Category Archives: News

Agenda Tiree Community Council December public meeting

EDIT: PLEASE NOTE THIS MEETING HAS NOW BEEN CANCELLED – we will pick the items up in the first meeting of the new year, date tbc.

 

TIREE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

DECEMBER PUBLIC MEETING

13 December 2023 7pm

by Zoom and on TCC Facebook

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83865908405?pwd=cCtjY0FidGpCRHdXUmZlNzhOQ0Nidz09

  1. Welcome
  2. Apologies
  3. Declarations of interest
  4. Minutes of last meeting
  5. Matters arising: including steps at the Soroby graveyard; Community Emergency Plan; Scottish Water request for report; re-instatement of a bin at the pier
  6. Correspondence: police report; Forum of A&BC community councils; Oban Harbour Revision Order; local recruitment to help the housing shortage
  7. Meeting reports: Ring n Ride meeting with Argyll and Bute Council (A&BC); Mull CC; Coll CC; Government review of the Community Empowerment Act and Participation Requests
  8. A&BC Councillor reports
  9. Recycling: to bag or not to bag?
  10. Estate shooting parties
  11. Airport Consultative meeting regarding the Oban air link
  12. Tiree phone boxes: should we remove the boxes that have not been claimed?
  13. Scarinish retail park fence: do we need to find another way to rebuild this?
  14. Planning applications for the month
  15. AOCB
  16. Date and location of January public meeting

 

 

Milton Harbour, fishing port, Tiree

HPMA consultation – TCC / Tiree Trust joint press release

EDIT: The deadline for the consultation has now been delayed to April 17th and can be completed here

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE: THE ISLE OF TIREE RESPONDS TO THE HIGHLY PROTECTED MARINE AREAS CONSULTATION.

“We would be wiped out overnight with one stroke of the pen”.

Tiree Community Council and the Tiree Community Development Trust have raised grave concerns in response to the Government’s Highly Protected Marine Areas consultation saying, “It is not an exaggeration to say that the designation of the waters used by the Tiree fishing fleet – from Skerryvore to the Cairns of Coll – as a Highly Protected Marine Area (HPMA) poses an existential threat to the Tiree community.”

Tiree’s small harbour received a major upgrade in 2020, thanks to a £1.1 million investment from the Scottish Government, HIE and the Tiree Community Development Trust.

From two boats in 1995, the local fleet is now nine strong providing 20 full time jobs. The annual catch of crab and lobster has a value of around £1,000,000 and a quarter of the children in P4 and below come from fishing families.

“One boat’s worth of economic impact.”

Local fisherman Neil MacPhail said, “My boat alone puts food on the table for eleven people. One boat’s worth of economic impact is huge in a community such as Tiree. It’s the only industry in the island which has genuinely bucked the depopulation trend. If this landed on top of us, we would be wiped out overnight with one stroke of the pen on a chart.”

Tiree’s population at the 2011 Census had declined to 653, a 15% fall over the previous 10 years. The secondary school roll is now 30, and an increasing number of young people are choosing to transfer to Oban to complete their education.

Rhoda Meek, Chair of the Tiree Community Development Trust said, “Our island, as a thriving community, is perilously close to being non-viable. Social capital has been hollowed out and many voluntary committees are under strength. The Tiree community is hanging on by its fingertips. If the Tiree fleet cannot work local waters, there will be no fishing boats, no fishermen, and no fishing families. It will be the end of our community.”

ENDS

FURTHER INFORMATION & CONTACTS

The full joint statement from Tiree Community Development Trust and Tiree Community Council can be found here: http://tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk/hpmas-full-statement-by-tcc-and-tiree-trust/

Rhoda Meek (Chair of Tiree Community Development Trust) and Neil MacPhail, (Fisherman) are both available for comment.

Rhoda Meek: 07771394030

Neil MacPhail: 07747791400

IMAGES

several families including many children assembled in front of a fishing facility

“One boat’s worth of economic impact”

This image features the crew and families who make their living from just one of the boats in Tiree, belonging to Neil MacPhail. “One boat worth of economic impact.”

Further images and video are available at the following link – https://photos.app.goo.gl/kQ3nRGafFaKGxY3e7. Please get in touch with rhodameek@gmail.com for high res copies and HD raw footage. No credits required.

By-election to ensure continued operation of TCC

STAND UP FOR TIREE

As we’ve notified previously via An Tirisdeach and social media, unfortunately only three candidates put themselves forward for the normal scheduled election of Tiree Community Council – one less than the minimum required to convene. A second chance to keep this vital layer of democracy and representation going is underway, with a byelection having been called. This is the last call for anyone willing to stand for Tiree Community Council.

Without a council, we would not have been able to lobby for reserved spaces for islanders on next summer’s ferries. Or badger Argyll and Bute Council to get the school’s security lights switched off at night. Or make the case for a new water treatment plant for Tiree to ensure new homes can continue to be connected.

There are five places up for grabs, and an election is highly unlikely. Nominations close on Thursday 3 November. You can get forms from Rona at the Crossapol office or from us:

Dr John Holliday | 220385 | doc.holliday@tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk
Phyl Meyer | phyl@tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk

Coming Up – Elect Her Events

We have received some correspondence with details of a range of online events, encouraging women to participate in politics at all levels. You can find details of these events below:

In September, Elect Her – a non-partisan CIC supporting women on their political journey – are hosting a month-long series of webinars, entitled Her Life in Politics, exploring every role in Scottish politics. Each Tuesday at 7:30-9pm, elected representatives from across the political spectrum will share their journey into politics and experiences since.

On Tuesday 20th 7:30-9pm, the webinar will focus on Community Councillors, hearing from Karen Harcus, Alison Lowe and Elizabeth Brown and with facilitation from former community councillor and chair Lauren Bennie. This webinar is a great opportunity for any woman motivated to create positive change in her community to learn how becoming a community councillor can help put ideas into action, learning from other women’s lived experience and meeting like-minded women along the way.

If you know a fantastic woman who you would like to encourage to become a community councillor, please invite them to this free online event so they can start their political journey today. Full details on the event, including how to book, are available here: https://www.elect-her.org.uk/events-workshops/her-life-as-a-community-councillor

The full webinar programme is as follows:

All webinars are open to women from across Britain, either new or existing members of the Elect Her community, and will be BSL interpreted and include closed captioning.

Should you have any further queries, please contact:

Rosie Trevill: rosie@elect-her.org.uk

Community & Communications Coordinator

(She/her)

Annual Electoral Registration Canvass – Paid Roles Available

We have received correspondence from Walter McCulloch, Administrative Officer for Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute Valuation Joint Board, regarding canvassing on Tiree. These roles would be working to make sure the electoral register for Tiree is up to date.

Vacanices are still available if anyone locally would like to apply – these are paid roles. You can find more information about the roles and how to apply here: Canvassing Roles Available on Tiree

Baugh phone box repaired and restored

Sometimes persistence pays off! Although times have moved on for the classic red phone box and seeing one still in service is an increasingly rare sight in the age of smartphones, they can still be an important and valued service for some, and an occasional savour in time of need. Tiree has only one box still maintained in-service, the rest have been transferred to the community for use in various ways.

Unfortunately the Baugh phone box was inoperable for quite some time, and had deteriorated badly, with it’s door eventually breaking off entirely. This is an issue that has been raised with TCC several times over a period of over 3 years and has been raised with BT many times, but various factors not least of them the COVID-19 pandemic had delayed a full resolution.

We are however delighted to report that thanks to the attentions of BT engineers, the box has now resumed it’s former glory and is operational, repaired with a new door and some fresh paint:

UPDATE: Unfortunately, we have reports that there is still an issue – the coin mechanism is only accepting pound coins! This is on file to be addressed soon!

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.

Outcome of our recent survey on Tiree’s timetable out of lockdown

Earlier today we sent the following letter to Argyll and Bute Council following our rapid-response survey announced on Friday:

Choice of Level for Tiree

Dear Robin and Pippa,

Following our useful meeting on Friday, Tiree Community Council wanted to gauge the opinion of the community on this matter as best we could in 36 hours. We therefore set up an online poll using SurveyMonkey.

We laid out our understanding of the situation laid out by the Scottish Government, and asked respondents to choose:

  • For Tiree to remain in Level 3, which would allow travel to and from the island, subject to restrictions on indoor meetings, or
  • For Tiree to move to Level 2, which would keep travel restrictions in place for an additional 3 weeks but allow for indoor meetings amongst island residents

Although we used the labels ‘Level 3’ and ‘Level 2’ for ease of reference, we acknowledge that those labels are not quite accurate, that the new arrangements proposed in the new route map are different. This was noted on the web post promoting the survey.

The survey was put together at great speed and using only our own resources. There are obvious methodological weaknesses: for example, a bias towards those using social media and the possibility that respondents could make inaccurate declarations of their place of residence.

However, we are confident it broadly represents the spread and balance of opinion in our community.

Summary:

  • 322 responses, including 273 residents, approximately 50% of the electoral roll
  • Of the residents, 41% want to remain in Level 3 with travel restrictions lifted, while 59% want to move to Level 2 with travel restrictions maintained
  • Even the majority of resident owners of tourism businesses want to move to Level 2 with travel restrictions maintained, albeit the split is more evenly balanced in this group

Many thanks for asking our opinion,

Dr John Holliday, on behalf of Tiree Community Council

You will note that we refer to the fact that what seems to be the likely options on offer to us do not correspond exactly to the former “Level 2” and “Level 3” – but rather that we used those labels as a way of simplifying the survey for people by using familiar terms – it seems we are now moving away from the previous versions of the Levels/Tiers with this new timetable, so the old versions of those levels/tiers do not really apply and things are still very subject to change.

The web post explaining the survey made this clear, although we understand some may (with the benefit of time and hindsight) feel things could have been worded better. All that can be said is that we did the best we could within the speed we felt we had to act and with which the survey was put together – and felt it best to prioritise a simple, intuitive approach.

We are given to understand that there may be further opportunity for (hopefully more thorough, less rushed) consultation on this soon. The results of this survey may not therefore be the final conclusion reached on this issue and we will continue to do our best to engage the community to ensure a representative position is taken going forward.

On a positive note – for the survey to have achieved 322 responses, of which 273 are from island residents (representing about half of the entire electoral roll on the island) in the space of just over 2 days is a remarkable response, of which we should all be proud. Thank you for participating if you were able to.

Thanks to some excellent work by TCC councillor Iona Campbell, please see below a write-up of the full results of the survey.

Result of Urgent Public Consultation on the Isle of Tiree copy

Urgent consultation survey – Tiree route out of lockdown

We have been asked on very short notice for our views in relation to the announcement First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made regarding the planned timetable for easing of restrictions out of lockdown for Scotland – specifically regarding the mention of there being options for islands like ours which have been under slightly more eased restrictions.

We have not been given much clarity on what possible range of options may be available but as best we can determine it seems likely to be a straight choice between two main options.

Background:

According to the timetable for easing restrictions, there is an expectation that we will be allowed to travel freely within Local Authority areas for non-essential purposes (rather than the “stay at home” restrictions operating on the mainland). There will then be a general shift on April 26th which can broadly be thought of as the mainland of Scotland returning to what was called “level 3” – for the most part. At that point up to 6 people from up to 3 households will be allowed to meet outdoors, and up to 4 people from 2 households can socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant. These are similar to the restrictions Tiree is currently under . However the key difference is that travel will from that point be allowed across mainland Scotland, not just within your Local Authority area – and tourist accommodation will be allowed to resume general operation – i.e. people will be allowed to travel and stay overnight, as long as it is using tourist accommodation.

Because island communities like Tiree have been relatively safer with lower or zero case levels, there is an option (we assume from April 26th) for islands like ours to drop from current restriction level (level 3) to what will be the new level 2 equivalent. We assume this to mean something similar to the restrictions which are expected to come in no earlier than May 17th – at which point up to 4 people from 2 households can socialise indoors in a private home.

However: The Scottish Government concern is that if people were able to travel freely to and from islands like ours, we would be under disproportionate risk if we were to be operating under greater easing of restrictions from the earlier date. They are therefore considering that if islands like ours were to continue to be treated separately from the mainland, and move to lower restrictions on April 26th, it would need to be accompanied by a continuation of travel restrictions to and from those islands until the later May 17th date. Note: we are unclear if this would also imply us not being able to travel within the local authority area from April 2nd

We are therefore being consulted about a choice on how we would prefer to be treated.

Again we must emphasise that this has been a fast moving issue and there is not a lot of clarity on exactly what options would be considered, there may be some sort of middle ground possible – but as best we can tell this boils down to choosing between two options:

Option A: Tiree would remain in “Level 3”, and would align with the new eased restrictions for mainland Scotland as of April 2nd, and then on April 26th. Tourists would be allowed to travel to and from the island as of the 26th, and residents would be allowed to travel off the island within Scotland (Note: not necessarily cross border travel to England or elsewhere)  and return, but all under level 3 restrictions – e.g. no indoor visits, accommodation only in hotels/tourist accommodation instead of staying with family, etc.

Option B: Tiree would move to the new “Level 2” equivalent earlier – possibly from April 26th, or possibly even April 2nd (we aren’t sure on this point!) – meaning lesser restrictions within the island community (indoor visits would be allowed, etc) – however travel to and from mainland Scotland would NOT be allowed for visitors or residents until the later easing of restrictions on May 17th – i.e. these further eased restrictions would only be available to us within Tiree itself until that later date.

Short-term Survey consultation:

We have set up a simple short survey poll to canvass opinion from the community, in addition to reaching out directly to consult with Tiree based business owners and operators. We have been asked to feed in a view by Monday 22nd – three days from the posting of this survey – so please respond quickly! You can complete the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PGWG6PD

If you have only one device but multiple people wishing to express a vote, drop us an e-mail or comment on the page instead as the survey only lets you vote once per device.

Some factors that the TCC members have considered in our own discussion of this:

  • Option A allows an earlier resumption of tourism visits and therefore trade for island based tourism business – with resulting economic benefit
  • Option A allows earlier travel off island for residents – albeit with pretty high restrictions still in effect – which could allow for some family contact (outdoors or limited in public places such as cafés etc). Alternatively family could come here, but they would need to stay in tourist accommodation, and the same restrictions would apply.
  • Option A allows for earlier access to things like travel off-island for shopping for things not available on-island – although note that this will not be practical for most people on Tiree from April 2nd as tourist accommodation for non-essential use does not resume until April 26th.
  • We are only talking about a period expected to be 3-5 weeks. Is it worth adding another layer of restrictions/complexity for the island compared to the mainland for such a short time rather than just being treated the same as the mainland?
  • Option A would have a greater/earlier risk impact on staff who work in service/retail that will be in contact with visitors coming here from the mainland.
  • Option B allows greater freedoms within the island community – but not for travel to and from the island. So those with family and friends here could see more of each other under that option, but not for family elsewhere.
  • Option B is technically the safer option for those who live here with regards to the pandemic – but vaccination levels are increasing steadily, and with the retention of higher restriction level for longer under Option A this safety factor as not as dominant as it was earlier in the pandemic
  • However – if the planned easing of restrictions does not go well and there is a resurgence in cases, or new variants of the virus, etc, remaining more secluded may mean the island could avoid as severe a return to lockdown and some of that risk.

What do you think?

Feel free to register and comment on this post below with your view as well as completing the survey on the two expected options. Please be mindful of our policy on comments

Opinion survey on Gott Bay Pier, marshalling area, car park

As discussed at recent meetings there have been a number of communications to TCC about the Gott Bay Pier, marshalling area and the road and car park areas there. Caledonian Marine Assets Limited (CMAL) are considering some works there, and there have been suggestions that wider work could be done to improve safety, appearance and functionality of the area.

We would like to invite members of the community as well as regular visitors to Tiree to respond to a survey we are running on this issue, which can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YN2QBNJ