Last autumn, Tiree Community Council asked Argyll and Bute Council to review their decision that an Island Community Impact Assessment was not needed during the appointment of the Executive Head Teacher at Tiree High School.
This was not a criticism of the appointment itself. It was an attempt to see how the Council was interpreting their duties the Islands Act.
A recent report by the Scottish Government about the Island Act includes the passage:
‘Part 3 of the Islands Act gives island communities a strong voice in relation to policy through the obligation on relevant authorities to have regard to island communities in carrying out their functions and to undertake Island Communities Impact Assessments (ICIA) when required and if not required by making such an assessment or taking such other steps thought appropriate. An ICIA must take place when a piece of legislation, policy strategy or service will likely affect island communities in a different way than how it would affect communities on the mainland or other island communities. Scottish Ministers are determined to ensure that this is not simply a tick box exercise.’
Or submission ended with the passage:
‘We therefore believe that there is a clear and compelling case under the Islands Act for ABC to do an Island Community Impact Assessment (ICIA) on the shared headship involving Tiree and Oban High Schools.
We go further. Argyll and Bute Council has carried out just three ICIAs in the last twelve months. We argue that only when the Council starts to perform ICIAs frequently, without being asked and with a genuine desire to improve their understanding of their island communities, will they be able to discharge their responsibilities to their twenty-three inhabited islands.’
This is the Council’s decision.