November 2023 Minutes

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Drymen Community Council
Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting
held On Tuesday 7th November 2023
within Drymen Village Hall
Present: David Mackie (DM), Fraser Robb (FR), Simon Reid (SR), Rhona Carmichael (RC), Maja McTavish (MM), Louise Macfarlane (LM), Jacqueline Sendall (JS), Councillor Gerry McGarvey (CGM), Hilary Soanes of Drymen Community Development Trust (HS), PC Graeme McNulty and PC Matt McCammon, Rowan Higgins (minutes) and 11 residents.
Apologies: Rebekah Stewart (RS), Rosemary Fraser (Covered by Gerry McGarvey)
Police Report
Local police officers Graeme McNulty and Matt McCammon went through the police report.
No thefts recorded in Drymen during the period of this report. Please remain vigilant as the nights get longer of thieves potentially operating in this area.
Antisocial Behaviour
A male was traced by Police after reports received he damaged a car following an argument with another male. The male was issued with a Recorded Police Warning for his actions.
A male was arrested after acting in an aggressive manner towards on-duty police officers, was shouting and swearing at them and issuing threats of violence. He was given a Recorded Police Warning for his actions.
Two car windscreens were smashed whilst parked overnight outside the Winnock Hotel. Police are following a positive line of enquiry to identify the suspect for these vandalisms.
Road Safety
Various calls received in relation to flooding and vehicles stuck in flood waters and not obeying road closures. Please remember to always drive to road conditions and obey all road signage. Try to avoid driving unless necessary when appropriate weather warnings are issued.
Complaints were received in relation to driving speed through Milton of Buchanan. Police attended and carried out handheld radar and no vehicles were found to be speeding during patrols.
Winter road safety
Advice if you are out walking in winter:
- Dress for the weather by wearing reflective or bright-coloured clothing so other road users can see you when it’s dark or visibility is poor
- If you are walking home late at night, make sure someone knows where you’re going and when
- Vehicles can take up to ten times longer to stop on slippery road surfaces so take extra care crossing the road
- Stick to pedestrian crossings
- If there are no crossings nearby, find a place with a clear view and wait for long gaps in the traffic before crossing the road
- Don’t cross the road between parked vehicles, unless it can’t be avoided then take extra care (look out for vehicles that suddenly pull out or reverse)
- Never cross the road behind a bus
- If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so you can see traffic coming towards.
Advice to consider if you are cycling during winter:
- Make sure your bike can be seen by people on the road
- Use a good set of front and rear lights (white at the front, red at the back)
- Wear clothes that help you be seen on your bike, such as bright and light reflective items
- Pay attention to road signs, markings and particularly red lights
- Do not cycle on the pavements, they may be slippery and can also endanger pedestrians
- Be mindful of the effects poor weather can have on other road users
- Make sure you know about the dangers around you
- Cars can take twice as long to stop in wet weather
- Breaking can be unpredictable in ice and snow.
Advice for drivers during winter:
- Make sure your car is ready for winter
- Check that your tyres, brakes, windscreens, wiper blades and windows are free from defects and clean
- Drive to the road conditions. Road conditions can change without warning, stopping distances will be affected by the weather
- Make sure your windows are clean and aren’t misted up
- Make sure there is no snow and ice before your drive.
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’s Graeme McNulty and Matt McCammon are the ward officers for the forth and Endrick area. They are 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 however this should not be used to report crimes.
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;
SR proposes the minutes from October’s meeting, RC seconds. It was noted that the minutes from previous meetings have not been published online by Stirling Council. Both Drymen Community Council and CGM will chase this.
Ask Your Councillor
CGM made reference to the Big Conversation. Stirling Council officers are going round the 7 wards to engage with people about budget cuts next March/April. CGM stressed the importance of engaging with services if you do not want them to be cut.
However, CGM wanted to make it clear that there are no pre-determined cuts and that all services are vulnerable. Therefore, it is important that the community make their thoughts known on this subject. Every sector, for example health board and social care, is facing the same predicament with shortfalls. CGM said that if there is anyone with specific concerns about budget cuts, please engage with the services. The services are tasked by administration to look at where they can make cuts within their own services. He stressed the importance of making our thoughts known, either as the community council, or to come along to the “Big Conversation”.
The next “Big Conversation” event will take place on the 15th of November at Balfron High School, from 6pm-7.30pm.
DM asked what the community can do to safeguard the Library. CGM said he is trying to ensure the versatility of the Library. He said that the library is no longer about footfall for borrowing books, but also about providing other services and a space for community groups to meet. He also said that the community need to make their voice heard about what the Library means to Drymen.
CGM suggested those getting in touch with the community council do so under the pretext of “we are concerned about the future of our library with forthcoming budget cuts. We appreciate that it is a really difficult time and that everything is vulnerable. We would be delighted if you can help us find out what more we can do to protect the limited resources we have in this community”.
CGM assured residents that he is accessible and more than happy to meet to discuss concerns confidentially.
It was suggested by a resident to share the questions they had regarding the Big Conversation in case anyone else had anything to add:
- Public Toilets
- Non-existent public transport in some areas
- Rubbish bins and recycling in the car park needing emptied more frequently
- Social care services need improved
- We need our library
Regarding Transport, it was suggested by a resident that a solution could be to get the current providers to loop into Balfron or Killearn.
A resident highlighted that Stirling historically has not been part of SPT. Could negotiations be had, if busses we put back under the umbrella of SPT, to possibly extend services to Drymen.
CGM suggested the National Park and Stirling Council work together to provide a sustainable option for travel to Balfron.
A resident asked CGM if they could have more grit bins in Drymen. DCC have written to Stirling Council about this. CGM suggested that it might also be something that DCDT could help with.
Benview Garden centre is within Drymen Community Council area, and they have put in a planning enquiry for a major development. This was previously sent to Drymen Community Council but wasn’t received due to an error in the email address. The planning enquiry is for 30 lodges, a reception hub building with a bar, entertainment and gym/spa facilities and a restaurant. No application has been lodged yet.
There was a consultation about this enquiry in Buchlyvie, but not in Drymen. CGM said if anything moves forward, we need to stress that there has been no statutory engagement about this yet. DM will contact the agent asking if they want to engage with the community over this.
Regarding the Mactaggart and Mickel development, Springfield properties were contacted and confirmed that some initial infrastructure has been taken but a start date for the rest of the works is yet to be set. There has been a small reduction of the number of homes in this development from 88 to 85.
A resident asked for clarification; Is it Stirling Council or the National Park who has the final say on planning applications? DM answered that it is the National Park who have the final say within their boundary. The planning enquiry at Benview comes under Stirling Council, not the National Park.
CGM advised that any objections to planning applications are based on substantive points and noted that each planning body does things differently.
Roads and General Maintenance
DCC received a couple of letters regarding white lines, grit bins and dog bins.
SR said that DCC have contacted Stirling Council about the white lines – predominantly those behind the Winnock Hotel from Balmaha Road to Main Street. This is a busy junction with tourists, many of whom won’t know their way around and the lines there are very faint and unclear.
Stirling Council have also been contacted about a grit bin for Charles Crescent and also for a dog bin at the top end of Gallowhill wood.
The Big Conversation
The Big Conversation has already been discussed earlier in the meeting, however, CGM added that if you are writing to Stirling Council about cuts, to talk about your concerns and ask are the Council going to continue to support this. This is because there have been no decisions made yet where these cuts will be. He noted that at some point in the near future there will be a list of preferred cuts.
CGM noted that the dynamic between DCDT and the Community Council has been really effective.
A resident highlighted that a better way to look at it may be that if a service is under threat, how can we generate income/make that service sustainable. CGM agreed, saying moving forward councils will try to empower DCDT to the best of their ability to carry out more in the area. This would drive an ability to support communities rather than provide for communities.
Road Safety Trial
All surveys have now been delivered. There are additional copies in library and online. There are also notices in the shops and surrounding areas.
21st of November is the closing date for the survey. There will be a minimum of 5 members of the Community Council to do counting. Results will be communicated by DCC on a date confirmed shortly, likely the following week.
A resident raised concerns about Croftamie Community Council Area not getting a vote unless they have children at the school or nursery. It had been agreed at a previous meeting that this would be the case and it was not robustly argued against. DM is visiting Croftamie Community Council to see how the residents feel about this.
Community Transport
The issues surrounding community transport come in two parts:
- The bus companies are unlikely to extend our current service to Balfron, however the community council are still in the process of asking
- When someone needs taken to a hospital appointment
Neither of these issues have progressed much but the community council are still looking at this.
DCC and DCDT are going to set up a working party to look at the issues surrounding transport. DCC are going to look at setting up a volunteer portal, which will probably be an online app. This would match community volunteers to the people who need transport.
DCDT are still looking in to having a community bus, however this would be a wider community venture.
A resident highlighted that the DRT only runs from 9am-3pm and 4.45pm-6pm. Stirling Council responded to an email with concerns about this without answering the questions the resident had asked. DCC will contact Stirling Council about this.
DCDT Update
Hilary Soanes represented the DCDT at this evening’s meeting.
DCDT have been working on the issue of public toilets. DCDT have asked Community Enterprise to look into the feasibility of public toilets. 6 locations were identified as potential areas for public toilets:
- The old toilet block
- Behind the Winnock Hotel
- The garage next to the Clachan (possible compulsory purchase)
- Behind the bus shelter in the Square
- The car park
- The Village Hall
Stirling Council won’t move on a decision on the car park until the housing development is near completion.
DCDT have a £10000 grant split 50/50; the first part is being spent on this pre-proposal. Once an appropriate site has been chosen, DCDT will consult the community for feedback before moving on to the next move to the next stage which will involve architectural drawings. After that the DCDT will look for capital funding to build the toilets, however DCDT will also need a business plan in order to run the toilets and to ensure their sustainability. If the toilets were at the Winnock, cleaners from the Winnock could possibly be employed to clean the toilets. It costs around £15000pa to run a small toilet block.
Every 6 months DCDT conduct an inspection of the Square. There has been more deterioration and more money needs to be spent filling potholes as there is difficulty finding the money to resurface the whole road.
DCDT have applied for 2 grants:
- The first is for mental health and wellbeing to support the e-bike project
- Another is for a disabled parking bay outside the Clachan, including resurfacing and a fully marked blue parking bay and a small bit of pavement. If this grant is achieved it could possibly lead to a further grant to resurface the rest of the Square.
A resident raised a concern that the place plan has been adopted by the National Park before Stirling Council has finished their local plan. It was clarified that the National Park is excluded from Stirling Council local plans, and Stirling Council will only cover surrounding areas outwith the National Park. However DCC will ask Stirling Council about this as parts of Drymen Community Council area are outside of the National Park.
The Date for the Christmas tree lights switch on is the 10th of December at 4.30pm
Treasurer’s Report
Community Council Treasurer, Maja McTavish, updated the meeting on the accounts.
DCC are still waiting on the Royal Bank changes to occur. The following signatories need removed:
- Jemma Allan
- James Lightbody
- John Gleave
The current balance is £2594.08 with pending deductions of £170 once the changes are complete. Plus £98 for Survey Monkey which will be passed on to DCDT.
Some of these funds will be spent on the Gala Day, plans for which are underway.
Confirmation of Next meeting
Tuesday 5th December 2023 at 7pm
Drymen Village Hall
There may be a small meeting before this for the results of the Road Safety Trial Survey, notices will be posted about this.