Strachur Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 16th August 2017, Strathlachlan Community Centre


Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), Ceci Alderton, John Fleming, Isabel McGladdery, Kirstie Reid, Iain Wilkie (Secretary).


Also in attendance: Cllr Gordon Blair, PC Donald Mackay and one member of the public.


1. Convener’s opening remarks:

Archie opened the meeting with a general welcome.


2. Apologies and declarations of interest:

Les Earle, Cllr Yvonne McNeilly and Cllr Alan Reid apologised for non-attendance. There were no declarations of interest.


3. Minutes.

Minutes for the meeting held on 21st June 2017 were agreed as accurate.


4. Matters arising.

a. Traffic monitoring at school crossing.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads & Amenity Services –

“Previous surveys have been carried out in the past. Unfortunately the data from the last survey was unable to be downloaded. We are currently waiting for the supplier of the new survey equipment to provide training to enable the apparatus to be used and survey data to be produced. Currently no dates have been provided.”

Cllr Reid had requested that the supplier be asked again for dates.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


b. Erection of new road-sign at the A815/A886.

Cllr Reid had forwarded the following response from Roads & Amenity Services  -

“The replacement of this sign has been programmed, currently an order is being compiled for sign manufacturer, this sign will be included in this list.”


c. Missing pavement at the Bay.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads & Amenity Services –

“A new section of footway could be constructed to close the gap but it would need to considered through the capital reconstruction, Sustrans or CWSS (Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets) budgets etc. and would need to be prioritised and may not rank very highly due to demand and other parameters. In the mean time I will arrange for the location to be measured up in order to allow a job estimate to be prepared for future years consideration.” 

“If the community council wants to submit a bid for Sustrans money, they should contact Douglas Grierson, the Council’s Sustainable Transport Co-ordinator, Tel: 01546 604228,

It was agreed that SCC should investigate the possibility of submitting a bid for Sustrans funding.

ACTION: Iain Wilkie


d. Church wall repairs.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads & Amenity Services –

“If the wall forms part of the boundary wall to the church yard then it will be the responsibility of the church to maintain which I believe is Church of Scotland. If the wall retains part of the adopted footway/verge or carriageway then it would be the responsibility of Argyll & Bute Council to repair. I will arrange to have the location inspected before Wednesday 5th July to confirm this.” 

Cllr Reid had asked for the outcome of the inspection.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


e. Traffic advisory board for the A815/A886 junction.

  Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads & Amenity Services –

“The hard standings have been prepared at A815/A880 Cothouse Jnt and A815/A886 Strachur Bay Jnt. We are awaiting provision of the signs by Transport Scotland; there is a liaison meeting with them on Friday 30th June and will ask for the question to be raised.”

  Cllr Reid had asked for an update following the liaison meeting.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


f. Flooding at Strathlachlan graveyard.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads & Amenity Services - “Amenity Service have now made arrangements for the drainage at Strathlachlan Cemetery to be cleared.”

Cllr Blair promised to chase this up.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


g. B8000 telephone line.

As there had been no progress since the last meeting, it was agreed that SCC should, in consultation with Iain MacGregor, write a letter of complaint to be sent to the CEO of BT Group plc and copied to Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid for consideration by Argyll & Bute Council.

ACTION: Les Earle and Iain Wilkie


h. Replacement of ‘No overnight parking’ signs.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads & Amenity Services - “Replacement signs will be ordered and erected when resources are available.”

  It was felt that this was promising but vague. Progress will be monitored.


i. Heron Park recycling bins.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads & Amenity Services –

“The accumulates around the Heron Park recycling bins has now been cleared. The problem encountered was that members of the public had contaminated the glass recycling bins with general waste which prevented Greenlight servicing them as it would have contaminated the vehicle load. We will continue to monitor this location.”

  “Given the Council already provides paper/cardboard recycling collections to all domestic & commercial properties throughout Argyll & Bute there is no requirement to site paper/cardboard recycling to any of the councils bring site. If we did sited paper/cardboard recycling containers at our bring sites they would be open to abuse and contamination.”


j. Young Scot Rewards.

Iain had been in communication with Roanna Clark, who had agreed to pursue the publicising of the accreditation of SCC attendance through Dunoon Grammar School once the new term was under way.

ACTION: Iain Wilkie


k. Antisocial camping.

There had been no further correspondence with the Community Partnership or Forestry Commission. PC Mackay provided information on the ‘Ironworks’ patrols conducted by police officers and FCS staff, which are aimed at monitoring wild camping. If more funding became available, this operation could be extended to a wider area. He reported that, so far, there had been no noticeable increase in antisocial behaviour in the area following the introduction of the National Park management zones.

Cllr Blair had spoken with area committee colleagues and roads staff regarding signage to discourage antisocial camping and hoped to secure a cost-effective package, with signs erected before summer 2018.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


l. Broadband.

Les had drafted a preliminary map of broadband speeds and would produce a definitive version with accompanying article for the September Newsletter.

ACTION: Les Earle


m. CC Noticeboard at Memorial Hall.

A noticeboard had been purchased and installed in the Memorial Hall.


n. Strachur Police House.

PC Mackay stated that Police Scotland owns the Police House. He had made Property Services aware of the presence of Japanese Knotweed and of the Invasive Species Group’s offer to treat this (+ request for funding), but was still waiting for a response.



n. Memorial Hall wreaths.

Four new wreaths had been obtained.


5. Police Report.

Since the last meeting there had been 28 ‘incidents’ in the Strachur area, of which two were crimes. One of the crimes involved telephone-based fraud. PC Mackay said that there was a need to highlight the increasing incidence of this type of fraud, which tended to be targeted at the elderly. He would do this via the Rural Watch scheme and Iain would submit an article to the Newsletter.

Traffic monitoring had been conducted at St. Catherine’s and at the Strachur Medical Practice. PC Mackay would provide statistics at the next CC meeting.

In general there had been a good uptake of the Rural Watch scheme in Cowal, though not from the Strachur area. PC Mackay would e-mail an electronic copy of the sign-up leaflet to Iain.

ACTION: PC Mackay, Iain Wilkie


6. Health Report.

Kirstie provided the following report:

At the Cowal Health & Care Forum meeting on 25th July, although we were not quorate, we still discussed the situation at Manse Gardens if they go ahead with their proposals to remove the wardens and the problems this may cause the residents in terms of isolation etc. We have asked for this to be put on the agenda at the 29th August meeting.

Also discussed was the situation with the Strachur surgery having to post its bloods etc. to the lab in RAH Paisley and the problems this causes. Other surgeries in the area have their samples picked up by a collection service (which uses the A815 and so passes in front of the Strachur surgery!).

We are also seeking clarification on the number of beds in Cowal Community Hospital, as at present there are 14 made up of 8 general beds, 2 supported beds and 4 palliative care beds.

We also want clarification on:

1. Are there days or nights when all 14 beds are full?

2. Are there nights when beds are full and patients are unable to be put into one of these 14 beds and therefore are not admitted to Cowal Community Hospital but taken elsewhere, or not transferred to Dunoon?

This is a situation that is being brought up at various Cowal Community Council meetings month after month and needs proper answers so hopefully the HCF will get these. 

Lastly, due to numerous complaints about the hospital looking deserted, the reception desk will be returning to the front door in the next week. 


7. Secretary’s Report.

Since the last meeting articles had been submitted to the Newsletter on: National Parks Grant Scheme, Tesco Bags of Help (community grants), Consultation on School Funding and Consultation on the new Climate Change Bill.

There had been correspondence concerning:

a. Manse gardens and its possible change of status.

Iain had written letters to all members of the IJB and to Rhona McLeod, CEO Trust Housing Association, and had attended two meetings at Manse gardens.

b. The CC had been asked to provide a letter of support for the Development Company who were applying for Leader Funding to extend and improve the car-park opposite the Memorial Hall. The Dev.Co. had expressed their thanks for this.

c. Creag Dhubh wind farm proposal.

Muirden Energy LLP had e-mailed Iain regarding the possible development of a wind farm at Creag Dhubh (Succoth Glen) and their desire to attend a Strachur CC meeting to explain the initial proposal. As a consequence, there would be an extraordinary CC meeting in the New Hall on 11th October with only this on the agenda.

d. Review of Scheme for the Establishment of Community Councils.

There is to be a consultation on the above, which starts 24th August and ends 19th October (e-mail forwarded to CCllrs on 9th August). Included are proposals to lower the age qualification to 16 and to hold CC elections in March 2018. CCllrs were asked to send comments to Iain by 18th September so that a collated response could be tabled at the next CC meeting.

ACTION: All CCllrs


8. Treasurer’s report.

The bank balance stood at £2,722.65.


9. Transport update.

There was nothing to report.


10. Public Engagement.

See Matters Arising (item 4j).


11. Collection of bloods.

See Health Report above.


12. Manse Gardens update.

Iain had been asked by a resident to attend a private meeting on 11th August between residents and Rhona McLeod (RM), CEO Trust Housing Association. RM reported that the THA Board of Management had discussed responses to the consultation on the future of the THA’s Argyll & Bute properties on 3rd August. No decision on the future of the properties had been made. The THA would be meeting with Michael Russell MSP and senior staff from Argyll & Bute Council and the Health & Social Care Partnership on 29th August to find a way forward.

Even if the HSCP continued funding, RM could not say what the THA’s final decision on Manse Gardens might be because of other factors, particularly difficulties in filling all the tenancies.

If funding were not maintained, the THA’s preferred option (at the moment) was to change the status of Manse Gardens from sheltered to amenity housing (no warden, no common-room, but still with alarm connection to Dunoon).

The relative of a resident asked if, in the event that the THA decided it would no longer support the common-room, the THA would consider gifting the building to the community. RM did not dismiss this idea outright.


13. Any Other Business.

a. Emergency Plan. CCllrs were asked to read through the revised Emergency Plan (which Les had distributed by e-mail on 4th August) and send comments to Les by 25th August.

ACTION: All CCllrrs


b. Wild raspberry. Isabel had alerted Iain (Wilkie) to the rampant spread of this plant into the woodland burial site below the cemetery and he had reported this to Iain MacGregor (Invasive Species Group). Iain (MacGregor) explained that the ISG would not be tackling this, principally because of the potential risk to the general public resulting from spraying herbicide on a plant with (supposedly) edible berries.


c. Letter re Heron Park

The CC had received a letter from a Strachur resident complaining about the deterioration in the maintenance of Heron Park over the past year. It was agreed that Iain should write to the Development Company regarding this matter.

ACTION: Iain Wilkie


d. B8000 roadworks

Iain MacGregor had heard that roadworks on the B8000 were to be financed partly by the timber industry and partly by Argyll & Bute Council. More information was requested.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


e. Leanach sign

A road sign at the junction of the Leanach road and the A886 appeared to have been vandalised and needed to be replaced.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


f. Flooding in Strachur cemetery.

Isabel reported that the road to the new part of the cemetery had been seriously flooded.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


14. Date of next meeting.

The next meeting will commence 19:30, Wednesday 18th October 2017 at Strathlachlan Community Centre.


Iain Wilkie

Secretary, Strachur Community Council