Draft Minutes of Colonsay Community Council

Draft Minutes of Emergency Colonsay Community Council Meeting to discuss COVID-19 epidemic held on 17 th March 2020


Councillors Present : Keith Rutherford, Helen Mann, Jane Howard, Alex Howard, David Hobhouse

Councillors attending by phone : Richard Buttrick, Liz McNicholl, Kevin Byrne

Members of community present: Keir Johnston; Gavin Clark; Sarah Hobhouse; Chris Nisbet; Jan and Dave Binnie, Beverly Reid, Rhona Robinson



Doctors Jan and Dave Binnie gave an update.


•  Advice, information, strategy guidance and protocols are published by NHS Scotland which is made available to all medical practices and these are then implemented by individual GP surgeries. Advice changes daily and are available to the general public on the website www.nhsinform.scot

•  Our doctors have enacted the NHS Scotland and Highland Health Board recommendations and produced their own protocols as follows:

•  Patients must make an appointment by calling 200328

•  Prescription requests are to be made by email

•  Dispensed prescriptions will be left in the porch of the doctors' house, Benoran. Please avoid getting close to other patients or touching other patients' medicines when collecting your prescriptions


•  If you have a persistent cough, fever or breathlessness, then self isolate for 7 days. Households of affected person should also self isolate. Only ring 111 if symptoms get worse.

•  All info will be on Facebook Community Noticeboard and shop noticeboard

•  The doctors stressed that it is really important not to believe everything that is circulating on social media, sometimes it is misleading. They also said that it is important to bear in mind that different communities and countries will take different approaches to the pandemic according to many factors from eg cultural norms to demographic profiles, so do not be alarmed if the UK approach appears to differ from other countries.




Calmac will not bring in temperature checks. It is an NHS Scotland issue and Calmac staff are not trained in carrying out testing or to deal with a medical problem.






•  Stand/sit 1.5 m from other people. No gatherings of groups.

•  Self isolating advised for over 70's and vulnerable persons. There are 36 people who fall into this category on Colonsay. Each one will have a named Support Person (SP). The SP will be in phone contact and help with eg delivering shopping to the vulnerable person. The doctors surgery will send out a form to all vulnerable persons to ask them to nominate an SP.

•  Key workers with vulnerable people at home will need to isolate themselves from them. Guidelines on the nhsinform website.

•  Citizens Advice role can be covered by the Citizens Advice Bureau

•  Funeral arrangements will need to be considered according to the government guidelines at the time.




It was felt that it would be useful to have a reserve list of potential workforce (to be endorsed by their appropriate Line Managers) for:

Coast Guard


Fire and Rescue

Volunteer ambulance drivers

Post Office

Colonsay Shop


Chris Nisbet said that the fire service and others, for example, may be able to help with deliveries to vulnerable people.


JH and AH offered to help in any way with deliveries or supporting vulnerable people.


The postmaster, KR, and alternative postwoman, Jane Rose may not be available.


ACTION: The CCC, with KR, should explore if the post office can be manned in the event of both Keith and Jane self isolating.





All businesses based on tourism on Colonsay are under enormous pressure. Government advice does not force businesses to close and businesses have future contracts with guests to provide a holiday. The current advice prevents guests from claiming on travel insurance at the present time. A decision to travel is therefore at the guest's discretion.


Under the current circumstances, it was felt prudent that we should issue advice to our guests/visitors before and on arrival and via our various websites as follows:

•  Do not come to Colonsay if you are suffering the symptoms that require self isolation

•  Be mindful of social distance and minimise contact with people on the island

•  If you get symptoms whilst on the island, self isolate

•  Please do not use the post office

•  Order food for delivery from the shop

•  Adhere to the rules in the hotel for social distancing




It may be possible to look at financial support from the Mowi community fund if individuals face hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.




It was suggested that we look at some virtual means of group activity on the island. RI suggested a virtual book club for example.


It was also suggested that we should try to ensure we send out some positive messages to help counter the increasing anxiety levels in our community at present. We need to keep things in perspective whilst not diminishing the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.




There will be no further meetings scheduled at the present time but we have all joined a WhatsApp group as a means of keeping all of us up to date with all the latest advice relevant to the Colonsay community.


Anything new that needs to be disseminated to the community will be done via the community websites, shop noticeboards and the GP practice.






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