Minutes 14th March 2018

Strachur Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 14th March 2018

Strachur Memorial Hall Committee Room



Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Ceci Alderton, Les Earle, John Fleming, Isabel McGladdery, Kirstie Reid, Iain Wilkie (Secretary).


Also in attendance: Cllr Alan Reid, PC Donald Mackay, Jeff Wilson (Strachur & District Community Development Company) and Julie McKellar (Head Teacher, Strachur Primary School).


1. Convener’s opening remarks:

Archie opened the meeting with a general welcome.


2. Apologies and declarations of interest:

Inspector Duncan MacLean, Cllr Gordon Blair and Cllr Yvonne McNeilly apologised for non- attendance. There were no declarations of interest.


3. Minutes.

Minutes for the meeting held on 17th January 2018 were agreed as accurate.


4. Matters arising.

a. Traffic monitoring at school crossing.

Cllr Reid had been informed that on the A815 at Strachur (40mph speed restriction) the average daily volume had been 876 vehicles and the average speed had been 37mph. Cllr Reid had asked Roads for comments and recommendations based on these stats. It was also agreed that a breakdown of the numbers, including dates and times, would be desirable.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


b. Erection of new road-sign at the A815/A886.

Cllr Reid had been informed that the sign would be ordered in the new financial year, depending on the final revenue budget allocation. Since the Council had allocated a lot more money to roads, money should not be an issue.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


c. VMS sign at A815/A886 junction.

Cllr Reid had been informed by Roads that they were still awaiting the signs from Transport Scotland and, as yet, Transport Scotland had not been able to provide a delivery date.

This had been raised at the Cowal Transport Forum where it was minuted that Kevin McIntosh (Council) and George Fiddes (Transport Scotland) were to meet to discuss during the week commencing 12th March.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


d. Flooding at Strathlachlan graveyard.

Amenity Services had made arrangements for the drainage at Strathlachlan Cemetery to be cleared. Cllr Reid had asked to be informed when the work had been carried out, but, having heard nothing, had e-mailed Amenity Services again.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


e. Replacement of ‘No overnight parking’ signs.

Roads had informed Cllr Reid that “Replacement signs will be ordered and erected when resources are available.” He had asked to be informed of progress, but had heard nothing and had e-mailed Roads again.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


f. Progress on signage to discourage antisocial camping.

Cllr Blair had been in touch with the Cowal Community Councils about their signage requirements. Most had responded, and he hoped to have a list of locations by the end of March

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid

g. Weight restriction signs for B8000.

Dave Clark had arranged for advanced signage to be placed on the A886 at Leanach as this was in connection with coastal protection works to renew the culvert and rebuild the seawall just north of Lephinchapel Farm.


h. Disfigured road sign at junction of A886 and Leanach road.

Dave Clark intended to replace all the junction signs for upper A886/B8000 junction at Leanach from the revenue sign maintenance budget for 2018-19 “provided there is sufficient budget to allow this to happen as we have spent our traffic sign maintenance budget for 2017-18 for Bute and Cowal.” The new signs would be bi-lingual.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


i. Missing grit bins at Strathlachlan Community Centre and Strachur Church.

New bins had been installed.


j. Briefing guide for CCs on Planning (Scotland) Bill.

Cllr Blair had suggested these links as useful sources of information:




k. Information on desired location and number of antisocial camping signs.

Iain had sent information for Loch Eckside to Cllr Blair on 14.2.18.


l. Request for support for Army Cadet Force Battlefield Tour.

It had been agreed that SCC would donate £50.


m. Response to Review of the Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils.

A response had been submitted on 19.1.18.


n. Articles for Newsletter and Facebook on Livestock Worrying Campaign.

Articles had been submitted.


o. Response to Loch Eck Land Management Plan.

A response had been submitted on 31.1.18.


p. Strachur Police House: funding for control of Japanese Knotweed.

PC Mackay would continue to pursue this issue.



5. Police Report.

PC Mackay submitted the following report:

“Since the last meeting there have been 22 incidents in the Strachur area. A number of these were relative to the wintry weather that we experienced, with varying issues on the roads.


One incident of note involved individuals trying to sell tools out of the back of a Transit van. These individuals were detained in Dunoon and charged with trading without a license. Please be vigilant and continue to report anything suspicious of this nature. This was also circulated via Rural Watch. There was a second incident last night in Leanach with a group of males selling teak garden furniture - again circulated via Rural Watch and Social Media with a number of sightings reported over the past 24 hours.


As a result of these incidents, one crime was reported whereby a male was detained in custody for court having assaulted another male aboard a West Coast Motors bus travelling through the Strachur /Cairndow area.


Following last month’s report of the incident relating to Sheep Worrying at Balliemeanoch Farm, a male has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal and a Dog Control Notice issued. Following on from this, we are well into our 3 month campaign in relation to Livestock Worrying and I have circulated information via Rural Watch and Social Media as well as having provided Iain with a briefing also. There have been notable incidents in Inveraray which we hope to avoid any repeat of.


The very topical Dog Fouling matter has been raised across Cowal over the past month. On the 1st April, Police Scotland & Argyll & Bute Council will launch a joint strategy to heighten awareness of the problem starting with a press release on Friday 30th March. Robust joint patrols will thereafter commence for April and May around the area. I am reliably informed that Argyll & Bute Council have responded to numerous complaints by designating a member of staff for 7 months to littering and dog fouling. It should be noted that offenders can be issued with a fixed penalty by the Environmental Warden on the evidence of one individual so please if you see this, take note of your location, time, description of the dog and its owner and report the matter.”


6. Health Report.

Kirstie submitted the following report:

a. Did Not Attend Letters

As of today I have still had no response from the locality manager or the two people who have taken over her responsibilities since she started her maternity leave last month this despite emailing them on the 5th February. I have a meeting on Friday (16th March) in the hospital about the waiting time figures I uncovered so will bring it up then.


b. Health and Care Forum meetings

These meetings dates and times were advertised on the NHS Highland HSCP website although they didn't inform the members. Myself and two colleagues turned up at the hospital on the advertised date to discover that the hospital was not booked. This hass been taken up with Caroline Champion - NHS Highland public relations officer - when she returns from annual leave


c. Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

I discovered this act was coming into force by accident after seeing a press release on the NHS Highland website on the 8th February. It comes into effect on the 1st April 2018. This act requires Health and Social Care Partnerships to provide additional support to unpaid and family carers, both adult and young, so that they can continue with their caring role as long as they wish to do so. So we have arranged Argyll and Bute Council Carers Act Implementation Officer to come and do a presentation and answer any questions. We have also invited the surrounding community councils. The meeting will take place in Strachur memorial Hall on Wednesday 21st March.

Cowal has a population of 16,477 people of which 8655 have been identified as carers.

Argyll and Bute has a population of 73,731 people of which 8655 have been identified as carers, i.e. 12% of the population while it is only 9% in Scotland. These figures do not count young carers. 

The Scottish Parliament has identified the contribution unpaid carers provide; it is equivalent to the whole of the NHS Scotland budget which at present is around £10.4 billion. 



7. Secretary’s Report.

Since the last meeting articles had been submitted to the Newsletter on: Police Scotland’s Livestock Worrying Campaign, Consultation on Gaelic Language Plan, Consultation on Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Reporting of road surface defects, and Community Council Elections.

Iain had responded to consultations on the Argyll & Bute HSCP Amended Integration Scheme and the Long Term Forest Plan for Strachur Forest.

Iain had written a letter of support for the Harry Lauder Memorial Restoration.

There had been correspondence with Argyll & Bute Council and with Strachur & District Local History Society concerning the remains of Lephindrissach School near Lephinchapel.

Iain had attended the fourth and fifth Cowal Out of Hours Review Group meetings on 23.1.18 and 22.2.18.


8. Treasurer’s report.

The bank balance stood at £2,356.25.


9. Transport update.

Archie summarised transport-related issues not covered elsewhere on the agenda.

a. Planning services would be contacted regarding the potential for developers being asked to provide bus stops as part of the planning permission for housing developments.

b. Following a request for a new bus shelter at Sandhaven, it was agreed that this would be added to the list with a report detailing the outstanding requests for bus shelters being brought to the next Cowal Transport meeting.

c. The bus stop at the Rest-and-Be-Thankful was now officially in use. Concern had been expressed over the length of time it was taking to complete the TRO process. There was still an ongoing issue with vehicles parking in the turning circle.

d. Maintenance of the B8000 would receive Forestry funding.

e. Paul Farrell would be attending Kirn Primary School’s Parent Council meeting in view of issues flagged about traffic management (parking and speeding).

f. The Dunoon Pier TRO would be advertised after the Rest-and-Be-Thankful TRO.


10. Public Engagement.

Iain tabled a draft questionnaire targeted at 16-30 year-olds, which was intended to remind them of the existence of the Community Council and find out if there were any issues related to young people that the Community Council could help with; as an incentive to complete and submit questionnaires, it was proposed that there would be a raffle of four prizes in the form of £20 Amazon Gift Cards. After discussion it was agreed unanimously that the questionnaire should be distributed.



11. Any Other Business.

a. Creag Dhubh wind farm proposal.

Argyll & Bute Council had produced a Scoping Opinion in December 2017. The covering letter stated that “the prospects of this development being supported at Officer level, on the basis of the information available to date and the views expressed by consultees thus far, do not appear favourable”.


b. Heron Park.

Jeff Wilson reported that the Development Company had obtained funding from the Lottery Fund and Argyll & Bute Council for the refurbishment of Heron Park.


c. Strachur and District Community Fund.

Jeff Wilson reported that four applications for funding would be considered at a meeting of the SDCF on 16.3.18.


d. Drainage problems on A886.

Les reported that there were drainage problems on the A886 between the Post Office and Letters Way due to 13 blocked drains and silting up of a gully. Cllr Reid offered to pursue this with Roads.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


e. A815 speed limit.

Archie proposed that we step up the campaign for a 30mph speed limit on the A815 from south of the school junction to Laurelbank. As well as the speeding issue, timber lorries on this stretch of road had been observed mounting the pavement to avoid damaging their side mirrors when passing other large vehicles travelling in the opposite direction. This represented an unacceptable risk to pedestrians. It was agreed that in the first instance Iain should write to Jim Smith, Head of Road & Amenity Services, Argyll & Bute Council.



f. Community Council elections.

Nomination packs were distributed and Community Councillors were reminded that nominations should be lodged by 4.00 p.m. on 22.3.18.


12. Dates of subsequent meetings.

There will be a special meeting to discuss the new Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 at 19:30, Wednesday 21st March 2018 in Strachur Memorial Hall.


The Annual General Meeting will commence 19:30, Wednesday 11th April 2018 at Strachur Memorial Hall and will be followed by an Ordinary Meeting.



Iain Wilkie

Secretary, Strachur Community Council

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