By: Helen Castle
This report has been compiled by our project consultants, Alan Jones Associates, and is based on the responses to the survey issued to all adult residents on Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre in December/January.
This is the first step of our planned community consultation. Unfortunately, we have been unable to proceed with the next steps due to further Covid-19 restrictions announced just before Christmas. We are hopeful that the consultation will be able to continue as planned over the next couple of months, so please look out for further information in due course.
In the meantime, should anyone have any questions regarding The Pier Project, please do not hesitate to ask us.
To view the report (PDF), please click here.
In Other News..
The minutes from the 11 December 2021 board meeting can be found here
We are very pleased to share with you that our project consultant will be visiting Rousay this month, to hold discussion group sessions with our community. The consultant will be holding multiple sessions on the weekend of Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th December.
'The Pier' building was purchased by REWDT in January 2020, following a period of leasing the property. The first part of this post-purchase consultation phase was rolled out at the end of 2020, with a survey sent to every adult resident in our community. The feedback was collated by the independent consultants and published in the form of a report, which we shared with the community in February 2021.
Although the survey gave us great insight into what people in our community are thinking about the future of The Pier site, this next phase will be in the form of small discussion groups, to enable us to focus in on the key points raised so far, and to narrow down the options for the site, ready for an Options Appraisal. There will be a short presentation about the project, followed by an open discussion between members of the community and an experienced, independent consultant.
Some of you may feel like we have been here before, as we already produced a short survey on The Pier prior to purchase, but this consisted of a list of options, and there are a number of complex decisions to be made. In effect, what we have done since last year, is go back to the beginning of the consultation process, in order to ensure that we capture everything, with a thorough consideration of the suggestions put forward by the community, in order to make best use of the site and our resources, which the Board believes is better for the long-term success of the project.
We intended for the next part of the consultation to commence promptly following the survey, but Covid-19 restrictions prevented us from being able to hold larger gatherings, including being unable to hire a suitable premises in our community. It was really important to us that the consultation is carried out here in the community rather than online, so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to take part. We have only recently been able to confirm hire of the School, and things have moved very quickly following this confirmation.
Finally, The Pier site is still closed, for safety reasons, following an oil leak at the site last year and the ongoing assessment by the insurer. We realise it is incredibly frustrating to see the building closed and unused, especially now that things are beginning to open up again. It is clear that there is an array of opinions in the community about how best to use the building, but we are generally aligned on two things: firstly, that the building should be brought back into use for people in our community; and, secondly, that the site has an opportunity to make a positive contribution to our community, in whatever form the project takes. The scope and nature of the development at the site will be guided by this consultation process with our community.
Our Board hopes that as many people as possible will take part in the discussions with the consultant, whatever your views on the project or its progress to date, as we want to get a fair representation of the views in our community, and these contributions will have a direct impact on the future of the project.
To help us manage attendee numbers, pre-booking your attendance at the consultation sessions is essential. You can book online here (on Eventbrite), or please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone 01856 821229. We look forward to seeing you there!
VAO and the Island Wellbeing Project have launched a new self-management group for anybody living with a long-term condition on the ferry-linked isles. Participants will have an opportunity to meet others, learn self-management techniques from qualified tutors and to hear from expert speakers.
Joining the group is free. You need to be aged 18+, living on one of the ferry-linked isles and have a long-term condition.
Sign-up at: www.islandwellbeing.org/ismg