Blair Atholl & Struan Community Council Minutes 14/09/2021

Present: Donald Isles (Chairman), Louise Fisher, Tony Dowson, Fiona Gordon, Lynda Mutch (Minutes), Cllr John Duff, Cllr Mike Williamson, Alistair Smith (Heartland Multimedia), Ramsay Beattie (Heartland Multimedia), Viv Cree, Amy Liptrott, Michael Donn, 

  1. Apologies for Absence

Nial Mackinlay, Carol Cassie, Police

  • Minutes of Meeting on 13 July 2021

Minutes of the meeting of 13 July 2021 were approved.

  • Matters Arising/On-going Issues: 
    • House of Bruar Signagenothing to report
    • COVID-19: Community responsethere have been no additional requests, but team is still operational if required.  
    • Trinafour 30mph speed limit – JD and MW had followed this up but had heard nothing recently.  MW will follow up again.  JD and MW have both received complaints about speed in Calvine also.
    • Village Hall Wi-fi – This has been passed to the village hall committee for action
    • Public toilets – now working and free to use.  Consultation ongoing in PKC re public toilets.
    • Blair Atholl Lade – relevant parties are still working on solution
  • Co-Option of Fiona Gordon 

Following approval by PKC, Fiona Gordon is unanimously co-opted onto community council.

  • Finance 

Books are currently being audited prior to AGM in November

  • Dirty Camping

No further comments regarding this.

  • The Atholl Glens (formerly BAATA)

New website is now up and running.  TD has provided info for community council pages and CC minutes can be published here.

  • Resilience Team

Barry Tyler has now taken over the running of the generator for the village hall.  He will also conduct monthly checks.

  • Heartland FM

Community Council minutes are available in Iris, Heartland’s digital magazine and also on community page of Heartland website.  

  1. Blair Atholl Train Service

Service on the highland main line was reduced during the pandemic and Blair Atholl suffered a major reduction in its southbound service, with no reasonable service now available for a day trip to Perth and only a very early start for a trip to Edinburgh or Glasgow.  Trips north are also restricted by lack of return services.  There have been increasing complaints locally since pandemic restrictions have been relaxed, especially from those without access to private transport.  ScotRail have not replied to a letter from community council but have written to a local MSP suggesting that the service is unlikely to improve till a new timetable is introduced in December.  AS confirmed that Heartland could do an article regarding this issue and ScotRail’s timetable management.  

There are also proposals for new services from May which will result in slower journeys between Perth and Edinburgh and limited access to Edinburgh Gateway and airport.  Consultation on the new proposals finishes 1st October.  DI will be responding to consultation on behalf of community council.  Any individuals can also respond to consultation – available at

  1. Queen’s 70th Jubilee June 2022

LF will speak to contact at school to see if any parents/children wanted to do something for this with the support of the community council.

  1. CNPA

Plan for car park at Loch Moraig due to be discussed at CNPA committee this month.  

  1. Update Reports
    1. Afghan Refugees – JD confirmed that PKC has offered to take up to 6 Afghan families, or 10 individuals.  VC was interested in joining any befriender service and MW will provide contact details for her.
    1. Climate Change – PKC have recently established a Climate Change Commission looking at climate change actions across the whole of Perth & Kinross.
    1. Community Investment Fund – Community Investment Fund now ready for distribution.  13 applications have been received for £43,500 of funding.
    1. Planters – some wooden planters which were used in Pitlochry main street have been donated to Blair Atholl School.
    1. Driver Safety – there will be a driver safety course in Pitlochry on 28th September supported by police and fire service.  This will be a free event with a chance to win a Knockhill Race Course experience.  To participate, come along on the day from 10:30 at Pitlochry fire station.
  1. Recruitment of Community Councillors

Nial Mackinlay may still be interested and would be an asset as he is outwith the immediate Blair Atholl area.  Viv Cree is also keen to become involved with the community council and LF may decide to revert to Associate member owing to home commitments.  Carol Cassie has confirmed that she is not interested in pursuing this currently.  LF will act as liaison between the community council and the school whenever necessary.

  1. AOCB
    1. Meetings – LM to investigate cost of pro Zoom so that meetings are not time limited.  Ideal would be hybrid meetings held in village hall, with Zoom option.  WiFi in village hall would be necessary for this.
    1. Speeding – this was a particular problem during the horse trials and a suggestion was made to have a temporary speed limit during the event.  MW will take this up as he has had a number of concerns regarding the traffic management plans during the horse trials.  In addition, MW will arrange for the pop-up policemen to be returned to Blair Atholl.
    1. Local Affordable Housing – LF confirmed that there has been some concern regarding the availability of local housing for families, made worse by the number of houses used for holiday lets rather than as family homes.  Many families are being priced out of the market and MW confirmed that there were over 600 self-catering properties in the Highland Perthshire registered with PKC, excluding Airbnb and  The average price for a house in Perth & Kinross was now around £212K.
    1. Fire Alarms – new fire alarm regulations are coming into effect from February 2022.  Every home in Scotland will need to have a smoke alarm in the room you spend most of the day, usually your living room, a smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey and a heat alarm in the kitchen.  These must be ceiling mounted and interlinked.
    1. False Fire Alarms Consultation – Fire and Rescue are running a consultation on how they respond to automatic workplace fire alarms.  Consultation runs until 11 October.  
    1. Dog fouling – LM reported increase in dog fouling in the village.  MW will speak to dog warden and check if other schemes are still running.
  • Flu Vaccination Clinics – the likely intention is for Covid boosters and flu vaccinations to be administered in one visit but we have not yet had confirmation regarding this.   Pitlochry medical centre did have some appointments in Blair Atholl last year, but not enough appointments were available.  

(post meeting note – there will not be flu vaccination clinics in the village this year.  Three clinics will run at Pitlochry specifically for over 70s and those classed as extremely vulnerable.  These will be held Saturday 2 October, Wednesday 6 October, Monday 11 October.  Eligible patients can book online or via the flu booking helpline 07434 643085 – open 2:30-4:00pm)

  1. Next Meeting

AGM will be held on Tuesday 9 November at 7.30pm, followed by regular meeting.  The AGM requires at least one PKC Councillor to be present.

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