December 2023 Minutes

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Kippen Community Council
Minutes of the Meeting held in Kippen Reading Rooms at 7:30pm on Wednesday 13th December 2023
Barbara Ross (Vice-Chair), Michaela Yates (Secretary), Margaret Beaton (Planning/Licensing), Robert Clubb (Treasurer), Scott Crawford, Ann Milligan
In Attendance:
Councillor Gerry McGarvey (Scottish Labour Party), Esther Lim (Minute Taker)
Derek Shanks (Chair), Christine Stewart
There were 4 members of the public present
1. Welcome and Apologies
The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and gave the apologies.
2. Adoption of Minutes from the Last Meeting
The unconfirmed minutes of the Meeting held on 8th November 2023 were approved having been proposed by Scott Crawford (SC) and seconded by Ann Milligan (AM).
3. Matters Arising from the Last Meeting
3.1 Castlehill Loan Recycling Hub This is ongoing.
3.2 Bridge Handrail Repair
This in ongoing. The CC will get quotations for the repairs to the bridge which are more substantial than initially supposed. An application for funding from the Windfarm grant will be submitted in January 2024.
3.3 Giant Hogweed
In response to an enquiry from Councillor Paul Henke (PH), Stirling Council confirmed that it is the responsibility of individual land owners, not the council to clear giant hogweed. Barbara Ross (BR) has researched how this can cleared and it is an expensive and lengthy process. Operatives must be trained in the use of dangerous chemicals and spraying must be done over a period of 5 years. Due to its rapid spread, the lack of enforcement and the dangerous nature of the plant, it needs to be addressed at the level of the Scottish Government. BR has raised this with the MSPs, Evelyn Tweed, and Mark Ruskell and Alyn Smith (MP).
3.4 Blocked Drains on Main Street
Stephen Bly (SB) has confirmed that the winter cycle of drain clearing work has begun and a local resident reported seeing some drains being cleared. SB confirmed Stirling Council are unable to advise KCC of drain cleaning in advance as this is carried out by a sub-contractor. This means that the two most problematic drains are usually covered by parked cars and cannot be cleared. GM asked SC to email the relevant information to him and he will take this forward. [Action: Scott Crawford and Councillor McGarvey]
3.5 Standing Water & Ice Risk – The Meadows
This has been reported to Stirling Council by Michaela Yates (MY) and at least one local resident and followed up by Councillor Henke. Workmen inspected the site and contacted Dawn Homes. Digging was observed at the site on 6th November. It is unknown if this was to address the problem. Michaela Yates (MY) will contact to Stirling Council to follow up. [Action: Michaela Yates]
SC agreed to forward the relevant background information to Councillor Gerry
McGarvey (GM) who will take this forward. [Action: Scott Crawford and Councillor McGarvey]
3.6 Adoption of Private Road Near Dasher Farm
Neil Pirie confirmed that the application had been refused on the basis that the drainage and lighting were not to standard. MY sent reply to residents as agreed in October meeting, and passed on contact details for the councillors for our area.
3.7 Installing a Light in the Bus Shelter
In response to an enquiry from MY, Stirling Council responded that they do not have the budget to install a light at this time and suggested KCC contact them again in the new financial year.
4. Matters for discussion
4.1 Police Report
The Secretary read the police report for December 2023 compiled by PC Matt McCammon. The following cases were reported:

1 undetected theft of a quad bike from a local farm (following a similar theft in October).

1 report of speeding on the A811 near Kippen

1 report of a neighbour dispute in the street. Both parties were spoken to by police and no criminality identified.
In addition, the police also advised the CC of a distraction theft/bogus workman incident in another village. Residents are encouraged to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
4.2 Correspondence
4.2.1 Annual General Meeting
Barbara Ross proposed that the AGM be held in May 2024. This was agreed by the members present. MY to inform Stephen Bly. [Action: Michaela Yates]
4.2.2 Festive Break
The last working day for submission of Community Council enquiries in 2023 will be 20 December 2023. The first working day for submission of Community Council enquiries in 2024 will be 8 January 2024.
4.2.3 Playgroup Permission to Use Woods
The playgroup has been in contact with Jeremy Gaywood of the Mitchell Trust requesting permission to use the woods. MY asked for a volunteer from the CC to liaise with Jeremy to grant joint permission from KCC and the Mitchell Trust. Robert Clubb volunteered. [Action: Robert Clubb]
4.2.4 Response from Councillor Chris Kane re: Bus Cuts.
KCC has received a letter in response to their concerns regarding cuts to bus services. The response has been circulated to members. BR summarised their response: the council do not want to make cuts but have no choice. They will take the points made by KCC into consideration.
4.2.5 Request for Assistance from Gargunnock Community Council
Gargunnock Community Council (GCC) are recruiting a development manager to provide project management for the refurbishment and development of their community shop. They would welcome any advice or examples of what similar groups have done.
Robert Clubb (RC) suggested they contact a man in Doune whose name he could not remember offhand. RC agreed to pass his details on. [Action: Robert Clubb]
GM recommended GCC contact. GM will pass his contact details to RC and RC will forward these to GCC. [ Action: Councillor McGarvey & Robert Clubb]
4.2.6 Reading Rooms Online Booking
The current secretary of the Reading Rooms committee is stepping down at the end of this year and they will be moving to an online booking system from January 2024. MY agreed to book the Reading Rooms going forward. [Action: Michaela Yates]
MY agreed to send the Reading Room invoice to RC to process payment. [Action: Michaela Yates]
4.2.7 Funding Opportunities
Details of 2 funding opportunities have been received:

The FEL Climate Hub is offering seed grants of between £250 and £1,500 to community organisations for projects related to climate change.

The Community Council Fund is offering grants of up to £500 to help CCs to develop local resilience plans that address potential natural hazards. The application deadline is 31st January 2024.
BR highlighted that these funding sources could be linked into the Local Place Plan.
4.3 Planning Applications/Decisions/Appeals Nothing of note or concern.
4.4 Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer provided the finance report for the period up to 13th December 2023. The current balance is £1,962.68. The only expenses for the period were the costs for a minute taker and room hire.
4.5 Councillor’s Report
Councillor Gerry McGarvey (GM) confirmed that the upcoming budget cuts are what is currently on everyone’s mind. He reminded KCC that no one wants cuts but that every department is having to look for cuts of 20%. He stressed that the cuts will be severe and there are no reserve funds. The primary focus will be to try to preserve whatever impacts the most vulnerable in the community. GM confirmed that bus provision to Forth Valley Hospital is high on his agenda. He confirmed he will attend Paul Mackintosh’s meeting with councillors.
4.6 Local Place Plans

This work is ongoing. RC and BR attended an information webinar in November and the next step is to tap into funding and gather input from the community in the new year. BR reminded members that the LPP focuses largely on land usage and stressed its importance in influencing how Kippen and the surrounding area develops. GM suggested KCC look at examples of other Community Place Plans, such as Drymen or Gartmore and expressed the view that community engagement and working in partnership with the Community Trust are key. MY suggested KCC speak to other CCs about how they are putting their LPP together. To be followed up with joint community councils post budget cuts meeting in January. [Action: Barbara Ross & Michaela Yates]

RC spoke on behalf of the Kippen Community Trust which determines how Windfarm funding is allocated. The Trust feels there should be more rigour around ensuring that funding awarded matches the priorities of the community
as demonstrated in the Local Place Plan (which informs the Local Development
Plan and focuses mainly on land usage) and the Community Place Plan or similar (which details the community priorities).

GM assured KCC that there is funding available which community trusts are well placed to access. He agreed to pass details of potential funders to BR if she emails the request to him. [Action: Barbara Ross and Councillor McGarvey]

The CC has received an email reminder to complete the ‘Have a say on the future of your place’ survey. MY will forward this to members to complete. AM asked if this should be distributed further to the community. MY will check. [Action: Michaela Yates and Members]
4.7 Defibrillator
Trossachs Search & Rescue Team (TSR) recently carried out a maintenance check on the defibrillator in the external cabinet at the front of the Reading Rooms and identified that the cabinet is leaking. They advised it should be replaced. A like-for-like replacement would cost £498, excluding delivery or installation, but they recommend a newer, sturdier cabinet at the cost of £594 + delivery & installation.
TSR also advised that the defibrillator is due for a software update without which it could be showing an inaccurate reading and a change of batteries at a cost of £204. They asked to schedule a time to check the device before it is collected. Members remembered that the battery and pads were replaced last year so the battery should not need replacing at this point.
Members and attendees discussed how to raise the money for immediate and ongoing repairs. They agreed to raise funds within the local community to meet the immediate repair costs by setting up a GoFundMe page and contacting local businesses to ask for a contribution. The KCC recognised they needed a system in place to fund and monitor maintenance of the defibrillator on an ongoing basis. Applying for windfarm funding was suggested. Robert Clubb and Michaela Yates agreed to take this forward. [Action: Michaela Yates and Robert Clubb]
4.8 Budget Cuts
BR, MY and AM attended a meeting of 15 local community councils hosted by Strathard Community Council on Friday 8th December. They agreed to create 8 work streams to address 8 areas of proposed cuts: nursery provision, education services, bin collections, library services, public toilets, village hall support, transport services and essential road repairs. (In addition, there is an overarching stream to look at cumulative impacts.) These work streams are looking at the cumulative effect of the cuts across their different areas. The Lead Organiser for each stream has formulated key questions on the proposed cuts and has sent these out to participating CCs for review and additions. The lead organiser will compile these questions and forward them to the Stephen Bly enquiries email no later than Friday 15th December. The lead organiser will then work with nominated
Community Councillors and the participating CCs to develop an overarching impact assessment statement identifying the actual impact the cuts will have on the rural communities. The aim is to have this in place by Wednesday 17 January, or 19 January at the latest.
KCC members discussed the key questions formulated by each work stream and gave their comments and suggestions. Councillor McGarvey left the room for this part of the discussion to avoid any conflict of interest. Some additional points were:
Toilet Closures
● Scott Crawford suggested KCC add their perspective as a village whose toilets have already been closed and what impact it has had.

Members agreed libraries were a huge issue and have an important function as warm places in the community.

Question: If Stirling Library is going to be the only / nearest library available, what are the council going to do to make it accessible?

Question: How will they replace the warm spaces and computer access?
Bin Collection from Unadopted road

It was recognised that this proposal would affect a number of people in the Kippen area. Members noted the proposals would mean residents having to put bins on land that doesn’t belong to their houses and they could find their bins being used by others.

Question: How will you stop other people using those bins?

Question: A lot of unadopted road end on busy roads, how will you ensure safety?
Bus Cuts

Members recognised this was a huge issue for Kippen and cuts would block visits to those in hospitals and care homes.

A member of the public expressed concern that the X10 service seems to constantly being cut.

Questions: How will residents access the small injury unit in Stirling?
Council managed community centres and grants for village halls
● Members recognised that if grants are taken away, some communities would not be able to heat their halls and they would have to close.
BR explained that the next stage will be for CC representatives to meet with Councillors on 18th January to put forward the case of the impact of these cuts on
rural communities. BR commended Paul Mackintosh and Joyce Kelly for the work they are doing.
4.9 Maintenance of the War Memorial
MY contacted Stirling Council and was advised to contact the War Memorials Trust. The Trust responded that according to their records Stirling Council are the current custodians of the war memorial. Following an enquiry, the Land Services Officer confirmed that they only carry out grounds maintenance. The Infrastructure and Delivery Officer confirmed that they manage the war memorial and it has been surveyed recently. They currently have the budget to conduct health and safety maintenance only, not upgrades.
KCC agreed they were happy to take over oversight of the War Memorial subject to the formation of a committee of community helpers and ownership of the land being confirmed.
Members recognised that there were various community areas and pieces of land within the village of uncertain ownership. It was suggested that KCC apply for funding to conduct a land search to identify who owns what land within the village and to decide how it can best be maintained. This could also feed into the Local Place Plan. It was agreed that members should revisit this issue.
4.10 Shared Inbox Options for Community Council Email
Members discussed the need for a system to make the managing of KCC correspondence and communication more effective and less time consuming. Options and costs were discussed and members agreed to explore this further.
5. Round Table Discussion / Any Other Competent Business
5.1 The Wee Vine Update
BR agreed to pull together an update between Christmas and the new year.
5.2 20mph Flashing Sign
SC noted there is still a 20mph flashing sign at the top of Oak Wood despite the whole village being a 20mph zone. Members seemed to think this had been left as a reminder to curb speeding.
5.3 Emergency Phone Provision
SC raised concern that, due to current phone upgrades, vulnerable residents have no way of contacting others such as health care providers if the internet goes down or there is a power cut. Members agreed to discuss this further.
5.4 Reliability Issues – School Bus Service
There was considerable discussion of the ongoing problems with the school bus service. There have been numerous occurrences of late, cancelled or broken-down buses since the summer holidays. AN agreed to share a list of these incidents with members and to pass this onto Councillor McGarvey to action.
[Action: Ann Milligan & Councillor McGarvey]
5.5 Potholes
SC has submitted information on the potholes to the Council but nothing has been done. He agreed to send images to MY who will email GM to escalate this. [Action: Scott Crawford, Michaela Yates & Councillor McGarvey
6. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled to take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 14th February 2023 in the Kippen Reading Rooms. Members discussed the need to hold a meeting in January 2024 to discuss KCCs response to the council budget cuts. BR will message members and set up a meeting as needed. [Action: Barbara Ross]