COLVEND AND SOUTHWICK COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING
Thursday 12 October 2023 at 7.00 pm in Colvend Public Hall
PRESENT:) Secretary – Gordon Webster (GW), Treasurer – John Rowland (JR); Elected CCs: John Coates (JC), Kenneth Coltart (KC), Kristine Filer KF), Matthew Pumphrey (MPu); Local Cllr - David Stitt (DS), DGC Ward Officer - Scott McMeeken (SM); Minute Secretary – Gwen Coates (GC)
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: Simon Blissett (SB), Tom Nichol (TN), Clive Sinclair (CS), Julian Stanning (JS), Sandyhills Protection Group (SPG) - Linda and Stuart Bryson (L&SB), Peter Hutchison (PH),
Peter and Elspeth Shaw (P&ES)
APOLOGIES: Chair - Roderick Morriss (RM), Vice Chair – Simon Pain (SWP); Elected CC - Tracey Roan (TR); Local Cllr - Ian Blake (IB)
In the absence of the formally appointed Chair (RM) and Vice Chair (SWP), MPu was asked to chair the meeting
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETINGS
Adoption of the Minutes from 7 September 2023
With no amendments and no objections from members, the minutes, which were proposed by JR and seconded by JC, were adopted.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
- Signage and Sheep Watch scheme update. CS provided members with a document summarising the CSCC’s response to this issue so far and suggesting a policy to be followed in the future. The policy involves the continued monitoring of sheep worrying events; engaging the local community in such monitoring activity; formally placing the issue on the agenda for the March 2024 CSCC meeting (in order to ‘take stock of where we are’ and consider any further actions for 2024); and placing the policy statement on the CSCC website. (A link to the Policy is at the bottom of this page) MPu asked if members were happy with this suggestion - there was general agreement. KF asked whether it might be more appropriate to keep it as a rolling agenda item but the general consensus was that if something were to emerge before March this would be put on the agenda of the relevant meeting. CS said that he was in the process of posting the public warning notices produced by CSCC on his gates and would be happy to encourage other farmers in the area to do likewise. To be considered again at the March 2024 meeting. (GW/CS)
- Replacement for Stuart King as CSCC website manager is now becoming urgent. Stuart is keen to hand over the role asap. JR told members that he had asked Stephen Kilpatrick (who will take over the role and who had said he would try to convert the website by the end of September) for an update but has not received a reply from him. JR will attempt to make further contact with him. To consider at the next meeting. (RM/JR)
- Openreach Community Partnership Full Fibre for Rockcliffe residents – update. GW said that he had been in touch with the BT engagement manager. Apparently the process is awaiting government decisions in relation to the procurement phase but is likely to lead to positive outcomes for residents. KF asked if it would be possible to invite an appropriate individual to come along to a meeting of CSCC to explain the situation, what the options are and what future developments are likely to mean. GW said he would try to arrange this for the November meeting. To consider at the next meeting. (GW)
- PSTN switch off 2025 – community guidance. JR asked if this might be covered by the same presentation mentioned in point 3 above. GW felt it would probably be seen as a separate issue but he is happy to ask his Openreach contact whether the two issues could be part of the same presentation. To consider at the next meeting. (GW)
GW forwarded the police report to members prior to the meeting. There were no significant local issues raised. The main focus of the report was about the Regional Parking Strategy about which, Dumfries and Galloway Council (DGC)are currently seeking the public’s views. These community conversations are being held at various locations in the region as well as online.
The treasurer’s report was forwarded to members prior to the meeting. Financial information related to the gala was discussed. Despite the great success of the event, financially a net loss was recorded. JC explained that the loss was covered by a DGC grant. This grant cannot be guaranteed for future years so it will be important to be able to cover all costs in the future. This will mean either charging for entry to the gala or increasing the prices of various activities and events in the gala. The plan is to go ahead with the gala next year – again on the same weekend as the Spring Fling – but further consideration will need to be given to the financing of the event. JR discussed the various funds received and payments to be made. Most of these are related to the projects mentioned in the next section. The balance at 6 October 2023 was £20,515.78. JR explained that the government provides guidance on how CCs should manage their finances, for example suggesting that two signatories sign cheques. He felt that the cost of a professional payment system (which would allow for dual control) is not warranted and that CSCC should continue with its existing system. This involves him reporting all payments and getting prior approval for all future payments. He said that the three signatories (RM, JR, GW) have access to the accounts and can check that figures are accurate. All members present were happy with this arrangement.
John Coates reimbursement for the Gala
Colvend Hall for consultation meeting
Printing Core Path 20 leaflets
Core Path 20 Sign refurb
Prior to the meeting, SWP submitted a report online detailing progress on a number of the projects and the community involvement initiatives mentioned below. This document is available on the CSCC website. The following is a summary of additional issues discussed at the meeting.
- Viewpoint sign – Torrs Hill. No additional issues discussed. (SWP) This project is on-going
- Kippford Nature Reserve Memorial Shelter. No additional issues discussed. (SWP) This project is on-going.
- Core path 20 leaflets. Of the 5,000 leaflets printed, 1,000 of these are to be given to the Dalbeattie Initiative Shop. (SWP) This project is complete.
- Core path 20 bicycle puncture repair kit. It was agreed to spend £8 on replenishing the kit contents. (SWP)
- War Memorial renovation update. No additional issues discussed. (RM/SWP) This project is on-going.
- Rockcliffe Bus Shelter - update. JC said that the project is going ahead and construction should begin in two or three weeks’ time. (JC/SWP) This project is on-going.
- Portling Defibrillator. JR noted that, the request for funding from Wier Charitable Trust having been turned down, SWP is looking for alternative sources of funding for this project. JR also said that although the coastguard had agreed verbally to the siting of a defibrillator at Portling, this agreement had not yet been given in writing as the Coastguard were preparing a policy on this. TN said he M Nicol were planning to chase the Coastguard and would report back to the next meeting. (SWP) This project is on-going.
- Ground maintenance at Nelson’s Grave - update. KF has not yet had the opportunity to gather shells to cover the grave. She plans to do this once she has time and the assistance needed to transport them to the site. This was completed the next day with the assistance of MPu (KF/MPu) This item is now closed.
MARGARET MURDOCH TRUST
MPu noted that the address of the trustee mentioned in the March 2023 minutes has still not been identified and hence the individual has not yet been contacted. This item to be removed from the agenda until reintroduced by MPu. (MPu/SWP)
- 22/0197/SCO Scoping Opinion – paused awaiting applicant response.
- 23/1426/FUL Sandyhills proposed car park development – rolling agenda item. PS noted that the DGC planning website included 93 official objections to this proposed development and that more had been submitted but not yet posted to the website. There were no submissions in support of the development. He said that 29 November was the date for the next meeting of the DGC planning group to consider this proposal. Members of the SPG will be there to represent the views of the group, as will representatives on behalf of the developer. There was a detailed discussion about how this meeting would proceed, who is able to contribute, etc. MPu asked CC members if they also wished to make representations about the issue at the DGC planning group meeting. There was unanimous agreement to this but not about who should be the representative and this will be discussed further within the CC. SM said that, given the backlog of work for the planning department, he thought it unlikely that the meeting would go ahead on 29 November and that it was likely to be much later, but he also said that it is important for members of the SPG to be prepared and ready for such a meeting.
- 23/1711/CLE Certificate of Lawfulness. PS and PH explained that this was a means of asking if the developer’s previous planning application is still valid after 27 years despite the fact that the development itself has not been completed. SPG has obtained legal advice and will make representations in relation to this. There are no public rights of notification or objection in relation to this certificate because it is for DGC Planning to decide whether the planning permission granted 27 years ago is still lawful. PH said that there will be no role for CSCC until the determination of the Certificate of Lawfulness has been made. If it is refused the planning applicant can appeal. If it is granted the SPG cannot appeal the ruling.
- 23/2027/SCR Screening Opinion related to 23/1426/FUL. PS said that this issue also related to the car park development but it was not clear what the detail was as it has only just come up on the planning website.
- Local Place Plan update. As noted in the Project Report, survey results are currently being analysed. In addition, a local Housing Needs Assessment is to be carried out using funding from the Scottish Building Society. (SWP)
- GW asked if CSCC might be willing to fund insurance cover to help the Baron’s Craig hold a Jazz Night on 27 November 2023. It was felt that given there was a fee for entry to this event and it was not clear how many local people would be attending, it could be seen as a commercial venture and thus not appropriate to be funded by CSCC.
- In relation to the Resilience Plan, JS noted that he had received no responses to his request for individuals to notify him of any changes and thus assumed all the details should remain the same. He informed members that at the recent Council Resilience Team meeting, it was decided that the plan is now to be known as the Emergency Community Resilience Plan. He noted that in relation to resilience plan activities, council insurance cover did not extend to ‘high risk” activities (e.g., if an individual is using a chainsaw in relation to such activities, it would be the individual’s own insurance cover that would be needed in case of accident, but if one was out distributing leaflets in icy conditions, then council insurance would cover any accidents). Discussion took place about the Village Hall generator, its leads and connections and whether these were operational and conformed to guidelines. JC confirmed that they did.
OUR NEXT MEETING IS ON THURSDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2023 at 7:00PM IN COLVEND PUBLIC HALL
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