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AT 7.00PM




Members of the public are very welcome to attend Community Council meetings and take part in the discussions under the guidance of the Chairman


1. Introductions and Apologies


2. Declarations of interest


3. Chairman’s comments


4. Approval of the minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on Tuesday 7 November 2017


5. Matters arising from the minutes


6. Treasurer’s report


7. Correspondences


8. AOB from Community Council members


9. AOB from members of the public


10. Screening reports, scoping reports and consultations


11. Building warrants, planning issues and licensing issues


12. Dates of future meetings

(Ordinary meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of the month unless stated otherwise)

Tuesday 9 January 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 6 February 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 6 March 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 3 April 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 1 May 2018, 7.00pm, Achnasheen Village Hall

Tuesday 5 June 2018, AGM followed by an ordinary meeting, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall.  Old minute books will be available to view.



DRAFT Minutes of the Garve & District Community Council ordinary meeting

held on Tuesday 7 November 2017 in Garve Village Hall

Community Council members present: Kenny Maclean (Chairman), Jennifer Haslam (Secretary), Eliza Leslie Melville (Treasurer), Bob Moir and co-opted members Joe Stewart (from 7.30pm) and Moragh Wylie. 

Also present: Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn, Val MacIver (Platform PR), Fiona Milligan (Infinergy from 7.05pm), Annie Hingston (Marybank, Scatwell & Strathconon Community Council) and two members of the public.

Apologies: Community Council member Caroline Gamble and PC Craig Rose.  Apologies were also given on behalf of Andy Russell, Grant Folley & Graham West (EDF) by Val MacIver.

The Chairman opened the meeting at 7.00pm and welcomed everyone.  He reminded members of the public that they were very welcome to attend Community Council meetings and take part in the discussions under his guidance.

Declarations of Interest – Kenny Maclean declared an interest in a financial matter to be discussed later this evening.  Eliza Leslie Melville and Moragh Wylie both declared an interest in the Infinergy project.  Community Council members confirmed that they had read all draft minutes and consultations due to be discussed tonight before the start of this meeting.

Chairman’s comments - All G&DCC agendas, draft minutes, dates of future meetings and fliers are available on the Community Council website www.community-council.org.uk/GarveandDistrict or by contacting the Secretary on garveanddistrictcc@yahoo.com or at Broadoaks, Grudie Bridge, IV23 2QB.  They are also available on the repaired Achnasheen Village notice board or via the Community Council emailing list.  Just contact us with your email address and we will add you to our emailing list.  Your email address will not be passed onto third parties.  We now have 178 people on the emailing list plus all eighteen other active Community Councils in the Ward.  Additional copies of the draft minutes are available in Garve Post Office and at these meetings so members of the community can take them away with them.  The Community Council website receives around 150 hits per month.  The website is updated every ten days. 

Approval of minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on Tuesday 3 October 2017 in Garve Village Hall.  Val MacIver requested that the sentence “Works following flood damage on site are ongoing with local contractors.” from page one of the draft minutes should read “Works following flood damage on site are ongoing with local contractors and local landowners.”  The amendment was agreed and the minutes were then proposed by Bob Moir and seconded by Eliza Leslie Melville.

Matters arising - EDF – Val MacIver updated the meeting that the site is running well.  The blade repair has been completed.  Repairs following the flood damage in late August are progressing well with local contractors and local landowners.  The lagoons on site were not damaged by the flooding.  The bog restoration has been completed with a final inspection by the ecologist having taken place last month.  There will be annual inspections.  On site fencing commenced last month.  There are three sections of deer fencing to be erected which should be completed by the end of the year depending on the weather!  Forestry works will begin on site from spring 2018.  EDF recently met with Eneco to discuss Community Benefit.  This work is progressing well.  Some amendments to the LCT articles will need to be addressed before the Garve area money is paid out.  There were also discussions regarding Contin/Marybank area monies.  EDF are now awaiting the marked-up version of the various agreements from their lawyers showing the changes required.  These changes will then be discussed with the LCT before discussing the issues with the Highland Council, LZN and Eneco.  The second round of funding from the Education & Training fund will commence shortly following yesterday’s deadline for applications.  Grant Folley hopes to attend our next ordinary meeting.  Val MacIver was thanked for her updates.

Fiona Milligan joined the meeting at 7.05pm.

Infinergy - Eliza Leslie Melville and Moragh Wylie both declared an interest in the Infinergy project and left the room at 7.05pm.  Fiona Milligan informed the meeting that 26-people visited the community open day in Garve and none visited the community open day in Achnasheen.  Fiona doubts they would hold another community open day again, they may just produce a more detailed newsletter which includes photomontages that is then sent to every house in our area, TBC.  Of those who filled in a questionnaire at the open days, one was undecided and six very supportive.  Only six replies to the Newsletter that was sent to every house in the area.  The main area of concern was around construction traffic and turbine transport.  Infinergy are already aware of the issues and also notes the improvements undertaken by EDF.  Fiona did confirm that Infinergy are in no way connected with the local energy group despite their posters being on display at the community open days however, Infinergy are pleased that the old LEO scheme has been reincarnated!  Fiona will keep us informed of updates over the coming months and was thanked for attending.  Eliza Leslie Melville and Moragh Wylie then returned to the meeting at 7.10pm.

SSE - intend to carry out routine repairs to their existing 33kV network between Grudie and Gairloch and Achnasheen and Strathcarron.  This work is intended to take place between Tuesday 17 October 2017 and the end of January 2018 (with a short break over Christmas and New Year).  Access by vehicles will only be required to approximately one in every fifteen poles to replace them following damage and natural decay but SSE will also install at some locations copper earth cables into the ground to increase network resilience during storms.  SSE will be utilising low ground pressured tracked machinery to remove poles and install the earth cables over pre-defined access routes.  It is likely that helicopters will be used to transport materials to minimise damage to land and reach tricky places.  This work will be part guided by an environmental advisor but also a team of experts in ornithology and ecology.  This update, which was received via the Wester Ross Biosphere group and not directly from SSE has already appeared on our website, forwarded onto the Ward Manager and all four Ward Councillor’s and has been passed onto other Community Councils affected by this work.  Bob Moir and Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn noted that there had been short power interruptions over the last few days in the Garve/Tarvie area.  Perhaps tree cutting near the powerlines?

The Inverness Courier newspaper will be 200 years old next month.  They are currently looking back at the big stories from each year since they first published.  The story they have chosen from 1950 is the completion of our local hydro schemes … www.inverness-courier.co.uk/IC-200/Ambitious-hydro-scheme-completed-in-1950-21092017.htm 

Cheaper electricity bills - The Garve & District Community Energy group, a completely separate group to the Community Council were recently granting funding from the LCT to reintroduce an electricity rebate scheme.  The £250 grant will be available to each permanent residential property within the Community Council area.  To qualify, the property must be used as your main residence and an application form must be filled in.  A copy of a recent electricity bill must be attached showing the applicants name and address.  This is for audit purposes.  Payments are due to be made next month.  More details are available by writing to gdcommunityenergy@gmail.com or G&DCE, Tigh na Croit, Gorstan, IV23 2PX.  Posters advertising this rebate were recently put up in both Garve and Achnasheen.  Copies of the poster were also available at this meeting.  There is also the warm home discount scheme - you could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2017/2018.  The money isn’t paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March if you meet certain criteria - www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme or 0345 603 9439.  Cheaper energy costs were a priority in the 2016 Community Needs Survey.

Joe Stewart joined the meeting at 7.30pm.

Highland Council updates - A890 Stromeferry Bypass – although this section of road is out with our area, we take an interest as it effects both local residents and tourists alike.  The STAG report into the options for the Stromeferry Bypass has now been published with a road through Gleann Udalain being the preferred option.  However, funding for the work has not been secured.

We are still awaiting the Highland Council to fix the following issues …

Damaged road surface to the east of Glencarron Lodge on A890 (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60268728)

School Road in Achnasheen is full of potholes (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60324080)

U3132 Lochluichart Station Road requires further works (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60318099)

Potholes on the “S” bends at Lochluichart on the A832 (Reported September 2017 Ref - FS59913763)

Side road at Gorstan is full of potholes (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60318870)

Little Garve-Silverbridge back road is full of potholes (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60322137)

The Avenue requires resurfacing (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60323206)

Strathgarve Farm road requires resurfacing (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60322733)

Garve playpark fence requires fixing (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS60319466)  Joe Stewart has been made aware that the holes in the football pitch have been filled in.

Missing 30MPH sign near Strathgarve Primary School (Reported October 2017 Ref - FS58387155)  Bob Moir noted the lights in this light fitting no longer work.  Perhaps be replaced with LED’s?

Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn will chase up these matters and report back to our Chairman. 

Inappropriate speed at Lochluichart – Cllr’s Dr Ian Cockburn & Kate Stephen continue to look into this matter.  They will contact us directly when more is known.

Information Shelters – Claire Bell has asked for guidance from our Chairman over various issues in and around the site in Achnasheen.  There is still no word when the shelter will actually be built.

Electric vehicle charging points – A report was presented to Highland Councillors last November.  The report suggested an electric vehicle charging point may be installed in Achnasheen to help expand and strengthen the Highland network of charging points.  Our Chairman has asked for an update on this issue.  In the meantime, locations of charging points can be found at www.chargeyourcar.org.uk  Other communities in the Ward are currently trying to have a charging point installed in their community.

The Highland Council notes that residents should report issues directly to them by calling the Highland Council’s Call Centre on 01349 886606, by visiting Ross House, Dingwall or via www.highland.gov.uk/report  In all cases, you will be given a reference number.  The Highland Council also appreciate photos showing the actual problem.

BEAR update – the collapsed drain cover near Killin Farm has been repaired on the A835 trunk road.

Network Rail update - A new gate was fitted at the Garve Railway Station carpark the day after our last ordinary meeting.

First aid course – took place on Wednesday 25 October 2017 in Garve Village Hall.  Twenty people attended.  Feedback would suggest the evening was useful, informative and enjoyable.  Thanks to Kirsty Jarvie from the British Red Cross for making the evening worthwhile and for being so motivational.  Also to the group of amateur dramatics!  Twelve people attended the Contin course which was held earlier the same day.  The main point from the session was that a mobile phone can sometimes make a 999 call without a signal.  The mobile phone looks for another network provider so worth trying if the situation arose.  The phone doesn’t need to have credit on it either.  Those who attended the course in Garve have received first aid learning certificates.

Plaques for benches and picnic benches – Bob Moir has been making enquiries into plaques.  Timpson in Dingwall can supply plaques 3”x2” black letters on gold plate, non-fading.  £11.95 each total £59.75.  Inscription will read “PROVIDED WITH FUNDS RAISED BY THE COMMUNITY”.  Community Council members agreed via email with the price and wording.  The plaques were fitted by Bob on Monday 30 October 2017.

The Church of Scotland annual sale of work will take place on Saturday 11 November 2017 from 2.00pm in Garve Village Hall.

Relocation of Lochluichart Postbox – Jake Diamont at Royal Mail provided us with an update on Thursday 5 October 2017 … “We sent documentation for the landowner to sign on 19 September 2017.  To date, we have not received a response.  However, our commercial property and real estate consultants are chasing this up.”  On Wednesday 1 November 2017, we received a further update from Jake … “I am advised that despite contacting the registered landowner weekly we have not received a response.  Should we not receive a reply soon, we may need to start the process again, and look for a new location.  We are not sure how much land this individual owns in the vicinity so this could potentially be a problem if it’s a large holding.  Where work involves excavation of the ground, we must however ensure compliance with the Streetworks Act of 1991 and Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.  This means the gathering of relevant information from various third parties over which Royal Mail have no authority to influence the time taken for them to respond.”  We thank Jake for his updates which we have passed onto the Highland Council who, it is presumed, are the landowners in question however, Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn doubts this is the case so we will write to the Royal Mail seeking clarification of which relocation site they have in mind.

Remembrance Sunday – A service will be held on Sunday 12 November 2017 at the Garve War Memorial at 12.30pm.  Our Chairman will lay the Community Council wreath.  Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn will lay a wreath on behalf of the Highland Council.  Thanks to Eliza Leslie Melville for once again donating the Community Council wreath.

The Garve & District Broadband group, a completely separate group to the Community Council, will be holding meetings at 7.30pm on Monday 20 November 2017 in Achnasheen Village Hall and at 7.30pm on Tuesday 21 November 2017 in Garve Village Hall.  This will give the community an opportunity to hear the groups plans for a long-term community wide solution for superfast broadband for our area.  Posters advertising these meetings are currently being hand delivered in our area and were available at this meeting.

Police report – PC Craig Rose reports that one person has been charged for speeding at Achanalt, one drink driver returning from the loopallu festival, RTC with a deer at Gorstan Junction, one person issued a recorded Police warning for disorder on a bus and one male reported to the PF for threatening and abusive behaviour.  Inspector David Ogilvie, Area Inspector for Wester Ross & the Black Isle askes everyone to ensure their car is roadworthy for the winter months, ensures dwellings are secure and that telephone/online scams continue to be a problem.

A small black car has been parked at Grudie since mid-October.  It was unclear if the car was broken down or abandoned.  The matter has been brought to the attention of the Police and Forestry Commission Scotland who confirmed the car belongs to a tree surgeon.  Their car has broken down and they are arranging to have the car uplifted. 

Press reports inform us that a self-employed individual who was caught speeding at almost 100mph on the A832 near Achanalt on 8 April has kept their licence because they would have lost their business if banned from driving.  A driving ban would have also cost the jobs of two men who work for the individual.  The individual’s licence already had six penalty points.  The sheriff endorsed their licence with five penalty points and fined the individual £400.

Police Scotland are urging businesses in the Highlands and Islands to be on their guard after receiving reports of a telephone scam involving people claiming to represent the force.  The attempted fraud involved a business in the Highlands being contacted by an individual claiming to represent Police Scotland seeking advertising sponsorship in relation to an upcoming road safety campaign.

Treasurers report – The bank balance on Monday 16 October 2017 was £2,396.43.  Treasurers account £462.93.  Community Fund was £662.04 minus £16 for First Aid course hall hire and minus £59.75 plaques for benches = £586.29.  Development Company £250.  This will be passed onto the Company once they have opened a bank account.  Newsletter £748.55 minus £20 for the Chairman’s recent trip = £728.55.  Audited accounts for the last financial period (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017) are available on the Community Council website, at Garve Post Office and at these meetings.

Achnasheen Village notice board repairs – the notice board suffered storm damage recently.  Although the notice boards are privately owned, some Community Council members felt a contribution should be made towards repairs.  The Chairman, who owns the notice boards, left the room at 7.45pm while the matter was discussed.  Community Council members present fully agreed that the full repair costs of £47.65 should be paid out of the Community Fund.  The Chairman returned to the meeting at 7.47pm and thanked Community Council members for their generous offer.

Correspondences - by Email – Lucky2BHere – receipt for donation of £115.00 raised at the Ceilidh; Steve Barron, Chief Executive at the Highland Council – Quality Awards update (sent via Highland Council policy); Two emails from Uisdean Menzies – Remembrance Sunday updates; Three emails from Jake Diamont, Royal Mail – Postbox relocation updates; Natasha Hutchison, Project Officer, Wester Ross Biosphere – SSE wooden pole refurbishment; ePlanning – new planning applications at 6 October 2017; ePlanning – new planning applications at 13 October 2017; ePlanning – new planning applications at 20 October 2017; PC Craig Rose – Grudie car update; ePlanning – new planning applications at 27 October 2017; Scottish Community Development Centre – Elgin workshop (sent via Highland Council policy); PC Craig Rose – Monthly Police report; ePlanning – new planning applications at 3 November 2017.

Correspondences received by post – Irene Carson – information regarding Alice MacLachlan who was a teacher at Strathgarve Primary School from 1903-1906.  She then went on to teach on St Kinda until 1909.  The information has been passed onto the School.

We also received draft minutes from Lochalsh, Coigach, Gairloch, Torridon & Kinlochewe, Shieldaig, Lochcarron and Contin Community Councils.

AOB from Community Council members – The Secretary informed the meeting that the Garve & Lochluichart SWI is to be dissolved after being in existence for around 98 years due to a lack of members.  The group had tried holding meetings in the afternoons and produced a flier in the old AGNV in the hope this would encourage membership but new members have not been forthcoming.  Jennifer has been a member for nearly 35 years and has been President for 25 years.  Community Council members were very sad to hear of this news and recalled the successes the group had at various competitions over the years. 

Joe Stewart informed the meeting that most of the equipment for the playpark in the garden area behind the School has been delivered but is still to be erected.  It was also noted that work continues on the playpark at Strathgarve.

In the last few weeks, Caroline Gamble found the following website - https://www.socialenterprise.academy/scot/whats-on/enterprising-village-halls-357  The link was passed onto the local Hall Committees, the LCT and TG&DDC.  The event was to bring together directors or staff of village halls, community centres and other community buildings.  The event was due to have been held yesterday in Kinlochewe Village Hall.

The Chairman noted a useful link from the Lochalsh Community Council minutes for local schools which he has passed onto the School - www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/free-trees 

AOB from members of the public – Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn informed the meeting that at the recent Ross & Cromarty area committee, members agreed this year’s winter maintenance program.  There are no changes.

Cllr Cockburn also hopes to see the committee area reduced in size as it currently stretches from Glenelg to Tain via Achiltibuie.  The Chairman asked him to keep us informed. 

Screening reports, scoping reports and consultations – we have been made aware through press reports about the latest Boundary Commission for Scotland’s consultation regarding proposed UK parliament constituency changes.  If adopted, we would fall into the new “Highland North” constituency.  More details at http://bcomm-scotland.independent.gov.uk/2018_Westminster/revised_proposals/index.asp  The deadline for comments is Monday 11 December 2017.  Community Council members had no comments.

Building warrants, planning issues and licensing issues – no new issues to consider.

Dates of future meetings

(Ordinary meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of the month unless stated otherwise)

Tuesday 5 December 2017, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall – apologies from Bob Moir noted.

Tuesday 9 January 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 6 February 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 6 March 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 3 April 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 1 May 2018, 7.00pm, Achnasheen Village Hall

Tuesday 5 June 2018, AGM followed by an ordinary meeting, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall.  Old minute books will be available to view.

The Dates of future meetings covering July 2018 – December 2018 (subject to Hall availability) were proposed by Kenny Maclean and seconded by Bob Moir, all agreed.

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 7.00pm, Achnasheen Village Hall

Tuesday 7 August 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 4 September 2018, 7.00pm, Achnasheen Village Hall

Tuesday 2 October 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 6 November 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Tuesday 4 December 2018, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall

Members of the public are very welcome to attend Community Council meetings and take part in the discussions under the guidance of the Chairman.  A copy of the Constitution that every Community Council in the Highlands has to work to is available on the Highland Council website.

The Chairman thanked everyone for coming and closed the meeting at 8.15pm.



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