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Minutes April 2015

Minutes of Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council Meeting

Held on the 25 March 2015

In Canisbay Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.

Those Present:           Eric Green, Acting Chairman

                                    Ann Shearer

                                    Barbara Hiddleston

                                    Bill Mowat

                                    Councillor Willie MacKay

                                    Eilidh Gunn, Foundation Scotland

                                    Carol Elliott, Foundation Scotland

                                    Acting Station Sergeant, Wick, Deborah Simpson

                                    There were 10 members of the public in attendance.

Apologies:                  John Green and Chris Hobson


1.         Panel members of the Stroupster Windfarm Community Fund Public Ballot.

1.1       The meeting began with voting for the Panel members of the Stroupster Windfarm Community Fund Committee overseen by Eilidh Gunn and Carol Elliott of Foundation Scotland, commissioned by   BayWa r.e. the Developer of the Windfarm, to manage the funding.

1.2.      Towards the end of the meeting Eilidh Gunn announced the results.  There had been great interest in this ballot as there had been 193 votes, which was a very high number.  The five elected members who will serve for four years were as follows:  -

           Andrew Mowat, John O’Groats.

           Robin Inglis, Freswick.

           John Macbeath, Canisbay.

          Michael Gray, Dunnet 

          Rev. Lyle Rennie.

The two reserves were Mick O’Donnell, and David Glass, both of Brough.

1.3.      Eilidh Gunn said she would be in touch with them, and that as per the usual format, funding would be forthcoming until the end of the year.

1.4.      Eric Green congratulated the successful candidates and thanked Eilidh Gunn for her hard work in organising this difficult assignment bearing in mind the large area it covered, and for this evenings’ task aided by Carol Elliot.

2.         Police Report.          

2.1.1    Acting Sergeant Simpson gave an up-to-date detailed report of incidents that occurred within the Parish.

2.1.2    She pointed out the disruption and vandalism in Brough which had been going on for some 14 years had been successfully addressed, and was reaching a conclusion.        

2.2.      On being asked regarding the illegal parking in Bridge Street, she said the Police were very aware of this issue, but they have to prioritize the use of their resources available and allocate them accordingly. She also answered questions regarding the possibility of accidents the parked cars can      cause.

2.3.      Regarding the Caithness and Sutherland Rescue Team matter, they were now in discussion with the Highland Council.

2.4.      She requested that she be kept informed of the date, place and time of the D. & C. Community Council’s next meeting.                                                                                      Action: Barbara

2.5.      Eric Green thanked Acting Sergeant Simpson, who then left the meeting.

3.         Minutes of Previous Meeting

1.1.      As there were no corrections, Eric Green proposed the Minutes and matters for the previous meeting held on the 25th March 2015  be accepted, which was seconded by Ann Shearer.

2.         Matters Arising.

2.1.      John O’Groats Mill, Huna.  Bill Mowat felt that there was widespread concern about the lack of information regarding the future of the Mill. He agreed to investigate this further.    Action: Bill       

2.2.1    Fire on the School Bus. Councillor MacKay reported back that the incident which was considered by Highland Council as an isolated case. had been investigated by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and they had given out given penalty points.

2.2.2.   In answer to the query ‘in the event of any complaint e.g. school buses being late or not turning up, who deals with them’ Councillor MacKay said they are to be sent to Christine Dodds, Highland Council Transport Officer.

2.3.      The Boundaries Commissions recommendation that the number of Caithness Councillors be reduced from 10 to 8.    Councillor MacKay reported later that a suggestion will go to Highland Council that the reduction of only one Councillor and a Format of Wick, 3 Councillors; Thurso, 3 Councillors and Landward, 3 Councillors be implemented

2.4.      Proposed Improvements due at Dunnet Bay and on Dunnet Head.  Following further investigation, Councillor MacKay reported he had received an email from Anne Hackett, who informed him that the Tendering process would now continue, but it had been delayed due to change of staff, and it was hoped it would be back on track by the end of April.

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

4.         Treasurer’s Report.

4.1.      The Statement of Accounts had been circulated by email, and with all the Bills being paid, the balance stood at £2,619.32.

4.2.      The Ward Manager had written to the Treasurer informing him that our Community Council had been granted £1,280.83 which was 1,369.57 minus the Insurance of £88.74. This would be paid out as soon as a recent certified financial report had been submitted.                     Action: Chris

4.3.      The Tecs Manager had also requested a list of monies spent from the Village Officers Fund to set the next level of grant.       Action: Chris

5.         Secretary’s Report.  An email had been received from the Ward Manager’s Team regarding the Caithness District Partnership. It was suggested that local Community Councils could add a standing Item to their Agendas entitled Health & Care to help focus minds and to tease out any local issues that could be taken on board by the Partnership, which Eric Green agreed to do. 

6.         Planning – Weekly Reports. These were noted.

7.         AOB

7.1       John O’Groats and Northern Retreats plans for the Car Park.  Eric Green reported he had received the draft revised plans of the Car Park, saying that Natural Retreats had listened to the people and were changing their original plans which were still under consultation.   As the rest of the Committee had not yet seen these plans, he agreed to circulate them.                 Action: Eric  

7.2.      Eric Green had also contacted BT regarding the upgrading of the outdated telephone exchange for John O’Groats. He was told there was no immediate upgrading plan, the nearest date was possibly for 2017.  Barrock and Keiss were due to be upgraded by next year.

7.3.      In view of fact that May was the time for Highland Councillors to move on, this was Councillor MacKay’s last attendance at our meetings.  On behalf of our Community Council, Bill Mowat wished to thank Councillor MacKay for the support, help and assistance he has given us, to which Councillor MacKay thanked us saying how much he had enjoyed attending.    We shall now have Councillor Gillian Coghill to replace him.

8.         Date of Next Meeting. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 20th May 2015 in Britannia Hall, Dunnet at 7.30 p.m.                        Action: Barbara


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