Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 25th June 2018 at 8.00pm

in Blairbeg Hall, Drumnadrochit

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

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

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

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 28th May 2018 were approved as a correct record (Fiona Urquhart / Peter Macdonald)

3. Matters arising from minutes

Item 3NHS proposal to move services from rural surgeries to central location in Inverness – GUCC had written to NHS Highland and received an acknowledgement but as yet no response.  Pam Lucas and Fiona Urquhart had met with Kate Forbes MSP, Councillor George Cruickshank and Dr Thom to discuss the issue and it was agreed to await a response from NHS and thereafter hold another meeting to discuss options.  It was noted that other local practices have also circulated questionnaires within their communities and similar feedback had been received to these.  

Item 4 – Cnocan Burraidh restorations - GUCC were extremely disappointed to note that the grant application to HES had been unsuccessful.  David Fraser has requested feedback from HES but had not yet received a response.  David Fraser would now be submitting an application for Lottery heritage grant funding in the hope that the remaining funds required for the restoration could be secured.

Item 6 – Etape Loch Ness 2018 – GUCC had previously agreed that the £1k community donation be made to Glenurquhart Care Project and an acknowledgement of this had been received from Malcolm Sutherland.

Item 7 – Glenurquhart Care Project / Home Care provision – a public meeting had been held on 30th May and this had been well attended, the evening had included good positive presentations, and a lot of interest from members of the community.  GUCC would like to be updated on how these discussions are progressing and offered their assistance where possible.

Item 15 – Forestry signage at Shenval – Pam Lucas had corresponded with Graham Prest, FCS who had been very helpful and will be taking measures to alleviate any future problems.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter MacDonald reported that the available balance currently sits at £805.50.  A payment of £50 had been made to Glen Urquhart Heritage Association since the last meeting and a letter of thanks had been received.  

5. Policing Update

No members of Police Scotland were in attendance however the following report had been circulated to GUCC in advance of the meeting:  

Road Safety – 7 drivers issued conditional offers for road traffic offences, 1 driver issued conditional offer for speeding offence, 1 driver reported for drink driving offence, 4 reports regarding driver behaviour, some drivers traced and given suitable advice, 8 non injury road traffic collisions

Public Protection – 3 reports of concern for persons, all persons traced safe and well, 1 report of suspicious person – police attend and there was no trace of the person, 1 report of an assault, on police attendance no complaints being made and no offences, 1 report of threatening messages on social media, no offences and suitable advice given to all parties, 1 report of a disturbance, Police attended and established no disturbance ongoing and provided assistance to a member of public, 1 report of an ongoing disturbance, 1 person arrested and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – 1 report of persons being in possession of a controlled substance at a local licensed premises, positive line of enquiry ongoing.

Crimes of Dishonesty – No incidents of note.

6. GCP Update on Home Care Provision / Day Centre

Covered under Item 3 above.

7. Flood Prevention Project

No update at present.

8. Loch Ness Homes

Margaret Davidson advised that she had met with Skye Builders representative and discussed the Local Plan and the requirements to adhere to it with regard to the housing development, and to ensure continued liaison with the community re plans and aspirations for the site.  The Local Plan stipulation of construction of 10 houses maximum per annum, has been fully endorsed by the Planning Department.  Gordon Watson advised that progress is being made with the Parklands area, and the next liaison meeting is scheduled for 17th July, and the group would hope to have an initial report prepared at this stage.  He was also currently working on the conveyancing fee agreement, and ensuring that the landscaping work currently being undertaken complies with the PIP agreement.  Thanks were passed to Gordon for all his work in this area.

9. Supported Housing Project

Susan Clark had advised that the project has confirmed funding from the Scottish Government Rural Housing of £794k, and SSE have confirmed £100k.  Outcomes of funding applications are awaited from Wolfson Foundation (£150k) and Quaker Housing Trust (£40k).  An application has been made to Social Investment Scotland for funding of £435k.  Until the funders proposals and confirmed funding is known work on the main site will not commence, however Compass are currently stripping the topsoil at their own risk.  The Housing Project team were considering a Just Giving crowdfunding page, members of GUCC had no experience of crowdfunding on such a scale but were happy to provide any support where required.

10. Renewables

Soirbheas - A joint meeting between GUCC, Strathglass Community Council and Soirbheas had recently taken place, this was constructive and the notes are now available.  Fraser Mackenzie advised that Soirbheas were proposing a third tier of grant funding, and this will be discussed at their forthcoming AGM, the launch of their move from Steering Group to Delivery Group was also forthcoming.

Druim Bha - Outcome on Druim Bha windfarm development still awaited.

11. Roads

Margaret Davidson advised that substantial resurfacing work was scheduled between Drumnadrochit and Inverness, this was welcomed by GUCC who also noted significant improvement following the resurfacing work within Drumnadrochit.  It was noted that the manhole / drain opposite the Fire Station is blocked with sweepings from the re-surfacing, and an email should be sent to Bear Scotland in this regard Action – David Fraser  

It was noted that there was still a strong smell from the drains outside the Post Office, and it was hoped that drainage problems from Drumnadrochit Bridge down could be resolved as part of any possible Springfield Development which would require major sewer works, and GUCC should raise this at the appropriate time.

12. Planning Applications

18/02526/FUL Seasonal installation and use of temporary movable ticket kiosk, Castle and Visitor Centre, Urquhart Castle - noted

Springfield Development – the meeting was told that it is possible that an application might be submitted shortly. Members were disappointed to note that this could be submitted during the school holidays when many people / organisations would be on breaks and not available for consultation. It was agreed that in this event GUCC should compile an initial response rather than call a special meeting during the school holidays.  This response should reiterate that compliance with the Local Plan is necessary, and, assuming compliance, GUCC is likely to support the application, if that is the wish of the community. If it does not comply with the Local Plan then further consultation would be required.

Fiona Urquhart had followed up previous communications with the Planners regarding the access off the A831 for the new house at Polmaily, and the informal B&B sign for Highmarch and the Planning Department had confirmed that they would review these.

13. Correspondence

No items not already circulated to GUCC members.

14. Any Other Business

Warning Sign at Drumnadrochit Bridge – included in jobs list with Transport Scotland (along with repairs to bridge parapet).  David Fraser continuing to liaise with Transport Scotland.

Blairbeg Hall – Gordon Watson had been appointed as the new Chairperson for the Hall Committee.  The Committee would shortly be advertising for a hall caretaker.  There had been damage and slates removed at the back roof of the hall as a result of youths accessing the flat roofed area, this has given rise to a significant leak and water gathering in the back rooms.  It was suggested that the Hall Committee contact Police Scotland and provide an update on this situation, as the youths involved in accessing the roof are known to the Police.  

Gaelic road names / Bilingual signs – Members discussed the possibility of a Gaelic sign for Balnain.  It was noted that a policy exists for trunk road signage to be bilingual, and that Highland Council have a policy that all new signage should be bilingual.  Balnain Hall Committee may look into the possibility of additional signage with approval of Highland Council.

Retaining wall at Mill of Tore – Margaret Davidson advised that the wall has been inspected and found to be sound, but that vegetation required to be cut back.

HMIE inspection of Glen Urquhart High School – GUCC were pleased to note the recent outstanding inspection result for the High School.  

Balnain Primary School Head teacher – It was noted that Janice MacRae would be taking up a post as Head teacher for Muirtown Primary School and the two existing teachers will act as Head Teacher on a job share basis.  The staff were wished well in their new role.  

Local Bus Services – There were ongoing complaints and issues relating to the services locally.  Margaret Davidson advised that she would continue to take note of individual complaints which the Council would then pursue with the bus companies.  Highland Council subsidise some services / routes and are looking into alternative ways of providing services across the Highlands and would continue to look into issues and solutions. It was also agreed that these issues should be referred to the Traffic Commissioner if they continue to occur.

15. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 27th August at 8.00pm in the Craigmonie Centre.  

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.15pm.