Published: 17/11/2016 10:50 - Updated: 17/11/2016 10:56

Community Council issues on the agenda

THE public is invited to discuss local issues at Thursday’s meeting of Forres Community Council (FCC).

The public is invited to this month's community council
The public is invited to this month's community council

October’s session was followed by the resignation of chairman Stewart Noble. The remaining members will decide on future office bearers after consideration this week.

FCC’s last meeting received apologies for absence from members Heather Shaw and Graham Hilditch. Local Moray councillors Aaron McLean and Anne Skene were also absent.

Local police did not attend or submit a report.

n Documentary-makers Creative Visions Moray filmed proceedings for use in The Royal Burgh of Forres film, set to be screened at the Town Hall early next month.

n The public session opened with a tribute to FCC member Mike Walker who managed to attend following a heart attack just three weeks before.

“It’s great to see Mike here tonight,” said Mr Noble.

“It’s a wake-up call to us all.”

n Public gallery attendee and Forres in Bloom (FiB) vice-chairwoman Sandra Maclennan asked FCC if members were aware of residents’ plans to turn community flowerbeds on St Leonard’s Road into a car park.

The raised, stone-built beds with roses and a shrub near Cluny Bank Hotel are currently maintained by Moray Council and FiB.

“Are Forres Community Council aware of this or would it be a private transaction?” asked Mrs Maclennan.

“The roses are at the end of their lifespan and we cannot replace them unless we change the soil.

“We are aware the beds need regenerating and intend to consult residents about future planting.”

“If there is an application for change of use FCC will be made aware,” replied community councillor Chas Rodgers.

“I was approached by the residents,” added Moray councillor George Alexander. “I told them to contact Moray Council. 

n FCC have agreed to a private meeting to discuss local Common Good property and income. Cllr Noble asked the other members to agree to the wording of an invite to Moray Council chief executive Roddy Burns to attend.

“We need advice on the Common Good here,” said Mr Noble.

“It was the previous community council’s obsession.

“We check the accounts yearly and last year had the council’s senior solicitor Paul Nevin in to answer some questions.

“However, we still have queries about administration, governance and how this will be affected by the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.

“We want to develop the Forres fund and make it available to more local groups.”

n The community council has been monitoring the lack of development of the derelict Castlehill Church building.

“I have email contact with the owner Claire Love,” said Mr Noble.

“I will meet her in the future to try and resolve the issue.”

n Members attended a meet-the-team event at the Ramnee Hotel to discuss dualling plans for the 28-mile stretch between Hardmuir and Fochabers. Unfortunately, the feedback was nothing had changed and three options for routes are still up for debate.

Community councillor John Guthrie was disappointed there was nothing new to report.

“There will be another consultation in a year,” he said.

“But the whole project could take decades.

“A protest group from Rafford have renamed themselves Forres Area A96 Dualling Action Group but they would prefer the option that goes through Forres.”

The next open meeting of Forres Community Council is on Thursday, November 17 at 7.15pm.

Topics up for discussion include local drone use, silting of the Mosset Burn, a safe pedestrian crossing for the new train station and Waterford, and there will also be a presentation from Forres Community Leisure (FCL), a new company investigating the possibility of acquiring Mosset Park stadium and adjacent land at Bogton.

All welcome.

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