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June 2009


Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council meeting held in Mey hall on Wednesday 10 June 2009 at 7.30pm.
Members Present                                                                    
John Green – Chair                                                 
Chris Hobson - Vice Chair                
Keith Muir - Treasurer                                                                   
Irene Hendrie – Secretary                
Eric Green                                                      
Cllr David Bremner                                                                                  Apologies
Alex Macmanus
  1. John Green welcomed everyone to the meeting. Members took a walk around the newly refurbished Mey hall and were impressed by the design and the quality of the finishing. They commended the hall committee on what they had achieved.
  1. Minutes of the last meeting were adopted  Proposed Keith Muir    Seconded John Green
  1. Matters arising from the minutes
Broch Centre, Auckengill
Work was continuing and the centre would hopefully be open in a matter of weeks
Beach Clean
Dounreay Communities Fund had granted £750 towards the cost of a beach clean at Dunnet.                  Action Secretary to acknowledge receipt
John O’Groats play equipment
The play equipment had not been returned or replaced. There was no funding available from Highland Council to improve play parks. The best way forward would be to form a community group which could access funding from various sources. The Criminal Justice service could be contacted with regard to painting the existing equipment.                  Action Secretary to contact Alex Macmanus
Planning application - six new houses in Scarfskerry
Cllr Bremner took no part in any discussions during the meeting regarding planning matters. Members studied the consultation papers and no representation would be made
  1. Treasurers Report
There was currently £3,383.49 in the account
  1. John O Groats Master plan.
Members had attended a meeting with GVA Grimley the consultants contracted by HIE to draw up a master plan. Keith Muir left the room while discussions took place regarding the response to HIE. It was noted that the production of a master plan was no guarantee that any development would take place. Members were very disappointed by the lack of progress and the failure to produce a time line which was promised by Roy Kirk in our meeting in June 2008.
 Action Secretary to write to Roy Kirk
  1. Pentland Firth Tidal Power
There had been no community involvement in the process being undertaken by the Crown Estate to lease areas of the Pentland Firth to tidal power developers. It was noted in literature and on their website that community benefit would be a consideration when awarding leases however the community most affected had not been involved. An earlier invitation to the Crown Estate to meet with the community council and explain their criteria for assessing community benefit had not been taken up. With the bidding closed and proposals being considered over the next few months this was very disappointing.            
Action Secretary to write to Crown Estate, MPs and MSPs
Roy Kirk had been approached in June 2008 when the community council requested representation on the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project board. No reply had been received and the community directly affected was not recognised as a stakeholder. The complete lack of community representation and involvement was unacceptable.                  
Secretary to write to Roy Kirk
  1. Planning – Housing in the Countryside consultation
There were numerous concerns about the policy including restrictions on the use of derelict buildings, the grouping of new houses and development in remote rural areas.                   Action Chris Hobson to submit representation by 26 June
  1. Highland Council Local Transport Plan
The plan did not include any road projects for Caithness. The Berriedale Braes improvements vital for economic development in Caithness and the A99 Latheron to Wick road were both omitted from the plan.
Action Secretary to write to Neil Gillies cc J Rosie R Coghill
  1. Any other business
Stroupster Wind Farm
A hearing would take place shortly to decide the first Stroupster wind farm application. A ballot had been held on an almost identical application and John Green would attend the hearing to represent the views of the community.
Action Secretary to write to the reporter with copy ballot paper, ballot results and minute of public meeting
New Bus Timetable
The new bus timetable was a considerable improvement on the previous services. It could be further improved if:
                           I.      The 77 service (k1 and k2) to Gills Ferry travelled the loop around Canisbay and John O Groats. This would add little extra time and cost to the operator and would improve the service for bus users
                         II.      A weekend late bus (around 10.30) from Wick to John O Groats on Friday evening in particular allowed children from country areas to attend specially organised youth events held in Wick
         Action Secretary to write to Stagecoach
  1.  Next meeting
Members decided to hold future meetings in Mey hall and Auckengill halls alternately. Next meeting 8 July 2009 in Auckengill hall at 7.30.

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