Posts Tagged ‘Minutes’

Minutes 13 July 2020

Monday, August 10th, 2020

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 13th July 2020 on Zoom at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 10/08/2020

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

Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Chair Betty Wright had called the Zoom meeting, firstly to test the system and establish if the format can work in future if it remains impossible to hold face to face meetings. Also to confirm email decisions reached during the lockdown period, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, since the middle of March.

BW began with thanking everyone for joining the Zoom meeting and proceeded to record the CC’s thanks to the various local businesses and organisations which have been providing excellent support to the community including the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, the Bradbury Centre, the Kyle Bakery, Bonar Bridge Post Office and Ardgay Stores. The various services provided by these, and volunteers throughout the area, has been invaluable for everyone, most especially the vulnerable and shielding members of the community.

At the outset of lockdown it was agreed to suspend applications to the windfarm community benefit funds unless they directly impacted on dealing with the virus situation and limitations. Any such applications would still be considered but under the auspices of KoSDT which was co-ordinating many of the supporting measures in the community.

It was agreed to pay Mary Goulder a retainer of £49 per month, based on the 80% Government recommendations, until the end of June. This would ensure continuity of contact, correspondence etc.

Financial report. Prior to the meeting Treasurer had forwarded the report which shows no changes since the 29th May.

The balance at the bank is £20.550.48.  This comprises £20,287.82 Restricted funds, £99.91 CC Admin fund, and £162.75 Windfarm admin fund. The balances of the Restricted funs are: BnO:£17,902.11, BTWF Community Projects: £2,275.83, EON Path: £73.20, and Toilet Caretaking: £36.68. Paid out since 6th April: £97.20 to Travis Perkins for the EON Path fund, BnO grants (approved at February meeting): £60 to Planet Sutherland, £250 to KoS Rainbow, Brownie and Guides (both approved in February) and £90 to Mary Goulder, Minutes Secretary retainer (agreed by email motion).

Ardgay Toilets. The CC rejected the proposal by THC to take on the asset responsibilities resulting in THC taking back the facility management. SM confirmed that the keys were returned to THC. She was advised that the CC should take all unused consumables as the CC had paid for them. These will now be donated to the Community Larder in The Barn at the Trust offices.

Jubilee Hill planting. BK had not seen the response from Scottish Forestry which provided an update on the plans for the area. MT will circulate this, and BK agreed to discuss the matter further once the response has been considered by the local residents. MT Action.

BTWF/BnO applications. It was agreed that applications to the funds will be reopened. BW Action.

Increase in visitor numbers. Local concern has been noted about increasing numbers of visitors to the area although it is understood that many businesses rely on tourism for income. It is hoped that a balance will be established, and that people will continue to observe all safety measures. The leaflet produced and circulated by the Sutherland Community Partnership on advice to tourists is recommended to all holiday accommodation providers and copies should be placed in local shops/outlets.

Next meeting. As it remains unclear when it will be possible to hold a regular meeting it is proposed that the next meeting will also be held on Zoom, open to CC members only, scheduled for Monday 10th August at 7pm. Using the usual channels of communication with the community, Chair will publicise this, asking that people submit any questions/raise any issues beforehand so that they can be discussed by the CC at that time.

Meeting closed 7.45pm.

Minutes 09 March 2020

Monday, August 10th, 2020

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 9th March 2020 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 10/08/2020

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Marion Turner, Secretary (MT), John Denniston, Treasurer (JD), Rob Pope (RP), Andy Wright (AW), Bill Knott (BK), Buster Crabb (BC)

Apologies: Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM)

Also present: Highland Councillor Kirstin Currie (KC), Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland, Teresa Hewlett, Stuart Hewlett

Police Scotland: Report received by email                                                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2. Welcome/Apologies. Apologies as above. Chair opened the meeting and welcomed new faces.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the February meeting were approved by Marion Turner, seconded by Bill Knott.

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Tree planting on Jubilee Hill. No further update available. (2) Date of postponed presentation by Brookfield Renewables. Currently rescheduled to 11th May; this will also be the AGM. (3) Update on Ardgay-Bonar straight. Background given for the benefit of new residents. Cllr Currie querying a misleading email received from Joanna Sutherland, THC Head of Roads, which gave an inaccurate report regarding THC current position. She considered the report unacceptable and will compile a letter to submit on behalf of both A&DCC and Creich once she has discussed it with both CCs. It is essential that the speed limit is reduced; the community and both CCs have been asking for this for well over two years with no action taken by THC. The request is backed by the local MP, MSP and Highland Councillors. The arguments in favour have been laid out many times. KC will keep CC updated if any response/action forthcoming from THC. (4) Response from THC re Ardgay toilets. The proposals received are a change from the usual arrangements and are unacceptable in their present form. The suggestion of an asset transfer to the CC is out of the question as the CC is advised not to hold any assets. Such changes should have been discussed fully at the end of the last season. No-one will sign the new agreement but would agree to opening the facility as per last year on 1st April. Talks could then be undertaken to seek possible solutions. (5) Recycling centres vehicle access. Changes to charging arrangements see no pick-ups or large trailers allowed unless authorised and paying new fees. £500 charged if THC employee at the site reports unauthorised vehicles. This is a rural area where many people use trailers of varying sizes. Inability to utilise the skips will undoubtedly lead to an increase in fly-tipping. (6) Strathy Ward, Migdale Hospital. The ward is open with six beds. It is understood that NHS Highland is still seeking more nursing staff.

Item 5. Police report. There have been seven incidents in the wider Ardgay area in the last month consisting of the following:1 x abandoned  999, 1 x theft,1 x scam caller,1 x fire,1 x intruder,1 x planned shoot, 1 x weather warning.

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

Item 7. Secretary’s report. (MT) (1) All relevant correspondence has been circulated. (2) CC insurance. Invoice received from Zurich Insurance; policy renewal due on 1st April. (3) Lubcroy Forestry Consultation. No comment required. (4) THC Car parking charges consultation. Eventually received documentation. Current deadline 13th March. When Traffic Order is produced CC will submit objections.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (JD) (1) The 28th February balance at the bank is £ 21,226.98 comprising restricted funds of £20,695.02, CC admin fund £244.66 and the windfarm admin fund £287.30. The balances of the restricted funds are Beinn nan Oighrean fund £18,212.11, Beinn Tharsuinn Community Projects, £2,275.83, E.ON Path £170.40 and Toilet Caretaking £36.68. Outgoing cheques sent but not yet on the bank statement were for Hall hire and the agreed grant from BnO to the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides group.

Item 9. Correspondence/matters raised by local residents. Oakwood Path. Stones have been delivered; the invoice will be passed to the Treasurer when it arrives.

Item10. Regular updates: (1) Planning issues. One relevant for a met mast at site of proposed Braelangwell windfarm – no issues raised. Mention made of recent THC approval for three large houses to be built in random corners of big fields, not near to transport, services, etc. Concern that THC is approving such applications, possibly against local Councillors recommendations, which will see heavy carbon use due to their situation. Planet Sutherland would encourage that all new housing should be carbon neutral or Passivhaus standards. Scottish Government should implement a transition plan as standards move towards sustainable/renewable energy sources.

(2) Climate issues. (AP)Planet Sutherland workshops arranged for the Greening Your Business scheme. A proposal has been submitted to Interface with a view to seeking solutions to the farm plastic waste issues. Talks ongoing regarding growing schemes locally. (3) Windfarms. (a) Lairg 2. Full planning application by Energiekontor has been submitted. Government is reinstating the subsidy to onshore developments. No comment required from CC on Lairg 2. Discussion once again raised the issue of the higher cost of electricity in the Highland while the areas suffer the worst fuel poverty in the UK. Calls made that cheaper energy provision should be a Planning condition. (b) Braelangwell. Met mast erection, no comment. (c) Sallachy. Public meeting planned for 23rd April in Ardgay Hall. KOSDT Manager hopes to attend. (d) Meall Buidhe. Change of access application noted. No impact in Ardgay. (e) Glencassley. Meeting scheduled 16th March to discuss community benefit.

(4) KOSDT report. (AW) Five page report received. AW will summarise and circulate to CCs. AW Action.

Item 11. Highland Council. Nothing to add to items covered during the meeting.

Item 12. Any other business. Carbisdale Castle workday planned for 5th April at 10am.

Item 13. Dates for future meetings. The next meeting will be held on May 11th. This will also be the AGM. All meetings will be held in the Ardgay Public Hall starting at 7pm. It was noted that the dates on the CC website are incorrect and will be amended. MT Action. Dates of meetings later in the year will be set at the AGM.

Item 14. Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit award. Application by Planet Sutherland for £60 towards running Carbon Café and Film & Discussion events was approved. AP and the group were commended for their work and progress since start up.  Applicants will be advised. MG/JD Action.

Meeting closed 8.40pm.

Minutes 10 February 2020

Monday, March 9th, 2020

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 10th February 2020 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 09/03/2020

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

Apologies: Highland Councillor Kirsteen Currie (KC), Brookfield Renewables

Also present: Anna Patfield, Planet Sutherland

Police Scotland: Report received by email                                                                    Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/2/3. Welcome/Apologies. As above – due to weather conditions. Presentation. Brookfield Renewables will be advised of the dates of the next two meetings to rearrange attendance. Chair Betty Wright opened the first meeting of the year and since the tragic accident on the Ardgay straight. A short period of silence was observed in memory of Rhona MacFarlane. The thoughts and condolences of the CC for the extended family were recorded. BK expressed thanks from the family for the unbelievable support from the community, which continues even now.

Item 4. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the December meeting were approved by Rob Pope seconded by Marion Turner.

Item 5. Matters arising. (1) Tree planting on Jubilee Hill. Amanda Ophof of Scottish Forestry has been in touch with MT. Although she had nothing to send yet to the CC, she confirmed that Forestry Scotland has met the Estate factor and understands that a regeneration scheme is planned, not a planting one, with fencing along the back of the site. Amanda Ophof hopes to have an update for the next CC meeting. BK has a copy of the Nick Richards’ map and if the new plans are in keeping with that then it is likely things could move forward. CC agreed that it is important that new plans are presented to the community promptly, especially with regard to previously agreed boundaries. (2) Strathy Ward, Migdale Hospital. It is understood that the ward has reopened although no-one has heard more regarding staffing issues.

Item 6. (1) Discussion regarding the campaign to reduce the speed limit on the Ardgay straight. CC has been attempting to progress this with THC but with little or no response over the last six months. A speed survey was promised but no-one aware if it took place or if there were any results if so. There are many factors indicating that the current derestricted stretch is dangerous with concerns raised by The Hub and many local residents. BK stressed that the police investigation into the recent accident is ongoing, but that speed has not been mentioned as a major factor. He requested on behalf of the bereaved family that their names are not used as leverage in any campaign. Chair will contact Cllr Currie and Joanna Sutherland, Head of THC Roads, again outlining the many dangers seeking urgent responses and requesting a meeting on site. The Police, local Councillors, Gail Ross, MSP and Jamie Stone, MP will be copied into correspondence. BW Action.

Item 7. Police report. MT will enquire if there is any follow up information regarding points raised at the December meeting. Report included two lost dogs, two disturbances, one fatal RTC, one suspect person, one abandoned vehicle and one other RTC.  Once again speeding issues, especially pick-ups on the approach to the school with obstruction problems being caused by roadside parking. MT Action. (2) Dog fouling on the roadside route from Ardgay to Gledfield Primary School. Recently 89 incidents of fouling were counted along this route which is used by children as a route to school. Signs will be considered as reminders of the offence and fine. THC Dog Warden will be advised. SM will ask the Head Teacher if the children might choose to submit a short article on the subject for the Kyle Chronicle. Pink paint will be used to highlight areas where dog fouling is evident. SM/BW Action.

Item 8. Chairperson’s report. (BW) (1) Arrangements for CC items for Kyle Chronicle. SM advised that CC should submit a piece covering matters of interest from CC meetings since the previous edition. The Chronicle is not a replacement for the Newsletter, but extra space may be made available when there are matters of specific importance. Copy date for next issue is 21st February. BW Action. (2) CC representation. RP and SM will continue as the CC reps to the SSE Achany and Rosehall Windfarm Panel with David Hannah and Catriona Hill the current community representatives. RP continues as rep to the BTWF board and AW the rep on the KoSDT board. He will advise the CC when the Trust AGM date is agreed. AW Action. (3) Xmas lights have now been taken down and stored. Around half of the lights need to be replaced at an expected cost of around £300-£500. As in Bonar Bridge and Lairg a Christmas Lights group should be established. It could seek funding for improvements, upkeep and storage as well as organising the erection and removal of the lights each year. (4) The electronic display boards at Ardgay station are not always functioning. ScotRail has a messenger alert on Facebook where regular users can sign up via ScotRail website to receive messages if their train is delayed. Possible item for Kyle Chronicle. BW/SM Action.

Item 9. Secretary’s report. (MT) (1) All relevant correspondence has been circulated. (2) Report from Gala Week indicated there was £25 unused from their recent grant award. It was agreed that the group should retain the sum and use towards the next project. (3) THC has announced a consultation period regarding the possible introduction of car parking charges though no communication has been received by the CC. KC to be asked when the CC will be consulted. The CC does not meet again till 9th March and is unlikely to have enough time to discuss the issue. MT Action. It was suggested that the cost analysis report for the proposal should be circulated to CCs for evaluation. (4) Ardgay toilets. CC agreed to lobby HCs and the Ward Manager regarding the continuation of the comfort scheme. The facility, although in desperate need of refurbishment, is well used and appreciated by the public, evidenced by the donations received towards supplies and maintenance.  The CC encourages THC to continue the arrangements which have worked well in the past. MT Action. BK enquired about the possibility of community ownership of the toilets, perhaps with a much-upgraded facility. AW agreed to raise ideas at the next meeting of KoSDT. AW Action.

Item 10. Treasurer’s report. (JD) (1) The 20th January balance at the bank is £ 21,464.93 of which £ 20,829.22 are restricted funds. The CC Admin fund has a balance of £348.41 The Windfarm Admin fund has a balance of £287.30.

The CC Admin fund was granted £330 top-up from the Ward Discretionary Fund. The Toilet Fund finished the season with a balance of £36.68. The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking £36.68; BTWF Community Projects  £2,410.03; BNO £ 18,212.11; EON Path  £170.40.  (2) Scottish Ambulance advised that spare pads were required for the defibrillator following a recent incident. Treasurer has paid the cost of £154.20 charged. (3) Core Paths Officer Matt Dent has requested more stones for the Oakwood path. Agreed that funds can be taken from the E.ON Path Fund. BW Action. (4) Invoices for secretarial services will be submitted to the Treasurer, copied to after which the Treasurer will arrange BACS transfers for payment.

Item 11. Correspondence/matters raised by local residents. Covered throughout meeting.

Item12. Regular updates: (1) Planning issues. RP recorded thanks from Culrain Hall committee for the CCs assistance with a recent planning application which resulted in a substantial saving for the committee.

(2) Climate issues. (AP) Happy that Planet Sutherland will have a regular slot on the standing CC agenda. She thanked the CC for funding for the apple tree planting project which has completed with all trees allocated and planted, giving rise to an excellent social event which also helped to raise the profile of Planet Sutherland. The group is now considering several ideas for its next phase of action. A newsletter has been published; a small sub-committee will be formed to review progress so far and consider future stages. Planet Sutherland is working with KoSDT and Lairg Learning Centre to promote an area meeting, a business survey is in progress, work towards changing of land use across Scotland is ongoing. RP proposed the setting up of moss benches where tree planting is not possible. AP agreed to provide regular updates to the CC. AP was asked to consider taking Associate Member of the CC status and will consider it once the group has become formally constituted. (3) Broadband. Highland Wireless, pressing forward in its efforts to bring the service to Strathcarron, hopes to have transmission stations established with the next few weeks. (4) Windfarms. Update from WKN Sallachy in December indicated a possible public exhibition in near future. The development opens opportunities for a community buy-in as well as community benefit payments.  (5) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. AW advised that work is being carried out on the website upgrade.

Item 13. Highland Council. (1) KC had offered to be available on Skype during the meeting, but this was not felt appropriate by the CC. (2) Restriction of vehicles at recycling centres. While appreciating that the system is open to abuse by businesses, many rural residents make use of larger trailers and should not be discriminated against. There are only three transfer stations in Sutherland making this impractical for use by locals. Charges/being turned away from the local skips will inevitably lead to an increase in fly-tipping, causing extra expense to THC to remove, as well as degrading the countryside. Chair will write to THC Waste Management. BW Action. (2) Pollution on Academy Street, Inverness. The fourth most polluted street in Scotland according to a study by Friends f the Earth Scotland. THC is considering introducing more electric buses. (3) Update on plans for dealing with Climate Emergency. Old, outdated information on the Climate Change website.

Item 14. Any other business. Following on from item at December meeting, BK enquired if Community Councillors or other local residents could comment individually on planning applications – for example if the CC was to remain neutral on an application for windfarm development, would individuals still have the right to submit their own comments, either in support or opposition. BW stated that individuals are free to express their own opinions to the planning authority. Individuals within the CC must always make clear when stating their personal views that these are not the opinion of the CC. The situation regarding the Forestry application would appear to be different as individuals were not invited to submit their views. Instead the only formal route to objection was via the CC and subsequently via THC Forestry Officer.

Item 15. Dates for future meetings. The next meeting will be held on 9th March, with the AGM held on May 11th. All meetings will be held in the Ardgay Public Hall starting at 7pm. It was noted that the dates on the CC website are incorrect and will be amended. MT Action. Dates of meetings later in the year will be set at the AGM.

Item 16. Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards. Beinn Tharsuinn. Application by Gearrchoille Community Woodland was approved with an award of £900 towards running cost. Beinn nan Oighrean. Application by Kyle of Sutherland Rainbow, Brownie and Guides for £250 towards new flags and flagpoles was approved. Applicants and Phil Tomalin, Company Secretary, BTWF will be advised.

Meeting closed 9.35pm.

Minutes, 09 December 2019

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 9th December 2019 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 10/02/2020

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

Apologies: None

Also present: Highland Councillor Kirsteen Currie (KC), Members of the public (list at end of Minutes), Gail Robertson and Amanda Ophof from Scottish Forestry

Police Scotland: No representative – report received by email during meeting            Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1. Introductions. Councillor Currie opened the inaugural meeting of the CC with congratulations to all members, both returning and newly elected.

Item 2. Election of Chair. KC called for nominations for Chair. Betty Wright was nominated by Andy Wright, seconded by Marion Turner. BW accepted and, after welcoming new members JD and BK, continued to the rest of the agenda.

Item 3. Election of office bearers. Vice Chair: Silvia Muras, proposed John Denniston, seconded Marion Turner.

Secretary: Marion Turner, proposed by Betty Wright, seconded by Andy Wright. MT accepted though with the proviso that during this four-year term someone else shadows her prior to a handover in due course. Treasurer: John Denniston, proposed by Silvia Muras, seconded by Bill Knott. JD accepted with MT agreeing to work with JD during a handover period. Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder, proposed by Betty Wright, seconded by Marion Turner. It was agreed that the procedure for circulation of Minutes remains as before. Draft minutes are reviewed by BW and MT then circulated to all CC members, Highland Councillors, THC Ward Manager, Police Scotland, KoSDT Manager, Creich and Lairg CCs. A summary is submitted to the Northern Times Editor. Subsequently the draft Minutes are approved at the next meeting.

Item 4. Adoption of Constitution and Standing Orders. These were adopted, agreed by all present.

Item 5. Outstanding issues from outgoing Community Council. At this point the meeting moved on to the agenda prepared for the regular monthly meeting.

Item 1/2. Welcome/Apologies. As above.

Item 3. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the October meeting were approved by Betty Wright, seconded by Rob Pope.

Item 4. Matters arising. (1) Ardgay toilets. The facility is now closed for the winter. There is a balance in this fund of £86.68. It was agreed that a bonus of £50 be given to the caretaker with thanks for the work during the summer season. MT Action. A previous indication by Donna Manson, C.E.O. THC, intimated that there could be monies available in the coming year from a Tourist Infrastructure Fund. Although obviously appreciated by the public, the present facility is very worn and in need of refurbishment. Cllr Currie will keep CC informed of any THC decisions. KC Action. (2) Statement from the Chair. How does a CC discuss things? There would appear to be some confusion about how CCs discuss items and reach a consensus about what actions/ opinions to hold and present to various bodies that we interact with. CCllrs are representatives of their community and not delegates.  When we discuss an issue, we seek views of the community – by inviting them along to our meetings, via newsletter (we will continue to have pages in Kyle Chronicle), Facebook or through discussions as part of our daily lives. The role of the chairperson in these discussions is to ensure that everyone – outside speakers/ developers / members of the public – has a chance to express their views, including personal opinions of councillors and also the chairperson.  It is not a debating society where the chairperson retains a neutral stance. When the CC has considered all representations and reached a conclusion about an issue this becomes the considered opinion of the CC and is what will be communicated to others as appropriate.  It does not mean that any CCllrs, or indeed members of the public have to adopt this as their personal opinion, and they are still free to speak in a personal capacity.  What would be considered to be a breach of CC conduct would be if an individual expressed a contrary opinion as if it were the position of the CC.  When a decision is arrived at, usually by consensus, an individual C Cllr can request that their opposition to such a decision be recorded.  If a proposal from a developer is opposed by the CC and a revised proposal is subsequently submitted, the CC will treat this as a fresh proposal and the process repeated – i.e. when there is a revised proposal, there will be no ‘official’ CC position on the matter until the matter has been discussed.  We are all volunteers on the CC and do our best to carry out CC duties alongside our other work, activities or interests.  We do not have our letters scrutinised by lawyers – no doubt it would be possible to find loopholes in them on doing so. This statement was endorsed by CCs present. (3) Tree planting on Jubilee Hill. BK advised that he took the views of the community to THC Chief Forestry Officer, Nick Richards, and a compromise solution was discussed. As yet Balnagown Estate has not seen/commented on the proposal. Several residents on the hill explained their objections to the planting plans, noting that the Estate is not addressing the concerns which include the historical/cultural aspects of the land, important loss of light issues in many of the residences, loss of views both from and towards the hill, the nature of native regeneration and species of trees planted, fencing/access. In summary, the residents present wished to continue with their objection; signatures from residents aged from 16 – 90 years have been collected. Secretary will write to THC stating that the CC wishes to make the holding objection a full objection. Once an initial agreement is reached further talks can be held. BK will supply background information to Gail Robertson. MT/BK Action.

Item 11. Highland Council. (KC) As Cllr Currie had to leave to attend another meeting this item was brought forward.

Her report covered nine items which included being the opening speaker at the European Parliament’ Week of Regions and Cities regarding the impact of Brexit in this area and the role of young people in local democracy, fighting for better wages and conditions for ASN staff, the future of the mobile library service and the inadequate current arrangement, 1140 hours roll out for which no plans appear to be in place, inaccurate visitor figures published by NC500 and the need to create a serious plan to improve tourism, housing issues locally caused in part by the failure of Universal Credit, and convergence funding, paid to difficult to farm areas, which is not being appropriately distributed. CCs commented that proper research should be done into the needs of tourists and locals, real figures produced, facilities maintained/improved, waste disposal facilities for use by motor home users must be widely available, infrastructure improved. KC was asked if THC was acting on the big issue of recycling farm plastic waste. KC has information she will forward to AP though there is no action at present. Other points raised by CCs were the lack of contracts for teachers and a request to learn what action THC is taking having declared a climate emergency. KC will report back. KC Action.

Item 5. Police report. The report noted two road traffic incidents, one domestic, two lost dogs, one concern for person, and one threat. No further information given.

Item 6. Chairperson’s report. (BW) Covered elsewhere in the meeting.

Item 7. Secretary’s report. (MT) (1) All relevant correspondence has been circulated. (2) MT will contact the Police again regarding speeding, especially around the school. Initial response indicated that matter was being passed ‘higher up’ but no further contact has been received. MT Action.

Item 8. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The 12 November 2019 balance at the bank is £ 21,317.10 of which £ 20,878.09 are restricted funds. The CC Admin fund has a balance of £119.81 The Windfarm Admin fund has a balance of £319.20.

Toilet fund has finished the season with a balance of £86.68. A&D CC newsletter fund closed with a zero balance after a transfer of £238.76 was paid from the Beinn Tharsuinn Projects fund. A backdated payment of £3698.13 to the BNO fund has been received in respect of annual RPI payments. The balances of the restricted funds are: Toilet Caretaking  £ 86.68, BTWF Community Projects  £2,408.90, Newsletter  £ 00.00, BNO £ 18,212.11, EON Path  £170.40.

Item 9. Correspondence/matters raised by local residents. Thanks were expressed from the CC to all who worked on erecting the Christmas tree and lights recently and to Jamie Macrae who arranged the SSE volunteer day and brought along a mewp to help put up the lamppost lights.

Item10. Regular updates: (1) Planning issues. None raised.

(2) Broadband. Feedback from the community about Highland Wireless broadband is very positive. Secretary will write to Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust to see if there is anything the CC can do to help further the rollout of the Highland Wireless broadband in Strathcarron district. Residents are utilising provision by EE while others have access to Highland Wireless. AW will also raise the matter at the next KoSDT meeting. MT/AW Action.

(3) Windfarms. Currently proposed in the surrounding area include Sallachy, Braelangwell, Garvary, Meall Buidhe, Beinn Tharsuinn, Glen Cassley, Lairg 11, Coire na Cloiche, Beinn nan Oighrean, Strathrory. Braemore has been consented but there appear to be no plans for construction at present.

AP attended the meeting to express her personal concerns regarding the proliferation of proposals for windfarm developments in and around the local area and throughout Scotland. She fears that the country is being turned into a ‘windfarm park’. Such large-scale development brings some advantages but the majority of the benefits, financial or otherwise, go to landowners and multinational companies. While AP wholeheartedly supports renewable energy there seems to be little respect for the land, the countryside and the people. In line with the statement earlier, the Chair re-iterated that it is the duty of the CC to reflect community opinions and assess potential benefits when asked to comment as Statutory Consultees. It was also noted that the community benefit funds received have been put to good use in delivering many projects in the local area and that future funds could be used to address such issues as fuel poverty and community transport. The possibilities of developing a Smart Local Energy grid are being actively pursued with potential developers. This is a divisive issue; locally there is much debate with opposing opinions. The CC has to date taken a neutral stance when commenting but also has the responsibility of negotiating and administering community benefit to the best advantage of all. This was a lengthy discussion and AP expressed her thanks to the CC for the opportunity. It was noted that the Braelangwell developers will be holding public exhibitions on 29th January in Ardgay And Rosehall on 30th January 2020.

Item 12. Any other competent business. (1) AW advised that a report by the Trust Manager at KoSDT will be forwarded to CCs. AW commended the Trust for keeping the KAT and Community Café  running whilst awaiting news of continuing funding from Scottish Government. (2) Concerns expressed regarding the closure of the Strathy Ward at Migdale Hospital with questions asked as to whether the recent recruitment advertising had led to any improvement in staffing levels. It was also suggested that if the ward cannot be run as a Mental Health unit owing to lack of specialised staff it should be open for general nursing and care. BK commented that the current state of affairs requiring food banks, NHS closures, etc is and indictment of society which must be addressed both locally and nationally. (3) A report following AW and BW’s attendance at a recent Climate Emergency Conference will be available at the next meeting. (4) The CC will apply for the additional funding recently made available by THC Councillors. MT Action.

Item 13. Dates for future meetings. The next meeting will be held on 10th February, followed by 9th March with the AGM held on May 11th. All meetings will be held in the Ardgay Public Hall starting at 7pm.

Item 15. Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards. Beinn Tharsuinn. There were no applications to discuss.

Members of the public attending: Anna Patfield (AP), Mary Stobo, Helen Pollock, Chris Ladley.

Meeting closed 9.45pm.

Minutes, 14 October 2019

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 14TH October 2019 in Ardgay Hall at 7.00pm

Minutes approved 09/12/2019

Present: Betty Wright, Chair (BW), Marion Turner, Secretary/Treasurer (MT), Rob Pope (RP), Andy Wright (AW)

Apologies: Silvia Muras, Vice Chair (SM), Buster Crabb (BC)

Invited guest: Sam McMillan (SMc) and James Baird (JB) Coriolis Energy

Also present: Teresa Langley (TL), John Denniston (JD)

Police Scotland: No representative – report received by email during meeting            Minutes Secretary: Mary Goulder

Items 1/3. Welcome/Apologies (as above). Chair Betty Wright opened the meeting. She advised that THC has extended the deadline for CC nomination submissions to the 29th October with a new election date (if required) of 4th December.

Item 2. Presentation/Q&A by Coriolis Energy re proposed Garvary windfarm. SMc gave the background information for the company which is based in Glasgow, currently is a partner of ESB on wind farm projects and has delivered fifteen windfarms around the UK. Brief background for ESB was also given. Met mast has been on the proposed site since 2016 which has been scoped for 45 turbines, maximum tip height of up to 180m. CCs expressed the views that the narrative regarding appropriate use of community benefit has to change to bring more positive connections for local people. Suggestions ranged from cheaper electricity schemes to the provision of a local electric bus fleet to deal with the lack of local public transport. A new and innovative approach is required. SMc and JB left at 7.50pm.

Item 4. Minutes of last meeting. The minutes of the June meeting were approved by Betty Wright, seconded by Rob Pope; August meeting proposed by Rob Pope, seconded Marion Turner.

Item 5. Matters arising. (1) National Cycle Route 1. THC has agreed to remove the contentious references from the Dornoch Town Centre Plan. (2) Bonar straight speed limit. Further letter to THC has received no reply. Feeling is that residents need to push for the change. (3) Waste management. The Scottish Government deadline to cease using landfill has been put back as alternative plans are not yet in place. (4) Christmas lights. Date set to put up lights – week beginning 18th November. Cherry picker will be required. Three volunteers so far, more welcome. A separate date will be agreed to erect the tree. This can be made a village event; volunteers encouraged for this too. (5) Tree planting on Jubilee Hill. Forestry Scotland meeting with residents on 25th October at 10am in Ardgay Public Hall. CC will be represented.

Item 6. Police report. The report noted twenty-eight incidents in the previous month including eleven planned shoots, one external agency request, two personal alarms, one child protection, one road traffic matter, three assist members of the public, one animal call, four road traffic collisions, two concern for persons, one damage call and one other crime. CC asked for more detail regarding the planned shoots. Secretary will enquire. MT Action.

Item 7. Chairperson’s report. (BW) (1) The Community Day held at The Hub recently was well-attended. Fire Service gave a demonstration. (2) MT/SM met THC Chief Executive Donna Manson for a one-hour discussion which covered funding and budget cuts.

Item 8. Secretary’s report. (MT) (1) All relevant correspondence has been circulated. (2) MT has cleared the archive cupboard, completed by the end of September. Much of the content will be disposed of by arrangement with THC at Drummuie with significant documents retained including the last four years of accounts and minutes. Each consecutive CC (four-year term of office) should update as appropriate. Some documents concerning local history will be offered to the History Society. Decision on old computer and unused laptop deferred to next meeting. MT Action.

Item 9. Treasurer’s report. (MT) The 27 September balance at the bank is £18,618.95 of which £18,077.89 are restricted funds. The CC admin fund has a balance of £189.77. The Windfarm admin fund has a balance of £351.29. The Toilet fund should break even. Final accounting for the A&DCC Newsletter will be done when outstanding payment and receipts due for November have been processed. The balances of the restricted fund are: Toilet caretaking £442.08, BTWF Community Projects £2,898.66, Newsletter £-197.23, BnO £14,763.98, EON Path £170.40. Matt Dent has submitted a request to order materials from the E.ON Path Fund. Chair will liaise. BW Action.

Item 10. Correspondence/matters raised by local residents. (1) TL raised the issue of traffic speeding through the junction in mid-Gledfield, especially when exiting from the Gledfield/Dounie road. Speeds of 50-60 are estimated in this 30mph restricted area. Traffic issues will be passed to Police. MT Action.

Item11. Regular updates: (1) Planning issues. Temporary Met mast at Beinn Tharsuinn windfarm. MT Action.

(2) Broadband. No update from Highland Wireless.

(3) Windfarms. Sallachy. (1 )MOU signed off with CC and WKN re community benefit. (2) Lairg 2. Ongoing discussions re community benefit. (3) BTWF considering extending/repowering. Meall Buidhe. No update. (4) Coire na Cloiche. It is understood that the development has been commissioned. Community benefit payments should have begun. (5) Beinn nan Oighrean. The original agreement with Creich and Ardgay CCs was that community benefit was index linked. Secretary will liaise with Creich Chair and write to Mr Brooke regarding the oversight of payments. MT Action.

(5) Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust. AW will send out email with any relevant report. He will flag up to the Trust Manager the need to report regularly to the CCs and membership. AW Action.

Item 12. Highland Council. No representative, apologies or report received.

Item 13. Any other competent business. None raised.

Item 14. Date and time of next meeting. The provisional date for the next meeting is Monday, 9th December at 7pm in Ardgay Hall. This should be the first meeting of the newly elected CC.

Item 15. Beinn Tharsuinn/Beinn nan Oighrean Community Benefit awards. Beinn Tharsuinn. At private session two BTWF awards were approved. Kyle of Sutherland Cinema Club was awarded £150 towards running costs for 2019-20 and the Ladybird Club received £350, also towards running costs 2019-20. Application by Ardgay Public Hall for £947 towards the creation of new storage spaces was rejected as it was felt that this was part of a larger project.

Beinn nan Oighrean. Culrain & District Hall Committee received £250 towards additional Christmas lights. A&DCC also received an award of £250 for its Christmas lights improvements. MG/MT Action.

Meeting closed 9.35pm