Draft Minutes of Auchterarder & District Community Council Meeting on 30 March 2017


 Minutes of Auchterarder and District Community Council Meeting, Aytoun Hall, Auchterarder, Thursday, 30 March 2017 @ 1900hrs


In Attendance:

CC members                                                                         Ward Councillors

Malcolm Best (MB)               Alasdair Kay (AK)                 Tom Gray (TG) 

David Homewood (DH)         Euan Mackintosh (EM)          Murray Lyle (ML)

Martha Marnoch (MM)          Alan Watt (AW)

Drummond Faichney (DF)


  1. Apologies: Councillor Ann Gaunt (AG).
  2. Previous Meeting. MB apologised for having to cancel the February meeting owing to inclement weather.
  3. Police Report.
    1. Inspector Kevin Chase introduced himself as area commander for community policing. Auchterarder now had a named community team of officers headed by a sergeant.  They should be more visible.  The model adopted previously had proved to be not responsive to community requirements.  Attempts were being made to recruit special constables to supplement the community team.  Reported crime in March for the area totalled 22 offences, the majority having been traffic related.  One case of phone theft was reported and a case of vandalism when a shop window was broken.
    2. The problems of speeding in Aberuthven, the Fues, the High St & Townhead were raised. EM advocated the installation of speed cameras in the town; camera enforcement was effective.  AW said he had a meeting with police scheduled to site vehicle activation signs in Aberuthven following a speeding survey, which had shown vehicles travelling at an average of 15mph over the speed limit.  Inspector Chase advised that Police Scotland was considering the establishment of ‘community speed watch’.
    3. MB said that Police Scotland had issued a public consultation document covering future police strategy to 2026. He made the point that it was not reader friendly.  Community Councillors were invited to respond individually.  It was agreed that the ADCC would not respond as an organisation.
    4. MB had been notified by email that a local Police Surgery was envisaged, which was confirmed by Inspector Chase. There had also been a suggestion that community police officers could visit community councillors individually to brief on police activity and exchange views, especially when they could not attend community council meetings.  This was considered collectively to be a good idea.  MB agreed to respond accordingly.
    5. A member of the public raised the issue of heavy vehicles mounting the pavement in Hunter St. Advice was sought on the legality of such practice.  Inspector Chase said that it was illegal and a safety issue, but this had to be balanced against finding a realistic solution.  The inspector accepted action to follow up on the issue with PKC and the developer.
  4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting: Agreement proposed by MM and seconded by Signed by MB.
  5. Local Development Plan (LDP) E25 – Business Park. A proposed development by D King Properties (Scotland) Ltd on land south of Strand Court.  Alston Birnie of King Properties, accompanied by John Handley of John Handley & Associates, presented an overview of the planning application.  The development was included in the LDP 2014 update.  Various assessments were under way, e.g., Flood Risk, Environmental Impact, etc.  The planning application was in principle, but the entrance and roundabout had been approved and approval renewed in 2016.  The development application was for Class 4 & 5 units: offices, small business units and trade counters, not retail.  The site would be marketed with units for sale and rent.  Effort was being made to minimise the impact on nearby residents through consultation.  The planning application was likely to be submitted in May/June with a decision forthcoming in October.  Obtaining technical approval would lead to a completion target date of mid-2018.  It had been established that the development had attracted no interest from supermarket chains.  There had been no estimate made of the number of jobs likely to be available from the new development, but a guestimate, based on the size of the site, could potentially lead to approximately 100 new local jobs.
  6. Matters Arising.
    1. Vice Chairman. Following the resignation of Geoff Gelder, it was proposed AK be elected as Vice Chairman.  Proposed by EM and seconded by
    2. Data Protection. EM and MB concluded that the action required to submit a report needed to be reviewed.
    3. Access to Trains at Gleneagles Station. TG said he had discussed the matter at a Rail Partnership meeting in Dunblane.  It was a common problem that needed various solutions depending on the location.  The problem at Gleneagles had been noted by the Rail Partnership.
    4. Community Resilience Plan. DH explained the background to Friends of Aytoun Hall withdrawing from maintaining the Resilience Plan.  Both the ADCC and PKC had been formally notified.  AW confirmed that Aberuthven had developed its own plan.
    5. Royal Garden Party. AW confirmed that nominations had gone forward.
    6. Hunter Street.
      1. MB had advised the police about mud on the road. Hunter Street Residents Association had submitted a formal complaint to PKC CEO, the police, ADCC & others.  MB had forwarded this to Sergeant Marshall Mackay, who had provided a detailed response.  This had been forwarded to the Hunter Street Residents.
      2. Hunter Street Residents present met in the margins of the meeting with Inspector Chase to discuss various issues.
    7. MB confirmed he had advised the Auchterarder Community Trust Fund that the ADCC had no objection to the P&K Countryside Trust application for £50K to upgrade local core paths.
    8. There was still a need to secure the services of a Minute Secretary. The ADCC would be prepared to pay for the service.  The local media would be used to advertise the post.  Meanwhile, DH agreed to undertake the task until a secretary was recruited.
    1. AK updated those present on Planning Application approvals, which attracted no comment. It was noted that the Greenknowes Windfarm application for the erection of 5 turbines, control buildings and associated infrastructure (15/02197/FLL) had been withdrawn.
    2. Burnfoot East. An application for 3 turbines had been submitted on 27 January.  It was followed by a public exhibition in Blackford on 16 February and subsequently a Community Liaison Group (CLG) meeting.  Gleneagles Hotel had lodged a strong objection based on ‘visibility’ and the ability of the Ochil Hills to absorb more wind turbines.  There were already 21 turbines on the site.  Following discussion it was decided that the ADCC should object to the application.  It had until 3 April to do so.  MB to action.
    3. Future Scottish Planning System. A Scottish Government ‘digital’ consultation was in progress – deadline 4 April.  It was agreed that the ADCC would not submit a response.  Community councillors were invited to respond as individuals if they felt so inclined.
    4. Easterton Farm Development. AK updated those present on the Gleneagles Hotel Easterton Farm development public exhibition that had taken place on 22 March.  The development location was a green site outside the ADCC area.  A planning application was to be taken forward in two phases.  Phase 1 would embrace rustic accommodation, log cabins, a camping site, spa and communal buildings, and would be a vehicle-free site.  On completion it would be open to local people and attract visitors to the area.  Phase 2 may include a number of residential properties along the G West side of the Braco road on land that was not designated for residential developments.  The planning application for Phase 1 was expected to be lodged in May.
    1. Town Centre & A9 Grade Separated Junction. EM said there had been no progress to report and there would unlikely to be any until money became available to implement improvements.
    2. Victoria Park & Core Paths. The anticipated Feasibility Study on Victoria Park improvements had been delayed.  Work on upgrading the surface of the park (football pitch) was expected to recommence in May.  Work was continuing on Core Path improvements; work was currently being done on the section from Ruthven St to Glenburn Road.
    3. Community Empowerment/Action Partnerships. The minutes of the Strathearn & Strathallan Action Partnership meeting on 27 January had been circulated to councillors.  Maureen Beaumont, Chair of the East Strathearn CC represented all community councils in the area. The Strathallan Decides event held in the Aytoun Hall on 19 March was organised through the Action Partnership.  [see sub-paragraph 11ii2 below].
  7. Finance Report. MM reported a balance of £2465.42p.  Annual outgoings had totalled £311.92p.
  8. District Matters.
    1. Aberuthven – AW.
      1. Grahamslea Park. The fence had now been reinstalled.
      2. Village Hall. Plans to establish a ‘drop in’ café, village shop and youth project in the hall were ongoing.  A successful bid at the Strathallan Decides event would provide funding for the youth project.  An emergency generator throw-over switch was to be installed through an SSE grant.
    2. Glendevon – MB.
      1. 40mph Speed Limit. Signs to the north of Glendevon had been erected.  Action was needed to move the Glendevon village signs.  Ward councillors were asked to nudge PKC officers to carry out the relocation.
      2. There was nothing to report on the following issues, but they needed to remain on the agenda: Footbridge, Glenquey Moss, Blacklinn Bridge & Broad Band.
  • Glendevon Community Trust. The set-up of the Trust was at an advance stage.  A draft Trust Deed had been submitted.  The trustees of the Auchterarder Community Trust Fund were comfortable with the Glendevon community operating its own fund.
    1. Community Council Members.
      1. MB.
        1. Dog Fouling. This continuing problem attracted discussion, in which the Blairgowrie & Rattray CC initiative was prominent, whereby ‘doggy bags’ were readily available in local shops.  It was noted that the Spar shop had such bags, but the Post Office closure had lost the town a second outlet.  DH was requested to approach the Coop to see if they would stock free bags for dog owners.  TG emphasised that dog fouling needed to be addressed within communities.  However, money had been made available in the PKC budget to employ an additional dog warden.
        2. Blackford Cycle Path. Blackford CC wanted to undertake a Feasibility Study to establish a cycle path to Auchterarder and had appointed a consultant.  A proposal affecting Auchterarder could be expected in due course.
        3. Payback Team Projects. HMP Castle Huntly had requested assistance with identifying suitable work for Community Payback Team projects.  No response had been made to date.
        4. P&K Local Policing Plan. MB had responded in February and commented that the ADCC had no specific concerns, but awaited sight of a plan for the Auchterarder area.
        5. 700 MHz Clearance Project. SSE had advised that related equipment would be removed from the area, which would result in increased activity by employees climbing telegraph poles around and about.
        6. Provision of Winter Services. PKC was seeking comments of service failures during the past winter.  It was agreed that no such failing had been identified or were evident.
        7. Fracking Consultation. The ADCC had been invited to comment on fracking activity or possible activity in the area.  No collective view was forthcoming and it was left to councillors to respond individually.  An email had been disseminated with appropriate information therein.
        8. PKC had recently advised that the ADCC’s insurance was in place for the year ending 30 September 2017.
        9. Improvement Services Community Council Project. A ‘Twitter Hour for CCs’ had recently taken place, which focused on community engagement.  Transcripts of the discussion were available from MB.  More such events would be organised in future.
        10. Townhead Roundabout. The results of a safety audit carried out by the developer was awaited from PKC Transport Planning.  Ward councillors were requested to see if they could expedite the response.  MB reiterated that the ADCC wanted to be consulted before decisions were made on the roundabout.
        11. The subject had been discussed in the presence of Inspector Chase, but further consideration resulted in the need to request a Speeding Audit as a start point.  Also a plan for speed limit areas and signs needed to be established for the town.  MB to coordinate.
        12. Power Cable Installation. SSE had contacted the ADCC to advise that significant disruption in Auchterarder would be necessary to install/replace main power cables in the High Street.  A plan for the work could be expected in the near future with a commencement date of mid-2017.
      2. AW.
        1. AW advised that he had handed over the Chair of the Auchterarder Sports Association.
        2. Strathallan Decides. The event was well attended, but had been poorly advertised and not well organised; people arrived after the start of the event thinking it was a ‘drop in to vote’.  Five of the 10 applicants were successful: Active Schools Boccia Club, Perth Autism Support Outreach, Defibrillator Installation in Dunning, Auchterarder Town Bus Group & Aberuthven Village Hall Trust Youth Project.  The event would be repeated as the Community Empowerment and Participatory Budgeting initiatives were developed.
  • DH. Auchterarder Networking Group & Strathearn & Strathallan Area Community Partnership.  Meetings on 28 February and 7 March had been attended.  From these forums a Mental Health Awareness session had taken place in the Aytoun Hall on 7 March, which had attracted enough interest to run a follow-up, two-session course on Managing Anxiety & Stress, which would take place in St Margaret’s Hospital Annex at 1.30pm on 3 & 11 May.  Age Scotland in conjunction with Solicitors for Older People would be running a ‘Six Legal Must Dos’ event on 31 May from 12.30pm in the St Margaret’s Hospital Annex.  In the long term an Emergency Planning Toolkit for local carers was being organised for 30 August at the same venue, commencing at 5.30pm.
  1. DF. Ruthven St.  The state of the road at the top of Ruthven St was in an appalling state and dangerous.  It needed immediate action.  TG to action with Roads Department.
  1. Local Councillors.   PKC Budget.  Significant money was available in the PKC Budget for Road Safety.
  2. Members of the Public. Abbey Road.  A retaining wall in Abbey Road had collapsed and looked to be dangerous.  TG agreed to follow up on the matter.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 27 April 2017 @ Aytoun Hall, Auchterarder @ 1900hrs


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