April 2021 Minutes


Virtual meeting Monday 12th April 2021



Members Present: - Grace Edmonds; Julie Hutchison; Kate Ramsden; Evelyn Mac-
dougall; Philip Graves; Andy Thompson; John Gray; Eleanor Balfour; Craig Melville
Apologies: There were no apologies

In attendance: Cllr Alistair Berrill; M Vass, SCDT, Fergus McFarlane, Loch Lomond
Fisheries Trust + 1 resident

(SC = Stirling Council. CC = Community Council. CDT= Community Development
Trust * Denotes an action)


  1. Welcome from the Chair and declarations of Interest


    JH welcomed everybody to the meeting, particularly Fergus McFarlane from Loch
    Lomond Fisheries Trust. JH, MV and AT declared an interest in discussion regarding
    the library and JG declared an interest regarding the Wee Kirk.


  2. Minutes of March meeting and matters arising


    AT asked that his recommendations regarding the Wee Kirk should be minuted. He
    had mentioned that a better exhaust system with possibly a new chimney and mov-
    ing the kiosk closer to the road might ease the problems for the neighbours.

    JG had said that the CC would support the planning application for the new library.
    With these revisions the minutes were adopted, Proposed by PG and seconded by

    Matters arising: JG confirmed that he has filed our comments on the Aros House
    planning application.

    JH said that the CC shed at the library has been cleaned up. She said that we need a
    system of recording when an item has been borrowed and returned.


  3. Co-option of new member.


    The necessary paperwork has come through from SC and JH proposed that Craig
    Melville should be formally co-opted on to the CC. This was agreed by all CC mem-
    bers and JH welcomed Craig to the CC. She noted that we still have two vacancies.


  4. Police Report

    PC Steven Graham sent the police report for March.
    Anti-social behaviour

    There was a report of a breach of Covid regulations in a premises. Police attended
    but no breach of guidelines was found.

    There was a report of youths causing annoyance near Board’s Farm. There was no
    trace of them when Police arrived.

    A road rage type incident occurred near the village hall. One male driver was issued
    with a formal Police warning.

    A deer fence was cut on the A809 near where model planes are flown. Enquiries are
    ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact the Police.

    Emergency services attended the Devil’s Pulpit where a male had fallen from a
    ledge. He sustained serious injuries.

    There was a report of dirt bikes causing a disturbance around Carbeth. The area was
    searched but there was no trace of the bikes.

    Road Traffic

    A minor RTC occurred on the A81 in Blanefield. One of the vehicles failed to stop
    and enquiries are ongoing to trace the vehicle.


    Police spent time on the A81 at the distillery in an effort to discourage inconsiderate
    parking. This will be continued when possible. Fixed penalty tickets were issued to
    vehicles parked on the double yellow lines at the Devil’s Pulpit.


    There was a theft of sheep reported from the field opposite the junction from
    Ballewan Crescent. Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information should
    contact the Police.

    An episode of shoplifting was reported at the Co-op. Enquiries are ongoing.

    There was a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of Wood Place, No VRM was
    given. Police take suspicious persons reports seriously so residents should report
    any suspicious activity.


  5. Loch Lomond Fisheries – Fergus McFarlane.


    Loch Lomond Fisheries have been given a grant from the Nature Scot Biodiversity
    Challenge Fund to undertake control measures for invasive species in the Blane Val-
    ley. Their focus is on Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and American Skunk
    Cabbage. They are engaged in a programme of spraying herbicide Giant Hogweed
    over 14 kms of burn side within the Endrick area. Stem injection is being used on
    Japanese Knotweed and American Skunk Cabbage. Continual management of these
    species is required.

    The group is also carrying out tree planting to combat erosion on the banks of the
    upper Endrick and removing debris to allow fish to access the river system. They are
    also carrying out mink trapping.

    Fergus asked any residents who see anything in the area that looks unusual to report
    to the group. JH had left the meeting so KR thanked Fergus for his interesting

    JG asked about the connection between fly tipping and the spread of invasive spe-
    cies. Fergus said that any contaminated soil being tipped can spread contamination.
    AT noted that this is concerning as we believe that the decision by SC to charge for
    removing garden waste will increase the instances of fly tipping. It would be helpful to
    monitor this over time to see if problems increase after April 2021. Fergus was asked
    if the Blane is the source of the problems and he replied that the Blane is currently
    the worst affected area in Central Scotland. PG asked if Himalayan Balsam could be
    more of a priority in our area and Fergus said that this is something they will concen-
    trate on this year. He needs volunteers as it is a huge job. PG asked if they are look-
    ing for people who have qualifications in treating invasive plants to join them and
    Fergus said this would be welcome.

    EB asked if walkers and people exercising their dogs along the Blane would help to
    spread invasive plants. Fergus replied that in our area it will not make a difference as
    we mainly have Balsam.

    KR thanked Fergus again and asked him to keep us informed about their activities.


  6. Report from the South West Forum – Kate Ramsden


    KR reported that the forum was mainly to introduce Elaine Nichol and to let people
    know that she wants to help people chase up roads issues. She also talks about the
    need for greater communication between the council and communities regarding
    road closures.

    SC also want suggestions for topics for future meetings. PG asked if the contact
    point is still info@stirling. KR was not sure but will find out.

    MV mentioned the Participation request which was about greater communication and
    which has never been completed.


  7. Date for the AGM


    JH had asked the members of the CC to think about the date for the AGM this year,
    as the last one was postponed to December due to Covid.


    It was agreed that we should delay the AGM this year until September to allow time
    for the books to be looked at. The date for the AGM was agreed as September 6th


  8. Elected Member’s Report – Councillor Alastair Berrill


    At the Council meeting on March 4th some of the councillors made a last effort to stop
    the charges for garden waste collection. This failed by one vote, so the charges will
    start in mid-April.

    On March 11th the Council met to consider the budget for next year. In line with all
    the other councils in Scotland it was decided to freeze Council Tax bills this year.

    AB has raised the issue of the road works on Mugdock road with council officers and
    they have contacted officers at EDC to ensure that the road remains open at night.

    The by-election for Graham Lambie’s seat will take place alongside the Parliamen-
    tary election on May 6th.

    AT asked AB if something can be done to alert council officers to the likelihood of in-
    creased fly tipping when the garden waste charge comes in. AB will ensure that of-
    ficers are aware that this could potentially lead to increased spreading of invasive

    The Covid infections in Stirling and Clackmannan have been falling recently. Current-
    ly 59.1% of residents in our area have been offered their first vaccination and 9.9%
    have been offered the second one.


  9. Planning and Licensing


    The planning application for the new library was submitted a couple of months ago
    and the CC support this. JG noted a letter from the Parent Council at the school who
    are asking for fencing to screen the playground in the interest of safeguarding. This
    letter and the reply from the architects have been circulated to CC members.

    AT said that there will be large windows overlooking the playground and that the
    SCDT has agreed to do what they can to minimise this. They are considering having
    an opaque panel along the window and planting small trees and shrubs in front of the
    outside reading area, which will partially shield the view. The Parent Council wants a
    six-foot high fence around this area and hedges in front of the building. Police guid-
    ance is not to have solid fencing adjacent to schools. The fence and hedges would
    disrupt the ethos of an open building and outside reading area.

    MV pointed out that library staff would see if anybody was regularly watching the
    playground. EB said that there are better places to watch the playground than from
    the library. As a prospective parent she does not see what the problem is. JG said
    that this is the only contentious issue with the plans. CM asked if we could meet with
    the Parent Council to discuss their concerns. AT has corresponded with the group
    and they are happy to meet but this has not yet happened. MV said that they are
    happy to leave the decision to the planners. JG said that he is inclined to say that the
    CC support the open aspect of the design and rely on the planners to consider safe-
    guarding. This was agreed.

    JG, EM, JH and GE met with the management and owner of the Kirkhouse regarding
    the Wee Kirk. They outlined their future plans for the property, including retaining the
    Wee Kirk to provide food for the Public Bar. The view of the CC representatives is
    that parking issues and some noise are not important and are part of the function of
    the hotel. The real issue is the smell, which adversely affects neighbours. EM said
    that she tried to get the management to give a time frame for addressing the smell
    issue but they would not do this. Then owner was happy to provide funding for an
    improved ventilation system to dissipate the smell but the management seemed dis-
    inclined to do anything they do not have to.


    AT is concerned that the management do not seem to care about the neighbours.
    They should move the cooking inside when they are able to and build a proper chim-

    JG reported that there is still no movement on the Gladman appeal. He has not seen
    a final decision for the Devil’s Elbow site. JG asked about planning training for CC
    members, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. AB said he will follow this up.


  10. Finance


    Current Account - £2809.34
    Instant Saver account - £1342.01

    Next month we will pay £40 for Data protection fee. EM said that we pay a subscrip-
    tion to Pathways and she receives literature from them. She thought that this should
    go to PG.


  11. Correspondence


JH heard from Philip Taylor at Cuilt Farm, who has submitted a Freedom of Infor-
mation request to Scottish Water regarding the work beside the railway path. This
has been going on for years. JH suggested asking someone from SW to attend a CC
meeting to update us on what is happening. This was agreed. EM has a representa-
tive from SW on her property at present and asked him about the works in the village.
He did not know but said that he would find out and reply to her query.

JH had an email from Bryan Grieve from Doune who was very impressed with the
traffic calming on the A81. JH will reply to him.

JG said that Angela McGibbon's meeting with the resident beside the VC who com-
plained about the traffic calming causing cars to queue outside his gate has resulted
in the Keep Clear sign on the road.

JH tried again to get a response from Council officers regarding the hedge trimming
on the A81 and the minutes of our last meeting with them. Pam Campbell said that
she would chase these up but JH has still heard nothing.


  1. AOCB


    A resident inquired about gathering a petition to SC regarding a Village Officer. She
    was told that there is a process for sending a petition. It was agreed that JH will
    speak to Colin McKay from Land Services about the process.

    A member of the Lunch Club contacted JH to say that they are unlikely to reopen af-
    ter restrictions are lifted. It is possible that the Church might be interested in taking
    over the running of the Lunch Club and JH will contact them to let them know that it
    will not continue.

    PG mentioned the traffic situation at the St Mocha drive-thru. The car park is often
    full and traffic queues on the main road. This is a very dangerous situation. AB will
    notify the council.


  2. Date of next meeting May 10th 2021, 7.30 on Zoom.


Copy date for BVB May 14th 2021



Contact us at contact@strathblanecc.org.uk Also on our website
www.strathblanecc.org.uk. Telephone numbers for Community Councillors are
on the notice boards, in the library and in the Blane Valley Bulletin