Category Archives: Latest Stories

On The Water Again

Tiree Maritime Trust

Tiree Maritime Trust look forward to being able to offer opportunities for sailing and rowing this season once covid regulations allow.

Activities will take place on Loch Bhassapol from later this month.

Existing members are encouraged to renew Tiree Maritime Trust membership and can use PayPal to make payments. Membership renewal invitations will be emailed out shortly. This years membership price is £40 for the year with a suggested voluntary extra £20 for those that can afford to contribute a bit more.

For families the trust offers a special rate where for the price of 2 adults the whole family can take part. Membership helps us to cover essential running costs and overheads. Membership to the Maritime Trust can give members access to sailing dinghies and Gille-Brìghde, the rowing skiff as well as safety equipment required for activities and covers costs of insurance. New members and beginners are encouraged to contact info@tireemaritimetrust.org.uk for more info on how to become a member.

Membership also supports efforts to encourage the preservation of the traditional boats of Tiree. Tiree Maritime Trust are pleased to have received funding from Live Argyll to help with ongoing maintenance of the lug sail boats this year. If anybody is interested in learning about and helping with this work we would like to invite you to contact us by email at info@tireemartimetrust.org.uk.

Also… if you use Amazon you can support Tiree Maritime Trust every time you shop by adding us as your chosen charity. Visit smile.amazon.co.uk and search for Tiree Maritime Trust to get started. Thanks!

Council Welcomes Fuel Poverty Funding

Argyll and Bute Council has received an additional £2.3 million from the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme Programme to help reduce fuel poverty in the area.

The grant will be used by Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA), in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council and SSE Energy Solutions to install external wall insulation to mixed tenure blocks of flats across Oban, Bute and Cowal. Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Robin Currie, said: “This is fantastic news for the area. This funding will have a long-lasting impact on many, many people’s lives, reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions, and allowing residents to live more comfortably.

“Over 300 homes in the Oban area have already benefitted from insulation as a result of the Scottish Government’s last round of funding. Again, this was a partnership with ACHA and resulted in improvements to 138 ACHA homes and 164 privately owned properties. “Proper insulation is a great way to reduce carbon emissions, save money on heating bills and do your bit for the environment. We are 100% committed to creating a climate friendly Argyll and Bute and positive steps like this are enabling us to do that.”

Welcoming the news, Alastair MacGregor, Chief Executive of Argyll Community Housing Association, said: “We are delighted to receive the news that £2.3 million in grant from the Scottish Government will come through the Council to continue our work in energy efficiency through external wall insulation. “This grant will go alongside £3 million of ACHA resources to improve the homes of around 500 tenants and owners in Oban, Bute, Dunoon and the Cowal villages. ACHA appreciate the ongoing partnership working of the Scottish Government and Argyll and Bute Council in tackling fuel poverty head on.”

New Chief Executive for Argyll Charity Body

Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface (TSI) has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Takki Sulaiman.

Peter McDill, Chair of Trustees, said,

“Takki is a local man who demonstrated to the Board a strong understanding of both Argyll and Bute and of the third sector. Since 2015 he has served as a trustee of the Friends of St.Conan’s Kirk in Lochawe, and since 2018 he has been a trustee with the UK wide domestic violence prevention and training charity, SafeLives. Takki has a strong track record in partnership working, most recently in a local authority setting where he successfully steered a new approach to working with the voluntary sector through coproduction – ensuring the expertise, vision and values of the third sector were at the heart of commissioning local services. The board of the TSI is confident that Takki is the right person to lead Argyll and Bute TSI in the next phase of its development.”

Incoming Chief Executive Takki Sulaiman says,

“We moved as a family to Argyll in 2015 but I commuted to work in Aberdeen and then to Greenwich in London. It is a real honour to be given the opportunity to work with such a dynamic network where I live, and now work. I am fully committed to building upon the strong foundation put in place at the TSi over the past three years”

Sea Change Touring Programme 2021

Supported by the Film Hub Scotland BFI FAN Exhibition Fund. The Sea Change Festival curated by Screen Argyll brings a season of international films directed by women online and in cinemas.

Our screenings in venues will resume once they can, in the meantime here are some ways to join us online.

“2020 was an amazing year for releases by female directors, many of these titles will be in the critics top ten for the year and deservedly feature in the awards season. This tour gives audiences another chance to see them at their best, on the big screen.” Jen Skinner, Director, Sea Change Film Festival

FREE SCREENING in partnership with North East Arts Touring and Driftwood Cinema MISBEHAVIOUR (12A) Sunday 7th March, 7pm.

Online film screening of MISBEHAVIOUR followed by a post film Zoom Panel discussion with the film’s director – Philippa Lowthorpe Sign up here: https:// www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ misbehaviour-free-onlinescreening-for-iwd-2021- tickets-142130266453

‘There’s a very British sort of wackiness to this bizarre and farcical true story from the annals of pop culture, told here with charm and fun’ The Guardian Join us to support celebrate International Women’s Day and watch along together the 2020 film MISBEHAVIOUR about a group of women who hatch a plan to disrupt the 1970 Miss World beauty competition in London. Then join our panel discussion on Zoom with Director: Philippa Lowthorpe to discuss the film. The film is based on the true events of the 1970 Miss World pageant in London, when a global audience witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head.

‘Director Philippa Lowthorpe and screenwriters Rebecca Frayn and Gaby Chiappe keep it light and likable: the story of people who aren’t exactly keeping calm, but carrying on all the same’ The Guardian

Join us with your own Misbehaviour cocktail creation! Tweet or share on Instagram @screenargyll

2021 Feminista Tour available here throughout March:

http:// screenargyll.co.uk/sea-changetouring-programme-2021/

We are thrilled to announce the films selected for the 2021 Feminista Film Festival & Tour. From musical pursuits to outdoor challenges, these women are change makers and trail blazers. You’ll definitely be inspired to turn up the music and start planning your next adventure!

Council Tax Freeze and Investment For The Future

Argyll and Bute Council has set a budget that freezes council tax in 2021/22 and invests millions in helping local people, businesses and the area as a whole to move on from the impact of covid-19.

Council Leader, Councillor Robin Currie said: “We are investing nearly £6.8 million to help Argyll and Bute keep going and keep growing. This budget takes on the unprecedented day-to-day and longer term challenges of living through a worldwide pandemic. We are investing in help for young people struggling to cope with life under covid restrictions. We are increasing support for families and others struggling financially. Investment in our road network, and digital connectivity, will help keep people and businesses connected. We will grab every opportunity for Argyll and Bute’s economic recovery, so are investing in action to bring the benefits of staycation tourism to the area. And longer term, we are investing in creating a sustainable future through climate-friendly initiatives, and progressing the area’s rural growth deal to action. This budget is about taking Argyll and Bute through challenge to a successful, sustainable future.”

The Council’s £6.8 million investment will be split across five themes:

• Investing in Argyll and Bute’s opportunities – £830,000 to deliver benefits from staycation, camping and campervan tourism. This will include for example waste disposal facilities and wardens to promote responsible camping.

• Keeping Argyll and Bute connected – £3,113,000 to improve the area’s network of roads, footpaths and pavements. This brings the overall Roads Reconstruction Budget to £10 million for 2021/22, and investment in green transport and travel to £900,000

• Sustaining Argyll and Bute’s future – £1,702,000 to set up a Recovery and Renewal Fund for recovery initiatives and future covid-19 financial pressures, to reduce the council’s carbon emissions and progress the rural growth deal.

• Improving opportunities for people and communities – £1,042,000 to boost the mental health and wellbeing of our young people, set up a Tackling Digital Exclusion Top Up Fund, increase welfare support, and encourage shopping local at Christmas.

• Supporting Argyll and Bute’s culture – £96,700 to develop Gaelic, culture, heritage and arts as drivers for economic recovery.

Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Policy Lead for Financial Services thanked the public for their contribution to the budget planning process: “We continue to dedicate the majority of our budget to supporting our young people and caring for our vulnerable residents, through our education services and the Health and Social Care Partnership. We know that this year many families’ budgets are especially stretched so have frozen council tax. Councils unfortunately though don’t have enough funding to do everything people want us to do so there are always difficult decisions to make. Thank you to everyone who got involved with the budget planning process this year. What you told us helped us reach the right decisions for Argyll and Bute.”

The council tax freeze keeps council tax for a dwelling in Band “D” at £1,367.73

Tiree Wave Classic Update

To all Competitors, present and past and friends of the event, It is with sadness to inform that we have taken the decision not to proceed with the March 2021 Tiree Wave Classic Event at this time.

The risks presented by the novel Coronavirus are still too great to jeopardise the event, its competitors and the population of Tiree by proceeding with the event at this time and after extensive consultation with Argyll & Bute Councils Environmental Health Department, we feel that this is the only correct course of action at this time.

It is our intention to now look to bring the Tiree Wave Classic event back to its original calendar position in mid October, with a plan to run the 2021 Tiree Wave Classic from the 10th – 16th (Inc) October 2021!

Obviously Covid may still be a strong consideration in October but we intend now to turn all of our efforts to being able to deliver a covid proofed event, later this year.

We would ask registered competitors at this time to email us and let us know whether you prefer to roll over your entry to October, or whether you require a refund at this point. We hope that many of you will be able to consider attending in October, should we be in a position to go ahead with the event at that time. Yours sincerely,

William Maclean – TWC Event Host

Leader and Chief Executive sign council up to Household Recycling Charter

Argyll and Bute Council’s Leader, Councillor Robin Currie, and Chief Executive, Pippa Milne, have formally signed up to the Scottish Government’s Household Recycling Charter and Code of Practice on behalf of the council.

This continues the council’s strong commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and tackling climate change. Argyll and Bute already complies with the majority of the essential requirements outlined in the charter’s Code of Practice. Leader of the council, Councillor Robin Currie, said:

“This underlines the council’s commitment to tackling climate change. New legislation, such as the Deposit Return Scheme and the Landfill Ban, will bring the Code of Practice under review. By signing up to the Charter, the council will now play an active role in the consultation process of the review. This is important given that Argyll and Bute’s geography presents unique challenges when collecting and processing waste, across dispersed communities and multiple islands.”

Pippa Milne, Chief Executive, added:

“This is the right thing to do at this time. We are working hard to promote the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ message in Argyll and Bute and we thank our communities for doing all they can to cut down on avoidable waste. Signing up to the Charter will make it possible to apply for practical and financial support from Zero Waste Scotland to help Argyll and Bute comply with future charter guidelines.”

Adrian Bond, Recycling Programme Manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Argyll and Bute’s decision to sign up to the Household Recycling Charter is extremely welcome and an important step forward for the Charter nationally. It’s also welcome that Argyll and Bute will contribute to the review of the Charter, as, with a significant rural area to cover, the council will have an important contribution to make around delivering recycling services in areas with a more dispersed population. “Overall, this is another important demonstration of continued strong joint working as we all aim to increase the quantity and quality of recycling and make further progress towards Scotland’s national recycling targets.”

Policy Lead welcomes HMIE report on remote learning

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education has welcomed a report from HM Inspectors of Education (HMIE) which provides a national overview of remote learning across Scotland. This report was developed to learn what is working well, identify challenges, and look at what further assistance is required to continue to improve the delivery of remote learning to young people.

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: “The HMI report acknowledges the sheer amount of hard work that local authorities have carried out to ensure that our children and young people can continue their education at home during these difficult times. “It recognises the many different challenges faced by both rural and urban communities, and is a clear endorsement of the plans we have developed to meet the needs of our individual schools and pupils. “Our teachers know their learners best, so it is really encouraging to read about the dedication our staff have shown to doing things differently and creating opportunities for new ways of working. “It’s great to see the council’s digital learning teams acknowledged too. They have worked hard to deliver training to staff in the use of digital learning platforms and, with support of colleagues from corporate IT, have enabled a significant number of devices to be delivered to learners to ensure they can effectively access remote learning.

“We put our children and young people at the heart of everything we do and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our schools staff for their creative thinking and always putting the education of our pupils first.”

Tyree Gin Spreads Festive Cheer

A Hebridean distiller is set to spread some festive cheer this December by giving a free miniature bottle of local gin to every islander on their native Tiree.

Tiree residents over the age of 18 will be treated to a free miniature of Tyree Gin or Hebridean Pink Gin in the run up to Christmas as distillery bosses add some unexpected joy to what has been a difficult year.

Rather than coming down locals’ chimneys, owners Ian Smith and Alain Campbell have teamed up with the island’s local shop, Buth a’ Bhaile, so that lucky residents can collect their miniatures from the store in Crossapol on the island. Ian Smith, owner of Tiree Whisky Company, said:

“2020 has been a challenging year for most people so we wanted to inject a bit of festive cheer into the lives of everyone in Tiree and give them a small gift. “We’ll be taking orders and delivering to Buth a’ Bhaile from today until 23rd December. Together, as a community, we can reflect on 2020 and raise a glass to the New Year.”

Islanders over the age of 18 among Tiree’s population of 650 people can apply for their gift by filling out a form on the Tyree Gin website.

The Isle of Tiree has a fascinating distilling heritage which Tiree Whisky Company Ltd has resurrected in recent years. Their distillery is the first on the island in over 217 years.

The company’s first product, Tyree Gin, was launched at Tiree Music Festival 2017. This product reflects the landscape in which it is distilled, incorporating kelp harvested from the icy waters, coastal salty flavours and a range of botanicals from the machair ground inland from the shore. Earlier this year, the small spirits’ producer launched Hebridean Pink Gin, which comes in a striking pink bottle and is distilled using juniper berries, raspberries and sweet peels.

Despite the challenges of 2020, the company also recently invested in new stills and equipment for future production planned for 2021 as they look ahead to a positive year.

“Seal of Approval” From Local Volunteers

Sunday evening, all cooried in for the night and a call comes through. “We are just heading to check out a seal at Balevullin, meet you there.”

It’s that time of year here on Tiree, the wind that attracts all those who love watersports is pretty constant and it’s been a bit rough all day. By the time I arrive Louise Reid and Margaret Worsley, two Marine Mammal Medics with BDMLR, have already assessed the seal and are on the phone to control.

The seal is a young Common and it looks exhausted. The waves are crashing in at Balevullin and it’s obvious this one has had a bit of a time of it. The decision is made and the wee one is going to head to the vets for the night to get some fluids and rest. However, how to get it there? After a bit of a discussion, the seal is wrapped up in a make shift stretcher, Louise’s Barbour coat, with its head in a sleeve so it doesn’t bite and after struggling across the sand we get it into a holdall to transport it to the vets. However, I hear the zips coming undone as we drive along and sure enough its head is poking out the bag when we arrive.

The next day was full of excitement as the seal decided it wasn’t happy being at the vets after a night’s rest and it was agreed to release it as soon as possible. A couple of fish boxes tied together were used to transport it this time and the seal was off like a rocket when it arrived back on the beach. We were all ecstatic but also discussed how we could improve on our rescues in the future. Being a volunteer team and based on an island it has always been a case of make do. I used to work for a wildlife hospital on the mainland and knew there was equipment we could use but it is expensive. One of the key items was a seal stretcher which would make carrying the seals along the beaches and rocky shoreline a lot easier. Now seal stretchers are specialist bits of kit and hard to come by so I spoke to 1-2-1 Animal Handling Products who make shark carriers for moving animals between aquariums. They were intrigued by our request and offered us one of their carriers at a discounted price. So that evening we put the story out about the seal rescue along with a link to a Just Giving page and a target of £500.

Within an hour of the page being set up I got a message from Frazer MacInnes. Frazer co-runs Tiree Sea Tours which take folk out looking for dolphins, whales, seals and basking sharks. Tiree Sea Tours wanted to pay for the stretcher! In Fraz’s words “Our business relies on the wildlife in our seas around Tiree and it’s important that we also help to look after them”. I let the team know and by the next day we were buzzing as not only had we had this great news, we had exceeded our fundraising target to £695. Our new stretcher arrived last week and the team have had a chance to practice with it and it’s all ready to go. We are also in the process of ordering some other essential pieces of kits such as transport carriers to keep the seals safe on their journeys off the island into rehab. If required.

We are incredibly grateful to Tiree Sea Tours, 1-2-1 Animal Handling Products and all the generous supporters of our appeal which will ensure the safety of rescued seals and cetaceans in the coming years on Tiree.

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