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March 2008

Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council meeting held in Auckengill Hall on Wednesday 12 March 2008 at 7.30pm.
Members Present                                                                 
John Green – Chair                                      
Keith Muir - Treasurer                                           
Irene Hendrie – Secretary                                                    
Eric Green
Chris Hobson                                                                                    
Wullie Sinclair  
Highland Council                                  
Robert Coghill - Cllr                                                                           
Alex Macmanus - Ward Managers Team  
9 Members of Public                                                            

Minutes of the last meeting were adopted: Proposed Eric Green
                                                          Seconded Keith Muir
1          Matters arising from the minutes
·         The members noted that Barrock Post Office would close and that Canisbay would be replaced by a mobile service. The reliability of the mobile service had been very poor and extending the use of the vehicle could exacerbate this. In view of the increased usage reliability would be closely monitored.  
       Action: Secretary to contact Post Office Ltd regarding back up measures      
·         A letter had been sent to the Castle of Mey Trust to ask permission to install a kissing gate at the path leading to Scotland’s Haven and St John’s Point.
2          Dunnet beach clean
      Funding received from the Highland Council Discretionary Fund of £2,027.00  brought the total to £3020. Contractors would be hired for 18th and 19th March and one day in June. If an outstanding application with Dounreay Communities Fund was successful it would cover an additional day in June. Plastic would be recycled by the contractor reducing the amount to landfill. A permanent arrangement for beach cleaning throughout Caithness would be preferable to the current situation which was piecemeal and reliant on a mix of funding from various sources and volunteers. 
Action: Alex Macmanus to check with TECS  that skip, bags and gloves would be available and pursue the possibility of beach cleaning being undertaken by community service orders.
Secretary to write to Campbell Stewart re beach cleaning.
3          Community Council Action Plan
 Dunnet Forest Trust had replied to the questionnaire and Canisbay Youth Club would do likewise in the near future. An action plan would be  considered when all the replies were received.
4          AOB
  • Viking Centre - John Green had spoken to George Bethune who had voluntarily sourced funding for the refurbishment of the interior. He was looking for additional funding to carry out exterior improvements. He was hopeful that work could commence in the coming months which would mean the museum being closed for another summer. He would welcome additional support from Highland Council.

Action: Secretary to contact Helen Allan.  Robert Coghill and Alex Macmanus to follow up on progress

  • Roads – The road between Freswick and West Canisbay was in a very poor state and had diversions for heavier traffic. Prompt repairs might avoid much greater damage and costlier repairs in the future. 

Action: Secretary to contact Iain Moncrieff Principal Engineer, TEC Services. Robert Coghill to pursue the issue

  • JBT – Since contacting the company in February 2007 their lorries had ceased to drive through Canisbay village using an alternative route. 

Action: Secretary to write to JBT thanking them for their co operation.

  • CC Area Boundaries – The Ward Manager would shortly issue revised plans showing proposed changes to the community council boundaries that would bring them into line with electoral wards. Discussion on this topic would take place when the plans were received.
  • Recycling – Rural areas did not at present have recycling bins for each household. Robert Coghill reported that the Highland Council had just approved widening its recycling to the whole of Caithness a move welcomed by those present.
  • Overnight parking – Camper vans and caravans were parking overnight in areas not designated for camping and leaving litter.

Action: Secretary to contact Police Liaison Officer

  • Grass cutting – A full review had been carried out by Highland Council and the service was found to be inadequate. A revised system of grass cutting was being implemented.

Action: Robert Coghill to report back to next meeting.  Alex Macmanus would report the lack of grass cutting on the Brochs path at Auckengill

  • Planning – Mr and Mrs D Shearer had planning permission approved for a new house in Canisbay but a condition required them to widen the road along the length of their plot. This would be costly and they could see no need for it.

Action: Secretary to write to Roads Department requesting this condition be removed.

  • Internet Banking – The members agreed to an internet banking facility being set up for the treasurer.
  • Wind Farms – The members had agreed previously that they would gauge opinion and make representations about wind farms located within their boundaries only. This standpoint was strongly criticised by a  member of the public who felt the members were acting disgracefully by not representing the views of Dunnet residents on the Spittal Hill wind farm. The members declined to hold a public meeting in Dunnet on the issue but instead would write to planning drawing attention to the views of Dunnet residents who had attended their meetings. This compromise was not acceptable to the member of the public.

Action: Secretary to write to planning highlighting the  views of Dunnet Residents

  • John O’ Groats development and Tidal Energy – The proposed development of John O’ Groats was welcomed by members as was the prospect of tidal energy development in the Firth. It was agreed that the community should be represented in both these projects. 

Action: Secretary to write to Roy Kirk inviting him to our next meeting.

  • Caithness Energy Advice – Angela Craig would attend our next meeting to give a short talk about the service. 
5          Date of next meeting – Northern Sands Hotel Dunnet 9th April 2008 at 7.30.
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