Author Archives: admin

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree low land of song)

June will be an exciting month for the Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song) project, with the the multi-media performance and two community events. We invite you to join us for all these events to celebrate Tiree’s stories.

Tìr Ìseal Multi-media Performance, Thurs 16 June @ 19:00

Our multi-media performance will take place on Thurs 16 June at 19:00 in An Talla, with dramatised retellings of some of the project stories by the young people of Tiree Primary and High School & Oban High School, original music and song created for the project by Ian Smith, Seonaidh Macintyre and Angus MacPhail, and film by Jack Lockhart, in a production devised and directed by Douglas Roberts.

This performance is free to attend. If you want to ensure that you have ‘ringside’ seats, we will be operating an advance seat reservation service and information about that will be available soon at www.tir-iseal.co.uk. There will also be a raffle at the performance and we welcome donations of suitable prizes – message 07943 667673.

Tiree Stories and the Argyll Papers, Sat 4 June @ 19:30

On Sat 4 June at 19:30 in An Talla, we will be presenting the project stories and the original archive sources which show their historical context. The selection of documents will include James Turnbull’s amazing and beautiful plan and written survey as well as many other unique and fascinating original documents from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Please note that under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult.

Tìr Ìseal Cèilidh, Sat 11 June @ 19:30

Please join us for the Tìr Ìseal Cèilidh, a traditional cèilidh on Sat 11 June at 19:30 in An Talla – bring a song, a tune or a story to share in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. BYOB.

Please note that under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult.

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran is supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. We are very grateful for the support of Argyll Estates, Historic Environment Support Fund, the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Argyll & Bute Council Supporting Communities Fund, Clan Campbell Education Foundation, Inc., CHARTS Argyll and Isles, Tiree Community Windfall Fund, Pamela Campbell Bickford, Martha McKinnon and Elizabeth Kraus.

Superfast Broadband At Risk of Sinking in Tiree

Tiree Broadband

Tiree Community Broadband (CIT Ltd) are calling on Openreach to provide them with a Fibre to the Premises connection for their network access point which sits less than 20 metres from the island exchange.

CIT Ltd, with the support of Tiree Community Development Trust and Tiree Community Council are asking for an urgent review of Openreach’s approach to fibre provision in Tiree after being refused the connection.

CIT Ltd are an island based community broadband company who operate not-for-profit. They have been running since 2005 to cover households without suitable internet and ensure the best possible connections for island residents. It became clear very late in the day that the proposed R100 Superfast Broadband scheme for Tiree would have large gaps in provision.

As the R100 is not due to arrive in Tiree until 2024, residents are eligible for a voucher to help them access 30MB speeds. The only possible provider would be the community broadband company. Following a review of their network, which runs at 10MB and is already at capacity, Tiree Broadband have said that offering 30MB speeds is not possible based on the current infrastructure.

The key issue is that Openreach is unwilling to provide Tiree Broadband with direct access to a fibre connection (Fibre to the Premises). Because of this the company is forced to juggle multiple domestic copper lines to provide a service to their customers.

Chair of Tiree Broadband, Rhoda Meek said, “Now that we are aware of the final R100 rollout plans and the gaps in it, we see that we are once again forced to try and upgrade our network to cover the lack of basic provision. Unfortunately, we have reached the end of the road with sticky tape and string solutions. To support additional speeds, we need Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) for Tiree Broadband. Despite multiple pleas over a number of years, Openreach is unwilling to provide that.

“We are currently forced to serve the island using multiple domestic copper lines. To give you an idea of our challenges, our last 3 line installations took 3 months from the point of order. We serve 280 households on the equivalent of 12 domestic lines.”

The island exchange is less than 20 metres away from our network access point, complete with a connecting duct, and yet we are unable to access a full fibre service. It is frustrating to say the least.”

Fibre to the Premises connections already exist in Tiree, having been given to multiple mobile phone companies, the NATs radar service and the school. On one site, the fibre is run to a mobile phone mast less than 90 feet from a Tiree Broadband access point.

Meek concluded, “The fact that the final R100 roll out will not cover all properties in Tiree with fibre is bad enough, but to refuse us access to a commercial fibre connection – when we are the group covering the gaps in provision – is outrageous. We are calling on politicians of all parties to support us in trying to rectify this situation.”

Board Members Wanted for Highlands and Islands Enterprise

HIE Logo

People with a strong commitment to the future of the Highlands and Islands are being invited to apply to join the board of the region’s development agency.

Scottish Ministers are looking to fill three non-executive director positions on the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Board, with the new appointees expected to take up their appointments in the summer.

The agency operates throughout a geographically diverse region that covers more than half of the Scottish land mass, including all 94 inhabited islands, and is home to around 470,000 people. With around 300 staff based across the region, HIE aims to grow successful, productive, and resilient businesses; create conditions for growth, and build strong, capable, and resourceful communities.

The board has corporate responsibility for strong governance, ensuring HIE meets objectives set by Scottish Ministers and uses its resources efficiently and effectively. All candidates will be expected to have a very close affinity with the Highlands and Islands and a strong awareness of opportunities and challenges facing businesses and communities across the region.

At least two of the three positions on the board will be filled by people who are currently living, working or studying in the Highlands and Islands. Chair of HIE Alistair Dodds, said: “HIE is an ambitious organisation which is currently playing a vital role in supporting businesses and communities across the Highlands and Islands to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and build a greener, fairer, sustainable future. “It’s important that our board encompasses a range of skills, knowledge and experience to reflect the diversity of our region and the economic and community development challenges and opportunities that exist in this part of Scotland. “A key theme is the pursuit of place-based opportunities – recognising the role that natural and built capital and cultural assets such as Gaelic can play in growing and sustaining a strong region that contributes fully to the success of Scotland.

“As a board, we come from a range of backgrounds but have at least two things in common: our passion for the Highlands and Islands and our commitment to make a positive difference to the wellbeing and prosperity of all those who live here. “I would encourage anyone who shares that passion, and who has the experience we’re seeking in business, community development and economic growth, to consider applying to join us.”

Applications will particularly be welcomed from Gaelic speakers and people with protected characteristics that are currently under-represented on the Board of HIE, including women, disabled people, LGBTI+ people, those from black and minority ethnic communities and people aged under 50. Members of the HIE Board are expected to devote two days per month to the role. The term of appointment will be for three years from 13 June 2022.

Full details are on the Public Appointments Scotland Website at:
www.gov.scot/collections/publicappointments

Council Confirms Event and Festival Funding

Funding to support events and festivals that will boost economic growth in Argyll and Bute has been approved by the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.

Eleven events across culture, sport and the arts will receive support totalling £95,300 from Round 4 of the Council’s Strategic Events and Festivals Fund (SEF).

These are:

• Cowal Highland Gathering

• Gathering of Cowal Clans

• Helensburgh Winter Festival

• Highlands & Islands Music & Dance Festival

• Inveraray Highland Games

• Jura Music Festival

• Mull of Kintyre Music and Arts Festival

• Mull Rally

• Tarbert Seafood Festival

• Tiree Wave Classic

• West Highland Yachting Week

Councillors also agreed to make remaining SEF funds, estimated to be £55,000, available to apply for.

Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Lead for Economic Growth said: “Events and festivals have played an important part in the economic health of Argyll and Bute in past years. The Covid pandemic however has dealt this sector a hard blow. “These funding awards are all about supporting the recovery of the local events and festivals industry and through it, the growth of local economies across Argyll and Bute.”

Information on how to apply for the next round of funding will be available on the council’s website and social media channels at the end of February, for applications to be returned by the end of April.

Crofting Commission Announces Significant Staff Expansion

crofting commission

The Crofting Commission has announced an expansion to their staffing.

The increased staff numbers will work on processing crofting regulatory applications for the Non Departmental Public Body.

Speaking today, Malcolm Mathieson, Convenor of the Crofting Commission said: “I warmly welcome the new members of staff to the Commission and look forward to working with them in the future. We have worked hard to recruit staff who are of a very high calibre to support and enhance our current team.” “With these new members of staff we will see a 40% increase in our regulatory team; once our new team members are fully trained this will make a significant and positive change. We know that crofters are currently experiencing an additional wait for regulatory applications, which I understand is frustrating for many. The Commission is committed to addressing this issue.”

“Many of this month’s new staff will be working in remote rural communities throughout the crofting counties. They will undergo significant training over the next few months to support the Commission in becoming far more efficient and effective in processing regulatory applications.”

Adding to Malcolm’s comments, Bill Barron, Chief Executive said: “I’m delighted to welcome our new members of staff to the Commission, many of whom are starting immediately. These new team members will go a long way to meet the recommendations of the recent independent review of staffing; which highlighted that we required far more staff to be effective in our regulatory work.” “Over the coming months there will be more progress within the Commission to support our aim of becoming more efficient at dealing with regulatory casework. The new members of staff starting today are part of a comprehensive plan to improve response times.”

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: https://empoweringoureducators.co.uk/proposals/

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: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YVCGTJ2

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

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song)

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song) which will be an island-wide creative project, taking place as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, which aims to celebrate and promote Tiree’s stories, heritage, culture and Gaelic language.

At the heart of the project are seven stories from the island’s history, traditions and mythology which will be explored within their physical and historical contexts to inspire new creative work. Local artists, young people, the wider Tiree community and an international audience will all be invited to take part in exploring and re-telling these stories through a mixture of traditional music and song, film and photography, theatre and writing, and Gaelic and English. There will be lots of different ways for local people and global audiences to get involved with and learn about Tiree’s stories, heritage, culture and the Gaelic language. Highlights to look forward to include:

• Jack Lockhart’s animated film of James Turnbull’s 18th century full-colour illustrated plan of Tiree and new music and song from Ian Smith and Angus MacPhail.

• Creative writing in English and Gaelic from Tiree’s young people and a new ‘Tiree Tapestry’ from the Tiree folk overseas.

• Exhibitions, workshops and presentations which will introduce original archive documents and artefacts. The first is an online talk by Raghnall Macille Dhuibh (Ronald Black) on ‘Sgeulachdan Tiristeach Iain Mhic an Deòir’ (John Dewar’s Tiree Stories) – Tues 8 February @ 19:30 GMT via Zoom. This talk will be presented in Gaelic with simultaneous translation into English. Email tir.iseal@gmail.com to book your place

• A multi-media theatre performance, delivered with Tiree School students on 16 June 2022. The young people will participate in a dramatic interpretation of the stories which will include music and song in Gaelic and English and we are planning additional workshops and performance opportunities as part of Fèis Thiriodh and Tiree Music Festival.

• A dedicated website (www.tir-iseal.co.uk) launching at the end of February 2022, where we will publish the new writing, music, song and film created in response to the stories.

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran is supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. It is also supported by Argyll Estates, Historic Environment Support Fund, the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Argyll & Bute Council Supporting Communities Fund, Clan Campbell Education Foundation, Inc., CHARTS Argyll and Isles, Pamela Campbell Bickford, Martha McKinnon and Elizabeth Kraus.

Tiree Electric Transport funding announced

We are excited to finally be able to announce that Tiree Community Development Trust has been awarded £147,332 under the Island Communities Fund for a project intended to reduce carbon emissions from transport on the island and improve island infrastructure for use of new vehicle technology.

The announcement was officially made by Scottish Government, along with funding for several other island projects which have been announced as having received support. The funding will allow the purchase of a new LDV EV80 9-seat electric minibus with removable seating allowing it to also be used as a small van. The minibus will be operated by the Trust for community use, meeting a number of potential needs for local activities and benefitting projects that develop and support the island economy.

The funding will also ensure the installation of Electric Vehicle charging points as part of the new community owned filling station at Crossapol – helping to future proof this new community asset in preparation for the much needed transition away from fossil fuel use. Two charging points are planned for Stèisean Connaidh Chrosabol (Crossapol Fuel station) which shall both offer AC type 2, CHAdeMO or CCS ports for fast charging using a mobile app based system. The inclusion of EV charging points has been a feature of discussions and plans for the construction of the new filling station since the very start of the project.

The increasing construction costs and constraints of the initial funding budget for the station had meant that further funds were needed to purchase and install the chargers, but the station layout and electrical connections were designed to allow for this at a later date. We are delighted to have quickly secured the needed funding, and are grateful to the Scottish Government Island Communities Fund for their support for this project, which shall have long-reaching benefits for the Tiree community.

The new minibus is currently expected to arrive on island by March, with the charging points likely to be installed around the same time.

Offshore wind impact could be similar to oil and gas sector, says HIE

The economic impact of the offshore wind industry in the Highlands and Islands could be similar to that of historic oil and gas developments, according to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The agency has welcomed today’s ScotWind offshore wind leasing round announcement by Crown Estate Scotland. 25GW of new developments are planned in Scotland, many of which will be in waters off the coast of the Highlands and Islands. HIE says the announcement heralds in an exciting new era of major expansion for the sector in the region. It is expected to lead to the creation of many new jobs as well as the world’s first floating offshore wind supply chain, manufacturing many of the components required for floating projects. There is also the added potential for Scotland to become an exporter of offshore wind technology beyond 2030. The growth in offshore wind is expected to be instrumental in attracting new young talent to the Highlands and Islands. Welcoming the announcement, HIE’s chief executive, Stuart Black said: “The inclusion of large floating wind developments in this round will make Scotland a world leader in the development of floating wind.

Having the bulk of these projects in the Highland and Islands emphasises the natural advantages of our region, which will be firmly at the forefront of global offshore wind development. “As a result, we can expect many new, highly skilled offshore wind related jobs to be created in some of our more rural and island communities. We believe the economic impacts of the offshore wind industry will be along similar lines to what we saw 40 or so years ago with oil and gas developments and will help create the conditions for a just transition for both the Highlands and Islands, and the climate. “The sheer scale of what has been announced today will accelerate the development of our industries of the future such as green hydrogen production from offshore wind, creating further new, green , fair work in our island and coastal communities.” The ScotWind announcement follows news in December of a planned state-of-the- art £110m wind tower factory at Nigg in Easter Ross, in which HIE is investing up to £10m.

With ScotWind comes the potential for long term jobs in operation and maintenance (O&M) involving many more ports and harbours across the region. The announcement represents a huge opportunity of historic scale for the Highlands and Islands with new offshore wind developments coming to the west and north coasts and islands. Working closely with its partners, stakeholders, and industry HIE is determined secure the jobs and significant economic and community benefit that should arise from these developments.

Stuart Black continued: “There will be opportunities to build on the £67m investments we have already made alongside industry to prepare the region’s ports and harbours for the huge expansion of the offshore wind sector. “We’re looking to build on already supported developments, such as the transformational O&M base projects at Wick and Buckie Harbours and are now working with local authorities, harbour operators, and developers to help bring new similar projects to the wider region.”

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.

1 2 3 71