Approved 13 October 2014
Ardgay Community Council
meeting held on Monday 8th September 2014
Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm
Present: Elected and co-opted members: Marion Turner, Acting Chair (MT), Teresa Langley, Secretary (TL), Phil Olson (PO), Bob Sendall (BS) Silvia Muras (SM), Betty Wright (BW)
Also present: Highland Councillor Linda Munro (LM), Temporary Ward Manager Garry Cameron (GC), Vicki Whittock (VW), Holly Slater (HS)
Police Scotland: PC Katy Hunter (KH)
Apologies: David Hannah, Chair (DH), Alan Lawrence, Treasurer (AL), Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF)
Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)
Item 1. Welcome/introduction of new Temporary Ward Manager. As Acting Chair MT opened the public session firstly announcing with great sadness the news of the unexpected death of Martin Calder, Postmaster in Bonar Bridge. The community has been stunned by this news today and thoughts and sympathies are with Doris and the family. Martin was a very much respected member of the community and will be greatly missed.
Welcome was extended to Cllr Munro and Ward Manager Garry Cameron then the meeting moved to Item 4 to take the Police report.
Item 4. Police report. KH advised there had been fifteen incidents reported in the last calendar month, one of them a criminal offence. No speeding offences have been noted. Discussion covered the problems with loaded lorries on the local roads and their driving behaviour. KH has expressed the community’s concerns to the management both at Yuill & Dodds and DFL and has received assurances that all drivers are bound to observe their companies’ good driving practices with sanctions taken against those who disregard them. The length of time left to run on the contract by Cromarty Firth Port Authority, which is occasioning this traffic should be ascertained. THC Planning Department should be consulted as to whether or not these extremely relevant environmental factors are taken into account fully at the consultation stage. A letter will be sent to Isobel MacCallum, Chair of North Highland Planning Committee. MT/TL Action. MT advised KH of two incidents of the same dog biting people. Any such incidents should be reported to the Police; KH will pass this report on. There was discussion about specific/persistent incidents of dog fouling. KH will pass on details to Dog Warden. KH was thanked for her attendance which is always appreciated and she left at 7.20pm.
Returning to the agenda, GC now introduced himself to the meeting. He has been appointed to the post of Ward Manager on a short term until the end of March 2015. He has lived and worked in the Highland region all his life with family connections dating back over two hundred and fifty years. After thirty years in the Police force, first as a constable and later sergeant, with his final post being that of Chief Inspector as Area Commander for this area. His main role is that of support to the three Highland Councillors for this ward and acting as a conduit between them and the various agencies and communities. GC will be based in Drummuie but will work primarily out of Lairg Service Point and others within the region. The second part of this public session was devoted to issues around parking in Ardgay especially as The Lady Ross site is up for sale and the parking allowed there by Colin Mitchell might no longer be available in the future. The area is used as a school bus pick up/drop off point, the mobile library, as well as by many for various reasons when parking in the centre of the village is required. One alternative suggestion was made to remove the roadside banking in front of Oakwood Place which could provide a ‘nose in’ strip similar to that in Bonar Bridge. It would create a substantial lay-by which could be used by drop-in shoppers to the Ardgay Stores as well as parents of children using the play park. With the Lady Ross being for sale it is possible that the centre of the village may be about to undergo change therefore it would be most helpful if THC Planning and Development could become involved in productive consultation to produce a beneficial plan for the area. Parking at the Public Hall is also an issue which needs to be addressed along with possible developments on The Lady Ross site, access to housing, road alignments, etc. LM and GC will liaise with David Cowie THC Planning in the hope of his attending the next CC meeting on October 13th. A representative of the Hall Committee will also be asked to attend. LM/GC/TL Action.
Item 3. Apologies. As above.
Item 5/6. Minutes of last meeting/Matters arising. The minutes of the July meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed by Phil Olson; seconded by Bob Sendall. (1) Rat problem. THC Environmental Health Officer has this under review. It is an ongoing problem meantime; review at next meeting. (2) Basketball stand. TL has established that Gledfield School will take the stand once is has been taken down from the site at the Hall. The Hall Committee has been advised that the CC will arrange removal as soon as possible. TL will chase up the appointed contractor. TL Action. (3) Cycle ramp. As Project Manager Matt Dent is waiting for feedback from the design team with regard to the suggested amendments. LM and GC will see if they can find a way to bring this long-running issue to a satisfactory conclusion. LM/GC Action. (4) Flower tubs repair/repainting. Secretary will enquire as to whether this could form an SSE Heart of the Community volunteer project. TL Action. (5) Bonar Bridge Football Club site. Further to last meeting’s suggestion that this site could become a camping site utilising the clubhouse facilities it is understood that the original gift of land by Skibo was for a football club and no other purpose. The field itself may be owned by THC. CC should check with John Clark in TECS, Bonar Bridge. PO Action.
Item 7. CASPLAN. Cllr Farlow has advised that the Plan is due to be published around 17th September with the papers for the area committee on 23rd. He has arranged a meeting with Creich CCs on the 22nd and invited Ardgay CC representation. Time to be decided. GC will liaise with GF and Russell Smith of Creich. GC Action.
Item 8. Newsletter. Congratulations extended to SM for an excellent issue. Distribution was dealt with at the end of the meeting.
Item 9. Correspondence. (1) THC advise that the new Tain Royal Academy is to be built on the existing site. (2) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust is holding an Open House on 9th October to allow viewing of the refurbishment of the Bonar Bridge Post Office House prior to advertising it for short term rent. (3) Ardgay Public Hall AGM will be held on 1st October. It may be helpful if a CC representative attends. ? Action
Item 10. Treasurer’s report. The report submitted by AL indicates that the Treasurer’s account balance stands at £763.15 with no outstanding cheques. The Projects account has £7612.66 having received a payment of £2500 from Beinn an Oighrean windfarm for community benefit. The Toilets account cleared balance is £767.65 with one outstanding cheque for £189. LM will chase up THC annual grant payments to CCs. LM Action.
Item 11. Secretary’s report. (TL) CC has acknowledged the generous help by Doreen Bruce to Carol Laver who together have produced an excellent floral display at the station. It was noted with disappointment that plants have been stolen from the tubs. The Ardgay War Memorial has won the category of Best War Memorial without a garden. GF reported that Network Rail is apparently insisting that the road be re-aligned. Campbell Stewart is investigating a budget for these works. If GF has no indication by the end of September as to the start of work he intends to seek all copies of relevant paperwork to then attempt to seek a solution from the Chief Executive Officer. BW advised that a Telford milestone has been found on the strip of land between the two temporary traffic lights. Appropriate action must be taken to rescue the stone and preserve it when the road works do take place. GF Action. Safer Routes to School Budget can only be accessed through the schools and parent councils which must produce routes, maps, numbers of children etc. VW will speak to Gledfield Head Teacher regarding routes etc. GF suggested in his report that a letter from CC in support of an updated Plan could be helpful. Secretary to write. TL Action. The poor siting of the 20mph speed limit signs at Gledfield School was highlighted once again with the problems being explained to Cllr Munro. Serious traffic issues are caused by the lights not being placed in appropriate positions. GF was asked to report by September to David Langley, on whose land one set of lights is wrongly situated but he has not been in touch as yet. TL Action. The setting up of a ‘Park and Stroll’ area was suggested.
Item 12. Windfarms. Achany. Deadline for applications to the fund is the end of October for December decision making meeting. Beinn Tharsuinn. No further information received from THC regarding their shedding of management. Talks ongoing with KOSDT. Glenmorie. Rejected by Scottish Government. Sallachy. Next liaison meeting in September. Caplich. Not yet submitted to Planning. MOU has been signed and returned by CC with regard to Community Benefit. Croick. CC has written suggesting discussions re community benefit.
Item 13. KoSDT update. Development Officer’s report has been circulated and is also available in the CC newsletter.
Item 14. Highland Councillor’s report. All points raised in GF’s report had been noted throughout the meeting.
Item 15. AOCB. (1) Grass verges. Throughout the area overgrown grass, bushes and trees are causing serious sightline issues. (2) Christmas lighting. Paul Whittock requests that THC ensure all plugs on lampposts are working. TL/VW Action. (3) 100th birthday of station. CC understands that the Heritage Society has this in hand.
Item 16. Date of next meeting. 13Th October at 7.00pm in the Ardgay Public Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
Item 17. Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm grant applications (private session)
Application by Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust for £576 towards Greening Kyle upcycling classes was approved.
Application by Kyle of Sutherland Cinema Club £310.40 towards establishing a cinema club was approved.
Meeting closed at 9pm.