Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 27th August 2018 at 8.00pm

in Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

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

Also present: Councillors George Cruickshank and Margaret Davidson, Fraser MacKenzie, Soirbheas, Pam Poston, Glenurquhart Care Project, Chris Allan, Strathallan Care, Jan Bell, Gordon Findlay and Ann Fraser, GURCA, and 10 members of the public.  

Apologies: Stuart Ross and Councillor Helen Carmichael.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the AGM held on 25th June were approved (David Fraser / Peter MacDonald), and the routine meeting also on 25th June 2018 (Peter MacDonald / David Fraser) were approved as correct records.

3. Matters arising from minutes

Relocation of NHS Services – reply received to our correspondence, David Fraser had attended a meeting to discuss delivery of rural services.  David advised that this was a 3 year project, North Highland Primary Care Modernisation Programme, with 6 different workstreams aimed at improving what is delivered via GP surgeries.  No changes are planned imminently and David will report back to GUCC after their next meeting in November.

Funding for Cnoccan Burraidh – David Fraser advised that a working group had been established to work on an application to the Lottery Heritage Fund.  Historic Environment Scotland were also now on board and would be offering professional and financial assistance.  David advised that he would report back to GUCC after their next meeting in September.

Etape Loch Ness – Glenurquhart Care Project receipt of Community Payment to be confirmed.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter MacDonald reported that the available balance currently sits at £1908.00, this comprises £758 of usable funds and £1150 in reserve.   Since the last meeting £7.50 had been paid on hall rent and £40 for auditor remuneration.

5. Policing Report

No report available.

6. Glenurquhart Care Project

Chris Allan, Strathallan Care was welcomed to the meeting and advised that Strathallan Support Service had been approached by the NHS in May to look at taking on delivery of homecare within the Glen Urquhart area.  Strathallan Care had been fortunate in employing some existing homecare staff from Glenurquhart Care Project and was able to carry on delivery almost seamlessly.  The NHS were currently delivering 30-40% of the homecare hours in the area and this would be phased out as Strathallan recruit more employees locally.   Service user feedback indicated that homecare delivery was currently going smoothly.  Members discussed the issue where local people are currently in care or in hospital and cannot yet return home because there are insufficient carers.  It was noted that the NHS operate a reablement process where a care plan is drawn up, detailing the health and social care support needed by an individual after leaving hospital, and until such time as all aspects of the plan are in place the individual cannot be allowed home.  Strathallan Care are contractually responsible to pick up any people requiring care, so anyone awaiting homecare will be in the NHS reablement process and details will be given to Strathallan Care.  At present the NHS are providing homecare for rural areas and Strathallan Care are providing the service in Drumnadrochit village.  It was noted that there was currently no provision in Abriachan and Margaret Davidsons would pass specific details to Chris Allan for possible support.   It was confirmed that Strathallan Care need to be given a “request for service” document before providing care, this comes from the NHS, Social Work or Occupational Health services.  Chris Allan confirmed that he would be meeting with management at Glenurquhart Care Centre to discuss options for working together.

Pam Poston, the new Glenurquhart Care Centre manager was welcomed to the meeting.  Pam advised that the Centre is registered for 30 users, and the current daily average is 17, fluctuating between 14 and 23.  It was confirmed that NHS funding was provided for 22 places, and initiatives were currently under discussion within the Centre for promoting the remaining 8 spaces available for private use.  

The Centre had received a donation from the Friends Group and had purchased a new car, this has been extremely well received by staff and service users.  A £5k M&S grant to replace old lighting in the Centre had also been received.  The Carers Information Group was being reinstated with the next meeting scheduled for 27th September at 10am, this provided an opportunity for individual carers to meet at the Centre for information and support, with the person for whom they cared also being welcome to use the Centre during this time.  Feedback sessions from service users were schedule for 10th, 11th & 12th September.  Management were currently looking at ideas such as Saturday opening, a tea time service, meals on wheels etc for generating additional support and income, and also promoting more widely existing benefits, such as the laundry and domestic services.  

The Centre was currently fundraising to replace the dining room chairs, Jack Meredith had raised almost £300 with his vintage cars at the Highland Games which will go towards this.  The Centre always welcomes volunteers and would love to have more people coming into the centre to interact and offer skills help as little or as often as they might be available.

The Friends of the Centre continued to be very supportive and their next fundraising coffee morning was scheduled to take place on 15th September.

Supported Housing – Groundworks have started and funding agreements are in place to cover the shortfall, meanwhile local fundraising is also in place and has raised over £25k to date.  

GUCC were very pleased to have both Pam and Chris at the meeting and welcomed the updates they provided.  GUCC would like to have been able to engage more with the Centre and to have offered assistance and support during the crisis which had affected homecare delivery.  In this regard GUCC would request that channels of communication are kept open.  

7. Flood Prevention

Update at next meeting.  

8. Loch Ness Homes

A liason group meeting was scheduled for 17th September.  Work had commenced on the  new supermarket, with opening planned for January 2019.

Local Cemeteries - David Fraser advised that he and Margaret Davidson had met with representatives from the Highland Council to discuss the possible expansion of the New Kilmore burial ground.  The new section of the graveyard currently has approx. 60 plots not yet sold, each plot contains two lairs, these will be available as required, and are not for sale in advance.  A further row in that section could be opened up, this would take the plots back to the woodland area and would create a further 80 lairs.  A large number of plots within the existing cemetery had already been sold and were not yet in use.  Burials within this site average approximately 8 per year, this means there is currently 15-20 years capacity.  Expansion is, therefore, not high priority for Drumnadrochit in comparison to other sites within the Highlands.  In the event that Loch Ness Homes might be happy to handover a strip of land near to the new shop, this would become part of the graveyard, Highland Council would then fence off this area and start to maintain it, thus allowing for future expansion.  A request has been made to David Sutherland and a response received that he is currently considering this.  

Maintenance of Gravestones – The meeting discussed the maintenance of gravestones which had fallen over, were moss covered etc.  It was confirmed that Highland Council are responsible for grass cutting, tree maintenance and boundaries, while the maintenance of gravestones is the responsibility of family members, and in cases where there is no family available, upkeep could be undertaken as part of a community initiative.   Historic Environment Scotland would be providing guidance regarding the preservation of Cnoccan Burraidh and this could be applicable to other sites.

Complaints had been received about campervans monopolising the carpark and emptying waste at Old Kilmore.  It was agreed to contact Tulloch, who own the car park, advising of the hazard this created and requesting that they consider fitting a height barrier to restrict access to the car park.  Action – Pam Lucas

9.  Springfield Development

Margaret Davidson advised that she would be meeting with the Planning Officer next week to receive an update on the process.

10. Renewables

Druim Bha - Appeal refused.

Soirbheas - Green Living Day scheduled for 29th September in Blairbeg Hall 11am to 3pm, this would also include the launch of the Local Energy Plan.  Social Investment Scotland had recently visited to view initiatives which had been funded by Soirbheas. The next board meeting is scheduled for August 30th, 7.30pm in Cannich Hall and is open to the public.

11. Roads

A82 resurfacing work is ongoing, members were pleased to note how smoothly the works had gone to date.  Signage re oncoming traffic had been installed on Drumnadrochit Bridge, and the damaged pointing had been repaired with further repair works still planned.   Work on pothole repairs and white lining was ongoing and a request had been made to clean out the gulley opposite the fire station, it was agreed to wait to see how it performs after the next heavy rain and re-report if necessary.   It was noted that vegetation around the Beauly sign on the A831 required clearing, and cleaning out of off-lets on the Culnakirk road would significantly improve drainage issues.  Margaret Davidson advised that she would continue to chase up outstanding works.  Action – Margaret Davidson

12. Planning Applications

18/03237/FUL – Proposed extensions to house, Hillview, Balbeg, Balnain – Noted.

18/03337/FUL – Erection of sun lounge extension to house, Kintore House, Drumnadrochit – Noted.

18/03345/FUL – Change of use from holiday accommodation to residential, Cottage 6, Kerrowdown Mill, Drumnadrochit – Noted.

18/03573/FUL – Erection of 4 houses, Land to South West of Dalmeny, East Lewiston, Drumnadrochit – A neighbour comment had been received. GUCC were supportive of the original permission which had been for 3 x single storey houses.  It was agreed to respond to the planning department highlighting issues relating to height, car parking and overlooking neighbour properties.  Action – Fiona Urquhart

18/03697/FUL – Erection of house, Land 60m NW of Plodda, Lochletter Lodges, Balnain – Noted.

13. Correspondence

Your Cash Your Choice Scheme, 2018 details available online.

Highland Small Communities Development Trust – annual conference, Friday 14th September in Inverness Town House.  Pam Lucas would be attending this event, any other members of GUCC also wishing to attend should let Pam know.

Community Council Scheme Review – opportunity to discuss way forward and changes to policy, Inverness Town House 12th September, 4pm - 6.30pm, followed by Inverness Community Council Forum.  Pam Lucas will collate a group response to the previously circulated questionnaire which would feed into this review, members to pass comments to her.  Action - All

Kirking of the Council event, Sunday 9th September – Ken Fraser undertook to attend on behalf of GUCC and should RSVP to the invitation.

Loch Ness Multi Use Trail - Pam Lucas had attended the opening of the last section of the South Loch Ness trail in Fort Augustus.  It was noted that this route was now complete and it was hoped that this would be more widely promoted.  

14. AOCB

Community Ownership Initiatives - Gordon Findlay, GURCA advised that two working groups had been established to take forward proposals for community ownership of the Tourist Information Centre and Urquhart Castle car park and visitor centre.  

The Tourist Information group have met on two occasions and have developed a list of ideas for uses of the building, and sustainable ways of funding for this area.  The group have met with agencies who would help with the process of transferring of assets to the community, discussions are encouraging and ongoing.

The Working Group relating to Urquhart Castle has also had two meetings, and done a lot of work to try and develop a proposal for Historic Environment Scotland.  This has been out for consultation, and a meeting with Historic Environment Scotland was scheduled for 11th September.  

It was confirmed that Blairbeg Hall ownership has now passed to GURCA.

The initiative relating to Loch Ness Homes parkland was progressing under the leadership of Gordon Watson.  

Strathglass Heritage Trail Exhibition - 25th August to 2nd September in Cannich.  This exhibition would focus on tourism trails, including the upgrade of the Affric Kintail Way.

Patient Participation Group - meeting scheduled for Thursday 4th October 7.30pm in Surgery.

Glenurquhart Bulletin – The 2018 publication was now available and could be purchased in the Post Office and Lewiston Garage.  The bulletin includes a range of articles of local interest and annual reports from local organisations.  

Glen Urquhart Highland Games – Congratulations were passed to all those involved in the delivery of another very successful local Highland Games.

Clansman A82 – Concerns were again noted regarding the hazardous driving at the Clansman, especially the reversing of motorhomes onto the A82.  It was also noted that car parking signage could be clearer.  It was recognised that Clansman management and parking attendants were doing their best, and GUCC would continue to support any proposals for a reduced speed limit in this area.  

Cobbs, Kilmore Road – Problems were arising around staff parking in the field opening and along the roadside on occasion.  Margaret Davidson advised that she would raise this at her next meeting with Fraser Campbell.  Action – Margaret Davidson

Milton Street Lighting – A resident commented that there had been a recent car theft and attempted theft and housebreaking in Milton.  Some residents were requesting a reversal of the decision to switch street lights off at midnight and back on at dawn.  It was noted that this was a cost-cutting policy being rolled out across the Highlands by Highland Council, and the decision for Milton had come about as the result of a resident vote.  While another vote could be undertaken, this would be administratively burdensome, and a re-vote would require to be requested by a majority of residents.  Also, some streets in Milton are unadopted and would in any event remain unlit. It was agreed that in the first instance the Police be contacted for an update on their investigations into the incidents which had taken place.   

15. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 24th September at 8.00pm in the Balnain Hall.  

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.40pm.