Blair Atholl and Struan Minutes – 10th of November


Tuesday 10 November 2020

Virtual Meeting


Present: Donald Isles (Chairman) Tony Dowson, Louise Fisher, Lynda Mutch (Minutes), Cllr John Duff, Cllr Xander McDade, Alistair Smith (Heartland Multimedia), Ramsay Beattie (Heartland Multimedia), Ian Mackinlay

  1. Heartland FM

Alistair Smith, Station Manager, and Ramsay Beattie, Multimedia Reporter, joined the meeting to introduce Heartland FM to the community council.  AS explained how the station had been set up to be part of the community as a part-time radio station. By adapting to 21st century technology the station now runs 24/7 and has transformed into a multimedia organisation alongside the radio, with a website, increased presence on social media, and a newly launched digital magazine.  Despite their now global reach, local community will always be the focus and Heartland FM is keen to encourage its use as a community resource.  AS urged the CC to contact in order to publicise events in the community.

TD confirmed that the Covid 19 support group had used Heartland FM to publicise the helpline number which had been extremely helpful and that he had also been interviewed as part of the Covid response in the community.

  1. Apologies

Cllr Mike Williamson, Police

  1. Minutes of Meeting on 14 July and Notes of Meeting on 8 September

Minutes of the meeting on 14 July were proposed as accepted by TD and seconded by LF.  Notes of meeting on 8 September were agreed.

  1. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising from either of the above meetings which were not listed as a separate item on the Agenda.

  1. Co-option of Community Councillor

Approval had now been received from PKC for the co-option of Lynda Mutch.  This was proposed by DI and seconded by TD.

  1. COVID-19 Community Response

TD confirmed that our community response has been very good.   The helpline is still active and we have the capacity to react to new requests but in general, the relationships started back in April have carried on where necessary, requiring little input from the Response Group.  

£500 was received from Atholl Estates as a thank you for the work which the Resilience and Covid 19 Groups had done for the community and TD suggested that this was put towards the BAATA communication system.   BAATA are currently scoping an upgrade of their information system to encompass a whole community system which would include Facebook and a web page.  Currently, the BAATA system is used purely for tourists but this would be expanded to be accessible for the local community as well.    IM asked who would be the owner of this system and TD confirmed that whilst we would help with the initial set up costs, BAATA would then take on all regular maintenance and running costs.  TD proposed that once the system was up and running, we would pay £500 on the understanding that this was all the CC would have to pay.  Seconded by DI and unanimously agreed by all CC members.

  1. House of Bruar Signage

The A9 junction at Bruar has, over the years, had a number of serious accidents.  Bear sent a letter in September proposing as a temporary measure until the A9 is dualled, using the minor road to Calvine as a means of getting traffic going north away from the dangerous right turn at Bruar.  DI answered on behalf of the CC copying in various people.  He has now had a response from John Swinney’s office informing us that he has written to the Transport Secretary.  DI will keep CC informed as to developments.

  1. Wild Camping 

There had been a combined response between the council, police, fire service and forestry rangers to encourage dirty campers to clear up their mess, with more enforcement latterly.  The issue has largely calmed down now.  JD stated that PKC will be working with stakeholders over the winter to look at how we can bring in alternative arrangements to prevent a repeat of the worst behaviour, especially if people are still encouraged to holiday at home next year.

  1. Public toilets

Issue is currently sitting with PKC

  1. Finance

Nothing to report

  1. CNPA
  1. A new deputy convenor has recently been elected and a new planning convenor will shortly be elected by postal ballot.  The results should be available before Christmas.  
  2. A strong case was made for a 45% affordable housing quota in four communities including Blair Atholl and this has been accepted by the Reporters.  The board will meet on Friday to send final plan to Scottish ministers. 
  3. The National Park is about to start on the early stages of the next National Park partnership plan which is the main guiding document for the park.  This will be undertaken in partnership with various stakeholders including park communities and consultation will be arranged in the near future. 
  4. £130,000 has been issued as part of the green recovery fund, including some to projects in highland Perthshire.
  5. The national park is bidding for a £ multi-million project known as Heritage Horizons and it is hoped to engage some of the highland Perthshire communities as part of that.
  1. Update Reports
  1. JD confirmed that a number of PKC officers are continuing to be redeployed in terms of the Council’s Covid response as they have been for the last 8 months.  This means that Council services are still not back to normal and the move to Level 3 this weekend will not ease that.
  2. Free festive parking has been approved for weekends in December from 5-26 December
  3. Council has a number of push-along gritting barrels if anyone would like to volunteer to salt any pavements not included in the normal run.  Training will be provided and if anyone in community is interested, please contact JD.
  4. Moving into Level 3 will have significant ramifications for communities and businesses in Perth & Kinross.  We must be aware that any vaccine will not have a major impact until at least Easter which is a realistic timescale for mass vaccinations, which will be prioritised. 
  5. Council approved a number of capital programmes in the last month totalling £243m, including new schools and the Cross Tay Link Road.  This will put major pressure on the revenue budget and may result in revenue service cuts post-Covid.
  1. AOCB

Recruitment of Councillors

TD suggested that we should be actively recruiting more members to join the community council.  Further, as all community councillors currently lived in such close proximity to each other, it would be advantageous to actively recruit members from further afield in our area.  It was suggested that we should also be trying to engage more with the School.  Once new head teacher and primary one teacher had settled in, this may be worth an approach.  AS suggested a pre-recorded mini interview/podcast to publicise the role of a community councillor.  CC to discuss this separately and DI to contact AS. 

  1. Date of Future Meetings

12 January 2021.  

Further meetings in 2021 can remain as second Tuesday of every second month until AGM which is required to be held in October.

Annual General Meeting 

called by Councillors John Duff and Xander McDade

Virtual Meeting on Zoom

Tuesday 10th November 2020 at 7.30pm


Present: Councillor John Duff (Chair – part), Councillor Xander McDade, Donald Isles (Chair – part), Tony Dowson, Louise Fisher, Lynda Mutch, Alistair Smith (Heartland RadioMultimedia), Ramsay Beattie (Heartland MultimediaRadio), Ian Mackinlay

  1. Apologies for Absence

Cllr Mike Williamson, Police

  1. Officer Appointments:

The meeting was chaired by Cllr John Duff to agree the following officer appointments:

Chair – Donald Isles – proposed by Louise Fisher, seconded by Tony Dowson

Secretary – no nominee – Donald Isles agreed to continue as secretary for the time being, but would like this position to be handed over to someone else within the next year.  JD confirmed that it was possible to pay for secretarial help.

Treasurer – Louise Fisher – proposed by Donald Isles, seconded by Tony Dowson

Minutes Secretary – Lynda Mutch – Proposed by Donald Isles, seconded by Tony Dowson

Data Controller – Louise Fisher – proposed by Tony Dowson, seconded by Donald Isles.  JD will provide further information on this new role.

All appointments were unanimously agreed and DI took over the chairmanship of the AGM.

  1. Chairman’s Report

DI introduced his report for the period April 2019 to August 2020.  Full report is attached to these minutes.

TD reminded CC that St John’s Ambulance are able to carry out training on Trinafour defibrillator when allowed.

Regarding the River Track early warning system on the River Garry, TD confirmed that this was working and that the Resilience Group was alerted last week with the Estate attending an incident of flooding following communication from River Track.

TD also confirmed that PKC were dealing with the issues with the payment mechanism of the public toilets.  DI confirmed that the toilets were owned and maintained by PKC.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

LF presented the treasurers report, confirming that the Treasurer’s Account ended the year at £702.20, with only minimal spending of £32.80 for defibrillator pads and the Reserve Account ended the year on £1205.16, the only movement being £200 received from PKC which was given to BAATA and £520 raised by the Resilience Group which was passed immediately to the local school for their Co-Vid 19 response to provide iPads for children who had no connectivity.  TD confirmed that PKC then provided the equipment needed so gave permission for the money to be spend spent on peripherals.  The school will be purchasing headphones, microphones and mice.

  1. Meeting dates for 2021

This will be discussed amongst community councillors and PKC councillors to ensure that dates do not clash with other CCs.

  1. AOCB

JD thanked community councillors for their efforts during 2020 and looked forward to working with them during 2021.  DI also thanked JD, XM and MW for their support over the year.

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