Busy year !

In no particular order-

Playing Field – The Playpark improvement group with support from the CC have raised around £44K which is an amazing effort. A lot of this total was raised at community events and applying to many various bodies and sources for the larger amounts. Many applications were not successful but by persevering large grants were received –10K from the Heritage Lottery fund; CBA 10K; and with help from Seafield Estate, 7K from the landfill fund. Substantial sums also received from THC, Tesco bags and MFR. Another healthy source of income are the Jigsaws which David Ritchie himself funded, with the profit from sales going to the project. Around £1700 raised so far. Thanks to the Spar, Old Bakery, Landmark and the Artisans shop for generously stocking and passing the proceeds on.
The new equipment will be installed in late September and fundraising continues to provide landscaping – trees –benches etc
The Highland Council are purchasing the equipment which they will manage and own. They led on the tendering process which had to be carried out to a due process. Carr Bridge Ahead, the community company, have been holding the funds received. Mairi Brown and Carol Walsh in particular have been tireless in pushing the project forward. The HC – Bill (Councillor} and John Maclean {Amenities Officer) have been very supportive.

Speeding – this continues to be a concern for many residents, particularly, but not exclusively, by those on Inverness Road and by Dalmore /Dalbeg. The Scottish Government are pursuing a bill through parliament that would make 20mph the default limit in areas where 30 exists currently. If this is passed the CC will organise an open meeting in the Village Hall where people can give their views. From that and other representations, the CC will decide whether to support 20mph throughout the village. Until we know whether the Scottish Government proposal is to go ahead, other measures can’t be discussed. However if the 20mph Government proposal isn’t implemented we will continue to work with THC. The Police have, at our request in the last year, increased enforcement of the speed limit although we know this only works while they are present.

Parking and Traffic Flow – This has been a particular problem over at least the last 3 years. Over that time we have attempted various measures – paying for signage on the main street pointing to the free carpark and giving out No-Parking cones. However, following continuing complaints to the CC and THC, with some direct to the HC bypassing the CC regarding lower Station Road, the Main Road around the businesses and outside the Village Hall opposite the entrance to Carr Road, the HC almost 2 years ago said that yellow lines were the only option. The CC were allowed to liaise with them and perhaps with hindsight we wrongly persuaded them not to implement fully their proposals. HC have said the lines will need to be down for at least a year to be assessed.

Village Hall – the CC is very supportive of the Hall and it’s committee. The Hall is the community’s most importantly owned asset. Over the last year the CC members as CBA directors have recommended that monies be provided for the extension, the unexpected dry rot repair and the felling of the tree that was found to be diseased and dangerous.

New Hospital –Aviemore – Kate continues to represent Carrbridge

Toilets – major worry that either the Toilets will become chargeable or will be ‘given’ to the community with all that will entail.

Ellan Bridge – John Walker local resident and Consultant Civil Engineer kindly inspects the bridge every year with a more demanding inspection every other year. The report is kept on file. We are very fortunate that John does this voluntarily as if we had to employ a consultant it would be very expensive.

War memorial – during the year the memorial was given a spruce up by the Highland Council War Memorial project team. Robert liaised with the relevant people to make sure this happened.

Bridge300– 2017 was the 300th anniversary of our Bridge and there was a desire by the community to mark this. The main event was in May with the CC along with many others including the school organising a weekend of celebration which was well attended and received. In October we held an Art Exhibition in the Village Hall with Carrbridge inspired paintings which was also well attended. Thanks to many people for all they did through the year but particularly to Mairi Brown who kept the whole project moving and to Karen Archer who organised and led on the Art Exhibition.

Picnic Bench – the HC gifted every community in the Strath £500 to be spent immediately on something useful. We decided to use this money for a picnic bench in the Carpark by the field. Thanks to Robert and Tom Adams for constructing and siting it.

Tom na Clach Wind farm – Kate, Robert and Andrew continue to liaise with Infinergy including attending site visits.

Railway and Station – Andrew has attended a meeting regarding the new timetable – it looks positive for Carrbridge if it happens!

Website – This is owned by the CC and until recently was managed by the CTBA. However as they are currently not active and with Roy wishing to stand down, Alan, over the last year, has been progressing the transfer to a new webmaster and the redesign of the website.
Alistair Shepherd of Accudio was chosen from a final shortlist of 3 and is currently working with Roy on the transfer.

Treasurer – due to a change in Alan’s work he wished to stand down as Treasurer and Charlie kindly agreed to take on.

Data Protection – due to the Data Protection Act 2018 – Charlie has investigated where we are liable and has formulated a plan. We are very grateful for his taking this on.

Struan – we have been assured that THC and a housing association are attempting to buy the Struan. We believe there is only one owner now – one partner having sold out to the other.
We have been told that because of commercial confidentiality we can be given no further details at present.

Capercaillie – the CC supported the first round application for the CNPA led Capercaillie project which has now received Heritage lottery funds. A local working group has been formed and has already met. Alice and Charlie are part of this group along with other interested local residents.

CNPA Local Development Plan 2020 – we helped the CNPA consult with residents on their plan including a very well attended drop-in evening in the Village Hall. Main concern was H1 the Boys Brigade/Bulls field up Carr Road. A huge response was submitted to the park including that of the CC highlighting that although people were pleased that the original area zoned for houses had been reduced by removing the woodland, the park still wanted to allocate 72 houses. Major concern is that Carr road is completely inadequate to cope with the additional traffic. The density and number of houses were also unacceptable. There is a general acceptance that the field will be built on but most responses were for 24 or less houses. The park has now come back saying they would now recommend 36 houses BUT on only half the field, obviously leaving the other half open for development at a later stage. It is unlikely this will be acceptable locally and sadly the battle will continue. It is disappointing the Park has not listened.
H2 the land beside Crannich opposite Landmark has a current planning application for 25 houses which the CC supported. 13 are to be HC owned and 12 ‘low cost’.

A9 Dualling – we continue to liaise with Transport Scotland and help to publicise the consultation and information days held in the Village Hall. We have submitted numerous submissions successfully influencing the design of Blackmount junction but we continue to be critical of their NMU (cycle route to most) plans. The Park and Council are aware of this. Our stretch – Dalraddy to Slochd – must be someway off construction – Tomatin to Moy perhaps starting late 2019 or 2020. It is difficult to imagine the whole route being completed by 2025!

NMU route – a small working group, including Alice and I, are trying to persuade the Park & Sustrans in particular, for the construction of a NMU from Carrbridge to Kinveachy and then onwards to Aviemore broadly parallel to the existing old A9. The Park it seems, favour one parallel to the dualled A9 – even if that was agreed we would like to see a ‘ leisure’ route giving Carrbridge connectivity with Boat and Aviemore.

Porridge – we are grateful that Michelle Green is coordinating the Golden Spurtle in its 25th year. She is planning an extra special event to mark this.

Carve – we are very lucky as a village to benefit financially every year from this – the event goes from strength to strength, although this in itself creates challenges, particularly volunteer help.

Duck race – the proceeds form the Duck race go towards the Seniors Christmas lunch. The 2017 race was one of the most successful financially. Thanks to everyone who supports and helps on the day with special thanks to George.

Seniors Christmas Lunch – Invitations to around 150 residents over 65 were sent out with 97 attending on the day. It is a lovely event which seems to be appreciated by so many.

Paths network – we liaise with the Woodland Trust, Seafield and the CNPA as necessary. Various repairs and restoration were carried out by Seafield after the forestry works including one part not damaged by them for which we were grateful. The CNPA have replaced 2 green directional signs when they were made aware of damage and the Woodland Trust keep us informed of what they are doing in their part of the wood. We also lobbied Network Rail to replace the fencing that was removed at the time of their tree clearance works.

Finally thanks to all Community Councillors, Bill Lobban our very supportive Highland Councillor and all the other people, who I won’t name for fear of missing someone out, who help in so many ways .

Andrew Kirk

Carrbridge and Vicinity Community Council

July 2018