Category Archives: Argyll & Bute

Regarding recent staff visits to Tigh a Rhuda

At the request of several concerned members of the local community we sent the following letter to the Chair of the Health and Social Care Partnership for Argyll and Bute:

Good afternoon,

I write on behalf of the Tiree Community Council in connection with concerns expressed to us by a number of residents regarding the fact that two staff (senior social workers, we are told) have on two occasions now travelled from the mainland to the island, spending significant time in the care home over a couple of days, apparently for the purpose of carrying out meetings with other staff, dealing with paperwork and such. There is great concern being expressed at the risk that this poses in terms of possible transmission of COVID-19 to the island, and particularly to the home place of some of our most at-risk residents, and why these staff meetings and paperwork could not be accomplished via electronic means, telephone, web conference and such in order to avoid that risk.

A previous attempt to query this matter following complaints being made to us about it resulted in a response that seemed to rest solely on an assertion that this was a matter for managers to decide, but we were left without any satisfactory explanation as to why the work could not have been delivered in an alternative, remote, way, A new wave of complaints has now come to us following a further visit. We realise there may well be very good reasons why this work absolutely had to be carried out in person, but the people contacting us seem to be firmly of the impression that it wasn’t about providing key worker support to care residents that couldn’t have been provided locally or remotely, but rather about administrative staffing matters.

Many of us here on the island have had to adapt to working fully remotely, unable to travel back and forth, and have done so knowing that this helps keep our community (which faces particular challenges and risks compared to the mainland) safe – so you will understand the concern about this when there is a question of it being truly essential, and given the current climate of well-justified fear for the well-being of our older family members this has led to understandably strong feelings on the subject being expressed to us.

We would be grateful if you could look into this and help either find an explanation that would reassure our community, or prompt a review of the necessity of what seems a risky activity which may be avoidable.

Yours sincerely,

Phyl Meyer, Secretary

Tiree Community Council

 

We have received the following response from Kieron Green, Policy Lead for Health and Social Care:

“Careful consideration is given before mainland based Health and Social Care Partnership staff travel to islands, including Tiree, to conduct essential work. All appropriate precautions are then taken in terms of physical distancing, accommodation and minimising interactions on the island when not working. Additionally for further assurance, and as the individuals involved are entering a care environment, they are being tested on a weekly basis for COVID-19.”

“Travel in this instance has been necessary due to the requirement to maintain the safe operation of Health and Social Care Partnership facilities, ensure high levels of care quality for residents and users of services, and give staff appropriate levels of management supervision and support. It has not been possible to facilitate this on a remote basis due to the nature of the work involved, including the need to directly observe the environment which care is provided in.”

Kind Regards,

Kieron Green

Councillor, Oban North and Lorn

Review of Argyll and Bute Integration Scheme (Social Care)

We have received the following communication from Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland inviting members of the community to input to a consultation on social care provisions in the area:

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You are invited, as one of a range of key stakeholders across Argyll and Bute, to have your say on updating the document that outlines how health and social care functions and services are provided locally.

In 2016, Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland brought all health and social care services together to form the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP). The main purpose of integrating these services was to improve the wellbeing of people who use them, particularly those whose needs are complex and involve support from health and social care at the same time.

A Scheme of Integration was subsequently agreed in 2016 which provides information about which health and social care functions and services will be delivered by the HSCP. By law this must be reviewed every five years and submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.

The current scheme has recently been updated by the Council and NHS Highland and it is important that we also jointly consult with the public and our stakeholders to seek their views on any proposed changes and to consider all views expressed.

The consultation will run for a period of six weeks from 9 December 2019 to 17 January 2020. A copy of the revised scheme, together with a summary of the proposed changes can be viewed at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/consultations/integration-scheme-review. Hard copies are also available in your local Customer Contact Centre, or by calling 01546 604325.

If you have any questions or comments please contact us at: integrationschemereview@argyll-bute.gov.uk by Friday 17 January 2020.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Cleland Sneddon Iain Stewart
Chief Executive Chief Executive
Argyll and Bute Council NHS Highland

Image of a green landscape - caption "consultation"

Transient Visitor Levy consultation – a Tourist Tax for Tiree?

A consultation is currently open on the subject of giving Councils the power to implement a “Transient Visitor Levy” – i.e. a nominal charge/tax to be paid by visitors to an area for the purposes of tourism, etc, which could then be used to supplement finances to pay for local services and/or development of amenities. The measure is, among other things, intended as a possible way to address the fact that short term holiday lets result in additional load to civic services such as rubbish collection, water, sewerage etc while often not directly (or proportionately) contributing towards the funding of those services, but can also be used as a way to fund other development and improvements.

The TCC briefly discussed it at our meeting last night but there was insufficient time for a detailed analysis, although points that were made included the suggestion that provided such a scheme were implemented in a way which was not overly burdensome administratively to those operating holiday lets it could be of particular benefit to island communities such as Tiree by raising very useful additional funds.

The consultation closes on December 2nd – which means we will not be able to discuss it further at a future meeting before the deadline – therefore we are inviting members of the community to either submit their own responses in an individual capacity, or to e-mail our new Secretary with your views, and we will aim to submit a consolidated response on behalf of the Community Council that covers the input we receive.

The consultation can be found here:
https://consult.gov.scot/local-government-and-communities/visitor-levy/

Front cover of the Isle of Tiree Sustainable Design Guidance document

Time for an update? – Tiree’s sustainable design planning guidance

At our meeting last night there was discussion about the planning guidance available to local residents seeking to develop their homes or construct new buildings. The meeting agreed it would be helpful to draw to the community’s attention the existing guidance, to which planning decisions must have reference, which was published in 2007.

The document was held to be an excellent and most helpful piece of planning guidance that should be the envy of many other communities, but there was general agreement that there would be benefit in exploring the possibility of it being given an update (the previous consultation on it now being 12 years old) and that in particular it would be useful to develop more detail around the ways in which design of buildings could evolve in future.

Councillors and members of the public suggested that residents keen to explore use of new materials and construction methods might find it useful for the guidance to explore further how a balance could be struck between innovation and having regard for the distinctive look and feel of Tiree.

The TCC agreed to reach out to the Council Planning department to see what options might be available to explore this. The existing guidance can be found on the Argyll and Bute Council website here:

Click to access isle%20of%20tiree%20sustainable%20design%20guidance.pdf

Argyll Air Services Saved

A&BC made this announcement Fri 4th May

Interim contract agreed for Coll, Colonsay and Tiree air services

The subsidised air services from Oban to Coll, Colonsay and Tiree will continue after Argyll and Bute Council  agreed an interim contract with Hebridean Air.

Hebridean Air will continue to operate the flights from 16 May, while the council now undertakes the evaluation stage of the procurement process for a new four-year contract. The deadline for tenders being submitted for the second round of procurement passed on 2 May.

There had been concerns that services would be interrupted by strict funding legislation after an initial procurement process for the four-year contract failed to attract an acceptable bid.

However, council officers and staff at Hebridean Air worked hard behind the scenes to prevent that scenario, and we are pleased to be able to confirm that there will be no such interruption.

An update on the four-year contract will be provided in due course, once the outcome of the second procurement process has been fully assessed.

The interim service offers an amended number of flights, although flights for school pupils travelling to Oban have been secured as a priority.

Details on Hebridean Air’s current and interim services can be found here: http://bookhebridean.co.uk

AGENDA: Wednesday 8th May  2019 7.30 pm, An Talla

AGENDA: Wednesday 8th May  2019 7.30 pm, An Talla


1. Welcome and apologies

2. Declarations of interest

3. Correspondence

4.Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

5. Report of meeting with A&BC/HIE.

6. Tiree-Oban Air Service Tender Update

7. CalMac Community Board/Ferry Reliability Update

8. TCDT/TCC Joint Meeting Report

9. Phone Box Project

10. Scarinish Public Toilets

11. TCC Representation

12. Date of June meeting

13. AOCB

Note TCC’s meeting will report on its meeting earlier in the day with Fergus Murray, Head of Economic Development and Strategic Transport at Argyll and Bute Council. TCC’s hopes to report on the implications of the outcome of the Argyll Air tender which closed on Wed 2nd May .Also ,as Fergus Murray is A&BC’s man in charge of implementing the Islands Bill, TCC will report on exacly what A&BC has done , if anything , so far.

Postal Ballot Result and Submission to A&BC Planning

Applications;

Blackhouse Watersports, Balevullin, 15/03260/PP retrospective

Blackhouse Watersports, Gott, 15/03364/PP retrospective

Tiree Community Council response;

Following local comments and representations to the community council, together with considerable public interest and comment on the Argyll and Bute Council planning portal website, unusually large amounts of press and social media comment, and finally a decision by Argyll & Bute Council that a public hearing would be held on Tiree in late November 2016, Tiree Community Council determined at a public meeting on Wednesday 5th October 2016 that the community council would take a position on this matter.

The motion was passed by a majority vote of 4/1 as follows;

“TCC proposes to undertake a postal ballot of all registered voters on the Tiree electoral roll with reference to 15/03260/PP & 15/03364/PP, subject to confirmation from professional advice that it can be done fairly and within the proposed timescale.” 

Following the 5th October decision, the community council Secretary sought advice from the Area Governance Officer, Argyll and Bute Council on appropriate wording and layout for a postal ballot of registered voters in Tiree. It was decided that the ballot would be entirely anonymised, but with a variety of security measures to ensure fairness and effective governance of the ballot process.

  • Tiree Community Council Secretary requested a current Tiree voters’ role, (AA/53), from Argyll & Bute Council’s Area Governance Officer, and was duly received from the Dumbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Joint Valuation Board on Friday 7th October 2016
  • In view of the potential complexity of running a postal ballot, and ensuring a good response, without the community council taking a position for or against, the community council Convenor composed an explanatory letter to all registered voters on Tiree Role AA/53, as at Monday 10th October 2016.
  • Tiree Community Council duly registered an interest in both applications on the Argyll & Bute Council Planning Portal website on Thursday 6th October 2016.
  • Postal ballot voting papers, together with a stamped addressed envelope and explanatory letter, were sent to all registered voters within Tiree AA/53 on Monday 17th October 2016.
  • A return/closing date for the postal ballot was set as Friday 18th November 2016, giving one full calendar month for voters to return their ballot papers in the stamped addressed envelope supplied.
  • Ballot voting papers returned by Royal Mail were securely stored at Tiree Business Centre in an approved black ballot box, and opened and counted on Monday 21st November 2016 by Rona Campbell, (a certified Registrar), and vigilated by Dr John Holliday , (Tiree Community Council Convenor, and Iain MacKinnon, (retired Local Authority employee).
  • Results of the postal ballot were made available to the Planning Officer on Monday 21st November 2016 at 14.30 by email correspondence.

Postal Ballot Results

Number of ballot papers issued                                                                              535

Number of ballot papers returned                                                                         421

Percentage ballot papers returned                                                                    78.5%

Number of spoiled ballot papers                                                                                 1

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The Planning Officer in the applications by Blackhouse Watersports, reference numbers

for Gott and Balevullin 15/03364/PP retrospective, and 15/03260/PP retrospective, has

‘recommended refusal of both applications’.

 

Balevullin Beach Hut Reference 15/03260/PP Results

Number of votes in favour of recommendation of Planning Officer              314

Number of votes opposed to recommendation of Planning Officer               102

 

Gott Bay Beach Hut Reference 15/03364/PP Results

Number of votes in favour of recommendation of Planning Officer              306

Number of votes opposed to recommendation of Planning Officer              109

 

PLEASE NOTE:-

The ballot does not determine the outcome of the planning process, it simply aims to give a voice to the feelings of local residents, as it will form part of the planning officers submissions to A&BC Councillors.

Police Report Nov 2016 & Letter re: Dog Worrying

Please find attached both the Police Scotland report for Tiree, Nov 2016, and a letter from Police Scotland about dogs worrying sheep, which has been issued to all Community Councils in Scotland.

As neither of these items were available to the public at the last meeting, they are being made available  here.

Police Scotland: Dog Worrying

Police Scotland Report Nov 2016