Category Archives: Elections

Boundary Commission Review publishes final proposal for Argyll and Bute Council

The Boundary Commission has this morning published it’s final recommendations for the review of the Argyll and Bute Council ward boundaries.

TCC took part in the public consultations for this last year, including running our own survey to consult with the community – the outcome of which supported a call for a single member ward for Tiree and Coll, with the second most popular option being a two member ward with Coll, Mull and Iona – which is the option in the final proposal.

You can read the news release on the final recommendations here: https://boundaries.scot/sites/default/files/News_Release_100621.pdf

and review the full report on the recommendations relating to Argyll and Bute here: https://boundaries.scot/sites/default/files/Argyll_and_Bute_Final_Report_Low%20Res.pdf

These proposals are now subject to approval by Scottish Parliament, and although it is unlikely could still be amended – however if approved without amendment Tiree will be voting as part of a two councillor ward with Mull, Coll and Iona in next year’s Local Council elections, rather than the current arrangements of a four member ward for Oban South and the Isles.

Survey on Tiree’s elected representation in Argyll + Bute

As has been flagged up at our last two meetings and in an article in An Tirisdeach there is a consultation going on about the electoral boundaries in Argyll + Bute for Local Authority councillors.

The areas of Argyll + Bute which elect councillors (called wards) are currently being reviewed by the organisation responsible for this, the Boundary Commission.

Part of the reason for the review taking place now is that the Islands Bill of 2018 instructed the Commission to look again at the way islands were represented in local government.

Why is this important? Argyll and Bute Council spends £2,200 per head on services that include the school, the old people’s home, rubbish collection, looking after the public toilets and various other important services. Decisions on spending are made by Local Authority councillors that are elected every five years.

At present, we are part of a ward called Oban South and the Isles, which elects four members, and covers Tiree, Coll, Mull, Iona, South Oban and a surrounding area to the south of Oban. Since this arrangement began, no councillor has been elected from Tiree or Coll. There is one councillor elected on Mull, the others from the mainland.

The Boundary Commission have produced initial proposals for Argyll and Bute and want the island’s views on their proposals.

They propose a new islands-only ward that combines Mull, Iona Coll and Tiree, represented by two Argyll and Bute councillors.

An alternative proposal has been made by current and ex-councillors that Tiree and Coll should be in a separate ward of our own represented by our own councillor.

There are pros and cons which have been suggested for these two proposals. These include:

Possible arguments for the four-island option:

Tiree and Coll are so small that they may struggle to recruit someone of sufficient calibre to serve as a councillor. However, Tiree and Coll had their own councillor between 1890 and 2007 with no recorded recruitment problems.

Being part of a four-island block might help forge links between the islands that have many issues in common, and would give us twice us much leverage in the Council chamber.

Possible arguments for a separate ward for Tiree and Coll:

Stronger links to the community: a local councillor would better know their constituents, their constituents would know him or her, and the councillor would know the local issues.

Availability: because Tiree is remote from mainland Argyll, because many councillors are part-time and because they have to attend council business in Lochgilphead every week, Argyll and Bute councillors are only able to visit Tiree a few days in the year. Tiree and Coll are relatively disenfranchised within Argyll and Bute. If councillors were both based on Mull, as they would be likely to be under the first proposal (because Mull has a far greater number of voters), they would have to leave home on Sunday afternoon to get to Tiree the next morning, returning home on Tuesday evening. Proportionate to the population, Tiree could expect one councillor to spend one day a week on the island, which would mean this round trip every week on top of attendance at council HQ in Lochgilphead. This is unlikely to happen.

The added benefit to Mull and the other islands of having two councillors on Mull rather than one, as effectively at present, would be small. The added benefit to Tiree and Coll of having a councillor dedicated to Tiree and Coll would be huge.

A single councillor representing Tiree and Coll would be quite busy enough covering the two islands, which have numerous issues in common that are not experienced (or less so) by the other islands.

The absence of an Argyll and Bute councillor based here has meant that Tiree Community Council is carrying a far greater political burden than other community councils – with just £400 a year to support this work.

We have been gathering views and propose to take a position at our meeting on Dec 9th – and are making one further effort to gather opinions from the community. Please complete this short survey to tell us your thoughts:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/X3H8J5N

By-election Results

We have  received notice from Argyll and Bute Council of the results of the recent by-election and the number of votes received by each candidate was as follows:
BENNETT, Jacqueline – 74
CAMPBELL, Iona M – 240 – ELECTED
CARR, Stewart G – 88 – ELECTED
LARG, Iona M – 74
PATIENCE, John – 214 – ELECTED
REID, Louise J – 261 – ELECTED
There were 302 ballots counted, with 6 rejected, which means a turnout of 58% of those able to vote.
We would like to thank all candidates for putting themselves forward, congratulate those successfully elected and welcome them as members!

By-election contest announced

We have an election!
The Argyll and Bute Returning Officer has notified us that there are six candidates seeking election to the four spaces on the Community Council which are to be filled. Thank you to all six candidates for stepping forward!
The notice from the Returning Officer follows:
NOTICE OF POLL
ELECTION OF COMMUNITY COUNCILLORS FOR BY-ELECTION DAY
5 NOVEMBER 2020
1. A By Election is being held to fill vacant seats in the undernoted Community Council’s.
2. Polling will take place for the election of Community Councillors for the Community Council’s as shown below because the number of validly nominated Candidates exceeds the number of Community Councillors to be elected in that Area.
3. The name and address of each Candidate is as follows:-
BENNETT Jacqueline Schoolhouse, Balemartine, Isle of Tiree
CAMPBELL Iona M 4 Baugh, Isle of Tiree
CARR Stewart G Sanderling, Balephetrish, Isle of Tiree
LARG Iona M The Two Harvests No 2, Balemartine, Isle of Tiree
PATIENCE John Taigh an Altire, Caolis, Isle of Tiree
REID Louise J 11 Sruthan Terrace, Crossapol, Isle of Tiree
1. The persons entitled to vote at these elections are the persons registered in the Register of Electors in force as at 1 September 2020 for the Community Council area but a person whose name is so registered may not vote if the entry in the Register gives as the date on which he/she will attain the age of 16 years a day later than the day of the election.
2. Electors will be sent a Postal Ballot Paper and will require to return this to me by not later than 4.00pm on Thursday 5 November 2020 if their votes are to be counted.
3. Candidate Statements if submitted by them, will be included in the postal pack and available on the Council website http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/elections during the election period.
Pippa Milne
Returning Officer
Council Offices
Kilmory
Lochgilphead
Argyll PA31 8RT
September 2020

Register of Electors Annual Canvass

Argyll and Bute Council are currently conducting the annual canvass to update the electoral register. There have been some changes due to recent law changes.

Anyone aged 16 or over can now register to vote in all Scottish elections.

If you have recently moved or have any other reason to think you may not be registered, you can do so online via http://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If you have any questions and need further advice, you can contact the Argyll & Bute local office at ero-abc@dab-vjb.gov.uk

Poster contains same information as article above