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Boundary changes good or bad?
It’s easy to understand why communities feel strongly for and against Boundary Scotland’s proposed changes to Argyll and Bute’s council wards.
West Kintyre Community Council says its residents have significant links with both Tarbert and Campbeltown with regards to schooling, healthcare and socialising.
And Tarbert and Skipness Community Council feel it is important to retain the strong traditional links between the fishing communities of Tarbert, Carradale and Campbeltown, adding that the community council feels Tarbert has little in common with Lochgilphead.
Islay Community Council raised concerns about ‘geographic isolationism due to sea boundaries’ while Jura Community Council said that having a Kintyre connection is ‘invaluable’ to its island communities in terms of ‘lifeline transport services’.
However, Campbeltown and Southend community councils had no objections to the proposals, with members generally believing it would be sensible to align Kintyre as one ward, giving the islands, which may have different priorities from the mainland wards, their own dedicated councillors.
The biggest risk is that separating the islands from the mainland could fracture the important bond between communities rather than encouraging more joint working for the benefit of rural and isolated communities.