Minutes of meeting for 21 March 2017
21/03/17 12:07 Filed in: Minutes
KINTORE AND DISTRICT COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING
7.00pm on Tuesday 21st March 2017 in Kintore Primary School
Minute of Meeting
B Johnstone, J Thomson, K Thomson, A Marston, S Gray, K McEwen, L Monaghan,
J Lumsden, Cllr Martin Ford, Cllr Fergus Hood, Cllr Nan Cullinane, and members of the community - Drew Cullinane, Steve McDonald, Bill Soutar, Fiona Cooper, John Thomson, Isabel Stirling, Jamie Percival
WELCOME Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
The Following report was mailed in.
1. LOCAL INTEREST INFORMATION
Not a lot of recorded crime for the Kintore area during the past month. Those of note are;
Between 20 and 24 February 2017 there was a theft of fuel from a bus parked in the grounds ofC and M McDonald, Kintore.
During the night of 24 into 25 February 2017 there was a further attempted theft of fuel from
another bus at the same locus. Enquiry is ongoing.
There was one male reported for drink driving.
Road Traffic Offices dealt with 3 speeders, 1 no licence, 1 not tax and one over-loader.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
4. ONGOING LOCAL / FORCE-WIDE ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
On Thursday 9 March 2017, the Roads Policing Division held a day of action targeting drivers on the A96 which also took in the stretch bordering Kintore. There are more of these planned. M
5. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING
Minutes were approved by Ann Marston Seconded by Sheila Gray.
6. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTE
Town Park – Email from Mairi Stewart, planning dept. re 3 x roundabouts. After approaches from Councillors, Bruce Strachan has sent a letter explaining the three applications in more detail to the residents. Following the in-depth discussion at last month’s meeting, it was agreed the preferred option to upgrade the junction would be a roundabout and not traffic lights. Malcolm Allan would require to meet this obligation prior to occupancy as would any other developer.
Received Emails from Paul Davidson, objecting to the CC decision to give universal approval to the Planning department. A response to Paul was issued explaining our approval only related to our preference of upgrading the junction with a roundabout which already has the support of the roads department. Copied in correspondence from Town Park developers progressing action by council and decisions re junction options.
East Kintore Development - Flood mitigation plans
BJ wrote to developers agent expressing concerns that plans did nothing to mitigate residents’ serious doubts about proposed flood mitigation by SUDS ponds and asked for Public meeting. They responded confirming they were happy to attend a CC meeting but did not see the need for a Public meeting. Jamie Percival’s email has requested that a person from the council planning /floods team attend a CC meeting. Hopefully our concerns can be addressed at next month’s meeting when all representatives will be in attendance.
Tuach Burn Update.
BJ wrote to Bruce Allan and Nick Rae, requesting views as to the feasibility and relevant costs of our proposed solution to the Tuach Burn flooding onto Kingsfield. Any response received prior to next month’s meeting will be emailed out.
Community Resilience Planning (CRP)
BJ confirmed that the emergency generator will arrive free standing but fully enclosed and weather proof. However for safety reasons we require to build an enclosure which still allows access to controls for operation and service purposes. At a Public Hall meeting, it was suggested to go for a long-term option of a steel galvanised frame with mesh. For access purposes, plans were submitted to and approved by the company who supplied the generator. Subsequently these plans along with electrical cable and connections with Control Panel and Panel sizing have been submitted to the council and are awaiting approval / comment. A meeting has been proposed for the 28th April to visit the site to identify cable runs. Once approved by the council and the Public Hall committee, we can obtain pricing for making the frame along with ventilation and crash barrier options.
BJ has applied to the Council Community Resilience Planning fund for £2,000 and there is a further estimated £2,000 to come in for making the enclosure, installation, and delivery. We are hoping to get community minded companies involved to transport the frame to us from Ayrshire and lift it into place via a crane.
We have still to finish off our Community Resilience plan and therefore during the next month a meeting will be arranged of the CRP team to finalise matters.
Community Arts Project – Artwork at new Railway Station
BJ advised that he has contacted Scotrail and ascertained that they have a Cultural and Arts fund managed by Scotrail foundation which can award Community grants of between £500 and £2,000. We have registered and have now received the Application Form. BJ has requested help from volunteers to progress this.
BT Broadband update
BJ advised he had received an email from Alan Milne in response to the recent Kintore Konnect article. In his email Alan advises that his broadband speed was good but not as good as it should be. Alan believes that his service is diminished due to the distance between his house and the BT exchange located in the middle of Kintore. This means that his connection has to go through 1200+ metres of copper line followed by 10 metres of fibre. Both BT and Sky have confirmed that any improvement can only be brought about via a local MP or Councillor.
KM advised that he had received 41 responses from the survey and although it is concluded that many of the people who chose to respond to the survey may be those that are unhappy with their service, there were quite a large number who stated they were very happy with their broadband speeds and service. However, the survey still gave a clear picture that the digital divide is widening, with some people getting 70mb in the centre of town, most getting 35-40 if they are on fibre, whilst those a mile or so out of town are getting 140 times less with 0.5mb in Balbithan and Leylodge. 40% of those surveyed were satisfied with their broadband, while 45% were dissatisfied, perhaps proving that more people that were unhappy with their broadband responded to the survey. The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband scheme aims to deliver superfast broadband to 95% of the population by 2017. Only 28% of the survey confirmed they were on Superfast broadband, however this does not take account of figures showing the amount of people who were able to get superfast broadband but chose not to access it. 51% of the survey confirmed they are getting more than the UK household minimum of 10mb. 63% reported that their speeds dropped below the minimum and 62% reported issues of buffering. 55% reported they were still getting outages or throughput failures. The good areas were Forest Road, Hallforest, Castle hill, School Road and Newlands, whilst the black spots were Balbithan and Western Fintray where no one reports getting the government minimum of 10mbs. At the back of Leylodge there were some very slow speeds and one very slow speed reported from Broomhill roundabout. BJ enquired as to how Hallforest Avenue and further up were getting good speeds. KM confirmed that you only have to be within 1200 metres of a green cabinet because the fibre cable goes out to the cabinet.
BJ asked about an update on the Community Fibre Partnership. KM advised there was nothing new but to recap from last meeting, after he had met with Bobby Matheson (Aberdeenshire Council), and spoken with Cllr FH, he was actively encouraging people who are suffering from low broadband speeds to apply to the Community Fibre Partnership, through Highlands and Islands Enterprise. KM applied himself and was informed that his postal code area was being considered for an Enhanced Digital Scotland Programme as there had been more than a 20% uptake in Fibre. However, the partnership then came back and advised that they could not spend money on a scheme that may not be needed. At this time, KM does not know if Leylodge or Broomhill roundabout is included as nobody has any news regarding what this enhanced programme will cover. We are therefore not any further forward.
John Thomson asked if there would be any change once BT move their Broadband service over to Openreach. KM said that it is hoped this will speed up fibre across the country given that £157 million of our money has gone into the digital Scotland programme and should include putting in fibre connections to Leylodge and Balbithan. Cllr FH agreed to highlight to the council that the Broadband upgrade service to communities is not servicing the rural areas. If the government are maintaining a 95% coverage, it should be highlighted this is only happening in towns and does not cover outlying areas.
KM requested permission to publicise the results of the survey which was agreed. Clir FH suggested also adding that the targets were being met in the towns but not in the rural areas.
Academy School Site retention
No Change. Cllr FH did however advise that they have called for a further report from the education dept. regarding school estimated future roll numbers for consideration.
Received reply from Summer Festival Committee advising no to hot dogs proposal, KT appealed, but it appears the answer is still no. BJ suggested we still proceed with Green Dog Walker and LM agreed to contact the council for more publicity posters and freebies. JT agreed to organise the lucky dip but increase the quantity as it ran out quite quickly last year. BJ enquired if we could use anything the Rotary would not be using like Splat the Rat that is always popular. KT to find out. It was also discussed about expanding the BT survey during the festival, but KM advised that he thought one of the reasons the slightly disappointing response was due to this being the 3rd survey
in a short space of time and therefore it was agreed not to go ahead. It was also suggested to ask one of the first aid responders to bring along one of their CPR dummies for demonstration on emergency first aid and CPR.
Kintore to Thainstone Cycle Path and Blackburn to Kintore Cycle Path study.
Cllr MF advised that he thought that the Council would have directly contacted the community council regarding this, but BJ advised this has not happened yet. Cllr MF said he assumed that the contracts had been awarded but he hasn’t been told officially. Referring to previous notes in relation to the flooding, BJ brought up Kenny’s point that the £200,000 earmarked for the cycle path may be better spent banking up the park at Kingsfield Road. Although this is a valid point, Cllr MF stated that this was a different budget, half the monies the Council receives comes from SUSTRANS Travel and there was a lot of demand for the cycle path. Cllr FH advised there is a plan called Participatory Budgeting to involve communities more in budgeting in the future.
New Council Headquarters
Cllr MF advised that the decision has been taken to take it to the gateway stage but that an update is unlikely for the next 6 months.
Following the safety concerns raised at the last meeting about the Torryburn, BJ wrote to Bob Milton of Bob Milton properties, requesting information of future plans for the site. Mr Milton responding, acknowledging the safety concerns of the community regarding the condition of the site. He advised that given the reckless vandalism done to the property, the only route now open to redevelop is a complete site clearance and it is his intension to seek planning approval towards the end of year on this basis with a view to building a high quality housing estate. He will update the Community Council once he has concrete proposals for community support. John Thomson advised he has been onsite and confirms that the company has taken steps to make the site safer.
BJ wrote to Greenbelt detailing resident’s concerns of the condition and management of the Suds Ponds installed in Hallforest Avenue, Kintore, which we believe are under their management. We requested inspection and maintenance plans and assurance of adequacy in dealing with surface drain water. Greenbelt responded saying that this information forms part of the written statement of services for development, which was issued to all residents and all systems will be maintained in line with current industry best practice. Greenbelt also works in close partnership with the University of Abertay Dundee‘s Urban Water Technology Centre who provide specialist support knowledge for our suds portfolio. Inspections paid by a portion of the annual management charge are carried out monthly and all year round. This ensures that all maintenance requirements are fulfilled and customer care issues are addressed. Given this information, BJ advised it is up to us to bring future instances of breaches to their attention.
7. Treasurers Report - Bank Balance- is £6,572 with no outstanding payments due. JT asked if she could spend monies on purchasing better quality lucky dip items and this was agreed. JT advised she had put a copy of the financial statement to Alison Cummings to support our Administration Grant.
8. Youth Report – IS advised things are still going well, although they are experiencing lower numbers on the Monday P5 – P7 age group due to Jog Scotland being on at the same time. Tuesdays and Thursdays are going well and we are still getting young people from Kemnay. BJ suggested putting a notification through the school and on Kintore Mums Facebook page to try to increase numbers on Monday. BJ advised the CLD have been in touch with the Bothie to do detached sessions. With the closure of the Kemnay Youth Café more children from Kemnay and Kinellar are using the Bothie which puts more of a demand on Rachel’s time. As a result they are asking for additional hours for Rachel which is fine until it starts to compromise the budget and the funds we have for this. BJ has spoken to the directors at Action Kintore and it has been agreed to write to Marie Walker, Director of Education to request funding from the £100,000 grant for supporting youth workers in the shire. CLD are talking about Rachel going out and about in Kintore to meet the kids, which will hopefully combat issues of anti-social behaviour, drinking and acts of vandalism. This may encourage more use of the Bothie as a Youth shelter. Cllr MF advised that the decision is being made this Thursday regarding this grant and therefore we should hold back our letter until after Thursday so we know the outcome. The recommendation is that the £100,000 be split into £40,000 for the council to spend itself directly on youth provision, £45,000 for applications from constituted bodies and £15,000 for Participatory budgeting. Fundraisers planned include a disco and a fun day during Easter holidays. KT paid tribute to Isobel who was leaving and has been a fantastic asset to the community.
9. Planning Matters
6.3 C&M McDonald full extension to existing Car area, formation of football pitch and associated car park.
Steve McDonald confirmed he had received 2 breaches of planning from Aberdeenshire Council at his place of business, the Square Bar and Lounge. SM explained that these related to temporary banner signage and lighting which highlights where his business is and a wooden structure he had made to house beer kegs securely. Cllr MF and Cllr FH gave Steve advice for dealing with the matter effectively to limit any possible detriment to his business.
Cllr Ford’s email re dog walkers fouling Tuach Hill confirmed that Dog wardens will deal with any reported incidents. JL raised the matter of dog fouling at the play parks near her. JL has phoned the council who have offered to put up more posters but JL thought putting a dog bin close by would be more beneficial. Cllr Ford said that dog bins were generally not cited at play parks as this is not the purpose of the designated area. The law clearly states that the dog owner should pick up and take it home.
Lorna McGill expressing concern re proposed changes to bus timetable. Cllr MF advised that under current proposals, No37 will be dropping from 3 to 2 buses per hour, but that the X21 Kemnay bus will be re-routed through Kintore so the end result will be that Kintore will still be served by 3 buses per hour. Problems with reliability are well documented, part of which is caused by the congestion at Guild Street which is not going to improve any time soon. However Cllr FH did reiterate that at the bus forum, the bus company did acknowledge that it needs to up the game to improve reliability and breakdowns as this is having a detrimental effect on the numbers choosing to travel by bus.
Notice of changes of insurance cover provided by Zurich via Highland council, but will not handle this after 2018. Cllr MF advised to hold tight as it is a distinct possibility that Aberdeenshire Council will organise a replacement for all Community Councils. Cllr FH will find out and drop us an email.
Correspondence has been received from Jill Sowden regarding Participatory budgeting whereby applications are being invited from Community Groups to benefit from a pot of money which will be voted on and allocated by the communities themselves. At the moment, the pot is between £25K and £40K but this has still to be confirmed. In Garioch, they are looking to seek applications to combat loneliness/befriending/inclusion. These applications will in turn be converted into A2 posters and promoted round all the community events to allow people to vote for which application they would like to receive funding. It was agreed that this can be done at our stand at Kintore Festival.
Jill notified us of a survey monkey on the Council, Community Planning Partnerships and Health and Social Care Integration inviting views. BJ has forwarded the email round for anyone who wishes to complete this.
Paul Higginson has emailed stating he is keen to get involved in additional sporting improvements and will hopefully manage to come to next meeting.
11. Aberdeenshire Councillors’ Update
Cllr MF advised the council has put in a transitional business rates relief scheme at a cost of £2.5 to £3 million which is aimed at the smaller end of the business Sector and it will provide a cushion for this year only due to the large increases as result of the revaluation. Businesses will not have to apply for this scheme but will be simply given a lower bill. Cllr FH advised that there is a discrepancy of £23m between money collected by the council and money allocated to the council over the previous and current financial years. Aberdeenshire Council have therefore written to Mr Mackay of the Scottish government for clarification given that the assurances previously given were that all money collected in this area would be spent in this area. This additional monies can then be used to mitigate the business increases by further discounts. However the council is seeking assurances that he will not reduce our Revenue Support Grant for the increased income.
Cllr MF and Cllr FH attended the official opening of the new Midmill Primary School performed by HRH Princess Anne. Following this, Cllr FH asked some of the officers what community access would be available but received no information. Cllr FH suggested BJ write to Maria Walker, Head of Education and/or Fiona Brechin to ascertain what the community access would be. KT advised he was refused access to run a heat of the Rotary Primary School quiz recently.
Cllr FH advised that the local development plan has now passed the full council stage and the Gateway Kintore Site is in the plan. Lack of green space in Kintore was debated at length and it was concluded that the council has to allocate enough land for housing in line with its existing policies to meet the existing large demand for housing and that each application will be looked at on its own merits.
CC Forum discussion on Scheme of Establishment to be presented to CC,s soon. CC area issues were discussed i.e. Traveller Site building work and retrospective planning, should be made to demolish any works completed. Concerns re cross CC Area consultations, particularly the situation between Westhill and Aberdeen football club; licensing issues of burger vans not being consulted through CCs, where placement can be vetted to limit traffic congestion and litter problems; chairman raised issue re licensing of Dog Walkers ref dog fowling issues.
Notification received allowing the Community Council to object to the temporary speed limit of 20 mph at the new primary school to be made permanent. This has already been approved and Cllr MF confirmed this should take effect automatically providing no objections are raised.
JT advised receipt of a thank you note from Elizabeth Keith, thanking the community for the financial assistance received during the 2016 flooding.
In light of the forthcoming Councillors’ election, BJ gave thanks for all the support the Community Council has received from Nan, Martin and Fergus. Nan is retiring and we wish Nan well. Martin and Fergus are standing for re-election and we wish them success.
13. Date of next Meeting - Tuesday 18th April 2017 at 7pm.