PORT OF MENTEITH COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Approved Minutes of the meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council held in the Port Hall on Monday, 25th April, 2022 commencing at 7.00pm
Present : Peter Stewart, Chair
Sheena Makgill-Crichton, Vice-Chair & Secretary Penny McCoull, Treasurer
Jim Riach Matthew Woods
In Attendance : Councillor Martin Earl
Councillor Jeremy McDonald
Willie Nisbet, Depute Convenor, NPA Valerie Graham, Minutes Secretary
1. Members Present and Apologies for Absence
Apologies from Alison Forrester were noted.
2. Declarations of Interest in the Items of Business
There were no declarations of interest.
3. Adoption of the Draft Minutes of the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held on 17th March, 2022
The adoption of the draft Minutes of the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting held on 17th March, 2022 was proposed by Sheena Makgill-Crichton, seconded by Peter Stewart and agreed by members.
4. Adoption of the Draft Minutes of the General Meeting held on 28th February, 2022
The adoption of the draft Minutes of the General Meeting held on 28th February, 2022 was proposed by Peter Stewart, seconded by Sheena Makgill-Crichton and agreed by members.
5. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the meeting held on 28th February 2022
5.1 Port of Menteith Church & Cemetery
Sheena Makgill-Crichton expressed concern about the condition of the new cemetery and the graveyard. Some of the paths in the cemetery had recently been tarmacked but the paths at the top and in the circle had been covered over with mud and the grass is so long that the area is not accessible to wheelchair users.
The grass cutting embargo in this Ward has resulted in the grass in the graveyard having not been cut properly although around the grave stones it had been strimmed. The graveyard gets a lot of visitors so it is important to make sure that it looks tidy and it is possible for people to walk around. It was agreed to write to the Cemeteries Office notifying her of members’ concern and asking for all the grass to be cut in future. Action : VG
5.2 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration
5.2.1 Planting of Platinum Jubilee Tree
Sheena Makgill-Crichton advised Members that as previously agreed, in commemoration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and on behalf of the Port Kirk and the Port of Menteith Community Council, a Sessile Oak, which is native to Scotland, had been planted in the Glebe Field and surrounded with protective fencing.
The Tree has also been recorded on the Queen’s ‘Green Canopy’ map and is marked with an official plaque.
5.2.2 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Blether
Members were advised that a “Jubilee Blether” is being organised to be held in the Port Hall on 5th June following the service of celebration in the Church. Various
people have volunteered to bake cakes etc., for it but help will be needed from all Community Council members to decorate the Hall and set up tables prior to the event.
5.2.3 Funding Application
An application for funding for items for the Jubilee Blether has been submitted to Stirling Council and the outcome of this will be known on 25th May.
Ian McCoull had reported that he has had no response to his initial enquiries and intends to chase this up over the next few weeks.
Penny McCoull advised that funding for the replacement items for the defibrillator had been approved and the money was now in the Bank Account. The requisite items have been ordered and when they arrive an arrangement would be made with the Trossachs Search & Rescue Team for someone to come to install them.
5.5 Force 9 Community Benefit Scheme
Martin Earl advised that his meeting with a representative of Force 9, which had been organised for 3rd March, had been cancelled the day before because the person he was meeting had tested positive for Covid. He was now waiting for a new meeting to be arranged.
Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that HES had only just released its maintenance schedule for places that are currently closed and Inchmahome is in the second tranche which means it will probably be next year before any work on the Priory is done.
Members were concerned that the Island will not be open to the public this year and questioned why it would not be possible to fence off the Priory buildings to enable access to be maintained.
6. Roads & Other Issues
6.1 Cardross Bridge
Members were advised that a request from the Community Council for the new Bridge Engineer to attend the meeting to report on the current situation with regard to Cardross Bridge had been rejected and instead the Community Council had been advised that if it wished to submit “bullet point specific questions or raise issues, the Service would be more than happy to provide a response”.
However, just prior to the Meeting a letter had been received from the Lorna Cooper, the Bridge Engineer outlining the outcome of the recent Bridge surveys and plans for further ones the details of which would be reported to members. She also reported that an application had been made to the Scottish Government for funding towards the cost of repair work and she asked that anyone being aware of heavy vehicles crossing the Bridge should take as much information about the vehicle as possible and report it to Stirling Council
There followed lengthy discussion about ways in which there could be better restriction of heavy vehicles crossing the Bridge including the installation of CCTV cameras, weight pressure pads etc.
6.2 A811 Weight Restriction Warning Sign
This had still not been replaced but in her letter, Lorna Cooper had said that she would get it replaced as a matter of urgency.
The ongoing deterioration of the roads in the area was discussed at length and in particular, the increase in the number of timber-lorries resulting from the need to clear trees which had come down in the earlier storms. After discussion about this and designated timber transport routes for which there is financial assistance for maintenance, it was agreed to submit a request for Richard Hayes, Stirling Council’s Area Road Manager, to attend the next meeting.
Action : VG
It was also agreed to use the community email addresses to circulate a message asking local residents to report poor road surfaces, potholes etc., and sightings of heavy vehicles crossing Cardross Bridge on Stirling Council’s website. Action : VG
6.4 Layby on A873 at Easter Tarr
Members were advised that the two-hour waiting restriction at the layby had been renewed for a further two years.
7. Financial Statement
7.1 Accounts to the end of March
Members noted the Accounts to the end of March which had been previously circulated.
7.2 Community Council Assets Insurance
Penny McCoull advised that the Community Council’s insurance for the defibrillator was now in place.
7.3 On-line access to the CC’s Bank Acount
The forms to set-up on-line access to the Community Council’s Bank Account were signed by Peter Stewart and Sheena Makgill-Crichton.
7.4 Defibrillator Fundraising Raffle
It had originally been planned to hold a raffle to raise funds to cover the cost of purchasing future items for the defibrillator, however, Sheena Makgill-Crichton expressed doubt as to whether the Community Council was permitted to raise funds in this way. There followed an extremely lengthy debate during which opinions from members and the two Stirling Councillors in attendance were expressed. In the end, it was agreed to investigate the matter further.
8.1 General Correspondence Received
Members noted the list of general correspondence which had been previously circulated.
9. Planning & Licensing Issues
9.1 New Planning Applications
22/00160/FUL : Application under Section 42 to remove of condition 2 of approval 14/00272/FUL and change of use of one bedroom ancillary accommodation to allow for holiday letting at Newton Farmhouse, Port Of Menteith.
This application had been previously circulated to members for their comments resulting in its full support which was subsequently notified to the Planning Officer.
9.2 Planning Update
22/00077/FUL : Application for an Extension to side of dwelling house at Tamnafalloch House, Ruskie, Thornhill, FK8 3LG, for Mr P Stewart.
It was noted that this application had now been approved.
2022/0108/NOT : Proposed Construction of 1034m road for forestry purposes in Malling Forest, East of Craig of Monievreckie, Port of Menteith.
Members were advised that prior approval of this application was now required by the NPA planners.
10.1 Malling Forest Long Term Forest Plan
Following the earlier consultation to which the CC contributed, notification has been received that the Plan has now been entered on the Public Register.
10.2 Members also received an update on the Flanders Moss peatland restoration project,
11. Local Place Plans
In discussion, it was considered that Local Place Plans were more relevant to larger communities and as a result, it was agreed not to pursue the development of one for the Port of Menteith due to a lack of resources and the amount of work required.
12. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
12.1 Members were advised that in the latest edition of NPA’s “News for the Communities in the National Park”, it had been announced that three local “Partnership Approach to Water Safety (PAWS)” groups have been formed across the National Park, bringing together the emergency services, local authorities and other partners to actively improve incident responses, education delivery, training opportunities and consistent water safety messages.
This summer there will be a dedicated water safety campaign to highlight the risks involved with going into lochs and making everyone aware of how they can enjoy the water safely and responsibly. However, there is no information as to whether this will include the Lake of Menteith.
13. Countryside Trust
13.1 As the Trust’s Active Travel Officer, Jim Riach had nothing further to report as members already receive copies of the Countryside Trust’s E-newsletters.
14. Strathard & Trossachs Place Based Visitor Management Group
14.1 The NPA hosted a visitor management update meeting on the 11th March, notes of which had been previously circulated. Of particular note, was the comment that “Port of Menteith, as a gateway to the area and the NP, should be credited with being an arrival point and some simple signage in the area would be effective to do this.
15. Strategic Tourism Investment Development Plans
15.1 Members were advised that the NPA has engaged consultants, Ironside Farrar, to develop Development plans for Strathard & Trossachs, and another for Callander area. It was noted that the Port of Menteith Visitor Management plan developed in 2021 would be included in the study and Jim Riach said that he would be happy to represent Port of Menteith in this process.
Plans have already been created for East and West Loch Lomond and will guide future NPA developments and applications to RTIF. These are available on the NPA website.
16. Doune The Rabbit Hole 2022
16.1 Members were advised that Doune the Rabbit Hole will take place at Cardross this year on 14th – 17th July.
16.2 Just prior to the Meeting, a copy of the application for a Temporary Entertainment Licence for the event had been received from the Licensing Board in which there was a request to increase the attendance at the event to from the 6,000 in previous years to 15,000.
In discussion, members expressed concern at the increase in numbers which in turn would put extra pressure on Cardross Bridge, therefore it was proposed that all access to the event should be via the A81/B8034 junction. It was agreed to notify the Licensing Board of both these accordingly. Action VG
Members were also advised that Noreen Devine, DTRH Community Outreach Manager had suggested that she and other members of the team could come to the June meeting to talk about traffic and other arrangements for the event but no decision was taken about this.
17.1 Councillor’s Report
Other than what had already been said earlier in the meeting, there was nothing further to report.
17.2 NPA Report
Other than what had already been said earlier in the meeting, there was nothing further to report.
17.3 Carse of Stirling Project Group Report
Jim Riach reported that the current focus is on delivering actions as outlined in the “Paths, Pollinators and the Past” project. Currently a school-based pollinator project has funding applications ongoing, which will be led by a local artist and COSP trustee.
Contact had been made with Forth Rivers Trust about bringing their ‘Forgotten Fish Project’
to the area, which could eventually lead to some school-based activity on the Goodie Water and a potential monitoring project, looking at the endangered European eel.
Communities on the south of the Carse continue to lobby for the development of the Kings Highway – and active travel corridor between Stirling Castle and Dumbarton Castle.
The Aberfoyle-Stirling corridor (through Thornhill and Port of Menteith) remains of interest and an upgrade of the corner at the Smiddy has been submitted to planning. The Aberfoyle-Port of Menteith is identified as a link worth further investigation in the recently published Strathard Framework.
17.4 Port Hall Report
Members were advised that the Port Hall Committee was to hold an AGM on Monday, 23rd May. Quint Glen, the Chair, Nigel Cole, Treasurer and Lisa McNeill-Ritchie, Secretary will all be standing down so they will be looking for some enthusiastic fresh individuals to be appointed as the new Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. It is not known if the only other Committee member will continue.
Considerable concern was expressed at the possible difficulty in encouraging people to volunteer to form a new Hall committee and asked that existing Hall Committee members should be proactive in publicising the meeting and recruiting new members.
17.5 Primary School Report
Valerie Graham reported that there was still no agreement with the Stuart Fleming, the Acting Head as to whether the school pupils would be able to participate in any competition for the Jubilee. However, subject to agreement by the Community Council, it was proposed for each of the pupils to choose and colour one of two Jubilee poster templates which would be
provided by the Community Council. Two winners would be selected and the entries would be on display the Jubilee Blether and it was hoped that prizes would be presented by Alan Simpson, the Lord Lieutenant for Stirling & Falkirk.
Each pupil will receive a Jubilee memento pen.
17.6 Police Report
Members noted the Police Report which had been previously circulated.
18. Any Other Competent Business
There being no further business, the meeting closed.
19. Date of Next Scheduled Meeting & AGM : Monday, 20 th June, 2022