Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council – Notes from November 2017 Meeting

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council

The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord
Thursday 9th November 2017 @ 7.30pm

Present: Mike Atkinson (MA); Stephen Mackenzie (SM); Wilma Mackenzie (WM)
Others: Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM), Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Moira Chalmers, Caroline Bell, Willie Bell, Jo Ellen (Minutes)

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Paul Whitham (PW), Frances MacGruer (FM), Cllr Alister MacKinnon (AMK)

MA advised that as there were only three CC members present, the meeting was not quorate. It was agreed that the meeting should proceed but no decisions or votes would be made or taken.

2. Minutes of Previous meeting (Thursday 12th October 2017)
This was deferred until the next meeting.

3. Matters Arising from Minutes
New Christmas Lights
SM advised that Tom at the Garage does have set of Christmas lights which he will locate and pass on. An update will be given at the next meeting.

Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)
MA will update at the next meeting.

Ord Road Update
MA was happy to report that, after the last CC meeting, he had a very positive response from the Glen Ord Management regarding the use of Ord Road by HGVs leaving the Distillery. They agreed this should not be happening and would speak to their contractors to discourage them from using this road.

A report of a HGV driving down Ord Road in recent days was highlighted to MA at this point. The number plate was recorded so MA will take this back to the Distillery.

Industrial Estate Noise Disturbance
There was no update on this action. MA will update at the next meeting.

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

Possible Early CC Election
SM gave an update following discussion with Di Agnew, stating that up to a third of the maximum of a CC can be co-opted. For MOO CC it would mean one more person could be given this role. Those present felt it would be beneficial if someone could be found to do this. Co-opted members have all the voting rights of an elected member, with the only exception that they cannot vote on other co-opted members.

SM also advised that the approximate cost of holding a mid-term election is about £1500 if voting is required. If the decision is taken to do this and less than ten people put themselves forward, however, the costs is only for advertising as no election needs to take place.

MA suggested that this item is revisited when more CC members are present. If the decision is to try for another co-opted member this vacancy should be advertised as this is in line with good practice.

War Memorial Lighting
Cllr AM advised that she has been working closely with HC on this and is planning to meet on site with FM and Alf Leslie, Senior Energy Inspector at HC, shortly to discuss the issue of lighting. She also advised that other work at the War Memorial including refreshed paintwork, pointing and additional fencing has been completed. A power wash of the steps should be done before the Remembrance Day service.

A brief discussion also took place about street lighting, with reports of faults taking over 10 days to be fixed, which is the service level agreement timescale. MA emphasised that it is very straightforward to report street light issues via the HC website and urged people to do this promptly if they have any maintenance issues such as this.

SSE Fairburn Wind Farm Grants Promotion
MA advised that an article has been written and will appear in the next edition of Muir Matters.

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

Village Volunteering
MA advised that an article has been written and will appear in the next edition of Muir Matters.
Village Defibrillators
MA advised that he contacted the George Leslie Ltd Customer Care Centre to try to establish the situation with the promised Defibrillator. The manager he spoke to advised that Duncan Robertson (who made the commitment) has now left the company and they have no knowledge of this promise being made to the community. They also felt that the company had been very generous with its support during its time in the village and listed what they understood had been achieved. MA asked for opinions on how to proceed now as much of what they listed was not done or if started, not completed. A discussion took place with the general feeling that nothing will be achieved by pursuing this further. Those present were saddened by the stance taken by the company since leaving the village but felt effort should now be directed into ensuring the other Defibrillators promised are installed as planned. MA will liaise with FM about this.

Following on SM gave an update from the Defibrillator training given by Lucky2BHere which he recently attended in the village. He found this to be a very useful session and stressed to those present how easy they are for the public to use. He also advised that the CC needs to be aware that there are small on-going costs associated with the equipment (for replacing supplies, checking for out of date parts, etc). MA agreed checking this is vital and will ensure he is aware of any dates that maintenance needs to take place.

Crime Article for Muir Matters
This will be progressed for a future edition of Muir Matters as a number of other articles have been written this month.

Street Name Suggestions
Cllr AM advised that the proposed names have been accepted by HC.

Bushes on Logan Way
Willie Bell advised that the problem bushes have all been removed by HC so the issue discussed at the last meeting has been resolved.

Road Improvement Priorities
MA advised that the three road improvement priorities agreed at the last meeting have been passed to HC.

4. Police Report
There was no Police Report submitted. MA will check the reason for this with PC MacDonald.

MA will also raise the issue of individuals riding motorbikes on the Black Isle Show Ground site to check the situation as they have claimed to have permission from the Police to do this. This was thought to be unlikely and the Police have been called several times but unfortunately the individuals have not yet been caught. MA emphasised that this is illegal use of a motorised vehicle on private land so anyone seeing this should call the Police.

WM gave a report of youths throwing eggs and stones at cars entering the village in the evenings on more than one occasion. Another report was also given of youths climbing the Corry Road development site scaffolding. MA emphasised how important it is that such instances are reported to the Police.

5. Financial Report
SM gave a brief statement of the accounts highlighting that there were changes to the figures from the last meeting:

Account Balance – £29,831.14
Unrestricted Funds – £4,146.00

Since the last meeting, cheques worth £1,784 have been written, including £1,315 of microgrants.

£1,000 from both the SSE Fairburn Fund and the Auchmore Fund have also been applied for which will be used for future Microgrant applications.

SM advised that there are still restricted funds for the Square to Square project and the Carbon CLEVER fund waiting to be claimed by HC. MA stated that he will check the situation with the signage of the Beauly Firth Loop project as it is currently unclear if all of this is installed.

Microgrant Applications
MA gave details of following Microgrant applications for the CC to consider:
• Tarradale Primary School – Have requested £250 from the Auchmore Fund to cover expenses for new netball and basketball equipment
• Tarradale Primary School (P7’s and Mrs Jack) – Have requested £250 from the Fairburn Fund to help with the costs of clearing an overgrown side entrance to the school.

Both applications were agreed in full, as PW had given support prior to the meeting.

6. Update – Community Groups
Halls & Facilities Company
MA gave a summary of an update from Nina Graham, the Company Development Manager:
• The Fencing is now up on one side of the Hall.
• Billy McGruer has a digger organised for this weekend and will clear out the bushes and tidy the area outside. This area will then be replaced with planting that is easy to maintain.
• The Bill of Quantities has been written and put to four potential tenderers. When these come back with figures it will be easier to identify what work can be done with the funds currently available.

MA gave a summary of an update from Hannah McSween, the Community Development Manager:
• A new part-time Administrator, Jennifer Rodger has now started work for the Halls & Facilities Company and will be involved with bookings. Hannah & Nina have been supporting this work recently and the new appointment should be a great help.
• Currently there are also four trained volunteers who work in the Hub while activities are on supporting, opening, closing, etc.
• The Calman Trust who run Café Artysans in the Hub have amended their opening hours and now offer food from 9am – 3pm.
• Bookings are going well at the Hub, with a long term one hopefully to be confirmed. The Big Lottery are also holding an event soon.

7. Update – Planning Issues
Broomhill to Corry Road Path
Cllr AM advised that following a query for a local resident she had contacted HC Access Officer, Phil Waite about this path which appears to have its entrance in the wrong place, in addition to other issues. Julie Ferguson, Planning Officer has also been working on this to ensure the path complies with the Planning Permission. Cllr AM will hopefully have an update for the next meeting.

A discussion followed on how difficult it is for interested parties (including Councillors and local people) to see the details of Road Construction Consent so details such as drawings and plans can be scrutinised to ensure they are being complied with. It was suggested that this information should ideally be accessible online. It was unclear why it is not currently.

Corry Road Building Site
Cllr AM advised that there have been complaints that the building work on this site is extending beyond the hours specified in the Planning Permission. This is now being dealt with by the HC Environmental Health Department and Nick Thornton, Technical Officer from this department will be in touch soon with local residents to measure the noise levels.

8. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
After a general discussion about the state of local roads, MA raised the issue of the Seaforth Road exit (at the old RBS building). He advised that many locals have highlighted that this junction is now more dangerous since the bridge has opened, as visibility has got worse, not better. MA has written to HC about this and it was apparently looked at as part of a Stage 3 safety audit of the bridge area. The report concludes that correctly aligned vehicles should be able to see adequately to leave the junction safely. MA was very saddened and concerned by this and is now under the impression that HC will not take any further action to improve this unless a serious accident happens or the community starts to take action. A detailed discussion followed with those present expressing the view that many vehicles crossing the bridge are not adhering to the 20mph speed limit which is exacerbating the problem. Those present felt that moving the white lines just a metre forward would help the issue greatly and were keen to establish if this would be possible. It was suggested that while the road is very wide at this section, it may need to remain as it is to allow large vehicles to turn safely onto Great North Road.

Following the discussion is was clear that there is a wide believe the village that the junction is unsafe. MA will contact Colin Howell, Head of Infrastructure at HC to ask if it would be possible to move the white lines or if there is a technical reason why this could not happen. If there is not a satisfactory response to this, the next step may be to ask him to attend a future CC meeting to hear local views.

9. Community Action
A brief discussion took place regarding grass cutting, with general consensus that this appears to have improved in the village since the provision has been taken back under HC control. SM advised however that some passing places in this area are now difficult to enter due to poor hedge trimming taking place. This problem does not seem to be so significant in the Beauly area where he also travels frequently.

10. Post Office Issues
MA advised that the Post Office were unable to provide an official update on the future of the facility in MOO. However he has since been informed that a branch will open in the Garage in 2018.

11. Village Square – Going Forward
MA advised that he received 100 responses to the questionnaire circulated around the village. These will now be analysed and a report produced.

12. Moo Food Update
MA gave a brief update. The Halls & Facilities Company have agreed that they will host a Community Fridge, organised by Moo Food outside the Hub. This will be a place where locals can place food for others to use. This may be useful for people before they go on holiday or for gardeners who have excess produce. The community can then come and help themselves to anything they need. There will also be vegetable planters placed around the village, stocked with produce for people to use. In addition, Moo Food now have money to plant a mix of fruit trees in the park area off Black Isle Road, near School Loch.

13. AOB
Changes to TV Freeview
WM advised that she has received a leaflet through the door regarding the effect the new mobile phone mast in the village will have on Freeview TV services when it is switched on. The leaflet gives details of a company that will come to those without satellite service to fit a filter which will allow their Freeview TV to continue working. It did not appear that all present had received this leaflet. MA advised that the CC will monitor the situation when the mast is turned on. If there are any issues these can then be reported.

Remembrance Day
MA advised that the Remembrance Day Service will take place at the War Memorial at 10.45 am on Sunday 12th November. The parade leaves church hall at 10.15 am. PW has kindly agreed to lay the Poppy wreath as an ex-serviceman on behalf of the CC.

14. Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 14th December 2017 @ 19:30 in the Hub, Muir of Ord.
The meeting finished at 21:05

Ref Who Action When
1 SM To update on the Christmas lights stored at the Garage 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 again to report an HGV who has recently used Ord Road 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 MA/SM To speak to all CC members about the way forward with either co-opting a new member or holding a mid-term election ASAP
7 Cllr AM To give an update on the War Memorial Lighting ASAP
8 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
9 MA To ensure the use-by dates in the Co-op Defibrillator are checked and dates for replacements diarised ASAP
10 MA To write an article for Muir Matters about crime in the village ASAP
11 MA/FM To liaise about the other Defibrillators promised to the village ASAP
12 MA To contact PC MacDonald about the lack of a Police Report and also about the Motorbikers on the Black Isle Show Ground ASAP
13 MA To check the situation with the Beauly Firth Loop Signage to see if it is all installed ASAP
14 Cllr AM To provide an update on the Broomhill to Corry Road path ASAP
15 MA To contact Colin Howell and see if the white lines at Seaforth Road can be extended out one metre ASAP