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Minutes June 2022

Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council
27 June 2022
at Mey Hall
In Attendance:
Eric Green (Chair)
Mark Gibson (Secretary)
Barry Butler (Treasurer)
Beatrice Farmer
Henry Gunn
Carole Whittaker
Guest: Willie MacKay, (Highland Councillor)
Eilidh Coll (Foundation Scotland)
Apologies: Bill Mowat
Rob James
Andrew Skene
1) Minutes of previous Meeting
These were agreed with Amendments. Proposed: Henry Gunn: Seconded: Barry Butler
2) Chairs Report
Councillor Green welcomed everyone to the meeting. He noted that the agenda covered
items that he wished to raise and that the Local Plan was ongoing.
3) Treasurers Report
The account balance stood at £1524.03. No monies had yet been received in respect of
the latest financial year.
4) Secretaries Report
Councillor Gibson noted the attendance of Eilidh Coll from Foundation Scotland and
invited her to make her contribution to the meeting.
5) Stroupster
Eilidh Coll noted the results of a consultation on a review of the fund. There had been 32
responses and analysis had been done. There were a few suggestions but also a lot of
negativity around promoting enterprise and tourism. As a result it was proposed to change
to wording of this “Promoting |Enterprise and Responsible Tourism.”
Councillor Green agreed with this and noted that tourism was a large employer in the area.
It was not just a benefit to tourists but to the area itself, especially John o’Groats.
Councillor Green suggested that the review waited to see what came back from the Local
plan as it might not be advisable to change anything until that plan was done. It might
suggest something different; housing, transport etc.
Both councillor Gunn and Councillor Whittaker raised the lack of adequate public transport
and how this made it much harder for people to get jobs unless they had a car. Councillor
Green also noted fuel poverty. Everything added to disadvantage and transport was one
of the keys. It might be time to look at community transport.
Eilidh noted the need for a housing needs analysis. Councillor Gibson noted that there
were a lot of derelict houses in the area but planning rules meant that it was harder to
bring some of them them back into use.
Councillor Willie MacKay noted that in terms of the private rental market, soon every Air
B&B would need to be registered. This would be a big task.
Eilidh moved on the Improving Health and Wellbeing for all ages. There was work to do
and deciding the criteria. All applications needed to say something about impacts on the
It was also being proposed to give micro grants to Community Councils to allow them to
award smaller amounts (e.g. £250).
Councillor Green noted that this was possible a good idea. Originally there had been a lot
of opposition to the idea of the community council giving out grants but he felt that opinions
may have changed
Eilidh noted that the Micro grants could be up to 5% of the main fund.
It was agreed that the Community Council would look at Micro grants at the next meeting.
Eilidh noted that the current grant split was 80% locally to 20% Caithness wide. There
was a lot of discussion about widening this 20%.
Councillor Green notes that the questionnaire had been a small sample size. There was a
need to wait for the local plan consultations before decisions could be made. The local
community might not be happy with widening the benefits too much.
Eilidh noted that a review should take place every three years about the fund scope.
Councillor Green noted that it was really unfortunate that both Keiss and Lythe were
outside the area the fund covered and perhaps there could be discussion about this.
There then followed a discussion about the Community council Hybrid Meeting application
which had been send back by the panel for further work. Councillor Green reiterated the
Community Councils real disappointment in this and that a decision seemed to have been
had been taken to delay a really important application that was set to widen access to local
democracy. It appeared that only a small number of the committee were able to deliberate
on it, which was unfortunate. It was decided to resubmit the application as it stood to the
next meeting of the Panel.
5) Transport and Infrastructure
Councillor Whittaker fed back her experiences with the Chamber of commerce meeting
without the Transport Minister. The Community Council Question did not get asked at the
meeting but we had been assured that it would be sent to the minister. No reply has yet
been received and it was determined that if it was not received then the Community
council would write direct to the Minister.
The dire state of the local roads was raised with Councillor Mackay who asked that all
complaints and issues be directed to Jonathan Gunn.
6) Any Other Business
There was no other business.
Date of Next Meeting
To be arranged
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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