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Minutes Feb 2017

Minutes of Meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Freswick Village Hall, Freswick on Monday 20th February 2017 at 7.30 p.m.


1          Those Present:           Eric Green, Chairman

                                                Bill Mowat, Vice Chairman

                                                Chris Hobson, Treasurer

                                                Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

                                                Tom Meikle


1.1       Apologies.  Apologies were received from Cllr. Matthew Reiss. 

2          Minutes of Previous Meeting held 23rd January 2017.

2.1       Tom Meikle proposed the Minutes of the previous meeting to be accepted, which was seconded by Chris Hobson.

3.         Matters Arising.

3.1.1    Scottish Natural Heritage (NHS) presentation on the proposed Special Protected Areas (pSPA).

            Eric Green reported that there was no fixed date as to the result of the consultation on the proposed SPA and agreed to put the objections he had written in his reply against this proposal on to the D & C.C.C  Face Book page.                                                                              Action Eric

3.1.2    Bill Mowat had written a letter directly to the First Minister raising objections on our behalf.

3.2       Change of Boundaries. The matter on the effect of the of the radical change of boundaries on the future of our Community Council following the Highland Council elections in Mey, was raised, but there did not appear to be any official information available on this subject.

3.3       Bus Timetables

3.3.1    A long debate then ensued regarding the further cuts and changes in the Bus Time Tables. As a result, Eric Green agreed to write to the Highland Council about his disappointment with their decision to make these radical cuts, as they have failed abysmally to protect those who live in the Rural Areas, pointing out that they have a responsibility to the large numbers of the members of the Community who depend on this service.                                                                        Action Eric

3.3.2    Cllr. Reiss had made enquiries regarding the school bus, and had received information from Laura Carpenter, Highland Council, that the route taking pupils from the Canisbay/ John O’Groats area to Wick High School ‘is in the process of being registered by the operator (Andrew’s Coaches). This will ensure that fare-paying pupils, and members of the public will be able to use the service once it is accepted by the Traffic Commissioner. Until the service is registered/accepted by the Traffic Commissioner, the operator has agreed to allow fare-paying pupils to use the bus without taking a fare. (This is only a short-term arrangement until the service is registered – once it is, they will have to pay a fare.)’

3.3.3    As Eric Green wasn’t entirely sure about this, he agreed to have the matter clarified.   Action Eric

3.3.4    But it was pointed that this did not take into account those children who remain at school after hours, and who have to pay for their fare home. 

3.3.5    Bill Mowat reported he had written to the Managing Director of Stagecoach raising the difficulties arising from the changes and cuts to the bus time tables, particularly in relation to the Ferry connection at Gills Harbour to Orkney.

3.3.5     The Proposed Community Bus Project.  This Project was then debated, and after discussion, Eric Green put forward that the Community be advised of this proposed project and it would be up for discussion at our next meeting with it being displayed on the poster, and put onto the Dunnet & Canisbay C.C. Face Book page. If sufficient interest was shown, it would be taken further.             

3.5       Defibrillator. The defibrillator had been ordered and was awaiting delivery.    

3.6       Flooding in Mey.  Tom Meikle reiterated that to date no further action had been taken regarding this flooding, and as it would appear to happen on a regular basis, the family were living under a constant threat of flooding in the house with sewage.  The Secretary agreed to remind Cllr. Reiss that as yet no further action had been taken.                                  Action Barbara & Cllr Reiss.

3.7       Broadband issue.  Although there had been an improvement in broadband reception through the EE aerials, there were areas that it did not reach.   As yet there had been no reply regarding the  outcome regarding Government funding to provide a service to these areas. Eric Green said he’d give the Adviser of Community Broadband Scotland another month to provide an answer.

4.         Treasurer’s Report. Chris Hobson reported the balance in the D & C CC was £779.58.

5.         Secretary’s Report. 

5.1       Barbara Hiddleston reported that to date Alex McManus, Ward Manager, had ignored the two emails that he had been sent regarding this item, but would re-send her request for an answer as to why the Highland Council refused to adopt the new turning area at the top of the Barrock Road.                                                                                                                              Action Barbara

6.         Planning. These had been noted.

7.         Highland Council Report.  There was no report

8.         A.O.B

8.1       Tom Meikle reported that several large potholes in the road and raised manholes had appeared on the A836 Huna to John O’Groats road as a result of the installation of the fibre optics by BT.  He agreed to take photographs which will be sent to Alex MacManus              Action Tom & Barbara

8.3       Bill Mowat raised the subject of the 900th Centenary of St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall which   Orkney was celebrating. Considering St. Magnus’ connection with Caithness, he wished to know if  the Highland Council had organised any celebrations of their own ?  Eric Green agreed to pursue this matter.                                                                                                     Action Eric

8.4       Due to the Highland Council Elections to be held in Mey, Cllr. Reiss will not be able to attend our next meeting as he will be in ‘purdah’.  It was felt by all those present that Cllr. Riess had been of great assistance to us. Eric Green agreed to write and thank him on our behalf.  Action Eric

9.         Date of Next Meeting. The date of the next meeting is Monday 20th March 2017 in the Village Hall in Canisbay at 7.30 p.m. 

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