Archive for the ‘Minutes’ Category

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.


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: (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 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 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.


Meeting closed 9.05pm.

Minutes 13 May 2016

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Minutes approved 13/06/2016

A&D CC_Header and Logo

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 9th May 2016 in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected, co-opted and associated members: 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: None

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF)

Police Scotland: PCs Dave Thompson, Paul Whitehead             Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone to this meeting of the CC and expressed thanks to AW for setting up the computer and screen to be used for the first time at this meeting as an aid to discussions.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the April meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Sheila Lall. It was agreed that the draft minutes procedure will remain unchanged with the Chair and Treasurer approving them prior to circulation to other members with final amendments if required being made at the following meeting prior to approval.

Item 4. Matters arising/Updates.

(a)     Bank of Scotland, Bonar Bridge.  The date of 26th May has been set for a meeting of Bank of Scotland officials with MP Paul Monaghan and all other interested parties. The meeting will be in Bonar Bridge hall but the time is not yet confirmed.

(b)     WifFi Ardgay Hall. The Hall Committee is currently submitting applications for funding.

(c)     Ardgay Toilets. The facility is now open thanks to the good efforts of Jeanie and Gordon Sparling. THC annual grant for maintenance has been received. The account deficit has been cleared due to the later opening of the facility.

(d)     Broadband. An update had been circulated. Delay to next stage while awaiting BT’s new plans for roll out areas thanks to it receiving further government funding.

(e)     NC500 route. LP attended the recent Lairg CC meeting at which Douglas Gibson from Visit Wester Ross, on behalf of North Highland Initiative, outlined the background and present position with progress establishing the tourism route. He was at great pains to convey that NHI is keen to work with local ‘off route’ communities which should work in setting up smaller routes to entice travellers into the central areas encompassed by the main route. It is hoped that a ‘local’ group can be established, made up from interested businesses, to produce a guide which can be incorporated within the larger NC500 route package. A meeting has been set for June 14th at 7.30pm in Lairg Community Centre at which local businesses would have the opportunity to talk further with NC 500 reps and to take the next steps forward. So far KOSDT and Business Gateway are very keen to work with such a local group, others should be encouraged to become involved. Advertising/membership fees will be needed support costs. LP will provide an article for the newsletter to bring the project to wider public attention. She will also contact the Kyle of Sutherland Heritage Society with a view to linking with clan organisations in North America/Canada and adding more information to the NC500 leaflet.  SM and BW/AW hope to attend the meeting on 14th June. LP/SM/BW/AW Action.

(f)      Home insurance. SEPA has provided details of its flood area map and has confirmed that this information is not to be used for business purposes e.g. assessing properties for insurance cover. Overlapping post codes in rural areas could be a cause for confusion. People must remain vigilant when dealing with insurance companies and report any such difficulties experienced.

Item 5. Police report. PC Thompson advised of eleven incidents in the last month of which six were road traffic related including speeding, two advice calls, one neighbour dispute, one person search and one false call of good intent. CCs reported that a local resident repeatedly causes an obstruction by parking badly outside his house near to the school. This often blocks line of sight and can cause traffic to be on the wrong side of the road. School children have to cross the road close to this point as the position of the pavement shifts from one side of the road to the other placing them at great risk. The PCs left the meeting planning to call on the resident to discuss the matter. (7.30pm).

Item 6. Secretary’s report. (LP) (a) Correspondence. All relevant incoming mail had been circulated to members.

Item 7. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The April 2016 balance at the bank is £15,584.82 of which £15,063.10 is restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £521.72 available to carry out the business of the CC. The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking: £1464; BTWF Community Projects: £695.26; Newsletter: £2828.84; BnO: £9,275; E.ON Path Fund: £800.

Item 8. Planning issues. (a) BT cabinet. Apparently the recently submitted planning application has been withdrawn. The proposed siting of the cabinet would not have been acceptable and several alternative sites are vastly preferable. The main piece of local history, the Clash Eteag, must not be compromised by the positioning of the cabinet in the centre of the village. MT will continue to monitor THC Planning on the website. MT Action.

Item 9. Newsletter. (SM) Copy date for next issue is 25th May with distribution planned for second week in June. A photo shoot took place to include up to date pictures of current CC members and the next issue will also carry a letter of thanks from BW to the outgoing CC members. Other items under consideration include an update on both the Kyle of Sutherland Hub and the Falls of Shin developments. £2,000 funding award has been received from the Beinn Tharsuinn Fund; the supporters’ logos on the back page of the newsletter will be amended in line with current funders. CC members were again encouraged to spread the word far and wide regarding the advertising opportunities.

Item 10. Website & Facebook. The CC Facebook page is up and running and after a slow start currently has fifty-two followers from within the Ardgay district. SL is now an Editor along with LP. An article regarding the Facebook page will be submitted to the newsletter. Providing another opportunity for community contact with the CC, surgeries will start in Ardgay Store this Saturday 14th May, 1-4pm, and will continue on the second Saturday each month except June. Phil Olson will continue to maintain the CC website, updating whenever time allows.

Item 11. Flower tubs. (BW) The local growers group had questions regarding how watering can be done and also what budget is available for plants, etc. The previous watering device may/may not still be available. This will be checked out as will the facility at the garage to fill it up there. An application could be made to Beinn nan Oighrean if a new watering device is required. £50 is available from CC for plants for eight tubs. A rota could be established to cover the watering through the season, each volunteer taking a week. BW/RP Action.

Item 12. A&DCC laptop. Not currently being used, the laptop will be kept with a view to being a part of the planned computer/screen/projector package. BW will discuss with Hall Committee a proposal to apply to BTWF for next month. BW Action.

Item 13.Playpark bins & dog bag dispensers. The waste bins at the playpark are not being emptied; this will be reported to Waste Management Manager Andy Shaw. It is understood that THC is no longer providing bags for dog waste but an approach will be made regarding a supply for the Gearrchoille Wood dispensers. Dog fouling now carries an £80 fine. Ardgay Store carries a supply of bags for purchase locally. An application could be made to BTWF to buy in a stock of bags for GWCA. SM will enter an article in the newsletter highlighting the problem and the increased fine. SM Action. GF was asked to make THC aware that the CC’s opinion is that provision of dog waste bags should be funded by the Council. GF Action.

Item 14. Christmas lights. Forward planning dictates that this issue needs to be addressed in good time to be prepared for the Christmas season. An item will be placed in the newsletter seeking volunteers to help and also to try to ascertain just what type of illuminated display the community wants. A plan should be made, with accurate costings for lower maintenance attractions, such as LED lights on a central tree with easier access lights, if required, at other locations.  The 7pm public slot at the August meeting will be allocated for discussion and publicised at the surgeries, and through the newsletter and Facebook. SM/LP Action. (August agenda item)

Item 15. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. All projects are ongoing as before. New ScotGrad placement will start at the beginning of June. The next Kyle Live event is in Bonar Bridge Hall on Tuesday 31st May at 8pm when internationally renowned multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky will be in concert. Details available on local posters and in the Northern Times.

Item 16. Highland Council. GF advised on the ongoing restructuring at THC. The costs of voluntary redundancies will take about three years to reclaim, assuming that there are no re-appointments to the withdrawn posts. Flexible staffing should help to improve efficiency with employees being upskilled appropriately.  Scottish Government funding should see an increase in the building of affordable housing. Highland Leader funding was launched today with £600,000 available in Sutherland. This can be match funded where possible and cross-border funding within the local area is also available. Asked if any THC schools are affected by the ‘bad build’ issues occurring further south GF replied that due to different practices, no Highland Region schools are affected. The serious lack of white lining on roads in the area is causing concern locally. Secretary will write to THC. LP Action. With so many posts deleted and many people leaving THC, the public is left not knowing whom to contact when their emails bounce. An ‘Out of Office’ type of message should be generated by each department affected to direct people to a relevant person in post. GF Action.

Item 15. Windfarms. No Government decisions can be expected for some months. The small training grant from the proposed Caplich windfarm has been administered by the Lairg Learning Centre and has delivered several courses in the area.

Item 16. Any other competent business. (1) MT has been approached by Creich CC which has undertaken to buy for the three local primary schools, the commemorative Queen’s 90th birthday medal. Creich CC has checked with the Head Teachers involved who have expressed the wish that the children should be presented with this medal. The cost to A&DCC for the twenty-seven medals required for Gledfield Primary School will be approximately £67. It was agreed that this can be taken from the Community Project Fund. MT Action. (2) GF advised that the meeting to decide awards from the Participatory Budget Scheme will be held in Lairg on 28th May from 10am-2pm at which applicants will make their presentations and votes will be taken to allocate awards. (3) SM pointed out that the sign indicating that the Invershin Viaduct walkway is not suitable for cyclists is still in situ. This is a Sustrans sign and it is thought that it will be altered in due course.

Item 17. Date and time of next/future meeting/s. The next meeting will be the AGM and held on Monday 13th June at 7pm in the Ardgay Public Hall.

Beinn Tharsuinn Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust was awarded £2,000 towards an Enterprise Assistant Post; Kyle of Sutherland Angling Association was awarded £1,375 towards costs of a boat upgrade; Ardgay Public Hall Committee was awarded £496 towards the installation and first year rental of Broadband; Kyle of Sutherland Gala Week was awarded £87.50 towards costs of games events provision. MG Action.

Meeting closed 10pm.

Minutes AGM 13 June 2016

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Ardgay & District Community Council

Approved Minutes of AGM held on Monday, 13th June 2016 at 7.00pm in Ardgay Hall

Present: Elected members: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Sheila Lall (SL), Andy Wright (AW)

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF), Phil Olson (PO)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

Apologies: Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Rob Pope (RP)

Items 1/2.  Welcome/Apologies/(see above) The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed all present.

Item 3. Minutes of last AGM. The Minutes of the last AGM held on Monday 8th June 2015 were accepted as a true and accurate record.  Proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Betty Wright.

Item 4. Chairperson’s report. (BW) I have been chairperson of the cc since first meeting of the newly convened council in March.  The previous cc was dissolved at end of Nov 2015 following elections earlier in the month when not enough people came forward as candidates, so the cc remained in abeyance until another election was called early in 2016 when there were sufficient numbers to form a new council following an uncontested election.  Our first meeting of the new council comprising Betty Wright, Silvia Muras, Marion Turner, Sheila Lall, Rob Pope & Andy Wright was held in March, when we welcomed Leslie Pope as an associate member and Mary Goulder agreed to continue as our invaluable minutes secretary.  Mary also keeps us up to date with minutes of Creich & Lairg ccs, who also receive minutes from this cc.

I would like to thank the members of the previous cc – Alan Lawrence, Phil Olson, Bob Sendall, Theresa Langley & David Hannah – who for many years served as chairperson & represented the community on a number of local organisations.  The current community council has not been able to send representatives to all of these groups, so we hope that others attending will be able to report back on items of note which should be shared with our community.  We do continue to have reps on the E.ON Rosehall/ SSE Achany windfarm community benefit panel, the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust and the Beinn Tharsuinn community benefit.

The current cc is a good balance of previous members, who give a sense of continuity & new members who bring a fresh perspective.  It is good to have representatives from a wide area of our patch – indeed the only area not represented is the village of Ardgay!  As the cc is not up to its full complement, the opportunity is still open for others to join us.

Communication is key to the functioning of the cc. I see the community council as a vehicle with which local residents can raise issues which affect our community which can then be raised with the relevant public bodies, primarily the Highland Council.  To that end I would like to thank our 3 local councillors, Linda, Hugh & George – particularly the latter who attends most of our meetings & raises issues with & answers questions about THC.  We communicate info to residents via newsletter – Silvia Muras continues as editor; Facebook – recently set up by Leslie Pope; website –thanks to Phil Olson who has agreed to continue with this meanwhile – we welcome dialogue via newly organised Saturday chats in Ardgay café, & of course our regular meetings.  It would be grand to see an increased attendance at these events.

There have been no new windfarm projects consented in our area over the last year – indeed THC has raised objections to several.  This cc maintains a neutral stance regarding these planning applications – reflecting the varied opinions of our residents, but it cannot be denied that the community benefit funds have had a large positive impact to our area & I personally can’t help thinking that the move towards shared ownership being offered by the latest projects would have had an even greater impact.

The development officer post at the KoSDT is currently funded by ‘windfarm’ money and Helen Houston has made very effective use of community benefit grants from EON, SSE & Beinn Tharsuinn to leverage in many times the amounts in inward grants to fund several large ongoing projects e.g. Shin Falls & Ardgay Regeneration Project.  These already have made an impact by providing local employment & both will continue to do so for many years.  KoSDT also has other projects running – Greening Kyle (now finished), Cosy Homes ES, KAT as well as taking forward the community broadband initiative that should help broadband reach the parts that BT can’t get to and organising other local events – including this weekend’s Queens birthday celebration street party.

Numerous other projects also benefit from funding including our local community wood – the Gearrchoille – refurbishment of village halls, supporting Gala Week.

The cc continues to ensure the village flower tubs are maintained – the Growing Group has taken on the task this year; and the Xmas lights will be discussed at our next meeting. The toilets in Ardgay remain open & looked after by Jeannie Sparling – a big thank you to her for this.  We also will be involved in addressing opportunities offered by the NC500 route, helping to ensure that local attractions are not ignored.

We look forward to the challenges of the coming year when we will all endeavour to serve our local community.

Non- community project – Carbisdale – fell through – local people doing it for themselves – NC500 opportunities.

Item 5. Treasurer’s report (MT). The audited accounts were approved and will now be submitted to THC to trigger the annual grant payment. MT Action. Report below:

Following CC elections in February 2016 there was a change of Treasurer.  I would like to record my thanks to Alan Lawrence who was Treasurer for two previous councils including the greater part of the past financial year. He handed on the accounts restructured, up to date and well organised which made the job of taking over the Treasurership and preparing the annual accounts so much easier.

Last year the CC altered the way it reports its accounts coming into line with the preferred HC format. One advantage of this is that it is now much easier to see how the CC balance is made up.

The accounts show that the CC has a balance of £12354.84 of which £11731.32 are restricted funds.

By far the biggest component of the balance is the money held by the CC which comes from the BNO windfarm benefit which is there to be disbursed to community groups through the CC’s Small Grants Applications.  The accounts show that five awards were made totalling £950.

Each year the CC is given two grants from THC. One is to carry out the running of the CC and the other pays for the caretaking of the Ardgay Toilet. It is important that the level of these grants is maintained as any decrease would adversely affect the work of the CC and the level of service to the Toilets. The figures show that the CC stayed within its budget for administration – this was helped by the gap for elections – but a slight overspend on toilet caretaking was incurred.

The overall balance also includes grants and awards which the CC has applied for on its own behalf for particular purposes. Of the BTWF award £878.48 remains.

During financial year 15-16 the award from the EON windfarm fund for the production of the newsletter came to an end.  Because the CC considers it important that this newsletter is delivered free to every household in the A&D CC area the CC will now look to make applications to secure further funding to continue the production of the newsletter. It is gratifying to note however, that revenue from sales, donations and advertising is increasing year on year.

Item 6.  Election of Office Bearers 2016-17. All members of the Community Council stood down and Councillor Farlow took the chair for the purpose of electing the Chair.  He expressed his enjoyment in attending the CC meetings but stated that this would be his last time of chairing the AGM elections as he stands down from office next year.

Betty Wright was proposed to continue as Chair; proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Sheila Lall.

Silvia Muras was proposed to continue as Vice Chair; proposed: Andy Wright; seconded: Marion Turner.

Marion Turner was proposed to continue as Treasurer; proposed: Sheila Lall; seconded: Betty Wright.

Leslie Pope was proposed to continue as Secretary; proposed: Marion Turner; seconded Sheila Lall.

Phil Olson agreed to continue to maintain the CC website and was warmly thanked for his work on it.

Sylvia Muras was proposed to continue as Newsletter Editor; proposed by Betty Wright; agreed by all.

Mary Goulder was proposed to continue as Minutes Secretary; proposed: Silvia Muras and agreed by all.

All proposed accepted the positions; LP had indicated her acceptance, should she be nominated, prior to the meeting. Any other responsibilities within the CC will continue as before, by unanimous agreement.

Item 7. Any other competent business. None raised.

Item 8. Date and time of next AGM. This will be on 12th June 2017.

Meeting closed at 7.25pm.

Minutes approved 12/06/2017