PORT OF MENTEITH COMMUNITY COUNCIL
The usual meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council scheduled to take place in the Port
of Menteith Hall on Monday, 30th August, 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 April meeting,
a list of correspondence received, a Police Report and a financial statement were circulated to
members for information, discussion and comment in the usual way
Minutes of the meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council of Monday, 30th August 2021.
Members : Peter Stewart, Chair
Sheena Makgill-Crichton, Vice-Chair & Secretary
Penny McCoull, Treasurer
Valerie Graham, Minutes Secretary
Members Present and Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
Declarations of Interest in Items of Business
There were no declarations of interest.
Adoption of the Draft Minutes of the E-Meeting of 21st June, 2021
The adoption of the minutes as a true record was proposed by Penny McCoull and seconded
by Alison Forrester
Matters Arising from the Minutes:
Port of Menteith Church & Cemetery
Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that despite the lifting of restrictions nationally, the
Church of Scotland continued to insist that 1m distancing is observed in the Church
and as a consequence attendance, at services is limited.
Doune The Rabbit Hole 2021
Valerie Graham reported that due to the late lifting of Covid restrictions, the DTRH team
had decided that there was insufficient time in which to complete the arrangements to
hold the event in the normal way. However, recording for live streaming had taken
place in the tent set up on the event site between 3.00pm -11.00pm on Saturday, 14th
August and from 11.00pm to 3.00am on Sunday, 15th August, when the online streaming
had been pre-recorded DJ sets.
While the music was audible to some residents to the north of the site, it does not
appear to have caused too much disturbance.
Members were advised that at the end of July, notification had been received that the
B8034 would be closed from 2nd – 13th August for resurfacing work on the stretch from
Dykehead to the entry to Lochend. However, although the road was marked up for the
whole length, subsequently only the section from Dykehead to Tamavoid was
It was agreed to enquire as to why the whole stretch had not been done. Action :
Penny McCoull expressed her ongoing concern that the soft roadside verges remain a
risk to drivers especially when attempting to pass large vehicles on narrow roads.
Cardross Bridge & A811 Warning Sign
Valerie Graham reported that there still had been no response from Stirling Council’s
Bridge Officer to the request for information about the dive survey carried out on the
Cardross Bridge in March, 2020 or any information as to when repairs will be
undertaken. As seen from the Police Report, there continue to be instances of
overweight vehicles crossing the Bridge.
Also, that the weight-limit warning-sign on the A811 at Arnprior had still not been
Members noted that there has still been no response from Angela McGibbon regarding
their comments on the road markings at the Hammersmith Junction or information
provided as to when the proposed trial signage will be installed.
It was also noted that the damaged directional road sign at the A81/B8034 junction has
neither been repaired nor replaced and that the tourism sign for the Fisheries and the
Inchmahome Ferry is still lying in the hedge.
Members were advised that following the issue of new instructions to Community Councils,
direct contact with various Council Officers is no long permitted and all enquiries must be
submitted to a dedicated enquiry email address for forwarding to the appropriate
There was general agreement that urgent action for all of the topics in Item 5 was required
and it was agreed to submit appropriate enquiries as directed. Action : VG
Members noted the Financial Statement which had been previously circulated.
Payment to Minute Taker.
Members agreed to make the annual payment to Valerie Graham for taking the
Minutes of Community Council meetings. Action : PMcC
List of General Correspondence
Members noted the list of General Correspondence which had been circulated prior to
Planning & Licensing Issues
New Planning Applications
Members were advised that there had been no new planning applications for the area
since the previous meeting.
Shellock Windfarm Development Proposal for the Fintry Hills
Members noted that there has still not been a decision regarding this application.
Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that she had recently had a discussion with
Councillor Earl about Force 9’s decision that Port of Menteith will not qualify for the
Community Benefit Scheme if the Shellock Windfarm Development application is
approved. He had suggested that the Community Council should write to the Planners
again to change its stance and say that the Port would like to be part of the Scheme as
he thinks that if the application for the windfarm is approved, there will be a raft of
conditions attached to it and that could be one of them.
Members fully approved this proposal. Action : SM-C
Procedures for commenting on Planning Applications
Members were advised that following discussions between Stephen Bly, the Community
Council Enquiry Co-ordinator and his colleagues in the Planning Department, there is a
clear distinction between a Community Council and a member of the public wishing to
comment on current Planning Applications or, indeed, submit a general
If a Community Council member is approached by a member of the community
wishing to enquire about any issues relating to Planning/Development, it is important
that they are asked to do so on their own behalf and it should not referred for them via
Members expressed confusion and concern at this directive but assumed that if asked
by one or more local residents to lodge an objection to a planning application, the
Community Council would be able to do so.
Lake & Port of Menteith Visitor Monitoring
Members were advised that the B8034 Lakeside road continues to be the target for
campers, paddle-boarders, canoeists, swimmers etc. This often causes problems for
drivers as a result of dangerous parking especially at Kate’s Brae where the ‘No
Overnight Parking’ sign has been removed, presumably by a visitor. People have also
had to be warned about dangerous fires
The Jubilee Wood carpark has become an established base for motorhomes, caravans
and vans of which 5-7 can be there, sometimes for two to three days at a time with wet
towels, costumes and washing draped on the bushes.
On the whole, litter does not appear to have been any worse than last year and it is
interesting that at one location, the Ministry car-park, where a visitor had placed a bin
bag, it has been used by other people resulting in this site being tidier than the others.
However, the questions regarding people’s toileting habits have still not been resolved.
Jim Riach reminded members about the Community Council’s Visitor Management
report which had contained recommendations on how to deal with toileting, parking
and litter issues as well as recommending the installation of information boards on
which there would be a code of conduct for canoeists, paddle boarders, campers etc.
However, despite the fact that the group had arranged regular emptying of refuse bins,
identified suppliers of temporary toilets and sourced potential funding for all of these
measures, implementation of the recommendations had been prevented by a lack of
agreement from the owners/managers of the relevant sites.
He said that some of the proposed measures would have also produced a direct
community benefit and suggested that the Community Council should re-engage with
these people if there are ongoing concerns about the various issues within the
Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that she had recently visited Inchmahome and had
been shocked to see the appalling state of it compared with photographs she had
taken of the island 10 years ago. In her opinion, the state that HES has allowed the
Ancient Monument to fall into is horrifying.
There are weeds and hayfields everywhere and there are no visible paths any
longer. Nothing has been trimmed, trees have fallen and there are weeds growing out
of all the walls of the Priory. In her opinion, even during all the Covid-19 lockdowns, one
man working on the Island once a week would have prevented this. However, HES now
has a massive conservation exercise, not only to restore the buildings but also the
Members were extremely concerned to learn of the dreadful condition of the Island
and the Priory which is part of the history of the area and a massive tourist attraction. It
was agreed that as the local Community Council for the area, it had a responsibility to
draw attention to HES’s negligence by writing to HES, The Stewart Society as owners of
the Island, and the National Park Authority. Action : SM-C
Members were advised that there has also been some discussion locally about what
could be done to reinstate the ferry to Inchmahome if HES took the decision not to do
so next year. It was agreed to seek clarification of the situation. Action : SM-C
Layby on the A81
It was also reported that the layby on the A81 near Stonefield would appear to have
become the go-to-toilet area for the Glasgow Cycling clubs on their weekend rides. It
was reported that at one point on the previous Saturday, over 30 cyclists had been
observed urinating in it in public view.
Members were horrified at this information and agreed that something needed to be
done about it by writing to Stirling Council and the National Park. Jim Riach also
suggested writing to “Scottish Cycling” and “Cycling UK”. Both organisations have
regular newsletters which go to Cycling Clubs and could be asked to draw attention to
the Community Council’s concern at the misuse of the layby.
Inaugural Meeting of the Strathard and Trossachs Place Based Visitor Management Group
Jim Riach advised that there was not a lot to report from the initial meeting although it has
the potential to be a useful forum to share concerns and solutions with other communities in
the area. In his opinion, it makes sense for Port of Menteith to be included in this group and for
some solutions to be applied across the area. Port of Menteith is not considered to be one of
the real hotspots, but people are aware of issues.
Valerie Graham reported that the Countryside Trust had recently launched its new
‘Sustainable Transport Campaign’.
NPA Mid-Season Briefing Session
Jim Riach said that there was not much to report that hadn’t been said previously - popular
camping areas and car parks had remained busy particularly at weekends, and the National
Park Authority and its partners were continuing to work together to address pressures and
irresponsible behaviour. A significant increase in staff on the ground had meant that focused
patrols had been able to be deployed to areas experiencing particular pressures, e.g. in the
Trossachs, Breadalbane and West Loch Lomond areas.
In light of the recent tragic events, Water safety had continued to be a priority area of work
and new temporary signage had been installed at several visitor and camping locations
around the Park to warn of the potential risks in lochs from cold water shock and steep,
sudden drops in the depth of the water.
Additional toilet provision in key visitor locations had also been helping to address pressures
and responsible toileting in more remote areas and camping-permit areas continued to be
encouraged through the “What to do when you need to poo ” campaign”. Much of this
activity is focussed on identified “hot spots” and the camping management zone.
Local Place Plans
Members were advised that there was to be an NPA online discussion regarding this later in
the week which Jim Riach will be involved in and he will report back to the next Community
Scheme of Establishment of Community Councils Consultation
Valerie Graham reported that as a result of the lifting of the majority of restrictions, all
Community Councils in the Stirling Council area had recently received a message from
Crawford Bell, Stirling Council’s Community Development Officer regarding the reinstatement
of face-to-face meetings. At the beginning of the pandemic, changes had been made to
the Scheme of Establishment document resulting in the restriction of Community Councils
from meeting in person and it would now be necessary to put the requisite amendments to
allow meetings to return to normal before a meeting of Stirling Council on 7th October for
However, prior to that meeting, Stirling Council will consult with Community Councils
regarding these amendments which will also include additional guidance on the use of IT
etc., for hosting and recording meetings.
Port Hall Report
Quint Glen reported that there had been a big cycling race on 21st August and the Port
Hall had been hired for use for refreshments and use of the toilets.
He also reported that the Hall Committee would shortly hold its first face-to-face
meeting when it is hoped to set a date for an AGM and the main subject of
discussion will be grant applications.
Port School Report
Peter Stewart reported that the School had been repainted during the summer and the
Stirling Council had erected the “Port of Menteith Primary School” sign referred to at the
Sheena Makgill-Crichton said that she was very disappointed in the latest report
especially in relation to the lack speeding offences as she said that the police could
have booked any number of motor cyclists speeding on any week this summer.
However, no-one speeds through the village when they stand there in full view.
Any Other Competent Business
Members heard that following the recent loss of seven people from drowning, including
one in Loch Lubnaig, Stirling Council had just announced that it is aiming to develop a
water-safety policy in collaboration with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National
Park to ensure that a consistent message on water safety is delivered including how
authorities engage with visitors and provision of equipment.
There followed lengthy discussion and while members agreed that although the Lake of
Menteith is not as dangerous as some other lochs because it is shallower and does not
have currents, there are always quite a number of fishing boats on the water. Because
of this, there is a potential danger to other users and particularly to wild swimmers as
they are difficult to see in the water as a result of which, they run the risk of being
lacerated by a fishing boat propeller or knocked unconscious.
Quint Glenn, as Manager of the Lake of Menteith Fisheries, said that he warns anglers of
the danger from swimmers and plans to install an appropriate permanent sign at the
Fisheries. However, the swimmers also need to be aware of the situation and he
recommended that warning notices should be erected at the various points of access
from the shore.
Alison Forrester agreed that signs would be a good idea and suggested that perhaps a
lifebelt could also be installed on the shore at Kate’s Brae. Penny McCoull
recommended that any signs should also include advice to swimmers to wear colourful
swimming caps and take a bright float bag.
It was agreed to write to both the National Park and Stirling Council to ask that the Lake
of Menteith is included in their water safety proposals. Action : VG
Entrance to Braeval Car Park
Jim Riach drew members’ attention to problems caused by water erosion at the
entrance to the Braeval car park which has made access extremely difficult and
dangerous unless using some sort of all-terrain or forestry vehicle. It is a public access
point and a site designated for motorhomes and camper vans and he suggested that
the Community Council should make representation to Forest and Land Scotland to ask
that action is taken to address the problems.
Date of The Next Scheduled Meeting:
This had originally been scheduled to take place on 4th October. However, in view of the
meeting of the Stirling Council meeting on 7th October to discuss the potential resumption of
face-to-face Community Council meetings, it had been proposed that the next meeting
should be moved to a date later in the month.
This was agreed and after discussion, it was decided to hold the next meeting on Monday,
11th October when hopefully, it would be possible to meet in the Port Hall.