Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council
The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord
Thursday 11th October 2018 @ 7.30 pm
Present: Mike Atkinson (MA), Frances McGruer (FM), Carol Blanchard (CB), Duncan Chisholm (DC), Jean Davis (JD), Moira Chalmers (MC) & Irene Macleod (IM)
Others: Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Cllr Alister Mackinnon (AMK), Frank Stephen, David McDonald, Jo Ellen (Minutes)
1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Stephen Mackenzie (SM), Cllr Margaret Paterson (MP), Cllr Graham Mackenzie (GM), Joan Munro
MA welcomed all present to the CC meeting. He then read a short note from SM advising that due to another commitment he cannot be present at CC meetings for the next 6 months. He is willing to remain as Treasurer during this period, but will step down if the other CC members would prefer him to. All present were happy for SM to remain in this role and send in monthly financial statements for CC meetings.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes of the meeting on Thursday 13th September 2018 were proposed as a true reflection by JD and seconded by DC.
3. Matters Arising from Minutes
Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)
MA advised that the Fencer is hoping to install the gate in December. Following this being done the route will be publicised round the village.
MacDonald Bequest Update
Following the discussion at the last meeting MA contacted Di Agnew about this bequest to establish what it has been used for. Di advised that this has been used for general upkeep of the Urray cemetery as well as for maintaining the grave itself. Following this clarification FM suggested that the bequest be used to pay for an expert to do a survey of the trees around the cemetery as some may be vulnerable to high winds. During storms in recent years fallen trees have caused considerable damage to the area around the church and it would be good to minimise this risk. Those present agreed this was a sensible idea and Cllr AM will investigate if this is possible.
DC agreed to help MA produce postcard sized notices giving details of the locations of the village Defibrillators. Once these are produced FM and CB offered to help distribute them throughout the village. The details will also go on the CC FB page.
Grass Mowing Update
MA confirmed that he now has the grass mowing map which details the weekly, bi-weekly and monthly schedule for the village. He will bring this to the next meeting for discussion.
Encouraging attendance at CC meetings
Following discussion it was agreed that MA will invite the Head Boy and Girl from Tarradale Primary to the next CC meeting, FM will invite the Girl Guides and MC will speak to the Scouts. This meeting will be promoted as having a youth theme to encourage the young people coming to express their views.
JE also confirmed that Joan Munro kindly put the latest agenda on the Butcher and Hub noticeboards. A folder with CC minutes, starting from February 2018, and updated monthly will also be stored in the Hub for local people to access.
See item 9.
CC support for the Community Payback Team (CPT)
FM reported that the cost of hiring a chipper to support the clear up work the CPT are doing will be approximately £10 per hour. It was suggested that the CC could agree to fund up to 40 hours of this work as the considerable man hours being put in by the group is not costing anything else, but making a significant impact on the School Pond and Lily Loch areas.
Tree Issue at Railway Bridge
There was no update from Cllr MP on this issue. Cllr AM will check the situation so it can be established who owns the tree blocking the street light illuminating the bridge. MA will also speak to Network Rail about this as he is in contact about other issues at the station.
State of Burma Road
Cllr AM confirmed that HC paid for a strip of this road to be resurfaced. Those present welcomed this.
Business Focussed Event
DC confirmed that a Business Breakfast for local businesses will take place on Wednesday 7th November at 7.45am at the Hub. Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce will be present and the Calman Trust will provide the refreshments. The hope is to attract about 40 local businesses with a view to promoting networking, highlight what the CC can do for them and in turn encourage the businesses to engage more with the community. The event will be publicised in the P&J and on FB and bookings can be made via Eventbrite.
Following the breakfast it will be assessed whether it should become a regular event, with perhaps quarterly get togethers. DC will give feedback about the event at the November meeting.
Well wishes to Jem
MA advised that he has spoken to Jem and wished him well in his recovery from ill health from all at the CC.
4. Police Report
MA reported that PC Nicola MacDonald has now moved to a different post. He has requested information on who has taken over the role of local community officer for this area, but as yet there has been no confirmation. Cllr AMK will check the situation.
A brief discussion took place on reports of motorbikes being ridden on amenity land, owned by the Community Association and also at Beechwood. MA confirmed that no permission has been given for motorbikes on amenity land, but the situation is less clear at Beechwood due to confusion over who owns the land. He urged those concerned to phone 101 if they witness this activity.
IM also confirmed that one of the planters in the square was vandalised recently. All agreed that having a Community Police Officer to raise such issues with would be useful. It was also suggested that the CC FB page be used to highlight when such issues occur in the village.
5. Financial Report
MA read out a summary of the CC accounts as of 28th September:
Statement Balance on 28/09/18: £25,682.73
Cheques Written, but not cashed: £431.53
Account Balance: £26,501.20
Restricted Funds: £21,679.37
Unrestricted Working CC Funds: £4,821.83
MA gave an update on the 3 Microgrants approved at the last meeting, advising that the Fairburn Fund did not have sufficient Funds to make the full payments. Discussion followed on the best way forward with agreement that:
• War Memorial Upgrade – The CC will pay the Fairburn Fund portion of the award (£174) to allow this project to go ahead.
• MOO Pensioners Table Tennis Club & Ord Totz – MA will ask SM to investigate the option to convert some of the Fairburn Fund Small Grant money into the Microgrant pot as this fund is not proving as popular as hoped.
MA gave details of the following six new Microgrant applications for the CC to consider:
• 2nd MOO Brownies – 2 applications, one for a trip to the Eden Court Pantomime (£250 requested) and one to purchase new equipment (£197.95 requested).
• 2nd MOO Guides – 2 applications, one for a trip to the ice rink and Smyths Toy Store (£250 requested), and one to purchase new skills cards and stationary (£250 requested)
• MOO Rainbows – 2 applications, one to pay for the costs of a sleepover (£250 requested) and one to pay for a trip to the Eden Court Pantomime (£250 requested).
A detailed discussion followed on the applications with the feeling that paying for trips and excursions is preferable than helping to fund resources, which could be paid for by parent contributions or fundraising. It was highlighted that some of the applications lacked a proper breakdown of the costs and it was agreed that groups need to provide more information in future to allow the CC to make an informed decision as to whether to make an award or not.
Following the discussion it was agreed to award the applications relating to trips, and go back to the groups asking for more information on the other requests. The groups will also be asked for details of any fundraising they have done to contribute to the costs of any projects or equipment they are applying for. FM will contact the groups to discuss this with them.
6. Update – Community Groups
Halls & Facilities Company (MHFC)
MA advised that the hall renovations are going well so far and the contractors are on target to finish as planned in early December. It was confirmed that Moo Food plan to move into the office space in the hall when it is ready.
MA also advised that he has now had the go-ahead from HC that the BMX track refurbished can proceed. This will be funded by the money left over from the Beauly Firth Loop project, as agreed at the last CC meeting. A site visit will take place with the contractor soon and it is hoped that work can commence on 5th November. MA confirmed that a path will be created behind the start of the BMX track to allow walkers an alternative route when bikes are on the course.
IM wished to formally thank the CC for 3 years of funding which helped the Flower Show to become the successful annual event it is. She is hoping in future that this support will not be required as the club plan to ask local businesses to assist more. DC suggested that IM comes along to the Business Breakfast on 7th November to highlight the work the Gardening Club does and offers of support may come from that. Those present also expressed gratitude to the group for the valuable work is does to make the village more attractive throughout the year.
7. Update – Planning Issues
There were no issues raised.
MA confirmed that Tullochs have started building the next phase of the Broomhill development. He emphasised this is positive for the community for a number of reasons, including the contribution the developer will make to the new Sports Facility under discussion – a donation of £1000 will be made per house built.
8. Proposal for a Big Picture Day 2
MA advised that he has not been able to move this on as yet. There will hopefully be an update for the next meeting.
9. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
David MacDonald, a resident of Wards Drive gave a detailed presentation on the issue of speeding and dangerous driving in the area around his home and Ord Road. This incorporated statistics from a recent Speed Survey conducted by HC in response to complaints from local residents. David highlighted that speeding tends to be worse on straight sections of road, with Wards Drive having a 160m section and Ord Road having 300m. Some drivers appear to be using these roads as a shortcut between the A862 and the West Road and are not considering the safely of local residents while doing this. The survey detailed that the mean speed on Wards Drive was 21.5 mph and 27.9 mph on Ord Road. It was felt that while these figures do appear to show a problem with speeding they not reflect adequately the hazards such as a greenspace used by children and corners with restricted views that are present in the area.
MA thanked David for his professional presentation and a detailed discussion followed on how speeding in such areas can be reduced. All present were concerned that the potential for a serious accident or fatality happening in the village are significant unless action is taken.
Solutions proposed included extending the number of 20mph zones in the village and adding more speed bumps or chicanes, but it was acknowledged these are not universally popular. Those present felt however that the most effective deterrent is the threat of being caught and prosecuted by the Police. Currently the perception is that the Police are not doing regular checks meaning the speed limits, whether 20mph or 30mph are not being enforced.
It was agreed that Cllr AM will push for a greater Police presence to deter speeding drivers, MA will publicise the issue on FB and highlight the problem areas, the CC will continue to support the extension of 20mph areas in the village and DC will try to get examples of what other communities have done to reduce the problem.
10. Community Action
FM advised that the Remembrance Day Service on Sunday 11th November will commence with a parade leaving the Church Hall at 10.15am and then proceed to the War Memorial. This year they are looking for ex-servicemen to read out the names on the memorial and FM asked those present to think of the local people who could do this. She also asked for a suggestion of who could lay the wreath on behalf of the CC. All present were happy for FM to organise this. The details will be advertised in the community and put on the CC FB page.
11. Post Office Issues
MA advised that the MOO Post Office will reopen in the Costcutters store at the garage soon, although there is no date confirmed.
12. Moo Food Update
MA reported that the Harvest Festival event hosted by Moo Food on Saturday 6th October at the orchard went well. There was an apple press for people to use plus food, music and other activities for those coming along to enjoy.
Traffic Lights on the Bridge
CB highlighted that the filter traffic light on the new bridge does not appear to be working, affecting drivers coming from the Conon Bridge end of Great North Road, turning down onto West Road. Some drivers are waiting for the filter arrow and unsure what to do when it is not coming on. MA will raise this with Shane Manning, Principal Traffic Officer at HC.
Smiley Face on Black Isle Road
DC advised that the Smiley Face for slowing down traffic on Black Isle Road looks like it has been damaged and is now not working correctly. He will raise this with HC.
Temporary Weight Limit
MA queried if anyone was aware why a temporary 3.5 ton weight restriction sign was put on Black Isle Road recently, which stated it was for 5 days only. Cllr AM will query this with HC. Post Meeting Note: the road restrictions is in place for 5 days to allow work on a manhole outside Tarradale Primary School. The weight restrictions is to stop large lorries coming down the road while the work is being done as this would slow it up.
MA advised that Ben Wyvis Cycle Club are hosting another Cyclocross event around the Black Isle Show Ground, Skate Park and Bowl area on Sunday 4th November. This was very successful last time and they are hoping to attract 50-60 competitors. Notices to inform regular users of the area will go up in the next few days.
15. Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 8th November 2018 @ 7.30 pm in the Hub, Muir of Ord.
The meeting finished at 9.30 pm
Ref Who Action When
1 MA To arrange for the new gate to be installed at the Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive) and this location to be publicised ASAP
2 Cllr AM To query with Di Agnew if the MacDonald Bequest could be used to pay for a tree surgeon to assess the trees at the cemetery ASAP
3 MA & DC To draw up a notice with the location of the MOO Defibrillators for distribution round the village ASAP
4 MA To bring copies of the grass mowing map for MOO to the next meeting for discussion For 08/11/18
5 MA/FM/MC To invite the Tarradale Primary Head Boy and Girl, plus representatives of the Guides and Scouts to the next CC meeting For 08/11/18
6 Cllr AM/MA Cllr AM to check the situation with the ownership of the tree blocking light to the railway bridge. MA to speak to Network Rail about the pruning of bushes ASAP
7 DC To provide feedback from the Business Breakfast on 7th November For 08/11/18
8 Cllr AMK To check who the new local community officer is for the MOO area and urge engagement with the CC ASAP
9 FM / MA / SM To feedback to the groups who applied for the Microgrant funding from the CC in October. MA will ask SM to investigate the option to convert some of the Fairburn Fund Small Grant money into the Microgrant pot ASAP
10 MA To speak to MHFC about the potential of a ‘Big Picture 2’ taking place ASAP
11 Cllr AM, MA, DC To look into actions for reducing speeding in the village ASAP
12 MA To contact Shane Manning about the filter light on the new Bridge ASAP
13 DC To contact HC about the broken Smiley Face on Black Isle Road ASAP
14 Cllr AM To check the situation with the temporary 3.5 ton weight restriction notice on Black Isle Road ASAP