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

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

  1. Rob Trythall

    There was a conflict between the Scottish Government’s definition of Level 2 and TCC definition as offered in Option B of the TCC survey /vote response

    Scottish Government defines Level 2 as follows-

    COVID protection level 2
    Meeting others indoors (socialising)
    You should not meet anyone who is not in your household indoors in your home or in their home. You can meet another household indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant. The maximum number of people who can meet indoors in a public (not a home) place is 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households. 


    This contradicts TCC definition in OPT B which stated :

    Option B – 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

    I pointed this conflict out to TCC first thing Sat morning ,when I sighted the survey (I am not on Facebook), to which TCC replied that their survey/vote was ‘based on assumptions that may turn out to be wrong’ and could not ‘amend the survey questions with the survey already underway without calling the (around 200) responses already received’

    Scottish Government will have to redefine Level 2 for Tiree to ‘allow for indoor meetings amongst island residents ‘

    1. AdminTCC Post author

      “Scottish Government will have to redefine Level 2 to ‘allow for indoor meetings amongst island residents ‘” – yes that is indeed exactly what they appear to be in the process of doing with this new timetable, which is why we described the options as we did. As stated on this page “The information for ‘Stay at home’ and ‘Level 3’ still applies, but all other levels are under review.” https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-2/ and as stated on our web post launching the survey “….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.”

      We were quite clear on our web post announcing the survey about the fact that we were making assumptions and inferences with very incomplete information and we clarified there that Option B was a modified version of “Level 2” not the old, now defunct definition . Interestingly the Scottish Government themselves, via their Islands Team, with all of their resources and full time staff at their disposal, have since sent us a set of questions which are very similar to what we came up with.

      Also worth noting that Tiree was already in a “modified version of Level 2” before Xmas which did allow some level of indoor meeting – so that is the “level 2” with which the community was most recently familiar.

      Before Christmas level/tier 2 was split into 2 sub groups. It was intimated that we would return to where we were as described in this extract from parliament’s business on the 15th December:
      “There is one change that we will make this week, though, in recognition of the geographic diversity of Argyll and Bute. We will apply the same household rules that currently apply in some other islands to the outer Argyll islands—Islay, Jura, Colonsay and Oronsay; Coll and Tiree; and Mull and Iona, and the neighbouring islands of Ulva, Erraid and Gometra. That means that, from Friday, people on those islands will be able to meet in houses in groups of up to six, from a maximum of two households ”

      To make things more confusing some level 1 areas back then could not meet indoors in non public places.

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