Minutes 13 March 2017

Approved 8th May 2017

A&DCC Letterhead #1

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

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

Apologies: Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

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

Meeting closed 10.00pm.

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