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Minutes 14 August 2017

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 14th August 2017 in Culrain Hall at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 11/09/2017

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

Also present: Highland Councillor Linda Munro (LM). Kate Alexander (KA), Janet Mackay (JM)

Apologies: None

Police Scotland: None present                          Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above) Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone especially the Culrain representatives.

Non-agenda item. BW presented a tribute to Robin Ross who died recently. Mr Ross was a previous chair of A&DCC and a great supporter of the community. His family have crofted at Heatherlea for three or four generations. He will be much missed in the community. The sympathies of the CC were extended to his widow Margaret and the family. SM hopes to add an obituary to the next edition of the newsletter. SM Action.

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

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Defibrillator. SM confirmed that application has been made to SSE Resilience Fund with submission acknowledged. (2) Polling Station. Reply received from the Elections Manager with apologies that protocol was not followed ahead of the last election due to time constraints. A full review is to be carried out, confirmed by LM. SM passed on thanks from Hall Committee to the CC for following this through. (3) CC Insurance through THC. BW/LP continuing to follow this up. (4) Highland.gov email address for CC. BW will liaise with Ward Manager. BW Action. (5) Ardgay toilets. Delay in stock replenishment, now sorted out. Recent leak also fixed. Facility is being well used by locals and visitors. NO Smoking signs requested by caretaker. Project Manager for the Regeneration Project will be asked if KOSDT office can provide a couple of laminated signs. MT Action. Sheena Shaw was congratulated on the excellent caretaking of the facility.

Item 5. Police report. None available.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (1) The agenda is produced with details of all items to be discussed, not just headings, to help public awareness of the matters which will be raised each month. Although this makes the agenda appear lengthy, many matters will be dealt with quickly with others requiring longer discussion. Chair aims to complete each meeting in approximately two hours. CCs were encouraged to try to keep within the time frame. (2) The next Sutherland Community Partnership meeting is scheduled for 25th August in Kinlochbervie.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. All relevant email correspondence has been circulated.

Item 8. Matters raised by residents. (1) Road improvements at Kincardine Hill. Public meeting to be held in Ardgay Hall on 29th August at 7.30pm. Preliminary road marking has been done; residents aware of an increase in traffic already. The road sign advising slow driving, horses on the road has not yet appeared. All matters have been passed to THC Roads Dept. via Graham MacKenzie and can be discussed at the public meeting. (2) Staffing concerns at Gledfield School. This item has been removed from the public minutes for reasons of confidentiality. Sheila Lall will continue to liaise with CC when appropriate and was thanked for this. (3) Seat between Ardgay and Bonar Bridge. A request received to have a seat installed on the straight between the two villages to encourage local people to walk, by allowing one or two rest points. BW will talk to John Clark, Roads Department in Bonar Bridge, to see if this might be possible. Difficulties with proximity to the road, which carries a 60mph limit, are appreciated but the suggestion is a very valid one. After talks with THC, BW will report back as to what might be achieved and how. SM will contact the lady who raised the idea to find out if there is a story behind it which could be an item in the newsletter. BW/SM Action.


(4) Ardgay Hall Auction fundraiser. The event will be held on 26th August. CC approved the donation of £20 gift voucher valid for one of the local businesses. MT Action. The hall will be open for donations of items for auction on 22-25th August. Collection of large items can be arranged via the Hall Committee. (5) Non-stopping of trains in Culrain. Janet Mackay advised that the 9am train has not stopped at Culrain since 2014/15. This was the most popular train for Culrain residents and visitors as it allows for time in Inverness and to return, also for onward connections. There is no disabled access to southbound trains in Ardgay Station therefore the Culrain stop is essential. The lack of passing sections of track appears to be a major issue in maintaining the current timetables. Upgrading of the line is urgently needed. A sign should be erected at Culrain and Ardgay to encourage people to use the direct phone line immediately upon arriving at the station to ascertain if the train is running, is on time, etc. Many incidents reported of the non-arrival of trains when travellers did not find out until too late to make alternative arrangements. HITRANS Strategy Consultation has closed but all concerned should still make submissions to it. Secretary will do so for CC on behalf of the community and also contact Frank Roach. Scottish Government has a Far North Line Working Group – perhaps contact through Alan Brown at Scottish Government. (6) Paths at Ardgay end of viaduct cycle ramp. AW has written as an individual to Matt Dent regarding the overgrown paths which now mask a dangerous barbed-wire fence along the side of the track. The barbs on the wire face onto the path, not into the field. Should a walker stumble or a cyclist fall they could receive a very serious injury from the wire. BW will write to Matt Dent highlighting the issue and seeking swift action to remedy it. BW Action. (7) BC raised the issue that all the Forestry Commission signs for the walks and trails around Culrain have been removed. No maintenance has been done on the tracks; a picnic table has been removed leaving stumps which will prove dangerous when overgrown and no longer visible. Kyle of Sutherland Forest Trust is willing to seek funding to do maintenance on the trails but needs to make contact with the new owner of Carbisdale Castle as access to the trails is over Castle owned land. Secretary will write to FCS asking for clarification of its future plans for the woodland as these trails are much missed. LP Action. Many cyclists come to the area specifically to ride here and also link to Balblair woods thanks to the viaduct walkway and cycle ramp. It is noted that the ramp itself can be difficult to use..

Item 9. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The 27th July 2017 balance at the bank is £19,425.15 of which £18,488.32 are   restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £936.83 available to carry out the business of the CC. The annual admin grant from THC was received on 10th July 2017.

The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £929.76, BTWF – Community Projects – £2,145.15
Newsletter – £4,540.81, BNO – £10,202.20, EON Path – £670.40. MT posts bank balances at the start of each month on Dropbox for ease of access to information for CC members.

Item 10. Regular updates:

(1) Planning. Nothing relevant this month.

(2) Newsletter. (SM) The copy deadline for the next edition (#37 Autumn) is 28th August with delivery expected after 12th September. The Editor is pleased to report that already clients are contacting her to book advertising space.

(3) Ardgay Regeneration. Project is on schedule. It is hoped that the scaffolding can be removed ahead of the Fundraising Auction on 26th August. The traffic lights are required presently to allow work in connection with the site to take place.

(4) Broadband. It is understood that Cameron Warren of Highland Wireless is working with Ron Boothroyd of Creich CC with plans to bring an effective service to the area. BT is making offers which may work in conjunction with the UK Universal Service Obligation. CC will continue to monitor all such projects.

(5) Windfarms. (1) Coire na Cloiche. A document received regarding arrangements between the developer and the CC is very poorly written and very confusing. Other CCs are having this checked out and A&DCC will proceed once matters are clarified.  (2) Meall Buidhe. Angus Elder of Muirden Energy will attend the November meeting. A meeting will be held in the new year regarding community benefit/ownership schemes. It is hoped to discuss these with Mr Elder in November. Scoping report was well done; deadline for comment is 18th August. BW will submit comments from CC including the possibility of shared access with Braelangwell windfarm and concerns regarding the Carron Bridge. BW Action. (3) Braelangwell. Nothing new. (4) Sallachy. BW and MT attended a recent meeting to hear the latest plans, the originals having been turned down. This will be a smaller development requiring only THC approval.

(6) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. (MT) A detailed updating report was received from Helen Houston, Development Manager in July. This covered twelve different projects and areas on which the Trust is currently working. The next major project which the Trust is hoping to progress is the Kyle View supported living development. Talks are at an early stage to determine the feasibility of the project. The CC accepted Helen Houston’s offer to come to a meeting to give an update in person; BW will contact her to arrange the date. BW Action. LM passed on the praise which the Trust receives from the wider area within which the Trust is considered an excellent example of community working and achievement.

Item 11. Highland Council. LM spoke of her concerns of the major inequality of service provision within THC region where small communities are constantly losing out to the urban areas due to lack of population numbers. Many of the smaller communities can be classed as areas of deprivation as a result. These are fragile communities, struggling to maintain populations and withdrawal of services simply aggravates the situations. Threshold populations are too high for many of the rural and remote areas and there appears little political will to help establish equality. A creative approach by the eleven CCs in Sutherland is needed. THC has to be reminded that it represents the whole area and not just the urban areas. Sutherland has the best record for paying Council Tax, for recycling, etc and yet is still ignored. LM agreed to provide a piece for the newsletter and will liaise with the Editor. LM/SM Action. BW will look at the Survey Monkey for the Draft Outcome Highland Improvement Plan and will complete it on behalf of the CC if possible. BW Action.

Item 12. Any other competent business. (1) KA advised that the Culrain Hall Committee is having to consider the closure of the hall due to lack of support in the local community. Most of the present committee is standing down. The hall is very old and in need of major refurbishment or replacement. Some feel that a smaller unit is essential to maintain social contact and perhaps a number of interested locals can be found to take this idea further. A large project requiring serious funding is out of the question. The CC wishes to support the Culrain community to operate a smaller, practical venue for meetings, social gatherings, etc and asked to be kept informed. The Hall Committee is urged to check the constitution to be sure of how the position should they disband, especially in regard to liability. LP and LM will have further discussions and keep the CC informed. LP/LM Action. (2) RP and LP continue to run the CC surgeries once a month in Ardgay Café. Overall the attendance is low, but slowly building. RP and LP are happy to continue the CCs presence in the village in this way. They received thanks from other members.

Item 13. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday 11th September at 7pm in Ardgay Public Hall.

Private Session. Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

There were no new applications to discuss. During the summer recess application was received from the Kyle of Sutherland Gala Week Committee. Owing to the tight time deadline an exception was made to make an award decision by email consultation amongst CC members. The award of £330 was approved with final overall approval given and noted this evening.

Meeting closed 9.28pm.

Minutes 12 June 2017

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 12th June 2017 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 14/08/2017

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

Also present: Highland Councillor Linda Munro (LM)

Apologies: Buster Crabb (BC)

Police Scotland: PCs Angus Morrison (AM), Steve MacKenzie (SM)                          Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above) Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone especially the recently re-elected Highland Councillor Linda Munro.

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

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Dropped kerb opposite Ardgay Stores. Although it is considered unlikely that this matter will be activated, CC could discuss again with Community Works Officer. There is a dropped kerb opposite the garage forecourt. It was suggested that the contractors working on the Ardgay Regeneration project might be willing to undertake the work as a goodwill gesture to the community. LM will follow this up. LM Action. (2) Oakwood Place Path has been completed. Travis Perkins invoice passed to MT for payment. MT Action. (3)  Defibrillators. SM received approval to submit a funding application to the SSE Resilient Communities Fund. The application seeks to fund two defibrillators, to be placed in Ardgay and at Culrain hall.  Jason Gardiner of the Scottish Fire Service is offering to run CPR courses locally. Such training is very important; CPR can keep someone alive for up to fifteen minutes, though survival rate drops after eight. Used in conjunction with a defibrillator this can make the difference between life and death. The application totals £3772 which includes quotes for an electrician to install the equipment as well as the cost of the defibrillator. The community will be required to take the responsibility for maintenance, repair and battery renewal. SM Action. (4) Tain Royal Academy 3-18 campus. It is understood that the proposal for the site is being reconsidered.

Item 5. Police report. PC Morrison gave his report at the start of the AGM. This included one drunk, one warrant enforcement, one theft by housebreaking, one road accident and one call regarding vacant premises. The officers had no information concerning the proposed bill to introduce 20mph limits instead of the current 30pmh limits across Scotland. The police are aware of the increase in tourist traffic, especially motorbikes and cycles, generated by the NC500 but there are no plans at present for an awareness campaign.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (1) Arrangements for circulating and amending draft Minutes. The draft Minutes are approved for circulation by the Chair and Treasurer after which they are also posted on the website and the CC noticeboard. A quick turnaround is often required which has led to some problems with the NT summary in respect of the Minutes concerning the Newsletter. The Editor will submit a short Minute to MG each month with the information for the Minutes and summary.SM Action. In all other respects the system will continue as before. (2) BW asked LM if the CC might be able to have a highland.gov.uk email address. THC system is heavily encrypted and it is unlikely to be extended to CCs but LM will enquire. LM Action. (3) Polling station. With no consultation with the CC the polling station was moved from the Hall to Gledfield School for both the local and general elections. The CC had been led to believe this was only for the local election. The siting of the station may well have a significant effect on the turnout at any election. LM will take this back to THC; BW to forward all relevant correspondence to her. BW/LM Action.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. All relevant email correspondence has been circulated. (1) Scotways receipt passed to MT. (2) Letter from Edward Mountain offering to visit the CC will be politely declined at this time. BW Action. (3) Recent advice from Colin MacKenzie at THC regarding the change to CC insurance provision from next spring raises several concerns, not least how the insurance will be paid for – at present the premium is taken from the CC annual grant before that is distributed. LM will check this out. LM Action. Placing too much responsibility on volunteer CC members, such as controlling local budgets, etc, may well lead to closure of CCs around the country as people turn away from this extra burden. Secretary will invite Colin MacKenzie to attend a CC meeting to fully acquaint the members with the changes and responsibilities. LP Action.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The 20th May 2017 balance at the bank is £ 17,963.22 of which £ 17,744.61 are   restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £218.61 available to carry out the business of the CC.

The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £1,329.76, BTWF – Community Projects – £145.15,
Newsletter – £5,267.50, BNO – £10,202.20, EON Path – £800.

Item 9. Representatives to Highland Small Communities Housing Trust & SSE Achany/E.ON Rosehall CB Panel.

David Hannah has volunteered to remain as the CC rep to HSCHT. He was thanked for his past representation and his offer to continue was warmly welcomed. BW Action. Currently the CC representatives to the Achany/Rosehall Panel are SM and MT but MT wishes to stand down at this time. BW was one of the community representatives; she will now represent the CC with SM. The community reps will now be Catriona Hill and David Hannah. The CC representative to the Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm Company Ltd is RP who is happy to continue and was thanked from the Chair.

Item 10. Regular updates:

(1) Planning, Nothing relevant this month.

(2)  Newsletter. (SM) The newsletter edition 36, Summer 2017 is now printed and expected for delivery at the end of the week. This issue has 32 pages, more advertisers, 25 contributors from 22 different groups and organisations. There is an extensive article on the work on the Community Council.

(3) Ardgay Regeneration. Work has started on the project with the roof of the barn now removed and extensive work being undertaken on the structure of the building.

(4) Broadband. Cameron Warren of Highland Wireless has approached the CC to provide information on the projects he has currently underway, based in Edderton, with a view to providing a private provision throughout the local area. It is understood he is working with Creich CC in respect of installing a system to Rosehall and district. An internet service provider on Black Isle apparently has recently failed. Scottish Government is offering a voucher scheme to help with installation costs to those living in areas which will not be supported by the BT rollout. Caution was advised regarding private schemes. The CC will wait until the overall situation becomes clearer. Mr Warren will be thanked but the CC will not invite him at present though it will ask to be kept up to date with his progress. BW Action.

(5) Windfarms. (1) The CC has heard from Mr Elder of Muirden Energy, Turriff, with regard to a proposed twenty-one turbine development at Meall Buidhhe on Croick Estate. The scoping makes no mention is made of a proposed windfarm development at Braelangwell which could possibly share access. CC will make the usual statements of interest in shared ownership and invite Mr Elder to attend an upcoming meeting, August/September. BW Action. (2) Caplich. The PLI is scheduled to start in Lairg on 19th June. CC remains neutral reflecting the various opinions locally, although it has signed documents regarding a shared ownership scheme with Muirhall Energy.

(6) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. (MT) Falls of Shin is operating very successfully, busy with tourists and locals in addition to hosting special events. Ardgay Regeneration Project (See Item 10/3). Café and Food Stop also successfully encouraging social integration and connections. Keep Active Together continues to run varied activities in several local village halls. CHESS project has finished but East Sutherland Energy Advice Service will continue to help local residents with energy advice and assistance.

Item 11. Highland Council. LM reminded the CC that all THC actions are budget driven. Scottish Government’s Community Empowerment Act will mean a very different form of local government though communities should be wary as more power for decision making will carry more responsibilities. Sutherland Community Partnership is the local body operating under a Highland-wide Community Partnership. Awareness raising of these changes and encouraging involvement is a priority for Highland Council’s Sutherland County Committee as the 18-30 age group is noticeably absent from surveys and meetings.  The online survey is still available via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BCT5B8M. SM will highlight the issue through the Newsletter. Jason Gardiner is keen to attend the CC regarding the Locality Plan. A decision as to when will be made at the August meeting. Agenda item.

Item 12. Any other competent business. (1)SM has now joined the Ardgay Public Hall Committee as the CC representative. At her first meeting the main concern was regarding the newly commenced works on the barn and the loss of parking, especially with the Committee’s Auction in August. The contractors are working to prioritise the work on the side of the barn concerned. (2) AW asked the Culrain representatives if there was any news of Carbisdale. PL stated that work appears to be ongoing. The outside of the building and ground works have all received attention.

Item 13. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday 14th August at 7pm in Culrain Hall.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by Ardgay Public Hall was approved with an award of £418 to support the continuing provision of Broadband in the hall.

Meeting closed 10pm.

Minutes 08 May 2017

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 8th May 2017 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), Sheila Lall (SL), Rob Pope (RP),

Apologies: Buster Crabb (BC)

Police Scotland: No representative                                Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above) Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone and with no police report available proceeded through the agenda.

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

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Dropped kerb opposite Ardgay Stores. Owing to changes in job title and description, John Clark, CWO, has noted the problem and will respond in due course. (2) Culrain phonebox. Phone box would be an ideal siting for a defibrillator. There is no defibrillator on this side of the Kyle; the nearest, in Bonar Bridge, is too far away to be of any use in an emergency. SSE Resilience Fund to be approached for help with funding two defibrillators, one each for Ardgay and Culrain. The fund is open until the end of the 15th June. SM Action. (3) Oakwood Place path. Matt Dent and Rhonwen Copley are liaising re this project. Bags of stones to be delivered from Travis Perkins. (4) Footpath around Drovers Square. Chosen route will remain. (5) Sutherland Community Partnership. MT attended the recent meeting which focussed on drug and alcohol abuse issues. Also communities urged to submit lists of their priorities for works in each area; this CC has a list of priorities which will be given to SCP.  Action BW. A survey of all Sutherland residents is available with everyone encouraged to complete and return either online or hard copy. Of the survey responses received so far transport appears to be the most concerning issue. References within the meetings appear to refer to Bonar and Ardgay as one area. The next meeting will be in Lairg on 19th May. RP and LP volunteered to attend if possible.

Item 5. Police report. Email report received indicated three advise/assistance calls, two road traffic matters, and five speeding offences.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (1) Secretary’s mailbox. Various problems recently have resulted in some circulation issues which also included confusion over the use of Facebook. It was decided that the email secretary@ardgayanddistrictcommunitycouncil.org.uk should remain as the contact point for people accessing the CC for any reason with the Facebook page being used to disseminate information from the CC to the public. Contact via the website does go directly to ‘secretary@…’ Emails received by the Secretary will be forwarded to CC members as before. (2) AGM will be held on 12th June. This will include the annual reports from the Chair and Treasurer, the BTWF report (RP) and the BnO report (MT). SM will give a report on the Newsletter. A THC Cllr should be in attendance but failing this MG will take the Chair for the purpose of conducting the office bearers’ elections.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. All relevant correspondence has been circulated. BW agreed to complete the survey for HM Fire Service Inspectorate. Third Sector Assembly will be on 23rd June in Inverness. Bank of Scotland branch in Bonar Bridge will cease operation on 5th September. No details available as yet regarding the proposed mobile service; nearest open branch will be Tain. Survey of Hall users will be completed by SM who also volunteered to represent the CC on the Hall Committee. A recommendation will be made for the installation of a child safety gate at the steps in the hall and that something be done about the unused notice board by the front door.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The 20th April 2017 balance at the bank is £ 18,063.22 of which £ 17,844.61 are   restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £218.61 available to carry out the business of the CC.

The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £1,429.76, BTWF – Community Projects – £145.15,
Newsletter – £5,267.50, BNO – £10,202.20, EON Path – £800. MT advised that the end of year accounts were finalised in April and are currently with auditor prior to the AGM.

Item 9. Ardgay Public toilets. Supplies will continue to come from THC via John Clark. Sheena Shaw, newly appointed caretaker, has submitted her first invoice. The toilets are open for the season.

Item 10. Regular updates:

(1) Planning issues – Tain 3-18 campus. Much concern over the 3-18 campus model which will disadvantage rural children at their transition from village schools to secondary, the Tain children having been on site since aged 3 years. The lack of inclusion in activities, e.g. swimming, highlights the issue, leading to marginalisation of small schools. The overall plan for the school aims to put too much into one site. CC to write to Planning with comments and also to support many of the good comments already submitted by others. AW Action.

(2)  Newsletter. (SM) SM was congratulated for another good issue. 25th May is copy date for the summer edition. The application for ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) was successful. The newsletter has been assigned two ISSN, one for the hard copies and another for the online format. This will allow incorporate a bar code in future newsletters and sell copies on any outlet. Articles relevant to the Garvary wood extraction were requested. A box with highlights from CC meetings could be introduced, bullet-point format. LP will draft suggestions for SM.

LP/SM Action.

(3) Ardgay Regeneration. BW reported that at the recent CARES conference, attended by herself and AW, the delegates were very impressed by the ongoing projects in the Kyle of Sutherland area perceiving this as a very vibrant area in which to live. Work on the Lady Ross site is due to start in the coming week with Valerie Houston as Project Manager. Albyn Housing workers will access the site from the rear to minimise disruption at the front of the site.

(4) Broadband. CBS press release indicates that Scottish Government subsidy is available to help with the cost of satellite installation in areas where superfast broadband rollout will not be available.

(5) Windfarms. (1) Braelangwell. CC has responded to Scoping document. (2) SSE & E.ON Community Fund Panel requires a community representative from the Ardgay area. Anyone interested should complete a nomination form. An election will be held ahead of the AGM in June if more than one nomination is received.

(6) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. Falls of Shin project completed with a ‘Celebra Shin’ event on 13th May. Two jobs within the Trust have been advertised.

Item 11. Highland Council. Recent local government elections saw the return of Linda Munro and Hugh Morrison as councillors for this Ward with the addition of Kirsteen Currie. They will decide as to how to work with local CCs. MG will write with congratulations and also give dates etc of meetings for the rest of the year. MG Action.

Item 12. Any other competent business. (1) MT to send link to BW regarding Census population figures. MT Action.

(2) SL advised that she will be standing down from the CC at the AGM due to pressure of other commitments. She still plans to attend meetings whenever possible. She was warmly thanked for her input to and support of the CC during her time as a councillor.

Item 18. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday 12th June at 7pm in Ardgay Hall. This will be the AGM which will take place ahead of the regular monthly meeting, with the Achany Panel election if required also taking place first thing that evening.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by The Friends of the Bradbury Centre was approved, subject to match funding, with an award of £500 towards a music and alternative treatments project. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust’s Keep Active Together project also received an award of £1,500.

Meeting closed 9.16pm.

Minutes approved 12/06/2017

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