July 2021 Minutes

CROFTAMIE COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING

held on online
Wednesday 14.07.21 at 7.30 pm

 

Attendees: Peter Lloyd (PL), Donnie Watson (DW), David Armstrong (DA), Margaret Firth
(MF), Mary Dickie (MD), Cyndy Bourbousson (CB), Henry Braid (HB), CouncillorRob Davies
(RD), Councillor Jane Hutchison (JH), Willie Nisbet ( WN), Lynne McKinley(LM), (Senior
Community Development Officer from Stirling Council)

 

And 2 Residents
Apologies: Police

  1. Previous Minutes approved by DW and seconded by MD

     

  2. Police Report

    Forth and Endrick, Croftamie Community Council
    July 2021 - Compiled by PC Steven Graham

     

    Antisocial Behaviour

     

    Report of a suspicious male and a vehicle at Station House. No note of registration number
    received.

    A male and a female were found in possession of cannabis within a vehicle at Finnich Glen.
    Both issued with recorded Police warnings.

     

    Road Safety

     

    On 10th July 2 x RTCs occurred either side of Croftamie at the same time. One on A809 near
    Wayside Cottage and one at Drymen bypass. Neither were associated with serious injurie and
    2 drivers were issued with Conditional Offer of Fixed penalties for careless driving.

    The parking at Devil’s Pulpit has been given extra attention. Extra patrols in the area have
    been carried out focused on here and East Loch Lomond. Council Enforcement Officers have
    also been in attendance and issued parking tickets.

    I have carried out speed checks within the village however have been annual leave the last
    few weeks. I will carry out more in the near future.

     

    Theft

    There have been no thefts in Croftamie since the last meeting.

     

    Bogus Workmen

    Don’t deal with cold callers - find local traders who have been vetted by Trading Standards at
    https://approvedtrader.scot/

     

    Close the door on uninvited callers. Don’t feel obliged to answer the door to a cold caller - it is
    your home and you should not let anyone in unless you feel comfortable

    Take time to think before making a decision. Rogue traders may try to pressure you by saying
    that they have special deals which are only available today. Don’t let an uninvited trader start
    work straight away

     

    If an uninvited trader knocks on your door and tells you that urgent work needs done on your
    house or garden, don’t take their word for it. Always get a second opinion from someone you
    trust and get at least 3 quotes before having any work carried out.

     

    5 signposts to help you

    Close the Door on uninvited callers

    Take Time to think before making a decision
    Research - get at least 3 quotes

    Verify that the caller is genuine

    Report suspicious behaviour to @policescotland & scams to @advicedotscot

     

    Sign up for @nwatchscotland free alerts to receive timely local alerts about community safety
    & crime prevention from Police Scotland and other partners.

     

    https://www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk/sign-up-for-alerts/

     

    Rogue traders go to great lengths to appear legitimate, with genuine-looking websites, leaflets
    and online reviews. But they can’t fake membership in a council run approved trader scheme:
    https://approvedtrader.scot/

     

    Fed up with rogue traders? Watch these top tips on shutting out scammers from @
    policescotland @advicedotscot @socotss @tsscot & @nwatchscotland:

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5ivvS8gJ-E

     

    Useful Links

    Find the most up to date advice on doorstep crime from Police Scotland on the website. They
    also have a dedicated page with advice on scams and frauds.

     

    Call 101 to report any suspicious activity

     

    Call 999 and ask for the police if you feel scared or threatened

     

    To report doorstep scams to Trading Standards call Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000
    or visit scamwatch.scot

     

    For free localised alerts from key information providers regarding incidents and crime
    prevention, go to
    www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk

     

    Get advice on consumer rights from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or by calling the Advice
    Direct Scotland Helpline on 0808 164 6000

     

    Find local traders who have been vetted by Trading Standards at the SCOTSS
    Approved Trader Directory: approvedtrader.scot

     

    Bike theft

    More than 500,000 bikes are stolen in the UK each year because they’re poorly secured or not
    secured at all. More than half of all bikes stolen are taken from the owner’s property. Due to
    the lockdown bikes have become more popular and thus have become more of a target for
    theft. Help protect your bike by following these guidelines:

     

    What can I do before I set off?

    • Photograph your bike and record all of your bike’s details and distinguishing features and
      keep in a safe place. The serial number can be found on the bottom bracket.

       

    • Register your bicycle securely online at the National Cycle Database, www.bikeregister.com.

      Doing this may help to recover your bike if it goes missing. On registering, you can also
      download a bike logbook where you can record your bike’s details to keep at hand.

       

    • Security mark your bike’s frame with a UV pen or other method - the mark should include
      your home postcode and house number.

      Insure your bike, either on contents insurance or separately if required.

       

      How can I secure my bike if it’s kept in common close or stairwell?

    • Always keep your bike out of sight as best you can.

       

    • Lock your bike with two locks to a secure banister or ground anchor.

       

      What if I store my bicycle in a garage or a shed?

    • For tips on garage and shed security see here

       

      https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/home-and-personal-property/secure-your-
      garden-outbuildings/

       

    • Lock your bike with two locks to a ground anchor.

       

      How should I secure my bike and its accessories when out and about?

    • Lock your bike up every time you leave it using secure locks (i.e. D-locks or thick cable locks).

       

    • Ideally, use two different types of lock - a thief will need more tools to steal it.

       

    • Locks are considered more vulnerable when close to the ground, so keep them off the floor.

       

    • Fasten your bike through the frame and wheel to a fixed object.

       

    • Lock your bike in a busy, well-lit place, in view of people or CCTV cameras.

       

    • Lock the bike closely to the object it’s attached to so it is difficult to manoeuvre.

       

    • Lock the wheels and remove small parts / accessories that cannot be readily secured, such as
      lights, pumps, water bottles, saddles etc.

       

    • Vary your routine - lock up your bike in different ways & place.

     

    Pedal and motorbike identification forms

    The downloadable forms at the bottom of this page are a handy guide for you to record
    information about your bike or motorbike. These forms can be used as your own personal

    record about your property for the duration of time you own it. Every bike or motorbike will
    be unique to its owner through the serial/chassis/VIN numbers but these are not the only
    ways to identify your property. Modifications, stickers, repairs, damage also can be used to
    help identify your bike and the more information you record about your property throughout
    its time with you, the greater possible chance we have of reuniting you with your property if
    unfortunately lost or stolen. If you keep these forms up to date and in a place you remember,
    if you ever have to report your bike lost or stolen, you will have the perfect reference tool for
    making your report.

     

    https://www.scotland.police.uk/spa-media/d4jlfj4i/pedal-cycle-identification-form.pdf

     

    We also have bike marking kits so if anyone wishes their bike marked in order to
    try and identify it if it gets stolen then please get in touch.

    Community Engagement and Reassurance

     

    It is important to you to have community officers who you know, who are accessible and who
    address local problems

     

    PC Steven Graham is based at Balfron Police Office and can be contacted at the office, on 101,
    or at
    ForthEndrickCPT@scotland.pnn.police.uk. It is recommended that this email address is
    used by the local community for email contact.

     

    Please remember that we regularly publish useful information and updates on social media,
    including appeals for information, updates about road closures and crime prevention advice.
    Our Facebook and Twitter pages can be found at

     

    www.facebook.com/forthvalleypolicedivision
    www.facebook.com/policescotland
    www.twitter.com/stirlingpol
    www.twitter.com/policescotland

     

  3. Planning Report – MD

    No planning applications for Croftamie. An application for a single storey Nursery school
    in Drymen was submitted on 21 June.

    An appeal has been made to application at the Gun Site on Stockiemuir Road. CCC had not
    made an objection but noted concern around road safety.

     

    RSHA Croftamie – CB - A Zoom meeting was held with Ewan and Kim McKendrick from Gregor
    Cameron Contracts and Rural Stirling. One house has been removed from the application ( so
    now will be 13) and the houses have been moved forward on the hill – more towards the burn.
    Two cottage flats will be at each end. Houses will blend in with existing houses in the Village.

    The big tree on the site has got Ash dieback so the tree can be felled. Residents want privet
    hedging rather than fencing. The village have been offered a contribution towards a project
    within the village under the Section 75. CB to ask re possible budget and what this entails.

    What would we want this to be spent on? One Suggestion was help re the old Nursery
    building.

    Note was made that these houses are being built by a Housing Association and not a private
    builder.

    No timeframe given to when the houses will be built but suggested that this will be soon.

    A concern raised has been the right hand turning out of the Crescent and how dangerous this
    is on the brow of the hill, but this has been overlooked.

    Pollution in the burn is already bad. CB will bring this up at the next meeting.

     

    WN- the entrance- its possible that the Roads department objected initially but have
    withdrawn this.

    Rural Stirling are building in Callander- they are open plan area.

     

    HB asked how will houses be allocated? But no mention has been given. WN confirmed that
    the architect wont have a say in allocation but that Stirling Council points system will allocate
    and not Rural Stirling. RD confirmed this was the case.

    Will there be a local needs consideration- JH will find the doc re allocation of housing and send
    it out. ( see appendix attached).

    DW – there is no public transport so residents will have to be able to drive.

     

  4. Roads Update – DW. 26th to 30th of July- road closure at A809. From 8am to 6pm. From
    Finnich Toll to Carbeth- around Queens View.

    Gartness Potts has been re-tarmaced.

     

  5. Treasurer Update – DA

    Balance of account is £ 2,230.31. Zoom fees to be paid for last 4 months- 57.56, Paint for
    bus stops £18.94 and Minute taker at £170.

    Smart meter has been installed but a complaint has been submitted to SSE as they say that
    we owe £14.51 which has been paid but also that from now on they won’t waive the

    quarterly fees for the months that we don’t use the electricity like they used to do.
    Battery pack could be bought and used for the lights.

     

  6. Stirling Council Update – Councilor RD/ JH.

    JH- speeding through villages has been common theme of conversions in the past few
    weeks. Jane trying to set up Traffic surveys Kippen, Balfron and Drymen.

    Fintry bridge fix is still being actioned and plans have been made as to what needs to be
    done. Unlikely to be fixed by Autumn.

     

    RD- vote of no confidence held within the Council but this failed. Alistair Berrill was voted
    onto National Park Board to replace the late Graham Lambie. Strathendrick Care Home –
    AB has raised a point that concern the Council hasn’t taken into account local feeling but
    this will be closing.

    Bin collection – there was a briefing today. Sunday is the busiest day for traffic-
    particularly on Rowardennan Road. Meeting to discuss schedule to be arranged.

    Grey and Blue bin going to once a month. Half of houses (18,500) have paid the £35 for
    collection of Brown bin.

    There are online Waste services meetings which we can attend – MF will attend and
    circulate the dates. (17th and 30th July)

     

    WN- confirmed that a review was offered previously but this has not been done. Bin days
    affect not just traffic chaos but there have been instances of tourists putting rubbish in
    bins that are out for collection that is rejected by Council collection the next day.

    WN- asked about A811 and the single traffic at the Endrick. RD has not had any update.
    JH has asked for an update. Concern that the single lane will become compromised.

    BRIDGES- concern about the Fintry traffic that has been diverted around Honey Holm
    Farm and large loads are ignoring the restrictions.

    PL – there is no traffic calming in our village. PL- last Aug we were asked where we would
    like the surveys and two locations given but have heard nothing.

     

  7. LL&TNP -WN

    Board hoped to meet in September in person but this may not happen as meetings have to
    be held in public. Logistical issues in allowing public access to the buildings.

    Coronavirus legislation will end in Sept. Next meeting after this one will be Dec 21.
    Planning committee is also a public meeting.

    PL confirmed that Stirling Council’s view is a recorded meeting which can then be posted
    on a public forum can be classed as a public meeting.

    Virtual meetings are more popular than physical meetings.
    Staff are still not back in the Building but are meeting virtually.

     

    Delighted to hear that Alistair Berrill has been appointed to National Park Board.
    Board members hope to meet soon to allow 3 new Members to meet other members in
    person.

    WN congratulated JH on her election.

     

    WN- thanked PL for his contribution over the years, now that he is moving from the Area
    and stepping down as Chairperson of the Community Council WN confirmed that PL has
    done a great job for Croftamie over the years and thanked him.

     

  8. Outstanding points from last meeting

    Participation Request 20-21-002 (Pavements ) &20-21-003 (speeding in Village)- these have
    been approved. PL said that the process is, that there is an acknowledgement that there is a need
    in the acceptance of the Request. No need for further surveys to be done.

     

    LM (Senior Community Development Officer from Stirling Council) Now that there has been an
    acceptance from CCC there will be a meeting with the Council reps and the National Park Officers.
    Lynne will ask in a week if contact has been made.

    MF has walked the pavements in the past with Officers and nothing has been done. Lynne will
    take MF contact details.

    Q re the process and will the Community be given the option to feedback on the suggestions in
    how to fix and the answer was yes. Budgets will be considered.

     

    The Request falls into the Empowerment Act- options to consider will be brought.

    RD- Corporate enquiry can be submitted to speed up the process but Lynne has apologised for
    the delay in the request and officers can meet with Councillors outwith the monthly meetings to
    move things on.

     

    CCC – Co-option Member – C Bourbousson. 14 days notice is to be given that PL is standing
    down and then CB can be co-opted on to Community Council.

    We can have associate members- leaflets were taken round Dalnair to advertise that we can
    take on an associate. They can be a Voice in the village and can co-opted for particular projects.

    PL will give notice in the next week.

     

    Change of roles within CCC- we can vote in the new Chairperson at the September meeting.

    Litter pick – 10.7.21 Big thank you to those who attended and to the But & Ben for supplying
    refreshments.

     

  9. Correspondence Received . Dates for Waste services meetings

     

  10. Any Other Business – A young person in the Village has suggested as a Project for his
    Bronze Duke of Edinburgh that he painted the Bus Shelters – CCC Supplied paint. Q- Can
    we get parents permission for him to be in Social Media. MF to confirm. Shelters are
    important for the Walkers and a good resting point. The community hut is also needing a
    bit of work before painting on it can be done.

HB- looked into the cost of a pop up police officer – police have said there is a coy in
Kirkcaldy but the cost is £530 for two.

DW and HB -concern re ambulance response time when recently a tourist took unwell and
sadly died in Drymen. Air ambulance had been dispatched but there were varying
rumours that the ambulance arrived in 20 mins versus it took two hours.

 

Peter Lloyd – our Chairperson is leaving the village and many kind words were given to
Peter for his work and service to the Community Council in his 5 years.

MF- thank you to PL for service to the village and friendship and you will be missed. All
the best.

MD- thank you for all you have done for Croftamie and we are sad you are leaving
RD- thank you PL. Much missed. Wish you all well for the future.

WN- thank you to PL.

PL thanked the Councillors who all do a sterling job.

PL thanked everyone for their support and how he felt welcomed into the community. He
is sorry that he is leaving.

 

LM from Stirling Councill added that folk giving their time to support their communities is
much appreciated.

 

No meeting to be held in August.

 

Confirmation of next Meeting – 8th September 2021

commencing at 7.30 pm online.

Appendix

 

Stirling Council Housing
Allocation policy

 

 

 

1.

  1. Purpose of Briefing

    1. This briefing gives an update on the implementation of the Housing Allocation
      Policy approved by the Environment and Housing Committee in November 2019.

    2. It provides an update on the implementation of the Policy as well as an overview of
      the changes and anticipated impact of the Policy to allow members to support their
      constituents.

  2. Background

    1. A new Allocations Policy was approved by Environment and Housing Committee in
      November 2019. The new Policy makes significant changes to the existing policy, a
      brief overview of these changes being:

       

      • introducing a groups plus points system

      • ensuring compliance with changes in legislation, statutory guidance
        and good practice

      • prioritising reasonable preference groups in terms of the new allocations
        guidance

      • introducing a limit to the number of refusals allowed

      • introducing flexibility to allocate 1 or 2 bedroom properties to single people

      • taking home ownership into consideration

      • supporting the delivery of the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan in Stirling

      • updating the definition and priority accorded to unsatisfactory housing
        conditions

      • revising the points system

         

    2. When approving the new Policy, Committee also agreed that part of the new policy

      – to allow single people to be allocated one and two bedroom properties - would be
      implemented as soon as practicable. This was implemented in May 2021.

    3. Work to implement the remainder of the Allocations Policy has continued since
      then with our ICT provider Northgate being brought in to assist given the
      complexity and extensive nature of the changes required to our IT system.

       

  3. Considerations and Key Issues

    1. Update on Implementation

          1. Work to implement the Housing Allocations Policy is almost complete and we will
            start to allocate Council housing using the new Policy from Monday 28 June. We
            had originally anticipated implementing the policy within 12 months of it being
            approved by Committee. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant
            impact on the Allocations team’s ability to deliver this policy while also continuing
            to deliver an essential service to ensure that those in the most housing need were
            housed. All procedures used by the Allocations team had to be revised during this

            period, and new ways of working were more resource intensive than they would
            otherwise have been.

             

          2. The most recent work on the implementation of the Policy has been around
            collecting new information from existing, non-homeless applicants so that their
            housing need could be assessed. We wrote to all 3,660 applicants on our housing
            list on up to three occasions asking them to provide this additional information.
            The letters that were sent included a form to provide this information to us, a pre-
            paid return envelope and a FAQ giving information on the new Policy. In addition
            to this, information on this exercise was conveyed on the Council’s website, on
            social media and in the Stirling Observer. The first letter was sent to applicants on 6
            April, and applicants have had 11 weeks to respond.

             

          3. This exercise also served as a review of applicants on our housing list (this is
            normally carried out annually), and we advised applicants that if they failed to
            return the information, their application would be cancelled. We will reinstate
            these applications if an applicant gets in touch with us within the next 12 months
            and provides the additional information that has been requested. This exercise did
            not impact any of the circa 600 households that have been assessed as homeless by
            the Council’s Housing Options team who will remain on the homeless list without
            the need for any additional information to be provided.

             

          4. Applicants who have provided the information required will be written to shortly
            to advise them of the level of points they have under the new Policy and the
            Allocations group that they will be placed in. We are also arranging for
            communications to be sent out on social media advising of the change to our Policy
            from 28 June, and directing people to the Council’s website for further information.
            The website is in the process of being updated with information on the new Policy
            and this will be completed by the time the Policy goes live.

       

    2. Overview of Changes and Likely Impact

       

          1. The new Housing Allocations Policy makes substantial changes to the way that we
            allocate housing. The main changes are summarised below. Included in the email
            with this briefing is also the new Applicants Guide which summarises the new
            process in more detail, and provides answers to commonly asked questions.
            Groups Plus Points System and Quotas

             

          2. The Allocations Policy introduces what is commonly known as a groups plus points
            system. This means that everyone on the housing list will be placed into one of four
            groups – strategic, homeless, waiting and transfer. People in the waiting and
            transfer groups will be awarded points depending on their housing need and
            people in the homeless and strategic groups will be prioritised in date order. We
            will then allocate a percentage of properties every year to each group known as a
            quota. Our quotas for each group are: Homeless 50%; Transfer 30%; Waiting 15%;
            Strategic 5%.

             

          3. The quotas for each group are set in the Allocations Policy and there is a 5% leeway
            with each quota to allow us to be flexible to meet local needs. The high percentage
            of lets to transfer applicants is intended to increase turnover in the area so we have

            more properties to meet people’s needs, and also support the delivery of the Rapid
            Rehousing Transition Plan

             

          4. The strategic group is intended for those with a high level of housing need, and will
            be used to ensure looked after and accommodated children, Housing First
            applicants and other groups with high housing needs are given appropriate priority
            on the housing list.

             

            Suspension from the Housing List Changes

             

          5. There are two major changes to the brought in by the new Policy which relate to
            suspensions from the Housing list. The first is that home owners will be suspended
            from being made offers of housing. There are exceptions to this if a home owner
            cannot access their property, if occupying their property would lead to abuse or if
            occupying their property would endanger their health.

             

          6. The second change is that applicants for housing on the waiting, transfer and
            strategic lists will be suspended from the housing list for 12 months if they refuse
            two reasonable offers of housing. A reasonable offer is one that has the number of
            bedrooms required by the family, and meets the choice of areas and property type
            chosen by the applicant. Any refusals of offers made prior to the introduction on
            the new policy will not be counted as one of the two reasonable offers.

             

          7. Applicants can appeal any decision made about their application for housing,
            including whether or not an offer was reasonable or not. The new Policy formalises
            the appeal process and includes timescales for dealing with and responding to any
            appeals.

             

            Changes to the Points System

             

          8. The circumstances that points are awarded to applicants on the waiting and
            transfer groups have been changed in the new Policy. Some of the changes are in
            response to legislative changes to reasonable preference groups (these are groups
            that legally we have to give preference to in the Allocations Policy) and others are
            update our definition and priority awarded to unsatisfactory housing conditions.

             

          9. The views of tenants and applicants were used in developing the revised points
            awards, and more information on the results of the Allocations Consultation can be
            found in a report on our website:
            https://stirling.gov.uk/media/22981/council-
            housing-2019-consultation-report-final.pdf

             

          10. To summarise the points changes:

             

            1. A new point category was introduced for victims of domestic abuse to
              provide an alternative option to homelessness.

            2. The level of under-occupancy points awarded to social tenants was
              increased to reflect this group being made a reasonable preference group in
              the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014.

            3. The level of points awarded to applicants who are living in poor quality
              housing/housing below the tolerable standard has been increased.

            4. The level of points awarded to people with a medical need to move has been
              increased.

            5. People in insecure accommodation will receive more points to try and
              prevent homelessness.

            6. Social inclusion points have been split, with a high and low award. A low
              award is made if someone either lives in an area or has relatives living in an
              area. A high award is made if there is a need to move to an area for caring,
              education or employment reasons.

              Likely Impact on Existing Applicants

          11. It is difficult to predict exactly how the Allocations Policy changes will impact on
            individual applicants. When modelling options during the development of the
            Policy, the option which was ultimately chosen as our new Policy had the least
            impact on existing applicants. However, there will always be an impact on certain
            groups when changing an Allocations Policy. Based on the Policy changes and
            modelling work carried out during the development of the policy, we anticipate
            that:

             

            • Homeless applicant’s position on the homeless list will be unchanged as
              this continues to be prioritised in date order.

            • Homeless applicants will no longer be able to have a waiting list
              application in addition to being on the homeless list.

            • People with high levels of medical priority and who are living in
              properties below the tolerable standard will see their position on the
              housing list increase.

            • The percentage of lets to applicants on the transfer list will be
              considerably increased. In previous years, less than 10% of lets have
              went to transfer applicants, while under the new Policy the quota for this
              group is set at 30%. This is likely to mean that existing Council tenants
              are allocated over 100 properties each year.

             

          12. The Allocations Policy is scheduled to be reviewed after 12 months of operation,
            with an analysis of how it is working brought to both the Housing Advisory Group
            and Committee for discussion. This is likely to be brought to the Environment and
            Housing Committee after the summer recess in 2022.

       

  4. Resource / Risk Implications

    1. The work required to implement the Housing Allocations Policy has from the
      beginning of May reduced the resources available within the Allocations team to let
      properties. There may be an increase in re-let times in June and July due to this,
      though the time taken to re-let properties in May was not impacted.

  5. Other Policy Implications / Equalities Impact

    1. The existing Allocations Policy will continue to be used when allocating Council
      properties until the new Policy is implemented.

    2. An Equalities Impact Assessment was completed prior to the Policy being approved
      by Committee in November 2019.

  6. Background Papers

    1. Allocations Policy – Environment and Housing Committee, 14 November 2019

Key Priorities:

C - We will create more affordable & social
housing in all Stirling's communities. We
will lead by example as an organisation in
setting exceptional standards in building ,
environmental and employer practice,
tenant relations & homelessness
prevention

Key Priority Considerations:

 

Stirling Plan Priority Outcomes:
(Local Outcomes Improvement Plan)

Resilient - People are part of safe and
caring communities within an attractive and
sustainable environment