Lochalsh Community Council
Auchtertyre – Avernish – Balmacara – Kirkton – Reraig – Glaick
Meeting held on : Tuesday 21st January2020
Time : 7.30pm
Venue : Auchtertyre
Present : Biz Campbell (HC Cllr), Tim Sowood, Sarah Longley, Adrienne Sowood, Emma Bennett-West, Paul Garner.
Apologies for absence : Susan Pettie, Craig Cummings, Lynne Crawford, James Merryweather.
It was noted that Susan was representing us at the meeting of the Lochalsh Wide Collaboration which clashed with this meeting.
Membership of Lochalsh CC
James Merryweather is leaving the area at short notice and therefore, regretfully, has tendered his resignation. He will be sorely missed as over the years he has been a valuable asset to the community.
Emma has been co-opted as a community councillor.
We therefore still have 7 members with one vacancy.
Approval of previous minutes
Minutes approved. (P- Sarah, S- Adrienne)
Matters arising from minutes of last meeting.
Playpark surface and maintenance. Nothing further to report but see below re issues with HC workload.
Lochalsh Wide Consultation – Meeting now tonight and Susan is attending.
Aird Ferry Dornie – Minutes of meeting on 28/11 have been circulated to all members.
Council Roads –
Susan has emailed us to report that she is currently proceeding with the production and distribution of leaflets re speeding and road condition issues.
Biz expressed frustration on the lack of progress on many road and other issues (including the play park). To that end there has been a meeting with the Chief Exec and other heads of department regarding poor response by HC officers and unmanageable workloads. A new post is to be created to deal with concerns on the roads.
It has been decided to have a separate Ward 5 Committee which all officers from roads, education, health, social care and well being, climate change etc will attend. The first meeting is on 11/2 in Dingwall and anyone can attend. Further meetings will be in other parts of the Ward. Anyone with matters to raise can contact Biz.
In-fill mast for not-spot areas – no further contact yet.
Police Matters – not present. Adrienne will contact them yet again re crime report etc.
A87 On-going issues
Bus shelter still not moved. Tim asked Biz to follow up.
Sarah reported that we are still awaiting Dave Tighe’s report as there is dialogue going on re bus shelter , recent accidents , NMUs etc.
Bidwells have contacted us by email re presenting their updated proposals to the community at our next CC meeting. We subsequently contacted them by phone for further information and to suggest that they arrange the meeting as previously as a “drop in” session in the school. They would prefer to present the scheme “in one go” and answer any question raised. The scheme is to be ready for the planning meeting on 21st April and needs to be with the planning officers at least two weeks before that date.
Our meeting felt that while we were obviously very interested we thought it important that Bidwells initiated and chaired the meeting. We would obviously attend and do everything we could to publicise the meeting.
Corrine MacDougal of Bidwells has still to contact us.
Nothing to report
No relevant applications for our area.
Consultee Access – HC are setting up new method for response to planning consultations for statutory consultees. There is a registration process which Tim will do.
We have been asked about the planning/safety status of an illuminated “YES” sign on the side of the A87. Biz will check with planning.
Correspondence (not covered above)
Science Outreach (see email below) Sarah will approach the school re workshops. There is also an attached flier “the Science of Mental Health”. This has been circulated to everybody.
Inclusion Scotland (see email below) Sarah will complete the Consultation Reponse Form
Gaelic medium consultation – Plockton Primary (see email below)
My Place Awards 2020 – (see email below) no known suitable projects at present.
Strome Ferry Bypass – we have had an email to say it will be closed at the Avalanche Shelter overnight 8/220 (2200 -0600)
Sarah raised the extreme concern of parents regarding support and staffing levels at Auchtertyre Primary. This was discussed in detail, as children, particularly those with additional needs, are not getting adequate attention. It was noted that there have already been changes in the management of the school. Biz suggested emailing John Finlayson, Chair of Education with the concerns.
Sarah also informed us of the Coasts and Waters community fund with the possibility of doing work in Balmacara Woodland Park. Sarah will contact Gavin Skipper (NTS)
Date of next meeting
Tuesday 25th February 2020 at 7.30pm
Science Outreach email
Dear Community Council,
I would like to introduce myself as the new Community Outreach Coordinator for Aberdeen Science Centre, looking forward to delivering science workshops to north west coast communities. I love living in Aultbea after marrying a local many years ago!
I see Community Councils as a living breathing archive of amazing information and ideas about what works in their community, a resource I hope to tap into. Aultbea Community Council have already given me great ideas about using local radio for community outreach.
I am currently planning our schedule of events for 2020 and would really appreciate any information about local fun days/gatherings/highland games/regattas, etc taking place in your area next year. Also contact details for any groups that may be interested in science workshops delivered locally. I have attached a flier of our current workshop - The Science of Mental Health.
Here is a link to a short video about Aberdeen Science Centre's latest plans to help put my role in context (particularly from 6 minutes onwards!). https://www.facebook.com/aberdeensciencecentre/videos/10156230090392236/
Thank you in advance for any information, I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions, or if you would like more information on our workshop please get in touch.
Inclusion Scotland email
I firstly made contact with you as part of the general conduct of Inclusion Scotland's Highland Project. It quickly became clear that there a are a number of pressing issues facing children and young people with additional support needs. Each of you has been generous with your time and energy in unpacking these issues, and indeed in some cases introducing me to disabled children and young people in Highland to actively listen to their lived experience.
Given the huge amount of general enquires related to the adequate provision of Additional Support Needs in schools and subsequent transition planning to adulthood, these have both been recognised as priority policy areas at Inclusion Scotland in our core business plan as a result of your work.
As a response to issues surrounding transitions, Inclusion Scotland and others have been working together to a lodge a proposed Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions) (Scotland) Bill at Scottish Parliament.
The key provisions of the proposed Bill are as follows:
The Bill would require the Scottish Government to introduce a national transitions strategy to improve outcomes for children and young people with a disability in the transition to adulthood.
The Bill would require the Scottish Government to appoint a Minister with special responsibility for transitions.
The Bill would require local authorities to introduce a transitions plan to ensure each child and young person with a disability receives appropriate care and support before, and during, the transition to adulthood.
There are 4 ways you can lend your support to seeing this Bill become national policy and practice.
1. Fill in the consultation response form, by answering 7 simple questions.
2. Encourage your friends to support the Transitions Bill by sharing it on twitter (https://twitter.com/Highability1/status/1206973328394792960?s=20) and facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HighAbility1/posts/594641714672936)
3. Write to your MSP, a template letter is at the link below. Remember you can contact your constituent MSP as well as your 7 regional MSP's, one is good by 8 is better (to check who your MSP's are click the following link (https://www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/90929.aspx).
4. Write to Johann Lamont, the MSP who is bringing the Bill to Parliament.
To make it easier, we have put all the documents (the full draft bill pack, response form and template letter) in one place here - http://bit.ly/TransitionsBill
Really appreciate your ongoing support and let's give disabled young people the gift they deserve this Xmas with their rights protected in law.
Highlands Policy & Engagement Officer
Fairways Business Park,
Telephone: 07442 278287
Gaelic Medium email
Dear Chairperson or Secretary
I am writing to provide the Community Council with advance notice of a possible statutory consultation which may be undertaken by Highland Council. If approved, the consultation would create an additional catchment area for Plockton PS in relation to Gaelic Medium education (GME). You are free to share the information that follows around the other members of the Community Council, but at this stage we would ask that you do not circulate it more widely than that. The statutory consultation has not yet been approved by the Highland Council’s Education Committee, and this approval is required prior to any consultation taking place.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig have issued statutory guidance which, amongst other things, specified that Local Authorities should set up Gaelic Medium (GM) catchment areas for all schools that offer GME. The Guidance suggests that a GM catchment should normally overlay several English Medium catchments.
We are considering seeking the approval of elected councillors for a statutory consultation on establishing GM catchments for Plockton PS and Lochcarron PS.
The proposed GM catchment for Plockton Primary would encompass the English Medium (EM) catchments of Plockton Primary, Kyle Primary, Kyleakin Primary, Auchtertyre Primary and Loch Duich Primary. We are minded to exclude Glenelg Primary due to the travel time from there to Plockton. In this we are conscious that young people from Arnisdale can be granted a place in the school hostel in Plockton, as their location is considered too far for daily travel to Plockton High School.
The proposal may include a caveat that any child wishing to access GME from outwith Plockton itself would need to travel on the High School bus (assuming they need to use school transport). This is to achieve a balance between providing access to GME and avoiding the provision of unaffordable dedicated transport over long distances. The proposed GM catchment would encompass the English Medium (EM) catchments of all of the schools within the Associated School Group. In effect, this would formalise existing informal practice.
The existing school catchments for English Medium education would be unaffected. The new arrangements would only apply to children wishing to access Gaelic Medium education.
The statutory consultation process is set down in legislation and is quite lengthy. It takes place over a period of 6 weeks, which must include 30 school days. We must also hold a public meeting. Letters will be sent to all parents who have children at any of the primary schools within the Plockton Associated School Group, and the Community Council would also be a statutory consultee. Following that, we must consult with Education Scotland for a minimum of 3 weeks. We must then review all the responses to consultation before coming to a final conclusion, to be presented to the Education Committee for decision. The final report must be published at least 3 weeks before the Committee meets, and anyone who responded to the initial consultation is invited to make “further representations”, to be taken into account by the Committee members.
There will therefore be plenty of opportunity for the Community Council and others to make their views known during the statutory consultation. However, we would also welcome any initial views you might have at this stage. I would be very happy to speak on the telephone, and if you would like to take up that option please contact me on the number below.
Care and Learning Service
My Place Awards
We at the Scottish Civic Trust have opened nominations and submissions for our My Place Awards 2020, which celebrate community-led built environment projects. As a community council, you may have suitable projects to nominate or submit, or know of others in your area - please circulate this email. I’ve included more information below.
Any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Communications and Events Officer
Scottish Civic Trust
Tobacco Merchant’s House
42 Miller Street
0141 221 1466