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Minutes Jan 2016

Minutes of Meeting of the

Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Britannia Village Hall, Dunnet

On Monday 18th January 2015 at 7.30 p.m.


Those Present:           Eric Green, Chairman

                                    Bill Mowat, Vice Chair

                                    Chris Hobson, Treasurer

                                    Tom Meikle

                                    Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

                                    Ann Shearer

                                    Cllr. Gillian Coghill

Apologies:      Apologies were received from John Green and Eilidh Gunn

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting

1.1.      As there were no corrections, Eric Green proposed the Minutes from the 23rd Nov. 2015 be accepted, which was seconded by Bill.  

2.  Matters Arising.

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

2.3.1    Cllr. Coghill reported that it had agreed to take forward a full discussion of the    members of the public, D. & C. Community Council Members, and Natural Retreats.   The date was yet to be set, and she will continue to pursue this matter.    

2.3.2.   Traffic Wardens.  Cllr. Coghill had taken up this issue with the Chief Inspector, who had reassured her the Traffic Wardens would be in Caithness during this month.

2.3.3    Public Transport - Stagecoach Service.  As a result of the public Transport         Consultation Meeting held in November last year, Cllr. Coghill informed the  Members that a public Consultation would be held. This would give the public their say as to where they thought were the best and most effective routes that would suit them. It would appear the current routes are neither efficient nor economical. The date is yet to be announced.                                                           

2.4.1    Broadband Connections. Eric Green had a meeting with H.I.E and Community Broadband Scotland.   He was told that the upgrades planned will not benefit John O’Groats & Huna, as the each cabinet planned that provide the contacts, will only affect a surrounding area of 4 kilometres, which is not sufficient to cover the wide area of our scattered community. The upgrades planned will not benefit the next  generation and the only solution is to do it ourselves in a community project but it       will cost.  Money could be sourced from the Community Windfarm Fund. Trials are       being carried out to improve the technology to create a cabinet that will cover a wider area.  The situation is being helped by the change of approach by BT who have now agreed to work with Community projects.   The next meeting is to be held at the end of February.                                              

2.5.1    Monte Carlo Rally Starting at John O’Groats Wed. 27th January 2016.   Cllr. Coghill had raised this event with her fellow councillors, at the Business Ward Meeting, but they simply were not interested. The Members present were very disappointed and  couldn’t understand why they were not promoting this prestigious event with any form of acknowledgement  Cllr. Coghill would continue to pursue this matter, but those present didn’t hold out much hope.                                                     

2.6.1.   Planning Your Future - the Highland-wide local Development Plan.  The Secretary reported she had sent in Bill Mowat’s comments, and it had been reported in the press.  As she had had no acknowledgement of receipt, it was suggested it was sent by email on the website.       

2.6.2    Letter to NHS. It was confirmed that a letter had been sent to The Clinical Director,  North & West NHS and we await a response.

3. Chairman’s Report. (Correspondence) 

3.1.      Invitation to the Formal Unveiling of the Caithness Flag.  An invitation had been   received for this event to be held on 26th January in Caithness House, Wick at 2.30p.m.  After much discussion on the availability of those who could attend, it was   agreed that Tom Meikle would represent our Community Council.  The Secretary          agreed to send the acceptance reply.           

3.2.      HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Bonfire -  21st April. To celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday, official bonfires could be lit. After discussion, the Secretary        agreed to circulate the official guidelines leaflet and put this Item on the Agenda for the next meeting.                  

3.3.      Community Council Training.  The Secretary brought the attention a C.C. Training meeting for Wednesday 9th March, in the Chamber of Wick Town Hall, Bridge Street from 6 -  8 p.m. Further details will follow nearer the time.

4.         Treasurer’s Report.

4.1.      The current balance stood at £496.42.

4.2.1    Chris Hobson had been in touch with Alex MacManus, Assistant Ward Manager, ho had asked for further information of three figures.

            1.  Cheque 00099.  £97.84.  D & C CC’s contribution shared between Castletown Practice for postage incurred whilst fighting the pharmacy takeover.    

            2. Sum of £3,130.  Energy Saving.  This is money from Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)  Local Energy Scotland to pay for the Development Plan for use of the Stroupster Community Windfarm Funding.  £3,000 of instalment to Sandy   Anderson and £310 for the Cost of Hiring John O’Groats Hall and for providing tea for the Brain storming Community Meeting

            3. Figure of £1,150 with the date of 22/10/2014 – this figure was still to be checked out. 

  4.2.2 This information was approved of by the Members.

5.         Planning – Weekly Report. 

6.1       These had been circulated and were noted.

7.         Stroupster Wind Farm and Community Fund.  As she was unable to attend the meeting, Eilidh Gunn, Foundation Scotland, sent in an update which was circulated together with a poster for the drop-in launches. 

7.1.       Stroupster Wind Farm.  BayWa is selling Stroupster Wind Farm to Greencoat UK Wind.  This will not change the arrangement for the Community Fund.

7.2.      Stroupster Community Fund.

 Two launch events have been arranged to allow as many people to attend as possible. This Saturday 23rd January in Freswick Hall from 11-2, and next Monday night 25th January at Mey Hall from 4pm to 7. Copies of the application forms and guidance notes will be available and hopefully a number of community groups will come along to find out how to apply. The closing date will be 31st March, with another round closing on 30th September. For this first year we are only opening the small grant (up to £10,000) and the medium grant (up to £25,000) to try to ensure a good spread across a number of groups. However in the future a larger grant will also be available.

7.3.      Stroupster Community Fund Logo Competition. Pupils of the two schools – Canisbay         and Crossroads have the opportunity to design a logo for the fund. Entries will be available at the launches and the public can vote for their favourite.

7.4.  Prior to the meeting, at the request of Eilidh Gunn,  the Secretary had signed a De  minimis aid form which confirmed the amount of funding received did not exceed  £10,000, a copy of which will be given to the Treasurer                                           

7.5.  In answer to Tom Meikle’s query as who could apply for funding, Ann Shearer said the application must be for the benefit of the community and applied for by a group with charitable status and a Constitution and have no political, religious or anti-wind farm leanings.


8. 1.1Flooding in Mey and ScarsferryTom Meikle brought the flooding in Mey on Sunday 10th January caused by the extreme weather conditions to the attention to those present.  Cllr. Coghill also reported flooding between the entrance to Harrow Harbour and east end of Scarsferry. In both cases the Fire Brigade were called out.  And in both cases the flooding was not helped by the lack of public drains.       

8.1.2    After much discussion, it was agreed that this should be brought to the attention of the Highland Council, and Tom Meikle agreed to write an account of the flooding at Mey, e-mail it to the Secretary who would the collate the information with the   assistance of the Chairman, and a letter be sent by the Secretary.             

8.2.1    Damage to North End of Shell Beach.  Bill Mowat had circulated information on this damage, and requested road-metal to patch up the large holes that have developed.  After discussion, Eric Green proposed he obtained a quote for the cost to be paid from our funds, which was agreed by all those present.

8.3.      St. Magnus’ 800th Celebrations, 2017.  Bill Mowat brought up the subject to mark of  the death of anniversary of St. Magnus, whose shrine was in Kirkwall, which the pilgrims visited in Medieval times, making their way through Caithness, leaving from Gills Bay and John O’Groats. Cllr. Coghill said that the HC were hoping to         collaborate with Orkney regarding these celebrations.

8.4.      Promoting Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council.  Tom Meikle brought up the  subject of engaging interest of the members of the various village halls within the Community Council’s area.  This lead to the subject of promoting what we do to attract a wider audience.  Eric Green proposed that we could put ourselves onto the social media of Facebook, as he had a volunteer who could do this. This was seconded by all those present.                                                            

8.5.      Contents of Last House Museum.  Bill Mowat asked if it was possible to locate and recover the contents of the Last House Museum at John O’Groats. Cllr. Coghill agreed to pursue this matter.                                                                                                

9. Date of Next Meeting.  The next meeting will be held on Monday 22nd February 2016   in the village Hall, Canisbay at 7.30 p.m.                        

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