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

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council


  The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord

Thursday 14th November 2019 @ 7.30 pm

Present:          Jean Davis (JD) – Chair; Frances MacGruer (FM) – Secretary; Margaret Jack (MJ) – Treasurer; Carol Blanchard (CB); Moira Chalmers (MC); Ally Reid (AR); Philip MacRae (PM)

Others:            Cllr Angela MacLean (AM), James Henderson, Alex Johannesen, Willie Bell, Joan Munro, Mike Atkinson, Gavin Berkeheger, David MacRae, Stephen Pennington,  Jo Ellen (Minutes)

1.Apologies for Absence & Welcome
 There were apologies from Cllr Alistair MacKinnon (AMK), Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM), Duncan Chisholm (DC) & Stephen Mackenzie (SM).   JD welcomed all those present to the meeting.    
2.Minutes of Previous Meeting
 The minutes of the meeting on Thursday 11th October 2019 were proposed as a true reflection by FM and seconded by CB with the following amendment: Page 2: Item 3 – Road Sweeper Update, add Donald’s surname – ‘Maclennan’. Page 6: AOB – David Lyall, amend to reflect that FM had already sent the card to Edna Lyall at the time of the last meeting.  
3.Matters Arising from Minutes
 Strimming at Moo Food Vegetable Boxes
 Cllr AM has reported this to HC, but as yet the work has not been completed.  
 HC Planning Department website
 Cllr AM reported the issues raised at the last meeting with Maureen Mackenzie of the HC Planning Department.  There was no update if the problems have now been rectified.  
 MacDonald Bequest Update
 Cllr AM advised that the Ward 5 Councillors have agreed to the recommendation of the Tree Officer regarding the situation at Urray Cemetery.  They are keen that rather than cutting down the trees causing damage, that the affected head stone is moved.   Following discussion those present requested that a Ward 5 representative come along to the February meeting to ensure consultation is done before any work is carried out.  Cllr AM will feed this back to Robbie Bain, Ward 5 Manager.  
 Road Sweeper Update
 Cllr AM advised that as Donald has now retired the vacancy will be advertised, although the date when is yet to be confirmed.  It is also unclear at this stage if the role we be the same or modified in some way.  FM will write to Donald and thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the village.    
 Police Drop-In Sessions
 There was no update on this issue.    
 Restoration of path on the Burton Estate
 There was no update to report.  MA will keep an eye on the situation.  
 Mowing issues
 There was no update on this.  As the growing season is over, this will be monitored next year.  
 Police Presence at CC Meetings
 JD advised that she has now contacted Inspector MacLeod to highlight the lack of Police presence and reports at recent CC meetings.  He gave a number of reasons why they cannot guarantee Police Officer attendance, but stressed they will do their best to facilitate this going forward.   FM confirmed that DC also spoke to Inspector MacLeod to urge an improvement in communication and attendance.  
 Christmas Lights
 FM has been in touch with Blachere Illumination regarding the purchase of new Christmas Lights.  They have suggested that the community decide on a theme for the lights then go back for a quote  to see what can be arranged, possibly over a few years.   This will not be possible for this Christmas, but hopefully next year.  FM will contact Stuart Bruce, Lighting Officer at HC for his assistance as a couple of street lights are not working and this will potentially affect the festive display this year.  
 Road Issues
 Cllr AM advised that she raised the issues highlighted at the last meeting with Ian Moncrieff, Roads Operational Officer at HC.   A discussion followed on speeding in the village with positive and negative comments made about the use of chicanes.  It was noted that the Police have been seen doing speed checks and this was welcomed, but the problem still persists.  A member of the public suggested that the community should request that some traffic monitoring equipment is installed to provide a clearer picture of the problem.   There was no update on the smiley faces to be installed in the 20mph zone of the village.  Cllr AM will chase this with HC.  
 Landscaping at the New Bridge
 FM advised that DC has contacted Colin Howell at HC regarding landscaping at the bridge.  The current planting is unattractive and not popular in the village.  He is willing to come along to the December meeting to discuss what is possible for maintaining this area as George Leslie Ltd are now are unable do this.   A discussion followed on this as it is understood there is money set aside for this work, that could potentially be given to a group in the community to maintain the area.   Cllr AM will invite Colin Howell to the December meeting.  
 HC Issues
 FM also advised that DC has contacted Donna Manson, Chief Executive of HC to highlight the points made at the last meeting and ask for her attendance at an upcoming CC meeting. This was acknowledged and she accepted the invitation.  Cllr AM advised that she and Carron McDiarmid, new Head of Service (Community Services) will not be able to attend in December due to the General Election, but hopefully this will be possible for the February meeting.   They should be able to answer questions on a number of issues that have been raised recently.  
 War Memorial Work
 Cllr AM highlighted the work done in the area around the War Memorial by SSE staff as part of their Community Hearts Scheme. A photo of this group was shared widely in the village on FB.  Cllr AM will notify Alf Leslie, HC War Memorial Project Co-ordinator of the work.  
 HGV Road Restriction Update
 Cllr AM advised that the signage for the new HGV weight restrictions on Black Isle Road and Ord Road will go up shortly.  
 Signage Issues
 It was reported that someone has attempted to improve the signage at the Funeral Parlour using spray paint.  While this is helpful, the signage will need to be properly fixed or replaced by HC.  
 Drainage near Tarradale Gardens
 A member of the public who lives near the puddle advised that it has been a constant feature for a number of years.  During periods of wet weather it can be quite deep.  He will take a photo when this next happens to illustrate how bad it can be.   JD welcomed this and will forward any photos on to HC.  
 Electric Charge Points
 MA has made some initial investigations with HIE.  He will update further when more is known.  
 BMX Track
 MA reported that there will be repair work going on at the BMX track from 15th – 17th November.   Remedial work on the two biggest jumps needs to be done along with other jobs.  The course designer is coming to assist with the work, but MA would welcome any other volunteers who can help at any point over the three days.   During this work they will check the heras fencing which was discussed at the last meeting.  
 Remembrance Day
 Thanks were given to FM for all her hard work assisting with the organisation of this on behalf of the CC.   FM read out an email from DC in which he expressed disappointment at the level of support and attendance from local clubs, CC members and association representatives.  He would like there to be a discussion soon on how attendance can be increased next year.   Those present noted the comments and were happy for discussion to take place about this at a future meeting.  
4.Police Report
 The following Police report was received detailing the crimes, offences and antisocial behaviour and other incidents of note dealt with between 07/10/2019 and 07/11/2019:   Two incidents of drivers being charged with no insuranceThere was a detected domestic incidentOne detected serious assault and one assault where a vulnerable adult assaulted a youth.Three detected incidents involving drug useThree incidents of vandalism which are currently undetectedThree separate thefts by shoplifting where one person was arrested for all threeThere are still ongoing issues with Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in the Muir of Ord area which hopefully given recent media attention and, where possible, increased mobile patrols, these will start to decrease.   A discussion followed about Vulcan Cottage with it queried if the Police can give a breakdown of specific activity at this property.  JD will contact Inspector MacLeod to see if this is possible.  It was acknowledged however that not all incidences of ASB stem from here and there is a continuing problem caused by local people, and those from neighbouring towns and villages.  
5.Financial Report
 SM (the outgoing Treasurer) was not present but a financial report was read out to those present.  The main points were:   Statement Balance on 31/10/19:  £11,836.73 Cheques Written, but not cashed: £224.99 Monies due but not cleared: £0.00 Account Balance:  £11,611.74 Unrestricted Working CC Funds: £9,101.00   JD emphasised that the CC have committed £5,000 of the unrestricted funds to the purchase of new Christmas lights.   
6.Microgrant Applications
 There were two applications to consider:
 MOO Football Club:  The group were looking for £235 to help with a New Year Family Fund-raising Ceilidh.  All were happy to support this application.  
 MOO Scout Group: The group were looking for £500 (£250 from Auchmore/£250 from Fairburn) to help with the cost of the whole group going to the Eden Court Pantomime.   All were happy to support this application.  
 Joan Munro handed in a thank you letter from MOO Jog Scotland to be passed to SM.  This was following the microgrant award to support the Gala 5k event in July 2019.  JD will forward this on.  
7.Update – Planning Issues
 The Moorings Great (Ref: 19/03444/FUL)
 JD reported that there is no update on this planning application currently.  It is anticipated that this will go to the next HC Planning Committee meeting on 28th November, but it will not be confirmed until the agenda is published about a week before.  JD will provide an update following this. AR stated that it appears that a Building Warrant application relating to this property may have been withdrawn, but the detail of what this is for is not clear.  A member of the public stressed how worried local residents are about the prospect of the application being successful.  JD acknowledged this, but emphasised nothing further can be done at this stage to urge a response or resolution.  
 Lochan Corr
 AR advised that HC have objected to the proposal to narrow Black Isle Road contained in the Lochan Corr Development plans.  It is likely therefore that there will be a delay in this going to the HC Planning Committee meeting for consideration until next year.  
8.Update – Community Groups
 There were no updates.  
9.Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
 CB listed the following issues needing attention:   The verge along side the Golf Club entering the village (from the Beauly side) is in a poor state, with gorse bushes and other foliage looking untidying and obscuring the village entrance signs.  FM advised that there is a new Green Keeper at the Golf Club.  She will speak to Darren at the club and see what can be done.The streetlight at the pedestrian crossing at the school appears to be dimmed and is not providing enough light in this area.  JD asked CB to find the number of this light and forward it on to either herself or Cllr AM.Opposite Nobles Court there are overhanging branches from a private property that are making it difficult to see on-coming vehicles when driving on West Road towards the bridge.  Stephen Pennington will check the situation with the owner of the property.   Discussion also followed about the continuing problem of motorists (mostly tourists) stopping on the bridge when turning right from the West Road as they see a red light and think they must stop.  JD suggested that a small group of CC members arrange to meet a representative from HC on site to illustrate the problem more effectively.  
 AR also highlighted how dangerous the road exit of Seaforth Road is at the Tarradale Hotel.  Vehicles are needing to edge forward into the junction to establish if they are safe to exit.  He suggested that a ‘Blind Junction Ahead’ sign (or similar) should be installed on the bridge to warn motorists of a potential hazard ahead.  MA advised that changes to the junction are contained in the Lochan Corr planning application, but these improvements are probably sometime away, if ever.  Cllr AM will raise this issue again with HC to see if any safety enhancements, including changes to the white lines can be made in the meantime.  
 In positive news CB reported that the filter light on the bridge, for those turning right onto West Road, from Great North Road has been working on some occasions recently. It was also noted that someone has filled in the potholes at the exit of the Co-op carpark.  This was well received by those present.  
10.Town Centre Fund Application
 FM read out an update from DC.  He has met, discussed and emailed Robert Campbell at HC regarding the square project and is awaiting confirmation of the full funding available.   He has also met with a working group which includes professional tradespeople who can support the project.  They will meet again when confirmation of the funding is provided.     JD raised concern about the CC being left with the financial liability for this project and suggested it would be beneficial to work with the Development Trust in the village who have more expertise in  this area.  Stephen Pennington from the Trust confirmed that they have been approached about this and are looking into it.   DC will update further at the next meeting.  
11.Community Action
 JD thanked those who recently emptied the planters in the village, leaving them looking neat and tidy.  Alex Johannesen stated that members of the Gardening Club did this work.  
12.Local Place Plan (The Big Picture 2)
 There was no progress on this.  It will be discussed in the new year.  
 Community Bench
 JD advised that Moo Food have been gifted a seating bench by Inverness Foodstuff and are looking for suggestions where to locate it in the village.  Following discussion those present felt it would be best situated outside the village hall.   This is a busy area, with good lighting to prevent issues with vandalism.  JD to report back to Moo Food.  
 CC Liasion Meetings with Dingwall Medical Practice
 JD advised she is happy to attend these quarterly meetings with Dingwall Medical Practice and other CC representatives and groups as there may be useful information to this community discussed.    
 Senior Citizens Christmas Party
 MC advised that this will take place on Tuesday 10th December at the Priory Hotel in Beauly at 6.30pm.   Anyone wishing to attend should add their name to the list at the Muir Hub.    MC has written to local businesses asking for donations to help fund this.  Any donations will be put to the CC and then the CC will pay the outstanding balance.  FM will be happy to take a cheque along on the day.  
 Christmas Tree
 FM advised that the village Christmas Tree displayed in the square will be sponsored by Everest Home Improvements this year.  Thanks were given to them for their support with this.  
 Retirement of Dr Paul
 AR suggested that it would be nice to send a note of thanks to Dr Paul, who has been a GP in the village for many years.  JD will organise this.  
14.Date of Next Meeting
 The next Meeting is to be held on Thursday 12th December @ 7.30 pm in the Hub, Muir of Ord.   
 The meeting finished at 9.15pm  


1Cllr AMTo invite a representative from Ward 5 to a CC meeting to discuss the Tree Officers recommendations at Urray CemeteryASAP
2FMTo write to Donald, the Street Sweeper to thank for his years of serviceASAP
3JDTo establish the date of the Police Drop-In session in MOOASAP
4MATo make informal enquiries about the restoration of the core path on the old railway line –  when works complete.ASAP
5FMTo investigate the cost of Christmas Lights with Blachere Illumination and contact Stuart Bruce about faulty streetlightsASAP
6Cllr AMTo establish the situation with the installation of new smiley faces in the 20mph zone in the villageASAP
7Cllr AMTo contact Colin Howells and invite him to the December meetingASAP
8Cllr AMTo make contact with Donna Manson and Carron McDiarmid  and invite them to the February CC meeting.ASAP
9Cllr AMTo notify Alf Leslie about the work at the War MemorialASAP
10MATo investigate the option to add 1 or 2 electric hook up points in the square renovations with HIE.ASAP
11JDTo ask if a specific Police report on Vulcan Cottage can be producedASAP
12JDTo provide an update on the Moorings Planning Application after the agenda for the next HC Planning Committee is publishedASAP
13FNTo speak to Darren at the Golf Club to see if the verges along Great North Road can be tidiedASAP
14CBTo establish the number of the streetlight outside the school that is dimmer than it should beASAP
15Stephen PenningtonTo speak to the property owner who has the bushes protruding onto West RoadASAP
16Cllr AMTo contact HC regarding the dangerous Seaforth/Great North Road junctionASAP
17DCTo update on the Town Centre Fund Application12/12/19
18JDTo advise Moo Food where the CC would suggest the new bench should be situatedASAP
19JDTo write a thank you note to Dr PaulASAP