MINUTES OF THE DINGWALL COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN DINGWALL ON MONDAY 13th
FEBRUARY 2017

PRESENT: Nigel Greenwood (Chairman) (NG), Sara-Lynn Thain (Secretary) (ST), George Murray (CoSecretary), Fred Lees (FL), Peter Jamieson (PJ), David Lockett (DL), Murray MacKay (MM), Mary Foley (MF), Brian Simpson (BS), Jack Shepherd (JS), Andrew Henderson (AH), Cllr. M. Paterson, Cllr. G. Mackenzie.

APOLOGIES: Andrew Foley (Treasurer) (AF), Cllr. A. MacKinnon., Cllr. A. Maclean, Sergeant Matt Ravenhill.

1. POLICE REPORT:

Sgt Matt Ravenhill presented his apologies to ST and e-mailed the Police Report for the month of January (received 14th February 2017).

2 persons charged with speeding
2 persons charged with not wearing seatbelts 2 person charged using mobile phone whilst driving.
1 persons charged with Drink Driving.
2 person charged with no insurance
0 person charged with careless driving 5 persons charged with other road traffic offences. 6 Assaults
4 noise calls.
10 Anti-social behaviour/ disorder calls 3 Vandalism.
2 Thefts.
4 Theft by shoplifting.
8 Drug offences. 0 Offensive weapon 0 Sexual offences.
2 Missing persons 8 Mental health/ vulnerable person incidents. 0 bail offence detected 6 Domestic incidents
3 Frauds

Call for logging speeding checks at Old Evanton Road has now been filed as it was 2 years old. Speed check will continue and will be included in the speeders figures for the CC area.

During the month there were 649 incidents logged in the Dingwall area command of which 198 were for the Dingwall Community Council beat.

Ferry Road speeding concerns – no offenses detected so far.

Last month telephone frauds in the area were discussed. Police update is that there continues to be an issue throughout all areas of this type of attempt being made via the telephone to try and gain bank details, or to get people to move money into a different account. Police advice remains the same (issue also raised on 10/10/16) that your bank will not cold call you and ask you to move money. If your bank needs to contact you they will do through recognised methods. It is your money – be suspicious and if you have any doubt tell the person on the phone this, hang up and contact your bank on a recognised number.

2. MINUTES OF COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING OF 9TH JANUARY 2017

2.1 The minutes were then accepted by all.

3. CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS: ___

None – noted that there was no attendance from school pupils again.

4. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES:

4.1 New CC notice board/replacement of screens
Update – MM sent letter to the Bank of Scotland and will organise volunteers to put up the notice board in the better weather.

Update – replacement screens/Perspex sheeting was priced at £82 per screen by GM. Now awaiting estimate from Cairngorm Windows.

Update – Southside carpark – DL reported that the joiner needs to see a sample of the tiles to see what is necessary to fix them to the board. DL to put joiner in touch with Kirsty Trimbull (Principal Teacher of Art).

Action: MM organise the fixing of the notice board. DL to liaise with the school and joiner.

4.2 Hector MacDonald monument
Update – This is now the remit of Hugh Gardner (HG) not Iain Moncrief. Cllr. G. Mackenzie read an e-mail he had received from HG today stating that he inspected the monument on Friday 10th February and that “there is no cost effective way to deal with the major health safety relating to accessing the monument and it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to get a casualty down the stairs. Access could be achieved by erecting a staircase on the outside but this would have to be a capital investment.” All CC members expressed their frustration with this change in attitude with regards to opening the monument and identified several other historic monuments across Scotland, of similar design and condition to this one, where access is granted to a significant number of people. All agreed to continue to pursue this and asked Cllr. G. Mackenzie to reply to HG and ask for a copy of the survey.

Action: Cllr. G. Mackenzie to e-mail HG and then ST.
JS and NG to represent CC at Hector MacDonald Commemoration on 4th March. GM to advertise on website.

4.3 Paradise woods
Update – Cllr Paterson reported that tenders for phase two of the works were underway and the deadline for this is 20th February. Work is due to be complete by 1st April before the birds nest. ST explained that she had been in touch with the newly appointed Easter Ross Ranger, Marcia Rae, and had arranged to meet her on Monday 20th at Paradise Woods to discuss removal of vegetation and general tidy up of the area once the contractor work is done – all welcome.

Action: Cllr. M. Paterson to e-mail correspondence to ST to allow CC to be kept in the loop.

4.4 Ferry point seating
Update – MF updated members on behalf of AF. Cost of 5 traditional seats and picnic benches has been finalised. Three contractors have been identified for providing concrete plinths at the base of benches. Currently waiting for costing from local contractors. MM mentioned that up to £1000 from Police Mutual could be applied for.

Action: MM to investigate this source of funding and report back next month.

4.5 Crowd funding
MM to sit down with GM and go over this. MM has investigated buying other Christmas lights and has discussed picking up lights in Pitlochry to reduce the cost. All members had a brief discussion about the great improvement of lights on the High Street but some members felt that the town was lacking a lot of lights especially around the main routes i.e. west end of the town, A834, Kinnairdie Brae etc. ST suggested buying smaller lights for lamp posts around the town so they could be put up every second or third lamp post like Alness. If a few were bought each year, within a few years the town would have a substantial collection and Christmas display.

Action: MM to continue to investigate.

4.5 Poor state of Dingwall Academy grounds (mistake on agenda – two 4.5 items) No update

4.6 Grey Box at Flower Bed
Ongoing – last month it was agreed that NG would draft a letter (intended for the Highland Council) outlining the options (leave as is, disguise it, move it, replace with a different-shaped box) that had been discussed. The letter was sent to HC and some members discussed their disapproval for the box being left where it currently is. A vote was then taken with 6 Community Councillors voting in favour of leaving the box where it currently is and 5 in favour of having it moved by the HC. The result of the vote was acknowledged (box to remain in situ) and members are to consider option to disguise or generally improve the appearance of the box for next month. It was asked if the money that could have been spent moving the box could now be used to be used for other areas in the community. Cllr. M. Paterson said that this was not likely as the money was for moving the box only.

4.7 HRN Tractors planning application
Update – NG sent letter to MSP Kate Forbes and Planning Director (Dr Stuart Black) with regards to the CC objections to the above planning application – all await feedback.
5. TREASURER’S REPORT:

5.1 General Account
The general account balance is currently standing at £2392.98. No change from last month.

5.2 Christmas Lights Account
A cheque was paid to the Reindeer Company for £1000. The lights account balance is standing at £1874.13.

6. CORRESPONDENCE:

6.1 Email – Signage in Dingwall
Discussed an e-mail sent in via the website with regards to visitors in the town who parked in the Southside car park but left again as there was no signage to point visitors in the direction of local attractions and no signs to highlight public facilities. All agreed that better signage around the town was needed.

Action: Cllr. G. Mackenzie to investigate who is responsible for signs and the cost of new signage.

6.2 Email – Alzheimer Scotland
Information has been put on the website regarding dementia friendly towns.

6.3 Email – Countryside Ranger
See item 4.3
6.4 E-mail via website – Query regarding Phase 2 of roadworks in Dingwall
GM has replied to the e-mail from the member of public. The flooding issues are to be resolved this year before Phase 2 begins in 2018.

6.5 E-mail – Participatory Budgeting Event
All agreed to apply for the funding to go towards the cost of the new Ferry Point seating. Application deadline is by 24th February and the event in which a short 3 presentation is given and votes are placed is Saturday 11th March. MF noted that she would speak to AF asking him to complete application and presentation. All to spread the word and encourage as many ‘voters’ to attend as possible.

Action: AF/MF to correspond with CC members via e-mail.

6.6 E-mail – Girl guiding Ross-shire
DL noted that he has added Tina Dempster to the volunteering list for Dingwall projects as she e-mail the CC after reading the Ross-Shire Journal article and is keen to get the guides involved with a project. DL explained that he had e-mailed Tina and said he would be in touch regarding a suitable project for the children when it was identified. ST also mentioned that she would speak to the Countryside Ranger on Monday with regards to working together with the Guides in general tidy up of Paradise Woods.

Action: DL and ST to keep in touch with Tina via e-mail.

7. DINGWALL ACADEMY PUPIL REPRESENTATIVES

No pupils present.

8. A.O.C.B.

8.1 Unauthorised car wash facilities – Dingwall 1- Land 20M NE of Lloyds TSB, 8 Tulloch Street, Dingwall 2 North of Lochgorm, Tulloch Street, Dingwall
Update – Cllr. G. Mackenzie informed the CC that no planning applications have been received by either business by the deadline of 21st January, the HC are now deciding what to do. All expressed their frustration that yet again another planning matter and serious concern runs on in the town without anything being done quickly. All members were reminded that the memo from the Planning Officer (dated 9th January) stated that “Where no application(s) is forthcoming (21st January) then Enforcement Notice(s) to be served to remove unauthorised development.” It was also discussed that one possible reason why the businesses haven’t been closed down is that they can claim for compensation over loss of earnings if they close and are later given planning permission.

The second issue discussed (several members of the public have submitted their concerns using the website also) is the untidy appearance of site 2 and health and safety concerns. Spray from the pressure washer is continually being carried by the wind and soaking the pavement, as well as members of the public. In the recent cold weather, many members of the public have raised concerns over the pavement freezing over as it’s a danger to pedestrians. An e-mail from a member of the public who witnessed a car exiting the car wash between the large tree and the green fence, it then drove on to and along the footpath and joined Tulloch Street from the path. All agreed that the fact that two businesses have been allowed to operating for weeks, nearly months without the necessary statutory approval or permission of the local authority makes a mockery of the system and something must be done.

Action: Cllr. Mackenzie to ask Planning for a formal update and copy in CC members. ST to write to Dafydd Jones (Planning) and raise all concerns.

8.2 DCC Sponsored Volunteer Group
Update – DL noted that group is going well, they currently have 6 members. They have successfully tackled Seaforth Gardens flowerbed, flowerbed at the traffic light next to the County Buildings, have started some light work at Ferry Point (ongoing) and will assess Pefferside Park soon. DL is working with GM to increase group publicity and he also plans to put in an application on behalf of the group to apply for the Ward Participatory Budget event. DL also mentioned that the ‘Men’s Shed’ may help to provide man power. All thanked DL and others for his work so far, a fantastic start.
8.3 Dingwall Museum Trustee Meeting
GM attended and explained that several issues were discussed including ways to attract new volunteers to the museum, how to tackle storage problems and investigating fundraising methods. Charging for entrance was also discussed.

8.4 Old Evanton Road speeding concerns
Cllr. G. Mackenzie said this was still underway and the ‘Safe Routes to Schools’ scheme was being looked at. All agreed that this issue needs to be pushed and that it should remain on the agenda.

Action: ST to contact Cllr. A. Mackinnon who liaises more with the Police and see if there’s any news.

8.5 Developing Dingwall Group
NG noted that Community Council members have all been invited to a meeting on 22nd February in St James Church Hall on Castle Street at 19.30. The aim of the meeting is to bring together all volunteer groups in the town and to inform representatives about the Developing Dingwall Group and the public consultation. ST, NG and GM all plan to attend.

8.6 Royal Hotel bus stop and bins
It was noted that the recycle bins at the Royal Hotel have been removed. Members questioned why this has happened considering it is a busy area of the town with the main bus stop there. Members also addressed the issue of having the bus stop here. This was brought up several years ago and the CC did consider asking if the bus stop could be moved to the Southside car park which seems like a more suitable location.

Action: ST to contact Katrina Taylor (Street Cleaning) regarding the bins and GM to contact David Summer regarding the bus stop location, providing feedback next month.

9. DATE AND VENUE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting will be held on Monday 13th March 2017 at 19.00 in Room 11, Dingwall Academy.

10. PLANNING / LICENSING

10.1 Former Education Centre DIHP16073
Members discussed the application for 12 flats on Castle Street at the site of the former Education Centre. All discussed the issue of parking and agreed there should be enough space going by the plans. No comment needed.

The meeting closed at 21.15.

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