Has council forgotten Bute?

Sunset from Rothesay Pier. Photo by Iain L. Maceod
Sunset from Rothesay Pier. Photo by Iain L. Maceod

The local authority has denied claims it has forgotten about Bute, after concerns were raised about the island being left off council documents.

The issue was discussed at the latest meeting of Bute Community Council, specifically regarding Argyll and Bute Council emails with the slogan ‘Live Argyll - Love Argyll’, which the local authority has defended, stating that “prominence for Bute continues”.

Community council member Isobel Strong said: “The main theme was the concern of members and also members of the island community about the name of Bute being dropped from council documents. This adds to the concern over the past few years when the name Bute was also dropped in terms of tourism with the area being marketed as Argyll and the Isles.

“The council says the name of the council is not changing but a more insidious change is happening with the strapline on council emails becoming ‘Live Argyll - Love Argyll’, but no mention of Bute.

“Are they trying to make the name of our island disappear? If the people of Bute feel as strongly as the community council then perhaps the next course of action should be to start a petition.

“Bute has a proud history, at one time being the County of Buteshire. When it was decided to constitute Argyll and Bute as a local authority it was seen as two proud areas joining together. Bute also has by far the largest population of any of the other islands within Argyll and Bute Council.”

It seems the community council is not alone with its concerns. In a letter to The Buteman, Argyll and Bute Trust chairman Dan Edgar said: “I am just a little alarmed at how the name Bute has disappeared from literature and posters (for example at Rothesay Library) advertising this area.

“Recently I attended an events seminar in Inveraray representing Bute Highland Games.

“When I queried the lack of the name Bute on the advertising material surrounding the room I was brusquely informed it was not a council initiative and in any case Bute was part of Argyll!

“Apparently the faceless and nameless people who operate the tourist and visitor quangos for this area have achieved something that Cromwell and the Vikings didn’t manage - obliterating Bute.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The council name and logo is Argyll and Bute Council – that is not changing. Live Argyll Leisure and Cultural Trust and the Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative are both independent organisations whose boards chose their respective organisational names.

“Argyll and Bute must attract people and investment to maintain services and build a successful future. The ‘Choose Argyll. Love Argyll.’ strapline was developed with public consultation to attract people to information about Argyll and Bute.

“‘Argyll’ keeps the message as short and so easy-to-remember as possible, and we have ensured that Bute has prominence in its branding – it will appear with the council’s logo and uses ‘abplace2b’, as our key social media link, and the name of the website we are developing to encourage people to move here – www.abplace2b.scot. Promoting Bute is a key role for this site.

“We would welcome input from the community council and public for example on images they would like to represent Bute or local businesses they would like promoted. Any ideas welcome at workingtogether@argyll-bute.gov.uk

“Argyll and Bute Council’s focus on achieving the progress Bute needs continues; prominence for Bute continues.”