Minutes approved 13/02/17
Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 12th December 2016 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm
Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Andy Wright (AW)
Apologies: Sheila Lall (SL), Rob Pope (RP)
Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF), Buster Crabb (BC), 11 members of the public (listed at foot)
Police Scotland: No representative Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder
Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright opened the meeting with an expression of thanks to the members of the public attending to discuss the Scoping Document regarding Garvary Woodland and the proposed routes for extraction of timber. Concerns abound regarding the use of the Kincardine Road which is single track with few passing paces, obscured sightlines, poor surface condition of tarred section and track thereafter. The road is well used by residents and others by car, on foot and horseback. Twelve, soon to number fourteen, horses live with residents along the route. Many are young, not yet conditioned to traffic and are easily spooked by larger vehicles. Experience with log lorries has already shown that many drivers do not show due concern when meeting horses on the narrow road. Deep ditches run on both sides of the road with barbed wire fencing. The passing places are inadequate; it is already impossible to pass if two trucks or vehicles with trailers meet. At the very least THC should erect triangle warning signs indicating the presence of horses. Laden log lorries already vibrate the houses. Delivery drivers regularly abuse the road by ignoring safety issues. GF offered to meet residents in the coming week to conduct a site visit to assess safety issues, damage to the road and to liaise with THC Director of Roads. THC is not currently included in Fountain Forestry consultation circulation. There should also be consideration given to loss of visual amenity; the area could become a buffer zone and therefore be protected. An all-party meeting regarding harvesting should be arranged with planning and scheduling worked out how to deal with extraction periods. The police should be brought into the traffic management plans for this road and the junction with the A836. It appears that no thought has been given to an alternative route. As this is a commonly used path Matt Dent should be on board regarding what actions harvesters can have here. GF agreed to pass all concerns to THC, Fountain Forestry and The Forestry Commission. None of the residents present tonight had had any consultations or information delivered. CC will write to Fountain Forestry expressing the concerns of the community and inviting representatives to attend the February meeting. All individuals affected should write as well. BW Action.
Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the November meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Silvia Muras; seconded: Andy Wright.
Item 4. Matters arising/updates. (1) Christmas lights. The lights and tree are up in the village and looking good. Chair will convey thanks to Paul and Vicki Whittock.BW Action. (2) Finches Play Park. The repairs to the steps are nearly completed. Wheelie bins will be placed in the park. (3) A thank you card with gift garden voucher for £50 will be sent to Jeanie Sparling to mark her years of service looking after the toilet facility. BW/MT Action.
Item 5. Police report. No report available.
Item 6. Proposal to co-opt new member. Buster Crabb attended having been approached to consider accepting co-option to the CC. Proposed: Silvia Muras, seconded: BW. All members agreed and BC accepted the position and was welcomed accordingly. Ward Manager Garry Cameron to be advised. LP Action.
Item 7. Chairperson’s report. BW advised that SM has set up Dropbox to enable easy access to relevant documents. AW enquired if it might be possible to get a better projector to use at meetings. Discuss costs etc at a later meeting. BW will forward information regarding the Citizens Panel about which she has concerns. It appears that THC base policies on responses from this Panel although there are fewer than 2000 people on it and on average only half of them respond to questionnaires. BC raised the question of the much-used path at the Ardgay Regeneration Site as it may be compromised by the building of the houses. BW confirmed a survey and established the need for new housing. The CC noticeboard may be placed on the boundary wall to the east of the Public Hall.
Item 8. Secretary’s report. (LP) All relevant correspondence has been circulated.
Item 9. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The November 2016 balance at the bank is £14,513.34 of which £13,712.98 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £800.36 available to carry out the business of the CC. The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £330.00; BTWF – Community Projects – £414.53; Newsletter – £1638.25; BNO – £10,530.20; EON Path – £800. Invoice for RBL wreath £25 was approved for payment. The last payment for the season has been made from the Toilet funds. The Community Project funds are getting low; application will be held back until new tranche of funding received in the spring. SM passed on a Newsletter donation for £20.
Item10. Planning issues. Nothing relevant.
Item 11. Newsletter. (SM) Everyone is delighted with new 28 page issue. SM has created an advertising platform. 28 individuals from 21 different groups have approached SM and income is up on this period last year, to £541. Provision for fuel expenses of distributors can now be considered, paying mileage at 45p per mile. Paperwork for this to be collated by SM then passed to MT. SM/MT Action. SM was congratulated on producing this quality product for the CC.
Item 12. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (AW) Projects at Falls of Shin and Ardgay Regeneration are ongoing. Food shop/café on Mondays in Bonar Bridge is doing well.
Item 13. Highland Council (GF) Scottish Government says there is no decrease in money though COSLA says there is a huge decrease. Fewer people are now employed in THC. Salaries have not decreased. Issues are being raised. Frontline services in Roads Dept. are creating new posts. From the Revenue Budget 80% goes to Education. Serious gaps are expected over the next three years inevitably leading to more cuts. GF will provide a link to the minutes of the Sutherland County Committee which is beginning to make its presence felt. BT and Stagecoach attended the recent meeting. The priorities submitted by CC were put forward. These included the issue of request stops at Culrain Station and the timing of brashing on roadsides. MT requested the return of webcasting these meetings as it is not realistic for CCs to travel to all meetings. GF will follow up this suggestion. GF Action. The next meeting will be on February 22nd. Money will be available for War Memorials and the CC should be in receipt of a letter soon. CC can liaise with David Hannah and the Ward Manager. A Community Planning meeting will be held in Ferrycroft in January; GF will advise of date and time.GF Action.
Item 14. Broadband. Planning application has been made to site the green cabinet in Ardgay by the bus shelter near the phone box. MT asked that the Secretary ensure circulation to CCs of the weekly list. LP Action.
Item 15. Windfarms. Caplich. PLI Pre-exam meeting scheduled for 3rd February in Rosehall.
Item 16. Any other competent business. (1) Magical Forest Santa. This event was attended by upwards of two hundred people and was very successful. It also marked an excellent coming together of many local groups in Ardgay and Bonar Bridge working to achieve an excellent event for the wider community. Feedback has been very positive. Thanks were expressed to all groups with special mention made of Hayley Bangs, KOSDT’s Celebration Fund and of course, Santa.
Item 18. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday February 13th at 7pm in Ardgay Hall. Invitation to be sent to Fountain Forestry and THC Roads Department. BW Action.
Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.
At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by the Gledfield Primary School to BTWF was discussed with the decision taken to invite the Head Teacher to the March meeting to promote a better understanding of the issues around funding taking in the bigger picture. MG will write to Head Teacher. Awards made from the BnO were £150 to Ardgay Badminton Club for new racquets and £184 to Kyle of Sutherland Cinema Club to help with hall hire expenses. All applicants will be advised. MG Action.
Meeting closed 9.30pm.
Public attendees re Kincardine Road issue: Sue Wardrop, Honey Wardrop, Anna Patfield, Donna Docarme,
Donald Gillies, Austin Price, Mairi Munro, Cally Munro, Rhonwen Copley, Hilary Gardner, Innes Malcean