Affordable Housing “Will Be Built” – CDDC Convener

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Development company convener Gavin Clark says he is confident they will be able to build affordable housing on the Hotel Brae – which would be the culmination of 10 years of trying by successive volunteer directors of the CCDC.

Gavin said that whilst negotiations over the land price are continuing they were bound by confidentiality and he could not reveal the figures involved. However he said the island would get a chance to see the sums and would have a final ...

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Volunteers needed for island wind project

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An appeal has gone out for volunteers to take on an island renewable generation project that could see the community benefit to the tune of £40,000 a year.
The Local development officers have started a bid to win funding for a community wind turbine.
LDO Hannah MacAllister said: “This could be a transformational project for the island giving the community a real income stream for many years. We need volunteers to form a small steering group to help bring this ...

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Colonsay may benefit from land reform proposals.

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Scottish environment minister Paul Wheelhouse has told people on Colonsay that they are in a position to benefit from new proposals aimed at speeding up the SNP’s land reform agenda.

The minister says an extension of the Land Fund to 2020 will allow communities like Colonsay time to consider their future options carefully.

The minister told the Corncrake: “By bringing forward a Land Reform Bill, before the end of the current term of the Scottish Parliament, we will take forward the direction ...

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News from our MSP – Michael Russell – land reform offer to the island

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MSP Michael Russell writes for the Corncrake: “Land Reform is back in the news again.    Paul Wheelhouse, the Environment Minister, told the Community Land Scotland Conference in early June that the Scottish Government was committed to continuing to expand the resource and the opportunity for communities to buy where they live and the Land Reform Group proposals, made to the Scottish Government in May, are likely to be influential in setting a future direction of travel for this most ...

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Road Plea from Island Emergency Service Volunteers

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Island emergency service volunteers are asking members of the public, especially visitors, to pull into passing places and allow overtaking on Colonsay’s single track roads.

Twice in recent weeks 999 staff responding to emergency call louts have suffered serious delays being stuck behind visitors who were unwilling to pull over.

In one case the driver actually stopped blocking the road to ask why the driver kept flashing his lights at him and was very apologetic when he discovered he was slowing down ...

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In With The New Out With The Old at the Piershed

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Island residents gathered in force to say hello to the new look perished and goodbye to the old piermaster.

After 16 years presiding over the comings and goings of ferries with their diverse loads Piermaster Kevin Byrne is retiring.

Kevin’s retirement coincided with the opening, by Lord Strathcona, of the much revamped ferry terminal.

The new look to the building has generally created a more comfortable space for staff and travellers alike with a real counter for the sale of tickets and a ...

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Scalasaig Sessions Bring a Summer of Music to the Island

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Island impresario Donald “Pedie” MacNeill has put together a series of concerts to get the feet tapping during those long hot summer nights.

A recent visitor survey clearly showed music was a big part of a trip to Colonsay for many tourists and this year’s programme should not disappoint.

Amongst the acts is island born singer/songwriter Caitlin McNeill who is making a first appearance on Colonsay with her new band, Canach.

All the concerts start at 8.30 and admissions is £8 – £3 ...

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Heritage Trust in Membership Drive

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Colonsay and Oronsay Heritage Trust is launching a drive to recruit new supporters to help fund its vital work protecting the islands’ heritage.

Trust convener Dave Binnie is asking people who love the islands to join as associate members, if they live off the island.

The COHT has ambitious plans, as reported in the Corncrake, to create a new heritage centre on land they are trying to buy at Port Mhor.

The form for membership is available at:

membership.pdf

Meanwhile St Andrews’ University ...

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School News – New Pupils Add Up to an Expanding Roll

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Two new starts next term mean Kilchattan Primary School will boast a total of nine pupils when the academic year starts in August.
Headteacher Gill MacKenzie has kindly given the Corncrake her end of term newsletter to bring the successes of the island’s youngsters to a wider audience – thanks Gill.
“On the last day of term, Kilchattan School pupils impressed members of the community with a fun Sports Day and picnic lunch, followed by speeches, a prize-giving ceremony and ...

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Royal Navy Just Can’t Keep Away From Colonsay

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Rescue crews from HMS Gannet at Prestwick made three emergency trips to Colonsay in June – up two on their previous month’s total.
The most serious was to airlift a fisherman to safety after his boat capsized leaving him stranded on a rock off the west side of the island near Port Mhor.
The alarm was raised by George Leppard who saw the stranded fisherman waving for help and the Sea King Helicopter and Port Askaig RNLI lifeboat were both ...

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Conference Remembers Colonsay Pioneer

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A fascinating conference took place mid June organised by the Island’s Book Trust to celebrate the life of Donald Mackinnon – first professor of Celtic Studies at Edinburgh University. As well as exploring the professor’s life and work it was a celebration of Colonsay, its culture, heritage and natural beauty.

This conference marked 100 years since Donald Mackinnon’s death. A Colonsay man, born in 1839, raised in Kilchattan and schooled on the island, he bore witness to famine, emigration and the ...

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Kiloran Hedgehog – Latest News

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Despite being fantastic animals with an essential function in the right environment, hedgehogs are not a native species to Colonsay and Oronsay. By Scottish law they should remain that way. No new information on how the creature ended up at Kiloran has come to light.
The introduction of hedgehogs has had severe consequences on other West coast islands. Hedgehogs are ground predators for many ground nesting birds such as lapwing, dunlin and redshank. These birds have suffered declines due to ...

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Great Island Turnout for the First ‘Big Lunch’

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On June 1st Colonsay held its first ‘Big Lunch’ – it is a very simple idea from the Eden Project aimed at getting as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours annually on the first Sunday in June in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.
There was a fantastic turnout, approximately 80 people. The range of food was absolutely amazing, everyone made a real effort.

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