Public Meeting of Colonsay Community Council
Tuesday 6th July 2021 at 6pm via Video/Audio Call
Vice Convener Alex Howard
Secretary (interim) Jane Howard
Treasurer (interim) Kevin Byrne
All councillors were present.
Councillor Robin Currie (Leader, ABC), Councillor Alastair Redman (ABC), Councillor Horn (ABC)
There were approximately 13 members of the public in attendance.
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 9 th March.
The minute was adopted, proposed KB and seconded JH.
4. Matters arising.
Development of affordable houses at Port Mhor
KB declared an interest and withdrew from discussions.
JH reported that at the last meeting the CCC asked that the CCDC consider conducting a survey of the community to see if the community supported the development of housing at Port Mhor. CCDC agreed to take the request for a community survey to their next Board meeting. Danni Onn subsequently informed the CCC that the request to conduct a survey had been rejected. After this, Rhona suggested a meeting of the key stakeholders to discuss a way forward. Nearly all the key stakeholders have responded positively to the proposed meeting, date TBC.
Speaking from the floor, a Director of CCDC brought up a number of points to challenge the “Port Mhor objector”s – there have been 29 houses built on Colonsay croftland, why have there been no objections raised. Re environmental concerns, other houses have been built on e.g. known corncrake habitats. Heritage centre was planned a number of years ago to be built on the Port Mhor croft land. He questioned how planning decisions should be made, by local referendum or in Lochgilphead? The houses are for this and future generations.
AH suggested that the speaker put his points in writing to be discussed at Rhona's proposed stakeholder meeting.
Rhona Robinson stated that they are not known as the “Port Mhor objectors”. The road did not have to be improved for the Heritage Centre and the site was in a different place. Their group are not proposing less housing for future generations, just that they should be built in a different location at Scalasaig.
5. Financial report
Accounts have been assessed and audited and signed by the acting Convenor. Separate report has been made on the Community Benefit Fund and use of the funds. Next meeting will be an AGM and the accounts will be formally approved and adopted at the AGM.
KB agreed to try again to become a signatory on the CCC bank account.
6. Coronavirus update
There have been 2 cases on Colonsay but has not spread further.
KB asked that people consider doing lateral flow tests each week if dealing with customers. Returning residents should be encouraged to take 2 lateral flow tests.
7. Royal Mail
JH has written to Matthew McFadyen of Royal Mail to ask to look at the winter scheduling of the mail van departing Oban.
Latest technical issue has been resolved. Winter timetable change on Saturday has been accepted.
Jet patcher has been on the island. It is a very short term solution, the patching does not last long. KB made the point that the roads are B road so not a priority.
Robin Currie asked the CCC to keep reminding ABC that our roads need major work to be carried out asap.
10. Community Benefit Fund
RI has received a single application for funding and a single person to go on the assessment committee. RI needs another 4 people to join committee. It will take 2 or 3 short zoom meetings at most to consider the application. JH to send round an email asking for volunteers.
11. Planning Applications
AH and Alastair Redman declared an interest.
2 applications. One for Colm McNicholl's agricultural shed on a community croft. One for a house site by the Estate at Queens Bay.
KB said that RC had commented that it is useful for CCC to comment on planning applications. RC confirmed this view that CCC's views are taken into consideration as the CCC is a statutory consultee.
From the floor, it was asked who the Estate house site will be sold to. AH responded that there are a number of people who are interested including people already living on Colonsay.
KB said he had no objection to either application. JH said she had no objection to CM's application.
The CCC is delighted that a By-election has been agreed by ABC which will be held over July to Sept. There are 5 vacant positions as RI has to stand down as a co-opted Councillor. From 21 st July, open for nominations, 19 th Aug is closing date for nominations, 30 th Sept for an election if required (more than 5 nominations). The CCC would welcome applications, more Councillors needed, this is a chance to represent your community. Nomination Packs will be available in the Post Office and can be downloaded from the ABC website.
JH said it is important to note that even with 3 Councillors the CCC is quorate and allowed to operate and hold meetings until the by-election is held.
Jenni Minto, our new MSP, is visiting and will hold a surgery on Colonsay on July 14 th .
ABC apologises for not getting a bin lorry to us for 4 weeks however there is a bin lorry coming on Saturday. The local ABC worker reported that an ABC lorry driver was not allowed to park overnight in the Calmac carpark. This is becoming more of an issue that the large car park cannot be used out of hours. RI said that Calmac/CMAL should be approached to see if we can come to an arrangement. KB said that liability should not be an issue if the lorry is booked traffic.
The CalMac local manager reported that the lorry driver did not approach the Calmac staff. It is Calmac that needs to be approached as they are responsible for car park management. The new Calmac Traffic management plan means that vehicles cannot park in the marshalling lanes up to 2 hours before a ferry arrival or overnight. Campervans can not park in the carpark out of hours either.
ACTION JH to write to CMAL/Calmac to explore if there can be a separate arrangement for booked lorries to park overnight.
RI asked if our next CCC meeting can be face to face in the Hall especially as it is an AGM. Two persons, from the floor, both asked that a zoom option should continue as standard. Councillor Redman also endorsed this as A&B Councillors would not be able to attend every meeting. It was agreed to explore having a hybrid face to face + zoom meeting net time.
RI reported that ABC has set up an “Alexa service” for constituents.
Councillor Horn said that she is in receipt of a signed open letter that was sent to the other ABC Councillors on behalf of some constituents. AH responded that the Colonsay Community Councillors have only seen an anonymous letter and we need to see a letter with signatures. A member of the public, from the floor, asked how the CCC decides which letters are considered. KB said he did not receive a copy of the anonymous letter. However he got a copy through another member of the community. In an email exchange, the person circulating the doucument had made it clear that the letter was anonymous. KB assumed that it was a malevolent act by somebody. KB stood as a Community Councillor and was elected to represent the community which he will continue to do until the next election. The same person asked why we would not consider the anonymous letter.
JH responded that she consulted with Melissa Stewart and the CCC do not have to deal with a letter that is anonymous. Once a signed letter of complaint has been sent to ABC then it will be sent to the relevant authorities who will then send a copy to the CCC for them to respond to.
RI made the point that their letter regarding the Port Mhor housing was considered by the CCC because it was not anonymous.
A member of the public asked about the visit of Minister for islands, Ms Gougeon, who is coming to look at the fish farm. AH suggested the speaker contact the Minister direct if she would like to speak to her.
KB wanted it noted that the Colonsay Community Notice board is a private page run by a private individual and the current owner did not allow Councillor Redman to join that Facebook page. KB suggested that the CCC should have its own facebook page to enable the CCC to communicate more widely and without censorship.
13. Next meeting 24th August 2021
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