March 2021 Minutes

CROFTAMIE COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING

Wednesday 10.03.21 at 7.30 pm

 

Attendees: Peter Lloyd (PL), Margaret Firth (MF), Alistair Berrill(AB), Willie Nisbet (WN), Mary
Dickie ( MD), David Armstrong (DA), Henry Braid (HB)

4 local residents

  1. Apologies - Donnie Watson, Rob Davies, Police.

     

    PL paid tribute to Graham Lambie and was sad to hear of his passing. Our thoughts are with
    his family and friends. And this was echoed round the attendees. Graham
    presence/attendance was always welcome at a variety of Community events over the past 10
    years +

     

  2. Previous Minutes Approved MD- Seconded MF

     

  3. Police Report

    March 2021 - Compiled by PC Steven Graham

    Antisocial Behaviour

    There have been no reports of anti-social behaviour since the last meeting.

     

    SHEEP WORRYING

    A further report of sheep worrying occurred in Drymen.

    It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep. “Worrying” includes attacking or chasing sheep
    and, in some circumstances, farmers are legally entitled to shoot dogs if they are endangering
    their sheep. It is vital that you keep your dog on the lead around livestock, even if you can
    usually trust it to come to call. If you live in or near a farming area, you must make sure that
    your dog cannot escape from your property, as it may find its way onto land containing sheep.

     

    If a dog worries sheep on agricultural land, the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an
    offence. The Act considers sheep worrying to include attacking sheep, chasing them in a way
    that may cause injury suffering, abortion or loss of produce or being at large (not on a lead or
    otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep.

    Road Safety

     

    A serious RTC occurred on the A811 road towards Gartocharn. Road was closed for a number
    of hours. Vehicles were diverted along the back roads for a while until this caused issues. The
    road closed at Mill Quad to ease the congestion.

     

    Reports of inconsiderate parking on A81 at Distillery. Police have again been moving vehicles
    however this cannot be sustained all day. Liaison has been getting carried out with Stirling
    Council in order to find a solution. This is similar to the situation at the Devil’s Pulpit for the
    last few years.

    Local officers have and will continue to carry out high visibility patrols to improve road safety.
    Please ensure your vehicle is well maintained before you take to the road.

    Take special care that brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wiper blades are in

    good condition. In addition, washer bottles need to contain an additive to stop the water from
    freezing.

    Tyres should also be checked weekly to ensure they are legal and at the correct pressure
    (consult your vehicle handbook). The minimum legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm across the
    centre 3/4 of the breadth of the tread around the entire circumference. They should also be
    checked for bulges, cuts or tears which weaken the tyre. Failure to maintain your tyres could
    lead to a maximum of £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.

     

    Theft

    There have been no thefts in the Croftamie area since the last meeting however there was
    another Theft by Housebreaking at a commercial premises in Killearn, this time it was
    Oakwood Garden Centre. Enqs are still continuing however anyone with any information then
    please contact Police.

     

    We always advise never leave bags or any valuables lying on the seats of your parked and
    unattended vehicles. It is so very quick and easy for thieves to smash a car window, reach in
    and take any valuables in an instant. If a thief observes a bag in a car, they may think the bag
    contains something valuable and will smash your window to get in, even if it contains
    absolutely nothing of value! Please take any bag and or valuables with you but if this is not
    possible, place the items in your boot or out of sight, but preferably, take all valuables with
    you.

     

    We had a call regarding a suspicious van. This was traced and checked and ascertained that all
    was in order.

     

    All incidents in relation to suspicious persons or vehicles are welcomed and Police will attend
    to all these incidents immediately. We urge people to remain vigilant and report anything
    suspicious.

     

    We remind residents to be ever vigilant and contact the Police should anyone see anything
    suspicious. Please remember to follow basic home security rules and help to make it make it
    harder for the thieves.

     

    Please consider the following:

     

    • Use timer switches on lights and radios to make it look as if your home is occupied.

    • Ensure all doors and windows are secure when you leave and when you go to bed.

    • If possible use secure lighting at the front and back of your property.

    • Make sure all garden tools and ladders are locked away when not being used. Don’t give
      the thieves the tools to break into your house.

       

    • Use a good quality lock on any garden sheds and outhouses.

      Make a note of all makes, models and serial numbers of expensive items in your home.

       

    • If your house is fitted with an alarm then please use it. This is a good deterrent should
      thieves manage to force entry to your house.

       

    • create a FREE and secure inventory of all your personal property at
      www.immobilise.com

       

    • If you note anything suspicious in your neighbourhood report it on 101.

      There are guides on the Police Scotland website giving other ideas to protect property in rural
      areas.

       

      Fraud

      There was a report of attempted fraud in Balfron regarding Bitcoin investment and one in
      Gargunnock regarding the sale of puppies.

       

      Fraudsters can make contact with you by phone. The caller might pretend to be from your
      bank and ask for personal information such as bank details or they might be someone offering
      you a deal or a prize. Recently calls have been made by persons purporting to be from HMRC
      stating that there was a warrant out for the receiver of the call and was asked to contact the
      number that was given. This is clearly a false call so please heed the below advise:

       

    • Consider making your phone number ex-directory.

       

    • Don’t give out any personal information unless you are the one who made the call and you
      are certain of the identity of the person you are speaking to.

       

    • Don’t give out your credit card or bank card details to strangers on the telephone.

       

    • NEVER tell somebody your bank PIN number, even if they claim to be the bank or police. If
      the caller is genuine they will never ask for this information.

       

    • Don’t give out information which may infer that you live alone, are older or vulnerable.

       

    • Never send money to anyone who claims to have a prize for you.

    • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

       

    • Contact local trading standards – they may be able to use approved ‘call blocking’ technology.

     

    Covid 19 fraud

    Criminals are using the Coronavirus as a cover story to trick you into parting with your money
    or information. Always take a moment to Stop, Challenge and Protect before making any
    payments.

     

    It’s important not to let the criminals rush or panic you into making a decision that you later
    come to regret and remain vigilant and guard against criminals using the publicity around
    Coronavirus as a chance to target you with fraudulent emails, phone calls, texts messages or
    social media posts.

     

    With fake news articles on the internet and in the press promoting remedies, cures and false
    advice around coronavirus, it’s also important to only share articles from trustworthy
    sources. If you are in any doubt, then visit
    www.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.who.int/ for
    updates and information.

     

    Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend

    hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.
    Stop and think: it could protect you and your money.

    If you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message purporting to be from the government,
    HMRC, the World Health Organisation (WHO) or a coronavirus-related charity, then take a
    moment to think before you part with your money or information.

     

    Never click on links or download attachments as criminals may infect your devices with
    malware or ask you to enter your personal or financial information into fake websites. In
    some cases this can lead to your identity being stolen.

     

    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 and PC Gary Martin are 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

     

    Comment raised that there are now two CCTV cameras on poles at the top of the back road.
    MF will add as comments in the notes.

    PL would like to invite the police to our meetings again and ask them to dial in.
    WN asked AB if the police attend other meetings but they have not.

     

    Community response to Police report

     

    A couple very near miss’s occurring the village due to speeding cars. Discussed as a major
    concern within village and on the Stockiemuir road especially with the increased volume of
    traffic & cyclists.

     

    The councillors requesting that someone actually dials in to the meeting, we know you can’t
    join by laptop/video but we believe as it is zoom and secure you can dial in via phone for 20 /
    30 minutes at least.

     

    Concern over the traffic getting directed up the back roads due to serious accident on the
    village boundaries the A811 , eventually these roads were closed. We need a more joined up
    approach to traffic managed on our boundaries. Especially as we are fully expecting a massive
    increase of tourist traffic on our road when restrictions are eased.

     

    New security cameras has been installed on Pirniehall Lodge, the cameras look fully trained
    onto the road . No visible signage displayed. Concerns over Data protection, can you advise if
    this against a legal situation as it was thought it might be covered by the Information
    Commission. This is the house with the large dogs which have caused concerned for walkers
    passing by.

  4. Planning Report – MD

    Nothing in Croftamie. Plans for Drymen nursery have been approved. At Stockiemuir
    Farm- an agricultural building has been approved and a dwelling house on the Croftamie
    side of Stockiemuir Farm.

     

  5. Roads Update

    Accident on old Military Road A811 so there are now two sets of traffic lights. Bridge has
    been destroyed which means this is in addition to the Croftamie bridge, bridge on
    Gartocharn Road and on way to Fintry there is a bridge that also needs repair.

    MF asked AB re the conditions of our roads. There is a Bridges officer and AB can ask for
    them to attend.

    DY commented on the Fintry bridge which is falling into the burn and the road is officially
    closed.

    WN- re the accident – this bridge may not be in our Council area as it’s on the border with
    West Dunbartonshire.

    When lockdown is eased there is concern that the roads will be very busy especially on the
    A811 which now has two sets of traffic lights- this is the main trunk road link to Stirling.

    From last meeting:AB commented that BT had closed the road at Finnich Glen to install
    new cables and they had a traffic light permit- recorded on the Councils Aurora system.
    On 28 Jan, an inspection carried out but DW question was why was that not in the
    schedule of works published.

    Comment that the Balloch bridge repairs seems to have been taken a long time. Reopen
    May 2021?

     

  6. Treasurer Update – DA

     

    Balance remains at £2514.75. PL to provide receipts for the Zoom account bills to date.

     

  7. Stirling Council Update – AB

    AB echoed the sad news of Graham Lambie – terrible shock to all. He was respected by all
    and no one had a bad word to say of him.

    Jim Fallis from Killearn who did a lot in the community has passed away which is also sad
    news.

    View forth link road has been postponed. There was a vote on the new Bin proposals and
    this been approved and the costs will need to be paid by residents who want their Garden
    refuse collected.

    Annual budget meeting – Scottish Govt have ensured that there is a council tax freeze for
    this year.

    A parent in Killearn had raised concerns about the lack of face to face contact from the
    teachers at Balfron High School. HB confirmed that there are Google meet lessons for S3
    and S5s. Stirling have provided Chromebooks to all children P5 to S6 and are therefore
    ahead of other Council areas.

     

  8. LL&TNP -WN

     

    WN- echoed sadness of Graham’s passing. GL was on the National Park board and the
    Planning committee . There was an end of Oct on site meeting outside and GL was there
    that day. GL proposed as WN Vice Convenor for which WN was very grateful.

    Community Partnership which supported Communities in Loch Lomond & the Trossach
    National Park is disbanding and being integrated into Countryside Trust. Previously they
    provided support & funding for various Trust in these Communities.

    Locals will have the opportunity to be on the board. More involvements from Community
    Councils (elected members) as well as Community Trusts.

     

    There are plans for an in-house community team.

    MF raised the concern about the Trusts needing funds.

     

    Board meeting minutes are made public and WN confirmed that item 12 will be put for
    approval at the meeting this Monday coming. Trusts don’t have an income from the
    Council the way the Councils get their Admin Grants.

     

    We have an extra £500K for Covid related work including extra Rangers, litter lifters,
    toilets and we are preparing for the summer months and increase in volume of visitors.
    Trust tried to get a litter bin and the Park said no. WN will contact Dave Robinson,
    Recreation and Access Adviser who confirmed that the Community would have to buy
    their own bin and the points raised to think about if this was to go ahead.

    MD – went to a meeting years ago and the Park had decided to remove the litter bins –
    message was that people should take their litter home.

     

    Q raised- A83 at Ardgarten- is this in the Park boundary. Concern about the convoy and
    the volume of traffic. Can the Park influence this before the tourist season begins ( 60
    mile detour). Answer is that Trossachs and Loch Lomond are in discussion with Argyll and
    Bute.

     

    Toilets timescales at Car parks- when will they be open? This to be discussed at Monday’s
    meeting.

     

    West Dunbartonshire Community Council to be invited to attend next meeting to
    discuss the recent accident and the traffic lights/bridge.

     

    See appendix- Update on Community Support and Engagement Arrangements

     

  9. Outstanding points from last meeting

     

    • South West Rural forum meeting postponed in respect for Graham Lambie, rescheduled
      online 15.3.21- MF can attend.

    • Participation requests are now submitted- 45 days before we will hear back. 90 days until
      actions are progressed.

    • Fly tipping on the back road- some conifer clippings. We can report Fly Tipping online and
      to the Council. If it is road side the council have to support but over the fence the land
      owner has to deal with it.

       

  10. Correspondence Received

    The transfer of the nursery from Croftamie to Drymen has been delayed for a year as a result of
    the difficulties of the past 12 months which expires in Sept 2021.

     

    Mactaggart and Mickel will make a contribution to the cost from their Drymen development.

    Nursery will be open for another year in Croftamie- Q: can users Groups use the Nursery for that
    year. A:Council buildings currently closed due to Covid.

     

    Judith Ele joined the meeting

    Kilmarnock Church, car park & the glebe are fully owned by Kilmaronock Old Kirk Trust.
    Community Enterprise = business plan to buy the Old Kirk from the C of S. Sale took a long
    while and the Trust now have the keys to the building. Due to Covid they are faced with
    challenges. Thoughts are a Heritage Centre and space for community get together.

    What do you think? – are there groups in Croftamie that will be looking for space in the future.
    The But and Ben have offered to open in the evening for Community meetings.

    Question asked about the lighting between the car park and the building – seating other than
    pews, toilets including disabled. IT and audio equipment. Internet is being installed from a
    Covid Grant.

     

    PL confirmed – what do we face ahead? People might be looking for events to go to as
    lockdown eases.

    Questions around whether or not the Community could take on the Croftamie Nursery?
    WN asked what plans they have for the building? Getting safe to use ie repair to the roof
    and some electrical work and the Trust have funds in place for this. Toilet is Stage 2 of
    works and more fundraising would be required.

     

  11. Any Other Business –

    • From The Hub G63

      We hope you’re all well! We are touch as representatives of the new Hub G63 project
      ‘The Grow Garden’, a community food garden, which is being created on a site
      between Killearn and Balfron, and which will link to the existing community garden in
      Drymen.

       

      The aim is to develop the sites to create valuable community food growing opportunities, to grow
      nutritious and delicious produce to sell locally and to provide fresh fruit and veg to those who need
      it.

      We will be looking for community volunteers and hope to become a community hub for all
      generations. Any help spreading the word or raising donations would be incredibly gratefully
      received.

      We have launched a crowdfunder website to raise funds for the project (which today reached its
      initial target and moved onto its stretch fundraising goal) and have also installed a collection box at
      Killearn Co Op, as we know not everyone is comfortable with Facebook or donating online.

       

      Fuller details of our funding partners And plans are in this link:
      https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/grow-g63?tk=05d6f33677fcb251f1f60299023db2cd96d109d3

      Here is our website to see the other projects we are running, including Neighbour Food which
      Killearn Church Hall have kindly helped facilitate this past year

       

      https://thehubg63.org.uk/

       

    • Foodbank - But and Ben are still a collection point for donations.

    • Dalnair- Constraints to build a footpath Consent given that they would fund
      another classroom at the Primary school – once a certain number of buildings had
      been sold. The developers wanted to change this condition . AB to chase. A
      bridge/footpath was also in the planning conditions.

      DY confirmed that the Section 75 is legally binding and the payment has to be made.

      DY- Finnich Glen update: 6 months of discussions but now conditions from Planning have
      been agreed. Continuing to take project forward.

       

    • Graham Lambie – PL to write to Graham’s mother on behalf of the Community
      Council.

    • Speeding through the village – incident with a cyclist. MF will add to the Police
      notes. MD and HB have both witnessed near misses.

 

Confirmation of next Meeting Wednesday 14.04.2021 commencing at 7.30 pm online

 

Appendix

Subject: Update on Community Support and Engagement Arrangements

 

Dear all

 

I hope you are safe and well as we move into a (hopefully not too wet) Scottish spring!

 

I am writing to all Community Council and Community Development Trusts to update on how the National Park
Authority is reviewing support for and engagement with community groups.

 

As you may be aware, at its AGM earlier this month the membership of the Community Partnership took the difficult
decision to wind up at the end of March. This was a decision not taken lightly, and involved a journey in which the
National Park Authority and Countryside Trust (the other charitable organisation supported by the National Park
Authority) shared.

 

Since its establishment in 2003, the Community Partnership provided much-needed support over a period when little
support of this nature was available to National Park communities including preparing community action plans,
support to Community Development Trusts, project delivery support, Park-wide projects, communications and
networking. Most recently, the Partnership supported the Covid-19 response to communities in and around the
National Park.

 

However over recent years, there have been significant changes to national priorities and policies, the funding
landscape and the local operating environment in which we all work – not least a refreshed and urgent focus on the

Climate Emergency, biodiversity and nature and the Scottish Government’s commitment towards a fair and green
recovery from Covid-19. Based on these and after considering the recommendations from an independent review
commissioned by all three organisations, it was agreed that a single charity would be the best way forward. The
Boards of the Community Partnership and the Countryside Trust have therefore negotiated a solution that will see the
closure of the Partnership and strengthening of the Countryside Trust to build on its existing work in and for
communities supported by the Park Authority.

 

The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Countryside Trust was set up in 2012 and is a registered charity and company
limited by guarantee. Addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency is now the single most important issue
driving its work. It has specific aims around enhancing the National Park’s biodiversity; increasing resilience of
communities through nature-based solutions; reducing reliance on carbon and improving the health and wellbeing of
both residents and visitors. From April 2021 the Countryside Trust will take on an increased role that includes
improved communications with communities on these topics and closer working with community groups in achieving
positive actions to address the climate and biodiversity emergency.

 

The National Park Authority will continue to provide support and funding to the Countryside Trust which employs a
Transformation Director (
Susan Warren) and staff who deliver projects that are part-funded through other sources,
which currently include Walk in the Park, the thriving health walk programme, and an Active Travel initiative which
encourages and supports the development cycle friendly communities. As you may already know,
Marie Harvey, a
Community Partnership staff member has recently been appointed to a new communications and support position
within the Trust.

 

All Community Development Trusts and Community Councils in the National Park will be eligible to join the Trust as
full members and the Countryside Trust which will seek to have a minimum of three community-based Directors, out
of a total of nine. The Countryside Trust will be in touch with you over the coming months to explain further details on
its governance and the opportunities to evolve further support to community groups.

 

The National Park Authority will continue to engage and work with communities and, through Fiona Jackson and
HHHHHH HHHHHHHHH in our Communities Team, we will develop further our understanding of local needs and priorities,
as well as coordinate support and advice by working across National Park Authority teams, offering funding
opportunities through our Grant Scheme, and by working with the local authorities and other agencies and
organisations who provide more specialist support. As well as continuing our ongoing engagement with communities
and other stakeholders around visitor management and other issues, we will continue to support communities to
prepare their own community place plans and are currently working with Killin, Strathfillan and Balquhidder,
Lochearnhead and Strathyre in this regard. We will be in touch directly over the coming months and will also be
updating
our website with more information on the support available to you, however for further information or
discussion, please contact the
Communities Team.

 

I cannot finish without saying thank you on behalf of the National Park Authority to the Community Partnership’s staff
and Board members for their dedication and commitment over the years to supporting communities across the Park.

 

Along with colleagues, I look forward to our continued work together.
Best wishes,

Stuart Mearns

Director of Rural Development and Planning
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park