July 2021 Minutes

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre
Community Council Minutes – 14th July 2021

This meeting took place online via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. on 14th July 2021.

Present: David Johnston (DJ), Andrew Poulter (AP), Ruth McLusky (RM), Donald
McLaren (DM).

Apologies: Jim Heron (JH), William Dalziel (WD), Angus Cameron (AC); Cllr Evelyn Tweed
(ET); PC Heather Campbell (HC), Police Scotland.


Cllr Martin Earl (ME), Cllr Jeremy McDonald (JM), Stirling Council; David
Robinson (DR), National Park Authority; Paul Hicks (PH), minute-taker.


Item Content Action


  1. Approval of previous minutes

    It was proposed by RM and seconded by AP, that the minutes of the
    meeting on 2nd June 2021 should be accepted and this was approved

  2. Declarations of Interest


    None made.

  3. Police Report (6 Jun to 13 Jul 2021)

    PC Heather Campbell is the new community officer, based at
    Lochearnhead. She has ten years of operational policing experience
    and served previously in Stirling and Balfron. She reported that, during
    this reporting period, there had been four reports of antisocial
    behaviour and breaches of the camping bye-law. They all concerned
    the area at or near the Loch Lubnaig Visitors Centre. In the first case,
    officers attended and traced those concerned, but established that no
    breaches had occurred. The second report concerned parking on the
    clearway section of the road and this was also resolved. The third
    report concerned abuse directed to staff who had confronted
    someone over compliance with the bye-laws. The person concerned
    had left the scene before officers arrived. The fourth report concerned
    a group of males, suspected of being engaged in poaching. Enquiries
    were made into the registration number of a vehicle, but proved
    inconclusive. There had been no reported thefts during this time, but
    officers had carried out speed detection duties in the Lochearnhead
    area and continue with proactive patrols of the area. If anyone has any
    concerns to raise, please contact PC Heather Campbell at
    Lochearnhead Police Office on 101 or send an email to:




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  4. Matters arising from previous meeting

    Lights between Balvaig Bridge and A84, Strathyre. JM reported that

    1. agreement had been reached with Transport Scotland for lights to be
      installed and it is hoped that the work will be completed by October

      2021. RM expressed heartfelt thanks to JM for his assistance.

      Cycle Track (NC7), Strathyre - Citizens Advice Assistance. WD had

    2. liaised with Citizens' Advice but was not available to give a report so
      this item was deferred to the next meeting.

      Cycle Track (NC7), Strathyre – Core Path Review. DR reported that he
      had liaised with SusTrans and considered various options for dealing
      with complaints about use of a local path in Strathyre that forms a
      shortcut between sections of the national cycle route. The route itself
      skirts the centre of the village, but it was recognised that signs at
      either end of the shortcut were causing a problem and SusTransoffered to design and provide new signs that will not explicitly
      mention the cycle path. Various options were displayed, including

    3. standard cycle path signs (white on blue) and a general sign about
      access options. AP commented that people were happy to have a
      cycle path but had not anticipated the anti-social behaviour that
      would ensue from use of the shortcut. DR stated that the existing
      signs at either end of the shortcut will be replaced with new ones. RM
      commented that it would be good to include the logo for the Rob Roy
      Way. DM added that it would also be good to include the name of the
      village itself. DJ suggested the use of “traffic calming” measures, such
      as zig-zag barriers and this was also approved.

      Traffic speed in Strathyre. On 14th June 2021, a response was received
      from Richard Perry of the Trunk Road Casualty Reduction Team. He
      noted that no personal injury accidents had been recorded in this area
      since 2008, therefore no further investigation could be justified. He
      referred to guidance issued by the Scottish Government in 2006 and a
      review of speed limits in Strathyre undertaken by Transport Scotland

    4. in 2012, in accordance with this guidance. This had recommended an
      increase in the speed limit to 50mph, although it was decided that the

      existing limits should continue because raising the limit would require
      a lengthy, statutory process. He recognised the concern over lack of
      adherence to the limits, but noted the existing traffic calming
      measures and reported that they had been tested and found to be
      working well. He had forwarded a memorandum regarding the
      concerns to the Road Policing Team at Police Scotland.



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      RM commented that she would like to see a 20mph speed limit within
      the village itself. ME suggested that, in any application for a reduced
      speed limit, it would be useful to refer to the recent 20mph limits
      established in Callander and Doune. AP commented that the new
      “countdown” signs and rumble strips in Lochearnhead were very
      useful. It was agreed to ask for these in Strathyre.

      Land ownership – The Munro, Strathyre. On 22nd June 2021, a reply
      had been received from Gordon Lawrie, Team Leader for “Estates &

    5. Commercial Property” at Stirling Council. He confirmed that the land
      used for car parking outside the Munro public house is owned by

      Stirling Council and there is currently no lease in place for this land. He
      undertook to clarify this with the owner of the Munro.

      BLSCC website assistance. RM reported having written to the High

    6. School in Callander, but no reply had been received to date. (It was
      noted that schools were currently on holiday.)

      Bins in Lochearnhead car park. On 4th June 2021 a response was
      received from Mark Pyeman, Stirling Council, in which he confirmed
      that additional bins had been placed in Lochearnhead car park on a
      temporary basis for the previous summer when restrictions were first
      eased. The collection crews then reported that a significant level of
      "fly-tipping" was taking place with wholly inappropriate items being

    7. left there. In light of the health and safety issues for Council staff,

    resident and visitors alike, it was decided to remove the bins. Since no
    prior notification of the original siting of the bins had been given, it
    was deemed unnecessary to consult further on this decision. ME
    added that he was currently dealing with a similar complaint about
    the bins from a local resident and this could involve considera tion of
    moving the bins elsewhere.


    RM to pursue request for a 20mph limit in Strathyre.


  5. Local Bridges

    The work of refurbishment is now complete. There had been some
    unscheduled road closures that caused problems, but work on the two
    main bridges is now finished. ME had also received two complaints
    about the closure and had followed this up with Stirling Council.


  6. Payphone Box Removal (Mhor 84)




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    DJ reported that there was still no progress with this. Stirling Council
    had recently changed its arrangements for liaison with community
    councils and there had been considerable delay on this and other
    matters whilst previous records were transferred to a new system. In
    future, liaison officers would not automatically attend community
    council meetings unless specifically requested to provide information
    about particular issues. ME suggested that specific, named officers
    should be asked to attend future meetings in order to report on
    progress, whenever questions such as this were raised. He also
    pointed out the mismatch between the new ten-day response period
    provided under the new system and the existing five-day response
    period expected from local councillors. DJ added that the absence of a
    regular, liaison officer meant that a bureaucratic process of exchanging
    emails would be needed instead and that this would require
    additional time and effort from local community councillors who were
    all unpaid vounteers. It was agreed that the only way to off-set this
    detrimental approach would be to ask for greater participation from
    senior council officers.


    DJ to ask for specific, named people to attend future meetings when required.


  7. Place Making in Balquhidder and Strathyre

    The results of the questionnaires and surveys had now been
    processed and funding had been obtained to publish the results. DJ
    reported that preparing the final document would be a major task
    which probably won't be completed until Autumn at the earliest.


  8. Correspondence

    Resident of Corpach, Fort William. A letter had been received from a
    resident of Corpach, near Fort William, regarding the waste bins in
    Lochearnhead with plastic stickers reinforcing awareness of the

    1. 30mph speed limit. The resident congratulated those concerned with

      implementing this idea and asked for advice and guidance on se tting
      up a similar scheme in Corpach. DJ reported that he had responded
      with appropriate advice.

    2. Community Council Administration Grant. Two reminders had been
      received from Stirling Council regarding the need for completed
      application forms in respect of the community council administration




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      grant and funding for a minute-taker to be submi tted by 31st July
      2021, along with verified accounts for the previous year. AP stated
      that this work had been completed.

      Water Safety. A notification had been received from Scottish Water

    3. regarding a short film it has produced about safety in and near
      watercourses. More information is available on its website.

      Student Request. A geography student, from a Sixth Form college in
      Hampshire, who is seeking to complete a non-examined assessment
      over the summer, had written to the community council, asking for

    4. permission to set up test sites at Lochearnhead to measure infiltration
      rates. Two sites are envisaged: one on a busy path and one on a quiet

      path. No damage will be caused at either site. DJ had liaised with AC
      and DM who had both offered use of their land, if required. He had
      responded accordingly to the student but received no further reply.

      Regional Transport Strategy - Tactran survey. Tactran has asked for
      help through participation in a consultation process on a regional
      transport strategy. Tactran is a transport partnership that covers the
      local authority areas for Angus, Dundee, Perth & Kinross and S tirling.

    5. The strategy will complement each authority's local transport strategy,
      but will seek to highlight transport matters and developments that

      apply across local boundaries. The consultation is available online and
      involves reading through six comprehensive sections of information
      then responding to a questionnaire, either as an individual or on
      behalf of an organisation. DM and RM offered to complete responses.

      Guidance on Planning. Stirling Council had circulated some updated
      guidance on the process for dealing with local planning applica tions,
      emphasising that it is important to draw a clear distinction between
      members of the public submitting a general comment or enquiry and
      the community council putting forward a comment on behalf of the

    6. local community. Where community councils are approached by local
      residents wishing to raise comments about planning applications, they

      should encourage those residents to make their own submissions and
      then consider separately whether any further comment is required on
      behalf of the entire local community. This was noted, although DJ
      pointed out that the Planning Authority in our area was the National
      Park Authority and not Stirling Council.

    7. Memorial Bench, Strathyre. The relatives of two victims in a
      motorcycle accident that took place just North of Strathyre in 1988
      had previously placed a bench at the site as a memorial. Over time,


    DM and RM to complete responses on behalf of the community council.


    RM to advise the writer that the local




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    the condition of the bench had deteriorated and the relatives had
    been planning to replace it with a new one. However, on arriving to
    survey the site and make preparations, they noticed that someone
    had recently painted it black. Consequently, rather than removing the
    old bench, they are now considering placing a new bench beside it,
    until such time as the original bench is no longer viable for use. There
    were no objections to this and it was approved.

    community will have no objection to an additional bench being placed.


  9. Timber Transport

    Funding. DJ reported that various projects to improve timber
    transport in Stirlingshire had been awarded grants from the Scottish
    government, amounting to £340K, but no further details of how or

    1. where the money will be spent are yet available. ME suggested writing

      to Elaine Nicol, (interim team leader) or Richard Hayes, (service
      manager) in the Stirling Council Roads Service for further details of
      what is proposed locally.

      Current activity. Felling and timber transport is now taking place at
      Muirlaggan with the timber being left at Mhor 84 for collection by the

    2. larger lorries. This is working well and avoids heavy goods vehicles

    using the C33 road. Work is also going on at the bo ttom section of the
    Stronvar Forest and felling continues at Strathyre West.


    DJ to contact Stirling Council for details of work to be carried out locally.


  10. Planning Matters

    DJ reported that very few applications had been submitted recently
    and none of them appeared controversial. Some older applica tions
    had now been approved.


  11. Matters from ward councillors and National Park

    ME said that the next National Park Authority Board Meeting would
    not be until September. Problems had been identified in other areas of
    the Park but nothing in the local area at present. RM mentioned

    1. hearing of problems over parking at the Loch Lubnaig Visitor Centre.

      ME added that there is currently a legal problem over clearway
      enforcement throughout Scotland although he is trying to encourage
      the police to be more proactive at this location.



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      Four-weekly bin collections will be brought in at the end of September
      and letters have gone out to advise local residents. ME commented

    2. that few people seem to be aware of the proposed changes and he

      was personally concerned that an exercise in saving money was being
      represented as an environmentally friendly improvement.

      JM mentioned that he had discovered some items of business having

    3. been deferred for twelve months or more and invited members to
      contact him if they were aware of any similar issues in this area.


  12. Any other competent business

Ash Die-back. RM reported having noticed this to be a big problem in

  1. our area, particularly alongside the A84 trunk road between Callander
    and Strathyre. ME suggested contacting Simon Franks, the “Trees &

    Woodlands” officer at the National Park.

    South Loch Earn Road. AP commented that the new passing place
    signs were excellent and had been well implemented. He suggested

  2. that similar signs would be appreciated on other single-track roads in

    the area. He also noted that many of the “No Drinking” signs had
    disappeared. DJ offered to contact the police regarding this.

    CivTech Challenge. DJ reported on an initiative by the Scottish
    government to stimulate innovative, technological applications in the
    public sector. Building on the success of Balquhidder Community
    Broadband and the siting of a mast for the “Internet of Things” at the
    village hall, a challenge had been issued under the CivTech scheme,

  3. sponsored by Stirling Council and Forestry & Land, Scotland, to
    provide a means of managing traffic and road infrastructure used by

commercial operations in Balquhidder. It will need to take account of
local weather, road conditions and types of traffic expected to be
using the roads. The aim will be to produce an appropriate product by
early in 2021. DJ proposed adding this item to the agenda for future
updates and this was agreed.


DJ to contact police regarding “No Drinking” signs.


This project to become a regular agenda item until complete.


There was no further business and, at 9 p.m., DJ declared the mee ting
closed. The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday
25th August 2021 at Balquhidder Village Hall (if permitted) or online.




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