FINDHORN and Kinloss Community Council do not hold a July meeting as members enjoy a summer break, although they keep a watchful eye on issues such as planning during that time.
A number of items that were discussed at the May and June meetings will be on the agenda at the watchdog’s next meeting which will be held on Thursday, August 25 at 7pm.
The May meeting was held in Findhorn, while members met at Kinloss for June, in keeping with the practice of alternating between the two villages each month, giving residents the chance to come forward with any concerns.
After apologies for absence, Police reports are always the first item of business; with members hearing that there were four reports of crime in the Findhorn and Kinloss area in the month leading-up to the May meeting, including a male being reported in respect of controlled drugs offences following the execution of a search warrant. There were also two bicycle thefts and damage to a wall in South Side, Kinloss being reported. The following month there was an increase in the crime rate with seven reports including theft, a a break-in and vandalism to a caravan window. There was assault a report of a child being assaulted by another child.
Police also acknowledged that there was a perceived problem with speeding in the Kinloss area.
Speeding was one of the main items on the agenda for May with a presentation by Dave Malpas, a senior traffic manager with Moray Council following complaints about problems at various places at Kinloss, drawing a large crowd in the public gallery with members keen to hear what he had to say on the subject.
As well a producing copies of information on survey data gathered at the level crossing site at Kinloss (Station Road) and near the Kinloss Church (Findhorn Road) where concerns have been raised, he explained the contex of the data findings, but also warned people that what he had to say on the subject wouldn’t be popular with them, with the upshot being that he was not recommending that action be taken at either spot, as this would be outwith Scottish Government guidance.
A lively discussion and question and answer session took place, with individuals claiming that speeding was a real issue, and suggestions petitions and/or traffic calming measures. The issue is due to be brought back to the table in August, following further investigation
Suggestions that double yellow lines be put in place near the Kimberley Inn which were suggested in May by one resident were ruled-out at the June meeting.
“There was discussion and emails among members about this,” said acting chair Frank Allan. “At the moment if a bus stops there no-one can get past, and the traffic has to wait. The feeling ws that if there was double yellow lines and the bus pulled over to the side that traffic would attempt to overtake which could cause an accident, particularly if kids run across the road to get to their parents at the Kimberley.”
Community councillor Francine Rietberg said said a local resident had highlighted the state of the cycle path between Findhorn and Kinloss. The individual had complained that as well as over-hanging branches and overgrowth, that there was broken grass littering the route.
Community councillor Pat Carroll took exception to the complaint.
“We need to look to our own resources,” he said, adding that members already cut back areas themselves and picked up rubbish following other complaints, and he called for volunteers to take some responsibilty to help..
“If you see broken glass then clear it off the path yourself if you are able, or why not take a pair of secateurs and cut the over-hanging branches,” he said, calling on the public to be resourceful and lend a hand as the Moray Council’s funds wouldn’t stretch to doing these sort of jobs.
On the same subject community councillor Sue Finnegan said she had helped-out at a litter pick with the Army, which was very successful, with personnel volunteering to take part. Barracks staff officer, Ruth Douglas said that it would be beneficial for all if future picks were conducted in partnership with the local community.
Findhorn Village Conservation Company is also a regular item on the agenda, and the meeting heard that it is still in its infancy with lots of work to be done and consultations to be held in the village around what people want with the land; member Frank Allan said the aim was to get a ‘common strategy’ in place.
Moray Councillors also gave a rundown on work they have been doing around their varied portfolios.
Anne Skene said that in the run-up to the end of term she had been busy attending events at local schools, as well as the inter-school primary quiz final and the long service awards given to foster carers/, which she said were well deserved. Other issues included decisions due to the council’s shortfall in budget and community consultations due to take place. She also reported being busy with interviews for head teachers, and attended events including the Moray Supports Refugees launch event, and a consultaiton about proposals for development on the Logie Estate.
Lorna Creswell said that the integrated NHS and Social Care Integrated Joint Board still kept her busy with regards to matters arising. She has also been involved in finding out more about how social enterprise can benefit the area.
In the Findhorn Foundation report, Ms Rietberg said there is no plan to build a new wind turbine to replace the inoperative one because of the cost; however, panels are being put on private houses and this provides more green energy in the park. The shop in the park has now changed its structure and is a community interest company and the café has been renamed the Phoenix Café. The park is also hosting a big event for people all over the world. The new age community recently celebrated two 40th anniversaries - one of the Sacred Dance and one of the Game of Transformation.
The Kinloss Barracks report from 39 Engineer Regiment is a regular item with barracks staff officer Ruth Douglas reporting issues of interest. She told members that the new commanding officer is keen to continue the good relationship with the community which includes assisting at events, and helping out at local projects.
As well as looking at recent planning applications, issues raised by community councillors included agreeing a new declaration of interest clause for members and a drafts community council complaints procedure. Plans to put a nature trail in Findhorn Bay using grant funding were also in the pipeling, along with proposals to site CCTV on the Findhorn Road with costings needed. Other projects included informing Scottish Water that metal doors on two emergency relief vents from Findhorn village into the bay appeared to be inoperative due to rust, which will be investigated. The members also dismissed the need to purchase two free-standing banners like those which have been purchased by the Forres group to promote the work of the community council. Also minuted was a refusal by the Army to allow civilian access to the Kinloss swimming pool. Members also discussed the benefits of allowing new road signs to be erected, warning against a proliferation of signs which would negate them being there.
Resolving the wildfowling issue is still a work-in-progress. Community councillor Pat Carroll who has now resigned as chair of the Findhorn Bay local nature reserve committee called for more local wildfowlers from the Forres area to be involved in the negotiations and said that he had brought this to the attention of Moray Council. A new chair, Roy Dennis has since been appointed.