Minutes of Meeting on 13th May 2021 via Zoom.
Welcome, recording of those present and apologies
Present: Fraser Allan, Colin Cameron (Chair), Alison Lamont Chalmers, Claudia
Duncan, Laura Gormley, Alison Limbert, John Nicholson, Bill Noblett, Luci Rooney,
Christine Wilson, Robert Young
Christine Glass (Minutes)
In attendance: Councillor Alastair Berrill, Councillor Rob Davies, Councillor Jane
Hutchison, Duncan Gilmour, David & Alison Morley, Rae Wilson
Apologies: Pam Campbell, Police Scotland
Recording of Declaration of Interest
Christine Wilson declared an interest in an item in the Treasurer’s Report;
Luci Rooney declared an interest in an item in the Chair’s Report.
Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting
The Minutes of the previous meeting were proposed as an accurate record by Bill
Noblett and seconded by Laura Gormley.
Cllr. Davies informed the meeting that there is no possibility of a compost
BCC expressed its thanks to Lachlan Cameron and his team for a terrific job
on the bus shelter.
Colin had visited the former Bank building on its Open Day. It has a variety of
rooms and flexible spaces, apart from three safes and a large concrete block
that formerly housed the ATM. The estate agent advised there had been a
number of expressions of interest. BCC agreed to keep up pressure on
Stirling Council to explore options for its purchase as a community venture.
Colin updated the meeting on the wildflower initiative and outlined Stirling
Council’s development of a Pollinator Strategy to improve biodiversity. It
includes plans for a single grass cut in late summer/autumn, and the adoption
of a cut and lift method of grass maintenance. It was agreed that certain
areas in the village would benefit, although there were reservations regarding
the Tontine, and it was agreed that Colin should reply to the Council’s initiative
with a positive response.
Co-Op Community Fund
Rae Wilson outlined the requirements for funding applications to the Co-op
Community Fund. Up to 12 funding applications could be made from Balfron.
Applicants without a Scottish Charity number could apply through the Community
Council. The Funding Group assigned a sum between £1k - £2k and applications
should be submitted before 31st May. Alison Limbert asked if it would be possible to
submit two applications, one for food supplies and a second one for repairs to the
phone box. Rae said that one application would be more likely to receive approval
than two. It was agreed that Bill would submit an application to fund supplies for the
on-going food project.
Balfron Covid-19 Support Group update: The pharmacy rota has been suspended.
The new owner of the pharmacy has confirmed she will be happy to take on the
responsibility now that conditions are easing. The meeting recorded thanks to
everyone who had helped.
Balfron Resilience update: The move to Level 2 is scheduled for Monday 17th May
and supporting information is available on NHS and Council websites. The decision
whether to retain this item on the agenda will be made at a later date.
The Food Exchange: Luci Rooney said the Dunmore Street Phone Box is operating
well and people should be encourage to use the food exchange. The proceeds from
the Co-op’s Easter Raffle were very helpful. Any produce that was spoiled was
given to Tir na nOg to feed the pigs.
Space for Living: The Balfron in Bloom team has planted the beds at The Clachan.
The meeting commended them for their excellent work. We await confirmation that
the money for the second tranche is in place. It is hoped that by the end of summer
work will begin on the Tontine and car park areas. The plans are available on the
Balfron For All website.
Phone Box Refurbishment: Bill reported that fund raising is going well. £1k has
been received from the Paul Trust and thanks were expressed to Jim Bissett for
pushing this through so quickly. Reminders have been put on Facebook every
weekend and each reminder brings in results. All members are encouraged to
contribute if possible. The Community Pride application for a maximum of £1,500
has been submitted. An application has also been submitted to Cala and the Rural
Community Fund. Christine Wilson will submit a bid to Heritage Scotland on the
premise that the Phone Box is the community’s response to the significant event of
Covid-19 and is part of our social history. It was agreed that collection of cash
donations will not be progressed at this stage.
Small Playpark – Donaldson Park: ChristineW said there was not enough bark on
the playpark surface and this would be discussed at the next safety inspection.
Stirling Council has not yet advised when the sand pit and the fencing will be
installed. Bill said that Stirling Council had requested a contribution towards the cost
of fencing and this had been supplied from surplus funds. ChristineW noted a
significant increase in lunchtime vandalism of the playpark equipment, including two
large boulders being rolled out of position. Balfron High School and the community
police officers will be notified.
BCC noted a written report by Police Scotland. This will be available on the BCC
website and noticeboards. Speeding on George Terrace and Hillhead Brae
continues to be a problem despite the 20mph limit. This will be reported back to the
police for action.
Elected Councillors report:
BCC welcomed Cllr Jane Hutchison to BCC. Cllr Berrill said it was the intention to
improve communication between the elected councillors. A full Council meeting was
held on 29th April which voted to delay the Stirling link road.
Stirling Council voted for a change in the Drinking Bye-laws in the National Park to
allow police to take action if they see anyone with an open alcoholic drink container.
Cllr Berrill said the new Community Engagement Strategy, which had been circulated
to the meeting, is aimed at improving engagement with local communities and has
five outcomes to achieve, one of which is that citizens and communities have the
power to influence decisions and issues that affect them.
Treasurer’s Report: An underspend has been returned to Stirling Council
following refurbishment costs for the bus shelter.
Bill will contact Peter Craig regarding the Millennium benches.
War Memorial landscaping funds: Many of the plants had died and it was agreed
that we should use some of the £550 to replace the plants.
The meeting agreed the payment of an annual retainer of £120 to the website
administrator for the upkeep and maintenance of the Community Council site.
Planning Report: Three new planning applications have been submitted since
the last meeting. The application for installation of 6 glamping pods at Drumtian was
recommended for approval subject to conditions. Colin understood that work on
North Ballochruin Farm site had begun.
David and Alison Morley outlined their plans to build an “Eco” house, wildlife pond
and small woodland area on the Shian brownfield site adjacent to the old
waterworks. The land had previously had planning permission which had lapsed.
Rural South West Forum: The next meeting will be held on Monday 17th May. Colin
will try to attend but also urged members of BCC to attend future forums.
The Bunker: As it is in the process of being sold we need to find storage for the BCC
material currently on site. Colin has discussed options with Lee Rooney of the
Balfron Business Hub who offered the possibility of a container. However the price
suggested seems high for the amount of room needed. Duncan Gilmour suggested
contacting Garry Scott. Fraser suggested an appeal on Facebook. Any other ideas
should to be forwarded to Colin.
Balfron Heritage Group: the group is looking for advice on the restoration of the toll
plaque at the corner of Spinner Street and Buchanan Street. ChristineW suggested
the team that worked on the War Memorial.
Balfron Pathways: Ambitions to link up with Kippen and Gargunnock continue, but
Gargunnock’s plans are being delayed by issues with permission from farmers and
landowners. Bill asked about the City Fund as a possible source for funding. It was
agreed to support wider plans for a campaign for a full ‘King’s Highway’ to Stirling
should they come to fruition.
Duncan Gilmour on behalf of Balfron Pathways reported that water run-off was
damaging the newly laid Camoquill path at Station Road. This is a long-standing
unresolved issue. The source of the water is unclear but the problem is exacerbated
by blocked drains during heavy rainfall. Colin asked the ward councillors to keep
pressure up on the Roads Department to remedy the problem as a matter of
Recycling: There had been a request for information on the continuation of the pre-
booking system at the recycling centre. The difficulty of getting a slot, people not
turning up when they had booked, and the implications of the brown bin charge was
discussed. Colin will contact Stirling Council to find out their plans now restrictions
Books for Children: The meeting discussed a proposal for a Book Pledge Project to
address child literacy poverty. It was agreed that the idea was a good one but was
outside the remit of the BCC.
Coach House: Claudia Duncan raised the issue of the state of repair of the building
and the safety of the gazebos outside the Coach House. Robert said he had looked
at the tethers on the gazebos and they looked secure. Colin added that all business
had been under strain this year and we needed to retain and support as many as
possible in the village.
Road Repairs/Pot Holes: Fraser Allan reported a serious incident when his wife was
injured whilst cycling due to a large pothole. It was noted that potholes were a
significant problem in the area. “Pothole Watch” would be added to the BCC agenda.
Claudia commented that encouraging people to report potholes on directly to Stirling
Council and on Facebook would enable us to assess and report accurately on the
Road Safety: A number of instances of poor road-lining in the village were raised.
Colin will contact the Council.
BCC Treasurer: Bill will be standing down from the Community Council after the
AGM next month. Colin thanked Bill on behalf of the entire BCC and said he will be
greatly missed. If anyone knows of someone who would be interested in taking on
the Treasurer role could they notify Colin.
Future Meetings: members should consider when and if we should abandon virtual
meetings and revert to actual ones as restrictions are lifting.
17. Next Meeting: Thursday 3rd June at 19.30 by Zoom and will include the AGM.