Draft minutes TCC June 2024 public meeting



7.15pm 12 June 2024

Tiree Trust Conference Room, Crossapol

and by Zoom and Facebook

  1. Present: (in person) Gerard McGoogan (chair), Dr John Holliday, John MacCaskill, Frances Khetrat and Aran Khetrat with Cllr Amanda Hampsey. Tim Arkless was present online. One member of the public was in attendance. There were 7 people watching on Zoom, including John Maughan, the Convenor of Mull CC, with 10 people watching on Facebook. By the next morning, there had been 91 ‘views’ on FB.
  2. Welcome: by the chair, in particular to Cllr Hampsey
  3. Apologies: Willie Hume
  4. Declarations of interest: there were none.
  5. Trust Housing Strategy and Action Plan Update: presentation by Augustijn van Gaalen, Community Projects Officer for the Trust. This had not been finally approved by the Board, but it indicates a direction of travel. There are five priorities: a) the development 12–14 units of new housing, mainly for rent. This will probably be in Scarinish; the feasibility study should be available at the end of the year, but the completion date may be 2027/8; b) creating the capacity within the Trust to manage housing, or identifying capacity elsewhere; c) purchasing housing on the open market; d) supporting owners of second homes to transfer from short- to long-term renting; e) developing a design of affordable (modular) home that could be self-built around the island. JM said that on Mull that it has been suggested that homeowners might leave their houses to community bodies. TCDT was liaising with MICT on Mull.
  6. Minutes of last meeting: these were accepted as a true record. Proposed JMC, seconded FK.
  7. Matters arising:
  • Broadband: GMG has been in conversation with Mark Vale and the Scottish Government. The situation has improved since he was last on the community council. Currently, under the R100 scheme, fibre will be offered to all existing properties except 26 households. These will be offered vouchers. New builds will not be covered. The copper network was meant to be phased out later this year, but this deadline has slipped 13 months. AH offered to put TCC in contact with the relevant MSPs
  • Scarinish fence update: JH is still waiting for a quotation
  • Community garden: GMG has notified the Trust that he is now the TCC rep. for this
  • Exclusion of home schooled children from the school playing fields after school hours: AH has been working on this. JH has received a letter from Jim Lynch saying that Argyll and Bute Council (ABC) has now transferred the management of the playing fields to Live Argyll. The matter has now been resolved satisfactorily
  1. Meeting reports:
  • Mull CC (JH): the Visitor Levy Bill has passed. Argyll and Bute Council now has to consult with TCC and local businesses and organisations. We will need to form a view on the subject. We will then have to wait 18 months before it comes into effect so that everyone can get ready. The earliest it could be introduced, therefore, would be spring 2026. Those on disability benefits are now exempt. There will be an ABC visitor levy forum to provide feedback. AH said that it was not clear if different parts of Argyll could opt out or in. Mull has similar problems with ‘mainland’ driving on island single-track roads. It was suggested Tiree, Mull and Coll CCs get together to try to tackle this. A combination of films, notices on booking forms, ferry posters, the employment of a ranger at the Oban ferry terminal and leaflets might be needed. It was suggested that the Western Isles might have some useful experience. JH will call a meeting of interested parties to take this forward
  • Ferry Group (GMG): Tiree has done better than some other routes, for example, Mull. Everyone complemented the CalMac staff, despite all the challenges they face. RET is being looked at. It may be phased out or just applied to islanders. JMC has written about this in the Islands Connectivity plan consultation
  1. Correspondence:
  • Police report: there had been 4 calls May, with no crimes
  • Dr Ambrose had written in support of the community bus service, saying that many patients missed it badly. JH will contact AH and the Trust to progress this. It was also pointed out that young people only get two return free trips to the mainland a year, although mainland young people get free bus travel. AH will take this up with SG.
  • Letter of introduction from a new MSP, Tim Eagle
  • 2022 Census: the Tiree population has increased from 653 to 695. Tiree and Mull have increased, Coll, Colonsay and Barra have gone down. Age groups 15-24 have gone down, 45-54 have gone up, over 65s have gone down. The average age on Tiree is 45, a number that has stayed steady. Tiree is younger than Mull, Colonsay and Coll
  1. ABC Councillors reports: SAH said that most of the points she wanted to make had already been covered. Her contact details were on the ABC website, and she welcomed anyone approaching her.
  2. The future of policing on Tiree: Steph Tanner was just about to, or had already, retired. Tiree was now being covered by mainland officers. TCC recorded their thanks to Steph for his years of service on Tiree, and wished him a long and happy retirement. The duty sergeant from Oban had said that he was going to try to join the meeting if circumstances allowed. However, it seemed that he was busy. JH would contact Police Scotland for a report on recruitment for Steph’s replacement.
  3. Mains water on Tiree: on 24 May, JH and Phyl Meyer had met with Euan Innes, Technical Team Leader, Water Supply Optioneering, with Luke Johnson and Campbell Simpson from SW with Phyl Meyer from Trust. They confirmed that the current Tiree mains water supply often only just meets maximum demand. The new larger settling tank has helped, particularly with flushing the filters, but there is a lot of iron and manganese in the loch water, and salts build up in the boreholes. These are now cleaned once a year. The machair and loch are both environmentally important, and taking too much water from the loch lowers water levels, with consequences for wildlife. SW understands the problems Tiree faces and is committed to solving them. They are replacing a lot of the old asbestos cement pipes, which have a tendency to crack, and replace them with plastic pipes. They are also going to install a lot more meters so that SW can monitor how the network is functioning. This project will start next year and will cost around £10 million. They will also bring in their water efficiency team to the island to encourage people use less water. And they are looking to replace the water treatment works in the longer term. Options include abstraction from the loch itself using a membrane, more boreholes and desalination. The take-home message was that we need to adapt to a new world, one where water is in critically short supply on Tiree.
  4. Crossapol Beach: wartime waste material has been re-exposed at the base of the dunes, presenting a danger to children. JH will contact the manager at Tiree Airport.
  5. Ferries: there were continuing concerns about the Barra link. Although traffic is low, this route is very important to key sectors of the Tiree and Coll economies.
  6. Air services: banked flights have been arranged to cover the film festival on Tiree in the autumn. This system is now going smoothly. We have had a letter about the reinstatement of the N-S runway and the use of planes other than Twin Otters on the other two runways. JMC will reply. Most HIAL airports are now being reduced to one runway. This is unlikely to happen on Tiree, because the second runway is also the taxiing runway to the terminal.
  7. The future of Heylipol Church: we felt that TCC should be part of the discussions about this. JH had been in touch with Alex MacCallum, the Parish Minister, and we will join any proposed meetings.
  8. Monthly planning applications:
  • none that fall within the TCC Planning Policy
  • Kim de Buiteléir, Senior Planning and Strategies Officer, ABC, had written about the next Local Development Plan (LDP3), which will be in place by 2029: ‘LDP3 will take into consideration any registered Local Place Plans, allowing a community-led, collaborative approach to help shape the places where the community lives, works and plays. We are inviting communities to prepare Local Place Plans whichshould be submitted by the end of June 2025’.  John Patience and the Trust were happy to be involved in this. JH will bring together a working party to investigate this, and report back. The community has to be consulted as part of this process
  1. AOCB: there was none.
  2. Date and location of next public meeting: 14 August virtually.

Dr John Holliday 13 June 2024