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Minutes July 2019


Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council Britannia Hall, Dunnet 22 July 2019 at 7.30pm

1. Those Present Councillors Bill Mowat Vice-Chair Barry Butler Treasurer Mark Gibson Secretary Beatrice Farmer Carole Whittaker Thomas Meikle Highland Councillor Raymond Bremner There was one member of the public in attendance 1

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting These were agreed

2. Chair's Report

2.1 In the absence of the chair there was no report to make

3. Treasurer's Report

3.1 Councillor Butler reported that the account was standing at £1343, with some outstanding bills for hall hire (Auckengill and John o'Groats) and Mey electrics.

3.2 Alex McManus has requested BACS details in order to pay sums direct to the Community council Account.

3.3 The accounts have now been audited and can be submitted

3.4 14k was in a pot for funding projects across the community councils. The D&CCC needed to work out what was appropriate to spend money on. One idea was a moveable speed sign such as the one at Keiss. Speeding was still a problem although the police had increased patrols across the NC500 route.

4 Secretary's Report

4.1 The Secretary updated the meeting on planning applications and on correspondence received.

5. Infrastructure and Transport

5.1 Councillor Whittaker raised the issue about the next Bus User Group meeting. A meeting was now long overdue. Highland Councillor Bremner replied that he had discovered that Stagecoach and the Chamber of Commerce were looking to adjust the framework of the meetings. He stated that this was something he did not think they could or should be doing on their own and reminded councillors of his own position that the format should be workshop style done at times to suit a whole range of stakeholders (including workers and business owners). Highland Councillor Bremner stated that he had asked for a meeting with Daniel Laird of Stagecoach on the matter

5.2 Councillor Whittaker stated that it was important not to let Stagecoach take the lead on this matter. No-one seemed to ask what people wanted or needed.

6. City Region Deal

6.1 Raymond Bremner noted that he had spoken to John Robertson and sent details of the City Region spending. He added that in any future consultation for further deals, representation should be made to ensure rural areas are adequately covered. He suggested that the association of community councils could invite John Robertson to Caithness to address the issues being raised.

6.2 Councillor Mowat referred to his own thoughts on the deal which he had set down in a private background paper and claimed that the deal should include more money for Caithness than it did. Councillor Mowat reckoned that several million pounds should be invested in Caithness and that this sort of money would transform the prospects of the County. He noted that large sums seemed to be spent on road infrastructure projects in Inverness. He raised the issue of depopulation and housing in Caithness.

6.3 Raymond Bremner noted that Caithness had a huge issue in terms of empty housing with around 50 houses available. Reasons for this were varied but included issues such as heating costs, neighbours, and outdated décor. A feasibility study was needed. New housing investment would be very difficult to get with so many “voids”.

6.4 Councillor Mowat pointed out that this was something that should be addressed as part of the local plan.

6.5 It was noted by councillors that if projects were not put forward to fund then they would not get money. However it was hoped that the increase in Development Trusts across the County would start to supply a number of projects which could benefit the area.

7. Scallywags Nursery

7.1 Scallywags reported that they had hosted several councillors but so far they had heard nothing positive. The nursery was due to reopen on 20 August so time was very critical.

7.2 Raymond Bremner reported that a special meeting of the Caithness Committee had been called to address the issue and a note sent to Donna Manson and the Education Committee.

7.3 There was great disappointment expressed that that this matter was still in limbo. Update: Scallywags Nursery will open in August

8. AOB

8.1 Cemetery Clean-up Raymond Bremner noted that volunteers had done a great job in cemeteries around Caithness. The work done by volunteers, including donations of time and equipment had been excellent. he would continue an inspection of Caithness and marshal volunteers to get cemeteries to a good standard. On completion he intended to get the Highland Council to set in place a regular inspection regime. Councillor Bremner noted that he had recently visited Canisbay Cemetery and would be looking at Olrig too.

NEXT MEETING Canisbay Hall on Monday 26 August at 7.30pm

The meeting closed

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