Ross and Cromarty Local Access Forum - Minutes of Meeting held in Council Chamber, Council Offices, High Street, Dingwall on Thursday 13th September, 2007 at 2.00pm
Mr John Mackenzie (Chairman), Mr Richard Wallace (Vice-Chairman), Ms Cattie Anderson, Mr Fraser Fotheringham, Ms Kristine MacKenzie, Dr Stewart Campbell, E A MacPherson, Mr Hector Munro, Mr James Hislop, Mr Robin Chalmers, Mr Robin Forrest, Councillor Alan Torrance, Councillor Isobel McCallum
Mr Philip Waite, Access Officer, Highland Council, Mr George Hamilton, Natural Resources Manager, Highland Council, Ms Claire Robertson, Administrative Assistant, Highland Council, Ms Alison MacArthur, Clerical Assistant, Highland Council
Apologies were received from Cath Clark.
2. Confirmation of Minutes
The minutes of the meeting held on 5th July, 2007 were APPROVED subject to the following:
- Page 4, Item 5, Paragraph 2, first sentence – remove the word ‘had’.
- Page 5, Item 7, Paragraph 1, third sentence – remove hyphen from ‘some-times’.
3. Core Path Planning
(i) Consultative Draft Maps
Members of the Forum made the following general comments:
- People were confused by the red lines and more information should be provided in the introduction.
- It would be useful to know which paths within the wider access network were existing rights of way.
- Ensure that 1) there is linking of core paths and wider access network between different areas of Highland and 2) that where paths “overlap” between different maps of Ross and Cromarty this should be more clearly indicated
- There should be more linking between communities if possible
- An indication of the National Cycle Network in the key would be useful.
Further discussion took place on each of the maps and notes taken for adjustments by the Access Officer. The Forum otherwise NOTED the maps.
(ii) 2nd Stage Consultation
A paper Item 3 ii was submitted in advance of the meeting advising how this was to be carried out .
PW asked that if anyone was available to assist him at drop in events they contact him in advance. He advised that he had posters available for everyone to take away and display.
The Forum otherwise NOTED the document.
4. Training Event Item 4
CA advised that:
a) She had more funding for a training event.
b) Discussion had taken place about the possibility of training in schools.
c) SNH commissioned consultation to run training events in Scotland,
targeting teachers. This training is to allow well informed teaching about
the Access Code
d) An event had been secured in Dingwall on 22nd November. All secondary
school and feeder primary teachers in the area would be invited and
possibly teachers from the Inverness area.
e) In terms of the Local Access Forum, an updated ‘who’s who’ could be
provided for the event. A letter from the Local Access Forum could be
sent to potential participating schools with a flyer to get people thinking
f) It was hoped that the Inverness and Nairn Local Access Forum would carry
out a training session with the Girl Guide leaders.
It was agreed that the forum should support the Dingwall event and commented that:
a) Information should be sent to George Reid, Outdoor Education, Tarradale.
b) Robin Forrest was able to attend the event on behalf of the Local Access
CA agreed to draft a letter on behalf of the Local Access Forum which the Chairman would sign.
5. National Access Forum and North Regional Meetings
There were 2 networking events due to take place, one on 31st October and one on 28th November.
31st October – Annual National Access Forum/ Local Access Forums Meeting
- To be held in Aberdeen.
- No one from this forum had been able to attend previous meetings so this would be an opportunity to make representation.
- A minibus would be available from Inverness to take Members from different Forums to the event.
- Forum Members should advise PW or Laura Burns if they wish to attend the event.
28th November – Paths for All Regional Forum for Highlands & Islands
- Topics to be discussed include – legal issues, liability, signage, health, transport, Forestry Commission project.
- It was suggested that 3 people from each Forum attend the event.
- Forum Members should contact PW if they are interested in attending (Philip to forward information e-mail to those on e-mail).
6. Cattle Incident, Drumchork, Aultbea Item 6
It was commented that:
a) There would always be cases where cattle and people would come into
b) Both the Drumchork incidents recorded involved a dog.
c) The Health and Safety Executive were looking to see if there were
precautions that could have been taken and the outcome was awaited.
d) In these cases there was no fatal accident enquiry required.
e) There was a case elsewhere where someone had died and the Sheriff had
stated that things had been done properly as there was adequate
f) The line about fencing had been removed from the Core Path Plans as it
was still under consideration.
g) Common grazing could stretch for miles and it would be unfortunate to set
a precedent. However if it was an estate fence then it was the decision
of the estate and therefore not a legal precedent.
h) There was no action for the Highland Council, other than to advise, in
relation to the cattle incidents that had occurred.
i) Education was the key as many people were not aware that cows with
calves were dangerous. Cattle are unpredictable. It was suggested that
this be raised:
- At the teacher training event on 22nd November.
- With the National Forum Network.
It was advised that the code stated that dogs should be kept under control and that persons should not enter fields containing cows and calves. It also stated that persons should check to see what alternative routes were available before entering a field of animals.
7. Any Other Business
The Tuley case went in favour of the Council. There is some confusion over the status of the appeal. It was initially incompetent but the Court asked for the papers to be returned. The Appellant (Tuley) now had until 28th September to re-submit the paperwork in appropriate form and it was unknown whether he would appeal or not.
Snowy v Stirling
The final submissions were originally due on 7th September but this had been put back to 5th November.
8. Date of Next Meeting
It was AGREED that the next meeting would take place on 12th December, 2007 at 2.00pm in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, High Street Dingwall.
The meeting ended at 4.20pm.