Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council
The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord
Thursday 14th June 2018 @ 8.00 pm
Present: Mike Atkinson (MA), Stephen Mackenzie (SM), Frances McGruer (FM), Duncan Chisholm (DC), Jean Davis (JD), Irene Macleod (IM) & Moira Chalmers (MC)
Others: Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Cllr Graham Mackenzie (GM), Cllr Alister Mackinnon (AMK), Cllr Margaret Paterson (MP), Frank Stephen, Jo Ellen (Minutes)
1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Carol Blanchard (CB).
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes of the meeting on Thursday 10th May 2018 were proposed as a true reflection by SM and seconded by MA.
3. Matters Arising from Minutes
HGV Limit on Black Isle Road
MA reported that a draft weight limit order, notice and plans for the introduction of the weight limit orders on the A832 Black Isle Road and Ord Road (from the distillery junction to the housing scheme junction) are being prepared currently by HC. They will soon come out for formal consultation with all interested parties.
Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)
MA advised that there is no progress to report at this stage with the new gate. He will contact the landowner to progress this. When it is installed this will be publicised further.
Di Agnew is still investigating this with her Graduate Administrator and will report back to the CC in due course.
Village Entrance Planter – Great North Road
FM advised that she had not made much progress with this as the Golf Club Green Keeper is due to retire shortly. DC will speak to the Club Manager, John Forbes and ask if their staff can strim around the Gateway and planters on the road near the golf course on a regular basis during the growing season.
FM had no progress on this, but will update at the next meeting. MA advised that an article will be in the latest Muir Matters highlighting the new Defibrillator at the Co-op and also reiterating that there is one at the Golf Club.
Developers Contribution Fund (DCF)
The application to use £65,000 of this Fund for the Hall refurbishment project will be discussed by HC next week. MA will update at the next meeting.
Traffic Crossing Lights at the Cairns
JD reported that these lights appear to have been working fine recently. Cllr AM raised this with Stuart Bruce at HC who understood it to be an issue with SSE equipment. He also was under the impression that this had been fixed and was unaware of any new complaints.
Tidy Village Competition
Cllr AM had established that there is no funding for this at present or any formal HC schemes going on. She suggested contacting Scotland in Bloom or the Ward Discretionary Fund if this is something the community wants to take further.
Contact with PC MacDonald
See item 5.
Upkeep of the Plants near the New Bridge
IM advised that she has not got far investigating who has the contract to maintain the plants near the new bridge, put in by the contractors before they left. Cllr AMK agreed to investigate this further.
Grass Mowing Update
The Cllrs present reported that issues with lawn mowing or lack thereof is the source of frequent complaints to them. MA advised that he can get hold of a digital map of the area which shows what should be covered by HC grass cutters and those areas that will not be mowed by them. It can then be established more clearly what is being missed and what the community is going to need to do itself.
Following on MA stated that it may be possible for the village to get some assistance clearing or tidying areas not covered by the HC contract from The Community Payback Team (CPT) who work with individuals on Community Payback Orders. All present agreed that this is something worth pursuing, with the School Lochan and Lily Loch being areas that could do with such assistance.
MA will get a copy of the grass cutting map and also speak to Diane Macrae from Criminal Justice Services about work that the CPT could help with.
4. Welcome to New Community Councillors
MA reiterated his welcome given at the AGM to the new CC members appointed following the recent mid-term election – JD and DC. He also confirmed that CB was elected and is now a full CC member, following her recent period as a Co-opted member. These appointments bring the total of elected representatives to 6.
At this point FM proposed IM and MC as new Co-opted Members. Both agreed to this and the nominations were seconded by MA.
Following this, a lengthy discussion, initiated by DC took place on how the CC can attract future members and also encourage more people to attend meetings. JD stressed that talking face to face to the community can really help as many locals have no idea what the CC does or what the role of a Community Councillor entails. All present felt that the current CC members need to take an active role with this and therefore the following actions were agreed:
1. All CC members will aim to take a ‘buddy’ to the next meeting in September. Ideally someone who has not come before and would like to learn more about what goes on.
2. MA will ask Tracy Sinclair, Head Teacher of Tarradale Primary if the Head Boy or Girl could attend a future meeting. The agenda can be amended to allow them to stay for only a portion of the meeting if they prefer.
3. For all to encourage representatives of the local youth groups to attend a meeting and ideally come on a regular basis. The Scouts could use this as part of their Community Service badge.
4. JD agreed to set up a CC FB page and test it out. This will be a place for the CC to promote its work, highlight events it is involved with and also publicise other community events and achievements. Ideally this will not allow incoming comments, to prevent it becoming a negative sounding board.
5. MA to ensure that https://muiroford.org.uk/ is up to date and correct.
6. MA/JE to ensure that the local noticeboards have CC agendas displayed and that the agreed minutes are available to view (perhaps at the Hub).
5. Police Report
PC MacDonald was not present and no report was received. MA advised that he had not been able to chase PC MacDonald this month regarding the lack of Police reports for CC meetings. Cllr AMK is meeting with the new Inspector, Kevin Macleod next week and will raise this with him. MA will also contact PC MacDonald and provide her with all the meeting dates for the coming year and request that a report is submitted a week before each.
6. Financial Report
SM advised there was no update from last month.
Statement Balance on 30/04/18: £29,800.80
There were no applications submitted.
7. Update – Community Groups
Halls & Facilities Company (MHFC)
MA gave a brief update stating that it is hoped that the agreed contractor for the Hall renovation work will be announced in the next two weeks. While some changes have had to be made to the plans it is hoped that a refreshed, quality Hall is still achievable with the funds available. The kitchen extension is unlikely to happen however at this stage and the date for completion has also been extended to September, although this may change too. DC queried if an application to LEADER funding had been made. MA advised that this had not been done due to the work involved. He will however investigate this further. SM will look into the possibility of employing someone to help with this.
IM advised that most of the planters have now been filled with flowers, with just the Station one to do now. She emphasised this group needs more volunteers to help maintain the planters over the summer.
8. Update – Planning Issues
There were no issues discussed.
9. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
A brief discussion took place with the issue of speeding raised again. DC advised that Black Isle Road is particularly bad, even with the traffic calming measures in place. All present felt that a greater Police presence is the best way to deter this behaviour. Cllr AMK will raise this with the new Inspector next week.
Cllr GM advised that he was contacted by residents of Wards Drive about an issue with speeding on Ord Road. He has been in touch with HC about this and Speed Counters are to be laid down at the 3 places.
(Cllr GM left the meeting after this item)
10. Community Action
Following the recent Litter Pick it was reported that the Dog Poo bins appear to be being used more.
11. Post Office Issues
MA advised that he spoke to someone at the Filling Station who confirmed that it is still the intention to house the village Post Office there. He will contact the PO to try to establish confirmation of this.
12. Village Square – Going Forward
MA suggested that this item is removed from future agendas as the situation has moved on somewhat with the business developments on Great North Road. It can be revisited in the future if necessary.
13. Moo Food Update
There was no formal update from Moo Food.
FM noted that the vegetable boxes are now in position, but some have grass growing up around them. MA will check who will be keeping them tidy.
14. Potential to re-allocate Square to Square/Round the Firth Funding to BMX Track Refurbishment
Following on from the previous meeting MA advised that the costs of the signage for the Beauly Firth Loop have come in much lower than anticipated, leaving approximately £17,000 originally brought forward from the Square to Square path development (now a planning condition on the site through which the final link passes) – which was instead permitted to be used on the Beauly Firth Loop project. Keeping with the theme of cycling MA suggested that this money be used to help restore the BMX track next to the Skate Park. It is estimated the cost of reinstating what is already there will be about £15,000 with Highland Skate Parks already offering £3,000 towards the cost of this. It would be hoped that this would provide youngsters in the village an opportunity for exercise and activity – and a facility to support cycling instruction and potentially further cycle sport events using the facility.
A discussion then followed as to whether this is the best use of this money with the wider Lily Loch area being highlighted as a facility used by all the community, not just young people. Using the funds to restore this area may be more popular with all generations. Concerns about insurance and maintenance were also talked through. Following reassurance about this it was agreed that the best way to make a decision would be for MA to put a simple yes or no survey to Tarradale Primary pupils to gauge support for the proposal. If the children are keen, those present indicated they would likely agree to this. Once the results are collated these will be circulated round CC members for a final decision.
Frank Stephen reported that he visited the cemetery two weeks ago and was upset by the state of the pavements and general upkeep. Others reported that more recently the cemetery appeared to be well maintained so it seemed likely that the improvements Frank was seeking have already been done. Cllr AMK will check the situation however.
Cllr AMK advised that there has been an issue with people driving cars onto the cemetery and this will now be prevented by moveable bollards being installed. These can be lowered by HC workers to gain access when necessary.
Senior Citizens Christmas Party
FM raised the issue of the CC formally backing the above event which is annually organised by MC. All present were happy for this to happen.
Future Meeting Dates
The following dates were agreed (all Thursdays at 7.30pm):
• 13th September 2018
• 11th October 2018
• 8th November 2018
• 13th December 2018
• 14th February 2019
• 14th March 2019
• 11th April 2019
• 9th May 2019
• 13th June 2019 (including AGM)
Full Litter Bins
MC advised that the litter bins at the playpark have been overflowing recently as it appears they are not being emptied. There has also been the same issue with a bin at the railway bridge. In addition the Dog Poo bin at the Lily Loch carpark has been seen to be overflowing. Cllr AMK will investigate why these are not being emptied.
Following on IM advised that a bin outside the Hall also appears not to be emptied. She will try to check this with Nina Graham to see who is supposed to be doing this.
16. Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 13th September 2018 @ 7.30 pm in Bad Girl Bakery Cafe, Muir of Ord.
The meeting finished at 9.40 pm
Ref Who Action When
1 MA To speak to the landowner about the new gate giving access to the Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive) ASAP
2 DC To contact the John Forbes at the Golf Club to see if they are prepared to keep tidy the Gateway and planter on Great North Road ASAP
3 FM FM contact the potential Defib donator to discuss the price and location of where it could be situated. ASAP
4 MA To update on Developers Contribution Fund application for the Hall ASAP
5 Cllr AMK To contact the HC project team responsible for the new bridge to establish who is maintaining the plants ASAP
6 MA To acquire a map showing the mowing locations in MOO and discuss options for assistance with the Community Payback Team ASAP
7 All CC members Invite a buddy to the next meeting and highlight the CC to local youth groups For 13/09/18
8 MA To speak to HT of Tarradale Primary to invite the Head Boy or Girl to a CC meeting For 13/09/18
9 JD To create a CC FB page and test it ASAP
10 MA / JE To ensure the website is up to date & ensure Agendas are displayed on noticeboards and the minutes available in the Hub ASAP
11 Cllr AMK / MA Cllr AMK to speak to the new Police Inspector to discuss the lack of reports to the CC meetings. MA to contact PC MacDonald regarding this also June 2018
12 SM To look into the possibility of employing someone to help with a LEADER funding application for the Hall ASAP
13 Cllr AMK To raise with the Police Inspector about speeding on Black Isle Road and other areas of MOO June 2018
14 MA To contact the PO to get an update on the new MOO PO ASAP
15 MA To draft a survey on the possibility of refurbishing the BMX track for school pupils and then circulate the results to the CC members By end June 2018
16 Cllr AMK To check that the Urray cemetery is in a good state of repair ASAP
17 Cllr AMK To check the situation with rubbish bins/Dog Poo bins collections at the park, new bridge and Lily Loch carpark ASAP
18 IM To check who should be emptying the rubbish bin outside the Hall ASAP