Tighnabruich Pier is now a wedding venue
By Stef Lach
Argyll and Bute Council’s ‘One Council’ approach to property management has raised over £3 million in its first 11 months of operation.
With over 1700 buildings and parcels of land, the council transformed its approach to estate management to help meet the challenge of on-going cuts in funding.
All council property now comes under one team, tasked with delivering a proactive, commercially astute management service.
A report considered at the meeting of Council today set out key progress achieved to date, including:
- Sale of property across Argyll and Bute, for example the sale of land at Tighnabruich to Fyne Homes to build 15 new homes
- New property options made available for local businesses, for example through leasing of desk spaces in council-owned offices
- New uses created for property; Tighnabruich Pier is now licensed as a wedding venue
- Reduction in property costs to the council, for example by relocating more staff teams into council-owned offices
- Reduction in consultancy fees by developing the council’s in-house estate agency and valuations service
The report also sets out plans in place for developing this approach, including:
- Progressing additional, under-offer property sales of £2 million
- Matching council estate use to market demand in tourism, business and other sectors
Councillor Rory Colville, pictured above, Policy Lead for Corporate Services, said: “I welcome the progress being made by the ‘One Council’ approach. These are extremely difficult times for councils.
“We must transform how we work to deal with significant cuts in funding. Raising income and developing uses for our estate ultimately will benefit our communities by helping the council protect services and local jobs. ‘One Council’ is transformation in action.”
Council agrees land disposal to hall charity
Argyll and Bute Council has today agreed to gift a strip of council-owned land at Innellan Village Hall to the charity which manages the hall.
The village hall is a focal point in Innellan, playing host to various groups like the Public Hall Archive Project, community council meetings, SWRI, visiting theatre groups, art club, yoga groups, badminton club and carpet bowls.
Transferring ownership to the trustees of the hall is intended to support the charity in maintaining this resource for the community, and by giving additional security when seeking funding or investment.
Councillor Bobby Good, Chair of Bute and Cowal Area Committee, said: “One of the council’s key priorities is to develop safer, stronger communities and the aims of the Innellan Public Hall Trustees are very much in line with this. We want to help communities realise their ambitions.
“Most importantly, we want to see the hall remain a focus of community life for many years to come.”
Equalities key to a successful future
Putting equalities into action will help build the great future we all want for Argyll and Bute.
These were the words of Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Corporate Services, following approval of the council’s Equalities Mainstreaming Report 2019.
The report sets out the council’s progress in embedding equality in its day-to-day work.
Progress includes producing an action plan to support the use of British Sign Language and so help deaf/deafblind people access services; expanding membership of the Council’s Equality Forum to include partner organisations; and establishing a combined equality and socio-economic impact assessment process.
Equality as a legal duty relates to nine protected characteristics of race, disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion and belief, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity
Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Corporate Services, said: “Good equalities practice is more than the right thing to do. It is important for the future of Argyll and Bute.
“This area has a long history of attracting people from elsewhere to help build our economy and our communities. With our population falling, we need to do that again.
“Being welcoming and respectful of everyone will help us attract the people and skills we need to make Argyll and Bute thrive into the future.
“Understanding the value of equalities and putting good practice into action is important for us all.”
More information on equality is available on the council’s website.