The Tiree Community Council met on the 1st of June in An Talla. The first part of the evening was made up of the AGM. The chair ran through a list of the areas where progress had been made: securing two flights a day all year round; a summer double ferry sailing on Saturday and taking our place on the Argyll Ferry Users’ Group; lobbying to keep the laying of the fibre-optic broadband cable to the island on programme; putting the Tiree case for the upcoming Islands Bill; and fighting for the library service and the Crossapol office in the face of Council cuts. We have had less success convincing the roads department that the island’s roads were in need of significant investment, and moving some derelict vehicles. The Treasurer reported that we had £1,826 in the bank, much of that a Windfall Fund grant of £1,000 which we have not had to call upon this past year. Angus John MacKechnie, Frazer MacInnes and Alison Kennedy had resigned as Councillors during the year, while Iona Campbell, Paul Le Roux and Rhoda Meek had been co-opted in their place until the next elections in November. We had a new website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, and had met in public eleven months of the year. Dr Holliday was re-elected Convenor, Ian Gillies took on the post of Secretary and Rosemary Omand was re-elected Treasurer.
We then went on to a Business meeting. We had asked for the holiday closure of the Council Service Point office in Crossapol to be advertised in advance, as far as was possible. The management had agreed to this in principle. We had met with the Tiree Trust and it had been agreed to set up a monthly litter tidy, township by township. We agreed this should be called Sgudal. We discussed changes to the Pre-5 schooling, where Gaelic-medium was being re-placed with a bi-lingual programme after a consultation with the parents. This would be looked into by the Parent-Teacher Council. Tiree Community Council has a proposal to buy some of the rotting phone boxes on the island, restore them, and put them to community use. There is a public consultation about this at the moment, so if you have any ideas or objections, do get in touch with us. The Community Council and the Trust were looking into setting up a Chapel of Rest in an unused building near the airport. We agreed to set up a group of interested people to oversee the Tiree flag project, and we had been asked to commission a Tiree tartan at the same time. If anyone is interested in joining this group, please let me know. We agreed to write to the committee who had run A’ Bhuain, thanking them for the wonderful week they had organised. We had had an estimate from Stokes Memorials to refurbish Dr Buchanan’s monument in Baugh, and we will consult on this. We had been approached by the estate to join a group of island organisations to develop policies about sand extraction from the beaches and beach access. We agreed to write to the new factor, welcoming a meeting. We had been approached by a resident of the new houses at Pier View, who told us how expensive the houses were to heat. We agreed to write to West Highland Housing Association to hear what could be done about this. We hope to visit the Orkney island of Westray in September to see how other, similar, islands are managing. The meeting lasted over two and a half hours, for which apologies!
We gave a lunch for Alison Kennedy, who is leaving Tiree, to thank her for years of hard work at the Secretary’s coalface. We are really missing her! Dr John Holliday, Rosemary Omand, Ian Gillies, Rhoda Meek and Paul Le Roux were in attendance. John MacCaskill sent his apologies. The Council has no meeting in July due to the busy summer schedule, so we meet again in August. However, the behind-the-scenes work will go on, and if you have any issues you would like to bring up, do get in touch.