Posts Tagged ‘Minutes’

Minutes 12 April 2021

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

Climate Change Update Meeting- DRAFT Minutes

Date & Time: 12 April 2021 at 7:00 PM

Location: Zoom Web Conference

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW); Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM); Marion Turner, Secretary (MT); John Denniston, Treasurer (JD); Andy Wright (AW); Buster Crabb (BC); Rob Pope (RP); Anna McInnes,  Minutes Secretary (AM)

Also attending: Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland (AP); Norman MacDonald, Creich Community Council (NM)

Apologies: None

Guest Speaker: Joe Perry, Climate Change Co-ordinator with Highland Council (JP)



Welcome / Introductions

BW opened meeting and welcomed attendees, noting invitation was also extended to Creich Community Council. BW also introduced AM, new minutes secretary taking over from Mary Goulder. BW welcomed Joe Perry (JP), Climate Change Coordinator

from The Highland Council (THC), who is here to give an update on how THC are addressing the climate & ecological emergency that was declared 2 years ago, and how we are working towards a green recovery.

2 Presentation from Joe Perry, Climate Change Co-ordinator for Highland Council

JP thanked everyone for invite and posing thoughtful questions that helped to structure his presentation. A big part of his job is talking to communities about what climate change is. He presented slides based on the following questions:

1. What can individuals, community groups, and schools do?

JP: Scale of emergency means everyone needs to engage at every level from individual to government. We can drive change from bottom up e.g. recycling, cutting carbon footprint, support green companies, invest in reusable products, voting for like-minded parties, but still need to keep pressure for change from the top, requires responsibility from countries causing climate issues such as emissions. Every time someone commits we move one step away from worst-case scenario.

2. Do you think we have the correct timescale? What can we say to reassure young people (& others!) who feel things are not moving quickly enough?

JP: 2021 UN Climate Change Conference to be held in UK. Goal is to limit global warming and limit most catastrophic effects of climate change. Ambitious targets now being set for 2050 using Paris Agreement, varies from country to country but global target is to get global warming below 2 degrees at very least. Action is difficult, science is not understood, influential industries/lobbyists reduce impact. Good news is in Scotland we are exceeding targets of Paris Agreement, and are the global leader on climate change. The best course of action right now is flexibility.

3. THC produces more Green Energy than any other local area in Scotland (& UK), can THC work with developers to progress use of this energy locally – for example introducing storage for electricity when not required on grid (to avoid restraint payments & possibly to be then sold to local users). We should be working towards a Smart Local Energy Grid where Energy can be produced, stored & used locally.

JP: THC is looking into this such as storage for electricity when not required on grid, smart local energy, collaboration between local partners and energy companies to secure local benefits. Currently there is no capacity to handle the energy being produced. We are powerhouse of UK energy, we should be getting more benefit.

He isn’t involved and doesn’t know a lot about the work being done on this, but offered to look into it and report back for future meetings.

4. Which policy items fall within remit of THC v Scottish Government?

JP: Provided breakdown of how policy flows down via the Paris Agreement from the UK as a whole, to Scotland, through to local work in the Highlands:

• UK Wide: In 2015 UK signed up to Paris Agreement. UK is one of leading nations when meeting targets: net zero by 2050. Starting in 2020, 5 yearly goals set for national contributions, commitment to 68% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). To meet goals: set policies to reduce emissions, 10-point plan for green industrial revolution, £12 billion investment into 1/4 million “green jobs”, set carbon budgets. Devolved administrations get their own targets. THC has a good website about climate change.

• Scotland: Climate Change Act of 2019 set goal of net zero by 2045 with interim targets for 2020/30/40. Also sets yearly carbon budgets. Goals for green recovery: green jobs, protect biodiversity, work toward net zero.

There is strong legislation; Scotland must prepare strategic delivery plans.

• THC: takes lead from national policy but can set our own goals, such as

Carbon CLEVER initiative, which aims for carbon neutral Inverness in lowcarbon Highland by 2025.

JP offered to send further details of this.

Carbon management plan sets targets for reducing emissions in every local authority area from schools, waste, etc, everything council does. Going beyond local policies, leading/contributing to projects to make the Highlands more sustainable, collaboration with NatureScot, RSPB, UHI, etc.

5. How are green policies financed?

JP: There are many sources, with more funding becoming available:
• Government funding: still the main source, e.g. Forestry Commission.
• Bids/Awards: example of pathfinder funding such as a trial green
infrastructure project that JP is working on. These trials are used to suggest
new/innovative ways, if they can be scaled then can lead to more funding.
• Carbon Credits: These are “credits” bought by private sector or individuals
to offset carbon emissions, e.g. a company investing in peatland
conservation. These types of credits could benefit the Highlands.
• Charities: donations from organisations like RSPB.

6. With current Covid restrictions & in longer term perhaps a move away from
air travel, Highland is likely to see an increase in tourism. How can roads &
other facilities be upgraded to cope? (and how much should they be?)

JP: THC has limited infrastructure budget, maintenance /repair work stretches
already limited budget. Needs to be more work to encourage and improve public
transport uptake with tourists and residents, to prepare Highlands for electric
vehicle revolution, direct tourists to routes that can cope with traffic more easily,
provide information on fragility of infrastructure. With Covid impact, more people
are working/shopping/studying remotely, THC should continue to support this by
providing better internet connectivity, which ties in with transport infrastructure.

7. Land: How do we balance differing land uses such as peat, forestry, farming,
rewilding, clean energy production?

JP addressed each category:
• Peatlands: Highlands has world-class peatlands, store a lot of carbon, most
effective when in good condition. Flow Country (part of World Heritage Site
Project) stores more carbon than every woodland in Britain combined!
• Forestry: expanding woodlands increases carbon sequestration, having “the
right tree in the right place” is significant to ambitious tree planting targets.
• Rewilding is often associated with reintroducing apex predators like wolf
and lynx, but is actually about simply letting nature take its course, we are a
long way off from reintroducing wolves!
• Renewable energy: this is partial answer to climate change, encourage
consumers to switch to renewable energy from providers. Wind farms are
most visible and often controversial, local communities should be involved
in planning, the benefits are important. Solar and wave energy are growing.
• Agriculture: Covid has revealed food security issues, we need more
incentives to manage land with biodiversity.
• Balance: follow the science, don’t reward land use that exploits the land,
any plans need to keep people at heart!
Q& A with JP After the Presentation:

AW: how can we improve education get young people engaged, take responsibility?
JP:  Need to engage more with schools, prepare students for green jobs, will need
1/4 million passionate graduates to fill them. Green Impact Sustainability tool,
setup by NUS, challenges people to make their organisation more sustainable, this
is a way to engage with schools and can make it easy and fun for kids to get
involved, guide them toward green jobs of the future.

AW: How can we address fuel poverty as priority and look out for most vulnerable
in society?
JP: THC is taking a two-pronged approach: replace inefficient boilers, install proper
insulation. THC provides info about funding for eligibility. Winter Fuel allowance
can help mitigate but it is a much wider issue that needs addressing.

Norman: Charging points for electric vehicles are all different: can we get
manufactures to align and use single power point?
JP: Compared it to different fuel types. Probably decades away but as they become
more popular and the price comes down, there will be more standardisation.

SM: Any thoughts on farming vehicles using petrol/diesel?
JP:  While no new diesel vehicles will be sold in a few years’ time, will be slower to
convert these large machines. But there are people working on this now, it’s a
question of technology and there will be solutions in future.

MT: Recent article about French govt decision to end flights that can be done by
train under 2.5 hrs- What is THC and HIAL saying about airports on Skye, or Wick?
How does this square with green ambitions?
JP: Difficult question, can’t really get anywhere in the Highlands in 2.5 hrs by train.
Benefits to having airports in rural areas, issues of depopulation, aging population.
Development of airports doesn’t align with green recovery but rural, isolated areas
should be priority over large wealthy areas like London, need to look at
communities affected by changes.

JD: How accurate is reporting of CO2 being produced?
JP: Reporting is not incredibly accurate, elements like Scope 3 emissions that we
have no direct control over. We do try to measure consistently, focus on measuring
what we can and focus on what we can improve.

AP: What has been done to educate adults to make behaviour changes? What is
the most effective action that communities can take?
JP:  Work on community projects, consultation or holding events, e.g. Grow Your
Own event, look at examples from around the world that are working well: e.g. the

Netherlands, ideas from community initiatives (buyouts of land for rewilding),organic growing/boxes in villages, circular economies, small projects can have large ripple effect. Incredible Edible charity: project for growing food locally, reducing food miles, started as neighbourhood initiative.

AM: Is THC creating a toolkit of these kinds of things to provide to CCs or
community groups?
JP: Not currently, but this is a good idea he will take back.  There is also eco-officer
network, volunteer to work on public facing event/project every month to host in
local area, could be very useful and have wider reach with online events. “Local
nature conservation sites”- we are the only ones who don’t have one in Highlands,
there is a need to do more of this.

BW:  Re: smart local energy grid: shared ownership option brings more money,
could THC get involved and use money to address fuel poverty for example, or
further address climate change?
JP: THC leader Margaret Davidson is very interested in paving the way for
community benefit from windfarms, putting direct profits toward climate action,
habitat regeneration in areas of windfarm.

AW:  Climate emergency can be overwhelming, how to stay positive?
JP: Everyone has to make their own decisions, find their own passion and inspire
others. Raising awareness and repeating message of climate emergency is
important; THC Climate Change team is growing from 2 to 6. Optimism can be hard
but so much work ongoing, next generation is much more fired up and will only get
better in terms of work being done.

BW closed the meeting thanking JP for sharing insights, look forward to hearing
updates. JP reiterated offer to send on more information if requested.

Date of next meeting: May 10th 2021

Minutes 8 March 2021

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

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

Minutes approved 12th April 2021

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Secretary (MT), John Denniston, Treasurer, (JD), Andy Wright (AW), Buster Crabb (BC) Rob Pope (RP)

Apologies: Mary Goulder, minutes secretary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Item 11.  Regular updates:

(1)    Planning issues.  None of note

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meeting closed 9.03pm

Minutes 8 February 2021

Saturday, February 13th, 2021

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

Draft Minutes for Approval

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Secretary (MT), John Denniston, Treasurer, (JD), Andy Wright (AW), Buster Crabb (BC)

Apologies: Rob Pope (RP)

Also present: Highland Councillor Kirsteen Currie (KC), David Watson, KoSDT, Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland (AP), Christine Mackay (CM) and Valerie Graham (VG)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1 & 2. Welcome & apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone to this Zoom meeting, especially members of the public, commenting that without Zoom in this weather a regular meeting would have been cancelled.

Item 3. Approval of December minutes. The minutes of the December meeting were approved as a true and accurate record. Proposed: Silvia Muras; seconded: Marion Turner.

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Speeding and visibility of signs near Gledfield School. THC reported that the 20mph warning signs are not present – Contact THC to ensure they are working ahead of the school reopening. (2) Xmas lights. Thanks noted to AW, Jamie Macrae and Bill Knott for their work taking down the lights which are now safely stored till next season. (3) Local Resilience Plan. Talks are moving the local plans forward. Jodie Ross is working on costings and funding opportunities. She is in contact with Fiona Morrison and Pamela Harvey of SSE. KC advised that she has good contacts within SSEN and Scottish Ambulance if these could help.

Item 5. Chairperson’s report. (BW) (1) Owing to the recent resignation of Bill Knott, a vacancy has arisen on the CC. CCs encouraged to talk with anyone who might be interested after which the co-option process could proceed. (2) BW also advised that MG has indicated her intention to stand down from the post of Minutes Secretary at the end of March. CCs should look out for anyone who could take on this paid role. (3) Thanks and congratulations given to KoSDT for the excellent work and support to the community through the Food Larder, etc. Also to all within the local NHS staff who are working hard implementing the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

Item 6. Secretary’s report/matters raised by local residents. (MT) All correspondence has been circulated by email. (1) Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) is offering a regular report on its activities in the area. Perhaps useful though CC reluctant to load extra work on to the CAB. SM suggested they could contact her for Kyle Chronicle. (3) TECS. Water is running down Ardgay Hill and will get worse as the snow melts; flooding in the graveyard is very distressing to all bereaved/visiting people and needs urgent attention; the condition of local pavements is dangerous. Responsibility for gritting in Drovers’ Square is shared between KoSDT and Albyn Housing. The salt bin for use on the pavements is empty (Albyn). As throughout the area, potholes in many places are dangerous for all road users, whether four or two wheeled. Especially difficult for motor cyclist and pedal bikes.  Much of the damage has been caused in recent times by heavily loaded timber lorries. Carron road bridge surface is breaking up. KC will follow up all TECS issues. KC Action.

Item 7. Treasurer’s report. (JD) JD had circulated the report ahead of the meeting. As of 13th Jan 2021 balance at the bank is: £42,229.43. This comprises: Restricted funds: £41865.49, CC Admin fund: £393.07, Windfarm Admin fund:

£-29.13 (pending £500 transfer from BTWF). The balances of the restricted funds are: BnO: £20,789.61, CnC: £19,810.00. BTWF Community Projects: £1,156.00, RWE Path: £73.20. Toilet Caretaking: £36.68. Expenditure between16th Nov 2020 and 14th Dec 2020: £27.00 Christmas lights related, £93.00 also Christmas lights related: £72.50 Minutes Secretary. Expenditure between14th Dec 2020 and 13th Jan 2021: £90.00 Minutes Secretary. Income since 16th Nov 2020: None. SM proposed transferring the surplus £36 from the now unused Toilet Caretaking fund to the Admin fund – agreed by all.

Item 8. Coire na Cloiche CB funds. (BW) Chair proposed that: the CC funds three local organisations annually as discussed at the November 2020 meeting. The three named organisations have expressed their wishes to be included in this provision A decision about other organisations in Ardgay which are joint with Creich/Bonar Bridge was postponed. A template application form will be drawn up and liaison with the groups will continue. The remainder of the CnC fund will be open to applications for up to £2k from local groups. Guidelines will be established. An item will be published in the Kyle Chronicle explaining the new fund and how it will be managed. An annual review will take place to ensure the best outcomes for all local organisations. MT/SM Action. DW suggested that the Kyle Chronicle be considered as, although without physical assets, it is a major asset to the community and needs to be supported. As other community benefits come onstream in the future other administration may be needed and the disbursement widened.

Item 9. Bonar straight. Response received from Tracy Urry, THC Roads Manager, providing results from the speed survey/analysis carried out last summer. KC has been actively pursuing action on this but with no response from anyone, including the MSP and MP. She met the new Roads Manager today and intends further strong discussion. She asked if the CC/community are willing to accept a compromise, e.g. extend the 30mph limit at both ends of the straight with a 50mph limit in between. KC has copies of the appropriate legislation and feels it could be possible to effect a compromise solution. CC welcomed this input but remains firm that there should be a 30mph limit across the entire straight. Speed perception varies from one individual to another and many pedestrians who would use the footpath are discouraged by the speed of the traffic immediately adjacent to the pavement with no barrier in place. In times when Scottish Government is encouraging all aspects of active travel and the use of footpaths to walk between areas, this speed limit ticks all the boxes for approval. Safe use of the footpath would encourage links between the two villages. It is felt that THC is not considering the views of the local population and only looking at traffic statistics. AW pointed out that any compromise now will remain in place for years to come and he urged that the 30mph limit across the complete straight should be the outcome sought. CC and KC will continue to push for the best solution. CM noted that to her knowledge there have been three fatalities on the straight within living memory and any number of accidents. KC/BW Action.

Item 10.  Regular updates:

(1)    Planning issues. (1) Pure Leisure Gledfield. Opportunities regarding the upgrade of local Core Paths passed to Matt Dent at THC.  CC wishes to engage with the developer and the community to establish the best way to consult with the community during Covid restrictions. Concerns expressed regarding the inevitable increase in traffic on the access to the new development on a road which is totally unsuitable at present, especially as it is currently designated as a 60mph limit. THC should be aware of the limitations of the road and the dangers around the entrance. It was suggested that the developer could produce a newsletter which could be displayed on the noticeboard in Drovers’ Square, a central point for all. Further information can be published in the Kyle Chronicle. Further discussions should be held with the developer.

(2)    Climate issues. (1) BW attended a two-day online course, Zero Carbon Britain, organised by the Centre for Alternative Technology, and suggested that others could be encouraged to do this with the CC perhaps helping with course fees through the BnO Fund if required. Joe Perry, THC Climate Change Coordinator has offered to attend a CC meeting. It was proposed to set up a joint meeting with Creich CC, Planet Sutherland, etc to meet Joe Perry and colleagues from THC Climate Change to discuss steps being taken by the Council and what can be done locally. A one-off meeting in April will be suggested to interested parties. BW Action. (2) AP had attended the online Highland Good Food Conversation Conference which covered many exiting projects including schools growing programmes, community greenhouses and composting schemes. A report will be available in a couple of weeks. Further details available from Planet Sutherland.

(3)    Windfarms. (1)  BW and MT have recently attended online meetings with both Sallachy and Strath Rory developers to discuss community benefit. Sallachy is now signed off. The Strath Rory developer wishes to share the benefit amongst the eight Community Councils whose boundaries border the proposed site. BW/MT feel that there is a danger that the spilt suggested spreads the funds so widely that those with the smaller shares will receive such small amounts they will be of little benefit. They will continue to represent the interests of A&DCC at discussions to seek the best solutions possible. (2) Meall Buidhe. It is time for further discussions with Creich CC. (3) Achany extension. Representatives will attend the March meeting with an allocated 20 – 30-minute slot. DW reported that SSE representatives recently gave a presentation to Creich CC.

(4)    Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. (DW) (1) South Bonar proposed development. Funding bids are presently being put together to support the planned motorhome parking area with appropriate facilities. Discussions are ongoing with SEPA regarding the regulations covering development on possible flood areas. At present the proposal meets the 1 in 200 year event condition but SEPA is apparently pushing, throughout Scotland, for a 1 in 1,000 year event. The current plans have been met with great enthusiasm by locals and visitors alike and would provide toilet and chemical waste facilities on the site. The Hub can provide showers and other facilities which would also boost its income. KoSDT would take control of the toilets which will remain in the public accessible section of the park thus ensuring the future of this facility against THC closures. (2) Other projects are currently delivering excellent support to the community via the Food Larder, addressing fuel poverty, and the Keep Active Together sessions happening online. Work continues on the Local Resilience Plan and a funding application has been submitted for a three-month Sutherland-wide hardship support scheme. (3) A new operator will take over at Falls of Shin when it re-opens. Four pitches for motorhomes will be established with a chemical waste facility.  (4) SM and Marcus Munro have been co-opted as new directors to the Board of KoSDT to fill two recent vacancies.

(5)    Highland Council. KC had to leave the meeting ahead of this slot to attend to other duties.

Item 11. Any other competent business. (1) SM asked for an agenda item at next meeting to discuss the poor state of repair of many benches on paths throughout the KoS area. SM/BW Action/Agenda item.

Item 12. Date of future meetings. The next meeting, on Zoom, will be on 8th March 2021 at 7pm.

Item 13. Applications to Beinn Tharsuinn, Beinn nan Oighrean community benefit funds. BTWF. Application by Bonar Bridge Football club was approved with an award of £2,000 towards Clubhouse refurbishment. Application by A&DCC for £500 to top-up the CC Admin Fund was approved. BnO. Application by Ardgay Public Hall for £225, as previously approved, to continue Broadband provision was approved. Phil Tomalin, BTWF Company Secretary, and applicants will be advised.

Meeting closed 9.15pm

Minutes 14 December 2020

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Minutes of meeting held on Monday 14th December 2020 on Zoom at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 8/2/2021

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Secretary (MT), John Denniston, Treasurer, (JD), Andy Wright (AW)

Apologies: Buster Crabb (BC), Rob Pope (RP), Bill Knott (BK)

Invited guests: Jodie Ross and Jason Gardiner, Sutherland Adaptive and Collaborative Communities Project (JR&JG)

Also present: Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland (AP), Donna Gilles (DG)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1 & 2. Welcome & apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright welcomed everyone to this Zoom meeting.

Item 4. Approval of October minutes. The minutes of the October meeting were approved as a true and accurate record. Proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: John Denniston.

Item 3.  Guest speakers. JR and JG outlined the work done so far on the Communities Resilience Plan, cooperating with the local Community Councils of Creich, Edderton and Lairg in addition to Ardgay. A basic plan has been prepared. The next stage is for communities to make comments/suggestions to complete. Much input has been received, residents from Culrain were thanked for their input. The next meeting is scheduled in February 2021 so comments should be submitted ahead of this to conclude and publish the plan. The opportunity to bring the regularly updated plan to the public via the Kyle Chronicle is very much appreciated. An asset register will be established to enable quick responses when incidents arise. The Fire Service insurance will cover the use of such assets at these times. It will be possible to use drones to help control incidents. Drones will also be covered by the insurance when used. Once published the public will be encouraged to keep the plan close to hand for immediate access in urgent situations. Relevant contact information will be included though it was stressed that this is a back-up and that all emergency services remain the first point of contact when appropriate. A map will show where services/equipment are sited throughout the Kyle of Sutherland area, for example defibrillator stations, generators, etc. It is hoped to establish training in first aid, CPR, etc through Scottish Ambulance in 2021. SSE maintains a register of vulnerable people in the community. Every homeowner should be encouraged to hold a list of emergency contacts and useful information pertaining to their needs and property. Phase 2 will look at prevention aspects due to climate change, reviewing actions and considerations. JG commended residents and organisations for already functioning well in matters of resilience and support within the community. Chair will supply any further information required by JR regarding the Ardgay district. The date of the February meeting of the SACCP will be notified to the CC in due course. JR and JG left the meeting at 8.50pm.

Item 5. Matters arising. (1) Dog waste disposal. The removal of the red dog waste bins appears to have led to an increase in fouling with waste not being cleaned up by dog owners. The message to use ordinary bins does not seem to be reaching the public; the designated red bins were a constant reminder. There was no consultation with CC regarding the removal of red bins and not enough ordinary bins are available in public places. Secretary will write to Ward Manager requesting the provision of more grey bins, specifically at sites where the red ones have been removed. MT Action. (2) Speeding near Gledfield school. Secretary has requested results from recent camera van surveys. (2) Bonar straight. Still no reply from THC. Ward Manager has been asked to have someone respond in lieu of Joanne Sutherland, Head of Roads, who has apparently been absent for some time. A public event could be staged to indicate local opinion. The Hub should be involved in driving this forward considering the perceived dangers to their customers, especially children. Questions could be asked of other areas where traffic calming measures/speed limits have been introduced, e.g. Conan Bridge and Maryburgh.   BW Action. (3) Thanks were expressed to all who helped with the preparation and setting up of the Christmas lights and decorations. (4) Scottish Water. DG advised that talks have taken place between Scottish Water and the residents of East Kincardine Hill but the costs of piping water from the mains would have to be borne by the residents. It was suggested that standpipes could be placed at sites where currently the mains supply stops. Secretary will suggest this to her contact at Scottish Water. SACCP should be contacted to add this issue to Resilience talks as the lack of water could be critical in several instances. MT Action.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (BW) Nothing to add.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. (MT) All correspondence has been circulated by email. (1) An interactive survey has been circulated regarding Covid research. MT encouraged CCs to complete and submit.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (JD) JD had circulated the report ahead of the meeting. The 16th November balance at the bank is £42,511.93. This comprises Restricted funds of £41985.49, CC Admin fund of £474.32, and the Windfarm Admin fund of £52.12. The balances of the Restricted funds are: Beinn nan Oighrean £20,789.61, Coire na Cloiche £19,810.00, Beinn Tharsuinn Community Projects £1,276.00, RWE Path £73.20, and Toilet caretaking £36.68.  Expenditure since 30th September: £100 to Jean Williamson for work on plants and flowers, £90 to Minutes Secretary, £250 to Ardgay District Xmas Party – gifts and £250 to Gledfield Primary Scholl Parent Council. Paid since 16th November but not yet on bank statement: £27 and £93 Christmas lights related and £72.50 to Minutes Secretary. MY noted that the windfarm admin account balance is low. She will check up regarding a top-up transfer of funds. MT Action.

Item 9.  Regular updates:

(1)    Planning issues. CC has already supported a grant application from KoSDT in respect of its Planning application at ‘Stonehenge’.  Biomas boiler installation at Gledfield House. No objections raised.

(2)    Climate issues. BW attended THC Climate Change online conference. There were lots of interesting speakers and discussions about targets and policy and personal responsibility but not enough about actions being taken now by the council.  You can view the recording of the event here

(3)    Windfarms. Noted that the proposed Glencassley development has been renamed as the Achany Extension.

(4)    Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. A new website has been created overarching the wider KoS area.

(5)    Highland Council. Noted the absence of any THC Councillor. (1) Proposed changes by the Boundary Commission which would see the amalgamation of Wards with the reduction in Councillor numbers were discussed. Secretary will respond to the consultation registering CC objection.MT Action. (2) The Tourism Infrastructure Plan with a deadline for comments by 18th December came as news to the CC. BW will investigate. AP also looking into this. BW/AP Action. CC training – details have been circulated for those interested.

Item 10. Any other competent business. (1) SM advised that she is standing down from the Ardgay Public Hall Committee. Having a CC rep on the committee has helped communication and understanding between the two bodies and a new CC rep would be beneficial. SM was thanked for the liaison work she has carried out on the CC’s behalf. (2) Gledfield Estate. CC reps met with new owner John Morphet in November and an article appeared in the winter edition of the Kyle Chronical. Concerns raised tonight regarding knock-on effects, specifically traffic around the primary school. Further talks might see goodwill gestures forthcoming for example to alleviate traffic/parking issues or pavement at the school. CC will have the opportunity to highlight concerns when Planning application is submitted by the Estate. Local Core Paths could be improved.  (3) MT raised the concept of Partnering/Sharing with THC. It seems that often THC now wishes to ‘step back’ from aspects of community provision thus putting responsibility onto the community, for example, play parks. Communities might be more willing to take on community provision if THC considered ‘partnerships’ with communities where both it and the community share the responsibility.

Item 11. Date of future meetings. The next meeting, on Zoom, will be on 8th February 2021 at 7pm, followed by March, May and June (2nd Mondays).

Item 12. Applications to Beinn Tharsuinn, Beinn nan Oighrean community benefit funds. Previously approved applications were ratified. BnO – £250 to Ardgay Xmas Children’s Party – for gifts and £250 to Gledfield Primary School Parents Council for equipment.

Meeting closed 9.15pm

Minutes 12 October 2020

Monday, November 16th, 2020

Ardgay & District Community Council

Draft Minutes of AGM held on Monday, 12th October 2020 at 7.00pm on ZOOM

Present: Elected members: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Secretary (MT), John Denniston, Treasurer (JD), Andy Wright (AW), Bill Knott (BK)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

Apologies: Buster Crabb (BC), Rob Pope (RP)

Items 1/2.  Welcome/Apologies (see above) The Chair opened the meeting the first AGM to be held on Zoom

Item 3. Minutes of last AGM. The Minutes of the last AGM held on Monday 10th June 2019 were accepted as a true and accurate record.  Proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Andy Wright.

Item 4. Chairperson’s report. (BW)This report is copied here:

This AGM report will be unlike any other so far, given that we are in the midst of a global pandemic and unable to

meet at present, so is being delivered via Zoom.

When lockdown first happened, the impact of it came as a real shock and presented lots of issues about how to care

for and contact those who may have become isolated and in need of practical help re shopping, medicines, lack of

company etc. KoSDT together with Bradbury Centre and local shops really delivered on this. Many thanks to David

Watson and all involved for the work they continue to do for our community.

Local issues that we have been dealing with during the last year include

Recycling in Highland Council – a talk from Waste management team

Proposed tree planting on Jubilee Hill – representation from Community council resulted in plan being

changed to a much-reduced area of regeneration and no actual planting. Discussions are still ongoing about

how FS engage with local communities re planning.

Final edition of Ardgay and District Community Council newsletter. Editor Silvia Muras has gone on to produce

a local magazine – Kyle Chronicle – and obtained funding for this to be delivered free to all households in

Ardgay and Creich cc areas.

Christmas lights – A band of volunteers put up lamppost lights and tree in village

Flower tubs – Jean Richardson has continued to maintain the tubs. Thanks to her and Steve. They also

renovated all the tubs.

Windfarm applications. It has been a busy year! We have been in negotiation re Community Benefit funds

with several developers. These funds are independent of planning process but if used wisely can bring huge

benefits to our area (as we have already seen).

Speed restriction on Ardgay – Bonar straight A836. It has continued to be difficult to engage Highland

council on this issue. There are indications that they might at last be considering this. It is unacceptable that

The Hub, which is a place for families and young people is sited outwith any speed restrictions when it is so

close to the village.

Community Benefit funds. The cc has continued to consider applications to the Beinn Tharsuinn and Beinn nan

Oighrean CB funds.

December 2019 was the first meeting of the newly formed cc following elections. We welcomed 2 new members,

Bill Knott and John Denniston together with the 6 members, Buster Crabb, Silvia Muras, Rob Pope, Marion Turner,

Andy Wright and Betty Wright, who had stood for re-election, taking us to our full complement of 8. BW was elected

chairperson, SM vice chairperson, MT secretary, JD treasurer. We are again joined by Mary Goulder as minutes

secretary. Thank you to all concerned for giving up their time to help their community.

As we have been unable to meet in person since our meeting in February, we have been conducting meetings via

Zoom and requesting that residents raise any matters with us for discussion.

Item 5. Treasurer’s report. (JD) This report is copied here: 

Treasurer’s report for the financial year 2019-2020 For AGM 2020

The balance of A&D CC bank accounts, as of 5th April 2020 was: £21,047.68 of which £20,695.02 was in restricted accounts, as follows:

£18,212.11 in the Beinn nan Oighrean (BnO) account

£2,275.83 in the Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm (BTWF) account

£170.40 in the E.ON Path account

£36.68 for the toilet account

£144.91 was in the admin account

?£207.75 was in the Wind Farm admin account

Admin. During the financial year, the Highland Council (THC) gave the community council a total of £815.03 for administrative work. This consisted of: ?£86.00 advance towards Insurance

?£399.03 annual admin grant to cover the cost of meetings

?£330.00 as a top-up admin grant

In addition, we received £400.00 towards administrative costs from Beinn Tharsuinn windfarm.

Total admin expenditure (hall hire, minutes secretary payments, insurance, postage etc.) for the period was £1,001.17 split as £723.88 from the admin fund and £277.29 from the windfarm fund.

Toilet. THC gave a grant towards the running of the Ardgay toilet. Nominally, this was for £600.00, but £77.74 was immediately clawed back for supplies supplied by THC, meaning the net grant received was actually £522.26 for the toilet fund. User donations in the toilet “honesty-box” amounted to a further £193.17 towards the costs of running the toilet. Total expenditure on the toilet for the period was £1523.45.

Newsletter. The Ardgay and District Community Council newsletter has now been superseded by the Kyle Chronicle. Consequently the newsletter account was deliberately run down to zero. At the start of the year, the newsletter account carried forward a sum of £1457.17 from 18-19. Income for the year was £644.96 which included a small grant of £203.76 from the Beinn Tharsuinn fund.

Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm (BTWF) account.

The BTWF account is intended for grants to community projects of up to £2,000. Total income this year to the fund was £2,035.00. The total for grants disbursed during the period was £1,186.82 which included: a new defibrillator; Christmas lights; the Armistice wreath; and contributions to the newsletter.

Beinn nan Oighrean Windfarm account

The BnO account is intended for grants to community projects of up to £250. Total income this year was £6198.13 (including a backdated amount for inflation), whilst expenditure was £750, being grants for: the Ardgay Christmas party, Apple trees and Culrain Christmas lights.

E.ON Path account. There were no transactions on this account during the period.

The accounts were adopted, proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Silvia Muras.

Item 6. Report re Beinn Tharsuinn and Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit Funds. Owing to the absence of RP there was no report concerning the Beinn Tharsuinn Community Benefit Fund. Beinn Tharsuinn gave nine awards totalling £9,435 leaving a balance of £15,500. Subsequent income £10,000 bringing the balance to £24,000. It was agreed to transfer a further £10,000 into the Endowment Fund which will bring it to a total of £25,000. Phil Tomalin will be asked to make the transfer. MG Action. Information regarding possible investment options to be sought.

Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit Annual Report 2019-2020 For AGM 2020

Beinn nan Oighrean community benefit was set at £2500+CPI annually in 2010. The CPI element had not been added for a number of years and so there was an additional payment this year to take this into account, leading to a one-off payment of £3698.13. The fund is disbursed to community groups through the CC’s Small Grants Applications. The maximum award from this fund is £250. Details of the fund and how to apply can be found on the A&D CC website and in the Kyle Chronicle (previously in the Ardgay & District Community Council Newsletter).

During the year 2019-2020, three awards, totalling £750.00, were awarded and disbursed. In addition two further awards, totalling £310.00 were agreed but had not been disbursed by the end of the financial year.

The disbursed awards were:

? £250.00 for the Ardgay Christmas party

? £250.00 to Planet Sutherland for the Apple trees to be distributed to the community

? £250.00 to the Culrain Hall committee for Christmas lights.

The balance of the account, as at 5th April, was £18,212.11

Item 7.  Election of Office Bearers. All members of the Community Council stood down and in the absence of a Highland Councillor, Mary Goulder took the chair for the purpose of electing the Chair.

Betty Wright was proposed to continue as Chair; proposed: Marion Turner; seconded: Bill Knott.

Silvia Muras was proposed to continue as Vice Chair; proposed: Andy Wright; seconded: John Denniston.

John Denniston was proposed to continue as Treasurer; proposed: Silvia Muras; seconded: Betty Wright.

Marion Turner was proposed to continue as Secretary; proposed: Betty Wright; seconded: Andy Wright.

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

Two representatives to the SSE/E.ON Achany Panel will be Silvia Muras and Rob Pope. All office bearers accepted the posts.

One representative to KOSDT will be Andy Wright.

One representative to Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm Company will be Rob Pope. Proposed in his absence.

SM will continue to maintain the Facebook page. Phil Olsen has maintained the CC website for many years, with the grateful thanks for his many years of service both on and after standing down from the CC. It was suggested that this could be passed to someone else. KOSDT is to be asked about the possibility of taking over website maintenance.  BW Action.

Item 8. Any other business. None raised.

Item 9/10. Dates of meeting and AGM. The next meeting will be held on December 14th with next AGM on 14th June 2021. Until further notice meetings will be held on Zoom.


Meeting closed at 7.36pm.