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Minutes May 2015

Minutes of Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council Meeting

Held on the Wednesday 20th May 2015

In Britannia Hall, Dunnet at 7.30 p.m.

Those Present:           Chris Hobson, Vice-Chairman

                                    Ann Shearer

                                    Barbara Hiddleston

                                    Bill Mowat

                                    Councillor Gillian Coghill

                                    Acting Station Sergeant, Wick, Deborah Simpson

                                    There was 1 member of the public in attendance.

Apologies:  Apologies were received from Eric Green and John Green.

1.         Police Report.         

1.1.      Acting Sergeant Simpson reported that it had been very quiet in the Parish over the last four weeks, and gave an up-to-date report of the few incidents that occurred.

1.2.      In response to  query regarding the bad traffic management of the road works  being carried out at             Keiss that was experienced by a member of the public,  it was suggested that the matter be referred to Stuart Black of the  planning dept.  which Councillor Coghill agreed to do.                     Action Cllr. Coghill

1.3.1    Discussion then arose regarding the junction in the village at Dunnet where the road from Dunnet Head, meets the road coming from the west side of Dunnet at the tight corner.  Concern was     expressed about the sight lines as those who were not familiar with the road were not aware of      this road coming on their right.  It was felt that some kind of warning sign or mirror was required.

1.3.2    It was agreed that Chris Hobson and Barbara Hiddleston would write a letter to Ian Moncrieff, Tecs, regarding this matter.                                                               Action Barbara & Chris

1.4.      Chris Hobson thanked Acting Sergeant Simpson, who then left the meeting.

2.         Minutes of Previous Meeting

2.1.      As there were no corrections, Chris Hobson proposed the Minutes and for the previous meeting held on the 21st April 2015  be accepted, which was seconded by Ann Shearer.

3.         Matters Arising.

3.1.      John O’Groats Mill, Huna.  Enquiries into this matter was in hand.                                       Action Bill    

3.2.1    Fire on the School Bus. Although this matter had been addressed, the bus continued to be late both for arrival at and departure from the schools, which was considered not acceptable.

3.2.2.   Councillor Coghill would bring up these complaints at the Transport Forum to be held next week.

3.3.      Proposed Improvements due at Dunnet Bay and on Dunnet Head.  Barbara Hiddleston reported Councillor MacKay had received yet another email from Anne Hackett saying the project was in hand.  Councillor Coghill agreed to contact him regarding this matter.      Action Cllr. Coghill

3.4.      John O’Groats and Northern Retreats plans for the Car Park.

3.4.1    Bill Mowat passed round a plan of the proposed changes by Natural Retreats to the Car Park at John O’Groats.

3.4.2    From this it would appear that the size of the public car park was being radically reduced to make way for more shopping outlets, cutting out the parking drastically (see attached proposed plan) for both the local people and the considerable number of summer visitors for their cars and the coach parties.

3.4.3    There did not seem to be any access considered for the disabled or thought given to the elderly who would have to walk further to visit the outlets as the car park proposed appeared to be further away.

3.4.4    Also the future of the turning circle by the Harbour entrances was not clear which was considered by the public to be very important as it was seen as  the ‘start’ and ‘end’ of the road of Scotland which was an iconic visitor attraction to Caithness.

3.4.5    After much debate, although this was not yet reached the Planning Dept., Bill Mowat proposed that we put in an objection to this plan on behalf of the Community, which was unanimously accepted. The Secretary agreed to write a draft letter to the Planning Dept. and circulate it for comments as soon as possible.                                                                                                    Action Barbara

3.4.6    There was a general agreement that a Petition on the social network regarding this matter should be organised which would help raise awareness of these proposed changes as well as support for our letter of objection, which Ann Shearer agreed to make enquiries on how to this could be arranged.                                                                                                                     Action Ann

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

5.         Treasurer’s Report.

5.1.      Chris Hobson reported that with all the Bills being paid, the balance stood at £5,650.

5.2.      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, which was in hand. Action Chris

5.3.      The Village Officers Fund has been set at £980 for each Community Council.                             

6.         Secretary’s Report.

6.1.1    Stroupster Windfarm Community Fund Panel. The Secretary reported that a letter of complaint had been received from the Secretary of Aukengill Village Hall regarding the organisation of the voting of Panel members for the Stroupster Windfarm Community Fund which had been acknowledged.

6.1.2.   As Foundation Scotland were in charge of this, the letter had been passed onto them who were in the process of replying to their grievances.

6. 2      Bill Mowat agreed to be one of the four Community Council representatives on the Panel.

6.3.1    Canisbay Primary School Parent Council Request. A letter from the Secretary of Canisbay Primary School Parent Council was read out asking for a donation towards the purchase and installation of a timber trail in the school playground.  They had raised around £8,500 towards their £10,500 goal.

6.3.2.   After discussion, Bill Mowat proposed that we would donate £250 which was seconded by Ann Shearer, who agreed to contact the Secretary.                                                     

6.3.3    Councillor Coghill suggested that they applied to the Discretionary Fund who grants funding for projects like this.                                                                                                           Action Ann

7.         Planning – Weekly Report.   The Secretary passed round the information regarding the Wind Farm proposed at Tresdale Farm, Seater, with the erection of three windmills. Anyone wishing to object, the application was accessible on http://wam.highland.gov.uk with Ref. No. 15/01261/FUL. The closing date being 1st June 2015.

8.         AOB

8.1       Unregulated Crofters Common Grazing.   Bill Mowat raised the issued regarding unregulated Crofters Common Grazing as he was concerned that those who did not register would lose their rights. Councillor Coghill said the lands were being recorded.  Bill Mowat agreed that he would investigate this matter.                                                                                      Action Bill

8.2.1    Councillor Coghill’s Council Report. Councillor Coghill reported that Highland Council was settling down after the General Elections with all the new MPs. And that there would be an election within the Independents, as one was retiring, but they would continue to work together for the betterment of their constituents.

8.2.2.   She pointed out that the NHS from Inverness were giving a Presentation on the Redesign of Caithness General Hospital at the next Association of Community Councillors to be held on June 2nd 2015 in Ross Institute, Halkirk at 7 p.m.  She emphasised that any issues we had regarding and in this redesign this should be raised at this meeting, and to let her know too, as she can put them forward as well.

8.2.3.   After discussion is was felt that three members would attend to raise relevant matters. And if any other members of the public had any questions to let us or herself know.

9.         Date of Next Meeting. The next meeting which will be the AGM will be held on Wednesday 17th June 2015 Mey Village Hall, Mey at 7.30 p.m.                                                                        


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