Tiree Mentioned In Holyrood

Mr Michael Russell MSP was speaking in the Scottish Parliament last week about ferry services and Argyll & Bute Council budget cuts. During his speech, Mr Russell specifically made reference to Tiree Community Council’s letter to Argyll Council, which An Tirisdeach has previously featured. Here is part of what Mr Russell had to say about the recent Council cuts. The full text of the Parliament debate can be found online at this link; https://shar.es/1CWoek

“Argyll and Bute faces many challenges: depopulation, poor digital infrastructure, distance, remoteness and a history of lack of central investment. Argyll and Bute Council has not reformed to meet those challenges. The issue is that it needs to change, as Audit Scotland has pointed out.

Those challenges led the Deputy First Minister to agree to meet me, the council chief executive and the council leader just two weeks ago to discuss how Argyll and Bute can be helped to change, given that it receives neither islands funding nor the city deal, although its depopulation problems are the worst in Scotland. I hope that those discussions will lead to some new thinking, because that is what is needed.

It is not just the Scottish Government that is saying that reform is vital if our local authorities are to deliver for their areas; my constituents are saying that loud and clear about their local authority. The council’s recent consultation on the budget invited responses from communities—and it got them. I wish that I had time to quote from more than two of those responses, but two will suffice. On the extreme west of the constituency, Tiree community council said”: “The Council must look at the way that it conducts its business and provide essential services to the population of Argyll & Bute in a much more thoughtful and innovative way … where the Council genuinely, and proactively engages with communities”. That is the view from Tiree.

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