Category Archives: News


Tiree, the outermost of the Inner Hebrides, is to have its own flag, its Community Council announced today.

Flags are increasingly seen as a good way to bring communities together, to raise pride in where people come from, and to show the world what they stand for. In this, Tiree is seeking to join a select, but rapidly growing, movement in Scotland of communities that have designed their own flags, communities such as Shetland in 2005, Orkney in 2007, and Caithness, South Uist, Barra, Kirkcudbrightshire, the town of Denny and Dunipace in Stirlingshire, and Sutherland over the last two years.

This project is being organised by Tiree Community Council, the idea for a flag having been overwhelmingly backed by a public vote last year.

The competition, Co-fharpais Bratach Thiriodh, officially opens on April 2nd and runs until May 1st. The competition is open to everyone, on and off the island. The two joint winners of the design for the flag for Denny and Dunnipace were Spanish and Brazilian. Tiree has a huge worldwide diaspora numbering hundreds of thousands following the emigration of a quarter of the island’s population in the nineteenth century, and the committee hopes to attract entries from Tiree heartlands in countries such as Canada and New Zealand. People can also enter more than one idea. Designs can be submitted digitally. But entries can be as simple as a doodle on a piece of paper – Orkney’s flag was designed by a local postman, Duncan Tullock, who sketched his initial idea over a couple of hours using his granddaughter’s crayons.

Children are particularly good at competitions like this: the winner of the Black Country flag competition in the English Midlands was just twelve. Philip Tibbetts, the Communities Vexillologist at London’s Flag Institute, has visited the island several times, to hold classes on good flag design.

There should be no shortage of inspiration for a flag design. Dr John Holliday, the Convenor of the island’s Community Council and retired GP said: “Tiree has such a distinctive signature, from its rich summer carpet of white, yellow and purple machair flowers, its corncrakes, its dazzling, white shell sand beaches, its leaping windsurfers, the unique outline of its thatched houses, and the recent success of its bands such as Skipinnish, Skerryvore and Trail West: plenty for designers to get their teeth into.”

All the details of the Tiree Flag Competition are on the competition website, at Entries will be judged by a panel including the Lord Lyon, Scotland’s highest flag authority, along with the committee of local people who have organised the competition. The designs of the six finalists will be flown at the Tiree Agricultural Show on July 20th, where those attending will get a chance to have their say. There will also be a chance to vote online and by post. The winning design will then be submitted to the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh for registration.

The flag competition has been funded by the Tiree Trust, using money from the community wind turbine, which has generated £1.5 million for local projects over the last eight years.

Philip Tibbetts said: “It is wonderful to see another community develop their own flag. This will give Tiree a symbol for the people, grow awareness externally and help preserve part of the rich fabric of the nation. I have enjoyed my time working on the island and have seen at first hand the island’s rich history. As such I can’t wait to see the ideas that will come in for the Sunshine Isle.” Lachie Brown, a member of the committee, said: “Cumaibh suas air bratach! [Encourage the flag!]” Ian Gillies, another member of the flag committee, said: “As someone who regularly flies a flag, I feel that a flag says a lot about the land – in our case island – and the people that the flag represents.  A strong identity and purpose is important for every community, and while in itself a flag can not wholly provide this, it does its part to bring any community together.”


Dr John Holliday, Balephuil, Isle of Tiree, PA77 6UE | 01879 220385 | 07786 296475 |

Ian Gillies 01879 220133 |

Lachie Brown 01879 220686 | (Gaelic interview)

Iain MacKinnon 01879 220541 | (Gaelic interview)

Full details on the website



An Update From EE

An Update from EE

‘We are in the process of getting the backhaul delivered to the site at Scarinish. As the second site south of Kilmaluaig will link into Scarinish by microwave backhaul, that too cannot go online until the Scarinish site is up and running. Looking at timelines for similar processes at other sites, I would expect we can start turning on the 4G in April, or shortly after’

Amended Availability of Glasgow to Tiree Flights – Summer 2018 and Winter 2018/19

Amended Availability of Glasgow to Tiree Flights – Summer 2018 and Winter 2018/19


Following a meeting of the Tiree Transport Forum (TTF) on Thursday 08th February 2018 with Michael Bratcher (Head of Aviation, Transport Scotland) and Johnathan Hinckles (CEO, Loganair), it was clear from discussions that there was limited funding available from Transport Scotland to support any requests from the Tiree Community for additional flights on the Glasgow to Tiree route over the Summer 2018, including any additional flights (over and above standard flight scheduling) in support of key island events such as the Tiree Music Festival, Tiree 10k / Half Marathon and the Tiree Ultra.

Following agreement with the TTF and Loganair, Mr. Bratcher was however in a position to offer the introduction of a ‘Banked System’ of flights on the Glasgow to Tiree air-service to be trialled over the Summer 2018 Timetable and the Winter Timetable 2018/19 where there shall be an increase of 20 flights to the Summer 2018 Timetable, offset by a drop of 20 flights to the Winter 2018/19 Timetable, introducing a ‘cost neutral’ system to the current Public Service Obligation (PSO) to better support, in particular, the summertime air travel demands to/from Tiree.

This shall result in the following changes to the Summer 2018 Timetable:-

  1. An additional third flight from Glasgow to Tiree on Saturdays (late morning) using the Twin Otter aircraft from Saturday 30th June 2018 till Saturday 01st September 2018;
  2. Three additional Glasgow to Tiree Twin Otter flights over the Tiree 10k / Half Marathon Weekend – 05th May 2018 (as provided for last year’s event);
  3. Four additional Glasgow to Tiree Twin Otter flights over the Tiree Music Festival Weekend – 13th to 15th July 2018 (as provided for last year’s event);
  4. Three additional Glasgow to Tiree Twin Otter flights over the Tiree Ultra Marathon Weekend – 09th September 2018 (as provided for last year’s event).


**Note – These additional flights should be available on the Loganair Website from late February  



The following changes shall then be applicable to the Winter 2018/19 Timetable:-

  1. Reduction of Winter Saturday Glasgow to Tiree flights from 02 to 01 commencing from Saturday 28th October 2018 to Saturday 16th December 2018 – Late morning flights expected but yet to be confirmed by Loganair;
  2. Reduction of Winter Saturday Glasgow flights from 02 to 01 commencing from Saturday 05th January 2019 to Saturday 23rd March 2019 – Late morning flights expected but yet to be confirmed by Loganair.


As previously stated, the above amended Glasgow to Tiree air-service timetables are a trial over the Summer 2018 and Winter 2018/19, if any air travellers are unhappy with the amended timetables please contact me directly on the following email address and your comments shall be reviewed as part of the air-service timetabling review next February.


John MacCaskill

Chair – Tiree Transport Forum


Charrette Outcomes Public Meeting: Wed 22 March 7.30 @An Talla

Most of you will remember the Island Futures Charrette workshops that took place last year, facilitated by Ironside Farrar Ltd. A variety of public meetings and workshops were carried out and attended by the community who were encouraged to input into the process.
The results from the Charrette were presented to The Trust in the form of a Socio-Economic Baseline Study and a Strategy Report.  In October of 2016, Tiree Trust held a public meeting to present the key information collated from the reports. Unfortunately, this meeting wasn’t well attended and it was felt that we should re arrange the meeting in order to give the community another chance to learn about the key results from the Charrette process and what the ‘next steps’ would be in relation to the recommendations.

The second public meeting will be taking place on Wednesday the 22nd of March at 7:30pm in An Talla and we would urge as many people as possible to come along.

You can find out more at

Changes to AOB at public meetings

At our closed meeting in January, the Community Council made a number of decisions designed to improve how our meetings are conducted.
One of those decisions was to stop taking Any Other Business (AOB) at the end of meetings.
You are, of course, still welcome to bring business to the council, we just ask that as far as is practical, you bring it to us well in advance of our meetings. This serves two purposes:
  • It means that we can look into the issue in advance
  • It means that we can give a more useful response at the meeting.
The following is the ideal process
  • We have a public meeting on the first Wednesday of each month
  • We meet privately to set the agenda for the public meeting 2 weeks prior to the public meeting.
  • To have an issue raised as an agenda item, we would ask you to contact us in the first two weeks of the month.
We understand that sometimes emergency topics arise, and we would never refuse to discuss something in that category should it arise shortly before a public meeting. Those issues will be considered on merit.
You can of course continue to send general correspondence to us, to be included in the correspondence section.
We hope that this measure will reduce the length, and increase the effectiveness, of the public meetings.

Extra summer 2017 flights to Tiree and Barra

Scotland’s Airline Loganair is increasing services from Glasgow to Tiree and Barra this summer

through a new agreement with Transport Scotland. Extra flights will be added on both routes

throughout the peak summer holiday period from June to August.

A total of 17 additional roundtrips will be added on the world-famous Glasgow to Barra air link

this summer.

The unique service – flown by Loganair operating Transport Scotland’s Twin Otter DHC6-400

aircraft – lands at Barra’s beach airport, where flight times are subject to the tides. It’s a hugely

popular journey for holidaymakers, aviation enthusiasts and locals alike, and the extra flights will

help to meet high demand during the holiday season.

An extra eight flights are also being added on the Glasgow to Tiree route, spread between the

Twin Otter aircraft and larger 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft. Three more flights normally scheduled

for the Twin Otter will be flown by the larger Saab 340s to provide extra seats around the time of

the Tiree 10K in April, the Tiree Music Festival in July and a gruelling ultra-marathon which

takes place on September 10.

The boost to capacity is a result of feedback from the representatives from each island, part of

Loganair and Transport Scotland’s engagement with communities.

Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair’s managing director said: “The summer months are always

particularly busy for the airline, and we’ve worked closely with Transport Scotland to provide

more seats than ever before to Barra and Tiree.”

The Glasgow – Barra, Glasgow – Campbeltown and Glasgow – Tiree air-links are extremely

important to the remote communities they serve, boosting their economies. All are operated

under a Public Service Obligation commitment by Loganair for Transport Scotland.

Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf MSP said: “These improvements come

following consultation with local communities, so I have no doubt they’ll be welcomed by

passengers who depend on the Public Service Obligation routes.

“Not only will there be additional flights for both Barra and Tiree over the busier summer period,

Loganair will also amend the timetables to smooth out the impact of the tidal variations at Barra

on the Tiree service. This will offer more continuity and certainty for passengers.”

“These air links play a crucial role for the communities they serve and we will continue to have

dialogue with island representatives and Loganair to make sure we’re offering the best possible service.”

Tiree Community Council news

Your community council had their ‘December’ meeting on 30th November, as a number of Councillors were going to be away this month. It was a long and passionate meeting, with about forty members of the public attending.

Perhaps the most significant issue discussed, was a complaint brought by Iona and Marti Larg that Tiree Community Council (TCC) had not been neutral in the recent ballot re the Balevullin beach hut. Mr & Mrs Larg have complained that the ballot paper and covering letter produced by TCC are confusing and biased in favour of planning permission being refused. In particular, the question on the ballot paper was framed by the view of the planning officer, who had recommended refusal. Mr & Mrs Larg also complained that no information about the beach hut was included with the ballot paper, and that the ballot papers were not numbered, which could have allowed fraudulent ballot papers to be copied and returned. When the Community Council published the results, no discussion had been added.

Donnie Campbell proposed that Tiree Community Council should immediately apologise to Mr & Mrs Larg, as he felt that the wording had not been agreed by all, and the ballot papers were not individually numbered, but the majority of TCC felt that this was not appropriate, and that it would be better that the Convenor give the Larg’s a considered written response in the first instance, and if they were still unhappy, they could ask for an independent island arbiter to rule on the matter. Donnie Campbell asked that his dissent to this decision be recorded in the formal minutes. The full complaint is below, and the TCC complaints procedure is available here.

TCC have been invited to go to talk to the young people in the school to encourage one or two to join the community council for a year. And we hope to take up this invitation.

The subject of the language used in the pre-school unit was raised. Gaelic was used until last year, but it has largely been replaced by English. Some parents would like to see more Gaelic reintroduced, and the school has set up a new group of parents to survey the families involved to find out what the current intake would like and also to help shape future developments.

Areas of responsibility for our three new community councillors was discussed, and Rhoda Meek will lead on crofting and fishing, Jessie Gray was asked to help Donnie in the area of education and Aisling Milne will take on environmental matters.

We discussed how we best deal with matters raised by the public. At the moment we usually take up issues with the mainland body responsible. Sometimes, however there is is a perfectly good mechanism to allow people to raise their own issues, for example the Parent-Teacher Council, and we were keen not to undermine these local committees. We are still very happy to take up your problems, but if you can, have a pop yourself first!

It was brought to our attention that there were problems, including a leaking sewage inspection hatch, a derelict electrical board and a considerable amount of construction waste on the triangle of land to the west of Pier View. Enquiries to West Highland Housing Association had proved fruitless, and it became apparent that this construction debris was on ‘orphan’ land, ownership of which was unclear. We will write to Environmental Health in the first instance. It had been pointed out that the pavements along Sruthan Terrace in Crossapol were heavily overgrown with grass, and we promised to ask the Council to look at this.

The danger of driving too fast over The Reef in winter was reported to us after a ‘near miss’. Black cattle can be difficult to see in the dark. We had asked the Roads Department to comment, but appropriate warning signs are already displayed at both ends of the stretch of road. The police have reinforced the fact that it is the motorists’ responsibility to drive carefully when there are known hazards like this. We were advised by the vet that there was no current way of attaching reflective material to large animals, although research into the subject is occurring. We decided that the best way forward was more driver education at the beginning of every winter.

We heard a report about the Transport Forum meeting in November. Members of the Forum are Ian Gillies, John MacCaskill, Colin Woodcock, Susan Lamont, Stewart MacLennan, Catriona MacLennan, Tish MacKinnon and Andy Wright. Barra have asked for a third flight during the summer, and members were worried this might put pressure on the planes servicing Tiree. The Forum has also asked for extra flights to Tiree during the pressure points of TMF or the 10 k. Loganair have started ‘Tiree Tasters’, day flights to Tiree with windsurfing lessons or cycle hire thrown in. It was suggested ‘Glasgow Tasters’ might also be popular! Tiree flights from Glasgow Airport often leave from Gate 3, which has no lift. This will be looked into. Numbers for the Tiree bus tours have fallen dramatically this year with the change from Thursday to Wednesday for the Barra run. Numbers to Coll have similarly fallen, and CalMac believe this has been caused by the new cheap RET tickets to Mull, which are encouraging visitors to take their own cars to that island.

TCC also had their quarterly meeting with the Trust. A second public meeting about the Charrette Report will take place at the end of January as efforts to bring the main island committees under one ‘Team Tiree’ umbrella continue. The Trust is set to take a lease of the old Met Office building at the airport to develop it into a Chapel of Rest. TCC heard about plans to improve harbour facilities for the fishing fleet. The next stage is another marine engineering report. Scarinish Pier has been closed by the Estate; although two fishing boats have been allowed to use it for the time being as there is no alternative. The Trust has agreed to take over the repair of Dr Buchanan’s memorial in Baugh. Argyll and Bute Council have responsibility for the replacement of railings at the War Memorial.

The Minister for Islands and Transport, Humza Yousaf MSP, has agreed to visit Tiree in the New Year and the Trust and TCC have set up a joint group to get the most for Tiree out of his visit. The main focus with the Minister will be on what the Islands Bill might mean for Tiree, meeting with crofters and farmers,. Demonstrating ‘Team Tiree’ and the problems faced by the fishing fleet at Milton Harbour. The meeting finished at 10.15.

Dr John Holliday,

Convenor, Tiree Community Council

TCC Complaint