Strachur & District Community Council
Minutes of Ordinary Meeting
Held 19:30 on Wednesday 13th December 2023
Strachur Memorial Hall
Members present: Kirstie Reid (Vice-convener), Isabel McGladdery (Treasurer), and Iain Wilkie (Secretary).
Also in attendance: No-one else attended the meeting.
1. Vice-convener’s opening remarks:
Kirstie expressed disappointment that no Local Councillor or members of the public were in attendance. She also confirmed that the meeting was quorate, as three Community Councillors were present, which was the minimum for a quorum (‘Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils in Argyll & Bute 2022’, paragraph 9.3).
2. Apologies and declarations of interest:
Archie Reid, William McGladdery, Steve Mclaughlin and Lizzie MacDonald apologised for non- attendance. There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes for the Ordinary Meeting held on 11th October 2023 were agreed as accurate.
4. Matters arising.
a. Review of Polling Districts and Places.
Iain had responded to the consultation on 1.11.23.
b. Eredine Wind Farm Workshop.
Iain had attended the online workshop on 24.10.23. He reported that, if approved, construction of the wind farm would start in 2027 and be completed in 2028 or 2029. It would provide a community benefit of £600,000 per year. There was no information, as yet, about how this would be distributed between the different Community Council areas that would be affected by the development.
c. Proposal for a Scottish Forum of Community Councils.
Iain had informed Pippa Plevin, West Lothian Community Council, that Strachur & District Community Council declined her invitation to join the proposed Scottish Forum of Community Councils. He had received no acknowledgement of his e-mail (sent 2.11.23).
d. Local Place Plans.
Iain had informed Hannah Robinson, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, that Strachur & District Community Council would not be developing a Local Place Plan at this stage. His e-mail was acknowledged on 14.11.23.
e. A886 matters.
Councillor Sinclair had forwarded the following response from Argyll & Bute Council (Road and Infrastructure Services), dated 31.10.23:
“Roads Officers review and assess speed limits based on the Councils Road Speed Limit Policy Framework; which itself is based on national guidance and technical documents and was endorsed by both Police Scotland and Transport Scotland. There is no algorithm, as such, but beyond the robust data used as part of the assessment process (crash picture, vehicle speed and volume) Officers also take into consideration other factors including road geometry, sense of place and, indeed, perception of all road users. Any amendment to speed is based on a holistic assessment of information and any proposals arising from this must lead to a change which is largely self-enforcing and doesn’t rely on Police Scotland enforcement activities to be adhered to.
Notwithstanding the above, the request to extend the speed limit beyond Mid-Letters isn’t unreasonable, however; it is the view of Officers that the appropriate speed limit is 40mph not 20-30mph. Officers will add this change to the Traffic Regulation Order programme but would note that this is subject to discussion with Police Scotland first. We noted also, concerns regarding the lack of footway provision to Alt Darrach and can advise that this will be considered as part of the footway Capital schemes in the future (this year already being committed). Normally, footway connections should be provided by developments and we will ensure any future continuation of the ribbon development does provide footway links, captured as part of the Roads consultee response to Planning.
In regards to the last point raised in the letter (visibility splay at the A815/A886 junction), we would advise that, unfortunately, this is not unique within the adopted road network and, in most cases, the service owns neither the land required or has the budget to remove all such concerns from the network. In many cases, the only available solution is advance warning through signs and line markings. In respect to this particular case, once the B&C Traffic & Development vacancy is filled, the new Officer will review the comments made and the junction with a view to considering potential improvements.”
5. Police Report (received from PS Eddie McGunnigal by e-mail on 6.12.23)
Between 11/10/23 and 6/12/23 there had been 16 incidents reported in Strachur Beat LB51:
4 x Road traffic issues. Mostly weather related.
3 x Abandoned 999 calls (3 Pocket dials).
2 x Assist Member of Public.
1 x Fraud.
1 x Suspicious van.
1 x Sextortion.
1 x Weather related call.
2 x Planned shoots.
1 x Road traffic crash (Non injury).
Three crime Reports had been generated:
1 x Attempted Extortion (Sextortion – online offence).
1 x Wilful Fire-raising.
1 x Fraud (Scam call).
Police are appealing for information after a blue recycling bin was set on fire near to Strachurmore Sports Centre, Strachur. The incident occurred between 28th October and 7th November. If you have any information, please contact PC Stirling at Dunoon Police Office on 101.
6. Health Report. [From Kirstie]
a. GP Relocation Project Community Engagement.
An online event will be held via Microsoft Teams on Monday 29th January 2024 at 6.30 - 7.30pm. To register, send your e-mail address to: firstname.lastname@example.org by 19th January.
b. Treatment of patients in Inverclyde Royal Hospital.
After concerns were raised about the insensitive way some frail patients had been treated in Inverclyde Royal Hospital, I had to go through Donald Cameron MSP for a satisfactory outcome, which resulted in an apology being given to both the patients and their families.
Articles for Newsletter and/or Facebook.
Since the last meeting seven articles had been submitted. These were on: Scotrail Consultation, Active Travel Consultation, Remembrance Sunday (two articles), Consultation on High Brenfield Wind Farm Proposal, Emergency Plan, and Consultation – Our Children Their Future.
The main correspondence (in addition to any mentioned elsewhere) had been with:
a. Resident re: Mobile mast at Feorline.
b. Argyll & Bute Council re: i/ Local Development Plan 2.
ii/ Tree Preservation Order.
c. BEAR Scotland re: Faded road markings at A83/A815 junction.
d. Cllr Sinclair re: i/ Faded road markings at A83/A815 junction.
ii/ Area Plans.
Surveys and consultations.
Responses had been submitted to the following consultations:
a. High Brenfield Wind Farm Proposal.
b. Review of Polling Districts and Places.
a. Attended Argyll Rally Community Council Liaison ‘Zoom’ meeting on 4.12.23.
Ours was the only Community Council represented at this meeting. Iain was informed that Argyll Rally 2024 organisers had acceded to our request for the rally cars to divert via Clachan Brae when driving between the Loch Fyne and Whistlefield stages on the afternoon of 22nd June. There would be appropriate signage and marshals would be present to safeguard the public and ensure that the cars “behaved”.
b. Updated Emergency Plan and gave hard copies to: The Creggans Inn, Strachur Medical Practice, Post Office, Filling Station, Strachur Primary School, and Community Councillors.
8. Treasurer’s report.
The bank balance stood at £2,507.79.
9. Transport update.
a. Cowal Transport Forum
Kirstie attended the meeting on 12.12.23.
i/ Boat-rail connection.
Scotrail proposed to amend the timetable as follows:
boat leaving Dunoon 10 mins to hour - train will change to leaving Gourock at 26 mins past; boat leaving Dunoon 20 mins past hour - train will leave Gourock 56 mins past the hour.
These will be fast trains stopping at every station to Port Glasgow, then Paisley Gilmore St. and Glasgow Central. The trains from Wemyss Bay will be all-stop slow trains.
It is hoped the Saturday 5.50 p.m. bus will be reinstated by combining it with the Portavadie bus. It is also proposed that the Monday to Friday 5.50 p.m. bus will normally stop at the Bay, but it will go to the Leanach if requested by passengers, either on board the bus of by phoning beforehand.
10. National Park Update.
a. Area Plans.
Iain informed the other attendees that, in October, the 'Dunoon Observer' and 'Oban Times' had published articles referring to Argyll & Bute Council's approval of proposals for the development of “Area Plans”. It had been reported that the development of these plans would involve Community Councils and Development Trusts. Iain had also noted that the Argyll & Bute Council document 'Development of Area Plans to Reflect Investment Opportunities' (Policy and Resources Committee, 12.10.23) had timetabled the first engagement with Community Councils for May-June 2024. However, it would have been a matter of courtesy to have given Community Councils and Development Trusts prior notification of these proposals before they were publicised in the press. Iain had e-mailed Councillor Sinclair in the hope that we could be informed about how Area Plans would relate to Local Place Plans, Community Action Plans, and Local Development Plans. Iain would follow this up.
b. Speed limits: e-mail from resident.
Archie had received an e-mail from a young resident asking for the speed limits through the village to be reduced to 30 mph. Iain agreed to forward this to our Local Councillors and other relevant parties in Argyll & Bute Council.
c. Damage to pavement, A886.
Kirstie said that Archie had received an e-mail from a resident who was a wheelchair-user regarding the very uneven pavement surface adjacent to the A886 near ‘The Retreat’. Kirstie had alerted our Local Councillors and Councillor Sinclair had offered to follow this up.
ACTION: Cllr Sinclair
d. Argyll Rally 2023.
Kirstie said that many Dunoon businesses and residents directly affected by road closures for Argyll Rally 2023 had not received notification of these closures. It was hoped that this would not be repeated in 2024. Iain agreed to bring this up at the next Argyll Rally Community Council Liaison meeting.
e. Flooding issues.
Kirstie brought up the issues of flooding (1) on the A815 at the layby 150 m east of ‘Coire Ealt’, (2) on the A815 at Glenbranter, and (3) at the bottom of Clachan Brae near the entrance to Fergusson’s premises. Iain agreed to pursue these issues.
14. Date and location of next meeting.
The next meeting would be at 19:30, 17th January 2024 in Strachur Memorial Hall.
Secretary, Strachur & District Community Council