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Minutes August 2017

Minutes of Meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

In St. Clare Village Hall, Auckengill

On the 28th August 2017 at 7.30 p.m.


1.1       Those Present           Eric Green, Chairman

                                                Bill Mowat, Vice Chairman

                                                Tom Meikle, Treasurer   

                                                Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

                                                Ann Shearer

                                                Cllr.Willie MacKay

                                                3 Members of the Public were in attendance


1.2       Apologies. There were no apologies.

2          Minutes of Previous Meeting held 26th June 2017.

2.1       It was pointed out that in Item 3.2.3 the new Wick High School was in Newton Hill, in Wick and not up by the Wick airport, which is where the new Noss Head Primary School is located.

2.2       Once this was noted, Eric Green proposed the Minutes of the previous meeting to be accepted, which was seconded by Tom Meikle.

3.         Matters Arising.

3.1       Defibrillator. This was in hand.      

3.2       Flooding in Mey. Disappointly, Tom Meikle reported that action was at a standstill.  Eric Green   agreed to complain to the Ward Manage and put pressure on him to have action taken as it is the responsibility of the Highland Council.                    Action Eric

3.3       Broadband issue.  Eric Green gave a long report on the different methods of gaining better broadband, particularly in the light of the Scottish Government promise that all should have an improved service by 2021 which he thought was somewhat ambitious, particularly in the remote rural areas. He had been in discussion with several privately set up broadband providers. One network was currently carrying out a survey to ascertain how many masts would be required in this area.  He will continue to keep us informed. 

3.4       Possible visit by Cyril Annal, Crofter’s Commissioner for Caithness & Orkney. Bill Mowat had as yet received no reply to his written invitation, but would now make telephone contact.  It was agreed the best time for his visit would be either Monday 23rd or Friday 27th October.           Action Bill      

3.5       SiMBA Charity request. Barbara Hiddleston reported she had contacted the Charity but was told that as the memory tree would be made up of metal, the location of the land offered was not suitable as it was too near the sea and the air would rust the leaves. They had been very appreciative of the offer.

3.6       First & Last House Museum Artefacts & Natural Retreats.  Barbara Hiddleston also reported she had received a reply from Emma Jones, Vice-President Xplore-Operations, Natural Retreats, First Floor, Whitecroft House, 51 Water Lane, SK9 5BQ. Ms. Jones wished to reassure the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council that the items had all been boxed and noted.  She also asked if we would require a report on their review of their condition and an updated list of the items. Barbara Hiddleston had written saying yes, as this would be much appreciated. 

3.7       Police Reports.  It was confirmed that The Community Councils were receiving the Reports.

3.8       Transport Issues.

3.8.1    Road Equivalent Tariff (RET): Support for John O’Groats Ferry.  It had been recently announced by the Scottish Transport Minister that the Northern Isles Ferries will benefit from the RET which will   reduce the cost of fares. Bill Mowat proposed that Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council write to the Scottish Transport Minister giving our support to ensure that the John O’Groats passenger Ferry will also receive this RET, which was unanimously accepted.                       Action Bill & Barbara

3.8.2    Kilminster Moss RoadA diversion for the Bus Service to and from Wick had been drawn up, and according to the sign on the road, the work would start on 28th August and be completed on 30th September. Effect of the collapse Andrews Bus company.  Eric Green wished to commend the speed in which the Highland Council had acted to replace school buses on the announcement of the collapse of the bus company which provided the service to the schools as they were only given 5 hours’ notice.  As concern was raised regarding the effect of the bus company on other routes, Eric Green agreed to write to the Highland Council for information.                   Action Eric

3.9       MSP Ed Mountain proposed visit.  This is to be held in abeyance until the date of Cyril Annal’s visit had been confirmed.

4.         Treasurer’s Report.

4.1       Tom Meikle reported that the net balance in the bank stood at £1,289.

4.2       He asked if a bill had been received from Mey Hall for our last meeting, which Barbara Hiddleston agreed to pursue, also he required the bank statements for April and June.           Action Barbara

4.3.      Changing names in the bank required several signatures, which was proving complicated.  Eric Green agreed to be the 3rd signatory and duly signed the form.  The Secretary & the Treasurer agreed to liaise regarding this matter.                                    Action Barbara & Tom

5.         Chairman’s Report.  No matters were raised.                                                                            

6.         Secretary’s Report.

6.1.1    Open Day at the  John O’Groats Mill. It was announced that the John O’Groats Mill Trust were holding an Open Day at the Mill on the 9th & 10th September from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

6.1.2    This is to raise awareness of the Mill, and find out if there is sufficient public support to take the Project to the next level.  The notice has been put onto the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Website, and Eric Green agreed to put it onto our Facebook Page.                 Action Eric     

6.1.3    John O’Groats Trail. Barbara Hiddleston proposed that she ask Jay Wilson to attend our next meeting at Freswick, as this was part of the next stage of the Trail he was working on which was seconded by Eric Green.   This was to be confirmed.             Action Barbara

7.         Planning. These had been noted.

8.         Highland Council Report. 

8.1       A big discussion ensued about the state of the roads caused by the torrential rain that has fallen this year.  A member of the Aukengill community complained about the deep puddle of water, which could cause an accident, that had gathered beside the bridge over the burn there. This was caused by the concrete outlet not being cleared and asked if Cllr MacKay could do anything about it, which he promised to look into.    Action Cllr. MacKay

8.2       Cllr. MacKay reported that the Mey Games held at John O’Groats at the beginning of August had proved a huge success with a record number of over 960 attending. This gave encouragement to HRH Prince Charles to stay a further half an hour and go walk-about amongst some of the stalls.

9.         A.O.B.

9.1       Eric Green said that a new plan for Caithness N.H.S was currently under discussion, and that the next meeting will be held in September, and required input from a representative from each Community Council.   Barbara Hiddleston proposed Tom Meikle to be our representative, which was seconded by Eric Green.         

 Action Eric & Tom

9.2       Bill Mowat proposed that he wrote to RNLI to see if there was any interest in celebrating 150 years of the launch of the building in Huna, which was seconded by Eric Green.                  Action Bill

10.       Date of Next Meeting.  The date of the next meeting will be held on Monday 25th September 2017 in Freswick Community Hall at 7.30 p.m



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