Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council – Notes from February 2018 meeting

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council

The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord
Thursday 8th February 2018 @ 7.30pm

Present: Mike Atkinson (MA)

Others: Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM), Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Dave Allison, Jo Ellen (Minutes)

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Stephen Mackenzie (SM), Paul Whitham (PW), Cllr Alister MacKinnon (AMK)


2. Minutes of Previous meetings (Thursday 12th October 2017, Thursday 9th November 2017 & Thursday 14th December 2017)

Deferred as the meeting was not quorate.

3. Matters Arising from Minutes
New Christmas Lights
No update given.

Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)
MA has met with a contractor and has received a price for a new gate. This has been forwarded to the landowner for a response, but nothing has been heard back as yet. He will chase this before the next meeting.

Industrial Estate Noise Disturbance
No update was given. MA to advise at the next meeting.

Mackenzie Bequest
Cllr AM advised that Mike Mitchell (from the HC Finance Department) has knowledge of this and suggested MA contact him to gain more detail about the bequest. MA will hopefully update at the next meeting.

War Memorial Lighting
Cllr AM advised that a meeting is to take place with herself, Frances McGruer, Alf Leslie plus David Johnston and Stuart Bruce from the HC Lighting Department to discuss the improvements to the War Memorial. In addition Alf Leslie is looking into guards to place over wreaths to ensure they do not blow away. Cllr AM will update for the next meeting.

Contact with Golf Club
FM will update at the next meeting.


Village Defibrillators
MA advised that a location for the 3rd defibrillator is still to be found. Dave Allison reported that there is now a defibrillator at the Doctors Surgery. This should mean that locals will have 4 to choose from in the event of an emergency. Once all of them are installed the CC will ensure that they are well publicised to the local community.

Beauly Firth Loop Signage
MA advised that 90% of the road signs are now installed on the route around the firth. The remaining signs will be installed when the maintenance workers from HC are freed up from their current winter duties. Once all the signs are installed HC will invoice the CC for this work and the Carbon CLEVER money in the CC account will be used for this. If any money is left over this will be used for publicising the route.

4. Police Report
There was no Police report submitted by PC MacDonald. MA will contact her to query the lack of reports at recent meetings and emphasise that there should be one submitted each month. All present agreed that having a report is crucial to assessing if reported crime matches up with the reality that local people are experiencing.

5. Financial Report
As SM was not present, MA gave a summary of the CC accounts as of 08/02/18:

Statement Balance on 31/01/18: £29,828.14
Cheques Written, but not cashed: £2,527,34
Money Due (but not cashed): £1,000
Account Balance: £28,300.80
Restricted Funds: £25,185
Unrestricted Working CC Funds: £3,115.80

Microgrant Applications
There were no applications to consider

6. Update – Community Groups
Halls & Facilities Company
MA gave a summary of an update from Nina Graham, the Company Development Manager:
The Hall is currently closed for refurbishment. Tender documents have been sent to 6 contractors with quotes to be returned by 28/02/18. At this point it will become clear what work is possible with the current budget.

MA emphasised that for the hall to get maximum usage and therefore be able to support itself in the future it is very important to ensure the work done is to the highest specification possible. Therefore it is hoped that the kitchen extension will be possible along with all the other improvements to heating, lighting, windows and toilets, etc. With this in mind, he highlighted the Developer Contribution money that has £105,000 available for MOO to use for a project like this. Exactly how much would be needed from this will not be known until the quotes are submitted. MA emphasised that there are no other projects looking to use this money currently and if it is not spent it will be drawn back after 10 years. With the local support for the hall refurbishment he is confident that this would be supported by the wider village community. He had hoped to get CC support for this tonight, but will now circulate the suggestion to the other CC members to gauge their views and hopefully get support for this fund being used to assist the hall project.

MA gave a summary of an update from Hannah McSween, the Community Development Manager:
• There continue to be some snagging issues with the Hub, but these are being resolved.
• Bookings are going well and an off-shoot of the Muir Movie nights has been launched. This will be for family friendly screenings for those with young children to watch.

Dave Allison highlighted that the prices for food at Artysans Café are high for pensioners to afford.

MA also gave an update on the request which was recently circulated for members of the local community to join a Working Group to look into the provision of a new sports facility in MOO. He reported that 6 people came forward keen to join so a meeting will be arranged soon. It is hoped that this group can look at some fresh ideas and not be bound by proposals from the past which may not be the best fit for the village now. Realistically any project is unlikely to cost less that £1 million, but MA emphasised that there is some money already available to support this. This group will be a sub-group of the Halls & Facilities company who can then make any grant applications on its behalf.

Following on, Cllr AM highlighted the Robertson Trust who have a large amount of money to invest in grants each year for community projects around Scotland. She will pass on the details to MA.

7. Update – Planning Issues
MA reported that planning permission has been submitted for the empty shop unit on Great North Road (next to the Indian Takeaway) to be converted into a restaurant. Those present welcomed the prospect of another empty unit being filled on the high street.

8. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
Dave Allison queried the safety of the pavement on Great North Road between the Blythswood shop and the empty unit (next to the Indian Takeaway). This has barriers which help to prevent pedestrians walking into cars exiting the Co-op carpark, but he suggested that better signage and white lines would make drivers more aware at this junction. MA acknowledged that this area could possibly be made safer, but realistically it is unlikely HC will do this, unless it is part of wider improvements in the area.

9. Community Action
Dave Allison highlighted the poor drainage in the park between Balvaird Road and Black Isle Road. MA thanked Dave for raising this and will try to resolve this issue with some minor maintenance that he can do himself.

MA reiterated that it is helpful, where possible, that residents of MOO assist the community by undertaking minor maintenance such as weeding and pruning themselves.

10. Post Office Issues
MA reported that an opening date for the new Post Office (based in the Filling Station) has yet to be confirmed. It appears that it will be later this year as training of staff still needs to take place.

11. Village Square – Going Forward
MA is collating the results from his survey and will hope to have a report for discussion by the next meeting. An article will also go in Muir Matters to raise awareness of this and promote further discussion.

12. Moo Food Update
MA was happy to update that the orchard has now been planted with 50 trees – apple, pear, cherry, plum and hazel. Planting went well and was attended by Tarradale pupils on the Friday and over 30 from the community on the Saturday. This was fantastic considering the weather! The Community fridge should be in by the end of February and planting boxes are expected in the early spring.

13. AOB

14. Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 8th March 2018 @ 7.30 pm in the Hub, Muir of Ord.

The meeting finished at 8.20 pm

Ref Who Action When
1 SM To update on the Christmas lights stored at the Garage ASAP
2 MA To urge a response from the landowner to the cost of a gate submitted to her ASAP
3 MA To contact the Power Yard to check if they will be using bird scarers in the future. ASAP
4 MA To investigate further the Mackenzie Bequest and the West Church Tomb Account ASAP
5 Cllr AM To give an update on the War Memorial Lighting ASAP
6 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
7 MA To try to establish a location for the 3rd defibrillator ASAP
8 MA To contact PC MacDonald about the lack of a Police Report at recent meetings ASAP
9 MA To contact all CC members to gauge support for using the Developers Contribution Fund for the Hall refurbishment ASAP
10 Cllr AM To forward details of the Robertson Trust to MA ASAP

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