June 2023 Minutes

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Minutes of meeting 1st June 2023

Present: Stuart Freckingham (Chair), Craig Potter (Vice Chair), Sue Bell (Treasurer), Alison Limbert (Secretary), Alasdair Street, Claudia Duncan, Laura Shaw (Minutes)

Apologies: Fiona Shaw

In Attendance: Cllr. Rosemary Fraser, Archie M Cormack, Robert Young, George Amabile, Ellen Amabile, Andrew Fox, Ellen Jones, Kate McKie

2) Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting
The Minutes from the meeting on 4th May 2023 were proposed by Alison Limbert and seconded by Claudia Duncan.

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. Action: Cllr Fraser

4) Declarations of Interest

5) Projects
a. Balfron Active Places
Robert updated the meeting. The work at Tontine corner is in progress: The tarmac sub-base is due to be finished with resin bound gravel to resemble the surface around the war memorial. Benches are due to be placed facing inwards, there is a cycle rack to be installed and a permanent base for the Christmas tree is to be inserted into the ground with an electricity supply which will be concealed by a manhole cover. The meeting addressed the photo online that showed cars parked in this space; the meeting emphasised that this is not a carpark, and the forthcoming addition of the benches and surfacing will differentiate the area. A disabled parking bay has been created on Buchanan Street outside the row of shops opposite the Tontine corner. There are also two new benches installed opposite the Co-op. The meeting agreed that the new noticeboard will be placed between these new benches. Several residents voiced concern over the lack of communication about the Balfron Active Places work. It is intended that there will be more effective communication. There was also a suggestion of a map within the village for visitors to be displayed on the new noticeboard.
The paving outside the library and pharmacy is almost complete; one planter has been removed to improve accessibility to entrances.
Kerb lines have been realigned to make junctions narrower; it is intended that this will slow the speed of traffic. A resident asked about the intended traffic flow and impact. Sustrans and transport consultants were involved in planning stages to draw up a scheme that considered traffic flow, excess speeds, prioritisation of pedestrians and wheelchair users by making pavements more accessible. The measures implemented
are intended to work in conjunction to slow traffic. Concern was raised about the realigned kerb lines at Hillhead Brae and Dunklend Court.
A resident recommended the replacement of the red barriers on Printers Row with a permanent alternative. Updates to the Clachan and Printers Row are expected after the current phase.
Stuart invites ongoing feedback from the community.
b. War memorial
No update.
c. Phone box
Alison to submit an application on behalf of the phone box for the next round of Co-op Community funding. Action: AL
d. Community orchard
No update.
e. Eco activities
Balfron Primary and Gartmore Primary are currently collecting batteries for recycling and are raising awareness that they should be recycled separated. Batteries can be recycled at the Balfron Co-op and Balfron Recycling Centre.

6) Police Report
The police report is available on the Balfron Community Council website and noticeboard.

7) Elected Councillor’s report
Cllr Fraser updated the meeting from the Environment, Transport and Net Zero committee meeting. Stirling Council will be seeking to trial its own bus service; areas without bus links will be prioritised. There is low uptake of the free bus passes for under 22s. Cllr Fraser to forward details of the percentage uptake and process for applying for a bus pass and BCC will forward on her behalf to Balfron High School to encourage promotion of entitlement of bus passes for under 22s within the school. Action: Cllr Fraser
Cllr Fraser emphasised the financial and staffing/recruitment issues for social care provision in the area. Cllr Fraser will provide information for BCC to forward to Balfron High School to promote employment opportunities in social care. It was noted that there is also an issue with a lack of available social housing. Action: Cllr Fraser
Alison asked if there will be more information for the West Stirling rural villages (Balfron, Drymen and Fintry) on the UCI Cycling World Championship events which are due to travel through these villages on 12 and 13 August. Including any works to repair road surfaces and any planned road closures. Cllr Fraser will look into this. Action: Cllr Fraser
Catterburn Bridge has reopened following development work.

8) Treasurer report
Sue updated the meeting. Expenditure for the month includes the monthly phonebox expenditure, the annual bill for the data protection system used by the BCC and the bill for the pizza making sessions that took place in February. It was noted that the signatories need to be updated on BCC bank account for the Chair and Vice Chair.

9) Planning report
Craig updated the meeting.
a. Removal of split branch and 3 lopping 3 branches of Oak tree and removal of fallen Sycamore tree" at Donaldson Park. The application was received and validated on the 10th May 2023. No documentation accompanied the application, but the meeting agreed that the issue is of no concern.
b. There have been no updates regarding Shearers’ Garage since the application decision. It is noted that there were a number of planning conditions that require to be discharged prior to work commencing and these are currently outstanding, so it is not currently known when work is likely to commence.
c. The meeting was made aware that a planning application is being drafted to request that the Little Drumtie property is certified as a well-managed and sustainable forest. The location of the land is just outside the village. Craig has asked Scottish Woodlands about the potential extraction route.
d. Craig attended a meeting on behalf of BCC with Stirling Council concerning the pathway between Buchanan Street and Endrick Gardens. Work by Stirling Council is due to start on 5th June to erect a temporary fence as a safety measure.
Planning Applications can be found at https://www.stirling.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning/view-and-comment-on-planning-applications/.

10) Chair’s report
No update.

11) Review and agreement to BCC data privacy and safeguarding policy
Council agreed to BCC data privacy and safeguarding policy.

12) AOB
a. A resident questioned whether there are plans for a walkway to be developed between Balfron and Killearn. A proposal for a cycle path was initiated by Killearn Futures Trust. The design phase is funded and led by an external consultant who has been liaising with local landowners and Stirling Council on a potential route which includes using the Endrick Bridge. The latest design was shown in September 2022.
b. Robert alerted the meeting of another ongoing consultation on the Kings Highway, a cycle/walking route from Stirling to Dumbarton Castle. Cllr Fraser assured the meeting that this consultation remains on the agenda for Stirling Council and will be explored when the city centre cycle routes are complete.
c. Alison, on behalf of Fiona, noted that the Co-op car park exit road markings have eroded and require remarking. This will be raised with Stirling Council Active Places project manager at next update on 9 June. There is also ongoing concern regarding the placement of the Coach House picnic benches on the pavement since it has been widened. Craig to discuss with business owner. Action: CP
d. Craig attended an area forum meeting for Stirling Rural South where four community councils were representation. The forum will meet biannually to discuss collective goals. Craig attended the first meeting of area forum on the 17th May and suggested we keep attending as it may have some value in relation to keeping up with and contributing to initiatives across the Rural South Area. Action: CP
e. Cllr Fraser recommended that the BCC create a Local Place Plan that could inform the Stirling Council local development plan and assist when necessary with local planning considerations. At present, Dunblane Community Council are conducting a survey for residents to voice opinions. There is resource from Stirling Council to support this, but it is limited. Cllr Fraser to send online toolbox resource to members. Action: Cllr Fraser
f. Claudia noted that there is foam gathering in the River Endrick. Report to SEPA (https://www2.sepa.org.uk/environmentalevents) Action: CD
g. It was also highlighted that there are estate agent signs in the flowerbeds on the Tontine corner. Stuart will alert the agents. Action: SF

13) Next meeting 3rd August 2023 at 7:30pm in Balfron High School.