Posts Tagged ‘Minutes’

Minutes 08 August 2016

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Approved 12/09/2016

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 8th August 2016
in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected, co-opted and associated members: Silvia Muras, Vice & Acting Chair (SM), Marion Turner, Treasurer (MT), Leslie Pope, Secretary (LP), Sheila Lall, (SL), Rob Pope (RP)

Apologies: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Andy Wright (AW)

Also present: Phil Olson (PO), Isobel Murray, East & Central Sutherland Community Care Forum (IM)

Police Scotland: None present  Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Acting Chair Silvia Muras opened the meeting and invited Isobel Murray to address the meeting.

Non-agenda item. Isobel passed round leaflets giving information regarding the E&CSCCF for which she is Development Officer. The Forum works to ensure the wellbeing of Service Users and Carers of all ages in East and Central Sutherland. Her purpose in attending tonight was to spread information to the wider community to reach out to local groups and individuals who may wish to become involved in the project either as Service Users or as volunteers. The group was originally facilitated by VG-ES but became an individual SCIO in 2011. Services offered include a Friends at Home scheme which provides regular friendly home visits, help with small tasks or transport to shops, medical appointments, social activities, etc. It is hoped that such help can allow independence at home last longer. The service is free and confidential. Allied to this is the Good Morning Sutherland service which provides a morning phone call each day to clients ensuring a link to the outside world though hearing a friendly voice which offers support to those often restricted to life at home.  The Carers’ Circle can provide a visit from a volunteer to allow home carers time to get out by themselves, in the knowledge that the person for whom they care is in safe hands. A newsletter is also available and further information on all aspects of the Forum are available on the website There is also a Facebook page. The full extent of the A&DCC boundaries were explained to IM, noting that many of the vulnerable people in the area live at a distance in the glens. The Forum has clients in Ardgay and Bonar but at present there are no volunteers living locally. Overall there are around fifty clients currently making use of the services but volunteer numbers are in the low teens. More are urgently needed. Anyone willing to become involved should contact IM on Isobel was asked to submit a short article about the work of the Forum to the Newsletter Editor; this can also be posted on the CC Facebook page, in the hope of reaching out to service users and prospective volunteers alike. With thanks from the CC for attending, IM left at 7.15pm.

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

Item 4. Christmas lights. This item was moved up the agenda to allow for earlier discussion; thanks extended to Phil Olson for attending for this. Unfortunately no other interested parties were present. PO suggested that in light of the difficulties in finding volunteers and time, efforts should be concentrated on having one central Christmas lights display feature around the Clach Eiteag in the middle of Ardgay. General discussion suggested that this could consist of a tree with lights and perhaps a Santa or similar festive feature. The lighting up of these could be a local event, bringing the local residents and especially children to share in festive fun, maybe with a hot drinks/nibbles stall. It is no longer feasible to maintain strings of lights around the wider village with the main Health & Safety issues this incurs. The tree lights could be of the type which may be attached before the tree is erected. It was agreed that this should be the opening discussion at the September meeting, with Paul Whittock invited along with any other individuals willing to be involved. Quotes for lights etc will be sought beforehand. MT Action. A plan for the displays and the event should be finalised at that meeting. Agenda item./Action All.

Item 5. Matters arising/updates.

(a)     Community Broadband. An update issued by Margaret Davidson THC had been received by CCs. Nothing new in it although it did agree that rural areas require a better service. KOSDT is due to meet Community Broadband Scotland later this month; BT has released its Post Code survey results. A public meeting is expected soon. PO encouraged the CC and the community at large to be pro-active, stating clearly to BT and CBS what is required. Especially for all households and businesses at a distance from the central cabinet. CC will write to Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government sating the objectives of the CC in this regard and requesting to be kept in the loop of all developments. At present it takes too long for any updating information to filter down to CC and community level. MT/AW/LP Action.

(b)     NC500. Lairg & District Community Initiative, after discussions locally, has dropped out of Heart of Sutherland Tourism having decided to go it alone with whatever projects they feel appropriate to their specific area. KOSDT continues to work on HOST.

(c)     Flower tubs. No update at present. All volunteers will be warmly thanked in the next newsletter.SM Action.

Item 6. Police report. Once again the CCs were disappointed that no police officers attended the meeting. MG advised that she sends the draft Minutes to three difference police contacts and that the date of the following meeting is always clearly stated. For the other two local CCs she also sends the agenda to the same contacts. She will update her police contact list and forward it to LP so that the A&DCC agenda can also be sent out. MG/LP Action.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. (LP) Correspondence. All relevant incoming mail had been circulated to members. MG is looking into the possibility of depositing records/files from all three local CCs in the Highland Archive in Inverness. Will find out more for next meeting. MG Action. David Hannah had enquired about naming of streets in Ardgay. It was felt that the Highland tradition does not name the streets and roads in the centres of villages, as here, but that recent developments and all roads out with the centre are named. No action required. Secretary to advice DH. LP Action.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The July 2016 balance at the bank is £13,385.78 of which £13,288.71 are restricted funds. The Admin/General Fund has £97.07 available to carry out the business of the CC.  The Admin grant from THC is expected this month. The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking – £1,086.00; BTWF – Community Projects – £564.53; Newsletter – £2,257.98; BNO – £8,580.20; EON Path – £800.

Item 9. Planning issues. Nothing controversial.

Item 10. Newsletter. (SM) Copy date for next issue is 25th August, with distribution expected at September meeting. Future issues may see dedicated page/s for input from the school children.SM Action.

Item 11. Website & Facebook. More input required. CC ‘Surgeries’ continue in Ardgay Store 2nd Saturday of each month. Feedback and photos can be used by both the Newsletter and Facebook page. LP Action. RP reported an issue, which was brought to attention at the last Surgery, of broken glass lying near Clach Eiteag. He kindly collected it on this occasion but the area should be monitored for any occurrence. In general the village is fairly litter free.

Item 12. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (MT) All projects previously noted are ongoing.

Item 13. Highland Council. No report in absence of Councillor.

Item 14. Windfarms. Caplich. Going to appeal. CC has registered an interest in PLI. Coire na Cloiche. Ground work expected to start soon. SSE/E.ON Panel. Business meeting scheduled in September. RP registered apologies from this and all other meetings over the coming 4- 6 weeks due to health reasons.

Item 15. Any other competent business. RP advised that the Rotary Club has a small fund from which a donation might be given to an approved project locally. CCs to bring ideas to September meeting. Agenda item.

Item 17. Date and time of next/future meeting/s. The meeting will be held on Monday 12th September at 7pm in the Culrain Hall. RP submitted apologies. LP will book the hall and MT will cancel booking in Ardgay. LP/MT Action.

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting, the Invercharron Highland Games application to the Beinn Tharsuinn Fund for funding towards the running of the Games was awarded £872. Application by Sutherland Sessions was held over pending further information. Applicants will be advised. MG Action.


Meeting closed 9.05pm.

Minutes AGM 13 June 2016

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Ardgay & District Community Council

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

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

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

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Item 7. Any other competent business. None raised.

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

Meeting closed at 7.25pm.

Minutes approved 12/06/2017

Minutes 13 June 2016

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

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 13th June 2016

in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

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

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

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

Police Scotland: None present  Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

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

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

Item 4. Matters arising/updates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Item 8. Planning issues. Nothing relevant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards.

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

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

Meeting closed 10pm.

Minutes 14 March 2016

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The AGM will be held on 13th June 2016.

Chair BW then moved to the agenda.

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

Item 4. Matters arising:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Item 5. Police report. None submitted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beinn Tharsuinn Community Benefit awards.

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

Meeting closed 10pm.

Minutes 09 November 2015

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Minutes approved 14/03/2016


Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 9th November 2015 in Ardgay Public Hall at 7.00pm

Present: Elected & co-opted members: David Hannah, Chair (DH), Marion Turner, Vice Chair (MT), (TL),

Alan Lawrence, Treasurer, (AL), Phil Olson (PO), Betty Wright (BW), Silvia Muras (SM)

Bob Sendall (BS)

Apologies: All present                                                  Police Scotland: PC Steve MacKenzie (PCSM)

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder (MG)

Also present: Highland Councillor George Farlow (GF), Teresa Langley (TL), Lesley Pope (LP), Sheila Lall (SL), Santiago MacKenzie (SMJnr)

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Chair DH welcomed everyone and moved swiftly to the agenda.

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

Item 4. Matters arising:

(a)     Invershin Cycle ramp. (PO) The news was received with great delight that the cycle ramp is at last installed. Creich CC is arranging a memorial plaque in respect for the work done on this project and others by the late Sandy Chalmers.

(b)     Bank of Scotland, Bonar Bridge. The CC has already written to the Bank to register dismay at the proposed reduction of hours at the local branch. Any further comments should be emailed to MT who will compose another letter of complaint. All individuals, groups and businesses are encouraged to write to oppose the cuts in service. AL stated that the job of Treasurer for the CC, and all other groups, will be nigh on impossible to conduct without the provision of the local branch. GF is liaising with Dr Paul Monaghan, MP, who is dealing with Bank officials at a high level. All/GF Action.

(c)     THC Highland–wide Development Plan is now out for consultation with a deadline of 8th December for online comments. It is felt that Central Sutherland is ignored in the plan, an omission which should be addressed. CC members should send their opinions to MT by the end of the week to allow her to compile a CC statement to submit online. All/MT Action.

(d)     Grass verges/Safer routes to School. Although some routes have had verges cut many have not including the transport lines. The Kincardine to Ardgay route for secondary school pupils remains a serious danger. GF agreed to speak with TECS to urge cutting for safety reasons throughout the area. GF Action.

(e)     Carbisdale. BW reminded CCs that in their documents presented at the Braemore PLI the Carbisdale Castle Group indicated that the sale was expected to go through in mid-November. The CC has not been advised by either sellers or developers of any progress; at no point have the developers ever approached the CC directly.

(f)      Wi-Fi for Ardgay Public Hall. Provision of a Wi-fi hotspot would be of great benefit to hall users. It is understood to be difficult to provide as there is no landline. Bonar Bridge Hall Committee should be asked how they provide a hotspot, which is well used, and at what cost. BW Action.

Item 5. Police report. PC MacKenzie’s report had no serious issues. Reports since the last CC meeting included five speeding, one no MOT and one of poaching. Asked about parking issues in Bonar the CC was encouraged to report these to the Road Traffic Department. An item could be included in the next issue of the CC newsletter with relevant parking information and also any advice from Police Scotland regarding safe road use through the winter.  Incidents of motorcycles roaring through the area, particularly on the various straight road sections were passed to PCSM. These are of nuisance value but also dangerous and law-breaking.  PCSM Action. Chair thanked Police Scotland for its attendance at the Remembrance Service at the Ardgay War Memorial on Sunday 8th November. PCSM left at 7.35pm.

Item 6. Newsletter. Deadline for the next issue is 25th November. Already several items of local interest have been identified for articles, including the Ardgay Regeneration Project, the Invershin Cycle Ramp, Bank of Scotland Bonar Bridge proposed reduction of hours, domestic violence, phone and internet scams. The monitoring report for Foundation Scotland (E.ON Rosehall) is now due. SM and AL will work on this and submit. SM/AL Action.

Item 7. Secretary’s report/Correspondence. (MT) A list of incoming correspondence by both email and post was given which included advice of THC payment, Bank of Scotland reply (standard to all), Gledfield Head Teacher, THC Highland-wide Development Plan, Scotways receipt for payment (passed to Treasurer), many communications from VG-ES, and a request from Matt Dent for the £800 currently held by CC for Core Path work – this will continue to be held by the CC until appropriate work is carried out. THC advised it is taking over the Decriminalised Parking Enforcement powers from Police Scotland in April 2016. Fountains Forestry invited the CC to participate in a scoping exercise regarding the Clais Mor Forest Long Term Forest Plan. BW advised that Forestry Commission Scotland is holding a consultation regarding its management plan for Central Sutherland on 12th November in Bonar Bridge, 18th November in Lairg. Letter received from the Boundaries Commission indicates no changes here. It was agreed that the Chair would respond to a request for support from Assynt CC regarding changes to the Patient Transport Scheme. Guidelines are currently unclear. GF suggested that a Ward Forum should be called to deal with this issue. DH will write to Assynt CC. DH/GF Action. Friends of Sutherland Veterans are fundraising for their flag-raising event next June and wrote seeking an interest. DH declared his interest. A donation of £50 was approved. AL Action.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (AL) In his last report as Treasurer AL produced an enhanced report to show current CC position. Cleared balance at start of November was £14,880.89. Cheques have been written to the value of £1716 with a further £150 (approx.) outgoings expected before this CC goes into abeyance at 11.59hrs on 17th November.  THC Administration and Toilets grants have been received plus £100 from the Ward Discretionary Budget towards the village floral displays. The Beinn Tharsuinn award made to Gledfield Primary School Parent Council was returned due to the failure of the project along with the same amount which was awarded by Creich. This money should be returned to Alex Macmanus, Company Secretary BTWF. Treasurer will send a cheque for the full amount of £924 and also advise the Treasurer of Creich CC. AL Action. The Beinn nan Oighrean (/Rock by Sea) Small Grants Fund has received a further payment of £2,500. Billing has been made for £205 for advertising in Issue 29 of the newsletter of which £100 has been received. £950 has been paid to KoSDT against an invoice to cover printing costs for the next two issues. The restricted fund balances stand at approximately: Toilet cleaning = £34.00 (deficit); Beinn Tharsuinn community projects = £2668.19; Newsletter = £478.00; Beinn nan Oighrean community benefit = £10225.00; E.ONPath Fund = £800. A full set of figures will accompany the handing over of the accounts to the Ward Manager on 17th November. AL expressed his thanks to CC members for their help and cooperation with especial mention to MT for her assistance in preparing the accounts in the form required by THC. He also registered his complaint against THC for the lack of respect shown to the position of Treasurer having received no reply at any time in six years to any covering letter submitted by him.

Item 9. Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust report. (MT) The Trust AGM will be held in Bonar Bridge Hall at 7.30pm on 16th November. Ardgay Regeneration Project and Falls of Shin applications have both been submitted. Over 100 people attended the recent consultation regarding the Ardgay Regeneration Project. It is hoped to hear regarding the Falls of Shin funding by March. Match funding is also being sought. The Keep Active Together (KAT) team has published a full list of upcoming activities, Greening Kyle is winding up its Home Energy Survey project, due to finish in March at which time their Cosy Homes East Sutherland scheme should pick up, funded by British Gas. Local residences are currently benefitting from an external insulation scheme being run by E.ON.

Item 10. Highland Council. (GF) GF has not been able to establish ownership of the MacLean/Rutherford yard. Such a search would involve expensive fees. THC Restructuring of Community Services is underway. Restructuring should be aimed at middle management levels with fewer department heads. Full report expected by February. Ardchronie road works: THC is now reinforcing the wall and side banking prior to any further work. The cost of operating traffic lights here for the past four years was highlighted; stress was again placed on the need to complete this work as soon as possible and to a satisfactory conclusion.

Item 11. Windfarms. Beinn Tharsuinn. CC appoints two directors to the Board of Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm Company Ltd therefore no Ardgay representatives will be in place after 17th November until such time as a new CC is reinstated, hopefully in March 2016. No applications to the Ardgay section of the fund can be considered until the new CC is inaugurated. Braemore. The Scottish Government Reporters decision is hoped for in January. Caplich. This will be discussed by THC Planning in February. Muirhall Energy is making funding available to Lairg Learning Centre to run courses but CC members are unhappy at the lack of discussion with Ardgay and possibly Creich. Outreach courses within this scheme should also take place in Ardgay and Creich to ensure equal value to all three areas. BW will liaise with Peter Marshall. BW Action.

Item 12. AOCB. (1) Ardgay Christmas lights. The lights are currently stored at Ardgay Garage; Paul Whittock wishes to hire a cherry picker to erect them, due to weight of each unit and safety issues. It was thought that several local farmers have cherry pickers and should be approached to help. SM will make enquiries as to whether a tree might be donated again this year. As no CC will be in place there is no-one to co-ordinate this project. An appeal will be placed on the village noticeboards seeking volunteers to take on erecting lights and the tree if one is found. Anyone willing should contact Paul directly at Ardgay Garage. Chair will advise Paul. MT/DH Action.  (2) Core Paths. See Item 7/ Correspondence.) (3) Closure of Community Council. Chair expressed thanks to all outgoing councillors, wishing them well for the future and expressing the hope that volunteers will come forward in the New Year and seek nomination with a view to forming a new CC. A full list of all the statutory and voluntary roles undertaken by the CC has been compiled and this will be included in an item in the next newsletter. PO offered to remain as Webmaster in a voluntary capacity at present. (4) Community Broadband Scotland. CBS has been invited by KoSDT to give a presentation in Bonar Bridge Hall on 23rd November.

Item 15. Date and time of next meeting. The present CC members will stand down at 11.59 hours on 17th November at which time the CC will go into abeyance pending a further round of nominations/election processes which will start in January. The community is urged to find enough volunteers to take on this most important community role as many local groups and organisations depend on the CC to enable them to function, to seek funding, etc. The statutory duties such as commenting on Planning and Licensing applications will fail as will the liaison channel to local and national governments until such time as a new CC can be formed. With thanks again to the outgoing members, the Chair closed this meeting at 9.30pm.

Beinn Tharsuinn Community Benefit awards.

At the private meeting following the CC’s monthly meeting Gearrchoille Community Wood Ardgay was awarded £800 to support the essential requirements and financial obligations of running the community wood throughout 2016-17.

Ardgay Public Hall was awarded £900 towards the cost of remedial work following the installation of the new electrical heating system.

Creich, Croick & Kincardine District Day Care Centre was awarded £350 towards its Christmas Activities programme to allow for a visit to the panto and a shopping trip to Inverness.

Application by North Highland Language Centre was rejected.

From the Beinn nan Oighrean (Rock by Sea) Small Grants Fund an award of £150 was approved to the Kyle of Sutherland Joggers towards organising a community run in Bonar Bridge this December.