Minutes 13th September 2021

Minutes of Meeting held on 13th September 2021 via Zoom Web Conference

Minutes approved: 13 November 2021

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW); Marion Turner, Secretary (MT); Andy Wright (AW); Rob Pope (RP); Anna McInnes, Minutes Secretary (AM); Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland (AP), David Watson, KoSDT (DW); Alison Moore, Christine Mackay; Stuart Hewlett

Apologies: John Denniston, Treasurer (JD); Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM); Buster Crabb


1. Welcome: BW opened the meeting and welcomed attendees.

2. Apologies: John Denniston (JD), Silvia Muras, Buster Crabb

3. Approval of August 2021 minutes: AM noted correction from JD to add action for him to write to the Kyle of Sutherland Gala. Minutes approved with correction as true and accurate record. RP Proposed, BW seconded.

4. Matters Arising:

i. Bonar straight speed: Raised at Sutherland County Committee meeting. Recommendation from Roads Dept is for partial extension of 30mph to Ardgay Game and 50mph for the remaining stretch of road. A&DCC position is for 30mph for the entire stretch of road. All 5 Councillors are supportive of A&DCC position and will take it up with legal dept for review at next meeting. BW will contact Linda Munro for update and stress the CC view hoping that 30mph can be achieved. Action: BW

ii. Gledfield development: The comments BW had circulated to members were submitted to consultation and copied to the agents and Mr Morphet. No response or acknowledgement has been received.

5. Chairperson’s Report (BW): No items to add.

6. Secretary’s Report – including Correspondence & Matters raised by local residents (MT): All correspondence circulated by email prior to meeting. Nothing was flagged for discussion.

  • Request to lay wreath at memorial agreed.
  • THC survey to be completed today: MT to reply that CC opposed reduction of councillors.

iii. THC access ranger enquires if we have any topics she could help with: MT requested posters for litter and campervans to put up on notice boards and is awaiting response. DW noted feedback about rangers has been very positive so far and they are clearly making an impact.

ii. Community Support Officer: email from Angela Platts, newly appointed community support officer for THC. DW noted potential for duplication with this role as KoSDT covers a lot of this support already. MT requested everyone read her email to identify any gaps or areas where her role can add value to what is already provided. Action: ALL

7. Treasurer’s Report (JD): Report circulated by email ahead of the meeting. As of 27th August 2021 the balance at the bank was: £57975.79. This comprises: Restricted funds: £57131.67; CC Admin fund: £587.67; Windfarm Admin fund: £256.45. The balances of the restricted funds are: BnO: £24,099.37; CnC: £32,937.02; BTWF Community Projects: £22.0812; RWE Path: £73.20. Expenditure since 30th July 2021: £220.00 to the Kyle of Sutherland Gala from BnO. Income since 30th July 2021: £20,627.02 received from CnC; £10.00 donation from Marion.

8. Badvoon – timber extraction, core paths:

  • Timber extraction: MT responded to two consultations with two different timber groups, as the same forest is owned by different agents. Timber harvesting is only allowed between April and November, any requests outwith need to be addressed to THC. MT left it with Andrew Murray to sort out arrangements.
  • Core Paths: BW is still trying to schedule onsite meeting with Matt Dent. Residents at Badvoon are not willing to meet with CC to discuss but BW will still meet with Matt for wider discussion about better signposting and encouraging use of paths in the area.

9. Christmas lights: Last year it was decided to put up lights permanently so they can just be switched on each year. MT has lights and will contact the person who puts on the lights. Action: MT

10. Regular updates

  • Planning issues: Lairg ll Windfarm re-design 21/00849/FUL – responses by 30th Sept.: CC will not submit comments.
  • Climate Issues: COP26 is coming up in 6-7 weeks in Glasgow and there is a lot going on locally/regionally. AP reported that a new climate action group Future Communities H&I met today. THC Annual climate event will be held on 21-22 October with talks and workshops, information is available on THC website: Click here to view programme
  • Windfarms: BW provided update on SSE community benefit Achany extension. Presented vision to SSE in line with Scottish government best practice that area of benefit should be agreed b/w community and company. And that the amount of Community benefit should better match the now standard offer of £5k per installed MW.
  • Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (DW): Falls of Shin: procurement will be in October/November to find full-time operator. Staffing is a big problem at present across hospitality sector due to Brexit and Covid19. Looking for community-based project that benefits visitors, applying for funding to replace mini-golf with outdoor green gym beside forest walks. Bonar Bridge Post Office works continue, on schedule to reopen in November. The Barn polytunnel is up, plans to create community space for everyone. Resubmitting planning application for South Bonar public toilets, have received sympathetic refusal from THC, now need to take to Scottish government ministers to challenge legislation and overturn SEPA objection. Working with SSE renewables to create development plan for region to reflect views of community for sustainable future. Met with Maree Todd & Pete Campbell re: windfarm objections. Need proper consultation and thorough investigation by KoSDT team to better represent views of entire community.
  • Highland council: No councillor in attendance.

11. AOCB

  • Queen’s Green Canopy Project: Christine Mackay raised tree planting Queen’s Green Canopy Project planned for the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year: https://queensgreencanopy.org/get-involved/plant/. Creich is interested and there are plans in Brora and Golspie. It was agreed this is a great community project. BW will contact the new Balnagowan factor to discuss options for tree planting. RP will flag the project to Culrain. Action BW, Action RP.
  • Flower tubs: All agreed to paying honorarium to Jean for looking after flower tubs. BW to advise JD. Action BW

12. Date of Future Meetings: The next meeting will be 8th November over Zoom, per guidance from THC to continue virtual meetings until Spring.

13.Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund Applications (private session):
  • Application to the Beinn Tharsuinn Wind Farm fund from the Kyle All Lives Matter (KALM) project was approved in the amount of £2,000.
  • Application to the Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit Fund from the Ardgay Junior Badminton Club was approved in the amount of £110.

Meeting closed at 20:49

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