Carrbridge & Vicinity Community Council Chairman’s Annual Report

The Community Council (CC) continue to progress a number of issues and address concerns brought to their attention throughout the year.

In no particular order –

The Ellan Bridge – we were alerted to the fact that the Bridge had to be surveyed and will now officially be checked every two years. Following that survey, we are now addressing the issues that came to light.
Although we are assured that the bridge is safe, we require to bring it up to modern standards and remedy some faults. This whole process is very time consuming and we are very grateful to local resident John Walker for leading on this project. He has organised and overseen the tendering process and now that work has commenced, ensuring it goes to plan. The Ellan Bridge is an important community asset and we are ensuring that after this period of works it maybe another 20 years before it will require such major attention. This project will cost, including the initial survey, around £15,000 and we are grateful to the CNPA for a grant of £3000 towards this.

Riverside Walk – following the high water damage sustained last year we lobbied for this to be reinstated and are pleased that COAT eventually took responsibility at no cost to the Community.

Old Bridge – again following the same high water, we ensured that The Highland Council, co owner of the Bridge, surveyed it to ensure that it was no worse. It has been given the OK.

Defibrillator – the CC supported and encouraged the installation of this and are grateful to George Dyer for leading on the project and to the Craft Group for their generous donation towards the cost.

Speeding – residents understandably continue to be concerned by excessive speed particularly on Inverness Road, the road out and in from Grantown and on the Main road by Landmark .
The CC continues to lobby vigorously the Police and currently are trying to get permission to copy the Culbokie initiative on Speed reduction. This involves local people noting vehicles that are speeding and then the Police send them a letter reminding them of the law.

Village Hall – we are very supportive of the Village Hall and thank the Chair and Committee for all they do. We helped ensure that the Hall continued as our Polling Station when this was in doubt and have helped financially with a variety of projects and initiatives.

Dropped Kerbs – following a comment from residents that not all kerbs in the village were dropped at junctions, we were pleased when THC, contacted by Bill Lobban, remedied most that weren’t.

Struan House Hotel – this problem is still on-going. We have, over the last many years, continually lobbied for the building to be looked after. We have had support from THC and enforcement orders have been served on the owners on more than one occasion. Over the last year we have investigated a community buy out of the building but this is very complicated and even if possible realistically outwith our budget.
However we continue to try but the situation is very frustrating and far from straightforward. Thanks to Alan Rankin over the last year for investigating the options.

Playing Fields – there was a possibility that this Highland Council owned asset might be managed by High Life Highland. We met on a number of occasions with HLH but all parties agreed that we were better left to manage it ourselves .
THC will continue to cut the grass.

Duck Race/Seniors Christmas Lunch- once again the Duck Race contributed someway towards the cost of the very popular and successful Christmas Lunch. Thanks to Colin Watt and his team at the Carrbridge Hotel.

A9 Dualling – we continue to monitor this as our section gets closer to planning. We lobbied Transport Scotland for a ‘Carrbridge-only’ event following what appeared to be an omission and now have regular dialogue with them. The event itself was very well attended. I have attended various meetings and presentations on this.

New Hospital Aviemore – We are involved in the consultation process and thanks to Kate for leading on this.

Carrbridge Station – we continue to be supportive of ‘The Friends of Carrbridge Station’ and I attended the Association of Community Rail Partnership meetings leading to the formation of the Highland Mainline Community Rail Partnership. Roy Brown now represents Carrbridge on this committee.

Tom nan Clach Windfarm- this was granted planning permission in 2013 but revised plans have now been submitted – we continue to monitor this.
Windfarms do divide the community – some are very against, some very supportive and some more concerned by the construction phase. The CC remains neutral on this but will strive to look after the community’s best interests as the planning process evolves.

Carrbridge Tourist Association – we were instrumental in re-establishing the CTA and will be supportive where we can of any initiative they come to us with. Currently they are looking to renovate the Tourist Information Point and we have been working with them on the informative plinth in the Carpark in conjunction with the National Park.

Tulloch Development Carr Road and beside Crannich park – a great deal of time and effort has gone into this. Following extensive consultation with the community we objected on various grounds including the size of the development and the lack of integration of the Housing Association Houses and the inadequacy of Carr Road to cope with additional traffic. We were successful in that the planning application was refused but we await what the developer will do next. We have agreed to work with the CNPA on a sympathetic development.

Primary School Play Park – following a request from the school and pupils, we were pleased to contribute towards the renewal of the existing School play park.

Carrbridge Golf Club – following a request for funding for a Buggy we were pleased to contribute toward it.

We continue to very supportive of Carve Carrbridge and again thank them for the surplus funds they contribute to the village.
Again we are indebted to Margarete Paschke and her small team for looking after the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships.

Thanks also to Fergus Thom & Roy Brown and their contributors for the popular and invaluable Carrbridge News & Carrbridge websites and Facebook pages.

We are also grateful to Dougie Edwards for the practical support he gives the community and to Lorraine Anderson for her work in particular with Speeding, the School and Wind farms.

Sincere thanks to my fellow Community Councillors :-
Kate Adamson, Scott Bruce, Robert McInnes, David Ritchie, Alan Rankin and George Dyer . Also Fiona McMullen our Accounts Manager
Thanks to Heather Davidson for taking on the minutes so studiously & Jan for attending and contributing to meetings.
Thanks also to our Highland Councillor, Bill Lobban who is very supportive and helpful at our meetings and behind the scenes.

As a community we can have 8 members but, as we can only co opt one third of that, we are down to 7 members currently.
Not every current Community Councillor will necessarily stand again when we have elections in November.
I urge people from within the community to put their name forward as without a CC, Carrbridge will be severely disadvantaged.
It can be frustratingly slow to get some things done but we can and we do achieve.

Andrew Kirk

Carrbridge Community Council