News round-up from Mull

Tobermory

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Dumped human waste and people urinating in front of children at one of Mull’s most stunning beaches was one of the talked-about topics at the latest community council meeting on Zoom.

Fairer treatment for islanders getting ferry tickets, more on plans for a new ferry terminal at Craignure Pier and frustrations with Royal Mail and the Co-Op were also discussed at the meeting on Wednesday August 4, as was the latest from Tobermory Traffic management trying to keep campervans out of the main street and easing the town’s congestion.

Community councillors heard about problems at Uisken beach and also that recruitment of a warden for the Lorn and the Isles area had hit a hitch when the applicant backtracked a day before the job was due to start.

Staff shortages are a headache for Royal Mail, with some islanders not getting deliveries, the community council has sent a letter of its own asking about the problem of getting enough cover for postal workers.

Members of the Craignure Bay Development Group and community councillors who met with Argyll and Bute Council and consultants in July to discuss plans for the new pier area were ‘amazed’ to discover none of those involved in drawing up the ‘mega scale’ proposals had ever set foot in Craignure or Mull. Councillor Mary-Jean Devon invited them to visit and a second more positive meeting was held on July 30 for a walked-through of the area.

The plans seen at the first ‘disappointing’ meeting would have ‘swallowed up’ the area, the community council was told and heard that aerial photographs shown were not from a human perspective and there was no evidence whatever that the community’s views had been taken into account.

‘All in all it reinforced the fears and concerns of the Craignure community’ said Norman Hickson.

‘It was made very clear to Argyll and Bute and the consultants the proposal was totally unacceptable and we sent them packing with their tail between their legs,’ he added.

At the second meeting with ‘feet on the ground’ there was ‘more of a positive feeling on both sides,’ reported Mr Hickson saying plans needed to be on more of a sensible scale and that community involvement was imperative for the final design.

The need to get Tobermory’s Co-op up ranked from  convenience store status to a proper food store was also brought to the community council’s table. About 60 per cent of the shop’s current stock is convenience food and drink including wine and snacks. Members want to know what the Co-Op’s plans are for the future.

A cancelled visit by Screen Machine will be rescheduled, the community council was told after a mix-up with a health and safety form to use a council-run car park. The plan had been to show Mull’s homemade What We Do In The Winter film at the start of each screening and take donations in aid of the island’s foodbank.

With Covid restrictions easing up and CalMac increasing carrying capacity, ideas of how islanders could get fairer and more equal chance of getting ferry tickets were discussed. It was suggested the Mull & Iona Ferry Committee come up with a proposal to put to Transport Scotland.

See front page of The Oban Times for more on this story.