Minutes May 2017
Minutes of Meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council
Canisbay Village Hall,
on the 22nd May 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
1. Those Present Eric Green, Chairman
Bill Mowat, Vice Chairman
Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary
Chris Hobson, Treasurer
1.1 Apologies. Apologies were received from Cllr. Reiss and Cllr. MacKay
2 Minutes of Previous Meeting held 20th February 2017.
2.1 Eric Green proposed the Minutes of the previous meeting to be accepted, which was seconded by Ann Shearer.
3. Matters Arising.
3.1 Scottish Natural Heritage (NHS) presentation on the proposed Special Protected Areas (pSPA). Due to the impending General Election on 8th June, matters such as these continue to be put on hold.
3.2 Change of Boundaries. We await the new Highland Council’s Area Committee to make recommendations.
3.3 Bus Timetables. Bill Mowat reported there was no positive change and would write to Stagecoach to raise several issues.
3.5 Defibrillator. The defibrillator was awaiting delivery.
3.6 Flooding in Mey. Tom Meikle reported no further action had taken place. Discussion arose as to how to take this forward. As a result Eric Green agreed to write to Sepa and to Alex McManus, Ward Manager, about the matter which had gone on for over well over 18 months. Action Eric
3.7 Broadband issue. Eric Green continued to pursue this matter.
3.8 Possible visit by Cyril Annal, Crofter’s Commissioner for Caithness & Orkney. Mr Annal had been approached and was very willing to attend one of our meetings. He will be invited to attend towards the end of summer.
4. Treasurer’s Report.
4.1 Chris Hobson reported the Annual Accounts had been verified, and sent to the Ward Manager, who requested they be written in yet another format, which had been duly done and sent back to him.
4.2 The Balance stood at £767.88. £450 was ring-fenced for our contribution towards the Defibrillator, leaving the sum available of £317.88
5. Chairman’s Report.
5.1.1 Eric Green had received a letter from Mike Russell MSP asking for support on a consultation paper regarding the Proposed Restricted roads (20 mph Limit) (Scotland) Bill. This would reset the current default national speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph for restricted roads. Roads that are close to housing, walkways or busy public spaces will automatically have the current 30mph speed limit replaced with a 20 mph limit.
5.1.2 After much discussion it was generally approved to give our support, and Eric agreed to respond to this consultation Action Eric
5.2.1 He also reported he had received a an email from Jay Wilson, on behalf of the Friends of the John O’Groats Trail, a Scottish Charity developing a walking route from Inverness to John O’Groats. He was requesting to meet with our Community Council to discuss the Trail with regard as to how it approaches and terminates at John O’Groats and the many issues involved.
5.2.2 Eric Green proposed that he replied to Jay and invite him to a meeting, which was unanimously accepted. Action Eric
6. Secretary’s Report.
6.1.1 Fly-tipping at the Gloup at Duncansby Head. Barbara Hiddleston reported that at the instigation of Cllr. Reiss, she had asked the Coastguards in Thurso to remove the recent fly-tipping of rubbish at the Gloup near Duncansby Head. The Coastguards took this opportunity to use this as an exercise to practice their rope skills. The operation had proved very successful, and an email had been written to thank them for their help in removing the unsightly rubbish, which looked as if someone had tidied out the dregs of their garage and dumped them into the Gloup.
6.1.2 This gave rise to a debate on the problem of fly-tipping and why it was on the increase. A discussion followed on the new rules of dumping rubbish at the recycling centre where in particular cases, a form needs to be filled in. This form is available on-line, or at the Service Points. The question arose as to why the forms were not available at the recycling centres themselves, which Eric Green agreed to pursue. Action Eric
6.2.1 Simba Charity request. Barbara Hiddleston also reported she had received an email through Cllr. Reiss from the Charity SiMBA (Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal) who provide memory boxes to bereaved parents who have lost their baby before, during or after birth. They are trying to find a piece of land which can be donated in the John O’Groats area in order to develop this into a memory garden. The ultimate aim is to have a metal Tree of Tranquillity placed in this. A metal leaf would have the name of the baby attached to the tree. It would appear as this metal could be subject to theft, for insurance purposes a CCTV would be required to be installed.
6.2.2 There is a Tree of Tranquillity in the Borders, Edinburgh East Lothian, Glasgow, Inverness, and Orkney. More information can be found on their website www.simbacharity.org
6.2.3 In the discourse that followed, all those present were in favour of supporting this project, and agreed further enquiries could be made, such as the size of land that would be required, once the email had been circulated for further discussion and approved. Action Barbara
7. Planning. These had been noted.
8. Highland Council Report. There was no report
9.1 Letter of Support for The Caithness Broch Project. Barbara Hiddleston proposed that we sent a letter of support for funding to The Caithness Broch Project, which was unanimously accepted.
9.2 Bill Mowat asked about LiDAR mapping and if it covered the John O’Groats area, which Barbara Hiddleston agreed to research. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser from an air craft to measure variable distances to the earth, and gives a 3D detailed contour map of the land beneath revealing features not easily detected on land. It is usually used in archaeology to assist in identifying hidden structures. Action Barbara
9.3 He also raised the question of identifying local places that are of historical interest to be marked with a plaque, and agreed to draw up a possible list. Action Bill
10. Date of Next Meeting. The next meeting is on Monday 26th June 2017 in Mey Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.