January 2023 Minutes

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This meeting took place in Strathyre Village Hall at 7:30 p.m. on 11 th January 2023. It was chaired by DCJ.

Present: David Johnston (DCJ), Andrew Poulter (AP), Ruth McLusky (RM), Donald MacLaren (DM), Carolyn Brooks (CB).

Apologies:  Daniel Jarrett (DJT), Angus Cameron (AC).

Also Attending: Cllr Gene Maxwell (GM), Stirling Council; PC Heather Campbell (HC), Police Scotland; David Fettes (DF), Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority (LLTNPA); Bob Wells (RW), Strathyre; Paul Hicks (PH), minute-taker.

1.          Approval of previous minutes

It was proposed by AP and seconded by RM, that the minutes of the meeting on 30th November 2022 should be accepted and this was approved unanimously.

2.          Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.

3.          Police Report (39 Nov 2022 to 11 Jan 2023)

During this period, in terms of road safety, there were two incidents of vehicles parked at the roadside that had been struck by passing vehicles which failed to stop and report what had happened. In both cases a crime report was raised. There were three reports of vehicles having been abandoned. Two had broken down and one had been trapped by the weather conditions. All three vehicles were recovered by their owners. There was one collision between two vehicles on the A85 near Lochearnhead but nobody was injured. Three incidents of poor driving were reported but, following investigation by police, no offences were disclosed. There was one incident reported of a sheep straying on the verge of the A85 near Lochearnhead.

During the same period, the theft of a defibrillator machine from Lochearnhead was reported to police. Enquiries are ongoing to identify a suspect. A report was made of chickens having been killed by a dog and enquiries are ongoing in respect of this incident. The police were initially asked to assist the Scottish Ambulance Service in dealing with an elderly person who had suffered a fall at home, but were subsequently not required to attend. On 18th December, two persons were reported missing after going hill-walking. The police and Mountain Rescue Team were alerted but, prior to attending, a further


report was received that the people had returned safe and well.

  1. Police surgeries. HC was willing to arrange “surgeries” in the local communities to provide an opportunity for local residents to meet the local officer and raise any matters of concern. She had made provisional arrangements to use the village hall in Lochearnhead, but was concerned about publicising the event. DCJ thanked her for this initiative and suggested that she liaised with RM about publicising these events.
  2. Local Policing Plan (2023-2026). A link to this is now available on the community council website. (The local plan can be viewed once the relevant local authority district (Stirling) has been selected.) All local residents are invited to complete a questionnaire relating to the plan. AP asked HC about rumours that the police house in Lochearnhead was to close. HC was able to reassure members that the local police house would not be closing. In fact, all police houses throughout Scotland are to be renovated. This will necessitate HC moving out of the local house temporarily, but only for as long as it takes to refurbish the property.

4.          Notice of vote to co-opt an additional member

RM gave formal notice to members of the intention to vote on 22nd February 2023 in the matter of co-opting Robert John Wells as a member of the community council.

5.          Matters arising from previous meeting

  1. Communications in local communities. Further to item 15C in the minutes of the previous meeting on 30th November 2022, RM had sought advice from the Stirling Council liaison officer, Stephen Bly, on using the Administrative Grant to community councils to support the provision of paper copies of The Villagers magazine, which circulated mainly in digital form for the local communities. Mr Bly advised that, although the terms of the Administrative Grant would extend to this purpose, the amount of money available was very unlikely to prove sufficient. At the same time, he drew attention to the existence of various other sources of funding that might be more suitable and offered to give further advice if required. However, he also warned that the community council should give careful consideration as to the extent of its involvement with the magazine and any obligations it might incur as a consequence of that involvement.


DCJ mentioned that the shop at Lochearnhead was now shut and this used to sell most of the paper copies of The Villagers. Discussion then turned to other problems with local communications. CB commented that she found the community council website difficult to use. She also noted that all three communities were quite different in character and this only added to the difficulties. DM reflected on how few people attended community council meetings in person. DCJ pointed out that there was some confusion locally about the difference between the BLS Trust and the community council. With no immediate remedies or solutions being offered, he proposed keeping the matter of communications as a standing item on the agenda.

6.          Speeding in Strathyre

DCJ reminded members of the meeting that had been held with Traffic Scotland on 21st November 2022 and the points raised there (as reported previously at item 5 of the minutes of 30 th November 2022). Nothing more had been heard since that meeting and he thought it was unlikely that any new developments would take place before the start of the new financial year and the provision of fresh money that would then be available for projects.

7.          Speeding on the C33 (Balquhidder Glen road)

DCJ reminded members of the meeting that had been held previously with Gary Neill of Stirling Council Roads Department and the points raised there (as reported previously at item 6 of the minutes of 30 th November 2022). These included:

  • the need to re-visit the matter of making a bid to the Strategic Timber Transport Fund for work to upgrade the C33 road;
  • the completion of work on route 5 in the Timber Transport Management Plan to add further strengthening to a section of the Stroneslaney Road;
  • the possibility of traffic calming measures on the C33 road;
  • an update on progress with the implementation of the Traffic and Road Condition Monitoring system developed as part of the recent Civtech Challenge.

In addition to these points, RM suggested asking for additional traffic signs to indicate that these local roads are shared by various types of traffic, including pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

8.          Parking signs in passing places and alcohol bye-law signs


With reference to item 8 in the minutes of the previous meeting on 30th November 2022, the Stirling Council liaison officer, Stephen Bly, had subsequently notified the Secretary that a council officer had conducted a survey of the alcohol bye-law signs, based on three separate maps issued in conjunction with this legislation. The first of these maps was considered ambiguous in that that it identified two car parks but without making clear whether or not any signs should be provided there. The car parks had been visited and no signs were seen, but it was not certain whether or not signs should be displayed in these car parks. The second map identified locations for four such signs in and around Strathyre. Only one of these signs was found (on Stroneslaney Road). All of the signs designated on the third map were found in place. Mr Bly stated that the council had addi tional signs that could be deployed if required and asked if the community council could provide a map showing locations where additional signs were deemed appropriate and necessary. On receipt of this map, the Council would place additional signs as required.

DCJ commented that he and AP had already supplied such a map – twice! GM then offered to provide the council officers with a third copy of the map and to accompany them on a tour of the missing signs. RM asked that the matter of the passing places should not be forgotten or subsumed under the process of replacing the alcohol bye- law signs. She proposed that it should appear under a separate agenda item in future.

9.          MacGregor's Landing

DCJ commented that there had been no developments recently and no initiatives were being brought forward by anyone but the LLTNPA. DM pointed out that the land needed to be re-instated, but DCJ replied that a legal order was required first and this was still being prepared. It was agreed that the best approach would be to ask Cllr Earl to pursue this on our behalf as he was now a member of the LLTNPA Board.

10.        Installation of solar panels at local village halls

This had previously been raised under item 12C of the minutes of 30 th November 2022 and DJT had offered to research it further through contact with the different village halls. Unfortunately, illness prevented him from attending the present meeting, so it was agreed to defer this until the following one.

11.        Forestry Work and Timber Transport


  1. Ballimore Windblow Amendment (Consultation reference 15FGS04295). RM reported that this referred to a small area of forestry that was about to be harvested, so there would be addi tional traffic in that area for some weeks.

12.        Notification of events

With reference to item 11 in the minutes of the previous meeting on 30th November 2022, Cllr Elaine Watterson had responded to a request from the Secretary to investigate this further. She had agreed that community councils ought to be notified of such events and would look into the matter on behalf of the BLS community council.

13.        Correspondence

  1. Flood preparedness. Stirling Council had notified the community council of its range of emergency plans to deal with various contingencies. These included emergency contact numbers and links to the Stirling Council website with further details. These links had been published on the community council website under the category of “planning”.
  2. Community Development Team. Through this team, Stirling Council is providing winter initiatives amongst communities throughout its One of these involves community councils being given grants to host community networking events, designed to publicise the work of community councils and establish closer links between different groups and organisations working locally.
  3. Drummond Wind Farm. The community council had received notification from the Energy Consents Unit of the Scottish government regarding a “Scoping Report” in respect of a proposal by SSE Renewables Wind Farms UK Limited to construct a wind farm approximately 2.8 km east of the village of Lochearnhead. A representative of the company would be willing to attend a meeting of the community council (or online) to brief members on the details of the Following discussion, it was decided that the community council had no specific objections to raise and could safely leave the decision to those who had more experience and exper tise in these areas.
  4. Grit Bins in Strathyre. RM had corresponded with Stephen Bly, Stirling Council liaison officer, regarding the absence of grit piles in Keip Road at Strathyre. Following a meeting between Stirling Council and community council representatives in August 2022, it had been agreed


DCJ to respond accordingly.


that, where piles of grit were to be placed in problem areas – in addition to existing grit bins – they would need to be undergirded by “hard standing” areas to prevent damage from rain, frost and snow. This work could not be completed immediately owing to lack of resources. It had still not been completed but will be addressed once suitable resources become available. RW commented that it was very annoying that the grit hadn't been available in some places where it was particularly needed during the recent bad weather.

  1. Home protection during winter. On 13th December 2022, advice had been received from Scottish Water following a high number of calls about burst pipes, frozen pipes and valves. This was published on the community council website with a link to detailed advice on the Scottish Water
  2. Local dental treatment. Recently, the only dental practice in Callander had given notice that it was no longer going to provide NHS treatment for adults. The Callander community council had contacted BLS community council to advise that it had organised a petition to be delivered to the Forth Valley Health Board and the Scottish Government, calling for the provision of a new locally-based NHS dental service in Callander, that will also cover surrounding villages in West Perthshire. The Callander community council had invited the BLS community council to consider organising its own, similar petition locally, given the number of people in this area likely to be affected by the change. GM commented that the Health Centre had offered to provide space for an additional dentist and the petition was designed to support this initiative specifically. In the light of the earlier discussion on the problems of communication, members preferred the option of creating an online petition and it was agreed to ask Callander community council if there had been any progress on developing an online version.

14.        Planning Matters

  1. DCJ reported that the planning application for the 4G mast at Monachyle had been approved.

15.        Matters from Ward Councillors and National Park

  1. DF reported that the LLTNPA is currently involved in campaigns on such things as the use of motor homes and caravans in the Park and the proposed upgrade to the A82 at Pulpit Rock. Construction work is now underway to install the new Bracklinn Bridge in Callander and

DCJ to ask Callander community council about an online version of the petition.

approval has been given to release a family of beavers at Aber Burn near Gartocharn in the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve.

  1. GM reported that the main item on the current agenda for Stirling Council is the setting of a new budget in February and March. The Council has overspent on its revenue budget but underspent on its capital budget. As a result, some projects have had to be cancelled. Agreeing the new budget is likely to prove a difficult task. However, permission has been given to re-schedule certain repayments for schools which may provide some much-needed leeway.

16.        Warm Spaces

On 17th December 2022, Andy Aitken (AA), chair of Killin community council had contacted the Secretary to raise the possibility of creating a “warm space” in Lochearnhead. This had been ins tigated following a request in November for such a facility by the vicar of the Sco ttish Episcopal Church in Lochearnhead. At that time, Killin community council had offered to host people from Lochearnhead if suitable transport could be arranged for them but this offer was not taken up. AA suggested that, since further cold weather was anticipated, coupled with the current high cost of heating, it might be worthwhile to explore the creation of a “warm hub” in Lochearnhead through a collaboration with the Killin community council. CB reported that Lochearnhead is currently due to run a “warm hub” during the coming week. DF confirmed that a regular “warm hub” is now firmly established in Killin and DCJ reported that Balquhidder had set up a Bridge Club as a way of providing a warm space for people to meet. It also hosts a Film Club that provides entertainment once a month at the village hall.

17.        Emergency contact numbers

Stirling Council had contacted the community council to provide details of emergency plans and contact numbers in the event of severe flooding incidents. (See item 13A above.) Links to these plans and contact numbers have been published on the community council website.

18.        Waste collections

GM reported that the current system has not been working well, so the intention is to re-arrange the roster so that more staff are available when required and less overtime is needed. CB asked about the


opening hours of the Callander Waste Facility. GM responded that changes there will be constrained by budgetary provisions, but the local councillors are going to try and arrange for a waste skip to be made available at Killin to better serve residents in this area.

19.        Collapsed wall beside A84, Strathyre

On 7th January 2023, DCJ had been advised that part of the wall on the A84 opposite Rosebank Cottage in Strathyre had collapsed. The debris from the wall was lying on the pavement restricting safe passage for walkers. Apparently problems had started some years previously when there was a problem with the pavement beside the wall. BT had repaired the pavement but no repair work was done on the wall, leading eventually to further deterioration and collapse. DCJ submitted an online notification to BEAR Scotland regarding the damage and was assured that a team would attend to ensure the safety of those using the highway. CB reported that there are now traffic cones blocking the pavement, but the debris has been cleared.

20.        Any other competent business

  1. Local Place Plan. The delivery plan for the implementation of the local Place Plan had now been published. Members were unhappy that many of the local comments and opinions in the Place Plan itself had been ignored. DCJ commented that the delivery plan depended on people coming forward to take responsibility for implementing certain aspects of the plan. The LLTNPA is obliged to take cogniscance of local Place Plans and to incorporate them in its own plan of ac tion for the coming years. Consequently, he believed it was worth developing the Place Plan, even if the associated Delivery Plan could not offer specific proposals for action at this stage. DCJ promised to raise the matter again at the next meeting of the BLS Trust.
  2. Road markings. AP expressed concern about the lack of consistency in road markings on the A84 between Strathyre and Callander. DCJ suggested that AP should contact the MSP and raise this matter so that Transport Scotland could comment on the reason for these

There was no further business and, at 9:10 p.m., DCJ declared the meeting to be closed. The next meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 22nd February 2023 at Balquhidder Village Hall.