Monthly Meeting, 13th June 2023

Time: June 13th, 2023 7:00PM
Town Hall, Elgin

Alastair Kennedy
Steve Christie
Brian Irvine
David Chapman
Neil Alexander
Graham Jarvis
Hazel Lawson
Joyce Bremner
Alison Stockley
Alastair Murdoch
Katherine Bowditch
Councillor Peter Bloomfield
Councillor Sandy Keith
Councillor Amber Dunbar
Councillor John Divers
Councillor Jérémie Fernandes
Richard Dyce

James Wiseman
Councillor Graham Leadbitter
Douglas Clark
John Cryans


Time: June 13th, 2023 7:00PM

Town Hall, Elgin


  1. Welcome & Apologies
  2. Police
    1. PB read through the Monthly Police report. Highlighted stats: 20 Assaults – 16 detected, 7 drugs charges, 10 shop lifting – 4 detected. Councillors had accompanied the Police on Operation protector – they attended a house near Elgin High School, but couldn’t enter as it was an unsafe site due to needles.
    2. Police will be concentrating on Youth Patrols during May.
  3. Minutes of last meeting
    1. Proposed: GJ, Seconded: NA
  4. Matters arising
    1. Asylum Public meeting to be held in the Town Hall, date to be announced.
    2. Duffus Rd consultation – JW was looking into speed limit, and nature of the traffic.
  5. Locality Plan Oversight Group – BI
    1. BI had attended the first meeting regarding the NHS locality plan meeting. Broad outline was: decide priorities, with a strategic direction of involving 3rd sector; Also discussed was the use of professionals to visit people; a health bus; the use of local village halls; an intention to improve trust re appointments; the use of housing and tenant associations; an aim to improve demographic coverage; understand lessons learned from other areas; engaging with Local Councillors; communicate better through leaflets and ads in empty shops. It was noted that the Infrastructure had not kept up with housing; However investment in West of Grampian, does not equate in investment in West of Moray. AK asked what were the aspirations? BI will send PowerPoint given. JD wondered if there was any reference to the Joint Board? BI said yes. There was a 10 year plan for running NHS locally in Moray. AK asked if it had been worth attending? BI said yes, and that he will continue to attend.
  6. Parking Update
    1. JB encountered two policewomen walking up Batchen St, who when asked why they were not ticketing? GJ noted that police cars were driving on Plain stones, in view of people violating the no access rules. JD went on walk about with police 2 weeks ago. There was feedback meeting due. AK asked what will be done with information? JD couldn’t comment on an unreleased report. GJ was concerned by the lack of enformencement. SC noted that there was more likelihood of ticketing in council parking areas. NA pointed out that there had been council vans on Plain Stones, having their lunch. GJ said that parking was not issue in York. JW wondered what the solution was. GJ noted that the only solution was enforcement.
  7. Tug O’War – AK
    1. AK – organisers had copied AK into email from Council outlining a list of documentation requirements. AK was unsure why some of this was necessary, given many previous events had been held at the same site.
  8. Committee Reports
    1. Transport Forum DC – no meeting venue yet determined as of 11th July. Martin had sent out a questionnaire. AK noted that Martin is moving on. AK had an inquiry from someone wanting to be secretary.
    2. Planning – JW: The Local Development plan is being consulted on until the end of the Month. There will be a further opportunity to comment on the plan, in a year’s time. JW wondered if we wanted to put anything in now, or if we should wait. JW’s opinion was that we were not in a position to put views forward, as we don’t know what the developments are. JB asked if this was the same plan as in the Town Hall? JW replied that no, those were the cultural quarter plans for Elgin Town Centre. The Local plan 2027, lays out the balance of housing, social housing, and affordable housing. JB asked if there would there be a synergy between it and the Elgin Town Centre plan? JW asked what points would we want to make? We want to actively participate. e.g. layout of traffic at Elgin High School. The Council website has been updated, and the Process has been revised. We read the report, went through the areas proposed, and using local knowledge collated our thoughts into a community report, and gave support. It had been appreciated by the planners. RD wondered if we had changed any minds? AK yes. JW noted that DC’s contribution was useful on verges. The proposed plan will be the next stage, in line with National Planning. AK noted that it is now front loaded. JW said that the Fire Brigade have consulted the ECC on plan. We are consulted on changes, which feeds into the Local Plan. AK said that the locality plan has to be taken into consideration. JW noted that we don’t have any projects ourselves. We have until the end of June. There will be events after the end of June. SK noted that if we’re going to get a second chance, then it would be fine to wait. AK suggested that we will wait until we see the plan.
    3. Education
      1. Made contact with Elgin High School, and Fiona Davidson, assistant Head Teacher. We will have to wait until next School year.
    4. Media & Engagement Strategy – BI: BI was awaiting approval from the committee for the Newsletter. Are the committee happy? He had received some suggestions re distribution. AK asked if Gordon Rudiman had access to noticeboards in New Elgin. RD has sent it out to committee members for discussion. JW said that it was important to get the first edition right. BI hoped to get it out before the end of the month. AK noted that lots of work had gone on behind the scenes, and asked members to please respond to the email. JW asked for any ideas for distribution. JB noted that it was just a small draft; whist it contained main points of information from Elgin, and the reports from the sub-committees, more content was needed. BI underlined the need for feedback and thoughts please.
  9. Resilience & Phone – BI: Still needed to speak to Gordon Rudiman.
  10. Parliament Update – AK had attended a party to celebrate 50 years of Community Councils. There was a link so that you can watch it -highlights included one Spanish gentleman who was very much into participatory democracy. AK had been encouraged by discussions in the second half of the morning. Debra was in touch with English Parish Councils. AK noted that Parish Councils are funded by council tax.
  11. High St & Underpass – Rubbish
    1. BI – Alan Bell had raised a comment about rubbish around the Grampian Furnishing site, and wondered if could be looked at? The idea of power-washing the pavement on the The High Street had been raised. SK noted that Elgin BID had a proposal for cleaning machine. Awarding of a budget was under on-going discussion in the Council. JD noted that there was rubbish being dumped in the flood alleviation channel. SC Positive Action Group have cleaned this up in the past. NA said that it was a systemic issue AD will be looking at organising a volunteer clean-up day. AK noted that the when the flood alleviation was in place, there had been an agreement about keeping these drainage areas cleaned. Does flood alleviation have a budget? SK said that it will be cleared. DC asked if this would be before the next flood?
    2. BI was clear that the underpass was dangerous, and slippery. AS had cleaned it, and also the surrounding shrubbery. We should look after what we’ve got. AK said that the town was looking scruffy. JD noted that Elgin BID had raised that with the Council. SK said that the council had been replacing the lighting last week. AK asked about the widening of the paths. GJ said that it was supposed to take 6 weeks.
  12. Training – De-fib & Licensing – AK: This was on-going. Debra Duke is looking at interest from other Community Councils. AK had not yet been able to get in touch with Sandra McKandie.
  13. Just Transition PB
    1. AK noted that this had been very successful last time. This time £1.5m was available between Moray, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, but it will be done differently. Groups with paid staff will come from different budgets. The Official start is 26th June.
  14. Elected members update
    1. PB – Had a meeting with Hannah Corbett, Grampian’s Police Wildlife officer. There had been a discussion regarding dogs worrying sheep, and rustling – which had turned out to be lost sheep. Elgin; 23rd June was the flag raising. PB will bring up parking at the meeting tomorrow night and on the 23rd. Department of Works and Pensions had orgainsed a meeting in The Inkwell for Ex services and veterans, on the 17th at 12 noon with various stalls. PB noted that 24th June was Armed forces day.
    2. AD thanked people for the Public for response to Asylum Seekers in Elgin. AK asked her to come to meeting to express these thanks publicly. TUC will be setting up at 9am. DC positive response. Wasted opportunity. AD encourages economic migration. AK will inform us of the date of the meeting as soon as he is able.
    3. JF – AD and SK, and JF attended the various schools’ awards ceremonies. The Planning for Battery project had been approved.
  15. AOCB
    1. PB: The A9010 bridge was being rebuilt. £80k loan had been approved.
    2. PB noted that there had been a substantial amount of youths in Cooper Park on Friday nights. AS wondered if parents contacted? GJ noted that this was unlikely if they were over 16. JB noted that some of the kids were from Buckie.
    3. There had been concerns about the property opposite the Grove Care Home. There were several cars on the field. Does the new owner have permission do that? JD will investigate.
    4. SK will miss next meeting.
  16. Date of Next Meeting
    1. July 11th, 2023