Strachur Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 18th October 2017

Strathlachlan Community Centre


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


Also in attendance: Jeff Wilson (Strachur & District Community Development Company), and two members of the public.


1. Convener’s opening remarks:

Archie opened the meeting with a general welcome.


2. Apologies and declarations of interest:

Ceci Alderton, PC Donald Mackay, 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 16th August 2017 were agreed as accurate.


4. Matters arising.

a. Traffic monitoring at school crossing.

Cllr Reid had been informed that –

“Traffic Speed Survey equipment training and systems check will now take place Tuesday 31st October 2017. On completion of the training exercise a week to ten day survey will be carried out on the A815 Marine Parade through Kirn Village with the next scheduled survey being A815 Strachur.”


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

The support poles for the sign are on site and holes have been dug.


c. Church wall repairs.

Cllr Reid had been informed that, following an inspection, Amenity Services had instructed Facility Services to carry out repair works to the Strachur Churchyard boundary wall.


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

  Cllr Reid had been informed that two Variable Message Signs had been refurbished and were expected on site in Strachur and Kilmun by the end of October.


e. Flooding at Strathlachlan graveyard.

Cllr Blair is planning to have a site meeting at Strathlachlan and Strachur cemeteries with ABC staff on 27th October.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


f. Replacement of ‘No overnight parking’ signs.

These will be replaced when resources are available.  Cllr Blair is in discussion with Paul Farrell ABC Transportation and Development Manager) regarding funding.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid



g. Progress on signage to discourage antisocial camping.

Cllr Blair had reported that the signs cost £30-50 each. He will coordinate with other CCs. If the location and number of signs needed are notified to him, he will collate the information and discuss this at an area committee meeting.  He suggested that some partnership working with Hydro or Windfarm trusts would be beneficial.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid; CCllrs


h. B8000 roadworks.

Information on this is still awaited.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


i. Vandalised road sign at junction of A886 and Leanach road.

Cllr Blair had reported that the removal of “Tighnabruaich” from the sign is intentional due to the general condition of B8000 both in construction and the geometry. Arrangements will be made to cover over the blanked out text with white vinyl and clean the sign, when resources become available.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


j. Flooding in Strachur cemetery.

See item 4e above.

ACTION: Cllrs Blair/McNeilly/Reid


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

Iain had submitted a CC response on 20.8.17.


l. Revised Emergency Plan.

Les had prepared a revised plan. This had been sent to PC Donald Mackay to be forwarded to the Response Officer and Senior Officers.


m. Young Scot Rewards.

Roanna Clark (Youth Participation Officer) had asked Dunoon Grammar School to publicise the accreditation of Strachur CC attendance in their daily bulletin and school screens. This had been done.


n. Missing pavement at the Bay.

Iain had contacted Douglas Grierson (ABC Sustainable Transport Coordinator) and was informed that, although the Community Links Programme was a possible source of funding, this was competitive, needed 50% match funding and was for projects that provided meaningful improvement to walking and cycling. He suggested the Improving Public Access scheme might be more suitable. Jolyon Gritten (Argyll & Bute Access manager) looked into the issue in some detail and suggested options, but advised that we would struggle to get funding from a third party. A further problem is that at one point the verge becomes quite narrow and there is a steep drop to the burn on the loch side. It was agreed that we should take a different tack and enquire as to whether an additional crossing could be created across the A815 near the Strachur Estate entrance.

ACTION: Iain Wilkie


o. Telephone-based fraud.

Iain had submitted an article to the September Newsletter.


p. Heron Park.

Iain had written a letter to the Development Company concerning a resident’s complaint. Jeff Wilson explained that the volunteers who had previously maintained the park were no longer able to do so. Argyll Forestry Services Ltd. had been asked to provide a quote for the necessary work, including drainage improvement, path repair, thinning out young birch and removal of a large Rhododendron ponticum. Work would commence once funding had been secured and it was hoped this would also cover a contract for twice yearly maintenance visits.


q. B8000 telephone line.

Les had written a letter to Gavin Patterson, CEO BT Group, which produced almost instantaneous results. BT had contacted all affected residents and carried out priority work, which involved rectifying individual faults rather than dealing with a network problem. More needed to be done, such as trimming of tree branches and replacement of poles.

Les was thanked for his sterling efforts.


r. Broadband.

Les had submitted a map of BB speeds to the September Newsletter. This would enable residents to compare their speeds with the best others were getting and encourage them, if appropriate, to demand improvement.


s. Rural Watch.

PC Mackay had sent an electronic copy of the new leaflet to Iain and copies had been posted on notice-boards at the Post Office and Memorial Hall.


t. Strachur Police House.

The Japanese Knotweed had been sprayed by the Invasive Species Group. PC Mackay had still to receive a response from Property Services regarding the ISG’s request for funding.


5. Police Report (received by e-mail).

Since the last meeting there have been 25 incidents in Strachur and its surrounding area. Four crime reports generated as follows:

1 x Vandalism to a window at a property in St. Catherines

1 x Assault

1 x Male reported for driving whilst under the influence of alcohol

1 x Male reported for driving without valid insurance

There is continued emphasis on the circulation of Rural Watch and its growth through affiliation, locally and nationally. I have forwarded Iain the electronic leaflet for placement on any community related website or social media page to encourage participation. If possible it would be appreciated if these could be printed and put up around any hard to reach individuals, village halls, public premises within the area for those who may not use computers routinely. [See item 4f above.]

November will see the launch of the latest Livestock Worrying campaign, with Rural Watch as well as social media being used to educate the public on this matter which is becoming an unfortunately common occurrence nationally.

I am yet to receive an update on the knotweed situation at Strachur Police Station but will keep seeking same and update as and when I hear anything. [See item 4t above.]



6. Health Reports.

See Appendix 1.


7. Secretary’s Report.

Since the last meeting articles had been submitted to the Newsletter on: Phone fraud, Consultation on the review of the scheme for establishment of CCs, Local policing, and Building Scotland’s low emission zones.

There had been correspondence with ABC (concerning Missing pavement, Youth engagement, and Review of the scheme for establishment of CCs), with Trust Housing Association (concerning Manse Gardens) and with Muirden Energy LLP (concerning the Creag Dhubh wind farm proposal).

Iain had attended a training event on ‘Community Led Action Planning’ in Dunoon on 12.9.17.

A Special CC Meeting on the Creag Dhubh wind farm proposal had been organised for 11.10.17.

Emergency Kit replacements had been collected in Dunoon and put in the red bag in the hall.

CC venues had been booked until April 2019.


8. Treasurer’s report.

The bank balance stood at £2,596.25.


9. Transport update.

a. Although VMS signs were expected on site at Kilmun and Strachur by the end of October, the Transport Forum had expressed dismay that none had been proposed for Lochgoilhead.


b. In the light of recent problems arising from road closures that were unmanned or manned by poorly informed personnel, the Forum had requested that a letter be sent to Transport Scotland setting out their concerns and recommending that fully informed personnel should be present at Tarbet to provide information on the exact location of any incidents.


10. Public Engagement.

See Matters Arising (item 4m).


11. Any Other Business.

a. Minutes of Special Meeting 11th October.

The minutes were agreed as accurate.


b. Community Partnership meeting.

Archie and Kirstie had attended the Community Partnership meeting in the Uig Hall in September. Also in attendance was Sue Morris, the new FC Visitor Centre Manager at Glenbranter. She is keen to go to Community Council meetings in her area to introduce herself.

Archie did a presentation on wild camping and spoke about Dornoch Bay and Jubilee Point: it was felt that the situation had got worse since the introduction of the Camping Management zones around Loch Lomond.

The Ironworks scheme between the Forestry Commission and Police Scotland has 50 hours this year. The Ironworks team patrol from Glenbranter to Ardentinny and Glenbranter to Carrick Castle. The hours of patrol are decided by the FC and may not coincide with days when there is a lot of camping activity. It was noted that not all wild campers cause problems.

This was followed up by discussion of what each community is up to at the moment.


c. Community Fund.

Jeff Wilson explained the background to the Community Fund, which receives £2,500 income per year from the Coire Ealt scheme. Currently £2,500 is in reserve and £5,000 available to support local organisations undertaking projects that would benefit residents of the Strachur CC area. Application forms are available from Jeff. No applications have been received so far.

A copy of the CF Constitution and Application form was lodged with the CC.


d. Cairndow CC.

All Community Councils in Argyll & Bute had received a request from Cairndow CC for support in addressing problems caused by motorbikes on the public road network.

This was noted.


e. Clachan Bar.

An e-mail had been received which had asked if the CC would be interested in the possibility of a community buy-out of the Clachan Bar. This was discussed, but it was felt that, whilst the CC was not opposed to the principle of a community buy-out, it would be more appropriate for this idea to be raised with the Development Company, since it is a registered charity which, unlike the CC, has assets and structures that could cope with the consequences of commercial failure.


12. Date of next meeting.

The next meeting will commence 19:30, Wednesday 13th December 2017 at Strathlachlan Community Centre.



Iain Wilkie

Secretary, Strachur Community Council


Appendix 1

1. Health Report from Kirstie Reid

Since the last meeting I have attended an LPG meeting on behalf of the chairman of the Health and Care Forum and among the items discussed the following are relevant to the Strachur Area.

1. GP Out of Hours: Is it always appropriate to send out a GP? Could a specially trained paramedic or nurse be more appropriate? You will be triaged through NHS24. They need to save £350k and a working group would be formed to discuss this further: Dr Tittmar of Riverside Surgery, Kilmun will be the GP rep. At no time was it mentioned that the above group would meet the following Tuesday, 19th September (dates have now been forwarded to those concerned).


2. Trust Housing Strachur: Alison McKerracher, Locality Manager CCH, stated that a petition had been received to keep things as they currently are, but it could not be acknowledged as it was sent in anonymously. THS is changing to amenity housing with support from the HSCP when required.


3. Bed Occupancy: Cowal Community Hospital bed occupancy figures are calculated ONCE a day at midnight, but again we asked how often the hospital was full and couldn't admit patients (Dr Tittmar had expressed concern about the difficulties of securing a bed for patients on occasions at a previous LPG meeting) and how often are patients sent to hospitals in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board Area because CCH is full. We were told that they would give us this information asap as it was continually asked for at Community Council meetings throughout Cowal. The latest figures I have are: 8 general, 4 palliative care and 2 supported care beds.


4. General discussion on the transferring of patients from CCH to IRH (example given).


Other items discussed: carers act, including young and hidden, and reducing loneliness in Cowal plan. The latest NHS waiting time figures are as follows for Highland Health board (HHB) Scotland (S) and Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) (Dates in brackets are last time targets were met):

1. A&E seen in 4 hours target 95%:  HHB 96.75 (Aug 17) - S 95% (Aug 17) - GGC 93.6% (July 15).

2. Cancer treatment within 62 days target 95%: HHB 83.4% (Feb 15) S 86.9% (Nov 12) - GGC 84% (May 13).

3. Planned operations and care within 14 weeks target 90%: HHB 82% (Feb 14) - S 84.8% (Jun 14) - 89.5% (Oct 16).



2. Health Report from Heather Grier

1. Manse Gardens: Heather had attended a meeting at Manse Gardens on 26th September. The tenants were formally advised that THA were changing from running the development from sheltered to amenity; the warden would be made redundant as of end of March 2018 but the assistant would be retained at her current hours. Heather felt that the social work lead present was unaware of the allegations of disruptive behaviour. Heather had written to Christina West, Chief Officer Integration, expressing her concerns and at the IJB meeting on 27th September she had raised these concerns. The Chief Officer had undertaken to ensure all risks identified would be brought back to the IJB.


2. Struan Lodge: Ian Asher had been asked by Max Barr, Chair of the Struan Lodge Development Group, to join the Group. Ian had given a presentation to the group on our own Hub. Max Barr had visited the Hub and felt that our set-up should be developed throughout Cowal.


3. Strachur Hub: Because no confirmation had been received yet about year 3 funding from the Integrated Care Fund (ICF), some activities had been held back meantime. ICF funding had been passed down to Locality Planning Groups to review. Ian Asher and Heather had attended a meeting with the Big Lottery in Dunoon and received encouraging comments, although another view is that Hub support is the HSCP’s responsibility, not the Lottery’s. Average attendance this year at the Hub was 39, with a maximum attendance of 48 on one day.


Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, had been invited to the Hub and had indicated she would do so when she was able.


4. Health and Social Care Partnership – IJB: The main area of concern was the savings of around £20m required in the next two years. MSP Michael Russell had questioned some areas of operation at the IJB, although he may not have been fully briefed. A programme board to provide additional oversight to the delivery and development of the Quality and Finance plan had been set up and Heather had been appointed. She had also been appointed Chairperson of the audit committee.


5. Out of Hours Review: Two meetings had taken place. Regretfully, NHS24 and Scottish Ambulance Service had not been represented. Dr Coull had commented that the rural involvement in calls etc. was quiet but suspected patients were not using NHS 24 because of poor quality of service. Heather would raise this at the next OOH Review meeting. It had been agreed that practices would keep a log to identify the number of patients that should have called NHS 24 but did not and the reasons why they did not.


Dr Coull had felt that, whilst the rural GPs currently cover north Cowal, this could be expanded south to ensure the hospital is adequately covered. It had been suggested looking at how Skye and Belford Hospital in Fort William operate re OOH.


6. Hospital discharges: There were continuing issues re GPs being informed when patients are being discharged. Dr Coull had also brought up a case where an individual was not admitted then discharged from Inverclyde in bed clothes and slippers, taken to the ferry terminal at 10.00pm in a taxi and left there, without money or phone, until the ferry arrived. This had been reported to the police as a potential case of neglect. Heather had advised that this would not have been logged or dealt with by the HSCP unless a complaint had been raised.


7. New computer system: A new computer system had been installed throughout all the practices.