Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council – Approved June Minutes

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council


Pavilion, Muir of Ord

Thursday 9th June 2016 (following the AGM at 7.30pm)

Present:          Frances MacGruer (FM); Stephen Mackenzie (SM); Mike Atkinson (MA); Wilma Mackenzie (WM); Paul Whitham (PW)

Others:            Cllr Graham Mackenzie (GM), Irene Macleod (IM), Mary Petrie, Jo Ellen (minutes) (Cllr Angela Maclean (AM) & Jason Hasson (Chair of Tarradale Primary Parent Council) both arrived at 8.40pm)


1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Jem Taylor (JT), Carol Blanchard (CB), Cllr Jean Davis (JD)


2. Minutes of Previous meeting (Tuesday 17th May 2016)

The minutes were proposed as a true reflection by FM and seconded by MA


3. Matters Arising from Minutes
  Beauly Firth Loop Co-ordinator
  MA advised that there is no progress with this as yet as his contact at Transition Black Isle (TBI) is unavailable at present. There should be progress to report at the next meeting.


  New Christmas Lights
  There was no update at present on this item.


  Vulcan Cottage
  FM reported that she unfortunately did not get any figures relating to Vulcan Cottage from PC Nicola MacDonald (despite repeated requests) and this meant she could not formulate a response to the renewal of the HMO licence by the deadline of 24/05/16.   She will ask again for the information as there have been some more complaints about this property made recently.   If there is no response by Tuesday 14/06/16, Cllr GM will chase this up with the Police Inspector.   Following her arrival at the meeting Cllr AM added that there were no objections received to the renewal so the HMO is likely to be continued.


  Community Broadband Project
  SM and MA have had some discussions with a technical advisor about this. Currently several options for back haul into the fibre system are being explored and an update will be given at the next meeting.


  Forbes Café – Unsafe Chimney Stack
  There was no update on this item.


  Dog Fouling
  FM advised that she has made contact with the Dog Warden to advise of the problem at the Lily Loch/Skate park area.   Following the summer break she will ask her along to a CC meeting to discuss this further.


  Access to Old Railway Path
  MA advised that he has made contact with the landowner and will arrange a site meeting shortly.


  Road Safety Concerns
  MA advised that he met with Graeme Campbell, an Engineering involved in the Bridge Project at 8.45am on a Friday morning to discuss the traffic problems in the village at present.   All the areas of concern were highlighted including the path to the station and the current pedestrian crossing position outside the Co-op/Old RBS Building.   A number of options were discussed, but it did not appear that there are many ways the situation can be improved. The possibility of the current 2 way traffic lights being moved and increased to 4 way (or even 5 way) was discussed but it was felt that the status quo was the only realistic option at present.   On a positive note the temporary path to the station should now be safer as the tripping hazards identified have been sorted (the tree roots have been ground off and the cables buried).


  Discussion followed on the traffic problems that resulted from the Black Isle Show and Belladrum Music Festival taking place on the same day last year. Cllr GM advised that this has been talked about at length and a Cross Event Traffic Management Plan is being drawn up by the agencies involved to stop the problems happening again.


  Fairburn Funds – Open Day
  Discussed under item 9.


  Grass Cutting
  FM was pleased to report that following a request to HC, the unmown areas (highlighted at the last meeting) have now been done. WM reported that there are still some branches and grass cuttings needing taken away.   FM advised that Billy MacGruer has a squad who should be able to do this. In addition permission has been given to remove the damaged tree near the War Memorial.


  Flower Show Trophy
  FM advised that as yet she has been unable to speak to the family of Dan MacRae regarding the potential of naming a trophy after him for a Flower Show prize.   She will do this asap and liaise with IM on the type of trophy (if agreeable with the family). The rest of the CC members will then be given the opportunity to give their approval or make comments.


  MOO to Conon Bridge Cycle Route
  MA advised that TBI gave HC £10,000 for a feasibility study to establish if a cycle route from MOO to Conon Bridge is possible.   Following her arrival Cllr AM confirmed that this had been put on hold by HC, but will now progress.   A report will follow in the next few months to see if this is a viable option.


4. Police Report
  FM advised that PC MacDonald was unavailable so gave the following report for crimes and offences between 01/05/16 and 01/06/16 which have been detected and non-detected:


·         2 persons charged road traffic offences

·         2 person charged with Breach Of the Peace

·         1 Fixed Penalty’s for anti-social behaviour


Speed checks were carried out in the village during the month. In addition extra mobile patrols have   been put to the skate park and village hall areas at weekends.


5. Financial Report
  SM advised 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 was one Microgrant applications to consider:

·         Green Wood Crafting, to help towards the cost of purchasing equipment for this mental health support group who meet at Clashwood every week. £250 was requested.


Following discussion SM advised that this application will be dealt with directly by the developer rather than the Microgrant scheme.


  SM advised that the Microgrant awarded in April 2016 to the Royal Highland Education Trust (to pay for a bus for Tarradale Primary P6 children to attend a farm visit and food & educational day) had not been required as the costs were met by a separate grant awarded by the Fairburn Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund. This money will therefore remain in the Microgrant pot.


6. Update – Community Groups
Hall & Facilities Company
MA advised that the OTS project is progressing well and is still on target to open in December 2016.


WM queried what will happen to the historical items that were found in the attic of the OTS prior to its renovations.   MA advised that the items are now with the Archive Centre in Inverness and hopefully any information of significance can be discovered.


MA also confirmed that plans for the village hall improvements have been drawn up and the costings are being done.   He emphasised that this is being driven forward by Nina Graham (Company Development Manager) and significant progress is happening with this.


Gardening Club
IM advised that she worked with Nina and they have submitted an application to the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ grant scheme for various items including planters at the 4 entrances to the village.   By August the applications received should be reduced to 10 which will go to a Colleague Panel to select 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.


Tarradale Primary School Parent Council
Following their arrival at the meeting Cllr AM and Jason Hasson (JH) gave an update on a meeting they had just attended and the reasons for it being called at very short notice. It was stated that due to HC budget constraints Tracy Sinclair, the Head Teacher of Tarradale Primary was informed on Tuesday this week that a drastic reduction in the number of hours Pupil Support Assistants (PSA’s) would need to happen.   For Tarradale Primary this will mean a reduction of approximately 70 hours per week in the work done by PSA’s.   For the 5 members of staff in the role this is devastating news, but in addition the implications for pupil support are huge, with potentially only 4 children of the current 86 getting support continuing to get this in the new session.   Following this news a parent meeting was called this evening with a good turnout.   Those present at the meeting agreed then to hold a further meeting on Thursday 16/06/16 at 7.30 pm with parents, the wider community, local Cllrs and would also like to ask for representation from the CC at this.   The PC will ask for Bill Alexander and Jim Steven from HC to attend, although it is not clear if they will both be able to.


JH highlighted the recent Tarradale Primary Standards & Quality report which illustrated how well the school was doing in the area of pupil support.   Many of the PSA staff have been upskilling to help in areas such as bereavement which is very necessary. These changes will mean all this valuable expertise could largely go.


A long and detailed discussion took place on this item with all in agreement that the CC should have representation at the meeting (MA & SM will attend).   The CC will also help where possible advertising the date by handing out fliers and also sharing on social media.


7. Update – Sale of Properties, High Street
  There was no update given, other than the sale of the Forbes assets is progressing.   Cllr AM advised that Blythswood Care are keen to buy the building their shop is in and hopefully this can happen in the near future.


8. Update – Vulcan Cottage
  See Matters Arising


9. Fairburn Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund – Moving Forward Open Day
  FM gave an update on the preparations for the Open Day on Saturday 25/06/16 from 1pm – 5pm.


She advised that she has contacted the local groups and clubs who have received money from the Fairburn Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund and encouraged them to come along and show how they have benefited (ideally with some photos and a display if possible).   In addition Nina and Hannah will both be there in their roles of Company & Community Development Managers to answer questions and provide support.   Artisan (who will be running the café in the Hub) will also be present to get ideas from the community on the types of food they would like to see served when it opens.


Graeme Campbell, who is working on the Bridge Project will not be present, but MA has asked for a detailed bridge plan to be available for display and following discussion will also ask for a detailed timeline of the works.


Following a request put out for a group to do the refreshments (as a fundraiser), the Girl Guides were the first to respond so have been chosen to do this.  If any other groups wish to do fundraising on the day they are welcome to do this.


FM has been working on posters for the event and hopes to have them finalised for the weekend.


MA will ask for the collection of the polling booths (used in the EU referendum) to be delayed if possible to allow them to be used on the day for displaying purposes. He will also make a suggestions box and an explanation sheet to go with it.


Finally FM asked if anyone else has any suggestions for the Open Day (or ideas of other groups to invite) to let her know as soon as possible.


10. AOB
  Town & Countryside Regeneration Community Initiative
  PW gave details of a fund of £750,000 which is available for communities like MOO for town and country regeneration. It is aimed at:

•          quality public space enhancements

•          sense of place projects – reinforcing special local character

•          town and village entrance environments and gateway features

•          access to and within the countryside

•          interpretation and visitor signage

PW suggested that with the Open Day coming up, this Fund will be another option to allow significant development to the area.   PW emphasised that this pot of money will not be around for long and urged that serious ideas are discussed promptly. If any concrete plans are established a formal note of interest needs to be put to our Ward Manager, Di Agnew.


MA outlined his vision of how the village square could be improved and following discussion it was agreed that he should seek a professional to draw up his idea (to a maximum cost of £250).   MA will aim to have this ready for the Open Day.


Wider discussion followed on the Cross Services Meeting which was due to happen on 08/06/16 but had to be postponed. It was felt by all that this is vital to ensure a number of village problems such as congestion around school time and HGV’s on the Black Isle Road are resolved satisfactorily. Cllr GM assured those present that this meeting will be rescheduled.


Following on FM advised that a community consultation meeting is taking place on 28/06/16 from 2pm – 7pm in the Hall regarding the planning application for 112 houses on the site next to Lily Loch.


  Unsafe bank at Corrie Terrace
  Following the concerns raised at the last meeting regarding work undertaken behind 2 Corrie Terrace, Cllr AM advised that Tony Miller from the Building Standards team at HC has been out to check the situation and is satisfied this will not cause any problems to the property.


  Potential Housing Development
  Cllr AM also advised that she has spoken to Julie Ferguson, from the Planning Department regarding potential access to a new housing development via Corrie Terrace. While this may be considered in the future she advised that no application for a development has been submitted to the Planning Department at this stage.


11. Date of Next Meeting
  Thursday 8th September @ 7.30 pm at the Pavilion, Muir of Ord

The meeting finished at 9.35pm



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. If nothing is forthcoming to let Cllr GM know and he will speak to the Inspector By 14/06/16
4 MA & SM To provide an update on this project for the next meeting ASAP
5 Cllr MP To keep an eye on the situation with the Forbes Café   chimney stack ASAP
6 FM To invite the Dog Warden to a CC meeting after the summer break ASAP
7 MA To continue negotiations with the local farmer regarding the installation of two new gates ASAP
8 FM To speak to the family of Dan MacRae regarding the naming of a Flower Show Trophy, then liaise with IM and the wider committee ASAP
9 MA To get detailed bridge plans & a timeline for the Open Day, do a suggestions box with explanation sheet & ask for the polling booths collection to be delayed By 25/06/16
10 FM To finalise the poster for the Open Day and distribute around the community By 25/06/16
11 MA To arrange for his vision of the square to be drawn up professionally for the Open Day ideally By 25/06/16