May 2021 Minutes

Causewayhead Community Council
Minutes of the meeting held by Zoom
on Monday 10 May, 2021

 

Present:

 

Val Sinclair, Chair

Sonja Cameron, Treasurer
Fiona Macleod, Vice-Chair
Paul Mcdonald, Secretary
Bill McLellan, Member

 

In attendance:

Thelma Barron (Resident and Minutes Secretary),
Andrew Davis, Community Engagement Officer
Councillor Jim Thomson, Ward 4, Stirling North
Councillor Susan McGill, Ward 4, Stirling North
Darren Draper, resident

 

Apologies: Joyce Carberry; PC Greig Lowery; PC Stuart Gray,
Community Police Officers.

 

  1. Welcome

    The Chair welcomed all attendees to the meeting.

     

  2. Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting

    1. The Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on 3 February 2019 were
      approved, having been proposed for adoption by Sonja Cameron,
      seconded by Valerie Sinclair.

       

    2. Matters Arising

       

      Issue of speeding on Alloa Road (M2.2.1 refers)

      1. Flashing speed signs had been installed prior to the Covid
        lockdown in March 2020, but were no longer working, as the
        batteries had run down, and could not be replaced at the present
        time, due to Covid restrictions. However, this was not seen to pose
        an immediate issue as the westward lane of the A907 had been
        temporarily closed following a rockfall from Abbey Craig.

         

        Update on Airthrey Kerse (M2.2.4 refers)

        The Chair had provided an oral update for the Annual General Meeting, as
        follows:

         

      2. The Minister had refused planning permission in late November
        2019, on the recommendation of the Reporter, in effect rejecting
        the Graham’s Dairies’ claim that there was a shortfall in Stirling’s
        planned housebuilding, and taking the view that the development

        would be contrary to Stirling Council’s adopted development plan
        because of its Green Belt location.

         

      3. Graham’s Dairies submitted a further appeal in February 2020 to
        the Court of Session on a technical issue, namely the Reporter’s
        methodology for calculating housing land supply, which, they said,
        was counter to Scottish Government guidance. The Court of
        Session referred the case back to the Scottish Government, who
        appointed yet another Reporter to look at the case

         

      4. The case was ongoing, in which the Reporter would consider all
        previous evidence submitted, but had requested that only new
        evidence be submitted at the present time. The period for written
        submissions from members of the public had ended in November,
        with further written information then having been sought, including
        from SEPA. However, despite repeated requests by the Reporter
        to SEPA for a report on drainage of the proposed site, at the time
        of the meeting, SEPA had not submitted any data, following a
        major cyber attack at the end of last year. In his capacity as a
        resident, Jim Thomson had submitted a formal objection to SEPA,
        seeking a response to his request for information. He would now
        be submitting a FOI request. It would be for the Reporter to decide
        if another public hearing/ enquiry was required.

        Secretary’s Note

      5. SEPA submitted a response to the Reporter on 4 June 2021, taking
        their original stance that they would comment on specific
        problems at the time of any detailed planning application. Noting
        the flooding issues associated with Airthrey Kerse, they said that
        solutions were possible.

        SUSTRANS: Walk Cycle Live, Stirling (M2 refers)

        The Chair had provided an update, in her annual report to the AGM.

         

      6. Working in partnership with Stirling Council, SUSTRANS was
        taking forward ‘Walk, Cycle, Ride’, a project to improve routes
        from the city centre to Forth Valley College and Stirling Station to
        the University of Stirling, with the aim of making it easier and safer
        to travel on foot or by bike.

      7. Following several consultative sessions to address the route that
        should be taken through Causewayhead, two options had
        emerged: to develop a new walk/cycle pathway up the entire
        length of Causewayhead road or to keep Dunster Road as the
        designated cycle route, and enhance this route to the University.

      8. There was broad support for a linkage with the Raploch
        development.

      9. The issue of overseas students riding cycles on the wrong side of
        the road was noted. In addition, the danger to cyclists on

        Causewayhead Road from vehicles turning left from Buchanan
        Drive onto Causewayhead Road was highlighted.

         

            1. SUSTRANS had been known to favour the direct route down
              Causewayhead Road. However, members were of the view that
              the installation of full barriers at the Cornton Level Crossing was
              likely to impact the volume of traffic on Causewayhead Road,
              leading to increased volume, which might in turn lead SUSTRANS
              to favour Dunster Road as the preferred cycle route. Members
              learned that Councillors had now persuaded Stirling Council that
              Dunster Road was the preferable cycle route, subject to removal
              of speed bumps, and installation of a suitable alternative speed
              control. Whilst Community Councillors agreed that Dunster Road
              was the best route, it was noted that cyclists naturally need to
              keep moving, and that currently traffic does not flow well out of
              Dunster Road towards Causewayhead Road. While there was no
              final decision as yet on the preferred route, the estimated date of
              work commencing was 2022.

            2. Members were reminded that plans could be accessed on the
              Stirling Council web-site.

        CityFibre rollout (M4.4 refers)

            1. Members noted that Scottish Water had still not adopted the
              sewerage in Wallace Park, and that Stirling Council would not
              adopt the development for a year after Scottish Water had
              completed its work. Therefore Wallace Park was still excluded
              from the CityFibre rollout (as was Craigmill and the lower part of
              Easter Cornton road towards the railway.)

              Stevenson Bridge Renovation (M4.10 refers)

            2. Temporary barriers had been installed at each side of the
              Stevenson Bridge as the parapets were failing. However
              commencement of restoration work had been delayed, in part due
              to Covid, in part because Stirling Council did not want to
              undertake the work at the same time as the installation of full
              barriers at the Cornton level crossing, to avoid compounding
              traffic issues.

              Unsafe trees at Craigmill (M6.2 refers)

            3. The Chair reported that she had contacted Derek Leach, to ask
              whether he would contact the landowner to expedite
              arrangements to cut back the trees at the roadside at Craigmill,
              the branches of which were overhanging the road. The current
              closure of the westbound lane was seen to be advantageous in
              this regard.

              Litter and dog mess (M8.1 refers)

            4. Litter and dog mess on the cycle path to Bridge of Allan continued
              to be a problem, notwithstanding the many dog bins in the vicinity.

              Causewayhead Co-op (M4.3 refers)

            5. The Chair reported that the Causewayhead Co-op had applied
              again for a licence to sell alcohol from 10.00am to 10.00pm, to
              convert their current provisional licence. The deadline for
              objections was 18 May. On a separate matter, no action had been
              taken to date on the issue of the single entry/ exit to the Co-op car
              park.

         

  3. Police Report

    1. The Chair presented the Police Report for the period 8.04.21– 8.05.21,
      which, members noted, for the first time included a Communications Act
      offence, which related to abuse by phone or internet.

    2. PC Lowery had highlighted the fact that due to other commitments the
      Community Police Officers were unable to attend Community Council
      meetings held on Monday evenings. Accordingly, to facilitate attendance
      by the Community Police members, the Community Council agreed to
      move the meeting day to the first Wednesday of the month, retaining a
      7.00pm start time, and to move to meetings every second month. However,
      it was noted that Police Officers are not permitted to attend meetings by
      Zoom.

  4. Chair’s Report

     

    1. The Chair reported that she had been contacted by the Policy Manager of
      Audit Scotland and invited to give feedback on the performance of Stirling
      Council. The survey would close on 4 June.

       

    2. The Chair had previously shared the latest Community Bulletin by e-mail.
      The following points were of note:

       

      1. from 11 May, Stirling Council would resume uplift of bulky items;

      2. from 11 May, libraries would open for public browsing;

      3. a development of affordable housing, comprising 85 houses, was
        to be built at Pirnhall;

      4. entry to the Wallace Monument was free to residents for the next
        year, following Stirling Council’s assumption of ownership and
        management of the Monument;

      5. Stirling Council had secured a sum of money from SUSTRANS to
        support the Walk, Cycle, Live project. As part of the ongoing
        project, the speed limit on Causewayhead Road would be
        reduced to 20mph for a period of 18 months and then reviewed.

       

  5. Treasurer’s Report

    The Treasurer reported that her application to Stirling Council for an
    administration grant had been accepted.

     

  6. Councillor’s Report

     

    Cross-Party Group on Covid Recovery

    1. Councillor McGill reported that all Councillors had been heavily involved in
      the recent national election, and that a cross party group had been

      established to look at Covid recovery, with substantial funding to be made
      available from Scottish Government for this purposet.

       

      Imminent move to Level 2

    2. Numbers of Covid cases in the City were reducing and it was anticipated
      that Stirling would move to Level 2 shortly.

       

      NHS Issues

    3. Issues relating to the NHS, particularly hospital waiting lists and difficulties
      in obtaining GP appointments, and a probable backlog of GP
      appointments, were raised in discussion. Whilst noting that Forth Valley
      Health Board has a recovery plan, which is ongoing, some Community
      Council members cited personal experience of the emergence of a two tier
      system in the NHS, where private healthcare increasingly offered a means
      of by-passing extended waiting lists for non-essential surgery, wich had
      been exacerbated by Covid. In discussion, members noted that Forth
      Valley Health Board has a recovery plan, which is ongoing.

       

    4. An Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland had been led by
      Derek Feeley, a former Scottish Government Director General for Health
      and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland. A key proposal,
      likely to prompt further debate, was for the establishment of a National
      Care Service similar to the NHS, with responsibility for strategic planning,
      improvements and inspection. Members commented on how challenging it
      would be to achieve a collaboration across the public and private sectors.

       

    5. Other issues were raised in relation to NHS24, the call centres for which
      had been under significant pressure, with patients often left for long periods
      on the line, waiting to be directed. Members asked why there appeared to
      have been no additional recruitment to call centres. In particular, members
      considered there was a lack of clarity in how NHS24 worked with local A&E
      or Minor Injuries Units to schedule appointments.

       

    6. Councillor McGill undertook to raise these issues at the Forth Valley Health
      Board.

       

      Rockfall at Abbey Craig

    7. Councillor Thomson reported that following a rockfall at Abbey Craig,
      Stirling Council had drafted in a specialist rockfall contractor to undertake
      work to scale the rock face of Abbey Craig and remove loose material.
      Stirling Council currently awaited a plan from the contractors to bring the
      rock down safely. At the time of the meeting, the road had been closed to
      westbound traffic.

      Secretary’s Note: from 7 June the road would be closed in both directions
      for a period of 5 weeks, to allow for further essential safety repairs.

       

      Speed survey on Easter Cornton Road

    8. In a recent speed survey conducted on Easter Cornton Road, the highest
      speed recorded was 45mph, compared with speeds of 60-70mph in the
      previous survey. This demonstrated that the 20mph speed limit was largely
      effective, with the vast majority of drivers adhering to the limit. One resident
      reported drivers travelling at speed down Buchanan Drive towards Wallace
      Park, notwithstanding the 20mph limit there.

        1. Councillor Thomson reported that the owner of the disused shop in Munro
          Road planned to demolish the building. He confirmed that planning
          permission was not required for the demolition, and to date no new
          planning application to build on the site had been received by Stirling
          Council. A fence had been erected around the site. One member
          expressed concern about the demolition, in particular whether it would be
          carried out by a professional company. Stirling Council had no control over
          the demolition, but Councillor Thomson undertook to monitor
          developments, to seek to ensure that a competent firm was employed.

           

        2. Stirling Council had approved proposed legislation governing short-term
          lets including AirBnB, and was very pleased with the outcome, which had
          been based on the Edinburgh model, but the legislation had not been
          passed by the Scottish Parliament yet. In the meantime, whilst some
          planning legislation could be applied to regulate activity, it reained the case
          that many AirBnB lets were being operated illegally.

           

        3. One member reported on the AirBnB property in Beech Lane, which had
          been operating for more than 3 years. While many bookings this year had
          been for essential workmen, who posed no problem, in the past 4-5 weeks,
          bookings of groups of young people had led to loud, disruptive parties,
          counter to Covid regulations, and to which police had been called on two
          consecutive weeks. The AirBnB was a matter of ongoing concern to
          neighbouring residents.

       

  7. Any Other Business

     

    1. It was noted that Stirling Council had reduced collection of blue and green
      bins to once a month.

 

9. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting would take place by Zoom on Monday, 7 July, 2020, at 7.00pm.
Furthermeetings would take place on 8 September and 3 November.

 

The meeting closed at 8.30 pm.

 

TASB/18.06.21