Glenfinnan council holds August meeting

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Glenfinnan Community Council held its monthly meeting for August at the beginning of last month and as usual this was via Zoom.

•First item of business was Willina Colman’s resignation as chairperson due to personal commitments and involvement with the local SCIO. However, she will remain a member of the community council. Current vice-chairperson Catriona Hunter was approved to take over as chairperson.

•A road sign denoting restricted turning/unsuitable for motorhomes is to be erected at the junction of the Slatach Road. The council is still to decide on a position for a second sign, but possibly at the passing place at the bottom of the back track. Lower back
track residents and immediate residents’ consent is to be sought.

•Mark Embling from Loch Shiel Jetties Trust has been in dialogue with the owners of the Sileas cruise boat and the boat is no longer being moored overnight at the pier. Mr Embling intends to inspect the pier.

• Ally Entwistle has spoken with the landowners of the shore path and Loch Shiel
Cruises. The villagers can restore and improve the path. Loch Shiel Cruises
are keen to help. A decision was made to deal with this after the tourists have
gone and once the ‘Bash and BBQ’ had passed.

• Hege Hernaes thanked Highland councillor Denis Rixson for his help with environmental health and the retention tanks on the steam train. West Coast Railways has agreed to close all but one of the toilets when the train is in Glenfinnan Station. Unfortunately, the toilet being left open deposits at the crossing. Members were told the emptying of the retention tanks is the responsibility of Network Rail.

• Alistair Gibson explained the practice of flailing trees ‘indiscriminately’ at the road side. He will provide photographs and co-ordinates of the site location for a letter of
complaint to be written to BEAR Scotland, and copying in Highland Council.

•Police Report: There have been eight recorded incidents in the Glenfinnan area since the last meeting. The incidents of note are four road traffic collisions (no serious injury); two incidents involving  loss of contact with hillwalkers (both traced safe and well).

•Glenfinnan Community Facilities SCIO update from Ingrid Henderson:
The car park and bridge are still working well to alleviate congestion but August is definitely the toughest test yet. The SCIO has enlisted the help of volunteers for busier times so thanks to all who have offered. If anyone else wishes to be a friendly, helpful face in the car park please let the SCIO know.

•The council AGM will be held on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 7pm and everyone is welcome to attend and join up. Venue to be decided.

•National Trust for Scotland (NTS)- Emily Bryce has been in contact with Police Scotland and Highland Council requesting No Parking Cones to try to stop cars being parked outside the NTS Centre due to the heavy demand (school holidays) on both car parks.

•New plans for the NTS Glenfinnan visitor centre – A virtual meeting between the NTS and the Glenfinnan community is to be arranged in the autumn to discover what the community needs from the NTS.

•Callop Bridge and boardwalk closure at short notice – an email from the community council was sent asking if a temporary fix could be carried out to enable everything to remain open during the height of the tourist season.

David J Robertson, area visitor services manager for Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), telephoned community council secretary Pat Grieve to say that the problems were too great for a temporary fix.

He suggested the community, as users of the bridge and walk, may wish to contribute to the repairs, along with the NTS and FLS.

Highland councillor Allan Henderson has been in dialogue with Kelly Mckellar, the area civil engineer responsible for FLS West Region.

A structural inspection of the boardwalk has noted a number of serious defects.

The main issue being rot to some of the key structural members of the underside of the boardwalk and one piece of cross bracing identified is missing.

Councillor Henderson awaits feedback on the structural report.

Alistair Gibson contacted FLS to offer his services, but has not heard back.

The community council should contact Kelly McKellar asking for a timescale and costs.