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Minutes Oct 2015

Minutes of Meeting of the

Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Mey Village Hall, Mey

On Monday 26th October 2015 at 7.30 p.m.


Those Present:           Eric Green, Acting Vice-Chairman

                                    Ann Shearer

                                    Bill Mowat

                                    Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

                                    Cllr. Gillian Coghill

                                    Eilidh Gunn, Foundation Scotland

                                    Eric Green welcomed Tom Meikle

                                    There was 1 member of the public in attendance.

Apologies:      Apologies were received from John Green, Acting Sergeant Deborah Simpson and Chris                          Hobson,

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting

1.1.      Once it was noted that it is Northern Retreats, not Natural Retreats, Ann Shearer proposed the Minutes of previous meeting held on Wednesday 23rd September be accepted, which was seconded by Bill Mowat.

2.  Election Results. This is the last meeting of the present Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council, as the newly elected Council would begin next month.  It was pointed out that more Community Councillors were needed, and if possible present members should recruit new members to join and come along to the next meeting.

3.  Matters Arising.

3.1       Condition of the Roads – sight lines at the Dunnet/Dwarwick Pier/Brough Road.  Cllr Coghill reported she had written to Ian Moncrieff who had agreed to inspect this junction, and was awaiting a further response.

3.2.      Proposed Improvements due at Dunnet Bay and on Dunnet Head.

            An email of 16th October, from the Projects Officer, together with new plans for these     improvements had been circulated informing us that the work is scheduled to start in two months.    The Tender process was underway and the contract will be awarded at the end of November. It is envisaged that the works will be completed by February 2016.

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

3.3.1    A discussion ensued on a way forward on this matter.  The outcome was that we would like a     meeting with Northern Retreats, Highland Council Planning Dept. and those who have businesses in         the carpark, and the public, to have a discussion to find out our common ground, respecting each other’s opinion.  Eric Green pointed out that unlike Lands’ End, John O’Groats has an ancient    established community, and it is imperative that their opinions should be taken into consideration.

3.3.2.   Cllr. Coghill agreed to take our views to a meeting she was due to attend next day with Dafydd Jones, Area Planning Officer.                                                                                 Action Cllr. Coghill

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

5.         Treasurer’s Report

5.1.1    In his absence, the Secretary reported on his behalf that the balance on 14th October 2015          stood at £4,635.02. This included two lots of £230 (£460) that had been paid out to two village      halls. There was a further two lots of £230 (£460) due to be paid out to the other two village halls     with £3,000 to be paid to Sandy Anderson for his draft Dunnet & Canisbay Development Plan. This             would leave a balance of £1,175.02

5.2.1.   £160 had been received from the Association of Caithness Community Councils through the        Village Officers Scheme for grass cutting in Aukengill, and £95 had been applied for grass cutting in      Dunnet. Both invoices would be duly processed.

5.2.2    There had been £960 allotted to D. & C.C.C from this scheme but only £255 had been used, leaving       a balance of £705

5.2.3.   There had been a request from the Association of Caithness Community Councillors at their last             meeting, asking if unused Village Officers funding could be used by other Community Councils.  The             Secretary proposed that we give up the leftover funding to be used by others  - if the fund is not             used, it will have to be returned to Highland Council. There was a Meeting of the A.C.C.C. tomorrow             evening.

5.2.4.   After much discussion it was decided that this allotted money could be used with this area, which           Eric Green agreed to explore. He would let the Secretary know as soon as possible, who pointed out the invoice for work needs to be sent to her by this Friday, 30th October.                            Action Eric

5.3.      Cllr Coghill had contacted Alex MacManus regarding the Accounts, who reported they had not as          yet been sent in.                                                                                                   Action Chris

6. Secretary’s Report

6.1.      Response from Village Halls.  As reported above, the monies had been duly paid and acknowledged       by the Village Hall Committees of Dunnet, Mey, Aukengill and Freswick.

6.2.1    Dunnet & Canisbay Community Plan.  Eilidh Gunn informed those present, that Sandy Anderson was waiting for any comments on his draft report, and to date had received none.  It was his             intention that if no comments were forthcoming, the draft report would now become official on        the 2nd November and she would keep us informed. 

6.2.2.   The Secretary reported she had put a cheque for his work in the post that evening. 

6.2.3    In response to the question regarding the production of energy from the windfarm, Eilidh Gunn said it was connected to the Grid and producing energy. The pay-out will start after a 6 months        trial.

6.3.1.   Transport Issues.  The Secretary had received a letter from Stagecoach North Scotland informing           that there would be changes go the bus Service in our area as from Monday 23 November - a copy   of which was circulated.

6.3.2.   It was noted particularly that the popular Service Express Bus X97 & X9913.25 Monday to Saturday             Thurso-Inverness, and the much used 16.40 Monday to Saturday Inverness-Thurso was being      withdrawn.  This will have a detrimental effect on the County. 

6.3.3.   After much debate, it was agreed to write to Stagecoach regarding this matter, which Bill Mowat             agreed to attend to.                                                                                                    Action Bill

6.3.4.   It was pointed out that there was a Transport Consultation Public Meeting to be held by the        Highland Council on Tuesday 24th November 2015 in the Council Chamber Wick Town Hall, Bridge             Street, Wick from 7.00 – 9.00 p.m.

6.4.      Letter to Fergus Ewing regarding poor mobile phone connections - an acknowledgement had been             received.

6.5.1    Letter from Richard Evans, Head of Roads & Transport Community Services.  Regarding Decriminalised Parking Enforcement. The Highland Council are in the throes of taking over the    enforcement of on-street asking from the Police, who withdrew their Traffic Warden Service, and   this letter was asking for public comments.

6.5.2    After discussion it was agreed that as it wasn’t clear on what it was asking, Cllr. Coghill agreed to             contact him and keep us informed.                                                                Action Cllr. Coghill

6.1.      Planning Your Future.  Leaflets regarding this was circulated. The Highland Council are consulting on     the review of the Highland-wide local Development Plan, Draft onshore wind Energy             Supplementary Guidance and the Local Housing Strategy.  This is an opportunity to tell the Council  you think.  To find out more and comment visit the website consult.highland.gov.uk. It has been    open from 25th September, and closes on the 18th December.

6.2.      There will be a drop-in session on 2nd November 2015 in Wick in the New Council Offices, Caithness             House, Market Place, Wick between 2 p.m – 5.30 p.m. followed by a discussion to be held in the             Town Hall, Bridge Street, Wick starting at 6.30 p.m.

6.3.      Your Cash Your Caithness Project. Cllr. Coghill reported there had been a great response to this project ranging from small amounts to the full £3,000, and 20 candidates had been selected and would be vying for their project. This event takes place on Saturday 21st November, 2015  in the Pultneytown Peoples Project, Wick beginning at 10 p.m.to which all were invited


6.4.      Education.  Regarding Eric Green’s concern over the quality of schooling and lack of teachers available in Caithness, Clllr. Coghill had raised them with Cllr. Drew Miller, Head of Education, Children & Adult Services Committee.  Lack of teachers was a Highland wide issue, and he did agree to visit to see the situation first hand.  

7.         Planning – Weekly Report.   These had been noted. 

8.         Police Report.  Acting Sergeant Simpson had sent in her report, which was circulated.

9.         Broadband. – This was in hand

8.         AOB.

8.1.      In answer to a query from the public, regarding the cost of £20 to obtain a Blue Badge for the disabled, Cllr Coghill agreed to find out why they have to pay.                  Action Cllr. Coghill

8.2.      Regarding the question of why couldn’t planes land at Wick Airport last week, but they could in Orkney, Cllr Coghill said it was because of the lack of an instrument landing system. It is said this is due to be installed in the near future.

8.3.1    Monte Carlo Rally.  Bill Mowat pointed out that this prestigious rally is to have its starting point at John O’Groats on Wednesday 27th January 2016, and asked what could the Community Council do to celebrate it.  It would be the 90th Monte Carlo Rally, which once used to leave from John O’Groats

8.3.2.   After much discussion, it was agreed that this should be celebrated at a higher level, with a civic reception perhaps, as cars would be coming from all over the world.  Cllr. Coghill agreed to raise this matter with her fellow Councillors and keep us informed.                              Action Cllr. Coghill

10.       Date of Next Meeting.  The next meeting will be held on Monday 23rd November, 2015 at Britannia Village Hall, Dunnet at 7.30 p.m.                              



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