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Minutes March 2015

Minutes of Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council Meeting

Held on the 25 March 2015

In the Mey Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.

Those Present:           Eric Green, Acting Chairman

                                    Ann Shearer

                                    Barbara Hiddleston

                                    Councillor Willie MacKay

                                    Eilidh Gunn, Foundation Scotland

Apologies:      John Green

                     Bill Mowat

                     Chris Hobson

As there was no quoum, any decisions made this evening would be ratified at the next meeting. 

1.         Minutes of Previous Meeting

1.1.      As there were no corrections, Eric Green proposed the Minutes for the previous meeting held on the 14th January 2015  be accepted, which was seconded by Ann Shearer.

2.         Matters Arising.

2.1.      John O’Groats Mill, Huna.  Although there had been no movement reported on this matter it was felt further investigation would be made.                                                            Action: Eric

2.2.      Brough Bay Vandalism. Incidents continued to occur around Brough Bay and the police had been informed.

2.3.1    Fire on the School Bus. Eric Green reported that a letter had been written to the Highland Council regarding this matter, and raised concern about the lack of response as a reply had not yet been received.

2.3.2.   Councillor MacKay agreed to pursue this matter.                             Action: Councillor MacKay

3.         Chairman’s Report. There was no Chairman’s Report

4.         Treasurer’s Report. There was no Treasurer’s Report.

5.         Planning. As Planning lists had not been circulated, there were no comments.      Action: Eric

6.         Secretary’s Report.

6.1.      Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution-‘Resilient Communities Fund’. (SSEPD). This is a fund set up by SSEPD to support communities to be prepared for future emergency weather events following the storms of December 2013 which caused severe disruption throughout the UK network.

6.1.2.   After discussion, it was agreed this information would be circulated to all the members.

Action: Barbara

6.2.      Highland Licensing Board.

6.2.1    It was noted that Mey House, East Mey had applied for a new premises licence.

6.3.      A request from the planning department had been received asking for up to date contact details.  Eric Green confirmed that John Green remained as our contact which the Secretary would advise.                                                                                                                             Action: Barbara

6.4.      There had been several emails regarding a proposed talk by Bob Silverwood on the changes taking place within the NHS to each Community Council and asking for their input.  After discussion it was agreed for the Secretary to advise the NHS that it would be more effective if he should talk to the collective Association of Caithness Community Councils.

  Action Barbara

7.         Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.  Eilidh Gunn gave a progress report.

7.1.1    Changes to the Memorandum of Understanding. Distribution of Funding. She informed the committee that the Funders BayWa r.e wished the funding to have a wider element of distribution, not just for the Parish of Dunnet & Canisbay and its environs, but also to the County. They wanted to divide the funding 80% to the former and 20% to the latter.

7.1.2.   After discussion Eric Green proposed to accept this change in the MOU which was unanimously agreed.

7.2.1    Panel Formation. The next step was to form a local community Panel that will advise on grant awards. This would be made up of nine members, four Community Councils and five members of the public, with four being the required quorate. An advert with an application form available would appear in this Friday’s local paper asking for volunteers. The deadline was Friday 17th April. The volunteers would attend a meeting with their supporters and a ballot would be held. The names winning the most votes would be chosen for selection. 

7.2.2.   Anyone from the age of 16 upwards can apply, which was an innovative step to encourage the young to be involved, and give their input, as the use of the funding would affect their future in the community. Eilidh Gunn agreed to pursue this issue.              Action: Eilidh

7.2.3    The proposed date for the meeting was Tuesday 28th April 2015 at 7.30 p.m. in Canisbay Village Hall during the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council Meeting.  Eric agreed to provisionally book the hall.                                                                                                                         Action: Eric     

7.3.      Community Plan.

7.3.1    A public meeting was held in John O’Groats on 28th January, where around fifty people attended when their ideas were aired on how they saw the funding could be best used to benefit the community.  These were collated and discussed under the direction of the Consultant, Sandy Anderson.

7.3.2.   Three drop in meetings were held over the following week at Aukengill, Dunnet and Mey, which were attended by forty five people overall who added their thoughts on the use of the funding. The final report on the Community Plan is due out by the end of the month.

7.3.3.   Eilidh Gunn reminded that the bill for use of the hall on the 28th January was due to be paid, as was the interim Consultancy fee which the Secretary agreed to follow up. 

Action: Chris & Barbara

7.4.      She then told those present about the ‘Spirit of Caithness’ project which was an outcome of the Olympics held last year in Glasgow.   There was £250,000 funding available for spending on volunteer projects on sporting, culture and arts.   They were looking for Panel volunteers. Two meetings have been arranged on Monday 30th March in Castletown Drill Hall, at 7.30 p.m. and Tuesday 31st in Keiss Hall at 10 a.m.

8.         AOB

8.1.1    Councillor MacKay raised the matter of the planned changes by the Boundaries Commission.

            They were proposing to divide the County in two areas, Thurso & West Caithness and Wick & East Caithness.  They were also recommending that eight Highland Councillors would represent Caithness, four in each area, thus cutting the present number by two. 

8.1.2    There was to be a meeting in Inverness on Monday when questions would be raised regarding these issues. 

8.2.1    Councillor MacKay was asked if he had any information regarding the start date of the improvements due to be carried out at Dunnet Bay and on Dunnet Head. It was reported in October that it was due to begin in the Spring.

8.2.2.   He reported that as yet he had been unsuccessful in getting any response regarding this matter, but would continue to pursue it.                                                             

Action: Councillor MacKay   

9.         Date of Next Meeting. 

The proposed date for the next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 28th April 2015 at 7.30 p.m. In Canisbay Hall, Canisbay at 7.30 p.m. which is to be confirmed. 

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