Posts Tagged ‘Minutes 8th March 2021’

Minutes 8 March 2021

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Minutes of meeting held on Monday 8th March 2021 on Zoom at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 12th April 2021

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)

Apologies: Mary Goulder, minutes secretary

Also present: Karen Anderson, Chris Bell & Gillian Wilson SSE renewables; Maria Bellissimo, teclan; Highland Councillor Kirsteen Currie (KC), Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland (AP), Christine Mackay (CM), Jan Patience (JP)

Items 1 & 2. Welcome & apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone to this Zoom meeting, especially representatives from SSE & members of the public. ,

Item 3. Presentation from SSE renewables re Achany Wind Farm extension. BW introduced the speakers & reminded the meeting that community Benefit discussions would be held separately at a later date.  KA (consent manager SSE) introduced the project team.  Project manager – Gillian Wilson & Chris Bell, community liaison.  SSE renewables have a portfolio 4GW of generation.  The revised GlenCassley proposal has been renamed Achany extension.  Proposed 20 turbines at a height of 149.9m.  Revised scoping submitted to ECU in November 2020.  The new scheme would use existing access from Achany WF.  Chris Bell confirms there will be discussions re community benefit & refers to existing Achany fund which has put £1M into local area over last 10 years.  Would welcome discussions re shared ownership with local groups.  Next steps – a formal consultation, probably June, to be held in line with government guidelines in place at that date.  Questions followed:  BW:  any battery storage to be included?  To avoid constraint?  KA: No plans for this site.  AW: expresses concern that with Climate Change we should be looking at all options – having a Smart grid available locally would allow increasing numbers of electric car batteries to provide storage.  Fuel poverty in this area is a real problem.  Surely there must be a way for locally produced electricity to alleviate this – thereby also increasing the acceptance of windfarms locally.  Also, could the WF access tracks be used for off road cycling?  KA – access has been arranged on other SSE sites. CB: Smart meters & increased rollout of EV charging infrastructure will help to address this problem.  SSE were thanked for their presentation.

Item 4. Approval of February minutes. The minutes of the February meeting were approved as a true and accurate record. Proposed: Andy Wright; seconded: Marion Turner.

Item 5. Matters arising. (1) 20mph signs at Gledfield school – these still do not appear to be working.  Contact THC for update on the repair & ask them to ensure that road users know they are not working.BW to action.  Report that Sutherland Committee are pursuing rollout of 20 mph zones in more Sutherland villages. (2) Flooding at Kincardine cemetery – KC had raised this issue, but no response yet. KC to follow up.MT to update resident  (3) Salt bins at Drovers square – residents can request that Albyn housing refill these.  (3) Bonar straight – KC says this has not yet come to Sutherland committee for consideration. (4) Road repairs – KC has reported these & roads dept are assessing the situation.  Some of the worst potholes along Strathcarron have been infilled.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (1) ADCC website has been managed for many years by Phil Olson who would like to pass on this task. BW thanked him for all his work & apologised for not addressing the issue at an earlier meeting.  It was agreed that the task of updating the website would be added to the work of new minutes secretary when one is in place.  AW offers to rebuild the website, but it was agreed that this is not necessary at this point, as primary use is for our minutes & agendas & CB fund application forms.  Any local news can be shared via KoSDT website & Kyle Chronicle. (2) appointing a new minutes secretary: AW suggests approaching DW to enquire if KoSDT could offer help. SM asked to put advert on Facebook.  BW action. (3)There will be a meeting of the Local Resilience group tomorrow.  Work on the resilience plan is continuing.

Item 7. Secretary’s report/matters raised by local residents. Request received from Bradbury Centre for a letter of support for plan to keep old bus for use by community groups – agreed that MT would write this. MT action  Letter received from resident that the toilets in Ardgay were locked & also that the disabled toilet was blocked.  It was suggested that the individual report this direct to the Highland Council (THC) via their website & to get back to us if issue not addressed.  SM said that Contact information for THC was included in the upcoming issue of Kyle Chronicle.  

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (JD) JD had circulated the report ahead of the meeting. As of 23rd Feb 2021 balance at the bank is: £42620.68. This comprises: Restricted funds: £41865.49, CC Admin fund: £338.69, Windfarm Admin fund:

£416.50. The balances of the restricted funds are: BnO: £20,789.61, CnC: £19,810.00. BTWF Community Projects: £1,156.00, RWE Path: £73.20. Toilet Caretaking: £36.68. Expenditure since last meeting to 23 Feb, payment to Minutes secretary, £500 received from Beinn Tharsuinn fund to windfarm admin fund, payment also made to Ardgay Hall for Broadband.  MT asks if ADCC account should request a debit card.

Item 9. Coire na Cloiche CB funds. (BW).  MT asked if Kyle of Sutherland Heritage society should be included in annual awards.  A decision to include them along with Ardgay Hall, Culrain Hall & Gearrchoille Community Wood had been deferred to allow Creich cc to discuss.  It was agreed that they should now be included.  SM & MT have produced guidelines & an application form for this new fund.  It includes a restriction on annual turnover, as this is aimed at smaller groups.  All agree with suggestion from BW that we are now ready to pay out funds & invite these groups to complete application form.  Annual awards to be:  Ardgay Hall & Culrain Hall £3k; Gearrchoille community wood & Kyle of Sutherland Heritage society £1.5k; all awards to be offered annually for an initial period of 5 years – dependant on an annual report.  Other groups are also to be invited to apply to remainder of the fund for grants of £250- £2000.  BW thanks MT & SM for all their work on this.  MT to action

Item 10. Benches & local walks in need of attention: SM: Suggests that local organisations (KoSDT, CreichCC, Lairg & district community initiative) compile a list of walks that could be improved with the addition of a bench.  These can range from very simple wooden structures to the beautifully carved ones as at Ledmore wood.  AW reminds the meeting that maps of local cycle routes had been online.  Other communities have produced leaflets or apps of local walks.  Are all the Core Paths signed?  AP mentions Walk Highlands who in conjunction with ViewRanger describe a number of local Ardgay walks.

Item 11.  Regular updates:

(1)    Planning issues.  None of note

(2)    Climate issues. (i) Joe Perry has accepted an invitation to a special ADCC meeting in April.  Creich CC have also been invited.  Info to be shared on FB & questions invited.  MT reports that there are plans to build a Hydrogen plant at Invergordon – could such projects make use of constrained electricity from local windfarms?  (ii) AP mentioned the Highland adapts program that Joe can tell us about.  (iii) Lairg Learning Centre have a series of Carbon Conversation online workshops starting 22 March – free to book via Eventbrite.  (iv) KC: UKAEA are asking for candidates to site a prototype Nuclear Fusion reactor (STEP).  Highland council is considering applying to have it sited at Dounreay.  A decision has to be made by the end of the month as to whether they want to bid for the siting of this.  Fusion power has been cited as providing Carbon free electricity, but so far none have been constructed that produce more power than they use – an unproven technology.  AW emphasises that we need lifestyle change & system change and not just clean energy to address Climate problems.

(3)    Windfarms. (i)  BW and MT have recently attended online meetings with Sallachy, Strath Rory, Muirden & Garvary. developers to discuss community benefit. (ii) Meall Buidhe. Agreement that CB funds should be shared between Ardgay & district, Creich & Assynt community councils.  (iii) Discussions with SSE Achany extension to be held in near future.

(4)    Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. SM reported that they are looking for a new operator for Falls of Shin & refurbishment works are planned for Post Office building in Bonar Bridge

(5)    Highland Council. KC: Revenue budget passed, which includes money (180K) for traffic road orders, although this also covers passing places, laybys & verges.  Any concerns re Highland council playparks to be passed to KC.

Item 11. Any other competent business. MT raised the issue of support for proposed Motor Home Parking site at south Bonar which was discussed at a previous meeting.  SEPA have raised concerns about the risk of flooding at the site.  This is well known!  As this is a site for mobile homes, and not a permanent building, it was agreed that secretary would add a support comment from ADCC on THC planning site.  Residents & individual cllrs can also comment. 

Item 12. Date of future meetings. next meetings: with Joe Perry, Highland council Climate Co-ordinator April 12th 2021 (no other agenda items).  Next business meeting May 10th 2021 Both via Zoom, at 7pm.

Item 13. Applications to Beinn Tharsuinn, Beinn nan Oighrean community benefit funds No applications.

Meeting closed 9.03pm