Category Archives: News

Annual Report of TCC June 2023–4



  1. Number of meetings: 10. These have been a rotation of in-person/hybrid and virtual meetings on the second Wednesday of each month. In-person meetings are now held at the new IT Hub at the Trust offices.
  2. Councillors until May 2024: Phyl Meyer (Convenor), Dr John Holliday (Secretary), Tim Arkless and Jacqui Bennett.
  3. Co-opted members until May 2024: Frances Khetrat, Aran Khetrat and John MacCaskill.
  4. Councillors after May 2024 by-election: Gerard McGoogan (Convenor), Dr John Holliday (Secretary), Tim Arkless, Frances Khetrat, Aran Khetrat and John MacCaskill .
  5. Skills and Knowledge member: Angus John MacKechnie (transport)
  6. Attendance of District Councillors: 3 attendances from 2 councillors.
  7. Liaison:
  • Attended most public meetings of Coll and Mull CCs and a few meetings of Coll Transport Forum
  • Met with Scottish Water about the limits to capacity in the water supply
  • Met with SSEN project team about a new subsea cable between Coll and Tiree
  1. Transport:
  • Re-instatement of regular meetings of the Transport Forum under John MacCaskill
  • Negotiation of additional bank flights for the autumn film festival
  • We assisted the Trust campaign to help islanders with the Introduction of the Residents Fare Card form. TCC secured the Residents Fares rates for Coll
  • Discussion with Transport Scotland about the reduced resilience of the Loganair fleet
  1. Campaigns:
  • Highly Protected Marine Areas: TCC, along with the Tiree Trust, wrote to the relevant Scottish Government minister, and gave some interviews against this proposal. The policy was dropped
  • Re-instatement of Gaelic Development Officer funding: TCC, along with the Tiree Trust, wrote to the relevant Scottish Government minister. This funding cut was reversed, but not in a way that was practically of benefit to Tiree
  • 48-hr rule for Patient Travel Scheme: Highland Health Board was lobbied about this, unsuccessfully
  • Retention of Screen Machine mobile film theatre: TCC wrote to the relevant Scottish Government minister to protest. Funding for an additional two years was subsequently promised
  • Retention of Ring n Ride Scheme: TCC met with Argyll and Bute Council (ABC) after the contractor gave in their notice. Despite pressure, the scheme has not been reinstated
  • TCC asked ABC to set up a Joint Forum of Community Councils in Argyll and Bute: this was refused
  • TCC asked ABC to recruit and train a new pest control officer resident on Tiree: this was also unsuccessful
  • TCC lobbied ABC over use of school playing fields by home schooled children in the afternoon: this was successful
  1. Projects:
  • Telephone boxes: those at Caolas, Scarinish, Mannal and Balephuil boxes have been renovated. Those at Balevullin and Middleton in progress. TCC decided that boxes at Silversands, Crossapol, Heylipol and Kenovay should be sold or moved
  • Community garden: TCC applied successfully for planning permission for a community garden west of Pier View, and bought a Keder house. This had not yet been erected
  • Replacing fence around Scarinish central business district: there have been negotiations with local businesses. TCC is awaiting a tender from the contractor
  • Beach signs about fires and dog waste: six were put up
  1. Correspondence:
  • Lobbied WHHA for improved insulation and new heating systems for the properties at Pier View
  • Argyll and Bute Council about whether re-cycled waste needed to be bagged
  • Argyll Estates about shooting parties near houses
  • Police Scotland about the absence of police from the island during a serious incident
  • Dental service about the frequency of surgeries
  • Tiree Medical Practice about the continuation of ordering prescriptions by telephone
  • The lack of a resident Open Reach engineer
  • West Highland Housing Association for a bus shelter beside Pier View
  • TCEL (part of Tiree Trust) about the differential pricing between summer and winter
  1. Consultations:
  • Visitor Levy
  • Democracy Matters
  • CHFS3 Ferry contract
  • Operation Neptune
  • Island Connectivity Plan

Dr John Holliday, 6 June 2024

Cuts to Gaelic Development – joint letter

News broke yesterday that due to budget decisions affecting Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Scotland’s agency intended to support retention and growth of the use of the language in Scotland, a crucial fund which has provided grants to community organisations for staff capacity – the Gaelic Development Officers fund – has now ceased.

This will have a huige impact on the ability of communities like Tiree to take action to prevent the loss of Gaelic as a living community language – with Tiree being a community identified as one where we are very much on the brink of that loss right now, despite previous efforts.

Urras Thiriodh, the Tiree Community Dvelopment Trust, recently began work on an ambitious Gaelic Plan, and had even just this week been awarded funding to hold a series of events – but that grant proposal was based on the existing staff capacity continuing to be there – which is now in doubt.

We have agreed to co-sign the joint letter below with the Trust and are calling on all our elected representatives, Scottish Government and Bòrd na Gàidhlig to reconsider this decision and move funding for crucial community capacity on Gaelic in the correct direction.

Gaelic Development cuts Feb 2024 TCDT + TCC joint letter

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.




13 December 2023 7pm

by Zoom and on TCC Facebook

Join Zoom Meeting

  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


“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.”



The full joint statement from Tiree Community Development Trust and Tiree Community Council can be found here:

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

Rhoda Meek: 07771394030

Neil MacPhail: 07747791400


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 – Please get in touch with for high res copies and HD raw footage. No credits required.

By-election to ensure continued operation of TCC


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 |
Phyl Meyer |

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:

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:

Community & Communications Coordinator


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:

and review the full report on the recommendations relating to Argyll and Bute here:

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.


  • 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