Posts Tagged ‘Minutes’

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.

Minutes 14 July 2014

Monday, July 14th, 2014


Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 14th July 2014 in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm (more…)

Minutes 14 October 2013

Monday, October 14th, 2013


Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 14th October 2013 in Ardgay Public Hall at 7pm

Present: Elected members: David Hannah, Chair (DH), Teresa Langley, Secretary (TL),

Marion Turner (MT), Betty Wright (BW), David Laver (DL), Bob Sendall (BS)

Also present: Vicky Whittock, Holly Slater, Adam Wardrop, Brian Bilborough, PC Angus Morrison (7.30pm)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

Apologies: Phil Olson (PO), Alan Lawrence, Treasurer (AL), Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF)

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (see above). Chair David Hannah opened the evening welcoming everyone before inviting Brian Bilborough to address the meeting. Mr Bilborough wished to advise the Community Council of his recent tribulations following the disappearance of his motor bike from the access track through the E.oN Rosehall Windfarm.  In brief, Mr Bilborough had ridden his off-road bike at the start of a fishing expedition, up the track which leads through the windfarm. Although all visitors to the site are requested to stop and register at a control point, he had failed to do so, carrying on past the cabin, in which he could see several people, before parking his bike by the side of the track in full view beside turbine 15 and proceeding on foot to the hill loch. On his return some time later he discovered his bike had been removed. He walked to the control point but no staff were present and there was no trace of his bike. After walking back to his car he left a note on the main gate concerning the incident and giving his contact information. The following morning he returned to the site but no staff were present. Thinking his bike might have been taken to the Police station, Mr Bilborough went to Lairg but no-one there had any knowledge of it. He has made several attempts to contact E.oN hoping to retrieve his bike, or claim compensation for it, but to date has received no reply to his letters or phone messages. The Police have noted the report of a stolen/missing bike but after brief investigations with E.oN it appears there is little further they can do. Mr Bilborough plans to write to his MP, MSP and perhaps the local press to express his anger at E.oN for failing to help solve his problem. He left at 7.15pm.

The Chair then invited Vicky Whittock to address the meeting. Although staying for the entire meeting, Vicky’s main reason for attending was to introduce Holly Salter and Adam Wardrop to the CC. They will be running the new café/shop which is soon to open beside the new bike shop at Ardgay Garage. Building and preparations are going well and it is hoped that the facility will be open within the next few weeks. The team is already in contact with Business Gateway and the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust but any further assistance with seeking funding would be welcome. Holly and Adam also stayed for the rest of the meeting.

Item 3. Police report. PC Angus Morrison arrived at 7.30pm He reported on the single car accident which took place at Kincardine last night, other than that the only incidents to mention were a few calls on animal related matters. He gave out a few questionnaires regarding local Police services/representation which will be completed and returned to the Bonar Bridge Police station. From the CC the only highlighted issues remain speeding in the village and the ongoing problems with log lorries not only speeding but driving fully laden in convoy, ignoring the recommendation for a twenty minute gap between them. The 20mph speed limit sign on the approach to the village from Culrain is badly sighted, presumably trying to cover two different roads at the junction. It is almost impossible to tell when it is flashing. A request was made that this sign should be moved and that a second one be erected to properly control the junction. This should be brought to the attention of Highland Council for action. GF Action. Parking in Bonar Bridge at the new burger van seems to be causing obstruction problems especially with more than one early morning log lorry stopping at the same time. Asked if, as happens elsewhere in the south, there was any possibility of members of the public being trained to use speed detector guns to record and pass on information to the Police, PC Morrison felt that this would be very unlikely in this area due to lack of funds. He left the meeting at 7.45pm.

Item 4. Minutes of last meeting/Matters arising (not on the agenda). The Minutes from the September meeting were adopted as a true and accurate record. Proposed: Marion Turner; seconded by Bob Sendall. (1) Ardgay Station anniversary. Secretary states this is to be a winter project for Kyle of Sutherland Heritage Trust and Friends of the Far North Line. She hopes to have more information soon. (2) Tenants association. A ‘walk around’ Ardgay and Bonar Bridge is proposed for next week to take note of repair issues such as damaged pavements, kerbs, etc. A notice is on display in the village with further information. (3) Energy Savings Trust. BW advised she attended a most interesting event in Inverness at which there was much information available regarding energy saving advice for heating and insulation, grants, etc. The overall feeling of those attending was that the issues are too great to be left at an Ad Hoc state and should be receiving far greater attention from local and national government. The excellent speaker that day would be willing to come to a CC meeting to give a brief presentation. MT mentioned that KoSDT had applied to the Climate Challenge Fund for funds to support a local survey/assessment of needs but was asked to resubmit the application. BW will check with Helen Houston. BW Action. (4) Overgrown trees/bushes at railway bridge. Under the impression that this was in hand, Secretary will chase this up with Network Rail. TL Action. (5) Notice boards at new cycle shop/café/shop. MT advised that Planning approval has been received.

Item 5. Village Clean Up Day. Now planned for Saturday 9th November – volunteer helpers welcome. BW will co-ordinate the day, acquiring kits, organising people and routes. Start time will be 10am in the centre of the village with circular routes working outwards. DH has approached the school and the Boys Brigade both of which may be able to supply young people to assist. Working with the teachers and children at the school, a competition for best clean-up, most rubbish collected, etc might be arranged. BW Action.

Item 6. Highland Road Safety Seminar. This will be held on Friday 22nd November at 12.30pm in THC HQ in Inverness. BW agreed to attend. BW Action.

Item 7. North West & Central Ward Forum. To be held in Lairg on Saturday 26th October. DL and TL plan to attend. The topic of the day being the Police and Fire Services, the CC representatives will try to state the need for more obvious Police presence and make clear the local feeling that there is little point in reporting minor incidents as there are not enough Police personnel to attend, thereby giving the statistics an inaccurate picture of local crime/issues.  DL/TL Action.

Item 8. Secretary’s report. (TL) Nothing of note.

Item 9. Treasurer’s report. (AL) No report this month due to Treasurer’s absence on holiday.

Item 10. Correspondence. Incoming mail included (i) Ardgay Public Hall Committee has submitted invoices with regard to expenditure utilising their Windfarm Community Benefit award. (ii) Documentation received regarding Police Scotland’s Public Counter Service Provision/Traffic Warden review. (iii) SSE advises of its Energy Advice Tour event in Golspie on 17th October at 12.30pm. Posters have been displayed. (iv) Royal British Legion Creich & Kincardine Branch has written giving details of this year’s Remembrance Day service and wreath-laying in Kincardine. In the absence of any other volunteer, DH offered to undertake this task. DH Action. (v) SRRC. Paul Whittock submitted a brief report on and invoices from their recent successful event which was assisted by Windfarm Community Benefit. The winter indoor season will continue in the Bonar Bridge Hall unless a time slot becomes available in Ardgay. (vii) NHS Scotland advise that ’flu vaccine is now available through local doctors’ surgeries.

Item 11. Cycle ramp at Invershin. In his report Cllr Farlow stated that the requested information from the fabricators of the ramp has only recently been received by Highland Council. The information was required for insurance purposes. He awaits word on how the matter progresses. It is understood that Creich CC will discuss this item at its meeting tomorrow evening. DL stressed the importance of clarifying all legal aspects of fitting the ramp, approval, structural assessments, liability, etc.

Item 12. Falls of Shin update. Cllr Farlow advised that no money has yet been found to make toilet provision at the site. The road signs are still causing embarrassment and he has written to Visit Scotland asking if they can address the problem with the Balnagown Estate.

Item 13. Core Path – Ardgay Hill. This long running matter is no longer a CC issue. The CC was approached by a member of the public who was concerned that a well-established path, a Core Path, had been fenced over and access altered. The CC raised this with the Access Officer on behalf of the individual thus fulfilling its remit to represent the views of the public to the relevant authorities. The CC considers that resolving the matter now lies with THC in line with its responsibilities detailed in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 Part 1 Access Rights, Chapter 5 Local Authority Functions: Access and other rights. This matter will now be removed from the agenda. TL Action.

Item 14. Windfarms update. Braemore. Letter received from Wind Prospect Developments indicating a further reduction in the number of turbines, to eighteen, which they feel has greatly reduced the visual impact. The offer to send a representative to a CC meeting was accepted and BW will invite the company to attend the November meeting at 7pm. BW Action. Coire na Cloiche. Meeting with Halls Committees is being arranged. Glenmorie. The Public Local Inquiry will be held in Ardross on 22nd October.

Item 15. Update of Easter Fearn Proposed Development. DH/MT will contact the developer regarding possible community benefit to Ardgay. DH/MT Action.

Item 16. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust update. The AGM will be held on Monday 11th November at 7.30pm in the Bonar Bridge Hall.

Item 17. Highland Councillor’s report. Cllr Farlow is currently on holiday. His written report is available on request. It covers several items discussed elsewhere in these Minutes as well as Ardgay Public Hall Committee Funding, Community Account Management, Planning, Environment & Development Service, Historic Scotland, Renewable Energy, TECS and Waste Management: Recycling. With regard to the traffic lights at Ardchronie the HC engineers confirm that the A836 is not in danger of collapse. A number of trees on the road embankment had been blown overtaking down a section of the embankment. The road is not significantly undermined though the safety fence was damaged. Network Rail has now removed the tree stumps and rebuilt the embankment but the location of the verge and embankment make it difficult to reinstate the safety fence satisfactorily. Negotiations are ongoing with Network Rail and the landowners.

Item 18. Any other competent business. (1) Old Migdale Hospital. BW spotted a small item in the Northern Times with the new owner seeking the community’s views as to what should be done with the building. It was agreed that is should provide a range of accommodation. (2) Broadband speed. BW has been informed that she cannot expect any improvement in her Broadband speed due to the incapacity of her local telephone exchange. She may contact Community Broadband Scotland. (3) Newsletter deliveries. DH announced that two new delivery volunteers have come forward to help with the south side of Strathcarron. Members will get together and clarify routes using a map which DL offered to provide. DL Action.

Item 20. Date of next meeting. The next meeting will be held on Monday 11th November at 7pm in Ardgay Public Hall.

MT submitted her apologies for that meeting as she will attend the KoSDT AGM on the same evening.

Meeting closed at 8.45pm.

Item 21. Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm grant applications (private session)

There were no applications to discuss this month, therefore no separate minute is provided.

Meeting closed 8.50pm.