Minutes 20th January 2016

To be approved at the meeting of 16th March 2016

Strachur District Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 20th January 2016, Strachur Memorial Hall


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

Also in attendance: Peter Roy (Chair) and Bill Dickson (Vice Chair) of the Strachur and District Community Development Company Ltd (Devco). PC’s Cawley and Campbell and two members of the public.

1. Convener’s opening remarks: General welcome and the meeting was opened.

2. Apologies and declarations of interest: Cllr Alex McNaughton’s car had broken down en route. No declarations of interest.

3. Minutes: Minutes for the meeting held on 22nd December 2015 were agreed as accurate.

4. Matters arising:

a. Cllr McNaughton had previously sent word that the repairs to the church wall would not take place this financial year so we will raise this issue again in April.

b. Les reported on his correspondence with A+B Roads. Essentially they will not budge on our request for a 30mph limit in the area of the school crossing:

1. "Due to limitations in staff time we do not have the resources to pursue amended traffic regulations at this time." As the campaign has been running for five or more years was there never a point at which they did have sufficient resources?

2. "The configuration of Strachur does not allow for it to be considered for a 30mph zone." This assertion attempts to shift the argument, made repeatedly over the last few years, from the school crossing to the whole of Strachur - at no point have we asked for the whole of Strachur to be 30mph. Though there is now a growing feeling for a 30mph limit near the Creggans, a separate battle to be fought.

3. "The A+B network was reviewed in 2011 and is considered to be correct." I've not yet found someone locally who participated in this review.

4. "The most recent speed survey by Police Scotland indicated only 3% non-compliance with the current 40mph limit." This is a total misinterpretation of PS figures. Of the 2721 vehicle movements 1007 were over 40mph (37%) - the 3% figure (87 vehicle movements) relates to vehicles in excess of 50mph.

c. In relation to other “roads” issues raised, A+B said that they have issued an instruction to Amenity Services to clear the growth on the pavements.

d. A+B asked if the CC could intercede informally with landowners whose hedges hung over the pavement. It was thought by the meeting that one of these pieces of land was in fact in the ownership of A+B – the triangle between the old main road and the “new” A815 (between the A886/A816 junction and the Memorial Hall.)

5. Police Report: PC Cawley reported that there were 11 incidents involving the police from 1/12/15 to date mostly traffic or weather related. There was one incident of speeding in the region of the Creggans that was the subject of action.

6. Health Report: There was no health report.

7. Secretary’s report: Les reported that the Planning Our Future response had been made to A+B and a further consultation document on the Firth of Clyde Regulating Order had been submitted (see attachment to these minutes.)

8. Treasurer’s report: The current balance stands at £1959.

9. Transport update: There was no report as such though there was a brief discussion on the Variable Messaging Sign long promised for the junction of A886/A815. Les said that A+B Roads were to meet with BEAR Scotland Ltd to finalise arrangements now that the concrete base was in position.

10. Any other business:

a. Kirstie said that the new police officer in charge of the Mobile Police Office that visits Strachur fortnightly reported to the recent meeting with Community Partners. The officer hopes to get formal permission to use a bicycle to raise the profile and reach of the police while visiting with the van.

b. Iain Macgregor reported that his battle with BT Openreach continue with another engineer expressing shock at the way in which the telephone cables were strung along the trees at Strathlachlan and along the shoreline elsewhere. No action required from the CC at this moment. A brief discussion on broadband performance disclosed that speed varied wildly between houses only a short distance apart, eg. Les 12.8mbps, house adjacent 0.3mbps!

c. Peter reported on behalf of the Devco that the plans for the Hub on the Heron Park car park were now with A+B. When things were further advanced the Devco would consider a more comprehensive public presentation of their plans.

d. In discussing the CC contribution to the Regulating Order it was remarked that in 1970 11,000 ton of cod was unloaded from the Clyde basin but then a three mile limit had been in force. Similar reports of fishing competitions now being unheard of on Loch Fyne were made.

11. Date of next meeting: 19:30, Wednesday 16th March 2016 at the Strachur Memorial Hall.

Les Earle, Secretary, Strachur District Community Council

The contribution of the CC to the recent consultation regarding Regulating Orders:

COMMENTS ON PROPOSED FIRTH OF CLYDE REGULATING ORDER (WHICH INCLUDES LOCH FYNE)

Strachur Community Council is in favour of any measures that would prevent further damage to the marine environment of the Clyde Sea Area, assist the recovery of marine habitats that have suffered from past commercial practices and improve the sustainability of the local fishing industry.

We therefore welcome in principle the proposed Firth of Clyde Regulating Order (RO).

Although we believe that the most effective way to protect the Clyde Sea Area and restore it to its pre-1980s biological state would be the re-introduction of a 3-mile ban on trawling and dredging, we recognise that this is an unachievable goal in the present circumstances (when even the limited proposals of the RO are being opposed vigorously by the Clyde Fishermen’s Association) and that it would have an unacceptable impact on local livelihoods that depend currently on commercial fishing in the area.

These general views represent those of the community of Strachur and district as conveyed to us in person by members of the public at Community Council meetings and by e-mail.

In addition, we would like to make the following points:

1. The Information Pack (November 2015) states (page 6) that the Clyde Shellfisheries Management Organisation (which would manage the RO) would have representation from “community groups”. However, it is clear from Table 1 that the only community representatives would be fishermen. Since not all communities affected by the RO (and by the situation the RO is intended to rectify) include fishermen, the CSMO should have (perhaps two) non-fishing-interest community representatives who could convey the full spread of views of local non-fishing stakeholders.

2. The Information Pack (November 2015) states (page 10) that the allocation of licences would be undertaken by a sub-committee comprising “non-fishing-interest members of the CSMO”. Whilst this arrangement might be intended to avoid problems arising from conflicts of interest, we believe it would be preferable if fishing-interest members were also involved in the allocation of licences (with the expectation that consideration of any such member’s own application for a licence would require them to “step out of the room”). Fishermen would contribute valuable local knowledge to the allocation process, which would also be seen to be completely transparent. Furthermore, fishermen can hardly be expected to buy fully into this scheme unless they are full participants in it.

3. It is not clear how RO restrictions would interact with the proposed management (still to be finalised) of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Upper Loch Fyne and Loch Goil. For example, according to a response from Marine Scotland to an enquiry from a member of the public about the MPA, trawling would be available in Upper Loch Fyne to vessels smaller than 75 gross tonnes, yet the RO proposes that the whole of Upper Loch Fyne would be ‘restoration’ (no commercial activity at all) or ‘creel & dive only’. It is self-evident that proposed MPA and RO management schemes will have to coincide.

We will continue to seek the views of the community with a view to participating in the future consultations.

Iain Wilkie (Community Councillor)

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