April 2021 Minutes

PORT OF MENTEITH COMMUNITY COUNCIL

The usual meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council in the Port of Menteith Hall
scheduled for Monday, 19th April, 2021 did not take place due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Instead,
an E-meeting involving all members was held and a document summarising the current situation
with regard to regular Agenda items, together with the draft minutes of the February meeting, a list
of correspondence received, a Police Report and a statement of the end of year accounts were
circulated to members for information, discussion and comment in the usual way

Draft Minutes of the meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council of Monday, 19th April, 2021.

 

Members : Peter Stewart, Chair

Sheena Makgill-Crichton, Vice-Chair & Secretary
Penny McCoull, Treasurer

Alison Forrester
Quint Glen

Jim Riach

Valerie Graham, Minutes Secretary

AGENDA

  1. Members Present and Apologies for Absence

    There were no apologies for absence.

     

  2. Declarations of Interest in Items of Business

    There were no declarations of interest.

     

  3. Adoption of the Draft Minutes of the E-Meeting of 8th February, 2021

    The adoption of the minutes as a true record was proposed by Jim Riach and seconded by
    Alison Forrester.

     

  4. Matters Arising from the Minutes:

    1. Port of Menteith Church

      Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that the Church had re-opened again on 28th March
      when the Scottish Government had allowed places of worship to do so but the
      restrictions in terms of no singing, social distancing, masks, sanitising etc., had remained.
      However, the numbers have changed and 30 people are now allowed at a service
      which is the maximum that can be managed within the social distancing regulations.

      Also, that another booklet had been produced for the Community at Easter which it
      was hoped had been well received. An Easter service had been held but numbers
      had still been restricted and attendance limited to local people. It had been decided
      to make a collection for ‘Start Up Stirling’ again which had raised £415. The Church will
      continue to be open under Covid-19 regulations, but it is doubtful that it will be open
      during the weeks in July and August as previously.

    2. Refuse Collections

      Following the issue of a press release by Stirling Council announcing that 14,000 Brown
      Bin permits had been sold, Valerie Graham reported that she had emailed Martin Earl
      to enquire as to what arrangements were being made about multiple Brown Bins
      located at the end of private roads for which there is no means of limiting their use to
      holders of permits. He had responded to say that he had sent a list of questions
      regarding this and other issues to the Council but had not yet received a reply.

       

    3. Strathard CC Co-op Buy Out Project

      Joyce Kelly, Strathard CC’s Planning Representative, had reported that the point at
      which a decision would have to be made as to whether or not to take the project to
      the next stage had now been reached. There had been a large response following the

      community engagement exercises which gave some clear direction on the preferred
      uses for repurposing the old Co-op building although some were more practical than
      others.

       

      Also that the Strathard Community Trust had decided that it is not in a position to
      sponsor the Project so if the decision is to take it to the next level i.e. submit a Scottish
      Land Fund (SLF) Stage 2 funding application to purchase the Co-op building, another
      Community Enterprise legal entity will have to be created. This will take time and most
      likely delay when the Trust would be in a position to lodge an but they are trying to
      interest sufficient volunteers to join a project team to take the matter forward.

       

    4. Viewforth Link Road Petition

      Members were advised that it had been agreed at the meeting of Stirling Council on
      Thursday, 4th March to continue consideration of the petition against the Link Road at
      the next meeting of the Council pending the submission of further information. It is

      expected that the Petition will be further considered at the Council’s meeting on
      Thursday, 29th April, 2021. An update will be provided when the Committee makes a
      decision.

       

  5. Road Issues

    1. Work Schedule

      No work on local roads is scheduled for the period 5th April – 10th May but sections of
      the A81, A873 and B8034 in the PoM area are now deteriorating to such an extent they
      are becoming extremely dangerous as drivers swerve to avoid potholes and bad
      surfaces.

       

      Members were reminded that the Chairman had previously recommended that the
      Community Council should draw attention to the situation and members supported a
      proposal that Martin Earl should be asked for his help to get an on-site visit from an
      officer in the Roads Department to look at the condition of the local roads. Action : VG

       

    2. Cardross Bridge & A811 Warning Sign

      Members were advised that there had still been no response from Stirling Council’s
      Bridge Officer regarding the dive survey report or as to what action was required and
      the sign on the A811 at Arnprior warning of the weight limit on the Bridge had still not
      been replaced.

       

    3. Hammersmith Junction

      Valerie Graham reported that there had still been no response from Angela McGibbon
      to the Community Council’s comments regarding the red road markings at the bottom
      of Cock Hill nor any information about when the planned trial signage would be
      installed.

       

    4. Road Sign & School Lights

      Valerie Graham reported that the damaged directional road-sign at the junction of the
      B8034 & A81 had still not been repaired and the 20mph school warning lights continue
      to either malfunction or not work at all despite the Council having been advised of this
      by both the School and the Community Council on numerous occasions.

       

  6. Financial

    1. Approval of End of Year Accounts & Agreement to Submit them for Audit

      Approval of the End of Year Accounts and the submission of them was proposed by
      Alison Forrester, seconded by Sheena Makgill-Crichton and agreed by members.

    2. Payments to the Port Hall Committee and Port Church

      The adoption of the Treasurer’s recommended payment for the use of the Port Hall was
      proposed by Sheena Makgill-Crichton and seconded by Alison Forrester and agreed by
      members.

       

      The adoption of the Treasurer’s contribution to the Port Church was proposed by Alison
      Forrester and seconded by Jim Riach and agreed by members.

       

    3. ICO Registration

      Members noted that the ICO Registration had been renewed.

       

  7. Correspondence

    1. List of General Correspondence

      This had been circulated prior to the meeting. There were no questions.

       

      • Planning Lists from Stirling Council and the NPA;

      • Copies of the ‘Scotland Funding Search Bulletin’;

      • Copies of the PAS newsletters;

      • Copies of the Community News Sheets;

      • Copies of the Community Partnership’s E-Bulletins;

      • Copies of the Community Response Bulletins;

      • A range of Covid19 related & other local information from Martin Earl and
        circulated to the Community;

      • A message from Stirling Council urging voters to get ‘election ready’ for May;

      • Notification from Stirling Council that it would be writing to all residents about the
        introduction of a new garden waste permit;

      • Notification that Stirling Council housing rents will remain among the lowest in
        Scotland after Councillors approved a marginal 1.3% increase for the year ahead;

      • Notification that Stirling Council has committed more than £23million of investment in
        Council housing across communities in the coming financial year;

      • A copy of the Scottish Community Councils’ winter newsletter;

      • A copy of the Community Response Bulletins 28, 29, 30 & 31;

      • An update on the NPA’s Community Support & Engagement arrangements;

      • News from the National Park;

      • Notification of proposed changes to drinking alcohol in public byelaws;

      • Notification that Council Tax across Stirling has been frozen for the year ahead;

      • Notification that Council Tax across Stirling has been frozen for the year ahead;

      • Notification that Stirling Council is ranked top in mainland Scotland for home-grown
        green energy;

         

    2. A letter of thanks to Martin Earl

      Members approved a proposal that a letter of thanks for his extensive support and
      provision of information for the Community during the Covid-19 pandemic should be
      sent to Councillor Martin Earl. Action : PS

       

    3. A letter of thanks to James Fraser

      Members also agreed to write to James Fraser, Chief Executive of Friends of LochLomond & The Trossachs to thank him for his help and guidance in the production for his
      help and guidance in connection with the funding application and the production of
      the Visitor Management Review & Action Plan. Action : VG

       

  8. Planning & Licensing Issues

    1. New Planning Applications

      Members were advised that there were no new planning applications to consider.

    2. Planning Update

          1. Shellock Windfarm Development Proposal for the Fintry Hills

            In response to an enquiry as to when a decision regarding the Shellock
            Windfarm planning application might be expected, Councillor Earl had

            reported that he had been advised by Stirling Council’s planning department
            that no date for this was available as there are still a number of outstanding
            issues in connection with the application that have yet to be addressed.

             

          2. Members were reminded that the Community Council had previously made an
            approach to Force 9 Energy requesting that Port of Menteith should be included
            in the list of communities to benefit financially from the development as it is the
            one to be most visibly affected by the proposed development. However, this
            had been rejected on the grounds that it does not meet the standard criteria
            for this.

             

            However, that approach was made before it was known that at least two of
            the turbines will be required to have red navigation lights on top of them which
            it is anticipated will light up the sky south of Port of Menteith. Also, although the
            proposed development will not be located in the National Park, several years
            ago, the NPA adopted a ‘Dark Sky’ policy which will be affected by the
            navigation lights.

             

            Members agreed to write again to Force 9 Energy in an attempt to get the
            company to change its mind with copies of the letter to go to both the NPA and
            Stirling Council Planning Department.

             

          3. Path in Malling Forest/Menteith Hills, Rob Roy Way

            Members noted that this has application has now been approved and work is
            underway.

             

          4. Port Hall Car-Park

      Quint Glen reported that this application has now been approved and he is
      now waiting for quotes for the work before he can go ahead and apply for
      funding.

       

    3. Doune the Rabbit Hole

      This was cancelled last year due to the pandemic but Doune the Rabbit Hole is
      scheduled to take place at Cardross this year, Thursday, 15th – Sunday, 18th July.
      NB – Subsequently, the dates for DTRH have been changed and they are nowth – 15th August.

       

  9. Visitor Management Plan Project

    1. Jim Riach reported that following the discussion at the last meeting, in partnership with
      Friends of Lochlomond & The Trossachs, the CC received funding from NatureScot's

      “Better Places Green Recovery Fund” to develop a Community Visitor Action Plan (the
      Plan). Callum McNeil-Ritchie was engaged to carry out the survey work and draft the
      final Plan and recommendations. This was agreed by the steering group which included
      Jim Riach from PoM CC and James Fraser, Chair of Friends of Loch Lomond & The
      Trossachs National Park and circulated to members of the CC for their comments. A
      few final edits had been received and the Plan updated accordingly. This was then
      sent for its design and layout to be carried out locally in Thornhill and the final Plan has
      now been sent to NatureScot and circulated to CC members.

       

    2. As the CC now has ‘ownership’ of the Plan, members considered the following
      proposals:

       

      1. To endorse the Plan and its recommendations;

      2. To establish a small action sub-committee, which will report to the CC, to take
        forward or reject the key recommendations in the Plan. Jim Riach and Callum
        McNeill-Ritchie have agreed to lead the group together with other possible
        members;

         

      3. To agree in principle to make a further application to Round 2 of the “Better
        Places Green Recovery Fund” for funding in order to deliver the first actions
        outlined in the Plan. Applications require to be submitted by 14th May with
        work to commence at the beginning of June and Jim Riach, Callum McNeill-
        Ritchie and James Fraser will compile and submit the application;

         

      4. To agree to the distribution of copies of the Plan to residents of Port of Menteith
        using the CC’s e-mail circulation list and by placing a notice on the PoM’s
        Facebook page, ‘Port Life’ advising that the Plan is available on application.

       

      Alison Forrester proposed and Sheena Makgill-Crichton seconded the adoption of
      points 1-4 and it was agreed by members.

       

    3. After discussions with Jean Cowie, Stirling Council’s Finance Officer, Members were
      advised that it had been approved for all income and expenditure relating to the Plan
      to be processed through the CC’s bank account.

       

  10. NPA Visitor Management proposals for the forthcoming season

    1. Jim Riach reported that:

      • The document outlining the NPA’s Management Proposals for the season had been
        circulated to the Members prior to the meeting and much of the information in the
        document had been provided at a pre-season stakeholder briefing on the 26th
        March which he had attended;

         

      • Led by the NPA, the ‘National Park Safe Recovery Action Group’ (NPSRAG) had
        been established in summer 2020 to bring together all key partners with a role to
        play in visitor management in the Park in order to share information and co-ordinate
        actions to help address the issues being experienced;

         

      • A Joint Response Visitor Management Plan had been prepared setting out the
        extensive range of measures and resources being put in place across the National
        Park this season;

         

      • The Lake of Menteith has been identified as an area experiencing pressures from
        anti-social behaviour associated with camping and Irresponsible parking;

         

      • Communities and stakeholders are encouraged to provide information on visitor
        pressures being experienced by emailing
        feedback@lochlomond-trossachs.org;

         

      • Litter and fly-tipping should be reported to the appropriate local authority;

         

      • Irresponsible and dangerous parking along with criminal and antisocial behaviour to
        Police Scotland on 101;

         

      • Dangerous or wild fires reported to Scottish Fire and Rescue dial 999.

         

        Action Required: Note the key contact points and report all issues of concern. Issues of
        concern will be logged providing regular feedback to ensure the profile of community
        concerns is noted.

         

        While PoM has been identified as being subject to key pressures, it should be noted that it is
        not part of the NPA’s Camping Management Zone – areas which will be prioritised for actions
        and patrols. Therefore it will be important to maintain awareness of issues through regular
        reporting and monitoring.

  11. Countryside Trust Short-Term Research Project

    1. Visitor Impact Data

      Jim Riach reported that he had participated in a Zoom call in early March with SKS, the
      consultants conducting research on what data was being collected by communities in
      relation to visitor impacts and issues and what baseline data we had. This took place
      before the CC had undertaken its own visitor management study and subsequent
      action plan but the consultants noted this point and were advised that the action plan
      would be completed early in April. Other communities around the Park are also
      participating in the study.

       

      Action Required: Note the information and as indicated in the NPA Visitor Management
      proposals, ensure feedback to the appropriate channels to support the process of data
      collection. Other monitoring actions are outlined in the PoM Visitor Management Plan.

    2. Trust Membership and Communication

      Members were advised that, Marie Harvey, the previous administrative &
      communications officer of the Community Partnership, has joined the Countryside Trust
      and will provide support in communicating with communities thus ensuring some
      continuity in the process. Information regarding membership will be released shortly but
      information about communications had already been included in the last Community
      Partnership newsletter.

      Action Required:- If you were a recipient of the Community Partnership newsletter you
      are being asked to update details to comply with GDPR information on the Community
      Partnership’s website.

  12. Reports:

    1. Port Hall Report

      Quint Glen had nothing further to report with regard to the Port Hall.

       

    2. Port School Report

      There was no School report.

    3. Police Report

      Members noted the Police Report which had been circulated prior to the
      meeting.

       

  13. Any Other Competent Business

    There was not further business.

     

  14. Date of Next Scheduled Meeting : Monday, 21st June 2021