Strachur Community Council
Minutes of Ordinary Meeting
Held 19:30 on Wednesday 12th October 2022
Strachur Memorial Hall
Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Isabel McGladdery, Iain Wilkie (Secretary), Kirstie Reid and Drew Stewart.
Also in attendance: Councillor William Sinclair and six members of the public.
1. Convener’s opening remarks:
Archie welcomed everyone to the meeting and acknowledged the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
2. Apologies and declarations of interest:
Laura Walker apologised for non-attendance. There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes for the Ordinary Meeting held on 17th August 2022 were agreed as accurate, except that the bank balance (item 8) was incorrect; the correct balance was £2,200.64.
4. Matters arising.
a. Blocked drains: parking area in front of ‘Ashbank’ etc., Creggans.
No further information was available.
ACTION: Cllr Sinclair
b. Blocked drains: A886 from building site to start of raised pavement.
No further information was available.
ACTION: Cllr Sinclair
c. Faded white-lining on A815 near Filling Station.
Cllr Sinclair said that white-lining had been delayed because of the poor weather.
d. West Coast Motors: changes to timetable.
Cllr Sinclair had had a meeting with WCM. Issues discussed included the Saturday timetable for Strachur and the option to use smaller buses. Cllr Sinclair once again encouraged residents to make use of the Pingo service. It was pointed out that the need to use an ‘App’ was inappropriate for older residents and was putting them off using the service.
e. CC donation to Hall Committee for upkeep of Memorial Garden.
Iain had informed the Committee on 26.8.22 of the decision that the CC would make a one-off donation.
f. Hall Committee decisions.
Iain reported that, according to the Deed of Trust (1960), “Every matter shall… be determined by a majority of the Members present and voting on the question.” Elsewhere, the document makes clear that the term “Members” includes representatives of user groups. This implies that major decisions should not be made by the Executive Officers alone.
g. A886 speed survey.
Cllr Sinclair had forwarded the results of the speed survey, which had been conducted on 8th-14th July. On each of those days the average speed had been 40 mph. Members of the public observed that the results of any speed survey would be affected by the location of the sensors. In Argyll & Bute Council’s report the location was given as “Opp Mid Letters” and so was not clear, since “Mid Letters” was partly adjacent to the 60 mph section of the A886. Argyll & Bute Council’s response to the survey was awaited. Iain would follow this up.
h. Letter to Trust Housing Association re Manse Gardens.
Iain had e-mailed a letter to the THA CEO Rhona McLeod on 1.9.22. In response he had received a phone call on 12.9.22 from Jackie McKenzie, THA Director of Assets and Sustainability, which had resulted in the attendance at the meeting of Ian Davie, THA Head of Development and Asset Strategy (see item 12 below).
i. Friendship bench at Medical Practice.
A new plinth had been installed and the friendship bench was now in position.
5. Police Report (received from PS Donald MacIver by e-mail).
Between 14/06/22 and 11/10/22 there had been15 incidents actioned to the police in the Strachur council area: 2 x RTC [Road Traffic Collisions]
1 x neighbour dispute
1 x alarm activation
2 x Road Traffic Matters
1 x Domestic incident
1 x Abandoned Vehicle
1 x Missing person
1 x Firearms incident
3 x Assist member of Public
1 x Assist other agency
1 x Sudden death
There had been one Crime Report (assault).
6. Health Report.
Since the last meeting Kirstie had been invited to join the Carers Act Implementation Group and had attended a couple of meetings. This group is made up of HSCP Staff and Care Centre Managers.
Kirstie had also attended the Coalition of Carers in Scotland meetings where there were discussions on the proposed National Care Service and how it will affect those receiving care, be it via paid or unpaid carers. They had also had a meeting with the Scottish Government Minister responsible for Health and Social Care in November.
Community Link Workers.
Community Link Workers (CLW) is an initiative delivered with WE ARE WITH YOU who already deliver drug and alcohol services in Argyll & Bute. They get patient referrals from surgery staff and can work with patients over a number of appointments in a person centred way to provide support for social problems affecting patients’ health. There are currently four CLWs in Argyll & Bute providing a service in GP Surgeries. The problems they can help with include:
loss and bereavement
loneliness and social isolation
feeling low or anxious
unemployment or difficulties at work
worries about money, debt or housing
providing support to join activities in the community
More information can be found at www.wearewithyou.org.uk/what-we-do/community-links/.
7. Secretary’s Report.
Articles for Newsletter and/or Facebook.
Since the last meeting five articles had been submitted. These were on: Calmac Community Fund; Police Survey; Pingo buses; Parking Review; and Rural & Island Communities Ideas into Action Fund.
The main correspondence (in addition to any mentioned elsewhere) had been with:
a. Residents re: A886 speed limit
Hall Committee ‘constitution’.
Surveys and consultations.
No responses had been submitted.
a. Attended Argyll Rally Community Council Liaison Meeting on 10.10.22.
The secretary was the only CC representative at the meeting, possibly because some of the relevant CCs had not attracted enough candidates in the recent CC elections. The rally organisers are already planning the stages for Argyll Rally 2023. There will be no changes that affect Strachur: routes and timings will be the same as this year’s. The organisers were keen to know if the Strachur community wants the Friday evening regroup to occur at the Hall, as happened this year. They pointed out that this is an opportunity for the Hall to obtain income by providing snacks and refreshments for both competitors and spectators. Members of the public reported that this year’s regroup at the Hall had been well attended.
b. Booked CC meeting venues for session 2023-24.
8. Treasurer’s report.
The bank balance still stood at £2,200.64.
9. Transport update.
Archie said he would attend the 15th November meeting of the Cowal Transport Forum.
10. National Park Update.
Cllr Sinclair reminded the meeting about the planning application (2021/0357/DET) for a fish farm at Beinn Reithe, Loch Long.
11. ‘Joint Efforts’ Update (received from Laura Walker by e-mail).
“We did our 3rd pop up. Italian theme. We had another busy turn out. All young people have passed their food and hygiene certificate and are making wonderful progress.
I'm currently in the process of setting up a voluntary organisation. The Big Lottery fund have a grant that offers up to 100k for a 3 year project. The criteria it has to meet is that - it's run by young people and the board has young people on it and the constitution is created by the young people.
We're working on that together as part of this project. The funding advisor has been extremely helpful and feels like there's a strong chance for receiving additional funding to scale the project.
I'm working with the school and council on this. We've built really strong relationships with local small businesses, and have dates in the diary for additional workshops as a result.”
12. Manse Gardens.
Ian Davie provided an update on Manse Gardens (MG). He noted that Trust Housing Association (THA) has a total of 68 developments. THA was treating MG as a priority and wanted to know if the properties could be made more attractive for modern living. For example, the current view was that the minimum size should be one-bedroom and not bed-sit. Since there was at present a large number of vacant properties, this was an ideal time for redevelopment. A design team and engineering team had been appointed to examine how properties could be amalgamated with minimum inconvenience to present tenants. The intention was to consult with tenants by the end of 2022. By mid-January it was expected that THA would have an idea of what could be done.
Archie said that the community’s main concern related to the antisocial behaviour of tenants who had been taken on after MG moved from Sheltered to Amenity Housing status, which had resulted in other tenants moving out.
Ian Davie suggested that one- or two-bedroom properties might attract tenants who were more community-minded. Argyll & Bute Council had a waiting list of 12 people whose first choice was Strachur and it was mainly one-bedroom properties that were wanted.
Kirstie said that the presence of the warden had had a calming effect on potentially troublesome tenants. Ian Davie admitted there was no prospect of the warden’s post being reinstated.
A member of the public advised that the proposed plan of action should be widely publicised in order to keep the community fully informed. Archie suggested that plans should be presented to current tenants as soon as possible. Ian Davie accepted these suggestions and offered to provide the CC with an update in time for the next meeting in December.
a. Forest view flooding.
Kirstie said that, despite recent work done by Scottish Water, gardens were still flooded. Kirstie agreed to follow this up.
14. Date and location of next meeting.
The next meeting would be at 19:30, 14th December 2022 in Strachur Memorial Hall.
Secretary, Strachur Community Council