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

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council


  The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord

Thursday 10th October 2019 @ 7.30 pm

Present:          Jean Davis (JD) – Chair; Frances MacGruer (FM); Mike Atkinson (MA); Carol Blanchard (CB); Duncan Chisholm (DC); Moira Chalmers (MC)

Others:            Cllr Angela MacLean (AM), Leonard Fraser, Jo Ellen (Minutes)

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
  There were apologies from Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM)  

JD welcomed all those present to the meeting.  She advised that Emma Whitham from Moo Food would start the meeting with a short presentation about some proposed mini orchards within the village.  
  Moo Food Micro Orchards
  Emma Whitham introduced the project by stating that Moo Food would like to see local people having more access to free food. To meet this aim they are proposing to plant two or three fruit trees in a small number of HC owned grass areas in the village.  She referred to a couple of maps submitted prior to the meeting indicated the following possible sites:  
Corrie Gardens playpark
Junction of Seaforth Road & Fairmuir Road
2 areas off Burns Road  
If the CC are happy Moo Food will now go out into the community and consult to ensure local people are in agreement with the details of the plan.  HC are supportive of the planting as long as the trees are located 2 metres apart (to allow mower access) and adequately protected with tree guards.   All those present were very supportive of the aims of the project. CB suggested however that Corrie Gardens playpark is not a suitable location for the trees due to a lack of space.  DC highlighted an area of land on West Road, near the Free Church, at the bottom of Corrie Gardens that might be a better site.   JD thanked Emma for the information and confirmed that the CC is in full support as long as HC is in agreement and consultation is conducted with local people.   A brief discussion followed over the lack of strimming round some of the Moo Food vegetable boxes in the village making them look rather untidy.  Cllr AM will feed this back to HC.  Emma confirmed she was aware of this issue and that Moo Food will arrange for them to be strimmed as soon as possible.  
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
  The minutes of the meeting on Thursday 05 September 2019 were proposed as a true reflection by CB and seconded by FM with the following amendment: Page 5: Item 8. Change ‘Free Church Hall’ to the ‘Drill Hall’.  
3. Matters Arising from Minutes
  Moorings Development Objection
  JD confirmed that she submitted the objection to the Moorings development as discussed at the last meeting.  She advised Cllr AM that there appeared to be an issue with the HC Planning website as a number of the objections (including her own) submitted by the deadline of midnight on Thursday 5th September did not appear to be listed the next day.  After communication with Cllr GM her objection did go on, but others appeared not to.   Cllr AM will report this to the Planning Department at HC.  
  MacDonald Bequest Update
  Cllr AM advised that there was no update on this.  She is frustrated as this is not our ward and therefore her influence is limited.   She has written to Robbie Bain, Ward 6 Manager and all the Cllrs, but there has been no answer to the question of allowing the Bequest to pay for the Tree Officers Recommendations at Urray Cemetery. Di Agnew will raise this again tomorrow to hopefully get a resolution.  It was agreed that this will need to be escalated if there is no response again.  
  Road Sweeper Update
  Cllr AM advised that the Road Sweeper, Donald Maclennan retires after 40 years of service this month.  There is currently no update if he will be replaced.   FM suggested that it would be appropriate for the CC to write to Donald to thank him for his long and dedicated service to the village.  All present agreed that this was a good idea.  
  Police Drop-In Sessions
  JD advised that there was no update when the first Police Drop-In session planned by PC Maciver will take place.  
  Restoration of path on the Burton Estate
  There was no update to report.  MA will keep an eye on the situation.  
  Business Breakfast
  It was agreed that the run up to Christmas is not the best time to hold another Business Breakfast.  This will be put on the February 2020 CC agenda for discussion.  
  Town Centre Fund Application
  See item 10.  
  Grass Cutting/Hedge Issues
  MA confirmed that the grass area along the roadside outside SGL and further down the road is covered by the HC grass mowing contract.  It was reported that the mess left behind each time it is mowed is making the pavement very dirty.  The area around the football pitch has the same issue too.  Cllr AM will report the situation to HC.  
  Contact with PC Maciver
  JD advised that she has had no response from her communications with PC Maciver which was very disappointing.  
  New Christmas Lights
  FM has not managed to progress this.  DC will hopefully be able to share some information collated for the square redevelopment project with FM.   It was agreed that this can be a phased project if necessary and the CC will fund up to £5,000 towards this. A further update will be given at the next meeting.  
  Road Issues
  JD referred to the issues raised at the last meeting – primarily the issue of motorists (mostly tourists) stopping on the bridge when turning right from the West Road and the lack of white lines at the Tarradale, Cairns and Black Isle Road junctions.   Following a brief discussion Cllr AM confirmed she will pass this on to the Roads Department at HC.    Cllr AM advised that there were no objections to the proposal to create a 40mph zone on the Mulbuie Road (B9169) and this will now be actioned.   As part of this the machine to mark the road with white lines will be back in the area.  A discussion followed on the planted area next to the new Railway Bridge that looks messy and unkept.  Cllr AM advised that although this was part of the bridge contract the contractors will not be back to do this work.  HC has money set aside for this and has two options.  Firstly they could appoint another contractor or secondly, they could pass the money to the community to arrange the work.  DC will contact Colin Howells at HC for an update on the situation.  
  CC Election Update
  Due to the extension of the nomination date to 29th October for the CC elections the current councillors will remain in place until at least the December CC meeting.   DC stated that many in the community are frustrated that despite having a CC things do not appear to change or community views are not taken into account by HC.  Cllr AM advised that HC is currently recruiting new Heads of Service and these individuals will be responsible for a specific graphical area.    DC will make contact with Karen McDermott who is already in post to see if she or one of her colleagues can come to a future CC meeting to discuss the issues affecting MOO.   
4. Police Report
  DC gave details of some serious anti-social behaviour in the village that has affected him personally during the last month.  The response from the Police at the time had not been satisfactory in his opinion and he has now arranged to speak to Inspector Kevin Macleod about it.   Leonard Fraser also reported an unsatisfactory response from the Police following an incident of vandalism at the football pavilion.    A discussion followed with those present acknowledging how stretched the Police appear to be, but also stressing that reporting the crimes (as previously told to do) is not making a difference in some cases and often a frustrating and time consuming process.   It was reported that there is a significant problem with drugs and alcohol use at the pond area near the orchard on Black Isle Road.  In addition some Vulcan Cottage residents are causing a significant nuisance in and around the HMO requiring regular Police visits to the building.   Following the discussion JD emphasised that is crucial that there is regular Police presence at CC meetings and at the very least a report submitted for each meeting.  DC will raise this with Inspector Macleod.  
5. Financial Report
  As SM was not present there was no financial update given.  
6. Microgrant Applications
  There were 2 applications from the Muir of Ord Early Learning and Childcare Group for a trip to the Eden Court Pantomime.  The total cost is £547 and they have raised £200.  It unanimously agreed to fund £347 from one of the Microgrant Funds.  FM to notify SM and agree which one.   JD will put microgrant forms to MC for a future Scout group application.  
7. Update – Planning Issues
  The Moorings Great (Ref: 19/03444/FUL)
  JD advised that there is no update on this application.  As yet it has not gone to the Planning Applications Committee for discussion.  This will happen possibly in November.  
  A brief discussion took place on whether the CC should be looking at all planning applications.  It was felt that small residential improvements and other uncontroversial developments should be not covered unless it is exceptional circumstances.  
  There were no other planning applications of note discussed.  
8. Update – Community Groups
  There were no updates.  
9. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
  CB confirmed that Ron Blanchard and Ally Reid cleared some of the bushes at the Lily Loch corner of Black Isle Road to allow better vision when pulling out of the show ground road (B9169).   Those present were grateful for this work.   FM advised that the team working on the path to the War Memorial have it ready for the new tar going in.  This will happen next week.  The cost will be £800, but SSE have kindly agreed to pay half.  The turf cost £200. As agreed at the last meeting the cost of this will be split between the CC and an  Auchmore Microgrant.  Cllr AM will notify Alf Leslie at HC about this work.   MA queried if there was any update when the new HGV weight restrictions would be implemented on Black Isle Road and Ord Road.  Cllr AM will check the situation with Ian Moncrieff at HC.   Leonard Fraser reported that the road signage at the Funeral Parlour is very faded and dangerous.  He reported a couple of near misses recently.  Cllr AM will report this.   A discussion then followed about the state of the Co-op carpark which has several large potholes.  This is private land, owned by the Forbes family and therefore HC is not able to make the repairs necessary.  While this is a nuisance it was also pointed out this is now a safety issue as some drivers are opting to leave the car park via the entrance, rather than the exit, which is potentially dangerous.   It was also highlighted that there is a large amount of water accumulating in a non-tarred section off the road to the Pavilion and Football Pavilion.  This is starting to worry some close by residents of Tarradale Gardens who could be affected if this situation gets worse.  This is Community Association land and therefore HC will not get involved.   Cllr AM will look into this.  
10. Town Centre Fund Application
  DC was delighted to confirm that the TCF application submitted for the square renovation project has been successful in gaining the second level of funding.  This ‘Plan B’ option will provide approximately £200,000 and is a fantastic opportunity for the area to be improved to increase the number of car parking spaces to 28, add bike racks and also provide a valuable space for community events and other activities.  It is possible there could be more funding available, but this cannot be confirmed at this stage.   It was agreed that it would be good to notify the community of this on FB and invite comments.  It would also be helpful to make it clear this money could not have been used for other village projects such as a new sports facility, playparks, etc.   DC reported that considerable help, both financial and other support has come from Willie Gray & others to get the project to this stage which has been much appreciated.  JD also thanked DC for all his efforts too.   A discussion followed on the benefit of including one or two electric vehicle charging points in the plans.  All agreed this was a good idea and MA will investigate this with HIE.   DC will provide an update at the next meeting in November.  
11. Community Action
  MA reported that from the £15,000 the CC agreed to fund the BMX track rebuild – there is £1,389.59 remaining unspent (£5,500 was gained from other sources to fund the rest of the build).  He requested that this money be put towards some necessary repair work on the course.   All present were in agreement with this.   MA advised that he visited with the Ronan, the course builder last week to see what could done to prevent the track deteriorating. It is now felt that remedial work on the two biggest jumps needs to be done.   MA is happy to work with Ronan to get this work done.  He will look to source an appropriate machine (but may have to pay) and will instigate another workday encouraging locals and users to come and help too.   Ben Wyvis Cycle Club plan to make a donation towards this work and ongoing maintenance of the BMX track following the successful cyclocross event recently. Following on DC advised that some of the heras fencing at the site had been pulled down possibly by the wind, but more likely vandalism.  This has been put back up now.  MA will check the situation and make any necessary repairs.  
12. Local Place Plan (The Big Picture 2)
  MA confirmed that the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan ‘call for sites’ has closed and the submission from the community has been received. Following this initial stage of consultation, a Main Issues Report will be produced in early 2020.  At this point further responses can then be submitted.   A discussion followed on the need for a new school to replace the current Tarradale Primary school building which is in a poor state of repair and predicted to exceed capacity in the coming years.  The school is currently number 9 on HC’s list of schools needing replaced.  MA advised that this was included in the ‘call for sites’ submission.  
13. AOB
  Senior Citizens Christmas Party
  MA will complete a Ward Discretionary Fund application for £350 to help pay for this annual Christmas Party.  
  Remembrance Service
  FM confirmed that she has ordered the poppy wreath for the remembrance service.  She suggested that Rowan McAllister, who has local and armed forces connections be asked to lay this on behalf of the CC during the service.   All present were happy for FM to ask her.   It was also noted that it was well received when the names on the memorial were read out previously.  FM will arrange for the previous speakers to be asked again.  
  David Lyall
  FM confirmed she had sent a sympathy card to Edna Lyall following the passing of her husband, David who was a previous member of the CC.   
  Cllr Attendance at Meetings
  FM highlighted that there were no HC Cllrs at the September meeting which was in her view unacceptable.  Some of the four had not given apologies.  This left the CC members to deal with a very difficult meeting without the backup that the HC Cllrs could have given.  Cllr AM stated the change of date had made it more difficult than usual for them to attend, but accepted that this was not a good situation.  
14. Date of Next Meeting
  The next Meeting is to be held on Thursday 14th November 2019 @ 7.30 pm in the Hub, Muir of Ord.   
  The meeting finished at 9.50pm  


Ref Who Action When
1 Cllr AM To report that the lack of strimming round some of the Moo Food vegetable boxes in the village ASAP
2 Cllr AM To report back to that the HC planning documents website does not appear to be working properly ASAP
3 Cllr AM To update if the MacDonald Bequest will be used to pay for the Tree Officers recommendations for the Urray Cemetery ASAP
4 Cllr AMK To update if there will be a replacement Street Sweeper in MOO ASAP
5 FM To write to Donald, the Street Sweeper to thank for his years of service ASAP
6 JD To establish the date of the Police Drop-In session in MOO ASAP
7 MA To make informal enquiries about the restoration of the core path on the old railway line –  when works complete. ASAP
8 Cllr AM To report this issue of mulched grass making a mess of the pavement outside SGL and along the road further down ASAP
9 DC To urge a Police presence at meetings with Inspector Macleod ASAP
10 FM To investigate the cost of Christmas Lights with Blachere Illumination & other suppliers ASAP
11 Cllr AM To highlight with HC the roads issues discussed at the meeting ASAP
12 DC To contact Colin Howells about the messy area next to the new railway bridge to establish what is happening with this ASAP
13 DC To make contact with Karen McDermott to see if she can talk at the next CC meeting about HC issues ASAP
14 FM To speak to SM about the Microgrant agreed at this meeting ASAP
15 JD To put microgrant forms to MC ASAP
16 Cllr AM To notify Alf Leslie about the work at the War Memorial ASAP
17 Cllr AM To check the situation with the new HGV weight restrictions in MOO ASAP
18 Cllr AM To advise that the signage outside the funeral parlour is faded and potentially dangerous ASAP
19 Cllr AM To investigate the issue of the large puddle near Tarradale Gardens ASAP
20 MA/DC To investigate the option to add 1 or 2 electric hook up points in the square renovations with HIE. DC to update on the project ASAP
21 MA To check the heras fencing at the BMX track ASAP
22 MA To complete a Discretionary Fund Application for the Senior Citizens Christmas party ASAP
23 FM To finalise the Remembrance Day preparations By 10th November