Minutes 14 July 2014


Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 14th July 2014 in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected & co-opted members: David Hannah, Chair (DH), Marion Turner, Vice Chair (MT)Secretary (TL), Phil Olson PO), Betty Wright (BW), Bob Sendall (BS), Sylvia Muras (SM)

Police Scotland: No representative

Apologies: Teresa Langley, Secretary (TL), Alan Lawrence, Treasurer (AL), Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF) Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

Items 1/2/3. Welcome/Apologies (as above)/Police report. Chair DH opened the meeting, noting that there was no Police representative or report to hand. The last attendance by a Police officer was in May.

Item 4/5. Minutes of June meeting/matters arising. The Minutes of the June meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed by Marion Turner; seconded by Phil Olson. (1) Rat problem. THC will take no further action until the autumn. CC will monitor the situation. Agenda item. (2) Floral decorations. A new hose has been ordered for the water barrel. Jocky Hewitt is filling the barrel at the Ardgay Garage with the kind permission of Paul and Vicki Whittock. As offered, Cllr Farlow delivered plants to JH. All tubs are in need of maintenance and repair with paint and wood preservative; metal bands have rusted. A ‘tub repair’ party was proposed for the autumn and will be mentioned in the next newsletter. SM Action. A sum of up to £100 has been approved to Carol Laver to plant and maintain the tubs at the station. Carol was warmly thanked for her commitment to this project. (3) Overgrown bushes on route to school. THC has advised that these are the responsibility of the property owners along the route but Jon Clark, THC Community Officer would take up the matter with them. (4) Kyle of Sutherland Youth Development Group. It was agreed that the CC should issue a letter of support for the plans for the group’s new ‘hub’ proposed at their South Bonar site. TL Action. (5) Basketball stand. Following the previous indication that the basketball stand might need to be removed from the car park due to the proposed installation of solar panels on the roof of the Public Hall, the CC will reply to the Hall Committee indicating that it will arrange the removal as and when required. TL Action.

Item 6. Invershin viaduct cycle ramp update. It was understood last month that THC Road Safety Team is liaising with Network Rail and that Matt Dent, Core Paths Officer, is co-ordinating the project. Nothing further this month. Agenda item.

Item 7. Treasurer’s report. (AL) In the Treasurer’s absence there was no report this month. As only two weeks have elapsed since the last meeting it was suggested then that any changes to bank account balances would be minimal and will be reported at the next meeting (September).

Item 8. Secretary’s report. (TL) No report in absence of Secretary.

Item 9. Newsletter – donations. (SM) A £3 donation was received from members in the district in appreciation of a great newsletter.

Item 10. Windfarms. Achany. The Panel will meet next on 1st September for a review/business meeting. Beinn Tharsuinn. No imminent change expected to the administration of the Community Benefit Fund.  Croick. This application is apparently for two turbines of 2.3megawatts each. MT will contact the agents to try to instigate discussions regarding Community Benefit. MT Action.

Item 11. MOU Muirhall Energy Limited. A copy of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the developers and local Community Councils was discussed and found to be too specific in its wording regarding groups which could be supported. An amended version was agreed and if this is accepted by the developer it will be signed on behalf of the CC by DH/MT. It was reiterated that signing this MOU in no way affects the CC’s right to comment on the proposal with regard to the Planning Application. DH/MT Action.

Item 12. Correspondence. PO referred to a letter from Friends of the Far North Line which asked if there are any plans in place for celebrations of the Ardgay station’s 150th anniversary on 1st October. It was suggested that the KoSDT might be involved as could the Kyle of Sutherland Heritage Society. Renaming the station as ‘Bonar Bridge’, as it was first named, for a one day event could be tied in with a time when the northbound and southbound trains meet allowing passengers to travel between local stations with music/entertainment provided on the platform and on the trains. A ‘Bake a Train’ competition could be run. A steam train run on the route would be very popular. Other ideas welcome. PO will liaise with KoSDT etc and report back in September.

Item 13. Lairg Learning Centre report. A copy of the LLC report was given to A&DCC, as per conditions for the Beinn Tharsuinn grant it received, showing details of expenditure with receipts.

Item 14. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust update. (MT) A Community Consultation on behalf of HIE has been completed. 40th celebrations of Bonar Bridge and The Big Lunch event were both well supported and very successful. Greening Kyle climate challenge team will be inviting locals to attend a new ‘growing group’ with meetings arranged in each CC area. The Trust continues to offer its Home Energy Surveys. The website is up and running again with more work being carried out. Submissions for the website are encouraged especially with regard to details of upcoming events.

Item 15. Highland Councillor’s report. Nothing in GF’s absence.

Item 16. Any other competent business. (1) Gazebo. A 2m x 3m gazebo is available for rent. Contact via the CC website. (2) Gala week. Programmes are now available with details of events during the week 2nd – 9th August. Copies may be found in the Ardgay shop. (3) War memorial dedication. The rededication of the Bonar Bridge war memorial will take place on 4th August between 11.30am and 2pm. A CC representative should attend – DH will do so. Judging of the maintenance of war memorials was carried out today. (4) Hall Committee AGM. With the recent resignation of David Laver, the CC no longer has a representative on the Hall Committee. It is usual for groups which use the hall to provide a representative. If one cannot be appointed every effort must be made to maintain regular liaison between the CC and the Hall Committee, each group keeping the other informed of local issues and events. A sharing of minutes of meetings could be established. Both PO, for the CC website, and SM, for the newsletter, should contact the Hall Committee and other local groups seeking to establish good communication links with details being published on the CC website and within the newsletter. (5) Bonar Bridge Football Club. As it appears that the Bonar Bridge Football Club is no longer active, suggestions were made with regard to the land owned by the club. A camping site could be developed quite easily, utilising the pavilion building for shower block facilities, etc. The idea could be passed to Creich CC and KoSDT for consideration. (6) Newsletter deadlines. Copy for the next issue should be with the Editor by 25th August with an expected publication date of 10th September.

Item 18. Date of next meeting. There being no meeting in August the next meeting will be held on Monday 8th September at 7pm in Ardgay Public Hall. DH submitted his apologies in advance; MT will take the chair.

There were no applications to the Beinn Tharsuinn or Beinn nan Oighrean funds to be discussed

Meeting closed at 8.10pm.

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