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May 2011


Minutes of May 2011 Meeting Held in Canisbay Hall
1.      Present
John Green (Chair)
Chris Hobson (Vice-chair)
Keith Muir (Secretary / Treasurer)
Tom Sayles
Linda Bingham
Robert Coghill, Highland Councillor, in attendance
Alex Macmanus, Assistant Ward Manager, Highland Council
Apologies: Eric Green
2.      Minutes of April Meeting. Proposed by Chris Hobson, Seconded by John Green, duly adopted
3.      Matters arising.
Bus services: It was noted that there is now no service up around Gills, and it was agreed that a letter be sent to Stagecoach highlighting this matter.
4.      Schools Review. Following the elections to the Scottish parliament last week it was resolved that another public meeting be held to air the views of the public concerning this issue with the newly elected constituency MSP Rob Gibson and the Highland Councillors. Action on Secretary to organise.
5.      Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer reported that the accounts for the year to March 2010 had been accepted by the Council and our grant duly released.
6.      Village Officer. It was noted that the D&CCC has been awarded up to £1000 under the village officer scheme. It was agreed to invite Donald MacDonald to tender to repeat the works he carried out last year – Secretary to action.
7.      Community Action Plan. It was agreed that John Green would ask Koreen MacDougall from the Caithness Partnership to forward the accepted format for a Community Action Plan and to assist in its completion. Tom Sayles volunteered to take responsibility for this project.
8.      Planning. There were no controversial proposals coming through for comment since the last meeting. It was noted that Highland Council is preparing plans for any infrastructural developments that might be needed to accommodate the emerging Renewable Energy sector in the area; and they have requested assistance from Community Councils in identifying potential pinch-points in each area.
9.      Fire Regulations. It was noted that new building regulations now require every new house to be within 100m of a fire hydrant, or to have sprinklers fitted, or to install either a 45,000 litre tank or a pond at least 5mx3mx1m. These regulations will present serious difficulties in many rural areas and could add £15,000 to the cost of a house.
It was agreed to write to Highland Council to express our disquiet, and to Scottish Water to ask what arrangements they are making to enable rural developments to meet this requirement.
10.  History Project. It was noted that the archive for the John O’ Groats history project is on a hard drive which will be delivered shortly to Chris Hobson.
11. John O’ Groats Arts Project.
Alexadria Patience, one of a number of artists appointed by Highlands & Islands Enterprise to undertake a series of public art projects in John O’ Groats, gave a talk about her work which will involve making 100 wooden boats which will bear stories of local relevance on their sails. They will be set on individual peats for display before all but one will be released on to the sea. Members advised her of a number of local contacts to obtain stories to complete her project.
12. Core Paths: Chris Hobson reported that M M Millers has been appointed to refurbish the core path in Dunnet
13. Next Meeting will be on Wednesday 8th June at 7.30 p.m. in Dunnet Hall.
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