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

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council

The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord
Thursday 12th October 2017 @ 7.30pm

Present: Mike Atkinson (MA); Stephen Mackenzie (SM); Frances MacGruer (FM); Wilma Mackenzie (WM)
Others: Morag Brown, Moira Chalmers, C. Bell, W. Bell, Lucy Heycock, Jo Ellen (Minutes)

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Paul Whitham (PW), Carol Blanchard (CB), Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM), Cllr Alister MacKinnon (AMK), Margaret Paterson (MP), Irene Macleod (IM), Duncan Chisholm

2. Minutes of Previous meeting (Thursday 14th September 2017)
The minutes were proposed as a true reflection by FM and seconded by MA, with the following amendment:
Actions, item 8: Change ‘Who’ from FM to Cllr AMK

3. Matters Arising from Minutes
New Christmas Lights
FM advised that she has spoken to Blachere Illumination UK who have suggested leaving the purchasing of Christmas lights until the new year when prices will be reduced. This will also give HC plenty of time to fit the adapters to the necessary street lamps so any new lights can be fitted in plenty time for Christmas 2018. SM will also speak to Tom at the Garage as it is understood there may be two additional lights stored there.

Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)
MA advised that he has made contact with a Fencing Contractor keen to do the work and he will be meeting him on site in a couple of weeks. He will update at the next meeting.

Ord Road Update
MA advised that prior to contacting Glen Ord Distillery he would like to have specific details of the contractors using Ord Road. A discussion followed and he was advised that Bannermans lorries are frequently seen using this road after leaving the Distillery. In addition he was told that MacPhersons lorries, who leave the village via West Road and Black Isle Road have been seen to ignore the speed limits (both 20 mph and 30 mph) on a number of occasions. MA thanked those present for the information and will now take this to the Distillery Management so they can discuss this with all their contractors, including those highlighted above.

Village Speed Limits
MA advised that he has contacted Ian Moncrieff at HC for clarification about the ‘Twentys Plenty’ green sign near the old service point on Seaforth Road. He is 99% sure however that the response will be that this is an advisory notice and the legal speed limit is 30 mph. Changing this to a 20 mph speed limit (like other areas of the village) will not be a simple amendment as a Traffic Regulation Order is required for this, and these do not happen quickly. A discussion followed on the priorities for improving road safety in the village and those present agreed that if an order for improvements has to be made, it should be:
1. Black Isle Road, pavement widening
2. Ord Road, implementation of a weight restriction to prevent HGVs using the route
3. Ensuring Seaforth Road and Highfield Circle are 20 mph zones
Industrial Estate Noise Disturbance
There was no update on this action as yet. MA will update at the next meeting.

Mackenzie Bequest
There was no update on this action as yet. MA will update at the next meeting.

Possible Early CC Election
MA stated that there are currently four elected CC members and two co-opted members on MOO CC. The maximum number is 10. He asked those present for thoughts on whether holding an early election, with the hope of getting more members would be sensible. A discussion took place on this with some present feeling that it would be the best course of action, although it was acknowledged this could have risks too. It was agreed that SM will speak to Di Agnew for guidance and clarification of the rules. Following this a decision will be made at the next CC meeting.

War Memorial Lighting
MA will check with Cllr AMK to see if he can assist with this.

SSE Fairburn Wind Farm Grants Promotion
MA confirmed that he will arrange for an article to go in Muir Matters to promote the new £1000 maxi grants available to groups in the area. This will include a link to the application form and guidance information.

Volunteers to help with Hall Exterior Work
FM advised that it was doubtful that SSE volunteers could help with this work. Her husband Billy will organise for this to be done.

Village Tidy Volunteering
Following discussion at the last meeting about volunteers ‘adopting’ one of the new planters (and surrounding area) it was confirmed that two (Black Isle Road & Great North Road, Conon Bridge end) have individuals or groups of people willing to help to this. MA will put an article in Muir Matters, with photos to highlight this and to also seek volunteers for the other two. FM will also speak to the Green Keeper at the Golf Club on his return from holiday to see if he can assist with maintaining the planter on Great North Road, Beauly end.

Village Defibrillators
MA advised that he has had no luck chasing Alan Turner at George Leslie Ltd for details on the defibrillator they are donating. He will now try an alternative contact at George Leslie Ltd to resolve this. He has spoken to the Doctors Surgery (the proposed location) and they have not heard anything about this. Discussion followed on whether this is the best location for a defibrillator with other options then highlighted as the Garage, Village Hall or Free Church. MA will investigate the different options and report back.

4. Police Report
PC MacDonald was not in attendance but had provided a Police report with crimes and offences between 01/09/2017 and 01/10/2017 which have been detected and non detected:

2 – Road traffic offences/ speeding / mobile phone offences
2 – Fixed Penalty’s for anti-social behaviour / Drinking in public
4 – Assistant and advice calls
2 – Youth disorder calls
1 – Vandalism

Officer’s dealt with a number of none criminal complaints also.

A discussion then followed with many of those present feeling that these figures do not reflect the actual level of crime in MOO. It was suggested that many people are not reporting instances of vandalism and nuisance behaviour as they feel the Police do not have adequate officers or time to deal with it. While sympathetic to the reasons for not reporting crime, MA emphasised strongly that the Police cannot deal with perpetrators of crime, however minor, if it is not reported and therefore it is crucial people in the village do take the time to do this. It may not result in a resolution, but non-reporting will definitely not help in the long term. Those present felt that inviting a senior officer to a CC meeting could be a useful way forward. MA will draw up an article for Muir Matters which will emphasise the importance of reporting crime.

5. Financial Report
SM gave a brief statement of the accounts highlighting that there was no change to the figures from the last meeting:

Account Balance – £30,735.14
Unrestricted Funds – £5,985.14

Microgrant Applications
FM gave details of following Microgrant applications for the CC to consider:
• 2nd MOO Brownies – Have requested £250 from the Fairburn Fund to cover expenses associated with their older Brownies attending a trip to London.
• 2nd MOO Brownies – Have requested £250 from the Auchmore Fund to help with the costs of a camping trip in May 2018.

Both applications were agreed in full.

6. Update – Community Groups
Halls & Facilities Company
MA gave a summary of an update from Nina Graham, the Company Development Manager:
Funding for the refurbishments to the hall is coming from the Fairburn Wind Farm (£70,000), HC Capital Fund (£50,000) and the Highland Cross (£10,000) with other funding opportunities also being chased. The final costs of the renovations have not yet been clarified, but it is hoped that all the work planned should be possible, including a kitchen extension, if one of the additional grants of £50,000 is successful.

MA gave a summary of an update from Hannah McSween, the Community Development Manager:
Bookings for the Hub are coming in well and there has been a six week commercial booking made, Transition Black Isle launched their Local Larder project recently at the Hub, Tarradale Through Time had 60 people attended their launch and there have been more Film Club bookings. In addition there is an Over 60’s group starting that will meet fortnightly at the Hub plus plans for Dementia friendly coffee mornings

The vacancy for the post of Administrator has now closed and interviews taken place so an update on this should be made soon.

MA also advised that there is currently £80,000 held for the creation of a sports hub in the village on the site of the old sports centre next to the Bowl. This cannot be progressed however without more volunteers coming forward to drive the project as the current Directors are fully stretched. He will therefore be putting another article in Muir Matters seeking people to join a working group to move this forward.

7. Update – Planning Issues
MA reported that there is currently an unfinished pavement from Broomhill Way leading towards Corry Road. He has checked with HC and this path is on the plans for the development so will be completed so it joins Corry Road in due course.

8. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
New Street Names
FM advised that the CC have been asked by HC to agree with or suggest alternative names for three streets in MOO that are currently under development.

This first one (at the ten house development off Corry Road) has been proposed as ‘Braeside View’ by the developer, Cairn Housing Association. CB had suggested by email ‘Old School House Way’ as this is the site of the old school house. Following discussion MA will suggest ‘Old School Court’ to HC.

The second two streets are at Tulloch’s Broomhill development. The proposed names are ‘Westfield Gardens’ and ‘Westburn Park’. FM suggested that it would be nice to recognise Dan MacRae in one of the names and those present agreed that ‘MacRae Park’ would be a good alternative to ‘Westburn Park’. Therefore MA will suggest this and agree to ‘Westfield Gardens’.

9. Community Action
MA emphasised that the CC would like to encourage members of the community to deal with minor issues of weeds, overgrown bushes, etc where possible. However if they are not able to do this they need to report the problem to HC who will then hopefully be able to assist. If no success is found via this route, this is the part of the meeting where issues can be raised and escalated if necessary.

At this point, the issue of bushes obstructing the pavement on Logan Way was raised by C & W Bell. They would be happy to trim the bushes, but have had no response from HC after asking for a brown bin to put the cuttings in. MA will raise this with HC.

A general discussion followed about grass cutting of public areas in the village with the feeling that this has improvement significantly in recent weeks.

10. Post Office Issues
MA advised that he has had no formal update on the search for a new location for the Post Office in the village. FM stated that is was still unclear if the Filling Station would be housing this, with rumours circulating that this plan has fallen through. MA will contact the Post Office to see if he can get an update.

A brief discussion followed on the appearance of a Bank of Scotland Mobile van in the village on Wednesday this week. No details of this were known by anyone present. POST MEETING NOTE: HBOS website says it comes to MOO square 09:45 – 10:45 on Wednesdays.

11. Urray Cemetery
There was no update on this item and it will now be removed from the agenda.

12. Village Square – Going Forward
MA reported a good response to his questionnaire seeking views on the way forward for the village square. He will stop accepting responses in about two weeks and produce a summary of the results which can then be used to begin the process of moving forward with this.

13. Moo Food Update
MA advised that this group have been successful in gaining a Carbon CLEVER grant of £9,000 to fund a Community Fridge and also vegetable planters round the village. The latter will be stocked with a variety of veg which the community can help themselves to. In addition they now have money to plant a mix of fruit trees in the park area off Black Isle Road, near School Loch. The group has also arranged for an Apple Juicer to come to the village for a short period in November. If anyone has an excess of apples they can bring them for juice to be made.

14. AOB
Road Improvements
MA advised that HC have asked for the community to highlight three sections of public road that require resurfacing in the area. These will then be put on the HC priority list and hopefully the work carried out next year. Following discussion those present agreed the following as the top three:
1. Pavement on Great North Road (from Urray House to the Square)
2. Corry Road (MA will identify the section that requires this work)
3. Ord Road (the one-way section)
The progress on this work will be reviewed under the agenda item ‘Roads, Paths & Safety Issues’ at future meetings.

MOO CC Secretary Duties
FM queried if MA would like to receive all CC correspondence as he is now Chair. MA asked that the status quo remains and FM was happy with this arrangement.

Cyclocross Race
MA advised, for information, that Ben Wvyis Cycling Club are organising a cyclocross race starting at the Black Isle show-ground on 10th December. The 3k course will follow a route past the skate park, Lily Loch and Bowl areas and could involve up to 100 people taking part. The area will be being used from 10:00 – 15:00 but there will be extensive areas and access retained for dog walkers with Marshals assisting at course crossing points.

14. Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 9th November 2017 @ 19:30 in the Hub, Muir of Ord.
The meeting finished at 21:25

Ref Who Action When
1 SM To check what lights are stored at the Garage to see if they can be used this Christmas ASAP
2 MA To provide an update on the Old Railway Path issue after meeting a Contractor on site ASAP
3 MA To contact Glen Ord Management to discuss the use of Ord Road and speeding by their contractors ASAP
4 MA To contact the Power Yard to check if they will be using bird scarers in the future. ASAP
5 MA To investigate further the Mackenzie Bequest and the West Church Tomb Account ASAP
6 SM To investigate the possibility of holding an early CC election with Di Agnew and report back
7 MA/Cllr AMK To speak to the HC Lighting Department to get costs for lighting the war memorial ASAP
8 MA To publicise the new SSE Fairburn grants in Muir Matters ASAP
9 FM To contact the Golf Club Green Keeper to see if they are prepared to adopt the Gateway and planter on Great North Road ASAP
10 MA To do an article for Muir Matters about volunteering to maintain the new village planters ASAP
11 MA To contact George Leslie Ltd about the defibrillator they are donating and investigate a suitable place for its installation ASAP
12 MA To write an article for Muir Matters about crime in the village ASAP
13 MA To forward on the CC Street name suggestions to HC ASAP
14 MA To raise the issue of bushes obstructing the pavement on Logan Way. Can residents get a brown bin and do the work themselves? ASAP
15 MA To contact the Post Office to see if there is an update on the relocation of the MOO facility ASAP
16 MA To pass the three road improvement priorities to HC ASAP