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Minutes March 2019

Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council Canisbay Village Hall 25 March 2019 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 Beatrice Farmer Ann Shearer Highland Councillor Andrew Sinclair 1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 25 February 2019 at Britannia Hall, Dunnet The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed (Pr BB Sc EG)

2. Chair's Report 

2.1 Councillor Green thanked Councillor Mowat for stepping in and chairing the previous council meeting for him.

2.2 Councillor Green brought the community council up to date on broadband issues. He had spoken to HIE and other agencies about the Scottish Government programme. BT was working to improve the system. Scarfskerry had just been upgraded and Brough was next on the list. New technology included the development of smaller cabinets serving up to ten houses within a 200m radius. This had the potential to reduce the likely number of customers for community broadband to below a sustainable level. In addition there were some good deals at the moment on 4G along with a government grant for £250 per household to have a 4g Ariel installed. Councillor Green agreed to draft a note for the website and Facebook page with options for residents. ACTION: Councillor Green

2.3 Councillor Green also noted that within the next five years it was likely that all BT telephone services would be delivered though VOIP rather than a landline system.

3. Treasurers Report 3.1 Councillor Meikle noted that there was £1190 in the bank. Invoices for Britannia Hall had not yet been presented and Mey Hall not yet cashed.

3.2 Councillor Meikle noted that there had been changes to insurance arrangements and the Community Council would now need to meet this cost. Bank charges for the Community Council Account had also been increased.

3.3 Councillor Meikle also noted that he had received a letter from the Flat Earth in Inverness. This was passed round and it was resolved not to reply.

4 Secretary's Report

4.1 John o'Groats Village Hall Car Park Councillor Gibson noted that the parking surface had been scraped, that the scalping had now been delivered and that this work was underway.

4.2 Power Outages A reply to the Community Council query on recent power outages had been received from SSE. A copy would be forwarded to councillors. Problems in Mey and Gills had been due to a faulty transformer. Problems in John o'Groats were probably due to the weather including lightening strikes and strong wind. It was noted by Councillor Farmer that some areas were much later than others to be reconnected.

4.3 Mey Games The Community Council expressed its support to the Mey Games as a valuable boost to the local economy and tourism

4.4 Abandoned Car Thanks were expressed to Highland Councillor Andrew Sinclair for the prompt removal of the crashed car after the issue had been raised with him.

4.5 Licensing The Community Council has been copied in to a consultation on Licensing regulations. It was resolved not to take part.

4.6 Questionnaire A list of questions was sent by another Community Council. It was resolved not to take part as our response would not contribute to the issue.

4.7 Tain Bypass A notification of Tain bypass work between 25th and 28th March was sent. No further action required.

4.8 Police Plan Details of a police consultation was issued. Link to be forwarded to Community Councillors

4.9 Wick Speed Limit Consultation It was noted that a public consultation was to be held on the proposed Wick 20mph speed limit. This would be in Caithness House on 26th March

4.10 Election Timetable The timetable for Community Council Elections was noted by members

4.11 Community Council Review Papers had been forwarded to Councillors.

4.12 Natural Retreats It was noted that Natural Retreats had changed its name to Together Travel

4.13 A request for a Lidar Survey had been made. It was agreed to remit this to the John o'Groats Development Trust

5. Development Plan

5.1 A long discussion took place on a refresh of the development plan. It was agreed that the plan should be concise, easy to read and with achievable aspirations which were owned by the community. Actions should be taken forward by different agencies and groups.

5.2 It was agreed that work should start on the refresh sooner rather than later and that an emergency application to the Stroubster Fund should be made

5.3 It was agreed to discuss the matter with the local development Trust but that the Community Council would own and oversee the overall plan.

6. Defibrillators

6.1 List of possible locations included the shops at John o'Groats, Dunnet Head, Dunnet Bay and Gills Bay. Councillors agreed to come to the next meeting with lists of proposed sites.

7. Any Other Business

7.1 Bus Campaign Councillor Whittaker noted that some replies had been received from the questionnaire, but not really enough to make a difference. It was agreed to publicise once more on the Facebook page and also to wrote to Highland Councillors pointing out that effective transport links were key to halting population decline. If people could not get to and from work then it was a real barrier to keeping young people in the North.

7.2 Dark Sky Park It was noted that Dunnet Head and Duncansby Head were dark sky parks and places where astronomy and aurora watching was possible without light pollution. It was important to maintain the dark sky status and to look at this as a source of promoting the area out of season. Councillor Gibson would consider possible actions to facilitate this and liaise with the Caithness Astronomy Group..

7.3 Councillor Gibson noted that John o'Groats was planning to stage a small Viking Festival in late Summer to celebrate and publicise the strong Viking links in the area.

7.4 Councillor Farmer noted that the Highland Council was now no longer taking car tyres at their recycling centres. Concern was raised of increased fly tipping and it was agreed to write to Highland Council on this matter ACTION: Councillor Gibson.

7.5 Councillor Butler asked for an update on the Development Fund proposals for John o'Groats. Andrew Sinclair noted that discussions were continuing.


NEXT MEETING Monday 29 April 2019 at Mey Hall The meeting closed

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