December 2023 Minutes

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Minutes of meeting 7th December 2023
Present: Craig Potter (Vice Chair), Alison Limbert (Secretary), Fiona Shaw, Claudia Duncan, Laura Shaw (Minutes)
Apologies: Stuart Freckingham (Chair), Sue Bell (Treasurer), Alasdair Street
In Attendance: Cllr Rosemary Fraser, Charlotte Hunt and Tina Morrison (Donaldson Park Trustees)
2) Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting
The Minutes from the meeting on 2nd November 2023 were proposed by Alison Limbert and seconded by Fiona Shaw.
3) Matters Arising
a. Strathendrick Care Home - Stirling Council is evaluating the financial feasibility for the land to be used for social housing.
b. Christmas lights - The Council has sent the BCC information about how these might be installed on the street lights including undertaking a structural survey. There was the suggestion for volunteers to be sought to form a committee to raise the funds and take this initiative forward.
4) Declarations of Interest
5) Projects
a. Balfron Active Places – Work is almost complete. The zebra crossing is to be reinstalled at the top of Buchanan Street. Craig is waiting to hear whether finances are available to complete the proposed works at Donaldson Loan; a decision is due shortly.
6) Police Report
Report received regarding threatening and abusive behaviour towards a member of the public. The suspect was traced and reported in relation to the offence. Vandalism was recorded whereby a window was smashed by a brick. Enquiries remain ongoing. Another vandalism was recorded whereby a window was smashed by unknown means. Enquiries are still ongoing. Damage was caused to the rear window of a parked motor vehicle. This remains undetected. One person was arrested and reported for drink driving in the village.
There have been no reported thefts for this reporting period.
The police report is available on the Balfron Community Council website and
7) Elected Councillor’s report
Cllr Fraser updated the meeting. Stirling Council is facing a deficit for the 2024/25 budget; the Big Conversation is being used to inform decision-making. The Scottish Government has announced a council tax freeze for 2024/25. The regional energy master plan was passed on 7th December to support households to comply with energy targets. Costs of council-owned EV chargers will increase by £2. Cllr Fraser is aware of campaigns against
cuts and is against cuts to the rural bus service. Cllr Fraser encourages under 22s to use their entitlement to free bus travel.
8) Treasurer report
The BCC have received payment from the Co-op Local Causes grant. Some of this funding is being used to reinstate the weekly fruit and veg box delivered to the phone box.
Ongoing enquiries with Stirling Council into the liability for the cost of insurance of the stone bus shelter outside the medical centre.
9) Planning report
Two new applications were received.
1. Extension to front and rear of dwellinghouse at 17 Cotton Street Balfron G63 0PE.
One comment of concern submitted by a neighbour about potential loss of light as a result of the proposed front extension.
2. Single storey side extension to dwellinghouse at Dunroamin, Balfron Station, G63 0QN. Relatively small extension to main house.
Gym 63 application (23/00591/FUL) has been withdrawn. This was for a change of use of the unit from Business Use (Class 4) to Community Gym (Class 11) at Unit 5 Balfron Business Hub. This will be submitted alongside proposals to create a mezzanine space
within the gym.
Planning Applications can be found at planning/view-and-comment-on-planning-applications/.
10) Chair’s report
a. Bank of Scotland mobile bank closure - Evelyn Tweed MSP is aware of and is supportive of the local opposition of this closure.
b. Blane Valley Link - This has been passed on to the pathways group.
c. School crossing update - The school patrol crossing staff are to be removed at all areas across Stirling Council. This will be a phased approach and construction will begin this financial year to install crossing measures. The school cross patrol staff will remain in place to support children’s transition of using the new measures.
d. Proposed X10 bus cuts - Stuart was quoted in the Stirling Observer opposing the cuts.
11) The Big Conversation
The drop in session at Balfron High School in November was well-attended by residents.
Concerns were raised regarding the format/accessibility of the drop in session and the survey format. A meeting of the rural Community Councils is being held tomorrow at the Strathard Hub, to work collectively in gathering evidence of the impact on the proposed cuts in services and to campaign against the cuts.
12) Local Place Plans
Craig has uploaded a transcript to the Google Drive of a session by Planning Aid Scotland which explains the process in developing a plan, for the BCC members to view. Cllr Fraser emphasised the importance of developing a local place plan to inform council decisionmaking about new developments (e.g. identifying land that could be developed, the
creation of new paths). Other villages have been through the process and have consulted with their communities.
13) Community Christmas Tree Lights Switch on 9th December 2023
Christmas trees have been installed at the Tontine and library. The Christmas tree light switch on will be held this year on Saturday 9th December at the Tontine at 4pm. This will
also be an opportunity to celebrate the Active Places works and the lights will be switched on by Balfron in Bloom.
14) AOB
Donaldson Park Trustees attended to introduce the Trust and discuss its upkeep and funding. The upkeep of the park relies on donations and small rental income. The Trust is seeking volunteers to become trustees and suggested that Community Council members take turns to attend. The Trust meets three times per year, usually at Balfron
High School. Further challenges include car park road surface, additional tree planting and littering.

15) Next meeting 1st February 2024 at 7:30pm in Balfron High School.