Minutes of Public Meeting and Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 24 November 2016

Note: You can download these minutes in PDF format if you wish 2016-11-24-minutes.pdf.

Apologies – Sue Taylor, Rod Campbell, Catherine and Mike Leaney, Samantha Tribe, Frank Musgrave, Ann Boyle, Brian Morley, Ross Thomson MSP, Alex Johnstone MSP, Liam Kerr MSP, Lewis Macdonald MSP, Peter Chapman MSP, Mike Rumbles MSP, Gillian Martin MSP, Councillor Martin Ford, Councillor Sheena Lonchay, Councillor Hamish Vernal, Councillor Colin Clark.

Welcome from the Chair – Mark Worsley. Treasurer’s Report – John Bain - £394 in account. Financial plan will appear in next newsletter. Paypal to be on web site.

What we have done this year – Margaret Garden and Sandra Lowson – awareness raising by web site, Facebook, flyers, quarterly newsletter for online supporters, public meetings, press, photos of Save Bennachie logo from locations around the world – sent in for web site. Campaign is non-political and positive. 9 members of the Save Bennachie Alliance – Bailies of Bennachie, Oyne Community Association, North East Mountain Trust, Cosmic Hillbashers, Ramblers Scotland, Woodland Trust, Mountaineering Scotland, Kemnay Community Council, Kintore Community Council. Established communication lines with Transport Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, NESTRANS. Established communication lines with elected members and receiving positive support. Preliminary report produced March 2016. Launch of Pets on Bennachie photo competition.

What we have learned – Bob Smith – 2 year process from the appointment of the consultants in early 2017 to decide on the final route option under Stage 2 of the process. 4 sections to A96 dualling – all being treated as separate projects. Transport Scotland will not deviate from the process. Save Bennachie can learn a lot by watching process on the Inverness to Nairn section which is already at Stage 3 and the Western section which is commencing the two year Stage 2 final route choice process. Consultants can remove a route in the early stages if it is found to be unworkable. Cost is expected to be an important factor in the route choice.

What are we going to do next – Clive Smith – keep informed about developments, identify key dates, communicate with stakeholders, and highlight issues.

What can you do for Save Bennachie – Clive Smith – encourage people to sign up to web site, get groups to join Alliance, help to distribute flyers, talk to elected members, take logo around the world.

Open discussion followed.