July 2022 Minutes

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Causewayhead Community Council Minutes of the business meeting held on Monday, 4 July, 2022 Present: Val Sinclair, Chair; Sonja Cameron, Treasurer; Joyce Carberry, Member; Darren Draper, Co-opted Member; Fiona Macleod, Vice-Chair; Paul Mcdonald, Secretary; Sue White, Associate Member. In attendance: Thelma Barron (Resident and Minutes Secretary); Councillor Rachel Nunn, Ward 4, Stirling North; four local residents, including Councillor Jim Thomson, attending as a local resident. Apologies: PC Greig Lowery and PC Stuart Gray, Community Police Officers. 1. Welcome The Chair welcomed all attendees to the meeting, and introduced Steve Johnson, Animal Control Trading Standards and Animal Welfare. Mr Johnson had kindly agreed to address the meeting on the matter of local concerns about American Bullies in Cornton, following a serious attack on another dog in February 2022 by one of the American Bullies. 2. Address by Steve Johnson, Animal Control Trading Standards and Animal Welfare (Dog Warden) 2.1 Mr Johnson had received a number of calls from residents of Causewayhead to express concern about the American Bullies XL in Cornton, partly because of the serious attack on another dog in February, partly because of incidents involving American Bullies over the last year in Wales and Merseyside, which had led to human fatalities. 2.2 It was noted that, following the attack by one of the American Bullies on another dog, Mr Johnson had issued a dog control notice setting out conditions, in respect of the dog which made the attack, with which the owners must comply. The conditions remained confidential. However, after numerous checks, Mr Johnson considered that, for the most part, the three young men walking the American Bullies were in control of them. 2.3 Mr Johnston works within specific Acts regarding dogs; he can only enforce the law when it has been broken. American Bullies are not on the list of banned breeds, and, as there had been no further attacks since February, the particular dogs in Cornton were not considered dangerous, and therefore did not require to be muzzled. Mr Johnson had advised the owners that they should only walk two dogs at any one time, but could not enforce this advice. With the legal framework, he considered it was permissible for these dogs to be walked off the lead at the present time. 2.4 Community Councillors expressed serious doubts that one individual could control four dogs, especially when they were off the lead. It was suggested that if one dog broke away to approach a walker or another dog, the others were likely to follow, adopting pack behaviour. However, from his observations, Mr Johnson assured the Community Councillors he was confident that the dogs were responsive to recall by their owners. 2.5 There is no UK-wide law requiring dogs to be kept on a lead, but it is recommended that dogs be kept on a lead when walking by any road to prevent accidents. However, it was noted that Stirling Council is considering the possible introduction of specific local laws. [Secretary’s Note: In Scotland, currently, dogs are required to be on a lead no more than two metres long on Open Access land, even if there are no livestock around, between March and 31 July, and at other times it is recommended that dogs be kept on a lead around any livestock.] 2.6 In his role, and within the law as it stands, Mr Johnston can only respond to actual incidents. He therefore urged all residents to keep him informed of any incidents that might arise, including near misses, by ringing the Stirling Council number 404040. He was very willing to provide advice to residents. In the meantime, he was carrying out more patrols in the area, e.g. Fisherman’s Walk, with a view to reassuring local residents by his presence there. In the event that any dogs were seen to be out of control, and likely to attack another animal or person, it would be up to the Procurator Fiscal to remove them. In extremis, under the Dangerous Dogs Act, an application could be made for a dog to be destroyed. 2.7 Some Community Councillors expressed the view that there was much to be said for the old dog licensing system, advocating its re-introduction. 2.8 The Chair thanked Mr Johnston for taking the time to address the meeting, and for providing a detailed and helpful briefing. 3. Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting 3.1 The Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on 9 May 2022 were approved, having been proposed by Mr Mcdonald, seconded by Ms Sinclair. 3.2 Matters Arising Sustrans, Walk, Cycle, Live: WCLS Uni Route (M3.2.1 – 3.2.8 refers) 3.2.1 Kayleigh Webster, Project Lead, had informed the Chair that the work in Causewayhead would now be put back until mid-July. [Secretary’s Note: subsequently, the Chair was informed that there was no fixed date for commencing the work, as the Roads Department was experiencing supply issues, and was likely to be delayed until late summer.] 3.2.2 The cycle lane would run from the railway station to Dumyat Road, and then along Dunster Road. The Project Team remained keen to remove the tarmac area at Aboyne Avenue, subject to monitoring parking there. However, the Community Council queried how they could effectively monitor parking, if the work commenced before the school holidays ended. Airthrey Park (M3.2.9 refers) 3.2.3 The Reporter’s report and recommendations were with Scottish Ministers; publication was awaited. Traffic calming, Causewayhead Road and Easter Cornton Road (M 4.9-4.20 refers) 3.2.4 It was noted that Community Police Officers had targeted Causewayhead Road frequently to monitor adherence the 20mph speed limit. At this point, the majority of drivers were complying. 3.2.5 Some residents at the top end of Easter Cornton Road, (close to Causewayhead Road) complained that drivers were not adhering to the 20mph speed limit on Easter Cornton Road. However, a traffic survey had not demonstrated any significant speeding. In Riverside too, most drivers were seen to be adhering to the 20mph speed speed limit. Speeding Issues at Craigmill 3.2.6 Speeding issues on the Alloa Road in the vicinity of Craigmill continued. While we had been given to understand that the speed limit on this part of the road would be reduced to 30mph, to date this had not been implemented. However, Councillor Thomson had received notification from the Roads Department, confirming that a 30mph speed limit at Craigmill would be implemented in the current financial year. The planned extension of the 20mph speed restriction on that stretch of the Alloa road between Causewayhead and Craigmill would stop short of Craigmill. 3.2.7 Further longstanding issues were raised regarding SUSTRANS work at Craigmill, in regard to the Craigmill – Manor Powis cycle link, part of the Alloa to Stirling cycle route. These issues affected one resident in particular, through whose property and land the cycle route would pass. Issues included the proposed demolition of a 300 year old wall, the erection of a permanent 6 metre concrete wall as a flood defence, together with other legal and communication issues. The Ward Councillors were aware of the resident’s complaint, and his anger and frustration with the whole process. They advised that the matter would best be referred directly to Stirling Council Executive. Network Rail: Cornton Level Crossing (M3.2.11 refers) 3.2.8 The Chair e-mailed Network Rail for an update on the proposed conversion of the Cornton pedestrian level crossing from a diagonal to a straight pathway. There was still no timeline for completion of the work. Wallace Monument 3.2.9 The Chair continued to work with Tracey Macintosh of Events and Tourism, to promote activities that take place at the Monument. However, the question arose whether the Wallace Monument Management Committee still existed, or whether it had been superceded by the Discover Bridge of Allan Committee. It was noted that Bridge of Allan Community Council had acquired funding which had enabled them to appoint someone to promote Bridge of Allan. Wallace Park 3.2.10 Wallace Park housing estate continued to be excluded from the CityFibre rollout due to complex legal issues regarding responsibility for roads and drains, which had prevented Stirling Council from adopting the roads. However, following approaches by Stirling Council, the new CEO of Stuart Milne, the builders responsible for Wallace Park, was looking into the matter. Pilot traffic scheme at Riverside Primary School (M6.5 refers) 3.2.11 Following completion of the pilot traffic scheme at Riverside Primary School, Living Streets Scotland had now produced a report for Stirling Council. The report included the results of surveys of Riverside residents, before and after the pilot. Before the pilot a slight majority of residents supported the proposed street closures around Riverside Primary School and believed the scheme would have a positive impact. Following the trial 44% of respondents felt the scheme had made a positive impact, increasing to 51% in a follow up survey after the Easter holidays. 3.2.12 One Community Councillor, with children attending Riverside Primary School, took issue with the accuracy of the report and the basis on which the surveys were conducted, seeming to overlook the large number of parents from Causewayhead with children attending the school. He had conducted his own small survey of parents in Causewayhead, who told him that the street closures suited local residents in Riverside, but caused significant problems for those coming from outside Riverside, with the result that the parking problem was simply relocated to another area, i.e. Cambuskenneth. The issue had been exacerbated by the temporary closure of Lover’s Walk, leading to a 40-minute round trip for some Causewayhead parents. The report did not reflect these issues. 3.2.13 It was noted that the pilot scheme had been promoted by the Riverside Primary School, which had issued each child with a letter to take home. Clearly, this approach had been less than effective, with the result that significant numbers of Causewayhead parents had not been aware of the pilot scheme, and felt they had not been consulted. 3.2.14 Moreover, in line with the report’s recommendation, Riverside Community Council had asked that the scheme be extended for a longer period, to run a second pilot without stewards. 3.2.15 The Community Council urged Stirling Council to take cognizance of the various issues raised, particularly the matter of consultation of Causewayhead parents, and to convey the information to Living Streets Scotland, before permission was granted to extend the pilot scheme. New Business in former Co-op Store, Alloa Road (M4.3 refers) 3.2.16 The extension of the Flooring Company at 2 Alloa Road, to repurpose the former Co-op store as a retail outlet for furniture, soft furnishings and home accessories, was well underway; the new shop was expected to open very soon. Inner Forth Futures – local resilience plans (M4.7 refers) 3.2.17 After the Treasurer had submitted an application to participate in this project, it had become more apparent what a substantial commitment it represented. Consequently, the Chair and Treasurer had jointly decided not to proceed, on the grounds that Causewayhead Community Council had not a sufficient membership to shoulder the burden. Recyke-a-bike (M4.8 refers) 3.2.18 Darren Draper had visited Recyke-a-bike, with a view to talking to the proprietor. Unfortunately, he had not yet managed to make contact, but had left a note. Proposed demolition of former shop, Munro Avenue (M4.12 - 4.13 refers) 3.2.19 A single workman was slowly removing sections of the roof, bit by bit. It appeared that the demolition would be a lengthy process. Causewayhead and Bridge of Allan Cubs Litter Picking (M4.14 refers) 3.2.20 The Chair and Deputy Chair attended the litter picking exercise on 11 May, in Causewayhead Park. Meeting with Roads Department relating to traffic issues on Easter Cornton Road (M4.19 – 4.20 refers) 3.2.21 The two residents with concerns about traffic vibration causing significant damage to walls had hand delivered a document to Carolyn Fraser of the Roads Department, which contained data and photographic evidence in support of their claims. Although they are dealing with Stirling Council directly, nevertheless the residents wish to make a presentation to the next meeting of the Community Council. Coaches parked at the Birds and Bees (M5.1 refers) 3.2.22 Coaches parked on the roadside at the Birds and Bees were dangerously obstructing the view of drivers on Easter Cornton Road in both directions, and drivers emerging from Beech Lane. Often, two coaches are parked there at the same time. PC Greig Lowery suggested that local residents take photographs of the vehicles and sending them to the Ward Councillors with a request that action be taken to install double yellow lines on either side of the exit from Beech Lane. 4. Police Report The Chair presented the Police Report, which had been circulated to her by e-mail in advance of the meeting 4.1 The Police Report covered a total of seven crime reports from 9th May to 2nd July 2022. The seven cases included one vehicle offence, which had been detected, and six undetected cases, comprising one case of vandalism to a vehicle, one case of attempted extortion, one case of extortion, two cases of theft and one case of assault. 4.2 Over the time period, 61 calls were made to police for the Causewayhead area. 5. Councillor’s Report Councillor Nunn provided an oral report. Review of waste collection 5.1 Stirling Council would be reviewing arrangements for waste collection. One of the biggest issues arising in the current system was that sometimes particular bins were overlooked. For the future, it was proposed that the same collection officers would be assigned to empty bins in the same areas. A short-life working group would be established to confirm the full extent of the review which would include: the frequency of each waste collection stream; the garden waste charge; the costs of the waste collection service; ensuring the highest level of recycling. Audit Scotland recommend outcomes-based approach 5.2 Stirling Council had been audited by Audit Scotland, who recommended that they adopt an outcomes-based approach to planning. Councillors had received information on how their work was being realigned. This was a positive development whereby citizens would be better able to see what Stirling Council was trying to achieve, and Stirling Council would be better able to measure success. Stirling Council’s economic regeneration plan comprised seven economic priority areas. Delays to work on City infrastructure 5.3 At a full Council meeting at the end of June, it was recognised that a shortage of skills, including staff vacancies, had led to 50% of projects being delayed. In addition, cost increases meant that not all projects would be taken forward. However, vacancies were being filled, such as for example, the appointment of a new Head of Roads and Infrastructure, and two further senior staff posts in that department, which would ensure an improved approach to transport issues. Giant Hogweed 5.4 Councillor Nunn was taking forward work to address giant hogweed. The Council was spraying to eliminate it, but was only responsible for Council- owned land. She urged residents to contact Stirling Council if they saw giant hogweed that had not been sprayed and was not decaying. She had also written to Scottish Government to ask what action they were taking, and to suggest that they review their strategy for eliminating giant hogweed. It was noted that Nature Scotland were responsible for dealing with giant hogweed, but that their efforts currently tended to be focused north of Stirling, in Perthshire. SEPA also had a role to play in addressing this issue. 6. Chair’s Report The Chair provided an oral report. Planning Applications 6.1 There had been three planning applications since the last meeting: (i) 49 Chisolm Avenue – an application for a rear extension; (ii) 15 Fraser Place – an application for a single storey extension; (iii) 20 Dunvegan Drive – an application for front and rear dormers Approvals (iv) 19 Dunster Road – an application for a single storey extension to side and rear of dwelling house was approved. Stirling City Status Anniversary 6.2 Stirling would be celebrating its 20th anniversary of city status with a programme of cultural events and activities, during July, August and September, based in a variety of locations in both the city centre and surrounding area. Highlights would include the Scottish pop-rock group Texas, the traditional Scottish band Skippinish, the Bloody Scotland International Crime-writing Festival, the prestigious Scottish Album of the Year Award ceremony, special events and activities at the Tolbooth, and a two-day family festival. Food Train 6.3 Food Train was looking to undertake befriending as part of its activities, which would involve the befriender spending an hour with an individual. The time would be task orientated, for example, going for a walk or undertaking a domestic task. Grit Bins 6.4 If we wanted to acquire a grit bin(s) for the local area, we would need to apply to Stirling Council, but the provision of grit bins was subject to specific criteria. New Noticeboard 6.5 Our existing noticeboards for display of Minutes and other information were located at Causewayhead Park and at the Barnwell Statue. Both of these boards were located in the vicinity of the Causewayhead Roundabout. Community Council officers felt there was a need for a third noticeboard elsewhere, to promote communication with the community. It was suggested that a third noticeboard might be located in the children’s park on Easter Cornton Road. A quotation for building and installation of a new noticeboard had been obtained in the sum of £1221.60. It was proposed that this be funded in part from existing Community Council funds and in part through an application to Stirling Council Community Pride Fund. 6.6 The Community Council approved the proposal. Stirling Place Based Investment Programme 6.7 The Chair had received information about the Stirling Place Based Investment Programme, for which Stirling Council had been allocated the sum of £638K. Working collaboratively with local communities, businesses and third and public sector organisations, Councils were being invited to allocate funds to organisations that support shared local plans and ambitions. Accordingly, Stirling Council wished to invite notes of interest from applicants who qualified for the scheme’s criteria. The main purpose was to seek to regenerate the City Centre, for example by bringing disused shop units back into use. The criteria also allowed for the purchase of derelict land or a building, for repurposing. All projects had to be completed by March 2023. 6.8 The Community Council welcomed this initiative but concluded that the criteria were geared more towards larger organisations and that Causewayhead Community Council was too small to take on responsibility for such a project. Proposed Closure of Lovers Walk 6.9 Riverside Community Council had been approached with a proposal to close Lovers Walk to traffic permanently and pedestrianise it. As such a proposal would impact heavily on Causewayhead residents, particularly those with children at Riverside Primary School, it was important that full consultation with Causewayhead residents take place. Steel bench, Easter Cornton Road 6.10 The steel bench which had been installed on the corner of Easter Cornton Road at the intersection with Causewayhead Road continued to be well used, and those who ate there were careful to dispose of rubbish in the bin at the bus stop. It was also proving to be a favourite vantage point for tourists to take pictures of the Wallace Monument. Dog bins 6.11 As previously reported, Stirling Council would not allocate any additional bins, but rather, we had to identify existing bins for relocation. However, Kayleigh Webster had confirmed that as part of the SUSTRANS project, new bins would be located at intervals along the length of Dunster Road. 7. Schedule of Meeting Dates for 2022-23 The schedule of meeting dates for 2022-23 was as follows: Monday, 5 September, 2022; Monday, 7 November, 2022; Monday, 9 January, 2023; Monday, 6 March, 2023; Monday, 8 May, 2023; Monday, 3 July, 2023, AGM. All meetings would commence at 7.00pm in the Birds and Bees Function Room. 8. Any Other Business Overgrown hedging, Buchanan Drive 8.1 Overgrown hedging on Buchanan Drive was confirmed as the responsibility of Stuart Milne, builders. Survey of Cycle Use and Plans to Reduce Vehicle Usage 8.2 One Community Councillor asked whether there would be a survey of cycle usage by students from Stirling Station to the University, once the cycle route was complete. Councillor Nunn affirmed that a survey was underway now (albeit not specifically on students) looking at all routes and modes of transport. However, it appeared that significant numbers of students were cycling. 8.3 Councillor Nunn noted that Scotland had a legal target to reduce vehicle usage by 20% by 2030, and therefore Stirling Council needed to consider ways to help rural villages in particular through car share, buses, and park and ride, such that the alternative modes of transport were not that much more inconvenient than using a car. This was a huge project, for which Councillor Nunn had the support of an intern. In addition, Stirling Council was considering whether it could run its own bus company. Planned Relocation of Taxi Rank from Forecourt of Stirling Railway Station 8.4 It was noted that part of the redevelopment of Stirling railway station would include pedestrianisation of the current station forecourt, replacing the roundabout on Goosecroft Road with a T-junction and a new car park entrance from Burghmuir Road. Taxis would be relocated outwith the station to the City centre. 9. Date of Next Meeting The next meeting would take place on Monday 5 September, 2022, at 7.00pm in the Birds and Bees Function Room. The meeting concluded at approximately 9.00pm. TASB/VS 17.7.22