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Scottish Charity No: SC004057

Brodick Hall and Library Cafe Community Conversation 08/05/2019

Brodick Hall and Library Café Conversation with community and North Ayrshire Council around future use of facilities                                                                       Wednesday 8th May 2019


North Ayrshire Council have initiated a North Ayrshire wide, community engagement process relating to the future roles of the libraries, halls and centres. This includes the arrangement of a conversation café on Arran to discuss facilities currently supported by NAC. The purpose being to gather the views of our community and capture their aspirations and opinions on the local community and in particular, the range of facilities that are within it. This is not a stand-alone discussion but part of a process which also includes on-line engagement and locality workshops.

For more details on this process see link; https://nay.communitychoices.scot/legislation/processes/1/debate




50+ representatives from across generations and interest groups attended the meeting and were encouraged to gather around tables as collective groups. Included within the audience numbers were 2 of Arran’s 3 elected members.

Jim McHarg, Senior manager, Participation and Empowerment NAC, led the discussions, supported by North Ayrshire colleagues Pam Crosthwaite, Capacity and Empowerment officer and Ann-Marie Hunter, Engagement and Participation officer.

Jim outlined the process to be followed and explained that these events are taking place across North Ayrshire, not just on Arran.


Several questions followed from the community; 

Clarification of which facilities were under scrutiny, Jim explained that there were many facilities supported in part by NAC on the Island but this was also about Brodick Hall and Arran library. He went on to say that some communities/areas across North Ayrshire have more than others and that would be taken into consideration.

Information sharing was raised and it was felt, by members of the community that more information should have been shared Island wide in many formats to encourage people from all over the Island to attend due to the importance placed on the local hall and library.

The set questions and process was scrutinised, the community members were advised that this is the same process as used in all of the communities consulted to date.


There was time to answer the 2 questions (both of which are in the online survey) on the tables and give rise to other comments at the end.


The first question was:  Thinking about the events and activities that happen in your community, tell us what matters to you most?


The second question was:   Where do these events and activities take place and why are these particular venues important to you? (Please be as specific as possible about the venue names/locations).

There was also an opportunity for other comments about community facilities.


The following notes are comments from one table (9 of us) taken from scribe, it was quite noisy in the room. The questions did blend into one, therefore here are some of the points made, in no specific order;

  • Activities – Amateur theatre, concerts, early years activities, historical society, civic trust, visitor events, ceilidhs, flower shows, dances, craft fairs, youth discos, charity events, volunteer events, resilience use, art exhibitions, Christmas parties and nativity, community council and public meetings – these take place in the hall

  • A sense of belonging to an Island community

  • Social inclusion and meeting other people – important to ageing population but also to all generations

  • To be included as an Island community and every village must have a stake in Island facilities

  • Brodick Hall easy to access for all villages as bus links come to Brodick

  • Important to all generations as used for meeting centrally – from early years to elderly

  • Libraries are part of Scottish heritage (Andrew Carnegie)

  • So much more than a book repository – information point, health education and advertising, adult education, meeting place, wet weather facility for locals and tourists, warm, friendly place with coffee, good place to go if lonely too, dissemination of council information

  • Library supports preschool literacy, regular early years visits, bookbug sessions, education and lectures

  • Mobile library for rural villages and elderly

  • Regular social interactions can pick up if someone absent or something wrong, raise concerns

  • Hall is biggest venue for large meetings and events

  • Convenient for ferry travellers attending meetings

  • Library is key to residents and visitors alike – digital and printing facilities essential locals and visitors due to not having own and poor connectivity

  • Book clubs utilise library for ordering multiples of books, excellent friendly service

  • Cross generational use of both hall and library

  • The Building itself and connections to it evoke a sense of pride and ownership in the community because it is used by everyone in the community and visitors

There was an additional section for anything else we wished to add about our community the comments from people at the table were as follows;

  • A question around budgeting and what do other communities get and how does this relate to the Isle of Arran (Jim answered this question individually and as a part of feedback at the end)

  • We are one of 2 Islands in North Ayrshire and do not have regular access to other facilities regularly available on the mainland

  • Local residential home has waitlist for respite with little or no availability for respite and residency

  • Erosion problem in Lamlash has not been completely resolved

  • Condition of roads across some parts are dreadful

  • Others felt some areas of road are very good

  • Lack of co-ordination of buses/ferries

  • Short of sporting facilities for middle aged people

  • Problems getting appointments with health professionals

  • Support to and from hospital especially mainland travel is an issue


There followed a short feedback from each table, all tables appeared to reflect the general thoughts and feelings noted above, there were additional positive and strong views in favour of the community’s essential need for the hall and library facility, these were welcomed by those in the room.

 Jim McHarg then thanked everyone for taking part and answered a few question.

When asked to explain the due process;

All information will be collated, this will be disseminated to those who included email addresses on the sign in sheet.

There will be further negotiations and discussions across parts of North Ayrshire, co-production process.  (end of July)

This will then be pulled together into a proposal for public consultation. Cabinet at NAC will then make decisions and recommendations. (September)

[Please follow previous link for further details on the consultation process]

Questions around allocation of council budget;

Some of the process was outlined and it was explained that all information can be found on the NAC website under budget book.



Will the islands Bill influence the decision?

It was explained that given the importance placed on addressing social isolation and the introduction of the new Scottish Government framework for volunteering that it could well have some bearing on influencing the process.

A group member then suggested that there is to be an Islands Bill meeting on Arran in approximately 3 weeks’ time. There has as yet been no major public notification.

Jim thanked all again for attending.

Integrated Joint Board

Public information is currently being produced around charges for care services.


Final Joint Inspection (Adults) The effectiveness of strategic planning in North Ayrshire Partnership has now been published. This report is available on the Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Care Inspectorate websites.






Final report from What matters to you? 2018 is now available, it outlines changes made within services. These changes were requested by people who use services and it is hoped will improve people’s experience of health and social care in North Ayrshire. link to the report;




A reference group (7 providers involved) has been set up to look at the new Care Home Commissioning Strategy. It is hoped this will develop an effective, responsive and sustainable CH market in NA. It is likely that discussions will be a regular item on Care Home forum agenda.

Children’s Services Providers Forum


There were 14 people in attendance. A mix of third sector and statutory partners. This was by comparison quite a poorly attended forum, however, many people noted apologies. The topics were relevant, interesting and informative. Despite low numbers the conversation was lively and productive.

It was suggested for the next forum that each member bring along a colleague from another organisation to increase networking.

Information around two new and very useful online resources was presented by Dr Colin Morrison, PINS and RSHP (explained later) links to be shared to network to cascade further to families and colleagues.  This related well to Lynn McNiven, interim director for Public Health NHSAA, conversation around Pan Ayrshire group for transformational change to improve the health and outcomes of Children and young people.

Alison Peeble presented the Impact Art therapy programme, which is free, and specifically aimed at children affected by ACES. It was useful to know that there can be referral from 3rd sector and self-referral to this very positive support. Alison spoke of the marked difference in children before and after the sessions which build confidence and self-esteem.

Lauren Cameron is the new policy officer for HSCP Children’s services. She facilitates and supports the Children’s Services Plan, Poverty Action Plan, Fair for All Strategy and any policy relating to children. Lauren reported that the CS Plan would be reviewed annually and we discussed ways that the Third Sector may demonstrate the valuable contributions made to the plan and also in addressing child poverty. The possibility of arranging workshop sessions was discussed, these would include Lynn McNiven and Fiona McBride’s work around Health and Trauma.

Fiona McBride from Children 1st presented the work that is being done around Trauma Sensitive practice. This is something that all services should be aware of. Children’s 1st have had ACES in their sight for the last 4 years and appear to be leading in their own practice by way of a trauma informed workforce. Fiona spoke of the importance of care in the use of language around how we approach people affected by trauma, such as no longer referring to ‘service users’ but instead to families, parents and more generic terms. Changing attitudes by discussing distressed behaviour instead of challenging behaviour, definitely alters the perspective.

Presentation from Dr Colin Morrison on Pupil Inclusion Network, invaluable links and sources for information to support children. Including helpful publications on exclusion from school, events, themed reports on Curriculum, ACES and many other areas.

It is suggested that organisations complete the short sign in to use the site, share it with colleagues and also with the parents and families they work with.


RSHP (relationships, sexual health and parenthood) is another very useful platform for anyone working with or caring for young people. Colin talked us through the stages of information for each level of development to fully support and address any questions around RSHP. The drop down menus clearly display which information supports what may seem ‘difficult questions’ around sex and relationships. Worth signing in to utilise the resources and also to share with colleagues and families.


GIRFEC was discussed and Andrew Kier suggested we visit the Pan Ayrshire GIRFEC website for further information.


For information on the Pan Ayrshire group for Infant, Children & Young People Transformational Board Lynn suggested:


More about training being offered by the child protection committee and Trauma informed Practice; file:///C:/Users/vicki/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/74IJKDAW/Resilience%20and%20Trauma%20Informed%20Practice%2023.04.19.pdf