The consultation/survey currently running from Argyll and Bute Council on Gaelic in the community closes on February 14th.
The First Minister announced a website set up by Scottish Government seeking input on a “framework for decision making” in response to COVID-19. Individual members of the public and community groups and organisations can submit ideas.
This includes proposed changes and options about:
- staying at home
- visiting other households
- resuming care and support for those most affected by the current restrictions
- businesses that have been subject to restrictions or closure
- allowing pupils to return to school
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the need for transparency when she launched the framework and invited the people of Scotland to engage in this conversation to help us take the next steps to navigate to a new normal.
Our first public meeting of the Community Council since this situation began was held on May 6th, and the deadline is on May 11th so there is little time left for TCC to develop a full response to this on behalf of the community – but we are looking at doing what we can. However we’d encourage anyone with thoughts to submit these as an individual:
The site can be found here: https://www.ideas.gov.scot/covid-19-a-framework-for-decision-making
Argyll & Bute are currently running a survey related to the opening times of public libraries, including ours on Tiree.
All residents and regular users are encouraged to participate in the survey which closes on Friday 5th July.
Tiree High School Parent Council and Tiree Community Council have issued a press release in response to the proposed cuts to the library service, which will result in the loss of library facilities in Tiree.
Tiree High School Parent Council, Tiree Community Council, and local residents of Tiree are furious over the Council cut to their library service, joining the community of Mull who are also up in arms about the proposal. Argyll and Bute Councillors decided, as part of their budget for next year, that Tiree, along with Mull and Iona, should lose their secondary school libraries. This decision has sent shock waves through the community, as the librarian on Tiree also serves the thriving primary school and the wider community.
Paul le Roux, Vice-Chair of the Tiree Parent Council told the Oban Times, “We are appalled by this short-sighted decision. The Scottish Government has made the improvement of literacy and numeracy a priority, yet Argyll and Bute want to take our only public access to books away from this island community by removing our librarian at a time when use of our library by the community and children is growing year by year.”
A Tiree resident, who has children at the school but asked not to be named, said, “Tiree High School library caters not only for the High School, but also for the island generally, including Bookbug for under 5s. This is a community that cannot head down the road to another public library – it is our only library. Buying books online is not a replacement for a public library service. Not only does it cost money, but on the one hand we are encouraging children to reduce their screen time, while taking away the opportunity to be able to offer them a good old-fashioned book in its place. Tiree will be losing our library while Argyll and Bute council reassures us that their hanging baskets will be protected – although I haven’t seen many of those on Tiree.”
Dr John Holliday, Convenor of Tiree Community Council, said, “The Community Council is outraged by this decision by Argyll and Bute, which is possibly in breach of their statutory obligations. If this cut goes ahead our nearest public library will be a four hour ferry ride and an overnight stay away. Our librarian, as part of our community school, provides a wonderful service for older members of the community, for many of whom their day out to the library is one of the high points of their week. It works both ways; the school pupils benefit from the books that the Library Service sends out to Tiree. The Council cuts have been described as ‘salami slicing’; this is throwing the whole sausage away.”
The two bodies are calling upon Argyll and Bute council to engage with the Tiree High School Parent Council and Tiree Community Council and to rethink their decision to deny their community this valuable resource.
A petition has already been set up to gather support for all libraries affected in Argyll and Bute. You can sign it here https://www.change.org/p/shout-out-for-school-librarians-in-argyll-and-bute
Please also consider liking the Mull and Iona libraries Action Group on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MullandIonaLibrariesActionGroup/
Along with Mull and Iona, Tiree is at risk of losing its only library. This is the one situated in Tiree High School. Council Cuts will axe the librarian post at the school. It is a valuable community resource, and Tiree Community Council is supporting the Mull and Iona Library Action Group (MILAG) in their endevours.
Please sign this petition to show your support: