Draft, to be agreed on 2nd December 2015

Strachur District Community Council

Minutes of General Meeting

Held 19:30 on Wednesday 21st October 2015, Strachur Memorial Hall


Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), John Fleming (Vice Convenor), Isabel McGladdery (Treasurer), Ceci Alderton, Kirstie Reid, Iain Wilkie and Les Earle (Secretary).


Also in attendance: Cllr Alex McNaughton, PC Donald McKay, Heather Grier and two members of the public.


1. Vice Convener’s opening remarks: Archie welcomed everyone to the meeting.


2. Apologies and declarations of interest: None.

3. Minutes of the last meeting: The minutes of 19th August 2015 were agreed as accurate.


4. Matters arising: The church wall repairs; the relevant officer has now inspected the repair and is of the opinion that the work is complete. Some doubt was expressed that the wall has not been touched, just the gate post. Cllr McNaughton will continue to pursue officers on this topic.


5. Health Report: Heather Grier was able to inform the meeting on progress in Reshaping Care for Older People. Attached is the result of the recent consultation expressed as a ten point list of aspirations.These are also included in the recent publication of the Health and Social Care Plan.

Heather announced an upcoming Drop in Event, Monday 2nd November, 13:30 – 16:00, Dining Room Cowal Community Hospital. The subject of the event is A+B Health and Social Care Partnership, Strategic Plan 2016 - 2019. Heather would prepare an article for the newsletter/facebook page on the subject.

The Integration Joint Board has now been established (Heather is on the Board as a patient/carer representative) and a discussion took place on how to spread the word on the planned future integration of the, currently, two services. Topics considered were: a conversation café (not particularly successful in Strachur last time), piggy-backing on an already planned event (eg the Beatson Coffee Morning, 7th November), presentations to Friendship Group/WI/Guild etc.

This coming Monday (26th October) the Patient Participation Group (PPG) meets and top of the agenda will be the recent advert for an associate GP for the Lochgoilhead surgery for £35k pa. The appearance of this advert, and the reason for the vacancy, contradicts information given to Heather and three former members of the Community Council and the current Convener, Archie. This meeting took place in April 2012 with Dr Michael Hall, Clinical Director, and Joyce Robinson, Primary Care Manager. At that meeting there was an explanation given as to why funding had ceased on the death of Dr Wright which they classed as a “leaver”. It seems that Tighnabruaich have had a similar “leaver” situation but there is an understanding the funding there was not discontinued. It appears that there is not a level playing field in the area of GP surgery funding. Heather confirmed that Strachur surgery is the 6th worst-funded surgery in A+B and the lowest funded in Cowal. Heather has written to NHS Highland and awaits a reply.


6. Police report: PC Donald McKay was able to report that since the last meeting there had been 23 incidents reported to the police in our area (2 crime reports, 2 incidents of fraud, 1 incident careless driving).

The recent patrols in the area of the National Park with the Park Rangers had been well-received.

The Mobile Police Station would visit Strachur, alternate Thursdays, 10:00 – 14:00.

The previous report on requesting traffic speed surveys was misleading. Requests for surveys where the limit is in excess of 30mph now have to be requested via A+B.

Reference was made to the recently reported (on rural watch) Council Tax scam. Les said he made regular references to Neighbourhood/Rural Watch on the facebook page but would do so again.


7. Secretary’s report:

a. The original intention to delay discussion of the Local Government Boundary Commission – Scotland (LGBCS) until tonight (before the close of the consultation, tomorrow) proved impractical/not sensible. The CC responded to the consultation very much in the terms outlined in the newsletter article written by Les. In the November newsletter is an article explaining what happens next: either the LGBCS make a report in to Ministers along the lines of the original proposal or a fresh consultation will be launched in December to report in February. Archie and Les have been liaising with local CC’s and have yet to find anyone who agrees with the current proposal.

b. Les read out a portion of a letter from a local resident outlining her objection to the proposed Council cuts. A discussion took place on the subject of the cuts, much reported in the press but (according to Les) invisible on the A+B website. Once a link to the relevant page has been notified to him Les will advertise it on the facebook page.


8. Treasurer’s report: The current balance stands at £2238.

9. Transport update:

a. Archie has raised at the Transport Forum the subject of the changed route for the Strachur/Dunoon buses [the diversion down Ardenslate and on to the front]. The change has led to ferries being missed and an inconvenient/impractical link to the Post Office. A compromise has been suggested - the bus will now run down Argyll Street after the ferry – but is unacceptable as this complicates the return to the depot. Only the original route will address the problem. Alex pointed out that the consultation (only open to current passengers!) had not produced a single supportive comment. It was generally agreed that the drivers should be better consulted when adjusting routes.

b. The different school hours adopted by some has led to additional costs for the extra buses. In addition the “rights” of fare paying passengers were leading to conflict especially where they might be picked up before a school stop and there is the potential of a child being left behind/or the passenger asked to dismount.

c. The inadequate level of public transport to/from Strachur had, in Archie’s experience, led to one family recently leaving the area to live in Dunoon as their growing children had little chance of participating in after-school activities or socialising.

d. Kirstie warned that because of changes at the Gourock Terminal anyone going to Inverclyde Hosp. now had to get the connecting bus on the main road as the forecourt at the Terminal had been changed.


10. Any other business:

a. Iain reported that he recently attended the Governance Training session organised by A+B but that, disappointingly, only three other community councillors were present. This is despite Governance being top of the wish list of Councillor training. Some discussion followed as to the likelihood of Community Councils being given more power in relation to some issues like planning.

b. Archie announced that this year’s Remembrance Sunday service would commence in the Memorial Hall at 10:30, 8th November.


11. Date of next meeting: 19:30, Wednesday 2nd December 2015 at the Strachur Memorial Hall.


Les Earle, Secretary, Strachur District Community Council