Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 8th August 2016
in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm
Present: Elected, co-opted and associated members: Silvia Muras, Vice & Acting Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Sheila Lall, (SL), Rob Pope (RP)
Apologies: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Andy Wright (AW)
Also present: Phil Olson (PO), Isobel Murray, East & Central Sutherland Community Care Forum (IM)
Police Scotland: None present Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder
Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Acting Chair Silvia Muras opened the meeting and invited Isobel Murray to address the meeting.
Non-agenda item. Isobel passed round leaflets giving information regarding the E&CSCCF for which she is Development Officer. The Forum works to ensure the wellbeing of Service Users and Carers of all ages in East and Central Sutherland. Her purpose in attending tonight was to spread information to the wider community to reach out to local groups and individuals who may wish to become involved in the project either as Service Users or as volunteers. The group was originally facilitated by VG-ES but became an individual SCIO in 2011. Services offered include a Friends at Home scheme which provides regular friendly home visits, help with small tasks or transport to shops, medical appointments, social activities, etc. It is hoped that such help can allow independence at home last longer. The service is free and confidential. Allied to this is the Good Morning Sutherland service which provides a morning phone call each day to clients ensuring a link to the outside world though hearing a friendly voice which offers support to those often restricted to life at home. The Carers’ Circle can provide a visit from a volunteer to allow home carers time to get out by themselves, in the knowledge that the person for whom they care is in safe hands. A newsletter is also available and further information on all aspects of the Forum are available on the website www.ecsccf.org.uk There is also a Facebook page. The full extent of the A&DCC boundaries were explained to IM, noting that many of the vulnerable people in the area live at a distance in the glens. The Forum has clients in Ardgay and Bonar but at present there are no volunteers living locally. Overall there are around fifty clients currently making use of the services but volunteer numbers are in the low teens. More are urgently needed. Anyone willing to become involved should contact IM on firstname.lastname@example.org 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.