Strachur Community Council

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting

Held 19.30 on Wednesday 17th October 2018

Strachur Memorial Hall


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


Also in attendance: Cllr Alan Reid, PC Donald Mackay, Jeff Wilson (Strachur & District Community Development Company), Bob Darracott (representative for Ward 1 on the Board of the National Park), and 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 Cllr Yvonne McNeilly apologised for non-attendance. There were no declarations of interest.


3. Minutes.

Minutes for the Ordinary Meeting held on 15th August 2018 were agreed as accurate.


4. Matters arising.

a. Traffic monitoring at school crossing and speed limit on A815.

Stuart Watson (ABC) had sent Cllr Reid and Iain data from A815 speed surveys carried out on 6th to 9th September just north of the school road junction and on 29th August to 1st September at the gate lodge to Strachur House. Only mean speeds per day had been provided. These were 35-37 mph for the former location and 38-39 mph for the latter. It was also reported that 85% of vehicles had been moving at a speed of 44 mph or less. It was agreed that Cllr Reid should request a more detailed breakdown of the data. It was also noted that Mr Watson had not addressed other points included in Iain’s e-mail to him of 12th July (i.e. lack of safe pedestrian refuge, criteria for a 30 mph village speed limit, presence of a hazardous bend, and comparable villages that have a 30 mph speed limit). Iain would again ask Mr Watson for his views on these issues and would forward the aforementioned e-mail to Cllr Reid.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid; Iain

VMS sign at A815/A886 junction.

The sign had been displaying information related to the recent landslides blocking the Rest and Be Thankful and Old Military roads, though there had been problems. Cllr Reid was awaiting a response from Transport Scotland regarding these.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


c. Strachur graveyard: funding for extending the graveyard.

Cllr Reid and Iain had received copies of a letter from Allan MacDonald (ABC), which referred to the meeting held at the graveyard on 2.8.18 that was reported in the minutes of the last meeting (see item 11a). Whilst the letter repeated the expectation that another 12 lairs could be created within the existing boundary of the graveyard, there was still a need to extend the graveyard in the longer term and it was hoped that our Local Councillors would be proactive in ensuring that the necessary funding would be allocated by Argyll & Bute Council as and when necessary. Such reassurance would be needed before any negotiations with the relevant land- owner could start.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


d. Strachur church boundary wall: repair and stabilisation.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Amenity Services on 2.9.18: “We have arranged for our Supervisor to inspect the issues concerning tree growth through the cemetery wall. Amenity services will also contact our Facility Services/Property section to carry out a full survey/inspection of the integrity of the wall.” Cllr Reid would ask for an update.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid

e. Pavement adjacent to A815 from A886 junction to Medical Practice: encroachment of vegetation.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads on 5.9.18:

“I have inspected the area & sent letters to the properties that have trees/scrub that are obstructing the footway & some of the trees are low on the Carriageway. If after 28 days they have not completed the work they will have a follow up letter to say we will instruct a contractor to carry out the work & recharge them for the work to be carried out.” Cllr Reid would ask for an update.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid

f. B8000: barrier at Lephinchapel bridge and verges between Inver Restaurant and Inverchapel.

Cllr Reid had received the following response from Roads on 4.9.18:

“Barrier/walls are due to be installed at the location of the B8000 Lephinchapel contract works carried out earlier this year.  These are in the process of being procured for installation. Once a programme for installation is available this can be advised.” Jeff Wilson distributed photographs of the road at Lephinchapel bridge, which illustrated the urgent need for a barrier to be installed.


Regarding the grass verge, Nigel Potts (Roads) had confirmed to Cllr Reid that this location received a single annual cut but that a sight line inspection would be carried out to ensure safety. If growth was found to be issue, then this would be cut back to make safe. Sight lines were normally reviewed as part of the autumn cut. Financial constraints were a limiting factor, but, if capital remained, then this area would be cut. Cllr Reid would ask for a progress report on these matters.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid

g. B8000: timber haulage issues.

Iain had e-mailed Stuart Watson (ABC) regarding (1) the need for residents to be forewarned of timber operations and (2) recent damage to the road between Inver Restaurant and Barnacarry. Mr Watson had replied on 10.10.18. Due to limited resources within his department they would be unable “to make the numerous updates that would be required throughout the year”. The complaint re damage to the road had been forwarded to the appropriate department.

Jeff Wilson reported that the road had been repaired, but had subsequently been damaged again just north of Barnacarry.


h. Beacons of Light.

Iain had e-mailed the Hall Committee and the Youth & Drama Club with regard to the proposal for a commemorative event on 11th November. He had received a positive response from the Hall Committee but had still to hear if the Youth & Drama Club would be able to take the idea forward. Archie suggested having an afternoon event in the Hall, since the Historical Society’s WW1 Remembrance Exhibition would still be in place. The Community Council would cover the cost of refreshments. He also proposed that the CC should pay for a wooden commemorative plaque, which would be installed in Heron Park. These ideas received general approval from the CC and Jeff Wilson (representing the Development Company).

ACTION: Archie


i. Consultation on Ardtaraig wind farm.

Iain had submitted a response on 3.9.18.


j. New CC noticeboard at Post Office.

Iain had informed the proprietor, Mr Morton, that the CC would pay for the new noticeboard. However, Mr Morton had declined the offer and stated that this would be his contribution to the CC. Members of the CC expressed their gratitude.


k. Correspondence with PPG.

Iain had sent comments on 23.9.18 to the PPG regarding Dr Coull’s previous response to Archie’s letter. These comments referred only to issues related to information flow between the Medical Practice and patients. A response from the PPG to these comments had been received on 13.10.18. Iain would draft an appropriate reply. It was agreed that the CC would not take these matters any further.



5. Police Report.

In the last two months there had been 33 incidents, three of which had raised crime reports: theft of an inflatable dinghy; driver reported for speeding on the A83; attempted break-in at Strachur Filling Station. Two fixed penalties had been issued for careless driving on the A83.


A meeting of Argyll Rural Crime Partnership would be held in Inveraray on 22.11.18 (location to be decided). Input from CCs would be encouraged.


6. Health Report.

Kirstie reported on the document: Argyll & Bute Health & Social Care Partnership - Transforming Together Strategy 2019-2022. Stakeholder Engagement.


This document is broken down into the various service departments and below is a brief summary of the costs and savings that need to be made by the Argyll & Bute Health & Social Care Partnership.  


a. Children's Services: in 2017 there were 13,163 children in A&B and the number of children with complex needs is increasing.

Current cost of the service: £19.1m. Savings to be made: £0.8m.


b. Care and Housing Services: 10.7% of A&B population is over 75 years of age. There is an increasing demand for adapted properties to enable people to stay at home.

Current cost of service: £18.8m. Savings to be made: £0.1m.


c. Learning and Disability Services: A&B has a growing number of people with learning disabilities and an increasing demand for this service.

Current cost of service: £10.8m. Savings to be made: £1.4m.


d. Community model of Care (Care in the Community): There are more elderly people living in A&B and it is anticipated the number will increase significantly.

Current cost of service: £34.2m. Savings to be made: £1.7m.


e. Mental Health Services: There is an increasing number of people living in A&B with mental health issues and there is an increasing demand for community support at home.

Current cost of service: £11.6m. Savings to be made: £0.6m.


f. Primary Care Services: There are 33 GP practices in A&B for 88,657 patients. As of 1st April 2018, in order to reduce the GPs’ workload, the HSPC will take over vaccinations, prescribing and practice nurse tasks.


g. Hospital Services: There is one Rural General Hospital and six Community Hospitals all with A&E departments in A&B, and a contract with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde for acute services and specialities.

Current cost of service for A&B: £37.8m. Savings to be made: £2.1m.

Current cost of service for NHSGGC: £60m. Savings to be made: £1.2. 


h. Corporate Services: Savings of £1.3m have to be made here.


7. Secretary’s Report.

Since the last meeting articles had been submitted to the Newsletter on a BT phone scam and on the Making Places 2018-19 initiative.

Iain had responded to consultations on:

Ardtaraig wind farm;

Health & Social Care Strategic Plan;

Caring Together (ABC’s Carers’ Strategy and Action Plan);

Community Payback Order (annual consultation).

There had been correspondence with:

Argyll & Bute Council regarding the speed limit on the A815, timber haulage on the B8000, and Strachur graveyard.

The PPG (see item 4k above).

A St. Catherines resident regarding the roll-out of Superfast broadband (i.e. >24 Mbps; BT would guarantee only 0.5 Mbps at St. Catherines).

Iain had attended a Cowal Out of Hours Review Group meeting on 5.9.18, a Planning Training event organised by ABC on 6.9.18, and a meeting of the Community Fund Committee on 7.9.18.

Venues for CC meetings for the 2019-20 session had been booked.

Thanks to Cllr Reid, Iain was now receiving weekly lists of National Park planning applications. Iain would in future forward these to Archie.



8. Treasurer’s report.

The bank balance stood at £2,063.43.


9. Transport update.

There would be a special meeting of the Transport Forum to discuss Trunk Road issues, which would be attended by George Fiddes (Transport Scotland).


10. Public Engagement.

There was nothing to report.


11. A.O.B.

a. Bob Darracott.

Mr Darracott introduced himself and summarised his role on the Board of the National Park, which he saw mainly as identifying local issues and representing them at the Board. He noted that litter had been a serious problem in the park this summer and informed us that the National Park Core Paths Plan, which had been developed five years ago, would be out again for consultation over the next three months; details would be placed on the NP website in early November. Comments on this could be sent to him or directly to the consultation website. Iain would forward subsequent CC agendas and minutes to Mr Darracott.



With reference to the litter problem, Ceci observed that, now that the camping Management Zones were in operation in the National Park, it was important to start keeping records of incidences of littering and other consequences of antisocial camping.


b. Waterfalls path at Glenbranter.

Les Earle reported that this path had been “closed” for six months, apparently due to health & safety considerations. Bob Darracott would look into this and inform Iain when the path was likely to open again.

ACTION: Bob Darracott


c. Petition for tunnel to bypass Rest and Be Thankful.
Les Earle had received a request to put on the community Facebook page information on a petition for the construction of a tunnel between Laigh Glencroe and Butterbridge, which would bypass the Rest and Be Thankful stretch of the A83. As this was in the realms of "campaigning", he sought the views of the CC. The CC unanimously supported the posting of this information on the community Facebook page.


d. Old road from the school to Glenbranter.

It was reported that the overgrowth of trees adjacent to this road was making it difficult for vehicles to pass each other and was resulting in their body-work getting scratched. Also, culverts were blocked, leading to flooding. Cllr Reid would report these problems to ABC Roads & Amenities.

ACTION: Cllr Reid


e. Consultation on polling districts and polling places.

Argyll & Bute Council were reviewing current polling district boundaries and polling places. The consultation paperwork had been issued to Community Councils, although ABC welcomed input from all residents. All members of Strachur CC were satisfied with the current polling district boundaries and polling places. Iain would submit an article on the consultation to the Newsletter.



12. Date and location of next meeting.

The next meeting would be at 19:30, Wednesday 12th December 2018 in Strachur Memorial Hall.



Iain Wilkie

Secretary, Strachur Community Council