxter at the University of
Aberdeen https://theconversation.com/five-myths-about-dismantling-north-sea-oil-rigs-76063

Importantly, ‘job equivalent years’ doesn’t tell us anything about the quality, sustainability and local benefit of the jobs raising questions such as:

  • What type of jobs are they? What level of skills will be required? How well paid will they be?
  • What proportion of jobs will be guarenteed  for the local community?
  • Does the local community have the skills required and what proportion of the workforce will require ‘importing’?
  • How sustainable are the jobs and how many, if any apprenticeships will be created?
  • How compatible is decommissioning with other possible sustainable forms of economic development at the site?

Unfortunately, the ten times larger figure of 250-500  jobs keeps being quoted by advocates of the case for decommissioning, apparently under the assumption it means Full Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs and  by a process of Chinese’s whispers the figure becomes fact.

Of course a smaller number of jobs over a shorter length of time are still jobs to be welcomed and FoFoC are absolutely fully in support of job creation. But there doesn’t seem to have been any serious interrogation of the figures or rigorous cost – benefit analysis undertaken to look at the potential risks to other parts of the local economy such as tourism and fishing and the costs of the longer term impact on the marine environment.

For example, the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that surrounds Hunterston is protected for its Eel grass meadows which are essential for the health and regeneration of the marine environment, including the population of fish and invertebrates, such as mussels & oysters. The work needed to make the derelict dry dock fit for purpose will require dredging of
100s of 1000’s of tonnes of sand from the area around and, we suspect because of errors in the mapping of the boundary,  within the SSSI which will cause irreparable long term damage.

The FoFoC are arguing that there must be a full and transparent understanding of the costs balanced against the estimated employment gain. Unfortunately our experience is that local and national authorities have not fully interrogated the facts and figures and are rushing to grant permission and grant financial support for decommissioning at Hunterston under the false assumption of creating 250-500 jobs.

Peelports have just launched a community engagement strategy via their new web site. Currently, it’s not clear what other then decommissioning they are proposing for the site but there is a statement which suggests they might now be looking beyond just decommissioning by saying:

...”Sustainable development of Hunterston PARC  will bring significant local economic benefits, with provisional master planning indicating that more than 1,000 jobs could be created  on the site. These positions will extend from plant operatives and  clerical workers, to scientists and engineers in advanced technology,  breathing new life into local communities in North Ayrshire for decades to come….”

We are keen to see more details of the ‘aspirational’ Master Plan for Hunterston and have been informed that a Public Consultation will be held between 16th May – 28th June 2019, along with a public exhibition event at Fairlie Community hall between 4th – 6th June and at Garrison House, Millport on Thursday 6th June 2019. We strongly encourage everyone that is concerned about the future of Hunterston to take part.

Questions in Scottish Parliament reveal Environmental Impact Assessment is being considered in light of changes to original plans for Decommissioning at Hunterston

MSP Ross Geer continues to raise questions in the Scottish Parliament about the lack of an EIA. Referring to information unearthed by the Friends of the Firth of Clyde (FoFoC) Ross asked the minister during a session of Portfolio Questions on 6th March ’19 why an EIA was not required for the decommissioning project at Hunterston when there is evidence that both Marine Scotland (MS) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) were of the opinion that an EIA would be required if the project was considered in its entirety.

MSP Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment,  explained that due to changes in the project which have arisen since the original decision was made, the need for an EIA is currently being reviewed.

Ms Gougeon reiterated her answer when strongly challenged by MSP Kenneth Gibson. Shockingly, in defence of there being no EIA required, Mr Gibson referred to the fact that the £10m grant funding recently awarded by Scottish Enterprise to Clydeport would have to be returned if  environmental damage is caused, apparently ignoring the fact that once irreparable damage is done to the SSSI and the surrounding marine environment it is done.

In addition, we understand that the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has applied an extension until the end of March 2019 to decide upon the Waste Management License (WML) application submitted by Clydeport in October 2018.

View Ross Greer’s Portfolio Questions at Scottish Parliament >>>

The following press release was issued by the office of MSP Ross Greer on 7th March 2019:

Green MSP Ross Greer has welcomed a statement from a minister that, following significant changes to the proposals for oil rig decommissioning off the coast at Hunterston, the Scottish Government are revisiting their decision not to require a full Environmental Impact Assessment. The facility, which would require an estimated half a million tonnes of dredging on a site adjacent to the Southannan Sands, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), received planning permission last year. Following Freedom of Information Requests from local residents, it emerged that two government agencies, Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, had advised North Ayrshire Council that they would expect a full EIA. NAC decided that a full impact assessment was not necessary, a decision backed by the Scottish Government until this week.

In response to a question from Greer during Wednesday’s (6th March’19) Environment Portfolio Questions, the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon conceded “Since the time the proposal was initially introduced… the proposals that have come forward have substantially changed, so officials are considering whether revised plans… require an impact assessment.”

Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland, commented: “I’m delighted to hear the government are reconsidering the need for a full environmental impact assessment, give how much the plans have changed. Decommissioning is a great way to create jobs as we move away from fossil fuels but there’s no need for it to come at a cost to the local environment, residents and workers. There’s certainly no reason not to even bother assessing that risk before such a huge project.

“I hope that the Scottish Government and North Ayrshire Council recognise this and finally listen to what many local residents and experts have been saying all along, that an EIA needs to be carried out and considered in detail. These checks exist for a reason. Two government agencies thought they were a good idea. It’s time to follow through on that advice.”

In December the FoFoC sought the advice of Douglas Armstrong QC and wrote to MS putting forward our serious concerns about flaws in the original decision not require an EIA and outlining the case for reviewing the decision before the Marine Licence application is considered.  We are cautiously encouraged to hear that the plans for oil rig decommissioning at Hunterston appear to be being more thoroughly scrutinised at this point in time.

The FoFoC will continue to press all regulatory authorities and all interested stakeholders for an EIA.

 

 

Date Set For First Meeting of Hunterston Decommissioning Liaison Committee

We have learned that the first meeting of the Hunterston Construction Yard Liaison Committee (LC), which is required as part of the Conditional Planning Permission to allow use of the site for decommissioning of large marine structures at the site, will take place on Monday 18th March 2019, 2pm at Clydeport, Hunterston,

What does the Planning Consent say about the Liaison Committee? Condition 8 of the Conditional Planning Permission states: ‘That within 3 months of the date of the consent, a draft Code of Practice for the operation of the construction, repair and decommissioning of Marine Structures, hereby approved, shall be submited for the approval in writing by North Ayrshire Council as Planning Authority. The draft Code of Practice shall include the formation of a Liaison Committee, which shall comprise of local councillors  local community group members, the site operator and other interested parties; and should include the timescales for the meetings of the liaison committee. The development shall thereafter be undertaken in accordance with any Code of Practice as approved by North Ayrshire Council (NAC) as Planning Authority.’

Peelports have been given a pivotal role in the LC having been given the responsibility for drawing up the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) and providing the secretariat of the meeting; they will also have three representatives at the LC.

Fundamental to the credibility of the LC is the appointment of an Independent Chair. This is underlined by the planning dept of North Ayrshire Council (NAC) in their letter dated 18th February 2019 (NAC Ref 17/01273/PP) to the Group Planning Director of Peel Ports Group, which confirms approval of the draft ToR for the LC and importantly  includes the condition that  ‘the Independent Chair shall be appointed by the Liaison Committee’. 

Seeking Clarification: The Friends of the Firth of Clyde have written to NAC to ask more about the selection of the Independent Chair, the ToR; membership; governance and public attendance.

Read our letter below:

redacted Gmail - Re- Hunterston Construction Yard Liaison Committee

 

Who is attending? We have asked for a list of members, our current understanding is that the community councils for Largs; West Kilbride; Fairlie; Skelmorlie & Cumbrae will each have a representative. There is no inclusion of local community groups or other interested parties as referenced in the draft ToR. We also would like to know if the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Marine Scotland (MS) will be invited.

Public Attendance: We think the Liaison Committee should be set up using the model of good practice that the Hunterston Nuclear Power Station uses which allows public attendance and includes the full range of local and regulatory stakeholders.

What can you do? Contact the Chair of your Community Council and ask who is attending the meeting on 18th March 2018. Ask how they will be representing the views of the community and what they understand them to be. Ask them to motion for public attendance.

Let your views be known.

5th March 2019

 

 

Watch this! The Hunterston Proposal, by Brandon Cook

If you watch one thing this weekend make time to look at ‘The Hunterston Proposal’ a short independent documentary film, made by journalist Brandon Cook,  that examines the proposals for decommissioning at Hunterston.  The film aims to provide a balanced  overview and includes interviews with representatives of Clydeport; environmental marine specialists, decommissioning academics and supporters of the Friends of the Firth of Clyde, leaving the viewer to form their own opinion.

In an interview with the Ayrshire Daily News  Brandon Cook explains how he came to make the project:

“This project, which is part of my degree, has taken about six months of research, filming and editing and it feels great to finally get it out. It is a completely independent film which cost nothing to make, other than my time. Everyone who contributed was really helpful, either by giving interviews or letting me use existing footage. Without their help, this film would have been very difficult to make, and I thank all involved. The reason I chose this subject for my degree film was that I was aware of so many heavily biased social media posts on both sides of this debate, and I wanted to bring all the arguments together and present them in an unbiased manner. What’s happening at Hunterston potentially affects a lot of people, so it’s very important that they know the facts of what’s going on there, and can make their own informed decisions.”

This is exactly the kind of high quality, evidence based discussion that the local community and members of the general public are calling out for. The Hunterston Proposal sets the benchmark.

We wish Brandon every success with his studies and future in journalism – look out for him in the future, we suspect he’s a name to watch!

Invitation to St Patrick’s Night Fund Raising Event, Friday 15th March 2019 at The Village Inn, Fairlie

Due to the success of the Friends of the Firth of Clyde (FoFoC) Burns Night Celebration & Fundraiser, where we raised nearly £3,000 for the FoFoC legal fund, we are pleased to announce the details of our next event

 

Tickets are priced at £20.00 per head for a three-course meal and entertainment by the famous Ayrshire pianist, Christopher Kelly.

The evening will be full of fun and games and we will be holding a high quality raffle and auction, details of which will be revealed shortly.

To book tickets email Rosie at friendsoftheclyde@gmail.com or phone on 07805 424419

Please state the number of tickets you require and a contact number so we can get back to you with confirmation & payment details.

Tickets sold out very quickly last time and are sure to do so this time round too, so please get your orders in quickly!

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Over 300 Attend Friends of the Firth of Clyde Public Meeting at Largs Academy on 21st February 2019

Largs Academy FoFoC Presentation 21Feb19

 

The Friends of the Firth of Clyde (FoFoC) were heartened by the turn out for the Public Meeting at Largs Academy hosted by Largs Community Council on Thursday 21st February 2019.

Over 300 people, from local and further afield island communities, turned up to hear our presentation about the Clyde/Peel Port plans for Oil Rig Decommissioning  at Hunterston Peninsula. FoFoC  provided an overview of our understanding of the project; emphasised our whole hearted support for the development of an environmentally sustainable ‘circular economy’,  whilst also having significant concerns regarding the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project; the scale and impact of the work required; the lack of evidence for promises of large numbers of jobs; and the risks to the wellbeing of local communities, along with the bird and marine life that is dependant on the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which surrounds Hunterston.

The audience were given the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of representatives from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and North Ayrshire Council. Representatives from Clydeport; Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage sent their apologies.

Panel Members: Anne Carson (Chair), Largs Community Council; Karen Yeomans, Exec Director Economy and Communities, North Ayrshire Council; Jim Miller, Head of Planning, North Ayrshire Council; Alex Gallagher; Councillor & Portfolio for the Economy; North Ayrshire Council; Ian Murdoch, Independent Councillor, North Ayrshire Council; Pamela Armstrong, SEPA Application Lead; David Ogilvie, Sector Lead SEPA; David Walker, SEPA; Caroline DeJong-Briggs, Chair Friends of the Firth of Clyde; David Nairn, Environmental Advisor Friends of the Firth of Clyde & Fairlie Community Council; Clare Baguley, Friends of the Firth of Clyde.

The panel session started with Councillor Alex Gallagher giving a brief account of his trip to Shetland, Dales Voe to see the decommissioning facility that operates there. Councillor Gallagher explained he was one of several previous council members that had been before. He described how sections are floated into a ‘shed’ for dismantling. Unfortunately, the site wasn’t operating at the time of his visit, so he couldn’t comment in much detail, including on the noise levels, but Councillor Gallagher offered his view that it appeared relatively clean. Time was short and  FoFoC didn’t have the opportunity to ask further questions, which leaves a number of questions about the similarity of Dales Voe to Hunterston unanswered.

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) provided a helpful overview of the situation with regard to licensing and the legal framework that they are required to work within. Sector Lead, David Ogilvie, outlined how this framework brings with it opportunities, but also limitations and how it is very important that the Oil Industry are involved in taking responsibility for the the decommissioning partners that they commission. Pamela Armstrong, who is overseeing the Hunsterston license application, gave a factual run down of the process to date relating to the current Waste Management License (WML) application that has been submitted, and her colleague, David Walker explained that, although the planning conditions had specified a Prevention, Pollution & Control (PPC) licence would be submitted, a WML actually provides SEPA with more opportunity to control. The WML licence application is still under consideration. The question of why reference to a PPC licence was consistently made throughout the planning agreement in reference to mitigation for all environmental risks, and whether this calls into question the nature of the original risk assessment, which ruled out the need for an EIA, remains to be answered.

This was followed by a lively Q & A session with the audience. The questions were wide ranging and forcefully made; including the fit of decommissioning with the recently announced £100m of investment for substantial development of tourism on the North Ayrshire coast; why an EIA cannot be done anyway if it would settle the communities’ concerns; and how a WML gives more effective regulation for decommissioning than a PPC License.

A surprise event happened during the panel discussion when Karen Yeomans, Exec Director Economy and Communities for NAC, produced a letter that has been received the day before from the Scottish Government that stated they supported NAC’s decision to not require an EIA. This letter was a response to a personal request for appeal of the original EIA decision submitted by Clyde Porpoise, CIC that was submitted back in August 2018. We’ve been awaiting the response with interest and having now seen a copy there are a number of questions about it that we will pursue. Of concern is that the letter does not respond to all the original objections or explain how the Scottish Government have reached their opinion; it is not signed, or officially CC’d to NAC, but oddly refers to sending a copy to East Ayrshire Council. We are taking our time to look into this letter and its contents and will respond in due course.

Independent Councillor Ian Murdoch provided an overview of his ongoing attempts to ask questions in the North Ayrshire Council Chambers about the impact and extent of the proposals. Ian has been steadfast in his challenge to NAC for full transparency and public consultation. Jim Miller, Head of Planning for NAC asserted his view that NAC have been consistently open and transparent in their management of the project.

One criticism was levelled at FoFoC  for being ‘nimbys’ who were happy to use oil based products, but not deal with the consequences; however the vast majority of  challenging questions from the audience were to our North Ayrshire Council representatives, and support for the aims of FoFoC was overwhelmingly positive from the audience.

The evening ended with a call to members of the audience to:

(i) sign up as a FoFoC supporter so we can stay in touch with further updates

(ii) urgently engage with their elected representatives to express their views

(ii) Contact their Community Councillors to find out if they will be attending the first official Community Liaison meeting  with Clydeport to be held on 18th March 2019, to have their voice heard and have input into the ongoing proceedings – as soon as we have more information we will let everyone know.

It was fantastic to hear so many people saying they had learned a lot from the evening and that they intended to sign up to support the aims of the FoFoC. A massive thank you to everyone who came along.

For more information contact us at: secretary@friendsoffirthofclyde.org  

 

 

 

Ross Greer MSP writes to Scottish Government Minister on behalf of the Friends of the Firth of Clyde

Ross Greer MSP has stepped forward to ask the Scottish Government to intervene in the failure of North Ayrshire Council (NAC) to require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposals for oil rig and large marine vessel decommissioning at Hunterston Penninsula.

Writing in support of the Friends of the Firth of Clyde (FoFoC), Ross has written directly to Rosanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform.  Supported by evidence unearthed by a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) recently submitted by FoFoC to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Ross outlines the case for an EIA to be undertaken and calls on Rosanna Cunningham to intervene by Ministerial Review.

Read in Full: MSP Ross Cunningham’s letter to Rosanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform (*Tip: Hover over bottom of page to reveal button to click through pages of document)

Ross Greer To Rosanna Cunningham Feb 2019 20190205190819414-2

 

Revealed: What did the authorities say about the need for an EIA ?

  1. The FIO revealed that at a ‘Screening Opinion Meeting’ held by NAC around May 2017, SNH representatives expressed the opinion that “due to the scale, introduction of new processes and complex nature of the entire project, that it would be sensible to request the production of an EIA.” (see page 10).
  2. The FOI asked ‘Can SNH recall how the [Screening Opinion] meeting concluded? Their response shows that NAC decided to ignore SNH opinion …‘At the conclusion of the meeting the Council indicated that they would consider the change of use application for the rig yard without an EIA of the entire project’ (see page 10)
  3. The FOI shows that the Operations Officer for SNH clearly expressed their “frustration” at the potential of the much larger project being divided into separate parts (commonly known as ‘salami slicing’). In a series of emails between SNH & Marine Scotland (MS) regarding whether an EIA should be required, the operations officer states: “…my frustration remains that we were told by the applicant that works were related to a larger project that would involve a change of use at the site. The re-development of the rig yard into a decommissioning facility could introduce a range of operations and processes which could potentially have a much greater impact and the over all project could well justify the request for an EIA” (see page 15).
  4. In an email to NAC MS states that the project may well fall under Schedule 1 of the EIA regulations as the site should be considered a ‘trading port or pier’ if they are loading vessels of over 1350 tonnes – Schedule 1 projects automatically require an EIA to be undertaken (see page 5).
  5. In the email dated 8th May 2017 from MS to NAC, reference is made to concerns expressed by Envirocentre, who are managing the project for Clyde/Peelport, about the pressing timescales for reaching a decision on the EIA to avoid conflicting opinions arising. This appears to be making reference to the 2017 EIA regulations that were due to come into force on 16th May 2017 introducing more stringent EIA requirements, which would strengthen the case for an EIA being required.

We thank Ross for his support of our cause to protect the Firth of Clyde  and await the response from Rosanna Cunningham Rosanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform with interest. 

WATCH THIS SPACE!

Strengthen our collective voice by signing up as a Supporter of the Friends of the Firth of Clyde. Sign up here >>>>

 

 

What Do You Need to Know About The Marine Scotland Licence Application?

Marine Scotland (MS) is the directorate within Scottish Government that is responsible for leading the protection of  Scotland’s coastal waters and seas with ‘the duel aim of  building sustainable economic growth from Scotland’s marine assets, and to safeguard its valuable marine ecosystems’. Marine licences are issued by Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team (MS-LOT) which are required for activities including:

  • the removal of substances or objects from the sea bed
  • construction, alteration and improvement works
  • dredging

Hunterston Construction Yard requires all of the above to become a viable site for decommissioning. In 2016, GMB Scotland commissioned a review entitled ‘Status Capacity and Capability of North Sea Decommissioning Facilities‘, in this detailed analysis of decommissioning sites in the UK and Norway, Hunterston is evaluated (pg 55) as having the worst decommissioning readiness out the total 19 facilities across the UK (17) and Norway(2)

The scale of development required to make the site fit for purpose, is reflected in the scale and extent of the work expected to be applied for in the marine licence application. The dry dock is delict and requires substantial dredging, piling and construction work; plus there is the need for extension of the hammerhead quay. This work will include thousands of tonnes of sand being dredged from the area of Southannon Sands, which is the location of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) that is of national importance for its sandflats, with intertidal seagrass meadows and active shell fish bed, all of which are Priority Marine Features.

In addition, the construction work will require  substantial and prolonged piling required for the  installation of caisson gates. This work will produce high levels of vibration and noise in the marine and land environment, which is known to be harmful to the health of marine mammals and invertebrates. The area is home to a range of marine life including porpoise, seals and a very special solitary dolphin nicknamed ‘Kylie’, who inhabits the  waters immediately next to the proposed construction area. Kylie has recently received international recognition in the scientific community for being the first dolphin to be discovered  directly communicating with the porpoise that he lives with, you might have seen his story recently featured on the BBC One Show

All of this means it is essential that we hold Marine Scotland to account, to make sure that they fully scrutinise the marine licence application in light of all the facts of the development and assess its risks as part of the larger whole of the decommissioning project; rather than each separate element of planning and licensing being ‘salami sliced’ to avoid the full impact being scrutinised. Crucially we are calling on Marine Scotland to now require a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

We understand that the Marine Licence for ‘Hunterston Marine Construction Yard’ has been submitted, but it currently is still showing as in pre-application stage on the planning portal. We have asked to be informed when it is  open for public consultation.

On 20th December 2018, in advance of the licence application, the FoFoC sent  a formal letter to Mike Bland (CEO MS) outlining the significant flaws in the planning processes and explaining our reasons for requesting that that no decision be made about the application without the full environmental effects being considered and an EIA being undertaken.

You can read our full letter to Marine Scotland below.

What’s Next? Here’s where we need your help.

As soon as the Marine Licence Application is open to public consultation we will be asking all FoFoC supporters, their friends, family and concerned citizens to help strengthen the case for an EIA by writing to Marine Scotland expressing their concerns.

We know that many of our supporters are very busy and don’t have time to read and digest all the information in this complex and challenging case, so we are currently working on a Brief Guide to Objecting to a Marine Scotland Licence Application, so you can object with confidence that you are covering the important areas. As soon as we have this prepared we will share it with you.

Friends of the Firth of Clyde Letter of Objection to Marine Scotland 20th December 2018

Marine Scotland Letter (Final)

 

*Contact us direct for more information on the supporting appendices

Please Keep Watching This Space.

STOP PRESS! Public Meeting About Hunterston Decommissioning Plans on Thursday 21st February 2019, 7pm at Largs Academy Campus.

We are pleased to announce that the North Coast and Cumbrae Joint Community Councils` have been invited to a Public Meeting to provide the opportunity for  the communities of West Kilbride, Skelmorlie, Largs , Fairlie and Cumbrae  to learn more about the serious concerns regarding  Peel Ports plans to bring Oil Rig decommissioning to Hunterston Peninsula.

The public meeting is open to all and will take place on: 

Thursday 21st February 2019, 7pm at Largs Academy Campus.

We want to encourage as many people as possible to attend. Please spread the word. If you are already concerned, uncertain or just plain indifferent this is a vital opportunity to learn more and ask questions about what is happening in your own backyard to threaten the environment of the Firth of Clyde for generations to come.

The following letter has been sent to all North Coast and Cumbrae Community Councillors by Rita Holmes, Chair of Fairlie Community Council.

Dear Community Councillors,

Largs Community Council, at the request of Friends of the Firth of Clyde, invites you to a meeting to better inform the public regarding Peel Ports Plans for Oil Rig Decommissioning at Hunterston Construction Yard.

The area to be developed lies within an important Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and on one of the most beautiful waterways in Northern Europe. It would be remiss of the North Coast and Cumbrae CC`s not to fully address these proposals. Proposals which have the potential to seriously damage our beautiful waterway, our environment and our tourism.

There will be an update on the parts played by North Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland in the process so far and an Environmental Presentation from Friends of the Firth of Clyde followed by a Q and A session.

We hope you will attend and let your communities know that this is open to everybody.

Best Regards Rita Holmes (Fairlie Community Council)

Burns Night Fundraising Supper A Massive Success!

 

What a great night we had with all our friends and supporters, full of community spirit, intent on having fun and making the evening a great success! 

The Village Inn, Fairlie was packed to the rafters with Friends of the Firth of Clyde (FoFoC) supporters for an evening of food, music and dancing in support of our mission to demand full regulatory and environmental scrutiny of proposals to bring oil rig decommissioning to the Hunterston Peninsular.

Piped in by the fabulous Fairlie piper Alistair Beveridge, over 80 guests were greeted at the door of the Village Inn for the start of the evening. Caroline warmly welcomed everyone on behalf of FoFoC and young Kate Shelly confidently recited the Selkirk Grace. Ken Tully then gave a stirring Address to the Haggis, followed by a Scottish poem reading from another young talent Jamie Shelly. Last, but not least, the supper was concluded by David Nairn, who raised the roof, and a few eyebrows, in his highly entertaining Address to the Lassies, followed by Nic Macaulay-Smith who gave a suitably witty and robust Reply to the Laddies leaving the committee, aka “The Fairlie Flappers”, calling for more!

Following the lively auction and raffle, the hugely talented Chanty Dyke Ceilidh Band gave a fantastic performance and entertained guests until the night drew to a close at midnight.

We are delighted that the event raised approximately £2800, all of which will go to the FoFoC legal fund.

The event was made possible by the generosity and community spirit of so many people, special thanks go to:

  • Alistair, Ken, Kate, Jamie, David and Nic for their skilled oration
  • Chanty Dyke for donating their fabulous performance, we hope that the whip round and cries for more made the evening as enjoyable for you as it was for us.
  • Everyone that so generously donated such fantastic raffle and auction prizes: Haven Spa / Christine Ewing / Rachel Ewing / Liz Kent / Rhona Cameron / Cyndy Duff / Mavis Briggs / Ann Brooks / Chandlers Hotel / Geraldo’s / Arnold Clarke / No. 75 Hairdressers / Ian Ewing / Alistair Houston / Holistic Yoga / Clyde Porpoise / Liam McIlvanney / Scott McGregor / Ian Murdoch / Marion Gilchrist / Elisabeth and Bill Thomas / Kelburn Country Centre / Sian Kater / Miles Montgomerie / John Fox / Hamilton Race Course / Church Pew Scotland.com

Fairlie Community Church for loan of the tables.

Massive thanks to Brian and all the staff at the Village Inn, Fairlie for their excellent food, good humour and efficient service – you were great!

All our supporters who gave so generously to the raffle & auction; and the whip round for Chanty Dyke and the staff of the Village Inn.

All our friends and family for putting up with the endless conversations about Oil Rigs!

What’s Next?  Watch this Space!  This is the first of a number of events we intend to hold through the coming months. Keep in touch, sign up as a Supporter today and receive regular updates.