PORT OF MENTEITH COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council held in the Port Hall on Monday, 11th
October, 2021 commencing at 7.pm.
Present : Peter Stewart, Chair
Sheena Makgill-Crichton, Vice-Chair & Secretary
Penny McCoull, Treasurer
In Attendance : Councillor Jeremy McDonald
Willie Nisbet, Deputy Convener, NPA
Valerie Graham, Minutes Secretary
Members Present & Apologies
Apologies from Jim Riach and Quint Glen were noted.
Declarations of Interest in Items of Business
There were no declarations of interest.
Adoption of the Draft Minutes of the Meeting held on 30th August, 2021
The adoption of the Minutes as a true record of the meeting held on 30th August 2021 was
proposed by Penny McCoull and seconded by Alison Forrester.
Valerie Graham reported that there had been an enquiry about the possibility of the Minutes
being published and circulated to the Community within a week of a meeting but she had
responded to explain that the Community Council has to abide by the rules of Stirling
Council’s Scheme of Establishment which dictates how the Minutes are dealt with.
However, she suggested that from time to time and as appropriate it would be possible to
notify local residents about what the Community Council is working on or proposing to do via
the email circulation list. This was agreed by Members.
Matters Arising from the Minutes:
Port of Menteith Church & Cemetery
Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that there will the normal Remembrance Day service in the
Church on 14th November and that the usual Carol Service will be held on Christmas Eve.
Because of the current regulations, the numbers will be restricted making it a ‘first-booked’
event, however the Community will be notified of this in advance.
As agreed at the previous meeting, queries about all of the following items were submitted to
Stirling Council and a response had been promised within 10 working days of 24th September.
However, this had not happened.
There has been no response to this enquiry.
Cardross Bridge & A811 Warning Sign
In addition to the enquiry to Stirling Council, it had also been agreed write to the MP and
MSPs expressing the CC’s concern regarding the condition of Cardross Bridge and asking for
their support by raising the matter with Stirling Council. Members were advised of the current
situation as follows:
Evelyn Tweed, MSP, using the content of the CC’s letter, had written to Stirling Council
and to the local Chief Inspector of Police.
Dean Lockhart, MSP had contacted Councillor Earl for details of the situation
information and had said that he would respond to the CC when further information
had been received from Stirling Council.
Nothing had been heard from Alyn Smith, MP.
Subsequently, Councillor Earl had also advised that in response to his own enquiries
about the condition of Cardross Bridge, he had received a message from the Council
on 22nd September to say that it was unable to answer his enquiry due to an
emergency situation within the service but that a response would be provided as soon
as possible. However, so far he had not received that.
Members were also advised that there had been no response to the enquiry regarding
the missing Bridge weight-limit sign on the A811 at Arnprior.
Councillor McDonald reported that he had learnt that Stirling Council had submitted a
bid into a Government fund seeking £300k to assist with repairs to the Bridge.
There had been no response to the enquiry about Hammersmith Junction.
Members were advised that there had been no response from Stirling Council to the enquiry
about the directional sign and the Inchmahome/Fisheries sign at the A81/B8034 junction,
which had been lying on the verges for a very long time. However, the signs have now been
remounted on the posts.
Road Surfaces and Verges
There was a lengthy discussion about the poor condition of local roads generally and the risk
to drivers and their vehicles resulting from the soft verges especially on narrow roads, where it
is necessary for drivers to pull over to let larger vehicles pass. Often the edge of the road is
higher than that of the verge resulting is a serious drop which can cause burst tyres or other
serious damage to vehicles. There had already been several incidents where vehicles,
including a timber lorry, had gone off the road as a result.
Members noted the financial statement to the end of September which had been previously
The renewal of the subscription for Broadband and the Domain Names for the Community
Council, Church etc., was approved by members.
General Correspondence Received
Members noted the list of general correspondence received which had been previously
Letter of Condolence
Members agreed to the proposal to send a letter of condolence to Vivien Leckie following
the death of her husband.
Planning & Licensing Issues
New Planning Applications
Valerie Graham reported that there had been no new planning applications.
Shelloch Windfarm Development Proposal for the Fintry Hills
Members were advised that as far as it is known, no decision has yet been made about
As agreed at the previous meeting, a request was sent to Stirling Council Planners for a
condition to be attached requiring Force 9 to include Port of Menteith in its Community
Benefit Scheme should the Shelloch Windfarm Development proposal be approved.
Lake & Port of Menteith Visitor Monitoring
LEADER “Community Led Visitor Management Enabler Fund”
Details of this had been passed to Quint Glen as a possible funding source for the Hall
It was reported that although the number of visitors overall has reduced, on a good day
Kate’s Brae, the small carpark and the entrance to the Ferry carpark can often still be busy
with cars, motorhomes and the occasional tent etc.
Despite the fact that it had not been possible to take forward some of the key actions of the
visitor management project due to a lack of landowner co-operation, many of the issues
continue to exist and there has been a significant increase in wild camping, swimming and
other water based activities such as paddle boarding and canoeing. Some of this is as a
result of displacement from other areas but much of it is part of a general trend as a result of
On a voluntary basis, Callum McNeill-Ritchie continues to monitor the situation on the
Lakeside and has recently reported that Stirling Council’s ‘Please Take Your Litter Home’ sign
had been pulled down and broken in two. The posts for that and some of the fence posts
beside the steps have also disappeared, presumably for use as firewood. Also that a large
white builders-type bag has been left down on the shore and filled with tins, bottles, rubbish
etc. This will require two people to get it back to the roadside and there will need to be
discussions with Stirling Council about its removal.
As discussed at the previous meeting, the Head of Visitor Management at the NPA had been
contacted to request that the Lake of Menteith should be included in the discussions
between the National Park and Stirling Council about Water Safety signage.
A81 Stonefield Layby
As suggested by Jim Riach, the two main cycling organisations – “Scottish Cycling” and
“Cycling UK” had been contacted with a request for them to put an item about the misuse of
the Layby by groups of cyclists in their newsletters which will go out to the majority of the
clubs using it.
Island & Priory
As agreed at the previous meeting, letters of complaint about the condition of
Inchmahome and the Priory were sent to HES, NPA and The Stewart Society.
Members were advised that:
HES had acknowledged receipt of the letter and will respond as soon as possible;
The Stewart Society responded to say that it would be interested to hear what HES
has to say;
There had been no response so far from the NPA.
It was reported that HES has advised that it plans for the Inchmahome Ferry to operate
normally next year within the usual operating season from 1st April - 31st October.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration : June, 2022
Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that the Kirk Session had enquired if the CC was planning
to do anything to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and if so, whether it could be a
joint project. Members were advised that the Community Council, and probably the Church,
would each be able to apply to Stirling Council’s Community Grant Schemes for funding up
to £400 for this purpose.
Members discussed the proposal and were in full support of the idea.
Strathard and Trossachs Place Based Visitor Management Group
Jim Riach had reported that there was nothing much to report from the initial meeting although it
has the potential to be a useful forum by which to share concerns and solutions with other
communities in the area. It makes sense for the Community Council be included in this group and
for some solutions to be applied locally. However Port of Menteith is not considered to be one of
the real hotspots despite the fact that there are several attractors - accommodation, event venue,
Fisheries, historic monuments, food outlets etc.
Members were advised that there was nothing new to report.
Local Place Plans
Jim Riach reported that he had attended a workshops hosted by the National Park on Local Place
Plans and followed that up with a conversation with Derek Manson one of the NPA’s planning
officers supporting this area. He had said that it would be necessary for the Community Council to
decide whether a Local Place Plan is the right thing for us, and how to go about preparing one
which is quite a lot of work. There would be some support from the Park, but we would have to do
quite a lot of the legwork. Locally, Callander and Strathard have been through this process and
have volunteers and officers who would share their experience.
The alternative could/would be to further develop our own Community Action Plan based on
existing Community Council Actions and those outlined in the Visitor Management Review and
Action Plan. After further discussion, it was agreed to contact Joyce Kelly of Strathard Community
Council for advice.
Forestry & Land Scotland Update for the Community Council Area
Sue Morris, Area Visitor Services Manager for FLS had advised that it is intended to send
the Community Council monthly reports about upcoming works and events in relation to the
following sites - Cardross Forest, Flanders Moss, Letter and Rhynaclach Forests. She had
included details of current activity on those sites.
Jim Riach welcomed the fact that FLS will provide regular updates on the listed forest sites
and suggested that the Community Council should continue to lobby for public access to
these sites and where possible, that access should connect with key parts of the community.
Most of the work on these sites is funded by the public purse including the development of
planting and extraction roads many at great cost, e.g. on the Letter site this is a massive road
construction. The deer fencing at Rhynaclach has caused significant displacement of wild
deer - which was obviously the intention - but has had other consequences to neighbouring
sites and gardens. There is also no provision for local access such as gates in these areas and
the Rhynaclach site hosts part of what was the old Callander Road - so at one time a
There is no mention of Braeval in this report part of which, it is understood, is within the
Community Council Boundary. There have now been some improvements made to the
access to the car park there, due to water and traffic erosion and it would be good to ask if
this site is included in the updates.
Valerie Graham advised members that she had contacted Sue Morris about the inclusion of
Braeval in her reports who had requested a copy of the Community Council’s Boundary Map
to check if it would be appropriate to do so. This had been sent.
Consultation : Scheme of Establishment of Community Councils
Members had been previously advised that Stirling Council had proposed to hold a consultation on
the Scheme of Establishment but with the announcement at the recent Stirling Council meeting
that amendments to the Scheme had been made to allow ‘in-person, remote or hybrid’ meetings
to take place, it was not clear if any further consultation would be required.
Port Hall Report
Quint Glen had reported that there was not a lot to say about the Port Hall other than the
fact that the Primary School is now using it which is good news.
Port School Report
Peter Stewart reported that the current school roll is 17.
The Police Report for the period from 30th August had been previously circulated.
Carse of Stirling Project (COSP)
Jim Riach reported that he had attended a workshop hosted by COSP on the 9th October
with the theme of ‘Paths, Pollinators and the Past’. He is a Trustee with COSP which is made
up principally of representatives from local communities having been nominated by and
succeeded Keith Graham in this role. The meeting had recognised the large amount of
pioneering work carried out by Keith and in particular around connecting the key themes of
paths, nature and heritage captured in the theme of the workshop.
The workshop had received updates on path developments most significantly the initial work
carried out on the ‘Kings Highway’ project connecting the communities on the south of the
Carse which had been commissioned to improve the safety of the junctions around the
Smiddy and the ongoing desire for strategic links on both the south and north of the Carse
and connections between communities. There had been talks from ‘Buglife Scotland’ and
their B-line initiative and the support they could give. The Stirling Council’s Archaeologist had
outlined the support it could give and some suggestions in promoting key heritage sites in the
A key outcome was to have a more collaborative and strategic approach with all
communities working with COSP to develop strategic routes and to have a collective
approach to provide local information, host events and to share COSP information with local
groups. COSP is developing a new website and has a Facebook page which hosts updates
and information. Anyone interested in developing any further ideas around path
development, heritage information or relevant local events should contact Jim Riach
Any Other Competent Business
The issue of poor Broadband in the area, as a result of which the Community Council had
been unable to hold virtual meetings, was raised. During the lockdown as a because of
Covid restrictions, discussions about how this might be improved had lapsed and there had
been no contact with the Stirling Council’s officer responsible for Broadband.
Penny McCoull reported that her husband has degrees in electronics and has recently
retired from Scottish Enterprise where he led a team of innovation specialists working with
companies seeking to improve their processes through better use of technology. In a past
life, he had designed the software systems for military jets, machines in the banking sector
and had his own software company. On a personal note, Penny said she would not be able
run her own business from home if he did not support all the IT systems in use for this and for
her daughter who is studying at University and he would be happy to use his expertise to assist
the Community Council on Broadband issues.
It was proposed and unanimously agreed to co-opt Ian McCoull as an Associate Member of
the Community Council to advise on Broadband issues.
Meeting Dates for 2022/23
A list of proposed meeting dates for 2022-2023 had been previously circulated and these
were duly approved by members.
Having mentioned in the past the ongoing problems that she and her neighbours have with
passers-by regularly fly-tipping rubbish into the bins at the end of their track, Valerie Graham
reported that recently a green bin full of household waste had been deposit there. Although
the Waste Services Manager at Stirling Council had been notified and had assured her that
he would arrange for it to be removed, it had still not been uplifted and it now has a sticker
on it stating that it won’t be emptied because it contains incorrect refuse.
There being no further business, the meeting closed.
Date of the next Scheduled Meeting : 6th December, 2021
It was proposed that the outstanding AGM should take place at the same time.