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Minutes of Meeting of the

Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Village Hall, Canisbay

On Monday 22nd February at 7.30 p.m.

Those Present:           Bill Mowat, Vice Chair

                                    Chris Hobson, Treasurer

                                    Tom Meikle

                                    Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

                                    Ann Shearer

                                    Cllr. Gillian Coghill

                                    1 member of the public

Apologies:      Eric Green, Chairman

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting

1.1.      Bill Mowat pointed out that the date and place of the previous meeting was held in Mey Village Hall on 18th January 2016, and not in Britannia Hall, Dunnet on 18th January 2015 as recorded. Also in Item 2.3.3. the heading should read School Transport, not Public Transport.   

1.2.      Once these were noted, and the Matters Arising had been attended to, Ann Shearer proposed the Minutes be accepted, which was seconded by Tom Meikle.

2.  Matters Arising.

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

Cllr. Coghill confirmed that the Chief Executive and Head of Planning still intended that a meeting will be held with relevant members of Highland Council, members of the public, local business groups, Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council Members and Natural Retreats. Any plans for John O‘Groats car park cannot go forward without this meeting. 

2.2       Public Transport - Stagecoach Service.

2.2.1.   The Secretary had circulated a notice for the Caithness Bus Users Group Meeting to be held on Friday 4th March from 2.30 – 3.30 p.m. in the Heron Room, Norseman Hotel, Wick.

2.2.2.   After discussion Tom Meikle agreed to attend and would point out that it was very necessary that          the 13.15 p.m. & 18.15 p.m. buses from Gills Harbour to Inverness re-instated for the summer          timetable, as these connect with the Ferry returning from Orkney.

2.2.3    Bill Mowat reported that the 9.30x Bus to Inverness was 40 Minutes late due to a puncture that day.  This caused debate about the maintenance or lack of it on the Stagecoach buses as there has     been a spate of recent delays, and breakdowns on the Inverness to Caithness Services.

2.3.      Broadband Connections.  We await an update.                                                         Action Eric

2.4.1    Monte Carlo Rally Starting at John O’Groats Wed. 27th January 2016. This had been well attended.  The local business group had organised a send-off for this first stage of the Rally led by the Lord Lieutenant, Miss Anne Dunnett using the newly launched Caithness Flag, giving its first public appearance.

2.4.2    Bill Mowat felt that the organiser Douglas Anderson should be thanked, which he agreed to ttend to.                                                                                                                        Action Bill

2.5.      Letter to NHS. We still await a response.

2.6.      HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Bonfire -  21st April

The Secretary agreed to send a copy of the leaflet to Bill Mowat and keep this item for further discussion at the next meeting.

                                                                                                                                                Action Barbara

2.7.      Community Council Training

The Secretary reminded those present regarding the Community Council training meeting for Wednesday 9th March, in the Chamber of Wick Town Hall, Bridge Street  from 6 - 8 p.m. Tom Meikle agreed to attend.                                                           Action Tom

2.8.        Contents of Last House Museum. The contents of the museum were stored in Mackenzie’s’, Wick, and they had been catalogued. It was noted that the Natural Retreats clothes shop which was once connected with the old Museum had now closed down.

2.9.      Flooding in Mey and ScarsferryTom Meikle had submitted his report which had been circulated. He reported that the Council did come out about the flooding in Mey, but as yet no action had been taken.  Cllr. Coghill also reported they had been on the site at Scarsferry.  She will continue to pursue the Council on these two incidents.                                                                       Action Cllr. Coghill

2.10       Shelly Beach Road repair.  We await for a quote. 

2.11.    St. Magnus’ 800th Celebrations, 2017. After discussion it was agreed that we wish to collaborate with Orkney.  In the light of the government initiative of Island Proofing to foster relations within the remote areas of Scotland, Bill Mowat suggested that Highland Council has a representative on this Committee. Cllr. Coghill said she would take up this matter.               Action Cllr. Coghill       

2.12     Promoting Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council.  After discussion it was agreed that we ought to consider using other meeting places, like in the ticket office of Gills Harbour, and the hall at Scarsferry Church. Those present did wish to pursue using social media to make ourselves more available to the public.                                                                                                 Action: Eric                   

3.         Chairman’s Report. Caithness & Sutherland Development Plan.

3.1.      The closing date for response to this Plan was the 18th March.  Bill Mowat felt that amongst other issues, no growth had been predicted within the County, and that the information on Gills Harbour was not quite up to date.  He agreed to write a response, send it to the Secretary who would forward it on behalf of Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council.                    Action Bill

4.         Treasurer’s Report.

4.1.1    Christopher reported that the accounts for last year had finally been completed and approved. 

4.1.2    The current balance stood at £4,503 72p with the CARES funding of £3,870 ring-fenced for final instalment of payment for the Stroupster Community Development Plan.

4.1.3.   The Secretary agreed to inform Eilidh Gunn of Foundation Scotland we had received the CARES monies.                                                                                                          Action Barbara 

4.1.4.   This left a running balance of £633.72p.

4.1.5.   The Secretary gave Chris Hobson a copy of the signed de minimis form from Foundation Scotland.

4.2       Caithness Volunteer Group Subscription.  The Secretary proposed that we paid our annual subscription of £6, which was seconded by Bill Mowat.       

5.         Secretary’s Report.

5.1.1    The Secretary reported she had noted during a meeting of the Heritage Groups organised by the Caithness Broch Project that the Broch sign pointing to Nybster Broch & Harbour had fallen down, bearing in mind that this is an iconic ancient monument of Caithness.

5.1.2.   After discussion, it was agreed the Secretary contact Alex McManus and ask if it was possible that a new sign be made in the Highland Council’s Strathpepper Sign workshop. Cllr Coghill said she would also contact Alec McManus regarding this issue.                                  Action Barbara & Cllr. Coghill   

5.2.      Generic Website.  The Secretary had received an email regarding Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council generic website.  After discussion, it was agreed to decline to join.

6.         Planning – Weekly Report.  These were noted.

7.         Stroupster Wind Farm and Community Fund.  The closing date for application was the 31st March.

8.         Highland Council Update.  Cllr Coghill reported that the Highland Council Budget Meeting was to       be held later this week and gave an indication of some of the hard hitting proposed cuts.

9.         A.O.B. Bill Mowat expressed a fear regarding the Crofters who have not registered with Crofters Commission, as they may lose out on their rights.   

10.       Date of Next Meeting.  The next meeting will be held on Monday 21st March 2016 in Seaview Hotel, John O’Groats at 7.30 p.m.                


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