August 2023 Minutes

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Minutes of meeting 1st August 2023

Present: Stuart Freckingham (Chair), Craig Potter (Vice Chair), Alison Limbert (Secretary), Claudia Duncan, Fiona Shaw (attended virtually), Laura Shaw (Minutes)

Apologies: Alasdair Street, Sue Bell (Treasurer)

In Attendance: Cllr Gerry McGarvey, Luci Rooney (phonebox lead volunteer), Janet Rutherford (Balfron in Bloom)

2) Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting
The Minutes from the meeting on 1st June 2023 were proposed by Craig Potter and seconded by Alison Limbert.

3) Matters Arising
Strathendrick Care Home – There has been no update from Stirling Council since 6th March. Cllr Fraser to follow up on previous action. Stuart to seek update. Action: SF

4) Declarations of Interest None.

5) Projects
a. Balfron Active Places
Update provided by Craig, upon meeting with Stirling Council/SusTrans. There is an embargo on any work taking place until after the UCI cycling events (after 13th August) and the revised completion date is 10 September
Tontine corner - There are ongoing concerns over parking; ‘no parking’ signage to be trialled as a preventative measure. A new bin is going to be placed on the corner at Buchanan Street end. A fourth bench is to be added to the edge of Tontine; the green bench is to be replaced by bench from the lower side of the chemist that is currently sitting on a slope. Two millennium benches are to be located on the inner edge of Tontine. The trees at the back edge are to be trimmed; a contractor will be appointed by Stirling Council. The electrical connection for the Christmas tree/piped recess is yet to be complete, although work is scheduled. A noticeboard for BCC to be placed opposite the Co-op has been ordered but not yet scheduled for installation.
Double yellow lines are to be placed outside the hairdresser, opposite the former bank, to prevent parking. The bin outside the library/chemist is to be moved to another location, possibly replacing where the bench is due to be moved. The possibility of a disabled parking space outside the doctors’ surgery was discussed where there is currently a bus stop - SusTrans are due to consult the bus company and Stirling Council design team. There are ongoing discussions about Donaldson Lane (the new path that links Buchanan Street and Donaldson Way). If funding is granted by SusTrans to complete the work, it will need to be SusTrans compliant. The reinstallment of the hump at the pedestrian crossing at the Clachan and other remedial work is to take place after the 13th August. At the entrance to the village from the south, new bollards are to replace current temporary barriers; it was noted that these
should have reflective elements for visibility. There was also a suggestion to organise opening events to mark the completion of the work.
b. War memorial
No update.
c. Phone box
Luci updated the meeting. She highlighted that the phonebox is stocked five nights per week with donations from the Co-op, and there is a fruit and vegetable delivery once a week (£60 per week). The funding period for the fruit and veg delivery is coming to an end and Luci sought opinions on the continuation of the delivery if further funding is granted; the meeting agreed to continue this. There was a suggestion to publicise the achievements of the phonebox to encourage both use and donations. It was also noted that there had been instances of vandalism such as the emptying of food on the ground.
d. Community orchard
No update.
e. Eco activities
Alison updated the meeting. There was a meeting with representatives from other villages to discuss ongoing sustainability projects, possible collaborative projects and to share knowledge. The Scottish Government has proposed regional community climate action hubs to encourage community-led sustainability projects. The regional hub proposed for the area is Forth Valley from March 2024. The Fintry Development Trust has also suggested establishing a roaming repair cafe that would go between Fintry, Balfron and Drymen, and residents could attend to have items repaired. They have contacted Transition Stirling and Circular Communities Scotland’s Share and Repair Network to get support to set this up.
More information on community-led climate action can be found here:

6) Police Report
The police report is available on the Balfron Community Council website and noticeboards. The report includes the following incidents. An individual was reported to the procurator fiscal for a minor assault and threatening and abusive behaviour after reports of a disturbance in Balfron. There was a report of youths causing damage at the petrol station in Balfron; CCTV is available and work is ongoing to identify youths responsible. Reports of a two car road traffic collision within Balfron resulting in one driver being issued with a fixed penalty notice for careless driving.

7) Elected Councillor’s report
Cllr McGarvey updated the meeting. He highlighted the ongoing concerns about the UCI Cycling World Championships. Local UNISON members in the Council’s Waste Service will go on strike from Thursday 10th - Sunday 13th August (inclusive) as part of industrial action over pay. Bins due to be emptied on these dates will not be collected. The Balfon household waste recycling centre will also be closed on these dates.
More information on can be found here:

8) Treasurer report
Sue provided a written update and noted that an application has been submitted to Stirling Council for an administrative grant, and that the Coop Community funding for
the phonebox which has been used for the fruit and veg delivery is due to end in the Autumn.

9) Planning report
Craig updated the meeting.
a. A new site plan for Shearers Garage has been submitted (22/00800/FUL. It includes demolition of the existing workshop and the construction of a new sales building/shop, including an associated office, staff facilities/toilets and storage for the retail and existing fuel station. It also includes the formation of new access arrangements and parking, including electrical car charging bays, the formation of a delivery area, bin store, jet wash and vacuum area, the removal of existing fuel tanks and the erection of new fuel tanks, a glazed screen, canopy and electrical cooling equipment. The meeting noted general support for the application, and discussed the possibility of more electrical car charging points being required and possible noise issues from the jet wash.
b. An application under Regulation 11 of the Development Management Procedure (Scotland) Regulations 2013 to extend the time period by three years of application reference 16/00292/PPP for erection of new dwelling house. This was approved by Stirling Council on 14th July 2023. The original application was submitted in 2016 related to ‘land some 85m to east of Mullanhead Cottage’ (Boquhan). No detailed plans for the building have yet been submitted.
c. An application was submitted on 17th July (23/0042/FUL) for the conversion and fit out of two existing shell commercial units to form new veterinary practice, including external ramp, alterations to building envelope and ventilation penetrations through fabric. The meeting agreed that a veterinary practice is beneficial to the village and there were no comments from BCC on the alterations.
Planning Applications can be found at:

10) Chair’s report
Stuart updated the meeting and detailed that a request had been received from someone seeking historic BCC meeting minutes. Alison will direct the request to those who may have such records. Action: AL

11) UCI Cycling World Championships
The meeting noted the ongoing disruption (e.g. road closures) and the lack of communication. The UCI Operations Director can be contacted for any specific enquiries: Grace Maddox, 07753374774,
More information on road closures can be found here:

12) AOB
a. It was noted that a number of hedges around the village are overgrown and are obstructing pavements, restricting accessibility.
b. It was suggested that local volunteers should be recognised and celebrated, both those that run the phone box and other local volunteer-led activities.
c. Cllr McGarvey suggested getting in touch with Drymen community council to discuss their Local Place Plan to inform the BCC Local Place Plan to streamline and encourage prospective activities and project development.

13) Next meeting 7th September 2023 at 7:30pm in Balfron High School.