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July 2009

Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council
meeting held in Auckengill Hall
Wednesday 8 July 2009 at 7.30pm.
Members Present                                                                      
John Green – Chair                                                        
Chris Hobson - Vice Chair                
Keith Muir - Treasurer                                                                   
Irene Hendrie – Secretary                
Eric Green                                                                                                                  
Highland Council
David Bremner Cllr
Alex Macmanus Ward Managers Team
  1. John Green welcomed everyone to the meeting. 
  1. Minutes of the last meeting were adopted  Proposed Eric Green Seconded Keith Muir
A copy of the minutes of all community council meetings would be sent to Auckengill post office.
  1. Matters arising from the minutes
Broch Centre, Auckengill
The new centre would re open on 25 July 2009. The project had been co-ordinated and funding sourced by Caithness Archaeological Trust. They had undertaken an enormous amount of work and brought the project to a successful conclusion. There still appeared to be some work required to restore the car park and install signs. 
                  Action Secretary to write to CAT to commend their                             excellent work
Housing in the Countryside
Chris Hobson had submitted comments to Highland Council in response to the consultation exercise on the above planning policy.
Stroupster Wind Farm
The community council was asked to submit the details and results of its ballot to the reporter of the forthcoming public inquiry. Some Auckengill residents felt the ballot was held over too wide an area and that it should have been restricted to the Auckengill area. The community council represented everyone within the district and held the ballot accordingly. There would be a hearing within the public inquiry where individual residents could put their views.
                  Action Secretary to write to reporter
  1. Treasurers Report
There was currently £3,244.40 in the account
  1. Pentland Firth Tidal Energy developments
Members had written to Roy Kirk Area Manager HIE having received no response to earlier requests to be represented on the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Board. He replied by letter and confirmed the PFTEB was disbanded. A new body called the Pentland Firth Stakeholders Advisory Group had been formed and had met in June. Membership had been discussed and it had been decided that community participation would involve too many interested bodies and was not practical.
This response was unacceptable for the following reasons
    • PFSAG could not claim to be a stakeholder group while it excluded the community directly affected by any development
    • The community council represented the whole community and one member could attend meetings and pursue the interests of all other community groups without the need for multiple memberships
    • One year had elapsed since the community council had first asked to be involved. This was more than enough time to establish a way of involving the community
    • It was unclear which bodies were represented on the PFSAG, whether their meetings were open to the public, what their remit was and if minutes would be available
    • Publicly funded agencies such as HIE had a responsibility to involve communities and failing to do so was contrary to claims made in press releases and on their website.
      Action Secretary to write to Roy Kirk and Sandy Cumming (Chief Exec of HIE)
No response had been received from The Crown Estate following a request to be involved in the community benefit aspect of the seabed leasing process. John Thurso had requested a meeting to discuss the situation.
                  Action Secretary to arrange a meeting
Community Energy Scotland had funding available for community groups to develop renewable energy projects. The funding might also cover feasibility studies. 
                  Action John Green to look into this
  1. John O’Groats development
John Green had attended a meeting in John O Groats held by GVA Grimley to discuss possible options for the master plan. Progress on the development was much slower that had first been indicated by Roy Kirk when he took up his post with HIE                 
Action Secretary to write to Carol Gunn to request time line                and project plan that had been promised earlier but not                   received
  1. Any other business
Auckengill Speed Limit
There had been numerous requests by Auckengill residents to introduce a speed limit in the village. A survey held close to the village had shown only one instance of speeding. Alex Macmanus advised residents should contact the police initially if they witnessed speeding.
Grass cutting
The roadside verges had not been cut low enough or wide enough on the bends on the north side of Auckengill
                  Action Alex Macmanus to report this to community                   works officer
School busses
There was concern about the safety of school children getting off the school bus. A warning sign and flashing light on the back of each bus would help to warn drivers. School staff and bus drivers did their utmost to keep children safe and to teach them road safety.
Sign posts
Sign posts that were rusty and no longer in use should be removed from the roadside on either side of Auckengill village.
                  Action Alex Macmanus to report this to the roads                   department
  1. Next meeting
The community council would not meet in August. The next meeting would be in Dunnet hall on Wednesday 9 September 2009 at 7.30.

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