THE NEXT AGM & ORDINARY MEETING OF THE
GARVE & DISTRICT COMMUNITY COUNCIL WILL
BE HELD ON TUESDAY 1 JUNE 2021
This meeting will be held via Zoom webcam
(Please email the Secretary for the password)
Members of the public are very welcome to attend Community Council meetings and take part in the discussions under the guidance of the Chairman
DRAFT Minutes of the Garve & District Community Council ordinary meeting
held on Tuesday 4 May 2021 via Zoom webcam
Community Council members present on webcam: Kenny Maclean (Chairman), Caroline Gamble (Treasurer), Bob Moir, Sadie-Michaela Harris and co-opted member Hamish Leslie Melville.
Also present on webcam: Sue Tarr (Chair, TG&DDC), Tina Hartley (Community Engagement and Development Officer, TG&DDC – from 7.00pm until 7.30pm), Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn from 7.20pm and one member of the public.
Present on conference call: Jennifer Haslam (Secretary).
Apologies: Community Council member Joe Stewart and PC Kelly Murray.
The Chairman opened the meeting at 7.00pm and welcomed everyone and explained that this meeting was being held via webcam due to the current Coronavirus situation. He reminded members of the public that they were still very welcome to attend Community Council meetings even on webcam and take part in the discussions under his guidance. Those who can’t attend our meetings can, as always, write to the Secretary with any issues they wish raised. Best wishes to Community Council member Sadie-Michaela Harris who has been unwell. Sadie thanked everyone for their best wishes and was feeling a bit better but has been advised to rest.
Declarations of Interest – Community Council member Sadie-Michaela Harris is a Director of the LCT. Community Council members confirmed that they had read all documents due to be discussed tonight before the start of this meeting.
Approval of draft minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on Tuesday 6 April 2021 via webcam. TG&DDC have clarified that their new Secretary is called Heather Donaldson, not Macdonald. We thank them for the update and will amend the draft minutes accordingly. The Treasurer noted a typing error – Reserve balance should read £1,538.45. The draft minutes with both amendments were then proposed by Bob Moir and seconded by Sadie-Michaela Harris. Minutes are available at Garve Post Office, Achnasheen Village Noticeboard, on our website or via email. Minutes will be signed by our Chairman and Secretary in due course. It was confirmed that only Community Council members who attended the whole of the previous meeting could propose or second the approval of draft minutes.
Matters arising – Marion McDonald, Community Fund Coordinator (North) at Foundation Scotland was in touch today to say that the next EDF Education & Training Fund deadline for applications is Monday 7 June 2021. More details can be found at https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/apply-for-funding/funding-available/corriemoillie-education-training
Proposed Kirkan wind farm - Trevor Hunter has been in touch to say that an objection was received as part of the planning process based on certain landscape and visual concerns, meaning that a public local inquiry (PLI) would need to be held. It is hoped the PLI can be held later this year or in early 2022. Our thanks to Trevor for the update.
Highland Council updates – www.highland.gov.uk – EVC – No news as such except to say there is a meeting tomorrow at The Highland Council to discuss EVC’s. The Highland Council currently have 50 EVC around the Highlands with additional projects in progress and more planned in the future. Over 22,000 vehicles received a charge at one of these charging points in 2020 (Source - ChargePlace Scotland) however, providing free electricity is a budget pressure for The Highland Council (~£50,000 per year). The introduction of a usage tariff will seek to mitigate this pressure. The proposal is to charge users 20p-30p per kWh. It was noted that other local authorities in Scotland already charge and that there was talk of charges coming in here eventually. It was also felt that as people have to pay for their petrol/diesel, why not those who use electric vehicles?
Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn joined the meeting at 7.20pm.
Details on Tourism Infrastructure plans – It is understood Rangers have been appointed. We have asked Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn to confirm who covers this area so they can be invited to a future Community Council meeting. The Treasurer hoped the new Highland Council Rangers would soon be in place as we already have anti-social outdoor pursuits going on with ‘wild campers’ on the Strathgarve side of Wade’s Bridge on Saturday 17 April 2021. They chopped branches off the trees to make their bonfire! That very day there was a warning that the countryside was tinder dry and there was an increased risk of wildfires. Police and Forestry have been made aware and we have asked for extra patrols. Please contact Police Scotland if you witness people felling trees on forestry land as unauthorised felling of trees is criminal damage. Community Council member Bob Moir noted a fire by Loch Garve recently. It was noted this is a widespread problem which we hope doesn’t cause any wildfires in the area. Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn confirmed that the Rangers from The Highland Council will work alongside other rangers from other agencies such as Forestry.
Our special thanks to co-opted member Hamish Leslie Melville and the Lochluichart Estate staff who have now completed work cutting trees down in laybys as noted at our last meeting. It has really opened up the laybys and hopefully will deter people dumping rubbish in them. Unfortunately, we have received reports from a Lochinver resident of fly tipping up at Loch Droma, just inside the Lochbroom Community Council’s area. The incident has been passed onto them and The Highland Council. It was noted that Recycle Centres are open and can take most items so there is no need for fly tipping!
Community Council member Bob Moir has noted the white lines in and around Garve Village have faded. We have passed onto The Highland Council along with the deepening potholes on the Little Garve road.
A890 Stromeferry Bypass – https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1523/transport_and_streets/104/stromeferry_bypass - Although this section of road is out with our Community Council area, we take an interest as it affects local residents and tourists alike. AECOM will be carrying out a planned inspection of the slopes starting next week in advance of planned maintenance works later this year. The programme for the maintenance works currently proposes a start date of Tuesday 3 August 2021 with works possibly lasting for 12 weeks. No road to rail diversion should be necessary for the works this time but traffic management in the form of portable traffic lights will be required. To minimise disruption, some over-night road closures may be required for certain activities, all tbc. A planned weekend closure of the A890 at Balnacra for this coming weekend has been cancelled.
The Highland Council notes that residents should report issues directly to them by calling The Highland Council’s Call Centre on 01349 886606 or via www.highland.gov.uk/report In all cases, you will be given a reference number. The Highland Council also appreciate photos showing the actual problem.
Drover’s Road – Murdo Maclennan, Forest Management at Forestry & Land Scotland tells us that unfortunately he had to shift the cutting squad to other work which is more time bound. The plan is for them to return and tidy up the likes of high stumps of gorse. Our thanks to Murdo for his update. The Treasurer confirmed that some work has taken place. Our thanks to all involved.
Cold weather payments – we have received a reply directly from the Met Office which confirms that IV22 will be part of their annual review of the linkages between postcode districts and their weather stations. A separate reply from the Met Office’s Chief Executive to our local MP confirms that the review will include an assessment of the climatology of the whole postcode district. We now await the outcome of the review. Our thanks to all involved so far. This update has already appeared on our website.
Public toilets – our Chairman has contacted the Community Out West group who are the not-for-profit organisation that now run the toilets at Kinlochewe. There are four Directors and were set up after Kinlochewe toilets were not reopened after the winter. There is lots of paperwork involved and their honesty box has been broken into before now. They have been advising other communities about the process they have been through. Our Chairman has put Tina Hartley (Community Engagement and Development Officer, TG&DDC) in touch with them as Community Council’s in the Highlands are not advised to own assets. However, we note that the Garve Public Hall Trustees and the Development Company would not be able to progress this issue further until refurbishment of the Hall had taken place first. As noted at last month’s ordinary meeting, does Garve just need better signage to advise people where current toilets actually are? Perhaps signs would be useful for now?
TG&DDC updates – Sustainable Choices – Tina Hartley (Community Engagement and Development Officer, TG&DDC) updated the meeting that the Sustainable Choices work was going well. Evidence has been gathered and a further meeting with local stakeholders will take place in due course. The action plan will then be drawn up. Hand Sanitisers – a hand sanitiser was placed outside Achnasheen Village Hall a few weeks ago. Other are in the process of being put up around the community, progressing well. Sue Tarr (Chair, TG&DDC) confirmed that survey packs are in the process of being posted out to every household in the area. Both ladies were thanked for their updates.
Tina Hartley’s connection dropped out at 7.30pm.
Police report – As per discussions between PC Kelly Murray and the Secretary on Thursday 29 April 2021, the following report has focused on Achnasheen and Garve calls to Police Scotland only … “Call period from 1 April 2021 to 3 May 2021. ACHNASHEEN - Covid Breach Calls 8, Public Nuisance 1, Cars racing 1, Abandoned / Suspicious vehicles 3. GARVE - Covid Breach 5, Concern for person 2, Road Traffic Matter 2, Road Traffic Offence 1, Theft 1, Mountain Rescue 2. Of note there was an increase in calls reporting caravans arriving / parked up in car parks etc and individuals arriving at holiday homes which falls under the Covid Breach calls”. Our thanks to PC Murray for her report which is in the library section of our website. Community Council members felt the new simplified report was much better.
PC Hector Macdonald from Dingwall Police Station has been in touch. The Chief Constable has asked him to speak to all Community Council Chairperson's in Easter Ross to discuss issues like wild camping, fly tipping, overnight parking in passing places etc … Our Chairman has spoken to him on the telephone and via webcam and has raised various issues which were first raised at these meetings over the last six months.
Treasurer’s report – The Treasurer confirmed that the bank balance on Thursday 15 April 2021 (last statement received) was £2,374.78 however, the true figure is minus £11.00 from that stated balance as the Secretary has had some expenses recently. Treasurer’s fund now stands at £117.58, Newsletter at £744.50 and Reserve at £1,501.70. Contact has been made between the Auditor and the Treasurer to get year-end accounts drawn up.
AOB from Community Council members – Community Council Bob Moir noted that google maps are sending visitors to the Wyvis Natural Playpark through Garve. This was not the agreed route. He has highlighted this to google directly. We would encourage everyone to raise this with google so that their maps are updated correctly. More details on how to do this can be found at http://garve.org/google-maps-issue#3lnTMoT9
Co-opted member Hamish Leslie Melville asked if the white lines at the Gorstan junction were on The Highland Council’s list of jobs to be done. Our Chairman was able to confirm that this request had already been passed onto the Acting Roads Manager who agreed the work needed doing. Cllr Dr Ian Cockburn further added that funding had recently been agreed for road repairs and resurfacing works.
AOB from members of the public – no issues raised by those present.
Screening reports, scoping reports and consultations – we have received one consultation from Scottish Forestry regarding a Felling Permission Application (Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018) for North Hill Forest. The application can be viewed on their Register of Felling Permissions at https://forestry.gov.scot/support-regulations/public-registers The total proposed felling area would be 27.56 Ha. The deadline for comments is Friday 14 May 2021. This update has already appeared on our website. Community Council member had no comments.
Building warrants, planning issues and licensing issues - One previous planning application has been determined by The Highland Council since our last ordinary meeting. 21/01070/FUL was the proposed alterations and extensions to Garve Public Hall. Planning permission has now been granted by The Highland Council with three conditions. 1. No development or work shall commence until a detailed specification for all proposed external materials and finishes (including trade names and samples where necessary) has been submitted to, and approved in writing by, the Planning Authority. The roof finish shall comprise dark grey rolled profile corrugated steel sheeting. 2. No development or work shall commence until a Hedge Planting Plan and maintenance programme has been submitted to and approved in writing by the planning authority. 3. During construction and on occupation of development hereby approved, there shall be no parking or storage of materials on Stirling Drive. This update has already appeared on our website. Community Council member Bob Moir, who is also a Garve Public Hall Trustee, confirmed that work had already started on the next stage – obtaining building warrants.
Two new planning applications have been received by The Highland Council since our last ordinary meeting. 21/01163/FUL is the proposed siting of a holiday letting unit with associated shed structures on land 20metres South West of “Ghillies Rest” in Achnasheen (old Post Office). This update has already appeared on our website. The deadline for comments to the Case Officer is this Thursday. Community Council members raised no objections to this application.
21/01649/FUL is the proposed erection of house with Air Source Heat Pump and shared access on land 45metres South East of Hillcrest, Gorstan. This update has already appeared on our website. The deadline for comments to the Case Officer is Wednesday 12 May 2021. Community Council members raised no objections to this application.
All planning applications can be viewed at www.highland.gov.uk/info/180/planning_-_applications_warrants_and_certificates/143/planning_permission/4
Dates of future meetings
(Ordinary meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of every month unless stated otherwise)
Tuesday 1 June 2021, AGM followed by an ordinary meeting, 7.00pm, venue/webcam tbc
July 2021 – no meeting
Tuesday 3 August 2021, 7.00pm, venue/webcam tbc
Tuesday 7 September 2021, 7.00pm, venue/webcam tbc
Tuesday 5 October 2021, 7.00pm, venue/webcam tbc
Tuesday 2 November 2021, 7.00pm, venue/webcam tbc
Tuesday 7 December 2021, 7.00pm, venue/webcam tbc
Members of the public are very welcome to attend Community Council meetings and take part in the discussions under the guidance of the Chairman. A copy of the Constitution that every Community Council in the Highlands has to work to is available on The Highland Council website - www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/21179/scheme_of_establishment_final_sept_2019
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending. He also thanked Community Council member Sadie-Michaela Harris for hosting the Zoom webcam session. The Chairman closed the meeting at 7.50pm.
Since our last meeting ...
Network Rail – Work on the railway between Achanalt and Achnasheen will take place nightly from 8.00pm on Sunday 6 June 2021 until 5.00am on Thursday 10 June 2021 (four nights). More details are available by visiting www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/living-by-the-railway or by calling their helpline on 03457 114 141.
Since our last ordinary meeting, we have received reports that the Achnasheen Post Office Outreach Service, which has been in place since 2012, may be closing. We have asked Post Office Limited for clarification on this matter as we have received no formal consultation.
Concerns have been raised by Garve residents regarding recent works on the Garve village flood protection embankment. These concerns have been passed onto the Planning Department and SEPA to investigate and take appropriate action if necessary.
Garve & District Community Council currently has a vacancy on the Community Council. The Community Council members consider it to be very important to have as broad a representation of our community as possible, as we cover a wide variety of community issues and to do this well, we need members from all corners of our large area. We usually meet on the first Tuesday of the month. If you are aged 16 or over, live in the Community Council area and are on the electoral roll and would like to be considered for co-option onto the Community Council, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact details. Your nomination will be considered by Community Council members at their next ordinary meeting.
This website was last updated at 7.00pm on Wednesday 12 May 2021.