Strachur District Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 15th March 2017, Strachur Memorial Hall


Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Isabel McGladdery, Kirstie Reid, Iain Wilkie, Les Earle (Secretary)

Also in attendance: Cllr Alex McNaughton, Gordon Neish (The Dunoon Observer), PC McGunnigal plus another officer and (later) one member of the public.


1. Convener’s opening remarks: Archie opened the meeting with a general welcome and an apology for having to meet in the Committee Room – “yoga” had forgotten that we had the Hall booked.


2. Apologies and declarations of interest: John Fleming apologised for non-attendance as did Ceci Alderton who was representing the CC at a Community Partnership meeting. There were no declarations of interest.


3. Minutes: Minutes for the meeting held on 18th January 2017 were agreed as accurate.


4. Matters arising:

a. Cllr McNaughton is in contact with Paul Farrell who still has not got to grips with the data collected re the traffic survey at the school crossing – when Paul has downloaded it Cllr McNaughton will forward it to the CC. Les reported that he had also taken up this issue with Paul as we had been promised the survey March 2016, the readings had been taken in December and that now it appeared that they still were unable to “read” them.

b. The road-sign at the A815/A886 junction has been raised with officers. It now has new stainless steel legs but is hard to read – a bi-lingual sign has been promised but in the meantime a wipe with a soapy sponge would be appreciated. It turns out that “proper” cleaning would be more expensive than putting up a new sign – the latter to be expedited.

c. No money had been allocated for the repair to the church wall, Strachur, but Cllr McNaughton will continue to raise the issue with officers.

d. The lack of pavement in the Bay area (PO side of the road). Cllr McNaughton said that there was nothing to report at present (and that no money had been allocated to this project) but he would continue to monitor the situation.

e. The long-promised (January 2013) traffic advisory board at the Bay (to warn of road closures at the Rest) was raised by Cllr McNaughton and Archie at the Transport Forum and it is apparent that the responsibility for the provision and updating of the board is not yet settled. A further meeting is to take place at the end of the month; it is far from clear that responsibility for managing the sign has yet been accepted by BEARS or A+B.

f. The partial flooding of the Strathlachlan graveyard has been raised by Cllr McNaughton. It seems that the drains were not rodded in the autumn but he has now been assured that the work will be undertaken “in the spring”, now?

g. Archie had earlier raised the question of traffic management at Dunoon Pier bus stand. Taxis and cars had taken to wait for ferry-passengers at the stand (particularly at 17:50) blocking the buses and causing disruption to passengers. Tempers had frayed when buses, unable to pick up passengers at their allotted slot, boxed in the interloping cars and taxis. The Taxi Licensing committee will write to all taxi drivers warning them of their behaviour. Insp Wilson had thought it was a task that he could give to a probationary officer – no word yet as to progress though it was raised at the Transport Forum. PC McGunnigal said he would raise the matter at “daily briefing”. Cllr McNaughton said that the Area Committee was investigating whether the land should be adopted by A+B.

h. Les reported that he and Cllr McNaughton had met with the BT Area Manager (the Area runs from the coast to Callander) on 2nd March and conducted a visual inspection of the phone lie along the B8000. As a follow up Les was to distribute a leaflet to residents along the road to try and define the problem areas.

i. Les reported that he had been in touch with the DevCo re the setting-up of the Community Benefit Fund sub-committee and the first meeting had now taken place. Two payments have been received from the developer Gilkes and Les had been tasked to enquire of other dev co’s and trusts as to how they arranged there affairs to ensure transparency in decision making.

j. Les wrote to Fyne Homes to ask for improved signage at Montgomery Place, Strachur. A locum Doctor had not been able to find the address of a house call without knocking on several doors. The sign has now been fitted and Fyne Homes has decided to fit another on the reverse to make it readable on both sides.

k. Iain has been in touch with Roanna Clark (A+B Youth Participation Officer) as it had been hoped that she would be able to attend the CC meeting to give background and answer questions on the Young Scot Reward scheme. Sadly a diary error meant that she was not able to attend. The “credits” have not yet been notified to us and therefore we are not in a position to proceed at present.


5. Police Report: PC McGunnigal reported that since the last meeting the police had been able to attend (October ‘16) there had been calls to the police/reports made - five of which required police action. The five incidents essentially covered road traffic offences (speed, no insurance, drink driving, etc), weather incidents and stray animals.


6. Health Report: There was no report from Heather Grier on behalf of the PPG but the opportunity was taken to thank Heather and the PPG for its dogged perseverance over the years – perseverance that had now led to NHS Highland agreeing to the reinstatement of Associate Doctor Funding for the Strachur Medical Practice.


A general discussion followed on the declining effectiveness of the Dunoon Hospital due to the removal of basic staff resources that in turn leads to a greater reliance on major hospitals at Inverclyde and Glasgow. This concentration of resources was leading to irrational expenditure, eg dental patients from Oban being put-up in a Premier Inn near Glasgow while a fully equipped dental theatre stands empty at Oban Hospital. The arguments regarding transport and the inconvenience of Inverclyde Hospital for Cowal residents was rehearsed.

The primary concern was that declining use/usefulness of Dunoon Hospital would eventually be used as a reason for closure.

Kirstie was able to report that the Health Care Forum (of which Strachur CC is now a regional member and she the representative) passed a motion of “no confidence” in the Locality Planning Group over its handling of consultation and communication generally. A 34 page document had been presented for approval prior to forwarding to the Integration Joint Board with only three clear day notice. After objection a further month was given for the consideration of the document which was described as barely intelligible – what is a “virtual bed” on a “virtual ward”?

It was felt that the “information cafes” had low attendance in part because the notice given was short and the locations inconvenient.

Kirstie said that at the same meeting it was reported that as a result of staff shortages at Dunoon Hospital agency nurses were now employed to bring the bring bed availability up to 68% - nine general and nine palliative-care.


7. Secretary’s Report: Nothing to report other than that already covered elsewhere in the agenda.


8. Treasurer’s report: The bank balance now stands at £2,321.


9. Transport update: Effectively covered in Matters Arising though Archie commented on the success of the Transport Forum having led to the reinstatement of the Saturday morning bus from Strachur to Dunoon.


10. Public Engagement: The current position is as stated above in Matters Arising.


11. Any Other Business:

a. A complaint was made about mud accumulating from the Estate on the road from the Hall to the Church. Attendees at a funeral the previous day had commented on a similar problem of mud on the graveyard road/path. Cllr McNaughton said that he would inform the relevant Council Dept.

b. Archie announced that Gordon Mather of the Clachan Bar had recently died. Mention was made of Gordon’s contribution to the community and his charity works. There was general expression of sympathy to his family.

c. Kirstie drew attention to the poor state of camping facilities on Loch Lomond side barely a week after wild camping was banned the approved sites had no running water or toilet facilities and heavy equipment had churned the ground.

d. Iain reminded the CC that there was a planning consultation document affecting the role of CC’s currently in circulation (closing date 4/4/17). Les promised to review the document and circulate comments for forwarding to the Scottish Government.

e. Kirstie drew the attention of the meeting to a session, “Living Well with Chronic Pain” to be held 13:00 to 16:00, 20th April 2017, The GP Room, Community Centre, Edward Street, Dunoon. Les said he would put it on the facebook page.

f. The CC was asked if it was hosting hustings for the forthcoming local elections. N thought had been given to this topic but it was agreed that Les would look into the technicalities and see what could be arranged. [List of candidates available 29/3/17, election 4/5/17].


12. Date of next meeting: Archie closed the meeting with an expression of thanks to Cllr McNaughton for his regular attendance over the years and his willingness to advocate on behalf of the CC. The next meeting will be the AGM of the CC and will commence 19:30, Wednesday 12th April 2017 at the Strachur Memorial Hall; it will be followed by an Ordinary Meeting.


Les Earle, Secretary, Strachur District Community Council