Dunblane Community Council
Woodlea, Perth Road
Minutes of the Dunblane Community Council held on Wednesday, 10 May, 2023, at 7.30 p.m. in the Library, Dunblane. This is a "blended" meeting with some attendees joining by Zoom.
Present: Ailsa Gray (Chair), Alan Booth (Secretary), Stewart Corbett (Treasurer), Karen Jenkins, Terence O'Byrne, Sharon Mylchreest, Annelise Bakri, Jonathan Failes, Calum Thomson. Joining by Zoom: Anna Jarchow-MacDonald, Graham Mowat, Fiona Plumtree.
In attendance: Councillor Robin Kleinman, Margaret Bragg (Minutes Secretary). Joining by Zoom: Councillor Alasdair Tollemache, Mairi Santolini.
Apologies have been received from Bridget Clark and Councillors Douglas Dodds and Ewan Dillon.
2. Chairman's Remarks, welcome and conflicts of interest
The Chair welcomed Jonathan Failes and Calum Thomson, the new councillors, to the community council. There are no conflicts of interest and no Press presence. This is an abbreviated agenda, because of the preceding Inaugural meeting and some items will be carried forward to the next meeting.
3. Approval of minutes of 5 April 2023
These were approved, proposed by Stewart Corbett and seconded by Karen Jenkins.
4. Future format of Dunblane community council meetings
With the addition of new members, the Chair felt this was an opportune time to consider the format of future meetings. Jonathan Failes introduced himself and laid out areas he thought could be improved: (a) communication, (b) document and ideas management, and (c) collaboration.
(a) Most communication is by email and it might be easier to use a different platform such as Zoom or Teams.
(b) The community council could consider different ways of sharing information, such as using a shared drive to keep track of ideas and shared goals.
(c) He suggested using a virtual whiteboard tool as a visual aid to establish who is working on which item.
The Chair thanked him for his input and commented that a lot of work is done between meetings and it is not always understood what has gone on unless it is mentioned at the meeting.
She felt a shared drive would be very useful and that it would allow people to see which items were allocated to whom. At meetings, the outcomes would be reported. Jonathan Failes said that the software could be quite basic which would keep costs down, and asked if the Council would provide funding.
Reports, such as the Planning Report, would be distributed but not necessarily discussed every month. With reference to the Correspondence Report, it would be useful for people to see the letters and the responses. The Secretary queried whether everyone would want to see every single document, and the Chair replied that documents would be made available on the drive and it would be the responsibility of individual councillors to read the documents.
Councillor Tollemache welcomed the new community councillors. He suggested that the agenda item on Councillors' Reports be dropped and that Councillors would let the community council know when an issue is raised with them, which could then be discussed, if need be, at the council meeting.
The Chair commented that the growing list of Standing Items on the monthly agenda, where the same items are raised each month, hinders the community council from being more proactive. A more open and reduced agenda where items are raised in rotation in accordance with a forward plan would ensure there is time and space on the agenda for new points. The Treasurer suggested that it would help other groups to engage better with the community council if open meetings were held several times a year to discuss relevant issues The discussion topic for the open meeting would be publicised and relevant groups would be invited to participate.
At Bridge of Allan community council meetings, there is a 'Voice of the People' agenda item where issues can be raised by members of the public. Calum Thomson felt that the council should focus on key themes such as supporting the High Street, enhancing the environment, and transport, and these could be included appropriately in a forward plan. The Chair included in possible topics for a forward plan the safety of the A9 and rail services. It is important that the community council is proactive in supporting Dunblane and a more open agenda would help achieve this.
The Chair felt that the community council does not publicise its achievements and successes and, therefore, the community is unaware of its work. Jonathan Failes commented that a balance is needed between community engagement and what is done by the community council. The Secretary felt that the attendance at meetings of Council officers would be seen as being proactive. Sharon Mylchreest raised the wider constitutional responsibilities of the community council and its co-ordination and collaboration role, while the Secretary commented that often issues have a specific time-scale such as the proposed windfarm and new woodland, and this needs to be communicated to the community.
5. Roles within the community council
In a move to improve communications with the community, it was agreed that Calum Thomson should take on the role of communications officer. He already works on the dunblaneinfo website. Annelise Bakri is responsible for putting notices on the community notice board while Karen Jenkins administers the community council's Facebook page. At present, Graham Mowat logs in to Twitter to upload the Minutes.
6. Local Place Plan (LPP)
Stewart Corbett reported on the publicising of the upcoming survey for the LPP at the Fling on 27 May. Posters are ready, the website will be live shortly, and publicity notice boards for the day are being prepared. A rota has been drawn up of volunteers who will be present during the day to explain the survey and encourage people to take part in designing it. The purpose is to inform people what the LPP is, why they should be involved and to give people the opportunity to say which issues they want included in the survey.
In response to an enquiry from Sharon Mylchreest on widening this to others not at the Fling, the Chair confirmed that this would be the case but that care has to be taken to ensure that the LPP covers the areas it is meant to cover in accordance with guidance such as NPF4 (National Planning Framework 4). Responses from previous community-led surveys should also be taken into account. The Chair gave as an example that Dunblane is not promoted as a visitor attraction by the Council or Visit Scotland and that this likely had an impact on the town centre. The community council could take on a proactive role taking forward the issues raised by the community as part of the LPP process and that this should inform the community council’s agenda going forward.
The Dunblane Development Trust has been asked for their contribution and the Secretary said that Chairs of other groups would be asked to cascade information about the survey to their members; the individual replies would be sent directly to the LPP group. He has a list of organisations. Sharon Mylchreest agreed to be involved in raising awareness of the LPP to the wider community. Anna Jarchow-MacDonald agreed to send on a list of contacts she has at the High School and Health Service. The Chair also said it is important to engage with representatives from all the schools and other organisations such as the Dunblane Centre.
The Secretary suggested using surveymonkey or putting a map on the web where people can add comments. Jonathan Failes commented that it would be useful to get interactivity where possible and focus on encouraging people to engage with the survey. In response to a suggestion from Annelise Bakri, the Secretary agreed to contact Stephen Bly (Community Council Enquiry Co-ordinator, Stirling Council) to find out if there are large-scale maps that can be used for people to pinpoint areas of concern, eg road safety issues. Stewart Corbett and the Secretary agreed to work together on this. Jonathan Failes agreed to look over the design of the publicity boards to be used at the Fling.
Anna Jarchow-MacDonald, who will be meeting with the Parent Council at the High School, felt that young people should be encouraged to attend community council meetings. Their opinions and those of the Parent Council would inform the work of the council. The Chair supported this, by agreeing that this suggestion could be included in a forward plan of meetings.
The Secretary reported that the community council runs its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) through his personal licence but now advocated that it should get one in its own right. He also commented that the council uses his equipment for Zoom and he would need to charge in future.
Mairi Santolini on behalf of the Parent Council at the High School raised the issue of pupils using vapes which as well as being bad for their health and the environment are not meant to be sold to anyone under 18 years of age. Councillor Kleinman reported that this has been discussed by the Council but it does not have the power to ban their sale, although the Secretary pointed out that shops can be prosecuted by Trading Standards or the police if they are selling them to underage children. Councillor Tollemache added that Stirling Council agreed to write to the Scottish Government about this and he agreed to get Council officers to contact the Parent Council to discuss this.
In response to a comment from the Secretary, Councillor Kleinman agreed to find out about Stirling Council’s forward planning.
8. Date, time, and place of next meeting
The next meeting of the Dunblane Community Council will be held on Wednesday, 7 June 2023, at 7 p.m. in the Library, Dunblane.
The meeting ended at 9.10 p.m.
This is a true representation of the meeting.
Ailsa Gray ……………………………………………………… Date ……………………
Alan Booth ……………………………………………………. Date …………………….