Tag Archives: council

May Meeting of Tiree Community Council

Working our way towards a new planning policy for the community council, a debate on water saving measures, news on the redevelopment of the pier marshalling area and a reduction in the number of same-day ferry tickets were some of the subjects that came up at the May community council meeting.

John Patience and a subcommittee of councillors has been working on a new planning policy for the community council for a few months. A draft is finally ready. The Scottish Government recommends that community councils have ‘a special role [in the planning process], representing a broader yet still local view which can be set alongside the comments of those with a more individual interest’. Our proposal is that if a local planning application has the potential to impact on a significant number of people in the community, raises important matters of principle for Tiree, departs from the Local Development Plan, or concerns a Listed Building, we will consider it. These are likely to make up a small proportion of the total planning applications.

John explained that the community council’s status as a ‘statutory consultee’ simply meant that Argyll and Bute Council had a statutory duty to inform us about planning applications; it does not mean that we had to comment on every application. We agreed the draft presented by John. This is now out for consultation on our website, following which there will be a public meeting to allow us to collect feedback.

Scottish Water came to one of our public meetings a few months ago after several new house builds had been knocked back because the company could not guarantee supply during times of peak demand. They rowed back on this decision – for the time being. Now they have become keen on water saving measures for the island. Leaks in the network, according to company figures, are surprisingly low. But Scottish Water are now proposing a trial of shower timers for part of the island. These are designed to nudge us away from long showers. Their effectiveness would be monitored by the company, comparing water usage in the area being studied with the rest of the island. This sparked quite a debate. There was a school of thought that this was a good ‘green’ measure and we should be doing this anyway to save the planet. Others felt that this was a cheap way for the company to wriggle out of building expensive new boreholes and pumphouses that would really solve the capacity problem. We agreed to support the proposal, but keep the pressure on the company to provide us with robust supplies for the years ahead.

We have been in dialogue with CMAL – who own the Gott Bay pier and marshalling area – and CalMac – who operate them – about their plans for redevelopment, now that work at the business end of the pier has finished. We know that significant safety concerns around the marshalling area were logged in a 2019 consultant’s report. But try as we might – and we have tried at the highest level – CalMac have refused to give us access to the findings. Our own survey about the pier, which attracted 99 replies, brought together a lot of useful suggestions from those who live around, work in and travel through, the pier. We have passed these on to CMAL. It is a complicated patch of land, with ten landowners to consider. We are looking for better-managed parking, a safer separation between pedestrians and cars, a dedicated bus stop, a separate marshalling area for cyclists, good refuse facilities, clearer signage and a waiting room at the end of the pier. We know the budget for the work is £350,000, which pays for less tarmac than you think. We will do our best.

We also heard just before the meeting that the turn-up-and-go ferry passenger tickets are being restricted to just four – for Tiree and Coll. These tickets were introduced last year as a way to allow islanders to get to and from the mainland at the height of the tourist season. This seems too few, and will keep a close eye on the situation.

Dr John Holliday was in the chair. Phyl Meyer, Gerard McGoogan (who joined us from the Oban ferry), Alison Clark, Stewart, John Patience and Louise Reid were present.

£1.2 Million Down the Drain

Like many of you, Tiree Community Councillors are unhappy – to say the least – at the state of the island’s roads only a few months after Argyll and Bute spent £1.2 million improving them.

Having completed my own survey of the Tiree road network I was amazed to see potholes, flooded cattle grids, poor passing place signage in some areas, bumpy, badly – finished passing places and other serious faults.

road_edgeThe most significant of these are the badly formed road edges which are now crumbling away and could result in safety concerns, particularly in the summer months when cyclists move in to allow cars to pass. We were told that this improvement programme would ensure that the roads would be serviceable for the next fifteen years. The way things are going they will be lucky to survive another winter!

The Tiree Community Council has passed on a 14 point document outlining faults to the head of roads at Argyll and Bute. This is backed up by photographs – all of which make it clear that the so-called improvements are inadequate for a modern road system. Now we are seeking to meet road officials because we believe the whole exercise has been a botch-up and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

potholeThe Council’s reaction to the points raised after our survey was, quite simply, to brush off every single one of our complaints as nonsense. We have also been told that there is no more money in the pot for Tiree’s roads. The purse is empty and there will be no more ‘improvements’ for a very long time to come.

Please feel free to send us your own thoughts on the road programme and if you think it has indeed been £1.2 million down the drain! We’d like to hear from you! You can contact us at alisonk@tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk or www.tireecommunitycouncil.co.uk

It’s Official! Tiree Community Council Elections

community council electionFollowing a short campaign by local Tiree residents it is now confirmed by Argyll & Bute Council that elections for a new Community Council on Tiree will go ahead on Thursday the 26th June.

This will be an election that is out of the normal Community Council election cycle, but has been agreed to by Argyll & Bute Council as a special case due to the pressing need for our community to have a statutory `voice’.

There are a great many issues on Tiree that a Community Council can become involved with. Many of a Community Council’s functions and responsibilities have a statutory background, particularly with certain important public consultations. It is very much hoped that a good cross-section of residents, who feel that they can help with the varied responsibilities and commitments of being a Community Councillor, will consider seeking nomination.

The process of nomination is necessarily fairly formal, but nevertheless quite straightforward. Details of where and how to obtain your nomination form are given in the formal notice of election. A Community Council can have an enormous impact on the future of Tiree, and can also be very rewarding, in terms of making a significant contribution within your own community.

All Go For June election

checkbox_with_xArgyll & Bute Council’s Electoral Returning Officer agreed this week that early elections, for up to eight new Community Councillors, will take place in June.

The news comes after weeks of campaigning by local people in Tiree, keen to see a Community Council formed soon.

Normally by-elections (which this will be) are held annually, so one would not have taken place until the end of this year. However, after intensive representations were made to councillors, officials and the Returning Officer, the case for an early election was successfully made.

The news was particularly welcomed by John MacCaskill, who had set the ball rolling with a letter in the Tirisdeach a few weeks ago. “I’m very pleased with this outcome, which is exactly what many of us had hoped for. Ferry and air services, education, roads, coastal erosion, the loss of population and retail outlets are all topical issues in Tiree. A new Community Council won’t find itself short of issues to pursue. I hope that a wide range of candidates with a good variety of skills now put themselves forward at the June elections and start to get Tiree’s voice heard”.

Tiree Community Development Trust

Tiree Trust LogoMeeting with Councillors

Mary Jean Devon and Roddy McCuish are due to visit Tiree in October/November (date TBC).

The Trust has asked to meet with them to discuss general island issues. If there is a specific issue you would like us to raise then please get in touch.

RET consultation

The Scottish Government is investigating the impact of the removal of Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) fares from commercial vehicles on the economies of the Western Isles, Coll and Tiree since 1 April 2012. On some routes the removal resulted in an increase of up to 50% in commercial vehicle fares in April 2012.

A key aim of the study is to investigate the impact of removing the RET fare on businesses and, ultimately, the local economies of the islands. As part of the study, MVA Consultancy has been commissioned to carry out a survey to assess the potential impacts of moving to pre RET commercial vehicle fares. They would be very grateful if Tiree’s business users could complete the survey by copying the link below into your web browser.

http://www.mvasurvey.com/retcv

You can also find a link to this from the Trust website, under the news section.

Tiree Onshore Scenario Mapping Report

Consultation on Draft Report

Friday 16 March – Friday 27 April 2012

Ironside Farrar, on behalf of the Steering Group chaired by Argyll and Bute Council, would now like to invite you to review the ‘Draft Tiree Onshore Scenario Mapping Report’ before it is formally finalised and the study concluded with the Steering Group. The intent would be to note the comments received through draft report consultation and include and report on these within the report appendices.

The consultation period on the draft report will be from Friday 16 March – Friday 27 April 2012. The Draft report and comment forms will be available throughout this time from:

  • Argyll and Bute Council website at http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/tireeconsultation
  • Tiree Community Development Trust www.tireetrust.org.uk
  • In hard copy from:
    • Tiree Community Development Trust, Tiree Rural Centre, Crossapol, Tiree
    • An Talla, Island Centre, Crossapol, Tiree
  • Available via CD-ROM from Argyll and Bute Council, see contact below.

Please submit all responses by Friday 27 April 2012 – either online via the Argyll and Bute Council website above, or by post or email to:
Tiree Onshore Scenario Mapping Study, c/o Lisa Hardie, Development and Infrastructure Services, 1A Manse Brae, Lochgilphead, PA31 8RD; Lisa.hardie@argyll-bute.gov.uk.

A little councelling

notes

IN JULY 2010 TCB WROTE TO A&B COUNCIL RAISING VARIOUS MATTERS THAT WERE BEING DISCUSSED ON THE ISLAND. FOLLOWING IS A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL LETTER AND THE COUNCIL’S RESPONSE.

Dear Mrs Loudon,
As there is currently no Community Council on the Island of Tiree many of the normal issues regarding the provision of Council services falling within your remit fail to receive the attention they would otherwise expect.

As Tiree Community Business Limited are in regular contact with the public through both our office and newsletter, we frequently receive representations on some of these matters which would otherwise normally be dealt with by a Community Council.

Of immediate concern to the public at this time are the following issues: White statutory road markings, Statutory Road signs faded or missing, Cattle grids that are full of weeds, Missing passing place signs, Weed encroachment in road centres.

These points are of course in addition to the ongoing concerns of the quality of road surfaces on the Island. We trust that you will not object to us bringing these matters to your attention as we were unsure, following the recent Council re-organisation, who’s responsibility the Roads networks is.

Directors, Tiree Community Business Limited

COUNCIL RESPONSE FROM SALLY LOUDEN ON BEHALF OF SANDY MACTAGGART

To Directors, TCB I refer to your email of 1 July(2010) and the various issues raised therein.

It is essential that, when planning roads-related maintenance works on the island, our programme of works takes due cognisance of the limited available budget. With regard to the concerns raised by islanders, I would comment as follows:-

  • Road markings – We will arrange to enhance white lines at those junctions which we consider to represent a safety-related problem.
  • Road signs – We are carrying out a ‘rolling programme’ of sign renewal; this work will be carried out annually as budgets permit. Signs will be renewed on a priority basis – defined by actual condition and importance of the sign.
  • Cattle grids – I can confirm that cleaning of cattle grids will be carried out over the summer months.
  • Passing place signs – As per sign replacement, new passing place signs will be installed as part of the rolling programme.
  • Weed encroachment in road centres – In the past we have found that the act of removing weeds from road centres actually causes more harm than good i.e. killing and scraping weeds from the road centre can actually cause damage to the road surface. We will carry this operation out, normally, prior to road resurfacing works. Nevertheless, the local roads inspector will have a look at this problem on his next visit to the island.
  • Quality of road surface – I am aware that surfacing work was carried out during the last financial year following damage which could be directly attributed to erection of the wind turbine. I can confirm that the jet patching machine has been sent to Tiree this week to carry out patching works on island roads. However, in general, given the relatively light traffic levels on the island, we believe that roads are fit for purpose.

I must thank you for bringing the above concerns to my attention. If you are agreeable, I will arrange for a representative from Roads and Amenity Services to call in and discuss roads-related issues with you on their next visit to the island.

In the meantime, if you have any pressing issues requiring attention please feel free to contact Stewart Clark (Contracts Manager on 01546 604893) or Graham Stone (Technical Officer on 01631 563264).

AT A TCB DIRECTORS MEETING IN DECEMBER THESE COMMUNICATIONS WERE DISCUSSED. IT WAS FELT THAT A NUMBER OF ISSUES WERE STILL OUTSTANDING SO ANOTHER E-MAIL WAS SENT………

Dear Mr Mactaggart

Further to your email of 9th July 2010 in which you respond to a series of concerns raised with you by Tiree Community Business Limited regarding the quality of the roads on Tiree.

The Directors note that no substantive work or remedial action has taken place on any of the action points promised within your email copied to you below.

While we realise that the Council Revenue Budget is reducing year on year, the deterioration of the road network is now causing serious concern. Additionally, it would be interesting to know the overall roads/repair/maintenance revenue budget for Oban Lorn and the Isles and specifically for Tiree. Would you please re-visit the action points contained within your email below and thereafter advise on what action you propose to take. Look forward to hearing from you.

Directors, TCB

THE COUNCILS RESPONSE WILL BE PRINTED IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF AN TIRISDEACH