Glen Urquhart Community Council

Monday 26th October 2015 at 8.00pm

Blairbeg Hall, Drumnadrochit

1. Present: Pam Lucas (Chairman), Peter MacDonald (Treasurer), Ken Fraser, John Duncan, David Fraser (Vice Chairman), Sandra Bardwell and Val Cooper (Secretary).

Also present: Cllr Margaret Davidson, Julie Adams, Soirbheas, Peter Walling, FCS, and 3 members of the public.  

Apologies: Fiona Urquhart, Dominic Thierry and Cllr Hamish Wood.

Pam Lucas welcomed those present and advised that this was the final meeting of the existing community council.  Elections had taken place throughout the region resulting in many changes and some councils being unable to form. In the case of Glen Urquhart, the election was not contested and members of the new council will be Pam Lucas, Ken Fraser, John Duncan, Fiona Urquhart and Peter MacDonald. Up to 9 members are permitted, but regulations do not permit the outgoing members to co-opt people to the new council. It was agreed to wait until the January meeting of the new council to co-opt additional members, in the meantime, members were encouraged to give some thought to possible nominees.   However, the regulations allow the temporary co-option of associate members for the performance of specific tasks. It was agreed that David Fraser would be co-opted as an associate member for a temporary period from now until the January meeting so that he could continue to liaise in connection with Loch Ness Homes, amenity housing and the new Health Centre.  This was proposed by Pam Lucas and seconded by Ken Fraser.

GUCC were pleased to note that Mr Tom Cave has been awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French government for his contribution to the D Day landings.

2.  Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting on 28th September were adopted as a correct record (John Duncan / Sandra Bardwell).

3. Matters Arising from Minutes

Item 3  Milton Lighting – Margaret Davidson advised that the results of questionnaires issued to Milton residents regarding switching off street lights from 12am to 6am had shown a majority in favour.  The system required to be isolated from the main road lighting system before being put into operation.  Margaret Davidson would also be issuing a flyer to residents advising that the switch off would be undertaken for a trial period as a result of the questionnaire.

Item 13.2 Community Council Elections – Thanks were passed to outgoing GUCC members Sandra Bardwell, Dick Beach and Dominic Thierry for the significant contribution they had made during their time on the council.  It was agreed that Margaret Davidson would open the 23rd November meeting, inaugurate new members and supervise the election of office bearers.    

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter MacDonald reported that there was no change since the previous meeting, the balance remained at £871.15.  

5. Policing Update

No officer attended but an update had been provided.

6. Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) – Presentation by Peter Walling

Peter Walling was welcomed to the meeting, he advised that his role with FCS was to review their land management plans.  Each forest block has a 10 year plan, and this is generally reviewed after 5 years of operation.  The review involves statutory consultees (SEPA, SNH etc), but FCS endeavour to consult as widely as possible and welcome engagement and ideas from the local communities.  A number of maps of the GUCC area were available for review, these highlighted SSIs, Special Protection Areas, ancient woodland, felling plans, species plans etc.  All maps are available for public access on the FCS website

In addition to reviewing the plans, the following points were noted:

- The potential for run-off and the adverse effect on the waterways within the Glen following felling.

- Following the storms in early January, there remain many unstable trees and additional clearing is needed along the Buntait road.

- Increased speed of some timber lorry contractors on the public roads within the Glen.

Further comments are welcome and members of the community are encouraged to look on the website and submit any issues they may have.

7. Renewables

Cnoc an Eas – as discussed at the last meeting, Pam Lucas confirmed that she had submitted a letter in support of Pierre Lebrun’s letter to the planners.

STAG members confirmed they had no update at present.

Soirbheas – The Soirbheas application for a community grant for the Shenval hydro scheme had been unsuccessful, however, they would be pursuing other options for funding.

Bhlaraidh Wind Farm – Margaret Davidson advised that GUCC should contact SSE regarding community benefit from the Bhlaraidh development which includes some of the GUCC area.  Action – Pam Lucas

SSE Signage – It was noted that Balfour Beattie signage for private access from Kerrow Brae should now be removed, SSE to be contacted regarding this.  Action – Pam Lucas

8. Flooding

David Fraser advised that he was currently awaiting a response from Jacob Baptie.   

9. Roads

A82 – Notification received from Mike Baxter, Roads Department, regarding traffic control for survey works on the rock slopes above the A82 north of Drumnadrochit on 2nd and 3rd November and a further 5 days during the week commencing 9th November, from 9.00am to 5.00pm.  

A831 – Margaret Davidson advised that budget cuts had resulted in a decision for no pre-gritting, however, this had been re-instated, but cuts of £250k for two years had meant job cuts and lorry sales, now larger gritters would cover longer routes but were unable to include secondary routes, especially during times of particular pressure.  GUCC had submitted a letter of concern regarding this, and the Ward Council had objected at a recent meeting, some secondary routes had now been reinstated.  The next stage was that Community Services had been asked to consult with local farmers and contractors to undertake gritting of the roads which would not be treated by the main lorries, and negotiations were currently taking place.  Margaret Davidson also advised that a major review of the whole gritting service using more local contractors was to take place before April 2016, to allow time for implementation for winter 2016/17.  

10. Loch Ness Homes / Drumnadrochit Medical Centre / Amenity Housing

Loch Ness Homes – no update.

Drumnadrochit Medical Centre – no date for opening had been publicised and it was thought that this may be due to continued IT problems.

Amenity Housing – Work on the business case for amenity housing was progressing well.  

11. Planning Applications

15/03877/FUL – Conversion and extension of garage to form self-contained annex to house Polmaily Lodge, Drumnadrochit – noted.

15/03886/FUL – Erection of house, Ridgewood, 1 The Kennels, Balmacaan, Drumnadrochit – noted.

12. Correspondence

- NFU Scotland and Police Scotland “Rural Watch” information

- Highland Council Decriminalised Parking Enforcement information

- Highland Council Transport Consultation Public Meeting, Tuesday 10th November, 7.00pm to 9.00pm, Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit.

- Stagecoach Buses reduction in service – Pam Lucas to write to Stagecoach requesting further information.  Action – Pam Lucas

13. Any Other Business

No items.

14. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday in the Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit.  This will be the inaugural meeting of the newly formed GUCC following the recent election process.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.25pm. Next meeting - 23rd November 2015 at 8.00pm.

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Meeting held on

Monday 26th October 2015 at 8.00pm

Blairbeg Hall, Drumnadrochit