Monthly Meeting, 8th November 2022

Elgin Town Hall


Alastair Kennedy, Steve Christie, Brian Irvine, James Wiseman, Alison Stockley, David Chapman (Associate), Dean Bowditch, Douglas Clark, Graham Jarvis, Hazel Lawson, Jo Mullen, Joyce Bremner, Katherine Bowditch, Lesley Attridge, Neil Alexander, PC Vari Marindola, Richard Dyce, Councillor Peter Bloomfield, Councillor John Divers, Councillor Jérémie Fernandes, Councillor Sandy Keith


Councillor Graham Leadbitter, Councillor Amber Dunbar, Gordie Wells


  1. Lesley Attridge was attending on behalf of Development Locality Plans being Developed in Moray, identifying the priorities in health and social care will be delivered in a local level. She was here to listen to ECC priorities.
  2. Police – PC Vari Marindola & PC Jamie Day. PC Marindola said Anti-social behaviour was a priority on Elgin High St. AK asked if Police engagement policy was working? PC VM noted that alcohol had been seized “early doors”, and that there had been a show of “boots on the ground” with High Street patrols. BI noted that vandalism and anti-social had increased, and asked if it was purely to do with free youth bus passes? PC VM said that the Police had no powers to seizing bus passes, but that they are identifying youths outwith Elgin. PB had been out with the Police on Operation Protect with community policing teams, and Quarriers, and that he had seen the system approach in action. 5 Warrants issued. Thing that struck PB was that partnership was great, and was working. He was surprised at seeing Council Houses being used and abused. PB was impressed by case of Elgin resident having chance to turn life around.
  3. Welcome & Apologies.
  4. Minutes of last meeting. Prop – BI, Sec – GJ
  5. Matters arising.
  6. Vice-Chair – AK noted that Eddie Wallace had to “take a back seat”, and asked people to consider his replacement. We will discuss it at the next meeting.
  7. Criminal damage update – AK asked if there was any update ? BI – PB had raised the issue with Simon Reid in his role as Council Chair of Police and Fire, and was awaiting a response.
  8. Eorpa interview update – NA had volunteered for an interview from BBC ALBA, but had tot heard from them. There was also still No response after 6 weeks to “Maternity issue” letter.
  9. Tug of War – AK was trying to get the event in Elgin. The referred area was Morrison sports ground. No individual Elgin hotel can seat 300 people for dinner. GJ suggested contacting the Rugby, 7s, Athletic Clubs and the Boys’ Brigade. NA will speak to the Rugby Club at a meeting tomorrow. GJ noted that the members of the Rugby Club were also members of the ToW team. GJ also wondered if there would be opportunities for charity stalls at the event?
  10. Planning update – JW noted that there was nothing of interest.
  11. Millbuies’ Rhododendron removal – No update
  12. JCC Safer Travel/Speeding Sub-group – Nov 17th. AK noted that the sub-group was set up last year looking at rural speeding, and that Moray Forum had set up a Moray Transport forum. There was a proposal to hold it under JCC banner. DouglasC met SK and others, and had put some thoughts about together on Getting joined-up Transport in Elgin. What was needed was feedback from community. BI – makes sense to bring together. DouglasC felt that there had been no thought on the new estates springing up around Elgin. AK wondered how we could approach asking for community input? Could HL put together Press Release? HL was happy to help. JM felt that the best way was to go to the bus station and railway stations and ask transport users. AK wondered if JM would volunteer? JM and KB will look into doing it. DouglasC had asked Donald MacRae if the Moray Council would look into getting an operators licence. AK reminded ECC of Bus Revolution. JM wondered if Findrassie and New Elgin could be brought into the Moray Car share scheme. AK said that the Moray Car Share plans had been thwarted by Covid. JD noted that for Bus Revolution it would be a while before Elgin included. SK has spoken to Donald Macrae at length. It has started in Buckie, but Elgin will be in succeeding tranches. JW wondered if there was growth in popularity in transport services, due to cost of living crisis. AK had no idea, but noted that there was clear support for a Transport Forum.
  13. Website – RD said that the code was ready, but that we were lacking content. JW felt that we should be talking about stuff that the ECC have done. People were asked to provide some content for next month’s meeting.
  14. Community heating. AK wondered if this was not something we could do? JM felt we would need a separate meeting. JM had attended the Moray Climate forum the day before. Dr Joan Megson had provided an example of a GeoThermal company in Norfolk was discussed, which had installed ground source heating for an existing development. JM felt that “Communities” should be thought of as smaller than say North Elgin. The scheme had cost £1.4 million and provided heating to 80 to 100 houses. There had been a Scottish Government study in 2013 about deep GeoThermal. Moray had not been included in the study but Highland & Aberdeen were.
  15. MOU Clash Gour – AK noted that with the Force 9 energy windfarm, the JCC would have opportunity to sign up. Community Energy Moray may issue a share option.
  16. Resilience – BI noted that there would be a 24th November meeting for Moray. There would be a smaller Initial Meeting for Elgin on Tue 15th 7pm at Scout Hall, The Wards. Aspects being examined were halls availability, and assistance. AK wondered if there was a repeat of Storm Arwen, what could be done. BI noted that a plan was needed, as support to first responders, consisting of simple items, at a low level. AK noted that rural village halls were looking at generators in case of power outages. JB was more concerned with the cost of living crisis – heating home, for pensioners and care needs. There did not appear to have been any joined-up conversation for Elgin. Buckie are organising a warm bank. BI had brought this up. SK noted that there had been a Press Release from the Moray Council the previous week concerning the Council Warm banks, and the “Cost of Living” Committee meeting. SK said the Council would be keen to work with the 40 village halls. Council working party had discussed a small grant, which will go to the Council in December. GJ noted that this would be after Christmas. JF noted that tree no one place for access to all info. JD noted the deferral on the decision on the Community Centre. AK asked why the Community Centre couldn’t “wipe its own face”? GJ highlighted the utilities and staffing costs. JD felt that it was no longer fit for purpose. AK wondered if there could be a similar approach to the Town Hall. GJ noted that in Forres there was a more cohesive community. JM asked if it was possible to retrofit Community Centre for retraining. AK suggested approaching the Just transition Fund. GJ felt that there was nothing to stop a group taking on responsibility, but BI raised the cost of upgrading to modern standards. SK wanted to reassure members that there are things that can be done with council decision regarding the cost of living. GJ noted the example of Councillor Coull in Keith pushing uptake on sanitary products. AK was amazed at the number of full-time working people struggling with the cost of living.
  17. Just Transition – AK had an update. Closing date was the 14th, and there would be Market place end of the month. Voting will open then. £0.33M was available. JW had noted that KCR had advertised it.
  18. High Street parking update – AK was concerned with people using from out of town using electric chargers all day. GJ felt that parking was not purely a police matter, and that the solution was to bring back Traffic Wardens. JD noted that pavements will be widened in January. AK wanted council to take on the wardens. JD said that Traffic Wardens had been supported by council, but managed by Police. An Average salary incl. pension was approximately £30k.
  19. Gulls update – JD had not received anything from Elgin BID. JD and GL had meeting with Mike Rollo from DLO on Thursday afternoon to look in to the possibility of using a sound system similar to the one used by BID last year. BI – looking at 0.5mile ultrasonic. There was worry that this was simply pushing gulls out to outer areas. JD noted that the Council was looking at covering the whole of Elgin. BI pointed out that Gulls are here for litter as a food source, and that Gulls attacking outwith fledgling season. to set up a meeting with Elgin BID. JB asked if was worthwhile approaching businesses? Biggest expenses was Gull guano removing. JD noted that NatureScot weren’t allowing the removal of second batches of eats. AK said that NatureScot were uncontactable again. SK noted that there was a programme for next year for gull-proof bins on High St, and the replaced bins would be placed in Cooper Park.
  20. Banking – no update.
  21. Remembrance Sunday – RD asked for timing for New Elgin – 2pm.
  22. Elected members update.
    1. SK – 2 issues – the allotments issue had gone through council today, which had triggered expenditure. There were residents 23 on the list. Council agreed that money for the Sports Centre would committed for 4 years, £1.2M (incl. sports Scotland 0.2M). The school inspection at Linkwood Nursery, had resulted in 5’s across the board. GJ noted that this was Moray’s highest nursery School rating for a while.
    2. PB had attended a meeting with common good – re Millbuies. They had asked £58k, but £48k had been agreed, with the £10k for a jetty declined. AK asked what was being done? PB explained it was towards repair of the pathways. £64k – £93k was expected in revenue from felled trees. PB noted that some trees too big for local sawmills. DC asked if the cafe was permanent feature?
    3. JF hoped that everyone had enjoyed the Fireworks.
  23. AOCB
    1. Corporate Plan event.
    2. Training on vulnerable adults and child care.
    3. GJ has had no response from Simon Walker. PB had asked him as promised. GJ noted that it was clear that it had been tick a box exercise. JD noted that they had said that they would be back at this meeting. GJ will draft a letter. DouglasC felt that this echoed his experience with the hospital manager – 6 months and 3 reminders had also resulted in Nothing. GJ noted that info we’ve asked for has in fact been published. JD pointed out that four council members sit on Integration Joint Board.
    4. DavidC – Elgin Energy at Millfield Airport.
    5. Bridge at Cathedral Court – vegetation will be cleared.
    6. JM – Langstane flats residents in North Elgin currently share a single brown bin – 1 brown bin for 8 flats, and that the bins are uncleaned. JD noted that Langstane put in bin area in New Elgin.
    7. DouglasC gave apologies for up-coming meetings – he will be in Chile for next 3 months.
  24. Date of next meeting: 13th Dec