General Meeting held on Zoom on 13 July 2021 at 7.30pm
Councillors: David Richmond (DR) (Chair), Peter Cailey (PC), Helen Keating (HK), Fiona Power (FP), Nigel Scott (NS), Francois Van der Zee (FZ), Cllr P Drysdale (PD)
Minutes Secretary: Susan Miller (SM)
Apologies: Robert Dodds (RD)
2 Conflicts of Interest
2.1 DR reminded members to be mindful of any potential conflicts of interest and to declare them if necessary.
3 Public Forum (Agenda item 2)
3.1 There were no items.
Police Report (Agenda item 3)
4.1 HK reported on behalf of PC Brown that there had been an increase in patrols to deal with anti-social behaviour. Two neighbour disputes have been addressed. One resulted in action being taken, the other was settled after advice from the authorities
5 Dumfries and Galloway Report (Agenda item 4)
5.1 PD reported:
(a) banners, posters and signage had been rolled out to promote the region and encourage responsible tourism
(b) a temporary campervan site had been located in the car park at Kirkcudbright swimming pool and overflow camp sites were also available at Newton Farm and the Hensol Estate
(c) symptomatic and asymptomatic testing were both still readily available across the region
(d) the Gravel Bike event had been launched and the organisers were enthusiastic, positive and appreciative of the support from the Community Council. DR asked FZ to convey this feedback to the Sub-Committee.
5.2 NS said there had been several enquiries for use of the Scout sites and there were also
instances of wild camping and asked for details of the overflow facilities. PD undertook to provide these and said that any fly-tipping/rubbish should be reported to the Community Safety Team.
5.3 DR mentioned
(a) the removal of the large rubbish bin in Birtwhistle Street which D & G Council officers were not prepared to replace despite resident representations.
(b) paths between Garries Park and the High Street and at the perimeter of the park which had been excluded when the grass was last cut.
(c) the need for follow up following the site visit to the flooding site in Ann Street
PD undertook to follow these items. DR will provide her with e-mail summaries of (b) and (c).
5.4 HK asked that thanks and appreciation be passed on to the teams responsible for municipal planting across the region.
6 Minutes of meeting on 8 June 2021 (Agenda item 5)
6.1 The minutes of the meeting on 8 June were agreed. Approval was proposed by FP and seconded by HK.
7 Matters Arising (Agenda item 6)
7.1 DR reported that:
(a) the unveiling of the Memorial Tree had taken place on 9 July with attendance of representatives from the NHS, the GP Surgery, local volunteers and front line buisnesses and theFleet Valley Care Home
(b) nothing further had been heard on the issue of warning signs for horses and riders and DR would follow this up with one of the local riders in the first instance
7.2 HK reported that the bollard at A75 western exit to the town would be replaced once the road patching programme was completed.
8 Chair’s report and Correspondence (Agenda item 7)
8.1 All items were dealt with under specific agenda items below.
9 Planning Applications (Agenda item 8)
9.1 FP reported as follows:
(a) There had been four decisions made since the last meeting:
(i) permission has been granted conditionally for alterations and erection of extension to the south-east elevation of 58 High Street, Gatehouse;
(ii) permission has been granted unconditionally for the erection of an extension to the south-east elevation of 6 Baker’s Dozen;
(iii) no objections were raised to tree felling at Clermiston, High Street, Gatehouse; and
(iv) no objections were raised to the felling of 4 Leylandii trees at 46 High Street, Gatehouse.
(b) There had been seven new planning applications, for:
(i) trimming and reshaping of three prunus trees, trimming of a laurel tree and the removal of 22 Leylandii and four privet trees at Clermiston, High Street, Gatehouse;
(ii) the erection of a boundary wall and gates, formation of a ramp and hardstanding turning area, alteration and relocation of a carport and relocation of a shed at Clermiston, High Street, Gatehouse;
(iii) erection of two dwellinghouses at The Honey House, Gatehouse;
(iv) installation of four 8-metre-high floodlight columns with LED floodlights on top of each at the Tennis Club, Laurieston Road, Gatehouse;
(v) installation of replacement UPVC double-glazed windows at 1-7 Birtwhistlte Gardens,Gatehouse;
(vi) change of use of agricultural land to domestic garden ground , the erection of a detached domestic annexe and installation of a septic tank and soakaway at Disdow Cottage, Gatehouse;
(vii) erection of an agricultural building at Disdow Cottage, Gatehouse.
10 Treasurer’s Report (Agenda item 9)
10.1 PC reported that the Admin Account stood at £692 and the Common Good Fund at £1824.
11 Hybrid CC meetings (Agenda item 10)
11.1 DR reported that he had approached Scottish Tech Army and met with representatives from the Community Centre to discuss the scope for hybrid meetings. The Community Centre was now preparing a bid for funding of £1000 from the approx.. £1500 required to buy the necessary equipment and seeking the Council’s support and, if possible, a contribution to the balance of costs. After discussion the Council agreed to support the proposal as being of community benefit by opening up meetings to wider participation and to make a contribution of £150.
12 War Memorial Railings (Agenda item 11)
12.1 DR reported that D & G Council had obtained a quote for full replacement and had asked the Council to get a Method Statement from the contractor approached by the Council so that the two quotes could be compared and replacement/repairs commissioned. Funding might also be available from the War Memorials Trust. DR would continue to explore all options but it was unclear if the works would be complete before Remembrance Day.
13 BigLit support request (Agenda item 12)
13.1 HK reported a request from the organisers of the BigLit event for a contribution towards running costs. This was a prestigious and high-profile event which attracted many people to the town - a contribution of £100 was agreed.
14 Platinum Jubilee Party 2022 (Agenda item 13)
14.1 HK referred to the successful celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee and suggested members consider plans for some way to mark the occasion and bring people together.
15 Cardoness Lights (Agenda item 14)
15.1 DR reported that the bat surveys were in hand and the indications at this stage were that bat activity levels were low. He mentioned the email from a local resident expressing concern at possible light pollution and impact on the Dark Skies initiative that had been circulated in advance. Members discussed the issues raised noting that there was overwhelming public support for the project, the lights would not focus upwards but be targeted on the building and would be managed by light sensor or timer. DR undertook to reply to the resident accordingly.
16 Citizen of the Year (Agenda item 15)
16.1 Members noted that the closing date for final votes was 25 July, and the award would be presented on Gala Day.
17 CCES reports (Agenda item 16)
17.1 DR reported as follows:
(a) Birtwhistle Street dealt with at 5.3 (a) above
(b) recycling compound – no update
(c) 24/7 streetlighting in High Street – no update
(d) flooding in Ann Street - dealt with at 5.3 (c) above
18 AOCB (Agenda item 17)
18.1 HK reported a complaint from a resident about deer culling in Cally park. The CC were not aware of the culling but noted that this was a matter for Forestry and Land Scotland. HK would advise the resident accordingly.
18.2 PC raised the issue of rubbish/recycling bins on pavements. It was noted that some houses had no side/back access and renters of holiday properties might not be aware of the arrangements.
18.3 FZ reported that:
(a) the defibrillator was not working and he would advise Peter Taylor accordingly.
(b) Esther Tacke from the Gravel Bike event had confirmed that planning was progressing well with a good number of registrations already and more expected; details of reduced price entry fees for local residents would be included in the next edition of DG Life.
18.4 DR reported that no progress had yet been made on installing a plaque for Hamish MacInnes. HK mentioned another local resident, Jeanie Donnan, a local poet of some renown who was born in Gatehouse in 1866. DR to contact the Gatehouse Folk website to see what further information might be available.
18.5 DR said that there had been difficulties keeping the website and Facebook page updated and that additional resource was required. He would therefore be seeking advice as to how to maintain the website himself and asked for a volunteer to help maintain the Facebook page along with Ruaridh Hesketh. SM volunteered but said she would need administrator permission to do so. DR also mentioned that there seemed to be 2 Facebook pages, one set up some years back and FZ undertook to investigate this further with a view to having it removed.
The meeting ended at 9 10 pm
Next meetings: 10 August, 14 September, 12 October (AGM)