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Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council

Canisbay Village Hall

26 November 2018 at 7.30pm


  1. Those Present


                                    Councillors                    Eric Green                     Chair

                                                                        Bill Mowat                     Vice-Chair

                                                                        Thomas Meikle              Treasurer

                                                                        Mark Gibson                 Secretary

                                                                        Barry Butler

                                                                        Henry Gunn

                                                                        Carole Whittaker


                                    Highland Councillor       Andrew Sinclair


                                    Apologies                     Beatrice Farmer

                                                                        Ann Shearer


1.  Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 29 October 2018 at Mey Village Hall


            1.1  Agreement of Minutes

            The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed


            1.2  Matters Arising

            Matters arising would be picked up in the agenda items


2.  Chair's Report

2.1  Councillor Green reported that Councillor Mowat attended the Community Council event in Inverness. Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council was the only Caithness council to send a representative to the event.  It was otherwise well attended and clear that there was no appetite for change in terms of the Community Council Review.  D&CCC was not alone in its opposition.  It was noted that the Scottish Government is looking across Europe at different options for  local government and is likely to come back with options for change.


2.2 Councillor Green noted that Councillor Mowat had also met the new Highland Councillor Donna Manson, who was intending to split her time working between Inverness and Caithness. Added to the new Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise intending to so the same this was a good sign.    It as resolved to invite Donna Manson to a future meeting of the Community Council    ACTION:  Councillor Gibson to send invite



3. Treasurers Report

3.1 I t was noted that the association of Community Councils next meeting was 4th December.  The subscription of £30 was due.

3.1 Balance in bank was £1251


4 Secretary's Report


4.1 Correspondence Received


Reply from David Summers, Principle Transport Officer Highland Council re 77 bus route (see agenda item 5)


Natural Retreats Consultation (see agenda item 5)


Play parks – removal of slide from John o'Groats due to safety concerns by Highland Council. It was noted that the slide was in a rusted condition and would be removed by the council.  Other equipment at the play park was serviceably but deteriorating. It was agreed to look at an improved play area for children 


Caithness Bus User Group 4 December (see agenda item 5)


Your Cash Your Caithness closing date 2 December.  The amount given out was reduced but it was noted that an event would take place in early 2019


Online reporting procedures to Highland Council for issues arising over Winter.  Information on fault reporting was circulated to Community Councillors



5.  Transport and Infrastructure

5.1  Natural Retreats

Councillors Green and Gibson attended a meeting with Heritage GB on the matter of proposed car parking fees at John o'Groats.  A system was proposed by Heritage GB whereby a small charge for visitors would apply.  However all residents of Caithness would continue to park for free. 

The revenue raised through the parking fee would be placed into a central fund, managed by Heritage GB, the John o'Groats Development Trust and the Community Council.  The find would be used for improvements to John o'Groats in general.  Ideas including improving the car park and general end of road environment including making the “start and finish line” more of an experience and looking at a visitor centre.

The councillors had made clear at the meeting that a consultation with the people of John o'Groats was necessary and terms needed to be clear from the start.

Councillor Whittaker noted that this consultation needed to be different from the previous ones held by HIE.

Councillor Green agreed and that a public meeting should be held in mid January to allow people to have their say.

Councillor Butler noted that the fees for parking would hopefully deter overnighting parking at the site. 

It was agreed that the January meeting of the Community Council would be brought forward to mid month and a public drop in session would be held before the meeting.  It was agreed that the Seaview Hotel would be a good location.  Publicity for the meeting would begin after Christmas.  ACTION: Councillor Gibson to book the Seaview.


5.2  Bus Routes

Councillor Gibson noted that Letters had been received from Highland Council indicating that protection of the 77 route was not likely.  Highland Councillor Sinclair asked for a copy of the correspondence.


Councillor Whittaker reported that in the New Year she would be contacting local businesses and the community asking for information on actual bus usage by residents and employees.  Also on problems which had been experienced in using the bus service.  This information was critical to the campaign to maintain  decent public transport links.

Councillor Green agreed and warned that if the service continued to deteriorate then the new end of the road would be Keiss.

Councillor Mowat noted that it should be possible to buy a through ticket from the central belt to Orkney with the option of Gills Bay or Scrabster.

Councillors Whittaker and Gibson noted that they would attend the next meeting of the Caithness Bus User Group on 4 December in Wick.

Additional Note:  Councillors Whittaker and Gibson attended the Bus User group and raised the above points.  The provision of a bus stop at Canisbay Kirk was also requested.



6.  Any Other Business

6.1 CASPLAN  It was agreed to place the CASPLAN on a future agenda for more detailed discussion

6.2 Community Broadband  Councillor Green noted that the company providing the Broadband had run lover on previous projects and that the project in Dunnet and Canisbay had therefore been delayed.  Councillor Green noted that if there was no movement by Christmas then it might be necessary to look to other providers.

6.3 Councillor Butler raised the poor outside lighting at Mey Hall and if was agreed to get a quote for a PIR system

6.4  Councillor Gibson noted that public meetings had taken place in regard to the proposed Slickly Wind Farm Extension.

6.5  Councillor Whittaker reported that in the absence of finding any remembrance poppies for sale locally she had contacted Inverness in efforts to get them delivered to John o'Groats before the 11th November.  Thankfully this had been successful.


There was no further business.




Consultation on Car Park Charges in John o'Groats   6.30pm Monday 14 January Seaview Hotel

Community Council Meeting   7.30pm, Monday 14th January  Seaview Hotel.




The meeting closed







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