Action Note – Fort William and Ardnamurchan (Ward 22)
Lochaber South Ward Forum

Monday 20 April 2009

Present: Councillors Brian Murphy (Chair), Bren Gormley, Donald Cameron, Michael Foxley;  Sunart Community Council; Nether Lochaber Community Council; Ballachulish Community Council; Fort William Retail Association; 5 members of public.


Officials in attendance: Dot Ferguson, Emma Tayler (CE); Dorothy Wilkie (Highland Community Care Forum); Iain Bruce-Low (TECS); Chief Inspector John Chisholm (Northern Constabulary);
For Action
Chief Executive’s (CE)
Education, Culture and Sport (ECS)
Finance (F)
Housing and Property (H & P)
Planning and Development (P & D)
Social Work (SW)


Listed below is the action required as a result of the decisions/discussions taken by the Lochaber South Ward Forum at their meeting held on Monday 20 April 2009 in the Council Chamber, Lochaber House, Fort William.


Please arrange to take the required action on the basis of this Action Sheet.

1 Apologies – Tracey Ligema, Mary Ellen Campbell, Iain MacKay, Drew Purdon, Charles Kennedy, David Oxley.


2 Action Sheet


Patient Transport – dates for meeting being arranged.

Abbeyfield – responses had been received from NHS and circulated, however concerns remain about whether the NHS care in the community nursing support is in place yet  - Action ET to check situation

Concerns were raised about conditions for staff in terms of working/office space – Action DF

Also concerns around inadequate car parking.  Planning situation to be checked – Action DF

 Housing – this will now be substantive item at Ward Forum on 22 June.

Jubilee Park – Parks Committee would prefer to receive the grant direct – DF currently checking situation – Action DF

3 Community Safety – Ch Insp John Chisholm presented an update, with main points as follows:


 - detection rate is currently 62%
 - there has been a 15% reduction in crime and 214 fewer victims of crime


 Fixed penalties for minor offences are working well – 65 issued

Pubwatch initiative in Lochaber was commended. 60 people have been excluded from all licensed premises in Lochaber.


Alcohol and drugs remain main problems – mainly alcohol.  Willing to try a range of methods to help reduce problems, including test purchasing, use of sniffer dogs etc.  Welcomes any information from any source to try to reduce crime.

4 Town Centre Regeneration Fund – consultation – DF informed the meeting about this new £60M fund which is being launched by the Scottish Government to improve town centres.  After discussion, it was agreed that the West End enhancement scheme (including focal point for new ending for WHW) and the Underpass scheme should be put forward.  Inclusion of a canopy at the West End was also suggested.


 It was also agreed that TECS should consider


 a) reducing car parking charges in the current economic climate and
 b) reducing the use of the West End Car Park by VOSA for lorry safety checks

5 Open Forum

Old Secondary School, Achintore Road – strong concerns were expressed about the state of the building and it was agreed that a letter should be sent to Historic Scotland asking for the building to be de-listed, to possibly open the way for demolition – Action DF


Underpass – ET updated the meeting on the underpass project, highlighting the range of groups, ages etc involved.  Those present were encouraged to complete the Underpass consultation form which had been issued.


Glenlochy Distillery – concern was expressed about the ‘builders yard’ to the front of the site and the poor impression it gives.  Planning permission details to be checked and landowner asked to tidy/screen site – Action DF


Ballachulish – an update was requested with regard to road markings/pedestrian island which should have been put in place when speed limit was implemented – site to be checked


Inverlochy Castle – better road signage required plus interpretation boards repaired/supplemented.  Action DF to contact Historic Scotland


Lochybridge – concern was expressed about the condition of the road surface at Lochybridge.  The Chairman informed the meeting that Transport Scotland have now committed to completing the roundabout properly and repairing the road at the Argos junction.  Further funds will be sought for repairs on the approach to Nevis Bridge and further carriageway resurfacing.


6 Equalities Monitoring – the meeting was asked to complete the equalities monitoring forms which had been circulated.  This is to help monitor how representative Ward Forums are in Highland.

7 AOCB – the Chairman introduced Dorothy Wilkie from the Highland Community Care Service who has now taken up post and is providing a liaison role between users of care services/carers etc to help identify gaps in services or other issues and to progress these with agencies, health partnership etc.  The view was expressed that there needed to be a close relationship with the Lochaber Community Care  Forum.  Action DF/DW to meet to consider roles.