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2 December 2020


Joint Work Produces New Guide for Campervan Waste Disposal Facilities


Jointly funded work by Scottish Water, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and The Highland Council has resulted in the publication of new user-friendly guidance for developers of campervan waste disposal points.


Many areas of Scotland have seen an increase in campervan and motorhome tourism in recent years, including over the shortened tourist season of 2020.  With indications that the trend is set to continue, communities, businesses and public agencies are working together to improve the infrastructure for these visitors. In particular, there are a limited number of accessible disposal points for chemically-treated campervan toilet waste, especially in rural and island areas - many of which have become popular destinations.


A significant number of communities and businesses have been responding, seeking to use available sources of funding - including the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) - to provide new facilities.


The new guidance brings together advice from all of the partners, as well as reflecting input from a range of industry stakeholders. It aims to provide a single source of advice and best practice for developers, spanning initial practical considerations and a range of options to enable waste to be disposed of safely and responsibly. 


The production of the document was led by Scottish Water Horizons, the publicly owned water company’s commercial subsidiary, with funding from all 3 partners.


Chair of The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Trish Robertson, said: “Last month, the Council identified possible gaps in tourism infrastructure for Highland which included motorhome waste disposal facilities. Tourism is essential to our local economy and we will continue to work with our partners to support communities and the implementation of facilities to enable sustainable tourism in the Highlands.


“Sustainable tourism is the way forward for our local communities and protecting our natural environment. We ask visitors to help us keep the Highlands clean and safe but we also have a responsibility to enable people to do so. I look forward to seeing the future positive developments in our communities which this guidance will help to achieve.”


Scottish Water’s General Manager for Waste Water Operations Joanne Kay added: “Scottish Water’s central objective is to support a flourishing Scotland, primarily by delivering excellent water and waste water service to our customers while protecting the environment. We also want to play our part in supporting the economy and maintaining the wellbeing of our communities.


“A crucial part of our role is ensuring that we are able to clean the water that our customers have used at over 1800 Waste Water Treatment Works all over the country so that it can be safely returned to the environment.


“Particularly at some of our small rural sites, chemically treated toilet waste can present a risk to the good bacteria that play a vital part in the treatment process. For that reason, we need to assess requests to connect disposal facilities to the public sewer carefully to ensure we can continue to meet our obligations to the environment and to our existing customers.


“The guidance provides a focused source of information about our connection process and the key considerations that apply. It also presents alternative options for locations where campervan toilet waste cannot connect to the public sewer, or where there is no nearby public sewerage system.”


David Harley, Head of Water & Planning at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:


“In order to protect Scotland’s world-famous natural environment, everyone from individuals to business owners has a part to play.


“SEPA is committed to playing its part and this guidance is a tangible example of the work being done with partners to help protect our water environment in rural Scotland, while supporting the rural economy.


“Advice, support and appropriate regulation of discharges to the water environment will help secure a sustainable future for this growing industry.”





From D Agnew -Ward Manager



I have been asked to let you know that £3 million has been allocated to Creative Scotland, as part of £97m consequential Culture funding, to support the youth arts sector, in particular to reduce inequalities through activity with target groups.  Creative Scotland are particularly keen to receive applications from organisations and individuals that work with children and young people who: 


·                     Are living in poverty or residing in areas of social and economic deprivation.  

·                     Are experiencing or at risk of experiencing harm and neglect. 

·                     Are looked after (as defined by the Children (Scotland) Act 1995) and care leavers (as defined by the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014).  

·                     Are in the early years (0-5) of their life. 

·                     Are from Black and/or Minority Ethnic backgrounds. 

·                     Have a disability and/or additional support needs. 

·                     Are at risk of offending or have previously offended. 

·                     Are young carers (as defined by the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016) and/or young parents. 

·                     Are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or who have been homeless. 

·                     Are experiencing mental ill health. 


Creative Scotland Youth Arts Emergency Funding 


Creative Scotland have released new funds to support project activity with children and young people. 


Youth Arts Small Grants Scheme 


The Small Grants Scheme allows organisations and local authorities based in Scotland to apply for a small grants funding pot of up to £50,000 to distribute grants of £500–£5,000 directly to freelance artists/creative practitioners (locally, regionally or nationally), across all art forms, to deliver artist led youth arts activities.  


The Scheme will support organisations to take ownership of the distribution of funding to youth arts practitioners to meet the needs of young people in their sector or local area. The fund also aims to strengthen and broaden organisations’ connections with youth arts practitioners. 


To apply organisations must have the capacity to manage and disperse a small grants fund by March 2021 (up to 20% management fee can be applied for) and be networked with a range of freelance artists. Deadline for applications is Monday 2nd November 2020. 


Youth Arts Access Fund 


The Access Fund offers grants of between £5k and £30k to individuals and organisations based in Scotland who run youth arts programmes to support activity from March 2021 onwards. Examples of activities that this fund may support are group based activity, youth led projects, project activity working across early learning, schools and other family support and community settings.  


Applications that propose specific actions and partnerships to tackle inequality by engaging with vulnerable groups of children and young people will be prioritised. Please see our website for further information. Deadline for applications is Thursday 12th November 2020.  


If you would like to talk to someone at Creative Scotland about these opportunities, please contact enquiries@creativescotland.com  


If you require more information, you can contact the lead at Creative Scotland – morag.macdonald@creativescotland.com

A9 North Kessock to To


re Enquiry

Kate Forbes has instructed WSP to carry out a survey of the hazards on this stretch of the A9. Stakeholders involved include Transport Scotland, Stagecoach, Highland  Council and CCs. Two workshops have taken place via Microsoft Teams during which a comprehensive list of the numerous danger points was covered. A major concern expressed was the amount of building/housing projects which have take place over the last years and their impact on the road network which has become increasingly inadequate.

Black Isle Bulletin

the official newsletter of the Black Isle Partnership


Editor's note

By Asia Cielecka, Community Resilience Coordinator

September was our busy month. We were closing of our Supporting Communities work, and in the last days we focused on Community Larders being established in Monlochy, Culbokie, North Kessock, Avoch and Fortrose. Many of us have families, to whom the process of return to schools and universities has posed new challenges. A natural flow of seasons brings not only the autumnal harvest from the fields, but also an increasing number of patients falling prey to viruses, including COVID. This, combined with weakened economy and winter days on the horizon can result in a gloomy attitude. Luckily we have the Bulletin to save us from it!

Supporting Communities Fund update

by Asia Cielecka


It was a real pleasure to work on the Supporting Communities Project funded by HIE as Community Resilience Coordinator. Not only I had a chance to help organisations make impact and deliver outstanding service to the community, but guided by BIP's superbly accomplished Directors I was also lucky to meet a bunch amazing people, fiercely committed to helping others. I am grateful to all and everyone who participated in our shared response to the unique situation in which we found ourselves in. Let me refresh your memory with a few actions that we have taken together since April.

We started with establishing our social media channel on Facebook, leaflet with key contacts and a mailing list. In the first days my role was to get in touch with local stakeholders, which resulted in strong working relationships later on. I am glad that my strangely spelled name didn't put anyone off!

We supported deliveries to those experiencing financial hardship as well as those shielding, delivered by fantastic Avoch Scouts and Black Isle Cares. We have financed vouchers for Cromarty Cares Project, which covered shop expenses.

Making food available to all was our main objective, and to achieve that we supported building well stocked, centrally placed sheds. These already appeared in Munlochy, Culbokie and North Kessock- we are waiting to see ones in Avoch and Fortrose soon. Sharing of more than food has also been supported- as in Avoch, where we were delighted to fund the refurbishment of the phone box that is now an exchange spot.

We have supported volunteers and organisations with expenses - for printing ( Venture Safely campaign, BIP Newsletter, CC leaflets), mileage (volunteers’ expenses across Black Isle), biodegradable packaging, microwaves, fridges etc. Sadly we could not support all requests, due to our funding criteria which was substantially narrowed in the early negotiations with our funder. We have received and distributed resources such as hand sanitisers kindly donated by Mr Healy of Invergordon Distillery and Mr Pearson of SMC Cosmetics, with delivery sponsored by Karen Napier Trust.

We financed digital inclusion initiatives across Black Isle, namely James’ Support Group from Cromarty, looking after those affected by suicide, and AbilityNet, specialising in Digital Training for the elderly and disabled. Our application to SCVO resulted in getting iPads and ChromeBooks for children and adults at risk of isolation, which are still being distributed to those in need.

We have worked with local community councils who identified families in need, and distributed £100 per child in Back to School cash grant to allow purchase of the basic necessities. This has been by far our most popular project and we are extremely grateful to all those who stepped in with gusto to administer the monies- with special thanks to our committed Treasurer, Julian Paren.

At BIP we have been diligent to avoid double funding, asking each project for a detailed declaration on funding received from other sources. We have also made applications to other sources to support further projects that benefit our community.

Now that our funding has closed, our weekly Resilience Strategy group started proposing “quick win” projects for other funds. On top of that, the remainder of the Supporting Communities Fund can potentially be used for sustainable projects. We're inviting the community organisations to formally become the main decision-making body by nominating a representative who will become a member of the Black Isle Partnership and be part of the Strategic Partnership Group. If you would like to work with us please fill in and return your application for membership (if you don't have it yet let us know via community@black-isle.info and we will send one to you).

We hope that you will join us on that journey and that we'll continue to hear your views via emails or during our Partnership meetings.


Latest pandemic-related guidance 


Communications materials for the September Restrictions and Control the Spread campaign:

September Restrictions Campaign Assets (ZIP, 506 KB)

Control the Spread Campaign Assets (ZIP, 576 KB)

Highland Third sector interface organised a meeting to discuss the reopening of the Halls, which you can see here: 


Legionella risks during the coronavirus pandemic


COVID-19 - guidance for non-healthcare settings


Individual Risk Assessment:


Poster on washing hands:


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance


Guidance for Third Sector Leaving lockdown


SCVO Funding


Highland Community COVID-19 Response 


Disinfecting premises using fog, mist, vapour or ultraviolet (UV) systems during the coronavirus pandemic


HTSI Online Training



Preparing for the long haul


Gordon Adam (written in September)


I’m writing this on a rare trip outside the Highlands – aboard the London train from Inverness. Since I last made this trip two months ago there are signs that things are returning to normal – the only direct daytime train service has returned which is very welcome, I was afraid it would be lost for good. And the buffet is open again.

But this is the new normal: there is no buffet trolley, passengers are few and socially distanced, and face-masks are obligatory. Most trains we pass seem to be almost empty. It is clear that although lockdown may get easier, we are in for the long haul. 

So is there a silver lining to the Covid cloud? Something to compensate for the lack of live music and theatre which I particularly miss, and the irritating and seemingly arbitrary restrictions of how many people from what number of households we can invite to our homes? Also to compensate for the economic uncertainties ahead, the threat to businesses and livelihoods, and all the worry that results?

Community cohesion seems to have benefited. This may seem an abstraction in the face of a pandemic, but as readers to the Black Isle Bulletin will have seen, there are plenty of examples of how the community has pulled together to help: from providing Back to

School grants, shopping vouchers and Chromebooks and iPads to those in need, to a befriending service for those self-isolating, and community larders set up in many places. And the welcome sight of whole families walking and cycling along the Beauly Firth road in front on my house in North Kessock. The big challenge, of course, is how to build on these positives.

There has been much talk of a greener future, and Highland Council has won a £750,000 grant to put in place a network of cycle lanes in the towns. Transition Black Isle has won funding to design an active travel route which will allow safe off-road cycling avoiding the fast and dangerous road between Munlochy and Avoch – a key part of the route linking Rosemarkie and Fortrose to Inverness

Predictably there has been a reaction – from confused motorists in the towns, to one landowner in particular who seems intent on blocking the Avoch –Munochy link. Can community action win out in the end?

This is the big question facing us: the Highland Council appears to be onside – it has a commitment to localisation – or “place-based decision making”. New area committees have been set up to allow funding decisions to reflect local priorities. There have been long held concerns that the Highland Council which covers one third of mainland Scotland’s land mass is simply too remote to understand local concerns.

Local responses to the Covid crisis have reaffirmed the vitality of many communities, including the Black Isle. When money is available, there is growing evidence that it can be spent productively if control is delegated to local groups. Clearly there are governance issues to be sorted out – communities are often divided and it is important that different interests are represented when project funding decisions are being made.

A fundamental problem is reluctance of government funding bodies to allow community organisations decide what spending priorities should be. Usually they lay down what precisely the money should be used for, and strict financial reporting requirements which can stretch the resources – and patience – of small organisations dependent on volunteer labour.

This dynamic needs to shift, and the hope is that the often inspiring community responses to Covid will help do just that. Many have proved they can be trusted to spend public money wisely with minimum oversight. But it will not be an easy battle to win: governments generally want to hoard their power, and particularly their spending power which is what they believe gains votes. On the other hand, newly energised communities could have stronger voices – and plenty of votes – if they choose to exercise them in support of local democracy. The years ahead will no doubt be challenging, but they also represent a real opportunity in terms of how decisions affecting our lives are made.

Gordon Adam is a Black Isle Councillor and Chair of the Black Isle,

Dingwall and Seaforth Area Committee. 



Black Isle organisations have been meeting every week since March (via Zoom). If you have any suggestions or ideas you'd like discussed by this partnership, please contact your local representative, (via your Community Council), or e-mail community@black-isle.info 





Black Isle Newsletter


Info From Highland Council





Challenge Poverty Week 5-11 October 2020
#ChallengePoverty #TogetherWeCan #ChallengePovertyHighland
Challenge Poverty Week 5-11 October 2020
During Challenge Poverty Week we aim to help raise awareness of some of the supports to mitigate poverty, and to help end the stigma of living on a low income. This is especially important just now because of the wider impact of the Coronavirus pandemic – everyone has been affected, but we know both the virus and the measures to stop it spreading have had a greater effect on certain groups of people. The impact is more severe on those who are living in poverty or close to it.
This leaflet provides advice on how people can check their entitlements to support and maximise their income.
Highland Council Welfare Support Team
Our aim is to put more money in your pocket so that you can pay your bills, heat your home and have a better quality of life. This is money you are entitled to.
Our Welfare Support Team can advise you about available benefits and other entitlements; carry out benefit checks; provide help for you to complete relevant forms; help with advice and support if your application for benefit is turned down or you do not receive the amount you were expecting. We can give advice about:
• Free school meals and assistance with clothing
• Housing benefits and support with rent arrears
• Scottish Welfare Fund
• Council Tax reductions
• Employment related benefits
• Bereavement benefits
• Pension Credits
• And other benefits
For free confidential help and advice from the Welfare Support Team: call 0800 090 1004
Challenge Poverty Week 5-11 October 2020
#ChallengePoverty #TogetherWeCan #ChallengePovertyHighland
Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Due to COVID-19, all Citizens Advice Bureaux are no longer offering face to face advice however they are still available for advice and support over the phone, or by email, contact details are below. You can also call Scotland’s Citizens Advice Helpline on 0800 028 1456, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Calls are free.
• Caithness 01847 894 243 or 01847 896 796 bureau@caithnesscab.casonline.org.uk
• East & Central Sutherland 01408 633 000 advice@ecscab.org.uk
• Inverness, Badenoch and Strathspey 07367 965 244 (only if you have an emergency, otherwise email) enquiries@invernesscab.casonline.org.uk Financial Health Check 0800 085 7145 Claiming Universal Credit 0800 023 2581 or webchat: https://bit.ly/2yk2fcT
• Lochaber 01397 705 311 adviser@lochabercab.casonline.org.uk
• Nairn 01667 456 677 bureau@nairncab.casonline.org.uk
• North & West Sutherland 01971 521 730 nws-bureau@nwscab.casonline.org.uk
• Ross & Cromarty 01349 883 333 bureau@alnesscab.casonline.org.uk
• Skye & Lochalsh 01478 612 032 adviser@slcab.org.uk
Money Advice Scotland Money Advice Scotland is Scotland’s money charity. We exist to help people in debt, support money advisers, and influence policy.
“Poorer households and communities start from a worse position when it comes to resilience and mobilising support than those with higher incomes, and in more affluent communities”. Improvement Service
Challenge Poverty Week 5-11 October 2020
#ChallengePoverty #TogetherWeCan #ChallengePovertyHighland
Social Security Scotland
Social Security Scotland has details of devolved entitlements and benefits, funds and grants, including:
• Carer’s Allowance Supplement
• Young Carer Grant
• Child Benefit and tax credits
• Best Start Grant - Pregnancy and Baby Payment
• Best Start Grant - Early Learning Payment
• Best Start Grant - School Age Payment
• Best Start Foods
• Funeral Support Payment
To speak with someone about a benefit application, please call 0800 182 2222, www.socialsecurity.gov.scot or you can find out if you are eligible apply online: https://bit.ly/2WrzJho
Fuel Poverty
Fuel poverty is a particular issue in the north of Scotland and a cause of anxiety and stress when people struggle to pay bills and keep their homes warm.
Home Energy Scotland is the energy advice service funded by the Scottish Government. We provide free, impartial advice to help people to stay warm, make the best use of energy and save money on their bills. Many people have seen energy bills rise during Covid-19 and we’re keen to speak to anyone who’s worried about this. Our local advisors can help with:
“Even before COVID-19, poverty represented the greatest human rights issue facing children in Scotland, with one in four growing up in its grip.” Scottish Government
Challenge Poverty Week 5-11 October 2020
#ChallengePoverty #TogetherWeCan #ChallengePovertyHighland
• Clear advice on ways to save energy and reduce fuel bills while staying warm at home
• Practical help for people who find themselves without heating or hot water
• Support for households with prepayment meters who are worried about topping up
• The latest information about emergency measures from energy suppliers to make sure vulnerable people do not get cut off.
Phone 0808 808 2282 to chat to a friendly advisor. Calls are free and we’re available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
Highland Council Coronavirus Helpline Call the Highland Council Covid-19 Helpline for personal support, advice on benefits, education and social care. We will also be able to provide advice for businesses who may need help with financial support. Call us on Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm with all calls free of charge on 0300 303 1362. If you have to self-isolate as a result of Covid-19 and are on a low income, you may be able to get help from the Scottish Welfare Fund to help with your heating, travel to get a test and other costs. Our Welfare Team can complete the form for you. Low income payment – from 12 October. If you are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and you meet the Scottish Government’s criteria, you may be entitled to £500, as part of the new Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. This is specifically for people who are unable to work from home and would otherwise have no income when they are having to self-isolate. If you require further advice or support regarding this payment, please contact the Council’s Welfare Support Team on 0800 090 1004. Helpline staff will also be signposting callers to other organisations that can provide help and assistance.
Challenge Poverty Week 5-11 October 2020
#ChallengePoverty #TogetherWeCan #ChallengePovertyHighland
Poverty and Mental Wellbeing
Financial hardship and worries are often linked to poor mental health. You may find that the current situation has a negative effect on your well-being because of changes to your work and finances. You might also experience low moods or feelings of anxiety because of health issues or ongoing social isolation. Often these feelings pass, but sometimes they can develop into a more serious problem.
It’s OK to ask for help and there are services you can reach out to if you need support at this time:
Breathing Space - 0800 83 85 87 is a free, confidential, phone service in Scotland for over 16’s experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. https://breathingspace.scot/
Samaritans - 116 123 (calls are free and do not show on a phone bill). https://www.samaritans.org/scotland/how-we-can-help/
Mikeysline - 07786 20 77 55 text line service for people in Highland struggling with mental health difficulties. www.mikeysline.co.uk
Highland Mental wellbeing - a collection of resources to help. www.highlandmentalwellbeing.scot.nhs.uk
“Many of the 60% of adults living in poverty in Scotland who are in working households, have seen a cut in income or hours during the crisis. “ The Poverty Alliance


Resilience Survey



Jon Palmer

Wed, Aug 12, 3:19 PM (7 days ago)

to Helena, Avoch, Gordon, vanessa@duthchas.org.uk, info@knockbain.org, resoliscc@gmail.com, cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com, me, ferintoshcc30@gmail.com, Brian, Jill, nigel.shapcott@gmail.com, Simon, Derek, asienda@yahoo.com, fortrosehelp@gmail.com, rosemarkiehelp@gmail.com, j-mec@outlook.com, Terry, Craig, julian.paren@gmail.com, Peter, community@black-isle.info, jenye.monckton@me.com, helenmbaillot@gmail.com, Becky, jacquie.ross44@gmail.com, Penny, James, hannah.macsween@muiroford.org.uk, Diane, Craig, Jennifer, gordon@imediaassociates.org, gatt123@icloud.com

Dear colleagues,


The link to the survey in the Bulletin takes you straight to Q3 for some reason. Here is a better link I hope: 



Please share this as widely as possible and encourage as many folk as can to complete it. Even if they only answer one or two questions it's all useful. Equally, if you're talking with someone who has a good idea but doesn't want to, or can't, fill in the survey themselves feel free to complete one on their behalf. The more input the better at this stage.


Finally, to focus minds, the deadline for completion is next Friday 21st August. 


Best wishes,




8th August

Resilience Survey


12 August 2020

Community response to pandemic

an update by Asia Cielecka

Reaching the end of third month of my ~6-month part-time engagement with BIP has been a truly reinvigorating experience. I feel extremely grateful to all those who gave their time, expertise, sense of humour and incredible kindness to help me coordinate emergency response and resilience activities. Now that I returned from the holidays in the sunny hometown of Gdansk, it is time to offer an update on the initiatives funded by HIE’s Supporting Communities Fund.

The objective of our approach was to engage community organisations (mostly Community Councils) in the emergency response, as all these institutions have an unique insight into the areas that we serve, combined with structure and experience that cannot be substituted. Through our weekly meetings, in which up to 27 different stakeholders were present, we have strengthened the cooperation between the Highland Council, Black Isle Partnership, Community Councils, grassroot organisations and NGOs. Not all the projects that we started have come to a fruition yet, but the overall trend reveals trusting and connected community, bravely addressing problems and expressing needs in a safe environment of mutual support.

A variety of responses to the emerging issues have taken place. Some organisations offered deliveries to those experiencing financial hardship as well as those who were shielding. We supported two main meals providers- Avoch Scouts and Black Isle Cares. We have also financed vouchers for Cromarty Cares Project, which covered shop expenses (apart from alcohol, cigarettes, pet food and lottery) for those in need in Cromarty.

Another strand was the money for the community sheds, allowing residents to access food with dignity, by using a stocked, centrally placed shed. These are financed in Munlochy and Culbokie, the next ones will hopefully be built in Rosemarkie and North Kessock. There has been a shared effort to make these happen and new connections established to make sure that sheds reflect a real need. In Avoch, we have paid for the refurbishment of the phone box that is now an exchange spot- a fantastic green initiative!

We have supported volunteers and organisations with expenses - for printing ( Venture Safely campaign, BIP Newsletter, CC leaflets), mileage (volunteers’ expenses in Resolis and across Black Isle), biodegradable packaging, microwaves, fridges etc. We have received and distributed resources such as hand sanitisers kindly donated by Mr Healy of Invergordon Distillery and Mr Pearson of SMC Cosmetics, with delivery sponsored by Karen Napier Trust.

We also financed digital inclusion initiatives across Black Isle, namely James’ Support Group from Cromarty, looking after those affected by suicide, and AbilityNet, specialising in Digital Training for the elderly and disabled. Our application to SCVO resulted in getting iPads and ChromeBooks for children and adults at risk of isolation- there are still some left so please let us know if you know someone in need of those.

Our approach to allocating funds has been diligent and transparent- for example, as a principle we issue only half of the funds upfront. We didn’t advertise any funding outside of our Partnership circle, which has enabled the organisations working with us to apply their insights and build projects they have identified as essential. 

When allocating funds we have taken great care to promote dignity in food provision. After attending an online training organised by Nourish Scotland to ensure on that topic, I have been engaging with various organisation s to promote a more individual approach to the food distribution. At BIP we have also been diligent to avoid double funding, asking each project for a detailed declaration on funding received from other sources. We have already spent over 100% of the first tranche and are waiting for the remainder. We have also applied to a few other funds- eg Wellbeing Fund, SCVO, Ecclesiastical. These applications have strengthened our understanding of the need across Black Isle and brought many organisations together by working towards the same goal.

Within the last two weeks, inspired by community representatives from both Avoch and Cromarty, we have committed to distribute much needed support for parents of children attending local schools as swiftly as possible, acting in trust that has been built through our weekly meetings. Knowing how the pandemic affected many financially, we have worked with local community councils who identified families in need, and distributed £100 per child in Back to School cash grant to allow purchase of the basic necessities. 

A fantastic action across the Black Isle has painted an encouraging picture.We believe that trust which has been built in the difficult time  will carry on after the emergency, into the resilience phase and beyond. 



Seed head, photo by Nat Wastnidge


Community Project in Focus

Please see the invite below for the event hosted by Roots and Growth, an initiative to turn the Munlochy Smiddy into Community Space for Black Isle.


With each issue of the Bulletin we want to end by focusing on one of the communities in the Black Isle and find out a bit more of what's been going on locally. 



Black Isle organisations have been meeting every week since March (via Zoom). If you have any suggestions or ideas you'd like discussed by this partnership, please contact your local representative, (via your Community Council), or e-mail community@black-isle.info 



Litter issues

by Asia Cielecka


Our Venture Safely campaign was delivered by Black Isle Partnership Tourism Board a month ago in anticipation of the influx of visitors, who are hungry for the beauty and atmosphere that Black Isle is famous for. The campaign focused on safety in interactions with our community and mutual mindfulness when enjoying our shared spaces. However the current situation, with litter overflowing many "beauty spots", has led to new initiatives being set up by Community Councils and other organisations, with help of Highlands Council.

Over the last week many people across Black Isle have identified, discussed and taken steps to clean the litter that should not be there in the first place. It can be shocking and upsetting to see how inconsiderate people can spoil it for others. Knowing that no-one sees them, they leave all sorts of rubbish behind, from plastic and food to household and personal waste. The mindset behind it is puzzling and upsetting. It spells disrespect, lack of education and carelessness. 

Litter was a main issue highlighted by the lockdown survey which we have conducted in May, before the lockdown was lifted. We acknowledge that rubbish and poo bags are left by both visitors from outside of Black Isle as well as our residents. However, the current numbers of those seeking respite from pandemic stress have exacerbated the issue to the extent that cannot be ignored.

In our Tuesday meetings we discussed this issue extensively. Communities have taken action - RANK has cleaned steps to Harry Gow in North Kessock, Avoch has organised litter picking walks and other organisations have gathered a large number of volunteers who, armed in black bags and litter pickers are willing to address the situation. Avoch and Killen Community Council have created the poster below- please share it freely. In our last meeting we have welcomed Alan McKinnie, Waste Manager at Highlands Council who has shared great ideas and offered further support on behalf of the Council. 

Vanessa Halhead, Director at BIP has reminded us in the past about a bigger picture. NC500 has been promoting the route through Black Isle, but have not consulted widely  with community organisations from the beginning. The lack of joined communications and shared responsibility can put an additional strain on us. It is important to gather key project stakeholders at the onset, rather than waiting for complaints to arise.

Our thoughts on why people litter vary. Vanessa has also pointed out the behavioural aspect of spatial planning- for example positioning of the litter bins which can have a big impact and need to be assessed. Her thoughts reminded me of the charity that I worked with- hubbub.org.uk. Hubbub employ behavioural “nudges” to effectively help people avoid littering. For example, they created boxes, where you can vote with cigarette butts on issues that are lightweight (eg Ronaldo or Messi?)- this way you dispose of these more eagerly as the good behaviour has been made fun.

Perhaps we can employ a similar principle, and make people willing to play the game. A more serious version of this nudge are machines which turn returned recyclable items into cash or vouchers. Visit Scotland has also opened a fund that addresses infrastructure needs in areas that experience more visitors and issues related to it https://www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/funding/rural-tourism-infrastructure-fund. 

Whichever strategy our environmental subgroup chooses, it is important that it works, so we can avoid our environment being spoilt and volunteers burning out. If you have any thoughts on that matter please share them with us. We would especially be keen to hear the ideas on how to reuse and recycle to stop creating waste once and for good. Regardless of where we live, we can all contribute to a greener, cleaner environment.


We trust you have found this issue useful. Please share widely. To be sure of receiving further editions ask to be put on the mailing list via subscribe . 

Resilience Survey

Jon Palmer

Wed, Aug 12, 3:19 PM (19 hours ago)

to Helena, Avoch, Gordon, vanessa@duthchas.org.uk, info@knockbain.org, resoliscc@gmail.com, cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com, me, ferintoshcc30@gmail.com, Brian, Jill, nigel.shapcott@gmail.com, Simon, Derek, asienda@yahoo.com, fortrosehelp@gmail.com, rosemarkiehelp@gmail.com, j-mec@outlook.com, Terry, Craig, julian.paren@gmail.com, Peter, community@black-isle.info, jenye.monckton@me.com, helenmbaillot@gmail.com, Becky, jacquie.ross44@gmail.com, Penny, James, hannah.macsween@muiroford.org.uk, Diane, Craig, Jennifer, gordon@imediaassociates.org, gatt123@icloud.com

Dear colleagues,


The link to the survey in the Bulletin takes you straight to Q3 for some reason. Here is a better link I hope: 



Please share this as widely as possible and encourage as many folk as can to complete it. Even if they only answer one or two questions it's all useful. Equally, if you're talking with someone who has a good idea but doesn't want to, or can't, fill in the survey themselves feel free to complete one on their behalf. The more input the better at this stage.


Finally, to focus minds, the deadline for completion is next Friday 21st August. 


Best wishes,






Food Safety Information for Community Larders


Community Larders Structural requirements

The structure should be watertight and pest proof ( check the space under the entrance door as a mouse can fit through the area that a pen can fit through ). If there is a gap fit a brush strip.

Check for signs of pests eg droppings, smear marks, torn packaging.


Dried Goods Storage

Store up off the floor – this assists with cleaning the floor, cleaning any spillages and spotting any signs of pests

Check dates for stock control  and the packaging to ensure that the packaging is intact.


Chilled Storage

A daily temperature check of the fridge(s) should be carried out. The fridge should operate between 0 – 8 º C ( A temperature monitoring sheet is attached)


Frozen Storage

A daily temperature check of the freezer (s) should be carried out.  .Frozen food should be stored between  minus 15 ºC and minus 18 ºC ( A monitoring sheet is attached)



Please feel free to contact Environmental health if you have any queries, concerns etc at envhealth@highland.gov.uk










Subject: Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund - Round Three


Good afternoon,


I hope this email finds you well during these challenging times.  


A bit of promising news today, I would just like to update you that the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund deadline has been extended for Expressions of Interests to Friday 18th September 2020.


I would appreciate if you could share this news with any local community groups that may be interested in submitting a project where they have experienced pressures on infrastructure/communities due to an increase in visitors number.


Please note: The Scottish Government have defined the eligible areas for this fund as accessible and remote rural areas which excludes settlements above 3000 people.


I have attached the EOI Form along with the Guidelines and FAQs for your attention.


If you have any questions please come back to me.


Kind regards,



Leona Joiner | Tourism Project Co-ordinator



The latest news on the Black Isle's response to Covid-19


Welcome to the second edition of

Black Isle Bulletin

the official newsletter of the Black Isle Partnership


We've gone a bit more digital for this issue, to make it easier for sharing - but kept the layout simple so its easy to print off and give to those without access to the internet.


Venture Safely

On Wednesday 8th July the Black Isle Partnership will officially launch its #venturesafely campaign. As people start to move around more freely with the easing of lockdown the campaign aims to promote four key messages to help us all get through this unprecedented time as best we can. Roadside banners will be erected across the Black Isle. Residents, too, are being asked to get involved by printing off posters at home and displaying them in windows. A special edition of the free Black Isle Visitor Map will be readily available and this also carries the same key messages.

With a campaign of this kind it is impossible to cover every angle, or to include everybody’s ideas and opinions. But we trust everyone agrees that something is better than nothing. There are many concerns about how we progress safely into more routine day-to-day activities. The Black Isle has, with great good fortune and not a small amount of community spirit, got off very lightly compared to other parts of the UK. And of course we would all like to keep it that way. We hope you’ll want to support this campaign and help demonstrate to the wider world that the Black isle is a community that continues to care.

For further information go to www.black-isle.info/coronavirus. When using social media please use #venturesafely and #blackisle

The design for the road-side banners which will be going up on 8th July.

An example of one of the A4 print-off-at-home posters - available on the website from Wednesday.


Covid Induced Fear

A personal view from Councillor Gordon Adam:

'It is generally a lot easier to create fear than dispel it. This is particularly true of pandemics: with HIV/AIDS, governments of the time tried to frighten people to control the spread of the disease.

The problem was that many people assumed the disease was far more infectious than it really was, and those suspected of being HIV positive were often stigmatised for no good reason.

There are parallels with Covid-19, not exact of course but worth noting. The government advises remaining isolated and at home as the best protection from the virus, but the consequence that incomers such as tourists can be stigmatised. The government has not helped by sticking to a nationwide approach to Coronavirus control. This was fair enough initially to keep the lockdown message simple, but a one-size-fits-all approach to easing lockdown is not helpful in the Highlands where infections have been low, but the economy – heavily reliant on tourism and hospitality - will be particularly hard hit.

So many people on the Black Isle are worried – those reliant on tourism on one hand, and those afraid of tourists infecting them on the other. But what is the risk of catching Covid-19? Just seven people under 65 in the Highlands have died in the last three months, and 42 people over 65, out of a total population of 235,000. Sadly just under half of them were in care homes. Overall, this suggests the risks of being infected in the community are low.

There are other questions, including: Are locals at increased risk of infection from tourists? Is there additional risk if tourists do their shopping locally? What about tourists passing on the disease in the street?

The government has not given specific guidance on these, but common sense can provide some answers:

* Self-catering accommodation is safer than B&Bs where hosts are sharing their homes with tourists. But a lot of risk can be eliminated through deep cleaning protocols that are being developed.

* Shopping: providing social distancing is observed, tourists do not pose a greater risk than locals.

* It is widely accepted that there is minimal risk in Covid-19 being transmitted out of doors unless there is close contact.

Ultimately it is a balance of risk: trying to eliminate the risk of catching Covid-19 on one hand, with the increased damage that this will inflict on the economy, and mental and physical health; or opening up tourism sooner rather than later so that the rest of the season is saved, businesses survive and people can return to work – but with the caveat there may be a small risk of new Covid infection.

Not an easy choice, but it is important to examine the facts as best we can and then assess the risks accordingly.'


The Coronavirus And Our Children

Anne Mackay, Killearnan CC, writes:

“Each child belongs to all of us and they will bring us a tomorrow in direct relation to the responsibility we have shown to them.”   Maya Angelou.

The Media is celebrating the easing of lock-down. Wow!  You can drink in your local; football is back; High Street shops are returning to business; there’s even a task force to look into the possibility of reopening English bowling alleys.

So what about the children?

Government response: Well you see we’re kind of looking into that – schools and things – the workers will need to get back into the workplace – the economy will need kick-starting … Maybe the kids can all just go back sometime - they don’t suffer much from the virus – hardly at all – not many have died. They’ll be able to catch up…simple!!

Talk, Talk, Talk!

Eventually the authorities almost got their act together where the NHS and Economy were concerned.  Eventually billions were found to set up pop-up hospitals, get PPE for front line workers, furlough workers and pay their wages and prop up companies. (Pity about the tracing App.) Local Councils set up food hubs and such and sent out ‘Advice’. Volunteer groups swung into action.

But what about the children? Where are their emergency billions ? What about the teen-agers - robbed of their rites of passage through S4.S5.S6 exams towards a career and the rest of their lives? Fortunately, they seem to be suffering less mental stress than the 8- 12 year olds. It seems the teenagers’ natural rebelliousness, their native intelligence and their skills with social media have led them to develop amazing coping strategies but what of their future?  Perhaps, the enforced freedom from the constraints of formalised learning will result in an entrepreneurial, self-motivated generation. After all, it was the drop outs who developed Microsoft, Face Book and the like.

The worst affected are surely the pre-secondary pupils. Most are spending their time on their phones and notebooks (if they have them). They have shut down. The structure in their lives, so important in giving them the sense of security that they need to develop and flourish, has suddenly disappeared.  The bedroom has become their haven; day has been turned into night. Outside the big, bad virus looms. They have not yet developed language and reasoning skills to a level which can help them understand the situation in which they find themselves or even to express their confusion.

Home Learning? Most teachers, both Primary and Secondary, have pulled out all the stops. They have enhanced their own IT skills and turned themselves into Media programme producers. Many contact each of their pupils regularly to see how they’re getting on. But, as with secondary education, assessment has all but vanished.

And there are such wide disparities. So much unfairness.  Just take the fact that some primary schools have had to ration the issue of Chromebooks, handing them out only to P7.  Not all parents are wealthy enough to provide notebooks or quiet places to work or active help with assignments.

Parents are asking: How safe will our children be if they return to school? What method of virus testing will be used? How will schools make sure younger children are keeping a safe distance from one another? Will kids/staff have to wear masks? How often will hands be washed;  how will hygiene standards be enhanced – school toilets are notoriously ‘smelly’?How will intervals be organised? How will senior pupils be helped to progress towards their planned careers? How will schools decide which pupils will be in school and which at home – will it be by age or potential – what social inequalities will ‘grouping’ children set in train? How will the safe distance requirements be met with on the school bus?

Conclusion: get practical you lot in Westminster and Holyrood! Appoint a UK emergency force trained in logistics – from the military? – the sort of people who  can organise and carry out manoeuvres like the D Day landings. Liaise with each local education authority; weigh up the capacity of each school –staff and accommodation; increase staffing levels; provide testing for all pupils and staff; issue masks; commandeer nearby public buildings or acquire and set up temporary porta-cabins; hire more cleaning squads and supply disinfectants; increase the fleet of buses. And find the funds. Our children need and deserve a grown-up, nationwide strategy. 

I agree with Professor Calum Semple of the University of Liverpool – an advisor on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies:

“It does seem a bit of a paradox I can go to the pub … but my teenage daughter can’t go to school."   

School playgrounds have been deserted for months. Come August, might they be echoing to the sounds of children once more?


Further Education? Who Pays For Travel?

Information from Nige Shapcott of Cromarty:

'One thing that is clear is that it’s a time of change and uncertainty. One of the issues that has arisen is that of young people who are having to change plans for their future as a result of the pandemic. Businesses they were planning to work in, or take part in apprenticeship training with, have themselves had to change their plans. One of the clear choices is to look at Further and Higher Education to gain qualifications and training for future careers. 

Unfortunately, people can easily be put off examining this option by their knowledge of local bus fares and by the reality of the cost of getting to college using public transport. But there are ways in which people attending courses can have their travel costs subsidised:

The Educational Maintenance Allowance and the FE Bursary from Inverness College, UHI can provide travel funding to help with travel costs. At the moment, those attending could apply travel funding of £22.50 or £30 a week depending on whether the course was 3/4 days a week. This covers the cost of the Mega Rider ticket.

Full time: see here

Part time: see here

You can approach the Student Funding Team by emailing: funding.ic@uhi.ac.uk.

For Higher Education students they fund their own travel out of their SAAS payments, more information here.

There are lots of really good opportunities, start by looking at the website


Community Focus

With each issue of the Bulletin we want to end by focusing on one of the communities in the Black Isle and find out a bit more of what's been going on locally. First off is North Kessock and Helena Macleod has sent us this update:

Kessock Kindness is the Covid community response established by the Residents Association of North Kessock (RANK) to meet the needs of people in the Knockbain area during the pandemic. Initiated by a community survey at the start of lockdown, dozens of residents have volunteered their time to support vulnerable groups, offering to deliver groceries and prescriptions, answer the helpline or walk dogs for people in their neighbourhood. Twice weekly virtual cafés take place on Mondays and Thursdays, helping to keep the community connected by sharing up-to-date news and stories.

The community-led café on Monday has evolved into a themed event with local people sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise across a broad range of topics. Residents have discovered new-found talents, inspiring a unique bonding experience as a community in lockdown. The variety of presentations, workshops and demos include: community wellbeing, soda bread making, cross-stitch and brooch making by the 3R group, social media and online safety training by AbilityNet, a composting & wormery demo, and a presentation on the impact of social isolation and loneliness on mental health & wellbeing. The Kessock Regatta was re-enacted with presentations, images and videos from outstanding speakers, creating fond memories of previous Regattas and a good time was had by all at the Kessock Pub quiz night.

With the easing of lockdown, Kessock Kindness is collaborating with The Old Ticket Office to host outdoor workshops and cafés in the coastal garden. The glass painting demo and workshop has boosted confidence for budding arts and crafting enthusiasts as they decorate bottle lights with dolphins and dragonflies. The novel blend of virtual cafés and outdoor events is creating a unique and exciting experience in the community as more ideas come forward to create Kessock Kindness baby blankets.  

The next steps will see the formal launch of the Telephone Befriending service in July with 12 fully trained Kessock Befrienders providing an invaluable service for people in the community. Referrals are welcome from across the Black Isle to support family members, friends or neighbours with a helpful service aimed at tackling isolation and loneliness. The volunteers are supported by the Befriending Coordinator, with ongoing training, support and supervision provided by the Highland Hospice Befriending Team. Please contact Helena at Board@residentsnorthkessock.com or phone the Kessock Kindness helpline on 01463 898128 for more information.


Helena is just one of many community representatives in the Black Isle who have been meeting every week since March (via Zoom). If you have any suggestions or ideas you'd like discussed by this partnership, please contact your local representative, (via your Community Council), or e-mail community@black-isle.info 


We trust you have found this issue useful. Please share widely. To be sure of receiving further editions ask to be put on the mailing list via subscribe . 




The CC put several questions to Highland Council regarding the current policy on the return of pupils to school on August 12.  Below are the questions and the response from Mr Derek Martin, Area Manager

"Thank you for your email on behalf of the community council regarding the re-opening of schools.  Responses to your questions are below:


1. How can we be sure enough that the level of cases is low enough in the Highlands to allow for a safe return. Alongside this, is the awareness that an influx of tourists could cause a spike.


The Scottish Government are responsible for instructing the re-opening of schools and base this on the medical and scientific advice available to them.  The Highland Council continue to work with the government with regards to the local health picture and the safety of resuming school.  The current advice is that the level of cases in Highland and, indeed, Scotland are currently very low.


2. The latest research indicates that carriers of the disease can be asymptomatic and that schools could become, unwittingly, new hot spots.


The Highland Council has robust measures in place to ensure high standards of infection control in its schools.  Heateachers have prepared risk assessments, which have been moderated and supported by health and safety teams, to manage the re-opening of schools in line with government requirements.


3  Will there be an overall plan to put in place adequate social distancing within the school and on school transport.


Currently, schools are planning to re-open with no social distancing in August, in line with government requirements.  The situation will continue to be monitored and there are plans in place, should there be a need to return to social distancing, to deliver a blended model of home and school based learning.  Currently, there is a requirement to maintain social distancing on transport.


4. As testing is essential to control the spread of the virus, how will this be made available for both pupils and staff and their families?


NHS Scotland will deliver the Test and Protect system for the population.  More details can be found at https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/test-and-protect


5. What is the Authorities' planning in the event of an outbreak in a particular school?


The Highland Council will apply the requirements of Test and Protect by NHS Scotland; and will assess the steps required to manage its buildings.


6. What is the position of vulnerable, shielding children? Will they be exempted from returning. Will additional tutorial support be available?


Shielding children will be unable to attend school, until they are safe to do so.  Vulnerable children, who are medically fit to attend school, will be supported back to education.  Appropriate home based learning, using a mixture of digital and traditional resources will be used for those who are medically unfit to return to school.


7. Will extra funding be in place to ensure the levels of hygiene needed - the handwashing; surface sanitising etc. What methods of supervision will be employed?


The Highland Council have made arrangements for the appropriate cleaning to be undertaken at enhanced levels.  This will be undertaken by trained staff.  School staff have responsibility for supervision of pupils, and will encourage appropriate hand hygiene.


8. Will any psychological support be provided for pupils suffering from the harmful effects of the interruption to their education and to the routines which, especially, the younger children need to give them a sense of security?


Schools have access to educational psychology and health staff to support pupils in their return.  Teachers and support staff are planning core curricular learning, with a focus on health and wellbeing throughout term 1.


9. What strategies will staff employ to help pupils catch up after the disruptions to their SQA courses?


Discussions are underway nationally to decide on what SQA requirements will be for next year,  Subject teachers will continue to use a wide variety of assessment strategies to gauge progress and, if required, attainment levels for senior phase pupils.


I hope you find this useful.


Yours sincerely,


Derek Martin

Area Care & Learning Manager



Funding HIE

Please see attached the grant conditions from HIE- I was unable to attach it to the zoom chat.

I also had a confirmation that we are not able to release fund directly to individuals, but could provide the payment directly to the service supplier (eg electricity, gas) for those who are struggling.


Many thanks,




B Y J O N P A L M E R , C H A I R O F B L A C K I S L E P A R T N E R S H I P
For the past three months the Black Isle has proved its resilience. Throughout the
area there are wonderful examples of residents looking out for one another and
communities keeping us safe and feeling cared for. We have all had to adapt to
change in our normal routines and we’ve proved it can be done. Some initiatives
that have sprung up may remain for the long term. They definitely help to make our
communities more sustainable. Shopping locally, running errands for neighbours,
sharing resources, growing more food! If this crisis has taught us anything it is that
we can be more resilient and self-sufficient.
However. In the short term there are people whose livelihoods have taken a big hit.
Many families and individuals rely on visitors coming to the Black Isle. Some are
wholly dependent, such as accommodation providers. Other businesses such as
shops and eateries rely on the extra footfall to top-up their annual turnover. And
without tourism-related enterprises tradesfolk such as builders, plumbers and
electricians also lose custom. As the country eases out of ‘lockdown’ we must now
adapt to further change.
Whether we like it or not we’re going to be seeing more people in the Black Isle
over the coming weeks and months. This can be managed if we provide clear and
consistent messaging. We recommend that advice to visitors (and locals) should be:
Support local businesses. Respect local needs.
Keep your distance. Stay connected.
Issue 1 - 21st June 2020
A Different Future Awaits
Logo by Ben Flieger of Cromarty
The final statement is important if people are
going to heed this advice. The more they feel
part of the community and engage with
what’s going on the more they are likely to
act responsibly.
So, the Partnership will be doing all it can to
make information as accessible and available
as possible. We will also be promoting all the
good things that are going on. We hope you
can support us by getting these messages
out there. When folk come to the Black Isle a
big part of their experience should be a sense
that we are a community who cares.
Footnote: Amongst all these changes spare a
thought for those who are ‘shielding’ (until
the end of July at least!) Better still, give them
a call for a friendly chat or post a kindly
message through their door.
Mental Health and
This period in our lives has not been
without its trials and we are especially
concerned for the health and wellbeing of
residents – and our young people in
Some practical steps are being taken to
provide opportunities for more social
interaction, engaging activities and
meaningful employment. We hope to
provide more detail in future editions of
this newsletter.
In the meantime if you are in need of
support, or have ideas you’d like to
contribute, contact us at:
A quick round-up of just
some of the things that have
been going on in the various
Black Isle Partnership exists as an umbrella
organisation for all residents. In May it was
awarded the status of ‘anchor organisation’ with
grant-aid from the Scottish Government’s
Supporting Communities Fund – distributed by
Highlands & Islands Enterprise,
Since March we have been holding weekly Zoom
meetings with Community Council representatives
and care providers from across the Black Isle.
North Kessock – Kessock Kindness have
been holding regular knitting meetings via
Knockbain CC are planning to create a
Community Larder in Munlochy.
Avoch and Killen are painting and
refurbishing two ‘phone boxes as community
exchanges for books, games, seeds and
Fortrose. With additional funding Black Isle
Cares have been able to extend the free
provision of meals on wheels to more
Rosemarkie are knitting a blanket depicting
people’s experiences of lockdown.
Cromarty Care Project has been providing
food vouchers for those facing hardship and
delivering groceries from the local shop to
those self-isolating.
Resolis have been knocking on doors,
especially the more outlying dwellings, to
make sure everyone has what they need.
Ferintosh hold regular online community
quiz nights, amongst other things.
Killearnan work closely with the Church of
Scotland to ensure no one is forgotten. CoS
are also live streaming Sunday services.
And we must of course mention Groam
House Museum who've inspired a population
of scarecrows across the whole Black Isle!
If you wish to comment on anything in this newsletter, make contact on matters related to Covid-19, or
subscribe to receive future editions direct to your inbox e-mail Asia Cielcka at: community@black-isle.info


Local Community Hubs established in Invergordon, Dingwall and Ullapool. 


Moving towards recovery yet retaining capacity to respond to any localised increase in demand.

Moving from a mix of frozen meals and dry-goods. Work with NHS and Social Services and community groups (who are providing chilled meals) and the Dingwall Hub will continue with frozen where required.

Continuing to work closely with NHS, Social Services, Children’s Services and third sector including British Red Cross

Management system has migrated across to a new platform, which is still bedding in.

Significant local resilience funding now available in most communities.

Hubs now able to support drought-affected households with bottled water.

Planning under way to enable Hubs to continue to support communities after schools re-open.

Hub staffing being reviewed as furlough ends for volunteers.


From Highland Council


The Scottish Government has recently set up an Advisory Group on Economic Recovery to provide independent advice to the Scottish Government on supporting the sectors and regions of Scotland’s economy to recover from Covid-19.


The Advisory Group wants to ensure that it captures the views of a wide range of groups in the limited time it has available and an Open Call for Views has been set up to support it in doing this. The Group is keen that its recommendations are informed by a wide range of perspectives and we're encouraged to respond to the open call for views as it's vital for rural parts of Highland to have our voice heard. Please take a little time to fill in this short survey from the Advisory Group found at https://consult.gov.scot/economic-development/call-for-views-advisory-group-on-economic-recovery/. The deadline for submissions is 31st May.


Latest news from Connecting Carers

Welcome to the May edition of the Connecting Carers E-bulletin!

Connecting Carers would like to reassure you that we are here for you during this challenging time. You can reach us on the Carers Support Line: 01463 723560, Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm or by email: carers@connectingcarers.org.uk. You can also contact your local Carer Link Worker for support and information (details below). We have been looking at ways of keeping in touch and have enjoyed talking to Carers at our regular online chats. We also have a great range of online training and events available over the next couple of months. So please join us online or give us a call, we’re here to help. Take care and stay safe.
Contact details for Carers
For support and information, or to discuss any aspects of your caring role you can contact one of the local Carer Link Workers, or phone the support line. Please get in touch and we will help:

Stuart Randall - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey
Email: srandall@connectingcarers.org.uk    Mobile: 07920657100.  Working hours - full time

Madeleine Anstead - Inverness & Ross-shire
Email: manstead@connectingcarers.org.uk    Mobile: 07850794568.  Working hours - full time

Lyndsey Johnson - Ross-shire
Email: ljohnston@connectingcarers.org.uk     Mobile: 07850794433.  Working hours - part time

Mary Cook - Caithness & Sutherland
Email: mcook@connectingcarers.org.uk    Mobile: 07920653777.  Working hours - full time

Lisa MacGillivray - Lochaber
E-mail: lmacgillivray@connectingcarers.org.uk    Mobile: 07850794456.  Working hours - part time

Jean Wood - Referral Co-ordinator (support line)
Email: jwood@connectingcarers.org.uk    Telephone:01463 723567. Working hours - full time. Support Line: 01463 723560

Kasia Wilczynska - Senior Carer Link Worker - Highland
Email: kwilczynska@connectingcarers.org.uk    Mobile: 07850794423. Working hours - full time

Online Events

Here are the details of some training and events that we will be running through Zoom over the next few weeks. You can join us using Zoom on your tablet, mobile or computer. it’s free and easy to use, you just need to create an account, then enter the sessions using a meeting ID and Password which we will send in advance by email.

*Geneology - Family History for Beginners Part 2 with HLH, Fri 22nd May, 10.30-12pm
*Save a Life: Child & Baby First Aid with Margaret, Monday 1st June, 2-3.30pm
*Save a Life: Adult First Aid with Margaret, Tuesday 2nd June, 2-3.30pm
*Carers Rights with Margaret, Friday 5th June, 2-3.30pm

We also have an exciting programme of events with Creativity in Care. They will be running the following sessions via Zoom during the summer:

*Art of Caring for Self and Others: Starting W/C 22nd June
*Positive Dementia Shorts: Starting W/C 29th June
*Places Remembered and Imagined: Starting W/C 24th August

(Dates and times still to be confirmed, but please check our website and Facebook page for details.)

Creativity in Care Art Packs

Packs will be available from Carers Week (8-14 June) onwards. They have been developed for Adult and Young Carers and will be posted out to your home address. The packs contain an array of fantastic art and craft materials, plus guidelines on how to complete various art projects. All packs will have ideas for capturing thoughts and images for our time capsule project which launches during Carers Week.

Time Capsule Project

We will be inviting Adult and Young Carers to get involved with our exciting digital time capsule project, by asking people to send us items on ‘what lockdown means to you’. Photos, artwork, poems or any other interesting article – be creative with your entries! For more information please contact: bbrown@connectingcarers.org.uk

Carer News

The summer issue of our quarterly newsletter will be posted out the week beginning 1st June. It features up to date information on our services as well as many other articles of interest including stories from Carers, health and wellbeing tips, recipes and puzzles. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter please email: carers@connectingcarers.org.uk

Carers Week, 8-14th June

Save the date! Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid Carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as Carers and access much-needed support. During Carers Week we will be providing more online sessions with a wellbeing theme. Sessions include:

Monday 8th June:
Intro to Interior Design with Gael Hillyard, 10-12pm Mindfulness & Meditation with Pauline from Peace of Mind Therapies, 6.45-8pm.

Tuesday 9th June:
Nature Connect with Rachel from Hearts & Minds Scotland, 10.30-11.15am.
General Knowledge Quiz 7-8pm

Wednesday 10th June:
Tea & Chat with Autism Initiatives, 10-11am Botanical Drawing with Gael Hillyard from 2-4pm

Thursday 11th June:
Managing my Emotions & Planning For What I Want with Linda from Thinking Space, 1-2.30pm.
Sound Bath with Peaceful Haven Holistic Therapies, 7-8pm.

Friday 12th June:
Creating a Sketchbook/Memory Book with Gael Hillyard from 10-12pm Zoom Karaoke 7-8pm

If you would like further information on any of the sessions please contact Margaret by email: mgrant@connectingcarers.org.uk

Regular online Carers chat

Please join members of the Connecting Carers team for some time to chat, have a cuppa and ask any questions you may have about your caring role or support, advice and funding that’s available. We are running the sessions via Zoom every second Wednesday at 2pm. Our next session is on Wednesday 3rd June, so please join us. Details on how to join will be emailed to Carers. Email carers@connectingcarers.org.uk   for more information.


Connecting Carers are pleased to announce that our Care4Carers group is to relaunch on Friday 22nd May via Zoom. The group has a mental health focus and is designed to be a safe space to discuss, with others, how you are coping through the Lockdown with your own mental health and that of those you care for. The group will run fortnightly and will be facilitated by Stuart Randall, Connecting Carers Link Worker and Fiona Mclean, Lead Occupational Therapist Practitioner at New Craigs Hospital in Inverness. To begin with we are keen for the sessions to be led by you, so we are hoping for as many Carers along as possible. For more information and instructions on how to join please contact Stuart by email: srandall@connectingcarers.org.uk 

Wellbeing Funding

We have been successful in receiving a significant grant from the Wellbeing fund to help facilitate staying connected, having a break from your caring role and fundamentally taking time for a little ‘self-care’. The fund allows for five core activities which are summarised below:

1. Online workshops for Carers to support their wellbeing and activity packs, including “Art of resilience” and “Places remembered and imagined” delivered in partnership with Creativity in Care 2. To deliver online First Aid training on a regular basis to Carers 3. Online exercise classes for Carers with a personal trainer 4. Huawei or Amazon Fire Tablets for Young Carers and associated set-up costs 5. Laptops or smart phones for Adult Carers, to help stay connected and reducing the impact of social isolation.

To find out more and to take advantage of what the Wellbeing fund has to offer please contact either the adult or Young Carer service on:
Adult service: 01463 723560  Young Carer service: 01463 723562

PPE for Carers

In Highland, you will be able to access PPE directly via Connecting Carers as the local hub for unpaid Carers.

To place an order for PPE supply of gloves, aprons or masks please contact us:
On 01463 723560, between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, or by email at carers@connectingcarers.org.uk

Please note:
Unpaid Carers should source their own stock of PPE wherever possible, however where this fails Connecting Carers will provide PPE to unpaid Carers. Supplies will be used in line with guidance and distributed equitably according to need.

Actions to take if you need PPE:
Contact Connecting Carers who will triage your call and support you to place an order for PPE where you are unable to source through existing arrangements. Where possible, the Connecting Carers team will post our supplies directly to your home address, but in extenuating circumstances, the supplies will be delivered to your door.

New staff members

During the last few weeks Madeleine has joined the Carer Link Workers Team. Heather and Amanda have joined Barbara to form the all new Connecting Young Carers Team.

Madeleine Anstead, Carer Link Worker for Ross-shire & Inverness
Email: manstead@connectingcarers.org.uk  , Tel: 07850 794568

Heather Mackenzie, Young Carers Community Link Worker for Inverness & Nairn
Email: hmackenzie@connectingcarers.org.uk  , Tel: 07823 415060

Amanda Hicks, Young Carers Community Link Worker for Ross-shire
Email: ahicks@connectingcarers.org.uk  , Tel: 07436 140148

CYC News

Connecting Young Carers has now moved to a community based model - meaning there are community workers linked to the area to provide support and events tailored to the people living there. Inverness and Nairn will be supported by Heather Mackenzie and Amanda Hicks will be covering Ross-shire. The new team are excited to make some big changes for Young Carers in Highland and are looking forward to meeting their new network of young people and professionals. We would like you to meet the team and get in touch if you would like to get advice, support or partner up on projects in your area. Contact Barbara on 07950 328 264 or email: bbrown@connectingcarers.org.uk 

CYC have been awarded funding to support our Young Carers in the current lockdown in order to get them connected, feel supported, learn and develop. Here are examples of ways to use the funding:  Virtual song writing session with Fèis Rois; Wellbeing session/tutorial; Online fitness class/subscription; Virtual art/craft tutorial with local artist; Counselling with our qualified existing staff; School subject private tuition; Book club; Cookery class; Technology; Phone credit and internet connection package.

Coronavirus Helplines & Community Registers

NHS Inform Coronavirus Helpline: 0800 028 2816 A FREE helpline. Advice on Coronavirus if you do not have symptoms, but want general advice about the illness. 8 am – 10 pm. Every day. Information for those online available at www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

Highland Council Covid-19 Helpline: 0300 303 1362 A FREE helpline for advice on benefits, personal support, education and social care as well as other council services. Also for businesses re help with financial support. Helpline staff will signpost callers to other organisations providing help and assistance, and will gather offers from individuals or community groups wishing to volunteer. 8am to 6pm. Monday to Friday.

Highland Council number for those who are “shielding” and require assistance: 01349 886669 Anyone receiving a letter or text from NHS asking them to “shield” can contact the Council for support during self-isolation. People in this position may need different types of support, and that might change during the 12 weeks. Some people may need no assistance at all because they have family or friends who can help.
Anyone else requiring support during self-isolation can call the Council’s helpline at 0300 303 1362 and select the ‘need help with welfare’ option. Support for those with shielding letters will be prioritised - but the Council will also help other vulnerable people.
Those online can visit www.highland.gov.uk/shielding to provide contact details and type of support required.

HTSI Highland Community COVID-19 Response HTSI have recently updated their Community Action Register which is a database of community services, actions and initiatives that are taking place across the Highlands. It’s really useful for access to local advice, support, delivery services and online activities. You can access it here: https://www.covidhelp4highland.org/ 
Also included is information on registering community activities and registering as a volunteer.

Social Security in Scotland

The Cabinet Secretary announced changes to social security in Scotland recently.  The full statement can be found by following this link and a summary of the key changes,set out by the social security team, are below

Carer’s Allowance
 For Carer’s Allowance we have adopted the same measures that the UK government announced on the 24th of March which include:

*Carer’s Allowance continuing to be paid even when the carer is unable to provide care due to self-isolation or infection of coronavirus to either them or their cared for person.
*The care provided can now include mental and emotional care and not just physical.

The Scottish Government will also still pay the Carer’s Allowance Supplement in June and December, if DWP is still able to supply us with the necessary data.

Young Carer Grant
 For Young Carer Grant (YCG) Social Security Scotland continues to be able to take applications through all the usual channels.

To ensure that coronavirus doesn’t stop anyone accessing the support they deserve we will also allow applications for YCG from people who have recently turned 19 but couldn’t apply while they were 18 due to coronavirus.

Upcoming benefits
During this time of uncertainty the priority is to maintain the benefits we are currently delivering. Given the current uncertainty, it is not possible at the moment to say clearly what this will mean for timescales for delivering Scottish Carer’s Assistance and Carer’s Additional Child Payment. We will continue to update you of revised timelines as they become clear.

Animals and Coronavirus

There is a lot of confusing information out there about how coronavirus affects animals at the moment, causing those who have pets and who look after animal’s great concern. SSPCA, Scotland's animal welfare experts, have produced some really helpful guidance for pet owners during the coronavirus crisis: https://www.scottishspca.org/coronavirus-and-caring-for-pets 

They also have an animal helpline you can call: 03000 999 999 for further advice and support.

Connecting Carers Funding

A reminder that Carers can apply for funding such as Time 2 Be and Wee Treat grants, as even though it’s not possible to go away for a short break at the moment, you can still apply for funding for activities at home and purchase items online such as art and craft materials, gardening items, exercise equipment etc. To find out more about these and other grants that are available, such as the Caroline Thomson Legacy Fund, please call us on 01463 723560. Or see our website: https://connectingcarers.org.uk/carers-services/need-a-break.aspx 

Family Fund

If you’re raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person, you might be eligible for a grant from Family Fund. Popular grants include washing machines, sensory toys, bedding, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing, and computers. For more information please visit the website: https://www.familyfund.org.uk/ 

Independence at Home

Independence at Home is a charity that provides grants to people of all ages who have a physical or learning disability or long term illness and who are in financial need.

They may be able to help you if you, or a member of your family, have a long term illness or disability and need financial help towards the cost to improve your independence, comfort, safety and quality of life at home.
To find out more: http://www.independenceathome.org.uk/index.html 




During the Pandemic, locked-down Killearnan Kids commorate VE Day in the tree house.

VE Commemoration

Dear All,

This week would have seen the launch of our exhibition in the Fortrose Library in time for VE Day. Obviously, this is not happening but following discussions between Janet, Robin & myself, we've launched a 'virtual exhibition' on Facebook. The Facebook public group is called Fortrose, Rosemarkie & Avoch in World War 2 and if you put the title in to the Facebook search box you should be able to find the group and access the exhibition in a series of PDFs. You can also comment & share. 


Please take a look and let your friends know. We realise that Facebook is not everyone's thing but we wanted to mark VE Day and this was the quick (relatively) and free option.

A Cameron



Hi Craig,


Many of us are spending lots more time at home at the moment. While your top priority will be keeping yourself and your family safe, you might be worried about the effect this will have on your energy bills.


We are open and here to help

We are here to help you. With our energy advisors working safely from home, we’re open as usual and are available to help you through this difficult time with free and impartial advice. 

We're just a free call away on 0808 808 2282.


Ease the pressure on your finances, keep your energy bills down

We've also pulled together some tips and advice which will help to ease the pressure on your finances.






Getting your timing right

If you've got your heating set around being out of the house for most of the day, think about what suits your new routine. If not commuting to work means you're getting an extra half hour in bed, set your heating to come on half an hour later.


Switch off standby

You might be in the habit of turning appliances off at the wall before you go to bed, but doing this this throughout the day helps you to cut energy waste even further. If you're catching the news at breakfast, switch the TV off at the wall until you'll be using it again.


Layer up

Although it's officially spring, choosing a cosy jumper and slippers instead of shorts and a t-shirt can stop you needing to turn up the heating.


Hi all,

Latest media release from HC regarding support for self employed businesses. We have many self-employed businesses on the Black Isle and they may wish to access this funding.




Highland Council
Black Isle
Ward 9 
01381 600871
Cognosce veritate - ecce libertas


From: Duncan Mckenzie
Sent: 30 April 2020 12:53
To: Craig Fraser - Member
Subject: Highland Council: Launch of Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund




30 April 2020


For immediate release


Launch of Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund


From today, newly self-employed individuals who have not been able to access support through other schemes will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £2,000.

Following the launch of the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund by Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Highland Council has been asked to administer the fund for Newly Self-Employed businesses within the Highland Council area.

Councillor Margaret Davidson Leader of the Council said: “A one-off grant of £2,000 is available for newly self-employed individuals who are experiencing hardship as a result of losing income due to the coronavirus outbreak. This is a very welcome addition for those individuals who are not eligible for the UK Government’s Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme or other forms of COVID-19 business support, and who are not in receipt of working age benefits.

“Newly self-employed individuals are encouraged to go to the Council’s Newly Self Employed webpage to determine whether they are eligible and to follow the guidance available on the website prior to submitting the online application form.  The scheme is open to people who became self-employed on/after 6th April but have not yet submitted a tax return including income from self-employment for 2018-19.

“The Scottish Government has given Highland Council an initial allocation of £812,433 to provide these grants.  Further funding may become available to meet demand but this is not assured and the Council will operate the grant scheme as long as funds last.  Completed applications will therefore be dealt with on a first come first served basis.  We understand the importance of these grants and will be working with the highest degree of urgency to process applications.”

 Other self-employed businesses who do not qualify for this funding can find information on support available at Sources of Funding or Business Coronavirus Support Finder



Good Afternoon

Firstly I wanted to thank you all on behalf of The Highland Council and Partners for the work you are doing within your communities.


Many Community Councils, community organisations and informal groups are carrying out a huge amount of resilience work, helping to keep their communities safe and cared for across the whole of Highland.  However, we are very aware that this level of activity, carried out over a period of weeks can be very intense, leading to volunteer exhaustion and disengagement from these crucial activities.  The Highland Third Sector Interface and Highland Council have been encouraging people to come forward to offer help and as a result there is now a significant bank of volunteers covering the whole of Highland.


We would like to encourage all organisations carrying out this vital work, to consider whether they could benefit from more volunteers to help provide some resilience and succession planning, or perhaps even to expand activities such as providing safe social engagement over the phone or internet.  If you are interested, please go to https://www.covidhelp4highland.org/register-a-volunteering-opportunities.html


We will be able to tell you how many volunteers are available in your area and put you in touch to give your group that additional support.  In addition, all volunteering opportunities will be advertised to volunteers through the HTSI website and regular bulletin email.


If you need to discuss  volunteer requirements please contact Jane on jane@highlandtsi.org.uk or 07834 753766 or get more general info here: https://www.covidhelp4highland.org/


Thank you



Pablo Mascarenhas

Community and Democratic Engagement Manager

29 April 2020


For immediate release


Garden Waste Collection Service- resuming normal service


The Highland Council is pleased to announce that the Garden Waste Collection Service will be resumed from Monday 11th May 2020. Householders who have purchased a 2019/20 permit for the fortnightly collection of their garden waste are urged to check their calendars on The Highland Council’s website for their collection day. https://www.highland.gov.uk/directory/54/bin_calendars 

Carron McDiarmid, Chief Executive Officer, Communities and Place said: “It has been a challenge to deliver services during these exceptionally testing times and I’m very pleased to announce that the Garden Waste Collection Service can return to some normality. Your patience and understanding has been most appreciated whilst we have had to prioritise delivery of other essential services.”

She continued: “The Garden Waste Collection Service was suspended on Monday 23rd March due to the impact of Covid-19 on staff resources. The Highland Council is currently operating with a shortfall of approximately 30% - 40% in waste operations staff and therefore priority was given to the collection of statutory household rubbish (green bin), recycling (blue bin) and food waste collections in Inverness.  The staffing situation has now been reviewed and additional staff resources have been identified which now allows for the recommencement of the Garden Waste Collection Service.”

Chair of the Communities and Place Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: “Arrangements we able to be finalised yesterday so I look forward to the service starting up from Monday 11 May. Some people may not be sure which is their collection week, so I strongly urge permit holders to check their calendars on The Highland Council website and share this information with their immediate neighbours where possible.”

When the collections resume on the 11th May, there will have been 3-4 missed brown bin collections depending on the collection week. To compensate customers for these missed collections, the current collection permits will be extended by a period of 9 weeks beyond their current expiry date at the end of June. All current permits are now valid until the end of August 2020.

The brown bins must be presented with a valid permit and the bin lids fully closed, no extra side waste will be collected. 

As a reminder, the Garden Waste Collection Service is for the recycling of the following from your garden: grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, twigs and small branches, flowers, plants and weeds.  Customers are asked to check the contents of their bin to ensure it contains no contamination.  To help reduce the spread of Coronavirus the public should regularly clean their bin handles and lids as well as washing their hands before and after touching their bins.

Crews are operating on safe distancing procedures due to the continuing threat of COVID-19. This may mean collections take longer to complete than usual so please put your bin out for 7.00am on your scheduled collection day. Collections may also be suspended at short notice if there are further circumstances outwith our control and customers are advised to regularly check the Council’s website for updates.

To check for your collection date and view your calendar please see https://www.highland.gov.uk/directory/54/bin_calendars

Details of the Garden Waste Collection Service can be found here: www.highland.gov.uk/gardenwaste

All enquiries please e-mail recycle@highland.gov.uk

While Garden Waste collection will resume the public are being reminded that all Highland Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) remain closed due to the Government’s decision to restrict all but non-essential movement. The Council is closely monitoring the situation across the country and as soon as it is permittable, the sites will be re-opened. Residents are being asked to act responsibly by not putting waste you may have taken to a HWRC in your household bins as it may overwhelm collection services. In addition, householders are advised to avoid carrying out large DIY projects or spring cleans unless they have space to store the waste.


Sylvia Tarrant
Corporate Communications Officer
The Highland Council, Chief Executive Service
Tel: 01463 702073 Mobile: 07776481267


Impact of COVID-19 on disabled people

A snap, UK-wide, survey by Research Institute of Disabled Consumers of its 1,649 panel members (conducted between 30th March and 3 April 2020), has collected immediate feedback on the impact of government measures on disabled and older people. 

Key findings:



Only one in five disabled and older people feel the government is doing enough to support them during the Covid-19 outbreak.

50% of people with care support needs are no longer receiving health or personal care visits to their home.

One in three RiDC panel members are very worried about contracting the virus.

 John Beaton

Highlands Policy & Engagement Officer

Fairways House,

Fairways Business Park,

Slackbuie Avenue,



Working Pattern: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 

Telephone: 07442 278287

Email: john@inclusionscotland.org

Visit our website: www.inclusionscotland.org


Covid-19 - Inclusion Scotland continues to operate during this time.  Our staff are working remotely and can be contacted by telephone, email and online.  We are speaking to policy and decision-makers about ensuring that disabled people's social, financial, health and care needs are met and that we have all the accessible information we need.  For more information please visit our web-site and follow our updates on social media – details below.   Keep safe and well.







Emergency Update from Cllr Craig Fraser

Highland Council: Community resilience groups can benefit from new grant scheme

 09 April 2020

For immediate release


Community resilience groups can benefit from new grant scheme


A new fund has been set up to provide grants for community resilience groups that are supporting vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

This fund is available to groups which provide vital support to vulnerable individuals, including the delivery of emergency food and supplies.


Support can include:

• Supporting local volunteer efforts and expenses (such as developing promotional materials and support for local volunteer telephone systems)

• Making up food packs for vulnerable households

• Developing measures to address social isolation

• Providing a source of funding to enable groups to shop for individuals in the community where households no longer have cash available and they cannot source local deliveries

Groups can apply for up to £500 at any one time and can reapply once initial funding is spent.


The fund is open to all groups within a local area – both constituted and non-constituted. The Council recognises that there are a lot of new groups, which have been set up to support COVID-19 related resilience efforts.


Groups are also encouraged to register with the Council and Highland Third Sector Interface if they have not done so already. Applications are through the normal ward discretionary grant process.


Download the shortened form


All completed forms should be sent to policy6@highland.gov.uk


Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson, said: “We know that there are a lot of groups doing great work locally and this fund has been set up to provide them with the support they need during this difficult time.


“Highland Council is committed to helping protect the most vulnerable in our communities and this is just one of the ways we are able to do this.”






If you can offer help or need help call 0300 303 1362

KCC - 01463811336



Dear Black Isle Community Councils, B

I have consulted with Di Agnew and we plan to have the first conference call at 1030 tomorrow morning, Tuesday. Details of how to join the call are as follows: dial 0800 032 8068 (free of charge), then tap in the following passcode on your phone: 19405965 then #. That should connect you. You will be asked to state your name so people know you have joined the call. Try and call in just before 1030 so we can make a prompt start.  Any problems, my mobile number is 0780 1246767.


I would suggest the following agenda, but happy to have items added:


1 Introductions

2 Summary of Highland Council Covid 19 related activities including the local Humanitarian Assistance Centre (Di Agnew)

3 Black Isle Cares: summary of Covid 19 related activities and plans

4 Community Councils: summary of local initiatives

5 Identify difficulties/ potential gaps in provision – ideas on how to tackle these

6 Identify possible overlaps in providing support with local communities, Highland Council, NHS Highland, Scottish Government (Scotland Cares) all involved. Ideas on how to overcome any difficulties.

7 Future areas of work not covered above


I have added my initial email to you below for reference if required. Look forward to speaking to you tomorrow morning.


Best wishes, Gordon

Cllr Gordon Adam

Chair, Black Isle, Dingwall and Seaforth Area Cttee

Highland Council

Tel: 0780 1246767


Hi all,

Good Afternoon Everyone,


I hope you are all well and I know you are all busy at this time assisting people in our communities. I have included you in this email as you are all key people in our ward either through the community councils or community groups. Cllr Gordon Adams has already set up a weekly telephone discussion with groups on the Black Isle and some of you may already be taking part. These discussions are to find out what’s working, where there are gaps and what is still needed and who is best to help, these can then be fed back to Di Agnew our ward manager who is co -ordinating information with Highland Council , NHS Highland and HTSI.


As local members we like you want to do all we can to help our communities during this difficult time. We too are receiving calls and emails asking for help from individuals. Some of us can’t leave our homes at the moment but we are able to work in other ways either by email and telephone.  As councillors we receive regular updates from Highland Council, Police Scotland and NHS Highland as well as other third sector organisations updating us. This may also be useful to you if you are not already receiving the information.


My reason for sending you this email is to find out if you would be interested in either you or a  member of your group checking in on a weekly basis by telephone. I am suggestion Cllr Graham Mackenzie could chair a short BT Group Meeting to discuss how we can continue to help our communities and share best practice. If you are in agreement we can send out a meeting request and start by the end of this week. If there is a time or day that suits people best please include this in your response.   


I hope you all keep safe and thank you for what you are already doing to help our communities.

Best wishes,


Cllr Angela MacLean

Liberal Democrat Councillor for

Dingwall & Seaforth Ward 8

Ph 07825116505


To reduce the potential for many duplicate information emails I am asking the sender of the email I have received as an elected member has been shared with community councils, such as this one.

Regards Craig


From: Mary MacDonald
Sent: 30 March 2020 15:24
To: Mary MacDonald
Subject: Ross & Cromarty Citizens Advice Bureau


COVID-19 - the Citizens Advice network stands ready to help


Dear councillor/partner,


Ross & Cromarty CAB constantly adapts to the changing times around us and our response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland is no different.


Throughout March we have continued to give advice to those who need it as we take steps to re-design how we deliver our services to the citizens of Ross & Cromarty. Our teams are now working from home and we continue to provide advice and support by telephone, email, Facebook, messenger and webchat.


For your information I have attached a copy of our contact details. If you follow us on Facebook you will find a number of useful links.


We are here, as always, for the citizens of Ross & Cromarty and will continue to work with you to help those who need it.


If you have any questions about how we are delivering services or the support people are coming to us for please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,

Mary MacDonald

Mary MacDonald

Area Manager

Ross & Cromarty CAB

Tel 07880646285




Crisis on our Roads

Letter from Kate Forbes MSP Re Highland Council Roads Survey

Please  use the link to register your views

Dear Anne, 
Following my correspondence earlier this week, I am writing to invite you to participate in a consultation about road safety improvements at the B9161/A9 Munlochy junction.
Please find below a link to a short online survey:
Please feel free to share this survey with friends, family, and others you know who are regular users of the road.
The responses to this survey are anonymous and will be fed into the summit meeting at the end of March.
Paper copies of the survey are available from my constituency office. If you would like to fill in a paper copy, please feel free to drop into my office to collect one (12 High Street, Dingwall, IV15 9RU), or phone 01349 863 888 and ask to speak to my caseworker Philip Coghill.
I am happy to keep you informed of any further updates on this matter.
Kind regards,

Kate Forbes MSP
Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch




Killearnan CC has provisionally objected to a planning application to build 14 houses in a development up the single track road which passes Tore Primary School. Access to the single track road is from the trunk road, A835. Traffic from the development is likely to use the A9.


 The present objections to Broadlands' proposed development are part of wider concerns being expressed throughout the Black Isle, following the fatal accident at the Artafallie/Munlochy Junction,  about safety on the A9, the Tore Roundabout and the effect on the roads feeding into the Roundabout  As the A9 Roundabout, the Pedestrian Crossing, the Artafallie/Munlochy Junction and the A835 lie within the Killearnan CC boundary,  it was the main item on the CC's agenda, January 30th. (extract below).


 A joint meeting of the Black Isle CCs took place on February 11, chaired by Knockbain CC, where possible measures to mitigate the dangers were discussed. A review by the Safer Roads Foundation has been commissioned by MP Ian Blackford to undertake an enquiry involving safety on the A9 A/M  Junction, Tore Pedestrian Crossing, Roundabout, A835 and connecting roads. K.Forbes, MSP, is arranging a meeting with Transport Scotland with relevant 'stake-holders'. The results of these investigations are crucial. If no improvement to the transport infrastructure (road network) is undertaken, it will impact adversely on people living in the Black Isle and anyone travelling to the North and the West Coast via the major roads which traverse the Black Isle.

Springfield Inc's proposal, under review in  the Inner Moray Firth Local Development plan, to build 1000 houses in Tore is a significant factor additionally influencing concerns. 

A resident with 33 years experience as a HC road engineer is preparing a detailed comment for the CC. He writes regarding changes to the junction:-

"The pressure on Tore would be considerable and traffic to Coldwells and beyond would have the junction at Old Kilcoy House to negotiate, another prospective black spot with heavy transport to/from the garage, grain drier and Agricultural store . Traffic along the A832 between Munlochy and Tore would be increased. Tore village itself is not pedestrian friendly.... PROVIDE A NEW ROUNDABOUT.  This is a “gold plated” option and probably the one to increase safety the most. I have no idea how much land is already in Transport Scotlands ownership but I would have thought that land acquisition  would not be a major problem. If this option was considered then the inclusion of the Craigrory junction in the plan would seem sensible. Bearing in mind the continued  development and prospective development of the Black Isle it is surprising that a roundabout was not considered in the original design. Did the design engineers not look far enough ahead ??"


With regard to his final question, please note Transport Scotland's initial response to an application for a development in Fortrose:-Rejection (15/03033) in October 2015

“Reason given: “The proposal would result in an increase in waiting and turning manoeuvres, on a rural section of the trunk road, which would be to the detriment of the safety and free flow of traffic on this length of trunk road where vehicle speeds are high and vehicles waiting to turn right may be stopped in the fast lane of the trunk road.”

Notes from the recommendation: “The junction of the A9 and B9161 is liable to have an increase in turning movements as a result of this development. It is presently the site of an accident cluster with lengthy queues northbound at the evening peak and Transport Scotland is awaiting an investigation report…”


Extract from Killearnan CC Minutes January 30th 2020:-

”A9 Munlochy Junction

The widespread fears about the danger inherent in the design of the Munlochy Junction have been sadly confirmed by the tragic death of 16 year old Gregor Mcintosh, before Christmas.  MSP Kate Forbes has contacted us about a planned meeting involving Transport Scotland, MSPs, Councillors and Community Councillors to discuss the issue.  Knockbain CC is also convening an urgent meeting of the BLCCs to be held as soon as possible in Fortrose Academy.


It has been suggested that the Junction be permanently closed and that Munlochy, Avoch, Fortrose and Cromarty traffic be redirected to the Tore Roundabout.  While this closure would certainly remove any chance of fatalities at that point on the A9, the danger will be shifted to an already hazardous roundabout. The increased number of vehicles, including buses and HGVs, travelling from Inverness will come into conflict with traffic:-


 from the West Coast, Muir of Ord, Marybank, Garve etc on the A832;

from Dingwall and the West on the A835;

from the North on the mainThurso to Edinburgh trunk road

 …. before drivers can access the A832 to Fortrose and Cromarty.


Major Housing Developments in Munlochy, Avoch, Fortrose, Dingwall and elsewhere have contributed to a general increase in traffic on the A9. Proposals, recently submitted to Highland Council, for the erection of up to a thousand houses in the Tore Area will add to the fact that the A9 in the Black Isle is no longer fit for purpose.


The increase in traffic will also severely compromise safety on the already inadequate pedestrian crossing south of the roundabout, making access to amenities, particularly public transport, almost impossible for residents.


The CC members suggest that, if Transport Scotland decides to close part or all of the Munlochy Junction as an immediate solution to that hazard then a 30mph speed limit should be immediately  applied to the whole Tore area and that the crossing be made into a  clearly signed and controlled  pedestrian crossing."


The CC is not opposed to enhancing life in the Black Isle through imaginative new developments but all care should be taken to ensure that the road network can genuinely support them.


The CC plans to host a VE Day Tea Party in the Killearnan Church Hall on May 8th.Planning is in progress.  This is a call to all Killearnan residents to come forwad and help in organising and supporting the event.



Killearnan Memories

North Kessock History Society Event


  ‘Killearnan Memories – Revisited’ will be presented at a new exhibition in Tore Village Hall from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm on Saturday 21 September 2019.  Entrance is free and there will be lots to see and do – crafts for children, information boards on local cairns, castles and crofts, old films and photos, displays of bygone domestic and farming equipment, and a village tearoom serving refreshments and home bakes. Also, a new book written by local author Graham Clark entitled ‘Killearnan Memories’ will be launched – buy a copy and get it signed by the author. 

Killearnan Community Council

Draft minutes of Meeting   Tore Primary School, Thursday 29th Aug 2019.


   Chair                               Treasurer                           Secretary                    Kenne MacKenzie               Andrew Mackay                   Anne Mackay                    Wester Muckernich               Swallow House                     Cnoc Eile Beg                Tore                                   Tore                                   Tore                             By Muir of Ord                    By Muir of Ord                     By Muir of Ord           


Present                                                Apologies                                                                                

 Mr K Mackenzie                        Cllr A Mackinnon

Mrs A Mackay                             Mr A Cameron

Ms A Dalgetty                                     

Mr A Mackay                                                  

Mr S Hudson                                       

Cllr MacKenzie

Mr James Maclean                                           


Minutes of May 2019 approved by Mr K Mackenzie and Mr A Mackay.

Matters Arising

CC  has still not received a police report. Cllr Mackenzie to follow up.

CC has welcomed the notification that there will be a reduction of the speed limit to 40mph on the Mulbuie Road.

Proposed Public Meeting was cancelled by Broadlands as they have withdrawn planning application re: IMFDP.



Email from Di Agnew inviting two representatives to meet with Donna Manson at Fortrose Academy from 6.00 – 8.00pm on September 24th. (Wellbeing Report)

Email from Mr I Fraser who has contacted Transport Scotland about the flooding caused by poor drainage and lack of maintenance on A9.




1. Wellbeing Forum Meeting. Attended by Mr K Mackenzie, Mrs A Mackay and Ms A Dalgetty. The meeting involved a talk on depression/suicide (the inspiration for the song ‘Lighthouse’); 3 workshops and stalls in the main hall.


2.         Police Report. No report again, even though residents have reported 5 major incidents on the A9, one involving  an articulated vehicle losing a ship’s fender   Cllr Mackenzie will follow up.

Residents are concerned about the axe attack  in Rosemarkie this summer,  on an S4 male pupil by an adult male accompanied by an adult male driver, 


3.         IMFDP. Mr A Mackay  and Mrs Mackay attended a meeting with planners. A summary of the main constraints concerning Springfields proposal to site a major housing development at Tore has been circulate to members.  Constraints include: the necessity for a major sewer; impact on A9 and Muir of Ord Road and on the school.

Points made at meeting –

clearer information to be released in January;

consultation process to begin

at least 5 year consultation process;

the proposal will quadruple Tore;

CC has applied to HC for £600 for costs involved in increasing number of Newsletters in order to ensure residents are well informed and in hiring venues for public meeting/s.


4.         Toredale- Further incidents have been reported. Cllr Mackenzie will contact Council and Planning.


5          Remembrance Day – Mr George Bethune to be asked to lay the wreath

VE 75th Anniversary iay 2020.  CC awaits further information/guidance.


6.         Water Problems in Cairnurenan/ Wellhouse area. Scottish Water to be contacted again.


 7. AOCB

a) Mr Hudson reported concerns about the minor road to the right of the Tore Mains access road from the A9. The road exits onto the Fortrose Road at ‘the Pillars’.  Flooding has deposited silt on the road and grass is already growing. Pot-holes also make the road hazardous. Cllr Mackenzie to contact Roads Dept.

b) Advert to be included in the Newsletter for North Kessock History Society’s event in Tore Hall on Saturday 21st September 10.00am - 4.30pm.  ‘Killearnan Memories’.




Meeting Closed at 8.18pm                                             Next meeting Thursday 26th Sept 7.30pm




Killearnan Community Council


Draft minutes of Meeting


Tore Primary School, Thursday 29th November 2018, 7.30pm


   Chair                    Vice-chair                Secretary                        Treasurer

   Kenne MacKenzie    Andrea Dalgetty      Anne Mackay              Andrew Mackay

    Wester Muckernich   Linnie Cottage       Cnoc Eile Beg              Swallow House

    Tore                         Killearnan             Tore                             Tore

    By Muir of Ord          By Muir of Ord       By Muir of Ord            By Muir of Ord

                                   Tel: 01463 811336    



Present                                                          Apologies                           

Mr K Mackenzie                                           Cllr G MacKenzie

Mrs A Mackay                                              Cllr Paterson

Miss A Dalgetty                                                                      

Mr A Mackay

Mr A Cameron

Miss C Fitzsimmons

Cllr Maclean

Miss L Fitzsimmons

Miss A Clark

Miss C Mackay                                   


Amendment from last minutes. Agenda point 5, Drynie Park to be changed to Iurnan Park Wood.


Amended minutes of September 2018 approved by Mrs S Mackay and Miss A Dalgetty.


Matters Arising

Miss A Clark was introduced to members and will now take up the role of Youth Rep to liaise between the teenagers and KCC. Present with Miss Clark at this meeting were Miss L Fitzsimmons and Miss C Mackay.  They wished to put forward a request for a “Hub”, ie summerhouse building, to be erected in Tore for the Local Youths to use for social gatherings. Cllr Maclean spoke at length with the girls to try and gage possible uses of the building and how this would include and encourage other local youths to attend. Members will await contact between the teenagers and Claire at Pillarbox and Esme from Youth Highland in order to discuss all options and make a plan going forward. In the meantime they also requested a dance would be of interest and how this could be organised to be held in the hall during January 2019. Hall committee to be contacted.





Due to the large amount of correspondence copies of the emails have been circulated to members to take away. The urgent items are listed in the Agenda. Items are attached to this minute.



Highland Council Mid-Ross Community Partnership – Attended by Mr A Mackay. To be listed on the next agenda.    

Remembrance Day – The Armistice 100th celebration was extremely well attended. The Rev Susan Cord and local residents gave an informal service with readings from the research carried out by Mrs S Bain and Mrs A Mackay about the fallen men from Killearnan.

Choose life, Wellbeing joint BICC Meeting – Attended by Mrs A Mackay and Miss C Fitzsimmons. The CC`s of the Black Isle are wanting to reach out their communities in a bid to help reduce Suicide and loneliness. Key points taken from the meetings were read out by Mr K Mackenzie to members. Items were discussed and agreed a survey should be circulated to gather vital data and statistics from our residents. The Black Isle CCs plan to take a ‘pan-Black Isle’ approach and set up a Website to disseminate information for all the CCs.

Learning & Development Inspection – Attended by Mr K Mackenzie and Mrs A Mackay. The main point asked was to find out how well the Community Councils engage with their communities. The website and Facebook account for KCC needs to be updated and kept current.

Highland Council Workshop – Attended by Mrs A Mackay – To be listed on the next agenda

Democracy Matters – To be listed on the next agenda

Changes to Bus Timetable – Stagecoach will be adding some new services. Tore will not be affected by the changes.

Change of Police Liason Officer – As PC Fleming has relocated the replacement will be PC Rebecca Shand, NO588, Team 5, Dingwall Police Station.

Black Isle Partnership – A request is being circulated in a push for new members.



Mr I Fraser has reported that HC has repaired the pot hole on the cul-de-sac near the old Post Office.

Email to Cllr G Adams expressing concerns of no recent attendance at the KCC meetings. No reply as yet.


Mr A Cameron informed members that the water pressure between Drynie Park and Iurnan Wood area is still extremely low and it has been reported that the water has been off around 12-13 times in recent times. As the new Ord Industrial site is in full working order it is noted the windows have been rattling with the extent of the drilling. Email to be sent to Scottish Water.


Meeting Closed at 9.10pm                                         Next meeting Thursday 31st, January 7.30pm








On Sunday 11 November the Community Council will lead a special remembrance of the sons of Killearnan Parish who died in the Great War.

This will be held at the Cenotaph, Fettes from approx 10.45 am.






August  2018  MINUTES


The KCC have received a reply from Transport Scotland regarding the reduction in speed limits at the Tore Roundabout independent survey.  Members were not happy with the results and Mr Mackenzie will request an updated survey to include peek travelling times. Cllr Paterson suggested a representative be invited to attend a future KCC meeting to discuss further.

The request from Kinlochbervie CC regarding toilet closures has been submitted by Mrs A Mackay.




Copies of emails circulated to members. Items are attached to this minute.

Susy MacAulay, Press and Journal - Members agreed this is not applicable to KCC at this time.

Highland Community Council Scheme Review - Drop-in session dates have now been confirmed as Dingwall Town Hall, 18th September 2018, 2pm – 4pm. Members attending to be confirmed.

Highland Council Quality Awards 2018 – Mrs A Mackay stated a request to put resident Morven MacCallum forward but it was noticed she was not a HC employee.  Suggest MFR Awards.

Minister of Killearnan – Susan Cord of Killearnan Parish Church is happy with the KCC taking on responsibility of the WW1 plans for Remembrance Sunday. Meeting with Rev Cord on 25th Sept. Full article regarding the Remembrance Day will appear in the next newsletter.



Social Inclusion – Ms Wanda Mackay and Mr Fraser Thompson from Highlife/HC gave a talk regarding the activities their charity provides for young adults and the elderly on the Black Isle and how residents from Tore can be included. Due to the public transport restrictions in this particular area it solely relies on the parents to transport the children around. Wanda explained there are a range of options to try and accommodate all situations. KCC should contact Lyndsey McGarry in Dingwall for updated numbers academy age young adults.

Schools Plan Update – No update available at present.

Remembrance Service – See correspondence – KCC and the Royal British Legion intend to plan this centenary of WW1. At present research is being carried out to locate the graves of 24 men that are named on the Fettes Memorial. Mrs Mackay suggested that local children read out the names of the men. Cllr Paterson recommended speaking to Mr B Shanks, Chair of Seaforth Highlanders. Mrs Mackay has a meeting with S Cord on 25th September to finalise arrangements for the day.

HC Quality Awards – See correspondence, item c.

Playground provision – KCC have not responded yet. Mr MacKenzie to action.  


Planning request from Safehands of Lossiemouth – Erection of a single storey training building, improved access and associated services, land 45m east of Jacaranda, Muir of Ord.

This is referred to as a Class 4 Industrial Development and with short time-lapse since the approval of the Ord Industrial site Mr And Mrs Kitson are distressed and concerned the area is fast becoming too industrial. Not only will their house be looking directly onto the proposed car park which at present is a field with thriving natural habitat there is also worry about the amount of traffic flow that will increase to and from this site. The amount of heavy goods vehicles already travelling just 0.8 miles away on an unsuitable single track road with very few passing places, congestion will just continue to grow for our residents.

The KCC have been asked to support an objection on behalf of residents, Mrs Mackay has already objected on a neutral capacity.

The grounds for complaint will be as follows-


Water Pressure

Environmental Issues

Encroaching on a residential area.



May 24th 2018

Killearnan Community Council Privacy Statement

(to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR))


Killearnan Community Council (KCC) holds some residents’ contact details, with their consent, within password-protected databases. The purpose for holding and using the contact details to communicate is both to inform and to seek views of residents. The purpose is a lawful public task for KCC to undertake in its legal obligation to ascertain and co-ordinate views of residents and to inform residents of its activities and other matters that KCC considers to be relevant to residents. Personal data may also be held, with consent, for other community activities that KCC considers appropriate. The personal data held is not shared with any third party without specific consent of the individual resident.


Residents have the right, at any time, to access their own personal data for checking and updating and to request immediate removal of their data. Personal data may include email addresses, phone numbers and addresses but no other information. Please contact Anne Mackay, Secretary, either on 01463811336 or on killearnanccouncil2@gmail.com


Access to the data is restricted to the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of KCC. Personal data will be held only for as long as the consented purpose continues.


Within the meaning of GDPR, the Data Controller is Killearnan Community Council which can be contacted through the Secretary (see above).


The supervisory authority to whom complaints can be directed is:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Tel: 0303 123 1113





March 15 2018


Black Isle CC Group  Meeting


at Kilcoy House,  (Teclan)  

Members of the BICC and Black Isle Parent Councils met to discuss the many concerns associated with the Highland Council's Management of Schools Plan (Cluster Schools). Since the meeting CCs and Parent Councils have been informed by the Care and Learning Department that plans will be put on hold and new discussions will take place with Parent Councils and other groups after the Easter break.

Message to Craig Rory Residents.

Killearnan CC needs to get in touch with residents of this area of the CCs coverage so that we can represent their concerns.

Is anyone from the Craig Rory area willing to join us at our next meeting in Tore School on May 31st at 7.30 pm?


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