Feb 2022 Minutes

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Minutes of the meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council held in the Port Hall on Monday, 26th February, 2022 commencing at 6.45pm.

Present : Peter Stewart, Chair

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

Jim Riach

In Attendance : Joyce Kelly, Strathard Community Council (part) Matthew Woods, Community Member

Valerie Graham, Minutes Secretary

Prior to the start of the usual business of the Meeting, members listened to a presentation by Joyce Kelly from Strathard Community Council, relating to the development of ‘Community Life Plans’ for Stronachlachar/Inversnaid, Kinlochard and Aberfoyle.

1. Members Present & Apologies

1.1 Members noted apologies for absence from Alison Forrester, Councillor Evelyn Tweed, Willie Nisbet, NPA Depute Convenor and Ian McCoull, Associate Member

2. Declarations of Interest in Items of Business

There were no declarations of interest.

3. Adoption of the Draft Minutes of the Meeting held on 11th October, 2021

3.1 The adoption of the Minutes as a true record of the meeting held on 6th December, 2021 was proposed by Sheena Makgill-Crichton and seconded by Peter Stewart

4. Matters Arising from the Minutes:

4.1 Co-option Process

Valerie Graham advised members that, as required by Stirling Council, an advertisement for the vacancy on the Community Council resulting from Quint Glen’s resignation had been published in the Stirling Observer on 4th February with a closing date for applications of 11th

February. At the closing date, the only application to have been received was from Matthew Woods.

Mr. Woods’ Nomination Form was delivered to the Community Council Enquiry Co-ordinator who then passed it to the Electoral Registration Officer to check that Mr. Woods was eligible to stand for co-option. Unfortunately, confirmation of his eligibility was not received in time for the requisite 14-day notification for the co-option to be considered at the meeting and as a result Members were notified that it would be necessary to arrange an EGM to complete the co-option process. After discussion, it was agreed that a virtual meeting for this purpose would be arranged for 17th March.

4.2 Broadband Report

Ian McCoul’s detailed Broadband report had been circulated prior to the meeting and after consideration, Members supported his proposed actions. Action : IMcC


4.3 Port of Menteith Church & Cemetery

Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that the Church of Scotland is currently going through a National Audit to decide which buildings are to be sold. It is looking to remove 40% of the 2,500 properties from its portfolio and this makes the Port Church very vulnerable. It was one of the first to have its Audit completed, which was largely a tick-test with no room for


manoeuvring, nor is there any opportunity to appeal. So Sheena is of the opinion that there will be a very worrying few months ahead.

Otherwise, things go on much as usual and it is hoped that it will be possible to open the Church in the summer. However, as members get older, it is harder to find people to man the open days so it may be necessary to seek extra help from the wider community.

4.4 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that celebration arrangements were still very much under discussion. However, it is planned to plant a commemorative tree in the Glebe Field before the end of March. Also under consideration is for the usual Church service on Sunday,

5th June to be a service of celebration, which will include a dedication of the plaque for the tree.

Some type of buffet lunch in the Port Hall is also being discussed but for catering purposes it will be necessary to ascertain what sort of response there would be from the community for this as there is some concern that people may take advantage of the public holiday on the previous Monday to go away for a week’s holiday.

It is hoped to get the school children involved but because of ongoing restrictions, it has not yet been possible to have discussions with the staff regarding this and there are various ideas to be discussed.

4.5 Defibrillator

Members were advised that having established that it was possible to apply to the Community Grant Scheme for funding to reinstate the equipment and with a very limited time in which to meet the closing date, after a finally obtaining the exact details of what was required, an application had been submitted. However, the outcome will not be known until after 16th March.

4.6 Force 9 Community Benefit Scheme

Councillor Earl had reported that he would be having a meeting with Force 9 on 9th March to pursue the possible inclusion of Port of Menteith and Thornhill in the Community Benefit Scheme based on the visual impact on both communities as recognised in the official planning report.

4.7 Storm Arwen : Local Resilience

Members noted that Stirling Council is part of the recently formed Forth Valley Local Resilience Partnership.

4.8 Community Council Support System

Councillor Earl had advised that he had received a range of mixed reactions to the Support System from Community Councils and is of the opinion that it will need to be re-addressed after the May elections to include the possibility of making changes.

4.9 Refuse Collections

Valerie Graham reported that in addition to problems with refuse collections during Christmas and New Year, the complaints about overflowing bins as a result of the reduction in collections and missed collections continue. There had also been a report of a resident having unsuccessfully chased a passer-by who was seen depositing rubbish in one of his bins at the road end.

Members expressed concern at an item in the previous Friday edition of Stirling Observer which stated that household waste was down by 200 tonnes per month. It had also been stated that crews had been advised not to lift bins if the lids were ‘significantly’ up or black bags which had been left beside them.


5. Local Place Plans : Presentation Document

During general discussion about the earlier presentation by Joyce Kelly, several members were of the opinion that Community Local Plans are a good idea and could be usefully considered for Port of Menteith. It was agreed to discuss the matter further at the next meeting.

6. Road Issues

6.1 B8034

Members were notified that in an announcement received the previous Friday, the B8034 will be closed 21st March – 3rd April to resurface the section from Tamavoid – Lochend which was not completed previously in 2021.

6.2 Cardross Bridge

It was also noted that during the above road closure, Cardross Bridge will be closed 22nd – 25th March for 24 hours each day to ‘facilitate structural investigations and trial pit


6.3 A811 Warning Sign

The sign has still not been replaced.

6.4 Hammersmith Junction

There was nothing new to report.

7. Financial Statement

7.1 Financial Statement

Members noted the Statement which had been circulated prior to the meeting.

7.2 Members’ Driver Insurance

After discussion, it was agreed not to apply for Members’ Driver Insurance.

7.3 Community Council Assets Insurance

Penny McCoull advised that if the application for funding for the defibrillator was successful, she would arrange Assets insurance for it.

8. Correspondence

8.1 General Correspondence

Members noted the list of correspondence received.

8.2 Notification of Closures from HES

HES had notified the Community Council that visitor access to Inchmahome Priory has had to be restricted as a precautionary measure while a program of high-level masonry inspections is undertaken. This is part of a national program involving surveys on over 200 properties and sites across Scotland.

Alison Forrester expressed the view that it was a great pity that HES could not have carried out maintenance of the Priory site over the last 2 years.

9. Planning & Licensing Issues

9.1 New Planning Applications

There were no new Planning Applications for consideration.


9.2 Planning Update

9.2.1 Shelloch Windfarm Development

Members noted that subject to 41 conditions the application had been approved at a meeting of Stirling Council’s Planning & Development Committee.

Also, that Martin Earl had presented a very strong argument against the application on behalf of Port of Menteith and Thornhill & Blair Drummond CCs and this had been remarked upon in an email received from a local resident who had watched the meeting online. He had also commented that the inexperience evident in the questioning by the other Councillors had been startling and he had been far from convinced that many had spent much time considering the issues.

9.2.2 Erection of a single storey outbuilding for use as home office at Easter Tarr

This had been approved but included the conditions regarding any future change of use of the building as requested by CC members.

9.3 Notifications

9.3.1 Formation of a forest road at land 1.1km South of Grahamston Cottage, Rednock Estate, Port of Menteith, Rednock Estate.


Members were advised that this had now been approved by Stirling Council.

10. Forestry

10.1 Malling Estate Felling & Planting Proposals

In response to the request for feedback on the felling and replanting proposals on Malling Farm from Scottish Woodlands, there had been full support from members for these in a pre- meeting discussion. This had now been notified together with the request from the Port of Menteith Heritage Group for confirmation that the area along the Lake shore which contains locally important geological and archaeological remains, would be given due consideration while work is in progress.

10.2 Forestry & Land Scotland Local Activities Report

Members noted the updated reports of work on the Flanders Moss and Letter Forest sites which had been provided and circulated prior to the meeting.

11. Lake & Port of Menteith Visitor Monitoring ; 2022

11.1 NPA Draft Joint Response Visitor Management Plan for 2022

Jim Riach reported that on behalf of the Community Council, he would be participating in a Visitor Management virtual briefing session on 11th March.

11.2 Proposals for Visitor Monitoring in 2022.

Members were advised that in the absence of an agreement with the local landowners, there were no formal plans to carry out visitor monitoring in Port of Menteith in 2022. However, the NPA plans to increase the Ranger coverage of the Lake of Menteith shore area.

11.3 NPA/Stirling Council Water Safety Policy

At the previous meeting, it had been reported that there had still been no response to the Community Council’s response that the Lake of Menteith should be included in the joint NPA/Stirling Council proposals for the introduction of a water-safety policy nor any details regarding the outcome of the discussions. Willie Nisbet had agreed to look into this but in his absence, there was no further information.


12. Countryside Trust

There was nothing new to report.

13. Strathard and Trossachs Place Based Visitor Management Group

Jim Riach reported that he would be attending the next meeting of the Group on 8th March.

14. Stirling Council’s ‘Pollinator Action Plan’ Public Consultation

Members were advised that the draft Stirling Pollinator Action Plan had been developed in partnership with a wide range of organisations and will provide an opportunity to review the current management of parks and other open space, to identify new more attractive and potentially cost- saving opportunities and will also provide an opportunity to deliver habitat creation, sympathetic management of public spaces and the involvement of local communities.

15. Reports:

15.1 Councillor’s Report

In the absence of a Councillor, there was no report.

15.2 NPA Report

In Willie Nisbet’s absence, there was no report

15.3 Carse of Stirling Project Group Report

There was nothing new to report.

15.4 Port Hall Report

No report had been received from the Chairman of the Port Hall Committee. However, there was a discussion about the proposals to increase the size of the Hall car-park which appeared to be on hold at present. As a result it was it was agreed that Matthew Woods and the Chairman would discuss the matter further.

15.5 Port School Report

Peter Stewart reported that the Primary School’s Pupil Roll had dropped to 12 but that it was unlikely that the School was at the risk of closure in the immediate future. He also reported that the School now has a part-time janitor.

15.6 Police Report

This had been circulated prior to the meeting.

16. Any Other Competent Business

There being no further business, the meeting closed.

17. Date of Next Scheduled Meeting : Monday, 25 th April, 2022