Minutes, 14 May 2018

Minutes of meeting held on Monday 14th May 2018 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 13/08/2018

Present: Silvia Muras, Vice & Acting Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Secretary/Treasurer (MT), Rob Pope (RP), Buster Crabb (BC), Betty Wright, Chair (BW)

Also present: Highland Councillor Linda Munro (LM), Highland Council Ward Manager Phil Tomalin (PT)

Police Scotland: None present – report received by email                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Apologies: Andy Wright, (AW), Leslie Pope (LP)

Items 1. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Acting Chair Silvia Muras welcomed everyone.

Item 2.  Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the March meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Betty Wright.

Item 3. Matters arising. (1) Ardgay/Bonar straight. Quote received last week. This has been submitted with application to Beinn Tharsuinn Fund for both Ardgay and Creich CCs. (2) Plant tubs. Meeting held with six volunteers. Tubs have been removed for replanting and return to display. A volunteer came forward to help with Christmas lights later in the year. (3) Defibrillators. Both defibrillators are now installed, in the Ardgay Public Hall and at Culrain phone box. Once registered with Scottish Ambulance they will be fully functional. Weekly checks will be required to maintain efficiency. Scottish Ambulance with Scottish Fire & Rescue Service will hold a seminar on 24th June covering both CPR and defibrillator training. As soon as the equipment is activated a photo shoot with subsequent press release will take place. SM/MT/BW Action. (4) Ardgay toilets. The amenity is open for the season. Thanks due to MT, BW, LM and Debbie Sutton, THC Amenities Officer. New supplies are in place. SM was thanked for sorting out stocks and maintenance. It was agreed to purchase two metal money boxes to allow for donations by users of the toilets with appropriate notices to be displayed indicating that the amenity is community run and needs support to continue. SM Action. (5) Banking services. Complaints to both Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland following attempts to have the mobile banking units stop in Ardgay have both failed to achieve a positive response. No further action is anticipated. (6) Broadband. The recent presentation in Bonar Bridge by Highland Wireless was very positive with orders now being taken for Stage 1 of the roll out. Full details can be found on the Highland Wireless website. It is hoped to commence Stage 2a during the summer with Stage 2b to follow as soon as possible thereafter. (7) Polling station review. CC welcomed the announcement that the polling station will be returned to Ardgay Public Hall for future elections. This is a very good outcome. MT will write with thanks. MT Action. (8) Sutherland Community Partnership Locality Plan.  Ongoing concerns raised regarding the confusion over the status of Ardgay and Creich in locality planning. Locality planning was decided on the basis of data gathered and reported in SIMD and SEPS reports. However, the geographical areas used by SIMD and SEPS are based on data zones which do no split clearly into Ardgay & District and Creich areas. A large part of the Creich Community Council area, from Inveran through Rosehall to the Altncealgach, is in fact in the same data zone as Ardgay. The data zone which includes Ardgay is named Rosehall. This raises concerns about the validity and fairness of the process of locality planning. It is important that these errors are corrected as this data will be used as the base for many future decisions for services, etc. These issues will be discussed at the upcoming pre-meeting on 2nd June and at the following meeting in public on 15th June.. He was asked to ensure that A&DCC is invited via  secretary@ardgayanddistrictcommunitycouncil.org.uk

Item 4. Police report. Received by email this afternoon the report itemises twenty-eight incidents over the past two months, comprising six road traffic offences, five of which were of speeding with one hit and run. The remaining calls were seven for information, one wildlife crime, two lost property, two animals, one concern for person, one fire, two thefts, three assistance, two damage and one alarm activation. Nothing was noted to pass back to the police.

Item 5. Chairperson’s report. BW reported that Tain CC has made comment that it is unhappy about the proposed Tain Academy 3-18 campus proposals. The Parent Council of Gledfield Primary School is represented on the stakeholders group and the CC will leave this matter to the school and the Parent Council’s attention meantime.

Item 6. Secretary’s report. All relevant email correspondence has been circulated. (1) THC head of Roads Dept Graham Mackenzie has responded re the complaint concerning the lack of top-dressing on the new surface of the Kincardine Hill road. The top-dressing will be applied after the appropriate time lapse to allow the new surface to settle. RP asked if ‘Slippery Surface’ signs can be erected to advise of the sometimes dangerous condition meantime. MT will contact John Clark, THC TECS. MT Action. (2) Change to Post Office times. SM will insert a piece in the next newsletter giving details. SM Action. (3) The Road Report will be a topic at the next Sutherland County Committee meeting on 23rd May. She will send a copy to MT when it is available. LM Action. (4) The VG-ES updates will no longer be circulated. Those wishing to remain on the mailing list should advise VG-ES as individuals.

Item 7. Treasurer’s report. The 25th April 2018 balance at the bank stands at £18,223.93 of which £17,970.05 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £253.88 available to carry out the business of the CC. The balances of restricted funds are: Toilet caretaking – £29.76, BTWF Community Projects – £3, 178.15, Newsletter – £2,291.01, BnO – £11,810.73, E.ON Path Fund – £670.40. The accounts for the year 2017-18 are finished, awaiting the auditor to sign them off ready for presentation at the AGM in June. The THC annual grants/budget cuts remain a contentious issue and will be an agenda item at the AGM. Agenda item/BW Action.

Item 8. Correspondence/Matters raised by local residents. (1) All received emails have been circulated. (2) New signage for the station will be in place soon.

Item 9. Regular updates:

(1) Planning. Nothing requiring discussion.

(2) Newsletter. Next copy date is Wednesday 23rd May. The success of the Children’s Art Exhibition and prize giving event, with both Primary Schools involved and most participants attending will be detailed in the next edition which should be due for distribution around 10th June.

(3) Windfarms. (1) Caplich development has been rejected by Scottish Government. The Wild Land issue was decisive.  (2) Shared ownership schemes. KOSDT is represented on the Scottish Government Community Benefits and Shared Ownership Steering Group. (30 No Ring of Steel (NoROS). Letter will be sent stating the CC’s neutral stance on all matters relating to windfarms. (4) Garvary. Scoping. (5) Sallachy. No confirmation of the time of a proposed meeting was received.

(4) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. Apologies received from AW. He will circulate a report.

Item 10. Highland Council. (1/2) Newly back in place as Ward Manager, Phil Tomalin was welcomed and thanked for attending. On cuts to CC annual grants he stated that East Sutherland Councillors plan to consider cases of hardship will be considered for top-up payment from the Ward Discretionary Budget. LM advised that North West and Central Sutherland Councillors are not in agreement on this. The new grants are agreed as part of the budget; CCs must look at how they administer their business and workload. Six meetings per year are required; ADCC currently meets eight times. Methods of speeding up meetings must be considered. The use of windfarm community benefit is suggested by THC. ADCC already receives an admin grant in this way. LM pointed out that in Ward 1 although six CCs do administer community benefit the remaining five do not. PT stated there are huge variations across the region in the amounts of honorariums paid for secretarial services. BW reminded the meeting that THC is due to review the CC Scheme starting this month. Further discussion of future meeting arrangements/costs to be scheduled for next meeting. Agenda item/BW Action.

Item 11. AOCB. Culrain. RP stated that there is not enough interest in the project for a new community hall in Culrain. The present hall is not fit for purpose, presenting health hazards. The Forest Trust has also closed down. Relevant matters can be directed through the hall committee meantime. There is no updated local information regarding Carbisdale Castle.

Item 12.  Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday 11th June 2018 at 7pm in Ardgay Public Hall. This will commence with the AGM and be followed by the regular monthly meeting. Meeting closed at 8.40pm.

Private Session. Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards. BTWF. Application by Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust was awarded £2,000 towards the community broadband project; Heart of Sutherland Tourism (HOST) was awarded £1,000 towards website development; Ardgay Public Hall was awarded £1,260 towards heating and signage enhancement; A&DCC was awarded £1,278.60 towards installing seats on the Ardgay/Bonar straight; Kyle of Sutherland Hub Ltd was awarded £750 towards its Children and Youth Activity Programme. BnO. Kyle of Sutherland Cinema Club was awarded £125; Ardgay & Culrain SWI received £250; Ladybird Club £200. E.On Path Fund. £495.37 was awarded to the Gearrchoille Community Wood Ardgay towards path upgrades.

Meeting closed 9.20pm.

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