Minutes 14 March 2022

Minutes of Meeting held on 14 March 2022 via Zoom Web Conference

Minutes approved:

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW); Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM); Marion Turner, Secretary (MT); John Denniston, Treasurer (JD); Andy Wright (AW); Buster Crabb (BC); Rob Pope (RP); Anna McInnes, Minutes Secretary (AM); Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland (AP), David Watson, KoSDT (DW); Stuart Hewlett (SH); Christine Mackay (CM); Donna Gillies, Hirsel Enterprises (DM); Amanda Coghill, North Climate Action Hub (AC)


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

2. Apologies: MT had email apology from libdem council candidate Michael Baird.

3. Approval of February 2022 minutes: Approved as true and accurate record. RP proposed, MT seconded.

4. Amanda Coghill of North Highland Climate Hub will address the meeting to explain role of NHCH & how they can help locally

AC is Development Officer from Climate Action Hub, provided overview of project. Remit is to map existing climate action projects across region. Scottish Government project funded for 3 years, just completed 6-month pilot phase. Aims to help groups to embed climate action in projects via signposting, advice, build networks, help groups support each other. Community-led action, project examples: Tool Libraries, Repair Cafes, Community Growing projects; get communities involved.

5. Matters Arising:

  • Footpath Network Project: CC members to arrange meeting with Matt Dent and DW to take forward in spring.

6. Chairperson’s Report (BW):

  • Access to Gearachoille Wood from Ardgay Hill: BW will follow-up on this. ACTION BW.
  • Situation in Ukraine. Update from THC, organise Ukraine weekend 1-2 April, will circulate when more details available.

7. Secretary’s Report – including Correspondence & Matters raised by local residents (MT): All correspondence circulated by email prior to meeting. No items of note.

8. Treasurer’s Report (JD): Report circulated by email ahead of the meeting. As of 28th Feb 2022, balance at the bank was: £48,916.84. This comprises: Restricted funds: £48,421.67; CC Admin fund: £413.20; Windfarm Admin fund: £81.98. The balances of the restricted funds are: CnC: £22,827.02; BnO: £24,099.37; BTWF Community Projects: £1,422.08; RWE Path: £73.20. Expenditure since 28th Jan 2022: £20.00 Membership of The Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society. Income since 30th Nov 2021: None. Expenditure not in statement yet: None.

9. Regular updates

  • Planning issues: MT submitted CC comments to planning portal for South Bonar Toilets and Pure Leisure Gledfield applications. MT has not had response re: telephone mast and will keep trying.
  • Climate Issues:
    • AP: fantastic joint project Sutherland Community Partnership with KOSDT, creating community orchard in middle of village. Implementing community compost project.
    • BW & SM to check if Riverwoods film https://www.scotlandbigpicture.com/riverwoods about planting riparian woods can be shown in Bonar Bridge Hall; AP suggested Planet Sutherland could do it as climate film evening. DW recommends getting Sean from Fisheries Trust involved.
  • Windfarms: MT provided update on latest Sallachy Windfarm meeting.
  • Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (DW): Updates include external post box at Bonar Bridge Post Office. New Bothy successful opening with MSP Maree Todd; thanks to volunteers especially AP and CM for genius name by CM. Addresses both food insecurity and social isolation. Starting work on new outdoor education space behind polytunnel. Planning app submitted for South Bonar toilets. Resilience plan: all defibrillators awaiting installation dates from contractors. Community Food Stop open by appointment due to Covid, café back up and running after 2 years. Helping Hands Fund: Serious issue of fuel poverty, vehicle fuel cost is not being included. Funds are already spent, also working with Edderton to cover area (not in KoSDT area). Ongoing crisis; will look to multi-year approach for funding from Creich, Ardgay, Edderton CCs.
  • Highland council: No councillor in attendance. Disappointing lack of engagement from local councillor to date, will try to get the new candidates engaged after election.

10. AOCB: No items to note.

11. Date of Future Meetings:

  • Next meeting will be 9th May 2022 in Ardgay Hall. AGM to be held in June after Council elections.
12.Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund Applications (private session):
  • Application to the Beinn Tharsuinn Wind Farm from Creich, Croick and Kincardine Day-Care Association for the project Music/ Movement and alternative treatments was approved in the amount of £700.

Meeting closed at 20:40

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