October 2023 Minutes

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Drymen Community Council
Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting
held on Tuesday 3rd October 2023
within Drymen Village Hall

Present: David Mackie (DM), Rebekah Stewart (RS), Fraser Robb (FR), Simon Reid (SR), Rhona Carmichael (RC), Maja McTavish (MM), Louise Macfarlane (LM), Councillor Gerry McGarvey (CGM), Rowan Higgins (minutes)

Apologies: Jacqueline Sendall

The minutes of the last meeting (5th of September) were proposed by RC and seconded by FR

Road Safety Trial Questionnaire
The drop-in sessions held by Drymen Community Council regarding the questionnaire were well attended. During these sessions only minor changes had been suggested. The digital version is to be made shortly, and dates for distribution of the questionnaire will be finalised.
RC called for volunteers for delivering questionnaires to come forward at the end of the evening.
Concerns were raised by residents regarding the questions, looking for clarification on the wording of the questionnaire, and the timescales of the removal of the road safety trial in the event of either result. Richard Boddington (Drymen Community Development Trust) clarified that the road safety trial is due to end in January, therefore the result of the questionnaire would be to remove the trial now, or to continue with the trial until January when traffic survey data and more community feedback would be considered. This data would determine whether DCDT go ahead to acquire grant funding for permanent measures to be put in place.
DCC explained that they were asked to undertake the survey and that questions regarding the details of the Road Safety Trial should be directed to DCDT.
Both questions in questionnaire were then read aloud as they are written on the survey.

Drymen and Buchanan Community Council areas were both displayed to show how the survey would be delivered. Drymen Community Council area will have the survey delivered door to door. Residents of Buchanan Community Council area will be encouraged to complete the survey online or collect a paper copy from the Library.
There were comments at the drop-in sessions to include children in the survey, however DCC made the decision that if parents want their children to have a say they should complete the survey as a family.
Although residents outwith these Community Council boundaries will not get a survey (i.e. Croftamie), those with children that attend Drymen Primary School or Nursery will be entitled to one.
DCC will be responsible for counting the results of the survey.
Police Report
On the 14th of August, PC Matt McCammon joined the Community Policing team at Balfron Police Office. PC McCammon and PC Graham McNulty are our community police officers.
Antisocial Behaviour
There was damage caused to a vehicle parked in one of the forestry commission car parks. There was also damage to a car parked at Devil’s Pulpit.
Damage has also been caused to a fence on a property in the local area.
Staff members at the Visitor Centre in Balmaha received abuse from a visitor.
A number of appliances in a holiday lodge in Balmaha were stolen. Enquiries are ongoing.
A van which was parked at the Buchanan Arms Hotel was broken into and a number of tools were stolen. Enquiries are ongoing.
There have been numerous reports of hens and motorcycles in surrounding villages. It is important members of the public remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.
A barbeque at the visitor centre in Balmaha caused damage to the decking, due to the barbeque being placed directly on the decking.
Road Safety
There were several calls received in relation to parking issues in and around the area. Council traffic wardens were deployed in problem areas and a number of parking tickets were issued.
There have been reports of livestock encroaching on the roads, but these have been resolved without issue.
Community police officers have been carrying out speed and vehicle checks in the area. 2 drivers received penalties for speed and 2 drivers received penalties for expired MOT’s.
Several calls were received in relation to search and rescue in the local area, including Ben Lomond, Conic Hill and Devil’s Pulpit. The police would like to thank the volunteers of Lomond Mountain Rescue Team.
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 ForthEndrickCPT@scotland.police.uk.
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;
- There has been a planning application for change of use at 48 Main Street, Drymen. This change is from class 4 business to class 7 hotels and hostels. This application is to create a bunk room of 6 beds.
- New legislation has come in regarding short-term letting, meaning all short term lets need to be registered. Existing hosts/operators (those using accommodation to provide short-term lets before 1 October 2022) have until 1 October 2023 to apply for a licence.
- There have been some concerns regarding a planning application for 8-10 houses at Coldrach Farm. A few people had contacted DCC, however this is in Buchanan Community Council Area. DCC have written to make its position clear and to request to be kept informed of what they intend to do with the development.
- Buchanan doesn’t have a community council at the moment, and some people were unaware that they didn’t live within Drymen’s Community Council Area. DCC will use their social media to highlight the lack of a community council in Buchanan. DCC will also get in touch with East Loch Lomond Trust regarding this planning application.
- Drymen Beer Shop has put in for an off sales license from 10am-10pm.
To access information regarding local planning applications, Google “Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park planning” which will take you to the home page. Then click on “planning” and then “find an application” which will then give you the option to search for Drymen.
Objections can only be made when in the application stage and not to those already approved.
Roads and General Maintenance
DCC have written to Stirling Council to highlight the lack of white lines and the community’s objections to the chicane.
At the last meeting, it was discussed that a lot of hedges in the village were encroaching on the pavements. A lot of these hedges have now been cut back, with only a few left to go. DCC thanked those who have already cut back their hedges.
Concerns were raised about the temporary car park for when the main car park on Stirling Road closes during the Mactaggart and Mickel development. One concern was the lack of a pavement from Ardmore Gardens. However, planning was approved for this a long time ago.
Councillor’s Report
There have been conversations taking place regarding the vulnerability of the library, along with Stirling Council’s “Big Conversation” all about budgets due to there being at least a £13m shortfall for the Council. CGM emphasised how critical the situation is, and that something at some point will be cut.
CGM stressed that Libraries will have to diversify and will perhaps find themselves in conflict with other service providers such as community centres, by providing services you may usually find there.
Libraries is just one example of services that could be cut back as all services are currently vulnerable.
When mentioned, CGM said he would get a wreath for the War Memorial for Remembrance Day.
DCDT Update
- There are more traffic monitoring locations out at the moment. 2 are in the same place as they had been before and there are another 3 at the main entrances to the village. This is to have the option in the future to get flashing signs that tell drivers when they are going too fast. DCDT have previously had this conversation with Stirling Council. Stirling Council said that the speed of traffic in the village didn’t warrant these signs. Since then, the speed limit in the village has lowered to 20mph, and DCDT are gathering new data to present to Stirling Council.
- DCDT have been in touch with Stirling Council to ask for advice on locations for Blue Badge parking.
- Public toilets came out very high in the list of priorities in the place plan. Neither Stirling Council nor Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park want to fund public toilets, so if this is something Drymen residents want DCDT will have to fund the toilets and they will have to be pay per use. A feasibility study for these toilets is taking place. The main part of this is the financial viability and sustainability of the toilets regarding upkeep. The next stage would be to look at design and planning, which will involve community engagement. A query was raised regarding using the Village Hall for public toilets; however it is not accessible to those with mobility issues with it being up the hill, and it would also cause security issues in the hall.
- DCDT are applying for a Community Pride grant of £1500 to cover some of the cost of the design and planning.
- DCDT are looking to set up a paths group, volunteers who spend a bit of time every month to tidy up the paths around the village. DCDT are looking into insurance for this.
- Advent windows will possibly go ahead after talks with DCC.
- DCDT is in conversation with other villages about community buses. This would involve the trusts from each village coming together with funding etc, however the challenge is likely to be finding volunteers. This however is just the start of the conversation.
- A concern was raised to tidy up the area around the butcher, which DCC assured it would get done.
Treasurers Report
The bank requires Rebekah Stewart and Maja McTavish to go on the signatories. Fraser Robb is already on there.
DCC has received a £287.78 admin grant from Stirling Council. DCC is to pay Rowan for the last 3 months of minutes (£120) and also to pay for the hire of the Village Hall.
DCC is very keen to ensure the Gala Day will return next year and will be looking for volunteers. This will be the 2nd Saturday in June.
Fraser Robb says a few words about Walter Hemfrey
“We all know Walter Hemfrey has slipped away, and last week his memorial service was held in Drymen Church. There was an absolutely excellent turn out to mark Walter’s wonderful life that he had, and his last 30 odd years In Drymen. Prior to that he was very much involved in planning. He was the ideal candidate to help us in Drymen in the Community Council having an excellent background, and he was a great advisor to the council as our planning correspondent for the past 12 years. I think everyone appreciated the amount of effort and work put into it. And when there were any planning applications that were maybe causing a bit of interest with many members of the community, Walter was so good at putting the amount of work into it and advising the council and informing the community of what the pros and cons would be if any planning issue went ahead. It was always through Walter’s experience that he would recommend refusal to the National Park authority or to support it. We always went with Walter, and his decisions at all times were always right. Everyone has been very appreciative of what Walter has done and we offer his family our deepest sympathy for losing Walter very very suddenly. On behalf of the Community Council, our thoughts are certainly with Carol and Kate and we appreciate Walter for all his service.”
DCC had some feedback from the big conversation.
The main resident priorities that Stirling Council highlighted were:
- No toilets
- Inadequate public transport
- Recycling bins in the car park and rubbish bins around the village need emptied more often.
- Social services need to improve, particularly care packages for those who need assistance.
- We need our library.
Work is starting on Conic Hill, DCC will put details of closures on social media and in the library.
Hospital transport had been brought up at the previous meeting. RC assured that it had been discussed, but with other pressing issues there hasn’t yet been much progress. DCC reassured residents that it hasn’t been forgotten about and it is a priority.
Any Other Business
There was a discussion regarding a memorial for Andrew Lee and Walter Hemfrey, with DM confirming that the Gala Day would likely be in memory of Andrew.
Next meeting is the 7th of November at 7pm in Drymen Village Hall.
DM thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting.