Minutes January 2014
Minutes of Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council
Held in John 0’Groats Village Hall on
Wednesday 15th January 2014 at 7.30 p.m.
Those Present: John Green, Chairman
Christopher Hobson, Vice-Chairman
Bill Mowat, Member
Ann Shearer, Member
Eric Green, Member
Barbara Hiddleston, Minutes Secretary
2 Members of the Public, and
David Bremner, Highland Councillor
Minutes of Previous Meeting.
The Chairman asked for the Minutes of the last meeting held on 13th November 2013, to be approved.
It was pointed out that in Item 6.2.2.the Heading should read ‘Association of Community Council Village Officer Funds’ not ‘Dunnet Village Officer Scheme’.
In Item 6.2.4, the Heading should read ‘John O’Groats and Canisbay Christmas Lights’ not ‘John O’Groats Christmas Lights’
Once these corrections were noted, Christopher Hobson proposed the Minutes be accepted, which was seconded by John Green, duly adopted.
Lease between Highland Council & Natural Retreats. The Chairman was asked if the lease between Highland Council and Natural Retreats had been received, to which he confirmed that he had received it, and had circulated it amongst the Members present and all was in order.
2.2. Planning Application for the Erection of a Pharmacy in Castletown for Castletown and Canisbay .
The Chairman reported that the application for a Pharmacy had been made by Sanjay Majhu, Apple Pharmacy Group. As part of procedure there will now be a 60-day consultation carried out by the NHS. This allows the public to air their concerns regarding the application, the closing date being the 6th March. Any comments should be sent to Mrs. Helen MacDonald, Community Pharmacy Business Manager, NHS Highland, John Dewar Building, Inverness Retail & Business Park, Highland Way, Inverness IV2 7GE email: HelenM.MacDonald@nhs.net
Much discussion then ensued. It was pointed out that one of the roles of the pharmacy would be to provide support to the practice Doctors. It was brought to the notice of those present that it would appear that the Canisbay Practice might be in need of some assistance. At present the two practices are run by the Doctors in the Castletown Surgery, as the Doctor for Canisbay is currently off sick long term. Some patients from John O’Groats who attend the Canisbay practice had been asked on more than one occasion to attend the practice in Castletown instead, which, for some of them, was quite along way.
2.2.3 It was agreed that the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council would write in the first instance to the Castletown Practice asking them about their views on what could be seen as a reduction in their service.
At a special meeting held by the applicant in Castletown on the 20th November 2013, to which Community Councillors, Highland Councillors, representatives of the Doctor’s surgery and select members of the community were invited to a presentation of his intentions.
2.2.5 In this, amongst many other things, he stated that the pharmacy he intended to apply for would cover the two practices of Castletown and Canisbay. But it was noted that in the formal application, the area applied for only covered the village of Castletown, which raises the question, what would happen to the Canisbay Practice, which covers as far as John 0‘Groats and the surrounding area, not to mention the surrounding area of Castletown ?
It was agreed that the Community Council would write a separate letter to the GP’s in the Castletown Practice asking their view regarding the Dispensary in the Canisbay Practice. The issue being, if the Pharmacy for Castletown was given approval, would they continue to provide a service for the Canisbay Practice?
The Chairman told those present there was a meeting to be held on the 22nd January 2014 organised in the Castletown Surgery for the Dunnet & Canisbay and Castletown Community Councillors and the Castletown Surgery Members. This was to discuss and consolidate concerns about the application prior to sending them to the Community Pharmacy Business Manager.
The Chairman said that some Members would attend and the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council is happy to support the campaign on behalf of the Community against the Pharmacy.
Association of Community Council Village Officer Funds.
There was a final bill to pay for the completion of the project at Peedie Sands at Dunnet.
This was £36 for hard core. The Chairman proposed this be paid from the funds, which was seconded by Christopher Hobson.
2.4. John O’Groats & Canisbay Christmas Lights
The Chairman informed those present that the refurbished lights had been a great success. The Electricity Bill for lighting was £129.30.
He wished it to go on record to thank those involved for their help with this project: Andrew Mowat, James Davidson, Rikkie Banks and Stewart Fulton. Also he wished to thank the apprentices from the Health Board who provided the labour as part of their training and the Highland Council Lighting Department for their assistance.
2.5 Dunnet Bay Art Work within the Proposals for Dunnet Beach & Picnic Area Access Improvement.
David Bremner reported he had raised the points discussed at the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council’s previous meeting regarding the proposed artwork at Dunnet Bay to the lady responsible for this project.
He confirmed he had informed her of the consensus of opinion of the Community to have no artwork on Dunnet Bay. He also had raised the issue regarding the final location of the wall, which had been noted.
2.5.3 It was hoped work would begin as soon as reasonably possible.
2.6. John O’Groats Hall 1914-1918 War Memorial
The Chairman produced the marble War Memorial of the Hall, and after discussion it was agreed by all that it was in great need of refurbishment particularly as it was the centenary year of the beginning of the First World War.
He agreed he would make enquiries regarding its restoration.
2.7. Highland Council Training for Community Councillors.
As the Training evening due to take place on the 5th December 2013 was cancelled due to
bad weather, two members of those present requested to have another date set.
David Bremner agreed to attend to this matter.
2.8 Writing on the Rocks at Sannick Bay
2.8.1 This writing appeared to be a quotation from a South American poem, incised on the rocks in gilt. It was reported that Natural Retreats had been informed and could become a tourist attraction. There was an air of mystery as to whom it was attributed to, but it had been executed fairly recently. Ed White was keeping a close watch on this issue.
The Chairman reported there was currently a balance of £3,409.23p in the account of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council.
He produced the bills for the hire of the village halls throughout the year for the payment.
In view of the fact that the post of Treasurer was required to be filled, Eric Green proposed that Christopher Hobson be appointed, which he accepted. This was seconded by Ann Shearer.
4.1. Scottish Fire & Rescue Service Draft Local Plan 2013-2017.
The Chairman reported he had a letter from the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, informing of a draft local Fire & Rescue plan for Highland 2014-2017 which was in the process of consultation for all. The draft plan was available for inspection on line, the website was http://www.firescotland.gov.uk/about-us/local. The closing date is the 14th February 2013.
4.2. Planning List
It was noted that planning application for the 13th windmill at Broubster had been approved.
It was also noted that a windmill application had been lodged for a house at Lochside, Dunnet and a planning application lodged for a house near by Fuaran, Dunnet.
Concern was raised over the access of the new proposed distillery facing the access to Blargoans, in relation to the sharp corner of the road from Dunnet Head not far from both of these accesses.
5. Any Other Business
5.1. New Commons Grazings Register of the Common Grazings.
Bill Mowat brought to the attention of the Committee that a new Register had been made of the Common Grazings. The Crofting Commission has written to all the regulated Common Grazings for information and Bill was concerned that there were more unregulated Common Grazings that regulated ones. He raised the issue if and to whom were the Crofting Commission contacting regarding the unregulated ones which were still being used. He requested that we have a representative to talk at a future Community Council Meeting.
It was agreed that the Secretary would make enquiries and report back to the Committee.
5.2 High Speed Broadband Issue
The subject of the complete lack of broadband in John O’Groats and the patchy reception in the surrounding areas was raised. The Chairman reported he had attended a meeting on the subject of and there would appear to be a plan, but it was not very clear.
It was agreed to put this onto the Agenda for the next meeting.
6. Date of Next Meeting
6.1. The next meeting would be held in Britannia Hall, Dunnet on Wednesday 12th February 2014 at 7.30 p.m.