Argyll and Bute welcomes refugees

Refugees fleeing the Syrian war zone are to be welcomed into Argyll and Bute with open arms.

In an announcement made today by Argyll and Bute Council, at least 20 refugees will be offered housing and support in the area, with the possibility of more in the future.

Council Leader, Councillor Dick Walsh, said: “We have a moral duty to help. We cannot sit back and do nothing while these poor people try desperately to escape war torn countries, risking their lives and their family’s lives in the process.

“If we can help just 20 people, then that’s 20 people who will have the opportunity of a better life.”

Councillor Walsh continued, “We will be working alongside our Community Planning Partners to discuss the best way to support them and to integrate them into our communities.

“The spirit of positivity – of moving forward together – is much, much more than a title or a theme. Here in Argyll and Bute it is, quite simply, how we think and what we do.”

Community Council requested to consult local authority on damage compensation and monitoring of radioactive emissions

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RNAD Coulport

At Ardentinny Community Council’s April meeting a local resident requested the following action from the Community Council as part of its remit “to help make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the community it represents.

The request was made in the context of past events at HMNB Clyde and RNAD Coulport. For example, the MOD officially recorded 105 ‘nuclear safety events’ in the Coulport and Faslane bases in 2013-14, and in March 2014 Ardentinny residents experienced damaging impact from blasts at Coulport.

Therefore, the request was made to consult with Argyll and Bute Council “as to where compensation would be obtained should there be any damage to residents’ homes and livestock, e.g., horses; and ‘what emergency procedures have been put in place and how satisfactory are they?”  The Clyde Off-site Emergency Plan has recently been updated and can be found here. The Council has been advised that the population of Ardentinny is in excess of 50, as published in the plan.

With regard to radioactive emissions, it was requested that “the community council consult the local authority on how to ensure that there is consistent and local, independent monitoring of the safety of the beach at Ardentinny and that the results are made public.” Levels of emissions can be found in the RIFE-19 Report on Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (Dec. 2014) which is compiled by the Environment Agency; Food Standards Agency; Natural Resources Wales; Northern Ireland Environment Agency; and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Faslane and Coulport are specifically covered in pages 168-169 and Appendix 2, p.249 & p.254.

According to SEPA, the radioactive waste currently being discharged from Faslane and Coulport is below the current agreed limits and there are plans to agree new limits to better reflect actual discharges together with continuing conditions which require the amount of discharged waste to be minimised.

Community Payback Team making a difference at Walled Garden

Over the past year Dunoon’s Community Payback Team has been contributing to the success of Glenfinart Walled Garden.

Including the regular strimming, weeding, planting, compost collection and general garden maintenance, the Community Payback team, under the direction of supervisor John Gilchrist, has also been laying paths with road *planings  and gravel provided by Argyll & Bute Council Roads Department.

Such is the success of the contribution they have made to the garden, this year the team will be allocated a plot to enable them to grow their own produce. They will also receive training from Glenfinart Walled Garden’s volunteers’ coordinator and gardener, Glyn Topliss.

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Path construction underway this week
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The produce garden with the distant snow-covered Beinn Ruadh
* An aggregate produced when the surface layer of tarmac is removed

Plans for new Ardentinny cycle route

cyclingPlans for a 25 mile cycle route from Kilmun Arboretum to Whistlefield, Ardentinny and back to Kilmun using existing forestry tracks were outlined by Councillor Bruce Marshall at the recent Ardentinny Community Council meeting. Preparations are also underway to promote and organise a cycle event using the new route in 2015.

Also under consideration is Ardentinny Outdoor Centre and Benmore Centre being used to disseminate visitor information on the area to children visiting the centres.

A New Beginning: Ardentinny Outdoor Centre is Sold

Ardentinny Outdoor Centre
Ardentinny Outdoor Centre
Ardentinny Outdoor Centre

At a quiet Community Council meeting, with only three members of the public in attendance, Aidan Docherty, Head of Centre, announced that Actual Reality had bought the village outdoor centre from Argyll and Bute Council, with the deal apparently closing this Thursday, 7th February, 2013.

The purchase includes the slipway, the listed building ‘Old Ferry House’ at the slipway entrance, the outdoor centre itself, including the two ‘cottages’ together with the grounds which apparently extend to 6.714 acres (Title Disposition July 1968).

Aidan introduced Richard Miller, Actual Reality’s Finance Officer and invited any questions or expressions of concern regarding the negotiation and purchase of the centre either at the meeting or at any time in the future. He stressed the positive impact of this acquisition, highlighting the fact that the centre is approaching its 40th anniversary and that Actual Reality, which will soon become Continue reading “A New Beginning: Ardentinny Outdoor Centre is Sold”

Community Council adopts new format for meetings and Forestry criticised for no warning of military manoeuvres

Perhaps in an attempt to encourage more community participation, Ardentinny Community Council announced a more succinct approach to its meetings in the future, with any business not concluded by 21.30 being carried over to the next meeting. Also, with the introduction of prior ‘business meetings’, it was proposed that matters arising from the minutes would take a much shorter time and that other items on the agenda could be addressed more quickly. Why not come along to the next meeting and support those who work on our behalf.

The meeting of the 4th December brought to light some interesting issues:

One of two portable toilets (with cautionary notice) temporarily installed at the Baron MacInturner Forest near Ardentinny for use by the visiting armed forces. [Click to enlarge]
The MOD has promised to supply a written response to the concerns raised recently by the Community Council. A member of the Community Council also raised concern that the MOD had undertaken manoeuvres in the surrounding area during November with no forewarning to residents.

David Robertson of the Forestry Commission apologised for not having informed the community in advance but explained that it had been a last minute request for approximately forty troops in training to camp at the beach area and that it seems that they had not informed FCS of the intention to do any more than just camp for one night. He said he would get in touch with the MOD in this regard and report back at the next meeting.

The deteriorating condition of the roads and the lack of gritting and/or signage on the Larach once again predominated discussion with the Community Council promising to write immediately to the Council’s Roads department.

The subject of the proposed windfarm at Cove was raised. It was agreed that Ardentinny Community Council would circulate all residents with outline information on the proposal together with details of the next presentation to be made by the Roseneath Peninsula West Development Trust in the Queen’s Hall , Dunoon on Monday 10 December at 19.00hrs.

Finally, it was agreed to put the question of a local emergency action plan on the agenda for the next Community Council business meeting.

Proposed Cove Windfarm letter to residents from Community Council (PDF).