Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 22nd October 2018 at 8.00pm

in Blairbeg Hall, Drumnadrochit

Present: Pam Lucas (Chairman), David Fraser (Vice Chair), Ken Fraser, John Duncan, and Val Cooper (Secretary)

Also present: Councillor George Cruickshank, Fraser Mackenzie, Soirbheas, PC Anderson, Police Scotland, and 2 members of the public.  

Apologies: Peter Macdonald, Fiona Urquhart, Stuart Ross, Carol Masheter, Soirbheas, Pam Poston, Glenurquhart Care Centre, and Councillors Margaret Davidson and Helen Carmichael.

GUCC noted with sadness the passing of Molly Doyle, former Strathglass Community Council Chair, and would wish to pass on their condolences to her family.

1. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting on 24th September 2018 were approved as a correct record (John Duncan / David Fraser).

2. Matters arising from minutes

Item 9 Cnocan Burraidh – David Fraser advised that a meeting had been held with Historic Environment Scotland who were surprised at the good quality of the central marble vault, which was unusual in comparison to other sites in the Highlands, a specialist will visit and give guidance on red staining to the marble.  It was hoped that the grant application will be submitted next month.

3. Treasurer’s Report

Peter Macdonald had provided a report advising that £39.99 had been paid out in Chair’s printing costs since the last meeting, and £200 had been received from GURCA for the Cnocan Burraidh Project.  The balance sits at £3611.52 with £761.52 being usable funds, and £1500 in reserve, and £1350 for Cnocan Burraidh.  

4. Policing Update

PC Anderson was present at the meeting, and the following report had been submitted in advance of the meeting:

Road Safety - 3 non injury road traffic collisions, no offences.  3 Calls regarding Manner of driving.  1 Speeding offence and 1 Drink Driver.

Public Protection - 2 reports of a concern for person, traced safe and well and taken to a place of safety, 3 reports of missing persons, traced safe and well, 2 reports of vandalism and 2 reports of public protection offences.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – no incidents of note.

Crimes of Dishonesty – no incidents of note.

PC Stephen Martin will begin working out of Fort Augustus Police Station at the end of October 2018, this will bring Fort Augustus Police Station back up to full strength. PC Martin will take over the liaison role for Drumnadrochit area and PC McGill will be carrying out the liaison role for Dores and Foyers areas. PC Anderson will be the liaison officer for Fort Augustus.

GUCC noted the increase in the recorded number of people missing, generally across the area, and PC Anderson advised that this is now a large part of the workload.  Cases of missing persons can range from those leaving schools or hospitals unauthorised, to hill walkers, dementia sufferers, teenagers etc, and a lot of resources are deployed to this.  

5. Community Asset Transfers

Pam Lucas advised that a meeting with Charles Steven, Area Forum Manager, has been set up to discuss the transfer process for the Tourist Information Centre.  A major local private company has expressed an interest and made an offer to the Highland Council for the Centre.  It is thought that the community will still be able to continue with their aspirations and may require to submit a note of interest to this effect.  It was recognised that given the financial situation of Highland Council it would not be unlikely that the private offer is accepted.

The Liaison Group for Urquhart castle has been resurrected and will include senior representatives from Historic Environment Scotland.  The Group will meet every two months, and will include a representative from GUCC who will be looking for a member to commit to this role.

6. Renewables

Coben – John Duncan advised that the Steering Group has completed its work and were now looking for people to progress the initiative, and Carol Masheter has been making contact with interested people.  A letter has been sent to Highland Council requesting a view on how they get developers to install renewable energy into applications at an early stage, an acknowledgement was received and Highland Council would be responding with ideas on how to take this forward.  GUCC will be required to provide a representative to the local renewable plan energy group, and John Duncan was currently considering this.

Soirbheas Green Living Day – a successful awareness raising event had taken place with a good attendance and number of people participating.

7. Flood Prevention Project

David Fraser advised that he would be contacting the engineers (cc’ing local Councillors) to ask if plans were still on schedule for drawings to be submitted to Highland Council in November.

8. Loch Ness Homes Development

A Liaison Group meeting is scheduled for Monday 29th October.  There is no light controlled pedestrian crossing between the new shop and the health centre, David Fraser advised that he has written to Transport Scotland who had responded that this would be an issue for the Planners, and in this regard David has written to Margaret Davidson asking that she contact the Planners to ask how it will be progressed and David will follow up.  

9. Springfield Development

Pam Lucas advised that David Cowie, Planning Officer was currently working on the application and has compiled a comprehensive report which concludes that the development is not compliant with the local plan.  If Highland Council do not approve the application it will go to appeal.  The geometary of the junction to the A82 is not good for its present use before any development, and it was thought that the engineer report might be based on there being proper sight lines, which there aren’t.  It was agreed that GUCC should submit a further note to the Planners to this effect.  Action – David Fraser

10. GCP

Pam Poston, Centre Manager, was unable to attend the meeting, but had provided the following report:

Day Centre - We currently have 39 Service Users. This fluctuates between 13 and 18 per day but averages around 15 most days.

Domestic Service + Laundry + Lunchtime Drop In – Promotional leaflets have been distributed across the area through a small team of volunteers.

Carer’s Information Group – 25th October, 10am to 12pm £1 Tea/coffee and scone, £3 soup and sandwich lunch. Promoted through GP surgeries, local mailing and Facebook. November’s date to be confirmed. December 20th will have a talk by Alzheimer’s Scotland. All are most welcome.

Volunteers – No offers of volunteering since last report so volunteers remain at 2.  We are planning further activities during November and would appreciate support of regular or ‘one off’ volunteers for outings to the Library and further afield, most volunteering is 1.30pm to 2.30pm on a weekday. Please call Kayleigh, tel. 459077, for an update on the activities planned next month.

Friends of the Centre – Coffee Morning 2nd Saturday of each month, November 10th is the next event.  Harvest coffee morning was a huge success, all seating was full and we ran out of cups and saucers!  The total raised was £480.

Fundraisers - Petra’s Auction raised an incredible £485.33. A huge thank you to all who supported this event through donating and purchasing items.

In addition it was noted that the supported housing construction was progressing well.  No further information was currently available regarding homecare provision.

11. NHS / Patient Participation Group

NHS meeting scheduled for the beginning of November, an update will be available thereafter.

The Patient Participation Group meeting, of which David Fraser is now Convenor, had been held a couple of weeks ago, with the next meeting scheduled for January, and the Group hope to have newsletter out to the community before Christmas.

12. Roads

A82 – David Fraser advised that he would contact Transport Scotland to request an update on the removal of rock armour at the Clansman, Drum bridge parapet repairs, potholes at Drum bridge, and redundant sign poles throughout the village.  Action – David Fraser

A831 – The Achtemerack road is very bad with potholes, particularly the top flat section above Rychraggan.  Action – George Cruickshank  

It was noted that potholes can be reported online via the Highland Council, and once reported they are generally repaired within a week.

Significant amounts of lying water on the Glen road after heavy rain due to the off-lets being very overgrown and needing cleaned out.  Action – George Cruickshank

It was noted that the road will be closed next week at the Episcopal Church Parsonage for repair to an undermined section.

A833 – There were a number of reports of traffic problems on Culnakirk following the recent resurfacing.  The road is now extremely smooth meaning larger vehicles loose grip ascending the brae, and the road is very slippery when it is wet, meaning the road is now very dangerous, and especially slow with the winter approaching.  It was agreed that David Fraser should write to the Highland Council (cc’ing local Councillors) Action – David Fraser

13. Planning Applications

18/04558/FUL - Erection of house and integral garage, land 170m SE of Braefield House, Glenurquhart – noted

18/03357/ADV Advertisement Consent - Fascia sign, Blarmore Bar, Blairbeg, Drumnadrochit - noted

18/04301/FUL - 7 pods for holiday let, Enrick Woodland, Glenurquhart – Neighbour objections submitted and GUCC have responded noting this and asking Highland Council for careful consideration of road access.

18/03733/FUL - Erection of replacement garage, Wayside, Drumnadrochit – noted


14.  Correspondence
No paper correspondence received, all emails have been forwarded to members.

15. Any Other Business
Public Toilets – the public toilets at the Tourist Information are now charging 50p, the long term plan is
that whoever takes over the TIC will be responsible for maintaining toilets.
Car Park at Old Kilmore – David Fraser advised that he has twice written to Tulloch regarding mobile
homes parking there in the summer, potholes etc, and the suggestion for installation of a height
restriction barrier, and has not received a response.  While these issues were not urgent at the moment,
it would be advisable for work to be undertaken in the winter so it is ready before the tourist season.

16. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 26th November at 8.00pm in the Craigmonie Centre.  

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 8.50pm.