May 2022

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Causewayhead Community Council Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, 9 May, 2022

 

 

Present:


 

Val Sinclair, Chair;

Joyce Carberry, Member;

Darren Draper, Co-opted Member; Fiona Macleod, Vice-Chair;

Bill McLellan, Member;

Sue White, Associate Member.

 

In attendance:

Thelma Barron (Resident and Minutes Secretary); Councillor Susan McGill, Ward 4, Stirling North; one local resident

Apologies:

PC Greig Lowery and PC Stuart Gray, Community Police Officers.

1. Welcome

The Chair welcomed all attendees to the meeting.

2. Police Report

The Chair presented the Police Report, which had been circulated to her by e-mail in advance of the meeting

2.1 The Police Report covered a total of seven crime reports from 7 th March to 9th May 2022. The seven cases included four vehicle offences, comprising three cases of failing to report an accident, and one insurance offence, together with one theft, one theft involving housebreaking, and one case of sexual assault.

2.2 Over the time period, 64 calls were made to police relating to the Causewayhead area.

2.3 PC Lowery had informed the Chair that he and PC Gray were continuing to monitor speeding on Causewayhead Road.

2.4 Community Councillors expressed the view that there was a need to improve signage, particularly coming off the Alloa Road onto the Causewayhead Roundabout. The Alloa Road speed limit was still 40mph, though it would shortly be reducing to 30mph at the Craigmill section; the speed limit coming towards the roundabout was 30mph, but it seemed not all drivers were aware of the further reduced speed of 20mh, coming onto Causewayhead Road.

2.5 The further point was made that, on Airthrey Road on the approach to Wallace High School, foliage was obscuring the 20mph speed limit.

 

2.6 With regard to the format and structure of the Police Report, on which comment had previously been invited, the Community Council considered that it would be helpful to have greater contextual detail about crimes, whilst appreciating the sensitivity of particular cases.

3. Adoption of Minutes of Previous Meeting

 

3.1 The Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held on7 March, 2022 were approved, subject to amendment of M4.2 to replace ‘resented’ with ‘presented’, having been proposed for adoption by Val Sinclair, seconded by Fiona Macleod.

3.2 Matters Arising

Sustrans, Walk, Cycle, Live: WCLS Uni Route (M4.2 – 4.8 refers)

3.2.1 The Chair reported that she had had a meeting with Kayleigh Webster, Project Lead. The work that had been due to start on Airthrey Road in March and on Causewayhead Road in July and August, would now be commencing in June. The contract for the work had been awarded to Hillhouse Quarries. In discussion, one member raised a serious concern about the impact of noise on school pupils at Wallace High School who would still be sitting exams.

3.2.2 Sustrans was of the view that the area of tarmac at the bottom of Aboyne Avenue should be removed. The Chair had sought the views of residents there, but none had expressed a strong view either way. Ms. Webster had informed the Chair that Hillhouse would use that area to store their equipment, while the work was being carried out, and thereafter it would be evaluated to determine whether the tarmac should be removed.

3.2.3 A notice had been placed in the Stirling Observer regarding work to construct speed tables on Dunster Road. On behalf of the Community Council, the Chair had circulated a notice to residents of Dunster Road, with the same information that had been contained in the Stirling Observer notice, including the deadline for objections. Further notices would be circulated to residents at the intersection with Dunster Road, in Airthrey, Cleuch, Castle, Dumyat and Marlborough Roads. This same notice would be placed on the public notice boards. Community Councillors considered that Sustrans had not taken adequate steps to alert the local residents of the impending work.

3.2.4 The speed tables would most likely be positioned at the junctions of the various roads with Dunster Road, but one member expressed concern that the position of the speed tables could lead to water retention.

3.2.5 Members also expressed deep concern about the proposed extension of bus stops further out into the road, particularly in the case of the bus stop at the top end of Causewayhead Road, just before the Causewayhead roundabout. Extensions here, which would prevent traffic overtaking, would inevitably lead to traffic backing up, at the roundabout and beyond, particularly at peak times.

 

3.2.6 It was noted that the Chair and Councillor Thomson had each pressed the Roads Department for double yellow lines to be drawn at the top of Easter Cornton Road at the junction with Causewayhead Road to prevent problem parking on either side of the road.

3.2.7 Members also noted that under the plan, Dunster Road would be closed for entry from Airthrey Road. Stirling Council have applied to make it exit only.

3.2.8 In conclusion, members expressed concern that plans to date seemed to reflect a lack of joined up thinking between Sustrans and Stirling Council. They suggested that there was a real need to think about the nature of Stirling, as an ancient city, with narrow roads, and the volume of traffic at peak times, including school peak times .

 

Airthrey Park (M4.10 refers)

3.2.9 The Reporter had submitted his report on 17 March. Associate Member, Duncan McDougall thought it likely that consideration of it by the Minister had been delayed by the local Council elections.

Pilot traffic scheme at Riverside Primary School (M6.5 refers)

3.2.10 The pilot traffic scheme at Riverside Primary School had now been completed and appeared to have gone well. A formal evaluation was yet to be done.

Cornton Level Crossing (M3.2.4 refers)

3.2.11 There was no further update from Network Rail at this time on converting the crossing from a diagonal pathway to a straight one.

AirBnB, Beech Lane (M2.7 refers)

3.2.12 A disturbing incident had occurred at the end of March, when workmen arrived for a week-long stay with three long wheelbase vans. There is a single parking space allocated for AirBnB residents, and these large vans caused chaos, taking up the parking spaces of several other residents, at different times. One resident tried to address the issue with one of the workmen, and was met with threatening and abusive behaviour. Another resident, who had put a note on the windscreen of one of the vans, to the effect that they were in her parking space, had to deal with a workman coming to her door at 5.00am. The former resident contacted the Community Police, but was subsequently advised that s/he should have rung 101, advice which had been noted for the future.The Chair advised that Beech Lane residents should get together and take these issues up directly with the owners of the AirBnB house.

Secretary’s Note:

The new Scottish Government legislation for the regulation of short-term lets in Scotland came into force on 1 March 2022, comprising the Licensing Order and Control Area Amendment Regulations. Local authorities have until 1 October 2022 to establish a licensing scheme and existing hosts have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a license. The final deadline for all hosts and operators to have a license is 1 July 2024.

 

4. Chair’s Report

The Chair provided an oral report.

Planning Applications

4.1 There had been five planning applications since the last meeting:

(i) 19 Dunster Road – an application for a single storey extension to side and rear of dwelling house;

(ii) 13 Causewayhead Road – an application for change of use from existing bed and breakfast property to student accommodation;

(iii) The Barbers, 7 Causewayhead Road – an application for change of use from Class 1 Barbers to Class 9 Domestic;

(iv) Garden ground north of 40 Castle Road – an application for the erection of a dwelling house had been approved.

Closure of Bay Tree Flowers

4.2 The Florist’s, Bay Tree Flowers, at 13 Alloa Road, would be closing in September, and the business moving to Alloa. However, deliveries would continue to be made to this area. Unfortunately, lack of footfall due to the pandemic, temporary closure of Alloa Road, and closure of the Co-op store there, had impacted heavily on the business.

New business in former Co-op Store, Alloa Road

4.3 The proprietor of The Flooring Company at 2 Alloa Road was taking over the former Co-op store across the road, to sell furniture, soft furnishings and home accessories.

Covid Recovery Survey

4.5 The Chair had circulated to members a Covid Recovery Survey for completion.

Wellbeing Scotland recruiting befrienders

4.6 Wellbeing Scotland, a voluntary organisation based in Alloa, was looking to recruit volunteer befrienders. Volunteers work through neighbourhood networks, supporting individuals and families whose life experiences have impacted negatively on their wellbeing. Further information and contact details are available from wellbeingscotland.org.

Inner Forth Futures – local resilience plans

4.7 Inner Forth Futures were looking for expressions of interest to develop a local resilience plan, addressing such issues as climate change and protecting our heritage. The delivery phase would be 2023 – 2026. However, the deadline for application was Wednesday 11 May, which allowed for little or no consideration, and it was unclear by what mechanism the plan would be developed. In the circumstances, it was agreed not to pursue the matter.

Secretary’s Note: Following the meeting, the deadline for application was extended by one week, and the Chair and Treasurer submitted an application.

Recyke-a-bike

4.8 Recyke -a-bike had contacted the Chair to ask if any members were interested in participating in any projects in Causewayhead, such as repairing bikes, joining

 

workshops, employment (leading to HND), teaching people to ride a bike, or attending evening classes. Darren Draper agreed to explore what other areas do, and to report back to the Chair. [ Action: Darren Draper]

Cambuskenneth Nature and Environment Group

4.9 Cambuskenneth Nature and Environment Group, a sub-group of the Community Council, had complained to Councillor Thomson regarding the delayed delivery of the cycle link to Manor Powis, and that Cambuskenneth was poorly served by public transport. Councillor Thomson and then local election candidate Rachel Nunn had replied, explaining that the whole Sustrans project had been delayed by the pandemic, and issues relating to Network Rail. In discussion, it was suggested that the Causewayhead project might usefully have been extended to include Cambuskenneth, and that the Sustrans project should have been underpinned by more detailed analysis of numbers walking or cycling to school and elsewhere, especially as bus fares had increased by 25%. It was noted that local cyclists tended to go through Cambuskenneth as a quicker and easier route into town.

All Under One Banner, Stirling

4.10 The ‘All Under One Banner’ Independence march would take place on Saturday 25 June, 2022, 12.30pm – 4.00pm, starting from the old Stirling Bridge.

Temporary Closure of Dunvegan Drive

4.11 The footpath on both sides of Dunvegan Drive would be closed, and roadside parking suspended, from 8.00am to 5.00pm from 17 – 29 May 2022, to facilitate footway upgrading works. An alternative route will be provided using the opposite footway.

Proposed demolition of former shop, Munro Avenue, and rebuild

4.12 There was nothing further to report at the present time.

Secretary’s Note: Shortly following the meeting of the Community Council, the Chair learned that a pre-planning application had been rejected. It was understood the proposed demolition would proceed.

4.13 In discussion, one member made the point that after demolition of the former shop, this would be a brownfield, i.e., a commercial, site, and that an application for change of use would be required to build a house or houses there.

Causewayhead and Bridge of Allan Cubs Litter Picking

4.14 The Causewayhead and Bridge of Allan Cubs would be undertaking a litter picking exercise on Wednesday 11 May, in Causewayhead Park and around the Barnwell Monument. The Chair and Deputy Chair would attend.

Dangerous Dogs

4.15 At the previous meeting, the Community Police Officers had reported that the Dog Warden had received two complaints regarding two American Bullies XL, residing in Cornton, but being walked regularly in Cornton, by the river, and in the Bridge of Allan/ Causewayhead area, including the cycle lane from Causewayhead to Bridge of Allan. One of the dogs had attacked two other dogs being walked in the Cornton area, one of which had sustained severe and extensive wounds requiring 40 stitches. Community Councillors noted that American Bullies are not a banned breed.

 

4.16 The Dog Warden had issued a dog control notice to the owners, who were said to be cooperating with the conditions. The Community Council did not know what the conditions were, but the dog control notice still permitted the dogs to be walked off the lead, and did not require them to wear muzzles. In addition, under the dog control notice, the owners were permitted to breed two litters a year.

4.17 In the meantime, it was understood at least one further attack had taken place; local dogwalkers were extremely fearful and were changing their routes, or indeed not going out at all. Councillor Dodds and Councillor Thomson were liaising over the matter, and the Enforcement Team had undertaken to send out extra patrols.

4.18 In the meantime, residents and dog-owners would need to be extremely vigilant, and report any issues to the Dog Warden/ and/or the Police.

Meeting with Roads Department relating to traffic issues on Easter Cornton Road

4.19 The Chair had attended a meeting between the Roads Department and Councillor Thomson, with two residents at the top end of Easter Cornton Road (close to Causewayhead Road) who maintained that vibration from traffic was causing significant damage to walls, including cracks and harling falling off. This had been a long running issue, first raised at the Community Council in 2018. The matter had been referred from the Community Council to Stirling Council Roads Department, who had installed a speed plate as a traffic calming measure. In addition, a survey of traffic was conducted at the time, when the speed limit was still 30mph, which had not demonstrated a problem with speeding.

4.20 The residents were now of the opinion that increased traffic, particularly heavy vehicles such as lorries, and buses, travelling at excessive speed over the speed plate, was leading to increased vibration and causing damage to their houses. They wished the speed plate to be removed, and traffic calming measures introduced along the whole of Easter Cornton Road. The response of the Roads Department was awaited.

5. Any Other Business

 

7.1 Coaches parked at the Birds and Bees

One member raised the issue of coaches parked on the roadside at the Birds and Bees, which were dangerously obstructing the view of drivers on Easter Cornton Road in both directions. It was suggested that they be asked to park in front of the children’s park which would be preferable to the present situation. [Action: ?]

 

Vote of Thanks

7.2 Special thanks were due to Ms Carberry for her dedicated planting up and ongoing care of planters, and to Mr. Stewart Todd, who had helped Ms. Carberry remove old planters from Alloa Road and take them to the tip.

Vandalism at Memorial Park

7.3 Unfortunately, vandals had pulled out plants from the Memorial Park, which Ms Carberry had planted on behalf of the Community Council.

 

8. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting, which would be the AGM, would take place on Monday 4 July, 2022, at 7.00pm in the Birds and Bees Function Room.

TASB/ 13.5.22