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Minutes of the Meeting held in Auckengill Hall
Wednesday 13 January 2010
1.      Present
John Green Chair
Keith Muir Treasurer
Chris Hobson
In Attendance
Cllr David Bremner, Highland Council
Four Members of Public
Eric Green
Irene Hendrie
Alex McManus
Inspector Angus MacInnes
John Green welcomed everybody and thanked them for attending.
2.      Minutes of Last meeting were circulated. Proposed by John Green, seconded by Keith Muir duly adopted.
3.      Matters Arising
Police and Poaching: Since the last meeting, police patrols have been out to Freswick, and no poaching has been reported. One resident indicated that the deer had been coming back again. Members of the public present who hold gun licences had not received letters from the Inspector reminding them about their responsibilities despite his stated intention to write to all licence-holders. Advice continues to be: Be Vigilant and report any suspicious activity – can use the Crimestoppers line if anonymity is required.
Speeding through Auckengill was again raised by members of the public, and it was agreed that the matter should be raised next time a policy officer attends the meeting.
Professor Jim Hunter visit. This visit has arisen from the John O’Groats masterplan activity, and it is intended to explore the possible involvement of local history in the overall purpose of the plan to encourage visitors to stay longer in the area and to enjoy a richer experience in their visit to Caithness. John Green has suggested the Seaview Hotel as a possible venue – to be confirmed.
Village Officers: Work is planned to the Dunnet Forest area. The proposal to tidy up the verges in Canisbay has been complicated by ongoing work at the new drop-off point for the Canisbay School which may cover some of the work it had been suggested the CC might use the Village Officer scheme to get done.
Discretionary Budget: Members of the Public knew little about the Council’s discretionary budget and other potential sources of funding for projects such as expending the Hall car park. David Bremner will ensure an application form is sent out, and it was recommended that they contact Koreen McDougall of the Caithness partnership to get assistance with formulating applications for funding from sources such as the HC Discretionary fund, the Dounreay Social Fund, and other funding sources; and her contact details were supplied.
Go-Play application for John O’Groats play-park: John Green intimated that the application for funding has been turned down.
4.      Treasurer’s Report
At the end of November we had £2,749.04 in the bank account.
5.      AOCB
Canisbay & Dunnet Daycare Centre: John Green will send a copy of the business plan and correspondence with officials to Alex McManus for circulation to HC councillors.
Electricity Supply Tariffs for Hall Committees: Chris Hobson reported that a deal which Dunnet Hall Committee enjoyed which had been organised through the purchasing power of HC from which hall committees had benefited has now expired and individual committees will have to shop around for themselves to obtain the best tariffs they can get.
Gritting: The prolonged period of wintry weather has exposed some weaknesses in the council’s provision for gritting. Chris Hobson highlighted the area up the hill towards the House of the Northern gate as one route that is no longer gritted. The Car Park at Dunnet Sands along with many other areas was also highlighted as an extremely dangerous surface. It was agreed to write to the council firstly to commend the efforts of the road teams over the holiday periods; but also to make a plea for “help yourself” salt bins to be provided particularly in the villages so that able-bodied residents can help to grit the pavements which have been particularly dangerous for pedestrians.
Beach Clean: A member of the public made a plea for Milton Beach to be allocated funds for cleaning, and it as agreed that at the next scheduled beach clean the contractor be asked to estimate for that work as well as Dunnet.
6.      Next Meeting
      Dunnet Hall, Wednesday 10th February 2010

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