Strachur District Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 21st June 2017, Strachurmore Pavillion


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


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


1. Convener’s opening remarks:

Archie opened the meeting with a general welcome. He also reminded us that anyone in the community can speak to any Community Councillor in confidence without their name being publicised, this being part of our remit as CCllrs.


2. Apologies and declarations of interest:

Ceci Alderton and Heather Grier apologised for non-attendance. There were no declarations of interest.


3. Minutes.

Minutes for the meeting held on 12th April 2017 were agreed as accurate, with the exception of the Health Report (received 18.6.17), the rewording of which the Convener would like to discuss with Heather before the report is accepted.

ACTION: Archie Reid


4. Matters arising.

a. Traffic monitoring at school crossing.

(A 30 mph limit on the A815 from near the school crossing to Laurel Bank is the ultimate aim, but a speed survey at the crossing is required first to check the effectiveness of previous improvements.)

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

(Existing sign is showing signs of advanced age and a replacement bilingual sign has been promised.

c. Missing pavement at the Bay.

(There is a gap in the pavement on the west side of the A886 near its junction with the A815; we have been informed that no money has been budgeted for this.)

d. Church wall repairs.

(Part of the wall has collapsed but no money has been allocated for its repair.)

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

(This is long-promised and would inform people travelling from the Cowal Peninsula of closures on the Rest etc. A&BC and BEARS have apparently resolved who would be responsible for up-dates. Pressure is now required to make sure the promise is fulfilled.

f. Flooding at Strathlachlan graveyard.

(A long-term problem. Drains should have been rodded in autumn 2016, but this did not happen. Although we were assured this would be done in spring 2017, it was not.)



g. B8000 telephone line.

No progress. Les will continue to collect data, liaise with BT and keep residents informed. It was pointed out that there are vulnerable OAPs who are being put at risk because of the absence of a reliable landline. Cllr Reid offered to forward to interested parties information on making an official complaint.

ACTION: Les Earle and Cllr Reid


h. Young Scot Rewards.

Attendance at Strachur Community Council was now an accredited activity attracting 100 points and Iain had received 50 vouchers for distribution to young attendees. A press release had been published in the Dunoon Observer, articles had been published in the Newsletter and Facebook and a notice posted on the CC notice-board. The absence of young people from the meeting was therefore disappointing. It was suggested that the scheme should be publicised through Dunoon Grammar School.

ACTION: Iain Wilkie


i. Antisocial camping.

Iain had visited the FC office at Glenbranter and was informed that further instances of unlawful and irresponsible camping should be reported to staff there. He was also advised to write to Will Huckerby, FC Communities, Recreation & Tourism Manager re ways of encouraging responsible camping and expediting clean-up after antisocial camping. E-mails sent on 1st May and 15th June had not been answered. A similar e- mail to Marie Harvey of the Community Partnership was forwarded to Anne Sobey (Development Manager) who promised to raise the issues at a Board meeting on 27th May and report back. No further response had been received. Iain will pursue this.

On Ceci’s advice Iain had contacted seven CCs partly in or adjacent to the National Park to ask if they had seen a rise in antisocial camping and suggest that the situation should be monitored. Four had responded: none had noticed any significant change.

ACTION: Iain Wilkie


5. Police Report.

PC Mackay informed us that, although his area was Kilmun, Ardentinny, Strone etc., he would keep in touch with Strachur and be our point of contact in the meantime. If unable to attend any future CC meeting, he would still submit a report.

There had been 41 ‘incidents’ in the Strachur area, mostly assisting members of the public, road traffic incidents and the lawful use of guns. Of the 41, four were crimes, all involving theft.

There had been a re-launch of Rural Watch based on the Neighbourhood Scotland website. It was hoped that at least one in five households would sign up. PC Mackay left leaflets and would forward an electronic copy to Iain for further distribution.

Inspector Ewan Wilson would be moving back to Falkirk after August.

Iain MacGregor inquired about the current status of the Strachur Police House, since, due to its garden being infested with Japanese knotweed, it was at present unsaleable. PC Mackay would seek further information on this.



6. Health Reports.

A report was received from Heather Grier (see Appendix). Archie suggested adding Isabel’s name and e-mail address as a Community Councillor point of contact.


Kirstie provided the following report:

Since our last meeting in April I was approached in confidence as a Community Councillor by two individual members of the Dunoon Link Club to highlight their concerns about the impending closure of this self-help mental health support group that meets five days a week from 10am to 5pm. This I did at the April meeting of the Health Care Forum (HCF) and two Members came and spoke on behalf of their members of which there is 78 at the May meeting of the HCF. Individuals are referred to this facility by GP and the local community Mental Health Team operating from Dunoon Hospital. Unfortunately the Link Club closed on Friday 16th before an alternative has been put in place leaving these 78 people vulnerable.


Health Care Forum

At the May HCF we also had a presentation from the Occupational Therapists on REABLEMENT. This is a tool to help people to accommodate their illness or disability by learning or relearning the skills necessary for daily living and twice weekly meeting are held by the professionals to discuss progress which in turn will lead to more or less intervention.  


7. Secretary’s Report.

Iain thanked Les for help in bringing him up to speed on CC secretarial duties.

Since the last meeting there had been correspondence with: Roanna Clark (re Young Scot Rewards); Carole Keeley and the Hall Committee (re renewal of Emergency Kit Bag items); the Forestry Commission and Community Partnership (re antisocial camping); Alex McNaughton (commiserations); elected Local Councillors (congratulations); other CCs (re National Park Management Zones); and the Hall Committee (re CC notice-board).

Articles had been submitted to the Newsletter on: CC meeting timetable, Unlawful camping, Parking consultation, Local councillor contact details, Broadband, Young Scot Rewards, A83 drainage improvements, Community Choices Fund and Scottish Fire & Rescue consultation.

Planning applications would now be posted on the CC notice-board.


8. Treasurer’s report.

The bank balance stood at £2,257.95.


9. Transport update.

Covered in Matters Arising.


10. Public Engagement.

The current position is as stated above in Matters Arising.


11. Broadband.

A complaint from a St. Catherines resident about slow broadband speeds had led to Newsletter and Facebook articles and a notice on the CC notice-board asking for other residents to check their broadband speeds and send the results to CCllrs. The aim was to produce a map of broadband speeds that could be used as evidence to galvanise BT into action.

ACTION: Les Earle and Iain Wilkie


12. CC notice-board in Memorial Hall.

The Hall Committee had agreed to a request for the CC to have a dedicated notice- board in the hall. Iain had identified a suitable location. It was agreed that he should go ahead and purchase a notice-board.

ACTION: Iain Wilkie


13. Any Other Business.

a. It was reported that the lettering on the yellow ‘No overnight parking’ signs at the post-office and monument parking bays (A886) was fading and that the signs needed to be replaced.

ACTION: Cllr Alan Reid


b. A member of the public had complained about parked camper vans spoiling their view. The CC agreed to decide on further action should a sufficient number of additional complaints on this issue be received.


c. There was discussion about the mess that accumulates around the Heron Park recycling bins. It was felt that the ultimate problem was that the bins were not being emptied frequently enough. In addition, a member of the public had asked if a paper recycling bin could be supplied.

ACTION: Cllr Alan Reid


d. The wreaths at the Hall need to be renewed. John offered to get in touch with ‘Poppy Scotland’ about replacements.

ACTION: John Fleming


e. The CC had heard indirectly that a resident who organises football training at Strachurmore had enquired about the possibility of the CC providing funding for equipment to support this activity. The CC agreed that, before making any decision on this, they would need to be approached directly.


f. Iain MacGregor reported that The Invasive Species Volunteer Group (which acts under the auspices of the CC) had received a grant that would enable the group to extend their activities to the end of 2018. Archie expressed his appreciation of the work done by the group.


14. Date of next meeting.

The next meeting will commence 19:30, Wednesday 16th August 2017 at Strathlachlan Community Centre.



Iain Wilkie, Secretary, Strachur Community Council








1. Surgery Funding:

At the PPG meeting of the 20th June 017, Dr Coull advised he is being given the police surgeon contract. That means the practice can now plan and recruit an associate GP. He remains mindful of the request for a female doctor. He is going to advertise on receipt of the contract which is due this week. 

The surgery now has a new ISDN telephone system which is now up and running and is much more efficient.


2. Health and Social Care Partnership: Integration:

The Integration Joint Board (IJB) met on the 31 May 2017. The main focus was the Quality and Financial Plan working towards the budget produced for 2017/18, how much of a shortfall there is carried forward from 2016/17, and the impact on 2018/19.

The chief officer, Christina West, was answering questions in front of the Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Government recently. She was asked how much this partnership savings would be and she answered around £20m this year and next. The convenor of the committee Neil Findlay, MSP asked her if there would have to be a cut in services. And she replied ‘yes’. I think we all need to be mindful of this.

I asked Melissa Stewart from A and B Council to circulate the IJB briefing paper to all community councils in Cowal. She confirmed she did that. However, in case you have not received it I attached a copy. I will ensure that when I receive the briefing papers after future IJB’s I will ask her to circulate them.

The briefing paper gives you the situation on Struan Lodge. Other areas of impact here in Cowal are the redesign of Cowal Community Hospital and the Out of Hours services.


3. Locality Planning Groups (LPG)

I attended the Locality Planning Group Meeting today, 20th June 2017. In my view there is a disconnect with senior management and those working ‘at the coal face’.

I attended the communication group meeting on Monday 19th June. Communications still remains poor and it was agreed that the public reps should not be taking the lead in communications and that there needed to be proper statutory input with management time, admin resources and proper funding.

Alison McKerracher is now in place as Locality Manager.


4. Strachur Hub

The Hub was growing in popularity and was working well. We continue to have new people joining. We are averaging attendance of 37 and have been as high as 46. A short film of the Hub was made and I understand we may be nominated for a self- help group award this year.

Out funding is stretched because when we put in the bid we thought we might get 16 people attending so our costs have risen. The hall rental remains out biggest expense. The Bay Cottage continues to provide the soup as a donation for which we are all grateful, and we have a rota of 10 volunteers assisting on the day and or making the sandwiches. We continue to hire Cowal Befrienders Berlingo and we now use Interloch.

We are also looking at a joint venture with the development company to raise funds to improve Heron Park so it is accessible for all.


5. Interloch Transport

They are now available to take people over to Inverclyde for appointments and being them home at a reasonable cost to the individual. I have one example where a patient’s cataract operation was cancel 5 times since January this year as Patient Transport cancelled each booking. This is an issue to be addressed to the Scottish Ambulance Service.

 If anyone has any questions or queries please either contact me via my email which is: or my mobile 07718 930945, or contact Isabel McGladdery