CVCC Chairperson’s report 2021
Chairperson’s Report 2021/22 (Helen Deery)
Although another year of uncertainty with the pandemic and which direction that may take us as a Village and indeed as a Community Council, we have been incredibly fortunate that the planning put in place in the early days of the pandemic served us so very well, and again we thank those in the village who continued to help. However, the freak weather that thundered through the country in February, leaving us as a village without electricity and amenities for much longer than was ideal or indeed acceptable has prompted a refresh of the current community Resilience plan, thanks to those who undertook this.
I have to congratulate and thank both the councillors and the many villagers who have joined us on the Council meetings by Zoom, something to which we are all proud to have adapted to and to have used successfully to conduct CVCC business, bringing a bit of the Face to Face warmth through our virtual platform. Moving forward we plan to do a blend of Face to Face and Zoom meetings to offer everyone a meeting of their choice.
As a group of Councillors, I have to report that it has been an extremely challenging time, illness, retirement, resignation and empty spaces. Denise Stott resigned as a Community Councillor but remains on as Planning representative in an Associate role, to which we are very grateful to have her and for the expertise in this function. I am very pleased to say we have welcomed and Co-opted Nigel Lilley to join us, Nigel has full voting rights except for voting for or against another Co-opted Councillor, he brings fresh ideas and is a welcome addition to our group. We are very grateful to have had the skills of Alan McNeilage as minute taker during this past year, however a return to more normal working schedule takes him away from this position. This leaves us currently looking to recruit both a community councillor and a paid for minutes taker.
In full Transparency the CVCC is ready to have a fresh and updated membership, a wider demographic, some new ideas and energy to come forward and to allow some to retire after many years of service, something that we are thinking hard as to how best to achieve.
CBA/CVCC Funds Management: Agreement was reached that all village funding will be through CBA as the regulated Village business and designated recipient of the annual Community Benefit Fund payment from the Tom Nan Clach Windfarm, with regular CVCC grants being ring fenced on a yearly basis.
NMU: Excellent presentations and face to face consultations have taken place in the village in recent weeks and a clear illustration of the chosen routes shared. CVCC are in regular dialogue to work to bring the route to completion in the earliest possible time, with current updates being that it is passed and is a ‘ticket item’ with its timings being entwined with that of the A9 dualling.
Village Paths: Following on from the Cairngorm Capercaillie Projects decision, not to take the Village Path network forward, it has since been highlighted in the Community Action Plan and is being discussed by the CBA directors and members.
Community Action Plan: With the support and direction of the Team at VABS a survey was sent out to all villagers, with a return of 34% and followed up by ‘The Big Conversation’ at the hall. Team Carrbridge has now been set up, shared the results and are working hard taking the action planning forward.
Road Painting and Signage: Finally, we have the long fought for road painting, signage and operational digital speed signs, many thanks to the team and especially Denise for the determined effort to see this completed.
20’s Plenty: A very frustrating situation, now we are nearly in July that the 20 MPH limit has been implemented in the village, but without any signage – regular contact with HC roads has informed this is due to not having the workforce to install the signage, an ongoing big ticket item for us.
Struan: I am sure that like us the whole village were delighted to hear that finally HC had succeeded in purchasing the Struan Hotel through compulsory purchase, after so many years. The plans for affordable flats have been approved by CNPA, with demolishing work due to be started in October in line with the Bat survey recommendations.
Bull Field/Carr Road: Pre ground works have begun on the Bull field site, in line with planning. Some significant challenges have been presented to HC Roads authorities on construction traffic, speeding and indeed on the long term speed challenge on this narrow and pavement-less road. CVCC met with HC roads and local residents where a positive decision has been reached, we await the timelines for this. The CVCC have set up an action group to liase with the construction site to ensure a positive working relationship. A log has been set up to capture any unsatisfactory challenges, thanks to James Bracher for leading on this and to the team working on it.
Vandalism: We have been blighted with Vandalism over the past 12 months and some unsavoury graffiti, ongoing we have and will continue to share via social media in an effort to involve parents/carers to the challenges. The aligned Police officer has also been contacted.
Porridge & Carve: Fantastic news that both events are going ahead in 2022 and in full fling by the updates, some superb social media presence, and a real buzz about both events. Thanks to Karen Henderson for taking over the Porridge this year and as always, a big thanks to the whole Carve Team and the many volunteers involved.
Carrbridge Village Voucher: Something that we have got to be so very proud of, the £15 voucher distributed to all seniors in the village, the uptake was superb, a very big thank you to The Old Bridge Garage, The Carrbridge Hotel, The Spar, Istanbul Kebab, The Cairn and Landmark for the fantastic involvement and for instantly supporting this great incitive in lieu of a Christmas Party. A Hybrid approach to Xmas 2022 is in discussion to best serve all seniors in the village.
Thanks: Finally thanks to all councillors for the time that they give voluntarily, to Bill Lobban, our Highland councillor who rarely misses a meeting and is regularly seen at Village events. To Liz Cowie our HC Area manager, who having just retired has handed over to Lewis Hannah, who we welcome. Karen Derrick and Mairi Brown from VABS for their continued support. To all other in the community, Village Hall, Bunting, Litter pick and so many other things, two specifics for Dougie Edwards who does so much for the village often without people knowing it was him and to Andrew McInnes for his ongoing support in keeping the grassy bridge area tidy at no cost.
The village as a whole has welcomed many new people and families and we look forward to their participation and ideas for our village encouraging the Enjoyable, Informative and Progressive ethos of One Carrbridge.