Thursday 1st March 2012

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 1st March 2012 at the ‘Kirk’, Wester Balblair at 7.30pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chairman), John Stewart, Duncan Fraser, John Graham, Mary Graham, Clare Caldwell, Mark Hedderwick

Apologies: Cllr. Drew Hendry, Cllr. Helen Carmichael, Cllr. Margaret Davidson

Community Members: Alisdair Stewart, Steve and Madelaine Robinson, Meryl Boyd, Donald Robertson

Minutes of the previous meeting Thurs 2nd February 2012 were taken as read and accepted as a true and accurate record. Proposed by Alisdair Stewart and seconded by Steve Byford – Approved.

SSE Presentation: Present: Noel Cummins, Marianne Townsley, Lisa Kelly, Alistair Resbourne, Michael Blake.

  • ·        Michael Blake explained the project with a brief overview and then a detailed explanation of the undergrounding. Questions were asked by councillors and community members and answered in a clear manner. The undergrounding is a permitted development and only needs the landowner’s agreement but the Tower and enclosed area at Dunmore will require planning consent. Detailed information with photos of the techniques of undergrounding were presented to the meeting
  • ·        Alistair Redbourne then explained the rationalisation of the wirescape in the Braes area and discussions encompassed the new Altyre path. There were some doubts raised over the Beauly Toll/Kirk path with some confusion over whether HC had approved it or not.
  • ·        Subject to planning and contractual restrictions, timescale for the Mossford-Beauly line was laid out to suggest connection in March-April 2013 with installation of underground cabling may be expected May-October 2012.
  • ·        On the question of the island at the Beauly Toll, Lisa Kelly suggested it would now not be necessary to remove it and strengthening of the bridges was no longer considered necessary.

Matters arising:

  • ·        Beauly Toll safety rail. An application to the WDF has been sent.
  • ·        Lights and Bollards – After hearing from Lisa Kelly that this will not be done as part of the Beauly-Denny access work, it will be referred back to HC
  • ·        Bin Collection – JG reported that he had discussed matters with Alan Mackinnie of Highland Council who has asked that we let the scheme start and then address the issues that arise. Extra bins will be available as necessary and he will look at the situation at Teanassie School where the quantity of Blue bins is somewhat overpowering. The possible option of one large bin was muted.
  • ·        Glen Affric Parking Charges – Both Cllr. Helen Carmichael and Cllr. Margaret Davidson had been in the press decrying this imposition of charges. A discussion ensued and issues of not having change and being many miles from local shops and the difficulty of phone signals for credit card payments were discussed. Also the issue of fining overstayers was felt a poor way to treat visitors. It was decided that a letter should be sent to FCS stating our opposition to this.
  • ·        First Responders: Alan Hogdson and First Responders would attend the May Meeting.

Chairman’s Business:

  • ·        Kilmorack Cemetery parking – JS has discussed this with Geoff Ridge at the Cemeteries Dept. who had no issues with improvement and would look into what HC could do. It was decided that an application to the WDF would be made for refurbishment as Aggregates have offered to assist with materials. Mark Hedderwick worked out an estimated cost and that would be used. SB has still to hear back on cost of bus shelter. JS
  • ·        Winter Maintenance and Drainage – A Committee of Councillors has been formed and we look forward to a report back from our Councillors shortly.
  • ·        Aggregates: Tom Lewis has asked that we issue a letter of support for the extension. The Committee suggested a letter that we were not opposed could be sent.


Scecretaries Business:

  • ·        NHS Integration Meeting in Inverness. Mary Graham and Clare Caldwell to attend.
  • ·        Training Days for Community Councillors: members reminded.
  • ·        DBSE -Kiltarlity CC joint meeting of Community Councils to discuss DBSE pre-inquiry JG to attend.

Discussion on Beauly-Mossford presentation:

  • ·        It was felt that the presentation had been very fair but some issues remained. Duncan Fraser was concerned that they didn’t really understand the impact on local crofters and tenants of taking large areas out of production and the fact that re-grassing has a lead time of three to four years before it can be cut for hay. Whilst the land owners receive compensation, the tenants may not be recompensed for disturbance. With the west Coast HVDC line likely to come through the same path in three to four years time the repeat of the whole performance could result in fields unusable for up to eight years. A letter highlighting our concerns should be sent to SSE.

Planning Matters: None


  • ·        Funds were in good stead and no sums outstanding.



  • ·        Community Benefits Workshop – John and Mary Graham will attend.
  • ·        HEN – Members advised of dates


Future Meetings: List of future meetings agreed


Meeting Closed: 10.35pm


Signed:  SB