August 2023 Minutes

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Arnprior Community Council

Minutes of the Ordinary General Meeting held on
Tuesday 15th August 2023 at Arnprior Nursery

Present: Iain Breakenridge (Chair), Morag Sheppard (Secretary), Margaret
Pitkeathly (Member)

In Attendance: Councillor Rosemary Fraser (SNP), Esther Lim (Minute Taker)

Apologies: Wendy Weir (Member)

Residents: 1 Resident was in attendance

1. Welcome and Apologies
The Chair welcomed the attendees to the meeting.

1.1 Declaration of Interest
The Chair called for any declarations of interest. There were no declarations
of interest.

1.2 Approval of Agenda
The Chair reviewed the Agenda. Members asked for the following items to be

  • The position of Key Holder
  • The Administration Grant

2. Approval of Previous OGM Minutes

2.1 The Unconfirmed Minutes of the OGM held on 20th June 2023 were reviewed
and approved having been proposed Margaret Pitkeathly and seconded by
Morag Sheppard.

2.2 The Unconfirmed Minutes of the OGM held on 5th July 2023 were reviewed
and approved having been proposed by Margaret Pitkeathly and seconded by
Iain Breakenridge.

3. Matters Arising

3.1 Septic Tank
No update. The Chair confirmed he will ask Duncan McEwen for an update.
[Action: Iain Breakenridge]

3.2 Roads
No update.

3.3 Mains Road
No update.

3.4 Welcoming New Residents
This work is ongoing with a card currently being sent to congratulate residents
on the arrival of their new baby.

3.5 Community Email
The Chair has contacted Ed, the former Chair, regarding this. There is
currently no update.

4. Cardross Bridge
The Chair submitted an enquiry to Stirling Council (SC) regarding the survey findings
and future plans for Cardross Bridge. The Chair shared the informative and detailed
response he received from Stirling Council dated 17th July 2023. In summary, Stirling
Council confirmed:

  • The B8034 has been weight restricted to 3 tonne vehicles without exemptions.
  • A trial-hole investigation has been undertaken to investigate the make-up of the fill
    material and road pavement.
  • A dive survey has been undertaken to investigate the condition of the piers.
  • A topographical survey has been commissioned.
  • A second Bat & Ecological Survey will be required before the council can apply for
    a SNH license to proceed with the work.
  • Stirling Council is currently in discussion with consultants and conservation
    planners regarding the survey results and the design solution. They continue to
    monitor the structure and will inform the CC of any change in the situation.
  • The council are aiming for work to start in 2024 and will keep the CC informed.

A member enquired if any bats had been seen in the area. Members were not aware of any sightings.
Councillor Fraser confirmed that the repairs to the bridge will necessitate road closures that will adversely affect local residents and any alternative route will involve a considerable diversion. She noted that careful planning would be needed to minimise delays and disruption.

5. Defibrillator: Maintenance and Training
The new battery purchased last year has now been installed.
A 2-hour training session led by a two-man team from Trossachs Search & Rescue took place on Saturday 5th August 2023. This covered emergency first aid and the use of the defibrillator. The training was well received with approximately 15 residents in attendance. Morag Sheppard agreed to ask Trossachs Search & Rescue if they have certificates for attendees and particularly for the youngest attendee. [Action: Morag
The Chair proposed that a raffle or similar fund-raising activity could be held at the next community BBQ with the proceeds going to Trossachs Search & Rescue.

6. Planning: Shelloch Wind Farm Update
The Chair circulated a copy of the most recent correspondence from the Wind farm.
Stephen Park is no longer the point of contact for the CC. The Chair has received no response to the enquiries he sent to the new contact, Ruth Shewan, the External Affairs Manager at EDF Renewables, so is currently unable to obtain further information. The Chair expressed his disappointment at the lack of response, particularly given the input the CC has provided with regard to the northern access route. The Chair proposed
contacting farmers who are affected by the Wind Farm to find out if they have been given more information than the CC. The Chair will continue to seek information from the Wind Farm. [Action: Iain Breakenridge]

7. Your Stirling: You Decide Update
The Chair again reiterated the need for a written agreement with Stirling Council regarding the ongoing maintenance and insurance costs of the canopy. Councillor Fraser reminded the CC that the ‘You Decide’ project only covers capital costs, not ongoing running costs. She stated it was likely that Stirling Council would agree to conduct the ongoing cleaning of the fabric of the canopy. The Chair stressed the need for this to be agreed in writing.
The Chair explained how access to the proposed pavilion is also an issue of concern.
As the structure will be shared between the Community and the nursery a written agreement between the CC and the nursery is viewed by the CC to be required for the clear understanding of the responsibilities of both parties. For example, to provide clear guidelines on the times when access is restricted for nursery use and when it is unrestricted for community use and the arrangements in place for both restricted and
unrestricted times of use, i.e. access.

8. Arnprior Community Storage Project
The Chair explained that aggregate had been purchased, the site made level and the supports put in place for a storage container. The CC are now at the stage of
purchasing a container. The Chair distributed information from a few container suppliers to the attendees. The Chair noted that haulage costs could add considerably to the cost of the container and a local resident supplied the Chair with the names of some local suppliers. The Chair agreed to compare prices and make a recommendation to the CC.
[Action: Iain Breakenridge]
On a side note, the Chair explained that one of the funders requires that all purchases over £1,000 have 2 signatories. To facilitate larger purchases, it was proposed that the CC should appoint 3 signatories – Iain Breakenridge, Morag Sheppard and Sheena
Adam. The treasurer is to contact the bank to determine how to set this up. [Action: Sheena Adam]
It was noted that there is a discrepancy between the level of the ground and the level of the container door which will need to be built up.
A member noted that there is a need to manage tree and tree root growth as there is a hedge encroaching onto the site and an overhanging tree which should be cut back.
The Chair explained that the CC had, through Wendy, already asked Wallace Weir from Weir Forestry to investigate the tree. He has reported that no work is currently required.

9. Walking Routes & Signposts
There was some discussion about the benefits for Arnprior, Buchlyvie and surrounding areas of completing the core paths and the barriers to doing this – primarily landowners refusing permission to cross their land.
Councillor Fraser informed the council that Stirling Council has set up a committee to determine how they can link up the various paths across Stirlingshire. Representatives from SC will be contacting communities for their input in due course.

10. Cycle Championships Event – Community Feedback
Members and residents reported to Councillor Fraser the disruption to local residents caused by the hosting of the UCI Cycling Championship. This had resulted in some
residents (particularly those reliant on public transport) being forced to stay at home for 3 days. They raised the following issues:

  • One resident present, who does not have a car, was forced to take 3 days of annual leave as she could not get to her workplace.
  • Alternative routes that locals were expected to take (e.g. via Callander) necessitated leaving home an hour or more earlier than normal and were not practicable for those on shift work.
  • The 3 times a day when residents were allowed to leave/access the area were changed numerous times.
  • All residents in areas affected by road closures should have received a letter with details of the closures in their area and arrangements for leaving and accessing the area. Arnprior residents did not get this letter.
  • The Stirling UCI website gave the times at which residents could leave or access their area but information for Arnprior residents was omitted.
  • The shuttle bus for Arnprior and Buchlyvie was cancelled without notice on the Tuesday afternoon before the race. Residents were told to use the DRT. When residents contacted the DRT they were informed that bookings could only be accepted if they were made a day in advance (between the hours of 9am and 3pm).
    When residents explained they had not been able to do this due to the late cancellation of the shuttle bus, the DRT were inflexible and residents could not make bookings. Residents were forced to go to Balfron rather than, for example, the shorter journey from Arnprior to Port of Menteith, and embark the bus to Stirling.
  • The CC felt that the community had not been properly consulted or engaged with in advance of the race. The drop-in meetings in Kippen Hall and elsewhere had not been shared with the community (although details could be found online).

A resident contacted Alyn Smith (MSP) with their concerns. Councillor Fraser confirmed that issues relating to the DRT were her responsibility and should be addressed to her, not to MSPs. Councillor Fraser recognised that a huge effort had been put in to inform
communities about the UCI and villages specifically affected by the race, such as Gargunnock, had been given extra help. She regretted that Arnprior had been missed in this process. She noted that in future they need to focus, not just on the main routes, but the arteries as well.

11. Charitable Trust
Two months ago the CC identified the need to set up a charitable trust in order to prepare for the potential administration of money from the wind farm and to provide Anprior with its own community space. Members discussed the events the community used to hold before they lost access to the building which is now Arnprior nursery.
Members felt these activities formed the glue of the community.
The Chair and Secretary agreed to gather information on how the CC could set up a charitable trust. They asked the members to consider who they should approach about this, what form of community organisation they would like this to be and who the trustees should be. [Action: Iain Breakenridge, Morag Sheppard and Members]
Councillor Fraser suggested the CC look into forming a Community Interest Company (CIC), which could later be converted into a Scottish Charitable Incorporated
Organisation (SCIO). She suggested the CC contact the Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) who are very helpful in providing support and advice on how to do this.
She shared something of what other Development Trusts, such as Dunblane, Gartmore and Fintry, had been able to do.
Councillor Fraser also suggest that the CC should contact the Scottish Land Fund if they were looking to purchase land. DTAS can provide information on how to do this.

12. Police Report
There was no Police Report at this meeting.

13. Councillor’s Report
Councillor Fraser explained there is currently little to report due to the council being in
recess for the last few months. She highlighted the following points:

  • The Councillor is part of SC’s Environment, Transport & Net Zero Committee.
    Representatives will be having 1-to-1 meetings with each ward in due course to
    promote active travel on foot or wheels. She asked the CC to consider what can be
    done to facilitate active travel in Arnprior. [Action: Members]
  • There will be a council audit later this month
  • Much of the councillor’s inbox recently has been in relation to the opportunities and
    frustrations of the UCI Cycling Event
  • The Budget is currently being put together. Finances are not good and they expect
    this year and next year to be difficult.
  • The CC should get information shortly on the Local Place Plan which helps
    communities identify how to develop land in their local area.

The Chair expressed disappointment that the CC and SC have not been able to work in tandem. The CC feels that the biggest problem for the CC, on occasion, has been
Stirling Council and the barriers they put up. Councillor Fraser encouraged the CC to message her when necessary, but reminded them that the first point of contact should be Stephen Bly. Councillor Fraser recognised that there is a shortage of Community
Engagement Officers and recently these have been working primarily with communities who haven’t been able to form a CC.
The Chair expressed the community’s concern about the speed of traffic through Arnprior. The CC discussed various means to reduce the speed, such as a 20mph limit, rumble strips, a pelican crossing and flashing signs, and the barriers to implementing these. The Chair noted that a survey conducted as part of the South West Forum Meeting showed that if a speed camera were installed in Arnprior and a flat fine of £100 imposed, £0.5 Million could be generated in a week. Councillor Fraser expressed her frustration that legislation does not allow for the installation of speed cameras without
serious injury or death to occur first.
The Chair expressed concern about loopholes being used to pass planning applications in the area and cited a number of cases in the last few years.
The CC recognised the improvement in the bus service and the quality of buses since June 2023. A member expressed concern that some drivers, unused to country roads, were driving too fast. Following the points raised by the CC, Councillor Fraser concluded that the way forward was to ask Stirling Council for a review on Roads. [Action: Councillor Fraser].

14. Financial Report
The Financial Report was presented by the Chair as the Treasurer was not present.

  • The balance on No. 1 account has increased to £8,224.23 due to additional funding.
  • The balance on No. 2 account remains the same at £4,434.20.

15. AOCB

  • The Admin Grant application has been submitted to Stirling Council and acknowledged.
  • The CC are currently in discussion with SC about a CC member becoming a keyholder.

16. Date of next OGM
The next OGM will take place from 19:30 to 21:15 on 3rd October 2023. It is intended to take place at Arnprior Nursery.