Minutes 12 June 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 highland.gov.uk 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 https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BCT5B8M. 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.

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