Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 23rd April 2018 at 8.00pm

 Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

1. Present: Pam Lucas (Chairman), Fiona Urquhart (Planning Secretary), Peter Macdonald (Treasurer), Stuart Ross, Ken Fraser, David Fraser (Vice Chairman), John Duncan and Val Cooper (Secretary)

Also present: Councillors George Cruickshank and Margaret Davidson, Neil MacInnes, Erik Trelfer, Allan Lemon and Jack Meredith, Glenurquhart Care Project, Gordon Findlay, GURCA and 6 members of the public.  

Apologies: Councillor Helen Carmichael and Frances Colbron.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 26th March 2018 were approved as a correct record (David Fraser / Peter Macdonald)

3. Matters arising from minutes

Item 13 Burial Ground – Margaret Davidson had attended a meeting to discuss expansion of the graveyard.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter MacDonald reported that the balance currently sits at £2005.50 (with £1k in reserve).  Hall funds of £10 had been paid since the last meeting.  

5. Policing Update

PC Ryan McGill, Police Scotland attended the meeting and provided the following update:  

Road Safety – 5 drivers issued conditional offers for speeding offences.  4 drivers issued conditional offers for various road traffic offences.  3 non injury road traffic collisions, some drivers charged with careless driving. 7 reports relating to driver behaviour – some drivers traced and spoken to.

Public Protection – 1 report relating to a concern for males on A82, traced safe and well with no concerns.  Several calls relating to concerns for a male in the Drumnadrochit area, male traced safe and well and advised he was wild camping.  1 report relating to concern for a male walking on A82, male traced safe and well and conveyed home.  1 report relating to a concern for females walking on A82, traced safe and well and conveyed to Drumnadrochit.  Several reports relating to youths on Blairbeg Hall roof, Police attended and warned youths and moved them on.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – No incidents of note.

Crimes of Dishonesty –1 report relating to vandalism, enquiries ongoing.  1 male reported for taking a vehicle without consent and several road traffic offences, 1 female reported for taking a vehicle without consent.  1 break-in Police attended and dealt with.

PC McGill invited members of the community to get in touch with any concerns.  The Fort Augustus station is currently short staffed but it is hoped that additional staff would be deployed, especially over busy summer period.  Support was available from Inverness and Beauly when required.   

6. GCP – Update on Home Care Provision

Representatives from the Glenurquhart Care Project (GCP) Board were welcomed to the meeting and Jack Meredith provided the following update on behalf of the Board:

GCP has contracts for day care and homecare services, both with the NHS, these expired 31 March 2017.  Over the past year GCP has made representation to NHS re costs of delivery of homecare services as the tariff paid by NHS would result in continued monetary loss for GCP.  The Board met with NHS representatives who suggested a new contract under different terms, and as the termination date of the existing contract approached, the Board became aware there would in fact be a reduction in the tariff.  GCP agreed to an interim period of continuing with the contract to ensure minimum disruption to service users, no response to this was received from NHS.  The Board contacted Margaret Davidson who facilitated discussion between GCP and NHS, resulting in a proposal to adopt an alternative system of providing care and encouraged GCP to visit other care organisations in the area to see how this worked in practice.  At the time of the expiry date of the NHS contract, GCP were unable to provide the interim service for all users due to staff shortages.  At present GCP continues to provide homecare to some users, with NHS providing to others.  GCP have almost completed investigations into other organisations, so within a couple of weeks should be in a position to go back to the NHS to advise what GCP can provide under the terms of a new contract.  

The Board were restricted from communicating the terms of the contract out with their own discussions as this was sensitive due to the involvement of staff and service users, and GCP would not want to cause disquiet amongst the community.  Indeed, GCP had thought that a way forward would be found.  

Other service organisations are operating successfully and offering services in the community – for GCP to adopt a similar system it would involve radical changes to the existing structures, and GCP do not want to commit to anything at this stage.

The community is very proud of this service, and the news of the withdrawal of services was a shock to hear, and particularly so to service users.  GCPs main concern right through this process has been for the safety and wellbeing of users, and staff, and have done the best they could considering the set of circumstances they were faced with.  It was noted that the NHS are supportive of communities taking responsibility for care, but are also under pressure to make financial efficiencies and remain cost effective.  Margaret Davidson advised that she would continue to be involved and offer as much support as she could.   It was confirmed that the day care contract had been renewed for this current year – GCP have not challenged NHS on the future of the funding for this service as efforts recently have concentrated on homecare issues.  GUCC would encourage GCP to continue to pursue a solution to the home care situation and to do what they feel is right in the circumstances they are faced with, bearing in mind that there is a great degree of community support for them.  Thanks were passed to Jack for providing this update and the Board were requested to share information on progress with GUCC whose members are keen to offer all support possible securing consistent provision of homecare.

7. Flood Prevention Project

David Fraser advised that he has been in contact with Highland Council, the main scheme for the village is slightly delayed, with extra work / studies for SEPA being undertaken, and construction is expected to start in 2019.

8. Loch Ness Homes

Phase 1 - the affordable homes are currently under construction by Compass, the Phase 2 application (24 houses) was submitted by Skye Builder in December 2017 and GUCC have commented on the application (rate of construction) and the planning decision is awaited.  The road construction consent for Phase 3 has been applied for and GUCC have made no comments.

Since the last meeting Springfield Developers have been liaising with the Planning Department but no application has yet been submitted.  GUCC will await and respond in due course.  

9. Supported Housing Project

Scottish Government grant funding has been received and a response is awaited on the other grant applications.  

10. Renewables

No update on Druim Bha.  

Erik Trelfer advised that there was no business for discussion from Soirbheas.

Green Highland – Pam advised that she would chase up the requested tidy up of areas related to work on the River Coiltie project.

11. Roads

Communication had been received from Highland Council, proposing “20’s plenty” advisory speed limit on Kilmore Road, Enrick Crescent, Coiltie Crescent and Culanlon in the hope that this will benefit residents by reducing the volume and speed of traffic, as well as being a road safety feature for pedestrians.  The advisory “20’s plenty” speed limit in Lewiston will remain in place.

It was hoped that the numerous potholes around the village and the A82 would be filled in advance of the Etape event this weekend.

12. Planning Applications

17/05944/FUL – Siting of 3 no residential caravans (retrospective application) Milton Croft, Milton, Drumnadrochit – noted

18/01158/PIP – Erection of house, land 40m NE of Sealladh Shewglie, Glen Urquhart – noted

18/00056/MSC – Erection of house and garage, installation of septic tank and soakaway, land 120m NE of Forestry Cottage, Drumnadrochit – noted

18/01244/FUL – Erection of glamping pod, land 160m NE of Forest Cottage, Drumnadrochit – noted

18/01354/RCC – Phase 3 of new housing, land 145m N of Smiddy Bar, Lewiston, Drumnadrochit – noted

18/01391/FUL – Change of house type on plot 2, previous ref 17/04639/FUL, Drumnadrochit Medical Centre historic site, Balmacaan Road, Drumnadrochit - noted

Following on from discussion at the last meeting Pam Lucas advised that she had contacted the Planning Department for clarification of the definition of temporary structures as relating to buildings erected for commercial use.  Planning Officers will visit several locations in the area to inspect buildings.  It was also hoped that guidance would be provided by Highland Council for reference when considering future applications.

13. Correspondence

Email from Woodland Trust re Ceilidh in Blairbeg Hall on Friday 25th May.  Details available on the Glen Urquhart Community Facebook page.   

14. Any Other Business

GURCA Open Public Meeting – Gordon Findlay advised that GURCA were holding a public meeting on 22nd May at 7.30pm in Blairbeg Hall, this meeting would focus on the possibility of the community acquiring various assets (eg parkland within Loch Ness Homes area, tourist information building, car park, visitor centre and land at Urquhart Castle).  This would provide potential for significant community benefit and the public meeting, in the first instance, would gauge community interest.  Thereafter, there would be the opportunity to develop a new community action plan which would involve formal consultation with the community as part of the process.  It is important to have a good turnout at the public meeting, particularly in connection with the proposed asset transfer or other arrangement at Urquhart Castle.

NHS Outsourcing of Services – It was noted that NHS is currently considering expanding the centralisation of blood tests, ECGs, vaccinations etc through attendance at the Royal Northern Infirmary.  A questionnaire on this is available from the Health Centre.  It was agreed that GUCC would contact NHS Highland, advising of concerns in the community and requesting a clear statement of what the proposals are, and then submit a response on behalf of the community.

Additional Building at Health Centre Site - John Fraser advised that he was currently applying to the Planning Department for a revised design to the new building on the Health Centre site which will be more in keeping with the Health Centre design, and the intent of building will be class 2 usage.  He is currently trying to locate a vet / dental practice to occupy this building and would hope to have a further update for the next GUCC meeting.

Cnoccan Buraidh – David Fraser advised that GUCC has now started applying for grants, and has some private money donated, for the repair and restoration of Cnoccan Buraidh.  It was agreed to establish a small sub group, (David Fraser, Pam Lucas and Peter MacDonald), to administer any funds.  

15. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 28th May, 9.00pm in Balnain Hall.  

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9pm.