April 2022 Minutes

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Approved Minutes Carron Valley & District Community Council Wednesday 6 April meeting, via ZOOM


In attendance

Peter Hayward, chair, PH Sara Smith, councillor, SS Margaret Porter, councillor, MP Nicolas Sinclair, Treasurer NS Sara Smith councillor, SS Dorothy Breckenridge, Sec, DB David Petch, councillor, DP Helen Bang, minute clerk, HB Iain Macfarlane, resident, IM

1 Introductions and welcome

1.1 PH welcomed everyone to the meeting.

1.2 Apologies were received from PC King, Councillors, Morag Holdsworth, and Dennis Canavan.

1.3 Declarations of interest for items on agenda. None declared.

1.4 Items raised by members of the public for inclusion in agenda. None.

2 Community Police report

2.1 Nothing received at time of meeting.

3 Minutes of previous meeting on 2 March 2022

3.1 These were approved

3.2 Proposed DP Seconded PH

3.3 Approved March minutes to DB for Stirling Council. ACTION HB


4 Matters arising

4.1 3.1 Approved February minutes to DB for Stirling Council

and on VRG website. Done

4.1 Roads Stirling Council to be contacted re issues Ongoing No further progress

Grit bins - still an issue Ongoing

7.3 Andrew Morton contact details Done Planning and enforcement - Cauldbarns Ongoing

School bus- no further developments. DP

Motorway news from BEAR -it was agreed this should be forward to HB to go on Facebook Carron Valley Connections.

DP - Falkirk Council closed the road without sufficient notice. B818 from Fankerton. ACTION PH to raise as part of roads issues.

5 Chair’s report

5.1 Planning - to be covered later. Extension for Maureen Campbell in Old Sauchie. These are listed buildings, for example double glazing not allowed.

6 Secretary’s report [DB]

6.1 Nothing not covered elsewhere.


7 Treasurer’s report [NS]

7.1 £2978.12 in bank £1500 defib grant - £1478.12 actually. Awaiting invoice from VRG Treasurer.

Half of cost of 2 - prices from Lucky to be here. MP will get current figure. Finding suitable installation sites is proving a challenge, not as straightforward as initial two installations. MP will approach VRG re additional costs.

7.2 Insurance - NS spoke to Stephen Bly, was advised he was too late for this year. PH, items are only noticeboards and grit bins.

Defibs going under community asset insurance provision. Is there a form listing our assets? This could go with the accounts. ACTION NS.


Last time insurance of defibs was done later in the year and VRG paid the insurer for the additional costs. Should PH to look for separate insurance? MP looked at this before and it was extremely expensive. ACTION MP will find out when and how this was done before.

7.3 Stephen Bly asked if we could do accounts/AGM in June to fit Council budget. Can AGM be online - it is thought this is now acceptable. Revert to June for AGM. ACTION NS.


8 Stirling Councillor Report

8.1 No elected representative attended this meeting. No report was received at the time of the meeting. Elections next month, 5th May.

9 Valley Renewables Group report [NS]

9.1 A Board meeting was held last night. Five resolutions were put forward for decision making. We have a bumper income balance looking healthy, this includes income we regularly get, but also new money from sale of felled timber of £34,037 which was twice as much as expected due to the good condition of the timber. Craigannet Farm Clean Energy beginning to pay £4K per annum.

9.2 Propositions - strategy as current strategy concludes this year. We have received a proposal from one consultant. The Board has requested more competitive tendering, being handled by subgroup.

9.3 Investment - it is proposed that discussions be held with Brewin Dolphin regarding best way to move money to protect from inflation.

9.4 Woodland - proposal with two options regarding paths. Also see item 11 of these minutes. There is the possibility of getting grant funding for this

project. Agreed in principle for both options but to wait to see what the funding options are possible.

9.5 Small community grant scheme - proposed a simplified application for small amounts of money for benefit of small groups e.g. when chicken wire was required for duck boards in North Third. A budget of £1000 has been agreed for releasing up to £250 quickly in a rapid process.


9.6 Big Lunch - community activity based on small household groups who might wish to get together over Bank Holiday weekend of Jubilee celebrations. Could possibly match fund up to maximum of £50 to encourage wellbeing and community spirit. Just need to agree final arrangements.

9.7 The investment fund has recovered about half of its losses and will hopefully continue to do so.

9.8 Grants - there is an underspend on the budget overall, but applications for young person's grants have increased following promotion with some interesting items, mostly relating to outside activities etc. Binoculars, bikes, climbing equipment, equipment to support D of E activities, swimming, judo and music lessons are amongst the grants awarded.

9.9 Some New Steps and more interlinked alarm grants have also been approved. So far 33 interlinked alarm grants have been awarded. It will continue to be promoted on a regular basis until the scheme closes in September.

10 VRG Investment Fund [NS]

10.1 See item 9.3 and 9.7 above.

11 Woodland Group report [DB]

11.1 A Volunteer Day was. held the weekend of 19-20 March, we had fine weather. 15 residents took part. About 500 stakes in the ground, we managed to plant about 200 trees with tubes. It will take a number of volunteer days to complete this. Another day this coming weekend, Saturday 9 April. Woodland Group is meeting tomorrow.

11.1 Paths. Documents attached as Appendix I

VRG had requested a review of paths to improve accessibility for those less able, including extending “all-abilities” paths. Group have reviewed including a site visit and proposed two options.


1. Upgrade existing path. ~£15K including VAT cost to increase accessibility including stretch of “all-abilities” path from track to east side bench.

2. Additional new stretch of all-abilities paths suitably graded from the pond round west side of the pond to the south side bench. Cost ~£24,800 including VAT. a new path across boggy ground reason for additional costs.

There money in the current budget, including substantial savings made by volunteers carrying out the re-stocking activity, which could cover Option 1 (£15K). Option 2 - the group suggested funding come out of the recent timber sales.

VRG board have requested a comparison price. Just the one price quoted, but the professional forester manager feels prices are similar across the board.


The existing quote is from a local supplier who did the previous paths so is familiar with the area. ACTION DB.


PH could the whole thing be funded from existing budget and sale of timber? DB- Yes.

PH - Is the issue that wood is seen as a community asset? DB- Absolutely.

NS - the view of the VRG Board is that the money from the timber sales is restricted funds and the Board and CC should have a say in how it is used.

MP - it is setting a precedent as we have not had to deal with this before, the Woodland Group is open to suggestions as to where money should go how it is used.

How soon can application for additional funding be made? Depends on the sources. It may have to be made quite quickly but if it had to be done next week it might not be the best application.

NS - VRG Board decided not to make a decision until we get a further quote and investigate the possibility of another funding stream. Ideally going forward the Woodland Group could be a separate entity. Recommends CC waits for more information on verification of the costs and possibility of additional funding from Paths for All.

IM - accessibility shouldn't be thought of as a discretionary expenditure, it should be an asset available to all members of the community.

MP - whilst being wholly supportive of making things accessible, it's not possible to make absolutely everything accessible. There are parts of the Woodland that it would be unreasonable for it to be made accessible.

12 Woodland Base (Meeting Room)

12.1 Nothing to report.

13 Roads report [PH]

13.1 ACTION PH to look at this action.

IM there should be a designation for pedestrians on C10.

14 Planning report [PH]

14,1 An application has been received from Maureen Campbell, Old Sauchieburn, garden room extension application on a listed building.

15 AOB

15.1 Minutes - most recently approved are posted on VRG website. ACTION DB

Send Dropbox link..

16 Date of next CC meeting – 7:30pm on Wednesday 4 May via Zoom.

Date of AGM 1st June via Zoom The meeting closed at 8:30pm.






Agreed to hold AGM before the ordinary June meeting.




Approved March minutes to DB for Stirling Council



Motorway news from BEAR to HB



List of CC assets for insurance



Defibs insurance



AGM accounts



Woodland - additional quote for paths etc.






Dropbox link for previous minutes for VRG website



Valley Renewables Group


Path Survey and Upgrade



Fountains Forestry have been asked to carry out a path survey of the existing path network and produce a document outlining recommendations and costs associated with the work. Fountains Forestry are well placed to do this as we have 8 years of experience delivering infrastructure/recreation projects along with carrying out path and infrastructure on the National Forest Estate (Forestry Commission). We have attended training course delivered by Paths for All and the Fieldfare Trust. These courses were specifically geared toward providing all ability footpath projects and upgrading the current provision to make the routes as accessible as possible for most users. We have delivered projects which range from carrying out small scale infrastructure changes to improve accessibility to delivering fully compliant all ability footpaths/infrastructure in rural and urban forest settings.

Historic Path Provision

The community took ownership of the site from Scottish Ministers in 2018. At this time there was no access provision on the site other than a forest road (Owned and managed by Forest and Land Scotland). There was an existing right of way running along the western boundary with Forest and Land Scotland. The route was unsurfaced, overgrown and had very little management other than clearing of wind blow trees as and when they occurred. There was a desire line path running through the northern end of the site, but this was created by a small amount of footfall and had no management on this route.

Path/Access Standards (Industry Best Practice) Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Responsible behaviour by land managers The Access Code says:

“Where appropriate, work with your local authority to identify routes, including core paths that can be easily used by people with a disability. Wherever reasonably practicable, provide gates, rather than stiles, on paths and tracks. This will help some disabled people, such as wheelchair users”.

The outdoor access industry uses the following guide for the provision of outdoor access provision Paths for All Outdoor Access Design Guide and Paths for All Lowland Path Guide. Paths for All also provide training to the industry. Forestry and Land Scotland use the designs and specification of the guide along with in-house skills to provide paths to the specifications set out for each user type.

Current Provision (Map 1)

Since the Community Woodland Group took over management of the site infrastructure improvements have taken place to assist with the accessing of the site. These improvements can be seen in the table below.


Mapping by Fountains Forestry UK Ltd www.fountainsforestry.co.uk

Springfield House Laurelhill Business Park

Stirling FK7 9JQ

Existing Provision Map

Draw your map here using "Add Map" - see 'Add Item' menu above (or use 6th icon down on the left hand set of icons)

Carron Valley Community Woodland


Green/As Dug path Desire ine Path ROW

Surfaced Path Site Boundary






Date: August 2020

Reproduced from Ordnance Survey digital map data © Crown Copyright 2021. All rights reserved Ordnance Survey Ltd:



Valley Renewables Group


ACCESSIBILITY REPORT by the Woodland Manager


Peter Mitchell of Fountains Forestry, our Woodland Manager, has prepared a detailed report in response to questions about the suitability of access footpaths and pond deck at the Community Woodland, with particular reference to disability group users.

The Woodland Subgroup met on site with Peter to review his draft report and findings. Peter’s full report, costs and maps are appended.

In summary, most our paths have been constructed to a green path standard (accessible for most users).The path from the forest road to the cabin and pond deck is constructed to full accessibility standard (accessible by all users). These are all compliant with Scottish Outdoor Access Code standards.

The review has confirmed that our paths could be extended and upgraded to provide full accessibility to much of the new woodland. Indeed, the geography of the woodland is well suited to providing full accessibility, but this would be at a cost.

There are two proposals for upgrading the path system to full accessibility standard:

1. to upgrade the existing green paths to full accessibility standard at a cost, including VAT, of


2. to form a new link path creating a fully accessible loop around the woodland at a cost, including VAT, of £24,769.

The upgrade to existing green paths at £14,496, can be met from the existing 2021/22 woodland budget, made possible by earlier completion of mulching and restocking work (in 2020/21), and the ongoing replanting of the recently harvested areas by the volunteers.This would leave a budget of

£6,911 through to 30/06/22 when the budget renews.

The new link path to complete the loop at a cost of £24,769 would require to be funded from income from the recent timber sale.This currently amounts to £34,037.28 with further income expected from the sale of wind blown timber, and would leave at least £9,268 in the timber sale account.We would intend to apply for a grant from Paths for All to assist with the new Link Path costs.This is likely to be less than half of the total cost. and is by no means certain.

Expending up to £39,265 on the woodland is a significant further investment for our community. The return is that our woodland would be fully accessible to all and can be promoted as such for all user groups. This level of accessibility is rarely achieved in community woodlands. Additional ongoing maintenance would be required for the fully accessible paths.This can be managed by the volunteers.

The Woodland Group is very supportive of the proposed improvements. It is commended for discussion and decision by the Board and the Community Council.

RF for the Community Woodland Group 29/03/22