December 2023 Minutes

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Trossachs Community Council
Approved Minutes of the Meeting held in Brig O’ Turk Village Hall
At 7:30pm on Thursday 14th December 2023

Present: Richard Morris (Chair), James Hill (Vice-Chair), Sue Morris
(Secretary/Planning), Liz Maxwell, Nicola Hornsby.
In Attendance: Councillor Gene Maxwell (Scottish National Party), Esther Lim
(Minute Taker)
Apologies: Roger Drapper, Christine Blue.
Residents: There were no members of the public present.

1. Welcome and Apologies
The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and gave the apologies.

2. Approval of Minutes and Action Tracker

2.1 Approval of Minutes
The unconfirmed minutes of the meeting held on 9th November 2023 were
approved having been proposed by Sue Morris (SM) and seconded by Liz Maxwell (LM).

2.2 Action Tracker

Action 4.1 Completed.

Action 4.2 This has been submitted. SM fed back concerns about the lack of
local representation on the board and the implications for subcommittees
which will not have local input. She requested some small wording changes to ensure the focus is on local residents rather than visitors.

Action 4.3 Completed. An update is provided below in item 7.2.2

Action 4.4 Ongoing. RM will message the new Trossachs Community Trust
(TCT) chair.

Action 4.5 James Hill (JH) attended the meeting and provided input on the
local area. There was a focus on Loch Katrin and among topics discussed were: increases in visitor numbers, how to be prepared for visitor spikes due to social media, how to work together more collaboratively and the need for more motorhome parking. They are hoping to keep the same number of rangers this year but expect a budget cut next year. He can provide a more detailed update once he receives a copy of the minutes

Action 4.6 To be discussed later in agenda item 7.1

Action 4.7 This in ongoing. Members agreed a budget of £100 for the tree.

3. Police Report
Sue Morris shared the police report for the period 9th November to 11th December which was compiled by PC Donald King and emailed to members prior to the meeting. The following incidents were reported.

  • The undetected theft of a rucksack left in the Ben A’an car park.
  • A report of careless driving on the A821. Enquiries are ongoing.

In addition, the police advised of an increase in trailer and quad bike thefts in the area.

4. Finance Report
There was no financial report as the Treasurer was absent. The balance as of 13th November 2023 was £15,869.13.
Nicola Hornsby (NH) asked for a discussion around how the TCC funds might be spent to be added to the February meeting agenda. [Action: Richard Morris]
It was noted that TCC receive a payment of £2k each year from the Hydro Fund and that there are no criteria for how this money should be spent. It was suggested that TCC ask the community how they would like the money to be spent.

5. Stirling Council Report
Councillor Gene Maxwell (GM) recognised that the documentation sent out to community councils (CCs) has caused a lot of alarm. He expressed the opinion that, although difficult cuts will have to be made, they will not be as bad as some people are predicting. He recognised that many of the proposed cuts would have a greater impact on rural than on urban communities. Once the Scottish Government confirms its budget on 19th December, Stirling Council (SC) will have greater clarity on how the Council Tax freeze will affect their
SM gave an update on the recent joint CC meeting hosted by Strathard CC in response to cuts in services. The CCs have created 8 working groups to address the 8 areas of proposed cuts: nursery provision, education services, road-end bin collections, library services, public toilets, village hall support, transport services and essential road repairs.
The Lead Organiser for each stream has formulated key questions on the proposed cuts which have been sent to participating CCs for them to review and adapt to their local situation. Each CC will submit their questions to Stephen Bly (SB) at SC asking for clarification on how these cuts will impact their area. SC is obliged to respond to these enquiries within a fixed number of days. The working groups will use these responses to develop an overarching impact assessment statement identifying the actual impact the cuts will have on the rural communities.
Members discussed how the cuts would affect them locally. It was felt that cuts to road end bin collections would have one of the greatest impacts locally. SM will submit the questions for TCC. [Action: Sue Morris]
GM informed TCC that Councillor Elaine Watterson (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party) has been elected as Stirling Council’s new Provost.

6. National Park Report
There was no National Park (NP) report as none was supplied.

7. Discussion Topics

7.1 Local Place Plan (LPP) Discussion and Decisions
James Hill (JH) has been in contact with the recommended consultants requesting quotations to develop a LPP on behalf of TCC. He has received one full response and one partial response, with the promise of a full response shortly. The other consultants have no capacity at this time. Once JH receives the full proposal, he will submit an application for funding to the NP to cover the consultant costs.
Members discussed what to do if JH doesn’t receive the necessary response from the 2nd consultant. In this case, he agreed to submit the funding bid to the National Park with the single quotation and an explanation before Christmas asking for approval. [Action: James Hill]
RM expressed concern about the timeframe. JH confirmed that meeting a March 2024 deadline is probably unrealistic. There is likely to be slippage of approximately a month. The National Park have said they will be flexible.
SM declared a conflict of interest should members need to decide between the 2 potential bids as she is acquainted with one of the bidders. She will not take part in any discussion to choose the consultant. In the interest of speed, members will discuss the bids via email.
Members thanked James for his work and agreed it would be money well spent.

7.2 Roads

7.2.1 Road Surface Defect A821
Road services have acknowledged that there is a defect on the road surface and confirmed they will repair it in the Spring.

7.2.2 Roads Working Group
SM contacted the residents who responded to the article on speeding/traffic in The Bicycle Tree inviting them to join a working group to identify the issues locals would like addressed. 7 out of 11 agreed. SM will liaise with LM on the availability of the hall and will send out a Doodle poll to residents in order to schedule a meeting in early January. [Action: Sue Morris, Liz Maxwell]
SM has anonymised the responses received and sent these to Christine Blue (CB). She will share them with the working group once the meeting date is confirmed. [Action: Sue Morris]
CB will attend the meeting as an observer only on behalf of TCC. [Action:
Christine Blue]

7.3 Planning Update

7.3.1 Telecoms Mast
The application to erect a telecoms mast on the hill has been withdrawn
and resubmitted. The TCC has discussed this previously. It will be noticeable but will provide 4G so the pros for the community outweigh the cons. TCC is not proposing to object.

7.3.2 Bus Shelter, Ben Venue Car Park
The National Park agreed at the last TCC meeting to rewrite this application adding the condition that they would not build the bus shelter without meeting with TCC to agree this in advance. They have contacted TCC to say they cannot put in this condition. The application is going before the planning committee. Richard Morris will attend the committee to put forward the views of TCC. SM cannot attend due to a conflict of interest. [Action: Richard Morris]

7.3.3 Dundarroch House

  • Flooding. SM responded to the NP to express the TCC view that their
    response to this contravention is inadequate. The NP has said it will
    not accept ‘anecdotal’ evidence that the property is occupied during
    flooding, only monitoring by an official body. SM will continue to pursue
    this. [Action: Sue Morris]
  • Light Pollution. The neighbour has applied for an antisocial lighting
    order and should be able to apply for an abatement order (which
    carries a £400 fine) if this is not complied with. She is in contact with
    her local councillor.
  • Fence. There is no update on this retrospective planning application.
    SM will follow this up. [Action: Sue Morris]


7.4 Community Broadband Update
There is no update from Voneous who are now the legal owners. They are currently putting in new telegraph poles for fibre.

7.5 Report from Trossachs Community Trust/Welfare Association.

7.5.1 Trossachs Community Trust
The TCT now has a functioning board of 5 members, Diane Thomson, Liz
Maxwell, Hillary Robertson, Hamish Thomson and Tim Messeder. Hamish
is the new Chair. The TCT are currently trying to work out where they are
and how to move forward. The main focus will be sorting out what is
happening with the school and paying bills. Hamish is trying to work out
the details of the broadband contract and identify who owns what.
RM asked if he could join the next TCT meeting. He will add a discussion
of the relationship between the hall committee and TCC as an agenda for
the next TCC meeting. [Action: Richard Morris]

7.5.2 Welfare Association
Some tables have gone missing.
There is a New Year Social scheduled and a coffee morning in January.
SM queried whether the coffee morning could tie in with the community
consultation day.

7.6 Communication
Details of 2 funding opportunities were received:

  • The FEL Climate Hub is offering seed grants of up to £1,500 to community organisations for projects related to climate change. Members suggested possible uses for this funding such as The Bicycle Tree, a digital community noticeboard or a community garden. RM agreed the TCC should apply.
  • The Community Council Fund is offering grants of up to £500 to help CCs to develop local resilience plans that address potential natural hazards. The application deadline is 31st January 2024.

8. Any Other Business

9. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of Trossachs Community Council will take place at 7:30pm on either 11th January or 8th February 2024 in Brig O’ Turk Village Hall. Members will decide whether to hold a meeting in January depending on the progress of the Local Place Plan.
The TCC is looking at holding meetings every 2 months in future.