What is the Purpose of a Community Council?
Community councils ‘ascertain, co-ordinate and reflect’ the views of the local community, liaising with other community groups within the area, to express the diversity of opinions and outlooks of residents, whether this be about the District Council (Argyll and Bute) and its work, or about other organisations.
The Community Council is also constituted to ‘take such action in the interests of the community as appears to it to be desirable and practicable’, and to ‘promote the well-being of the community and foster community spirit’.
The community council has a statutory consultation role in both planning and licensing.
Following on from the Crinan Canal ‘Charrette’ community consultation and design process in April 2016, Argyll & Bute Council set aside £3 million for the ‘Tarbert and Lochgilphead Regeneration Fund’. Through a carefully calibrated process involving further local consultation, a programme of projects across Tarbert, Ardrishaig and Lochgilphead was agreed, aimed at improving the local ‘public realm’. Work in Ardrishaig (in association with Scottish Canals) is to include a re-configuration of waterfront space to create a ‘town square’ area, create walking and cycling routes and to improve Pier Square. Scottish Canals are behind the new Steamer Terminal Café in Pier Square, which overlooks the renovated pier and its timber transport operations.
2. SMALL PROJECTS
Ardrishaig is fortunate to have, under the stewardship of the Ardrishaig Community Trust (https://ardrishaig.org/ardrishaig-community-trust/), a twelfth share in the nearby Allt Dearg windfarm (http://lochfynewindfarms.com) and this funding source has enabled a number of small projects over the past two years, undertaken jointly by the Ardrishaig Community Council and the Ardrishaig Community Trust, under the banner of ‘visible change in Ardrishaig’.
Minor projects carried out over 2016-17 by Ardrishaig Community Council and funded by Ardrishaig Community Trust.
The ‘tea-pot’ garden was created behind the bus stop in Chalmers Street.
The War Memorial was cleaned and its letters replaced by professional gravestone restorers. The area around the monument has been extended and re-slabbed allowing everyone at the Armistice Service to stand around the memorial instead of in Pier Square.
At the request of some grandparents, a bench has been provided in the play park allowing them to sit while the children play on the swings and slides etc. Also, our local Councillor, Sandy Taylor, obtained a picnic table from Argyll and Bute Council (A&BC).
The Arches (Chalmers St), following a long period of neglect, had been allowed to fall into a disgraceful slum-like state. The Community Council applied to the Community Trust for funding for the work, and the refurbishment was carried out by a small local firm. Everyone agreed it was a vast improvement.
On the grassy area at the front of the car park (across from the shops), the picnic table and the wooden seat, placed there many years ago by the A &BC, had fallen into disrepair. They have been replaced by a new picnic table and bench.
Also, on the same grassy area, John Smith’s memorial cairn (Ref) had become very uncared for and neglected. A hedge had been allowed to grow out of control, hiding the memorial from general view. We had it removed and the area re-grassed. It has opened up the cairn in the setting of the wonderful views down the loch to anyone enjoying a seat or a picnic there. The ‘Japanese garden’ was weeded along with the area around it and new gravel was put down. Together with the removal of the hedge, this gives this well-known son of Ardrishaig the respect he deserves.
The barrel planters with flowers, looking bright, cheerful and much admired over the summer, were organised by the Community Council and much appreciated helpers.
A Christmas party attended by Santa Claus was held for the village, and great fun was had by all – including the adults!
At Christmas, the post-box and the railings in front of the shops, were decorated by items made by the Monday afternoon Craft Group.
‘VISIBLE CHANGE’ Projects planned for 2019
1. King George V Park: improvements to sports field
2. Restoration of Glenburn Road burial ground
3. More planters
4. Millennium Park improvements: new bench, planters, signage
5. Bayview Park – more equipment (children and adult).
6. Ardrishaig Heritage project.