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Fintray Community Council 

Minutes of the 9th Meeting of Fintray Community Council (FCC)

Tuesday 6th February 2018

Fintray Village Hall, 7.30pm


1.   Welcome

Present: Simon Glazier (Chair) Mel Roberts (Secretary), Sandy Fyfe, Ilene Fyfe, Lindsay McLeman (Treasurer), Jane Bayliss, Gina Ford, Richard Taylor,

In attendance: Ian Thompson, Belinda Miller, Cllr Martin Ford, PC Steven Middleton, Nicole Garden, Laura Johnston, Amanda Carter (Head Teacher, Hatton of Fintray Primary School)

Apologies were noted from John McIntosh and Florence Gauld and Jeanette Smart

The Chair welcomed Amanda Carter to the meeting.

2.   Approval of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting Community Council Meeting

This was proposed by Simon Glazier, seconded by Lindsay McLeman and carried unanimously.

3. Matter Arising

It was agreed that this item should be deferred to the last in the meeting along with Other Matters.

4.   New FCC member

A proposal to co-opt Jeanette Smart as a full CC member was shelved due to her absence.  However, the Secretary advised that the new Scheme of Establishment was now in place.  This sets a threshold for each CC, with Fintray’s being 5-7. This will need to be addressed with the Garioch Area Manager to justify FCC continuing to have the numbers designated in the current constitution (currently 8-12).

5.   Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer reported that FCC funds to hand were £1,665.62, inclusive of the Administration Grant, now received and also noted that the council will handle insurance needs for each CC via Zurich Insurance. 

6.   Police Report

It was agreed that this item should be brought forward to allow our visiting officers to make their report and leave.  PC Middleton and PC Nicole Garden attended; there were no reported incidents in the Fintray Community Council area.  One complaint had been received regarding poor parking outside the village hall; it was noted that access for emergency vehicles must be available at all times.  Re speeding, it was noted that speed checks on the Blackburn to Fintray road had resulted in some drivers being stopped and ‘educated’. The issue was raised of continued speeding through the village, despite clear 20mph signs.  It was noted that the entrance to Laird’s Park (at West Lodge) was an area of particular concern.  The officers undertook to visit Fintray the following morning to ‘educate’ drivers speeding down the hill.  The issue of the law regarding fireworks was raised.  It was noted that these should not be let off after 11pm, with the exceptions of Bonfire Night (midnight) and Hogmanay (1am).

7.   Activities Since Last Meeting

The Secretary noted that she had registered FCC with ICO as required by Data Protection rules. Cost is £35. It was recommended that community councillors undertake DP training, available from the council.

The Secretary reported that she had met with John Wilson, Managing Agent for the AWPR/B-T project, the aim being to lay the groundwork for a meeting with the community council regarding the protracted closure of the Fintray-Dyce road.  John indicated that the Goval section was scheduled for completion on or before 1st March (though he advised that future traffic management may be required to allow landscaping).  In view of this advice, it was deemed unnecessary to pursue the above meeting.  The Secretary also advised that she had attended a meeting on the A96 dualling project for community councils in the Huntly/Aberdeen section area.  A map of the section showing current options will be provided.  A copy of a presentation given at the meeting and the minutes will be shared.

8.   Planning Applications

There were two in the FCC area– a storage building at Berwick Wood and a new house at Newlands.

9.   Aberdeenshire Council Update

Councillor Ford advised of good progress with the new Kinellar school, with the project generally on target for the building to be handed over to the Council in July, in time for opening in August.

On 8 February, the Council set its budgets for the financial year starting in April. Councillor Ford reported that this was the most difficult budget in recent years, though not as bad as feared, with a £7.2 million initially proposed cut reversed to an actual £0.5 million increase.  This was welcome but still insufficient to meet inflation or address the Council's need to increase spend for this year, eg, an additional £1.335 million will be needed next year to pay the salaries of additional teachers due to increased primary school pupil numbers. Nearly £5.7 million extra will be required in 2018/19 to meet increased salary costs in education to meet now expected pay settlements, while the budget that pays for externally provided specialist packages for young people with very specific needs has had to be increased by £700,000.

The Council has sought savings from all of its services, some of which have been found from genuine efficiencies, with no effect on service provision. However, other cuts will impact some staff posts, which will impact service delivery. Some service charges will be increased and funding for some services will reduce, eg, libraries.  While different political groups on the Council favoured different cuts, it was clear that cuts were necessary, so the vote was about where these should occur.  One notable area of agreement was that every political group on the Council supported a three per cent rise in the Council Tax, the maximum allowed, which will raise just over £4 million that will offset some under-funding.

10.  AOCB

It was noted that apologies had been received from Dawn Brown of the Garioch Partnership who was to have briefed the meeting on community action planning.  This will be rearranged.

11.  Matters Arising from the Minutes/Other Matters

There was discussion on the need to communicate with residents in the CC area by letter and a possible newsletter.

Belinda Miller gave an update on the progress of the village orchard. The council will do the preparation but volunteers are required to plant the trees and fruit bushes.  The planting date is Tuesday 13th March and it will be a celebratory event for the village, with participation by the school.  Plans are to include a guest celebrity (Jim McColl was proposed), to invite press coverage and to have a post-planting afternoon tea in the hall. A time capsule will also be planted in the orchard.

Laura Johnston updated the CC on work in progress by the Community Association in pursuance of a possible Community Asset Transfer of Fintray Schoolhouse. Members of the CC expressed support for this project, and subsequent discussion highlighted the current use of the grounds for parking and a school garden.

The next FCC meeting will be held on Tuesday 3rd April 2018

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