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Ferries Community Board and Investment

Ferries Community Board Terms of Reference

Ferries Community Board - Terms of reference


The establishment of a Ferries Community Board formed part of CalMac's franchise bid for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service. This commitment was accepted by Transport Scotland. 

Our commitment stated:

"We will establish a new Ferries Community Board comprising 10-12 communities that are users of the ferry service, nominated in accordance with the geographic organisation of the FUGs. This will ensure that we hear local representation and understand the views of those people that rely on the service.

CFL will be responsible for overseeing the creation of this strategic partnership, and the Ferries Community Board will be able to input directly into decision making over asset investment. We will prepare Terms of Reference, which state the purpose of the Ferries Community Board and its relation to the CFL Board.

The creation of a ferries community board with local representation will enable us to hear the views of those that rely on the service daily."

The Ferries Community Board (FCB) will be established in year one of the contract commencing 1 October 2016.

Purpose and Remit

The Ferries Community Board (FCB) is being facilitated by CalMac Ferries Limited and chaired by an independent member of the community.  Its primary purpose is to be the voice of the communities and provide the community view to CalMac.

The remit of the group is to collate and inform CFL of the community view to ensure a greater involvement of the communities served by the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service (CHFS) for the delivery of the Ferry Service, over the 8 year contract. The FCB is separate to the CalMac Board and will:

  • give direct representation of key sectors within the communities to the CalMac Ferries Board

  • advise on the best form(s) of engagement with the community to share and engage on aspects of the Clyde and Hebrides ferry services, including frequency of engagement

  • provide a forum to seek opinions as required and reflections on ministerial strategic direction to the CalMac Board.

The voice of the communities will be captured for the CalMac Board in the form of a biannual report.  The FCB will work with CFL to produce the report.


The FCB's purpose is to provide:

  • A channel for effective and improved community engagement across the term of the CHFS contract

  • For the avoidance of doubt the FCB will not cover or be responsible for the following areas:


Purpose of Community Board 



Who Manages

Tactical day to day operations of the ferry services, including route specific operational issues and contingency planning

The Operator

Setting the details of the timetables.

Broader route-specific issues

Island ferry committees and community councils

Design of any new vessels that may come into service during the 8 year contract



Transport Policy Matters

Transport Scotland



Initial Set-Up

To implement the first year of the Ferries Community Board the membership shall be determined by a process whereby CFL will invite applications from residents of the islands and rural communities covered by the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract.

This first FCB will operate for a period of 12 months, with the purpose of setting-up and operating the Board including working with CFL to formalise the process for engagement and feedback to the CalMac Board.

It is proposed the inaugural meeting will take place in October 2017.


Future Set-Up

After the initial set up and operation of the FCB, and during the first year of operation, the future membership of the group will be determined by the Ferries Community Board members to achieve the most effective platform for community engagement.

Membership will be around 12 and shall not exceed 15. 

Membership will be for 18 months, with an option to extend. A member can resign at any time in writing with a notice period of one month being required.

The final decision of any Membership application or termination will sit with the Chairperson.


  • An independent, paid, Chairperson will be appointed.

  • Each member will sit for a period of 18 months

  • There will be no CalMac representation on the board, but secretariat services will be provided by CFL.

  • The FCB shall meet at least twice per year, at venues agreed by the membership. The group shall aim to hold meetings in different locations across the CHFS network.

  • Members shall in general represent the voice of the local communities and shall report back to their representative communities following each and every CB meeting.

  • All members are required to attend both meetings annually.

  • The group will receive all possible assistance from CalMac, including provision of specialist technical assistance and secretarial support.

  • Members of FCB will receive reasonable out of pocket expenses including travel costs to attend meetings and will be provided with ferry travel for that meeting.

  • These terms of reference shall be reviewed annually by the Members of the Ferries Community Board. Please note the purpose of the Board is as set out above and will not change.

How Do We Work / Meetings

  • The work of the group will involve solution-focused discussion and members will be asked to provide constructive input that moves the agenda forward.

  • It is intended to publish agendas and minutes of meetings..

  • Meeting dates will be fixed as far in advance as possible.

  • Every effort will be made to circulate any relevant documents as far in advance as possible (a week as minimum), however time restraints may occasionally prevent early circulation.

  • A record of the discussions will be circulated where possible within a week of the meeting.

  • An agenda with fixed headline topics will be prepared and guest speakers invited as required.

  • Meeting minutes will be taken by the secretariat support provided by CalMac. 



Individual group members are responsible for reporting back on activities of the FCB to their represented areas / communities. Guidance on how this might be achieved will be given.


The group will review the relevance and value of its work and the terms of reference on an annual basis, including a review of what worked well and what worked less well with a view to improve as required.

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