January 2024 Minutes

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Minutes of Meeting of Bridge of Allan Community Council
Held on Tuesday 16th January 2024 in the Allan Centre.

Present: Mike Watson (MW) Chair; Anna Doeser (AD) Vice Chair and Communications Officer; Leslie Harkness (LH) Secretary; Alasdair Taylor (AT) Treasurer; Inga Bullen (IB); Amanda Coulthard (AC); Rosemary Dodds (RD); Bill Fortune (BF); Karen McGregor (KMcG); Jenny Smith (JS); Shumela Ahmed (SA); Graham Robertson (GR)

Apologies: Linn Kleinman (LK) Member; Councillor Ewan Dillon; Alexander Stewart (MSP); Alyn Smith (MP); Graham Russell (Chair, Friends of Bridge of Allan); PC Paul Gilliland; PC Ross Barclay;

In attendance: Councillor Alasdair Tollemache; Councillor Robin Kleinman; Douglas Neilson (Secretary of Friends of BOA); 3 residents; Brian Bullen Minute Taker;

Annual General Meeting (AGM), Bridge of Allan (BOA), Community Council (CC), Common Good Fund (CGF), Stirling Council (SC), Wallace Monument Stakeholder Advisory Group (WMSAG), Discover Bridge of Allan (DBOA) , Residents Against Greenbelt Erosion (RAGE); Community Action Plan (CAP); Local Place Plan (LPP); Friends of Bridge of Allan (FBOA); Community Right to Buy (CRtB)

B 2279. Welcome, Apologies and Conflict of Interest
MW opened the meeting at 19.30, welcoming those present.
The apologies were noted as indicated above.
There were no expressions of conflict of interest.

B 2280. Approval of Minutes, Matters Arising and Action Log
IB proposed the November 2023 minutes be approved , Seconded by BF.

Matters Arising (LH)
In relation to Item B2263 and the issue of the Bridge of Allan Civic Trust raised by Gavin Drummond in the context of the Sunnylaw land auction, Gavin has since confirmed that the trust is still registered as a charity.
With regard to Item B2261 and the parking outside the prison and the daily disruption this causes, Councillor Tollemache wrote to SC to request an update on the installation of double yellow lines and to underline the potential seriousness of the problem, with an ambulance being delayed, in part, due to the parked cars of prison staff. SC has now confirmed that a temporary traffic regulation order installing double yellow lines will come into force by January 22nd.
In terms of the Action Log, the Secretary had only a single action point to take forward, namely to contact the Civic Panel to inform it of the unanimous recommendation of the CC that the application by the Doctor Welsh Trust for CGF funding be granted. The Secretary completed and submitted with my communication to SC a copy of the relevant form - Form 1(b) – on which the CC records its recommendation and its reasons for its recommendation.

Action Log (MW)
Actions not addressed under an agenda item:

1.(from B2263) : GD has confirmed that the BOA Civic Trust is still registered as a charity.

2.(from B2269) : KMcG reported initial investigations into a second ATM for the community.

3.(from B2277) : Councilor Tollemache reported issue of 'No Cycling on Pavements' sign is progressing with SC.

B 2281. Police Report
PC Paul Gilliland had emailed the Police Report, which is reproduced here:

Introduction / synopsis of previous month:
This report should provide sufficient information of the police activity since the last community council meeting. If you have any further questions about the police report or any incidents that you are aware of that are not included in this report then please email us direct on the above email address and we will answer your questions.
If anyone has any information on any incidents that we have been unable to identify a suspect then please let us know by email, 101 or by contacting Crimestoppers.
The report encompasses all relevant crime and other matters which have occurred between the 21st November 2023 and 12th January 2024 inclusive.

Current Priorities:
Our current priorities in the Bridge of Allan area continue to be Anti-Social Behaviour, Road Safety and Community Engagement and Reassurance.

Main Report:
Between the 21st of November 2023 and 12th January 2024 a total of 12 crimes occurred within the Bridge of Allan area. The crimes detailed below are those that are of relevance to the local community.

Sometime between the 9th and 10th of December a window at a property In Churchill Drive was damaged. This has been crimed as Vandalism and following investigation is undetected.

On the 12th of December a student was traced within University of Stirling Halls of Residence in possession of a small amount of Herbal Cannabis. This is crimed as an offence under Section 5(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act and is under investigation at the time of submission.

On the 11th of December a minor assault occurred within University of Stirling Halls of Residence. Following investigation, a female was issued with a Recorded Police Warning.
On the 27th of December police attended a domestic related incident within the Stirling Court Hotel. A male was thereafter arrested for a Breach of Bail offence and held in custody to appear at court.
On the 27th of December police attended a domestic related assault (non-injury) at a property in Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan. A female was thereafter arrested and following investigation released without charge.

During the evening of 5th January, a housebreaking occurred at a property in Chalton Road, Bridge of Allan during which time a vehicle was stolen. This is crimed as Theft by Housebreaking and is an ongoing investigation at the time of update.
Sometime between 1700 hours, 11th January and 0800 hours, 12th January a residential property in Kenilworth Road was broken into and property stolen. This is crimed as Theft by Housebreaking and is under investigation at the time of update.

We would respectfully request that residents when going about and about or vacating properties for holidays or business trips ensure that all windows and doors are locked and secured, that house alarms are in working order and set and that light timing switches are utilised.

We would further request that all outbuildings, garages, sheds and vehicles are also properly secured to prevent potential thefts occurring.
We would ask that the local community be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police at their earliest convenience.

On the 31st of December a road traffic collision occurred at Union Street near to its junction with Keir Street where one of the vehicles involved failed to stop and subsequently drove off. Following investigation, a male was traced and will be subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to Careless Driving, Fail to Stop after Accident and other traffic offences.

None to report.

Between the 21st of November 2023 and 12th January 2024 there has been a total of 127 calls to the Bridge of Allan area (this includes some calls to the University, Causewayhead and Cornton). A breakdown of some of the calls are as follows: 1 public nuisance call, 2 drugs/substance misuse calls, 1 disturbance type call, 1 damage call, 4 theft type calls, 8 assault calls, 2 fraud type calls, 8 domestic incident calls, 7 concern for person calls, 1 missing person call and road 27 traffic related calls.

Community engagement and reassurance:
Activity for forthcoming month:

  • Carry out patrols in areas where antisocial behaviour is reported.
  • Carry out patrols in areas where crimes of dishonesty have occurred.

Community Police Email Address: DunblaneBridgeofAllanCPT@scotland.pnn.police.uk

B2282. Resident's View
A resident raised the issue of road safety at the Cornton railway level crossing. The traffic flow is impacted by the widening of the pavement at the mouth of Westerlea road at the junction with Cornton Road and car parking adjacent to this junction.
Currently this is exacerbated by a clamped van on the road to the North of the level crossing further leading to the backup of traffic out of BOA.
The resident also commented on the extra wide footpath by the prison.
Councillor Kleinman commented that a SC officer has visited the site and it's unlikely that SC would put parking restrictions outside the houses on Cornton Road.
The resident also brought up the issue of poles demarcing the cycle lanes on the A9 past the railway station. The road sweeper vehicles hence are unable to clear the bike lanes, which have become slippery with leaves etc.

Regarding safety at the level crossing, Councillor Tollemache commented that there is a mechanism to avoid a collision due to vehicles stuck on the crossing. He also said that the SC view is that drivers must obey the Highway code and specifically only enter the yellow box when the exit is clear.
Items related to this were proposed for the next CC meeting
ACTION: LH to add items to next CC meeting regarding the Cornton Railway level crossing

  • Network Rail and level crossing
  • SC and Road Safety

Another resident brought up the issue of cars parking on the pavement on Henderson street leading to problems for wheelchair users.
Councillor Kleinman reported that SC are delaying using their new powers to fine motorists parking on pavements.
AT also reported that rubbish bins on pavements are also obstructing pedestrians.
AC commented that their should be publicity about the forthcoming enforcement of no parking on pavements.
The resident then mentioned the issue of motorists driving with excessive speed.
LH indicated that in his Secretary's Report he has a report from Councillor Kleinman on the planning road crossing on Fountain Road and Henderson St traffic calming measures, and this this wider project is planned for the current financial year.

B2283. Tennis Courts (MW)
B2283.1 – Tennis Court access
MW had hoped to have a representative from Active Stirling at the meeting. Councillor Kleinman volunteered to ask Active Stirling to send a representative to the next meeting.
ACTION: Councillor Kleinman to request Active Stirling attend the February meeting.

B2283.2 – MUGA
Councillor Kleinman reported good progress on the proposed refurbishment. He attended a recent meeting with representatives from LTA, SC, the sports surface specialist company SPORTEX and GD. SPORTEX will quote and 2 other quotes will also be obtained. Hopefully CSET will fund – GD is doing the application (next deadline Feb 2nd).
A CC member will sign the application.
The suggestion that there should be some free access to the tennis courts at specific times was received positively by members.
Councillor Kleinman explained that the community will be expected to keep the surfaces clean from leaves etc. It was suggested by a brush be kept at the court with the expectation that users should sweep the surface as part of their session.
ACTION: CC to sign application to CSET prepared by GD.

B2284. Sunnylaw Auction (AC)
AC reported that a Sunnylaw Action Group had formed, including Councillors Kleinman and Tollemache, herself, IB and several residents. There had been several meetings of the Group since the last CC meeting.
At the end of November an offer was made to the vendors (Springfield) and recently a response was received indicating that there was another party interested in purchasing the Sunnylaw open space, and they are setting a close date of March 27th.
Councillor Kleinman will book an Allan Centre room for 7pm wednesday (24th Jan). It was hoped to have a couple of property expects advise the group.
Councillor Tollemache mentioned the CGF, if it could help with the purchase.
B2285. Succession Planning (MW).
MW stated that he will resign at the AGM in June. The suggestion of potential Chair(s) acting as chair at one of the upcoming meetings was made. MW stated that the Chair traditionally organised the Remembrance Sunday service.

B2286. Local Place Plan (AC).
AC reported that with IB she had attended meetings of the joint steering group with members of DBOA who are progressing the appointment of consultants for a community survey that will inform both the DBOA Action Plan and the CC Local Place Plan. Though the tender document was written by the end of year, progress was stalled when
one of the DBOA steering group members resigned from the steering group. However the examination of bids will proceed this coming thursday.
AC reported meeting the representative from the Dunblane CC and discussed sharing of resources and dividing the work of preparing the LPP.
Due to Mark's resignation a 3rd member on the steering group from CC is sought. SA volunteered and her offer accepted.
Councillor Tollemach will forward details of the SC 25th Jan Planning meeting to AC.

B2287. Christmas Lights (AT).
With well over £5000 raised and the current balance in the Christmas Lights fund of £8147.82 there will a reasonable amount in hand after paying the expected invoice of £2815 for the 2023 installation.
RD and KMcG were thanked for their significant fund raising efforts.
RD reported there was an unfortunate delay in the timing of the switchon.
There was discussion on improving the event and ensuring all licenses were acquired in time – applications to SC should be made by August.
AD suggested a debrief meeting of the 2023 event.
ACTION: AD to organise a debrief of the 2023 event.

B2288. Business Rates (GR)
GR spoke about business rates and the services delivered by SC and the additional services available in the
Stirling city business improvement district delivered by the Go Forth{1} company, whereby businesses pay a levy (currently 1.25%) of rateable value. AD commented that the CC previously has had a business group, now there is DBOA. Councilor Tollemache volunteered to set up a meeting with GO FORTH for GR.
ACTION: Councilor Tollemache to facilitate a meeting for GR with GO FORTH.

B2289. 103 Henderson Street – Developer Contributions (IB)
The developer of 103 Henderson street was granted planning permission for 14 flats in Dec 2022 with Section 75 conditions for a contribution ( totalling over £200,000) to SC (just under £200,000 for Affordable housing).
Now they have applied for the Section 75 contribution condition to be removed. IB has commented in support of
the condition remaining. Another resident had attempted to submit a comment but was'nt able to.

B2290. Post Office Provision (Councilor Tollemache)
Councilor Tollemache raised concern at the on-going lack of Post Office provision.
One suggestion is that as the rebuild of the Fountain Rd Co-op has been delayed, the provision of Post Office services at the Co-op be explored.
AC suggested that Post Office services be included in the LPP.
ACTION: CC? to contact Co-op re Post Office services in rebuilt Co-op.

B2291. Planning Report (BF).
BF reported no significant applications of concern to the community.
IB mentioned the application for a secure dog walking park at Knockhill Farm.

B2292. Chair’s Report (MW)
MW had nothing to report under this agenda item.

B2293. Secretary’s Report (LH)
Communications from Councillors
Councillor Tollemache has raised with SC the following issues:

  • the gritting of slippery pavements;
  • the absence of street lighting on the Cornton to Bridge of Allan footpath, an absence which Councillor Kleinman suggested might be due to upgrading work on the safety fence between the path and the railway line, an explanation subsequently confirmed by SC which has indicated that a damaged cable would be programmed for repair as soon as possible;
  • the pothole on the footway close to the Co-op, an issue which SC has confirmed will be addressed.

Councillor Tollemache has also raised with the University of Stirling the closure until June 2025 of the Stirling University footpath at the rear of the Pathfoot building and its entrance to facilitate construction works, a footpath used by many local residents including wheelchair users and families with buggies. In its response, the University indicates that, in addition to two alternative routes, it is creating a ramped access route which brings wheelchair users out at essentially the same campus point.

In response to a request from Councillor Tollemache, the University will ensure there is appropriate signage for the ramped access route. Councillor Tollemache has also suggested that the tarmac surface be restored on the path and car park surface and has pointed out that the current campus map does not show the cycle and access routes that Cycling UK advocates. The councilor has also suggested that the University could assist with an audit of access routes for cyclists and disabled users, and he has noted that it would be helpful if a University representative could attend Cycle Stirling’s quarterly meetings.
Given public anxiety about the potential impact of local authority cuts on library services, Councillor Tollemache forwarded a copy of the 2023 Scottish Public Library annual survey and a communication from the Scottish Library and Information Council to Stirling Council expressing concern about the issue.
Councillor Kleinman has asked SC what progress has been made with the planned crossing on Fountain Road and, in its response, SC has explained that the zebra crossing is part of a wider scheme which includes the Henderson Street traffic calming measures. The project is currently being priced and it is intended that it will be delivered in the current financial year.

Communications from Residents
A resident raised concerns about the absence of a pedestrian crossing at the busy Henderson Street/Airthrey Road bus stops close to the Stirling University roundabout. The resident believes that, given the volume and speed of the traffic, it is only a matter of time before there is an accident, particularly since school children use these bus stops on a daily basis. Councillor Tollemache raised this with SC and the council has confirmed that, as part of the project to provide an active travel corridor between Causewayhead and Dunblane to join with the Walk,Cycle,Live project at Wallace High School, both cycle and particularly pedestrian provision will be reviewed as part of the project
Communications from Stirling Council
The CC has received the following communications from SC:

  • information from the Community Development Officer on the Community Ownership Fund with associated links including webinars;
  • details of the funding opportunities provided for 2024/2025 by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund ;
  • a reminder of the Open University Scotland webinar on Skills Support for Community Councils on Thursday of this week at 6.00 pm;
  • a reminder of the consultation on the community priorities for the next Local Development Plan and an intimation of forthcoming engagement events for community councils in February and March.

General Communications
The CC has received the following:

  • notification from Post Office Limited of the newly introduced lighter format Post office branch in the form of the Stirling University Drop and Collect parcel service;
  • the November edition of the newsletter of the Accounts Commission of Audit Scotland with its notification of the fact that Best Value of local councils is now being audited on the basis of a thematic approach with the current theme being Strategic Leadership;
  • the November newsletter of Scottish Rural Action;
  • the December and January newsletters of the local MSP, Alexander Stewart;
  • the Christmas edition of the Scottish Community Councils’ Newsletter;
  • the Winter 2023 Scottish Flood Forum Newsletter;
  • the annual update on the Glen Road project.

AD added regarding the Glen Road project that she was involved with a small group of residents who will meet with consultants working on the Dunblane to Causewayhead Active Travel Programme.

B2294. Treasurer’s Report (AT)
The detailed report is at Appendix 1.
AT highlighted the balances of the main funds.
A subscription to Survey Monkey was the main expenditure form the SC Admin fund.

  • Admin Fund: £1270.68
  • Unrestricted Fund: 2391.81
  • Larder Fund: £5556.49
  • Christmas Lights Fund: £8147.82
  • Total: £17,372.55

Adding the £42.40 for the unpresented cheque for the Remembrance Day wreath and subtracting £50.00 of cash yet to be paid in, and cash in hand for the Larder, the bank balance at 15th Jan was £17324.95.

B2295. Signatory for Community Council Payments.
AD explained that 2 members have to sign CC cheques, and also 2 members must approve online payments.
AD asked if any existing signatories could register for online banking, or new signatories could be added.
AC volunteered to be a new signatory.
ACTION: CC to add AC as a new signatory.

B2296. CGF Application – Bridge of Allan Primary School (AT)
AT reported a CGF application had been received from BOA Primary School as part of match funding for repairs to the school MUGA. The total cost was about £10,000 , with various other contributions the amount requested from the CGF was £2000.
Councillor Kleinman was of the opinion that CGF spending should be restricted to within the interest.
AT would request a quarterly statement of the fund from SC.
LH said it was his understanding that it was good practice to restrict spending from within the interest, however if there is an exception benefit to the community then a larger sum might be spent.
AD reported from a recent presentation by SC that the fund stood at £424,000.
AC volunteered to write a document about the CGF.
CC makes recommendations to the SC Civic Panel, who then decide on awards.
A vote by members approved the application and tasked LH to write to the SC Civic Panel in support of the application and to also write to the school.
ACTION : AT to request quarterly statements from SC re the CGF.
ACTION : AC to write a document about the CGF.
ACTION: LH to write to SC Civic Panel in support of Primary School CGF application.

B2297. AOCB
AC raised two items
AC suggested a forum of the community organisations to further discussion on the Sunnylaw open space potential purchase and longer term issues.
Stirling Community Council Network.
AC had found from her discussions with Dunblane CC that there common issues and possibly it would be helpful to hold some meetings with the other Stirling Community Councils. In the first instance BOA CC and Dunblane CC could write to the SC Community Liason Officer to suggest that SC host a meeting.
MW closed the meeting at 21:20

B2298. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting is Tue 20th February 2024, at the Allan Centre, 7.30pm.

Action Log Summary:
1.(from B2282) : LH to add items to next CC meeting regarding the Cornton Railway level crossing :Network Rail and Level Crossing
SC and Road Safety
2.(from B2282) : AD to organise a debrief of the 2023 Christmas lights event.
3.(from B2283.2) : CC to sign application to CSET prepared by GD for MUGA funding.
4.(from B2288) : Councilor Tollemache to facilitate meeting for GR with Go Forth.
5.(from B2290) : CC? To contact Co-op re Post Office services in rebuild Co-op
6.(from B2295) : CC to add AC as a new signatory.
7.(from B2296) : AT to request quarterly statements from SC re the CGF.
8.(from B2296) : AC to write a document about the CGF.
9.(from B2296) : LH to write to SC Civic Panel in support of Primary School CGF application.