Monthly Meeting, 10th January 2023

Time: January 10th, 2023 7:00PM

Town Hall, Elgin

Present

Alastair Kennedy
Steve Christie
Brian Irvine
Neil Alexander
David Chapman (Associate)
James Wiseman
Graham Jarvis
Councillor Graham Leadbitter
Councillor Jérémie Fernandes
Councillor John Divers
Gordon Ruddiman
Hazel Lawson
Councillor Sandy Keith
Councillor Amber Dunbar
Katherine Bowditch
Councillor Peter Bloomfield
PC Gemma Latter
Joyce Bremner
Angela Norrie
Tina Maitland
Richard Dyce

Apologies
Alison Stockley
Douglas Clark

Agenda:

  1. Welcome & Apologies
  2. Police
    1. PC Gemma Latter read the Police Report.
  3. Angela Norrie addressed the council. AN was just in post.
    1. TM discussed the Gull issue. Steps taken since 2018 included lasering, and egg and nest removal, if there was access. It took 5 years to break the cycle using lasering. Last year St Giles Centre was fitted sonic device. Nests were down from the previous 180 to just 6 last year. BID had given a press release re changes to licencing. They are researching approaches in other areas. Education is big issue. AN said BID keen to work with partners like ECC. Planning is going ahear on next steps. Specialist Vermin Control have said that another device should cover all BID, and some residential areas. AN showed examples of physical detterence for tops of lamp posts, and she had brought copies of the plan, with statistics. AK wondered if BID was speaking with Moray Council Waste Management team, especially concerning Gull-proof bins? AN confirmed that they were.
    2. Elgin BID now have 400 members from Tesco to Moray College, covering all business sectors. AN’s first big event in post was the Plain Stones Christmas lights. This will be improved next year, and they are looking for feedback. It was the highest attendance in 12 years. AN is planning to expand BID events and partnerships, and increase footfall, and tourism aspects. TM noted that there would be planters again this year.
    3. AK wanted to return to the Gull issue – How many devices were needed?JD said the Moray Council were looking at 7 properties across Elgin to be funded through common good, i.e. 2 from BID, 7 from Council. They will work with BID to prevent cross-over. PB asked where they were being sourced from? AN noted that there were only 2 companies in UK, and no suppliers in Scotland. PB wondered if the deterrence strips including adhesive? AN said that they were priced including installation. BI wondered if the application could include Edgar Rd? AN said that it better for separately recorded for visibility to authorities. AN Would offer session on how to file applications.
    4. GJ asked about parking. TM said that there was an education campaign for members re parking. AN had seen a decrease after Police were ticketing.
    5. AK asked about the cost of sonic devices. TM noted that the price goes up after February. JD will get contact re buy or lease?. AK said that if we knew the figure we could look at funding. TM felt that it was £4-5k per device. AK asked if 9 devices would cover all of Elgin. GL pointed out that new houses lack nesting sites. JD noted that the pitch of the roof had an effect. TM noted that NatureScot may be changing the licence. GL council housing coverage was paid for by rent. Council taxation paid for coverage of Public Buildings. AK asked about the size? TM said they were very heavy.
  4. Minutes of last meeting
    1. AK – had some notes. Proposed SC Second GJ
  5. Matters arising
  6. Vice-Chair
    1. BI – Prop SC Sec RD – No other nominations. BI elected Vice-Chair.
  7. Tug of War – AK asked how to apply to Moray Council for help in the clean-up. JD suggested he speak to Sean Hoath. AK wanted to know who is in charge of Community Service? PB suggested Peter Wilson & Jim Grant – but they only do strimming. GJ noted that they have done more in the past.
  8. Planning update – JW – Nothing. AK noted that the global engagement plan is going to start. JW suggested that when the local plan came out we had an extra ECC meeting to discuss plan, and compile comments. He proposed that we do the same again. AK said that there was a new national plan. JW felt we should be engaging as a statutory consultee.
  9. Media & Engagement Strategy – BI we should be encourage people to post on social media. AK felt he was the only one who posts on FaceBook, and that we need volunteers. JW asked what do we want to shout about, and who to target, and who’s going to write the material, given the time and effort required? PB saked if the minutes are published. RD said yes, on the website. JW noted that at one point minutes were circulated to council. AK can links be put on FB? RD yes, happy to show people how to do it. AK asked for next steps? Sub-group: JW, SC, JB, BI. JB asked if there was any coverage in the Northern Scot? AK said we should ask the editor.
  10. Resilience – BI. Elgin Resilience Group held meeting the previous evening, and things were slowly progessing. They were finding partners, and halls across the town. The group was only liasing, identifying hubs we could work from, equipment we need and were to store it, and the types of situations we can react to. GR noted that Elgin was in 3 areas W/S/N , and it was important to connect local hubs to these areas. Leaflet flyer similar to Covid leaflet would be useful. BI suggeds that we produce an ‘aide memoire’: Hubs, contacts, opt-ins, and things to think about in emergencies. There was movement in the right direction
  11. Deposit Return Scheme – SC SEPA and Scottish Government would shortly be implementing a surchage of 20p for plastic & glass bottles, and cans. SC wanted to raise the issues for business. RD ranted on about deposit schemes from his youth. AK noted that there was deposit scheme on plastic bottles in China. JW felt that perhaps SC had a point re practicality. GJ agreed that practicality was an issue. RD guaranteed that businesses would find ways to make money from this. GL reminded everyone to reduce, reuse, & recycle.
  12. Moray Transport Forum. A subroup of JCC would be meeting on the 31st. AK said the discussion would feed into traffic. GJ noted that a council officer had discussed a 20mph limit in town.
  13. Just Transition – AK noted that 1/3 £million had been given out. 32 applications had been made, with 12 successful. They would be engaging with groups to spend money by end of March. GJ asked if they should be engaging with groups early? AK noted that there was no revenue funding, only capital funding. RD asked if installation included? AK confirmed that installation was included. GJ was worried that in the past groups had become depending on grant schemes. Giving groups revenue money encourages this. BI asked when will it be announced? AK said 1st May.
  14. Committee System – AK said that ECC used to have planning, roads & transport, education committees, with 3 members on each committee. JW said it was good to have papers prepared in advance, with a summary of what would talk about. DC noted that transport sub-committee meetings used to be held at Stage Coach. RD noted that we had already discussed a Media & Engagement sub-committee.
  15. Elected members update
    1. AD – planning committee had now met.
    2. SK – Education Committee had set the sustainable rate for non-council nurseries. GJ discussed the Scottish Govt encouragment of councils to use Partner Providers. SK noted that the Moray Council’s decision meant that the Moray rate is highest in Scotland. GJ worried that providers were disadvantaged. GL some subsidised premises, private, linked to Schools. SK felt issues needed to be teased out. GJ noted that Moray had one of the highest number of private providers.
    3. PB discussed the local roads policing campaign recently held alongside the Elgin Post Office. He had witnessed the vehicles pulled over, and tickets issued for snow on roof and bonnett – £100 & 3 points.
    4. GJ was asked about the Budget.
  16. AOCB
    1. SC – New Elgin residents’ water was tasting of petrol or diesel.
    2. AK – Asked to be part of group designing flag for Moray. Registered. RD how is it being designed? SK no council decision.
    3. CD Findrassie – Community Center
    4. JB was concerned about access to Doctors? Health Centre appears empty? Is it understaffed? PB said that with the Integrated Joint Board the system has changed. Preferred methods: (a) Minor – go to pharmacy; (b) Nurse Practitioner or Nurse; (c) Online consultation; (d) in person consultation. JB had experience 2-week appointment delays. SK was waiting for consultation, and had received a letter saying may well need to travel throughout Scotland.AK will invite Simon Bokor-Ingram.
    5. AD had an update re New Elgin water: don’t drink the water on Thornhill Drive!
  17. Date of Next Meeting
    1. 14th Febuary.