Minutes of Meeting on 19th July 2022 Blairlogie Reading Room
Present: Mary Maxwell-Irving (Chair), Robin Kelsall (Vice Chair), Peter Jennings (Secretary), Cameron Campbell (Treasurer), Susan Allen and Georgina Cairns.
In Attendance: Councillor Danny Gibson (part) and 13 Residents
1. Apologies: Community Policing Team (PCs Greig Lowery and Stuart Gray)
2. Declarations of Interest: None
3. Approval of the Minutes of Meeting of 17th May 2022: The minutes of the meeting held on 17 May 2022 were approved (proposed by Cameron Campbell and seconded by Robin Kelsall).
While on the subject of minutes, it was announced that Katanya Hamilton had resigned as the minutes secretary since the last meeting. The Community Council thanked and applauded Katanya for her excellent service as minute taker since 2018.
4. Matters Arising
Path repair between Nethercraig and Ochil Neuk : The damaged area at the south end (by Ochil Neuk) has been resurfaced. Action complete.
Trees opposite Witches Craig : Trees still covered in ivy, so no action has been taken. Action remains with Councillor Jim Thomson.
Grass Cutting in Blairlogie : Thanks to Ian Doyle, Mary Maxwell-Irving met with the new official responsible for grass cutting (Richard Hastings) and a working relationship was established for the future. The play park and orchard were cut and cleared and the grass on top of the bank in the centre of the village will be cut with a hedge cutter in future to prevent any possibility of damage to parked cars. The grass cuttings cannot always be cleared when the grass is cut as there is only one machine to do this, limiting its availability. Action complete.
Powis Loan Footpath : SPEN has updated Councillor Rachel Nunn on progress. There are issues to resolve, but work is now likely to start in Aug/Sep 2022 and run into 2023 (was scheduled for 24 weeks, but could take longer over winter months).
5. Treasurer’s Report
Cameron Campbell gave latest position. Bank balance at last meeting was £948.76. Income since has come from Stirling Council Community Pride Grant (£1350) and is to pay for additional play equipment. Invoiced expenditure has been £50 (minute taking for AGM) and £150 (hall rental to end 2022). Balance at 19 July was £2098.76. The application has been submitted to Stirling Council for the community council’s administration grant for next year.
6. Police Report
The police report was submitted to the community council covering the period 15 March to 12 July 2022. In summary, there were 6 cases: 3 road traffic offences, 1 theft, 1 fraud and 1 assault. Enquiries are ongoing into 5 of these. Speed checks will continue, where possible, to reinforce the reduced speed limits.
7. Planning Report
Robin Kelsall gave an update. Just one item: planning approved with conditions for the conversion/extension to a dwelling at Cotkerse. The conditions concerning the removal of part of a fence.
8. Blairlogie Speed Reduction Project
The results of May 2022 traffic survey had been delivered. The speed bands used in the presentation of the results were different to those used in the previous survey (September/October 2021) making comparison difficult. There was much discussion on the survey after which it was agreed by the Community Council and Ken Todd (resident and speeding reduction petitioner) that the next survey, which is already planned, should present the results in line with the September/October 2021 survey, ie having the same locations in Blairlogie; having the same speed bands (eg 25<30, 30<35, 35<40, etc rather than 26<31, 31<36, 36<41, etc; and having ‘vehicles
exceeding speed limit’ taken as those exceeding 35mph, rather than 30mph (ie allowing a 5mph tolerance). Given the beneficial effect of the ‘your speed’ sign at the East end of the village, it was agreed that it be requested, once again, that the
electronic sign at the West end should be replaced by a similar ‘your speed’ sign. [Post meeting note: Mary Maxwell-Irving emailed Stirling Council on 20 July to request that the results of the next survey be presented as agreed.]
9. Blairlogie Burn Flood Risk Assessment and Culvert/Downstream Burn Clearing
This was raised at a meeting with Carol Beattie (Chief Executive of Stirling Council) on 15 July, also attending was Dot Reid (newly appointed Head of Environment and Place). Key points were:
· Stirling Council will take responsibility for clearing the sumps in the Castle grounds – installed by Central Region after the 1984 flood - every two years.
· Stirling Council will install grilles designed by WPS Consultants, with wider spaces between the bars than previously, to prevent debris reaching the culvert under the A91 and will take responsibility for keeping these clear (the Community Council understands that this means the flood risk assessment will not now take place).
· Dot Reid will review the video footage of the culvert under the road, taken by contractors a couple of years ago. Dot made aware, from Ken Todd’s photos and videos of previous flood situation, that the culvert has less capacity at the south side of the road than the north side, leading to additional build-up of pressure.
· Ownership of/responsibility for the stretch of the burn between the Square and the A91 will be researched by Stirling Council.
There was much debate on the Blairlogie flooding issue, with the contentious aspects for further discussion with Stirling Council being:
· The status of the flood risk assessment and the soundness of jumping to the conclusion that re-designed grills are the answer in the absence of a proper assessment.
· Stirling Council’s work to establish ownership of the burn is necessary to ensure the burn is cleared by landowners as it passes through countryside outside of the village, but the Community Council (after the floods 2 years ago) firmly understands
it was agreed that the stretch of the burn between the sumps at the Castle and the A91 culvert is the responsibility of Stirling Council.
Regarding the downstream burn, Dot Reid stated at the 15 July meeting that landowners on the south side of the A91 are aware of the need to clear their ditches and one has already started to clear some trees. They will be guided in their efforts by Stirling Council staff.
10. Improvements to the Blairlogie Play Park
The play tower unit is due for delivery to Stirling Council this month following which the Council will advise an installation date.
The grant for additional equipment was approved, and the money is in the Community Council’s bank account. This equipment is on order and installation will follow once delivered (probably later than the play tower unit).
The old swings that are due to be replaced by the new equipment have recently been repainted with new seats fitted. It is understood that the swings do not meet current standards and will be removed during the upgrade. However, some residents feel they should now be kept.
[Post meeting note: a Community Council Enquiry was submitted on 22 July to establish whether the old swings might be retained]
11. Community Resilience Plan
Susan Allen had been away for much of time since the last meeting and there was nothing substantive to report. Susan remains in contact with the Stirling Council Risk & Resilience Officer.
12. Active Travel Route – Blairlogie to Stirling University
Clackmannanshire Council is still progressing with the preparation of its bid and is meeting with Stirling Council to have an overall check on progress.
The Blairlogie to Stirling University project is included within the grant application and there is no reason at this time for this to change.
Councillor Rachel Nunn has provided an update on the Manor Powis to Stirling active travel link. It is her understanding that all landowners have agreed in principle to a scheme that might cross their land. Undecided is the final route on the Stirling side once the path has passed under the railway bridge – a particular sticking point is that Sustrans like their paths to be 3m wide and there are a couple of places where this is not possible without removing walls (& reinstating them). This remains a top priority route for the Council to resolve.
Facilities for Walkers : The Dumyat Peak area is very popular with walkers, with many parking at the Blairlogie Orchard car park. The area may well become more popular following the purchase of the Dumyat Estate by the Future Forest Company and its environmental work. Selina Makower was concerned that the lack of toilet facilities in the area might have an increasingly detrimental effect on the environment and wondered if the Future Forest Company had an ideas for tackling this?
Blairlogie Orchard Car Park : Ken Todd had suggested to Stirling Council (Dot Reid, Head of Environment and Place) at the meeting on 15 July, the need for improvements to the Blairlogie Orchard car park, particularly since it was pointed out that it is in the Conservation Area and visitors to the village often park there, and its present state gives a very poor impression. Ken suggested that the source of funding for possible
improvements to the car park and surrounding area would be part of the unspent balance of the funds (full sum £120,000) set aside by Stirling Council in November 2019 for the speed limit reduction work. The car park also requires a rubbish bin (last refused in July 2021).
Clearing Footpaths : Ken Todd mentioned that the footpath up the hill from the car park was becoming closed-off and needed the sides cutting back. Angus Annan confirmed that Trust Conservation Volunteers (TCV) had done this in the past.
14. Date of next meeting – 13th September 2022
Peter Jennings Secretary