March 2021 Minutes

 

Minutes of Meeting of Bridge of Allan Community Council

 

Held on Tuesday 16th March 2021

Due to Covid-19 this meeting was held remotely via Zoom

 

Present: Mike Watson (MW) Chair; Leslie Harkness (LH) Secretary; Alasdair Taylor (AT) Treasurer; Sandra
Davidson (SD); Anna Doeser (AD) Communications Officer; Siobhan Hencher (SH); Bill Fortune (BF); Janie
Meikle Bland (JMB); Vicky McDowell (VMcD); Iain McCusker (IMcC) Planning Officer;

 

Apologies: Councillor Alastair Majury; Andrew Drummond Baxter (ADB); Duncan McDougall (DMcD)
Associate Member; Moira Randall (MR) Associate Member; Lucy McCormick (Minute Secretary); Alexander
Stewart MSP; Alyn Smith MP; PC Paul Gilliland; PC Dee Chalmers; Andrew Davies (Stirling Council)

 

In attendance: Councillor Jim Thomson (Convenor of Environment and Housing Committee); Lesley Anne
Cain (Network Rail); Niamh Hegarty (Network Rail); Alastair McNeill (Stirling Observer); Councillor Douglas
Dodds; Councillor Graham Houston (GH); Councillor Alasdair Tollemache; Sam Shortt (SS); Jim Thomson
(Stirling Council); Gavin Drummond (GD);

 

Abbreviations – Community Council (CC), Common Good Fund (CGF), Stirling Council (SC), Annual General
Meeting (AGM)

B 1881 Welcome, Apologies and Conflict of Interest (MW)

MW chaired this meeting. MW opened the meeting at 7.00pm and welcomed all those in attendance via
Zoom; apologies were recorded as noted above. IMcC indicated a conflict of interest relating to the Scouts
application to the Common Good Fund; LH advised the attendees that that under SC’s rules, engaging in
discussion is acceptable providing those with conflicts do not participate in any voting on the matter.

 

B 1882 Approval of Minutes, Matters Arising and Action Log (MW)

The minutes of the February 2021 CC meeting were approved: proposed by SH and seconded by LH.
Matter arising:

  • Reference Item B 1875:

    • Regarding deterioration of the recently repaired road surface at the entry to the Health
      Centre parking area, Councillor Dodds wrote to say he has again raised the issue with SC.

    • Regarding Airthrey Kerse - our associate member, DMcD has forwarded two documents,
      firstly, SC’s official response to the reporter on the housing land supply issue indicating 6.5
      years supply i.e. more than the requisite 5 years and a copy of the SC Draft Housing Land
      Audit 2020.

  • Reference Item B 1869 on Speeding, Councillor Dodds forwarded SC’s response that an officer had
    attended the site and that the signs had been installed at the location as identified and advertised.

    • VMcD advised that SC’s response confirms that the positioning is correct as per the map,

      Classification: Limited

       

      however the dispute is regarding the accuracy of the map itself which Councillor Dodds
      agreed to reiterate to the relevant officers.

    • JMB flagged potential for confusion regarding the school sign indicating 20mph ‘when lights
      are flashing’ on Kenilworth road; this may lead drivers to believe the limit is different
      otherwise and begs the question of whether existing signage has been considered when
      installing new signs.

    • Sam Shortt highlighted concerns about some of the signage on the A9 by train station/allan
      bridge being obscured. Also expressed concerns over the volume of thermoplastic chips
      escaping into local water courses etc from the red speed limit patches installed on various
      roads as part of the speeding initiative; suggested the installation contractor should be
      requested to return a few days later to scoop up the wayward chips. Councillor Dodds agreed
      to raise this with SC.

       

      Actions:

  • Reference Item B 1872 on Dog Fouling – JMB & Lecropt nursery had discussions and support is being
    provided in the form of leaflets and posters produced by the nursery and after-school children as
    well as ongoing discussions with local businesses to explore additional support/ideas. A group of five
    residents are working to build a positive campaign along with the dog warden and posters have been
    placed in various locations around the village; information is being gathered to determine
    appropriate locations for signs and / or additional bins. Invitation to the next CC meeting to be
    extended to the dog warden.

  • Reference Item B 1874 Regarding Active Travel, AD has a meeting scheduled for 17th March with
    some former colleagues and the consultant tasked with community engagement relating to the
    Active Travel Cycling and Walking route project between BoA and Dunblane; will provide an update
    at the next CC meeting.

  • Reference Item B 1856 (Jan-21 meeting) IMcC confirmed that a new planning application for the old
    wellhouse has yet to be submitted.

  • Reference Item B 1876 – AT will be able to view the current state of repair of the lights prior to the
    next CC meeting.

 

B 1883 Police Report

 

Between 16th February and 15th March 2021, a total of 8 crimes occurred within the Bridge of Allan beat
code, the crimes detailed below are those that are of relevance to the local community.

 

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR - none reported.

 

DRUG MISUSE

On 27th February, at University of Stirling two individuals were traced in possession of Cannabis. The
individuals concerned with be issued with Recorded Police Warnings for being in possession of controlled
drugs.

 

VIOLENT CRIME

On 21st of February an incident occurred in the Queens Court area of Bridge of Allan whereby a male was
observed in possession of a knife and was seen to be shouting and swearing. No persons were injured and
an individual has since been traced, arrested and remanded in relation to carrying a knife in a public place
and a Section 38(1) Criminal Justice & Licensing Scotland Act 2010 offence.

 

HOUSEBREAKINGS/CRIMES OF DISHONESTY

Between 22nd and 24th of February a resident of Bridge of Allan became aware that his online banking
account had been compromised by unknown means. This has been crimed as Fraud and is an ongoing

Classification: Limited

 

enquiry at the time of submission.

 

On 25th February a resident from Bridge of Allan was the victim of an email scam resulting in a financial
loss. This has been crimed as Fraud and is being investigated.

 

On 11th March a resident from Bridge of Allan whilst attempting to sell property online, was duped into
transferring money via online bank transfer to a suspect account. This has been crimed as Fraud and will be
investigated in due course.

 

We would advise the public that they install appropriate security applications on to their electronic devices
to minimise the risk of becoming the victim of online fraud.

 

In addition, we would encourage the community to carry out appropriate checks should they receive any
suspicious emails, texts or calls from unidentified sources and not to engage in dialogue or part with any
banking details with any parties whom they deem to be suspicious.

 

ROAD SAFETY AND ROAD TRAFFIC RELATED CRIME

On the 1st March, police stopped a vehicle in Henderson Street which was being driven without insurance.
The motorist was thereafter arrested for a number of other offences including possession of a controlled
drug and Section 38(1) Criminal Justice & Licensing Scotland Act 2010.

 

MATTERS OF NOTE

There have been some recent reports of youth related antisocial behaviour including egg throwing, within
Allanvale and Cornton Road, Bridge of Allan. CPT will continue to monitor this and carry out additional
patrols during the evenings when and where possible.

 

Between 16th February and 15th March 2021 (inclusive) there were a total of 95 calls to the Bridge of Allan
area. Please note this also covers parts of the Cornton, Causewayhead and Stirling University.

 

A breakdown of some of these calls is as follows, 8 were concern for person type calls, 20 were public
nuisance calls, 2 call were drugs/substance related, 2 were disturbance type calls and 10 were road related
traffic calls.

 

Community engagement and reassurance:

The pop-up policeman has been deployed within Keir Street, Bridge of Allan. CPT will continue to utilise this
when the opportunity arises as a means of tackling vehicular speed.

 

Given the return of all primary school pupils as of 15th March, CPT officers will where possible carry out
patrols in and around the school to monitor vehicular speed and parking behaviour.

 

Activity for forthcoming month:

  1. Monitor and patrol areas where youth related antisocial behaviour has been identified.

  2. Conduct speed checks in area in which speeding concerns are raised.

     

    B 1884 Common Good Fund – (AT)

    Some discussion was held around potential conflict of interest for attendees who also sit on the Provost
    Panel; the result of which was agreement that the relevant councillors should remain present for these
    conversations in order to gain a firm understanding of the background and rationale for CGF requests
    thereby best representing the views of the community at the Provost sessions. See B 1896.

     

    B 1885 Tennis Courts (BF)

    Classification: Limited

     

    A meeting was held with Sports Scotland who indicated that an application for funding would likely to
    positively received and this would be for the higher standard refurbishment, rather than the simple tarmac
    being discussed with Active Stirling / Andy Davies. Sports Scotland highlighted the need for any application
    to be robust and properly demonstrate that there are processes and funds to ensure maintenance of these
    higher standards. A meeting is scheduled for w/c 22nd March with Land Services as owners of the site to
    determine the scale of any budget for maintenance; once this position is understood further meetings will
    be held with the interested parties to build a solid application.

     

    It is understood that a contribution will be required from the CC although it is not clear at present the likely
    amount and this will be discussed as the application is put together.

     

    B 1886 Cornton Level crossing (MW)

    MW welcomed Lesley Anne Cain and Niamh Hegarty from Network Rail and indicated that the main points
    of concern indicated by the community are waiting times, Active Travel and project finish dates.

     

    Lesley Anne indicated that the vehicular level crossing in Cornton road was previously proposed for closure
    in Jan 2016 and if not possible then an upgrade to a 4-barrier system would be necessary due to the installed
    equipment becoming end-of-life. Network Rail’s planning application to replace the level crossing with a
    road bridge was withdrawn in 2017; subsequent plans to upgrade have been delayed due to COVID-19 and
    the works originally due to be completed by Dec 2020 are now expected to be completed in May 2021.

     

    By 10th May, the new barrier will be operational, however the ongoing works will require further road
    closures every Saturday night with two significant closures planned:

     

    Saturday 27th April 11:30pm to Monday 29th April 06:00am
    Saturday 30th April 11:30pm to Monday 10th May 06:00am

     

    Barrier down-times will be longer than the current system which has around 5 minutes per hour. Lesley-
    Anne advised that Network Rail had estimated the new barrier down-time would be approx. 28 minutes;
    however now the installation has progressed and the design/location of all the parts is clear this has been
    revised to an estimate of between 15 and 20 minutes per hour on average. When correlated with the actual
    train schedule; the average down-time was 14 minutes. Lesley-Anne noted that the 50 minutes which was
    recently reported came from the traffic study completed in 2017 which was submitted alongside the new
    calculations in the planning application for continuity purposes only.

     

    MW queried the barrier down-time per train; Lesley Anne confirmed the average to be 132 seconds (2m 12s)
    for a single carriage; further figures could not be provided due to too many variables including speed and
    length of the train.

     

    Councillor Tollemache queried whether there were projections of impact per 60 minutes based on normal
    (post-COVID) and future train timetables; is this likely to stay stable or will there be additional trains? Lesley
    Anne indicated that the normal timetable is 8 trains per hour and this is the same currently as passenger
    trains removed from circulation in Scotland during COVID-19 have not been on this route. Freight trains
    have protected routes but don’t always use them so numbers can vary and it is anticipated that the average
    of 8 trains per hour will remain consistent for at least the next few years. Timetable changes from Scotrail
    or the Train Operating Companies can take approx. 18months to 2 years to implement however the
    Government’s sustainability plans do involve moving transportation off the roads likely towards the railway
    system. Network Rail prepared a study in conjunction with Government, Pre-COVID that looked forward
    up to 2048 which predicted up to 14 trains per hour on average; it was noted that this was hypothetical and
    not an indication of commitments or plans.

    Classification: Limited

     

    Lesley Anne confirmed that the crossing itself will be upgraded as part of the ongoing works.

     

    Sam Shortt queried the length of time required for barriers to open and close compared with the current
    system which is much quicker. Lesley Anne explained that a train on the track activates a sensor which tells
    the red & amber lights at the level crossing to start flashing, the entry barriers start to come down; at that
    point the radar and lidar systems both scan the crossing to confirm there’s nothing trapped between the
    barriers. If clear, then the exit barriers close and another lidar scan is completed; the train can only pass
    once this third scan provides a clear result to the signalling system. More information regarding the
    technology used can be provided.

     

    Sam also queried whether a traffic management plan has been produced which considers the impact to
    entry/exit of residential side-streets in the area. Lesley Anne confirmed that there is currently no traffic
    management plan and the point around blockages resulting from the northbound queue attempting to pass
    parked vehicles beyond the crossing potentially resulting in vehicles becoming stranded on the crossing itself
    was duly noted to be discussed between Network Rail and Stirling Council. As an experienced traffic
    engineer, Sam suggested offered to support these conversations and proposed measures that could be
    considered including yellow box markings to avoid blocking residential access and restriction of parking on
    the main street to ensure free movement of the north-bound traffic.

     

    Councillor Thomson queried what funding provisions Network Rail would be making to Stirling Council for
    investigation of the potential issues relating to the barrier down-time as clearly there are concerns whether
    there are 8 or 14 trains per hour. Lesley Anne confirmed that no additional monies are available for
    anything relating to this matter and it would have to be a matter for Transport Scotland consideration as this
    is the source of all Network Rail’s funding for the project. The traffic modelling tool provided by SC at the
    time of the original assessment did not consider congestion or additional journey times.

     

    IM acknowledged that the CC had objected to the previous application to replace the crossing and queried
    the reasons for Network Rail’s withdrawal. Lesley Anne confirmed there were 4 main reason:

    1. Cost escalation with no additional funding sources;

    2. Problems securing land for the building of the bridge;

    3. The ‘uncomfortable’ level of objection from local residents;

    4. Electrification of the area required certainty of the plans which couldn’t be provided at the time.

 

MW thanked the representatives for attending and providing a thorough update.

 

B 1887 Wallace Monument (JMB)

 

Presentation made to National Wallace Monument Stakeholder Advisory Group late last month with a
number of proposals made including offering BoA as a pilot for National Wallace Monument’s Digital
Marketing Project they are looking to launch which would involve the businesses, community organisations,
arts, culture and leisure being promoted. As an ideas group keen to build the village brand (e.g. boutique
brand) and excitement about marketing BoA as a food and drinks centre. Marketing and Tourism Manager
Charlie Croft due to attend meeting tomorrow with his team to pick up on recommendations and hopefully
move forward to action stage. Also, working towards BoA and Stirling more broadly as an access friendly
destination for people who are coming to the area.

 

B 1888 Ivy Hotel/ Eagleton Building (MW)

 

Ongoing concern over the state of this building and ongoing deterioration of it. Councillor Douglas Dodds
provided an update. The Building Standards looked at it and said it was safe but that doesn’t stop ongoing
vandalism to it. Some individuals were caught in it a few weeks ago but no one has been in since. Planning

Classification: Limited

 

application was withdrawn but they are resubmitting a new application and it is expected that this new
application will include the actual Ivy Hotel being renovated and the Hotel forming part of the application.

 

The CC agreed to write to Historic Environment Scotland detailing concerns about the building which is listed.

 

B 1889 Play Park Initiative (SH)

 

Park is looking fantastic. New accessible roundabout has been installed and the brand new triple based
swings are all up. New paths around park. There is going to be an extension to the picnic tables to make
more accessible. Probably will be another month before it is all finished.

 

B 1890 Community Council Vacancies (AD)

 

Volunteers positions advertised on noticeboards and social media sites. Another week before application
deadline. Will then need to be sent to SC for eligibility check. 3 applications received so far.

 

B 1891 Visions, Values and Development Meeting (JM)

 

Agree the Development Meeting to be put on back burner until a time when face to face meeting can take
place later in the year. Aiming for an August/ September meeting.

 

B 1892 Chair’s report (MW) – nothing to report

 

B 1893 Secretary’s report (LH)

 

Residents’ Communications

 

A resident wrote to inform the CC that Historic Scotland has raised an objection to the demolition of the
Eagleton/Ivy building. A resident emailed to report that, after forwarding photos of potholes to Stirling
Council, this has led to remedial action in Airthrey Avenue and Mayne Avenue.

 

A resident wrote to ask about the purpose of the newly installed parallel cables on Henderson Street and,
after checking with Councillor Dodds, the CC was able to confirm that the cables would capture data on both
traffic volumes and vehicular speeds.

 

A regular correspondent has written to suggest the CC should contact SSE to have the large mature trees at
the Well Road electricity sub station cut back. He also suggests the CC provides a short precis of the outcomes
of its meetings for the Stirling Observer.

 

An alarming email came from a resident whose 3 year old son ran from the Fountain Road play park directly
on to the road in front of a car which missed him by inches; the near accident occurred as a result of the gate
being left open.

 

A resident wrote to inform the CC that a Reading registered camper van has been parked on Pendreich Road.
Just in case the local police could take any action, the email was forwarded to them.

 

On behalf of the group of residents concerned about the potential Blairforkie Drive housing development,
one of those residents sent a communication summarising their concerns in terms of the negative impact of
the development, outlining what they see as the way forward in responding to this development and voicing
concern that some developers may be using loopholes in Scottish housing policy to challenge councils on the
basis of shortfalls in their housing land supply.

Classification: Limited

 

Elected Members’ Communications

 

In relation to the potholes mentioned above, Councillor Tollemache wrote to say he has asked SC to confirm
their current arrangements for addressing the problem of potholes.

 

Councillor Tollemache forwarded SC clarification on the Darn Walk, confirming that it does not own the Darn
Walk land nor adjacent lands, all of which are in private ownership; that SC has a statutory obligation to
uphold access rights on core paths; that the Darn Walk also has Heritage Path status as an ancient drove
route; that the Council does not hold details of private land ownership; and that the land between the Allan
Water and the Cocksburn is owned by Drumdruills Farm.

 

The councillor has also informed the CC that, in relation to concerns about the vandalism of the Ivy Hotel,
the Convenor of the Planning Committee has raised the issue with the enforcement officers. In addition he
forwarded a communication from SC who, after Councillor Tollemache had expressed concern about the
proximity of road works traffic lights to Lecropt nursery, confirmed that signs would be placed on site to
encourage drivers to turn off their engines while waiting at the lights

 

Stirling Council Communications

 

SC wrote to the CC to remind community councillors about insurance that can be taken out if they use their
own vehicles on community council business. SC also reminded the CC that, by 19th March, it should provide
the Council with details of any assets they would wish to be insured.

General Communications

 

General Communications

 

The CC received a copy of the Friends of the Ochils Newsletter.

 

B 1894 Treasurer’s Report (AT)

 

  • No movement on playpark fund. Likely charging will come through soon.

  • Councillor Dodds asked to give the CC Account Details to Open Minds and £25 donation made to the
    CC.

    image

    Classification: Limited

     

    B 1895 Residents Voice

     

    Nothing raised.

     

    B 1896 Common Good Fund (AT)

     

    Councillor Dodds left the meeting at this point. Application from the Scouts Group for £3,210.00 for funding
    from Common Good Fund. Collated position of responses – 5 out of 6 in support. The CC agreed to
    support the full amount of the application.

     

    B 1897 Planning Report (IMc)

     

  • Care home application on Henderson Street has been withdrawn. Awaiting revised application.

  • Application for caravan park on Carse has been withdrawn.

  • Application for new single dwelling in Lecropt area. Don’t usually comment on single development
    but it is on the green belt. The application proposes to demolish existing garage and workshop and
    replace with a house. No feedback from anyone yet about objecting so members are encouraged
    to respond if they have any objections.

  • Co-op application. Sent response in support of application given they had held a meeting with the
    CC, answered all questions and addressed all points raised previously. In response to support it,
    the CC did ask for all appropriate measures to be taken in respect of privacy of the neighbours which
    was a concern raised at the last meeting.

 

B 1898 AOCB

 

Road from Stirling, towards Bridge of Allan. Option to turn left towards level crossing or go straight on.
Sign before bridge, saying over eight traffic to turn left. Question was how this will work when road is closed
for 10 weeks and whether sign needs re-positioned. Councillor Alasdair Tollemache agreed to raise it with
SC.

 

B 1899 Close and next meeting date (MW)

 

MW closed the meeting at 9.30pm and confirmed next meeting will take place Tuesday 20 April, 2021