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January 2008 AGM

Minutes of the first AGM of Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council held in Canisbay hall on Wednesday 16 January 2008 at 7.30pm.
John Green – Chair                                                    
Chris Hobson – Vice Chair                            
Keith Muir - Treasurer
Irene Hendrie - Secretary                                           
Eric Green
Wullie Sinclair
Robert Coghill – Landward Cllr
1 Member of the Public

Chairman’s report
During its first year the group dealt with various issues including affordable housing, rural transport, planning, wind farms and broadband services. Eleven meetings and a public meeting had been held throughout the area and a website had been set up. The chairman thanked the members for their efforts throughout the year.
Secretary’s report
The secretary distributed a list of the correspondence sent throughout the year and was thanked for the work she had done.
Treasurer’s report
Copies of the interim accounts with a balance of £1,020.82 at 31 December 2007 were distributed to all present and approved. The group would appoint an auditor in due course and in the future accounts would be produced in line with the Highland Council financial year end.
A questionnaire prepared by Caithness Partnership would be sent to all members of the community on the electoral roll. Work already carried out had highlight transport as the main issues affecting people’s lives. Letters would be sent to voluntary clubs and groups in the district to ascertain their transport needs. A minibus based in Wick would soon be for sale and the chairman would look into how much it would cost. Running costs would be the main consideration. Young people unable to attend youth club because of a lack of transport could be helped by the Highland Council Youth Project.        
Action Chairman and Secretary to work with the Caithness Partnership on the questionnaire
Chairman to contact Rev Wallace re minibus
Eric Green to contact David Sutherland re Youth Project funding
Post Office Closures
Barrock and Canisbay post offices were earmarked for closure. Members reluctantly accepted that Barrock would close but agreed to object to Canisbay being targeted. The main concern was that the alternative mobile service had been operating for several years with very poor reliability and if it continued to do so there would regularly be no service at all between Castletown and John O’ Groats. Members would try to ascertain the views of local people on the closure.
Action    Secretary/Treasurer to write to Postwatch Scotland, Post Office Ltd, Peter Peacock and John Thurso
Treasurer to  obtain figures on the mobile service reliability
Core Paths Plan
The draft proposal for core paths was distributed. There were no comments to submit but kissing gates would be requested to ease access to the walks at Duncansbay Head and St Johns point. The path along the shore at John O’ Groats caravan site had been washed away again. An alternative route was suggested and the Chairman would contact Mr Steven to see if it was acceptable to him.           
Action   Secretary to contact David Barclay re gates
             Chairman to speak to Mr Steven re path
Caithness Machinery Ring had submitted a quote considerably lower than that received from Gerry Henderson. SNH had agreed to grant £750 per year for three years towards beach cleaning costs. The UKAEA would not fund any beach cleaning but suggested we apply to Dounreay Communities Fund instead. The members agreed to contact the NDA to request funding for beach cleaning on a regular basis. Applications could also be submitted to the Highland Council discretionary fund although funding would need to be in place shortly for a first clean in March. The UKAEA had not yet confirmed if they would carry out their annual clean usually done in June.                       
Action   Secretary to contact NDA and work with Mary Legg to secure funding
Community Council Action Plan
A letter would be sent to clubs and groups within the community asking them to highlight issues they would like the community council to pursue. There would be an article in the press encouraging suggestions from individuals too. This would be done before the next meeting in February.
Action   Secretary to write to groups and clubs
Treasurer to put an article in the press
Any other business
  • Housing
Young people were having difficulty finding housing in the area and it was felt that Highland Council’s letting policy was not helping and in some cases was making the situation worse. Houses were being let to applicants from out with the area and local people may be forced to leave with the possibility that they might not return. Members agreed it was vital for the wellbeing of our community that young people are encouraged to stay. 
Action Robert Coghill would invite Highland Council housing manager to the next meeting
  • Safe Routes to School
Some work had been carried out at Lower Gills but the second stage, a footpath to the bus stop, was yet to be done and was urgently needed. Wullie Sinclair would contact the families concerned and the plans would be taken to the Canisbay School Parent Council who could pursue the matter.
  • Discretionary Fund
Robert Coghill reminded members about the fund and highlighted instances where it could be used to contribute to projects benefiting the community.
  • Community Policing
Sergeant George Murray would no longer attend meeting but would attend ward forums instead. He continued to be the liaison officer for any policing issues.
Next meeting would be in the Castle Arms Hotel Mey on Wednesday 13 February at 7.30
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