Dunblane Community Council
Woodlea, Perth Road
Minutes of the Dunblane Community Council held on Wednesday, 7 June, 2023, at 7 p.m. in the Library, Dunblane. This is a “blended” meeting, with some attendees joining by Zoom.
Present: Ailsa Gray (Chair), Alan Booth (Secretary), Terence O'Byrne, Annelise
Bakri, Karen Jenkins, Jonathan Failes, Graham Mowat, Calum Thomson, Anna Jarchow-MacDonald.
In attendance: Councillors Robin Kleinman, Douglas Dodds and Alasdair Tollemache; Ryan Bissoonauth and Vasu Raman Sharma from Wind2; Rachel Nelson and Elinor Lindsay from St Mary's Parent Council; Hannah Ritchie, Nikola Thomson and Linzi Tindall from Trossachs Search and Rescue; Steve Mason, Amanda Cunningham-Gray, Richard Gibbs, David Chisholm, PC Paul
Gilliland and PC Ross Barclay, Margaret Bragg (Minutes Secretary). Joining by Zoom: Bridget Clark and Mairi Santolini.
Apologies have been received from Stewart Corbett, Fiona Plumtree and Christine Howe.
2. Chairman's remarks, welcome and conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest and no Press presence. The Chair noted the crowded agenda with three presentations.
3. Approval of minutes of 10 May 2023
These were approved, proposed by Terence O'Byrne and seconded by Alan Booth.
4. Trossachs Search and Rescue presentation
Steve Mason gave a brief recap of the history of the installation and maintenance of defibrillators in Dunblane. At present, there are 19 public
access machines in the town with a further 9 in private hands, such as at the Queen Victoria school or Marks and Spencer. Their locations are on the Dunblane.info website. Trossachs Search and Rescue is responsible for maintaining the defibrillators but not for funding new batteries and pads.
Up to now the expenses have not all been covered but recently an anonymous benefactor has come forward to fund the remaining machines.
This is very positive news for the future.
Linzi Tindall is responsible for the First Responder service where volunteers are trained by the Scottish Ambulance Service which will send them out to deal with an emergency until an ambulance arrives. At present there is a communication issue which is preventing them being sent out as often as possible by despatch centres and the ambulance service. Steve Mason asked for community council support and is willing to draft a letter to the Scottish Ambulance Service, in an attempt to resolve this problem, for the community council to send. Action: Steve Mason.
The Chair supported this and also asked for Councillors' help. Steve Mason noted that Keith Brown MSP has been supportive in the past.
Hannah Ritchie noted that there is no public funding of Search and Rescue teams, as opposed to Mountain Rescue, and they rely on volunteers and fund-raising. They aim to clean and check each machine every four to six
Nikola Thomson said that they hoped to start Heartstart classes again soon in conjunction with the Ambulance Service and Save a Life for Scotland. They used to visit schools pre-Covid and hoped to do so again. The Chair agreed that this should be included in the letter to the Ambulance Service and thanked them all for coming to the meeting.
5. Windfarm presentation
Ryan Bissoonauth started the presentation from Wind2 on the proposed Windburn windfarm by stating that this is not yet a live planning
application. Councillor Dodds left the meeting at this point as he is a member of the Planning Panel which will consider this in due course. Ryan
Bissoonauth went through the presentation slides and took questions as he went.
Concerns were raised over the access route being off the A9 both for construction and maintenance, a stretch of road with a known bad accident
record. Ryan stated that there will be a detailed traffic management plan worked out with Transport Scotland and Stirling Council. As the Chair commented, the Sheriffmuir Road is used as a relief road for the A9 when it is blocked after an accident. In response to a question from the Secretary, Ryan confirmed that access from Burnfoot would also be considered but this
would not be as straightforward.
There was a discussion over the visual impact and Ryan agreed to send the Secretary details of the visibility of the turbine tips. The infrastructure work will be routed to minimise any damage to the peat land. He also confirmed that the water supply for Highland Spring will be protected. The Chair noted the sensitivity of the site as it impinges on the Sheriffmuir Battlefield and
associated camps and suggested that the Battlefield Trust is consulted.
The proposal includes an onsite substation and SSE will be responsible for connecting it underground to Braco West substation. This distribution grid connection will require separate consent and Ryan confirmed that the windfarm will not be built unless this is in place.
Transmission by 2029 has been proposed by SSE.
Ryan informed the meeting that they are working with Octopus Energy on the proposal and hope to have it finalised within the next two months. It is
expected that community benefits arising from the development will be finalised at the same time as the application is submitted and will be split
between the different communities, comprising 10 community councils. At present, they are formulating ideas on how it is split and gathering feedback on what every community wants. However, there will not be individual negotiations; there is no easy formula on how it will be split.
The Chair commented that there could be other community benefits. For example, during construction, access roads and tracks could be improved to the benefit of walkers etc. Ryan confirmed that they plan to carry out surveys
on the recreational use of the site. The Secretary suggested that they contact Friends of the Ochils for their input.
Ryan confirmed that public exhibitions will be held, although there is no date yet for one to be held in Dunblane. He informed the meeting that the application will be submitted to the Scottish Government with Stirling Council being a consultee.
The Chair thanked Ryan and Vasu for attending and will send them the community council's comments. She invited them to return to the September meeting with an update.
13. Police Report: See attached.
The Chair commented that the community council is trying to increase the safety of the Queen Victoria slips and the Keir roundabout and is prepared to follow this up with Transport Scotland and eventually the Scottish Government. It would, therefore, be helpful if there was information on the number of times the A9 is blocked. However, the police said it would be very difficult to analyse the calls and would take up too much time. Also, it is often traffic officers who deal with incidents on the A9, not local officers.
Councillor Tollemache raised the issue of security in the Mill Row car park as residents were concerned about incidents there.
The police confirmed that drivers are prosecuted for breaking the limit in 20 mph zones. However, the police detailed the inordinate amount of time
involved in following the regulations in the use of hand-held speed guns and consequent prosecutions. They will continue to do speed checks when possible. It was suggested that speed bumps be installed up Glen Road
where drivers often speed but the police stated that their installation is a Council matter. Councillor Dodds suggested using a pop-up puppet policeman.
6. St Mary's Parent Council presentation
Elinor Lindsay addressed the meeting on the community project run by the parents and children of St Mary's to improve the Mill Row playpark. They have met with Paul Allan (Play and Maintenance Officer, Stirling Council) who
confirmed that the Council will replace the train play equipment which is in a state of disrepair. The Council will also undertake the ground work and installation of any new equipment, make good the paths and fences, and will adopt the playpark, including the new equipment when it has been decided.
Councillor Kleinman clarified that the Council will maintain the park within the limits of its resources.
The Parent Council want to raise £15,000 for new equipment, including equipment accessible for children with physical disabilities. There is more
information on the school website. They have made a successful application to the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Environment Trust for £10,000 or 60% of eligible costs, which leaves a further £5,000 to raise. Crowdfunding has
already raised £1,100 and there are more fundraising projects in the pipeline. Councillor Dodds advised them to apply to the Dunblane Common Good Fund (CGF) but community councillors pointed out that in the past they were informed that only the interest and not the capital can be disbursed and this would not be very much (see Minutes, April 2022). When Councillor Dodds declared that this is no longer the case, community councillors stressed how important it is that they are informed when rules are changed. According to Councillor Dodds, they could apply for up to £10,000 from the CGF, to the Civic Panel, of which the Provost, Councillor Dodds, is the convenor. For example, he confirmed that if the Burgh Chambers were sold in future, that money would go into the CGF for Dunblane. A supportive form for the community council to complete for applications to the fund can be downloaded from the Council's website.
Councillor Dodds agreed to give Elinor Lindsay the contact details of the officer dealing with the CGF. Councillor Tollemache commended the work of
St Mary's Parent Council.
7. Co-option of new members
The Secretary informed the meeting that in order to co-opt new councillors, the community council has to advertise that they are looking for new
members, giving at least 3 weeks' notice.
Applications have to be checked by Stephen Bly (Community Council Enquiry Co-ordination, Stirling Council). It was agreed to go ahead with the process for co-opting new members with a
vote on the candidates proposed for the August meeting.
8. Matters arising
9. Local Place Plan
Jonathan Failes gave a brief report on the successful engagement and positive feedback received from the public to the publicity posters about the upcoming survey displayed at the Fling. He will be working on reviewing the Local Place Plan documentation and planning mini-workshops on themes and topics raised at the Fling, but noted the importance of guiding and providing focus at these sessions. Annelise Bakri is helping to engage various organisations in this. However, the focus has to be on the survey and the Chair acknowledged the need to decide which topics should be prioritised. Anna Jarchow-MacDonald has met with the Parent Council at Dunblane High School but proposed meetings with all the schools in the town to give them information and involve them in the survey. The Chair also suggested that she contact Rev Ruth Kennedy, the Pioneer Minister for the under-40s at the Cathedral.
On behalf of the community council, Terence O'Byrne thanked Jonathan Failes and Amanda Cunningham-Gray for the work they have already done and, in particular, praised the posters at the Fling and on the High Street.
10. Planning Update: See attached.
With reference to the appeal by the Kippendavie Group Trust to the Department of Planning and Appeals Division of the Scottish Government
against the refusal of the planning application at Kellie Wynd, Terence O'Byrne confirmed that the community council's original submission will
still be considered. The Chair agreed to take this forward and submit a further response by 20 June. Action: The Chair.
11. Communications Report
Calum Thomson reported that, as part of the Dunblane.info team he is working on raising the profile of the community council with more of its
stories appearing, e.g. giant hogweed or the proposed windfarm. He noted that the LPP is going to be one of the most important issues for the town going forward and will try to make it easier to understand through the website. The Chair stated that it has to be clear which projects are achievable rather than simply provide reports.
12. Treasurer's Report: See attached.
14. Operations Report: See attached.
Terence O'Byrne has met with Gary Neill (Roads Services Manager, Stirling Council) and is working with him to progress the following which have all
been raised previously (see Minutes, April 2023): winter maintenance review, Kinbuck Road culvert, gullies and road surface, gullies and road surface
between the Queen Victoria school and the Fourways roundabout, water ponding at the Fourways roundabout, gullies on the main roads into Dunblane and traffic management approval notices.
Terence O'Byrne raised the problem of the lack of consultation on traffic management when work is being done, for example for the cycle lane works
on the B8033 and by SSE at the railway station. In the latter case, the Victoria Hall management was not notified beforehand of any disruption.
Councillor Tollemache said that elected members are now able to complain directly to the officer responsible which is a positive step. The Chair
suggested that complaints were raised with SSE directly.
With reference to the Memorial Park bridge, Councillor Tollemache confirmed that action is being taken to effect repairs.
With reference to the spraying of giant hogweed, Terence O'Byrne and Stewart Corbett were thanked for undertaking this annual work. It was
noted that the Council no longer has a Biodiversity Officer. With regards to the Pollinator Strategy and the lack of consultation over the cutting of grass verges, Councillor Tollemache remarked that areas designated by the Council have been omitted and there is now some disagreement over trees planted in Newton Park. He complained about the lack of consultation with
15. Correspondence Report: See attached.
The Secretary clarified that the Cricket Club still want to play in the Laighhills although they are training in Doune at the present.
Councillor Tollemache has circulated an email detailing issues he has dealt with recently. With reference to the £30,000 allocation to address concerns of Ramoyle residents over roads and pavements, Councillor Tollemache is going to organise a meeting later this month between residents, Council officers and community councillors. He undertook to leaflet Ramoyle to
publicise the meeting and the Chair agreed to circulate councillors on their availability; Terence O'Byrne confirmed his attendance. She also agreed that this should be an agenda item for the next meeting. Action: The Chair. The Secretary complained about the difficulty of getting Council officers to attend community council meetings when problems arise.
Anna Jarchow-MacDonald raised the issue of the badly rusting railway bridge at the station. Councillor Tollemache confirmed this has been raised with Network Rail and will ask ScotRail to inspect the bridge. The Chair mentioned the problems with the bridge at Kinbuck (see Minutes, March 2023) and suggested that both these points be raised at Chief Executive level
with Network Rail.
Richard Gibbs raised the problem of increasing numbers of deer seen on Dunblane roads and in gardens, with the risk of the spread of Lyme disease and asked who should be contacted. The Chair suggested contacting Kippendavie Estate from where the deer have been displaced with the felling of timber. The Secretary also suggested contacting the Deer Commission.
17. Date, time, and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Dunblane Community Council will be held on Wednesday, 2 August 2023, at 7 p.m. in the Library, Dunblane.
The meeting ended at 9.40 p.m.
This is a true representation of the meeting.
Ailsa Gray ……………………………………………………… Date
Alan Booth ……………………………………………………. Date