Category Archives: Tiree Community Council

Consultation on a New School Model

If you are interested in the future of Tiree High School, we want to hear your views.

We don’t need to tell you how important the school is – and has been – to the island. Cornaigmore Public School opened in 1876 and became a full six-year secondary in 1980.

For the past three years, Tiree High School (the combined Primary and Secondary Schools and Pre 5 Unit) has shared an interim executive headteacher with Oban High School. Argyll and Bute Council officials are now proposing to reorganise their schools. Instead of independent schools, each with their own headteacher, schools in an area would be grouped into ‘collectives’ run by a team headed by an Executive Headteacher. They call this the ‘Collective Leadership Model’. Their proposal is summarised at:

Argyll and Bute Council have asked Tiree Community Council to comment on this idea. We want to find out what people who live on Tiree think so that we can represent your views fairly. We welcome your thoughts if you are a pupil at the school (from S3 upwards); if you work at Tiree High School; if your children attend the school; or if you are an interested member of the community.

Follow this link to the survey, which should take no longer than five or ten minutes:

This consultation will run until 10 pm 7 March. It is completely anonymous and confidential. Our summary of the views expressed – which we will publish – will express the range of views that you have given us. You can only submit one response on each device (say, a phone, an iPad or a computer). Thank you!

Dr. John Holliday

Convenor, Tiree Community Council

Tiree Community Council – January Meeting

This month’s meeting covered a wide range of topics, from broadband and transport to education – all translated into Gaelic by our wonderful interpreter Iain MacIlleChiar. The meeting was well attended by the public, with Cllr Patience sending his apologies. Broadband has been a notable item on the agenda for quite some time now; the Scottish Government’s R100 voucher scheme promises superfast broadband for everyone in Scotland by the end of 2021. Rhoda Meek gave a presentation on the island’s current situation, and hopes for service provision in the future, on behalf of Tiree Broadband. The importance of connectivity and the opportunities it can offer to individuals and local businesses and services was discussed at length, but gaps in the Scottish Government’s R100 scheme could mean that not everyone may benefit from the scheme as intended. It was decided that representatives from Tiree Community Council and Tiree Broadband will meet to further discuss the R100 initiative and decide upon a strategy for contacting our representatives, to ensure that the island’s concerns are addressed.

In a similarly digital vein, Councillors voted to approve a new Scheme of Establishment, published by Argyll and Bute Council, to allow continued use of digital meeting technology. This decision was taken in light of significantly increased rates of attendance and engagement at public meetings via Zoom. It was agreed that our AGM will be held

in person, with the possibility of an additional public meeting held in this way if there is interest. The discussion on transport covered the disruption to the CalMac ferry service as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – TCC can confirm that the temporary timetable has since been extended until at least the 6th of February. For Tiree, this means that the Sunday sailing will remain cancelled, but other services should run as scheduled unless you are informed otherwise. Cllr Patience has put together a response on TCC’s behalf to the Scottish Government’s Aviation Strategy consultation. TCC were also contacted to comment on proposed changes to Loganair’s service provision, with the possibility of changes to the service in the coming weeks. Dr. Holliday reached out to key stakeholders in the community – including the airport and surgery –

in his capacity as chair to inform the Community Council’s response. We were joined by a few new faces from other communities within Argyll and Bute, who made valuable contributions to the discussion of Argyll and Bute Council’s Education Change Programme. Our neighbours kindly offered to link up with community councillors and representatives of the Parent Council after the meeting to share information and resources. Dr. Holliday and Iona attended the meeting of the Parent Council the following evening, to discuss the proposed consultation measures and to gain further insight into the consultation process and options being discussed. In light of this meeting and the possible outcomes discussed, TCC have decided to postpone consultation until possible outcomes for our community are clarified by Argyll and Bute Council.

General information was shared about the extension of Argyll and Bute Council’s Shopfront Improvement Scheme, which has been shared on our Facebook page – if you do not use Facebook, you can still view this post via the widget on our website. It was also noted that following a communication from a member of the public, there is now a link to Argyll and Bute council’s planning portal on TCC’s website, for ease of finding, and instructions on how to join the planning mailing list, which can also be found on the website by following the link.

Tiree Community Council – Oct. Meetings

This was delayed a week because of the school holidays.

There was therefore plenty to talk about, including a discussion about Island Bonds, whether we should get back to face-to-face meetings, future improvements in broadband, and a planning application at Vaul.

But first, the monthly report from our local police station highlighted two significant thefts: in one, a power saw was taken from a site in Crossapol; in another, a substantial amount of cash was taken from a car. Thefts like these are unusual on Tiree, and Steph asked the community to be vigilant over the next few weeks.

The Scottish Government has promised to give out 100 Island Bonds of up to £50,000 to encourage young people to live and set up businesses on islands where population numbers are going down – like Tiree. We have been asked to comment on this idea. While we obviously welcome the idea in general terms, we have some issues with the detail. First, the scheme has to stretch to almost 100 inhabited islands, so it doesn’t go nearly far enough. We also felt that the priority needs to be retaining our own young people.

Argyll and Bute Council is now asking the question: should the community council get back to face-to-face meetings in An Talla? There are a number of people who definitely prefer the old way. There are others who aren’t able to get out in the evenings or who just find it more convenient to watch from their living rooms. We councillors certainly like the new digital democracy. Numbers attending our Zoom meetings have gone up, the chat function allows members of the public to make comments throughout the meeting, while screen sharing allows us to show photographs and plans. Mull Community Council even puts recordings of their meetings online for people to watch later, but there wasn’t much enthusiasm for that idea here. Another big plus of Zoom meetings is that they will allow people to listen in Gaelic (of which, more below). The ‘hybrid meeting’ – where the councillors meet in public in the hall but where people can also join the meeting online – sounds like the best of both worlds but is technically quite tricky. Let us know what you think. We will put out a SurveyMonkey poll, but you can contact us in all the usual ways too. Or you can write direct to Melissa Stewart, Community Council Liaison Officer, Kilmory, Lochgilphead, PA31 8RT or at [email protected]

An update to the broadband improvement programmes R100 and gigabyte was given. In their current format, it looks as if they will leave quite a lot of homes and businesses below the promised 30Mbps. There are ongoing discussions with interested parties to see if this can be improved. In the meantime, if anyone is thinking of applying for a voucher under these schemes, could they please contact the community council or Tiree Broadband as one option being considered is the pooling of vouchers.

We also discussed a planning application at Vaul. A number of parties have expressed concerns about how the proposed long access track could affect the grazing above the shoreline. It may be that another shorter track to the site from the south might be better. We also noted that part of the proposed site is in the protected ‘Countryside’ area. We will write to the planner with our views.

Following our letter to the Hebridean Trust, we have had two meetings with their trustees and local organisations about a possible way forward for the Hynish complex. Our hope is to keep these historic buildings – currently providing housing and holiday accommodation – under some sort of community control. It’s early days, but we have made some progress in the last few weeks. A number of experts will be surveying the buildings and asking the question of what businesses could flourish there. Fingers crossed!

We got word that the next community council elections will be in October 2022. And finally, this year’s Remembrance Day service at the Scarinish war memorial will be on Saturday November 13 at 2pm.

Dr John Holliday chaired the meeting, and Phyl Meyer, Gerard McGoogan and John Patience were in attendance. As always, do contact if you think we can help: 220385, [email protected], via our website or Facebook page. – Dr John Holliday


The November public meeting of Tiree Community Council will break new ground by becoming the first Scottish council to have its meetings simultaneously translated into Gaelic. Those tuning in to the meeting on Wednesday November 10 will have a choice of buttons: English or Gaelic. Proceedings will be translated by Iain MacIlleChiar. Iain hails from Rannoch in Perthshire, and has spent his life teaching Gaelic in a number of schools and colleges. The three month initiative, funded by Argyll and Bute Council, will suit native speakers and learners who would like to hear the language being used for everyday business. As such, it is expected to attract interest from outside the island as well as from islanders. At the end of the pilot, the project will be evaluated to see how well it has gone. Go to our website nearer the time for details.

Tiree Community Council Update

Coastal erosion, planning and rubbish were three important issues that came up at this month’s community council meeting.

This was held using Zoom, although a return to face-to face meetings may be on the cards in future depending on a future Argyll and Bute Council consultation. Unfortunately, a slipup meant that there had been little advertising for the meeting and our audience was much smaller than usual.

The Dynamic Coast project is funded by the Scottish Government and involves a wide range of bodies from the University of Glasgow to the Ordnance Survey. Its goal is to pinpoint lengths of the Scottish coastline that are particularly vulnerable to erosion over the next generation. Running since 2015, researchers have compared 1890 and 1970 high water marks marked on old Ordnance Survey maps with modern models of the landscape to make predictions of the what the 2050 coastline might look like. (See and go to the map section). For example, while sand has been deposited at the two ends of Gott Bay’s An Tràigh Mhòr, sections in the middle have receded up to 25 m between 1975 and 2006. By 2050, it is predicted that 1.3 km of the road here will be lost. On Cladach a’ Crògain or Balephetrish Beach, both ends of the beach have receded by 26 m over the same time, and lengths of the road here too are likely to disappear by 2050.

The second phase of this research will be published this week. It focusses on the most vulnerable stretches of coastline – and Tiree has several – and seeks to put forward solutions. One researcher keen to take this further is Julian Sartorius, a geographer at the University of Dundee. He is coming to the island in September, and would like to make contact with a representative group of us to help him research what people who live in these at-risk areas think about coastal erosion. He will be advertising for volunteers soon.

There was another discussion of the Community Council’s latest draft of the Planning Policy. Following two public meetings, an online survey and some feedback, we have refined the document. If a planning application generates eleven or more comments from island residents (which can be made in confidence to the community council); departs significantly from Argyll and Bute’s current Local Development Plan; raises important matters of principle for the island; might reasonably be predicted to have an impact on the broader community of Tiree; or impacts on a Listed Building as designated by Historic Environment Scotland, we will discuss in public whether to send a response to Argyll and Bute’s Planning Department. Having gone back over the last one hundred application, we think that this would have been the case four times over the last four years. The latest draft is on our website, and we welcome final comments before the September meeting.

We have had some correspondence about bags of rubbish left beside bins. The final public bin – one at the pier – has been removed by the Council after nondomestic rubbish was left in it. It was pointed out that rubbish is a year-round issue for the island, and that we all have a part to play in keeping the island tidy. Part of the problem is that a number of owners of rented houses do not pay for a weekly commercial uplift. Part of the solution is to make greater use of the dump, open six days a week. We decided that we would write to the Council to ask for more facilities. Finally, concern has been expressed about police cover for the island, particularly at the height of the tourist season. Marlene Baillie, the Area Commander, wrote back promptly to our enquiry to say: ‘I can advise that wherever possible we will continue to provide cover by sending an officer over from the mainland … As I am sure you will appreciate, I cannot guarantee cover on every occasion as sometimes the requirement to cover can be at short notice with insufficient time to identify staff and secure accommodation on the island. However, every effort will be made to send an officer over at the earliest opportunity if required.’

Dr John Holliday, Iona Campbell, Gerard McGoogan, Phyl Meyer, John Patience and Stewart Carr were in attendance. Please send us any comments and questions. Our next meeting will be on the second Wednesday of September.

New Adventures to be had at Tiree Playpark

After a temporary closure to install new equipment, the play park in Crossapol recently reopened to the public.

Sporting a new Ocean Star play unit, multi-goal with gymnastic bar, small cradle swings and two flat seated swings, we’ve already seen children enjoying the new pieces in the sunny Tiree weather!

All of the safety matting has been replaced as well with new turf installed underneath and is reported to be growing well.

The play park was originally built and opened in 2006 with the original main swings and see-saw. The climbing frame was installed in 2008. The roundabout was added in 2012, and the zip wire added in December 2012. Each item of the play park has a limited life unfortunately – asides the most recent replacements, the original roundabout and see-saw were replaced back in 2019. Costs for each piece of equipment are large, with the total of this year’s renovation around £30,000 when the VAT, transport and installation costs are included.

We are very grateful to all the people both on and off the Island who have donated. We are going to erect a sign at the Park which will list our major sponsors, and a donations box at the Park is ready to help fund future repairs and replacements. Donations can also be sent to Tiree Community Business, The Island Centre, Crossapol, PA77 6UP.

We would like to thank Iain Munn and his team for installing the new equipment quickly and efficiently, and Argyll Community Housing Association for their continued arrangement of the ground maintenance. It is thanks to the continued efforts of the community that the play park remains a safe and up-to-date environment for both the islanders and our visitors.

Tiree Community Business are always happy to accept new donations that will continue to help the play park thrive.

Tiree Community Council – Meeting and AGM

June’s meeting doubled as an AGM, featuring reports from the Convenor and Treasurer on the Council’s work and finances from the past two years due to COVID disruption of last year’s proceedings.

All councillors were present for the AGM, which was also well-attended by the public. Dr. Holliday was unanimously reappointed as Convenor. Following Cllr Meyer’s standing down as Secretary, Cllr Reid was appointed to this role. Cllr Clark stood down both as Treasurer and from her role as a Community Councillor. TCC would like to thank Alison for her hard work and contributions; she will be missed by all of us. Cllr McGoogan was then appointed to fill the role of Treasurer. The business meeting then went ahead, with Cllr Reid giving her apologies.

Advertisement of the Dentist vacancy; the community phone box project and necessary repairs to the remaining BT-owned phone box at Baugh were discussed under minutes of the previous meeting and matters arising.

Under correspondence, it was agreed that Cllr Meyer would respond to a consultation from the Scottish Government on the role of local place plans. Local place plans were introduced in the recent Planning (Scotland) Act of 2019 and aim to give communities an active role in the planning process and development of their local area. Such plans should interact positively with existing national and community frameworks, including the Tiree Growth Plan, and therefore TCC intend to respond with their support.

Cllr McGoogan gave a detailed report on Transport, including vacancies on the CalMac Community Board and the potential for greater representation of the islands within this role. The importance of island representation on the board was seconded by Argyll and Bute Councillor Mary-Jean Devon, who was also in attendance.

It was decided that the consultation on TCC’s planning policy should be extended to reflect the delay in its publication, for which the councillors involved sincerely apologise. The online consultation was extended until Wednesday the 23rd of June, with opportunity for members of the public to give detailed feedback on the draft policy document. A further public meeting of the planning subcommittee was held on Wednesday the 16th of June, where the draft policy was presented with opportunity for members of the public to ask questions and give informed feedback. Following the consultation, the planning subcommittee will meet again in July to discuss the result and vote on potential amendments to the draft document before a vote of the full council on the final version.

Cllr McGoogan also reported on the progress of the community garden project. At the time of the meeting, an application had been made to the Argyll and Bute Supporting Communities Fund but the outcome had not been verified. The award has since been confirmed as £2,400. This ‘seed’ funding will be put towards materials for raised beds and the general repurposing of the area near Pier View into a fully functional community space.

May Meeting of Tiree Community Council

Working our way towards a new planning policy for the community council, a debate on water saving measures, news on the redevelopment of the pier marshalling area and a reduction in the number of same-day ferry tickets were some of the subjects that came up at the May community council meeting.

John Patience and a subcommittee of councillors has been working on a new planning policy for the community council for a few months. A draft is finally ready. The Scottish Government recommends that community councils have ‘a special role [in the planning process], representing a broader yet still local view which can be set alongside the comments of those with a more individual interest’. Our proposal is that if a local planning application has the potential to impact on a significant number of people in the community, raises important matters of principle for Tiree, departs from the Local Development Plan, or concerns a Listed Building, we will consider it. These are likely to make up a small proportion of the total planning applications.

John explained that the community council’s status as a ‘statutory consultee’ simply meant that Argyll and Bute Council had a statutory duty to inform us about planning applications; it does not mean that we had to comment on every application. We agreed the draft presented by John. This is now out for consultation on our website, following which there will be a public meeting to allow us to collect feedback.

Scottish Water came to one of our public meetings a few months ago after several new house builds had been knocked back because the company could not guarantee supply during times of peak demand. They rowed back on this decision – for the time being. Now they have become keen on water saving measures for the island. Leaks in the network, according to company figures, are surprisingly low. But Scottish Water are now proposing a trial of shower timers for part of the island. These are designed to nudge us away from long showers. Their effectiveness would be monitored by the company, comparing water usage in the area being studied with the rest of the island. This sparked quite a debate. There was a school of thought that this was a good ‘green’ measure and we should be doing this anyway to save the planet. Others felt that this was a cheap way for the company to wriggle out of building expensive new boreholes and pumphouses that would really solve the capacity problem. We agreed to support the proposal, but keep the pressure on the company to provide us with robust supplies for the years ahead.

We have been in dialogue with CMAL – who own the Gott Bay pier and marshalling area – and CalMac – who operate them – about their plans for redevelopment, now that work at the business end of the pier has finished. We know that significant safety concerns around the marshalling area were logged in a 2019 consultant’s report. But try as we might – and we have tried at the highest level – CalMac have refused to give us access to the findings. Our own survey about the pier, which attracted 99 replies, brought together a lot of useful suggestions from those who live around, work in and travel through, the pier. We have passed these on to CMAL. It is a complicated patch of land, with ten landowners to consider. We are looking for better-managed parking, a safer separation between pedestrians and cars, a dedicated bus stop, a separate marshalling area for cyclists, good refuse facilities, clearer signage and a waiting room at the end of the pier. We know the budget for the work is £350,000, which pays for less tarmac than you think. We will do our best.

We also heard just before the meeting that the turn-up-and-go ferry passenger tickets are being restricted to just four – for Tiree and Coll. These tickets were introduced last year as a way to allow islanders to get to and from the mainland at the height of the tourist season. This seems too few, and will keep a close eye on the situation.

Dr John Holliday was in the chair. Phyl Meyer, Gerard McGoogan (who joined us from the Oban ferry), Alison Clark, Stewart, John Patience and Louise Reid were present.

Tiree Community Council – January Meeting

This month’s meeting was well attended, with over 50 participants.

The meeting was also joined by Argyll and Bute Councillors Mary- Jean Devon and Jim Lynch, in addition to the Factor of Argyll Estates, Hugh Nicol. Mr. Nicol gave feedback on the Estate’s position regarding sand and gravel extraction from Tiree’s beaches and was also invited to the upcoming public meeting of the Planning Sub-Committee. Cllrs Devon and Lynch made contributions on a variety of issues, including local fuel poverty and possible changes to the hospitality industry which could have significant impact upon the island economy. Sand and gravel extraction from Tiree’s beaches was discussed at length. As it stands, Argyll Estate’s position on the issue is that extraction is permitted on a ‘de minimis’ basis; crofters are entitled to extract small amounts of material from the beaches for their own agricultural use. However, this position is based on an unwritten understanding which predates modern machinery and extraction methods. There are fears that over-extraction could be contributing to coastal erosion – an issue with many tangible impacts on local wildlife and the island landscape. Concerns over profiteering were also mentioned by the Factor, who raised the issue of unauthorised sale of these materials for profit. Mr Nicol also agreed, however, with points that were raised regarding the complex nature of land ownership and use on Tiree stemming from ownership, inheritance and lease of different crofts in various arrangements. Therefore, the issue of who is extracting how much and for what purpose is a difficult one. Mr. Nicol agreed to maintain communication with the community and to work towards clarification of the existing understanding, especially the ‘de minimis’ requirement and what this means in practice. It was also stressed that materials can be purchased in bulk from the local quarry or from private businesses – this is recommended for any large-scale projects such as housing foundations, where materials must comply to certain safety regulations. Tiree Community Council welcomes correspondence on this issue from all members of the community going forward.

Concerns were also raised over the pier marshalling area, both in terms of appearance and safety. At present, the marshalling area does not cater well for pedestrians, with few pavements or footpaths. This is a serious safety concern, an issue which was highlighted by Angus John in relation to the bus service. The lack of a bus stop means that people looking for the Ring ‘n’ Ride bus are often left to wander around. Additionally, the pier is part of the school bus route. The pier is not well suited to turn the buses; an issue which is exacerbated by the Summer ferry timetable when the car lanes are full awaiting sailings. This poses a safety concern for pier users as well as to the bus drivers and children on board. Issues surrounding the appearance of the area due to ongoing works have largely been resolved, however the overall appearance of the area leaves a lot to be desired and concerns over the welcome this presents to visitors were also raised. As a result of these discussions a small working group was formed, consisting of Cllrs Dr. John Holliday, Alison Clark and Stewart Carr to advocate for the community’s concerns over the safety and maintenance of this area going forward.

Positive steps were also taken regarding the Community Council’s online presence; the Councillors resolved to produce a new set of policies for how we facilitate discussion online. The Community Council intends to allow commenting on both our Facebook page – which is public and can be viewed by anyone by searching online – and on our own website. The policies we are working towards aim to make these forums a pleasant and open space for members of the public to discuss issues and raise concerns. To achieve this, we are working towards some guidelines of best conduct, which will allow us to moderate these discussions in a clear and fair way should any issues arise. As always, we will continue to welcome correspondence from members of the community via our e-mail addresses, which are publicly available on our website.

Ongoing issues include upcoming meetings with the Boundaries Commission, community consultation on the Marine Protected Area status affecting Tiree and Coll and the possible introduction of more Gaelic into Council proceedings.

Dr John Holliday, Chair: 220 385
[email protected]

Phyl Meyer, Secretary:
[email protected]

Tiree Community Council – December Meeting

Even with the allure of Christmas Shopping at the Pier, the December meeting of Tiree Community Council continued to show good a good level of attendance with 32 total participants.

There were many items to be discussed including more from the boundaries commission proposals, a very informative presentation from Scottish Water, and an insight into our Agenda meetings and some of the sub-committee meetings we attend throughout the month.

Correspondence included notification that Tiree and Coll and the Sea of the Hebrides would be awarded Marine Protected Area status. It is thought that this will not impact the fishermen on the island but could cause issues for trawlers and any future sub-sea cable plans.

The Police Scotland Report was also received. An incident of a sheep being struck by a car in Scarinish took place on 9th December. This accident resulted in the death of the sheep. PC Tanner reminded that is an offence to leave such an incident unreported and urged anyone with information to get in touch. Mark Petrie and Brian McCarthy of Scottish Water were then welcomed to the meeting. A very in depth and interesting presentation was given on the current structure of Tiree’s water network and what we can do to reduce waste going forward. Did you know a leaky toilet or dripping tap can see up to 400 litres per day of water wastage? Scottish Water have schemes and financial support available for domestic properties in priority areas such as Tiree to help with water waste on the island, the details of which can be found shortly on the Tiree Community Council website or by visiting

The community council was anticipating a meeting with the Boundaries Commission to discuss what the future of Tiree’s Councilor representation might look like. However, this meeting has not materialised. After a successful consultation period there was found to be an overwhelming mandate to push for a designated single councilor ward for Tiree and Coll. A vote took place at the meeting and it was unanimously decided to pursue this motion.

With the expertise of Iona Campbell, Tiree Community Council stepped into the 21st Century and used an online survey tool called Survey Monkey to carry out aspects of the consultation. There are many positives to such a platform including clear quantitative results, transparency and anonymity. Of course, there will always be the option to have a show of hands or to put pen to paper for those not quite ready to take the technological leap.

A discussion then took place regarding meetings attended by councillors throughout the month. An initial planning sub-committee meeting took place to discuss current planning guidelines and informally chat about what the Tiree Community Council Planning Policy might look like. This subcommittee will be working hard to have a draft planning policy ready for community feedback in February 2021. The notes from this meeting will be made available and anyone with an interest in observing future planning sub-group meetings is welcome to do so.

An agenda meeting also takes place between every public meeting whereby the councillors can discuss any upcoming issues and raise any matters brought to us by the community. Every issue raised to us by the community is discussed, and an agenda is formed. Our Convener is a Community Council enthusiast and also attends various meetings from other islands throughout the month.

The next TCC public meeting is on the 13th January. An invitation of attendance has been sent to Argyll Estates Factor Hugh Nicol to attend. If anyone has any issues they want to raise, then please get in touch.

Dr John Holliday was in the chair. Phyl Meyer, Gerard McGoogan, Louise Reid, Iona Campbell, John Patience, Stewart Carr and Alison Clark were in attendance.

Community Council By-Election

A recent by-election for the community council was conducted by Argyll and Bute Council.

There were four vacancies, for which six residents put themselves forward. The number of votes cast were as follows below.

There were 302 ballots counted with 6 rejected, a turnout of 58% of those entitled to vote. Dr John Holliday, Convenor of Tiree Community Council welcomed the new councillors:

“It’s wonderful,” he said, “to have a full complement on the council again. We had hoped that the new council would be more diverse, and that has certainly happened. Hats off to everyone who stood for election. It’s a nervewracking thing to do, but it makes the council a much stronger body.”

Congratulations to those elected and thanks to all for taking part!

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