Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council – Approved March 2019 Minutes

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council


  The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord

Thursday 14th March 2019 @ 7.30 pm

Present:          Mike Atkinson (MA),  Frances MacGruer (FM), Jean Davis (JD), Duncan Chisholm (DC) & Carol Blanchard (CB)

Others:            Cllr Margaret Paterson (MP), Sheila Moore, Trina Hastings, Meg Maciver, Ally Reid, Gordon Shand, Alex Johannesen, PC James Maciver, PC Gerry McKenna

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
  There were apologies from Moira Chalmers (MC), Stephen Mackenzie (SM), Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Cllr Alister MacKinnon (AMK), Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM)   MA welcomed those present to the meeting.  
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
  The minutes of the meeting on Thursday 14th February 2019 were proposed as a true reflection by JD and seconded by DC with the following amendments: P4, Police Issues – Antisocial Behaviour: paragraph 3, first sentence – change ‘import’ to ‘important’. P5, Police Issues – Antisocial Behaviour: paragraph 1, third sentence – change ‘access to the each’ to ‘access to all’.  
3. Matters Arising from Minutes
  Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)
  MA is still trying to organise another date for the installation of the gate.  
  MacDonald Bequest Update
  There was no update as Cllr AM was not present.  
  Village Defibrillators
  MA and DC have worked together to produce A4 & A5 notices with details of the two MOO defibrillators – one at the Golf Club and one at the Co-op. These will be distributed around the village to noticeboards, public buildings and businesses, including B&Bs.  
  Tree Issue at Railway Bridge
  MA has contacted Network Rail about the tree blocking the light on the bridge.  A discussion followed on who owns the tree and would be responsible for it. To clarify the situation MA will take another look and photograph the exact location of the tree.  
  Filter Light on the Bridge
  MA reported that there is still no update from HC on the lack of a filter light on the bridge (garage end, for turning right onto West Road)  He will chase this and update at the next meeting.  
  Broken Smiley Face on Black Isle Road
  DC confirmed that this has been replaced and is now working as it should.  
  SSE Fairburn Fund Funds
  See AOB.  
  WiFi at the Co-op
  MA confirmed that he lodged a request with Co-op Management asking that the free WiFi be turned off due to the antisocial behaviour it appeared to be encouraging in and outside the shop. Staff  have now updated that the WiFi will be turned off between 6pm – 10pm every night, which is a positive outcome.  
  Mulbuie Hall Microgrant Application
  MA confirmed that as the Mulbuie Hall is outside our CC area the microgrant application to help their renovations project could not be supported by the Fairburn Fund.  However as this hall is used by various residents of MOO it was agreed that it would be a nice gesture to award £200 from the Auchmore Fund to assist them.  All present were in agreement with this.  
  Planning application 19/00234/MSC
  MA confirmed that he submitted the comments discussed at the last meeting regarding the completion of the Square to Square project to the HC Planning Department.  
  CC Newsletters
  MA advised that A5 newsletters discussed at the last meeting were drawn up and distributed around the village by volunteers last week.  The two issues highlighted were antisocial behaviour and the Lochan Corr Housing Development.  Those present reported a very positive response to this communication and were in agreement that these should be produced quarterly, unless a more urgent issue arises that requires a special edition.   For future newsletters it was suggested that they are double sided and highlight two or three key issues, most likely including a Police update.  It would also be useful to highlight when the monthly CC meetings take place on these.  The content of the next newsletter will come from the discussions at the April meeting.  
  The printing costs of these were briefly discussed with the opinion expressed that using a local business would be preferable as long as the costs do not make it significantly higher than other options. DC will investigate printing costs further and report back.  
  PC Maciver suggested that Police Scotland Youth Volunteers may be able to help with the leaflet drop next time.   It was agreed that he will speak to them about this and hopefully they will assist in May.  
  Road Sweeper Update
  There was no update on this item.  
  Update on Big Picture 2
  See item 12.  
  Replacement Play Equipment Update
  See AOB.  
  Proposed CC Boundary Changes
  MA confirmed that he wrote to Beauly CC to confirm the changes proposed were agreeable, unless Windhill was included.  
4. Police Issues
  MA confirmed that a Police report had been submitted by PC Maciver.  It detailed the following reports of crimes, offences, antisocial behaviour (ASB) and other incidents of note dealt with between 14/02/19 and 11/03/19:   4 x Theft3 x Vandalism2 x Assault2 x Fraud5 x Vulnerable Adult4 x Abandoned 999 calls5 x Court Enquiries3 x Domestic Incidents1 x Drugs12 x Advise/False Calls18 x Antisocial Behaviour (some linked calls, reporting the same incident)  
  PC Maciver then outlined progress since the February CC meeting.  He advised that immediately after this meeting there was a big increase in calls reporting instances of ASB, but since then there has been a noticeable drop which was thought to be a positive sign.  The publicity about the issue in the press and social media along with the following measures were thought to be helping:   Youth Action Workers out on the streetsDeployment of Community WardensIncrease in the Police presence when ever possible   PC Maciver advised that he is planning to arrange some informal drop-in events in the village over the coming months.  He will be available to chat on an individual basis to local people with a view to helping some of the more vulnerable members of the community who may be less likely to report crime or be fearful of contacting the Police for advice via normal channels.  
  Following on PC Gerry McKenna from the British Transport Police (BTP) gave an update on how they are assisting with the issues as it is clear that the some of the perpetrators of the ASB are arriving by train or hanging around the Railway Station.  While working with Police Scotland, they also liaise closely with Network Rail and Scotrail to gather intelligence on trouble makers.  In the first quarter of 2019 there have only been 2 reports of ASBs relating directly to the railway which is not a significant number.  The summer and light nights can lead to an increase in the number of issues, however, so this will need to be monitored closely.  
  MA welcomed the more positive reports from both Officers this month and suggested that the multi-strand approach appears to be working.  From the communities point of view the increased Police presence,  the knowledge that the 4 CCTV cameras are working and the lack of WiFi at the Co-op during evening hours, should all continue to help the situation.  In addition MA advised that the Youth Group, formed at the last CC meeting have now met to discuss the way forward. He did not have an update as yet on this, but was confident this will also produce beneficial results.  FM reported that the local football club held a session for 13-15 year olds recently, with over 40 attending.  More activities like this will hopefully give young people a focus for their energy.  
  MA advised that Sustrans have a grant fund to support access to railway stations and it might be worth applying to them for improvements to be made to the station paths as these are badly lit, overgrown by bushes and have stones lying about that can be thrown onto the tracks.  This may help to reduce instances of ASB in the vicinity of the station.  
  A wider discussion followed on the importance of distinguishing between normal teenage behaviour and the ASB that has been happening of late.  Many of the youngsters in MOO like to meet up and congregate in certain areas of the village, but mean no harm to any people or property.  It was emphasised if members of the public treat all young people as if they are thugs, they will not encourage positive responses.  The moto should be ‘Treat them how you would wish to be treated’.  
  Once the first drop-in session is arranged by PC Maciver, MA will submit a short article to Muir Matters and this can also be advertised in the CC newsletter, noticeboards and on FB.  
5. Financial Report
  SM was not present, but had submitted an update on the accounts:   Statement Balance on 05/02/19:  £8,260.56 Cheques Written, but not cashed: £583.37 Monies due but not cleared: £4,500.00 Account Balance:  £12,177.19 Unrestricted Working CC Funds: £7,141.63   MA highlighted that the level of unrestricted funds is currently quite high.  He suggested that anyone with a good idea for spending a portion of this should bring it forward for consideration.  
  Microgrant Applications
  Ross-shire Rangers have applied to the Auchmore Fund for £150 to purchase resources.  All present agreed to this grant application.  
6. Update – Community Groups
  Business Group
  DC advised that he spoke to Tony from Beauly CC about the potential for Beauly & MOO businesses getting together for their mutual benefit.  Beauly CC were not in a position to help with this, but DC has now had a very positive discussion with a group of businesses who are trying to get the Beauly Business Group restarted.  They are holding a meeting this month and will raise this idea as part of their discussions.   
  Halls & Facilities Company (MHFC)
  MA reported that both office spaces in the refurbished hall are now occupied and rent is being paid.  It is hoped this will pay for the general running of the hall and the money from those using the main hall can then be put towards future developments, such as the new kitchen project.   As the hall is the designated evacuation hub for the village, the possibility of accessing the SSE Resilient Communities Fund may be looked into.  The current kitchen would not be suitable for mass catering if it was to be used in an emergency situation and this could be the basis of any application.  
  The MHFC AGM was held on 1st March and was well attended. They have recruited one more Director and are now able to move forward.  
7. Update – Planning Issues
  Planning Reference 19/00234/MSC – South of the Cairns Development
  There was no update to report.  
  Lochan Corr
  There was no update to report.  
8. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
  MA queried if the logging work being undertaken by the Burton Estate along the Old Railway line is affecting walkers along this core path.   There were no negatives comments forthcoming. MA will make informal enquires to try to establish if the area will be restored to its original state following the completion of the work.  
  MA commented that the 20mph stickers are being seen around the village which is positive. There are still more to give out if anyone else would like one.  JD confirmed that she also submitted an article to Muir Matters about speeding in the village.  She is not aware of any feedback from this.  MA thanked JD for doing this.  
  JD also advised that she attended a meeting at Mulbuie Hall on 18th February organised by Ferintosh CC regarding speeding on the B9169.  She reported that they are ideally looking for a 40mph limit to be imposed on the route.  She is happy to continue to act as a contact between the two CCs, reporting back where necessary on progress.  
9. Community Action
  A discussion took place on the ongoing persistent problem of dog fouling in the village.  Alex Johannesen suggested the use of a biodegradable colour spray to highlight dog poo in public areas with a view to shaming the culprits and reducing future instances.  It was agreed that the CC would be willing to pay for the cost of this spray.  This issue will also be highlighted in the next CC newsletter.  
  Ally Reid advised that the gullies near the school are badly clogged and need to be cleared out.  MA also commented that there are issues with this on Balvaird Road.  He will contact HC about both areas.  
10. Post Office Issues
  The new MOO branch at the Petrol Station will open on 4th April 2019.  The delay in opening has been due to technical issues.  The staff are trained and ready to start work.  
11. Moo Food Update
  No update given.  This item will be removed from the next agenda.  
12. Local Place Plan (a.k.a The Big Picture 2)
  MA advised that HC is looking at how development has been delivered in the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan area to help prepare a new plan for the future.  They are looking for input from communities to assess how effective the current plan has been in and look at options for future development.   
  To assist with this process MA advised that he contacted Planning Aid Scotland to see if they could provide funding to help with the organisation and facilitation of another Big Picture type consultation.  This group are a Social Enterprise who could do the work for us, but we would need to find funding to pay them to do this.  The costs could be anywhere between £1000 and £10,000 depending on the type of consultation undertaken.  The Scottish Government also have a fund to encourage greater public involvement in the design of places by providing funding for community workshops, or ‘charrettes’.  This may also be worth investigating.  
  Moving on MA asked for the thoughts of those present on the way forward – is a similar type of ‘Big Picture Day’ a good idea or is there another way?  The previous event resulted in the creation of the Hub, highlighted the need for the village hall to be refurbished and resulted in the development of the cycle path network in the area.  MA stressed the community should look forward 5 – 10 years and think carefully about the need for new housing and facilities and how this can all work effectively together with the existing infrastructure.   A lengthy discussion then took place on the importance of planning carefully for the future to ensure the village does not get swallowed up by poorly considered developments and become a town with inadequate facilities and transport links.   Finally the discussion concluded on whether a Facilitator would be necessary, with the general consensus that this is crucial to ensuring all members of the community have an equal say.  It was agreed that MA should investigate options for this, with a budget of up to £2,500.  MA will draw up a specification of what is needed first and distribute round the CC for comment.  
14. AOB
  Fairburn Fund
  MA reported that discussions have taken place with Fiona Morrison at SSE regarding the use of the Fairburn Fund going forward.  Following a community meeting in 2012 the first 5 years of the MOO portion of the Fund were set aside for the hall and for a Community Development Officer (CDO).  Two years ago, the use of the money was amended to allow some small ‘maxi’ grants of up to £1000 to be available to the community as long as supporting the CDO post also.   The current contract for the CDO role is due to run out in October 2019 and agreement is now required if the Fund is to continue supporting it.  Those present expressed the view that this post or similar is crucial to the village moving forward so would be supportive of this.  However  it was acknowledged that some local consultation will be necessary to confirm what the wider community would support as there may be other ideas to discuss.    
  MA advised that Fiona also suggested that a small portion of money from the Fund (likely £100) could be bid for at this event. This could be similar to the HC ‘Your Cash Your Choice’ type events where groups can make simple presentations and then those present vote for who should get the money.  Groups could use this for simple projects and equipment.   This idea was supported by those present.  
  It was also suggested that this event would be a great opportunity for groups who have benefited from Fairburn or Auchmore funding to showcase their activities and what they have done with the money.    It was agreed that CC members will consider how the community should be consulted about the future of the Fairburn Fund and agree a plan in the next few days.  
  New Play Equipment
  MA reported that the cost of replacing the play Tower at the Highfield Circle playpark is £12,000 plus VAT.  The See-saw at the school will cost £4,500 plus VAT.   All were in agreement that these need to be replaced so MA will contact the Co-op Local Community Fund, Tesco Bags of Help, Ward Discretionary Fund and the Fairburn Fund. DC also said he would help by contacting local businesses to see if they can provide any money towards this.   It was also highlighted that some of the wooden seating at the school is needing replaced too.  MA will take a look at this.   Disappointment was expressed that HC are not replacing the play equipment in their parks themselves.  It was acknowledged however that due to the current financial constraints at HC it was not worth pursuing this with them.  
  BMX Track
  MA confirmed that a Workday will take place on Saturday 23rd March at the refurbished BMX track. Volunteers should meet at noon at the carpark behind the Police Station for a final preparation session. The plan is to move earth to tidy the banks around the track and hopefully do a final whack down.  All welcome – please bring boots, gloves, shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows.   The Grand Opening will be on Saturday 5th May (likely from noon to 4pm).  Orange Fox Bikes, Square Wheels and Sustrans will be there along with hopefully some expert riders doing demonstrations.   FM will contact Willie Matheson from Kitarlity who has a burger van to see if he can come along too to provide food to those attending.  
  Village Clean Up
  MA advised that a village Clean Up will place on Saturday 30th March at 1pm. Volunteers should meet at noon at the carpark behind the Police Station. Gloves, litter pickers and bags will be provided.  
  Fundraising for Strictly Inverness
  FM advised that local, Trevor MacFadyen is taking part in the Highland Hospice Strictly Inverness 2019 competition in May.  He is holding a fund-raising coffee morning and also a ceilidh on 30th March.  If anyone would like more information, they can contact FM.  
15. Date of Next Meeting
  Thursday 11th April 2019 @ 7.30 pm in the Hub, Muir of Ord.   
  The meeting finished at 9.40pm  


Ref Who Action When
1 MA To update on gate installation ASAP
2 Cllr AM To update if the MacDonald Bequest will be used to pay for the Tree Officers recommendations for the Urray Cemetery ASAP
3 MA & DC To coordinate the distribution of the notices round the village ASAP
4 MA MA to speak to Network Rail about the tree blocking the light on the bridge and investigate their Corporate & Social Responsibility Policy ASAP
5 MA To update on the lack of the filter light on the new Bridge. ASAP
6 Cllr AM To check if there will be a replacement Street Sweeper in MOO ASAP
7 DC To investigate local printing options for the A5 CC newsletters ASAP
8 MA To publicise the new Police drop-in sessions when the first one starts To be confirmed
9 MA To make informal enquiries about the restoration of the core path on the old railway line ASAP
10 MA To report the blocked gullies outside the school and on Balvaird Road to HC ASAP
11 MA To draw up a specification and investigate a Facilitator who could run the Big Picture 2 project ASAP
12 All CC Members Consider how best to consult with the community over the future spending of the Fairburn Fund ASAP
13 MA / DC MA to investigate sources of funding to replace damaged play equipment.  DC to see if any local businesses can help ASAP