OPINION: Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority – a board in crisis?

September 28, 2023 

By Mary Jack

The paragraph above is what is currently on the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA) website (see here).  When the Board papers for this meeting first appeared it was indicated that it would be ‘Live Streamed’ as usual.  It was only when I logged on to the Board meeting at 9.50am that there was any indication that the meeting would be audio only.

The audio didn’t work.  I tried the ‘REFRESH’ button numerous times to no avail.  Eventually, I fired up another machine. Having logged on to the Board Meeting it simply gave apologies that audio was not available either.

The agenda was split into three sessions:

Session 1: 10:00am – 11:30am

Session 2: 11:45am – 1:15pm

Session 3 [Closed]: 2:00pm

Given the extremely short open meeting, lasting only 3 hrs 15 mins (including a 15min comfort break!) it is doubtful if any members of the public attended.

I attended the last Board Meeting held in Kinlochard with my husband who was then Chairman of the Loch Lomond Association. The only other member of the public attending was Nick Kempe and we all had to get there by car.

Given that record, one wonders why it was held there in September 2023? Or was that the reason? No ‘Live Stream’ and no Audio either.

The LLTNPA board meeting and sustainable transport

Also, given the ‘Net Zero’ aims of LLTNPA, how ‘green’ was it to hold the Board Meeting at Kinlochard at all?  The paper at Item 7 on the Agenda was titled “Sustainable Travel Programme”.  Did Board members travel to Kinlochard by public transport??  Unlikely, because there is isn’t any.  Perhaps the LLTNPA hired a minibus for board members?  If so, why wasn’t this facility advertised to the public?

Agenda Item 11 of the LLTNPA’s 2023-24 Annual Operational Plan Progress to August contained a section on “Improve sustainable transport services for visitors and communities”:

“On track” despite nothing meaningful happening.

Blame the market.  This is in the second year that the LLTNPA has failed to deliver even a pilot shuttle bus service   In March 2022 the LLTNPA adopted a planning framework and delivery plan for Strathard (see here) which included this:

Did either the local councillor or locally elected member on the board question the lack of progress in Strathard?  We will probably never know.

Meantime the deck of governance, projects and staffing in the LLTNPA is continuously re-shuffled:

Another manager!

And where for the next Board Meeting??

3 Comments on “The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority – a board in crisis?”

  1. This is the body which has expensive purpose built accommodation within a short walk of Balloch railway station, undoubtedly lavishly equipped with the latest IT and comms facilities. Obviously the plebs must not be allowed within its portals.
    Of course they would have gone by car, public transport is for YOU, not for THEM.

  2. It’s scandalous that a public body like the lltpa doesn’t allow public scrutiny via remote attendance at its public meetings. They need to be challenged on this. Most Scottish councils have done this for years. As a minimum their meetings should be loaded into YouTube so they can still be watched if they can’t be streamed live. Given you can do this with a phone and it’s built in camera there really is no reason other than politics not to do this.

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