Monthly Minutes, 8th March 2022

              Alastair Kennedy, Eddie Wallace, Jim Wiseman, Graham Jarvis, David Chapman (Associate), Richard Dyce, Douglas Clark, Hazel Lawson, Councillor John Divers (delayed with apologies), Councillor Graham Leadbitter (delayed with apologies), Steve Christie

                Paul Briggs, Gordie Wells
             Councillor Frank Brown, Councillor Paula Coy, Councillor Maria McLean, Councillor Ray McLean


  1. Presentation: “Bus Revolution” was cancelled due to illness. AK suggested an extra meeting, for next Tuesday. RD will circulate a Zoom link.
  2. Welcome & Apologies
    1. SC proposed.  GJ seconded.
  3. Minutes of last meeting.
  4. Matters arising
    1. Deanshaugh goal posts are now up – JD noted that the line will go in once the grass is cut.
    2. Accounts – SC has forwarded them to JW. They will meet to discuss.
  5. Electric Vehicle Strategy – Moray EV Workshop – no-one attended.
  6. Millbuies biodiversity improvements –
    1. There will a removal of the Rhododendrons, which will be replaced with native species.
    2. EW to speak to Sophie Ward
  7. Scotland’s Towns Partnership – no interest
  8. Census Stakeholder Toolkit – no interest
  9. Moray Scouts
    1. James Bell asked if anyone on the CC that could support us with volunteer recruitment for new Scout leaders. It was suggested that this could be posted on the website.
  10. Community Climate Action Hub – the JCC are involved. There may be funding for this. AK suggested that we leave this on the agenda until we have more information.
  11. Planning update – no issues
  12. Queen’s Jubilee
    1. AK contacted council. Still no answer from Nature Scot. SW wondered if we should be holding a meeting. GL provided a new contact details for AK to try.
    2. Aide-memoire has finally arrived from LL, but not in time for JCC meeting.
    3. GJ noted that The Rotary were planning an event in the Cooper Park in the 1st week in June.
    4. There was a question if we would light Deanshaugh bridge – JD suggested we contact Nicola Moss or Steven Cooper.
  13. Update on High Street parking. No response from any MSPs, not even acknowledgement of receipt. JD has raised it at last 3 meetings. Council only deal with carparks. AK to email Willie Duncan re BID joint patrol with Police. GL there has been renewed effort. Tickets have gone on cars. Patrol of evening in doubt due to risk and resourcing assessments. GJ pointed out that there were no signs saying parking restricted, and raised the issue of the Batchen Street raised pavement. JD highlighted that there is a notice on the bottom of Batchen St. JW highlighted High Way Code, rule 244. [ Added later in the meeting that Scotland is first country to make parking on pavements illegal.] AK asked if we can highlight these patrols are in place. JD – the number of tickets issued data may be in community report.
  14. Gulls update / public meeting
    1. EW to do FOI Request to NatureScot.
  15. Flood channels – clearing
    1. AK has seen that a channel has been been dug, but the rubbish at the bridge remains in place, and has yet to swept away by a spate. EW had an observation of weir was high.
  16. Police – PC Yvonne Squair will be meeting with Willie Duncan of BID tomorrow to carry out a joint patrol of the town centre, to meet business owners etc.
  17. Banking – SC has spoken to JW.
  18. Elected members update
    1. GL – Budget has been passed.
    2. JD – Council tax will rise by 3%, and council rents by 1.5%. All other charges are frozen. The council rents go towards property maintenance, play parks, and match funding for new builds.
  19. Station closure update – EW has read through the report, and the data. In essence, stations with less than 12 ticket sales per day face cuts (e.g. Keith – only 1.5 staff hours.) DC – asked JD if the council expressed any kind of view. DC said that staff provide more than just ticket office services. There was some concern that the consultation period was only 3 weeks. DC felt that Scotrail had not performed a proper consultation, and was dissapointed. RD wondered if the upcoming transfer to Public ownership on 1st Apr was coincidental? JW felt that 12 Weeks for consultations should be a reasonable expectation. CC have pushed for this, e.g. with Post Office over the Bishop Mill, Post Office consultation. GL agreed that 3 weeks is not enough time. DC suggested that we write to MSP, re consultation being unacceptable, and seek reassurance from Scottish Govt. EW noted that the data had been collected, pre-covid in 2019. AK – hadn’t been expecting a 3 week consultation. JW suggested we ask for a refund on time spent doing the consultation. DC wondered why, when they had 2 years to send out consultation, only 3 weeks had been allowed, and that the Scottish Govt. and Abelio were at fault. DCH wondered about staffing levels? EW didn’t know the answer to that from the document. DCH had been assured in the past that there would always be staff on duty when trains running. DC will draft letter from CC. AK will draft a letter from JCC.
  20. Money for Moray PB update – AK noted that the applications were in, and that they were awaiting further details from the entrants (logos etc.). There will be presentations in Lhanbryde on the 24th April, and voting will be open for 3 weeks after that.
  21. Membership: AK wondered how can we get the more members. EW suggested that we advertise, with posters, possibly in the Library. DC had spoken to Jack Wright from Stagecoach about the removal of community notice board, in Elgin bus station. AK will post an advert on Facebook. RD suggested the Museum Hall as a possible site.
  22. Face-to-face meetings; there was support for all four options – Virtual, Face-to-face, Hybrid meetings, alternating. JD explained that there were still issues with Parent Council Meetings, and only those places where cleaners were available before school started could hold on-site meetings. EW asked for show of hands, but results were unclear, due to a misapprehension over Hybrid vs. Alternating. JW spoke about the pros & cons of virtual. DC explained his reasoning for wanting to stay with virtual. GL pointed out that the Hybrid approach can give mixed results, and that WiFi access in schools was problematic. AK pointed out that he had successfully run Hybrid meetings recently.
  23. AOCB
    1. Gordon Ruddiman @ Community Support Unit (CSU) re Website resource listing
      1. AK – will organise a meeting with regards to the website.
    2. Upcoming meetings: RD highlighted two meetings that might be of interest to members:
      1. Scottish Land Commission – Wednesday 16 March at 7:00 pm
      2. Moray Councils draft Active Travel strategy – Monday 28th March at 10am – 11.30am and 7pm – 8.30pm. GL pointed out that this was specific to Moray.
    3. RD asked if there should be a CC response to Ukrainian crisis,
      1. e.g. aid packages GL explained that the general advice from Scottish Govt was to give to the DEC Appeal or similar, in order to prevent log jam at Polish Border, wasting of border volunteer’s time, issues of export/import licences etc.
      2. Sponsoring refugees; GK said that Moray are looking at flexibility, re as-yet-unused space assigned for Afghan refugees. No clear picture what will we be needed from us.
    4. JW wanted to highlight recent Community Announcements on KCR:
      1. Woman’s Aid
      2. Arrows Project – drug and alchohol
      3. KCR – in good financial condition
  24. Date of next meeting: 12th April