Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council
21 February 2022
Canisbay Hall and by Zoom
Eric Green (Chair)
Barry Butler (Treasurer)
Mark Gibson (Secretary)
Andrew Skene (by Zoom)
Bill Mowat (by Zoom)
Highland Councillor: Jill Tilt (By Zoom)
Guest: Ron Gunn
1) Minutes of previous Meeting
These were agreed. Proposed: Robert James: Seconded: Henry Gunn
2) Chairs Report
Councillor Green noted that he had been in touch with the Caithness Voluntary Group in relation to the proposal to revamp the Local Plan and would invite someone to speak on this at the next meeting.
3) Treasurers Report
Councillor Butler handed around signature sheets for councillors to sign to become cheque signatories. He explained the process and that actions were in hand to switch over bank accounts.
Councillor Butler noted that the account currently stood at £1981.38
It was noted that IT kit would be needed. After discussion it was agreed to look at a Foundation Scotland application which would enable village halls to host online meetings as well as some basic kit for the community council to continue a hybrid meeting schedule.
4) Secretaries Report
Councillor Gibson gave a brief report on a meeting he had attended with representatives of Mey and District Daycare who were seeking to pass on funding to organisations in the area who could further their aims of benefiting elderly people. Discussions included the provision of accessible paths allowing people to reach areas they previously could not; an extension of the defibrillator provision in the area and spaces where people of all ages could interact with each other.
Councillor Mowat noted that Pentland Ferries had made an offer to contribute £500 towards a defibrillator at Gills Harbour and that this fund could help this into fruition.
Councillor James added that a rolling programme of first aid training for the area – perhaps on a biannual basis, should also be considered.
Ron Gunn, chair of Thurso Community Council explained his councils own journey in providing defibrillators.
Councillor Gunn also explained that as Chair of the Association of Community Councils in Caithness he had wanted to attend as many other Community council meetings as possible in order to learn what the issues were and also be enabled to spot and share best practice.
Action: Councillor Gibson to check on latest Price of Defibrillators.
5) John 0’Groats Car Park Fund
Councillor Green explained that the car park at John o’Groats needed a total resurfacing and relining which went beyond normal maintenance. There was also plans to add electric vehicle charge points and make the car park easier to use and navigate. The costs would be £140,000 of which a significant amount would be contributed by the lessee but the majority would be from the accumulated car park fund.
In order to ensure that the car park remains an asset for the community it had been agreed to request steps are put in place to protect this asset including giving the community first opportunity to take on the lease at no charge in the event of changes to JOG2.
Work would commence on the resurfacing in March and had been given to a local contractor.
Agreed by all.
6) Transport and Infrastructure
6a Airport Update
Councillor Whittaker noted that she would give an update to the Council once details of the new plan for the Airport was known.
Councillor Whittaker noted that she would be attending the next Caithness Transport forum on behalf of the community council.
It was noted that the schedule of roads to be repaired included some in the D&CCC area. However discussions needed to be had on the timing of the works. It was noted that the state of some of the roads were terrible and becoming almost undrivable.
Councillor Tilt had, previous to the meeting, shared an update on items of interest including a plan to measure traffic speeds within the area die to calls for speed reductions in some villages.
It was noted that there was a plan for the Invitation of Pay scheme proceeds to go into a central pot for redisctribution to communities. The D&CCC were rather sceptical on this partly because of the lack of detail as to how this would work. For instance what is meant by community? Is all the money put into a central pot to cover the whole of Highland Region or would it be divided by Committee area (e.g. revenue from Invitation to pay in Caithness remains in Caithness.) It was pointed out that the success of the John O’Groats car park was down to visitors being able to see the difference their donation was making on the ground. The Community Council was also concerned about too much red tape being put into place preventing communities accessing money from their own area car parks. Much more detail needed when it is available.
8) Any Other Business
Councillor James volunteered to price up technical kit needed for village halls and the Community Council.
Councillor Gunn noted that there should be a joined up approach to the various events in the area commemorating the Queen’s Jubillee He also added that it would be good to have service ion Stroma again as it had been some time now since a commemoration had taken place there.
9) Date of Next Meeting
28 March 2022 at 7.30pm. Canisbay Hall and Zoom (hybrid)