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Minutes May 2016

Minutes of Meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in St Clare Village Hall, Aukengill, 23rd May 2016 at 7.30 p.m.

Those Present:           Eric Green, Chairman

                                    Bill Mowat, Vice Chairman

                                    Chris Hobson, Treasurer

                                    Tom Meikle

                                    Ann Shearer

                                    Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

                                    Cllr. Matthew Reiss

                                    9 Members of the public were in attendance

The Chairman welcome those present and Cllr Matthew Reiss. 

Apologies:      Apologies were received from Jim Munro, Police Community Liaison officer

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting 21st March 2016

1.1.      Eric Green proposed the Minutes of previous meeting held on 25th April 2016 be accepted, which was seconded by Tom Meikle.

2.  Matters Arising.

2.1       Flooding in Mey and ScarsferryCllr. Reiss agreed to take up this matter and Tom Meikle reported putting photos of the flood onto our FaceBook page was in hand.                Action Cllr. Reiss & Tom

2.2.1    Sign for Mey House, East Mey. Whilst Cllr.Coghill had raised this issue, as yet there had been no response.  Cllr. Reiss also agreed to look take up this matter.               Action Cllr. Reiss

2.2.2.   Broch sign at Aukengill.  Cllr Coghill had also raised the issue of the fallen broch sign at Aukenghill, but to action had followed. Eric Green pointed out that the Broch sign needs moved as well as repaired as it is blocking the landowners access.   Cllr. Reiss also agreed to take up this matter.        

2.3          Shell Beach Road repair.  The bill had been duly paid and a receipt received. 

2.4.      Damaged Shore Path between John O’Groats and the Shell Beach.

2.4.1.  Eric Green reported that the Paths Officer, Matthew Dent, had proved to be particularly unhelpful as he had not answered any of Eric’s calls, or contacted him in any way. 

2.4.2.   Cllr. Reiss was asked if he could investigate the procedure of having it re-instated as a ‘Core Path’ which he agreed to find out.                                                                                      Action Cllr. Reiss 

2.4.3    In the meantime, Eric Green had obtained a rough estimate of £300 from Barrock Small Plant Hire to temporarily make the path serviceable and proposed that the work go ahead, which was unanimously agreed by all those present. 

2.5.      CaS  Local Development Plan.

2.5.1    Cllr. Reiss Coghill informed those present that this plan was published for consultation with a Proposed Action Plan and revised Environmental Report.  The Highland Council are currently reviewing the comments received and will take reports to the new Caithness Committee in August.

2.5.2    Eric Green advised those interested to go on line to the Highland Council Website. It is also available to view at the Wick or Thurso library.

3.         Chairman’s Report.

3.1.      An email had been received from Joe Smee - joe@sc.localenergyscotland.org - the representative of the Community & Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) which funded Dunnet & Canisbay Development Plan for use of the windfarm money requesting contact to review input, which Eric Green agreed to follow up.                                                                             Action Eric

4.         Treasurer’s Report.

4.1.      Chris Hobson reported the balance at present stood at £1,590.75.

4.2.      The Grant Allowance for this year was £1,194.83, and would be received once the Accounts for the previous year were presented, which was in hand.

4.3.      The question of the amount that would be available from the Village Officer’s Scheme was asked, as it was pointed out it could be useful now, not in the late summer, which the Secretary agreed to find out.                                                                                                            Action Barbara

5.         Secretary’s Report. 

5.1.      Wick Airport Consultative Committee.  The next meeting was to be held on 22nd September 2016 at Wick Airport.  Tom Meikle agreed to attend as our representative.            Action Tom   

5.2.      City & Region Deal. This million pound funding for Inverness City and Region was discussed, but it would appear that Inverness City and its environs would initially benefit the most.

5.3.      HiTrans ‘Refreshing’ 2008 Transport Strategy for Highlands & Islands. Bill Mowat had noted earlier that the Gills Bay to Orkney year-round ROPAX thrice daily service was not included as a ‘lifeline 8

6.         Planning – Weekly Report.  This was noted.

7.         Broadband Connections. 

7.1.      Much discussion arose from the detailed report that Eric Green gave on the continuing account of the possibility of setting up our own Community Broadband Network.  It would seem that to be able to set up such a project depends on the numbers of people within postcodes that will not benefit from the current upgrade that is in progress by BT of the faster broadband connection. 

7.2.      The next step is to identify these postcodes, and then gain the support of those within these areas.

7.3.      Eric Green proposed that he continued discussion with Digital Scotland Community Broadband  Scotland which was unanimously agreed.                                                        Action Eric

8.         Highland Council Update

8.1.      Condition of the Roads. There was a general agreement that the conditions of the roads throughout Caithness were a disgrace to the Highland Council and were continuing to deteriorate at a fast rate due to lack of upkeep with which Cllr. Reiss agreed. He said that road maintenance in Caithness had been neglected for the past 10 to 15 years due to cuts. He reported that the Highland Council had bought Jet Patcher machines which has been hailed as the answer to mending the           hundreds of potholes throughout the County, and would be in use during the month of June. In spite of this more cuts will be introduced next year. 

8.2.      Beatrice Wind Farm. The Beatrice Windfarm had been given the green light. This is seen as a great boost to the economy of the County, and will eventually provide 90 permanent jobs, and work for Wick Harbour as a base for maintenance.  The project begins next year, and is expected to be completed in 2019.   

8.3.      Caithness Boundaries. Cllr Reiss reported that as from next year Caithness will be divided into two Wards – West & East, with the number of Councillors being cut from 10 to 8 with the Discretionary Budget being reduced accordingly. 

8.4.1    Inverness to John O’Groats Coastal Path.  Cllr Reiss was pleased to announce the inauguration of the coast path some 145 miles between Inverness and John O’Groats took place on Saturday at Thrumster House, Thrumster which had been set up by Jo Wilson, who had obtained permission from the relevant owners to use their land for this purpose. The route is work in progress.    

8.4.2.   Bill Mowat proposed that Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council should give him our support, which was seconded by Eric Green.                                                                                             Action Barbara

8.5.1    North Coast 500.  Cllr Reiss also reported that this North Highland Initiative project of a circular route round the north coast of Scotland beginning and ending in Inverness was proving to be very successful. 

8.5.2.   It was pointed out to Cllr. Reiss that the sign to Dunnet head at the Junction to West Side and Brough Village in Dunnet was misleading. This is part of the North coast 500 route and drivers were taking the wrong road.  Cllr. Reiss agreed to raise this matter.                                                 Action Cllr. Reis

9.         A.O.B.  There was no other business

10.       Date of Next Meeting. To be held on Monday 20th June 2016 in Britannia Hall, Dunnet at 7.30 p.m.


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