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Minutes May 2014

Minutes of Meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Freswick Hall on 14th May 2014 following the A.G.M.

Those Present:           John Green, Chairman

                                    Christopher Hobson, Treasurer

                                    Bill Mowat, Member

                                    Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

                                    Willie MacKay, Highland Councillor


The Chairman welcomed Willie MacKay to the meeting.

No members of the public were in attendance

Apologies:                  Ann Shearer & Eric Green


Minutes of Previous Meeting:

1.1.      There being no corrections Bill Mowat proposed the Minutes be accepted, which was seconded by John Green.

2.         Matters Arising.

2.1.      John O’Groats Hall 1914-1918 War Memorial. This project was ongoing.

2.2.      New Common Grazings Register. The Chairman reported that he had finally made a contact regarding information about the Register of Common Grazings and agreed to find out if he was willing to talk at one of our Meetings.                                 Action John

2.3.      Gills Bay Transmission Link 132KV. The Chairman also reported that as yet, no land owner had granted permission to lay underground cables.

2.4.      Stroupster Wind Farm.

2.4.1    Negotiations regarding the managing of the proposed Community benefit were continuing to progress with Foundation Scotland.

2.4.2    Willie MacKay was able to give the updated information regarding the revised abnormal load delivery Route for BAYWa r.e. Renewable Energy. Originally it had been agreed the construction and equipment materials would be delivered along a 67 mile route from Wick via Latheron, Thurso, Castletown & John O’Groats. After negotiations it has now been agreed that a shorter route of 12 miles would now be employed, which will be a significant benefit to both the scheme and the local community.  This considerably shorter route will access Stroupster vie Bridge Street and High Street in Wick town centre and through the villages of Reiss and Keiss to the site.

2.5.      Lyth Wind Farm nr Lyth, Wick.  The Chairman had attended the onsite inspection by the independent reporter and the final decision will be announced on the forthcoming  22nd May.

2.6.      Proposed closing of Polling Stations: Britannia Hall, Dunnet & Canisbay Hall, Canisbay.

2.6.1    The Chairman had written to the local paper on the injustice of this proposal, which had been well received.

2.6.2    Christopher Hobson reported he had written to John Bruce, Election Manager regarding this matter, explaining points raised regarding the unsuitability of Dunnet Hall for use as a Polling Station and objecting to the proposal of terminating its use. He stated that the all-abilities access to the hall had been in place for several years, and that the Hall satisfies the statutory requirements in spite of the Election Manager’s claims. As yet there has been no response from the Election Manager.

2.6.3    He informed those present that the Britannia Hall Committee had also written to the Election Manager making it quite clear that the Hall is suitable and strongly objected to his proposal.


2.6.4    The Chairman agreed to inspect the Canisbay Village Hall.             Action John Green

2.6.5    Councillor MacKay reported that we also had support from the Castletown Community Council, as they had been approached regarding Bower Village Hall

2.6.6.   He also agreed to take this to the full Council in October and will make representation for Bower, Canisbay and Dunnet Halls

2.7       Query regarding the Issuing of Brown Bins for Garden Waste in Town, and not in the Country. Answer received from Alex. MacManus, of the Ward Manager Office, Wick Thurso & Landward Caithness:  Council Service responsible for waste management respond as below -

“Provision of the brown bin service was funded through the previous Strategic Waste Fund. We had asked for funding to provide the service to all households in the Highlands but this was refused as it would be far too costly. The funding we received therefore had to be restricted to the larger centres of population. The service is provided to around 70,000 of the 110,000 households in the Highlands with no service at all in Skye, Sutherland and large parts of rural Lochaber, Ross and Cromarty, Inverness-shire, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey.

We do not have funding to extend the service. Indeed last year as part of the agreed Council savings we have had to cease the existing brown bin service during December, January and February as part of an overall savings target of £690k per annum from the waste budget.

There are facilities at Seater, Wick and Thurso for householders to take their green waste for recycling and we have lots of information on our website promoting home composting. Here is the link to the information. http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourenvironment/wastemanagement/wasteawareness/Home+Composting.htm”

2.8.      Proposed change of Roundabout location at John O’Groats by Natural Retreats. The Chairman reported that an application had been applied for planning permission.

3.         Treasurer’s Report.

3.1.      As reported at the AGM, the balance stood at £3,024.49.  Once certified and sent in, the Community Council will receive the Community Grant of £1,369.58 less £88.00. The total to be received will be £1,281.45.

3.2.      It was noted that the Chairman held the Insurance Certificate.

3.3.      The Treasurer was given the bill of £974.42 for the cost of the lighting for the John O’Groats and Canisbay Christmas lights. The Chairman said he would be applying for funding of half of this cost from the Caithness Community Fund.

4.         Planning – Lists.  These were noted.


5.1.      The Chairman informed those present that there would be Village Officer funding of around £800 will be available by the end of October and ideas are required for its use.

5.2.      It was put forward that the area around Canisbay Hall required tidying up.

5.3.      It was also suggested that the large pot holes at the top of the Skirza road from the main road could be mended.  After discussion, the Chairman agreed to take a photograph of them to send to Stuart.Bell@highland.gov.uk to bring it to his attention.                   Action John Green

5.4.      Councillor MacKay informed the members that he was assisting in the improvement of the right of way of the Ha’ Road leading to Nybster.

5.5.      He also reported that the 10K Castle of Mey Run had been very successful.

5.6.1    The issued regarding the promised improvement of access to both Dunnet Head and Dunnet Beach was raised as it had been agreed it would be carried out last year. So far there had been no sign of any work being carried out.

5.6.2    Councillor MacKay agreed to pursue this matter.

Date of Next Meeting.

6.1.      The next meeting will be held on the Wednesday 11th June in Pentland Hall, John O’Groats at 7.30 p.m.











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