Report of committee meeting held on Thursday 13th February 2003, Inverness The meeting commenced with a one minute silence in memory of Frank Spaven whose calm, guiding influence over the Friends will be sorely missed.
The previous minutes were found to be correct and the meeting moved onto a general discussion of the submissions from members to the draft policy document prepared by Richard Ardern. The intention is to prepare various documents that reflect the forward thinking of the Friends towards the future of the Far North Line in view of the interest being shown by companies bidding for the new franchise and the national and local Scottish elections taking place in May. All prospective candidates will be presented with a copy of our policy.
Concern was expressed at the cancellation of funds from the SRA towards the Invernet proposals and the committee will be contacting MSPs immediately to ensure our views are known prior to the MSPs' meeting with Richard Bowker during the week following our committee meeting.
Reports were received from the Treasurer and the Membership Secretary both showing that our affairs were in good order. Various disbursements were agreed to sponsoring the next "Iron Road" series book, improved signage in Thurso to link the ferry terminal with the station and the new disabled access arrangements at Tain station.
The next issue of the newsletter will be brought forward so that it can be circulated to prospective MSPs and Councillors prior to the Scottish elections.
The committee had received an approach from a member wishing to donate merchandise for sale to generate funds but felt unable to take up the offer.
It was noted that correspondence had been received regarding the committee's perceived lack of commitment to the Dornoch crossing and the reference to Invershin station in the Chairman's AGM report. The news that the Evanton community were supporting the revised planning application for the rail connection of Highland Deephaven was welcomed.