Glen Urquhart Community Council

Annual General Meeting

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

Also present: Councillors George Cruickshank and Margaret Davidson, Fraser Mackenzie, Soirbheas, Neil MacInnes, Glenurquhart Care Project, Gordon Watson and 1 member of the public.  

Apologies: Ken Fraser, John Duncan, Frances Colbrun and Councillor Helen Carmichael.

2. Minute of Previous AGM

The minute of the AGM on 26th June 2017 was approved at the routine meeting following the AGM on 28th August 2017.

3.  Chairman’s Report – Pam Lucas

“Community Councils are composed of members of the community elected to ascertain the views of their community on a range of topics and to pass these views, objectively, to Highland Councillors and representatives of other agencies and groups. Our local councillors are central to this chain of communication and we appreciate support and input from Councillors Margaret Davidson and George Cruickshank.

Roads and road safety continues to be a major focus. The 2017 / 2018 winter was not kind to road surfaces and GUCC constantly keeps repairs to verges, potholes and surfacing of the A831 and residential roads on the agenda of The Highland Council (THC) Roads Department.

With regard to the A82 Trunk Road GUCC has worked with Transport Scotland on a number of issues including extending the 30 mph limit from Balmacaan Road to Borlum Bridge, repairs to the base of the Cobb Memorial, resurfacing, pothole repairs and repairs and signage to Drumnadrochit Bridge. We are pleased to report that Transport Scotland has undertaken, or committed to undertake, all of these works.

The Glen Urquhart community played an active role in the development of the current Inner Moray Firth Development Plan. Loch Ness Homes Limited was granted planning permission for a mixed development in Drumnadrochit. As part of this project Albyn Housing is currently erecting houses which should soon be available for allocation by them. A second tranche of houses is going through the final stages of the planning process. Work is also due to commence shortly on a new Scotmid store. GUCC is represented on the liaison group which is working to ensure that the scale and speed of growth adhere to the spirit of the development plan.

Another developer has entered the planning process with a view to a mixed development on a different site within Drumnadrochit. They held a public exhibition, but no application has been lodged as yet. GUCC raised concerns regarding the scale, density, type of building and speed of development and will continue dialogue as the situation becomes clearer.

It is hoped that it will soon to be possible for construction to commence on twelve units of supported housing under the auspices of the Glenurquhart Care Project (GCP). GUCC is a stakeholder in this project and looks forward to it coming to fruition. Recent cuts in funding from National Health Service Highland have resulted in changes in the delivery of home care and there has been an impact on the delivery of day care. GUCC commends the staff of GPC on their loyalty and dedication and wishes to stress its commitment to supporting the staff and management of GCP as it consolidates its future.

GUCC appreciates regular input from Police Scotland and attendance at our meetings by PC Ryan Gill whenever possible. From time to time issues arise and it is reassuring to know that a swift and proportionate police response can be expected.

We welcome the ongoing commitment of THC to the Flood Prevention Scheme in Drumnadrochit. This is an important project which is expected to progress during the coming year.

The decision of the Reporter following the Public Local Inquiry is still awaited regarding the proposed wind farm at Druim Bha.  It is understood that the delay, which has been lengthy, is due to the illness of the Reporter. An announcement is expected shortly.

The renewable energy sector is a significant source of community benefit. Soirbheas now administers regular income from Corrimony and Blaridh wind farms and several mini-hydro schemes.  GUCC and Strathglass Community Council  members meet twice yearly with representatives of Soirbheas for the purpose of encouraging positive dialogue ensuring maximum benefits for the joint communities of Glen Urquhart and Strathglass.

A sub-committee of the GUCC is in the process of gathering funds for the repairs to the wall of the old cemetery at Cnocan Buraidh and we are approximately 75% towards target. At the time of writing, Historic Environment Scotland, (HES), has rejected the funding application and alternative funding sources are being investigated.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 has given all communities an opportunity to acquire assets which fulfil certain criteria. GUCC is represented on a working party investigating the possibilities of achieving asset transfer of the Tourist Information Centre, Drumnadrochit, (from THC), LNH Parklands, Drumnadrochit, (from LNH)  and the Visitor Centre and car park at Urquhart Castle, (from HES). The process in each case will be complicated and lengthy with extensive communication to ensure an outcome which the community supports.

Once again I must thank Val Cooper our minutes secretary as well as office bearers and members. Meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month, except July and December, and are open to the public. Venues rotate between Balnain Hall, Blairbeg Hall and the Craigmonie Centre. Agenda and approved minutes are posted on the website.

Current members are: Frances Colbron, John Duncan, David Fraser (vice chairman), Ken Fraser, Pam Lucas (chairman), Peter MacDonald (treasurer), Stuart Ross and Fiona Urquhart (planning secretary).

Contact points are:

                             glenurquhartcommunity (Facebook)

4. Treasurer’s Report – Peter Macdonald

The audited receipts and payments account for the year end to 31st March 2018 were circulated to members (Bank reconciliation and balance sheet also available from Peter Macdonald if required).  The closing balance of £2,015.50 was approved (with £1k of this in reserve).  The accounts were approved (proposed by Pam Lucas / seconded by David Fraser) and would now be sent to the Highland Council.  GUCC thanked Peter Macdonald for his financial recording throughout the past year.

5. Election of Officers for the forthcoming year

Chairman – Pam Lucas (proposed Fiona Urquhart / seconded unanimously)

Vice Chair – David Fraser (proposed Fiona Urquhart / seconded unanimously)

Treasurer – Peter Macdonald (proposed David Fraser / seconded unanimously)

Acting Secretary – Pam Lucas (unanimous proposal)

Minute Secretary – Val Cooper

Pam Lucas passed on her thanks to all the support received from her fellow community council members.

5. Any other business

There was no further business and the AGM closed at 8.15pm.

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Annual General Meeting held on

Monday 25th June 2018 at 8.00pm

in Blairbeg Hall, Drumnadrochit