Minutes March 2016
Minutes of Meeting of the
Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council
Held in Seaview Hotel, John O’Groats
On Monday 21st March at 7.30 p.m.
Those Present: Eric Green, Chairman
Bill Mowat, Vice Chairman
Chris Hobson, Treasurer
Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary
Cllr. Gillian Coghill
Apologies: Apologies were received from Ann Shearer.
1. Minutes of Previous Meeting
1.1. Once the Matters Arising had been attended to, Bill Mowat proposed the Minutes be accepted, which was seconded by Tom Meikle.
2. Matters Arising.
2.1.1 Public Transport - Stagecoach Service. Caithness Bus Users Group Meeting held on 4th March. Tom Meikle who attended the meeting, had raised the issue of reinstating the 13.15 p.m. and the 18.15 p.m. bus from Gills Harbour and reported that whilst the 18.15 p.m. bus would be restored in the Summer Timetable, the 13.15 p.m. would not.
2.1.2 Stagecoach were already looking at the whole structure as the new bid for transportation was in progress for the 2017 timetable.
2.2. Broadband Connections. This was in hand. Action Eric
2.3. Monte Carlo Rally Starting at John O’Groats Wed. 27th January 2016. Bill Mowat had duly written the thank you letter which he had circulated.
2.4.1 Community Council Training. 9th March 2016. Tom Meikle also gave a report on this training session, which he said he found it very useful, one being the various reasons for planning complaints. Other issues raised were as follows:-
2.4.2. The CaS Plan was discussed, which he felt was very shallow, and didn’t encourage people to settle in Caithness.
2.4.3. He noted that the Procedure the Minutes of our Meetings dictated should not be published until they had been approved. This is in the light that our Minutes are put onto our website as soon as they are circulated to the Members without approval. The Secretary explained that issues raised recorded in the Minutes would be out of date by the time of our next meeting which was concurred by those Members present. After discussion, it was unanimously agreed that the Minutes would be circulated and sanctioned by the Chairman, then put onto our website, and ratified at the next meeting.
2.4.4 Financial Records were required to be kept for 6 years.
2.4.5 Our allocation must be spent, and if not it could be cut.
2.4.6. Community Councils are not allowed to hold any assets, and was reassured by the Chairman that we did not.
2.5. Flooding in Mey and Scarsferry. Cllr Coghill said she will continue to pursue the Council on the two incidents in Mey & Scarsferry Action Cllr. Coghill
2.6 Shelly Beach Road repair. Eric Green reported that this was in hand. He would circulate the quote for approval, and have the road repaired as soon as possible. Action Eric
2.7. St. Magnus’ 800th Celebrations, 2017. Cllr. Coghill would raise this matter the next day with the leader of the Highland Council.
2.8 Promoting Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council using social media. Eric Green reported that this was in hand. Action Eric
2.9 Broch Sign at Nybster. The Secretary had sent a photograph and email to the Assistant Ward Manager, Alex MacManus, regarding the state of the Broch sign. Cllr. Coghill reported she had received a positive response from him, and would continue to pursue this matter. Action Cllr. Coghill
3. Chairman’s Report. Caithness & Sutherland Development Plan.
3.1. Bill Mowat had written a response of our behalf, which the Secretary sent in, although it was ½ hour after the cut off time due to circumstances beyond her control.
4. Treasurer’s Report.
4.1.1 The CARES funding of £3,870 had been paid out. £2,500 to Sandy Anderson for the Development Plan for Dunnet & Canisbay; £1,360 to Foundation Scotland for services rendered; £10 for the Hire of Mey Hall for the open meeting.
4.1.2 The Secretary passed receipts for these sums over to the Treasurer.
4.2. £30 Levy had been paid to the Treasurer of the Association of Caithness Community Council. This left a subtotal of £603.72.
4.3. As the Accounts for last year had been accepted by the Assistant Ward Manager, the Annual Grant of £1,280.63 had been paid, bringing to total balance to £1,884.35.
4.4 Caithness Volunteer Group Subscription. This has yet to be paid. Action Barbara & Chris
4.5. Remuneration to Secretary. Chris Hobson brought to attention the allowance of £250 funding made to the Community Council for payment to the Secretary. He proposed that this be accepted, which was seconded by Eric Green.
5. Secretary’s Report.
5.1. Your Cash, Your Caithness. This source of funding was now open for application, with a closing date Friday 6th May 2016. Chris Hobson agreed to put up the posters around the Community.
5.2.1 Police Scotland Community Council Questionnaire. This had been circulated earlier, which Eric Green agreed to complete. Action Eric
5.2.2 Tom Meikle asked why we had had no Police attendance at our meetings. The Secretary said that the Community Liaison officer, James Munro should have been informed of the date of our meeting, but had omitted to do so. She gave the assurance he would be contacted informing him of our next Community Council Meeting. Action Barbara
5.3. The use of Digital Technology and Tourism Survey. HIE had commissioned Caithness Chamber of Commerce to carry out a survey on the use of Digital Technology & Tourism, which is part of a Digital Scotland Programme to improve digital skills within tourism in Caithness which the Secretary agreed to look into. Action Barbara
5.4.1 Damaged Path between John O’Groats and the Shelly Beach. It had been brought to the attention of the Community Council by Rev. Lyall Rennie that a part of this popular shore path had collapsed as a result of the continuous bad weather. As a result, Cllr. Coghill had contacted Matt Dent, Access Officer, who declared the Highland Council are not responsible for this path. This is in spite of the fact that the path was created by them. He suggested that the cause of the collapse could be the result of a blocked drain, seen in the photograph provided. If this is the cause, the occupier (owner) should be made aware that they may have a duty of care.
5.4.2 Much discussion then followed on this unhelpful response, and as a result the Chairman agreed to reply to Matt Dent. Action Eric
6. Planning – Weekly Report. These were noted.
7.1 Stroupster Wind Farm and Community Fund. The closing date for application was the 31st March.
7.2. After discussion on having a hard copy of the Development Plan by Sandy Anderson, the Secretary agreed to contact Eilidh Gunn, Foundation Scotland, for a copy, and have it sent to Bill Mowat. Action Barbara
8. Highland Council Update. Cllr Coghill reported the Councillors were awaiting to hear about the redesign of the Council as a result of the cuts in their Budget.
9. Date of Next Meeting. The next meeting will be held on Monday 25th April 2016 in the Village Hall, Freswick at 7.30 p.m.