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Minutes February 2019


Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council


Britannia Hall Dunnet


25 February 2019 at 7.30pm



Those Present


                                    Councillors                    Bill Mowat                     Vice-Chair

                                                                        Thomas Meikle              Treasurer

                                                                        Mark Gibson                 Secretary

                                                                        Barry Butler

                                                                        Beatrice Farmer

                                                                                    Henry Gunn

                                                                        Carole Whittaker


                                    Highland Councillor       Andrew Sinclair


Apologies                     Anne Shearer

                         Eric Green


There were three members of the public also present 



1.  Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 26 November 2018 at Canisbay Village Hall


1.1 There were no proposed amendments and the Minutes were agreed (P. Councillor Gunn. S. Councillor Farmer)

1.2  Councillor Gibson thanked Highland Councillor Andrew Sinclair and other Caithness Highland Councillors for their work to halt the proposals to abolish both Dunnet and Canisbay and Sinclair's Bay Community Councils.  Andrew Sinclair noted that when the objections had been raised with Highland Councillors there had been surprised as it had been assumed that the proposals had come from the two Community Councils themselves.  When it was discovered that they had not then the draft document had been changed accordingly.  Highland Councillor Sinclair noted that the position on the boundaries was now for local discussion and there would be no change unless requested by the Community Council.  He also noted that Sinclairs Bay were interested in discussing the position of Auckengill with us.   It was resolved to wait for an approach from Sinclairs Bay CC.


2.  Chairs Report

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


3.  Treasurers Report

3.1 Councillor Meikle noted that the Community Council currently had £1214 in the bank.

3.2 Councillor Meikle noted that a quote for the fitting of a light on the exterior of Mey Hall had been received. It was agreed to pay for this and claim from the village Officers fund.  (P. Councillor Gunn.  S. Councillor Butler).

3.3  Councillor Gibson noted that the cost of making improvements to the car park at John o'Groats village Hall was likely to be £300.  It was agreed give a grant of this amount for this work and reclaim from village offers fund.  (P. Councillor Butler. S. Councillor Gunn).

3.4 The question was asked to Highland Councillor Sinclair if works and costs had been approved but not carried out before the new financial year would that count as expenditure from the current budget rather than the forthcoming budget.

3.5  There was an extended discussion on the village officer fund being managed by the Association of Community Councils. Councillor Meikle stated that since it is HC monies, it should be allocated to the Community Council directly. That way it will be clear how much is available and it removes another filter on how we spend our limited budget.


4 Secretary's Report

4.1 Councillor Gibson noted correspondence received including Note of Berriedale Braes work and it's commencement; a broadband enquiry from Highland Councillor Nicola Sinclair and a Castle of Mey application (later on agenda)


4.3 Councillor Gibson noted that he had issued a letter of support from the community council to the John o'Groats Mill Trust on their request and also written to Heritage GB covering the consultation over the Community fund at John o'Groats.


4.3  Councillor Gibson noted that he had contacted SSE regarding the recent power outages and had asked for an update on their maintenance plan.  (Note: a reply was received after the meeting).


4.4 Councillor Gibson noted that it was anticipated the Mey Games would draw a far larger crowd than previous years.  As such a traffic management plan might need to be in place and the Community Council kept informed of developments.  ACTION: Councillor Gibson to Liaise with Councillor Gunn).


4.5  It was acknowledged that there was some problem with speeding through the villages.  It was noted that Sinclairs Bay CC had a flashing speed sign and it was agreed to contact them to understand how they went about obtaining it and how it was working.



5.  Infrastructure and Transport

5.1  Mey Application:  There were no objections.   Councillor Mowat requested a letter to the Castle of Mey asking for a tour of the new facilities for Councillors.

5.2  Councillor Whittaker updated the meeting on the bus petition.  There had been so far a disappointing response to the appeal for information on usage and problems however this appeal would run until at least Easter.  Local businesses had been very supportive of the campaign and some horror stories had emerged of problems with buses.  In particular Stagecoach apparently found it acceptable for travel to Wick from East Mey to be via Castletown.

5.3  Councillor Whittaker noted that usage was likely to be low because some people had simply given up trying to get where they needed to go by bus because of the difficulties they faced.  It was a catalogue of missed connections and infrequent services.  No services on a  weekend meant that tourist businesses struggled to recruit staff who did not have their own transport.   The local newspaper had run an article on the matter recently.  The campaign would continue

5.4  Councillor Mowat noted that the new ferry “Alfred” had been launched after being totally privately funded.  It was hoped to be in Service on the Pentland Ferries Short sea route to Orkney in June this year.


6.  Development Plan

6.1 It was noted that the development plan needed a full discussion by the Community Council and an updating in light of changes such as the CASPLAN.  It was also noted that a more concise and focussed document was needed.  However in the absence of the full council it was agreed to defer this until the next meeting.



7. Any Other Business


7.1 Councillor Meikle noted that Highland Council vehicles had been known to block electric vehicle charging points.  Highland Councillor Sinclair agreed to look into this.

7.2 Councillor Meikle noted that information on what could and could not be recycled in domestic recycling bins was confusing and that refuse collectors were refusing to uplift bins with some items in that were marked as possible to recycle.    It was agreed that what could be recycled varied from council to council.

7.3 It was noted that a crashed vehicle in  a field near Mey had been there fore several week.  The vehicle had a police tape on it.  The vehicle was an eyesore and causing a distraction.  It also seemed to have been subject to a steady dismantling process.  Highland Councillor Sinclair agreed to look into the matter.

7.4  Councillor Mowat noted that he was in the final stages of putting together  a list of areas (and text) for information boards.  Councillor Mowat asked if anyone knew the name of the Dunnet born sea captain who was the first through the Suez Canal.



 Monday 25 March 2019 at 7.30 pm.   Canisbay Hall (Councillor Gunn to book)


The meeting closed

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