September 2023 Minutes

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Trossachs Community Council
DRAFT Minutes of the Meeting held in Brig O’ Turk Village Hall
At 7:30pm on Thursday 14th September 2023
Present: Richard Morris (Chair), James Hill (Vice-Chair), Roger Drapper
(Treasurer), Liz Maxwell, Christine Blue
In Attendance: Councillor Gene Maxwell (SNP), PC Donald King, PC Lorna Deans,
Esther Lim (Minute Taker)
Apologies: Sue Morris (Secretary Planning), Nicola Hornsby
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 20th July 2023 were approved
having been proposed by Roger Drapper (RD) and seconded by Liz Maxwell
2.2 Action Tracker
The Chair drew members attention to the Action Tracker which will be updated
regularly and utilised in CC meetings going forward. He commented on the 2
uncompleted actions:
Action 1.2 James Hill to comment in item 7.6 below.
Action 1.4 Richard Morris (RM) has obtained information on the banking
service Flagstone. He will present this at the next meeting when
members discuss whether to move Trossachs Community Council
(TCC) funds into a high interest account. [Action 1.4 (updated):
Richard Morris]
3. Finance Report – RD Verbal
The Treasurer, Roger Drapper (RD) presented the Finance Report for the period to 31st
March 2023. He confirmed the accounts had been audited.
● Income for the period was £2,521.00.
● Expenditure for the period was £1,179.52
● Balance as of 31/03/23 was £17,459.13
The Treasurer informed members that Stirling Council (SC) had not awarded TCC an
administration grant this year. He explained that TCC had been required to submit an
application for an administration grant just 10 days after its formation on 20th July. This
deadline was not feasible as the accounts had not been audited. Sue Morris (SM)
requested an extension to the deadline until the end of August but this was not granted,
thus the application could not be submitted. Councillor Gene Maxwell (GM) agreed speak
to SC on this matter. RM agreed to forward to GM copies of the email correspondence
between TCC and SC. [Action 2.1: Richard Morris and Councillor Maxwell]
The Treasurer explained that he did not claim travel expenses of £64 for trips to
Stenhousemuir in the last financial year. In discussion with the auditor, it was agreed that
he will submit 2 bills of £64 in this financial year so the accounts can be reconciled.
[Action 2.2: Roger Drapper]
RM suggested the TCC consider moving to internet banking. Members agreed to discuss
this at the CC next meeting. Members also agreed to discuss how they should hold the
funds the TCC currently has. RM will add these points to the agenda for the next meeting.
[Action 2.3: Richard Morris]
4. Stirling Council Verbal Report
Councillor Gene Maxwell (GM) presented the Councillor’s report.
He confirmed that only one school in the Stirling area is affected by issues relating to the
use of RAAC concrete currently being highlighted in the news. The gym roof at Queen
Victoria School, Dunblane is affected and is already under repair.
He confirmed that there is an ongoing investigation into the controversial removal of the
Christie Clock Tower in Allan Park.
Councillor Maxwell explained the difficult financial situation facing Stirling Council (SC).
He confirmed SC are facing a £12.7 million funding gap this coming year, increasing to
£25M in 2025-2026. Current inflation rates mean increased costs across the board and in
addition the council expect pay settlements this year to be higher than the budget. To
reduce costs a programme of voluntary severance is currently underway. He confirmed
that any non-statuary services could face cuts.
Members and GM discussed services that might face cuts and particularly those which
might have the greatest impact on rural communities. These include nursery provision,
capital projects and gritting. GM confirmed that the B829 would be gritted beyond its
current end point so that Inversnaid is not cut off. He pointed out that flood regulations
state that unless you can guarantee access to emergency vehicles, there can be no
development, so planning applications in that area are likely to be affected. It was noted
that this could affect Brig O’ Turk also.
The Chair stressed the importance of raising the issues of cuts with council
representatives at every opportunity.
In addition, GM mentioned the following matters:
● The building of the new Callander Primary School will go ahead despite the
budget cuts
● A gate has recently been installed across Forrester’s Road
● Plans for a development of 3,000 new houses at Duries Hill have been approved
● There is a £50k budget for flood alleviation in Callander
● Plans are underway to site an NHS dental practice at Callander Medical Centre
Members asked GM to clarify the following:
● LM asked GM for an update on the bridge. He replied this is currently under
● LM asked what was happening with the plan to build a care home in the field in
Callander. GM agreed to look into this. [Action 2.4: Councillor Maxwell]
● Sue Morris asked GM asked whether the TCC need to submit a Local Place Plan
(LPP) as they are part of the National Park. GM agreed to find out. [Action 2.5:
Councillor Maxwell]
● SM asked GM whether TCC should participate in SC’s Big Conversation. GM
recommended that they do so.
5. Police Report
PC Lorna Deans presented the Police Report for last month. She confirmed that no
antisocial behaviour or camping issues had been reported in the area, although there had
been one case of bicycles stolen from the back of a vehicle in Aberfoyle. She related the
following incidents:
● 1 vehicle damaged by another vehicle at Loch Katrine
● 1 mountain rescue from Ben Ann
● 1 medical incident at Loch Achray campsite
● 2 people helped after becoming lost at Loch Achray.
PC Deans warned residents of the huge increase in cases of fraud being reported, such
as fake job offers, fake messages from family members requesting money, fake couriers
and cold callers. She recommended residents familiarise themselves with Police
Scotland’s Little Book of Big Scams which details some of the most common fraud
techniques and is updated regularly. Members suggested linking this to the TCC website.
[Action 2.6: James Hill]
6. National Park Elected Board Member Report – David Fettes
The Chair read the National Park report prepared by David Fettes who was not able to
attend the meeting. Not all members had had time to read the report. JH offered to pdf
the report and send it to Christine Blue (CB) who could not open the original attachment.
[Action 2.7: James Hill]
LM expressed concern about the proposed changes to the make-up of the National Park
board. The consultation proposes reducing the number of board members to 15. The
proposal appears to front load the board with government chosen members while, at the
same time, appointing a government-chosen chair. GM and members agreed that these
changes could result in a democratic deficit as local representatives would be
outnumbered by government appointees.
Members agreed that RM would email members for their thoughts, collate the responses
and then send this document to David Fettes, the National Park and the government.
[Action 2.8: Richard Morris] Members agreed to read the document in detail and be
ready to discuss it at the next meeting. RM will add a discussion of the biodiversity report
as an agenda item at the next meeting. [Action 2.9: Richard Morris]
LM noted that the report seemed to indicate a lack of understanding of the sustainable
transport issues facing rural residents. Members discussed the DRT and last year’s
proposal to investigate the purchase of an electric car for the community. RM agreed to
find out what had happened to this proposal and report back to members. [Action 2.10:
Richard Morris]
7. Discussion Topics
7.1 Roads
7.1.2 A821 Resurfacing
LM expressed concern that the last section (c. 150 meters) of the A821
might not be resurfaced. GM agreed to look into this. [Action 2.11:
Councillor Maxwell]
7.1.2 Adoption of Priory Road
JH asked GM what TCC needed to do to facilitate the adoption by SC of
Priory Road. GM explained that the road must be up to council standard
before SC will adopt it. He agreed to provide JH with information on the
required standards so TCC can look into bringing the road up to standard.
[Action 2.12: Councillor Maxwell]
7.2 Planning
The Chair read the planning report prepared by Sue Morris. There was one
planning application in the past week relating to a peatland restoration project at
Mill Loop. SM does not see any objection.
SM has the documentation for a new building at Dundarroch. She will look through
the documentation prior to the next meeting. [Action 2.13: Sue Morris]
Members discussed the need for property owners to obtain a licence to operate
an Airbnb. GM suggested the TCC request information on the short-let properties
in the area after the 1st October application deadline. He reminded members that
a fine of up to £3000 is payable if no licence is obtained.
SM had asked for CC members to respond to the proposed erection of a 5G Mast
outside Brig O’ Turk. No objections had been submitted.
7.3 Community Broadband
There are currently 2 companies interested in taking this on. Martin should know
by the end of September which company (if any) is going to proceed.
7.4 Community Place Plan
SM has invited a member of the National Park Authority to the October CC
meeting to give an overview of the Community Place Plan and to explain what
support there is for converting the Village Plan into a Community Place Plan. As
far as members are aware there is no deadline for this submission.
Report from Trossachs Community Trust and Welfare Association
The Chair requested a written report but none had been provided.
7.5.1 Trossachs Community Trust (TCT)
LM gave members a verbal update. The Trust found itself with only one
remaining director. LM, Hilary (Cox) and Richard (Cox) have been coopted
onto the board so that the Trust can continue to operate until its
AGM at the end of October. This will enable bills to be paid and a plan put
in place to allow the Trust to continue.
It was agreed the community should be informed of the current situation.
7.5.2 Trossachs Welfare Association (TWA)
The Association currently has no strategic plan. LM has emailed the
Association members regarding working more collaboratively with TCC.
Members agreed that TCC, TCT and the TWA should look for ways they
can work together and support each other while being careful to avoid
potential conflicts of interest. It was noted that the original constitution of
the TCT required a member of both the CC and the TWA to be on the
board. The CC agreed to hold a triumvirate meeting to discuss this after
the AGM. [Action 2.14: Richard Morris]
7.6 Communications
7.6.1 Within Trossachs Community Council
The Chair asked members to confirm they had access to the TCC email.
He requested that all members use this so that information is shared and
there is a paper trail.
JH presented his recommendation for collaborative working within the
TCC. He suggested TCC continue to use Google and he showed
members an internal website he has set up which contains links to the
TCC mail, google drive and the action tracker. It also includes a group
calendar and a new information folder and is adaptable to fit member
requirements. Members agreed this was a good idea. JH agreed to
develop the site and to provide members with training on how to use this.
JH agreed to send an email to members with specific times he is
available to provide training. [Action 2.15: James Hill]
7.6.2 To the Trossachs Community
JH showed members the current Thornhill CC website as a good
example to follow for creating a TCC external website. He suggested the
site could include links to other CCs, TCT and TWA. He envisaged the
website operating alongside the current facebook page. JH suggested
TCC should get a professional to build the site and suggested looking for
grants to finance this.
Members discussed how best to communicate with the community to
reach as many people and as many sectors of the community as possible
without unnecessary duplication. Members agreed that the website is a
good idea but that alternative methods, such as The Bicycle Tree and the
noticeboard are still needed, particularly for residents who do not have
internet or broadband. Further suggestions included the creation of a
quarterly or bi-annual report to be put on the noticeboard and a scrolling,
digital noticeboard visible through the hall window which could be linked
to the website.
Members agreed they were happy for JH to progress with the website
and to look for grants. They suggested he contact Jean Cowie in the first
instance. [Action 2.16: James Hill]
LM & JH agreed to create an article for The Bicycle Tree. [Action 2.17:
Liz Maxwell and James Hill]
8. Any Other Business
● There is a Community Council Induction Session in the week of 18th September.
Members should let SM know if they would like to attend.
● SM has received information regarding a consultation on the Regional Transport
Strategy. Members should let SM know if they wish her to forward this information.
● There is a public consultation on the Regional Energy Masterplan. Members should
let SM know if they would like her to forward the information.
● There is currently non-invasive tree removal at Loch Katrine
● Coilhallan is closed for larch felling
● RD pointed out that the school signs were still in place and should be removed. GM
explained they had been left in place in the hope that they would cause the traffic to
slow down.
● RD drew attention to the giant hogweed growing around the ford near his house. SM
will contact the National Park to have the hogweed monitored and removed. [Action
2.18: Sue Morris]
● A member asked the TCC what the situation was regarding the family staying in a
campervan in Rionna Wood. The CC agreed to monitor the situation.
● Councillor Maxwell explained to the TCC that the duty councillors work on a rota
system and attend every 3rd CC meeting, irrespective of where it is, so he is not able
to confirm when he will next attend the TCC meeting.
9. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of Trossachs Community Council will take place at 7:30pm on
Thursday 12th October 2023 in Brig O’ Turk Village Hall