Present: Fiona Bick (chair), John Foulkes (Secretary), Brian Poppleton (Treasurer), Wendy Duncan (minute taker), George Glennie, Ian MacMaster, Cllr Iris Walker, 4 residents from Echt and 1 resident from Kirkton of Skene.
Apologies:, Nick Pilbeam (vice chair), Klaus Wahle, Cllr Ron McKail, Cllr David Aitchison, Mary Gray
Minute of last A.G.M. – No matters arising therefore minute approved by Ian MacMaster, seconded by John Foulkes
Election of Members:
Block vote of existing elected members who all expressed a wish to remain on the committee except for Kevin Strachan. Alan Edwards agreed to join as community councillor representative for Kirkton of Skene. Fiona Bick will be a representative for Dunecht in place of Kevin Strachan.
Election of Office Bearers:
Fiona Bick as chairperson, Nick Pilmbeam as vice chairperson, John Foulkes as secretary, Brian Poppleton as treasurer. Ian MacMaster proposed office bearer’s elections and Wendy Duncan seconded.
Wendy Duncan to resign from post of minute taker. With no nominations or expressions of interest received, it was agreed a) to approach Klaus Wahle to be minute taker or b) for minutes to be taken on a rota basis. This will be finalised at next Echt & Skene Community Council meeting in June.
CIH £60.42 Bank balance £830.98
Resilience expenditure £2199.16 – expenditure approved and paid by Aberdeenshire Council of £2198.96 [20p shortfall].
The books have been audited and Brian awaits the AGM minute so that they can be sent to Alison Cumming of Aberdeenshire Council for verification.
Acceptance of Accounts:
Ian MacMaster proposed records to be accepted as correct and seconded by George Glennie.
The Echt & Skene Community Council has been pro-active over the course of the year putting together and implementing Community Resilience Plans for each of the five villages of Lyne of Skene, Kirkton of Skene, Garlogie, Echt and Dunecht. These plans will enable each village hall to be used as a refuge or safe haven in the event of an incident in the community. A grant of £2240 was secured from Aberdeenshire Council’s top-up fund, which has enabled the purchase of some basic equipment, which is now held in cabinets at each village hall. Unfortunately our application for a grant to SSE to buy heating appliances and fuel was not successful in 2016 so we will still be looking for an alternative source of funding for this element over the course of 2017. Particular thanks go to Nick Pilbeam and Brian Poppleton for their efforts.
The Echt Community Councillors, George Glennie and Wendy Duncan, have also been very active in the past year in responding to Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to close the Echt public conveniences as part of cost cutting measures. Thanks to the generosity of a local business, McIntosh Plant Hire, and an award of funds from the Garioch Area Committee, a lower cost and more accessible alternative to be run by the local community has been developed. The existing facility will remain open over the summer of 2017 with the intention of replacing it with a disabled portaloo thereafter.
The Scottish Government review of the planning system, which commenced in 2015 has continued through to 2017 with further consultation. The Community Council submitted a response to their proposals for change in April this year and we await further developments on this.
Consultation has also been ongoing since 2015 with respect to a revised Scheme of Establishment for Community Councils in Aberdeenshire. It’s now expected the new scheme will come into effect on 1st July 2017 if approved by Aberdeenshire Council this month.
Unfortunately our area has seen an increase in crime over the past year with a number of incidents including thefts, assaults, threatening behaviour and road traffic offences occurring. I shall close my report for 2016 in urging local residents to do all they can to protect themselves from opportunistic criminals by securing their vehicles, outbuildings and homes at all times.
John thanked Fiona for all of her hard work this year which was concurred by other committee members.