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Minutes 13 March 2017

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Approved 8th May 2017

A&DCC Letterhead #1

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 13th March 2017 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Andy Wright (AW), Sheila Lall (SL), Rob Pope (RP), Buster Crabb (BC)

Apologies: Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP)

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF), Robert Sawyer, Donald Burnett, Vicki Burnett

Police Scotland: PCs Tracy Murray and Kate Wyslouch                                Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above) Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone inviting the police representatives to give their report at the outset.

Item 5. Police report. Five incidents reported since last month made up by three advice calls, one fraud and one theft. PC Murray followed up on last month’s question regarding possible parking issues at the primary school on polling day. Her information was that the school will not be in use that day therefore parking will be available in the playground in addition to the four spaces provided in the layby. It is estimated that fifteen to twenty persons may be in attendance in any one hour therefore this parking provision should be adequate. With no other issues the officers left at 7.05pm

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the February meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Rob Pope; seconded: Andy Wright.

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Finches playpark steps/bins. This work is completed, bin in place. The lack of a dropped kerb remains an issue. BW will discuss with John Clark, THC TECS. BW Action. (2) Christmas lights storage. Currently with AW/BW. RP advised that Culrain Hall could provide indoor storage for a small fee. It was suggested that a Christmas lights group could be set up to take on all aspects of storage, maintenance, erection, etc. For further discussion in October. Agenda item October. (3) Polling station review. See above re parking. The move to the school seems to be only for the occasion of THC elections in May as this will save costs. Regarding the issue of non-receipt of emails from THC Policy 6 on this and other issues, full contact information has been provided by the CC to avoid further problems. (4) Footpath at Drovers Square. BW met Core Paths Officer Matt Dent and confirmed that the footpath plans will form part of the planning application. Details are available on THC website.  (5) Tain 3-18 campus. SL has emailed THC but received no reply as yet. Await planning application to discuss further.  (6) Dog fouling. No follow up available in LP’s absence.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (1) Meeting dates for the coming months were agreed as May 8th, June 12th (AGM), August 14th (Culrain – LP to book), September 11th, November 13th and December 11th. The start of 2018 will see meetings on February 11th and March 12th. LP Action.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. All relevant correspondence has been circulated. Nothing further in LP’s absence.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The January 31st 2017 balance at the bank is £ 17,705.12 of which £ 17,142.41 are   restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £ 562.71 available to carry out the business of the CC.

The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £29.76, BTWF – Community Projects – £145.15
Newsletter – £5,965.30, BNO – £10,202.20, EON Path – £800.

Item 9. Ardgay Public toilets. Vacancy for caretaker was advertised in the Newsletter and on the Facebook page. Three expressions of interest but only one application submitted to LP. No confirmation as yet from THC as to whether the funding is in place to maintain the facility in the coming season. Hugh Gardiner is the THC contact, as advised by John Clark, TECS. BW will email him on hugh.gardner@highland.gov.uk. BW Action. SM will circulate to CCs the information from the applicant for caretaker post. Sub group comprising SM/AW/BC to deal with this if/when funding received. SM/AW/BC Action. Agenda item for next meeting – discuss practice regarding incoming correspondence and appropriate circulation. Agenda item.

Item 10. Regular updates. (1) Planning issues. Albyn Housing at Ardgay Regeneration application has received approval. Carbisdale Castle – full application has been submitted.

(2)  Newsletter. (SM) Online version available from today with hard copy later this week. Distributors have been asked to submit expenses claims. Many contributors for this issue; 28 pages. £120 received from advertising revenue. SM wishes to apply for an ISSN as newsletter is now on sale in various local outlets. She will have more details of this next month. SM Action.

(3) Broadband. It was suggested that CC should check out the project operating in Ullapool. Awaiting outcome of open market review by BT before considering further action here.

(4) Windfarms. Braelangwell. Many errors found in Scoping report. Access route does not seem the best option with alternatives apparently not considered. The route for grid connection should be made clear. More ZTVs should be provided. BW will respond to the report. BW Action.

(5) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. MT provided an outline of the overall capital and revenue generated for the community by the Trust since its inception. The various projects, large and small have brought in considerable economic benefit to the local area including providing up to nine jobs. Many of the projects have seen life-changing improvements for those involved. Further details are available, if required, directly from the Trust office.

Item 11. Highland Council. This was Cllr Farlow’s last meeting with CC as he is not standing for re-election in May. He expressed his appreciation for the good relationship had with the CC for nearly ten years during which he has worked with three Chairs in Ardgay. After the election when three councillors are in post the local CCs will need to decide on how best to work with them, as now with one councillor providing continuity or opting for occasional changeovers when appropriate. GF warned of possible issues with THC website in coming months due to change of host provider. THC budget for 2017-18 was approved at last THC meeting. GF understands that Frank Roache, Hitrans and a Culrain resident are in contact regarding the issue of the Culrain Station request stop. The sycamore on Kincardine Hill is to be removed according to current plans. Although outwith the area GF encouraged the CC to continue to campaign regarding the condition of the B9176 Struie road with particular emphasis on the maintenance of the bridges. It was suggested that white lines should be painted on the approach roads to indicate bridge width, vehicle priority, etc. As an expression of thanks, after the meeting, the CC shared a short, informal tea and cake break with Cllr Farlow.

Item 12. Any other competent business. (1) On behalf of the CC MT recorded a vote of thanks and acknowledgement of the long years of service of both Vera MacDonald and William Maclaren, both recently deceased. (2) BC reported the recent removal of the bench seat at Carbisdale loch and all the signage. Also another picnic bench has been removed and the cycle tracks are no longer being maintained. These are all tourist attractions as well as being much used by local people and should be maintained and clearly signed. (3) RP advised that the Culrain community wish to purchase the phone box to site a defibrillator in it but are not having success. The nearest defibrillator is in Bonar Bridge, too far to be of any use in Culrain. GF offered to follow this up. GF Action. (4) SM asked about the possible use of BACS payments by the CC as is now being operated by both Creich and Lairg CCs. As fairly new to the post of Treasurer MT requested a delay meantime to allow her to become well accustomed to the requirements at present. (5) BW had been approached by a local crofter about the possibility of altering the route of Core Path SU03b, with access across a small field often used for young stock, to be replaced by an alternative access. The CC was sympathetic to this and will liaise with access officer Matt Dent. BW Action. (6) Quotes discussed for improvements of the Oakwood path for the use of Scottish Pebbles from Travis Perkins. Bulk delivery approved with the E.ON Path Fund being accessed regarding costs. Matt Dent has offered to arrange spreading of the pebbles. BW Action.

Item 18. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday May 8th at 7pm in Ardgay Hall.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust received an award of £2,000 towards the path improvements at Shin Falls; Gearrchoille Community Wood Association was awarded £830 towards running costs. Application from Gledfield Primary School for assistance with transportation costs was rejected in its present form.

Meeting closed 10.00pm.

Minutes 13 February 2017

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Minutes  approved 13/03/2017

Minutes of meeting
Monday, 13th February 2017
Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm


Present:
Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Andy Wright (AW), Sheila Lall (SL), Rob Pope (RP), Buster Crabb, till 8.35pm (BC)

Apologies: Cllr George Farlow – post meeting by email

Also present: Douglas Murray (DM) and Ian Imlach (II), Fountain Forestry, Graham MacKenzie, THC Roads Department (GM), 8 members of the public (listed at foot)

Police Scotland: PC Tracy Murray                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above) Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone, especially all those attending for the public meeting with representatives of Fountain Forestry and THC Roads Dept. As PC Murray had also arrived at the start of the meeting she was invited to give her report ahead of the discussion.

Item 5. Police report. There were seven incidents reported in the last month – three road traffic related (speeding/insurance issue), one child protection issue, two advise calls and one medical matter. MT advised the officer that THC proposes to move the Polling Station from the Public Hall to Gledfield School where parking will become a serious issue on polling days. She encouraged the officer to pass this information back to Police Scotland in the hopes that a comment might be made by them to Cheryl McIvor, Elections Officer. There is adequate parking for the event if the Polling Station remains at the Hall. PC Murray Action.

Returning to the discussion with DM and II, it was hoped that GM would attend and he did arrive shortly after the start of this item. DM outlined the position of Fountain Forestry which considers itself to be a responsible owner of the Garvary Woodland. This forest is now reaching maturity and a three phase harvesting plan is in place over approximately the next twenty years, in five year phases. Phase One will take around five years to complete during which 25,000 tons of timber will be harvested over the first eighteen months then nothing more for three and a half years. The route advised to residents was shown on a map of the area (with copies left/handed out at the end of the discussion). This is a public road and the company has a legal right to use it for this purpose. Fountain Forestry is aware of the concerns of the residents and will do all it can to minimalize them. THC will carry out a full survey of the road to establish what upgrading is required. The Scottish Timber Transport Fund has been contacted with a view to an application for funding to help with the costs involved. The agreed improvements would be made almost immediately and certainly prior to the commencement of timber extraction. Three or four lorries per day are anticipated. Alternative routes have been considered by the company but discounted due to significant cost implications. The proposed route is the only legal exit route. In other areas the company has always sought to improve roads, reduce loads, amend timings, avoid convoys or lorries meeting – a full traffic management plan would be in place. THC would be consulted to agree the maximum number of lorries per day. Donald Gillies made a clear statement outlining the grievances and concerns of the residents beginning with the complete lack of communication with certain residencies and businesses along the eastern route of the road. Medical and emergency vehicles, HGV vehicles, trailers, garage business, residencies, children, horses and other animals, blind sections and corners, inadequate passing places, some occasional downed trees, stuck lorries, damage to road surface, deep ditches with barbed wire fences and the dangerous junction to access the A836 were all sited as major issues which do not appear to have been addressed. The road was never intended to have to deal with the present level of use let alone that proposed. For THC GM pointed out that the Council has no powers to stop anyone using the road legally. THC has a good relationship with Fountain Forestry and the woodland owners. The meeting was reminded that it is in the interests of Fountain Forestry to improve and maintain the road – if it is ruined the extraction cannot continue. Funding for the improvements will be sought immediately on completion of the survey and no extraction will commence before the improvements are done and an agreed traffic management plan is in place. Fountain Forestry will have a binding contract with THC. Any infringements will be dealt with promptly. Mairi Munro requested that special training be given to all drivers with regard to how to act when horses are on the road, even switching off engines if necessary to avoid spooking the animals. HI-VIZ clothing should be available for residents. DM confirmed that the horses issue will form part of a risk assessment and all workers will be briefed and be given a copy of it. Warning signs will be erected to promote awareness. Speed limits will be strictly enforced.  GM confirmed that the survey should be carried out within the next 2- 3 weeks after which funding will be sought for improvements. He and Fountain Forestry will come back to the community with details. He also stated that without the extraction programme there will be no road improvements. Another survey will be done at the end of the extraction period with any repairs made to ensure the upgraded standard is maintained. With thanks to all who attended this session finished at 8.05pm at which point the officials and most of the public left.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the December meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Andy Wright; seconded: Marion Turner.

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Path at rear of new housing development. It has been ascertained that although a commonly used path for very many years this is not a designated Right of Way or Core Path. A member of the public raised concerns that this path would no longer be available when the Regeneration Project, which has outline planning permission, is completed. Matt Dent, Access Officer, to be contacted for comment. LP Action. (2) Christmas lights. AW and BW will collect the lights from Paul Whittock and also arrange a thank you card to be sent. Indoor storage is an issue and if the lights are to be reused/sold some maintenance will be required. Although very early in the year the points raised do need to be addressed fairly soon .AW/BW Action. (3) Finches Playpark steps have been completed. Deterioration is evident at the entry gate. Long awaited rubbish bins are not yet in place. The lowering of the kerb is still required. BW Action. (4) Toilet caretaking. Three responses have been received. This item to be discussed further at next meeting once THC Budget announcement makes clear if financial support remains. LP will advise interested parties meantime. Agenda item/BW/LP Action.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (1) Drovers’ Square. Local opinion, gathered during conversations between local residents and CCs, appears generally in favour of adopting this name for the Regeneration Site, though there are some who would prefer the Lady Ross name maintained. There has been no direct feedback to SM/LP from the newsletter or Facebook page.. A vote tonight showed the CC in favour of Drovers’ Square. It is expected that a plaque will be erected giving a brief history of the site. Ward Manager will be informed. BW Action. (2) CC has been asked by Tain CC for comments regarding the siting of the new Tain Royal Academy building; deadline now 22nd February. It was agreed that individuals could submit their own comments but that the CC should write to Care & Learning THC asking that the all of the issues be looked at again. The 3- 18yrs campus model does not find favour with the community. SL Action.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. (LP) (1) All relevant correspondence has been circulated. (2) Dog waste concerns have resulted in two emails to SM who will publish them as Letters to the Editor in the next newsletter along with an article covering the scientific information on the importance of removing dog waste. THC Dog Warden will be asked to make hi-viz visits to the area. The most offences appear to be carried out late evening/early morning. LP Action. (3) Polling station location. No direct contact has been received by the CC although it appears THC intends to move the polling station to Gledfield School, presumably as a cost-cutting exercise. CC will appeal the decision stating reasons which include lack of communication regarding the consultation, the brief window allowed for comment which encompassed the Christmas and New Year holiday periods and a time without a CC meeting, and the lack of parking provision at the school. There are serious concerns that moving the polling station so far from the centre of Ardgay that turnout would be very badly affected. BW Action.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The November 2017 balance at the bank is £17,847.47 of which £17,142.41 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £705.06 available to carry out the business of the CC.  The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £29.76; BTWF – Community Projects – £145.15; Newsletter – £5,965.30; BNO – £10,202.20; EON Path – £800.

Item 9 Regular updates. (1) Planning issues. Albyn Housing/Ardgay Regeneration – CC will indicate approval. Some concerns raised over turning space requirements in Carron Place.

(2) Carbisdale – meeting in Culrain Hall on 16th February with feedback deadline of 16th March. Secretary will put this out on Facebook and advise KoSDT. LP Action.

(3) Newsletter. (SM) 23rd February is copy deadline with distribution expected around 10th March. Excellent sales of last issue; Bonar Bridge Post Office sold out. Last issue ran to 28 pages, due to an increased number of contributions, with a larger number expected for the next one. SM congratulated for all her good work with this excellent magazine.

(4) Broadband. It is understood that the green cabinet in Ardgay is enabled but not yet operational.

5) Windfarms. Caplich. The PLI will be held during week beginning June 19th. CC has the option to speak if wished. BW will advise that CC wishes to keep all options open. BW Action. Braelangwell. Scoping is presently underway. Discuss further at next month’s meeting re local issues and errors on scoping plan. Agenda item/BW Action.

(6) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. SM has received a letter of concern regarding the Community Food Shop & Café. The matter was discussed and CCs voiced their continuing support for this initiative. The writer will be referred to KoSDT. SM Action.

Item 10. Highland Council No Councillor present.

Item 16. Any other competent business. (1) Head Teacher of Gledfield Primary School to be reminded of next month’s meeting and start time. MG Action.

Item 18. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday March 13th at 7pm in Ardgay Hall.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by Ardgay Public Hall Committee, for permission to retain balances following underspends on projects funding by community benefit, was discussed and approved. Applicant will be advised. MG Action.

Meeting closed 10.30pm.

Public attendees re Kincardine Road issue: Anna Patfield, Donna Docarme, Alison Moore,

Donald Gillies, Austin Price, Mairi Munro, Lindsay Munro, Rhonwen Copley

Minutes 12 December 2016

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Minutes approved 13/02/17

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 12th December 2016 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Andy Wright (AW)

Apologies: Sheila Lall (SL), Rob Pope (RP)

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF), Buster Crabb (BC), 11 members of the public (listed at foot)

Police Scotland: No representative                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright opened the meeting with an expression of thanks to the members of the public attending to discuss the Scoping Document regarding Garvary Woodland and the proposed routes for extraction of timber. Concerns abound regarding the use of the Kincardine Road which is single track with few passing paces, obscured sightlines, poor surface condition of tarred section and track thereafter. The road is well used by residents and others by car, on foot and horseback. Twelve, soon to number fourteen, horses live with residents along the route. Many are young, not yet conditioned to traffic and are easily spooked by larger vehicles. Experience with log lorries has already shown that many drivers do not show due concern when meeting horses on the narrow road. Deep ditches run on both sides of the road with barbed wire fencing. The passing places are inadequate; it is already impossible to pass if two trucks or vehicles with trailers meet. At the very least THC should erect triangle warning signs indicating the presence of horses. Laden log lorries already vibrate the houses. Delivery drivers regularly abuse the road by ignoring safety issues. GF offered to meet residents in the coming week to conduct a site visit to assess safety issues, damage to the road and to liaise with THC Director of Roads. THC is not currently included in Fountain Forestry consultation circulation. There should also be consideration given to loss of visual amenity; the area could become a buffer zone and therefore be protected. An all-party meeting regarding harvesting should be arranged with planning and scheduling worked out how to deal with extraction periods. The police should be brought into the traffic management plans for this road and the junction with the A836. It appears that no thought has been given to an alternative route. As this is a commonly used path Matt Dent should be on board regarding what actions harvesters can have here. GF agreed to pass all concerns to THC, Fountain Forestry and The Forestry Commission. None of the residents present tonight had had any consultations or information delivered. CC will write to Fountain Forestry expressing the concerns of the community and inviting representatives to attend the February meeting. All individuals affected should write as well. BW Action.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the November meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Silvia Muras; seconded: Andy Wright.

Item 4. Matters arising/updates. (1) Christmas lights. The lights and tree are up in the village and looking good. Chair will convey thanks to Paul and Vicki Whittock.BW Action. (2) Finches Play Park. The repairs to the steps are nearly completed. Wheelie bins will be placed in the park. (3) A thank you card with gift garden voucher for £50 will be sent to Jeanie Sparling to mark her years of service looking after the toilet facility. BW/MT Action.

Item 5. Police report. No report available.

Item 6. Proposal to co-opt new member. Buster Crabb attended having been approached to consider accepting co-option to the CC. Proposed: Silvia Muras, seconded: BW. All members agreed and BC accepted the position and was welcomed accordingly. Ward Manager Garry Cameron to be advised. LP Action.

Item 7. Chairperson’s report. BW advised that SM has set up Dropbox to enable easy access to relevant documents.  AW enquired if it might be possible to get a better projector to use at meetings. Discuss costs etc at a later meeting. BW will forward information regarding the Citizens Panel about which she has concerns. It appears that THC base policies on responses from this Panel although there are fewer than 2000 people on it and on average only half of them respond to questionnaires. BC raised the question of the much-used path at the Ardgay Regeneration Site as it may be compromised by the building of the houses.  BW confirmed a survey and established the need for new housing. The CC noticeboard may be placed on the boundary wall to the east of the Public Hall.

1

Item 8. Secretary’s report. (LP) All relevant correspondence has been circulated.

Item 9. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The November 2016 balance at the bank is £14,513.34 of which £13,712.98 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £800.36 available to carry out the business of the CC.  The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £330.00; BTWF – Community Projects – £414.53; Newsletter – £1638.25; BNO – £10,530.20; EON Path – £800. Invoice for RBL wreath £25 was approved for payment. The last payment for the season has been made from the Toilet funds. The Community Project funds are getting low; application will be held back until new tranche of funding received in the spring. SM passed on a Newsletter donation for £20.

Item10. Planning issues. Nothing relevant.

Item 11. Newsletter. (SM) Everyone is delighted with new 28 page issue. SM has created an advertising platform. 28 individuals from 21 different groups have approached SM and income is up on this period last year, to £541. Provision for fuel expenses of distributors can now be considered, paying mileage at 45p per mile. Paperwork for this to be collated by SM then passed to MT. SM/MT Action. SM was congratulated on producing this quality product for the CC.

Item 12. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (AW) Projects at Falls of Shin and Ardgay Regeneration are ongoing. Food shop/café on Mondays in Bonar Bridge is doing well.

Item 13. Highland Council (GF) Scottish Government says there is no decrease in money though COSLA says there is a huge decrease. Fewer people are now employed in THC. Salaries have not decreased. Issues are being raised. Frontline services in Roads Dept. are creating new posts. From the Revenue Budget 80% goes to Education. Serious gaps are expected over the next three years inevitably leading to more cuts. GF will provide a link to the minutes of the Sutherland County Committee which is beginning to make its presence felt. BT and Stagecoach attended the recent meeting. The priorities submitted by CC were put forward. These included the issue of request stops at Culrain Station and the timing of brashing on roadsides. MT requested the return of webcasting these meetings as it is not realistic for CCs to travel to all meetings. GF will follow up this suggestion. GF Action. The next meeting will be on February 22nd. Money will be available for War Memorials and the CC should be in receipt of a letter soon. CC can liaise with David Hannah and the Ward Manager. A Community Planning meeting will be held in Ferrycroft in January; GF will advise of date and time.GF Action.

Item 14. Broadband. Planning application has been made to site the green cabinet in Ardgay by the bus shelter near the phone box. MT asked that the Secretary ensure circulation to CCs of the weekly list. LP Action.

Item 15. Windfarms. Caplich. PLI Pre-exam meeting scheduled for 3rd February in Rosehall.

Item 16. Any other competent business. (1) Magical Forest Santa. This event was attended by upwards of two hundred people and was very successful. It also marked an excellent coming together of many local groups in Ardgay and Bonar Bridge working to achieve an excellent event for the wider community. Feedback has been very positive. Thanks were expressed to all groups with special mention made of Hayley Bangs, KOSDT’s Celebration Fund and of course, Santa.

Item 18. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday February 13th at 7pm in Ardgay Hall. Invitation to be sent to Fountain Forestry and THC Roads Department. BW Action.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by the Gledfield Primary School to BTWF was discussed with the decision taken to invite the Head Teacher to the March meeting to promote a better understanding of the issues around funding taking in the bigger picture. MG will write to Head Teacher. Awards made from the BnO were £150 to Ardgay Badminton Club for new racquets and £184 to Kyle of Sutherland Cinema Club to help with hall hire expenses. All applicants will be advised. MG Action.

Meeting closed 9.30pm.

Public attendees re Kincardine Road issue: Sue Wardrop, Honey Wardrop, Anna Patfield, Donna Docarme,

Donald Gillies, Austin Price, Mairi Munro, Cally Munro, Rhonwen Copley, Hilary Gardner, Innes Malcean

Minutes 14 November 2016

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Minutes approved 12/12/2016

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 14th November 2016 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected, co-opted and associate members: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Sheila Lall, (SL), Andy Wright (AW), Rob Pope (RP)

Apologies: Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT)

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF)

Police Scotland: PCs Angus Morrison and Steve MacKenzie                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright opened the meeting and welcomed the return of Rob Pope wishing him a continued good recover from recent surgery.

Item 5. Police report. The report itemised one wildlife crime, one theft, one medical matter, one advice call and two sudden deaths. The pubic are reminded that over the coming festive period the drink driving campaign and also that of use of mobile phones while driving. Roadside parking issues near Gledfield School were noted. Also the regular speeding log lorries over the Struie road – one recent incident resulted in the wing mirror of a car being damaged in passing. The officers noted these points and with thanks from the CC, they left at 7.08pm

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the September meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Sheila Lall; seconded: Andy Wright.

Item 4. Matters arising/updates. (1) Christmas lights. BW has been in discussion with Paul and Vicki Whittock who remain enthusiastic to put up six festive lights in the village. Also the lights can be stored in their garage when not in use. Robbie Gunn, THC Road Lighting, has indicated there should be no ongoing costs. AW confirmed that there is access to the electricity supply linked to the street lights where the village Christmas tree is erected. He also repeated his offer to supply the tree. The purchase of new professional white tree lights at a cost of £245 for a long string was approved. AW/MT Action. The first week in December was agreed as the time to erect the tree. The Magical Wood ceremony at Gearrchoille Wood is scheduled for December 11th. (2) Rotary Club Fund. RP will gather costs for options regarding a new bench. The picnic bench in Gearrchoille Wood needs to be replaced, perhaps an option. RP Action. (3) Finches Playpark. Steps are still taped off. Andy Shaw, THC Waste Management Officer, will be asked to replace novelty bin with a wheelie bin and to ensure it is regularly emptied. BW Action. (4) Culrain Station. It was agreed to write to Abellio regarding the present issues. A Hi-Trans meeting is scheduled in Inverness for 16th December, MT and PO hope to attend. CC will aim to discuss issues with MP Paul Monaghan. BW/LP Action. (5) Toilets. Jeanie Sparling has resigned as cleaner/caretaker therefore a new person is sought before next season. An item will be placed in the Newsletter and a thank you card will be sent to Jeanie. The facility is now closed for the winter. SM/BW Action. (6) An email received from the Hall Committee indicates that it has a surplus of £400 in hand from a recent Beinn Tharsuinn award and it requests permission to put this towards engaging a reliable acoustic consultant. Approved. LP Action. (7) Email received from Steve Copley regarding tree damage to a dyke at Croick cemetery. John Clark, THC CWO, is aware of the issue and is dealing with it.

Item 6. Archiving of CC documents. It is thought that there is sufficient cupboard space in the Hall. Also it was suggested that documents could be stored on ‘cloud space’. PO to be asked for an opinion. Discuss at a future meeting. Agenda item.

Item 7. Chairperson’s report. BW discussed the length of recent CC meetings and the need to find ways to share information ahead of meetings in order that discussions can be more focussed. It is understood that the newer CC members find discussions/explanations helpful especially when relevant historical information is shared. Items which can be circulated ahead of meetings should be read as part of preparation in order to minimise the time spent in face to face discussion when appropriate.

Item 8. Secretary’s report. (1) Email received regarding timber extraction route from Garvary wood via Kincardine. BW will circulate to CCs. Also for Newsletter. BW/SM Action. (2) Cromarty CC sent email regarding ship to ship oil transfers in the Cromarty Firth. An online Survey Monkey has been set up and individuals should make their own responses on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GKFBPN8 (3) Michael Baird has emailed regarding a possible local collection/presentation to Doris Calder. It was agreed that this should be a community-led project and not initiated by the CC. BW will reply to MB. BW Action. (4) A system will be put in place to acknowledge receipt of emails during the ‘gap’ months in the CC meeting schedule. LP Action. (5) £20 annual renewal of CC subscription to Scotways now due. Approved. MT Action.

Item 9. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The October 2016 balance at the bank is £14,794.54 of which £13,994.18 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £800.36 available to carry out the business of the CC.  The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £330.00; BTWF – Community Projects – £414.53; Newsletter – £1669.45; BNO – £10,780.20; EON Path – £800. GF commentated that Creich CC now circulates its financial report by email prior to each meeting thus reducing the time spent on it at meetings and maintain a level of confidentiality regarding actual transactions where this is appropriate.

Item10. Planning issues. Nothing relevant.

Item 11. Newsletter. (SM) PayPal account is now set up so that the public may donate directly. Automatic response also being set up. 25th November is deadline for next issue. Interest in purchasing copes expressed from Bonar Bridge area. For a trial period starting with the spring issue a few copies will be placed in the Bonar Post Office. GF offered to send SM documents pertaining to the Sutherland Committee.

Item 12. Website & Facebook. SM updating. Discussion regarding who should have access to these to keep up to date.

Item 13. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (AW) Discussions ongoing regarding the naming of the new development on Lady Ross site. Lady Ross Square favoured by CC. This will be passed to the Ward Manager and also should be an item in the Newsletter. BW/SM Action. A steel shell will be erected inside the barn to house a new business hub. Other projects all progressing well. CHESS has highlighted serious fuel poverty issues in the local districts. The project is gaining awards across the country; local tradesmen are advising customers to contact CHESS when relevant. A Community Shop and cafe is now open on Mondays in Bonar Bridge Hall.

Item 14. Highland Council (GF) The CC’s priority list has helped to highlight six areas of concern including Broadband, verge cutting, and cycle routes. It is hoped that THC will acquire suitable vehicles to carry out a sensible verge cutting programme. Branches on roadside trees often cause issues but these are often actually on private land.  Community Partnership Committee, chaired by Police Scotland and covering wide range of issues will meet next in January at Drummuie. GF will send dates to CC. The pump is still awaited to return the South Bonar toilet facility to service. The middle section will be accessible by use of a key kept at the local library. GF has supplied the link to the Scottish Parliament Rural Development and Connectivity Committee; SM will post this on Facebook. Individuals are encouraged to write to this committee regarding the failure of BT and HIE to progress an efficient Superfast Broadband service in rural areas. The Scottish Government consultation regarding Forestry has now finished.

Item 15. Broadband. MP Paul Monaghan has requested a meeting with CC on 10th December at 2pm in Ardgay. Sec will confirm with MP’s secretary and request a list of topics to be discussed. CC intends to raise the Broadband issue. LP Action. AW will research other third party provider options, other than BT. Medical issues in rural areas which can be helped by an efficient and reliable Internet connection will be highlighted in discussions and emails. AW Action.

Item 16. Windfarms. Kyle of Sutherland Apprenticeship Scheme – next meeting on 21st November. Chair reiterated CC’s neutral standpoint on developments, reflecting the various opinions held within the community, while maintaining a positive position regarding the usage/distribution of community benefits from operating windfarms. BW will attend the upcoming Pre-exam meeting for Caplich as an individual not as a CC representative. Both Creich and Ardgay CCs have signed documents with Muirhall (Caplich) regarding shared ownership.

Item 17. Any other competent business. (1) With regard to the possible removal of the payphone at Culrain BW has commented on THC website that this should not take place until mobile connectivity is greatly improved. (2) SL advised that she is now Chair of Gledfield Primary School Parent Council.

Item 18. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday 12th December at 7pm in Ardgay Hall. Room to be booked for this and upcoming meetings.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by the Ardgay Public Hall Committee was awarded £1700 from the Beinn Tharsuinn Fund towards insulation improvements to the committee room.

All applicants will be advised. MG Action.

Meeting closed 9.08pm.

Minutes 08 August 2016

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Approved 12/09/2016

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 8th August 2016
in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected, co-opted and associated members: Silvia Muras, Vice & Acting Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Sheila Lall, (SL), Rob Pope (RP)

Apologies: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Andy Wright (AW)

Also present: Phil Olson (PO), Isobel Murray, East & Central Sutherland Community Care Forum (IM)

Police Scotland: None present  Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Acting Chair Silvia Muras opened the meeting and invited Isobel Murray to address the meeting.

Non-agenda item. Isobel passed round leaflets giving information regarding the E&CSCCF for which she is Development Officer. The Forum works to ensure the wellbeing of Service Users and Carers of all ages in East and Central Sutherland. Her purpose in attending tonight was to spread information to the wider community to reach out to local groups and individuals who may wish to become involved in the project either as Service Users or as volunteers. The group was originally facilitated by VG-ES but became an individual SCIO in 2011. Services offered include a Friends at Home scheme which provides regular friendly home visits, help with small tasks or transport to shops, medical appointments, social activities, etc. It is hoped that such help can allow independence at home last longer. The service is free and confidential. Allied to this is the Good Morning Sutherland service which provides a morning phone call each day to clients ensuring a link to the outside world though hearing a friendly voice which offers support to those often restricted to life at home.  The Carers’ Circle can provide a visit from a volunteer to allow home carers time to get out by themselves, in the knowledge that the person for whom they care is in safe hands. A newsletter is also available and further information on all aspects of the Forum are available on the website www.ecsccf.org.uk There is also a Facebook page. The full extent of the A&DCC boundaries were explained to IM, noting that many of the vulnerable people in the area live at a distance in the glens. The Forum has clients in Ardgay and Bonar but at present there are no volunteers living locally. Overall there are around fifty clients currently making use of the services but volunteer numbers are in the low teens. More are urgently needed. Anyone willing to become involved should contact IM on isobelesscsccf@yahoo.co.uk Isobel was asked to submit a short article about the work of the Forum to the Newsletter Editor; this can also be posted on the CC Facebook page, in the hope of reaching out to service users and prospective volunteers alike. With thanks from the CC for attending, IM left at 7.15pm.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the June meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Silvia Muras.

Item 4. Christmas lights. This item was moved up the agenda to allow for earlier discussion; thanks extended to Phil Olson for attending for this. Unfortunately no other interested parties were present. PO suggested that in light of the difficulties in finding volunteers and time, efforts should be concentrated on having one central Christmas lights display feature around the Clach Eiteag in the middle of Ardgay. General discussion suggested that this could consist of a tree with lights and perhaps a Santa or similar festive feature. The lighting up of these could be a local event, bringing the local residents and especially children to share in festive fun, maybe with a hot drinks/nibbles stall. It is no longer feasible to maintain strings of lights around the wider village with the main Health & Safety issues this incurs. The tree lights could be of the type which may be attached before the tree is erected. It was agreed that this should be the opening discussion at the September meeting, with Paul Whittock invited along with any other individuals willing to be involved. Quotes for lights etc will be sought beforehand. MT Action. A plan for the displays and the event should be finalised at that meeting. Agenda item./Action All.

Item 5. Matters arising/updates.

(a)     Community Broadband. An update issued by Margaret Davidson THC had been received by CCs. Nothing new in it although it did agree that rural areas require a better service. KOSDT is due to meet Community Broadband Scotland later this month; BT has released its Post Code survey results. A public meeting is expected soon. PO encouraged the CC and the community at large to be pro-active, stating clearly to BT and CBS what is required. Especially for all households and businesses at a distance from the central cabinet. CC will write to Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government sating the objectives of the CC in this regard and requesting to be kept in the loop of all developments. At present it takes too long for any updating information to filter down to CC and community level. MT/AW/LP Action.

(b)     NC500. Lairg & District Community Initiative, after discussions locally, has dropped out of Heart of Sutherland Tourism having decided to go it alone with whatever projects they feel appropriate to their specific area. KOSDT continues to work on HOST.

(c)     Flower tubs. No update at present. All volunteers will be warmly thanked in the next newsletter.SM Action.

Item 6. Police report. Once again the CCs were disappointed that no police officers attended the meeting. MG advised that she sends the draft Minutes to three difference police contacts and that the date of the following meeting is always clearly stated. For the other two local CCs she also sends the agenda to the same contacts. She will update her police contact list and forward it to LP so that the A&DCC agenda can also be sent out. MG/LP Action.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. (LP) Correspondence. All relevant incoming mail had been circulated to members. MG is looking into the possibility of depositing records/files from all three local CCs in the Highland Archive in Inverness. Will find out more for next meeting. MG Action. David Hannah had enquired about naming of streets in Ardgay. It was felt that the Highland tradition does not name the streets and roads in the centres of villages, as here, but that recent developments and all roads out with the centre are named. No action required. Secretary to advice DH. LP Action.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The July 2016 balance at the bank is £13,385.78 of which £13,288.71 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £97.07 available to carry out the business of the CC.  The Admin grant from THC is expected this month. The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £1,086.00; BTWF – Community Projects – £564.53; Newsletter – £2,257.98; BNO – £8,580.20; EON Path – £800.

Item 9. Planning issues. Nothing controversial.

Item 10. Newsletter. (SM) Copy date for next issue is 25th August, with distribution expected at September meeting. Future issues may see dedicated page/s for input from the school children.SM Action.

Item 11. Website & Facebook. More input required. CC ‘Surgeries’ continue in Ardgay Store 2nd Saturday of each month. Feedback and photos can be used by both the Newsletter and Facebook page. LP Action. RP reported an issue, which was brought to attention at the last Surgery, of broken glass lying near Clach Eiteag. He kindly collected it on this occasion but the area should be monitored for any occurrence. In general the village is fairly litter free.

Item 12. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (MT) All projects previously noted are ongoing.

Item 13. Highland Council. No report in absence of Councillor.

Item 14. Windfarms. Caplich. Going to appeal. CC has registered an interest in PLI. Coire na Cloiche. Ground work expected to start soon. SSE/E.ON Panel. Business meeting scheduled in September. RP registered apologies from this and all other meetings over the coming 4- 6 weeks due to health reasons.

Item 15. Any other competent business. RP advised that the Rotary Club has a small fund from which a donation might be given to an approved project locally. CCs to bring ideas to September meeting. Agenda item.

Item 17. Date and time of next/future meeting/s. The meeting will be held on Monday 12th September at 7pm in the Culrain Hall. RP submitted apologies. LP will book the hall and MT will cancel booking in Ardgay. LP/MT Action.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, the Invercharron Highland Games application to the Beinn Tharsuinn Fund for funding towards the running of the Games was awarded £872. Application by Sutherland Sessions was held over pending further information. Applicants will be advised. MG Action.

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Meeting closed 9.05pm.