Is There Anybody Out There?

by Tom McAulay

In the last few weeks the silence from the various community groups (CCDC, PRG, SODS) on a range of issues has been overwhelming. At a time when there is a general public appetite for greater transparency from public bodies, the people of Cumbrae are being left in the dark over what is being done in their name. An exception would be the recent u-turn on the Garrison House traffic system although even then a couple of follow up questions posted  here remain unanswered.

I acknowledge that holding a post that is open to public scrutiny is not easy at times. However being held to account goes with the job and those brave enough to take on such roles have a responsibility to use all available channels of communication to inform the community of ongoing developments and respond to the concerns and issues they in turn raise.


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ALEX DOBBIN says

Tom, as you seem to have a lot of time on your hands why don't you join one of the groups?                                      Alex Dobbin

June Allison says

Thank you Alex. I think we are all a bit tired of being told what to do and when to do it by someoe who puts nothing into the community. I've yet to read just one positive comment from Tom. If he is so keen to know what is going on, why doesn't he

a - attend the relevant meetings

or

b - write to the VOLUNTARY committee involved with his questions.

If he wants to know who is repairing the island's infrastructure, he could also try ringing the appropriate NAC department!

Eleanor Newton says

I see this mans name on here a lot complaining about one thing or another. I presume he lives on the Island.

My one question is, if everything is so bad in Millport, WHY?

Marion LIVINGSTONE says

Tom

What would you do with your time if this island was absolutely perfect instead of just a great place to live??

Would you then have to move to a larger place with many more problems than we have so that you could start another campaign of criticism.

Why don't you try the time honoured method of finding things out by TALKING to people when you could ask your questions. It's what most people do here and I have always found that Millport people are extremely well informed about what is happening on the island.

Perhaps the answer to your question about why no-one is replying to your posts is that people are too busy actually doing things for the community or have simply become bored by them being constantly critical.

Although we don't always agree with each other on everything, there are so many people here who have given many years of their time, and in most cases, a lot of their own money in the pursuit of the good of the island community.

Though I have been tempted on many occasions I have resisted replying to your points up until now - and this will be my one and only post on them. GET INVOLVED AND DO SOMETHING instead of sitiing on the sidelines sniping!

 

Tom McAulay says

In all my postings I have never once been critical or disrespectful of Cumbrae and Millport. All I have done is to ask questions of the various public community groups purporting to represent the community on various issues. Regretfully answers consistently fail to appear. Like it or not, in todays world social media such as S1 is the most convenient way to give whole communities access to the information they need and deserve.  And where that information is not being provided in a timely fashion, people are quite entitled to ask why not. 

Emma Newton says

As a local person, and a volunteer who, along with a great army of others, contributes a huge amount to the island, I have to say it seriously annoys me to come on here and continually see the same people constantly whingeing and moaning about what's not done to their liking. Mr McAulay, I don't know you but would like to politely request that you stop picking holes in the massive efforts of others and actually do something constructive. 

 

We are not paid councillors  or executives, merely volunteers who wish to make our town a happier and better place. As a busy mum, teacher and business owner, I dedicate a significant chunk of my spare time to my community. I don't care for bureaucracy or wasting time online just to fill in busybodies. 

 

At risk of repeating the sentiments of others, if you want to find out something, speak to people and be friendly. Constantly spouting on here not only comes across as aggressive and counter-productive, but also presents our little island in an ill-deserved negative light to prospective visitors who come across this site. 

 

 

Eleanor Newton says

wow Emma , here here.

 

Tom McAulay says

Interesting that someone using a legitimate means of communication to ask questions of people taking action in the name of the local community is seen as a busy body and time waster. I take it that the entire community (not just me) is therefore not entitled to know:

1. From the PRG, what is happening to their heath services

2. If the SODs committee is planning to actively discourage people from using  their local pharmacy when the surgery dispensary closes

3. Whether or not the CCDC has any intentions to take a fresh look at how new technology might help return fuel supply services to the island

Why are these questions so difficult to answer?

I'll say it for a third time. Volunteers are the lifeblood of any small community and deserve credit for their commitment and dedication. However that does not mean you can take your ball back when it suits.   

E-communication is here to stay and it would show the community in a much more positive light if it was seen to embrace it and not consider it as a waste of time, for example Ken Mapes idea for a webcam is great - although I understand there is one already here on the Island Photography website at www.islandphotography.co.uk  - maybe the camera might be better placed on top of Garrison House with a view over Newton Beach - just a thought

June Allison says

Tom - you just don't get the message do you?

 

Emma - great post - 100% agreement.

Sandy Morton says

I think that Tom, who I have not met, has made some very constructive comments and should be encouraged to become involved in the affairs of this communiity.  I do not understand the last comment from June.

June Allison says

Sandy - that was the message. Become involved - don't just criticise others who are involved working hard for the community. Get out and DO something.

Tom McAulay says

Certainly someone is not getting the message as as we get yet more rhetoric in place of answers and information. I'll ask again. Why is it so difficult for the relevant groups to publicly answer the questions in my posting of 23 July? Doesn't the Millport community (not me) deserve that information?

 

June Allison says

Tom - you baffle me! You castigate others for "representing Millport" and now you are doing exactly the same by saying it isn't you that wants answers, but the "Millport community" - none of whom are as bothered as you are about finding out everything that goes on..

What are you expecting? Minutes are routinely posted to s1 and you can at any time write to the relevant organisations with your questions.

Those of us actually doing things for the community have neither the will (or the time) to keep on posting on here. Read Emma's post!

If you want to be part of this community - make the effort and join in - don't sit on the sidelines being superior. Row the skiff - they are looking for volunteers. Join the Community Council - they need more members. Fundraise for the children's organisations. There are a host of things you could do if you had the will - you obviously have the time.

I shan't bother answering you again, as I too - have neither the will, nor the time.

Thank you

 

 

Tom McAulay says

Anyone who bothers to properly read my postings will see that I have never castigated anyone for representing the community, quite the opposite in fact. I have however been critical about the lack of public information being provided by a number of community groups in respect of key issues for the community.  I've seen nothing published to change that view and the only answers that matter will come from the relevant bodies. 

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