Mallaig Community Council

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Mallaig Community Council held its October meeting in Mallaig and Morar Community Centre at the beginning of last month.

Present were chairman Rick Schabeck,vice-chairman N McLean, treasurer Audrey McKay, secretary Nick Murray, John Young, and Councillors Denis Rixson, Ben Thomson and Allan Henderson.

The minutes of the previous meeting held on September 19 were proposed for approval by J Young and seconded by A McKay. The minutes were signed by the chairman.

Matters arising: the secretary reported that planning permission was now being sought for the new toilets at the end of West Bay and the council had received a consultation request notification from planning for 18/04322/FUL. A copy of a formal objection letter has been received by Mallaig CC. The council heard that eight letters of objection were received by the secretary of Morar CC, which was strange as the proposed toilets are in Mallaig. There have also been a further 18 verbal objections noted. A paper clarifying some of the misconceptions regarding the toilets, prepared by Stuart Griffin, a trustee of the project, was distributed to the meeting.

Jaqueline McDonell addressed the meeting and gave the members the background and history of the project to date and explained why a lot of work had to be carried out quickly without much consultation because of the time pressures of the two grants that are needed to bring the project to fruition.

There followed a general discussion of the toilets project, at the end of which the members of the community council resolved to strongly support the application and the secretary will write to planning. The clarification paper will also be put on Facebook and comments sought.

Police report: no police representative were available to give a report. Denis Rixson reported on a new police initiative, Operation Cedar, aimed at improving safety and influencing driver and road user behaviour on the roads of the region. The operation welcomes feedback from the wards and he urged everyone to support the project. Morar CC had welcomed the initiative at a recent meeting.

Treasurer: the treasurer reported that the bank balance is £5,039.38 in the main account, having paid for for the village flowers – £327.36 and £30.

Councillor Ben Thomson reported that he had discussed the money being held for the High Hampden refurbishment – which will not now happen – with Emma Taylor of Highland Council and it can be used for benches and picnic tables or improving the children’s playparks.

Parking: a consultation request had been received from Highland Council regarding an amendment to the Traffic Regulation Order in the village. The order covers the establishment of parking restrictions in those areas of the village previously agreed by the CC prior to the parking charges being considered. The restrictions cover the village from the community centre round to the marina, up Annies Brae to the West Highland Hotel. Parking will either by restricted by double yellow lines, 30-minute or disabled bays. There is no mention of contract or camper van parking in East Bay.

The were no objections raised by the members present. The next stage will open the consultation to the public for a period of 14 days.

The options for the old folks’ Christmas meal were discussed and it was decided that a party in the hall with a buffet-style lunch and some entertainment would be a more cost-effective option. Preferred dates are Wednesday 5th or 12th December. The secretary to check availability of the hall and school for entertainment.

Knotweed: the secretary reported that he had taken a phone call from  a resident who reported Japanese knotweed growing on the bank behind East Bay. This was reported to the estate which will inspect the area and arrange for a contractor to deal with the problem as appropriate.