Public Meeting of Colonsay Community Council

Tuesday 23rd March 2021 at 6pm via Video/Audio Call


Keith Rutherford

Vice Convener Alex Howard

Secretary (interim) Jane Howard

Kevin Byrne


All councillors were present.

Also present Donald MacNeill, minute secretary, Cllr. Robin Currie (ABC), Cllr. Alastair Redmond (ABC)

There were approximately 30 members of the public in attendance. (MoC: Member of the Community)


1. Apologies

Were received from Jan Binnie and Richard Buttrick.

2. Declarations of interest

Will be recorded at appropriate points in the meeting.

Recording of minutes.

It was agreed that from now any comments from the floor would be recorded anonymously in the draft minute which will then be posted on the CCC website for scrutiny.

Once the minutes have been scrutinised the names of contributors will be shown in the final minute.


3. Minutes of public meeting held on Tuesday 9 th March.

The minute was adopted, proposed KR and seconded JH.


Minutes of Prep meeting held on Tuesday 9 th March 2021 in camera. On the discussion of the survey conducted in July 2020 it was agreed that the minute should include the words “raw data was not in any way manipulated”

Action D MacNeill

Subject to this addition the minutes were accepted.

Proposed KB, 2nd KR.


4. Matters arising.

Appointment of Convenor.

It was decided that Keith Rutherford would continue as interim convenor.

Prop: JH, 2nd KB.

KR stressed he did not wish to continue as convenor in the long term.

AH agreed to chair meeting as vice-convenor.



Richard Buttrick resigned as a councillor effective 26th March 2021.

JH summarised his resignation statement whereby he states:

“that he very much supports the role of the community council within the community and will continue to actively promote the council's improvement initiative and community engagement”

JH thanked Richard, on behalf of the council, for all the work he has done.

Co-option of councillors.

The council has, at present 4 councillors.

It is quorate with 3 or more present at meetings.

It can have up to 8 councillors

Council can co-opt no more than 2.

A by-election can be held with the authority of Argyll and Bute Council (ABC)

Council asked that persons be proposed for co-option using the form available on the CCC website or in the post office.

Council agreed that a by-election would be the better option.

JH to ask ABC if a by-election is possible. Action JH

MoC 1 (floor) asked if ABC had been informed of resignations

AH said he thought it had.


5. Improvement Process – next steps.

Council intended to continue with the process initiated by former councillor Richard Buttrick.

JH reported that they had made a start by

Posting the constitution on CCC website

Posting Questions and Answers posed to ABC.

JH felt it was important to study the QAs as it explains the definition of ”community” and the obligation of CCC to consult broadly with all stakeholders in the community.

Two Working groups are to be formed to address main areas of concern namely



JH will lead group on governance and KB will lead group on communication.


Feedback (from recent community exercise)

JH said council had used feedback to inform the improvement process, we have pulled out the 6 main issues/criticisms that were highlighted . She wasn't convinced there was a public interest or need a need to make the feedback public, and asked council's opinion on the use of feedback beyond using it to inform the improvement process.

KR suggested a newsletter, making clear council's intentions.

AH reminded all that the feedback exercise was not a survey, but part of an on-going process.

KB . Glad that ABC questions/answers were now available for public viewing and had they been available before the consultation answers may have been better informed.

He was glad to note that the long standing practice of publishing named contributions from the floor would now be done anonymously in the draft minutes and the contributions would be attributed for the final adopted minute.

AH stressed that the council invited and welcomed feedback from the public, both positive and negative, and without this it would be very difficult to enact an improvement process. This can be informal and can certainly be anonymous.

MoC2 (floor) hoped that CCC would continue with zoom once normality returned.

JH answered they would if possible.

AH highlighted wi fi problem in the hall.

MoC3 (Floor) said signal was not good, but could be rectified.

KB said the Church now had broadband and was available.

Cllr. Alastair Redmond (ABC) said how useful it was for him to be able to attend by zoom. It also saved ABC a great deal of money.

MoC4 (floor): Asked if AH was now backtracking on commitment to publish feedback.

AH was unsure about having made that commitment, and felt that some of the feedback was defamatory.

MoC5 : (floor) quoted AH from the minute of the meeting held on 9th March. “There is no question of the feedback not being made public”

(For clarity here is an exact transcript of the comment made by AH at the meeting on 9th March. “There is no suggestion that the feedback we have received will not be properly discussed and then disseminated in an acceptable form”)

AH CCC would use feedback to inform them going forward.

MoC4 (floor) felt council had misrepresented outcomes of tourism survey (July 21). She felt that councillors had had input into discussions after declaring interest.

AH and JH acknowledged there were concerns and these were being addressed.

MoC6 (floor) said that in her opinion locals were not dissatisfied with the raw data, but with the way the views of the resident population were represented.

AH stressed that he attempted at all times to be objective in his position as councillor and felt it was unreasonable to question the integrity of the council.

MoC7 (floor) said all the information was in the survey and it wasn't the council's job to represent one faction of the ‘community'

MoC3 (floor) said that as so many people were exercised, and 4 councillors had resigned it was imperative that the improvement process was enacted.

MoC8 (floor) suggested that before embarking on an improvement programme CCC needed a published baseline audit in order to measure progress.

MoC9 (floor) felt it was wonderful that all stakeholders were included in the community, had an equal say and were not excluded.

MoC2 (floor) Strongly disagreed and said she felt people who made Colonsay home should have the loudest voice. She was proud, as a second home owner, to have a ‘second class' voice.


6. Other Business

Materials reported missing.

KB asked what had been the outcome of the report of stolen goods, made public on the Community Facebook Notice Board. He said it is important that if there was a crime it be reported to the police.

Calum Hay who works with SSE was unsure but sent this report after the meeting. It is reported in full with the permission of CCC:

Following your question about the theft of SSE's timber sleepers, I've checked with Dougie that my answer was accurate. We know that the Oban office was told, and we believe they reported the matter to the police (the local crew not allowed to do that directly) but we can't be sure.

Some sleepers were left behind in the yard at the Pantry last week but these are different. The materials taken from Port Mor have not been returned

Scottish Government Feedback Form

JH Declared interest (tourism) and as such couldn't comment . The Island's liaison officer had intimated it was fine for individuals to respond directly on the form e-mailed to the community.

Cllr. Robin Currie suggested that Scot Gov had made a ‘hash' of the form/process. Scot Gov had said people would be able to move freely around Scotland from 26 th April but not to Scottish Islands . This has put Island businesses at severe disadvantage. He had spoken to the cabinet secretary about it and made clear the Islands' need for clarification ASAP.

MoC4 (floor) wondered how the government would know which Island respondees were referring to?

KB stressed that there were 3 options on the form, the third not being very obvious.

Cllr. Alastair Redmond said that it was imperative that Islands are in a position to benefit from ‘staycation' trade.


DONM Tuesday 13th April 2021 @ 6pm

In case you have stumbled upon this page by accident, Colonsay is a beautiful island in the Hebrides with about 130 inhabitants. Just search online to find out more or use the "Links" facility at the foot of this page.

Site Map and Links