September 2023 Minutes

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Tobrex Community Council
Minutes of Meeting
12 September 2023
Stirling High School
Meeting opened at 7:00pm
1. Welcome and Introductions
The chair welcomed those present to the September meeting.
a) Community council members present: John Buchan, Julie Myles, Matt McGrandles (Chair),
Ruth Paterson (Vice Chair), Annette van Schalkwyk (Secretary), Chris Rayfield (Planning)
and Fiona Rayfield (Treasurer).
b) Apologies: Community Police Officer
c) In attendance: Cllr Scott Farmer
d) New members to be co-opted: Derek McCulloch, Aiden (Max) Hislop
2. Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest.
3. Adoption of previous meetings minutes
Minutes adopted.
Proposed: Fiona.
Seconded: Julie.
4. Co-opting New Members
Unanimous vote to accept new members into Torbrex Community Council.
New members: Derek McCulloch, Aiden (Max) Hislop.
5. Matters Arising
a) Annette emailed Stirling High School and Cllr Preston, see Secretary report.
b) Community Matrix – Some further tweaks required after comments from Stirling Council.
There will be two versions of the document, one anonymised for display on the notice board
and one for internal use with all details.
c) Noticeboard – thanks to Annette for cleaning and putting up new notices.
6. Reports – External
a) Police (apologies given but report submitted prior to the meeting)
 Police should be contacted so they are made aware of any incidents by calling 101 in a
non-emergency or by emailing the community police officer. We encourage people to
log calls at the time of the incident.
b) Cllr Scott Farmer
 Noted that the police resources are targeted on an intelligence based manner so incidents
should be reported so that they know to deal with them and issues like anti-social
behaviour can be targetted locally.
 The council is continuously suffering from limited resource. The council is operating on
a £12.5 million deficit of funds. A one-off reserve was made available from Scottish
Government this year which helped cushion recurring spending pressures but does not
address the root problems. The council needs to continue to drive reductions in spending
and head count. Rounds of voluntary redundancy have not been successful in reducing
the head count. Falkirk Pensions Fund did a project on calculating severance packages.
The organisation requires restructure to deliver a cost-effective and efficient service.
 There have been reports of graffiti in Laburnum Grove which have been dealt with by
 There are known issues with littering in Beechwood Park. Staff at the high school are
raising this regularly with pupils. The park is supervised at lunch and break times when
the littering in known to be more of a problem. There has been no direct correspondence
from community members to the head teacher but he is happy to meet if required.
 I encourage community members to be persistent when reporting issues to the council
and to police. Target areas for resource come to the fore through pressure. There is an
intelligence-led prioritisation of resource.
7. Reports – Internal
a) Chair
 Facebook – Propose this should once again become a private group.
 CC Induction Sessions – Encourage people to attend these.
b) Secretary
 Confirm meeting time changes – 1900-2030 CC meeting, 2030-2130 Residents forum.
 Beechwood notice board – secretary and chair visited the existing notice board
(Beechwood Park) and have agreed that it is still in good condition. Have cleaned it up
and made some space for Torbrex CC information.
 Welcome to new members Max and Derek.
 Sent email to Stirling High School 10 July 2023. Reply received 14 July 2023. Topic:
student reps for the CC.
 Sent email to Cllr Preston on 7 July 2023. Reply received 7 July 2023. Topic:
Beechwood Park.
c) Treasurer
 Admin and minute taker funding application submitted to the council. Underspend from
last year was deducted from the approved grant. Admin 2023/24 payment - £133.46.
Minutes 2023/24 payment - £80.00. All totals are with insurance and underspend
 CC has had no income since June 2023.
 1 expenditure for minute taking since June 2023.
 The current bank balance is £5392.61.
d) Planning
 Nothing for the CC to comment on.
 Update on Stirling Ice Rink site:
 Ruth met with planning officer Tracey Milne and Cllr Ben Nyn to talk about the ice
rink site and a potential community buyout on 4 July 2023. The ASN/Complex
Needs centre which was proposed for the site has been allocated to Bannockburn.
The site was recently valued at £600k. The council needs to pay the cricket club 40%
of this value next year regardless of a sale being agreed. The ice rink site is currently
being assessed for other schooling needs in the district (lots of new housing is
planned in the area and means high schools will be over capacity in the next 10-15
years. High schools operate at 100% capacity – Stirling High School build capacity
is 1170 and in 23/24 has 1102 pupils). The estate review exercise will complete in
autumn 2023 (however they are missing a member of staff so it might take longer). If
the site is developed for schooling then the council is in favour of local community
input following the mixed-used campus approach so that the building could have
multiple uses, e.g. cafe, library, sports hall, etc. The council are generally in favour
of a community buyout if it is not required for schooling requirements. There are
some options that we can progress as a community council including temporary use
of the site for a community garden or allotments until school expansion building
work begins (next 10-15 years). Propose inviting Tracey Milne to our next meeting
for an update on the estate review.
e) Beechwood Park Subgroup
 In September 2022 year a new climbing frame was installed after the previous one was
vandalised. The zip line was vandalised soon after and has been unusable ever since.
This still hasn’t been replaced and the kids are gutted. It was logged at the time with the
council but nothing was done. Julie has pushed this with Cllr Jen Preston who came to
visit the park in June 2023 to see the damaged equipment and the littering problem.
Money was already spent on the park replacing the climbing frame so the zip line was
not a priority for last year. Cllr Preston announced a £700k investment into parks over
the next 2 years.
 There may be potential for a community fundraiser to generate funds for the park once
the council avenue has been exhausted. Other avenues could include sponsorship, PTA
fundraising. However we need to consider insurance and liability – anything would need
to be implemented by the council even if we raise funds.
 We need a positive relationship with Stirling High School to address the litter. We need
to engage with them on this.
 Users of the park report intimidation and abuse when asking teenagers to pick up litter or
stop doing things like graffiti or using lighters on play equipment. People are scared to
engage and there needs to be a heavier police or school monitor presence to deter these
 Julie has produced a relevant contacts list for the notice board to let community
members know where to report instances of anti-social behaviour, vandalism, etc.
 Cllr Farmer commented that the community needs to continue to push this with the local
authority. As well as resource being allocated on an intelligence led basis, there are
issues with sourcing replacement parts which are globally apparent across all sectors
(inflation, supply chain delays). Cllr Farmer met with the Chief Inspector about Kings
Park – lots of anti-social behaviour post-covid with people coming from as far away as
Crieff and Falkirk to gather in the park. However, the anti-social behaviour has reduced
significantly recently. All elected members for Stirling West (Preston, Farmer, Nyn) are
aware of the issues.
8. Community Council Business
No community council business.
9. AOB
 Annette resigns as the secretary. We thank her for 9 years of service to the community
Meeting closed at 8.24pm.