Strachur District Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 13th April 2016, Strachur Memorial Hall


Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), John Fleming (Vice Convener), Isabel McGladdery (Treasurer), Iain Wilkie and Les Earle (Secretary).

Also in attendance: Cllr Alex McNaughton, Ian Asher (on behalf tof the PPG) and one member of the public.


1. Convener’s opening remarks: as the AGM had just taken place Archie felt there was nothing to add.


2. Apologies and declarations of interest: Apologies from CCllr Kirstie Reid. No declarations of interest.


3. Minutes: Minutes for the meeting held on 16th March 2016 were agreed as accurate.


4. Matters arising:

a. Speed limit in Strachur, Les reported earlier that Stuart Watson (A+B, the person now said by Callum Robertson to have responsibility for this area of activity) had not replied to his correspondence, Cllr McNaughton contacted the officer. The reply showed that they will not budge on our request for a 30mph limit even in the area of the school crossing. However, the Traffic Technical Officer has been asked to reassess the area of the school route and a Variable Message Sign has again been promised (as it was in January 2013). Cllr McNaughton will monitor the progress of these promises after extracting some indication as to when they might be fulfilled.

b. Cllr McNaughton logged on the A+B members’ system the complaint about potholes in the Clachan and although he received no acknowledgement it appears that some spot repairs have been undertaken.

c. Cllr McNaughton communicated with the officer looking into expanding the area of the cemetery and an update as to progress was promised for later in April.

d. Now that the new financial year had arrived Cllr McNaughton would renew his efforts re the deteriorating church wall.


5. Police Report: There was no Police report.


6. Health Report: Heather Grier was not able to attend but had sent a report.

Regarding Health and Social Care Integration this is a brief resume of where we are:


The Integration Joint Board (IJB) became officially into existence on 1 April 2016. It is run under the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP). Because of the Scottish elections no publicity can be given to this official start due to the period of purdah but there will be announcements made after that,


At our IJB meeting in March it was confirmed that savings will need to be made to meet the budget.

Some work has commenced on this by the Heads of Service East and West and reports will be presented at the next IJB meeting in May.


The next important part is Locality Planning as these proposed savings will need to be considered that level and discussed there.   The Sc Government has stated localities should be' the engine rooms' for integration and transformational change.   In Argyll and Bute we will have 8 localities.... ours will be Cowal.  This is being headed up by Viv Hamilton, Locality Manager and Mark Lines, Head of Children and Families.  A development day was held last month to look at how to take a locality planning group forward.  My feeling is Strachur CC should be represented on the group.  I am unclear as to how the people who came to the development day were invited (I cannot be on the group as I am a member of the IJB).  It might be worthwhile writing to Viv ( asking her.  The purpose of the group is to look at data as a guideline to the trends and use of services,  look at what services we therefore should be providing, prioritising these, engaging with the public, and finally drawing up a plan. Each locality must have its plan written for approval by the end of September this year.  The public's voice is therefore really important.


If there is no one who can take part, then I will suggest to the Patient Participation Group (PPG) to see if anyone can represent our community.  The reason why I am suggesting the CC is there were 3 reps there at the development day.


Les said he would contact Viv Hamilton to ask what role was available for the Strachur CC or the PPG in the IJB.


Ian Asher from the Patient Participation Group (PPG) was also present at the meeting to give an update on topics of interest/concern;

a. The HUB is a weekly initiative in preventative and support services that runs weekly in the Memorial Hall, Thursday, 10:30. A healthcare professional leads the attendees in a series of exercises including: strength, balance and Tai Chi. It is hoped that over a period of time the programme will be expanded to include: diabetic support, weight management, chiropody and mental health support. Attendance is free but donations (entirely voluntary) are gratefully accepted.

The HUB has now been successfully operating for four week with an average weekly turnout of 26 – considerably higher than the 15 anticipated!

Thanks are due to the Bay for the free supply of soup and sandwiches that provide a useful background for the essential exchange of information and blether. Thanks also to the Befrienders for the provision of transport and the Strachur Friendship Group who share the kitchen with the HUB.

Volunteers to assist in setting up, food preparation and transport are always welcome (mileage can be paid.)

c. Surgery Funding. The subject of the continuing underfunding of the Strachur Surgery dating back to the death of Dr Wright looks as if it is far from over despite earlier optimism.

The core management team of Highland NHS do not agree with the funding of an associate Dr for the Strachur surgery, a privilege enjoyed by many smaller practices. Indeed, although previously told that such funding would be curtailed if associate Dr’s left, other surgeries apparently are advertising for such posts.

No written review of needs and resources has been made of the Strachur surgery since the death of Dr Wright.

The PPG is now of the opinion that it has exhausted all formal/internal approaches and are resolved to take matters further with our local MSP, local media and Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport in the Scottish Government. To confirm the strength of local opinion in this matter it has been decided to conduct a patient survey encompassing every person on the surgery’s list.

It was asked if the public meetings held on the subject some years ago were not proof enough of local feeling and could not this be used to influence political candidates in the upcoming election. Ian said the PPG would prefer to campaign from the demonstrably firm base that a universal survey would provide.

The CC expressed its unanimous support for any action taken by the PPG in this regard and offered to assist.


7. Secretary’s Report: Les had nothing to add to that already said at the AGM.


8. Treasurer’s report: Detail covered at the AGM but just to reiterate, the current balance stands at £2,413.


9. Transport update: No report currently as the next meeting is due next week.


10. Appointment of two representatives to the Strachur and District Community Benefit Fund: It was agreed that Kirstie and Les would represent the CC with Iain kept appraised and available for substitution, Les to inform the Fund.


11. Any Other Business:

a. It was reported at the last CC meeting that at the last meeting of the Community Partnership (CP) it was announced that community groups would be given the opportunity to take on low level maintenance tasks in their area (for a fee!). Iain MacGregor asked if there was further news. The CP only meet quarterly and as yet there was no further info.

b. Iain MacGregor reported the latest stage of the BT Openreach saga. As previously recorded the quality of the cable (aluminium instead of copper) and the way in which the telephone cables were strung along the trees at Strathlachlan and along the shoreline elsewhere were leading to poor quality connection. Not previously realised is the fact that in the rain (admittedly not a common occurrence locally) the cables prove porous and phones fail to work at all triggering the “line busy” signal for the caller. Cosmetic improvement has been promised for the cables in the trees – what good that will do is anybody’s guess.

c. Linked to b. above is the fact that when faster broadband reaches the area South of Strachur the quality of the cabling is such as to eliminate any advantage. Cllr McNaughton promised to take both these points up with the appropriate officer at A+B.

d. Iain MacGregor reported that the Graveyard at Strathlachlan had suffered a degree of waterlogging but a few years ago an additional drainage pipe was installed. This solved the problem for a time but last winter the flooding reappeared. Now that the weather is a bit drier a team from A+B has been rodding the drainage pipes but are not certain that this will alleviate the problem. They suspect that they, “Will have to dig a hole and look into it.” An example of graveside humour?

e. Isabel raised the subject of the missing pavement at the Bay. Cllr McNaughton said he would again raise this with officers at A+B.

f. Willie Lynch, Secretary, Dunoon CC had asked if we wanted the Cowal caucus of CC’s to continue? Archie reported on the benefits of the caucus – most notably that individual CC’s could composite their representations and single delegates could attend the appropriate meetings. It was agreed that, yes, we wanted to the caucus to continue [though there might be some re-arranging after the Boundary Review]. Archie would write to Willie.


12. Date of next meeting: 19:30, Wednesday 8th June 2016 at the Strathlachlan Community Centre .


Les Earle, Secretary, Strachur District Community Council