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Minutes April 2019

Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council Mey Hall 29 April 2019 at 7.30pm 

Those Present Councillors Bill Mowat Vice-Chair Thomas Meikle Treasurer Mark Gibson Secretary Beatrice Farmer Henry Gunn Carole Whittaker Highland Councillor Andrew Sinclair Apologies Barry Butler Anne Shearer Eric Green Carole Whittaker

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 26 November 2018 at Canisbay Village Hall The minutes were agreed. Proposed by Councillor Meikle and Seconded by Councillor Farmer.

2. Chairs Report In the absence of the chair there was no report to make. Councillor Mowat agreed to act as Chair for the present meeting.

3. Treasurers Report

3.1 The current balance stands at £1388.

3.2 Councillor Meikle noted that due to late invoicing by village halls and presentation of cheques after the end of the financial year it had become very difficult to properly balance the books at the correct time. He stated that management of invoicing by village halls had become very tardy indeed.

3.3 Councillor Meikle noted that there were too many long winded and varied ways of drawing down Community Council money , an example being the Association of Community Councils where the CC had to pay to join in order to claim back money. He asked why money could simply not be divided between the Community Councils and paid directly. Councillor Meikle questioned the efficiency of the whole system that seemed to prefer to avoid direct payments.

3.4 Councillor Meikle also noted that insurance, which was once paid direct by Highland Council, now had to be paid by the Community Councils but that supposedly there would be money added to budgets to cover this.

3.5 Councillor Meikle added that he was not disposed to standing for the role of Treasurer at the AGM, nor to standing as a Councillor again at the forthcoming elections.

3.6 Councillor Mowat encouraged him to reconsider his decision as he had carried out the role admirably.

4 Secretary's Report

4.1 It was noted by Councillors that the Annual General Meeting should be in May and that this should be held at Auckengill.

4.2 Highland Councillor Sinclair would be moving on to a different Community Council in the Summer and as he could not attend the next meeting, this would be his last official attendance at Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council. However he fully intended to continue to attend as a Highland Councillor whenever he could.

4.2 The Community Council offered Andrew a vote of thanks for all the help he had given Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council over the year

4.3 There were two planning applications discussed. No objections were raised. 4.4 Councillor Gibson noted that Councillor Whittaker and himself had submitted a paper to the Highland Transport meeting at Lairg organised by the Rural Poverty Commissioners. The submission covered the Community Council's concerns over bus coverage and its affects on rural isolation and work opportunities. This had been published as part of the output paper and was being considered by the Commissioners as part of the investigation into rural poverty.

4.5 Councillor Gibson raised the issue of poor water pressure to the outlying areas of the community. At times of peak drawing of water some properties lose their supplies altogether for short periods. The issue had been raised with Scottish Water.

5. Infrastructure and Transport

5.1 Councillor noted yet another example of the poor bus services in the area bu relating his own experiences of getting to the Community Council meeting. Because of poor connections he had been forced to get a Taxi. It was also noted that no action had been taken in restoring a stop at Canisbay Church or at placing bus timetables at some existing stops.

5.2 The new minibus however was praised a being more suitable and manoeuvrable for some journeys.

5.3 The Secretary noted that he had contacted the Chamber of Commerce to ask when the next bus user group would be but had received no reply. Councillor Sinclair agreed to contact the chamber himself with the same question (UPDATE: date to be arranged in June).

6. Development Plan This was remitted to the next meeting.

7. Defibrillators

7.1 Good progress was noted with a number of machines already in place. Councillor Farmer was leading on this and priority areas for future provision was Gills, Dunnet Head and Dunnet Beach. Councillor Farmer also produced a booklet for schools which was hoped to be produced. Auckengill was also asked to be added to the list.

8. Any Other Business

8.1 John o'Groats Signpost It was noted that improvements had been made around the signpost but the post itself had not yet been cleaned of stickers. Councillor Gibson would explore further.

8.2 Walking Trail Councillor Mowat reported that he was continuing his discussions concerning a possible pilgrimage trail to St Magnus Cathedral on Orkney.

NEXT MEETING Because of Bank Holidays it was necessary to look to bring the next meeting forward to Monday 20 May 2019 at 7.30 pm. St Clare Hall Auckengill To include the Annual General Meeting.

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