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Lochalsh Community Council

Auchtertyre – Avernish – Balmacara – Kirkton – Reraig – Glaick

MINUTES

Meeting held on : Tuesday 25th February2020

Time : 7.30pm

Venue : Auchtertyre

Present : Biz Campbell (HC Cllr), Tim Sowood, Sarah Longley, Adrienne Sowood, Susan Pettie, Craig Cummings, Lynne Crawford, Paul Garner, Danielle Jack.

Apologies for absence : Emma Bennett-West

Approval of previous minutes

Minutes approved. (P- Sarah, S- Adrienne)

Matters arising from minutes of last meeting.

Playpark surface and maintenance. Biz has obtained a very detailed inspection report which has been circulated to everybody and will be posted on the website. Basically the work to be done has been prioritised and will start with the surface and fencing.

Aird Ferry Dornie – Next meeting on March 3rd 2pm Dornie Hall

Council Roads – Biz reported that the new post is to be created to deal with concerns on the roads has yet to be filled.

The new separate Ward 5 Committee, which all officers from roads, education, health, social care and well being, climate change etc met on 11/2 in Dingwall. A budget has not been set. Further meetings will be quarterly in other parts of the Ward. Anyone with matters to raise can contact Biz. Work on improving roads is due to start on the Bunderloch Road.

In-fill mast for not-spot areas – still no further contact yet. We will contact them before the next meeting.

ASN – Further to the concern raised by Sarah regarding cuts to the support and staffing levels at Auchtertyre Primary particularly for those children with additional needs, the following matters were discussed.

A new headteacher has been appointed.

There is a Highland Action Group for ASN who have detailed all the concerns raised by Sarah on Facebook – see extract below.

There is an Interim Education Committee meeting Thursday next to discuss ASN – Biz offered to take any complaints forward and to raise our concerns.

Paul suggested a petition would be beneficial in strengthening the parents case.

Susan suggested approaching the Govan Law centre who take up safeguarding causes. It is independent and community controlled. https://govanlawcentre.org/

Police Matters – not present. Adrienne has contacted them yet again by email re crime report etc. but with no response. It was suggested she rang Sgt Cameron 01599 534 383 at Kyle

A87 On-going issues

Sarah reported that we are still awaiting Dave Tighe’s report.

Biz will contact David Devine re bus shelter.

Road speeds Balmacara

Susan reported that she was in the process of setting up systems to gather raw data which will involve compiling and distributing a leaflet from house to house. She’s spoken to Robin re design and printing of the leaflet. The survey will seek opinions on speed, signage etc. It was suggested that leaflets could also be left in Beths for other locals. We agreed that she should use the CC name in framing her questionnaire.

Auchtertyre Development

Despite contacting Bidwells twice since the last meeting, Corrine MacDougal has still to let us know their arrangements to present their updated proposals to the community. 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.

As we reported at our last meeting and told Bidwells, once their meeting has been arranged we will do everything we can to publicise it. Adrienne undertook once again to contact Bidwells if we hear nothing from them soon.

Lochalsh Collaboration

Susan reported that the timeline has been re-jigged to take account of the design for the survey, and drawing up the job description for the New Community Engagement Officer. The job has been advertised, there are 7 applicants. Susan will be involved in the interviews and the post should be filled by mid-April.

There was some discussion re the funding, resources, revenue and effectiveness of the parties to the Collaboration. It was felt the local Community Partnership led by HIE could have been more effective. Susan said if the right people are in place things might get done.

Finance

No change - £2400.54

Planning

No relevant applications for our area.

National Planning Framework 4 – There is to be a workshop and drop-in in Kyle on Monday next 2nd March at 10am and 12noon receptively. The key issues to be covered are appended below.

Correspondence (not covered above)

Email from a local resident re pot-holes in Balmacara by the bridge and at the Woodland Park entrance.

NTS carpark – abandoned vehicles – IainTurnbull has replied that they are in the process of tracking down the owners via DVLA and will be contacting them to ask for their removal.

Email from Kenny MacLean re joint CC meeting 20th May Garve Village Hall.

Copy of emails to Biz re indiscriminate and obstructive parking in Balmacara Square and the lack of white lines to enable enforcement by the police. Biz has taken this up with Highways department.

AOCB

Susan is thinking of setting up a new school for Lochalsh concentrating on outdoor learning, based on the lines of OWL (Outdoor, Wildlife Learning and Survival) to offer children experiences of their natural world whilst learning and having fun.

Shinty – the Community Council congratulates Kinloch Shiel Shinty on the recent opening of their new pitch at Reraig.

Sarah brought to our attention various coming arts events on the Plock which can be found in the Trust newsletter.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday 24th March 2020 at 7.30pm

Addenda

Highland Action Group for ASN & Education – Facebook extract

We call on the Highland Council to halt their proposed ASN provision redesign (i.e., cuts to essential support services for non-physically disabled children), until an adequate, balanced Equality Impact Assessment and a full, transparent consultation with the public and affected groups can be completed. The PSA and ASN specialist support positions that will be lost provide stability, learning support, emotional support, and encouragement for vulnerable children. They function to improve the mental well-being, self-esteem, school experience, and future success of all children. Without these vital positions, the opportunity for ALL children to achieve their potential will be negatively impacted. These children will then be ill-prepared to cope with the challenges of adulthood. The HC promises to provide "the same levels of support for young people with severe and complex needs.” The logical implication, of course, is that they will NOT provide the same levels of support to anyone who does NOT have severe and complex needs. Therefore, any child who is mobile and independent in toileting– be that a child with identified non-physical Additional Support Needs or non-ASN children in classrooms where an ASN teacher or PSA should be available to assist learning – will be looking at a reduction in support. As parents and concerned citizens, we must ensure NO child, nor any adult with additional support needs, is left isolated and unsupported. Inclusion is a Scottish Government policy that must be properly supported in the school environment if it is to succeed. To strip support from students who need it based on mobility alone is blatant discrimination against those with non-visible disabilities. The life chances and potential of ALL children, as well as adults with additional needs who must navigate the world, are being adversely affected by decisions made by supposition and in the absence of hard facts. The Highland Council has not considered the human cost of these proposals: they have focused only on financial summary reports and cost-saving measures as justifications for the cuts being made. This is inexcusable. The HC must acknowledge the need for comprehensive, objective evaluations to understand the many variables at play in the issue before proceeding. We call on them to engage in open, transparent conversations and consultations with those who will be impacted: parents, children, services for children with ASN, third sector organisations, teachers, PSAs, ASN teachers, and communities. We call on them to lead by example and demonstrate their commitment to Getting It Right For Every Child by protecting our valuable, vital specialist teachers and PSAs, this year and every year thereafter. We call on them to show they understand that it is not just a Want, but a very real Need, to support ALL children – those with additional support needs (whatever they might be) and those without, to ensure Highland’s future generation is strong and bright.

National Planning Framework 4 key issues

Key issues for the next NPF include: housing (particularly for older and disabled people), health and well-being, equalities, rural re-population, biodiversity, and of course climate change. NPF4 will have the status of the development plan for planning purposes. This is a change to the current position and will mean that its policies will have a stronger role in informing day to day decision making. NPF4 will also be an important document for communities as they prepare any Local Place Plan.

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