Strachur & District Community Council
Minutes of Ordinary Meeting
Held 19:30 on Wednesday 14th June 2023
Strachur Memorial Hall
Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Isabel McGladdery, Steve Mclaughlin, Kirstie Reid and Iain Wilkie (Secretary).
Also in attendance: One member of the public.
1. Convener’s opening remarks:
Archie welcomed everyone to the meeting.
2. Apologies and declarations of interest:
Cllr Gordon Blair and William McGladdery apologised for non-attendance. There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes for the Ordinary Meeting held on 12th April 2023 were agreed as accurate.
4. Matters arising.
a. Manse Gardens.
Iain had received the following update from Ian Davie, Trust Housing Association:
“The next phase, moving from concept to technical design stage, will most likely take us to the end of the calendar year, this will involve pre-application planning discussions on our proposals with the council’s Planning department.
Our Design Team will be submitting a request to meet the Planners shortly, and in tandem, our consultants will also be undertaking further site surveys over the summer months, which will include landscape architect surveys, engineering surveys, detailed building surveys.
I would expect the next tangible update to be around early Autumn, post-above next steps.”
b. A815 and A886 speed limit issues: communication with Jim Smith, Argyll & Bute Council.
It was reported that a ‘Smiley Face’ sign had been installed at the south end of the 40 mph stretch of A886 near the junction with Letters Way. No information had been received regarding communication with Mr Smith.
ACTION: Cllrs Blair, Sinclair and McNeilly
c. School warning sign, A815: not in operation.
ACTION: Cllrs Blair, Sinclair and McNeilly
d. Speed limit sign obscured by vegetation.
Iain had made no progress with this. Steve offered to report the problem to Argyll & Bute Council.
e. Hall defibrillator.
Iain had forwarded the suggestion to the Hall Committee that instructions for accessing the defibrillator should be posted in the Hall. He had received the following response:
“With regard to the defib issue, it turns out that the instructions are on the outside now, stating that there is no code. As many people as possible locally have been informed and hopefully there won’t be any problems if and when it requires to be used.”
It was agreed that the CC would not take this any further.
f. Water leakage, Clachan Brae.
Iain had reported this to Argyll & Bute Council Roads and Infrastructure Services and had received the following response:
“The location has been inspected and conditions and risks appraised. Safety risk and priority has been assessed as LOW. Details have been logged in our system to be considered within a future works programme for prioritisation against other roads or lighting improvement schemes.
Should the condition of the defect significantly worsen please contact us quoting your reference number.”
g. Blockage of Heron Park footpath by Scottish Water enclosure.
Iain had e-mailed Peter Roy, Development Company, about this and had been informed that Scottish Water had the DevCo’s permission to use the car park for 12 weeks in the first instance.
Steve informed the meeting that the enclosure fencing had been shifted and that the footpath was no longer blocked.
5. Police Report (received from PS Eddie McGunnigal by e-mail on 16.6.23)
Between 15/03/23 and 16/06/23 there had been 25 incidents reported in Strachur Beat LB51:
1 Planned shoot/Pest Control
8 Road traffic issues. (Animals on road, Deer Strike, Broken down vehicles, Road traffic collisions)
1 Concern for person
4 Abandoned 999 call
3 Neighbour Disputes
2 Assist Member of Public
1 False Call
2 Animal Calls
1 Firearms Incident
1 Police Information Call
Five crime Reports had been generated:
Online Fraud (Enquiry Ongoing)
Theft of Money (Enquiry Ongoing)
Dangerous Driving (Detected)
Firearms Act (Enquiry Ongoing)
Questions & Issues Raised:
Complaint regarding poor driving on A886.
Actions taken Re Issues Raised:
Extra attention requested in area by Core Response vehicles and Road Traffic Vehicles.
6. Health Report.
a. Place and Wellbeing Strategy meeting
I attended this meeting, which was held in Argyll House. This was on the Argyll & Bute HSCP Joint Strategy and was attended by a mix of NHS and Council staff and two public reps. One of the biggest points for discussion was transport issues for residents managing their daily routine like shopping, working, attending medical appointments etc. This may also have an impact on the ability of younger people and families to stay in Argyll & Bute.
b. Out Patient Appointments.
I received a reply from The Public Affairs Office of GGC HB apologising for the long waiting times and stating that they are doing their best to catch up after the effects of the COVID pandemic.
c. NHS Dentistry.
I raised the issue of the dentists stopping NHS dental treatment on the 17th May.This was the first the HSCP were aware of the proposals. NHS dental patients are now expected to take out a Dental Plan costing between £282 and £354 per year. Along with one of the Argyll & Bute Councillors, I also raised this issue at the last IJB meeting and asked what if patients cannot afford to pay this cost, bearing mind that there is no spare capacity across the water in Inverclyde and the nearest dentists willing to take NHS patients being in Paisley or Glasgow. I asked if patients can claim their travel expenses to go outside their area for dental appointments, as they can for hospital appointments, and was told they cannot, because you are free to go to any dentist in the county of your choice.
d. Glasgow Low Emission Zone.
I received a letter from GGC HB with information relevant to those attending any of the Glasgow Hospitals for an outpatient appointment or for visiting re the Glasgow LEZ. I can pass on relevant information to anyone who wants it.
Articles for Newsletter and/or Facebook.
Since the last meeting eleven articles had been submitted. These were on: Wind Farm Drop-in Session, Consultation on Regional Transport Strategy, CC AGM, Coronation Sunday, Citizens Advice Bureau Energy Advice, Consultation on Local Forest Management, Consultation on Scottish Parliament Constituency Boundaries, Argyll & Bute Council’s Budget Priorities, Argyll Rally 2023 Reminder, Dunoon to Hunters Quay Active Travel Route, SSEN Resilient Communities Fund 2023.
The main correspondence (in addition to any mentioned elsewhere) had been with:
a. A resident and NatureScot re: feral pigs.
b. A resident re: Wikipedia entry for Strachur.
c. Ardentinny CC re: Beinn Reithe (Loch Long) fish farm application.
d. West Lothian CC re: Scottish CCs Conference.
Surveys and consultations.
Responses had been submitted to the following consultations:
a. Blarghour Wind Farm Variation Proposal.
b. Consultation on Scottish Woodlands Ltd. Forest Management.
a. Attended Argyll Rally Community Council Liaison Meetings on 17.4.23 and 15.5.23.
b. Attended ‘An Càrr Dubh’ wind farm exhibition in Memorial Hall on 16.5.23.
A total of five residents visited the exhibition.
c. Delivered Argyll Rally 2023 Residents Information booklets to properties beside Loch Fyne stage (Barnacarry to Corra near Otter Ferry) on 25.5.23.
8. Treasurer’s report.
The bank balance stood at £1,995.95.
9. Transport update.
a. Cowal Transport Forum.
Kirstie attended the last Cowal Transport Forum and raised the lack of a Saturday Bus Service and other related issues.
b. Active Travel Route - Hunters Quay to Dunoon Ferry.
Kirstie explained that this has seen a lot of objections online and a public meeting was held with over 100 members of the public in attendance objecting to the proposed plans. These plans would affect everyone coming into Dunoon via the A815 (Shore Rd. via Western Ferries).
c. Clyde, Kintyre and Islands Ferry Users Group.
Kirstie informed the meeting that she would be attending a meeting of this Group on 20th June and that it would also be attended by CalMac, Transport Scotland and four Argyll & Bute Councillors as well as Representatives from the various ports the ferries sail to.
10. National Park Update.
11. Application for co-option.
Iain informed the meeting that Lizzie MacDonald had stepped forward as a candidate for co- option to the CC. Lizzie was proposed by Isabel and seconded by Kirstie. Lizzie received a unanimous endorsement from attending CC members. Her co-option form would now be sent to Argyll & Bute Council’s Community Council Liaison Officer.
Cathie Montgomery had expressed concerns about the large number of local community groups and organisations that were looking for new members and had wondered if a coordinated campaign to encourage volunteering in general might help. After discussion, it was agreed that, in view of their varying natures and needs, it would be better if individual organisations advertised vacancies and extolled their own virtues.
a. Isabel had received comments from residents concerning:
i/ ‘Smiley Face’ signs on A886.
Why was there no sign on the A815 near the Filling Station? The general view of the meeting was that the priority was to increase compliance with the speed limit at the start of the 40 mph stretch of the A886.
ii/ Layby blocked by traffic cones in St. Catherines.
As reported in the minutes for the CC meeting on 12.4.23, Nigel Potts (Roads & Infrastructure Services, Argyll & Bute Council) had informed Iain:
“I’ll pass on point 1 [blockage of access to layby] to our local roads inspector to investigate. The layby does form part of the adopted road so is for use by anyone travelling on the A815 and I am not aware of any request to prevent access.”
Iain offered to pursue this.
iii/ Road markings at A83/A815 junction.
The road markings are badly worn and need to be repainted. This is a dangerous junction and it is important that the ‘Give way’ signs in particular are clearly legible. Iain would follow this up.
b. Letter of support for Men’s Shed.
Bill Dickson asked if the CC could provide a letter of support for the men’s shed. The CC membership was happy to comply with this request.
c. Vegetation overgrowing crash-barrier on south end of single-track section of A886 near March Cottage.
Iain agreed to report this.
d. Poor driving on A886.
Steve commented on instances of poor driving (excessive speed and failure to use laybys in single-track section) on the 40 mph section of the A886. It was agreed that Iain should write to PS Eddie McGunnigal about this.
e. Consultation on boundary changes for Scottish Parliament constituencies.
Iain asked if members wished any comments to be submitted on behalf of the CC regarding the proposed changes, which included the addition of the Lomond North ward of the current Dunbarton constituency to the Argyll & Bute constituency. No comments were suggested.
f. Depute Community Facebook page administrator.
Iain suggested there was a need for a Depute Administrator who could stand in for Les Earle when he is not available. It was agreed that this was desirable. Iain offered to follow this up.
g. Report on Local Development Plan 2.
Iain distributed relevant pages of the LDP2 Report, which had been published on 9.6.23. During the LDP2 consultation, the CC had raised concerns about Housing Areas H1012 (Creggans), H1013 (Mid Letters) and H1019 (land opposite Sports Field), which had been allocated for a total of 47 housing units, and the possibility that the existing infrastructure would have insufficient capacity to cope with another 47 households. Despite these and other concerns, the Reporter had recommended “No modifications”.
h. EV charging point at Hall.
The Chair of the Hall Committee had forwarded the following information from Victoria Weir (Roads and Infrastructure, Argyll & Bute Council):
“Following on from my last email I had hoped to provide you with an update for our potential EVC install collaboration as we had initially been expecting EVIF to move at an accelerated pace with grant awards being made in the early part of this year.
Unfortunately this was delayed to April and now we have received further feedback that due to the national political changes we are now unlikely to have a funding announcement before Autumn/Winter 2023.
While it is unfortunate that the funding announcements have been delayed we remain in a good position to access the EVIF fund and I will provide you with a further update in Autumn/Winter, if not before.”
i. Participatory budgeting web page.
Cllr Blair had informed Iain that Argyll & Bute Council’s new participatory budgeting web page would be launched soon. This would allow communities and individuals to identify their priorities on where the money should be spent. Cllr Blair had also commented that, although much of the funding is ring-fenced, there are some areas where a fresh idea or two could make a difference.
14. Date and location of next meeting.
The next meeting would be at 19:30, 16th August 2023 in Strathlachlan Community Centre.
Secretary, Strachur & District Community Council