Category Archives: Community Announcements

Tiree Community Council

The well-attended June meeting of Tiree Community Council was also its AGM, and I gave a run-down of the campaigns with which we have been involved over the year.

These included facilities for the disabled on the ferry, the withdrawal of security at the airport, proposals for a cash machine for the bank, a scheme to create a Marine Protected Area around the island, organising the Remembrance Day service, the loss of the school library service, abandoned trailers in three locations, an area next to Pier View in Scarinish where builders’ waste was lying, buying the old phone boxes from BT and setting up the project to design a flag for Tiree.

We also set up a ballot concerning the beach huts at Gott and Balevullin, and presented the results to the planning officials of Argyll and Bute Council. It has been a busy year, and it is hard now to imagine life on the island without a community council.

I told the meeting about the resignation of John MacCaskill from TCC. John it was who first had the idea of re-forming the council, and his energy brought together the first group of us to stand for election. Since then he was Vice-Convenor for several years, and has also chaired the Tiree Transport Forum. John’s major success was to persuade the authorities that Tiree needed two planes a day, something long taken for granted by Campbeltown and Barra. He also fought hard to improve signage on the roads. John has now decided that his new job managing the airport has made it impossible to devote enough time to TCC matters, and he is reluctantly standing down for the moment.We would all like to thank him for his considerable political achievements.

We discussed the triangle of land to the west of Pier View,which belongs to Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Both the Tiree Trust and Tiree Community Business had made an offer to buy the land in the past few years for use as a play park and community garden. We have learned recently that the ground is now under offer from MacLeod Construction of Lochgilphead. MacLeod’s, the builders of the original ‘Tank Farm’, have proposed three further houses with workshops attached. The way that this process was handled has raised questions about how HIE negotiates with communities, and we have written to them to ask them to come to the island to explain how this decision was taken. Under Part 4 of the Community Empowerment Act (2015), community bodies have a right to buy land that is “neglected”.

We remain concerned about the pier head, which struggles to cope during peak season. The car park is often full and cars have to find space where they can on the surrounding ground. CMAL, who own and manage the land, have written to the Community Council detailing their investment plans for the pier and surrounding area. These amount to over £8 million pounds between 2013 and 2022, including the replacement of much of the link span deck. While this is extremely welcome, we still feel that congestion and parking at the pier head is not getting the priority it deserves. There have also seen worrying reports about corrosion affecting the columns supporting the pier itself. We have asked for a meeting with CMAL and will persevere with these two important concerns.

Efforts to design a flag for Tiree took an important step forward recently with a visit from an expert from the Flag Institute. Philip Tibbetts told us how to organise a successful competition, how long it would take and how much it would cost. We now know how to proceed, and hope to have the official unveiling next summer.

We discussed the state of the police mortuary at the airport. This has no running water and is powered by a generator. While needing a considerable amount of work, we decided that, as it was used solely by the professionals involved, this was a matter that was outside our remit.

We had also set up an online survey about setting up a cash machine on the island. 96%of those who responded said they would use one, with comments like: “I am often asked if there is an ATM on the island. It would be very handy to access cash without having to make a purchase to get cash back, and I am sure it would benefit local businesses and increase transactions on the island generally.” It was pointed out that post offices were another useful way to access one’s account.

The bins outside the gates of the waste facility in Gott, which had been removed by Argyll and Bute Council because of indiscriminate dumping, have now been reinstated after representations by TCC.

We decided that, due to the hectic Tiree summer-fest, our next public meeting would be in September. The Council would still be working behind the scenes, however, and if there were pressing matters, we could still call a meeting in the next two months.

Dr John Holliday (chair), Rhoda Meek, Ian Gillies, Aisling Milne and Jessie Gray were present.

Tiree Ranger Service Update

One aspect of my job that I find particularly rewarding is meeting people.

Offering opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy being active in nature is core to our remit as a Ranger Service. I’m delighted to tell you that, since the beginning of our events and guided walk programme in mid-April, almost three hundred guests and community members have joined in. This is an incredible show of support for Tiree Ranger Service, and I am extremely grateful to each and every person that has taken part. As the summer jollies approach and Tiree girds itself for the height of the visitor season, I thought it would be nice to reflect on the activities and experiences that we have shared so far:

The first event to take place was our Great Easter Eggcase Hunt on April 14th. This event was jointly led by myself and Willie Mackinnon – Tiree’s Youth Worker. Though I produced a written summary at the time, I hadn’t fully appreciated the long term positive impact that this session would have. The event was enormous fun and I had a great time leading it. However, what has struck me since is the number of families that now actively look for (and hopefully record) eggcases as they spend time on the beach. Young people often approach me in the Co-op to tell me about their most recent finds! Genuinely, I couldn’t have asked for a better result. On the day, the weather was rather changeable: Instead of collating our finds at the end of the activity, some families took them home to record, while others left the fruits of their labour with me to be processed in one large batch. I must say, well done to those families that went ahead and submitted their findings (presumably after a cup of something hot!) – it was great to see the new records popping up online. When I finally completed this task for the pooled Gott Bay samples, I was left with 137 records. These are currently being added to the Shark Trust website:

•120 Smallsoptted Catshark eggcases •6 Thornback Ray eggcases •9 Spotted Ray eggcases •2 Cukoo Ray eggcases

I was also given one Blond Ray eggcase and three Flapper Skate eggcases from unknown locations around Tiree – these were recorded separately. The enthusiasm engendered by this event is almost worth the perma-layer of sand that has ingrained itself into my carpet, and the hours of trying to untangle and measure the sodden eggcase mountain… If you’re interested, there are eggcase ID leaflets (with information on how to submit your findings) available from my office at the Tiree Rural Centre.

Our next session was Beach Bingo – a family scavenger hunt to spot and identify different items on the seashore. In essence, this was an excuse to dole out a few sweeties (!) but the children did practice identifying different colours and textures – or different types of seaweed, seashell and gull for the older participants. This event caught the tail end of the Easter break and attendance by visiting children and younger residents was good.

The third event of the year, Seòid a’ Machair, was a guided walk jointly led by myself and Donna MacLean – Tiree’s Music, Culture and Communications Coordinator. We explored the formation of Machair; learning how traditional crofting practice supports Tiree’s impressive biodiversity. Janet Bowler gave us an introduction to the rare bee species that she monitors here, and spoke about her ongoing project to encourage the planting of native wildflowers.

With Donna’s expertly prepared handouts and pronunciation guides, we learned the Gaelic names for many species that we encountered on the way – in addition to hearing about the language’s history and modern use on the island.

On May 12th, I led a short but terrifically enjoyable Wellness Walk down to Lag naCleite. Though the walk wasn’t intentionally aimed at viewing wildlife, there was simply too much to ignore! Highlights included lovely views of Great Northern Diver, Common Eider, Arctic Tern, Lapwing, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin and a tiny Lapwing chick.

The following week, I was joined at Loch a’ Phuill by an enthusiastic group of Learner Birders.We got to grips with the basics of bird identification using our ID books and the new Tiree Ranger Service telescope; looking at a number of different wading and water species. A particular highlight was a small party of distant waders –which turned out to be a late passing group of female Black-tailed Godwits (thanks to John Bowler for following this up).

One of these birds was wearing leg rings, which indicated that she had originally been captured by French ringers. The same group had been spotted in Ireland just days before. Building on the enthusiasm of Learner Birders, our next session took us to the windy tops of Ceann a’Mhara for some Super Seabirds. Though the focus of this walk was primarily cliff-nesters, we experienced a diverse array of plant life and some very interesting natural history finds – such as the brightly coloured shells of predated seabird eggs. There was quite a bit of rain; but the walk was still one of my season highlights so far. In addition to learning about our environment, Tiree Ranger Service is here to encourage people to look after it.

On June 3rd, around 40 community members from across the island joined a Tiree Community Development Trust Big Tiree Tidy session to clear Crossapol Beach of debris. There is a lot of enthusiasm, and there are lots of great ideas, within our community. Watching people and their children come together and take time out of their day to help was extremely rewarding. A special mention needs to go tour local Argyll & Bute Council Workers, who very kindly offered to come and collect the material from the roadside. This made a difficult job much easier and was greatly appreciated by everyone.

June 8th saw me out and about early, placing riddles and clues along an 8km cycle trail for the children of Tiree High School. The Tiree Treasure Trail activity was part of a two-day programme to help P7 students through their transition to S1 after the summer break. The questions and clues had a broadly environmental and healthy living theme, and the students did a brilliant job of both finding and solving them – in fact, I think I rather underestimated their abilities?! I’d like to thank the children for being so sporting, and for their good behaviour and friendly manner throughout. To quote one student it was “slightly better than doing maths” – be still, my ballooning ego.

I’d also like to thank Will Wright of Tiree Fitness for his contribution of spare bikes, helmets and equipment checks; plus the other staff leaders (includingWillie, our island Youth Worker) for helping me to guide the group around Tiree’s roads safely. (…only one bike disintegrated, so I consider that to be a resounding success.)

Our Guided Walk Programme is now available to download from www.isleoftiree.com, in addition to being on display around the island in printed form. These walks will be running weekly on Thursday afternoons, weather and circumstances permitting.

Events, such as those featured above, normally run on Fridays. Currently, they are advertised locally and through our social media accounts. The first Guided Walk around Salum and Vaul produced amazing behaviour from the Salum Common Seal colony – with animals play fighting and leaping out of the water in the shallows.

Three routes will run on rotation until further notice – but please note that advance booking is essential! I’ll look forward to welcoming you and your guests along,

The Hynish Centre Story

As many readers will know, the Hebridean Trust, a Scottish Charity, has offered to gift the village of Hynish to the Tiree Community and discussions are at an advanced stage with the Tiree Community Development Trust. From the mid 1980’s The Hebridean Trust acquired the village and over the past thirty years raised almost three million pounds to renovate it. We thought readers would like to know a little more about the work of this Charity that also owns The Treshnish Isles.

In the late 1980’s the Trust renovated the old ruined store rooms down by the pier and in 1990 HRH The Princess Royal opened the buildings that were by now a 20-bed centre with dining-room, sitting-room and games room known as Alan Stevenson House or the Hynish Centre. The main objective of the Centre has always been to subsidise visits from disadvantaged and disabled young people, especially from Scotland, but also from the rest of the UK. Wherever possible these young people would be given either heavily subsidised or free holidays.

Monica Smith was appointed the first Warden, a post she held until ill health lead to her retirement in 2014. During her enormously successful time as Warden the clientele grew to cover a wide range of visitors. By 2012 a major refurbishment of the building had taken place creating accommodation with accessible showers and bathrooms more suitable for the 21st Century. To do this the Trust raised £500,000, which also enabled them to produce the ‘Treshnish Isles Exhibition’ in nearby buildings.

The Trust’s policy has always been to use local building firms to carry out all their work at Hynish and this project was no exception. When Monica retired, Fiona Malcolm took over the role of Warden and has continued Monica’s good work. From their wide range of visitors the Trust has built a strong relationship with The North Argyll Carers in Oban. For the third year a group of young carers will visit Hynish at no charge this summer. Carers involved in end of life care in Oban will also be at Hynish for free visits.

Here are some comments made by three groups:

North Argyll Carers – “Everyone talked about how much more confident they felt about themselves and their abilities.” “This has been the best holiday I have ever had.”

Oxfordshire Children and Family Care services – severely disabled children, this year is their fourth visit to Tiree. ‘The laughter and the smiles far outweighed the tears. “Thank you for bringing me on this holiday I have never done anything like this before” said H. Z shouts of “I’m happy, I’m happy” must have been heard 10 times a day! Cheeky big beaming smiles from J every time he seized the opportunity to lie in the sea, sometimes fully clothed.’

The Junction Foundation –‘This trip is the highlight of the year, due to complex family situations, poverty and disadvantage, these young people do not get to go on holiday.’

Finally a big thank you from the Hebridean Trust to all the individuals and organisations who help these young people have the holidays of their lifetime.

Tiree Community Council Report

Ideas about a new housing development in Scarinish, a presentation from the new Ranger Stephanie Cope, and disappointing news about an ATM cash machine: these were some of the topics discussed at the April meeting of Tiree Community Council.

The April meeting was delayed by a week because a combination of travel setbacks had meant that the Council no longer had a quorum. The meeting went ahead a week later with one loyal member of the public in attendance (thank you Robert!). TCC had been notified that unaccompanied young people would no longer be allowed on flights to Glasgow because all airline staff did not have the necessary clearance.We agreed to write to Loganair for clarification.We had received a letter suggesting that the lorry drivers’ rest room on the vessel – a facility required by law – should also be available for disabled travellers, and that the disabled toilet door should bemade easier to open.CalMac had responded positively to these ideas. The suggestion that an afternoon sailing should be part of a future winter timetable was thought by John MacCaskill, chair of the Tiree Transport Forum, to be unlikely: they had been asking for this for years with no success.

TCC had recently met Councillor Roddy McCuish. He showed us draft proposals to build three house/workshops on the triangle of land between Pier View and the road. This provoked some discussion as TCB and the Trust had both had offers to buy this land from HIE turned down. We decided to look into this. After months of pressure, the corner of land cluttered with rubbish left over from the building of Pier View has substantially been cleared. The electrical box and cable, however, are still there, and we would continue to press for this to be removed.

Councillor McCuish also told us about discussions concerning the transference of the West Highland Housing Association Housing stock to the Tiree Trust. He advised us that this might be too large a task for the Trust, but that a management agreement might make more sense. We also discussed taking the Scarinish public toilets under community control, and would see how much interest there was in the island for this. The next day we met with our MSP Mike Russell. TCC has hopes tomeet the Transport and Islands Minister,Humza Yousaf, on Tiree, and have asked Mike Russell to keep the matter in the minister’s diary.

We passed on a number of complaints about the long time some customers on Tiree had to wait for a BT connection.Mike Russell asked us to pass on complaints at an early stage as he had good contacts with the company.

We expressed our disappointment with the decision to keep the proceeds of the Crown Estate – principally rights arising from the coastal seabed – in Edinburgh. Russell said he was sympathetic to the view that Tiree should get its fair share of profits and has written to the minister involved.

Stephanie Cope gave a very interesting talk about how she is developing her job as Ranger. Erosion at beach access points in Crossapol, Balevullin and Balephuil is a concern. She is continuing the programme of guided walks during the summer and is initiating a series of welcome evenings, including talks about the environment, history and culture, during the main summer holiday period. We had asked the Royal Bank of Scotland about the possibility of installing an ATM cash machine at its Scarinish branch. They have now written to us to say that this will not be going ahead. We were disappointed and will pursue this matter. It was suggested that ATMs are often placed in places other than banks, and this may be a way forward.

The Tiree flag subcommittee is making progress in setting up a flag competition, and is currently waiting for a decision from the Windfall Fund.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm. Dr John Holiday, Rhoda Meek, Ian Gillies, John MacCaskill, Jessie Gray and Aisling Milne were in attendance.

Piping Society AGM – Tuesday the 9th of May – 7:30pm – Tiree Trust Office

The Tiree Piping Society are holding their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday the 9th of May, 7:30 in the Tiree Trust office and are encouraging all eager pipers or those interested in the future of piping on Tiree to come along.

The society, which was set up some years ago by the driving force – the late Mr Robert Beck, is designed to support the future of piping on Tiree and has been heavily involved in creating tutoring opportunities, particularly for the younger generation of the island. Mr Beck, who was responsible for the tuition of many talented pipers who have hailed from Tiree, first realised there was a need for the society when he felt unable to continue tuition due to ill health. The society was formed and acted as the body responsible for securing funding to enable bringing a tutor to the island.

The society first received funding in 2011, from the local Windfall Fund which allowed them to bring a tutor to the island on a regular basis to provide lessons to children at the school. This was successful for a number of years and was then taken in house and received some internal funding from Argyll and Bute to continue it. Over those years children were lucky to receive tuition from a number of talented pipers, including the late Donald Campbell, who particularly loved coming over to Tiree to teach. Mr Beck was heavily involved in the program up until his death and would often accompany Donald to lessons and give his valued input.

In 2015 the coordination of the tutoring program was handed over the Music and Culture coordinator at Tiree Trust and here the society were successful in receiving funding from two local trusts, The Windfall Fund and the Charlie MacLean Trust. This enabled them to restart the tutoring program and welcome on board Scott Wood as the resident tutor. Scott has a wealth of piping experience and has travelled all over the world with his own band The Scott Wood Band along with playing with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and has just recently been announced as the newest member of Skerryvore! The first year of the pilot under the coordination of the MCC was extremely successful, with 8 pupils taking up the opportunity to learn the chanter and pipes, with one of them already progressed onto bagpipes.

Scott visits the island twice a month and conducts lessons within the school and has recently started a ‘Pipe Band Practise’ session after school which welcomes along children who have been learning pipe band drums under the supervision of Willie MacKinnon. We were also extremely lucky to have been gifted two sets of pipes from the family of the late Donald Campbell, that have been put to excellent use – which I’m sure he would be very happy about.

The first year’s funding ran out in April and we are pleased to report that we have since secured 50% funding from the Scottish School of Pipes and Drums Trust for a three-year piping tuition program. For this coming year 2017 – 2018 we have secured the remaining 50% through the Argyll and Bute Supporting Communities Fund and have also received flight sponsorship from Loganair to cover the cost of 4 return flights. For the two remaining years, we will be working towards securing the remaining 50% to match fund that of the already confirmed SSPDT.

We are extremely pleased with how the program has been running to date and are confident that we will produce a number of budding pipers in the forthcoming years. The next step will be to introduce them to the local Pipe Band and allow them to start playing with other pipers and players, which will hopefully raise their confidence and interest.

We would very much encourage anyone to come along to the AGM on the 9th of May – particularly local pipers and those interested in the future of it. It would be great to see some new faces. If you have any questions then please get in touch with Donna on donna@tireetrust.org.uk or by calling 220 074

Tiree 10K & Half Marathon 2017

It’s nearly 10k & Half Marathon weekend, and already it’s set to be another record breaker as we look forward to welcoming this year’s competitors.

Tiree 10k & Half Marathon: Saturday 29th April – start time 2pm on Sorobaidh beach

• Biggest start line ever assembled with 375 runners entered

• More clubs represented than ever before

• Charity runners raising funds for Tiree Play Park

• Team Skipinnish taking on the 10k & HM course

• The legendary 10k dance with Crackin’ Craic

It’s set to be a great weekend, and this year the event has proved more popular than ever. So much so that it’s now completely full! We’ve squeezed people in, and filled cancellations, but we still have a waiting list of nearly 100 runners! Who’d have thought running into a headwind was so popular! Thanks everyone who’s entered and good luck with your final preparations.

As the event is full we won’t be taking any entries on the day except for the kids’ events. For anyone who’s missed out please do come and support the runners or join the event crew, it’s still a fun day out and your cheering will be hugely appreciated!

Kids’ events: Enter on the day – registration from 10am, races start at 1pm 10k & Half Marathon – event full so no entry on the day

Evening dance: Tickets available on the day from An Talla

Tiree’s Adventure Play Park: The event is raising funds for the development of the park at Crossapol.

Our visiting team of charity runners are also collecting sponsors for this project, and it’s already proved to be a lovely way for our visitors to contribute to community life on Tiree. We’re pleased to support this project and we’ll also hold a raffle in the evening to add to this fund. Any prizes gratefully received.

Event Crew: As always, the event is made possible by the people that help on the day, so if you can spare a few hours on the Saturday please do come and join the crew. Let us know and we can get you in the team.

Road safety and convenience: After the 2pm start on the beach, there will be lots of runners on the road to Hynish, and back around through Balinoe, Heylipol, Sandaig, Kilkenneth and Moss. There are course maps on the Tiree Fitness website, and we’d just ask all drivers to be extra vigilant, and also for your own convenience if it’s possible to avoid travel during 2-4pm you’d stand a better chance of avoiding hold ups. But the roads are of course open, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Find out more: Join the Facebook group and keep an eye on the Tiree Fitness website for further updates and news. Any enquiries can be made to Will at Tiree Fitness. Contact Will on 07867 304640 or email will@tireefitness.co.uk or go to www.tireefitness.co.uk

12 years of the Tiree 10k & Half Marathon – remember when…..

• We woke to thick snow last year just before the event

• The pipe band marched the course in sweltering heat

• Bride & Groom teams ran the 10k and finished with a dip in the sea

• Trail West made a name for themselves at their first gigs

• The buses took everyone over to Hough and Balevullin for the start

• The 31 minute 10k!!!

• Local man Owain Williams finally got to the top of the podium and won the half marathon

It’s been an amazing 12 years of doing these events – thank you everyone who helps, and we look forward to more record breaking later this month.

March Tiree Community Council Meeting

The March community council meeting took place in An Talla on the first day of the month, with a smaller quorum of councillors than usual, with only 4 in attendance and a much smaller audience than normal.

Doctor Holliday was in attendance to chair the meeting, welcoming everyone and going through the formalities.

The first item on the agenda was to go through the correspondences received over the last month. The Police Scotland Report was circulated and discussed, noting that 5 incidents had been reported in the last month. The Chair also took the opportunity to highlight the newly introduced penalty for using a mobile phone while driving. This now faces a fine of £200 and 6 points on your licence. It is also worth noting that new drivers will lose their licence completely.

Councillor Gillies took the opportunity to discuss the ‘Annual Survey Oblique Review of Scheme’ which relates to general Governance and Law which supports Community Councils. Each Community Council is required to return the survey, which Councillor Gillies is going to complete and submit. It was also discussed that the national elections for Community Councils are due to take place however a timescale has not yet been set for this. Councillor Holliday took the opportunity to ask present councillors if they would be willing to continue in their roles for another 6 months or until the national election date had been set. This would see all Community Councils throughout the country holding their elections on the same day.

An update regarding the Tiree Flag Committee was heard from Doctor Holliday, who mentioned that a meeting has taken place and although no official competition date has been set it was hoped to unveil the finalists at this year’s Agricultural Show. It was also highlighted that the group is welcoming any new members therefore if you are interested in getting involved then please get in touch with Doctor Holiday.

The fourth agenda point, covering issues relating to the housing development at Pier View had initially been brought up at the previous meeting where residents had highlighted hazardous areas which surrounded the development. Councillor Milne was tasked with investigating the issues and gave a written update at the meeting as she wasn’t in attendance. It was noted that at present it has proven difficult to ascertain who the contaminated land at Pier View belongs to and it was decided that councillors would look into this in more detail. A letter will also be sent to Councillor Roddy McCuish to ask for assistance with this matter.

There were positive reports coming from the Islands Communications update, as it was noted that EE have submitted a planning permission application for a mast at Garaphail, which will largely benefit emergency services. Additional masts and upgrades have been proposed by Vodafone and this is currently at planning permission stages too. BT have also been on the island carrying out work, suggesting that an additional Green Box is being installed in the Scarinish area which will benefit residents with access to Fibre Broadband.

An update was given regarding the political strategy in the form of meeting with Humza Yousef, which TCC are actively progressing and continue to communicate with his team to set up a visit. It was also brought to the attention of TCC that Fergus Ewing has arranged to be on Tiree in May. TCC raised concern and disappointment that they had not been made aware of this and agreed to invite him to a public or private meeting to address matters relating to the community.

The last item on the agenda was an update regarding The Crown Estate in Scotland, which was first brought up at the February meeting. Councillor Milne is working on drafting a response to the Crown Estate Consultation, having spoken to Western Isles Council for advice.

Tiree Community Council February Meeting 2017

The first Tiree Community Council meeting of 2017 took place last Wednesday, the 1st of February. The meeting was opened by our chair and convenor, Doctor John Holliday who welcomed all in attendance, including BBC Alba representative Seonaidh MacKenzie. along with Calen MacNeil who was at her first Community Council meeting in her role as the school representative.

The first item on the agenda was to acknowledge that John MacCaskill was standing down as Vice Convenor and Rhoda Meek would be taking up the position. Dr Holiday took the opportunity to thank John for his invaluable contribution as Vice Convenor.

We then moved on to discuss the correspondences from the previous months. TCC received a letter from Coll Community Council, thanking them for this visit last year and it was also noted that there would be another opportunity for a day visit to Coll in September.

The minutes from the previous meeting brought up a few updates on various projects and ongoing issues, including the issue of the dangerous area reported at Pier View. This was brought to the attention of the TCC at the previous meeting in December and it was agreed to investigate the issue and make relevant health and safety bodies aware of it, the TCC are still working on this matter and will also contact Roddy McCuish for some assistance in resolving this matter. We also heard from Rhoda Meek who gave us an update on the Phone Box project, who are continuing to hold regular meetings. The group are going to focus on one box at a time and have chosen to focus their attentions on upgrading the box at Silversands, Vaul, which will be used as an example box to try and secure funding for going forward with the rest of them.

The TCC held a closed meeting in January to discuss ways in which they operate and a few points were discussed from this meeting, one of them being that “AOCB” will now be removed from the meeting agenda. Members of the public will still be encouraged to bring issues and questions to the meetings, but will be required to bring this to the attention of the councillors 14 days before the next meeting so that it can be added to the agenda. The Councillors felt that a removal of the AOCB will help to reduce the length of meetings and allow Councillors adequate time to prepare their response to questions and issues.

The fifth item on the agenda was regarding the recent complaint against Tiree Community Council. This was brought up at the December meeting, when Mr and Mrs Larg sent a formal letter of complaint to the TCC regarding the Ballot which was conducted by TCC in relation to the planning row over the Beach-huts in Balevullin and Gott. At the February meeting Dr Holliday took us through the 8 page reply which will be issued to the Larg’s in response to their original complaint. It was also noted that TCC would ask the Governance Officer for Argyll and Bute to look over the letter before it was sent out. The matter was concluded and thanks were given to The Community Council for their time spent on this matter.

We next moved on to discuss the Pre-5 Provision at Tiree High School and we heard that after a successful consultation conducted by Tiree High School through a dedicated working group that the Pre 5 sessions had now been split into two, with the morning session focusing on English with the promotion of Gaelic and the afternoon being solely Gaelic. It was noted that this structure is so far working well and a good feedback has been received from parents. The successful reintroduction of Gaelic Pre-5 was covered on BBC An Là with coverage filmed here on Tiree featuring Pre-5 leader, Johann MacLean.

It was brought to the attention of the meeting that the Scottish Government were currently running a consultation on behalf of the Crown Estate with regards to the management of the sea bed. The Crown Estate are hoping to pass some of the management aspects of the land to the community. The Crown Estate is currently responsible for such things as leases for moorings, some aspects of crofting and of fishing etc. The TCC would like to encourage all members of the community to comment on this consultation and you can do so by visiting the following link: www.consult.scotland.gov.uk/crown-estate-strategy-unit/long-term-management-of-the-crown-estate The consultation process is open until the 29th of March.

The transport update was provided by John MacCaskill who gave us an overview of transport issues and updates from the last 2 months. It was noted that there have been a number of cancelled flights recently, this was due to weather related issues. A question from a member of the audience was brought up regarding the announcement some time ago that visibility equipment was to be introduced to Tiree flights. John informed us that this is still in the pipeline and aircrafts are due to be fitted with the new equipment but it does cost a considerable amount of money. We heard good news regarding additional capacity for island events such as TMF and the Ultra Marathon and 10K weekends. It was also noted that ferry transportation had been increased during TMF weekend, and organisers of the festival were commended for their negotiations and positive working relationship with Cal Mac.

The 9th item on the agenda was an update on the Chapel of Rest project and John again informed the meeting that TCC had recently met with the directors of Tiree Community Development Trust with the view to them taking on the project. The proposed site for the Chapel of Rest is the old Met Office building at the airport, which has been inspected by both TCC and TCDT. A great deal of ground work has been done by both parties and the TCDT board will be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss how this can be taken forward. There was also discussion surrounding the current mortuary on the island, as it was reported that Police Scotland didn’t plan to renew their current lease. It was agreed that TCC would look into this.

The final item on the agenda was a summary of the recent successful meeting with Humza Yousef MSP, which we reported on in the last edition. Three TCC councillors, John MacCaskill, Rosemary Omand and Ian Gilles, along with Tish MacKinnon from TCDT met with Humza Yousef and Mike Russell last month at Holyrood and all in attendance commented that it was a very successful meeting, discussing several hot topics, including The Islands Bill, transport, and communications. Having only been announced a day before the meeting was taking place, the councillors also took the opportunity to ask the MSP about the removal of security checks at 3 local airports, Tiree being one of them. Mr Yousef acknowledged the concerns from islanders but commented that the decision is ultimately made by the secretary of state. It was noted that all jobs in the airport are currently safe due to the government stating that there will be no compulsory redundancy.

The meeting was closed at 9:30pm and Doctor Holliday thanked all for coming, stating the next meeting would be Wednesday the 1st of March. All minutes, agendas and further information can be found at www.tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk

£22 Million to be Slashed from Health & Social Care Budget

Members of the Argyll and Bute Integration Joint Board (IJB) were presented with the
budget outlook for the next 2 years at their meeting on Wednesday 25th January
2016. This report highlighted that the IJB is facing an extremely challenging financial
outlook. It is estimated the IJB will require to make savings of £16.3m for 2017-18 and
a further £5.7m for 2018-19 from its annual budget of £256m.
Christina West, Chief Officer for the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care
Partnership, said:
“The Budget Outlook Report presented to the Integration Joint Board today highlights
that the IJB is, like all public sector organisations, facing an extremely challenging
financial situation. The need to find savings of this scale is due to a range of factors
including increasing demands on health and social care services, the effects of
inflation and the estimated level of funding from our partner bodies, NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Council.
“In December 2016 the Scottish Government published its Health and Social Care Delivery Plan which details how
health and social care services need to transform. This means increasing the speed of change from reactive
emergency based services such as those provided in hospitals to community based services which focus on
prevention, early intervention and helping people make better lifestyle choices and manage their own conditions.
“As a public sector body the IJB also has to deliver services within its budget and it is clear that to meet all the
challenges we cannot continue to do things the same way. We have started the process for planning for this and have
involved Locality Planning Groups in developing proposals for change to fundamentally transform services to ones
which prioritise:
• Anticipatory Care i.e. planning and minimising the need for emergency or urgent care or a crisis response
• Prevention of ill health
• Maintenance of health and wellbeing i.e. doing more to look after ourselves
“To deliver this change we have included in our financial planning a new investment of approximately £2m in our
community and health improvement services over the next 2 years to help achieve this transformation.
“We will also be continuing to focus on tackling the waste in our systems and processes, reducing duplication, using
digital technology to increase productivity, rationalising the number of buildings we operate from and making the best
use of the capacity and skills of our workforce. All of this will provide better outcomes for those individuals who receive
care whether in the community or in a hospital. These actions will also ensure we can provide value for money from the
finite resources we have available to deliver health and social care services.
“The IJB will have to make difficult decisions and choices which we know will cause anxiety and concerns in local
communities and it is incumbent upon the IJB to explain to the public and our staff the reason that we need to make
these changes.
“We are already seeking views, comments and suggestions from the public, partners and our staff on a number of local
projects where we believe we need to redesign services.
“We are now planning to carry out a separate engagement and involvement exercise on proposed areas of service
change across Argyll and Bute and the feedback from this will help inform the IJB decision making process on the
changes we have to prioritise over the next 2 years. Further details on this engagement and involvement process will
be announced in the coming weeks.”
The Argyll and Bute Integration Joint Board (IJB) is the governance Board of the Health and Social Care Partnership
and has responsibility for the planning, resourcing and overseeing of the operational delivery of integrated services.
The membership of the IJB comprises elected councillors from Argyll and Bute Council, NHS Highland Board members
and a number of other members from a range of sectors and stakeholder groups including clinicians, the Third Sector,
Independent Sector, patients/service users, Trade Unions, staff and carers.
Argyll and Bute HSCP Vision – People in Argyll and Bute will live longer, healthier, happier, independent lives
To achieve this vision the HSCP has within its Strategic Plan agreed the following 6 areas of focus:
• Reduce avoidable emergency admissions to hospital and minimise the time people are delayed
• Support people to live fulfilling lives in their own homes for as long as possible
• Support unpaid carers to reduce the impact of their caring role on their own health and wellbeing • Implement a
continuous improvement approach
• Support staff to continuously improve the information, support and care they deliver
• Efficiently and effectively manage all resources to deliver Best Value

NÀDAIR THIRIODH – TIREE RANGER SERVICE

Dear Readers,

This is my first bulletin as the new Tiree Ranger.

As a community, you have made me feel very welcome and at home on your island. The kind smiles and jolly waves have been much appreciated – especially in the face of a rather daunting move. I would like to thank everyone who has helped to make the last four weeks so enjoyable.

By the time this article reaches you, you will doubtless have seen the post on Facebay and/or the new temporary signage regarding the carpark closure at Tràigh Bhàigh. Regrettably, there are several sites where erosion has made parking areas difficult to use. These are also under review and I will update you accordingly.

I would like to assure each of you that the Access Steering Group is on-task. As you know, balancing the needs of different users is challenging on Tiree. The delicate structure of dune and machair systems, plus an overarching desire to preserve the “natural look” of coastal locations, makes management a bit of a juggling act. Currently, the discussions of the access group favour measures that have minimum visual impact and which can be implemented with the generous assistance of local residents. An example of this approach is the Balevullin site – which we will be working to restore over the coming weeks.

Crossapol has presented a rather more serious problem. Initially, the idea was to run three parking areas on rotation; allowing recovery time between each period of use. However, the popularity and exposed nature of this location are acting against us.

As many of you have noticed, the condition of these parking areas tends to deteriorate rapidly once the surface vegetation is worn away. Further, previously used areas are not recovering fast enough to allow rotation back into the system. Whilst it is highly desirable to have parking areas on the dune head, in practice, this has proved unsustainable at Tràigh Bhàigh.

Maintaining good access for all users that doesn’t conflict with on-going landmanagement is at the heart of what the steering group does. We understand the desire to get vehicles close to the beach, and we are working towards a solution that still allows this but reduces damage to valuable habitats and grazings. I will keep you informed of our progress. In the meantime please feel free to use the parking area in the middle of Tràigh Bhàigh at the end of the track to the wartime buildings.

With my thanks and kind wishes to you all,

Stephanie Cope

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