Feb 2023 Minutes

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Meeting Monday 6th February 2023 in the Village Club


Members Present: - Julie Hutchison; Evelyn MacDougall; John Gray; Andrew Thompson; Rob Davies; Pamela Lee; (per item 3 Ian Boardley; Graeme Kemsley) In attendance: P Henke, SC; M Vass, SCDT; I Mills, Church + 2 residents Apologies: Grace Edmonds; Kate Ramsden; Eleanor Balfour

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

1.  Welcome from the Chair and declarations of Interest

JH noted with sadness the death of former CC member Bob Flashman. The CC sends condolences and best wishes to Karen and the family. (See also AOCB.) There were no declarations of interest.

2.  Minutes of December meeting and matters arising

The minutes had been circulated to CC members and were accepted, proposed by AT seconded by JG

Matters arising: JH reported that bollards had been replaced outside the Village Club and church. Waiting for updates on other signage matters.

The 6 cherry trees had been obtained and will be planted at the new library. Discussion with SC regarding meetings in the VC will be reported below.

JH had been informed that the proposed 20mph limit will be advertised imminent- ly. She had also been advised that it was not possible to extend this to the new houses, due to national regulations and the lack of properties fronting the A81. JG noted this is neglectful of the pedestrians who are expected to walk there.

JH reported that the barriers on the pavement at Station Road need to remain in place while damage to telecom cables is assessed and repaired.

Tenders have been issued to alter the junction at Old Mugdock Road/Dumbrock Road – needs completed by end of March. SCC will look after planters which are part of the installation.

KR and JH had joined a Teams meeting about reviving the Area Forums, and confirmed there is value in networking with other rural communities and service providers. Two more meetings are planned, one for Rural SW and one general. Final day in Bannockburn. KR and JH will continue attending.

We have receive a rota of elected members attending the CC meetings up to June (tonight PH replaces RF).

Strathkelvin Railway Path is under repairs for the landslip and other pre-existing issues will be attended. be users please make allowances

3.   Co-option of new members

Ian Boardley had volunteered to join the CC, representing Mugdock in particular. His co-option was proposed by EM, seconded by AT and agreed unanimously.

Graeme Kemsley had also volunteered. His co-option was proposed by JG, se- conded by RD and agreed unanimously.

With the co-option of these members, the CC was finally up to its full complement of 11 members, but ED reminded that she at least would be retiring at the elec- tion.

4.   Police Report

A report had been received by email.

  • Incidents of antisocial behaviour: (1) On 13 January 2023, a van was burned out in the Carbeth area. It appears linked to crimes outwith the Forth Valley area and was merely brought here for the purpose of destroy- ing same. (2) On 20 January a vehicle was set alight in the Dumgoyne ar- ea. Enquiries continue. (3) On 21 January a male was found in posses- sion of Cannabis in the Mugdock area. He was dealt with by means of a Recorded Police (4) On 29 January 2023 a vehicle was damaged at Mugdock having been scratched along one side.


  • Police have carried out a number of road traffic patrols in and around the area. As a result, one driver was found driving without a valid certificate of motor insurance and expired vehicle excise license.


  • There have been no reported thefts in this area during the period of this re- port. Police continue to conduct proactive patrols in attempt to deter would-be recidivist criminals, including carrying out routine road stops.

Further to the question raised at the last meeting - when to call 999 and when to call 101? – JH had received advice from the Police. If a resident believes a crime is actively in progress or imminent, so that it could be prevented/detected by swift intervention, do call 999. Otherwise please call 101.

EM requested an update on detection of fire raising and dumped snakes in the Carbeth huts area. JH will contact the police.

5.  Elected member’s Report

PH reported being part of Local Review Body dealing with planning appeals. Ear- lier that day the LRB had determined 3 appeals, including the one refused in our area. (JG had viewed the proceedings online.)

RD asked about progress with cuts, and the imminent budget. PH confirmed the budget process has been vert, but difficult, but could not give further details in advance of any announcements. It was recognised that cuts from central gov- ernment would imply a 40%+ hike in Council Tax, unless cuts were to be made. The main option for saving money on this scale is voluntary redundancies among council employees. PH noted that Council Tax has not been raised substantially for over a decade.

6.  Planning and Licensing

There were not really any new application of substance, so JG only updated the CC on progress of cases discussed before:


JG apologised he still has to prepare enforcement requests in relation to Ardoch House campsite and the Adam/RSHA development Graham Lambie Brae below the Devil's Elbow. He will get on with this when time permits.

In the course of the LRB hearing, the planning officer had alerted the LRB mem- bers that the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) was about to come into force, and we will need to take this into account as a “material consideration” when evaluating proposals. A member of the public noted that this NPF4 seemed to be part of an SG ‘urbanisation’ policy. GK mentioned that this NFP4 has a “20- minute neighbourhoods” concept. This will need to be reviewed as part of the Lo- cal Place Plan and LDP revision.

JH noted we had finally been invited to (online) training relating to the develop- ment of a Local Place Plan. Some CC members will attend together from the VC committee room on 20 Feb 2023.

CCs had also been invited to learn more about the “Community Map Scotland” tool. The Improvement Service, Scottish Rural Network and Geoxphere are host- ing a couple of free webinars for community councillors which is available to CCs for their first 12 months. JG would attend.

With regard to the other tool signed up for JG is still awaiting contact after regis- tering an interest. GK suggested the free places may be more limited than SC originally thought.

GK was invited to join JG and EB in the Planning sub-group, and agreed.

8. Finance

Current Account     -        £2925.04 Instant Saver                       -        £1375.89

Cheques becoming obsolete so EM is looking into internet banking. There are or- ganisations using online backing with 2-person signature.

8. Correspondence

Information had been received from Stephen Bly about the timetable for CC elec- tions in May. The timeline depends in practice on how many volunteers stand for election. If there are not at least 7 then the CC will not be formed at all. More about the elections will be publicised in the March BVB.

Stirling had written us a letter confirming that the CC meetings would have to go to School in future, as this was seen as a “zero cost” compared with the VC hire. Previously we were told school WiFi has no connectivity for visitors, which makes it a non-starter for our meetings, which are sometimes hybrid in nature. Email from Stirling Development Team contradicts previous information, so JH will ask school to double-check. In any case, all present recognised that this “zero cost” idea must be false. For meetings in the school, SC must pay travel and overtime for the caretaker, as well as extra heating. How is that economic sense? A former member noted that in the past the CC helped SC break down silos between de- partments with these compartmentalised budgets, but a new generation of offic- ers seem to have built their silos anew.

12. AOCB

IB advised that Mugdock Country Park had been chasing for funding to protect quarry and prevent accidents. New sturdy fencing is already in place, and there is to be more planting and infill to close remaining gaps. Signage and policing by rangers are also in hand. Sad that this level of action only arose after a fatality, when such fatalities had long been predicted.

AT & RD and Alan Hutton had attended the Scottish Communities Climate Ac- tion Network meeting in Killearn. Pilots were in Aberdeen and North Coast/Thurso, and a next pilot would include Forth Valley. The Killearn meeting identified that rural needs are different. Idea is participative approach focusing on sustainability and climate action and sharing experiences and advocacy. RD not clear what group would achieve without a budget. AT thinks useful ideas come out of it, such as ‘Neighbourfood’ for low miles sources. Tool library is another idea. From our community, library and wildlife sanctuary could be models for oth- er communities to refer to. Aisling Brady has been employed to get it going. Wait for next information.

JH had received an email from Stirling about community newspapers, and the Connect Up initiative.

Margaret Vass reported that the new library was being fitted out by SC under a ‘licence to occupy’ because they haven’t signed a lease yet. Delays seems to be within SC and awaiting Building Warrant. Building Control want ramp to disabled parking to be made shallower but can have temporary waiver to let it operate in the meantime. Infrastructure team have not been joining meetings but now a new person joined in so will hopefully get up to speed. SC to provide fire safety proce- dures and equipment. Opening ceremony date is still to be fixed, but is clearly sliding into March.

GK raised the question of parking at library: 3 disabled and 4 others. Council funding for electric will come in due course.

JG enquired whether the enforcement of parking on pavement restrictions is still planned, as advised last year.

JH understood that the Co-Op/Post Office change to new ownership is scheduled for April 4th. All staff will be kept on in their current roles.

Finally, former SCC chair Willie Oswald added his own tribute in remembrance of Bob Flashman. Bob and Willie had a great collaboration successfully repelling development on green belt site by Milndavie Road. Bob then joined CC and was instrumental in building links with SCDT.

  1. Date of next meeting Monday March 6th, 2023, at 7.30pm in the Village Club.

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