Action Note of Ward Forum held on 29th August 2007 at the Glen Urquhart School at 7.30 p.m.



Cllr Helen Carmichael – Council Member (Chair)
Cllr Drew Hendry – Council Member
Cllr Margaret Davidson – Council Member
Chief Inspector Ian Cox – Northern Constabulary
Gillian Slider – Youth Convener Highland Council
Graeme Ambrose – Chair of Destination Loch Ness
Margaret Irvine – Gartally
Elaine Donnelly – Dochgarroch Parent Council
Annette Sutherland – Strathglass Community Council
Lilian Gordon – Strathglass Community Council
Molly Doyle – Strathglass Community Council
Audrey Anthoney – Highland Youth Voice
F.D.McWilliams – Inverness West Community Council
Hamish McLennan – Kiltarlity Community Council
Ron MacLean – Kiltarlity Community Council
Ella MacRae – Dores & Essich Community Council
John Martin – Dores & Essich Community Council
Pam Lucas – Glen Urquhart Community Council
James Campbell – Beauly Community Council
Seona Fraser – Beauly Community Council
Eric Moodie – Beauly Community Council
Adrian Shine – Loch Ness Project
M Shine – Loch Ness Project
Kenneth Knott – Fort Augustus & Glenmoriston Community Council
Adrian Varwell – Fort Augustus & Glenmoriston Community Council
Nikki Gilbert – Partnership for Rural Inverness

Plus five members of the public


Graham Strachan, Ward Manager – Aird & Loch Ness Ward, Highland Council





John Considine – Inverness Royal Academy, Highlands & Islands Fire & Rescue Service, Anne Angus – Council for Voluntary Service, Cllr Hamish Wood- Highland Council




1.           Welcome & Introductions–


Councillor Helen Carmichael (Chair) opened the meeting and introduced the Forum Members, including Highland and Community Councillors, Ward Manager, Graeme Ambrose – Destination Loch Ness, Chief Inspector Ian Cox – Northern Constabulary and Gillian Slider – Youth Convener. (face and voice of young people across the Highlands). Gillian said a few words to introduce herself and her new role.


2.           Action Note from Last Meeting:


Highlighted use of the Highland Council Website – all updated information from communities to be sent through to Ward Manager for inclusion. 

Action: All


Public Transport – Press for improvements to Inverness/Fort Augustus/Fort William service.    TEC Services  TECs advised that when the impact impacts of the divestment of services ordered by the Competition Commission is clear we will be in a better position to bring this to a conclusion.

Action: TEC Services


Availability of Ticket Sales – Scottish Citylink are progressing a nationwide agreement with Visit Scotland to put agency facilities into all the Tourist Information Centres. They are going to pursue an earlier arrangement with Drumnadrochit TIC separately and will hopefully have something in place prior

to the nationwide agreement.

Action: Ask for early deployment in TIC at Fort Augustus also. TEC Services


      South Loch Ness –not yet known if budget for 2008-09 will enable new schemes. Bid to be prepared for HITRANS for April 2008.

      Action: TEC Services


Dial a Taxi – Muir of Ord & Beauly started as well as a separate one for Aird Area. Info to be placed on Ward Web Site.

Action: TEC Services


Improved Bus Information (Foyers & South Side buses) Union Street – TECS advise this has been done. This was queried.  Action: TEC Services


Early Bus Services from Kiltarlity (not Kirkhill as previously reported) – TECS  to report back.

Action: TEC Services


Improved Tourist Travel by bus will be taken into account at the next review of time tables.

Action:  Work with Jim McCreath – Intrans, D & E Coaches, Rapsons to assess what is needed, what there is, additional demand, consultation with the public, TECS to co-ordinate.


Action: Transport section on Ward pages should show local public transport information first followed by more general - TECS.


Action: Incomplete TEC Services timetables to be updated and completed, i.e. Inverness and Moray Firth do not have main frequent bus service to Beauly.


Comment made that due to lack of public transport in the evening, people are not able to get to the Ward Forum.


Action: Location of Forums – Moving the meeting base around to get a balance across the area – positive response.  Publication of a programme of dates and venues across the year on a two monthly basis – Ward Manager


Ward Discretionary Budget – applications are now being received.

Approval given to:- Ft Augustus Heritage Group- contribution to Development Officer,  Fort Augustus Community Council to set up secretarial services for dealing with Windfarm and other issues and Fort Augustus Golf Club to help with disabled golfers event. Others from Drumnadrochit and Beauly in process.


Action:  Bus shelter in Castle Street moved for New Year Celebrations - has not been put back – TECS.


For quick answers, queries for the council should go via the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) dial 702000 – log your request – this is then registered on the system. Or access ‘Contact the Council’  where your request is similarly registered.



3.           National Standards for Community Engagement

Graham Strachan – Ward Manager outlined the standards and made available the packs for public to take away.  We have adopted these standards.


4.           Community Safety – Chief Inspector Ian Cox

The police will be looking at using the Forum to answer issues with regard to policing and community safety. Open dialogue both within and outside the Forum.


Looking to free up resources.  Currently 730 police officers hope to increase this to 750.  If officer leaves Foyers they would be replaced, although whether replacement would be based at Foyers or Fort Augustus is as yet undecided.  Action: Chief Inspector Cox


Road Safety – Will cover this at next Ward Forum. Action: Ward Manager


5.           Loch Ness – A Tourist Icon and Community Resource

Margaret Davidson gave brief history of Loch Ness Partnership and transition into Destination Loch Ness.  Graeme Ambrose then spoke on developing a structure of sustainable development for tourism in the Loch Ness Area, ensuring a repositioning of Loch Ness globally, involving public & private money, businesses and communities around the Loch.



-          Access to the Loch

-          Sign Post saying Loch Ness where tourists can have picture taken

-          Piers – latest price for the one at Dores - £3 million

-          Employment Issues. Rates of pay.  Housing.

-          Water based activities – Issue at present no regulations on Loch


British Waterways to be invited to Ward Business Meeting to discuss the issues of water sports on the Loch.


Loch Ness to be regular item on Agenda – possibly every two meetings.  Action: Ward Manager


6.           AOB

Area wide Youth Forum to be utilised.


20 mile speed limit signs at Teanassie will be advertised for public consultation.


Ward Forums should be better publicised and explained; what it is/what it’s about/what the aims and objectives are.  Attendees to have responsibility for publicising the Forums and encouraging attendance by others.

Action:  ALL.  Publicity – Ward Manager


Highlighted use of the Highland Council Website – all updated information from communities to be sent through to Ward Manager for inclusion. 

Action: All



7.           Date & Location of next Meeting

24th October 2007 – Inverness Town Hall – 7pm for 7.30pm start – theme: Road Safety/Housing

30th January 2008 – Beauly (Phipps Hall tbc) – 7pm for 7.30pm start.

Action: Ward Manager



Expenses: Organisations invited to be members of the Forum are able to claim expenses for one member to attend. This would not normally apply to Statutory Agencies, Community Councils and other funded organisations. Where an organisation would find it difficult to be represented/attend due to lack of funding please contact your Ward Manager.