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Draft Minutes of most recent Community Council Meeting

General Meeting held  on 31 May 2022 at 7.30pm

Unapproved Minutes

The Community Council now holds "hybrid" meetings due to the recent updated advice regarding Covid-19   The public can attend, either in person or via Zoom but a request should be made to the Council (Tel: 01557 815290) for an invitation to join by Zoom.  Please note that any attendees at face-to-face meeting and/or public forum will need to  comply with ongoing Covid-19 government rules. This includes the wearing of a facemask during such attendance in the Community Centre unless exempted.

Below are the unapproved minutes from the most recent meeting of the Council which will allow everyone to be up to date with current discussions.  Any queries and questions can be directed to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  1. Meeting held on 31 May at 7 30pm

    Unapproved Minutes

                Attendees (in person and via Zoom)

    Councillors:    David Richmond (DR) (Chair), Peter Cailey (PC), Robert Dodds (RD), Ivan Hill (IH), Helen Keating (HK), Jack Pickthall (JP), Fiona Power (FP), Nigel Scott (NS), Francois Van der Zee (FZ), Cllr Andy MacFarlane (AM)

    Minutes Secretary: Susan Miller (SM)

                In attendance:  Nigel Bradley (NB), Customer Liaison Officer JDH Exploration, Duncan McConchie            (DM) 

                Apologies:   Ruaridh Hesketh (RH), PC J Brown (JB) Police Scotland, & John Denerley (D&G Council)


    2          Co-Option of new member

    2.1       DR reported that Jonathan Henderson had submitted a letter of resignation. The CC placed on record       its thanks for his services.   Ivan Hill had expressed an interest in joining the CC and there being no             objections, his co-option was proposed by HK, seconded by FP, and approved.

    2.2       DR welcomed NB, IH, AM and DM to the meeting

    3          Conflicts of Interest

    3.1       DR reminded members to be mindful of any potential conflicts of interest and to declare them if        necessary.


    4          Public Forum (Agenda item 3)

    4.1       DM outlined 2 planning applications for (1) a glass/aluminium dome structure next to Gather at Laggan to provide a weatherproof dining/drinking space and (2) a building to replace existing portable structures at the service area behind GG’s Yard also at Laggan.  The CC undertook to consider the plans and revert to DM should there be any comments.

    5          Police Report (Agenda item 4)

    5.1       JB had submitted a report as follows

    (a)        a report on a male person traced in possession of controlled drugs in would be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal

    (b)       following of recent break ins to some properties in the Stewartry area, local residents were reminded of a number of basic steps to protect their home as set out on the PS website:

    (c)        local enquiries in respect of damage in Horatio Square had not provided any definite information but evening patrols were being conducted wherever possible and a number of parents had been spoken to in an effort to dissuade their children from becoming involved in anti-social behaviour.

    5.2       The CC noted other recent instances of anti-social behaviour and DR stressed the need to inform PS.

    6          Dumfries and Galloway Report (Agenda item 5)

    6.1       AM introduced himself as one of the 3 newly elected councillors for Dee and Glenkens Ward and said that he was liaising with his 2 colleagues to establish a rota for attendance at CC meetings; a new administration (SNP/Labour) had now been formed and induction training was in progress.

    6.2       Members raised various concerns principally around roads maintenance and ongoing arrangements for staff to work from home.   AM advised that there were severe financial pressures on the DGC and staff shortages in some areas including roads maintenance but there was a prioritised work programme which included Gatehouse.  Regarding working from home, he said that there was now a hybrid working model in place to combine office and home working as appropriate which, in due course, might lead to an accommodation review.


    7          Minutes of meeting on 14 April 2022 (Agenda item 6)

    7.1       Approval was proposed by FP and seconded by HK.

    8          Matters Arising (Agenda item 7)

    8.1       None

    9          Chair’s report and Correspondence (Agenda item 8)

    9.1       DR reported that

    (a)        arrangements for a meeting to discuss the Local Place Plan had not yet progressed due to other work commitments

    (b)        patching work rather than full resurfacing had been completed in Victoria Street/Castramon Road

    (c)        further works to the B796 would be required to provide an acceptable surface for the Raiders Gravel event.  AM was asked to consult with the Roads Dept. on this.

    (d)        following works to the drains in Ann Street a query had arisen about another collapsed drain. DGC considered all necessary works had now been completed but would monitor the situation.

    (e)        there had been no reply from Scottish Forestry to comments made in respect of reforesting at Glen Farm and Pibble Hill including the impact of logging vehicles on roads to be used during the Raiders Gravel event

    (f)        in view of the response from the solicitors approached for advice on the legal agreement for the Cardoness Lights project he would raise the issue at the GDI meeting on 1 June with a view to seeking quotes for a paid engagement; he had contacted Hazel Kerr regarding public liability insurance and would pursue the question of the need for this given that Cardoness Castle was closed to the public.  Work is ongoing to re-establish the electrical supply to the lights.

    10        Planning Applications (Agenda item 9)

    9.1       FP reported that since the last meeting

    (a)        there had been three decisions made

    (i)         permission in principle had been granted conditionally for the erection of two houses at the former Church of the Resurrection, Riverbank, Gatehouse;

    (ii)        permission had been sought - and granted unconditionally - for the formation of a hipped roof dormer and installation of a rooflight on the rear elevation of the house at 18 Fleet Street, Gatehouse; and

    (iii)       permission had been sought - and granted unconditionally - for the erection of a canopy on the southeast elevation of the Murray Arms Hotel, Gatehouse.

    (b)        there had been two other new planning applications, for the:

    (I)         erection of a dwellinghouse with detached garage with roof-mounted photo-voltaic panels and installation of an air-source heat pump at Plot 15 Bracken Wood, Gatehouse; and

    (ii)        erection of a solar dome at Laggan, nr. Gatehouse (application made 31.03.22 but not included in weekly list of planning applications sent to community councils).

    (c)        the planning application for the erection of two houses at Bardristane Farm had been withdrawn by the applicant.

    9.2       It was noted that the weekly list provided by DGC was not always fully up to date.


    11        Treasurer’s Report (Agenda item 10)

    11.1     PC reported that the Admin Account stood at £927 and the Common Good Fund (CGF) at £1724.  Members approved a donation of £200 from the CGF to Big Lit.   DR said he would follow-up the position regarding funding for the works at the Town Hall Gardens with the GDI.

    12        Jubilee Party (Agenda item 11)

    12.1     HK recorded the CC’s thanks for the support of Sarah-Leigh Cain all arrangements were now in place

    13        Citizen of the Year (Agenda item 12)

    13.1     HK advised that the timetable was 25 June for receipt of nominations from which the 1st 4 from each category would go forward to a ballot which would close on 25 July; nomination forms would be available at Bank of Fleet, Galloway Lodge, Gatehouse Store and the Spar and nominations could also be emailed to the Chair (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  DR said that these arrangements would be added to the CC’s News page on the website and suggested consideration be given to setting up a Survey Monkey page for online voting in the final ballot in due course.

    14        Mining Issues – presentation by JDH Exploration (Agenda item 13)

    14.1     NB gave a presentation and responded to questions which will be available on the JDH Exploration website

    14.2     JDH Exploration would be holding drop-in sessions for the local community on 24 June at 2 – 4 pm and 6 – 8 pm in the Community Centre.  Notices will be placed around the town advising of the sessions


    15        Spar Licence Agenda item 14)

    151      The CC noted the proposed variation to the licence.

    16        Garries Park Agenda item 15)

    16.1     DR confirmed that when the consultancy study was received it would be necessary to consult the     community before any decisions were made.

    17        AOCB (Agenda item 16)

    17.1     HK reported that through a local employee Tesco, Castle Douglas had provided flowers for the Town Hall Gardens, and she would write formally to express the CC’s thanks.

    17.2     RD reported the continued presence of a white van in the main car park.  Police confirmed there was no issue.

    17.3     FZ raised problems with parking in the High Street and minor damage to vehicles. DR asked FZ to draft a letter to DGC (Roads) and PS outlining recent incidents and suggesting the use of CCTV and stressed the need to report all incidents to PS.

    17.4     JP reported issues regarding ongoing Scottish Water works on Dromore Road. CC will monitor progress

    17.5     PC reported that the car park was often full with drivers unable to find parking spaces although the spaces for electric vehicles were vacant.  DR said he would clarify with DGC use of these by non- electric vehicles

    17.6     DR reminded members that SM would not be available to minute the July and September meetings. HK volunteered to minute the July meeting.

    17.7     DR advised that no progress had been made in finding a replacement Secretary.

    17.8     A local resident reported concerns regarding what some might construe to be inappropriate wording at a location in the town. The CC considered the issue but concluded they had no remit in this area.

    The meeting ended at 10pm

    Next meetings:    12 July, 9 August, 13 September