Now all of that is an interesting background to the population trends and problems indeed of the area. We and a lot of the people in the community want to reverse these trends. Conditions obviously are different now to what they were a hundred years ago so we’re never going to get back to the population levels of a hundred years ago, but we do think that the pendulum is swinging and with effort from the local community of various sorts that some of these trends can be reversed. So certainly the Co-chomunn here is doing its very best to keep services going, and to attract visitors. The Comunn Eachdraidh likewise, and the Islands Book Trust, which is based here, brings people in for talks, conferences, visits to islands, and so on. We also publish a number of books. All of that creates jobs and helps the local population, and the Pairc Trust is the local body which is currently trying to buy the local estate. Now that has been a long drawn out process. It’s been over five years since the process started and I won’t go into all the details of that. Unfortunately, unlike other estates or other communities who have been able to buy their estate through a voluntary arrangement with the landlord, we uniquely are having to go down what’s sometimes called the ‘hostile bid’ route using Part 3 of the Land Reform Act. We would much prefer to come to a voluntary agreement with the landlord but it has to be an agreement which we feel gives the community real powers to help address the problems of the area and so far that hasn’t been forthcoming so that is why we are pursuing the Part 3 powers of the Act.

  • John Randall
Thursday 3rd June 2010