Strachur & District Community Council
Minutes of Ordinary Meeting
Held 19:30 on Wednesday 11th October 2023
Strachur Memorial Hall
Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Lizzie MacDonald, Isabel McGladdery, William McGladdery, Kirstie Reid and Iain Wilkie (Secretary).
Also in attendance: Councillor William Sinclair and four members of the public.
1. Convener’s opening remarks:
Archie welcomed everyone to the meeting. He acknowledged the recent death of Iain MacGregor who had been a stalwart of the community and a conscientious attender at Strachur & District CC meetings. On behalf of the Community Council, Archie extended sympathy to Iain’s family.
2. Apologies and declarations of interest:
There were no apologies and no declarations of interest.
Minutes for the Ordinary Meeting held on 16th August 2023 were agreed as accurate.
4. Matters arising.
a. School warning sign, A815: not in operation.
Cllr Sinclair said that he had reported this. A member of the public said she had also reported it and it was hoped that, once the sign was functioning again, the community, as a stop-gap measure, would take on the responsibility of switching the sign on and off at appropriate times.
b. Traffic calming in Forest View.
Cllr Sinclair had forwarded our request for advice to the police. Both Primary School staff and the Parent Partnership Group had spoken to the children about playing safely in the street.
c. Uneven pavement between High Hall and Strachur House road junctions.
Cllr Sinclair said that he had reported this.
d. Prosecutions for fly-tipping in Argyll & Bute.
Cllr Sinclair had no information on the number of prosecutions for fly-tipping. He assured the meeting that the Council will prosecute in situations that are prosecutable, e.g. where perpetrators are caught in the act.
e. Letter on road safety in Strachur.
Iain had sent a letter to Cllr Sinclair who had forwarded it to relevant parties in Argyll & Bute Council.
f. Consultation on Visitor Levy Bill.
Iain had responded to the consultation.
g. Poll on Argyll Rally 2024 cars returning to Dunoon via Clachan Brae on afternoon of Saturday 22nd June.
Lizzie and William had set up a Facebook poll. [By 19.10.23, 80 people had voted; 74 (93%) were in favour of the cars using Clachan Brae and 6 (7%) were against.]
h. Closure of Bank of Scotland Dunoon Branch.
Iain had sent a letter to the Bank of Scotland objecting to the closure and had received a letter from them which declined our complaint.
i. Missing ‘Give Way’ sign at Forest View/Clachan Brae junction.
Kirstie had reported this. The sign had still to be replaced.
e. Layby at St. Catherines blocked by traffic cones.
Archie had been informed by Nigel Potts (Argyll & Bute Council) that the relevant party had not complied with a request from the Council to remove the cones. The next stage was legal action.
f. Dunoon Gourock Ferry Action Group.
Archie had been unable to attend a meeting due to the weather conditions. (See item 9a below).
5. Police Report (received from PS Eddie McGunnigal by e-mail on 8.8.23)
Between 08/08/23 and 11/10/23 there had been 27 incidents reported in Strachur Beat LB51:
8 Road traffic issues. (2 Road rage incidents, 1 Crash – Minor injuries, 2 reports of Drunk Drivers (1 traced and arrested), 3 road condition calls due to weather.)
3 Abandoned 999 calls (2 Pocket dials, 1 Child playing with phone).
1 Concern for Person call.
1 Neighbour Dispute.
5 Assist Member of Public.
1 Alarm call.
1 Disturbance call.
2 False calls.
4 Duplicate Incidents.
1 Weather related call.
Five crime Reports had been generated:
2 Section 3 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Careless Driving – Detected.
1 Section 2 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Dangerous Driving – Detected.
1 Section 38 Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010 (Place in a state of fear or alarm) – Detected.
1 Section 38 Criminal Justice and Licensing Scotland Act 2010 (Place in a state of fear or alarm) – Enquires ongoing.
6. Health Report. [From Kirstie]
a. Dunoon dental care.
Kirstie asked all to remain vigilant about who we give our personal details to. There had been a Facebook post about someone wanting to open an NHS Dental Practice in Dunoon and potential patients giving over their personal details to register with them. Kirstie emphasised that personal details should not be given to strangers, especially anyone claiming to be an unregistered medical professional (although the individual concerned had expressed the intention to register with the Dental Professional Body)
b. GP relocation and hospital improvements.
The information event that was to be held on the 13th October in the Burgh Hall, Dunoon had been cancelled due to the extreme weather was rescheduled for Tuesday 14th November, between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Burgh Hall, Argyll Street, Dunoon.
Articles for Newsletter and/or Facebook.
Since the last meeting three articles had been submitted. These were on: Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places, Citizens Advice Bureau, and Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund Year 3.
The main correspondence (in addition to any mentioned elsewhere) had been with:
a. Residents re: i/ A886 road safety.
ii/ Waste disposal at the ‘Birlinn Brae’ building site.
b. Ginny Baird (Jenni Minto’s caseworker) re: A815 and A886 road safety.
c. Ian Davie (Trust Housing Association) re: Manse Gardens update (see item 12d below).
d. Chris Lee (Foundation Scotland) re: Eredine Wind Farm workshop (see item 12a below).
e. Cllr Sinclair re: Traffic calming in Forest View (see item 4b above).
Surveys and consultations.
No responses had been submitted.
a. Attended Argyll Rally Community Council Liaison ‘Zoom’ meeting on 21.8.23.
b. Booked CC meeting venues for session 2024-25 on 22.8.23.
b. Attended ‘Teams’ meeting on Local Place Plans on 5.10.23 (see item 12c below).
8. Treasurer’s report.
The bank balance stood at £2,446.35.
9. Transport update.
a. Dunoon Gourock Ferry Action Group.
Kirstie and Archie had received a copy of the document by Neil Kay – ‘A Proposal for the Gourock-Dunoon Ferry Routes’ – that had been discussed at the recent DGFAG meeting. The CC fully supported proposals that would facilitate the re-introduction of a vehicle-carrying ferry service between Gourock and Dunoon town centres.
b. Scotrail consultation on new timetable.
Cllr Sinclair said that this consultation was now open and would end on 20th November.
c. Dunoon linkspan.
Cllr Sinclair reported that the technical problem had not been resolved yet. Engineers had been unable to replicate the fault.
10. National Park Update.
Cllr Sinclair had nothing to report.
11. Review of Polling Districts and Places.
Iain reminded the meeting that Argyll & Bute Council was proposing to amalgamate the Strachur and Strathlachlan polling districts and to cease having a separate polling station in Strathlachlan, with Strachur Memorial Hall becoming the polling station for the new amalgamated district. The consultation on these proposals had been publicised in the Newsletter and on Facebook, but no comments had been received from residents. After discussion, it was agreed that the CC should raise no objections to the proposals but that we should request that the procedure for postal voting is well publicised and suggest that the Council should explore the feasibility of providing transport for residents who would otherwise find it difficult to reach the polling station.
a. Eredine Wind Farm workshop.
Iain reported that the CC had received an invitation for representatives to attend a workshop on 24.10.23 to discuss possible community benefits from the proposed Eredine Wind Farm. This wind farm would be located between Loch Fyne and Loch Awe and was at the pre-planning consultation stage. It was agreed that the CC should be represented at the workshop.
b. Scottish Forum of Community Councils.
Iain explained to the meeting that the idea of a new “Scottish Forum of Community Councils” (SFCC) was being promoted by the Joint Forum of Community Councils of West Lothian. They wanted the SFCC to be a “national umbrella body” to support CCs and provide them with resources. They had held an online conference on 10.6.23 after which they had repeatedly claimed that there was overwhelming support for the new forum. However, of the 1,200 active CCs in Scotland, 77 (6.4%) had shown an interest, suggesting that the level of support was in fact minimal. The Joint Forum of Community Councils of West Lothian had previously produced a ”blueprint” document that advocated giving CCs more powers over a range of areas (including planning decisions, traffic management and bus services) and providing CCs with revenue and capital budgets. This appeared to be the motive behind the promotion of the SFCC. After discussion it was agreed that Strachur & District CC would not formally join the SFCC but would ask to be kept informed of any future developments.
c. Local Place Plans.
As stated above, Iain had attended a meeting on Local Place Plans on 5.10.23, which had been arranged following discussions between Cllr Sinclair and officials from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. It was chaired by Hannah Robinson (the National Park Sustainable Development Adviser) who explained that the National Park had funding to help communities prepare a Local Place Plan (LPP). As this funding had to be used by March 2024, the National Park was encouraging interested parties to complete, or at least start work on, a plan before this deadline expired.
Iain informed the meeting that LPPs were intended to give communities the opportunity to make proposals for the use and development of land which their Local Authority was obliged to take into account when preparing its next Local Development Plan (LDP). Argyll & Bute Council’s LDP1 had been adopted in 2015 and LDP2 had still to be adopted. Argyll & Bute Council had stated (Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee – Local Place Plans, 28.9.22) that LPPs would be taken into account when LDP3 was being prepared and therefore it seemed premature for us to engage with the LPP process at this stage and advisable that we should be guided by Argyll & Bute Council’s LPP timeline rather than the National Park’s.
It was agreed that Iain should express these views on behalf of the CC at the next LPP meeting.
d. Manse Gardens update.
The following update had been received from Ian Davie (Trust Housing Association) by e-mail:
“We are in the process of conducting further surveys of the site and properties at present. This will likely be ongoing throughout the Autumn.
We have also submitted a request for pre-application planning discussions with the council and await a response on a date for that.
The site has been submitted for consideration in the Councils Strategic Housing Investment Programme. Which must be approved by Council, prior to approval by Scottish Government.”
e. Strachur Men’s Shed.
Bill Dickson and Jim Black, who attended the meeting, thanked the CC for the letter of support we had provided for the Men’s Shed project.
14. Date and location of next meeting.
The next meeting would be at 19:30, 13th December 2023 in Strachur Memorial Hall.
Secretary, Strachur & District Community Council