The SKAT AGM was held in Portree on 27th January 2001 and was attended by 25 members and 3 visitors. Following the adoption of last year's Minutes, Andy Anderson, in the Chair, gave a report on the preceding year. It had been a difficult year in some ways. In the early months there had been problems in holding control of the Bank Account. However, this had been resolved with any payments due to SKAT Legal Group being made as had been originally agreed. In the later part of the year 3 office bearers, Myrna Scott Moncrieff, Secretary, Ron Shapland, Chairman, and Brian Forehand, Treasurer, had all moved to live away from Skye. Andy Anderson had agreed to act as Treasurer in the interim and we had then been able to make progress.

Our activities during the year included presenting a petition to Holyrood seeking concessions for crofters and hauliers and pressuring Sarah Boyack on the removal of the date stamp on books of tickets, the price for which was now frozen. A demonstration at the Bridge on this issue had shown that the Skye Bridge Co. had more discretion in the matter (they accepted the out of date tickets) than the Scottish Executive. However, the matter was now being 'considered' by Sarah Boyack and it was intended to continue the pressure on this one. SKAT had sent representatives to lobby politicians at all political party conferences to keep the issue alive. We had also had a 5th Anniversary demonstration at the Bridge. The press advert in advance had criticised the Lib Dems for 'putting aside' the tolls issue as part of the deal for power-sharing in the new Scottish Executive and Charles Kennedy had not been too pleased with this. However, SKAT felt it was for the Lib Dems to show real commitment to the removal of the tolls.

The future of the campaign was then outlined by the Chairman. This would be mainly active during the Westminster Election campaign as this was when politicians were most responsive to issues raised by constituents as had been shown in the past. Any concessions gained had been achieved during the run-up to an election. SKAT also intended to push the economic argument i.e. that it was now cheaper to buy out the tolls concession than was the cost of maintaining the subsidy. There would also be a public meeting, hosted by SKAT, with representatives of the various political parties invited to the platform. Iain Smart, OBE, had been asked and had agreed to Chair this meeting. Date and venue to be confirmed.

After answering a few points from the floor, the Chairman closed the meeting at 1910.

Office Bearers elected as follows-

Chairman   Dr. Julian Toms Adam Gilmour Dorothy Pearce Unanimous
Vice-Chair Milly Simonini Dorothy Pearce Gwyneth Steedman Unanimous
Secretary Jo Scott Moncrieff Alastair Scott Roger Miket Unanimous
Treasurer Andy Anderson Dorothy Pearce Milly Simonini Unanimous

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Copyright Ray Shields, 2000.

Most recent revision, 29 January 2001