Inveraray Community Council
General Meeting held on Wednesday 6th September 2023 at 7.00pm in the Loch Fyne Hotel
Present In attendance
Linda Divers Convener (Chair) Cllr Jan Brown
Jaqui Kerr Secretary
Linda welcomed all to the meeting and thanked the Loch Fyne Hotel for their hospitality.
Tracy Boyce, Hugh Nicol
3. Declarations of Interest
4. Approval of previous minutes
Linda approved; Jan Brown seconded.
5. Heather Rogan – West Lochfyneside Community Council
Heather gave a presentation re supermarkets in Mid-Argyll following which the Community Council agreed to help in whichever way we can.
“The issue of the cost of living, especially with respect to the weekly shop, has been an issue raised by many residents of the West Loch Fyne Community Council Area, and many others from Mid-Argyll we have discussed this with. This and the large number of people who felt the need to go to Dumbarton or Oban for their shop was raised at one of our meetings. The attending local councillor said she would look into the reasons why another store was not being considered. The answers which came back were:
That there is not enough footfall to justify another license under the current Scottish Government regulations
There are food home deliveries available
There is no suitable land available with the required accessibility
The effect it would have on smaller local stores
The lack of available staff
The lack of interest from any chain store, though we are unclear if they have been asked.
When asked about the Co-op Lochgilphead regularly running short of stock (not to mention the frequent fridge and freezer breakdowns) the head of economic development for the local council said “It should be noted that most retailers run short of supplies in rural areas such as ours as we are at the end of the supply chain.” We would argue that having an alternative supply would help mitigate this and are we anymore at the end of the supply chain than Oban or Fort William? Mid Argyll has a comparable population to Oban, Lorn and the Isles, but the shopping in no way reflects this.
The Local Councillor suggested that the only way to prove a demand (or not) for Mid-Argyll was to carry out a survey. We are asking all Mid-Argyll community councils if they would initially be interested in helping with the survey wording to ensure no bias to the questions. Once the survey is agreed we would also ask Community Councils to circulate the survey as the more households that fill in the survey the more representative the statistics.
Can we guarantee that if the survey suggests an additional store the local council will listen? No, but we feel that is not a good excuse not to make the attempt on behalf of our communities.
As the survey is specifically going to be designed as unbiased we are hoping to gain the help of as many CCs as possible. Currently Craignish, Dunnadd, Furnace, Lochgilphead and West Loch Fyne CC have agreed. With Gigha, Islay and Tarbert and Skipness considering at their next meetings.
I would ask for a vote on whether the CC would be willing to help with the questions and wording on the survey to ensure both that they are unbiased and nothing pertinent has been missed. And further whether Inveraray CC will be willing to help circulate such a survey? Is this something their community (public attendees of the meeting) think worth supporting? “
6. Treasurer’s report
Outgoing Treasurer’s Report End of August 2023
General Account Balance £1,983.34
This includes income from:
Mini Bus -£255.00
Pier Fund -£162.53
Action Plan £0.00
Drax for Avenue Light Survey -£500.00
Mens Shed -£500.00
Warm Spaces £0.00
Dots Christmas Light -£77.52
Balance After Pending/Allocated Funds £488.29
EVENTS & DISPLAYS £4,913.85
This includes income from:
Alan Cameron Light -£2,550.00
Balance after Pending £2,363.85
BONUS SAVINGS £10.58
Pending grants awarded :
Balance after Pending £1,330.76
CLACHAN WINDFARM £18,894.10
Balance after Pending £18,894.10
7. Inspire Inveraray report
DA MacDonald has sold the land at Upper Riochan where the storage unit is currently situated so the container will be moved to DA MacDonald’s yard at Furnace.
A location for the Mens’ shed has still to be found.
8. Police report
Report received 7th August 2023. Minor vandalism and underage drinking of alcohol at the Primary School.
9. Gillian Masterston – Stakeholder & Community Manager, Scottish Power Renewables
Gillian advised that she is new to this role and is working alongside Siobhan Jarvie as our main point of contact for Clachan Flats Windfarm grants. Part of her remit is to ensure that we are getting the best from the funds.
Thank you from British Legion and IDPB for grants.
11. Licencing/Planning applications
Nothing of note.
Christmas parade will be held on Saturday 2nd December 2023, meeting at 6pm in the Co-op car park, departing at 6.30pm for the lantern parade to the Christmas tree on the cross green.
Application for parade to be made to the Council. Demi Mather to be contacted for permission to use the lighting column at the pier for a Christmas light and to check that the column is suitable for a light. John Mather will provide the food, Shinty Club will run the bar, Mid Argyll Pipe Band will join us for the parade.
i. Swing park equipment requires annual check for insurance purposes – Linda to ask if ACHA will help with this when they inspect their equipment.
ii. Community Hall – DW Associates are preparing a consultation document.
iii. Rats – Cllr Brown liaising with Environmental Health and Amenity.
iv. Branches on some of the trees in the Avenue require cutting back – Argyll Estates.
v. Path from the deer factory to the tennis courts has some big holes in the path that require filling in with stone – Argyll Estates
vi. The Mary’s Meals shop in Lochgilphead will close but will instead become a community shop, with a drop in space. All profits will be returned to the community.
vii. Warm Spaces will start again on 9th October 2023 in the George Hotel.
14. Date of next meeting
Wednesday, 4th October 2023.