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June 2012 (AGM)

Seaview Hotel John O' Groats

Present: John Green (Chair); Chris Hobson (Vice-Chair); Keith Muir (Secretary / Treasurer) Eric Green (Member) Bill Mowat (Member)

Apologies : Steven MacGregor    

1. Chair: John Green opened the meeting and delivered the Chairman's report:

  • Windfarms continue to be a major concern for the community council, reflecting the general concerns of the public.
  • The future of primary school provision in our parishes remain a major concern.
  • Meygen has applied to Marine Scotland for consent to develop their tidal power station in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. The Community Council will be part of the consultation process.
  • Planning matters relating to various other developments have taken up some of our time over the last year
  • Training - most of the members have taken part in training specifically on our involvement in the planning process.
  • Village Officer funds : we took full advantage of this excellent scheme which allowed us to carry out various small works around the area that would otherwise be neglected.

2.  Secretary / Treasurer: The treasurer presented the annual accounts to the meeting. Income for the year was £1,910.20; expenditure £1,661.80, surplus £248.40. The bank balance at the end of the year was £1,042.59. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by John Green and seconded by Chris Hobson, duly unanimously adopted. Members expressed their thanks to Mrs Laura Gunn who independently verified the accounts. Copies of the accounts are available on request from the Treasurer.

3. Election of Office Bearers. At this point a proposal was put before the meeting that since the Community Council had only been formed in November, a single vote to re-appoint the current office bearers would be appropriate. The motion was proposed by Eric Green and Seconded by Bill Mowat and unanimously passed.

That concluded the GAM part of the meeting and members proceeded to the normal business meeting.

Business Meeting: June 2012

Minutes of May Meeting: Proposed John Green Seconded Chris Hobson duly adopted.

Matters Arising

Planning: Seaforth Dunnet traffic concerns - Chris Hobson is progressing.

Schools: Members were pleased to note that the proposed clustering of Canisbay with Castletown has been dropped. It is a matter of some concern however that such an inappropriate proposal should even have been considered and the secretary was asked to feed this back to our Highland Councillors.

Lease of Ground at John O' Groats: No progress has been made in ensuring that the concerns of the local community are encapsulated in any lease of ground by Highland Council to a private developer. The secretary was asked to bring this matter again to the attention of the Highland Councillors.

Treasurer's Report: The bank balance at the end of May stood at £857.81 with no major outstanding items.

Chair's Report

Duncansby Head - a member of the public has suggested that the creation of the new all-ability path at Duncansby Head could be complemented by the provision of a picnic table at the car park. The secretary was asked to look into the cost of obtaining one made from Caithness stone rather than wood, which would require upkeep. Chris Hobson will raise the matter with the Access Forum.

Village Officer: the scheme is open again and the Chair will instruct a contractor to cut the grass verge in Canisbay; and to tidy up the car park at Auckengill Hall. Members were asked to identify other suitable small projects that could be funded through the scheme.

Wind Generators. Given the level of public interest, it was agreed that the Community Council should ask to be made a statutory consultee in each planning application for a commercial wind power development in our area. It was agreed that Chris Hobson and Bill Mowat should lead on all planning matters; and that Eric Green and Keith Muir should lead on community benefit aspects.

John Green agreed to invite Eric Larnach to come to a meeting to give advice about community projects.

A.O.B.

Harbours: Bill Mowat intimated that some of the council-owned harbours in our area - particularly Harrow Harbour - were in need of repair. It was agreed that he should contact the Highland Council harbours officer and request that such repairs should be put in hand; and that a full maintenance audit be carried out of all council-owned harbours in the area.

Canisbay School Parking: Canisbay School Parents Committee have asked for the community council support in dealing with the problem of parents ignoring the approved drop-off point in the village and creating a potential hazard by parking outside the school. The secretary was asked to bring this to the attention of the Police Community Liaison officer.

Next meeting: Freswick, Wed 11th July, 7.30 p.m.

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