Archive for the ‘Minutes’ Category

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 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 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 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 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

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

Apologies: Cllr George Farlow – post meeting by email

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

Police Scotland: PC Tracy Murray                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Item 10. Highland Council No Councillor present.

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

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

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

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

Meeting closed 10.30pm.

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

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

Minutes 12 December 2016

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Minutes approved 13/02/17

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

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

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

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

Police Scotland: No representative                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

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

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

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

Item 5. Police report. No report available.

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

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


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