Strachur District Community Council - Minutes of General Meeting

Held on 22nd January 2014, Strachur Memorial Hall


1. Members present: Archie Reid (Convener), John Fleming (Vice Convener), Isabel McGladdery (Treasurer), Jean Donaldson and Les Earle (Secretary).


Also in attendance, Cllrs Alex McNaughton, Gordon Blair, PC McGunnigal and nine members of the public.


2. Apologies: Cllr McNaughton reported that Cllr Marshall was attending another meeting. Crawford Grier.


3. Declarations of interest: None.


4. Minutes: Minutes for the meeting held on 27th November 2013 were adopted as accurate.


5. Matters arising:


a. The wall around the church is still in need of repair. It is uncertain as to who has responsibility, Church or Council? Cllr McNaughton is to follow-up. (First raised 16/10/13).

b. Iain MacGregor raised topics touched on at an NHS meeting on 29/10/13. First was the case of ambulances and address/postcode confusion, Derek Leslie, NHS, had promised to send information to the Secretary of the CC (none received, also see below for Royal Mail’s reaction). Second, was the suggestion that proposed whistleblowing code of conduct be fully notified to NHS staff. Heather Grier offered to chase-up and report. Heather was due to meet with Derek Leslie 23rd January.

c. Loch Fyne - Marine Protection Zone (the Scottish Government’s consultation). Archie has made the representations formerly agreed and he is to liaise with Crawford Grier who is co-ordinating a wider range of responses. It has so far not proved possible to meet up with Cairndow CC as they have only just had their first meeting.

d. Cllr McNaughton was able to report that a Saturday morning bus service would now be reinstated. The battle for a late Friday and Saturday bus continues.

e. A member of the public had offered to compose a directory of house names as against OS map coordinates because of continued problems experienced by residents both as to deliveries and the emergency services. It seems that A+B will not/cannot release the data it holds. Archie said he would raise the matter with Shirley McLeod at A+B.

f. Recycling, a member of the public raised doubts as to the efficacy of A+B moving to co-mingling of rubbish for recycling as EU regulations will be coming into force to ban this. Cllr McNaughton raised this with A+B officers and, despite the fact that the Waste Framework Directive comes into force on 1/1/15, they are going ahead with co-mingling – presumably for just nine months.

g. Postcodes, the Royal Mail simply refuse to acknowledge the problem and therefore see to clarify the postcodes for the school and Forest View or change our classification from “Cairndow”

h. Strathlachlan roadsigns, (first raised at CC meeting on 10/3/10) Cllr McNaughton says that the roadsigns had now been agreed (no date as to commissioning yet.)

i. Iain McGregor raised the following outstanding points:

i.   Roadside ditch on Strathlachlan Hall brae (first raised Jan 2012).

ii.    Newton road end, dangerous culvert (first raised at CC 13/6/12). Cllr McNaughton reiterated that he would raise this with the individuals concerned.

iii. Strachur headtank Japanese knotweed infestation (first raised at CC10/10/12, but taken up with Scottish Water since at least 2010). Cllr McNaughton will issue a reminder.

iv. The new water main, Strathlachlan. Cllr McNaughton was able to report that road closure notices would soon be issued though the main was to run at the side of the road rather than under it, commencement 19/3/14.



6. Local health issues:


a. The Patient Participation Group (PPG), consisting of 12 members from over our district, had their first meeting last Monday and were addressed by Dr Coull. The funding disparity when compared with Tighnabruaich, Loch Goilhead and ourselves remains a thorny issue. No rational explanation has been forthcoming.

b. Out of hours – negotiations have been concluded and local doctors under the co-ordination of Dr Paterson are to work on a rota basis.


7. Police report: PC Eddie McGunnigal was in attendance and reported as follows:


a. Since November there had been 44 calls to the police and thee incidents of criminal behaviour recorded, two of theft and one of speeding. PC McGunnigal was continuing to liaise with local firms whose commercial vehicles travelled at an inappropriate speed short of the criminal standard.

b. There was a brief discussion regarding the siting of the national speed limit sign at St Catherines. It was felt to be too close to the last house and cars were accelerating in anticipation.

c. PC McGunnigal explained how Rural Watch and Police Scotland were to share a database and email contact system that would allow for the ready transfer of information between the public and police. A handout was distributed.


8. Treasurer’s report: The current balance in the bank was £2264 as the recent grant from Argyll and Bute (approx. £400) had now been received. Since the last meeting hall and stationery expenses had amounted to approx. £55


9. Secretary’s report: There was nothing to report.


10. The Emergency Plan: Jean Donaldson is leading on this item and she reminded everyone that last year’s severe weather (particularly on Bute and Arran) highlighted the desirability of local Emergency Plans (EP’s). As a consequence all CC’s are being encouraged to draft their own, local EP’s. The aim is to nominate focal points for the gathering of resources and having back-up lines of communication for the more vulnerable members of the community. Jean will be advertising (eg. newsletter) for ideas/resources to draft an EP and looking into the electricity suppliers’ facilities for helping vulnerable customers.


11. Any other business:


a. Forest View playground. It was apparent that the current status of the playground is a matter of some confusion. The one certainty is that the gates are locked and the equipment inside has in part been damaged by a fallen tree. It was agreed that the Community Council write to the Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA), the presumed owners of the site. The intention being to clarify the terms of ownership and then the intentions for the site and the plan to bring it back into use.

b. A group of worried parents addressed the meeting to express their concern over the failure of Argyll and Bute Council to provide cover during the temporary absence of the school crossing warden. The matter was considered even more pressing now that the school had responsibility for the pre-fives as well as the primary school children.

The discussion widened to consider the broader issue of safety at that point of the road, especially when approaching from Loch Eck. Among the suggestions were:

1. Move the 40mph limit sign further from the bend and introduce a 30mph limit before the crossing.

2. Move the 40mph limit sign further from the bend and introduce a 20mph limit enforced during peak times.

3. Introduce a solar powered speed warning for either of the above suggestions.

4. Move the crossing point further from the bend by utilising the route of the “old road”.

5. Introduce rumble strips on the approach to the bend to encourage a slower approach speed.

6. Introduce a pinch point in the road to slow/stop the traffic on the approach to the crossing point.

It was resolved that the Community Council write to Argyll and Bute Council as a matter of urgency to obtain their views on all of the above.

c. The land to the rear of 62 Forest View persistently floods and local residents want to know who owns the land to seek a remedy. Cllr McNaughton said he would look into the situation.

d. A member of the public asked if the trees either side of the road from the Hall to the church could be pruned as they interfered with the street lights and buses/lorries in the centre of the road forced cars into the insecure edge of the road.

e. A member of the public asked if the Community Council could approach the Hall Committee to improve/reinstate the lighting around the Hall for the benefit of users.


12. Date of next meeting: 12th March 2014, 19:30, Strachur Memorial Hall