General Meeting held on 12 July 2022 at 7.30pm
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.
Meeting on Tuesday July 12th 2022
1. Sederunt and apologies: Peter Cailey (PC), Robert Dodds (RD), Ruaridh Hesketh (RH), Ivan Hill (IH), Helen Keating (HK), Fiona Power (FP), Nigel Scott (NS), David Richmond (DR Chair) Francois van der Zee (FZ). In attendance: Gill Hart
Apologies were received from Dougie Campbell, Andy McFarlane, John Denerley and Sue Miller
2. Police Report: in his absence PC Brown’s monthly report had been circulated to members: One incident of threatening and abusive behaviour, as well as vandalism following an incident on Riverbank. A male youth was traced and charged with theft by shoplifting. Burning of the old fishing hut at Loch Whinyeon was reported and the area will be born in mind during Police patrols.
3. In the absence of a D&G Councillor there was no D&G report.
4. Minutes of the precious meeting on May 31th were approved, proposed , FZ, seconded PC.
5. Matters arising: (i) there has been no feedback on the Laggan presentation so no comments were required. (ii) Some small repairs have been done on the B 976. It was suggested that a Programme of Maintenance should be requested from D&G Council.
6. Chairman’s Report: (i) There has been a further email, which has been noted, about the inappropriate wording referred to last month. DR had responded that the CC had no remit in this area (ii) The problem of careless parking on the High Street was recorded by FZ, which has resulted in scratches on cars. (iii) Japanese knotweed has been reported at two locations adjoining Port Macadam and the issue has been brought to the attention of the Fleet Valley volunteers (iv) The electric charging pints in the car park are now working and car parkers’ discretion is asked when needing a temporary car park space. (v) It is believed the Scottish Water works on the pavement at the corner of Bakers’ Dozen have now been concluded.
7. Planning applications - Dean of Guild: There have been three decisions made since our last meeting: (i) Permission has been granted unconditionally for the erection of a solar dome at Laggan, nr. Gatehouse. (See para 5 (i) above) (ii) Permission has been granted conditionally for change of use of agricultural buildings to form two houses, alterations and extensions, the formation of car parking and turning area and installation of two septic tanks and soakaways at Low Barley, Gatehouse. (iii) No objections have been raised to the felling of holly, hawthorn, laurel and conifer trees and reduction in height of four conifer trees at Inglewood, High Street, Gatehouse. There have been six new planning applications: (i) Erection of an extension to the east elevation of the wedding venue at Laggan, near Gatehouse; (ii) Erection of a retractable canopy to the front elevation at 49 High Street, Gatehouse; (iii) Installation of insulated render to houses at 1-7 Birtwhistle Gardens, Gatehouse; (iv) Installation of four replacement windows with UPVC double-glazed windows at 9A Digby Street, Gatehouse; (v) Installation of replacement roof covering at Fleetbank, Gatehouse; (vi) Change of use of land to form extension of the holiday park to provide 30 additional static caravans and access improvements without compliance with conditions 5, 6 and 7 of planning permission 19/0307/FUL Section 42 at Auchenlarie, Gatehouse.
8. Treasurer's Report: the Common Good Fund stands at £1400 and the Admin account at £783 – though a bill for the use of the Community Centre for meetings is awaited. HK reported on the expenses for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee picnic which included £126 for WCinFields, and £125 for the equipment for the children’s races and for the Jubilee mugs which were given as prizes.
9. Cycling event: HK reported on the meeting held in June with the organisers of the Gravel Cycling event to be held in Gatehouse on August 25th to 28th. Cyclists will be invited to arrive on Thursday afternoon to pitch tents etc. in Garries Park. Trailers with toilets and showers will be brought into the Park.
10. Citizen of the Year: Due to the very poor response (this is the first time it has been tried in mid-summer) it was decided suspend voting until later in the year, as in the past.
11. Mining Issues: Only 4 people attended the Drop-in session arranged by the company involved with the exploration. Initial assay results of the Blackcraig exploration activities have shown evidence of lead and zinc at that site. Further exploration appears to be warranted, though it is early days. A summary of the assay result can be found on the Walkabout Resources website: https://wkt.com.au/investors-centre/asx-announcements/
12. War memorial railings: there has been no response from Dumfries and Galloway Council about the necessary repairs and repainting.
13. Cardoness lights: Hazel Kerr (D&G Council) has been approached about possible public liability insurance cover under the Community Council policy and a replacement solicitor for the contract has not yet been found. (Action FZ.). Delays continue in locating the route of the existing power supply cable.
14. AOB: (i) HK volunteered to take September Minutes in the absence of SM. (ii) Dismay was expressed at the suggested removal of the Dumfries to Edinburgh bus service. DR advised that an online petition had been started to retain the service and encouraged members to add their names if they wished. The meeting agreed a letter should be sent to our elected representatives and other local politicians expressing our concerns at the continuing deterioration of public transport in SW Scotland (Action DR) (iii) PC mentioned the issue of the additional defibrillator had gone quiet. DR confirmed funds were available and he would consult with the GDI. Planning approval would be required. (iv) HK reported that the owner of the house where the famous climber Hamish MacInnes was born in Gatehouse is very happy to have a blue plaque attached to it. David Hannay and the Galloway Preservation Society will be approached to arrange it.
The meeting closed at 8.50 pm.
Next meetings: August 9th September 13th October 11th (AGM)