Public Meeting of Colonsay Community Council

Wednesday 25th August 2021 at 6pm via Video/Audio Call


Interim Convener Alex Howard (AH)

Secretary (interim) Jane Howard (JH)

Treasurer (interim) Kevin Byrne (KB)

Richard Irvine (RI)


All councillors were present.

Councillor Alastair Redman (ABC) present.

There were approximately 11 members of the public in attendance.


1. Apologies


2. Declarations of interest

Will be recorded at appropriate points in the meeting.

Recording of meeting was noted.

3. Minutes of public meeting held on Tuesday 6th July.

The Minutes were approved - proposed by KB and seconded by RI.

The CCC received 2 emails regarding the draft Minutes of 6th July:

The first was regarding the timeliness of the posting of the Minutes on the CCC website. This was due to a technical glitch and should not happen again.

The second questioned the accuracy of some points recorded in the Minutes. AH explained that the Councillors considered the points raised in this email however after consideration, all agreed that the Minutes were a fair and true record of the meeting. AH suggested that in the interests of transparency that the email be published on the CCC website alongside the Minutes. Clare Hay (CH) then identified herself as the author of the email. She asked for a recording of the meeting be used to determine the accuracy of the Minutes. She said that the point of the recording was for checking that Minutes were accurate. AH explained that the purpose of the recording was to aid the Minute taker in writing up accurate Minutes for the Councillors and it is not for public use. The Minutes are a precis of the meeting and are not supposed to record every word and nuance otherwise they would be extremely long. AH reiterated that the Councillors believe, after discussion and listening to the recording, that the Minutes are an accurate reflection of the meeting. CH agreed that her email could be published on the CCC website and she asked whether she could open the question of the accuracy of the minutes to the floor. AH declined this request.

4 . Matters Arising

By-election results . A&B Council received one applicant by the closing date, Richard Irvine, who will be automatically elected on 30 th Sept. In the meantime, RI continues as a co-opted Councillor. AH said it was regrettable that no one else stood but we will continue on with the CCC of 4 Councillors until the election next year.

Port Mhor Housing project . AH was asked to act as an independent chair of a meeting between Rhona Robinson (RR), the CCDC, Argyll & Bute Council and WHHA. The meeting was duly held. Some action points came out of the meeting. The CCC's role was to facilitate the meeting. AH asked if anyone who attended the meeting would like to speak to the action points they may however the CCC had nothing further to add. Dannie Onn (DO)(CCDC) and RR did not choose to comment.

5. Financial Report

KB has not had a response from Bank of Scotland regarding enabling him, as the interim Treasurer, to be able to make payments from the CCC bank account. He explained that although he receives statements and that payments into the account are received without problem, he cannot make any payments out of the account as he does not have the correct authorisation. KB suggested co-opting another Councillor to take over the treasurer role and who may be able to crack this bureaucratic problem. JH confirmed that we can co-opt another Councillor and the other Councillors supported him trying to find someone who may be agreeable to fulfil that role. KB asked if he should send another letter to the bank. It was agreed that KB should write another letter to the bank in the meantime.

Current a/c balance: £613.24

A/c (for the Community fund) balance: £16715.04 + a further £14,000 for this year which will be recorded on the next statement.

JH reminded KB that we have to approve last year's accounts at an AGM. We delayed the AGM until the next meeting so it would be after the by-election. The next meeting will be an AGM when we will approve the accounts.

6. Coronavirus update

It was recently announced by the 1st Minister that all restrictions have been removed. KB would like to remind vulnerable people that the vaccine may be waning in efficacy and that people should not relax their guard.

7. Proposed Saturday ferry timetable change

JH had an very good response to the community consultation email regarding the proposed loss of our Oban link on Saturdays in the summer next year and received 100% objections from nearly 40 respondents. JH has sent an email to Calmac with the results of the consultation. This will be followed up.

8. Royal Mail

JH reported that she has still had no response to her previous correspondence regarding the lack of connectivity with the ferry and the onward transmission of the mail from Oban. JH will escalate this and will copy in MSPs to future correspondence. Alastair Redman (AR) recommended JH to include list MSPs.

9. Calmac carpark

JH wrote to Scott Goodwill and Don McKillop of Calmac to ask if consideration can be given to drivers needing to stay in their lorry cabs overnight in the Calmac car park. Despite a number of emails, still no resolution or response has been received.

AH reported that a visitor has been told that boats can no longer moor overnight on the slipway.

AH raised the issue that the EV charging point in the Calmac car park which is not accessible. The EV point was paid for by public funds for use by Colonsay residents and visitors.

DO reported that CCDC has been offered funding for more EV charging points on the island. However, the CCDC would like to get the current EV charging point in the Calmac car park opened up to the public initially. DO asked if the CCC would work with the CCDC to approach Calmac. AH said that it was a CCC matter but he would be happy to liaise with Andrew Abrahams (AA).

Actions: AH to contact AA

JH to add to the letter to Scott Goodwill re EV point accessibility

10. Roads

The recent road repairs are already crumbling. There is a lot of loose gravel which is a hazard to cyclists. ABC roads dept to be notified by CCC.

11. Application to become a “plastic free island”

RI reported that there has been an ongoing marine litter clean up programme managed by KB. The CTMG has now paid for water refill points around the island.

The CTMG led by RI would like to get agreement from the CCC for the island to apply to become a plastic free zone. RI has discussed this with almost all the businesses on the island. RI proposed a motion that the CCC works towards becoming a plastic free community. This was unanimously supported by the Councillors. The next step is to apply to ABC for official “plastic free” status. AR agreed to help to put it before the appropriate people at ABC.

12. Community Benefit Fund

RI organised a committee to consider the single application in this round of funding applications.

The application was for a permanent installation of video and audio equipment for the Church of Scotland to enable remote attendance at church services or any related events held at the church. A relatively small sum of £1300 was applied for. It did not include the ongoing cost of the 4G sim card that will be required for the system to operate as that is an operational cost.

The committee approved the application and RI asked for the CCC to sign off the application for payment. KB declared an interest as the Session Clerk of the church. AH and JH approved the award on behalf of CCC and thanked RI and the committee for their time.

13. Planning Applications

There is one application in from Colm McNichol for a dwelling house to be built on his Port Mhor croft. KB supported it.

14. AOBS

KB asked if AH could become Convenor (currently interim convenor). JH reminded KB that we all stand down at the AGM and new office bearers are proposed.

KB highlighted that there is already a lack of infrastructure to support the current resident population eg roads, water, rubbish collection, ferries and with all the new houses being built this is going to become more critical.

KB said that he thought there had been 3 incidents of people entering unoccupied properties and, in one case, doing some damage. AH said it was important that incidents were reported to the police. JH and KB agreed. AH will also speak to the community liaison policeman, Jeremy Moore (JM).

AR repeated his frustration that he cannot get access to the Colonsay Facebook noticeboard. He doesn't want to use it for political uses, it is for posting useful links to grants and other general helpful information. AH explained that the Colonsay Noticeboard is run by a private individual and that person controls access to that site. AH said that the CCC is looking into setting up a CCC Facebook page.

William Joll (WJ) reported that he would, on behalf of the CCDC, be updating the community regarding the Ridan composter soon. He is also expressed concern regarding the large number of rabbits on the island. AH said it is difficult to address the rabbit problem easily.

15. Date of next Meeting – 5th October 2021

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