2016 Review - Appin Community Trust - the charitable arm of Appin Community Co-operative Ltd
The Trust is currently involved in 3 projects:
Community Hydro Scheme: Three options for community investment and benefit are still being explored on Forestry Commission property. At Appin Hill, the Community Trust has commissioned a professional feasibility study having secured state aided funding to do this.The study is taking place now and will enable a more robust decision to be made on whether or not to proceed to the more serious design, certification and construction phases. If the outcome, expected in January 2016, is positive,more detailed proposals will be put to a wider Appin Community before proceeding. The other two options, in Glen Creran, are being explored by other developers with Appin being given the option to participate. The government incentives to invest in renewable energy have been significantly reduced recently, so there will be much more focus on the financial analyses within these feasibility studies before deciding to proceed. (Source: Bob Cornish).
Port Appin Land: We have passed car parking ideas for Port Appin Pier area to Appin and Lismore Community Councils for comments. Councillor Elaine Robertson is exploring funding from the Roads Capital Budget Programme,as the development on Trust land would tidy the area up. It would make it safer for pedestrians and improve the parking with a potential 25+ extra parking spaces which would especially benefit Lismore. Plan B would be to seek other sources of funding. (Source: Dr Iain McNicol)
HolyCross: We are trying to gather an appropriate subcommittee to oversee the Holy Cross Project. That too may end up needing a parking arrangement but that remains a little way off. (Source: Dr Iain McNicol)
The main Trust activity over the past two months has been the planning and organisation of the Appin and Lismore Community Homecare. This has been in collaboration with the Argyll and Bute Integrated Care Team (Health and Social Services) and Highland Homecare (an employee owned Care Provider). Everyone has received questionnaires to assess the level of need for potential future care and transport needs, as well as availability of potential volunteers especially for the transport aspect. The advert for the co-ordinator is out and we hope to appoint before the Appin Show. We will then recruit carers and be up and running in the early autumn. The whole idea is to produce an easy, user friendly service, especially for those in need of the Government's Personal Care Programme. Nobody's care will be affected, but the carers will receive better conditions of pay, pensions, training etc. And patients will have more security of service.
Andrew Gordon Duff is donating his final plot of land to the Community Trust in front of Seaview, Port Appin, which will secure it as an open space and the current outline planning permission for two houses will be withdrawn.
We have had no further update on the West Highland Housing Association's plan to give the small plot of land currently a play area which they plan to remove back to the community. Once it progresses,we plan to hold a Public Meeting to decide how best to use that land.
The main focus of the Trust has been supporting the start-up of the Appin and Lismore Homercare Scheme, which is close to going 'live'. See more below.
Community Transport: A Trust Sub-Group are looking at getting a Community Transport Scheme up and running in 2017. We are also investigating a Scottish Government Scheme to establish what they call a 'Dementia Community', but I would rather describe it as improving facilities for all our vulnerable Community. A number of us plan to attend a meeting in Fort William in December, which will be addressed by a lady from Helmsdale who is successfully running such a scheme and has offered to help and support us.
The Skiff: The Appin Skiff Group are close to being ready to start building the vessel, and we are trying to support them in any way we can. We expect developments in the next few weeks as The Community Empowerment Legislation comes into force on 23 January 2017.
Holy Cross: John Connolly has joined the little Sub-Group investigating possible uses of the Church.
Report by Dr Iain McNicol, Chair, Appin Community Co-operative.