December 2023 Minutes

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Causewayhead Community Council
FINAL Minutes of the Meeting held at 7pm
on Monday 4th December 2023
Valerie Sinclair (Chair), Fiona Macleod (Vice-Chair), Stuart Wilson (Secretary), Joyce Carberry, Darren Draper, Amy Britton (Co-opted Member)
In Attendance:
Councillor Susan McGill (SNP), Esther Lim (Minute Taker)
Isobel Jackson, Sonja Ross (Treasurer), Susan White
7 residents were in attendance
Welcome & Apologies
The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and gave the apologies.
Adoption of Minutes
The unconfirmed minutes of the meeting held on 2nd October 2023 were approved having been proposed by Joyce Carberry and seconded by Darren Draper.
Matters Arising
Former Johal Convenience Store
An application for the demolition of the former convenience store was made in October 2023. In response to an enquiry by the Chair, Valerie Sinclair (VS), Stirling Council (SC) has informed the Causewayhead Community Council (CCC) that they have submitted a number of questions to the owner, to which he has yet to respond. The application will be held open for 9 months after which it will be shut down if progress on these issues has not been made. The council has confirmed that nothing further can be done at this stage.
Members discussed possible approaches such as speaking to the owner directly, sending an official letter from the CCC or local residents contacting the owner together.
Safety Issues – Hillfoots Road
Since the last CCC meeting, there had been another accident on this stretch of road near the Wallace Monument in which a car drove through a wall. Councillor Jim Thomson has contacted the relevant department requesting an urgent review.
Sustrans – Residents’ Concerns
Following Councillor Jim Thomson’s walkabout with Craig Brown, the Sustrans Project Manager, to discuss residents’ ongoing concerns, VS submitted a further enquiry to SC detailing these concerns and requesting an update and a completion date. She is still awaiting a reply.
It was noted that the Dunster Road islands have not been finished and that Mo-Lawn, who have been awarded the contract to maintain the islands, are still awaiting instructions from SC. It was also noted that the road has narrowed to such an extent that lorries are forced to drive over the islands. It was noted that the works are likely to shut down for 2 weeks over the Christmas period.
Co-option of Amy Britton
The Chair expressed her delight that, following a 14-day notice period, Amy Britton (AB) has been co-opted onto the Causewayhead Community Council.
Police Report
The Chair requested a police report for this meeting but none was provided.
Councillor’s Report
The councillor’s report was presented by Councillor Susan McGill (SM).
SM confirmed that the budget deficit and the difficult decisions on cost cutting continue to be the major issue facing the council at this time.
SM informed the council that the Provost had resigned and there will be a by-election in January 2024.
Chair’s Report
Planning Applications
There has been one planning application since the last meeting:

A two-level extension to a dwellinghouse at 132 Causewayhead Rd.
Repairs to Play Equipment
These have now been completed.
Remembrance Day
VS and Fiona Macleod (FM) attended the Remembrance Day service which was very well attended. They noted that the crocheted poppies were a lovely touch. It is not known who provided these.
Post Office Closures
The Chair raised concern at the number of times the post office in the Causeway Co-op is closed during opening hours. This appears to be a problem across the Stirling area and is due to high staff turnover and the time it takes to train new
staff. Councillor Jim Thomson has been in contact with Evelyn Tweed MSP who is looking into this. VS suggested submitting a freedom of information request to determine how often the post office is actually closed.
Stirling Pollinator Strategy / Treelink
In October Stuart Wilson (SB), AB and VS attended an information session run by Treelink which aims to identify areas of open space and grass areas which can be left to naturalise or planted to increase biodiversity. 6 locations across Stirling participated in a pilot pollinator programme in 2021 and a further 28 sites were adopted this year. Planting in one of the first areas to be planted in Causewayhead – along the river by the Rugby Club – is due to start on 19th January 2024. Treelink are aware of the flooding issues here and will plant accordingly. The CCC may be able to apply for a Pride Grant for c. £1500 for additional planting in other areas of Causewayhead.
Causewayhead Community Council (CCC) Website
The CCC discussed applying for money under the Pride Grant to set up a CCC Website. They discussed finding someone within the area who could set up and maintain the site. The ongoing maintenance would involve uploading meeting minutes and other relevant information and is not expected to take much time. A small fee could be paid for this from the admin grant. Members suggested contacting the IT department at Wallace High School to see if they would be interested in helping or alternatively asking for a member of the community to volunteer. AB agreed to contact the IT department at Wallace High School. [Action: Amy Britton]
Treasurer’s Report
There was no treasurer’s report for this meeting as the treasurer was unable to attend. The balance of funds is currently £6,066.61.
Any Other Business
Give-Way Signage / Change in Priority
A member of the public living at the corner of Castle Road and Easter Cornton Road expressed concern at the number of cars going through the junction without stopping to give way. She stressed the need for clear signage informing drivers to give way to prevent a serious accident occurring. She was particularly concerned about the risk to children. Signs alerting drivers to a change in priority that were put in place at the time of the road works have now been removed.
The resident was informed by workmen that there is no statutory requirement to provide ‘Give Way’ signs because this is a 20mph zone. Members of the public and the CCC agreed that an exception should be make in this case, as this is a high-traffic area near to a school. VS raised this concern with SC following Councillor Thompson’s walkabout with Craig Brown and is still awaiting a response. Councillor Susan McGill agreed to discuss the issue with Jim Thompson and to raise it again with SC. [Action: Councillor McGill]
There was considerable discussion, during which the following points were raised:

The turning curve is too narrow on some of the roads.

The road outside the veterinary surgery is too narrow but the council claims this is within legal limits.

Many of the changes which are the focus of current concerns were never discussed in the original proposal.
Rubbish, Easter Cornton Road
The owners of the Old Police House at 1 Easter Cornton Rd expressed their frustration at the large amount of rubbish and bottles which are being left in and around their property since the installation of a bench backing onto their garden. It was agreed that much of the rubbish is probably being left by school children. The Chair agreed to contact the school regarding this. [Action: Valerie Sinclair]
It was noted that a bin in that area had been removed by the council. Members were of the opinion that the removal was due to rationalisation and the council would be reluctant to install a new bin without removing another less-used bin. VS agreed to put in a request to SC that the bins be reviewed and a bin be installed near the bench. [Action: Valerie Sinclair]
The C30 Bus Service
In answer to a question from a member of the public, Councillor McGill confirmed that no decision had been made to stop the C38 Bus service. She reminded attendees that, following on from the Big Conversation, decisions regarding cuts will be made in February 2024. She confirmed that the school bus will continue as provision of school transport is statutory.
American Bulldogs
VS raised concern with Councillor McGill that new legislation being introduced in England regarding American Bulldogs is not being implemented in Scotland. She expressed concern that this would cause an increase in numbers in Scotland. She expressed disappointment that the Scottish Government has only committed to monitoring the situation. She pointed out that there have been 23 deaths throughout the country as a result of American Bulldog attacks since 2021.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place at 7pm on Monday 2nd February 2024 in the Function Room of the Birds & Bees, Easter Cornton Road, Stirling, FK9 5BP.