Alan Booth Secretary
Woodlea, Perth Road Dunblane
Chair Old Glassingall
Dunblane FK15 0JG
Minutes of the meeting of the Dunblane Community Council held on Wednesday, 1 June, 2022, at 7 p.m. in the Burgh Chambers Dunblane. This was a "blended" meeting with some attendees joining via Zoom.
Present: Ailsa Gray (Chair), David Prescott, Alan Booth (Secretary), Graham Mowat. Joining by Zoom: Sharon Mylchreest, Craig French, Chris Toop (Treasurer).
In attendance: Councillors Alasdair Tollemache and Graham Houston, Terence O'Byrne, Annelise Bakri, Margaret Bragg (Minutes Secretary). Joining by Zoom: Councillor Ewan Dillon, and Bridget Clark.
Apologies have been received from Andy Mitchell, Karen Jenkins, Fiona Plumtree and Councillor Dodds.
2. Chair's Remark
There are no conflicts of interest and no Press attendance. The Chair thanked David Prescott for his work on the various planning issues and hoped he would be able to continuing helping Dunblane Community Council going forward. After the recent Council elections, she welcomed the returned Councillors to the meeting.
3. Approval of minutes of 4 May 2022
These were approved, proposed by Alan Booth and seconded by the Chair.
4. Co-option of new members
Three people have been nominated as co-opted members: Terence O'Byrne, Annelise Bakri and Stewart Corbett. They have been nominated by the Secretary and seconded by Sharon Mylchreest and the community councillors present at this meeting approved their nomination, which will go forward to the Council.
5. Standing items from previous meetings
Dunblane High School/Dunblane Young People's Project Update It was agreed to drop this item from future agendas. The Secretary said that the Headteacher at the High School has confirmed that the project will continue. It is hoped to get pupil participation at future community council meetings.
Scottish Water works Terence O'Byrne reported that the works, due to be completed by mid-May, are now scheduled to end in mid-September. The sewerage system will then be connected together. The traffic lights and roundabout should soon be reinstated and Claredon Place will re-open. Work will be carried out in George Street until mid-July, followed by Springfield Terrace. During the latter works George Street will be the route for diverted traffic. At a recent meeting, Stirling Council refused to suspend parking in George Street, although vehicle-activated speed limit signs at the play park are to be installed. Traffic cones will be moved along the street as necessary. Terence O'Byrne warned of future traffic jams. Clarification on how this will work has been sought from Brian Roberts (Chief Operating Officer, Infrastructure and Environment, Stirling Council), including a request that residents be allowed to park for free in the Tesco lower car park, but no reply has been received and Stirling Council made the decision to allow parking in George Street without informing the contractors. When the traffic lights and roundabout are reinstated, work can progress on removing the cycle lanes on the B8033 and Councillor Tollemache agreed to work with Councillor Houston and follow this up. Action: Councillors Tollemache and Houston.
Bridget Clark has asked Angela Simpson (Active Travel Project Manager, Stirling Council) if it was possible to upgrade the broken steps and the path from the Church of the Holy Family up to Argyle Way. She suggested that a meander be put in and the steps removed to make it easier for cyclists and people with buggies. Angela Simpson reported that Scottish Water is going to resurface the whole path and make it as good as possible. Councillor Houston stated that Scottish Water is not obliged to make improvements, only to reinstate on a like-for-like basis. David Prescott reported that this had been the source of disagreement at a recent meeting with Scottish Water as they made the case that Scottish Water could not reinstate something which is substandard. Small improvements have been made at Scottish Water's expense but not to the extent the community wants. Terence O'Byrne will bring this up again with Scottish Water. Action: Terence O’Byrne.
Winter maintenance The Secretary noted that there has been a long-standing issue of winter maintenance in Dunblane, including gritting and the clearing of gullies. Councillor Tollemache agreed to find out if Stirling Council has reviewed winter maintenance and what proposals are coming before the committee in September. Councillor Dillon expressed his willingness to work with the other Councillors to pursue this and Terence O'Byrne suggested he met with them to discuss the issue. It is important that the community council is consulted on any proposals.
Cycle routes and Active Travel Bridget Clark affirmed that the cycle lanes on the B8033 will be altered once the Scottish Water works are complete. She gave a brief overview of the future proposal for an off-road route between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan and offered to meet Councillor Dillon to give him more information.
Cathedral Burial Ground The feeling of councillors is that Historic Environment Scotland is not making enough of an effort to find descendants of the families who own the graves and, in the meantime, the graveyard is fenced off with unattractive Heras fencing. The Secretary stated that two years have to elapse before it can be assumed that no-one is coming forward to claim ownership of graves.
6. Update on closure of Bank of Scotland Dunblane branch
The Chair suggested she meet with members of the Dunblane Development Trust and the Burgh Chambers Group to discuss the future of the Bank of Scotland's building. David Prescott did not think that the Bank is going to change its mind about selling the building. Councillor Tollemache reminded the meeting that the Bank had promised a public meeting and he will pursue this. The Chair agreed to write to the Bank as well to ask for this. Action: Councillor Tollemache and the Chair.
7. Police Report: See attached.
The Secretary had enquired about the number of phone calls to the Police which did not appear on the crime statistics. PC Ross Barclay explained that many calls might report on the same incident and were regarded as repeat calls, and not dealt with separately in the report.
8. Planning Report: See attached.
In the interim, David Prescott and Terence O'Byrne will work together on planning matters.
Park of Keir With the closure by 2024 of the national tennis centre at Stirling University, announced by the Lawn Tennis Association, the future of the development at Park of Keir was considered by councillors to be in doubt. David Prescott called on Councillors to reject any plans for the site which differed from the original application and stressed that the Section 75 agreement should be adhered to.
Firs of Kinbuck David Prescott reported that the appeal has been dismissed on road safety grounds and because of non-compliance with the Local Plan. He thought that a precedent may have been created with the Reporter supporting the community's objections. BEAR Scotland claimed that they were not obliged by the Scottish Road Works Commissioner to have discussions with community councils. However, once David Prescott contacted the Road Works Commissioner it was agreed that discussions with Transport Scotland and BEAR could take place. He asked Councillor Houston how this could lead to stronger campaigns in other communities similarly affected. The Chair reported that support had also been given by Councillor Crawford Reid, Perth and Kinross Council who had recently met with the Transport Minister on A9 road safety issues.
Land at Lecropt With the removal of the Section 75 restriction, David Prescott warned that serious questions were raised over the Section 75 process with implications for wider development issues.
An application has been received for a house on Sheriffmuir with access route on to the A9. A previous application in 2017 was approved.
The Secretary pointed out that it is important to have a strategy to communicate with the community about planning issues and he suggested that the local authority should fund this. He also suggested that the community council should have a page in The Wire (the local free magazine). Action: Alan Booth, Secretary.
David Prescott agreed that this would provide an opportunity to consult about the Local Development Plan. He also reported that the community council can take part in the Scottish Government’s Local Governance Review but that participation and consultation requires funding for communications and publicity. Terence O'Byrne agreed to work on this. Action: Terence O'Byrne.
Network Rail has asked Stirling Council whether an Environmental Impact Statement is required for the proposed electrification of the railway line between Dunblane and Aberdeen and given details of proposed necessary works. It is proposed that the bridge at Kinbuck would be redecked and other bridges including the footbridge in the Laighhills would have their parapets raised. It was felt that this could be an opportunity to make both bridges easier for walkers and cyclists but this would need more funding.
9. Treasurer's Report: See attached.
10. Correspondence Report: Everything has been circulated.
11. Dunblane Development Trust Report
The Secretary reported that the DDT is assessing its structures and the deployment of people. It is not looking to take on any new projects at present.
Community councillors criticised the new railway timetable. David Prescott has also publicised this in the Stirling Observer, and reiterated the need for Glasgow to Dundee trains to stop in Dunblane. He agreed to pursue this and will draft a letter to the Transport Minister. Action: David Prescott.
With reference to future meetings, the Secretary suggested that the Library was a potential venue, as it has a larger area, and equipment and was more easily accessible. Graham Mowat agreed to follow this up with the librarian. Action: Graham Mowat.
In order for the new co-opted members to attend for three meetings in the shortest time possible, and, thereby qualifying to be considered for full membership, it was agreed to hold a short meeting by Zoom in July.
Councillor Tollemache confirmed that the authorities have been notified that the cones and signs from the recent Road Race should be removed.
The Secretary, while repeating the need for a communications strategy, agreed to notify the local Press of future meetings. Action: The Secretary.
13. Date, time and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Dunblane Community Council will take place by Zoom on Wednesday, 6 July, 2022, at 7 p.m.
The meeting ended at 8.30 p.m.
This is a true representation of the meeting.
Ailsa Gray ……………………………………………………… Date …………………… Chair
Alan Booth ……………………………………………………. Date ……………………. Secretary