The Council gave consideration to a report inviting Members
to put in place arrangements to identify the Council priorities for the new 5
year terms, which were articulated in a manner that would allow officers to
deliver them on an operational basis.
The Council –
the Priorities for Argyll and Bute Council 2022 to 2027 as set out below;
that these Priorities would be developed and framed within the context of the
Argyll and Bute Outcome Improvement Plan, the Council’s Corporate Plan, and in
line with the requirements of Best Value; and
that the Chief Executive develop a Delivery Plan which sets out how the Council
would deliver the Priorities on an operational basis.
for Argyll and Bute Council 2022 to 2027
We have a vision for a successful, vibrant
Argyll and Bute with a growing population and a thriving economy. A place where
people want to come to live, to work and to do business as a result of action
to combat and reverse decline. We see the potential for thriving local
economies that support our rich mix of remote, rural and island communities.
Communities which also benefit from services that work - where we make the best
use of all of our resources so that our core
business as a council is as effective as possible.
We want Argyll and Bute’s communities to be
on a level playing field with others around the country - that is why we will
campaign for equity for our communities on issues like fair funding, coping
with challenges like the cost of living, and securing digital access and
physical access to other opportunities. We will do our utmost to ensure that
local voices and needs are taken into account in national decision-making.
We recognise that the cost of living crisis
will affect countless households in Argyll and Bute. We want to play a part in
responding to that and mitigating the impact on our communities’ overall
wellbeing and future success.
We see our council and our communities
working together in playing our part and making our contributions to wider
priorities like climate change, economic growth, strong local governance and
more - using our strong track record in partnership working, at all levels, to
secure the best possible outcomes.
Our Priorities for the Council Term 2022 to
2027 are shaped around delivering this vision for Argyll and Bute, our people,
our success and our future.
TO SUPPORT DELIVERY OF OUR VISION
and Places - our core business as a council
Attaining and achieving at all stages:
We will improve outcomes for our children and young people
- Improving educational
attainment, achievement and outcomes for young people within Argyll and
Bute to Scotland’s upper-quartile.
- Educational Attainment and
Wider Achievement – Developing the use of all the available data and
intelligence on each of our educational establishments to focus on and
drive improvement, achieving our stretch aims (goals to improve
opportunities and outcomes for young people) as agreed with the Scottish
- Developing a broader
curriculum offer to augment current opportunities with a range of wider
achievement awards and accreditations.
This will have a positive impact on leaver destinations through
inclusive, skills - based programmes in each secondary school.
- Continuing to promote the
teaching and use of Gaelic as set out in the council’s emerging Gaelic
Plan for 2023.
Learning Estate - now and in the future:
We will ensure our schools are effective, sustainable learning
- Progressing a bid to the
Scottish Government to establish a new campus on Mull.
- Develop the next
generation of capital investment plan and priorities for our school
Supporting children and young people with additional needs
Continuing to support all of our children and young people
with additional support needs across Argyll and Bute, within our schools and
other service areas by:-
- Reducing the number of
children and young people who have to travel outwith
the area to access services by enhancing provision where gaps currently
- Working to improve and
secure equity of specialist provision across Argyll and Bute by addressing
gaps where they exist across the education estate.
- Maintaining the current
staffing complement who support this work, in line with our nurture
stretch aim agreed with Scottish Government.
ROADS, AMENITIES AND
Roads and pathways
Connections to, from and within Argyll and Bute will be
- Reviewing our approach to
road repair prioritisation to make the most effective use of resources in
the context of budget pressures and to achieve the best possible balance
in terms of strategic, operational and member input.
- Creating a plan, by 2025,
for further active travel routes across Argyll and Bute and completing the
Helensburgh-Dumbarton cycle path by 2027.
- Initiating plans for a
20mph speed limit by working in partnership, and in line with national
legislation, on the rollout and delivery of a 20mph limit where that will
work best for our communities.
- Completing a review of
parking and traffic management/enforcement to reshape arrangements that
reflect community needs and ambitions.
Piers and Harbours:
In recognition of the importance of marine connections to
and from our island and mainland communities, our role in maintaining these
links will include:
- Upgrading the council’s
harbour infrastructure to ensure it is capable of receiving existing and
planned new ferries (including at Craignure, Fionnphort/Ruahaich, Port Askaig,
Dunoon, Kilcreggan and
- Creating a new municipal
harbour authority in Oban, ensuring that proposals are submitted to
Scottish ministers as soon as possible following consideration by the
Harbour Board in December 2022, and putting preparations in place to
commence operations upon approval by ministers.
- Seeking funding for the
procurement of new council-operated vessels including Islay/Jura, Luing and Easdale.
- Finalising the demand,
economic impact and business case assessment for the Helensburgh Pier
strategy in 2023.
Waste and recycling services:
Reduce our carbon emissions by:
- Delivering a solution
that enables the council to divert its biodegradable waste from landfill,
within 2026, while seeking a short term derogation to allow the PPP
contract to expire.
- Encouraging households to
increase use of recycling services to reach at least the Scottish average
(with service exploring options to stretch targets where possible).
Argyll and Bute has a good track record in delivering
affordable homes but to support our drive to grow the population, we need to do
more. We will seek to increase availability of all types of housing, including
affordable homes, by:
- Supporting the provision
of over 1,000 affordable homes by 2027 (247 in 2022/23 plus at least 750
additional homes over the life of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan).
- Exploring additional
options to increase the availability of all tenures of housing - mid
market rents, shared equity, affordable by design and other developments -
in the area.
- Considering the
implementation of short term lets control zones to open up more housing
- Continuing to support
households to improve energy efficiency and tackle rising living costs
through annual investment through and implementation of the Home Energy
Efficiency Programme in Argyll and Bute.
- Developing the
opportunity for the council to become a Rural Housing Body - where it
would be more directly involved in the delivery of housing or land for
We will build up and strengthen our communities as
attractive, vibrant places to live, work and do business by:
- Creating area-based
plans for all our communities, reflecting investment opportunities and
local service prioritisation.
- Seeking ways of securing
more community wealth building opportunities across Argyll and Bute and
supporting communities to gain maximum benefit from developments in their
- Seeking to maximise
scope for community involvement and participation, including exploring the
role that community transfers can play.
Growth - turning opportunities into reality
We believe Argyll and Bute has tremendous potential and many
opportunities. To turn those into reality, we need to make assets work now
while we plan for and invest in the future. We will do this by:
Economic Development - investing in the future:
- Achieving sign-off of
the Rural Growth Deal business and cases and begin delivering priority
projects like The Marine Industry Training Centre, UAV Drone Hub and
- Securing of Levelling Up
funding for projects, including Argyll and Bute Western Seaboard Marine
Gateways Initiative, targeting the Royal Hotel in Rothesay and Dunoon’s historic pier; and Connected Argyll and Bute
– Whisky Islands; and Lorn Economic Growth Zone which targets a package of
transport infrastructure improvements.
- Complete site
development of Helensburgh Waterfront project securing long-term economic
benefit and provision of a public skateboard facility
- Delivering the £15m
Campbeltown Flood Prevention Scheme.
- Completing the Ardrishaig Public Realm Project.
- Driving forward
additional strategic economic development projects including progression
of the Dunbeg housing, commercial and
infrastructure projects and the North Lorn Economic Growth Zone through
the Lorn Arc TIF scheme.
- Delivering and
completing more Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) Projects - in
Dunoon, Lochgilphead, Tarbert and Helensburgh.
- Maximising community
economic and employment opportunities from the Islay Scotwind
offshore wind project.
- Preparing an options
appraisal for implementation of a transient visitor levy.
Services - making assets work now:
- Increasing commercial
development of business and retail space, including the Kilmory Industrial
Park, and identifying other opportunities wherever possible.
- Exploring additional
commercial opportunities at Oban Airport.
- Delivering the Modern
Workspace Project, rationalising the council estate and facilitating
hybrid working solutions.
- Leading the development
and creation of Craigendoran Business Park as a
business, engineering and innovation hub.
- Exploring opportunities
for sharing services where possible - both to help grow our income through
providing our expertise, and enhancing service delivery in communities
where we need to source options from elsewhere.
- Driving down further our
own carbon emissions, achieving net zero by 2045 and exceeding our target
of a 75% reduction by 2030, building on our good track record in relation
to combatting climate change, through the delivery of our Decarbonisation
- Securing Carbon Literate
Organisation status by the end of 2023, including completion of the
rollout of carbon literacy training to all councillors.
Action - everyone has a part to play in Argyll and Bute’s success
In our Priorities for
the Council Term 2022 to 2027, we have set out our areas for action to deliver
our vision for Argyll and Bute. There are elements of that vision which require
action from other agencies at all levels - from our communities right up to
national government. We will commit to working in partnership wherever we need
to as well as calling on others, with responsibility, to take the action that
is required to safeguard Argyll and Bute’s success. This will include:
- Continuing to build up
our strong track record in partnership working and seeking new ways of
working with communities, other organisations, and the third and private
- Continuing to work in
partnership with further education and higher education providers in
Argyll and Bute to ensure young people have access to high quality
innovative educational opportunities that support local employers and the
- Lobbying for support for
the higher-than-average energy costs faced by Argyll and Bute communities.
- Pressing the case for
retaining delivery of care services locally, where community knowledge,
relationships and experience are best placed to identify and meet local
needs and local accountability.
- Calling for funding
support to tackle challenges in local social care delivery - including
recruitment, retention and development of care staff in communities -
rather than centralisation of services.
- Continuing to call for
planning, construction and opening of the replacement route at the Rest
and Be Thankful within the life of the this Scottish Parliament
- Working in partnership
with the Rothesay Pavilion Charity Trust to lobby for funding to complete
the refurbishment of the Pavilion.
- Seeking additional
funding support to address the unprecedented severe weather damage to the
sea defences supporting Bute’s main island roadway at Ardbeg.
- Working with the
Community Planning Partnership to develop a Climate Change Strategy for
the region as a whole.
- Adding our voice to those
of our local government colleagues across Scotland to call on national
government for fair funding settlements which enable councils to deliver
the services that matter to communities, and reinforcing the need for
recognition of the vital contribution that local government makes to
national priorities and Scotland’s overall success.
Reference: Report by
Chief Executive dated 1 November 2022, submitted; Motion by Councillor Robin
Currie, Seconded by Councillor Gary Mulvaney, tabled)