Iona Community Council
Minute of public meeting held in Iona Library on 28th November 2016 at 8pm
Present: Shiona Ruheman (Chair), Tobin Lewis, John MacInnes and Jane Martin.
In attendance: Emily Wilkins (NTS), Chris Cassels (NTS), and 19 members of the public.
Apologies: Rob MacManaway, Mark Jardine, Moray Finch and Mary Jean-Devon.
Welcome: SR welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending. SR confirmed that she would be taking on the role of Convenor of ICC. SR opened the meeting by thanking John MacLean for all his efforts during his time as Chairman of ICC, in particular the amount of time he gave and his imaginative ideas, such as getting non-ICC members involved in some of the challenges facing the community. His commitment to the role had helped to invigorate ICC and a contributed positively to key issues affecting the Island.
Minutes The Minutes of the previous meeting were approved with no matters arising.
Health: SR reported that Dr Frank Teunisse had been appointed on a two year contract as an interim solution, on a traditional single handed doctor basis. He has a lot of experience as an island doctor and likes to be directly involved in seeing all cases through himself. He will be on call 24/7, with patients to call him and SAS/ Community First Responders as necessary, in preference to NHS 24 system. Surgery hours will remain the same and, crucially for Iona, if he doesn’t get across on a Thursday morning he will attempt to come over in the afternoon to honour appointments (e.g., 9am appointment by default becomes 2.30pm appointment with no need to check with surgery). Please call surgery in mornings, not afternoons. Records will be paper-based; after the struggles to get the computer system working on Iona, Dr Frank will not be using this. Dr Frank very strongly endorses the Community First Responder initiative, which he’s seen working brilliantly on Iona. Dr Buchanan and Dr Munro will provide locum cover when required.
The ICC health team (SR, TL, and Katie Gordon) are continuing to work through regular Locality Planning Group and Patient Participation Group meetings on several health issues, including plans beyond Dr Frank’s two year tenure.
Dean Snell reported on efforts to get prescription over to Iona as needed, given the high time and financial costs to individuals of collecting them. The distribution system on the island is working well, and we are trying to establish ways of getting prescriptions from the surgery to Iona. People travelling to Iona are encouraged to make time to stop at the surgery and pick up prescriptions, and it may be possible for people commuting to Iona to bring them, as well as the patient transport. More information to follow.
SR had attended a ‘table top’ Emergency Services Planning session in Craignure along with JM, Dot Stewart and David Allaway. The aim was to discuss roles and responsibilities in response to a variety of medical emergency situations on the islands. SR and JM reported that while the exercise was worthwhile it was obvious that Mull situations were easier to deal with and the agencies increasingly appreciate that some additional support and protocols are needed to manage incidents on Iona.
To help strengthen the support to Iona, and strengthen communication and trust between health agencies and the community, NHS and Scottish Ambulance Service have offered to run a similar exercise on Iona. It was agreed that this would be worthwhile and the matter should be pursued.
There has been a lot of follow up to the Community Council’s letter in June to Health and Social Care Partnership raising several concerns over health provision. Responses on individual cases have only just come through today and will be shared with families involved.
Action: ICC to arrange community event with NHS and SAS.
Vehicle Permits: Mhairi Killin reported that the ‘Permit Team’ would be liaising with A&BC to discuss a number of ways to enforce the existing permit system which was the preferred course of action identified by the extensive community consultation. A&BC were very willing to work with residents to deliver a robust system.
Ferry Committee: Finlay MacDonald informed the meeting that consultation on the winter 2017-18 timetable was now taking place. There were no significant changes to report but the Committee has proposed a timetable described as Island Focused rather than commutable with the boat berthing overnight in Craignure allowing earlier and later sailings than at present. These sailings will not affect Iona as the Iona Ferry timetable is still restricted by hours of work but to allow them to be added a couple of ferries during the day have been sacrificed but all public transport connections and postal services are unaffected. A number of issues such as altering the pier in Craignure and dredging the south-side of it to facilitate a boat berthing there at night were being investigated before CalMac would commit to the suggested timetable. There will be no major changes to the Iona winter 2017-18 timetable, although FM reported that he has requested a bookable 3pm ferry from Iona to link up with the bus better than the present arrangement and also a bookable 11am on Saturdays.
FM reported that the Summer 2017 timetable had already been agreed and one point to note was the 1110 sailing from Oban reverting back to 11am to connect with the bus and train from Glasgow. The identity of the second vessel is unknown at this stage but it is likely to be the MV Coruisk again.
Books of tickets for the Craignure to Oban service are not going to be introduced as Cal Mac believe that the existing system reduces the number of ‘no shows’ for booked sailings.
FM reported on recent meetings involving the SWMID Harbours Committee. Representatives from the committee had met with Mike Russell MSP, Jim Smith A&BC, HIE, Cal Mac and C-Mal where they presented a paper outlining the need to upgrade the facilities at both sides. Unanimous support for improving the facilities was agreed and the burning issue was how/who would fund any improvements. FM reported that A&BC have had draft plans drawn up for breakwaters at both Fionnphort and Iona but frustratingly the process has involved little or no local consultation. A&BC have applied to Scottish Government for funding to support any developments and Mary Jean-Devon would be writing to Humza Yousaf requesting that the matter be treated as a special case. A meeting is scheduled to take place on 20th January to progress discussions.
Renewables: SR reported on some positive developments following the second community consultation stage on 5 October, which had excellent turnout and participation. Iona Renewables Group (IRG) secured funding in the summer to investigate reinstating a marine source heat pump at the Abbey, to reach the stage of ‘investment ready business plan’ by end of March 2017. Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has now got approval to cost-share the Abbey Heat Pump project on a 50:50 basis. IRG is therefore seeking approval from Local Energy Scotland to use the funds released from the Abbey to commence an additional strand of work, investigating the possibility of a local district network heating system for the village. In theory, the island could reduce energy demand by up to one third through energy efficiency measures of existing buildings. There has been a really positive uptake from residents and second home owners to the offer of surveys by Home Energy Scotland with about 60% of houses so far surveyed on two visits in August and October, and reports issued. IRG is looking into possible support for follow up as implementing the recommendations is likely to be challenging. On the commercial front, Resource Efficient Scotland is doing similar surveys for island businesses. A response from planning is awaited regarding the possibility of considering sensitively sited wind generation, as planning advice in January and October initially differed. However, there was a very good discussion with planning officials in October. One potential site that might be considered is Traighmor. All agencies involved in the renewables work (Local Energy Scotland, Home Energy Scotland, Scene Community etc.) are struck by the levels of community engagement here, something consistently stressed, e.g. by those doing the home surveys.
Website: Dot Stewart reported that the process of setting up the content management system was almost complete and, all being well, updates to business adverts could be made in January with businesses invoiced accordingly. Dot informed the meeting that the website committee were looking for new members and asked anyone that was interested to speak to her.
Iona Housing Trust: Fiona Menzies reported that, following completion of the Glebe houses, the majority of the Committee had now resigned leaving just herself and Fiona Kyle, so they were actively seeking 2-3 new members.
FM suggested that a formal opening of the houses could take place on the anniversary that the inhabitants moved in. It was agreed that Christopher Graves (?) from the Tudor Trust should be invited to carry out the official opening as the Trust had contributed generously to the project on three occasions.
FM thanked NTS for the good job the work party had done repairing the wall at the back of the houses.
First Responders: David Allaway outlined the urgent need to have more first responders join the current team as one member had left leaving them with just three to provide cover. If two or more people are willing to join then training can take place on Iona.
Hall Update: Report below provided by IVH Committee:
An Talla Baile – hall build project
- we will imminently be dissolving the existing hall committee and adopting a completely new structure, with charitable status, which has the power to take ownership of land/buildings
- we have been renegotiating the agreed land parcels with both NTS and Gully family with a hope to creating the best possible conditions for moving forward with the project
- we will be submitting our funding application to Scottish Land Fund for the money to buy both areas within the coming weeks.
- following a meeting with their funding team, we have been invited to submit to Big Lottery Community Assets Fund which is potentially around £1m funding
- we have brought WT Architecture & Community Enterprise back on board to refresh and develop the plans ready for the next stage and they will be holding further community consultation session early in the new year.
We have been consulting with other community groups and checking the busy December calendar to set some dates for Film Nights – no easy task!
We will be kicking off with African Queen on 5th December, another on 21st Dec (film tbc), Ice Age 5 on Boxing Day and will post all details asap.
We will be having our inaugural – if modest! - Festive Light Night on Friday. Everyone is invited to join us as we switch on our ‘Tree’ lights, and we’ll have some hot choc and treats on the go. We would like to encourage any businesses or households intending to put up outdoor lights to join in and ‘switch on’ on Friday!
Christmas Craft Fair is 10th December.
We were disappointed Greenstone Cowboys couldn’t make Hogmanay this year and, since we have been unable to secure another band, the plan is to have the usual Hogmanay Party format but with a disco instead. Stay tuned for details and if anyone wants to volunteer to help (we have a reduced committee over NY) please let us know!
Iona Community: Marlene Finlayson reported that the 2017 season would be a shorter one to the MacLeod Centre with it scheduled to close in August. The refurbishment of the Abbey Accommodation has been put back to 2018 so it will be closed for that season and will re-open in 2019.
Charity Appeal: Alison Johnson requested that if anyone had any warm coats that they were willing to donate to a charity package she was preparing to send to Middle Eastern refugees in Greece, then she would gratefully receive them.
Giga Plus Broadband: Toben Lewis confirmed that the project had been held up slightly due to ongoing negotiations with BT and landowners.
Martyrs Bay: Finlay MacDonald suggested that the possibility of putting some steps in place to assist pedestrians from the road on to the verge should be investigated. John MacInnes suggested that creating another lay-bye might also be worth considering.
Action: ICC to write A&BC to raise the matter for discussion.
Date of the next Meeting: Wednesday 8th March, 8pm at Iona Library.
SR thanked all for attending.