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Minutes Nov 2015

Inaugural Meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Mey Village Hall, Mey

On 23rd November 2015 at 7.30 p.m.

Those Present:  Cllr. Gillian Coghill

                           Eric Green

                           Bill Mowat

                           Tom Meikle

                           Chris Hobson

                           Barbara Hiddleston

1. Welcome & Apologies.

1.1.      Cllr. Coghill welcomed all those present thanked them for attending, and apologies were received from John Green and Ann Shearer

2.  Call for nominations for appointment of Chairperson.

2.1.      Barbara Hiddleston proposed Eric Green as Chairperson, which was seconded by Bill Mowat.

3. Handover to duly elected Chairperson

3.1.      Cllr. Coghill then handed over the Chair to Eric Green who called for         nominations for the appointment of the Vice-Chairman.  Eric Green proposed Bill       Mowat, which was seconded by Chris Hobson.

3.2.      He then called for nominations for the appointment of the Secretary, and proposed Barbara Hiddleston, which was seconded by Chris Hobson.

3.3.      This was followed by nominations for the appointment of the Treasurer. Bill Mowat proposed Chris Hobson, which was seconded by Eric Green.

3.4.  Bill Mowat proposed that Tom Meikle be co-opted as a member of the Dunnet &             Canisbay Community Council which was seconded by Eric Green.

3.5.  Barbara Hiddleston proposed that Ann Shearer by co-opted as a member of the   Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council which was seconded by Eric Green.

4.  Time, date and venue of next meeting.

4.1.      It was agreed to set the meetings for Mondays and that the next meeting would be held on Monday, 18th January 2016 in Mey Village Hall, Mey at 7.30 p.m. 

Thus the Establishment meeting was concluded, followed by an ordinary meeting.       --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Minutes of Meeting of the

Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Britannia Village Hall, Dunnet

On Monday 23rd November 2015 at 7.30 p.m.

Following the Inaugural Meeting

Those Present:           Eric Green, Chairman

                                    Bill Mowat

                                    Chris Hobson

                                    Tom Meikle

                                    Barbara Hiddleston

                                    Cllr. Gillian Coghill

Apologies: Apologies were received from Ann Shearer and John Green           

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting

1.1.      Once it was noted that it is Natural Retreats not Northern Retreats, for which the Secretary again apologised for her error, Bill Mowat proposed the Minutes of previous meeting held on Wednesday 23rd November 2015 be accepted, which was seconded by Eric Green.

2.  Matters Arising.

2.1       Condition of the Roads – sight lines at the Dunnet/Dwarwick Pier/Brough Road.  Cllr. Coghill reported she had spoken to Iain Moncreiff about this matter, who said he would be looking at the sight lines as soon as possible.

2.2.      Proposed Improvements due at Dunnet Bay and on Dunnet Head. We await the start of this project, for which the contract was due to be awarded at the end of November and completed by February 2016.

2.3.      John O’Groats and Natural Retreats plans for the Car Park 

2.3.1    Clllr. Coghill reported she had spoked to Dafydd Jones, Area Planning Officer, who had agreed to take on our wishes that we would like to have a meeting with Natural   Retreats, Highland Council Planning Dept. and local business owners. As no action had been forthcoming, she would continue to pursue this matter.      

2.3.2.   After discussion it was agreed that Eric Green would write a letter to Steve Barron, Chief Executive reminding him of his commitment to involve Communities in their local decisions.                                                                                       

2.4.      Letter from Richard Evans, Head of Roads & Transport Community Services -Traffic Wardens now taken over by Highland Council. Cllr Coghill reported there would be would 4 to 6 peripatetic Traffic Wardens based in Inverness who will travel around   the Highlands to tackle the illegal parking issue.     

2.5.1    Transport Issues.  It was noted that in spite of letters being written by Bill Mowat to various people objecting to this proposed loss, it was noted that Express Bus X97   & X99 13.25 Monday to Saturday Thurso-Inverness, and the 16.40 Monday to Saturday Inverness-Thurso had been withdrawn, with the reason given being that it was uneconomical to continue this service as statistics showed that the numbers were too low.

2.5.2    During the debate that ensued, it was clear that there were many inconsistencies within the service provided by Stagecoach who had the monopoly within the Highland Region.  And it was felt that as part of the process of Tendering for a bus service, Highland Council should assess the risks and see the impact of cuts on the      communities of Caithness, and not just merely look at how money could be saved.

2.5.3    The public Transport Consultation Meeting was being held the next evening, which Cllr. Coghill was attending and would keep us informed

2.6.1    Letter to Fergus Ewing regarding poor mobile phone connections. The Secretary circulated a copy of the reply from Lindsay Hewitt, a member of the Broadband      Policy Team of the Scottish Government Digital Directorate. This virtually said what we know already and didn’t give any answers although it did encourage us to contact their Community Broadband Scotland, which Eric Green had contacted and was in the process of organising a meeting.                                                       

2.6.3    Eric Green suggested we looked at a Project in Lancaster which has similar          geographic problems to us and within a remote community – http://b4rn.org.uk 

2.7.1    Monte Carlo Rally Starting at John O’Groats 27th January 2016.   Cllr. Coghill had raised this event with her fellow councillors, but reported they were non-committal.           Cllr. Coghill agreed to pursue the matter

2.7.2    It was intimated that the local car club and businesses would be putting on some form of ‘ceremonial’ start.

2.8.      Blue Badge Cost Query.  Cllr. Coghill reported she had been informed that the £20 cost of the disabled was non-refundable.

3. Chairman’s Report. (Correspondence)  Letters had been covered under the various   headings.

4.         Treasurer’s Report.

4.1.      The balance stood at £1,168.

4.2.      As no Accounts had been sent in to the Ward Manager as yet, the Treasurer and Secretary agreed to liaise to on this matter. 

4.3.      Eric Green said he had a bill for work carried out under the Village Officer’s         Scheme, and would send it to the Secretary.      

5. Secretary’s Report

5.1.      The Secretary produced an SSE Map that marked out the path of the cable and its telegraph poles that will be carrying the electricity from the wind turbines from the MeyGen project from Quoys of Mey to Thurso. 

5.2.  After discussion, it was agreed that these were noted.

6. Planning – Weekly Report. 

6.1       The Chairman said he had had sight of these, and were noted.

7.         Planning Your Future - the Highland-wide local Development Plan

7.1.      Bill Mowat had attended the drop-in session on 2nd November and had read the   Plan and was concerned about certain issues relating to Caithness. 

7.2.      After much discussion, it was agreed Bill Mowat would raise the following issues:-

In the Local Housing Strategy the same consideration in the countryside is given to Caithness as in the North West Scotland area.
In the Onshore Windfarm Supplementary Guidance, cognizance of total tidal power development in Caithness, particularly from MeyGen, and a Master plan was needed to include the community.                        

8.         A.O.B

8.1.      Eric Green produced a Newsletter that had been sent to all the patients of            Castletown & Canisbay Medical Practice which was changing the method of           appointments due to lack of doctors and reducing their availability.

8.2.      He said that if any change on this service was to take place the patients were entitled to be consulted. 

8.3.      After discussion, it was unanimously agreed that he write a letter to Highland NHS and copy in the Practice.                                 

9.         Date of Next Meeting.  The next meeting will be held on Monday 18th January 2016  in Mey Village Hall, Mey at 7.30 p.m.                    


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