Action Note - Ward Forum - Dingwall and Seaforth (Ward 9)
Meeting held on 11 December 2007
Present: Councillors, David Chisholm (Chair), Peter Cairns, Margaret Paterson, Dingwall Community Council, Nigel Greenwood, David MacDonald, Muir of Ord Community Council, Tom Davis, Ferintosh Community Council, Colin Craig, Highland Council, Bob Cameron, Corporate Manager, Malcolm MacLeod, Development Plans Manager, Dafydd Jones, Area Planning & Building Standards Manager, Liz Cowie, Ward Manager. There were 20 members of the public present.
Apologies: Highland Youth Voice, Andrew Cronie, Siannie Moodie. Councillor Angela MacLean had given her apologies but attended for the latter part of the meeting,
Cllr. Chisholm took the opportunity at the beginning of the meeting to explain the format of the Ward Forum and how it operated. He detailed that the Ward Forum is a formal meeting conducted in public and that agenda items are discussed by Forum Members only. He clarified the opportunity for members of the public present to ask questions in the last 20 minutes of the meeting but that the discussion in the main part of the meeting is limited to Forum Members.
He also outlined that the discussion on Strategic and Local Planning could not involve discussion on individual planning applications. If individual issues were raised then Members would have to leave the meeting.
Listed below is the action required as a result of the discussion and decisions taken by the Dingwall and Seaforth Ward Forum at their meeting held on 11th December, 2007.
Item 2 – Action Note from Previous Meeting
2.1 Following a meeting with Ross-shire Voluntary Action, it had been agreed with to run the Fund Finding Workshop in early March.
2.2 Education Culture and Sport still to report back on action to be taken on both a ‘Youth Audit’ and ‘Ward Audit’ of what is being provided in terms of services to young people in Ward 9.
2.3 The outstanding land issue for Muir of Ord Community Association had been resolved by Bob Cameron, Corporate Manager.
2.4 It was agreed to outline the Local Action Fund bids at the next Ward Forum.
2.5 Transport issues, particularly relating to integrated transport and in relation to young people, to remain on the agenda for a future Ward Forum meeting.
Item 3 – Public Consultation
3.1. Dingwall Streetscape. A very successful public consultation session had been on the 8th of December with a high level of turnout. Dingwall Streetscape Questionnaires had a return date of 17th December and copies were available for all present to take and complete. The Ward Manager advised that the views gathered at both the public consultation session and through the questionnaire would be used to inform a long term development plan for Dingwall High Street.
Action: Results of both the questionnaire and the consultation session would be reported back to a future Ward Forum.
3.2 Core Paths Plan. The Ward Manager advised that the second stage consultation had ended 5th November 2007 and that formal consultation would commence in February 2008. A report would be submitted to the Planning, Environment and Development Committee on the 23rd of January. The Committee will be asked to consider the draft Core Path Plan and to approve its publication for the statutory 12 week consultation and thereafter its submission to the Scottish Government.
Item 4 – Community Safety
There were no Police present.
Item 5 – Discretionary Budget
Cllr. Chisholm announced to the Ward Forum that a decision had been taken by the Ward 9 Councillors in conjunction with the Ward Manager to make a ‘one off’ grant of up to £5000 available, on application, to each of the Community Councils in the Ward (with a grant of £1000 available to Ferintosh Community Council) for facilitation of community and environmental projects.
Action: Ward 9 Community Councils to be contacted directly by Liz Cowie, Ward Manager with regard to the grant.
Item 6 – Strategic and Local Planning
Malcolm MacLeod, Development Plans Manager, gave a comprehensive presentation on the process involved in local and strategic plan production. There was discussion on the issues facing Muir of Ord as a community in terms of land availability for both industrial and residential development and it was agreed that given the pace of Housing development, further supplementary guidance is needed. Tom Davis, Chair of Muir of Ord Community Council, highlighted local community concerns and raised the issue of community benefit and planning gain. Nigel Greenwood, Chair of Dingwall Community Council, raised the issue of the Dingwall Master Plan and also highlighted the need for extension of the conservation area.
Action: Timescales to be given for production of the Dingwall Master Plan.
Bob Cameron, Corporate Manager, provided clarification on the difference between planning gain and community benefit and covered the subject comprehensively.
Action: Guidance note to be made available to the Community Councils present on community benefit and planning gain.
Dafydd Jones, Area Planning & Building Standards Manager, then covered the aspect of planning at a local level. He gave a comprehensive overview of how the system works and how it is managed. There was much discussion on the aspect of planning enforcement and the issue facing Ward communities of properties and in poor state of repair and in a run down condition.
Action: Community Councils present to contact the local Planning Office if further input required to local meetings.
Cllr. Chisholm drew the item to a close and thanked all who had contributed for their informative and comprehensive presentations.
Tom Davis, Chair of Muir of Ord Community Council, raised the issue of lack of progress on the bridge replacement at Muir of Ord. He raised serious concerns at the lack of response to letters written by the Community Council on the matter to Highland Council.
Action: Bob Cameron, Corporate Manager, undertook to raise the issue with the Director of TEC Services.
Morag Black, Tulloch Wood Residents Association, asked for information on gritting of pavements.
Action: Cllr. David Chisholm undertook to take further details and to contact TEC services on behalf of the Residents Association.
Bob Cameron, Corporate Manager, outlined the role of Ward Forum in the scrutiny of Highland Council Services at a local level and advised that work was underway to produce information that would be presented on service performance in Ward 9 to the Forum. It was expected that this information would be forthcoming early in the New Year, possibly in February or March.
The frequency and dates of the Ward Forum for 2008 were then discussed. It was agreed to keep to a six week cycle for the initial part of the year and then to review, as if both Conon Bridge and Maryburgh Community Councils reformed, they would have to have an input to decisions regarding future Forum dates. The date for the next meeting was set for 30th January, 2008.
Cllr. Margaret Paterson advised that she would not be able to attend the next Ward Forum as she was representing the Highland Council on official business in Wales.
Date of Next Ward Forum
The next Ward Forum will be held on Wednesday 30th January in the Council Offices in Dingwall at 7.00 p.m. The topic for discussion will be Community and Elderly Care.