Correspondence with Arran Groups: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

All correspondence (including emails, attachments, typed or handwritten notes, letters, notes/records of phone calls, minutes of meetings, briefings, WhatsApp messages or otherwise) between Scottish Government Ministers and business and community groups in the island of Arran regarding the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry from 1 January 2018 to date" in your clarification email of 21 June 2022.


I enclose a copy of most of the information you requested. As the 'business and community groups' are not named in your enquiry, I have searched our records under the names of business and community groups I am aware of.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. Some of the information you have requested is available from the Ardrossan Harbour Task Force webpage: In addition, some of the information referred to in the correspondence can be found on the following link: If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because of the following exemptions of FOISA which apply to some of the information you have requested.

These exemptions are; under Section 30(b)(i) regarding provision of advice which is relevant because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank provision of advice. This exemption recognises the need to have a private space within which to provide advice. An exemption under Section 38(1)(b) regarding third party data is applicable because the information is personal data of third parties and disclosing it would contravene data protection principles.

These exemptions are subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release as part of an open, transparent and accountable government. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that the Scottish Government is able to carry out this aspect of its business effectively.

An exemption under Section 38(1)(c) regarding personal data relating to names of Scottish Government officials is also applicable.

The response to your request can be found in the attached Annex A, which has been split into four pdf documents due to size.

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FOI 202200305697 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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