Nov 2021 Minutes


held at The But and Ben
Wednesday 10/11/2021 at 7.30 pm


Attendees: Margaret Firth (MF), David Armstrong (DA), Willie Nisbet (WN),
Donnie Watson (DW), Rob Davies (RD) and 21 residents

Apologies - Cyndy Bourbousson (CB), Henry Braid (HB), Police


  1. Previous Minutes. Approved by DW and seconded by MF


  2. Police Report (emailed report) –

    November 2021 - Compiled by PC Steven Graham


    Antisocial Behaviour

    Report of persons hanging from the closed bridge in Croftamie. Turns out it
    was a false alarm. It was an employee from Stirling Council doing a bat
    survey which required to be carried out prior to any work on the bridge


    Road Safety

    There have been no reportable RTCs since the last meeting.


    Advice for Drivers

    Prepare for the winter by keeping your vehicle 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.


    Make sure your windows are clean, properly demisted and clear of snow and
    ice before you drive. Also make sure that your roof is clear of snow as this
    affects drivers behind you and can also cause obstructions on your
    windscreen when braking. Be careful with low sun as it can make it difficult to
    see and a dirty, greasy or damaged windscreen can make this worse.

    All lights must be kept clean and clear and be in good working order,
    including registration plate lights. Use the help of someone to check that all of
    your lights are working.



    There have been no thefts in the Croftamie area since the last meeting
    however recently the bike shop in Killearn got broken into again with high
    value bikes being stolen.


    What basic steps can I take to protect my home?

    The evenings are getting dark earlier and it is a time where traditionally
    housebreakings can occur. Having your home broken into is not common.
    There are however many ways that you can help secure your home. They
    don’t all cost money – some are common sense and good housekeeping.


    First, think about basic good housekeeping routines that aren’t expensive:


    • Keep your home locked at all times

    • Many thieves do not need to break in at all because a door or window has
      been left open or unlocked

    • Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else
      they can be easily found

    • If you have a ‘thumb turn’ lock on the inside of a door, ensure that it cannot
      be accessed from outside

    • Don’t keep house keys and car keys on the same key ring

    • Don't keep a lot of cash in the house

    • Mark your property with a UV marker pen or Security DNA marking Kit -
      these can be bought online or in some stores

    • Look for the Secured By Design accreditation on the product and register -
      you can place an invisible imprint of your postcode and house number on
      your possessions

    • You can record and register details of your valuables, serial numbers and
      features or marks, on devices on the national mobile property register on the
      immobilise website - this includes mobile phones, cameras, laptops and

    • Don’t leave valuables where they can be see through a window - for
      example, around the tree at Christmas time

    • If you have a wall calendar, avoid having it shown near a window from where
      appointments can be seen - people may see when there will be no one in.

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

    • 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.


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



      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. Other 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

    • 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

    • 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.


    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 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


  3. Planning Report

    Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

    Land Adjacent To Buchanan Crescent Croftamie


    Construction of 14 no. 2 storey houses, cottage flats and semi detached
    units with new private access road and associated landscaping. (Planning
    permission in principle ref: 2020/0039/PPP).


    Detailed planning now submitted – outline planning has been passed. Q
    around parking for the vans etc of the builders as there limited parking in
    the village. Response was that the builders will have to provide parking for
    their employees on the site.


    Access road on Crescent – request was made to ensure there is an
    upgrade the road to accommodate the new extra traffic when the houses
    are built.


    Community Council response to the Planning application

    Supporting Development and residents have join a working party with Rural
    Stirling Housing Association to ensure their view and wishes are considered.


    A concern raised as follows:


    • Access road to building site is via Buchanan Crescent road which the
      road surface has had a lack of repair and maintenance over the years.
      Will the road surface handle heavy plant and higher usage & will it be
      repaired afterwards?


    • The access for existing residents in the road is tight and restricted,
      concerns raised over additional building lorries etc. Can access for
      existing resident be a priority where possible. Work machinery and
      trades vans on site only ?


  4. Roads Update-DW

    A811 repairs start on Monday – this is not a full closure but will be
    roadworks. Gabion baskets to be installed. To take 6 weeks approx.
    RD - confirmed that it will be roadworks only

  5. Treasurer Update – DA

    Balance of the account is £2419.75. Recent receipt of the Annual Admin
    Grant of £674.80. Fees paid to Zoom for £57.56, Hire of But and Ben with
    teas and cake at the Oct meeting of £141.30 and minute taker of £40 to J


    Urgent action required for Christmas Tree lighting- (DA to look at this).
    SSE require £65 per quarter just to have the account. We received two
    credits of £30 because they cancelled the installation of our Smart Meter
    twice. Account now at NIL but statements keep being received with a
    balance of £14.91.


    With Peter leaving we need a new signatory on the Bank account. DW will
    be added.


  6. Stirling Council Update – RD

    Council policy on deputations – a group of people can make a 5 min
    presentation- which will then be taken to full Council.

    Stirling is on short list for City of Culture for 2025. RD has highlighted that
    most of Stirling is rural and this will be taken into consideration.


  7. LL&TNP -WN

Reminded people that office staff are still working from home- unlikely that
this will change short term.


8- Bridge update

See enclosed presentation from Stirling Council.


Catter Burn Bridge Business Engagement Session


  1. The condition of the Blane Smiddy Bridge and the reason for the installation of the
    traffic lights was queried.


    The metal straps appear to have been installed historical to provide additional
    support when previous works where undertaken. These straps do not add or
    subtract from the bridges stability.


    The retaining walls are being monitored on a weekly basis.


    The traffic lights were installed in order to regulate traffic flow and allow a
    precautionary extension to the existing barrier system which will ensure vehicles are
    able to safely cross the bridge and protect the retaining walls.


  2. The timescales in relation to the rebuild will be dependent on the designs
    requirements defined by the engineering consultant. However, as soon as

    timescales are defined these will be shared openly with businesses and the


    To minimise time and maximise competition and ensure value for money, the
    preferred route would be to publish an open tender. To gauge interest, a Prior
    Information Notice (PIN) would be published, followed with a contractor information
    session which would provide the opportunity to share high level project information,
    identify and discuss project risks, and develop mitigation measures before the
    tender was published.


  3. A defect on the bridge on the A875 leading to Balfron was reported. It was agreed
    that this would be inspected.

  4. The inspections undertaken on Catter Burn Bridge were queried. It was advised that
    a general inspection of the Catter Burn Bridge was undertaken in 2020.


    The Catter Burn Bridge Bridge Condition Index value in 2020 was 74, giving it a fair


    However, the critical scoring for Catter Burn Bridge was 46. This reflects the defects
    that structure had been exhibiting for a number of years i.e. erosion defects in the
    masonry parapets, upstream and downstream spandrel (triangular space, above
    the top of the arch) and wing wall. 


    The parapets had insufficient vehicle containment and therefore temporary asset
    barriers had been installed to narrow the road to single lane at the bridge location.


    Based on the available information, on 16 July 2001, a bid was submitted to the
    Scottish Government Local Bridge Maintenance Fund. This included an estimated
    bid of £500k for Catter Burn Bridge.


    The Scottish Government has confirmed that they are currently assessing the
    applications and will notify the Council of the outcome shortly.

  5. The use of the C31 Gartness Road is still being used by non-local traffic despite the
    installation of Road Closures. The condition of these local routes was raised and
    potential improvements will be investigated.


  6. The Station Road structure was highlighted was it was agreed that this would be
    included in the General Inspection schedule.


Catter Burn Bridge Community Engagement Session

  1. The materials used and the finish of the bridge was discussed. The bridge will be of
    a concrete construction with an imprinted finish and colouration to provide a match
    as much as possible.


  2. It was highlighted that a Flood Risk Assessment was undertaken 2 years ago, to be
    provided by local resident.


  3. Under what conditions could the bridge be opened to pedestrians in the short term?

    Due to the condition of the remaining parapet, there is a concern that a further
    failure could take place in due course. Therefore at this moment in time for the
    safety of all it is not deemed appropriate to reopen the bridge.


  4. It was queried if an interim solution could be found to re-direct the surface water.
    noting that design and construction is likely to take at least 6 months and that it may
    take this order of time to install a temporary bridge to carry traffic?

    This is currently being investigated to determine if there is a solution to the water
    run-off of the carriageway during the period of bridge closure.


  5. No temporary works have been instigated to improve the bridge's condition which
    suggests that you have no concerns about further significant collapse. Such
    collapse could block the Catter which would have dramatic effects on water levels
    and could induce flooding to properties. What contingency measures are in place to
    address further collapse, including measures to immediately clear any blockage to
    the burn, or is this considered unnecessary?

    Currently we are undertaking hydrology modelling of the watercourse, which will
    include on site surveying. This will allow us an opportunity to determine if the
    current lost material is likely to cause an issue, or should any further material be
    lost, affect the current and high flows. Action will be taken at this point if it is
    deemed that this material is likely to cause issues during a flood event, or similar.
    During construction works this material will be removed so as to clear the channel
    for the future.


  6. It was queried if this was a Stirling specific issue or a wider Scottish issue. It was
    highlighted that the situation is not unique to Stirling and that a number of Scottish
    Local Authorities are experiencing similar situations.


  7. Officers have a draft Bridge Asset Management Plan prepared which will collate
    existing data and additional inspection results undertaken by consultants. This will
    be presented to a Special Council meeting on 16 December 2021.


  8. The footbridge that was agreed as part of planning gain as part a nearby
    development could be incorporated into the rebuild of the Catter Burn Bridge rather
    than being a separate structure. This is currently being discussed with the


  9. The potential for a temporary bridge structure was discussed. It was highlighted that
    such structures require considerable ground investigations and design work in order
    for them to be brought on site and installed. Experience from other local authorities
    has shown this process to take between 4-6 months.


From the Engagement meeting last Wed.

Q- can we see a copy of these reports? Optioneering report is most
important- Principal inspection due Feb 2022.

Community has the option to peruse has the Council failed in their duty to
maintain the bridge.

MF to ask for all of the reports

Statutory required to inspect every two years.


Reason that the road was restricted to one lane concerns about the
parapets had no impact resilience.


Concern around how they would lift in the pre- cast arches and where they
would put the crane. Possibly brought in 3 sections.


Blane Smithy- single file and with traffic lights- ensuring that the traffic
sticks to the safer side of the road.


Metal tie rods were put in decades ago- on Blane Smithy – monitoring
weekly basis- traffic lights to ensure traffic not stopping and starting and
causing strain on the bridge.


Clearer signs will be installed to stop lorries coming to Pipe bridge.


Croftamie bridge – extensions to the bridge have retained water and this
has been part of the issue.

16 Dec- Stirling Council meeting to discuss the report- ground engineers
short list who will survey and come back with their report


Utilities will have to be moved to new locations


£1.5M ringfenced to repair the two bridges. Extra funding has been
applied for from Scottish Government.


Park and Stirling Council authority will be working together.


Temporary bridge would cost £250K, 100K to install – and take 4/5 months
to build the ground works on the site so this is not being considered as an
option for now.


99 structures affected by the diversions and they are going round to
inspect them.


Stirling Council have committed to open communication with the
Community Council.

Tourists want to come to the National Park and how important this is to
local businesses. Local businesses are concerned about their reduction in


Q- when is it to be likely to be open.

Reports need to be submitted, utilities, -contactors etc.


Q do we need a bridge built of stone or concrete. Look at the facing in
stone. Needs to represent the area.


Positive from the Engagement meeting is that this will be done as quickly
as possible. Engineering consultant has been appointed.


Q General Inspection will be done by the end of the week and contractor
to start. Council reliant on the contactor and the supplies and resources


Q- planning are we certain the Park will be responsible for planning –
Council will do the other side. WN to investigate who is responsible for the


Q- If the surveys are done could the bridge be opened on single file. Q
has been asked do we keep the bridge single file and do we want this to
assist with traffic speed calming?


CH would like to see the Options report.


Q should questions come through the Community Council.
Q around how the utilities will be moved.

Q is there an obligation on the utilities – to check the integrity of the
bridges that their utilities go through.


  1. Participation Request 20-21-002 (Pavements ) & 20-21-003 (speeding
    in Village) – Contact Pauline Roberts – Participation Requests T: 01786
    233076 | E:


    Pavements- On 21 Oct, MF walked from the bridge through the village with
    representatives from the Council and the Park and highlighted different
    issues. Looking at dropped kerbs. One quick fix was the scraping back of
    the pavements to the T-junction to the bus services. Highlighted the barrier
    and that it is rusting. No clear sightlines for installation of a pedestrian

    Review of Speeding on hold at the moment due to lack of traffic in the


    Q – who maintains the footpath from Drymen to Buchanan Castle?
    Concerns that cars speed round that bend. Perfect time to maintain when
    the road is closed.


  2. Cyndy Bourbousson to step up from Co-Option role to Full
    Member but she is unable to come this evening.

    One more member required to continue the Community Council.


  3. Correspondence Received

    St Celia Day Concert to be held at Kilmaronock Church -21 Nov at 3pm


  4. Any Other Business –

Website needs updated and a volunteer is required.

Christmas Tree lights- Support to put them up on 1st Dec 21- DW and DA.
Christmas Carols – Monday 20 Dec – if possible.


Next meetings to be held on Zoom in Jan and Feb commencing at 7.30 pm