Feb 2023 Minutes

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Minutes of the General Meeting of the Port of Menteith Community Council held on Monday, 6th February, 2023.
Present : Peter Stewart, Chair
Sheena Makgill-Crichton, Vice-Chair & Secretary
Alison Forrester
Jim Riach
Matthew Woods
Councillor Elaine Waterson
Valerie Graham, Minutes Secretary

1. Members Present and Apologies for Absence

Apologies from Claire Outterside 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 General Meeting held on 5th December, 2022

The adoption of the Draft Minutes was proposed by Alison Forrester and seconded by Peter Stewart.

4. Matters Arising from the Minutes of the meeting held on 5th December, 2022


4.1 Port of Menteith Church & Cemetery
Sheena Makgill-Crichton provided a very detailed report of the situation relating to the Port Kirk under the Church of Scotland’s “New Mission Plan”. From this, members learnt that in future the Kirk will be linked with Norrieston, Kippen and Gargunnock Churches and will share one Minister.
However, it was noted that consideration will also have to be given to the long-term viability of the Kirk although Sheena said it will have to await the outcome of the claim against the Architects before any of the cosmetic work required could be undertaken. In the meantime, it is intended to continue as usual until a lack of human resources could force the Church to be closed unless new and younger people become involved and the building will quickly deteriorate if nothing is done with it.
4.2 Callander Dental Service
There was lengthy discussion about the withdrawal of the NHS dental treatment in Callander and how this would impact on patients in the surrounding area. Councillor Watterson reported that there had been a major effort by Callander Community Council to overturn the decision with the launch of a petition which had received over 2,000 signatures. However, she thought it unlikely that the situation would change unless another dental practice set up in the area.
4.3 Stirling Council DRT Service
On behalf of a local resident, Councillor Watterson said that she had been investigating the situation of the Council’s DRT service but it appeared that the service is not financially viable and there is a lack of local taxi services willing to be involved.
There followed a discussion during which Jim Riach said that there were many similar services run by local authorities and other organisations elsewhere in Scotland.
4.4 Inchmahome
The response to the letter to Historic Environment Scotland regarding Inchmahome had been previously circulated. Members agreed that the Community Council should now request a copy of the survey referred to in the letter. Action : SMC
4.5 Designation of Rednock Forest as a Local Nature Conservation Site
Although the Community Council had not been officially notified by Stirling Council, Sheena Makgill-Crichton said that she had been told by one of the landowners concerned that the proposed designation of Rednock Forest had been withdrawn and that she thought that the Council’s handling of the matter had been appalling.
4.6 School Request for an Information Leaflet
After discussion, it was agreed that this item should be carried forward for members of the new Community Council to consider. Valerie Graham said that she would advise Mr. Stoddart accordingly. Action : VG

5. Roads & Other Issues


5.1 Roads & Verges


Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that following the numerous complaints from the Community Council regarding the dangerous condition of road verges in the area, members were reminded that it had been announced at the October, 2022 meeting that the Roads Manager had agreed to do the repairs required to improve them. However, this had still not been done.
At the same meeting, members had asked for an explanation as to why the new surfacing of the road at Braeval was breaking up and had been told that the Council was investigating the situation but nothing further had been heard.
5.2 A11/B8034 Junction Sign
Sheena Makgill-Crichton reported that she didn’t consider that the original response from Stirling Council regarding complaints that the brown tourist sign at the A81/B8034 junction was restricting the view of some drivers had been acceptable. In view of this and via Councillor Maxwell, she had referred it back to the Council together with photographs taken from the drivers’ cabs to demonstrate the problem but nothing further had been heard.
There was total agreement that the general lack of response from the Council to this and other items was not acceptable.
5.3 Cardross Bridge
Members were advised that following receipt of Stirling Council’s LBC application to carry out repairs to Cardross Bridge, the Community Council had lodged a notice of support on behalf of members and the local community and this had now been added to the Case File. A copy of the survey report for the Bridge had been previously circulated.

6. Refuse Collections


6.1 Members were advised that refuse collections at properties along the B8034 had been sporadic or non-existent in December/early January resulting in numerous complaints. In particular, there had been no glass collections between 2nd December-27thJanuary resulting in overflowing boxes at road ends. The one exception was a resident on the Collymoon road who, having created such a fuss when she complained and was told that there had been a collection on 30th December when there hadn’t, the Council had sent a driver with a van to collect her glass but had ignored all the other boxes of glass at adjoining properties.

7. Financial Statement


7.1 Statement to 31st January, 2023
In Claire Outterside’s absence, members noted that there had been no movement on the accounts since December.
7.2 Annual Audit
Members approved Peter Forrester to act as Auditor for the 2022/2023 accounts.

8. Correspondence


8.1 General Correspondence Received
A list of correspondence received had been circulated prior to the meeting.

9. Planning & Licensing Issues


9.1 New Planning Applications
Members were advised that there had been no new planning applications since the previous meeting.
9.2 Planning Updates
Members were advised that the following planning applications had been approved;
9.2.1 22/00617/FUL : Conversion of garage to Holiday Let accommodation at Newton Granary, Port of Menteith.
9.2.2 22/0266/DET : Replacement of existing Holiday Unit within existing development at Lochend Chalets, Port of Menteith.
9.3 Planning Notifications
Members were advised that there had been no new planning notifications.
9.4 “Updated Callander South Masterplan Framework” Consultation
This document, which had been approved by the NPA, had been circulated prior to the meeting and was now open for comments.

10. Forestry


10.1 Forestry and Land Scotland Local Activities Report
No updated report had been received.
10.2 Forestry & Land Scotland : Tree Disease
There had been no response to the Community Council’s agreement for someone from F&LS to attend a meeting to speak to members about the tree disease Phytophthora ramorum. Sheena Makgill-Crichton expressed surprise that was no warning notice about it in the Braeval car-park.

11. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park


11.1 Port of Menteith NPA Entry Sign
After discussion, in his new capacity as Depute Convener of the NPA, it was agreed to seek Martin Earl’s support to pursue this matter on behalf of the Community Council. Action : VG Action : VG
11.2 Loch Lomond Byelaw Review
Members were advised that following the public consultation, proposed changes including a full set of revised byelaws, were to be discussed by the NPA Board later in the month.

12. Countryside Trust

Jim Riach recommended that this item should be removed from the agenda as the Trust’s newsletter is circulated.

13. Strathard & Trossachs Place Based Visitor Management Group

Jim Riach said that he had little to report other than that the Strathard Strategic Tourism Development Plan was with the consultants and the NPA had produced a Visitor Management review in December.

14. Reports

14.1 Councillor’s Report
Councillor Watterson reported that Stirling Council was currently working on its budget for the forthcoming year which had involved a six hour long meeting the previous day. Although still to be finalised and agreed, it would almost certainly result in a Council Tax increase. However, it was planned to ask the Scottish Government for more money.
14.2 NPA Report
In David Mackie’s absence, there was no report from the National Park Authority.
14.3 Carse of Stirling Project Group Report
Jim Riach had nothing new to report.
14.4 Port Hall Committee Report
Matthew Woods reported that there were plans to put together a local plan for the Port Hall which it was thought would provide more access to funding to enable better use of the building, such as a Community Hub.
He also expressed concern at what effect the new Agriculture Bill might have on biodiversity.
14.5 School Report
There was no report from Ben Outterside but members were advised that the School Council was holding a fundraising ceilidh on 11th March and tickets were available.
14.6 Police Report
This had been circulated prior to the meeting and members considered the proposed use of “popup policemen” in the area.

15. Any Other Competent Business

15.1 Forthcoming Community Council Elections
Members were advised that the schedule for Stirling Council’s elections of new Community Councils had just been received and the procedure would begin with the publication of the Notice of Election on 3rd April when members of the public would be able to submit their nominations for election. Peter Stewart agreed to draft a message about the elections for circulation via the Community Council’s e-mail contact list. Action : PS
During the ensuing discussion, Peter Stewart proposed that instead of attempting to recruit new people to the Community Council, it would be better to let matters take their course and see what happens. In fact, he was of the opinion that because of the general lack of response from Stirling Council to concerns raised by Community Councils as illustrated in the reports in previous items on the agenda, a group of local residents, which could communicate using social media, might be more appropriate.
15.2 Coronation Event
It was agreed that in view of the announcement of the forthcoming election of new community councils, members were unable to take responsibility for the organisation of an event.
15.3 Email from Nigel Cole
Peter Stewart referred to the email he had received from Nigel Cole and a draft response, both of which had been circulated prior to the meeting. A view was expressed that it was disappointing that Mr. Cole, previously a member of the Community Council, should accuse it of being secretive and it was agreed to respond as drafted. Action : PS

16. Date of Next Meeting : To be Advised