Posts Tagged ‘Minutes’

Minutes 08 May 2017

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 8th May 2017 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), Sheila Lall (SL), Rob Pope (RP),

Apologies: Buster Crabb (BC)

Police Scotland: No representative                                Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above) Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone and with no police report available proceeded through the agenda.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the March meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Rob Pope.

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Dropped kerb opposite Ardgay Stores. Owing to changes in job title and description, John Clark, CWO, has noted the problem and will respond in due course. (2) Culrain phonebox. Phone box would be an ideal siting for a defibrillator. There is no defibrillator on this side of the Kyle; the nearest, in Bonar Bridge, is too far away to be of any use in an emergency. SSE Resilience Fund to be approached for help with funding two defibrillators, one each for Ardgay and Culrain. The fund is open until the end of the 15th June. SM Action. (3) Oakwood Place path. Matt Dent and Rhonwen Copley are liaising re this project. Bags of stones to be delivered from Travis Perkins. (4) Footpath around Drovers Square. Chosen route will remain. (5) Sutherland Community Partnership. MT attended the recent meeting which focussed on drug and alcohol abuse issues. Also communities urged to submit lists of their priorities for works in each area; this CC has a list of priorities which will be given to SCP.  Action BW. A survey of all Sutherland residents is available with everyone encouraged to complete and return either online or hard copy. Of the survey responses received so far transport appears to be the most concerning issue. References within the meetings appear to refer to Bonar and Ardgay as one area. The next meeting will be in Lairg on 19th May. RP and LP volunteered to attend if possible.

Item 5. Police report. Email report received indicated three advise/assistance calls, two road traffic matters, and five speeding offences.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (1) Secretary’s mailbox. Various problems recently have resulted in some circulation issues which also included confusion over the use of Facebook. It was decided that the email should remain as the contact point for people accessing the CC for any reason with the Facebook page being used to disseminate information from the CC to the public. Contact via the website does go directly to ‘secretary@…’ Emails received by the Secretary will be forwarded to CC members as before. (2) AGM will be held on 12th June. This will include the annual reports from the Chair and Treasurer, the BTWF report (RP) and the BnO report (MT). SM will give a report on the Newsletter. A THC Cllr should be in attendance but failing this MG will take the Chair for the purpose of conducting the office bearers’ elections.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. All relevant correspondence has been circulated. BW agreed to complete the survey for HM Fire Service Inspectorate. Third Sector Assembly will be on 23rd June in Inverness. Bank of Scotland branch in Bonar Bridge will cease operation on 5th September. No details available as yet regarding the proposed mobile service; nearest open branch will be Tain. Survey of Hall users will be completed by SM who also volunteered to represent the CC on the Hall Committee. A recommendation will be made for the installation of a child safety gate at the steps in the hall and that something be done about the unused notice board by the front door.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The 20th April 2017 balance at the bank is £ 18,063.22 of which £ 17,844.61 are   restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £218.61 available to carry out the business of the CC.

The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £1,429.76, BTWF – Community Projects – £145.15,
Newsletter – £5,267.50, BNO – £10,202.20, EON Path – £800. MT advised that the end of year accounts were finalised in April and are currently with auditor prior to the AGM.

Item 9. Ardgay Public toilets. Supplies will continue to come from THC via John Clark. Sheena Shaw, newly appointed caretaker, has submitted her first invoice. The toilets are open for the season.

Item 10. Regular updates:

(1) Planning issues – Tain 3-18 campus. Much concern over the 3-18 campus model which will disadvantage rural children at their transition from village schools to secondary, the Tain children having been on site since aged 3 years. The lack of inclusion in activities, e.g. swimming, highlights the issue, leading to marginalisation of small schools. The overall plan for the school aims to put too much into one site. CC to write to Planning with comments and also to support many of the good comments already submitted by others. AW Action.

(2)  Newsletter. (SM) SM was congratulated for another good issue. 25th May is copy date for the summer edition. The application for ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) was successful. The newsletter has been assigned two ISSN, one for the hard copies and another for the online format. This will allow incorporate a bar code in future newsletters and sell copies on any outlet. Articles relevant to the Garvary wood extraction were requested. A box with highlights from CC meetings could be introduced, bullet-point format. LP will draft suggestions for SM.

LP/SM Action.

(3) Ardgay Regeneration. BW reported that at the recent CARES conference, attended by herself and AW, the delegates were very impressed by the ongoing projects in the Kyle of Sutherland area perceiving this as a very vibrant area in which to live. Work on the Lady Ross site is due to start in the coming week with Valerie Houston as Project Manager. Albyn Housing workers will access the site from the rear to minimise disruption at the front of the site.

(4) Broadband. CBS press release indicates that Scottish Government subsidy is available to help with the cost of satellite installation in areas where superfast broadband rollout will not be available.

(5) Windfarms. (1) Braelangwell. CC has responded to Scoping document. (2) SSE & E.ON Community Fund Panel requires a community representative from the Ardgay area. Anyone interested should complete a nomination form. An election will be held ahead of the AGM in June if more than one nomination is received.

(6) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. Falls of Shin project completed with a ‘Celebra Shin’ event on 13th May. Two jobs within the Trust have been advertised.

Item 11. Highland Council. Recent local government elections saw the return of Linda Munro and Hugh Morrison as councillors for this Ward with the addition of Kirsteen Currie. They will decide as to how to work with local CCs. MG will write with congratulations and also give dates etc of meetings for the rest of the year. MG Action.

Item 12. Any other competent business. (1) MT to send link to BW regarding Census population figures. MT Action.

(2) SL advised that she will be standing down from the CC at the AGM due to pressure of other commitments. She still plans to attend meetings whenever possible. She was warmly thanked for her input to and support of the CC during her time as a councillor.

Item 18. Date and time of next meeting. The meeting will be held on Monday 12th June at 7pm in Ardgay Hall. This will be the AGM which will take place ahead of the regular monthly meeting, with the Achany Panel election if required also taking place first thing that evening.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, application by The Friends of the Bradbury Centre was approved, subject to match funding, with an award of £500 towards a music and alternative treatments project. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust’s Keep Active Together project also received an award of £1,500.

Meeting closed 9.16pm.

Minutes approved 12/06/2017

Minutes AGM 13 June 2016

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Ardgay & District Community Council

Approved Minutes of AGM held on Monday, 13th June 2016 at 7.00pm in Ardgay Hall

Present: Elected members: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Sheila Lall (SL), Andy Wright (AW)

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF), Phil Olson (PO)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

Apologies: Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Rob Pope (RP)

Items 1/2.  Welcome/Apologies/(see above) The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed all present.

Item 3. Minutes of last AGM. The Minutes of the last AGM held on Monday 8th June 2015 were accepted as a true and accurate record.  Proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Betty Wright.

Item 4. Chairperson’s report. (BW) I have been chairperson of the cc since first meeting of the newly convened council in March.  The previous cc was dissolved at end of Nov 2015 following elections earlier in the month when not enough people came forward as candidates, so the cc remained in abeyance until another election was called early in 2016 when there were sufficient numbers to form a new council following an uncontested election.  Our first meeting of the new council comprising Betty Wright, Silvia Muras, Marion Turner, Sheila Lall, Rob Pope & Andy Wright was held in March, when we welcomed Leslie Pope as an associate member and Mary Goulder agreed to continue as our invaluable minutes secretary.  Mary also keeps us up to date with minutes of Creich & Lairg ccs, who also receive minutes from this cc.

I would like to thank the members of the previous cc – Alan Lawrence, Phil Olson, Bob Sendall, Theresa Langley & David Hannah – who for many years served as chairperson & represented the community on a number of local organisations.  The current community council has not been able to send representatives to all of these groups, so we hope that others attending will be able to report back on items of note which should be shared with our community.  We do continue to have reps on the E.ON Rosehall/ SSE Achany windfarm community benefit panel, the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust and the Beinn Tharsuinn community benefit.

The current cc is a good balance of previous members, who give a sense of continuity & new members who bring a fresh perspective.  It is good to have representatives from a wide area of our patch – indeed the only area not represented is the village of Ardgay!  As the cc is not up to its full complement, the opportunity is still open for others to join us.

Communication is key to the functioning of the cc. I see the community council as a vehicle with which local residents can raise issues which affect our community which can then be raised with the relevant public bodies, primarily the Highland Council.  To that end I would like to thank our 3 local councillors, Linda, Hugh & George – particularly the latter who attends most of our meetings & raises issues with & answers questions about THC.  We communicate info to residents via newsletter – Silvia Muras continues as editor; Facebook – recently set up by Leslie Pope; website –thanks to Phil Olson who has agreed to continue with this meanwhile – we welcome dialogue via newly organised Saturday chats in Ardgay café, & of course our regular meetings.  It would be grand to see an increased attendance at these events.

There have been no new windfarm projects consented in our area over the last year – indeed THC has raised objections to several.  This cc maintains a neutral stance regarding these planning applications – reflecting the varied opinions of our residents, but it cannot be denied that the community benefit funds have had a large positive impact to our area & I personally can’t help thinking that the move towards shared ownership being offered by the latest projects would have had an even greater impact.

The development officer post at the KoSDT is currently funded by ‘windfarm’ money and Helen Houston has made very effective use of community benefit grants from EON, SSE & Beinn Tharsuinn to leverage in many times the amounts in inward grants to fund several large ongoing projects e.g. Shin Falls & Ardgay Regeneration Project.  These already have made an impact by providing local employment & both will continue to do so for many years.  KoSDT also has other projects running – Greening Kyle (now finished), Cosy Homes ES, KAT as well as taking forward the community broadband initiative that should help broadband reach the parts that BT can’t get to and organising other local events – including this weekend’s Queens birthday celebration street party.

Numerous other projects also benefit from funding including our local community wood – the Gearrchoille – refurbishment of village halls, supporting Gala Week.

The cc continues to ensure the village flower tubs are maintained – the Growing Group has taken on the task this year; and the Xmas lights will be discussed at our next meeting. The toilets in Ardgay remain open & looked after by Jeannie Sparling – a big thank you to her for this.  We also will be involved in addressing opportunities offered by the NC500 route, helping to ensure that local attractions are not ignored.

We look forward to the challenges of the coming year when we will all endeavour to serve our local community.

Non- community project – Carbisdale – fell through – local people doing it for themselves – NC500 opportunities.

Item 5. Treasurer’s report (MT). The audited accounts were approved and will now be submitted to THC to trigger the annual grant payment. MT Action. Report below:

Following CC elections in February 2016 there was a change of Treasurer.  I would like to record my thanks to Alan Lawrence who was Treasurer for two previous councils including the greater part of the past financial year. He handed on the accounts restructured, up to date and well organised which made the job of taking over the Treasurership and preparing the annual accounts so much easier.

Last year the CC altered the way it reports its accounts coming into line with the preferred HC format. One advantage of this is that it is now much easier to see how the CC balance is made up.

The accounts show that the CC has a balance of £12354.84 of which £11731.32 are restricted funds.

By far the biggest component of the balance is the money held by the CC which comes from the BNO windfarm benefit which is there to be disbursed to community groups through the CC’s Small Grants Applications.  The accounts show that five awards were made totalling £950.

Each year the CC is given two grants from THC. One is to carry out the running of the CC and the other pays for the caretaking of the Ardgay Toilet. It is important that the level of these grants is maintained as any decrease would adversely affect the work of the CC and the level of service to the Toilets. The figures show that the CC stayed within its budget for administration – this was helped by the gap for elections – but a slight overspend on toilet caretaking was incurred.

The overall balance also includes grants and awards which the CC has applied for on its own behalf for particular purposes. Of the BTWF award £878.48 remains.

During financial year 15-16 the award from the EON windfarm fund for the production of the newsletter came to an end.  Because the CC considers it important that this newsletter is delivered free to every household in the A&D CC area the CC will now look to make applications to secure further funding to continue the production of the newsletter. It is gratifying to note however, that revenue from sales, donations and advertising is increasing year on year.

Item 6.  Election of Office Bearers 2016-17. All members of the Community Council stood down and Councillor Farlow took the chair for the purpose of electing the Chair.  He expressed his enjoyment in attending the CC meetings but stated that this would be his last time of chairing the AGM elections as he stands down from office next year.

Betty Wright was proposed to continue as Chair; proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Sheila Lall.

Silvia Muras was proposed to continue as Vice Chair; proposed: Andy Wright; seconded: Marion Turner.

Marion Turner was proposed to continue as Treasurer; proposed: Sheila Lall; seconded: Betty Wright.

Leslie Pope was proposed to continue as Secretary; proposed: Marion Turner; seconded Sheila Lall.

Phil Olson agreed to continue to maintain the CC website and was warmly thanked for his work on it.

Sylvia Muras was proposed to continue as Newsletter Editor; proposed by Betty Wright; agreed by all.

Mary Goulder was proposed to continue as Minutes Secretary; proposed: Silvia Muras and agreed by all.

All proposed accepted the positions; LP had indicated her acceptance, should she be nominated, prior to the meeting. Any other responsibilities within the CC will continue as before, by unanimous agreement.

Item 7. Any other competent business. None raised.

Item 8. Date and time of next AGM. This will be on 12th June 2017.

Meeting closed at 7.25pm.

Minutes approved 12/06/2017

Minutes 13 June 2016

Monday, June 13th, 2016
Minutes approved 08/08/2016 Download

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 13th June 2016

in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected, co-opted and associated members: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Andy Wright (AW), Sheila Lall, (SL)

Apologies: Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Rob Pope (RP)

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF), Phil Olson (PO)

Police Scotland: None present  Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone to this meeting which followed immediately on the closure of the AGM.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the May meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Silvia Muras.

Item 4. Matters arising/updates.

(a)     Bank of Scotland, Bonar Bridge.  The 26th May saw the ‘Open Day’ in Bonar Bridge at which members of the public were invited to give their views on the service of the Bonar Branch, now reduced in opening hours to five on Tuesdays. BW attended and stressed the community wish to return to a two day service and the concern that ever-reducing footfall due to the few hours available would inevitably lead to complete closure of the branch. If more hours cannot be provided, the very least the Bank can do to supply service to customers is to install an ATM once again in the village. Out of shop hours it is impossible to obtain cash locally with the nearest ATM being in Lairg. The campaign to improve this situation continues.

(b)     WifFi Ardgay Hall. The Hall Committee is awaiting outcome of applications for funding and is awaiting installation by BT.

(c)     Broadband. Project still awaits BT survey regarding where it will roll-out service.

(d)     NC500 route. BW and AW plan to attend the meeting in Lairg tomorrow night, aimed at encouraging local businesses to get together to promote the area through the NC 500 website and information leaflets. Existing ‘Meanderings’ leaflet does this for other areas with information about ‘off route’ buildings of interest, etc. Something similar could be produced for this area with details of accommodation, restaurants/cafes, etc.

(e)     Flower tubs. The Growing Group will take on care of the tubs, working with Jeanie Sparling. Planting expected to take place this week.

(f)      Playpark bins & dog bag dispensers. THC has confirmed it will not supply free dog waste bags once present stocks are exhausted. Bags are on sale in Ardgay Stores. It is understood that THC does now empty the bins at the playpark.

Item 5. Police report. CCs were disappointed that no police officers attended the meeting. The report from the officers after last month’s meeting indicated that they had spoken to the local resident whose parked vehicle/s cause obstruction on the road approaching Gledfield Primary School. The resident indicated that he does this as a ‘traffic calming measure’ to reduce speeding but CCs feel the obstruction causes more harm than good. The pavement runs out at this point on one side of the road and children must cross to reach the school. Their lines of sight are obscured by the parked vehicle/s. Also the parked vehicle/s cause traffic to be on the wrong side of the road when passing which in turn raises the expectations of collision. This area should fall under the ‘Safer Routes to School’ regulations but this issue heightens dangers and does nothing to promote safety. Not all the appropriate yellow line markings are in place on the road. Cllr Farlow will follow up on this. The proximity to the junction also means that parking must flaunt the Highway Code Rule 243, ‘… you should not park opposite or within 10metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space.” You could be given a fixed penalty notice (FPN) and fined under the offence of ‘unnecessary obstruction’.

Cllr Farlow will advise CC as to who in THC can act on this issue and BW will ask the Head Teacher to report the problem to the ‘Safer Routes to School’ team. GF/BW Action.

Item 6. Secretary’s report. (LP) Correspondence. All relevant incoming mail had been circulated to members.

Item 7. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The May 2016 balance at the bank is £15,369.52 of which £14,969.10 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £400.42 available to carry out the business of the CC. The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £1464, BTWF Community Projects – £695.26, Newsletter – £2,974.84, BnO – £9,035 and E.ON Path – £800.

Item 8. Planning issues. Nothing relevant.

Item 9. Newsletter. (SM) New issue available tonight and taken for distribution by CC members. Excellent issue once again with an increase in advertising. Copies are now available in Ardgay Store.

Item 10. Website & Facebook. Facebook contacts increasing; LP, SL and SM all contributing to content. The report of the recent fire in Gearrchoille Wood on their website was of great interest with 500-600 views.

Item 11. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (MT/AW) The street party at Bradbury Centre to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday was well attended and successful. All other projects making progress. New Scot Grad placement has begun. CHESS is gathering much useful information regarding local issues with fuel poverty.

Item 12. Highland Council. (GF) Sutherland County Committee recently established has a limited remit so far covering local community services such as verge cutting and winter maintenance. CCs reported verge cutting required on many single track roads; cutting should be undertaken particularly where lines of sight are compromised. Sub-contracting locally could help alleviate this problem. THC restructure continues with the need recognised not to replace those posts recently cut. A 50%% cut is expected in the provision of public toilets over the next two years with the Ardgay facility included on the list. CC will have the opportunity to comment as THC is duty bound to consult. This facility, maintained by the CC, is the only one locally which can accommodate tourist coach parties and is of strategic importance. Discuss again after summer break. (September agenda item) GF advised that next year the Bonar Bridge Gaelic Medium unit will have only one pupil and therefore will be moved to within the Dornoch facility. New clustering arrangements for schools will come into place next term with Gledfield, Edderton and Tain Primary cluster feeding into Tain, and Bonar Bridge with Rosehall feeding to Golspie. At some future point the Rectors of the secondary schools may take over the Primary Schools also. Secondary schools are already closing early at 1pm on Fridays.

Item 13. Windfarms. The proposed amendments to the MOU of the SSE & E.ON Community Windfarm Panel were explained and approved, proposed: MT seconded: BW. Foundation Scotland will be advised. BW Action.

Item 14. Any other competent business. (1) The first ‘drop-in’ session saw a couple of folk stop by; it is hoped that word of mouth will encourage further contacts at future sessions.

Item 17. Date and time of next/future meeting/s. There being no meeting in July the next meeting will be held on Monday 8th August at 7pm in the Ardgay Public Hall. BW submitted apologies; SM will take the chair.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust application to the Beinn Tharsuinn Fund for funding towards the final costs of purchasing the site for the Falls of Shin development was approved in principal pending further information from the applicant. It was also agreed that the saving recently made by the Kyle of Sutherland Angling Association should be retained by the group and used to its benefit. MG Action.

Two awards were made from the Beinn an Oighrean Fund – Gearrchoille Community Wood Ardgay, £250 towards costs of community activities; Ardgay & District Community Council, £198.80 to provide a projector and screen for the Ardgay Public Hall Committee Room. Thanks for help with this project received from the Hall Committee. MT Action.

Meeting closed 10pm.

Minutes 14 March 2016

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016


Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 14th March 2016 in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm
Minutes approved 11th April 2016

Present: Elected & co-opted members: Marion Turner (MT), Betty Wright (BW), Silvia Muras (SM),
Andy Wright (AW), Sheila Lall (SL)

Apologies: Rob Pope (RP)
Police Scotland: No representative

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF),
Leslie Pope (LP)

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). This was the inaugural meeting of the newly elected Community Council. Cllr Farlow took the Chair, welcoming all present and congratulating the new CC members, now elected for a four year term. He proceeded to the election of office bearers with the following outcome:

Position Nominee Proposed by Seconded by Accepted/Refused
Chair Betty Wright Marion Turner Silvia Muras Accepted
Vice Chair Silvia Muras Marion Turner Sheila Lall Accepted
Treasurer Marion Turner Silvia Muras Andy Wright Accepted
Secretary Lesley Pope Sheila Lall Silvia Muras See Below

The position of secretary was accepted by LP following her election to the CC as an Associate Member. Associate Members have no voting rights but can act in an office bearing capacity. Her nomination was proposed by SL and seconded by SM.

The email mailbox of:
operates well as a clearing house for all incoming electronic mail and this system will continue. MT will meet with LP to arrange handover. MT was thanked for maintaining the mailbox during the period while the CC was in abeyance. During the last administration the accounting system was changed to comply with THC standard format. Transparency is of the utmost importance and with these systems in place there have been no issues in the past.

The AGM will be held on 13th June 2016.

Chair BW then moved to the agenda.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the November meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed: Betty Wright; seconded: Marion Turner. These were the only returned CC members; the new CC approved the adoption of the November minutes on this basis.

Item 4. Matters arising:

(a)     Bank of Scotland, Bonar Bridge.  SM advised that Michael Baird is in contact with MP Paul Monaghan who in turn has been in discussion with the Bank. Michael Baird has taken the matter to the Financial Ombudsman who is looking into the procedures undertaken by the bank as well as the situation with many rural banks with regard to population age structure, transport issues, distance from nearest branch, etc. This will be an item for the next CC newsletter. Individuals should continue to support the campaign to improve the business hours and should write to the Bank accordingly. Letters can be handed into the local branch – when it’s open!

(b)     Verges. Brash cutting is currently underway. GF confirmed that THC has a statutory duty to cut back the verges once a year for safety reasons. Strathcarron and the Culrain district have not been cut in the past year allowing for many line of sight issues. Cllr Morrison is due to meet the Director of Community Services for further discussion. THC is undergoing a major restructuring with Heads of Departments already reduced in number from eight to four with a full restructuring taking place over the next eighteen months. GF will seek to ascertain what the verge cutting policy is for 2016-17. One or two men with a strimmer or small tractor, perhaps sub-contracted locally, could easily maintain safe levels of growth. GF Action.

(c)     Pylon line – Beauly to Loch Buidhe. A recent email from SSE indicated that whilst the expected upgrading of the Beauly-Loch Buidhe reinforcement has been put on hold, it is expected that the Lairg-Loch Buidhe development will still be required.  The Lairg-Loch Buidhe project is driven by connection requests from wind farm developers in the vicinity of Loch Shin and does not require the further upgrade south of Loch Buidhe on its own. The company’s decision, presented at a consultation in February 2015, was to take forward the SHE Transmission route into the detailed design process.  On behalf of the Lairg community MP Paul Monaghan has indicated that he would oppose this route and asked SSE to reconsider.  The company agreed to consider his request and to organise a site visit in May to review the options in further detail on the ground.

(d)     Wi-Fi for Ardgay Hall. The CC had approached the Bonar Bridge hall committee to find out more about their Wi-Fi Hotspot provision. It was suggested that perhaps the Ardgay Hall committee might put together a funding application to seek funds to have this facility installed. Access to Wi-Fi is no longer considered an ‘extra’ but an essential in public places. BW Action.

(e)     Christmas lights. At this the first meeting of the CC since Christmas thanks were recorded to all those involved in erecting and taking down the Christmas lights in the village.

(f)      Outgoing CC. Thanks were recorded to all outgoing Community Councillors for their years of service to the community. An item will appear in the next edition of the newsletter. SM Action.

Item 5. Police report. None submitted.

Item 6. Highland Council report. GF attended the Highland Environmental Forum; he will email information which can be circulated to CCs. A dedicated post for a wildlife crime officer has been created. Noting the difficulties locally with banking service provision GF advised that Royal Bank of Scotland in Ullapool has a five-day per week service in addition to the Bank of Scotland and there are three ATMs in the village. The public toilet facility at South Bonar is under review with a report expected. The Countryside Ranger post in Lairg has been deleted with Ian Paterson now taking voluntary redundancy. Budgeting – THC is trying to balance the budget with minimal effect to services where possible. Stoer Primary School has been temporarily mothballed allowing a small saving. A public meeting is to be called to discuss Participatory Budgets. £15,000 will be made available to fund community empowerment groups working on community benefitting projects. A press release will be issued informing the community and encouraging groups to apply. The application form will be made as straightforward as possible. THC Ward Discretionary Budget has been slashed.

GF is still seeking figures for the costs of the Ardchronie traffic lights to make a case to ensure such a situation is avoided in future. GF confirmed that THC does not discriminate against communities with community benefit income and he reminded the meeting that any community may seek to buy into windfarms out with their own area as well as locally if they wished.

Item 7. Ardgay Regeneration Project. Helen Houston of KoSDT and THC were commended for their efforts in bringing in this very exciting project. The Partnership has worked well. Over one hundred people attended the public exhibition which put forward the plans. The siting of the CC noticeboards should be fed into the overall planning of the site, with the wall barrier between the hall and the rest of the village reviewed.

Item 8. CASPLAN. Deadline for submission of comments is 18th March. CC has previously made important changes which have been incorporated. “128 The Gearrchoille Ancient Woodland is in the care of the local community” should be updated to reflect community ownership: 128 The Gearrchoille Ancient Woodland is owned and in the care of the local community. “127 land behind the public hall could be a potential location for additional car parking for the village, subject to suitable funding being found.” Currently this is a green space which from time to time has vehicles and even a boat parked on it. It would make more sense to consider how this area is used to meet needs when drawing up the plans for the regeneration of the Lady Ross site rather than be piecemeal and definitive at this stage. An explanation will be requested for the phrase shown on the map as, ‘an area of co-ordinated tourism connection’. MT Action. MT was thanked for all her work with this and the HwLDP.

Item 9. HwLDP. MT responded on behalf of the previous CC in November; available for viewing on THC Planning website.

Item 10. Toilets in Ardgay. GF was asked to ascertain if the CC will still be paid by THC to operate this facility. Previously a grant of £1,500 per year went towards the costs. GF Action. MT will discuss with Jeanie Sparling if she is still willing to take on the role of caretaker/cleaner. MT Action.

Item 11. Flower tubs. In the past an award was received from THC Ward Discretionary Budget towards the flowers and plants. It is currently unclear if such an award will be forthcoming this year. The CC must decide if it is taking on this village enhancement and if so who will undertake the actual work involved. This should be an agenda item for next month. In the meantime local keen gardeners, especially those in the new growing group started by Greening Kyle, could be asked if they wished to become involved. BW/AW Action. Agenda item.

Item 12. Broadband in Ardgay & district. (MT) KoSDT has undertaken a local survey, with good responses, prior to working with Community Broadband Scotland. BT is currently working though a post code analysis to establish which areas will/will not receive Superfast Broadband through its network. An article on this subject appears on the front page of the new issue of the CC newsletter.

Item 13. Newsletter. (SM) E.ON funding has now finished therefore new funding sources must be found. Next issue is due to distribute on 15th June. It was suggested that an application could be made to the Beinn Tharsuinn Fund for short term funding for two issues to allow time to consider other funding sources. Printing costs are currently £360 per issue with various other costs – a fee must be established for the Editor’s time. Sponsorship from local businesses could be encouraged and advertising increased. Copies could be made available for sale out with the village. The online version should perhaps not be available until two weeks after publication. SM will bring ideas for discussion at next meeting. SM Action.

Item 14. Secretary’s report. Correspondence. Much of the incoming mail now arrives by email and is circulated by the Secretary as appropriate. The Police Scotland questionnaire was completed tonight ahead of the 31st March deadline with traffic/road safety given as the main priority, also speeding throughout the area but at Gledfield School in particular, local vandalism, scams on the elderly, wildlife crime, and control of dangerous dogs all noted for attention. CC stated it is reasonably satisfied with police liaison but indicated that the information passed by the police is not targeted to specific areas/districts which would be helpful.

Item 15. Treasurer’s report (MT) THC annual administration grant of £977.55 had been received in September 2015. A operating deficit of £620.24 was carried forward from the previous year which reflected the cost of a new laptop bought for use by the Secretary. Currently the Admin fund stands at  -£219.19. The restricted Toilet fund stands at -£24.There is  £878.48 in the CC environmental fund, the newsletter account has £498.95 which reflects a tribute to its value, the Beinn nan Oighrean account stands at £9,275 with the E.ON path fund holding £800. The balance at the bank is £12,022.95. £100 received from THC Ward Discretionary Budget last year for floral displays were used throughout the year. The accounts will now be made up for the end of the financial year. MT Action.

Item 16. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (AW) An amazing energy is experienced when visiting the Trust office with the young people working there becoming part of and contributing to the local community. Many projects are currently running and the Trust has brought in upwards of £2m to the local economy. A list of local contractors is being compiled to ensure they receive invitations to tender for project works locally. The Trust’s surveys have proved there is significant fuel poverty in the area and several of the Trust’s projects have made a difference to the lives of those in difficulty. It is important that the CC maintains a representation on the Board of the Trust with appropriate declarations of interest made to each body as appropriate. The overall impression is that the public has a very positive regard for the work of the Trust. It was confirmed that the burger van/snack food outlet will be in place again at Falls of Shin this season until the new development is up and running.

Item 17. Windfarms. Due to the changes within the CC new representatives were appointed to the SSE & E.ON Windfarm Panel. These are MT and SM with BW and Angi Banks remaining the community representatives. The proposed Glenmorie development was turned down on appeal with both Glen Cassley and Sallachy recently rejected. The Scottish Government decision regarding Braemore is not expected until later in the year.

Item 18. Any other competent business. (a) Sutherland Housing Conference 21st March. SL and LP hope attend on behalf of the CC. Those attending will provide a short bullet point report to the next CC meeting.SL/LP Action. (b) Website. This is to be an agenda item for April. Also copies of the Declaration of Interest forms used by the Achany Panel will be emailed for use in regard to CC membership. Agenda item/MG Action. (c) Home insurance issues. It has come to the notice of the CC that many insurance companies are designating houses to be in ‘flood risks areas’ due to the SEPA flood map which is based on post code identification. In this area post codes can cover a wide area and often properties near/in a flood risk are situated some distance below others on much higher ground. BW will ask SEPA about its use of post codes in this regard. BW Action.

Item 19. Date and time of next/future meeting/s. In the past the CC met on a two meetings/one off schedule throughout the year. Normally April would not see a meeting but as this CC is newly inaugurated it was agreed a meeting should be held. The future dates are therefore:

April 11th, May 9th, June 13th (AGM), August 8th, September 12th, November 14th and December 12th. There will be no scheduled meetings in July or October although meetings may be called in the event of urgent matters arising.

Beinn Tharsuinn Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, Keep Active Together Project, was awarded £1,500 to match fund the Scottish Government award to extend the project for another year. It was stated that the Beinn Tharsuinn Fund application form still requires amending – the breakdown of expected expenditure should be clearer. MG will advise KoSDT to arrange payment. MG Action.

Meeting closed 10pm.

Minutes 08 September 2014

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Approved 13 October 2014

Ardgay Community Council


meeting held on Monday 8th September 2014

Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected and co-opted members: Marion Turner, Acting Chair (MT), Teresa Langley, Secretary (TL), Phil Olson (PO), Bob Sendall (BS) Silvia Muras (SM), Betty Wright (BW)

Also present: Highland Councillor Linda Munro (LM), Temporary Ward Manager Garry Cameron (GC), Vicki Whittock (VW), Holly Slater (HS)

Police Scotland: PC Katy Hunter (KH)

Apologies: David Hannah, Chair (DH), Alan Lawrence, Treasurer (AL), Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

Item 1. Welcome/introduction of new Temporary Ward Manager. As Acting Chair MT opened the public session firstly announcing with great sadness the news of the unexpected death of Martin Calder, Postmaster in Bonar Bridge. The community has been stunned by this news today and thoughts and sympathies are with Doris and the family. Martin was a very much respected member of the community and will be greatly missed.

Welcome was extended to Cllr Munro and Ward Manager Garry Cameron then the meeting moved to Item 4 to take the Police report.

Item 4. Police report. KH advised there had been fifteen incidents reported in the last calendar month, one of them a criminal offence. No speeding offences have been noted. Discussion covered the problems with loaded lorries on the local roads and their driving behaviour. KH has expressed the community’s concerns to the management both at Yuill & Dodds and DFL and has received assurances that all drivers are bound to observe their companies’ good driving practices with sanctions taken against those who disregard them. The length of time left to run on the contract by Cromarty Firth Port Authority, which is occasioning this traffic should be ascertained. THC Planning Department should be consulted as to whether or not these extremely relevant environmental factors are taken into account fully at the consultation stage. A letter will be sent to Isobel MacCallum, Chair of North Highland Planning Committee. MT/TL Action. MT advised KH of two incidents of the same dog biting people. Any such incidents should be reported to the Police; KH will pass this report on. There was discussion about specific/persistent incidents of dog fouling. KH will pass on details to Dog Warden. KH was thanked for her attendance which is always appreciated and she left at 7.20pm.

Returning to the agenda, GC now introduced himself to the meeting. He has been appointed to the post of Ward Manager on a short term until the end of March 2015. He has lived and worked in the Highland region all his life with family connections dating back over two hundred and fifty years. After thirty years in the Police force, first as a constable and later sergeant, with his final post being that of Chief Inspector as Area Commander for this area. His main role is that of support to the three Highland Councillors for this ward and acting as a conduit between them and the various agencies and communities. GC will be based in Drummuie but will work primarily out of Lairg Service Point and others within the region. The second part of this public session was devoted to issues around parking in Ardgay especially as The Lady Ross site is up for sale and the parking allowed there by Colin Mitchell might no longer be available in the future. The area is used as a school bus pick up/drop off point, the mobile library, as well as by many for various reasons when parking in the centre of the village is required. One alternative suggestion was made to remove the roadside banking in front of Oakwood Place which could provide a ‘nose in’ strip similar to that in Bonar Bridge. It would create a substantial lay-by which could be used by drop-in shoppers to the Ardgay Stores as well as parents of children using the play park. With the Lady Ross being for sale it is possible that the centre of the village may be about to undergo change therefore it would be most helpful if THC Planning and Development could become involved in productive consultation to produce a beneficial plan for the area. Parking at the Public Hall is also an issue which needs to be addressed along with possible developments on The Lady Ross site, access to housing, road alignments, etc. LM and GC will liaise with David Cowie THC Planning in the hope of his attending the next CC meeting on October 13th. A representative of the Hall Committee will also be asked to attend. LM/GC/TL Action.

Item 3. Apologies. As above.

Item 5/6. Minutes of last meeting/Matters arising. The minutes of the July meeting were approved as a true and accurate record, proposed by Phil Olson; seconded by Bob Sendall. (1) Rat problem. THC Environmental Health Officer has this under review. It is an ongoing problem meantime; review at next meeting. (2) Basketball stand. TL has established that Gledfield School will take the stand once is has been taken down from the site at the Hall. The Hall Committee has been advised that the CC will arrange removal as soon as possible. TL will chase up the appointed contractor. TL Action. (3) Cycle ramp. As Project Manager Matt Dent is waiting for feedback from the design team with regard to the suggested amendments. LM and GC will see if they can find a way to bring this long-running issue to a satisfactory conclusion. LM/GC Action. (4) Flower tubs repair/repainting. Secretary will enquire as to whether this could form an SSE Heart of the Community volunteer project. TL Action. (5) Bonar Bridge Football Club site. Further to last meeting’s suggestion that this site could become a camping site utilising the clubhouse facilities it is understood that the original gift of land by Skibo was for a football club and no other purpose. The field itself may be owned by THC. CC should check with John Clark in TECS, Bonar Bridge. PO Action.

Item 7. CASPLAN. Cllr Farlow has advised that the Plan is due to be published around 17th September with the papers for the area committee on 23rd. He has arranged a meeting with Creich CCs on the 22nd and invited Ardgay CC representation. Time to be decided. GC will liaise with GF and Russell Smith of Creich. GC Action.

Item 8. Newsletter. Congratulations extended to SM for an excellent issue. Distribution was dealt with at the end of the meeting.

Item 9. Correspondence. (1) THC advise that the new Tain Royal Academy is to be built on the existing site. (2) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust is holding an Open House on 9th October to allow viewing of the refurbishment of the Bonar Bridge Post Office House prior to advertising it for short term rent. (3) Ardgay Public Hall AGM will be held on 1st October. It may be helpful if a CC representative attends. ? Action

Item 10. Treasurer’s report. The report submitted by AL indicates that the Treasurer’s account balance stands at £763.15 with no outstanding cheques. The Projects account has £7612.66 having received a payment of £2500 from Beinn an Oighrean windfarm for community benefit. The Toilets account cleared balance is £767.65 with one outstanding cheque for £189. LM will chase up THC annual grant payments to CCs. LM Action.

Item 11. Secretary’s report. (TL) CC has acknowledged the generous help by Doreen Bruce to Carol Laver who together have produced an excellent floral display at the station. It was noted with disappointment that plants have been stolen from the tubs. The Ardgay War Memorial has won the category of Best War Memorial without a garden. GF reported that Network Rail is apparently insisting that the road be re-aligned. Campbell Stewart is investigating a budget for these works. If GF has no indication by the end of September as to the start of work he intends to seek all copies of relevant paperwork to then attempt to seek a solution from the Chief Executive Officer. BW advised that a Telford milestone has been found on the strip of land between the two temporary traffic lights. Appropriate action must be taken to rescue the stone and preserve it when the road works do take place. GF Action. Safer Routes to School Budget can only be accessed through the schools and parent councils which must produce routes, maps, numbers of children etc. VW will speak to Gledfield Head Teacher regarding routes etc. GF suggested in his report that a letter from CC in support of an updated Plan could be helpful. Secretary to write. TL Action. The poor siting of the 20mph speed limit signs at Gledfield School was highlighted once again with the problems being explained to Cllr Munro. Serious traffic issues are caused by the lights not being placed in appropriate positions. GF was asked to report by September to David Langley, on whose land one set of lights is wrongly situated but he has not been in touch as yet. TL Action. The setting up of a ‘Park and Stroll’ area was suggested.

Item 12. Windfarms. Achany. Deadline for applications to the fund is the end of October for December decision making meeting. Beinn Tharsuinn. No further information received from THC regarding their shedding of management. Talks ongoing with KOSDT. Glenmorie. Rejected by Scottish Government. Sallachy. Next liaison meeting in September. Caplich. Not yet submitted to Planning. MOU has been signed and returned by CC with regard to Community Benefit. Croick. CC has written suggesting discussions re community benefit.

Item 13. KoSDT update. Development Officer’s report has been circulated and is also available in the CC newsletter.

Item 14. Highland Councillor’s report. All points raised in GF’s report had been noted throughout the meeting.

Item 15. AOCB. (1) Grass verges. Throughout the area overgrown grass, bushes and trees are causing serious sightline issues. (2) Christmas lighting. Paul Whittock requests that THC ensure all plugs on lampposts are working. TL/VW Action. (3) 100th birthday of station. CC understands that the Heritage Society has this in hand.

Item 16. Date of next meeting. 13Th October at 7.00pm in the Ardgay Public Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Item 17.  Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm grant applications (private session)

Application by Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust for £576 towards Greening Kyle upcycling classes was approved.

Application by Kyle of Sutherland Cinema Club £310.40 towards establishing a cinema club was approved.

Meeting closed at 9pm.