Category Archives: Community Announcements

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 www.scottishwater.co.uk

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!

Tiree Trust News

Tiree Renewable Energy (TREL)

Some of you may have noticed that Tilley has not been turning for the last few weeks. A generator fault was registered in September and since then two teams of engineers from Enercon (the turbine manufacturer) have attended.

The first team conducted diagnostic tests to locate and identify the fault, and the second carried out preparatory work so that the repairs can be made smoothly. A third team of engineers will be attending shortly to install replacement parts and complete the repair. Enercon are planning to have Tilley operational again by 30th November.

Tiree Broadband

Tiree Broadband continues to be affected by a fault in the BT Cabinet in Crossapol. Tiree broadband normally uses 7 fibreoptic lines from the Crossapol Cabinet as it’s ‘backhaul’ (i.e. where it gets its internet from) and then distributes it to the network via wireless dishes.

Our network is currently operating from one backup fibreoptic line at An Iodhlann which is fed from the cabinet at the Scarinish Exchange. The result is that Tiree Broadband customers will have a restricted service but should still be able to do essential tasks online.

We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused our customers and would like to assure you that we are working hard to resolve this issue and have been speaking with Tiree Community Council to make sure our voice is heard by both BT and The Scottish Government on this issue.

The Cruas Fund

In direct response to the economic impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, The Trust has decided to launch The Cruas fund. Cruas is the Gaelic word for hardship. The Trust will be supported by Cùram Thiriodh to administer the fund via the Solar food project.

The fund is aimed as a short-term support mechanism for people in our community whose financial circumstances change quickly and is not meant to supplement any longer-term benefit system.

If you have recently found yourself in financial difficulty you can contact Solar in the strictest confidence on solartiree{@}gmail.com or 07375 929350 (text or phone).

Crossapol Playpark Needs Your Help

No matter when you pass the Playpark at Crossapol you will probably see someone in it. Whether you are a child, parent, grandparent, auntie, uncle or friend you will have enjoyed the experience of ‘playing’ there. It is a very well used park by both locals and visitors and the users all make very positive comments about what a great Playpark it is.

Tiree Community Business in partnership with ACHA take care of the Playpark and keep it as safe as possible for all to enjoy. However, most of the equipment has had its day and has outlived its safe lifespan. This means that it needs replacing and this means a large amount of money – about £24,000.

Tiree Community Business have funded some new pieces of equipment over the last few years with the help of many generous donations and these newer pieces will remain. If you feel able to donate towards the replacement of the equipment please contact Norma at Tiree Community Business:

Tel: 01879 220 520 Email: tireecommunitybusiness@btconnect.com

Cheques should be made payable to – Tiree Community Business and sent to Tiree Community Business, The Island Centre, Isle of Tiree PA77 6UP

Remember “Every Little Helps’ and Thank You

Your Views Needed On Amenity Services

Argyll and Bute’s council has to identify options to meet a projected budget gap of £6.7 million in 2021/2022, and as part of that, is asking for your views on amenity services.

Savings can only come from a relatively small proportion of the council’s budget (32%), because of national priorities and other factors outside council control:

• Teacher posts are protected nationally

• Social work costs are managed by the Health and Social Care Partnership

• Utility, loan and other costs depend on external factors.

Some savings have to come from amenity services, which cover everything from bins and grass cutting, to parking, road repairs and public toilets.

The council is therefore asking people to give their views on how best to make savings in amenity services by answering a short consultation. The survey also gives people the chance to give their thoughts on whether local communities would consider stepping in to save a service at risk, and what if any support they would want to be able to do this.

Councillor Gary Mulvaney, Depute Leader and Policy Lead for Strategic Finance, said:

“Another year and millions more expected to be cut from council services for Argyll and Bute. It’s not enough to say that these are tough times for councils. Years of budget cuts are eroding Argyll and Bute’s council services, and at a time now when they have never been more important – look at how much our communities have depended on council services to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. We have to focus on the support that is most vital for the area. We have to look again at the work we do that is above and beyond the ‘must-do’ duties of a council. I would encourage anyone who uses our amenity services to give their views.”

You can answer the consultation on the council’s website:

https:// www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/ consultations/amenity-servicesconsultation.

If you have difficulty accessing the web version, you are welcome to contact the council at 01436 658 981.

Community Council Set For November Poll

Tiree will see an autumn byelection for its Community Council as six candidates put themselves forward for election.

The poll was called by Argyll and Bute Council after a spring date for community council elections throughout the authority was pulled due to coronavirus.

Four vacancies in the island’s community council were declared. With nominations now in, six candidates have put themselves forward:

• Jacqueline Bennett, Schoolhouse, Balemartine

• Iona Campbell, 4 Baugh

• Stewart Carr, Sanderling, Balephetrish

• Iona Larg, The Two Harvests, No. 2, Balemartine

• John Patience, Taigh an Altire, Caolis

• Louise Reid J, 11 Sruthan Terrace, Crossapol

On Thursday 15 October, Argyll and Bute Council will send out postal ballots to everyone whose name was on the Electoral Roll on 1 September 2020. These have to be returned by 4 pm on Thursday 5 November 2020.

The ballots will contain the candidates’ statements, and we are looking to see if there might be other ways for candidates to set out their stall before votes have to be in. One way might be for them to introduce themselves at the Community Council public meeting on 14 October. We will post details with the agenda of the next meeting.

Dr John Holliday, Convener,

Tiree Community Council

Gaelic: Getting Out of The Last Chance Saloon

‘Gaelic language in “crisis” in island heartlands’. ‘Warning Gaelic “could be dead” in 10 years. ‘Gaelic “disappearing” from Scottish island communities’. These were the apocalyptic headlines a couple of months ago.

These stories were based on two years of research by a collaboration of Scottish universities headed up by the University of the Highlands and Islands. The study looked at those places where Gaelic is still a community language: the whole of the Western Isles, Staff in on Skye and Tiree.

Curious to see what they had found in a bit more detail, and particularly to see what they had unearthed on Tiree, I ordered the full report, The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community. It is 480 pages of solid reading. The researchers had gone beyond the Census figures and looked at children in Gaelic pre-school units and surveyed teenagers in the Outer Isles. And a few of you may remember a 2016 public consultation they held in An Talla. It is blindingly obvious that Gaelic is much less part of day-to-day Tiree life than it used to be.

A little over a century ago, in 1901, almost half (44%) of the island’s population could only speak Gaelic. By 1981, 74% of the Tiree residents reported that they could speak some Gaelic. This was down to 38% at the last Census in 2011, and the figure is expected to fall to 31% by next year. This is the lowest percentage in any of the communities where Gaelic is commonly spoken, and compares to 66% in South Uist.

But the study found that ticking ‘yes’ next to the census question ‘Can you speak Gaelic?’ is not the same thing as what they call ‘active Gaelic speakerhood’. Although half the children on Tiree can speak Gaelic (thanks to the outstanding work of the Gaelic medium unit), Gaelic is only spoken by adults and children in 15% of households on the island. In a detailed study of teenagers in the Western Isles (not Tiree), almost half could talk Gaelic at least reasonably. But they tended not to use it talking to their parents or to each other, particularly when they were discussing important things like gaming, music or films. Surprisingly, more than half did not consider themselves ‘Gaels’.

The numbers of Gaelic speakers in Scotland has been falling for 150 years. The 1872 Education Act – which built five new schools on Tiree, but because of which Gaelic was deliberately downgraded and stigmatised – has been a huge factor. So were centuries of discrimination against Highlanders as a poor and backward people – something that has only recently changed.

Tiree has been particularly badly hit because of our endless migration to find work in Vancouver and Glasgow. You can’t blame a lack of money. Last year £28 million was spent in Scotland on Gaelic broadcasting, teaching and the quango Bòrd na Gàidhlig. But most of this is topdown spending, designed to raise the language’s status and its ‘visibility in the public space’.

For example, Scottish Natural Heritage is now bound to create a glossy Gaelic Language Plan, updated every five years. This includes policies such as ‘We will continue to use a bilingual version of the disclaimer that accompanies all SNH e-mails’. This is not to belittle the efforts of SNH staff. The point is that this sort of spending does not get teenagers talking to each other in Gaelic in Balephetrish. The report recommends a change of tack. We can’t just keep doing what we’re doing and expect things to turn around.

We have to do something radically different, and we mustn’t expect government to come up with the answer. We need to put our resources into basic things, like encouraging mothers to speak to their children in Gaelic at home and like making it cool for teenagers to talk about Call of Duty in Gaelic. Exactly what the Tiree Trust’s outstanding Gaelic Development Officers – Ishbel Campbell, for the last two years, and now Rhoda Meek – are doing. Just more of it.

Tiree entered what the authors dispiritingly call the ‘moribund phase’ some time between 2001 and 2011. This is when less than 45% of a community speaks Gaelic, and less than 15% of family households have Gaelic as their main language. The figures for Tiree nine years ago were 38% and 15%. We are drinking in the last chance saloon. Some would say that we have taken up the dinner, bed and all-day breakfast option there. But we might be able to turn the situation around.

The two bright spots are that that Gaelic is still spoken in 15% of the island’s family households and that 51% of our young people can speak Gaelic. The job in hand is to make them to want to keep speaking it. That needs commitment from Gaelic speakers and non-Gaelic speakers alike to get to a situation where at least half the island can speak some Gaelic. Do we have that? If you want to continue this discussion, do contact me.

Dr John Holliday | 220385 |
doc.holliday@tireebroadband.com

Update From Hynish Heritage Village

The Hynish Heritage Village project is coming on in bounds, and with the increased activity we wanted to share an update with the community.

Relocation of the Hebridean Trust office to Tiree

The Hebridean Trust administration and registered office has now relocated to its new home in Hynish. Previously it had been led from Oxford: but the trustees have made this move to really engrain the centre within the social and economic structure of the Tiree community and maximise the use as a resource.

This is a really positive, and exciting step as it marks the start of more opportunities – future jobs, and a real hub of the future for local residents and to attract tourism. Volunteers donating their time, and skills We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity, and true Tiree spirit of the volunteers who have, and are continuing to support us to realise the potential of the area.

Some of the work they have volunteered on includes improving the pathways, the pier, painting, generally tidying up the site, and new office set up. It’s looking impressive – thank you to you all. John MacKinnon Builders have also been invaluable. They did the original restoration work, and have generously given their time over the past few weeks to restore the doors, windows and buildings. A huge thank you to them for not only donating their time, but also for helping to retain the charm of the buildings.

Jenn Mackinnon has found time in her busy schedule (a full time job and a mum of 2) to give her time to help us with our marketing and social media. Thank you Jenn.

If you would like to get involved we’d love to hear from you – whether it’s manual, or admin support you can offer.

Donation towards The Stables

The Hebridean Trust continues its charitable purpose, and we will encourage our regular groups to return to Tiree in the future. As a charity we always welcome donations, which go towards the upkeep of the buildings, exhibitions and to subsidise the trips on offer to disadvantaged young people – to create a memorable and special experience.

We’ve recently received generous donations, specifically to be used on renovating The Stables into luxury self-catering accommodation for 2 people. A huge thank you to the donors. We’re aiming to have this ready to launch mid-September this year.

Heritage Lottery Fund

We’ve successful secured Heritage Lottery Funds to enable us to do a number of short-term repairs, maintenance and conservation. We will be looking to source various trades and expertise from the island, if possible, to help us with this project. If you have any capacity between now and the end of October (deadline date for the project completion) we would love to hear from you. We can give you a brief of what needs done and we would ask you for a quotation and timings in line with our procurement policy. Here is a list of what we need:

? Plastering

? Plumbing

? Painting (internal and external)

? Conservation Building work

? Electrical work

? Digital Media/Creating a Virtual Tour

? COVID Recovery Plan

? Laying Flooring

? Chimney Sweep

? Landscaping

It’s an exciting time, and we look forward to sharing more progress in the coming months. If you have any questions please contact Fiona on 018792 20730 or email info@hebrideantrust.org

Tiree Trust News

Trust & Cùram Launch New Hardship Fund – The Cruas Fund

In direct response to the economic impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, The Trust has decided to launch The Cruas fund. Cruas is the Gaelic word for hardship. The Trust will be supported by Cùram Thiriodh to administer the fund via the Solar food project. The fund is aimed as a short-term support mechanism for people in our community whose financial circumstances change quickly and is not meant to supplement any longer-term benefit system.

If you have recently found yourself in financial difficulty you can contact Solar in the strictest confidence on solartiree@gmail.com or 07375 929350 (text or phone).

Community Fuel Station Update

A new company has been set up to operate a community owned fuel station in Crossapol. Tiree Community Enterprise Ltd is being established as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Trust and will operate with its own board, in the same way as our other subsidiaries like TREL & Tiree Broadband.

During September we will go out to tender for a specialist design and build contractor to design and construct the fuel station. Our aim is that, as with previous capital projects, this will create subcontracting opportunities for Tiree contractors. Keep an eye out or project updates in future editions of An Tirisdeach and on our website and social media.

This project has received funding from The National Lottery Community Assets Fund and HIE as well as a contribution from the Windfall Fund.

Trust AGM and Director Nominations

Tiree Community Development Trust and subsidiary companies will be holding an Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 15th September at 7.30pm Via Zoom. The details of which will be published at a later date.

We still require 10% of our membership (30 people) to be in attendance to have a quorum so please do consider joining us. If you wish to stand for election you must return the completed form by Friday 4th September to admin@tireetrust.org.uk. To be eligible for election you must be on the electoral roll for Tiree and be a full member of TCDT.

Restart of glass kerbside collections on Mull and Tiree

The glass bin collection service on Mull and Tiree will restart from week beginning Monday 17th August.

You can check your glass bin collection dates on the council website at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/ planning-and-environment/bin-collection

If you already have a printed calendar, you can start following it again for your glass collections.

Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Lead for Housing, Roads and Infrastructure Services, said:

“This marks another step back to more normal services. I’d like to thank residents for their patience during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have had to change the way we work and I know this has not always been easy for people. Nonetheless, many folk have sent kind messages to our bin crews over the past weeks and months. Thank you for your understanding – it has been appreciated.”

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