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Minutes of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council

Mey Hall 27 January 2020 at 7.30pm

Those Present Councillors

Eric Green Chair

Barry Butler Treasurer

Mark Gibson Secretary

Henry Gunn

Beatrice Farmer

Carole Whittaker

Bill Mowat

Andrew Skene

Apologies Raymond Bremner

In Attendance Robert James

1 2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting These were agreed

3. Chair's Report The Chair stated that Castletown had produced a Rural Development Plan. It was noted that it looked impressive and bore further examination but that it was hoped one produced for Dunnet and Canisbay would have more substance. The plan would be raised at a later point in the agenda.

4. Treasurer's Report Councillor Butler reported that the account balance stood at just over £1953.It was noted that from this sum there would be a amount set aside for a new cooker for John o'Groats Village Hall as agreed in the previous council sessions. It was also agreed to look at repairs for damaged Christmas lights in the area and to set an amount aside to contribute to the provision of more defibrillators. Councillor Butler noted that He just needed one more signature in order to transfer the accounts. There would also be a wider range of signatories on the account.

5 Secretary's Report Councillor Gibson went through several items of correspondence sent to the council since the last meeting. It was agreed to carry forward all unfinished business from the previous Community Council.

6 Orca Watch The organisation behind ORCA Watch (Sea watch UK) had been on touch with the Community council, giving details of the programme in John o'Groats this year and asking to work with the Council to iron out any problems and make sure the event is a success for all. It was agreed to work with the organisation and it was noted that their approach was a good model for other organisations planning major events in the Community Council area.

7 Play Park It was noted that the John o'Groats Development Trust, using money from Foundations Scotland and the John o'Groats Development Fund, was planning to install children's play equipment at the bottom of the road area. An online consultation on the best equipment to install had been started. It was agreed that play equipment was much needed in this area and had been identified as a priority in previous surveys. The Community council gave its full support to the provision of more activities for children in that area.

8 Transport Issues It was noted that the Caithness Bus Users Group was no longer operational. The Community Council expressed deep disappointment and frustration that this had been allowed to occur and that with the numerous issues with transport in the area it was not acceptable. It was noted by councillors that there had been several problems recently with the School service as well as the general service buses. It was also noted that despite promises to do so there had been no reply from Stagecoach to the representations the Community Council had made to it in the previous sessions. It was agreed that Highland Council had some considerable responsibility to ensure at least a basic and reasonable bus service in the area and that they were not at the moment engaging to deliver this. It was agreed that the Community Council would write to Highland Council setting out the issues and asking fro a representative to attend a Community council meeting and explain what actions were being taken by the council to ensure a decent service. There were serious issues of depopulation in the area to which it seemed many words but little action were being brought to bear.

9 Development Plan It was agreed that a refresh of the development plan needed to be compact and consist (5 to 10 pages) which identified projects to be taken forward and with identified community buy in and support. It was suggested that some major consultation was needed. Community Councillors were asked to come to the next meeting with ideas for the detailed specification of the project. It was also agreed to contact the Caithness Voluntary Group for help with the work and drawing up the specification.

10 Appointments and Co-options It was agreed to co-opt Robert James as an Associate Member of the Community Council Foundation Scotland: representatives to be Robert James and Andrew Skene in addition to Eric Green and Bill Mowat. Community Council Forum would be attended by Barry Butler and Beatrice Farmer

11 Any Other Business Defibrillators: Councillor Farmer noted that the Defibrillator Group had disbanded. It now came under the Caithness Heart Support Group. There was agreement to explore the installation of defibrillators at Dunnet Beach, Mey Hall, Dunnet Head and Gills Harbour with also exploration for one at Scarfskerry. It was agreed to approach the John o'Groats Development Trust to support sponsor to application to purchase and install three defibrillators to begin with. Councillor James raised the issue of a proliferation of private signs which were springing up around the area advertising local businesses. There needed to be some control of what went where. On the matter pof signs it was also noted that several important give way signs were missing from some road ends. Councillor Butler noted that there was some money to spend and it might be an idea to look at cleaning up th area around the Canisbay War Memorial.

NEXT MEETING Canisbay Hall on Monday 24 February at 7.30pm

The meeting closed

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