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


Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council




  Pavilion, Muir of Ord


Thursday 8TH December 2016 @ 7.30pm



Present:          Frances MacGruer (FM); Stephen Mackenzie (SM); Mike Atkinson (MA);  Wilma Mackenzie (WM);  Carol Blanchard (CB)


Others:            Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Cllr Graham Mackenzie (GM) & Irene Macleod (IM), Moira Chalmers, Anne Marsen,  Jo Ellen (Minutes)





Apologies for Absence & Welcome


There were apologies from Paul Whitham (PW); Jem Taylor (JT); Cllr Jean Davis (JD), Cllr Margaret Paterson (MP), Cllr Alister MacKinnon (AMK)



Minutes of Previous meeting (Thursday 10th November 2016)

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

Notes from meeting on 8th October 2016:  Add that CB was present.



Matters Arising from Minutes


New Christmas Lights


SM advised that the lights stored at the Filling Station have not been used this year as there were no brackets for them.   The other Christmas decorations have been put up, but FM is aware that some of the lights are not working. This has been reported to Stuart Bruce at HC.  She will chase him tomorrow.



Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)


MA will provide an update at the next meeting.



Urray Cemetery Update


Cllr GM gave an update from Cllr AMK advising that padlocks are to be fitted to the large gates at Urray Cemetery to prevent access by vehicles.  In addition the family of the grave with the trestle and other adornments have been asked to remove them.  Those present were not aware that there had been an issue with cars (or any other vehicle) accessing the cemetery.  Cllr GM will check the situation and report back.



MOO to Conon Bridge cycle path feasibility report


Cllr AM advised that Ian MacGilivray at HC has a copy of the feasibility report.   She will get a copy and forward it on tomorrow.



Vulcan Cottage


See Item 8.





FM advised that she contacted PC MacDonald about speeding on Balvaird Road but as yet has had no response.    WM reported that Police had been out with a speed gun on Ord Road earlier today.



Beauly Firth Loop Update


MA gave an update on the Beauly Firth Loop, outlining how the £25,000 from the Carbon CLEVER fund will be spent.   So far a cartographer has been employed to produce a leaflet, including a map for the route and 5000 of these have now been printed and are available at various places in the area. It is planned to reprint the same number again in due course.  Eighty road signs will also be bought and put up on the route, which will cost about £16,500.  It is hoped HC will put them up in February 2017 but this will depend on weather, etc.   In addition two large interpretive panels (including a map, places of interest and things to do) are also included in the budget, but are yet to be designed.   Further publicity will take place when the signs are up,  in the press and on radio. SM suggested contacting the Radio Scotland programme ‘Out of Doors’ who may be happy to do a feature on this.



Fairburn Fund Advertising


SM advised that information on the newly agreed changes to the way the  Fairburn Wind Farm Fund will distribute grants (of up to £1000) to the MOO area went into the last edition of Muir Matters.



Alternative Locations for Post Office


SM reported that RBS have advised that they plan to put the old bank building to an auction in spring 2017.   The CC will be advised prior to this happening.  A brief discussion took place on the possibility of the community buying this building.  SM and PW will discuss this further outside the meeting.



War Memorial Lighting


Cllr GM advised the Pointing work on the memorial will be redone at no additional expense.  The lighting of the memorial will be discussed at a later date by HC.



Defibrillator – Possible Locations


FM advised that she has written to the Co-op to ask if one of the donated Defibrillators can be located there.  As yet there has been no response.   MA will investigate where the other one can go for the next CC meeting.



MOO Public Toilets


There was no update on this issue.



Fireworks at Bowl


FM advised that she contacted PC MacDonald about this issue but has had no response as yet.   



Road Issues


Cllr GM advised that Scottish Water will replace the damaged manhole cover on West Road.  In addition further work on potholes will be done in the coming days by HC.  It was reported that some of the smaller potholes have been filled in, but others remain.  It is anticipated that the large one on Highfield Circle and two at the entrance to Corrie Terrace will be fixed in the next two weeks.  Residents of MOO were urged to report any other potholes urgently while the workmen and equipment are in the area.



Vision for MOO Square


See item 11.



Information Display at Railway Station


There was no update on this.



Police Report


FM advised that PC MacDonald was unavailable so gave the following report for crimes and offences between 01/11/16 and 01/12/16 which have been detected and non-detected:


·         1 person charged road traffic offences

·         2 persons charged with possession of drugs

·         3 Fixed penalty’s for anti-social behaviour



It was also stated that there has been an issue at the Hall with kids throwing stones at the buildings while classes are taking place. Mobile patrols have been carried out in the area at times specified when it is happening, but there has been no trace of the youths.



MA gave an outline of The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). This ranks small areas (called data zones) from most deprived (ranked 1) to least deprived (ranked 6,976).  He has investigated where MOO falls within this and reported that for crime, and other indicators (such as income, health & housing) the village sits near the middle.    It also fairs well compared to some other Highland areas.


It was suggested that it would be good to put an article in Muir Matters about this and MA will work on this.



Financial Report




SM advised that there were no changes to report as the latest bank statement has not been received.



Update – Community Groups


Hall & Facilities Company


FM advised that the Hub should be handed over to the Hall & Facilities Company during the second week of January with the official opening planned for the third weekend.



Update – Planning Issues: Corrie Road, Lochan Corr


Corrie Road


FM advised that following a significant number of objections, the planning application to build 10 flats at the site of the old schoolhouse has been withdrawn by the developer to allow them to review the access options before they resubmit.  All present welcomed this decision by the developer.  FM emphasised that this reconsideration of the plans was brought about by the number of objections, particularly by the residents of Corrie Road. This should be highlighted as an example of the how the community can come together, with CC support and apply pressure to prevent unpopular developments.



Lochan Corr


FM advised that there is a meeting planned for Monday 12/12/16 with the school and the developer, Savills to discuss safe access to the square via the school from the Lochan Corr proposed development.



Update – Vulcan Cottage


Cllr GM advised that Inspector David Ogilvie was unable to confirm if there is a Warden at Vulcan Cottage.   The Inspector had pointed out that some incidents in the village have been attributed previously to residents of Vulcan Cottage, but this was not always this case.   He confirmed however that the Police do regularly patrol the area near this property.  FM has established that there is a lady from Beauly who works there as a cleaner. She will try to make contact with her to gain more details.



Post Office Issues


Cllr GM advised that there have been no developments with the situation at the Post Office as yet.



HC CC Aspiration Meeting


MA gave an update on the Cross Services meeting which took place on Wednesday 07/12/16 with HC representatives from various departments including Education and Roads.    Three local Councillors, three members of the CC were there along with representatives from the Community Association and the School.  Both Community Developments Officers were also in attendance.   MA advised that the aim of the meeting was to share information and try to establish what each area is working on to encourage co-operation and joined up solutions to various village issues including:

·         School Drop Off congestion

·         Potential of redeveloping the Square

·         The problematic junction of Black Isle Road & Great North Road

A brief discussion took place on the last point with possible solutions for the issue of HGVs causing dangerous situations being discussed.    One option could be to impose a 7.5 ton restriction on the Black Isle Road, which has previously been discussed.   FM will contact Steve Barron, Chief Executive of HC to raise this.  Another option could be to make this road one way, although this could cause problems for some local residents, particularly around the Lily Loch area.  

FM and MA stated that this meeting had been a very positive and worthwhile exercise for both the HC representatives and the locals presents.



Village Square – Going Forward


MA used an overhead projector to illustrate a possible option for improving the village square.  He emphasised that this is not a concrete idea or even a proposal yet, just a starting point to get the village talking.   Currently there are 18 car parking spaces outside the library and OTS building, with a narrow strip next to the bus stop, that is used for various activities.  The pedestrian crossing is further down Great North Road, near the current Post Office.    MA outlined his idea, with a larger square outside the buildings and parking for 18 cars nearer to the road.  In this proposal the bus stop would be removed and the pedestrian crossing moved up to the new parking area, as currently many people choose to cross there anyway. With this plan the disabled parking and access to the house behind the library would remain the same. It is hoped that this option would allow the main school entrance to be reopened as this would be safe to do so, unlike the current arrangement.    The square would then hopefully become a more useable space for the likes of a market and other village activities.  The cost of this plan would be approximately £500,000 – £1 million.  MA emphasised that this plan is to stimulate debate – maybe there is no desire for the square to be redeveloped? The next step will be do put out a questionnaire to the community to gauge this and other suggestions.  He will also be at the Hub opening with this plan to share with those interested, in addition to putting an article in Muir Matters.


All those present were very complimentary about the presentation and the idea contained. FM thanked MA for his hard work on this.



Moo Food


Emma Whitham gave an update on Moo Food which is a new social enterprise company being set up in the village.   She advised that the idea is to set up a community food garden, with growing spaces to rent and a production area to supply local businesses and community market in the village.    A community meeting took place 24/11/16 to discuss the plans and 26 people stated that they would be willing to help get it off the ground.  A good spread of ages were present at this from teenagers to senior members of the community.  As part of the consultation process,  a questionnaire was also distributed round the village and 100 responses were received.  From this 15 people said they would like to rent a growing space, 45 were keen to learn about how to grow food and everyone was keen to buy the produce grown. Consultation has also taken place with the local schools, Tarradale and Mulbuie, plus Urray House and all are very keen to get involved.


The location identified for the garden is on a 3 ½ hectare site of recreational land near the Bowl and the Skate Park, which is owned by HC and leased to the Community Association.   This is ideal as it is close to Urray House and the parking is good.    The land however was previously used as a dump in the 1970’s and a Contaminated Land Survey (phase 1) has been done to assess any risks present.  As anticipated, this has recommended that a Phase 2 survey is now undertaken, to establish in more detail the extent of the contamination.   Emma emphasised that having this done will benefit the whole community as the area may then be able to be used for other purposes, as well as the garden.   It was stated that to ensure the garden is suitable for all abilities and ages, raised beds will be used in some sections.  This will also mean that the project can start before the Phase 2 survey is completed if necessary as the growing material will be off the ground.


LEADER funding has been applied to for the project and it is hoped that this will be successful to get the project off the ground. Other sources of match funding are also being sought to help with the set up costs, including fencing, erecting polly tunnels and buying gardening equipment.


Anyone interested can like the MOO Food page on Facebook or follow @MOOFood on Twitter.


All those present were very impressed by the work done by Emma and the other volunteers on this project so far and wished them every success for the future.   The CC will help wherever possible to support this venture.   FM asked that if possible Emma provide an update on the project (to be read out at CC meetings) over the next few months.  CB offered support with promoting the project in the local press if required.





Pensioners Christmas Party


Moira Chalmers was happy to report that 90 people attended this event.   All of those received a raffle prize, with a small number getting two!  She thanked FM and other helpers including Nina Graham and Hannah McSween for their assistance on the day.



Mackenzie Bequest


FM advised that she has asked Di Agnew to investigate the situation with this bequest to ensure that the conditions of it are being met.  She will hopefully have an update for the next meeting.



Planning Gain Fund & Sports Centre Fund


FM has also asked Di Agnew for an update on the Planning Gain Fund, which was a fund of £79,000 for the provision of active recreational/sport facilities (some of which was spent at the Corrie Gardens playpark).    WM also raised the issue of the £90,000 that was raised many years ago for a new sports centre.  FM advised that £20,000 of this was put to the OTS project, but the rest remains.  A discussion followed on this with FM emphasising that there is a need for someone to move the idea of a new sports centre forward.   All those on the CC are currently at full capacity so cannot take this project on.  This may be something that the Community Development Manager can help with if the position is continued after March.



Tesco Bags of Help Update


IM was delighted to advised that the Tesco Bags of Help vote had resulted in the MOO application being awarded £10,000 (effectively 2nd prize).   She outlined what the original £8,000 on the application had been allocated for including 4 large planters at the entrances to the village, with branding, compost, plants,  signage and fencing at the village hall, plus a bench on Great North Road. A small portion of the money could also be used for a celebratory event and this will hopefully take place in the spring.   The additional £2,000 will be used for 2 additional planters, possibly from WoodBlocX or Fettes (to be situated at the Hall), LED lighting for the Beauly side road planter, a bin outside the Hall and other small items.



IM advised that once the money from Tesco is received she will order the planters.  SM advised that he can help with the storage of them until they are installed.   It was suggested that George Leslie Ltd may be able to assist with some of the work relating to this and IM will approach them to ask.  Another option for help could come from the SSE Volunteering Programme.



A discussion took place on who will maintain the planters and IM reiterated that she will need more volunteers from the community to help with this.    In addition funds will need to be found to buy more plants and compost in future years.   FM suggested that local businesses may be able to help with this.



Finally IM asked for assistance power washing the large stone at the Golf Club entrance to the village.  SM will assist IM with this.



Dirty Clock in the Square


WM reported that the clock in the square is very dirty.  SM will arrange for this to be cleaned.



Funding Streams


MA queried what the LEADER funding can be used for and if it would be applicable for the square project.    Emma Whitham advised that it is designed to support rural businesses to create jobs and support the rural economy, so it would most likely not be an eligible project.   She will send MA more details of this grant scheme.



Pavement on Great North Road


Moira advised that the pavement from Urray House to the Square is currently in very poor condition. This means that it will be very difficult for the Urray House residents to visit the new Hub when it opens.  Cllr AM and Cllr GM will take this further.



Castlehill Carpark


IM advised that there is currently an issue with the dumping of various large items including two boats and a washing machine at the Castlehill carpark.  This carpark is only for use by residents and visitors and the extra items are causing unnecessary congestion.  Cllr AM will report this to HC.



Date of Next Meeting


Thursday 9th February 2017 @ 7.30 pm at the Pavilion, Muir of Ord



The meeting finished at 9.20pm











To chase Stuart Bruce about the Christmas Lights that are not working




To meet Kate Mackay regarding the installation of two new gates to allow access to the Old Railway Path



Cllr GM

To provide an update on the locking of the gates at the Urray Cemetery



Cllr AM

To provide a copy of the MOO to Conon Bridge cycle path feasibility report to the CC




To investigate where in the village the 3rd Defibrillator can be situated




To provide information for a Muir Matters article on SIMD and crime rates in MOO




To make contact with the Vulcan Cottage cleaner




To contact Steve Barron at HC about the HGV problem in MOO




To attend the Hub opening to share the early plans for the square and arrange for an article to go in Muir Matters




To provide an update on the Mackenzie Bequest




To assist with the power washing on the large stone at the Golf Club and also the clock in the square



Cllr AM & Cllr GM

To report the poor state of the pavement from Urray House to the Square on Great North Road



Cllr AM

To report the dumping of large items at Castlehill Carpark