Strachur & District Community Council
Minutes of Ordinary Meeting
Held 19:30 on Wednesday 14th December 2022
Strachur Memorial Hall
Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Isabel McGladdery, Iain Wilkie (Secretary) and Kirstie Reid.
Also in attendance: Councillor William Sinclair and three members of the public.
1. Convener’s opening remarks:
Archie welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. Apologies and declarations of interest:
Iain Shonny Paterson (representative for Ward 1 on the Board of the National Park) apologised for non-attendance. There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes for the Ordinary Meeting held on 12th October 2022 were agreed as accurate.
4. Matters arising.
a. Blocked drains: parking area in front of ‘Ashbank’ etc., Creggans.
Argyll & Bute Council Roads and Infrastructure Services had informed Cllr Sinclair on 1.12.22 that:
“Our Roads Operations team have attempted to resolve the issue of the blocked drains without success. This was done as a goodwill gesture, as it is believed that the car parking area is under private ownership. On that basis, there are no plans to carry out any further works at this location.”
On 5.12.22 Iain had received a report from Roads stating that “Work on this fault was completed on 05/12/2022.”, though no “work” had been done at the blocked drains.
Cllr Sinclair offered to consult a Council solicitor to obtain a final verdict on the ownership question.
ACTION: Cllr Sinclair
b. Blocked drains: A886 from building site to start of raised pavement.
Roads had informed Cllr Sinclair on 30.11.22 that:
“The building contractor has agreed to upgrade the main drain line from the building site and connect to all the gullies. They have indicated the works should be completed within the next 2 months, although I understand that these works require an amendment to the planning agreement which must be approved by the planners before the contractor can carry out the works - this might affect the timescale for completion.”
c. Location of sensors used in July A886 speed/volume survey.
Iain had asked for the exact location of the sensors in e-mails sent to Paul Farrell (Argyll & Bute Council Traffic Development Officer) on 30.11.22 and 8.12.22 and to Donna Lawson (Mr Farrell’s stand-in) on 13.12.22. No response had been received as yet. A member of the public at the meeting said that the sensors had been located near the junction with Letters Way.
Cllr Sinclair informed the meeting that Argyll & Bute Council had just listed its priorities for the next 4.5 years. Recognising that speed was a major issue in every community, Road & Infrastructure Services would be initiating plans for 20 mph speed limits where this worked best for communities. A member of the public suggested that new 20 mph limits would make a difference only if they were adequately policed. There was also doubt as to how this would relate to Strachur’s protracted campaign for a 30 mph limit.
d. Manse Gardens.
Iain had received the following update from Ian Davie (Head of Development and Asset Strategy, Trust Housing Association):
“We hope to complete the technical options appraisal in mid-Jan, on our return from the festive break. We would then seek to engage with our tenants at Manse Gardens on the completed options, as well as the Council’s Housing team (late Jan/early Feb). We had hoped to complete this part of the work this side of the festive break, however, a further site inspection was required by the engineer which delayed this.”
It was suggested that we should request another update for the January CC meeting.
Cllr Sinclair suggested that Manse Gardens should be the subject of a question to be submitted to the next Bute & Cowal Area Committee meeting (7.3.23). Kirstie offered to attend this meeting online (see also item 12b below).
e. Flooding at Forest View.
Kirstie had contacted Scottish Water but the problem had not been sorted. Kirstie would pursue this.
5. Police Report (received from PS Eddie McGunnigal by e-mail).
Between 12/10/22 and 13/12/22 there had been 25 incidents actioned to the police in the Strachur council area: 13 in relation to Planned Shoots.
1 x RTC (Suspected drunk driver – all in order)
1 x Assault
3 x Wild Pigs
2 x False calls (Concern for persons - all in order)
1 x lost property
1 x Firearms incident
3 x Assist member of Public
There had been three Crime Reports: S 14 Wildlife Act (Release controlled species into the wild) Enquiry ongoing;
Assault – Positive line of enquiry being conducted;
S 1 Firearms Act (Insecure Firearm) 1 x Male reported.
There was also an appeal for information regarding the release of Feral Pigs.
6. Health Report.
a. Dementia Safeguarding Scheme.
A Dementia Safeguarding Tag was launched in Argyll & Bute on 29.11.22 to support anyone living with dementia and their families in the area. The tag operates through Near Field Communication (NFC) which enables two electronic devices to communicate, in this instance, the Dementia Safeguarding Tag and a mobile telephone. Every modern smart phone has NFC communication within it which can be enabled in your device settings.
The scheme comes after Police Scotland launched the Herbert Protocol in 2021, a national initiative to help those living with dementia and their families should they be reported missing. This is a simple form that is completed by family members when someone is diagnosed as living with dementia. The family keeps the completed form and if a relative goes missing in the future, the Herbert Protocol form can be used to help find the person sooner and safer.
If you live with dementia, or have a relative living with dementia, your local Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Advisor can provide you with a fully programmed Dementia Safeguarding Tag. For those living in Cowal the local Dementia Advisor is Anne-Marie King from the Helensburgh Dementia Resource Centre. She can be contacted by telephone on 01436 642 196 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. There is more information at
b. Warm Spaces.
Kirstie distributed a list of warm spaces where you can go and get warmed up in Cowal & Bute:
1. Blairmore Village Hall, Thursdays at 11 a.m., drop in.
2. Dunoon Foodbank, Thursdays 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to 12 noon, free refreshments.
3. Dunoon Burgh Hall, Souper Sundays, 8th, 15th and 29th January, 12 noon to 4 p.m., bowl of soup.
4. TLC Ballochyle House, Kirk Street, Dunoon, Mondays 12 noon to 2 p.m. and Fridays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
5. All Argyll & Bute Libraries during opening hours.
c. Manual Handling and Lifting.
Kirstie had been asked where you should go for advice on lifting and handling loved ones if you are put in a position of caring for them. Kirstie had asked the HSCP and this had resulted in a briefing paper being prepared for the next IJB meeting. Kirstie will forward this as soon as possible.
Articles for Newsletter and/or Facebook.
Since the last meeting seven articles had been submitted. These were on: Remembrance Sunday (two articles); Communities Mental Health Wellbeing Fund; Community Council renaming etc.; Eredine Wind Farm; An Càrr Dubh Wind Farm; and Survey on Improving Lives in Argyll & Bute.
The main correspondence (in addition to any mentioned elsewhere) had been with:
a. Ginny Baird (Constituency Caseworker to Jenni Minto MSP) re: A886 speed survey.
b. Dunoon Observer re: Manse Gardens
c. RWE re: Strachur & District CC being excluded from consultation about Eredine Wind Farm.
d. Statkraft re: An Càrr Dubh Wind Farm.
d. Hall Committee re: Argyll Rally 2023.
e. Convener of Lochgoil CC re: proposed meeting to discuss various issues.
f. Motorsport UK re: Argyll Rally 2023
g. Residents re: A886 speed survey
Proposed telecommunications installation at Feorline.
Surveys and consultations.
Responses had been submitted to the following consultations:
a. Blarghour Wind Farm Variation proposal.
b. An Suidhe Substation.
c. Feorline Base Station.
a. Attended Argyll Rally Community Council Liaison Meetings on 14.11.22 and 12.12.22.
b. Updated Emergency Plan.
8. Treasurer’s report.
The bank balance stood at £2,184.64.
9. Transport update.
Kirstie had attended the Cowal Transport Forum meeting on 11.11.22 and summarised issues raised under “Public Transport”.
Kirstie was appointed Forum representative to the Clyde, Kintyre and Islands Ferry Stakeholder Group.
There was discussion about CalMac fare increases for 2023. Allan Comrie, SPT, advised that he was unaware of any increases at the moment.
Michael Breslin (South Cowal CC) was disappointed no Council or West Coast Motors representatives were in attendance. He said the area faced huge Public Transport challenges during the pandemic but as things were getting back to normal a number of changes had been made by the Council and West Coast Motors without consultation. South Cowal CC had made multiple requests regarding bus services with no explanation given to the changes made.
Kirstie said that the Inveraray to Cairndow evening service was no longer running and that this was causing issues for people who used the service when travelling to and from the Beatson in Glasgow. She also highlighted a major concern regarding the changes made to school timetables, specifically the introduction of an early finish on a Thursday and Friday. The Forum had been advised previously that the contract buses to take the children home early were not going to affect the public service but this was not the case as some public services had been cancelled.
Councillor Sinclair reported that Kirstie’s points had been discussed at a meeting of Strachur & District CC and that he had arranged a meeting with council officers in this regard.
The outcome was that the Chair would enquire about a letter sent by the previous Chair to West Coast Motors re changes made to timetables and would also request that representatives from West Coast Motors and Roads and Amenity Services attend future meetings.
10. National Park Update.
Cllr Sinclair reported that the consultation on the Loch Lomond Byelaw Review was now closed and that the final proposed byelaws would be presented to the National Park Authority Board and then to Scottish Ministers for approval in 2023.
At the recent Board meeting the view was expressed that the National Park needed to pay attention to economic development as well as environmental issues if viable communities were to be maintained.
Cllr Sinclair was appointed Depute Chair of the Access and Planning Committee.
11. ‘Joint Efforts’ Update.
No update had been received.
a. Deficiencies in the Care System.
A member of the public attending the meeting expressed her extreme disquiet about the inadequacies of the Care System caused by the current shortage of professional carers. This was resulting in family members or even friends being expected to become unpaid carers. Unpaid carers are entitled to respite care, but there were not enough respite places to satisfy the demand.
An additional issue arose when people who already have a care package are hospitalised: the package stops and they are then kept in hospital for longer than necessary whilst the package is set up again.
This situation was leading to elderly residents having to leave the area to stay with family because of the impossibility of organising a care package.
All of this was hugely detrimental to the mental health and well-being of both the people in need of care and the family members who are trying to cope. Basically, despite all the rhetoric about “Care in the Community”, our ageing community was not getting the support it needed.
These concerns had been communicated to Brendan O'Hara MP and Jenni Minto MSP. The problem had been highlighted in an article in the Argyllshire Advertiser and would hopefully receive further publicity in the Dunoon Observer.
Other members of the public gave further examples of difficulties experienced when trying to organise care for relatives.
Cllr Sinclair advised that this was another issue that should be brought up at the next Bute & Cowal Area Committee meeting. Kirstie agreed to do so in her capacity as CC Health Representative.
b. Dog mess.
A member of the public raised a complaint about increased dog-fouling in the area. Iain agreed to report this to Argyll & Bute Council and to submit an item to the Newsletter on this subject.
c. Human mess.
A member of the public raised a complaint about human faeces in the bus shelter at the top of Clachan Brae. Three recent instances of this had been reported to Argyll & Bute Council and a request had been submitted to have the shelter cleaned, though the response had been slow. As this was an environmental health issue, the CC would ask Argyll & Bute Council to treat any further instances with greater urgency.
d. A815 footway near Glenbranter.
Kirstie said that this was overgrown again and an inconvenience to pedestrians accessing the bus-stop. Iain agreed to pursue this.
e. Broadband speed.
Archie said BT broadband speed at Forest View was slow. Attendees from other locations did not report any problems. Iain agreed to investigate.
14. Date and location of next meeting.
The next meeting would be at 19:30, 18th January 2023 in Strachur Memorial Hall.
Secretary, Strachur & District Community Council