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Noise, nuisance and traffic speed were among the key issues for the local community, according to John Hutchison this week when he gave his annual report as acting chairman of Kilmallie Community Council at its AGM.
Mr Hutchison told the online meeting that the community council continued to be concerned about noise and other nuisance at Annat, which is the site of the commercial pier and industrial estate in Corpach.
Mr Hutchison continued: ‘We were disappointed that some businesses declined to become involved in a community liaison group but are pleased to hear that the Highland Council has now specified that one be formed in connection with a recent planning consent and we look forward to that happening without delay.’
He then went on to commend the A830 Group for the work it did in identifying trunk road concerns and then took these forward with Transport Scotland and trunks roads operator BEAR Scotland.
‘Similarly, we commended the unidentified parties who took direct action by erecting 30mph repeater signs through Corpach. Although short-lived, their effect was noticeable and their action in highlighting the issue may yet prove worthwhile, with
the idea of affixing repeater stickers on wheelie bins which is being investigated by the Police,’ added Mr Hutchison.
Mr Hutchison then went on to mention the Kilmallie Community News [KCN] publication.
He said: ‘The Kilmallie Community News which is justifiably a source of pride for us, produced and delivered free of charge to every home and business in Kilmallie.
‘The editorial team of Carol Anne [Campbell] and Ann [Moffat] deserve our thanks, as well as the sponsors which included Covid funding this year. Printing of the KCN appeared to be challenging until the Lochaber Times stepped in twice to help – we are grateful.’
Mr Hutchison also explained that some projects have been difficult to take forward owing to the Covid pandemic, resulting in much of the community council activity having to take place online.
‘However, I must mention the Hardship Fund, the Helpline and the Community Cupboard which is evolving into the Community Fridge. In my experience many Highland communities abound with ‘unstoppable women’ and Carol Anne is one of them who, with her team of volunteers, has surmounted the various obstacles that have arisen along the way,’ he said.
‘Our community councillors have attended other meetings, namely the Active Travel Group, the Blàr Mòr Community Liaison Group – once it was belatedly set up by The Highland Council – and the new Belford project, or more properly Lochaber Health and Social Care Redesign since there are broader issues than a new hospital building.’
Among other issues mentioned by Mr Hutchison was the Linnhe Community Alliance. He told the meeting: ‘I am pleased that joint working with adjacent community councils [CCs] has been resurrected through the Linnhe Community Alliance, involving the five CCs round the loch along with Glenfinnan.’
And Mr Hutchison also added: ‘While crime is always present, we were taken aback with the raid on the Co-op in in December, but were relieved when no one was hurt and the staff seemed to have taken it in their stride.
‘Our annual grant from the Highland Council remained stable this year, although we have done well with Covid-related funding opportunities of which we have taken due advantage. We also received a very kind bequest from the estate of the late May Greenfield of Chevalier Cottage, Tomonie.
‘Linked with funding, we are determined to put the KCN on a stable footing, to continue to produce and distribute it free of charge to all homes and businesses, a total of 900-plus which is shortly to increase to over 1,000 when the Blàr Mòr houses are occupied. We need £2,700 a year to be able to do this and we are close to halfway there.’
Mr Hutchison concluded by saying he was sorry that Colin ‘Woody’ Wood had to stand down as chairman soon after last year’s AGM, adding: ‘But I am pleased that he remained on the CC and will continue to do so.’
And he went on: ‘It can be very rewarding to serve on a community council. Kilmallie is the biggest development area in Lochaber at the moment with the new Belford, the West Highland College Centre for Science and Technology and houses on the Blàr Mòr, together with the marina and the possibility of development at Annat.
‘We should all be glad that we have a community council – some places don’t and you have shown that you support us when it’s critical.’
The AGM also saw the election of office-bearers for the coming year, with Mr Hutchison confirmed as chairman, Gwyn Moses swapping the treasurer’s role for that of vice-chairman and Russell Leaper appointed secretary for another year.
John Hutchison, pictured, who was confirmed as chairman of Kilmallie Community Council at this week’s AGM.
John Hutchison. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos
The harbour and industrial estate at Corpach has been the source of friction with the local community.