Minutes 14 June 2021

Minutes of Meeting held on 14th June 2021 at 7:00PM via Zoom web conference

Minutes Approved 9th August 2021

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW); Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM); Marion Turner, Secretary (MT); John Denniston, Treasurer (JD); Andy Wright (AW); Rob Pope (RP); Anna McInnes, Minutes Secretary (AM); Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland (AP), Alison Moore, Christine Mackay (CM)

Apologies: Buster Crabb, David Watson, Kirsteen Currie


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

2. Apologies: Buster Crabb, David Watson, Kirsteen Currie

3. Approval of May 2021 minutes: approved as true and accurate record.

2. Apologies: Buster Crabb, David Watson, Kirsteen Currie
3. Approval of May 2021 minutes: approved as true and accurate record.
Date & Time:
Betty Wright, Chair (BW); Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM); Marion Turner, Secretary (MT); John Denniston, Treasurer (JD); Andy Wright (AW); Rob Pope (RP); Anna McInnes, Minutes Secretary (AM)
Also attending:
Matters Arising:

4. Matters Arising:

i. Flooding at Kincardine Cemetery: MT wrote to resident who raised original issue and advised Cllr Kirsteen Currie (KC) will be taking it forward but as yet no response. KC unable to join meeting, so MT will send KC letter asking for update. Action: MT

ii. Are 20mph Signs Working at Gledfield: SM spoke to Headteacher Mr Bews: he will speak to FM team to have lights checked, awaiting update from him.

iii. Bonar Straight Speed Limit: Issue to be raised on 14/6/21 at Sutherland Committee ward business meeting as part of Road Traffic Orders. MT wrote as member of public and asked what is the proposal to be discussed at meeting and what position will the Ward 1 councillors take, but received no reply. Speed limit should be reduced to 30mph for safety and encourage active travel. Awaiting results of the meeting. BW to write again to Tracy Urray, Roads. Action: BW

iv. Flower planters: SM confirm planters have been ordered and will arrive in July. Jean will create summer display once planters are available.

5. Chairperson’s Report: Anna McInnes has asked to be co-opted as full council member. Proposed: BW; seconded RP. BW confirmed with Phil Tomalin (PT) she can retain paid Minutes Secretary role. MT will share link to Code of Conduct from THC website. BW will advise PT and put on as Agenda item at next meeting to be public record then can be finalised. Action: BW

6. Secretary’s Report – incl. Correspondence & Matters Raised by Local Residents: MT has circulated all correspondence by email. The following matters were flagged for discussion:

i. Issues with Core Path at Badvoon: MT received letter from the daughter of a resident reporting problems using this Core path, specifically removal of the bridge. SM commented that this is part of a larger issue: the full path circuit has been blocked at many points in the last 5 years, so that even if the bridge was fixed the path will still be inaccessible. Access Officer Matt Dent (MD) is aware of the issue and was meant to get back to BW but there has been no update from him. CC would like to be able resolve these kinds of issues sooner and engage with residents and access officer. AW suggested better signage to raise awareness of paths, better engagement between owners, CC, and access officer. JD noted CC may have funds available for signage. Ultimately the Badvoon access issue sits with MD to resolve. BW will contact MD again and ask to meet onsite to review situation. Action: BW

ii. Ardgay Hall: Correspondence received from Rhonwen Copley with details of Hall availability under certain Covid-19 restrictions; can be used for small events but not reopening before Autumn for regular use. CC meetings will continue over Zoom until THC advises in-person meetings are allowed. SM suggested combination of Zoom and in- person meetings may be preferable even after covid, especially in winter. MT will advise Rhonwen that CC will continue with Zoom meetings for now and make a decision on using Hall once THC lifts restrictions on in-person meetings. Action: MT

7. Treasurer’s Report: JD circulated report ahead of the meeting. As of 31st May 2021 balance at the bank is: £34,745.29. This comprises Restricted funds: £34,140.49; CC Admin fund: £220.50; Windfarm Admin fund: £384.31. The balances of the restricted funds are BnO: £20,789.61; CnC: £12,310.00; BTWF Community Projects: £931.00; RWE Path: £73.20; Toilet Caretaking: £ 36.68. Expenditure since 30th April 2021: None. Income since 30th April 2021: None. Expenditure since 31st May 2021(not in bank statement yet): Web hosting: £32.54; Zoom: £43.17. Other expenditure not yet formally approved and not in accounts: Planters: £945.60. Planters were paid for as arranged in the last meeting: agreed by quorum via email and approved in this meeting: Proposed: JD, all agreed.

8. Forestry Replanting at Badvoon – Request for Input from Local Community: BW has not heard from Andy Murray, she will contact him again. AP requested information about plans for replanting for after the trees taken down; MT responded that we don’t know yet, as this is the information that Andy Murray will be sharing with CC. Action: BW

Fountains Forestry Proposal for Strathcarron Wood– Plans for the Next Few Years: BW will contact resident who has concerns about access track that runs by her house. She will have been contacted by them as a neighbour.

9. Regular Updates

  • Planning Issues:

i. Pure Leisure Gledfield Development: 21/02438/PAN & Online Consultation – 16th July & 9th August.

BW reports that Pure Leisure (PL) pre-application notice was submitted to THC, which means a full application cannot be submitted for 12 weeks. Initial proposal of 35 lodges has increased to 47 in same area of ground. Development has potential to impact community as much or more as a windfarm, so people need to be informed as fully as possible. CC has had no engagement with PL since their initial presentation. PL have not setup a local group to bring forward their plans nor have they provided ongoing consultation and regular updates as initially promised. Concerns exist about sewage, water, and proper road provision, not just passing places. CM raised several concerns about impact of development on local access to water supply; unsuitable and unsafe road conditions; as well as potential detrimental impact on fishermen. She further noted that the owner has already blocked off parking access on roadside. AW observed that there could be benefits to the area if done properly, but is concerned at lack of consultation thus far, community needs to be properly consulted at each step. MT suggested asking them to do mailshot to local area to inform residents about online consultation as it is important that all stakeholders submit their feedback. AM posed question about people without internet access who cannot respond to the online consultation. SM noted that public computers are available at library. JD & AP proposed sharing the link to consultation on THC website in meeting minutes: https://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QTCKIR IH09K00. MT asked if A&DCC will be statutory consultees; SM read that letters are to be sent on 9th July to consultees, with online consultation on 16th July and 9th August. MT will ask for postcard drop to all our residents. Action: MT

ii. (Meall Buidhe Windfarm 20/02659/FUL: Supplementary info has been supplied as requested by NatureScot, SEPA & THC. : MT advised CC have already commented and position remains unchanged. SEPA withdrew objection as changes were met.

iii. Application for Anemometer at Oape: MT advised we don’t need to comment.

  • Climate Issues: AP stated that the Gledfield School polytunnel build will be completed over the summer during school holidays.
  • Windfarms: The Meall Buidhe MOU has been signed/returned. BW noted Strath Oykel is in scoping at moment, proposal for 16 turbines up to 250 meters.
  • Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (KoSDT): Report from David Watson (DW) previously circulated by email regarding distribution of hardship funds. AW to send note of thanks to DW and KoSDT on behalf of CC for all of their hard work and action to support the community. Action: AW
  • Highland Council (THC): MT circulated link to final proposal for Local Government Boundary Review by email. Ward 1, which is largest geographic ward in country but has lowest population density, will lose 1 councillor, from 3 down to 2 and risk being under-represented. Cllr Kirsteen Currie was not able to join meeting to discuss. CC will wait for official notification and respond that we disagree if responses are allowed.

10. AOCB SM shared that she attended a very interesting webinar put on by Community Land Scotland with panel members from various organisations discussing tackling de-population and other land issues in the region. She will share a link to the recording.

11. Date of Future Meetings: The next meeting will be held on the 9th of August.

12. Grant Applications: No applications were received.

Meeting closed at 21:26.


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