Edderton Community Council

The Council normally meets on the first Tuesday of the month, except for July and August when no meetings are held.   The Community Council is an “Open Meeting” to which all members of the public are invited to attend.  Meetings are held in the Community Hall.

Meeting Summaries

June 6th, 2017

Prior to the commencement of the evening’s two meetings, David Balfour paid tribute to Reay Clarke who died on May 17th, aged 93. Reay had done much for the village of Edderton during his life. A former Chairperson of Edderton’s Community Council, Reay was also a well-respected historian.

(1) At the AGM that preceded the normal monthly meeting, the Chairman gave a report on the year’s completed activities, which included the restoration of the War Memorial; support for a proposal to build two semi-detached homes at 13 Carrieblair Crescent; and efforts to keep vehicles taking timber from Casandamff Woodland away from village roads. Current issues being pursued included the on-going delay by Highland Council to repair play park equipment; an effort to reduce the speed restriction on the main road to 30mph; and consideration of a project to improve the broadband connection to outlying parts of the community. Failures with the planning process had been a concern during the past year and representations had been made to Highland Council.

The Treasurer presented the audited Annual Accounts, which were accepted.

All community councillors were re-elected unopposed.

(2) Monthly Council Meeting

Road Safety: Concern was raised over speeding vehicles on the Struie Road (B9176) in the vicinity of Aultnamain, as well as within the village, and in Carrieblair Crescent in particular. The police will be asked to monitor these areas, and Highland Council will be asked for measures to improve road safety on the B9176. Jim McGillivray (Highland Councillor) will pursue the latter with Highland Council. Measures sought for Aultnamain were a speed restriction, double white lines to restrict overtaking and signs to indicate the concealed entrance into Aultnamain. The delay in erecting signs on the B9176 to indicate the junction to Edderton was also raised, as well as the reluctance to place double white lines on this stretch of road as it bends round past the Edderton junction. Jim McGillivray will also bring this issue to the attention of Highland Council.

Broadband: A survey is currently underway to ascertain the strength of interest in the Community Broadband Project that is being offered to Edderton by Highland Wireless & IT Solutions Ltd. Disappointingly, the response has so far been slow to materialise, though this is beginning to change.

The lack of any detailed information about costs was a factor that many people had raised, though until the level of support had been established it was difficult to be too precise. An additional factor was that much of the costing for the project was commercially sensitive. Another issue raised was competitive quotes from other companies, especially BT. The meeting was reminded that BT had been approached last winter about its poor broadband service to much of Edderton and after a lengthy delay had replied stating that although 100% coverage for high-speed broadband by 2021 was still the target, BT would find it too expensive to achieve this in the Northern Highlands. BT had further suggested that alternative solutions such as satellite broadband might be a better way forward for remote areas.

A public meeting will be arranged in the Community Hall so that Highland Wireless & IT Solutions Ltd can fully explain its proposal and answer any questions that are almost certainly to be raised. This meeting is now likely to take place in the early part of July, but before then outlying properties that haven’t responded to the survey may be visited and an information sheet may be distributed to these properties using the Newsletter distribution network.

On-Going Local Issues: Whilst work to install floodlighting to the War Memorial was now underway, other measures that were taking an age to complete were discussed. These included the “Smiley Face” speed sign on the Tain side of the village, which despite some remedial work was only partially working. Highland Councillor Jim McGillivray reported that white lining on the A836 within the village should commence this summer, and that white lining on the Struie Road (B9176) is expected to start this month – weather permitting. As for the play park fencing and repairs, Jim McGillivray informed the meeting that this long delayed work should be underway soon, and he passed on apologies from Highland Council for the excessive delay, which had been caused by staff changes.

Poor Condition of Local Roads: A resident brought the state of the A836 between the Dornoch Bridge Roundabout and Ardgay to the attention of the meeting. Ruts in the road and along its edges were making the road dangerous. This situation was made worse by speeding timber vehicles. Although the police have been advised of the excessive speed of timber vehicles, more needs to be done to reduce speed, make the road safer and protect the road surface. All three Highland Councillors present (Deirdre Mackay, Jim McGillivray and Richard Gale) were detailed to take steps to improve road conditions on the A836 and B9176 (particularly on the Dalneich Bridge where a large hole in the parapet could result in a terrible accident), and to reduce the speed of timber vehicles using these roads and hence the wear and tear of the surface.

Other Issues Raised: Dog fouling within the village was an increasing problem. Highland Council’s Dog Warden will be asked to take action.

The Annual Village Clean Up: This will take place on the last Friday in August – August 25th.

Next Scheduled Meeting: Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 at 7.30pm.

May 2nd, 2017

Police Report: No issues have arisen since the previous meeting, but the police were asked to undertake speed checks on School Brae (and especially when children were going to school and returning home afterwards) and on the Dounie Straight.

Broadband: A detailed proposal had been sent to all councillors prior to the meeting and as a consequence a lengthy discussion ensued. Whilst it was acknowledged that a lot of work had been put into the proposal, a number of points were raised that would need clarification. It was also accepted that in order for the proposal to go ahead there would have to be considerable support from the whole community. It was also recognised that the cost to each property wishing to support the scheme would have to be realistically affordable. It was decided that a village poll would be undertaken. This would be best achieved by including a tear-off slip in the next Community Newsletter, which was due to be distributed at the end of this month.

War Memorial:

A spotlight to illuminate the war memorial will be fitted in the near future. It is likely that the war memorial will be re-dedicated at this year’s remembrance parade in November.

Road Repairs:

Roadside gulleys along the single-track road (U1878) between the B9176 and the A836 were currently being cleared of debris.

Subsidence on the A836 to the east of the village was reported.

Next Meeting: Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 at 7.30pm – AGM followed by the normal monthly meeting.

April 4th, 2017

Police Report: Two police officers attended the meeting and they again warned of itinerant traders, and specifically of two Irish men selling generators. Vigilance and awareness were advised. If concerned either the Police or Highland Council’s Trading Standards should be contacted.

Broadband: A brief summary was given of the meeting that took place in the Community Hall on March 20th to consider Cameron Warren’s proposal for the establishment of a Community Broadband Network for Edderton and the surrounding area. At the present time the proposal is being scoped and costed. Full details will be distributed to all households in Edderton prior to a further public meeting that is planned for May – possibly at the monthly Community Council Meeting on May 2nd.

Highland Council Failures: Graham Mackenzie from Highland Council attended the meeting and addressed concerns over long-term delays in completing maintenance and repair work within the village. Road markings and road signs to warn motorists on the Struie Road (B9176) of the road junction to Edderton (U1878) have been approved and work should be completed within three months. Double white lines at this location could not be considered because it would contravene Government road policy. However, Councillor Graham Phillips will pursue the request for double white lines in the vicinity of this road junction as there is a real concern for safety and a need to warn speeding motorists of potential danger.

A proposal to limit speed to 30mph on the A836 through the village was now being actively addressed, with engineers now looking at its implementation. If all goes well then a 30mph speed limit could be in place within two years.

The urgent necessity for roadside gulleys to be cleared of debris was emphasised to Mr Mackenzie in view of recent heavy rain causing water to flood onto roads.

The need to repair damage caused by verge trimming last August/September to passing place signs and bollards along the U1878 single-track road between the A836 and the B9176 was also brought to Mr Mackenzie’s attention.

Guest Speaker: Richard Gale, the Scottish Liberal Democratic candidate in the forthcoming local election on May 6th, introduced himself and spoke about his campaign.

March 7th, 2017

Police Report: Two police officers briefly attended the meeting and they warned of itinerant traders in a white Transit van that had been seen around Edderton. Vigilance and awareness were advised.

Broadband: It was noted that a meeting is to be held in the Community Hall at 7.30pm on Monday, March 20th  to consider Cameron Warren’s proposal for the establishment of a Community Network. With broadband speeds fluctuating to an increasing extent, even within the main village area, it is to be hoped that many people will attend the meeting. The main aim of the meeting is to form a small committee to consider the feasibility of wireless broadband, but anyone with concerns is encouraged to come along.

A response from the office of BT’s Chief Executive had now been received; arriving the day after the last Community Council meeting. The reply was quite bland and non-committal. It would seem that whilst BT are committed to 100% of the UK’s population benefitting from superfast broadband by 2021, this will have to be accomplished by working with communities to explore innovative funding and technical solutions. BT accept that the rural areas in the Highlands present engineering challenges that require technical solutions that are usually only deployed through the public funding route because of the high cost.

Highland Council Failures: The continuing delay by Highland Council to undertake promised work within the village was considered to be intolerable, especially as Highland Council is requesting greater community council participation to address local issues – a process that should be reciprocal. Although the two Highland Councillors present, Jim McGillivray and Graham Phillips, have raised the matter on numerous occasions with the various departments concerned, it was now considered appropriate to submit a complaint to the Chief Executive of Highland Council; and this was the course of action agreed.

The outstanding work includes: (1) the play park fence; (2) the War Memorial spotlight; (3) the smiley face speed sign on the main road; (4) the Armour Rock issue at Ardmore; (5) a speed limit reduction to 30mph on the A836; (6) gulley clearing; (7) clear road signs on the Struie Road (B9176); (8) double white lines on the main road (A836) throughout the village; (9) pavement gritting on Manse Road; and (10) various road repairs.

Councillor Graham Phillips did announce that agreement had been reached with the Roads Department for double white lines and better signage to protect the Edderton Junction on the Struie Road (B9176).

Planning: It was acknowledged that little more could be achieved regarding the inappropriate delegated decision that allowed approval of planning application 16/04229 without the requested site meeting. Assurances have been received from the Planning Department to the effect that mail to officers absent from work would be carefully monitored in future.

Core Path Review: It was reported that Matt Dent, Highland Council’s Footpath Officer, was currently reviewing the state of four footpaths in the Edderton area. These were:

(1) Tarlogie

(2) Struie Ridge

(3) Red Burn (very steep access)

(4) Dounie Hill Fort

The two paths through Casandamff and Admiral’s Farm Woodlands would also be reviewed, but this will wait until felling operations have been concluded.

Highland Councillor Reports: All three current post holders will be standing in the forthcoming local election.

Councillor Graham Phillips spoke about public transport and said that Stagecoach is currently reconsidering changes to its services on some routes. Plans to provide patient transport, where public transport is irregular or not easily available, is also under consideration by councillors; their first meeting being held yesterday (March 6th). A consultation on establishing 20mph zones within villages was underway. This latter point caused some consternation at yet another consultation process! A quick poll of everyone present found no one against such a measure, and the two councillors present were asked to accept this as the formal response from Edderton Community Council.

Councillor Jim McGillivray referred to an imminent programme to surface dress many of the roads around Edderton. A view was expressed that this work should be undertaken before any white-lining was carried out.

Following last Saturday’s heavy rainfall, flooding had occurred on the single-track road leading from the A836 in Edderton to the B9176 Struie Road. It would appear that the cause of the flooding on this unclassified road, the U1878, was due to blockages within ditches that hadn’t been cleared for a number of years. The two councillors were asked to make representations to the Roads Department to take action to remove debris from ditches alongside the U1878 as soon as possible.

February 7th, 2017

Police Report: The main activities over the past month have been speed checks and the apprehension of criminals circulating counterfeit £50 notes and forged cheques. The officer attending the meeting acknowledged that there are now fewer police officers on duty and that as a consequence the policy of Police Scotland is to target specific offences based on intelligence gathered.

Broadband: Cameron Warren of CPW IT gave a presentation on the feasibility of a community broadband scheme being installed for Edderton based on radio signals from a mast that could possibly be sited on Struie Hill. Initially the expected broadband speed would be between 24 Mbps to 30 Mbps, but at a later stage this could increase to at least 50 Mbps. The cost of the scheme was estimated as between £10,000 and £20,000. The benefit to Edderton would be a stable superfast broadband and Internet connection that would be independent of BT. It was agreed to form a small sub-committee to produce a detailed proposal by the end of April. If the scheme is approved, installation could be complete by the end of this summer.

Casandamff Woodland: It was reported that the footpath between Baileacharn and Admiral’s Farm is now fully open.

Highland Council Failures: Concern was again raised over the continuing delay by Highland Council to undertake promised work within the village. The outstanding work includes: (1) the play park fence; (2) the War Memorial spotlight; (3) the smiley face speed sign on the main road; (4) the Armour Rock issue at Ardmore; (5) a speed limit reduction to 30mph on the A836; (6) gulley clearing; (7) clear road signs on the Struie Road (B9176); (8) double white lines on the main road (A836) throughout the village; (9) pavement gritting on Manse Road; and (10) various road repairs.

Planning: The disappointing response from Planning Officer Bob Robertson over the inappropriate delegated decision that allowed planning application 16/04229 to be approved without the requested site meeting was again discussed. Although it was recognised that it was highly unlikely that the planning decision could be overturned, it was suggested that a letter of complaint should be sent to the Chief Executive of Highland Council to ensure that the same failure to take into account comments made by community councils does not occur again.

Poling Stations: It was noted that the recent proposal by Highland Council to use Edderton’s Primary School as a polling station rather than the Community Hall had been abandoned.

January 10th, 2017

Police Report: Only an e-mailed report was provided. Very little has happened in the past month involving the police; the only concern being drugs. 

Casandamff Woodland: Following contact with Fountains Forestry, the footpath from Baileacharn to Admiral’s Farm has now been partially cleared of lying timber and is now reasonably passable.

The Forestry Commission launched a consultation exercise just before Christmas on the future management of Casandamff and Admiral’s Farm Woodlands. Concern was raised over the very tight time period for this consultation. The deadlines of January 16th for Casandamff and February 6th for Admiral’s Farm were viewed as inappropriate for such involved processes, especially as the Christmas and New Year holiday intervened. The Community Council will ask for an extension of the deadlines. Some concerns over the future plans for the woodlands were raised, but it was accepted that the woodlands are a commercial operation and that its impact on the community and its roads should be the main focus of attention for any response.

Broadband: It was reported that on December 13th a letter had been e-mailed to Gavin Patterson, BT’s Chief Executive Officer, over the poor broadband service being experienced by many residents in Edderton. A reply was still awaited. Highland Councillor Graham Phillips invited instances of poor broadband service to be provided to enable Highland Council to pursue the matter.

An alternative proposal had been received from Cameron Warren to improve broadband speeds through a wireless Internet project similar to that installed recently at Midfearn. There would obviously be a cost, but it was envisaged that the main contribution could come from wind farm funds. Details of the scheme will be circulated to community councillors and be placed on the community website, and Cameron Warren will be invited to the next community council meeting to explain the proposed project more fully and to answer questions.

Highland Council Failures: The continual delay by Highland Council to undertake promised work is a matter of concern and the two Highland Councillors present were asked to take steps to ensure that the work is put in hand without further delay. The delayed projects included the following items: (1) the play park fence; (2) the War Memorial spotlight; (3) the smiley face speed sign on the main road; (4) the Armour Rock issue at Ardmore; (5) a speed limit reduction to 30mph on the A836; (6) gulley clearing; (7) clear road signs on the Struie Road (B9176); (8) double white lines on the main road (A836) throughout the village; (9) pavement gritting on Manse Road; and (10) various road repairs.

Planning: A disappointing response had been received from Planning Officer Bob Robertson over concerns raised over the inappropriate delegated decision that allowed planning application 16/04229 to be approved without the requested site meeting. The reason given to explain the delegated decision was that comments had been submitted to the Case Officer and not the Planning Office! The Case Officer hadn’t received the e-mail due to sickness, and no other officer had checked the absent officer’s e-mails. Highland Councillor Graham Phillips undertook to take the matter up with both the Planning Officer (Bob Robertson) and the Head of Planning (Dafydd Jones).

Highland Council has changed the way in which planning applications are notified to interested parties. Measures will be explored to ensure that all planning applications relating to Edderton are brought to the attention of community councillors and placed on the community website.

Poling Stations: Highland Council is currently reviewing where poling stations are located. It has been proposed that in Edderton the Primary School should be used instead of the Community Hall. This suggestion was received with much concern, for not only would there be a hill to climb for those walking or cycling, but there is insufficient parking for motorists at the school. The use of the school would also mean the closure of the school if an election occurred on a school day. The consensus was that Highland Council is seeking to save money by not hiring the Community Hall and using a property that the Council controls.

Footpaths: Highland Council’s Footpath Officer, Matt Dent, is seeking to expand the footpath network around Edderton, and has suggested creating paths in the Tarlogie and Struie Hill areas.

December 6th, 2016

Police Report: Over the past few weeks a number of complaints over abandoned vehicles have been investigated. Speed checks have been carried out on the A836 near Edderton, though no speeding offences were observed. There has been one breath test in the vicinity, with a negative result, and several drug offences were detected in the wider area with 26 users and suppliers being charged.

Casandamff Woodland: A very large area has now been cleared of standing timber and work to fell, strip, cut and stack even more timber is still continuing. No timber has yet been extracted. The footpath from Baileacharn to Admiral’s Farm is covered with lying timber, making access very difficult, if not impossible. An approach will be made to Fountains Forestry to see if the path can be made more accessible.

Broadband: Updates on progress have recently been requested from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust (KoSDT). Conflicting responses have been received. HIE now considers the possibility of a Community Broadband scheme not to be viable, as fibre optic cables are reaching further than anticipated. As a consequence HIE has claimed that the number of premises needing a solution to provide a better broadband service is now much less than originally thought. However, KoSDT is having a meeting with Community Broadband Scotland (part of HIE) in a fortnight or so, and it is hoped that a better idea of what is happening will emerge after that meeting.

There is obviously considerable local concern over continual delays and indecision about the provision of a more acceptable broadband service, and the Meeting noted that several residents had experienced a deterioration in broadband speeds recently, including some residents within the main part of the village that had previously benefited from an improved fibre optic service. The Scottish Government has made a commitment to provide superfast broadband (30m/bps+) by 2021, but that objective does still seem reliant on BT actually getting on with the work.

It was agreed that Edderton Community Council should write to BT to request a better and more reliable broadband service for all residents.

Speed Limit on A836: The request for a 30mph speed limit along the A836 as it passes through the village is still under consideration, though progress is very slow. It was suggested that double white lines should be painted on the main road throughout the village to prevent dangerous overtaking that is occurring with increasing regularity. The “Smiley Face” speed sign still isn’t working properly, and Highland Councillor Graham Phillips will make contact the appropriate council department to ensure that repair work is undertaken without further delay.

Planning: The delegated decision to allow planning application 16/04229 was viewed with concern due to fact that a site meeting had been requested in writing by the Community Council. The matter will be pursued, as any comment by a community council should have placed the application before the planning committee.

Stone Circle: Doug Scott from Tain, who has previously researched Edderton’s Stone Circle and has written a book on standing stones and stone circles in the area, will help produce a design and text for a possible noticeboard for the Stone Circle and the Clach Biorach Standing Stone.

Highland Governance Survey: This is an independent survey being undertaken by a PhD student at the University of the Highlands and Islands about the way the Highland area is administered. Information about the survey has been placed on Edderton’s Community Website under Public Consultations.

Dangerous overtaking on the Struie Road: Following a number of incidents where northbound vehicles have overtaken cars intending to turn right towards Edderton on the blind bend of the B9176, Highland Council had responded to a request by Highland Councillor Graham Phillips with the promise of a review of road safety in that section of the B9176, though such a review would take about three months to complete. The outcome of that review had been expected by the end of November, but nothing has yet been received. Graham Phillips will take up the matter. It has been suggested that either better road signs or double white lines should be used to alert traffic that speeds along the Aultnamain straight of the danger of a junction on a blind bend.

Damage from Verge Cutting: Apart from the careless cutting back of trees and bushes along the single-track road between the Struie Road (B9176) and the crossroads on the A836 in Edderton, the verge maintenance in September also damaged bollards and passing-place signs. This had previously been brought to the attention of Highland Council, seemingly without any action being taken to rectify the damage. However, Highland Councillor Graham Phillips, who had taken up the matter, indicated that repairs to the bollards and signs were imminent.

Rough shooting around Edderton: The past few weeks have seen a party of Italians shooting woodcock on the moors around the village. The shooting party appears to be unsupervised and is fairly noisy in an excitable way. Of concern to some residents is the low standard of gun safety and shooting that is too close to properties, particularly those with poultry, cats and dogs. The organisers of the shoot will be asked to ensure that the Italians are aware of local concerns.

Senior Citizens’ Annual Dinner: This will be taking place in the evening of January 13th at the Carnegie Lodge Hotel in Tain. Although mentioned in the latest Community Newsletter, a separate notice will be circulated to those judged to be eligible in the next few days.

November 1st, 2016

Casandamff Woodland: An extensive area of woodland has now been cleared of wind blown trees and a considerable number of standing trees felled. Work starts early in the day and finishes quite late, seven days a week. Timber has been stacked ready for collection, though at the present time nothing appears to have left the site. The footpath from Baileacharn to Admiral’s Farm is marked with red flags, but passage along it is quite difficult in places.

A recent independent consultation about the way in which Fountains Forestry conducts its affairs was undertaken by Paul Sandys of Control Union to ensure compliance with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Approved National Standard for the United Kingdom. ECC heard that a private response had been made that highlighted two areas of concern. These related to the selective manner in which Fountains Forestry contacted stakeholders and the difficulty in getting the company to respond to enquiries. The response also made clear that although the local community did have concerns over timber extraction routes the issues raised have now been resolved and timber vehicles will not now pass through the village.

Broadband: Apart from the usual placatory comments from our MP and MSP to the effect that broadband provision is a priority concern, no progress has been made with either a community broadband solution or an upgrade of existing infrastructure to allow the remoter parts of Edderton to benefit from a reliable and fast broadband service. The problem that everyone seems to be facing is the reluctance of BT to recognise the problem and implement a solution. Further contact with Edderton’s MP and MSP will be made in an effort to speed up BT’s indecision.

Speed Limit on A836: The Community Council is keen for the speed limit along the A836 as it passes through the village to be reduced to 30mph. A public consultation will take place, though a date for this is currently awaited. It was noted that the “Smiley Face” speed sign isn’t working properly. Highland Councillor Jim McGillivray will contact the appropriate council department to encourage swift remedial action.

Planning: Two applications were discussed briefly and residents’ concerns noted. These were 16/03175 and 16/04229.

Defibrillator: The meeting was informed that it was intended to arrange further training sessions in January. However, following the meeting it became apparent that this might not now take place – at least in January.

Remembrance Day: There will a church service at 10.30am on Sunday, November 13th, followed at around 11.15am with a wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial.

Christmas Lights: These will be switched on at 7.00pm on Friday, December 9th.

Stone Circle: It was noted that recent scrub clearance had revealed traces of Edderton’s Stone Circle. Whilst welcoming the re-appearance, it was hoped that more stones would eventually be uncovered and that care would be taken to avoid damaging the ancient monument. Following a suggestion for a noticeboard to explain the history of the stone circle and the nearby Clach Biorach standing stone, it was agreed that a suitable informative panel should be designed for consideration at the next meeting.

October 4th, 2016

Casandamff Woodland: The meeting was informed that the newly constructed forestry track to allow timber to be extracted onto the Struie Road (B9176) appears to have been laid to an adequate specification.

Broadband: There has been no progress with regard to improving Hi-speed Broadband connections to the outlying parts of the village.

Speed Limit on A836: This is still being pursued, though progress is slow. Concern was raised over the “Smiley Face” speed sign not working.

Defibrillator: The first training session took place in the Community Hall on September 27th. Further training sessions are being planned.

September 6th, 2016

All three Highland Councillors for Edderton were in attendance: Deirdre Mackay, Jim McGillivray and Graham Phillips. Deirdre Mackay provided detailed updates on the District Partnership and the Sutherland Community Partnership. There was a hint that at some future date the oddity of placing Edderton (which is in Ross-shire) with Sutherland may have to be addressed.

Casandamff Woodland: The forestry track to link the woodland to the Struie Road (B9176) has now been completed, though concern was raised about the “floating” section over peat, as it may have been constructed to a standard that was lower than specified. The Community Council will write to Fountains Forestry to check the situation. Work on preparing wind blown trees for extraction has now started, so it is expected that timber will start to be moved off site soon.

Broadband: Updates continued to be received from Highland Council, but basically nothing has yet changed. BT infrastructure is being expanded to reach current targets under a contract (Phase One) managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and a contract for Phase Two is expected shortly. However, further progress depends on Scottish Government decisions, details of what is expected under Phase Two, and the time it will take to complete contracts and procurement. Community Broadband using radio masts is still a possibility, though BT still haven’t released eligible postcode areas, which had been expected in March 2016. When these areas are known, communities will face a dilemma between BT fibre optic cabinets and a radio network, as the choice of one will rule the other out. The meeting agreed that in order to make an informed decision, the community’s MP and MSP would be contacted to ascertain the likelihood of BT being able to install the necessary infrastructure and release the postcodes that could benefit from being connected to a Community Broadband Scheme.

Speed Limit on A836: A reduction in the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph through the village is likely to be a lengthy process and not certain. The various stages could take up to two years.

Defibrillator: More training sessions are essential. The first will be held in the Community Hall on Tuesday, September 27th, starting at 7.30pm.

June 14th, 2016

At the AGM that preceded the normal monthly meeting, the Chairman gave a report on the year’s completed activities, which including the installation of flashing lights on the main road that become operative at various times during the school day; and the provision of a defibrillator at the Community Hall and the subsequent training of volunteers in its use. As for matters still being pursued, these included the replacement by Highland Council of play park equipment; an effort to reduce the speed restriction on the main road to 30mph; and timber extraction from Casandamff Woodland. The Treasurer presented the audited Annual Accounts and indicated that funds were now getting quite low. All officers were re-elected unopposed.

The monthly business meeting started with a written Police Report that revealed no crimes in the past month within the Edderton area. This report also referred to the gorse fire that closed Dornoch Firth Bridge on June 1, with traffic travelling north from Inverness being diverted along the B9176 to Ardgay and then Bonar Bridge before heading back to the A9.

Timber Extraction: It was noted that preparatory work in connection with a new forestry track from Casandamff Woodland to the B9176 (Struie Road) had already started and that work to construct the new track was expected to start in the next few days.

Litter Picking Event of June 1: A most successful event with about 20 people assisting. Highland Councillor Jim McGillivray had organised a skip, plus bags and litter-picking equipment. Thanks were expressed to Jim McGillivray and to all who participated in the clear up operation.

Fly-tipping: Concern was raised about the prevalence of litter, as well as industrial and domestic fly-tipping that lined our roads; a situation that could get worse if Council Amenity Tips were closed, such as that at Bonar Bridge, and if those amenity tips that remained became too particular on waste material that was deemed acceptable.  Councillor Jim McGillivray was asked to raise the matter with Highland Council and to report Edderton Community Council’s concern over a potential increase in fly-tipping if amenity tips were either closed or became too particular.

Play Park Equipment: Conflicting reports have been received. On one hand Highland Council is still awaiting delivery of the equipment, whilst other reports have indicated that the equipment has been received and is waiting to be delivered and installed.

30mph Speed Limit on the A836: The indications are that it will take Highland Council at least 5 years to implement the request for a lower speed restriction on the main road.

Highland Council Report: Jim McGillivray mentioned continuing Council cut backs that included the closure of many public toilets, which many at the Meeting felt was neglectful of basic human needs. Other closures that Highland Council has already implemented relate to tourist offices, and in particular that near the Kessock Bridge on the A9. It would seem that Highland Council consider tourist offices to be outdated, as most information can be accessed on-line or through “apps” on mobilephones.

Condition of some village roads: Concern was raised over the appalling condition of some the village’s minor roads, especially a section of road in the vicinity of Ardmore House. Through the good offices of Highland Councillor Jim McGillivray a site meeting will be arranged to discuss the large hole that is increasing in size close to Ardmore House, though it would appear that the whole road in that area will need to be re-surfaced.

Footpath Extension: A request to extend the footpath that ends on the A836 to the west of Edderton, near Balblair Farm, to the Clach Chairidh Standing Stone, is to be explored to ascertain feasibility and whether funding for a such a project could be obtained through the Highland Leader scheme, or from Beinn Tharsuinn Wind Farm funds.

Village Clean Up: This has been fixed for the last Friday in August – August 26. Details of the clean up will be provided in good time for the event.