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Minutes of March 2011 Meeting Held in John O’ Groats Hall
1.      Present
John Green (Chair)
Keith Muir (Secretary / Treasurer)
Eric Green
Tom Sayles
Linda Bingham
Willie Mackay, Highland Councillor, in attendance
17 Members of public
2.      Apologies: Chris Hobson 
                         Alex McManus (Highland Council)
3.      Review of Schools throughout area
Cllr Willie Mackay took the floor to explain that at this time there is no proposal in front of the Council to close any school. However, a review is currently under way and a firm of consultants has been commissioned to examine a range of possible changes to the current provision. The consultants are due to meet the elected councillors at the end of March 2011.
The meeting was adamant that both primary schools in our area – Crossroads and Canisbay – are essential to serve the educational and social needs of our communities, and it was agreed that the Community Council would make representation to the Council ahead of the meeting with the consultants to “nip in the bud” any possibility of a proposal to close one or other of our schools.
Willie Mackay affirmed unequivocally that he will remain implacably opposed to any school closure.
It was agreed that representatives of both schools’ parents councils would submit to the community council their thoughts on the matter in order to inform the Community Council response.
4.      Minutes of January Meeting. There having been no quorate meeting in February, the minutes of the January meeting were proposed by John Green and seconded by Keith Muir, duly adopted.
5.      Recycling Bins at Dunnet. A proposal to re-site the recycling bins from their current position in the car park belonging to the Hall Committee to the Council’s car park at the beach was discussed. The Dunnet members were tasked with exploring further the opinions of the residents in Dunnet, but the general thinking of the meeting was that this was not perhaps the best solution to the problem of the lorries causing damage to the car-park surfacing when they put down their jacks to lift the bins.
6.      Planning: Barrogill Wind Turbine. It was reported that following representations to the planning authorities, the current proposal has been withdrawn. A fresh application is expected which will hopefully address the concerns of local residents. No other current planning matters were thought controversial.
7.      Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer reported that the accounts for the year to March 2010 had been submitted to the Council for checking and to allow the release of the Community Council grant.
8.      Adoption of Constitution, Standing Orders and Code of Conduct. The Highland Council is preparing new standard constitutions and standing orders for Community Councils, which should be available for discussion and adoption by the next meeting of the CC in April. The HC plans to synchronise the elections for all community councils, and there will be fresh elections in November 2011 for this Community Council along with all others in Highland Council area.
9.      AOB
  • John O’ Groats Development: The meeting generally welcomed the announcement that Highlands & Islands had awarded £1.8m to Heritage GB and Natural Retreats to support their redevelopment of the John O’ Groats tourism destination.
  • Bin Collections: there was general acceptance of the need to cut expenses by moving to fortnightly collections and the meeting was supportive of the need to increase recycling.
  • Policing: Noted that a Travelling police station service is to be introduced covering the area from Bettyhill right round to Dunbeath.
10. Next Meeting will be on Wednesday 13th April at 7.30 p.m. in Freswick Hall.
March 2011



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