Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council – Minutes of Meeting 17th May 2016

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council


Pavilion, Muir of Ord

Tuesday 17th May 2016 at 7.30pm

Present:          Frances MacGruer (FM); Mike Atkinson (MA); Wilma Mackenzie (WM); Jem Taylor (JT)

Others:            Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Cllr Margaret Paterson (MP), Cllr Jean Davis (JD), Irene Macleod (IM), Morag Brown, Jo Ellen (minutes) 

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Stephen Mackenzie (SM), Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM), Cllr Alister MacKinnon (AMK), Paul Whitham (PW), Carol Blanchard (CB), Anne & Roddie Morrison
2. Minutes of Previous meeting (Thursday 21st April 2016)

The minutes were proposed as a true reflection by MA and seconded by WM, with the following amendments:

·         Page 2, Access to Old Railway Path: Remove the last sentence

·         Page 7, item 7: Change action to ‘To speak to the landowner to discuss partnership with the community for two new gates to allow walkers to cross the Old Railway Path’


3. Matters Arising from Minutes
  Beauly Firth Loop Co-ordinator
  MA advised that he has approached Transition Black Isle (TBI) to help with this project. It is hoped that they can employ the person who is appointed to co-ordinate this work. He will give an update at the next meeting.


  New Christmas Lights
  FM will contact Stuart Bruce for some help with this. There was no other progress to report.
  Old Moorings Hotel
  Cllr MP advised that Ian Patience, Building Standards Team Leader at HC has been out to this property and gained access. It was reported that the work carried out has been done to a high standard and this was welcomed by those present. A temporary completion certificate has been issued for the work already carried out and the property is now classed as a dwelling house with 6 rooms currently.   If further work is carried out and more rooms become usable it is possible in the future, that an HMO might be applied for.


  Vulcan Cottage
  FM advised that PC MacDonald has been given permission to provide statistics to the CC on Police activity at this property. Cllr AM reported that the owners have applied for a renewal of their HMO licence and any objections need to be lodged by Tuesday 24/05/16. FM will ensure she gets the statistics from PC MacDonald ASAP to ensure a response can be made to this in time.
  Permanent Flower Beds
  IM advised that she is now working with Nina Graham (Company Development Manager) on this project to construct permanent flower beds at the entrances and exits to the village.   They have agreed to apply to the Tesco ‘Bags of Help Programme’ following some positive feedback from Tescos.   The closing date for applications is 03/06/16. The applications will then be whittled down to 10 which will go to a Colleague Panel to be reduced to 3. The 3 will then go to the public vote in the Dingwall store with customers voting using tokens (after making a purchase). The winning project will receive £12,000, second £10,000 and third place £8,000. IM advised that the application would be helped if the MOO community could provide volunteers to help with the work if the grant is successful. FM stated that getting volunteers should not be a problem and reference to this can be made in the application form.

MA suggested that if the project makes it to the vote, this needs to be shared on social media to gain as much support as possible.

In a correction to the March CC minute, IM stated that the Gardening Club meet at the Pavilion on the last Thursday of the month (rather than the Muir Matters Office).

  Community Broadband Project
  MA advised there was no update at present. 
  Forbes Café – Unsafe Chimney Stack
  Cllr MP advised that this is being investigated by HC and the owner. She will keep an eye on the situation and report back.
  Dog Fouling
  FM will contact the Dog Warden to ask them to attend a future CC meeting to discuss dog fouling near to the Skate Park/Lily Loch area.
  Access to Old Railway Path
  MA advised that negotiations with the landowner are ongoing.   An update will be given at the next meeting.
  Road Safety Concerns
  MA has been in touch with the Graeme Campbell, an Engineer involved with the Bridge project and is hoping to meet with him at approximately 8.45am on Friday or Monday morning to show the traffic problems occurring during these busy periods. Issues of concern include:

·         Lorries travelling through the village

·         Temporary pedestrian access to and from the station

·         Road crossings

·         Temporary Traffic Lights

JT asked that details on when the 20 mph speed limit and chicanes will be installed should also requested.

  Skate Park Vandalism
  FM advised that the contact details for Nigel Campbell were given to PC MacDonald.


  Fairburn Funds – Open Day
  MA advised that the Village Hall has been booked for Saturday 25th June from 12pm – 6pm, with the intention of the event running from 1pm – 5pm.

With regards to publicity, a half page advert has been placed in the next edition of Muir Matters. An advert should also go in the Ross-shire Journal. MA to ask CB to do this. FM will speak to Tarradale Primary and if agreeable, provide them with flyers to go out in school bags.   FM will also email IM a copy of the flyer to print out for members of the Gardening Club.

Hannah McSween in her role as Community Development Manager should also be able to help with the event.

CB is still trying to get a list of local clubs and groups so they can be offered the chance to attend and also help with the refreshments (as a fundraiser). Finding a list is proving difficult. FM suggested that Nina or Hannah may have a list and will check with them.

MA advised that the Bridge Engineer, Graeme Campbell may be able to attend. If not he can hopefully provide some information which can be displayed for those attending.


  Town Clock
  FM reported that PW has managed to get this clock onto the Contracts List at HC. It was unclear if the clock was working yet, but if not, it should be fixed soon.
  Grass Near The Monument
  FM reported that the grass area around the monument was reseeded at the end of the summer last year and since then no mowing has taken place (it is now in need of it). She queried with the Cllrs the best way to get this done (and some other areas which appear to be being missed off the mowing route in MOO).   Cllr AM suggested the best way to do this was to contact John MacLean who works for ISS and is in charge of this for HC, to report the areas being missed. FM has his contact details and will contact him directly.
  Urray Graveyard Update
  Cllr AM advised that the situation with the elaborate graveside display should be resolved in the next couple of weeks. Dialogue is taking place with the family concerned and it is hoped that a solution can be found that will be agreeable to all parties.
4. Police Report
  FM advised that PC MacDonald was unavailable so gave the following report for crimes and offences between 15/04/16 – 15/05/16:

·         2 persons charged with road traffic offences

·         1 person charged with possession of drugs

·         1 person charged with assault

·         Officers dealt with a neighbour dispute and 1 vandalism


  In addition speed checks were carried out in the village during the month.
  The report also highlighted a couple of issues affecting the communities of Wester Ross and the Black Isle:

·         Online/Telephone scams – these feature occasionally and some people are still being persuaded to part with cash. The community is encouraged to think carefully when responding to emails or calls enticing them to gain a large sum of money by spending a smaller one first.

·         Road Safety concerns – members of the public are encouraged to report any instances of dangerous/careless driving they see and anyone they suspect is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

5. Financial Report
  FM advised (in SM’s absence) that there was no change to the accounts from last month.

·         The account balance at present is £34,793.76.

·         The total unrestricted funds for the CC to use for its business is £6,558.76

  Microgrant Applications
  FM advised that there were two Microgrant applications to consider:

·         Jog Scotland, to help towards the cost of the 5k race during the Gala on Monday 25th July. The money will be used to buy medals and 4 trophies (2 adults and 2 juniors).   £250 was applied for from both the Auchmore & Fairburn Funds.     It was agreed this was a highly beneficial event for all the community. AGREEMENT TO FUND IN FULL (TOTAL £500).

·         Wee Adventure, to help fund the cost of producing a walking and outdoor guide for all the family with ideas from this area and out to Moray. Any profits made from the sale of the guide will be put back into projects with a similar ethos. £250 was requested. A detailed and lengthy discussion took place on this application with debate as to the benefit to MOO itself and whether this is an appropriate use of this Fund.   Following the discussion it was agreed that it was a worthy application.   AGREEMENT TO FUND IN FULL (£250).

6. Update – Community Groups
Hall & Facilities Company
FM read out a report from the Company Development Manager. The main points were as follows:
·         Office – New electrical sockets and an upgrade to high speed broadband have happened. The sign outside the door will be painted when the weather allows.

·         Services – The combination of cleaning and hall booking services, along with the work of volunteers is getting positive feedback from users.

·         Upgrade Update – David Blanchard has been appointed to produce drawings to gain planning and building warrant consents and allow builders to tender for and complete the works. CDMM have carried out an electrical condition survey and will finalise their report once the drawings are available. New Director Gary Tuach has knowledge and experience in construction and will be valuable in helping this project.

·         Asset Transfer – OSCR did not receive any objections and has approved the asset transfer process from the Community Association (CA) with instructions to proceed. The CA’s office bearers have been notified and the next step will be to facilitate a meeting which will include the CA’s trustees and representatives from the Company.

7. Update – Sale of Properties, High Street & The Old Moorings Hotel
  Cllr AM was pleased to report that following a property auction last week the following Forbes assets on Great North Road have been sold – the yard, store, office, café & 4 flats.   It is understood that the proceeds of this will pay off the debts owed to HC.   The future of the other Forbes properties for sale in MOO is now unclear.   All present welcomed this news and it was strongly hoped that the new owner will use the properties in a way that will enhance the village.

Cllr AM stated that there is no progress to report on Vilmont, the property owned by Mrs Beaton. HC is still pursuing a resolution to this.

Discussion also took place regarding a property on Tarradale Terrace which has been undergoing building works for a considerable amount of time.   Concern was raised about the lack of a fire stop on the gable end of the property in addition to other safety issues caused by the length of time this is taking.

8. Update – Vulcan Cottage
  See Matters Arising
9. Fairburn Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund – Moving Forward Open Day
  See Matters Arising
10. AOB
  Flower Show Trophy
  IM queried if the CC would like to provide a trophy for the Flower Show in August, possibly in remembrance of Dan MacRae, who did much for the local community. She suggested this could be for the Junior Section, aged 8-15.   Those present were in favour of this, but FM will speak to the family first to ensure they are in agreement.   The CC were also keen to provide a book token to the winner (as they will only get to keep the trophy for the year). It was agreed that a total of £50 can be allocated for the trophy and book token (subject to the family’s approval). The Gardening Club will pay for the engraving of the winner’s name.
  War Memorial Work
  FM referred to email from Robin Pope at HC. It was confirmed that the contract for the repointing and lighting work on the war memorial has been appointed and the work will be completed by the end of August.
  Removal of Garages & Unsafe bank
  WM highlighted concern that the company Foreboys have removed the garages (at the site adjacent to the monument) which were known to have an asbestos roof. In addition it appears they have undermined the bank below the property of 2 Corrie Terrace. She reported that the bank looks like it could collapse. FM stated that it was her understanding that following concern about the work being done on the garages, Munro Construction were brought in to deal with the demolition due to having expertise in asbestos. With regard to the unstable bank it was felt that the occupier of the nearby houses would need to flag this up with the HC.
  Bridge Works
  FM advised that she had received a letter from George Leslie Ltd regarding nightwork taking place on the new bridge (this has now happened).   If anyone would like to see the letter (from the site foreman is Alan Turner) she will pass it on.
  Cross Services Meeting
  MA advised that he has been in touch with Di Agnew and local Cllrs regarding a number of ongoing issues, including problems with school drop off congestion, redesign of aspects of the school and replacement of the Nursery. Up to this point it appears that there has been some duplication of work on these issues with different HC departments not aware what each other is doing. It is hoped therefore to bring the Education, Housing & Community Services Departments, as well as Community representatives together at a meeting at 2pm on Wednesday 08/06/16 to encourage a more joined up approach. The meeting will be a chance to exchange current thinking between the HC Services and the Community and to understand plans for development and other work in MOO which HC and the community are looking to progress in the near future.

It was also reported that the Education Department have been talking to the school about the potential of a sports hub. While this would be a welcome facility for the school it was felt that a wider village discussion should take place on what would be best for the whole community including the school.

  MOO – Conon Bridge Cycle Path
  JT queried what has happened to the feasibility study on the potential of an off road cycle path between MOO and Conon Bridge. He understood money had been made awarded for this work Sustrans Community Links.   Cllr AM will contact Laura Jamieson or Richard Gerring at HC to query this.
11. Date of Next Meeting
  AGM – Thursday 9th June @ 7.30 pm at the Pavilion, Muir of Ord
   The meeting finished at 9.15pm 


Ref Who Action When
1 MA To advise how his discussions with TBI are progressing regarding the Beauly Loop Project ASAP
2 FM To continue to investigate new Christmas Lights ASAP
3 FM To gain statistics from PC MacDonald on Police activity at Vulcan Cottage and use this to formulate a response to the renewal of the HMO licence By 24/05/15
4 MA & SM To discuss the need for a Community Broadband Project ASAP
5 Cllr MP To keep an eye on the situation with the Forbes Café   chimney stack ASAP
6 FM To contact Di Agnew to get the details of the Dog Warden and invite them to a future CC meeting ASAP
7 MA To continue negotiations with the local farmer regarding the installation of two new gates ASAP
8 MA To report back following a meeting with the Bridge Engineer regarding road safety issues ASAP
9 FM To establish if Nina or Hannah have a list of groups & clubs and to contact CB for an Open Day advert to be placed in the Ross-shire Journal. To also speak to the school about flyers and give a copy to IM for printing ASAP
10 FM To contact Ian Maclean about the lack of mowing at the monument and other areas of MOO ASAP
11 FM To speak to the family of Dan MacRae regarding the naming of a Flower Show Trophy ASAP
12 Cllr AM To try to establish the situation with the feasibility study for the proposed MOO to Conon Bridge cycle path ASAP