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Minutes May 2022


Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council

23 May 2022
at Canisbay Hall

Ordinary Meeting followed by Annual General Meeting

In Attendance:

Eric Green (Chair)
Mark Gibson (Secretary)
Barry Butler (Treasurer)
Beatrice Farmer
Henry Gunn
Carole Whittaker
Robert James

Guest: Andrew Jarvie, (Highland Councillor)
Apologies: Bill Mowat

1) Minutes of previous Meeting
These were agreed with Amendments. Proposed: Henry Gunn: Seconded: Carole
2) Chairs Report
Councillor Green welcomed everyone to the meeting. He noted that the agenda covered
items that he wished to raise.

3) Treasurers Report
The account balance stands at £1555.23. There was no further update on the transfer of
the account to a new bank.
It was noted that the budget was tight and that the Community Council was spending more
than it gained from its grant. This meant that it could spend less on small improvements in
the community.
Highland Councillor Jarvie noted that he had opposed the reduction in grants to
community councils and that the cuts needed to be reversed.
Nevertheless the meeting agreed to consider some local expenditure and money to create
tree planting was a suggestion. It was agreed that members would come to the next

meeting with suggestions on where trees could be planted. Councillor Gunn came up with
a possible suggestion.

4) Secretaries Report
Councillor Gibson noted that the Jubilee Beacon planning was underway led by the Help
for Heroes charity but also involving John Thurso and the John o’Groats Development
Trust. The preferred beacon site, for accessibility and the link with the beacon at Lands
End, was John o’Groats.
It was noted that new Highland council representation to the Community Council would
agreed shortly. Highland Councillor Jarvie noted that he and Jan McEwan both intended
getting around as many Community council meetings as possible. [NB: formal
representation will be from Highland Councillor Willie Mackay].
Mark Gibson suggested that the Council could begin to look at resuming the holding of
meetings at other village halls in the district. This was agreed. Britannia Hall Dunnet was
suggested for June.
It was noted that the application to the Stroubster Fund in regard to IT equipment to allow
wider access to Community Council Meetings had been initially sent back, with a request
for either match funding or proof that match funding could not be gained.
This decision was met with some incredulity by the Community Councillors. Councillor
Green noted that he felt the decision was not in the spirit of the fund to support and enable
our community. The committee was meant to have nine members of which four would be
from the Community Council and the rest elected. He noted that there had not been
elections for some time and that the committee needed to be put back on a proper footing.
In terms of the decision of the committee it would require significant extra work from
volunteer officers in order to claim monies which were clearly to benefit the community
and widen access to decision making in their area. Councillor James asked if the decision
could be challenged. Councillor Green would be in contact with Foundation Scotland to
see what could be done. [NB Eilidh Coll has requested to attend the next Community
Council Meeting].
It was noted that Highland Active Health scoping study had been published. On thing
being looked at was a possible active travel route between the main towns using back
roads. It was noted by the Community Council that they would have to fix the roads first
and that it was a bit ambitious to expect people to wheel, walk or cycle between Thurso
and Wick. An effective and good bus service might be a better answer.
It was noted that there was an application to create a cemetery extension at Canisbay
Kirk. This was welcomed but it was noted that the cemetery also needed a larger car park.
As did the car park at Dunnet Beach.

5) Transport and Infrastructure

Councillor Whittaker gave an update on enquiries regarding the flight cancellation issue
from Wick raised at a previous meeting. The reply raised a number of questions including
what role the PSO sub Committee held. Councillor Green noted that if too many flights
were cancelled then the service would quickly be shunned by the travelling public. A
reliable service was desperately needed and the airport was a key transport link for the
area. It was agreed that Councillor Green would write to request the minutes of the Sub-
Group as a Freedom of Information Request on behalf of the Community Council.
It was noted that the Association of Community Councils had been copied into the reply
but the Association was not a representative body in the same way that individual
community councils were and was there for information sharing. It was agreed it was very
important that the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council retained its seat on the
Airport Consultative Committee given the importance of the airport to Caithness and the
flight paths which came over the Community council area.
Councillor Whittaker also noted that the Chamber of Commerce was hosting a meeting
with the transport Minister. Councillor Whittaker had drafted a question on local bus
services to put to the minister on behalf of the Community Council. This was agreed. It
was also agreed that if the question was not raised then the Community Council would
approach the minister directly with the question instead.
The offshore wind developments were noted including potential community benefit. This
was welcomed but more information was needed. The development was timely as it could
be factored into the Community Plan or future iterations of it.

6) Any Other Business
Councillor Farmer gave an update on the Dunnet Head Strategic plan. It had been agreed
to ask the Park for Night app to remove the listings from their website. It was also noted
that this had been done and had started to make a massive difference.
The state of the roads continued to be a major issue in the area with some of them hardly
fit for ordinary vehicular traffic. This could lead to a serious impact on the economic
development of the area.
Date of Next Meeting

27 th June.

Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council

23 May 2022
at Canisbay Hall
Annual General Meeting

1) Apologies
Bill Mowat
2) Chairs Report
Councillor Green noted that the development of a community plan would be a mechanism
to steer most future development in the area and give guidance for the windfarm fund. It
would be a very important document for the area and important that everyone in the area
had an opportunity to have their say. It was also preferably that the plan be reviewed and
updated every two years in order that it remained fresh and relevant.
3) Agreement of Accounts
The accounts were agreed (Proposed by Henry Gunn; Seconded by Beatrice Farmer)
4) Secretaries Report
The secretaries report was given in the Ordinary Meeting
5) Election of Office Bearers
Chair Elected: Eric Green (proposed Beatrice Farmer; Seconded Henry Gunn)
Treasurer Elected: Barry Butler (proposed Beatrice Farmer; Seconded Henry Gunn)
Secretary Elected: Mark Gibson (proposed Beatrice Farmer; Seconded Henry Gunn)
6. Committee Appointments
Beatrice Farmer stepped down from the Stroubster Committee to be replaced by Eric
It was agreed that Beatrice Farmer and Barry Butler would remain the main contacts for
the Association of Community councils but that subject matter experts from the council
(e.g. Carole Whittaker on transport matters) would attend where appropriate.
Mark Gibson undertook to request a copy of the Association Constitution as it was felt that
the Association should not be used as a substitute for consultation with individual
Community Councils but rather as an opportunity to share knowledge and information.

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