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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”

Community Fuel Station Update

Following our last update, Tiree Community Enterprise Ltd (TCE) has been very busy working with our project partners to deliver the petrol station on budget and as quickly as possible.

Both goals have proved to be demanding but good progress has been made and a big thank you goes to each of our contractor, consultant and funders for their efforts and support to date. Despite some difficulties with the ferries, the site investigation work is now complete. This was an important phase of the works as it provided the opportunity for us to fully explore the viability of underground storage tanks which had previously been discounted during the feasibility study. While being desirable from an aesthetic viewpoint, they also offer substantial cost saving and manufacture lead time benefits. The site investigation went well and the preferred option is now to install underground tanks.

The contractor in now moving towards completion of his design and we hope to be in receipt of their drawings, costs and the build programme in about three to four weeks. It is hoped at that time we will be in a position to submit the formal applications to the various statutory authorities.

As alluded to in our last update, timescales are proving to be the most challenging aspect of the project. We have been informed that the Planning Department is experiencing a significant backlog due to COVID restrictions and SEPA are currently experiencing IT problems. We hope to be in a position to report further on this item in our next update.

A question we seem to get asked a lot is “Are we installing electric vehicle charging points?” The answer is yes, but maybe not straight away. We are installing the infrastructure to support the charging points and our contractor is looking for ways to future proof the installation. However, the charging points themselves will only be installed immediately if the budget permits. If it does not, we shall seek further funding to allow them to be installed as soon as possible.

The work of the TCE board is not just confined to the construction. TCE have been looking to the operational phase and is laying the initial ground work with regards to financial planning, property management and environmental issues. Additionally, we have issued proposal invitations to several fuel suppliers. Their responses are expected in just over three weeks’ time.

As previously stated, the TCE board has been keen to promote the use of local contractors and we are pleased to report that Adler and Allen are of a similar view. We understand that appointments for transport and civil engineering works are to be let locally and there may be other possible openings for the local community. If you would like to discuss the potential subcontractor opportunities, please contact Jock Breckney by email Jock.Breckney@adlerandallan. co.uk or alternatively call him on 07770 827 262.

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!

Ranger News

Hiya folks, How are we all doing?

Well Spring is here after the windy few weeks of Feb. The Skylarks are singing and we are starting to see other migrant birds arrive back, including the Lesser Black-backed Gulls that would have overwintered in Portugal and Morocco. It’s great to see the Fulmars back wheeling around Balephetrish as well.

There has been a couple of Otter road casualties in the last few months and I just want to say thanks to folk for reporting and if you see a dead, or even better, a live Otter please keep letting me know.

I attended the Eurasian Otter Conference online over the weekend and there has been a lot of work done identifying individual Otters by their footprints. Like us they have markers in their pads that can be picked up by computer modelling, such as where they put pressure when they are walking that, can help identify them. The folk behind this research are happy for me to send them prints which will help identify the range of different individual Otters around Tiree. Super high-tech stuff and quite exciting. Hopefully update you on this soon.

On the theme of Otters, some of you joined me for the Cùram talk the other day. I’ve had a flurry of requests to repeat the talk and to open it to those off island so I hope to firm down a Zoom date shortly for it to go ahead before the end of March. With the Lockdown continuing for the time being there is a pause on physical Ranger events but when the situation allows I will look at doing the bespoke events such as the Otter walks, rock pooling etc. like I did last year. These were very popular and having small groups ensured Covid rules were followed

. On that note, we have kept the bookings closed for the Croft Camping Sites at the moment for May and June but will allow bookings from July onwards from the end of the week. Obviously, this will all be dependant that travel restrictions are lifted and adhered to if folk live in an area where they still apply but if you have any friends who usually use the sites then get them to keep an eye on www.isleoftiree.com/croft-camping for updates.

And to end on some happy news, I heard at the weekend that two of the three Grey Seal pups, Banjo and French Horn, that were sent to the SSPCA Fishcross Wildlife Hospital have been released back into the wild. A third, Cello, unfortunately died from a sudden illness before release but it’s great to know that all the effort from folk here on Tiree and the Wildlife Hospital has meant that two have made it. They were released on the East coast along with other pups.

Myself and the rest of the Trust staff are still home working so it’s best to get a hold of me by email ranger@tireetrust.org.uk or on 01879 220074. You can also contact me on my own mobile 07506037113 if it is an emergency. So just a short update for now Until next time…

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.”

Consultation on future cemetery needs launched

The council is developing new policies on the best way to manage cemeteries throughout the area in the coming years and we would like to hear your views.

It is really important to take steps now to ensure that options are available for people when they need them in the future. Argyll and Bute has 131 Cemeteries spread throughout its communities, however 67 cemeteries are now closed to the sale of spaces. Community volunteers, in a small number of areas, support council services by maintaining local burial grounds. Similar initiatives would be welcomed elsewhere.

According to statute, local authorities are only required to provide one cemetery per area. Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Roads and Infrastructure Services, said: “This is a sensitive subject, which touches us all. What we want to do is understand priorities and expectations so we can plan for the future. Any changes are likely to take place over a decade. “I would encourage people to look at our proposals and give us their thoughts.”

The consultation is now on the council website: https:// www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/ consultations/consultation-futurecemeteries

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.”

Tiree Ranger News

Hiya folks,

How are we all doing? It’s been a steady few weeks sorting things out after the Christmas break.

It was surprising for me to see such a heavy ground frost for almost a week a few weeks back and I’ve been told it doesn’t usually last that long. I’m working away quietly on things that I can hopefully get folk involved in when it is safe to do so.

The Otter walks were really popular last year and I’ve been keeping an eye on my viewing site and the Otters have been very active no matter what the weather. Please keep sending in any signs or sightings of Otters as I’m building up a picture of the different territories on the island. This includes any records of dead ones.

RTA’s are one of the most common causes of Otter deaths in Scotland and I know it may be upsetting if one runs out in front of you but accidents happen and it’s good to be able to get a hold of the Otter for measurements and aging. Likewise keep sending in any cetacean strandings as well. Thank you to all of you who have done so so far.

A wee shout out to parents and teachers:-I know many of you are home schooling at the moment and it’s just to say that if there’s anything I can do to help just drop me an email. I’m chatting to other Ranger services to see what activities that have been offering that can be done from home and I hope to have some of these available next issue.

So just a short update for now. Myself and the rest of the Trust staff are still home working so it’s best to get a hold of me by email ranger@tireetrust.org.u k

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