Friends of Lochluichart Community

Friends of Lochluichart Community’ is a local group whose aims are to encourage community development in and around Lochluichart, to support the conservation, maintenance and restoration of historical and / or other buildings which are important for the local community in and around Lochluichart, and to coordinate community events in and around Lochluichart.
In October 2015 the group was successful in applying for funds from LCT for a specific project at Kinlochluichart Church to convert the vestry to a small community hall and to provide toilet and kitchen facilities.
The location of the church means it is very central to our community, and the vestry has had little use recently other than as a storage area. It was felt that with a little improvement and redecoration and the addition of toilet and kitchen facilities, this space could benefit a wide range of users. The Church of Scotland was pleased to give permission for the community use. As well as being an active place of worship, Kinlochluichart Church is also an historic building with Listed-B status and is one of the famous ‘Telford’ designed parliamentary churches, a number of which were built in the Highlands and Islands with government money in the early 1800s. The building is in a beautiful location and being listed means that any plans need to be considered very carefully so as not to affect the structure of the building or detract from the scenic surroundings.
The hall will accommodate small groups of up to 15, and those wishing to use it will give a donation which makes it very affordable for small groups. The running of the Vestry will be by the Friends of Lochluichart rather than the Church of Scotland.
Work has now started and it is hoped that facilities will all be ready in the next few months when the ‘Friends’ look forward to welcoming visitors. If you would be interested in joining the ‘Friends’ or would like to see what is happening at the Vestry please contact Hazel Keiro on
The ‘Friends’ would like to thank all those volunteers who have given their time and expertise in bringing this project to fruition and to the Church of Scotland for allowing it to go ahead.
Has anyone got any old pictures of Kinlochluichart Church or Lochluichart area, which we could have or scan as we would like to hang some pictures up in the new Community Hall? Get in touch with Hazel on 01997 414 376 or by email.

Hazel Keiro


Come and Join the AGNV Editorial Team

The AGNV is currently run by a small and enthusiastic team of volunteers. But we need new people URGENTLY because of a number of people stepping down at the next AGM.

Come and join us!

We provide a voice for the community; promote the activity of local schools / community groups; keep everyone informed of the work of the Garve and District Community Council, the Lochluichart Community Trust, Community Broadband and other community Trusts and committees as they arise; and donate any profits to local good causes and/or charities.
The newsletter is self-funded and is delivered free of charge to every household in the community 6 times a year. It does this by raising funds to cover all costs: by selling advertising space, organizing fund-raising events and selling copies through local outlets in Kinlochewe, Contin, Gairloch and Torridon. It relies on the goodwill of committee members and volunteer distributors. It outsources printing to an Inverness –based charity, For The Right Reasons, which works with people affected by alcohol and drugs.
What do you need to take part? Buckets of enthusiasm and a sense of humour; Internet access - most of the work on production is done from team members’ homes given our far-flung community; just a little of your precious time - we have 6 committee meetings per year (in each other’s homes) and 2 -3 fundraising events.
We need people who, as well as providing new ideas, can do any of the following:
Production / publishing – we share this between us in whatever format suits eg Publisher, Word
Administration – typing content, minute-taking, proof-reading
Provide content – encouraging and assisting the community to participate as well as offering your own work
Distribution – delivering the newsletter to houses in the community
Above all, though, it’s very sociable. You get to work with other volunteers on the team, and meet lots of people in the community and around.
So you can get to meet people, have a good fun time, and make use of your skills for the benefit of the community. What could be more satisfying than that?!

Moira Harris


1.  Introductions and Apologies
2.  Declarations of interest
3.  Chairman’s comments
4.  Approval of the minutes of the last meetings
5.  Presentation by Citizens Advice Bureau
6.  Community Needs Survey
A presentation by Ross-Shire Voluntary Action
7.  All other matters arising from the minutes
8.  Police report
9.  Treasurer’s report
10. Correspondences
11. AOB from CC members
12. AOB from members of the public
13. Screening reports, scoping reports and consultations
At the time of writing, no screening reports, scoping reports or consultations have been received by the Community Council.
14. Building warrants, planning issues and licensing issues
At the time of writing, no building warrants, planning applications or licensing issues have been received by the Community Council.
15. Dates of future meetings
Tuesday 1 March 2016, 7.00pm, Achnasheen Village Hall
Tuesday 5 April 2016, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall
Tuesday 3 May 2016, 7.00pm, Achnasheen Village Hall
Tuesday 7 June 2016, AGM followed by an ordinary meeting, 7.00pm, Garve Village Hall
Tuesday 5 July 2016, 7.00pm, Achnasheen Village Hall
Members of the public are most welcome to attend CC meetings and listen in to our discussions
Issued at 7.00pm on Saturday 23 January 2016.

Draft Minutes of Garve and District Community Council meeting held 6th Oct 2015 Garve Village Hall

Present: Kenny MacLean (Chairman), Jean Hollingdale (Secretary), Eliza Leslie Melville, Jennifer Haslam, Sue Tarr (Minute Sec); Cllr Ian Cockburn; David Lawson (Eneco); Val MacIver (Platform PR) and Andy Russell (EDF); Rory Dutton (DTAS); 3 members of public.

The Chairman welcomed everyone and opened the meeting at 7pm.
Apologies: Jean Bailey, Bob Moir, Ruari Matheson, Grant Folley, John Bedwell.
Declarations of Interest: none.

Chairman’s Comments – Sue Tarr and Bob Moir attended the Community Empowerment Roadshow in Dingwall. This is about new legislation that has come in that makes it easier for communities to make changes; it covers a variety of areas. Guidelines on how it will work are still being put together.
Mike Franklin attended the HSCHT Open Day in Inverness. The emphasis was on buying land. There is a Land Fund coming in that helps communities that want to buy land.
Council Cutbacks –there are a lot of cutbacks coming. Jobs may be on the line.
The local population figures have been updated and G&DCC area has increased from 329 to 348.
There will be a Soup & Sandwich lunch at Strathpeffer Church Hall on Sat 10th Oct 12-2pm. Details of Church Services at Kinlochluichart are displayed at the Church and on the Achnasheen noticeboard.
All G&DCC agendas, minutes and dates of future meetings are available on the website  They are also available at Garve PO, on Achnasheen Village notice board, in the AGNV and on the AGNV website, direct from the Secretary on, Tel 01997 414201 and at every G&DCC meeting. Correspondence should be directed to

Approval of minutes of the meeting held 1st Sept 2015: Proposed by Eliza Leslie Melville; seconded by Jean Hollingdale.
Approval of minutes of the Special Meeting held 21st Sept 2015: Proposed by Jean Hollingdale, seconded by Jennifer Haslam.

Matters Arising:
Garbat Community Hydro Scheme – a site visit took place in Aug during which local residents were able to discuss concerns over water supplies and noise issues with the turbine house. There may be an issue where Vento Ludens (an international company) have previously secured rights on the Garbat burn – John Bedwell is trying to verify whether this is the case.
G&DCC await a further update from Kirknewton Community Development Trust / babyHydro.

Broadband Working Group – the notes from the meeting held on 2nd Sept are appended.
Kenny MacLean has contacted SSE, Fannich Estate and Lochluichart Estate, and Lochluichart Wind Farm and Corriemoillie Wind Farm. Lochluichart Estate is very supportive of the broadband project and happy to help if they can. SSE suggests contacting SSE telecoms. Andrew Biddlecombe is contacting Network Rail.

Community Housing – a piece of land has been donated by Lochluichart Estate. The HC housing waiting lists indicate one/ two bedroom houses are more in demand for Garve and Achnasheen area. The waiting lists are applied to both council and housing association houses. There often is a “hidden” demand where people who are not on the waiting list (e.g. people living perhaps in rented accommodation, caravan, with parents or family, or would like a bigger house but are not able to move up the ladder).

LCT – Peter Gormley has contacted G&DCC with the outcome of the directors’ discussion on a Community Development Organisation. “CES have offered to refocus part of their project brief so that they will provide advice on the organisational requirements needed to establish a community development company, and this was agreed by the LCT Board. This would mean that they would help specify what is needed for a community development company, in terms of organisation structures, legal frameworks, etc and working with members of the community to make it happen.  It was suggested that the community energy organisation would become a subset of this community development company.”

Community Needs Survey – Sue Tarr put a draft invitation to bid, with brief and background information, for comment by community councillors. Some amendments were agreed, with useful contributions from those present. Members agreed that further drafts could be reviewed and agreed by an email consensus; some further consultation with LCT directors is also required.

Rory Dutton (Development Trust Association Scotland) gave an outline of what DTAS does. They are an association of community trusts all over Scotland and have 10 years collective experience which can be drawn on. Resources are available – model memoranda and articles, objects, toolkits to help set up a trust. Usually a community sets up a trust because the community council has identified things that need doing in their area but the CC can’t carry it out whereas a trust can. The process involves community consultation then the agenda is set by the community trust which delivers priorities the best they can. Open membership from within area and boards would be elected from the community. Would be independent of other organisations and non-profit making. Would be able to do larger legacy projects where community benefit is invested in projects that have a lasting impact.
The first step is to know what you want (community survey) then it is easy to set up. It would be easy to change LCT, or to set up a new organisation in parallel.
Communities can generate their own funds from their own turbines, and managed through a trust with an evaluation panel at arms’ length. DTAS is funded by Scottish Government and is backed up by Burness and Paul legal practise.

Members agreed to push on with the community needs survey.

Eneco update: the crane has completed its refurbishment of one unit and left on 23rd Sept. No further work foreseeable. Annual servicing on site was completed at the end of Aug.

EDF update: work has started on site 21st Sept. Imported stone and cabins have gone onto site. The borrow pit site has been reached, drilling has started and a blast is expected next week. Timber removal is ongoing, with chipping and 3 lorries running between the site and Invergordon. All planning conditions have been discharged, and contractors mobilised. RJ MacLeod is main contractor and a cleaner and security man have been hired. There will be a Liaison group meeting on 10th Nov. Police, roads dept, transport Scotland etc all contacted. Work will carry on while weather is good; will close down if the weather gets too bad. Transport of stone from Leiths quarry will finish this week as the borrow pit comes into use.

SSE update: The traffic lights at Killin have been removed and the bellmouth works finished ahead of schedule. Jennifer Haslam raised the No Left Turn sign that has been installed. The original permission for the bellmouth had been changed when Bear took over. Lorries turn at the railway yard or Gorstan Junction. Lorries should not be reversing at the junction. There is an issue that if lorries can’t turn left onto the access road then there is nowhere else suitable for them to turn. Chairman to contact Daryn Lucas.

Gorstan junction white lines – Robbie Bain has replied saying HC do the white lines.
Benches – the community should liaise with HC so placing of benches in the graveyards does not impede grass cutting.
Dead Tree at Achnasheen – the tree will be inspected and action taken if necessary; any replacement of the tree would be left to the community to do.
Grass Verges – HC policy now is cut verges once a year. No sightlines or bellmouths have been cut in our area. A member of the public has raised the issue of verges not being cut, obscuring crash barriers and making the community look unsightly. Cllr Cockburn to follow up.
HC Quality Awards – the G&DCC nomination is in.
Garve Bus Shelter – this has not been repaired following damage 18 months ago. It is on the list.
Produce Show – proceeds come to £220. Thank yous to go to Val MacIver, Don Smith, Glyn Robson and Susan Haslam. Kenny MacLean to write something for AGNV and submit a photo. Thanks to all who contributed to the raffle.
Over 60’s Party – this will be on 29th Oct. Invites are going out. A bottle of whisky has been donated by the “Bodach that used to live by the Lochluichart Railway Station”

Police Report: Operation Route, a road safety initiative is still ongoing in the area and in the month of September has resulted in 8 persons charged with speeding offences, 2 persons charged with driving without an MOT certificate, 1 person charged with failing to wear a seatbelt and one person charged with driving without insurance also having their vehicle seized.  There have been two road traffic collisions on the A835 with two persons being charged with careless driving.  If anyone has anything they would like to discuss or any issues in the area please get in contact with John Beverly PC406 at Dingwall Police Station by phoning 101.
There was another crash at the Gorstan junction yesterday. The car ended up on top of the crash barrier which had only just been repaired from the last crash. Members felt that something more should be done to prevent crashes, possibly rumble strips or a Stop sign. There are also problems with vehicles going the wrong way round the island or straight across it. It is difficult to get HC and Bear to agree. A member of the public suggested going to the press about the lack of interest from the authorities. Sec to contact PC Beverley to ask for police recommendations about the accident rate.
G&DCC received a copy of North Focus, the police newsletter which reports 66% detection rates across all crimes and offences. The profile of crime reporting has changed. Reports of domestic abuse, sexual offending, hate crimes, serious assaults and shoplifting have all increased on last year. Police are assessing how they can tackle this.
A member of the public has reported that motorcycles are now getting stopped regularly at Achanalt.
There has been mention of speeding issues within Garve village.

Treasurer’s report:
Total balance b/f


Senior Citizens Fund -No Change

Bench Fund - B/fwd No Change

Community Fund - B/fwd


Add - Proceeds Produce Show


Less - Show Expenses - J. Haslam

- 67.62

Less - Garve Hall - Produce Show

- 52.00

Treasurers Account -B/fwd


Less - Garve Public Hall - Special Meeting 24/08/15

- 16.00

Less - Garve Public Hall - Broadband Meeting 02/09/15

- 16.00
Carried Forward

£ 2,744.50

Profit from Produce Show

Figures prepared 20/09/2015

Correspondence:  By Email,
Policy – Community Council Elections; Tracy Shaw – RCOP- Living Streets Workshop December 3rd 2015 Inverness; HC – Alison Macleod – Winter Resilience Community Aid Programme 2015; Scottish Government – Sub Marine Electricity Cables – Notice of Consultation; Robbie Bain – GDCC Mins; Highland Wide Local Development Plan Review Meetings; Community Council Elections – Availability Of Nomination Papers; Scottish Rural Parliament Update; Tracy Shaw – RCOP – LGOWIT- Conference 30th September 2015; Strathpeffer CC Mins; Policy – Community Transport Grants; Highland Third Sector Interface – What’s On Next Week In Highland – 18th September; Lochcarron CC Mins; Policy – Digital Engagement for CC’s Workshops Autumn; Alison Macleod – War Memorial Trusts Workshops; Deborah Peters – Achnasheen Post Office; John Bedwell – Proposed Baby Hydro Scheme; Deborah Peters – Achnasheen Post Office; Policy – Highland Council’s Highpoint Magazine; Robbie Bain – Re Exercise Joint Warrior 15th October 2015 Radar & GPS Jamming E; John Bedwell – Proposed Baby Hydro Scheme; Deborah Peters – Achnasheen Post Office; Policy – Highland Council’s Highpoint Magazine; Robbie Bain – Re Exercise Joint Warrior 15th October 2015 Radar & GPS Jamming; Third Sector Interface – What’s On In Highland This Week; Tracy Shaw – RCOP – Creating A Fairer Scotland – Inverness 7th October 2015; Alex Fincham  - Local Energy Scotland  - CC Funds Received from Eneco; Robbie Bain – CC Elections; Donald Northwood – Email Grass Verge Cutting; A890 Balnacra To Lair Rail Bridge Road Improvements.
By Post,
Highland Council – Planning For Your Future – Dingwall 11th November 2015; Highland Council  - Decriminalised Parking Enforcement; Local Government Boundary Commission For Scotland – Consultation Reminder; Scottish Government Scoping for EDF Wind Farm.
Achnasheen Post Office – a member of the public has contacted G&DCC about the post office service in Achnasheen. There have been concerns going back to March, with the post office computer not working, the broadband not working and the postmaster not being there as he was on sick leave. Post Office Counters have said that if the post office is to be closed then posters should be displayed saying it will be closed. All outstanding IT issues have now been resolved, and things have improved.
Balnacra – Lair Road Bridge Improvements – the preferred route runs N of the railway line. 4 miles of new road will bypass the old road. The scheme will be considered in November and a planning application submitted next year when there will be further opportunity to make comments or objections. Members’ comments were that the Lochcarron road is in very bad condition and any improvements would be welcome.

AOB (Members): Jennifer Haslam raised the issue of bollards being left at the layby west of Corran; these are right on the roadside. Also road signs have been left on the verge to the west where a vehicle went off the edge of the road. The Chairman will investigate.
The Garve sign coming into the village from the east is obscured by bracken.

Scoping Report: The Strathvaich Hydro scheme environmental impact assessment has started.

SSE Consultation: Submarine Cable proposal on protecting submarine cables. Members had no comments.
HC Highland Wide Development Plan, Draft Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance and Local Housing Strategy consultations: members had no comments.

The Chairman informed the meeting of a building warrant for a single storey wind farm control building, Corriemoillie. There have been four planning applications determined:

Continuation of rock extraction at Achnasheen Quarry, permission granted for 5 years.
Display of advertisement for wind farm, land off A835 to west of Aultguish Inn, permission granted.
Undergrounding and repositioning of 33kV overhead line to Staff house, land at Mossford Lochluichart, HC raise no objection.
Forestry related works to form and upgrade a private way, land 130m east of Rosebank Achanalt, HC grant prior approval.

Date of next meeting:
Tues 3rd Nov 2015 in Achnasheen Village Hall at 7pm. Tea will be served.

Tues 1st Dec 2015 in Garve Village Hall at 7pm
Tues 5th Jan 2016 in Garve Village Hall at 7pm
Tues 2nd Feb 2016 in Garve Village Hall at 7pm
Tues 1st Mar 2016 in Achnasheen Village Hall at 7pm

The Chairman thanked everyone for coming and closed the meeting at 9.25pm.

Contd over

Appendix: Broadband Working Group meeting held 2nd Sept 2015 in Garve Village Hall

Present: Kenny MacLean, Sue Tarr, Jackie West, Bob Moir, Mike Franklin, Andrew Biddlecombe, Laura MacWhinney and Sarah Jones from CBS.
Apologies: Jean Hollingdale, Jean Bailey, Ruari Matheson, Eliza Leslie Melville, Jennifer Haslam, Andrew Allan, Calvin Tan.
Kenny MacLean (G&DCC Chairman) welcomed everyone and opened the meeting at 7pm.
Summary of the position to date – a broadband questionnaire funded by CBS was circulated to every household in the community council area, with a good response. The survey has shown that there is a demand for improved service and has provided information about download and upload speeds throughout the area, and how much people are prepared to pay.
The fibre rollout is coming to both Garve and Kinlochewe in the next 16 months. The fibre capability will first enable the exchange, and then feed a nearby green street cabinet. As the quality and speed of connection are then dependent on cabling route distance, it is expected that houses within approximately 2km of the cabinet in cable route length will experience the benefits available from fibre speeds, with some performance benefits still being achieved for those who are further away.
Map: Sarah Jones brought maps of the area and houses which responded to the questionnaire were marked to show where clusters are located and the distances involved.
 Some ideas about the different ways of bringing improved broadband to houses further away from the expected coverage area were discussed. There are a variety of ways that could be investigated for example, “pinging” a microwave or radio signal using line-of-sight repeaters. The further away from the green cabinet this goes, the more the signal degrades and there can be interference from rain, pinging across water surfaces and other irregular features.
It may be possible to have a rental agreement with the mobile phone mast providers to use their towers but this is expensive and geography dependent. Network Rail, SSE and Lochluichart Windfarm may have possibilities for the project; agreed it is worth contacting them at this stage to make enquiries.
There are other ways of boosting exchanges which use legacy ground based circuits but these may not be effective given the distances to Aultguish and Achnasheen exchanges and are dependent on existing infrastructure and capacity being available. Telecoms companies can offer feasibility/planning tools that assess different technology solutions for different areas. It may be that a mix of technologies will be needed to reach all parts of the area.
Next Stage:  Need to wait for info coming from BT about the next phase of their fibre rollout. This info is expected by the end of the year. Then CBS can commission a feasibility study. This would include design of a network, estimated cost to build, cost to run and input required from volunteers, estimated number of subscribers.
Preparation of a business plan and see if it looks viable.
If the project is viable it then moves on to the procurement process. It has to be notified to see if any other party has plans, then it can go to tender. There are different procurement paths depending on how big the capital costs are.
Cost of telephone / broadband packages would be tailored to what residents could afford.
G&DCC is starting community consultation with a view to setting up a Development Company; agreed CBS should be consulted when doing this.

CBS Broadband Summary
The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) fibre programme is bringing improved broadband connectivity to thousands of premises across the Highlands and Islands including areas in Ross-shire. By the end of 2016, 84% of premises in the Highlands and Islands will have access to the fibre infrastructure through the DSSB programme. For those that are not likely to benefit from DSSB, the Scottish Government has set up and funded Community Broadband Scotland ( ) to support communities to develop and install sustainable community broadband solutions.
Community Broadband Scotland is currently working with the Garve and District Community Council (GDCC) to investigate the possibility of developing a community broadband solution for the areas not due to see fibre coverage from the DSSB fibre roll out. GDCC have already carried out a comprehensive community scoping exercise whereby surveys were distributed to the GDCC area to assess what appetite there is for a community broadband project. The survey received a very positive response rate and demonstrated a strong appetite for improved broadband services as well as indicating how much residents would be willing to pay for a broadband service.
The most recent information from the DSSB team indicates that Kinlochewe and Garve should be well served by fibre roll out which is due to go live in the second half of 2016. There is also additional funding coming to the DSSB programme which means that there is the possibility that the fibre roll out will reach further than this. GDCC are waiting for more clarity on this potential additional roll out before commissioning a feasibility study to assess what form a community broadband project may look like. Given the terrain of the GDCC area it is likely that a wireless solution will provide the best option for improving digital connectivity.
GDCC are keen to open dialogue with key local stakeholders to explore the potential for collaborating on the development of this exciting concept.
Sarah Jones, CBS.

Draft Minutes of Garve and District Community Council meeting held 1st Sept 2015 in Achnasheen Village Hall

Present: Kenny MacLean (Chairman), Jean Hollingdale (Secretary), Jean Bailey (Treasurer), Eliza Leslie Melville, Jennifer Haslam, Sue Tarr (Minute Sec), Bob Moir; Val MacIver (Platform PR) and Don Smith (EDF); Daryn Lucas (SSE); Morven Taylor (HSCHT); 3 members of public.

The Chairman opened the meeting at 7pm and welcomed everyone.

Apologies: Ruari Matheson, Cllr Cockburn.
Declarations of Interest: none.

Chairman’s Comments: Congratulations to Sandy Jack on his 100th birthday. Jean Bailey presented him with a gift on behalf of G&DCC.
The Chairman was unable to attend the Skye, Lochalsh & Wester Ross District Partnership meeting or the Mid Ross District Partnership meeting. Blue wheelie bins can now accept more items for recycling.
There will be no service in Kinlochluichart Church on 13th Sept.
All G&DCC agendas, minutes and dates of future meetings are available on the website  They are also available at Garve PO, on Achnasheen Village notice board, in the AGNV and on the AGNV website, direct from the Secretary on, Tel 01997 414201 and at every G&DCC meeting. Correspondence should be directed to
There have been nearly 1100 hits on G&DCC website in the last 12 months.

Approval of the minutes of the ordinary meeting held 4th Aug 2015: Bob Moir had one amendment, in relation to the Strathvaich Hydro Scheme – jetties would be used during construction, but removed after work was completed.
Sarah Jones (CBS) has supplied more detailed notes about broadband: these will be appended at the end of these minutes.
Minutes with amendments proposed by Jean Hollingdale and seconded by Jean Bailey.

Approval of the minutes of the special meeting held 24th Aug 2015: proposed by Eliza Leslie Melville and seconded by Jennifer Haslam.

Matters Arising:
SSE Traffic Lights – the traffic lights at Killin were to be in place until the end of Feb and it is now Sept. Daryn Lucas explained the three-way system in place at the bell mouth was to control traffic going past the workforce. Transport Scotland had given approval for the design of bell mouth and then withdrew it; it had to be redesigned to accommodate forestry vehicles that would use the access after the pylon work was finished. Forestry low-loaders would need a 6m turning radius so more of the hill-side had to be removed. The drainage also needed agreement with Network Rail. While doing the pylon work, one of the existing lines is dead to take the old pylons down and put up new ones. This is done within outage windows which meant that work on the bell mouth was suspended while work was carried out on the pylons. The bell mouth should be completed by the end of Sept, with tarring, white lines and signage. SSE apologises for all the delays. This work was done to accommodate increased turning circle; the hill is not collapsing.
The traffic lights come down at the weekends when no work is taking place on the hill; taking the lights down every day would cause more delays. The lights will be away by the end of Sept.
The new pylon line will be in place and energised by the end of Oct. The red and white catch netting is to protect the workforce and will come down when pylon work is finished and an earth bund seeded with grass and heather installed along steep sides.  The old line will be taken away and the track tidied up and re-instatement completed between Christmas and Feb 2016.
Comments included that at the weekend the folded up signs had sometimes fallen onto the road and caused a danger to traffic; and was it possible to switch the traffic lights to two way at nights? Daryn agreed to look into these issues.
Next year, there will be an upgrade of the section from Mossford to Corriemoillie (this is a separate project).
The hydro loch at Glascarnoch is very low just now – is there a particular reason for this? The hydro lochs are drained to the lowest point every few years for servicing and maintenance.
Daryn Lucas offered G&DCC a site visit when the work was complete; members agreed this would be interesting. The Chairman thanked him for attending.
Garbat Hydro scheme – no update.
Community Broadband – the first Broadband Working group meeting will take place tomorrow (2nd Sept) in Garve Village Hall with Sarah Jones from CBS.
Benches – Robbie Bain has said it would be alright to put benches in the graveyards. It was agreed to defer until the spring.
Community Needs Survey – Discussion on taking forward a community needs survey following G&DCC Special Meeting on 24th Aug. A community survey will assist in the setting up of a development company that is best suited to the community’s requirements; it will enable LCT, the new Dev Co and other funders or groups to prepare business plans; and it will inform LCT and others of community opinion when appraising projects.
G&DCC, LCT, the new Dev Co and other community organisations would have access to the survey results and each household would receive a summarised copy.
The approach to a survey was discussed. All agreed it needed to involve the community and so needs to be well promoted beforehand – a notice could be placed in the AGNV. A workshop style/ drop-in event could be held in both Achnasheen and Garve. Ideas generated from these could then be put together to form a questionnaire circulated to the community to gather feedback on ideas. There are a number of ways of doing this e.g. postal, online, by phone, one to one interviews with each household – agreed that Sue Tarr approach organisations to ask how each one would go about the survey, and how the survey would be collated and presented. Sue has three contacts so far, CADISPA, Ross-shire Voluntary Action, Donald MacLeod and some more to follow up.
There are a number of community projects already at different stages and these also need to feed in to the survey process (Community Energy, Community Broadband, Community Housing, Bursary/ education fund, and other smaller projects; the village halls have an important role too). LCT has carried out some consultation on project ideas and this will also feed in.
A paid development officer is something that has been suggested, need to find out if the community supports that idea and how it would be financed. Employing people means adhering to certain regulations. The Scottish Land Fund can part fund a development officer.
It was agreed that an application to LCT for funding a survey before 30th Sept would be unrealistic.

Community Housing – Jean Bailey, Eliza Leslie Melville, Sue Tarr and Mike Franklin attended a meeting with Ronnie MacRae and Morven Taylor of Highland Small Communities Housing Trust. The notes from the meeting have been appended to these minutes. With G&DCC support, feasibility work could start before a Development Company is set up. A Rural Housing Initiative to support rural housing means funding should be available in April 2016 – keep this in mind as a possibility as it may be taken up quickly. There is often a “hidden housing” demand in local areas where people are not on the council housing list but would be interested in affordable housing. With this in mind the community housing project could either do its own survey or feed into a community needs survey.

LEO Scheme – G&DCC received a letter from Guy Madgwick (Eneco) about the ending of the LEO scheme. Eneco is sorry to disappoint residents. Eneco should be able to start selling electricity direct to customers next year and is working to find a low-cost solution that could benefit all members of the community.
EDF – Work on the Corriemoillie Wind farm has not started yet. Two planning conditions are still to be signed off, one environmental and the decommissioning bond, this should take place this week. It will then take a few days to get contractors and machinery on site.
The Invergordon biomass plant is up and running again and brush removal off site will take place as soon as possible. The main contractor is R.J.MacLeod. Posts of gatekeeper and cleaner have been filled. The electrical contractor may be SSE – they have the local expertise.
Potholes – Potholes at the Old Manse road and Lochluichart Station are on the list. The top half of the Gorstan road has been repaired and white lines done but there are still potholes down the bottom end.
White lines at the main Gorstan Junction – these haven’t been done although other white lining in the area has been carried out. The give way sign and the dotted lines painted on the road have been worn away. Suggest that Robbie Bain liaise with SSE who will be doing white lines at the Killin access soon.
Garve Recycle Bins – these have now been relocated and a new replacement bin with keys has arrived at the Gorstan layby. Many thanks to June Ross for all her help.
Planning website – maintenance has taken place and should be more stable now.
Garve Bus shelter – on to-do list.
Fencing at Chuillin – on to-do list.
Fence at Matheson Rd Football pitch – has been reported.
Overhanging branches at Station Rd – no news.
Leaning Tower of Garve – BT has inspected and will repair the leaning pole.
Garve Hall traffic noise – the chairman of the Hall Committee has suggested that G&DCC could purchase a PA system and store it in the hall.
Garden Produce Show – to be held this Sat 5th Sept in Garve Hall. Open to the public from 12-2pm; there will be teas, raffle and the whisky game. Sec to send letters of thanks to the sponsors, Eneco, GG Mackenzie and Iain Fraser Plumber. Cups and prizes have been bought.
Over 60’s Party – this will be held on Thurs 29th Oct at Aultguish Inn, 6 for 6.30pm. Arrangements were discussed regarding entertainment etc.
G&DCC Senior Citizens’ fund stands at £650. Jean Bailey to prepare application to LCT for £1200 to pay for the party plus a present for those not able to attend.

Police Report: In the month of August 2 persons have been charged with dangerous driving, 12 persons charged with speeding offences, 3 persons charged with driving without an MOT certificate and 1 person charged with failing to wear a seatbelt in the area. There have been two road traffic collisions on the A835 with one person being charged with careless driving and the other being non reportable.   If anyone has anything they would like to discuss or any issues in the area please get in contact with John Beverly PC406 at Dingwall Police Station by phoning 101.
Police are keen to speak to the owner of an unused tent found at Little Garve to confirm their well-being. (Note Police have now confirmed that the owner has been traced and that all is in order. The public are thanked for their assistance in this matter.)

Treasurer’s Report:

Total balance b/f 2633.58

Senior Citizens Fund – no change 650.72 650.72

Bench Fund – no change 100.00 100.00

Community Fund – b/f 1239.53
add donations Produce Show 120.00 1359.53

Treasurers Account b/f 643.33
less Birthday card -4.25
less Garve Hall mtg Aug plus Europasat demo -44.00 595.08

Carried Forward £2705.33

Outgoings this month were a card for Sandy Jack on the occasion of his 100th birthday; G&DCC has received a bill for the hall for the Europasat demonstration. Agreed to send Europasat the bill; Broadband survey expenses: Kenny MacLean spent 10hrs at £10 per hour collating the broadband survey results plus £12 for ink. These expenses are claimed from CBS. Kenny MacLean to donate £100 to the bench fund. The hire of the hall for tomorrow’s broadband working group meeting will be claimed under CBS expenses.

Correspondence: Policy – Highland Third Sector Interface – Community Empowerment Act Roadshow. Bob Moir and Sue Tarr hope to go to the Dingwall one on 22nd Sept 5.30-8.30pm.
Kit Bowen – Baby Hydro Scheme; John Bedwell – Baby Hydro Scheme; Policy – CC Elections-Community Newsletter Publicity; SPS – Benches – Brochure and Price List; Bob Moir – CC Meeting
Scottish Rural Parliament – Update Broadband and Land Reform; Murdo Mackenzie – Reply To Bob Moir Email; Policy – CC’s And Data Protection Act; Policy – Fairer Scotland Community Council Event 16th Sept 2015 ; Jean Bailey – Payment For Expenses To GDCC; Sylvia Campbell – HTSI Events Programme Aug – Dec 2015; Eneco Reply- LEO Scheme; Lochcarron CC Mins; Mid Ross District Partnership Event – 28th Aug 2015 – Dingwall Academy – 10am to 12 Noon; Highland Council Quality Awards; Strathpeffer CC Mins; Tracy Shaw – RCOP – Walking Football; HSCHT – Community Housing Project – Summary of meeting With HSCHT 17th Aug 2015; Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan Consultation; Robbie Bain – Scottish Government Town Centre Capital Fund; Police Report; Tracy Shaw – RCOP Conclusion of Work Plan Project to close; Resurfacing of Strathpeffer Road – from Level Crossing to Dingwall Business Park - 21st Sept 2015 for one week expect delays; Policy – Fairer Scotland Community Council Event -16th Sept 2015 Glasgow.
HC Quality Awards - Members agreed to nominate June Ross; she has helped on many issues this year.
Data Protection Act – it costs £35 per year to register. Agreed that G&DCC should comply as it has the Over 60’s Invitation list and the Broadband Survey results. Revisit in Dec.
The slip road in Contin is closed until 5pm next Mon 7th Sept.

Bob Moir – there are traffic lights on the trunk road going west by the hotel. It seems to be road surface work.
Eliza Leslie Melville – the verges on the A832 have not been cut, and there is a lot of ragwort going to seed. Spread of ragwort is a real problem. It is also a safety issue for vehicles coming out of entrances and visibility is reduced. Sec to contact the Chairman of Roads, Allan Henderson, and William Gilfillan and Robbie Bain.
Kenny MacLean – A large tree outside the Achnasheen village hall looks dead. Contact Robbie Bain. Maybe look at planting a tree to replace it.
Remembrance Sunday is 8th Nov. G&DCC to purchase a wreath. Sec to contact Uisdean Menzies.

Screening Report: Strathvaich Hydro schemes – HC has determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment will be required.
Scottish Government Consultation – Pentland Firth & Orkney Spatial Plan – members had no comments.

Planning: Three applications have been determined.
Fannich Hydro Scheme – permission granted with 12 conditions and has to start within 3 years.
Retention of section of track, land to south of Old Free Church Manse Gorstan - permission granted on condition HC is notified when it passes from SSE to FC.
Undergrounding of 33kV overhead line, land at Grudie – HC raise no objection.
Three new planning applications –
Erection of 1.8m high boundary fence, land north of Briony Inchbae – members had no comments.
Forestry related works to form and upgrade a private way, land 130m east of Rosebank Achanalt – members had no comments.
Erection of house and double garage, land 40m NW of Glentawik Little Garve – members had no comments.

Date of next meeting: Tues 6th Oct 2015 7pm in Garve Village hall
Tues 3rd Nov 2015 7pm in Achnasheen Village hall
Tues 1st Dec 2015 7pm in Garve Village hall
Tues 5th Jan 7pm in Garve Village Hall

Broadband Working Group Wed 2nd Sept 7pm in Garve Village Hall.

The Chairman wished all entrants in the Produce Show good luck and closed the meeting at 10pm.

Appendix 1 - Broadband

Sarah Jones from Community Broadband Scotland gave an update on the local BT rollout. Garve exchange is scheduled for improvement July 2016 – Dec 2016. Engineers will come and do a survey about 6 months before that work. Normally, a fibre cabinet will be connected to a green telecoms cabinet. The fibre signal then travels through the fibre cabinet, through the green telecoms cabinet and along copper wires to people’s homes to give improved broadband speeds. Houses which are within 1km copper line length of the fibre enabled cabinet will have access to superfast broadband of up to 24mbps. Between 1-2km from the fibre enabled cabinet will have good speeds. After 2km from the cabinet, the speed that users can expect drops right off. Where a green telecoms cabinet does not exist (because phone lines are linked directly to the Exchange – known as Exchange Only lines), copper phone lines are re-routed through a green telecoms cabinet before being connected to a fibre cabinet.
There is an extension programme following on from 2017. BT has to make available information on which areas will be included in this and which areas won’t be, this information is expected between autumn and the end of this year. This makes planning for communities easier. Achnasheen as a cluster of premises (30-50) could receive a fibre enabled cabinet in the extension programme. The areas between Achnasheen and Garve, and Aultguish and Inchbae are unlikely to receive fibre coverage from the main fibre roll out and so may need help through a community broadband solution. Options might be to “ping” a fibre signal wirelessly from a fibre enabled area to areas without fibre coverage.

Appendix 2 – Community Social, Economic & Housing Project
Summary of meeting with HSCHT 17th Aug Inverness.
Eliza Leslie Melville, Jean Bailey, Sue Tarr and Mike Franklin (from G&DCC area) met with Ronnie MacRae and Morven Taylor of HSCHT.
Lochluichart Estate has earmarked a piece of land approx 8ha, situated between Lochluichart Station and Kinlochluichart Church which may be used for a community development. The Estate has no pre-conceived ideas but the aim would be to encourage young families to live and work in the area which in turn would help Strathgarve Primary School and benefit the community in other ways too.
Ronnie MacRae has approached HIE for opinions on suitability. HIE is interested in exploring ideas and may possibly be able to fund feasibility work if it is a community led project which meets wider community objectives.
A site visit with a local contractor has not identified any major problems with the site, although further investigations are required.
At present Scottish Govt are encouraging community housing developments. A new fund is awaiting full approval and it is hoped that it will be coming on stream in April 2016 and more information on this should be known around Oct of this year.
Ronnie and Morven gave some ideas of what sort of development could work. There are many options and it would be advisable to look at combining housing options along with business and social facilities. Having a good strategy and business plan is very important.
It is an exciting opportunity for the community.
Next steps:
1. Need a Development Group which can take the project forward. Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) can give guidance on setting up a Trust.
2. Need to demonstrate community support for the project. The Community Council has supported the idea so far and is in the process of engaging with the community and relevant groups and Windfarm operators with the aim of setting up a Development Trust which can handle other projects such as Community Broadband, Community Energy and a Bursary/ Education fund. It would be important to have HSCHT input to make sure the new Development Trust would be capable of taking forward a housing project with community support. Morven Taylor agreed she would be willing to attend meetings.

Leading on to HIE potentially funding a Feasibility Study on behalf of the community.