December Minutes – 2017

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Minutes from the December 2017 Meeting

Largs Community Council
Approved Minutes
21 December 2017 at 7pm at Largs Library

Present: CCllr D Blair (Chair), CCllr V Lundie, CCllr J Perman, CCllr A Carson, CCllr J Stewart, CCllr A Adair, CCllr M Woods, Cllr I Murdoch, Inspector C Convery

Apologies: CCllr D Cochrane, CCllr E Marshall, CCllr P Perman, Cllr A Hill, Cllr T Marshall

Item Business
1 Welcome

Chair welcomed members to final meeting of the year.

2 Apologises

As noted above

3 North Ayrshire Council Report

Reported by Cllr Murdoch, who apologised for his lateness as attending meeting concerning transport for Cumbrae pupils to new Largs School Campus.
Full Council meeting held yesterday and these are now ‘live’ streamed.  Cllr Murdoch raised the question of NAC decriminalising parking, and the response he got was NO.  He also asked if NAC had any plans to extend the Neighbourhood Watch intuitive of no cold caller door stickers and about enforcement of this.  He also suggested that local tradesmen should be registered before knocking on any doors. The response was that this would be too difficult to administer as a lot of the tradesmen are from out with our area.
The issue of Largs Prom had been raised on local social media pages. At the design stage Councillors had agreed that the chips be red. However, they were expecting small pavement chips (approx. 8mm) and what we got was large garden style chips (approx. 20mm). So as soon as these were being laid NAC representative came to inspect this concern, also the spread rate required to be turned down.  Having had a meeting with other councillors and representatives of NAC, Cllr Murdoch has submitted a formal complaint. He has also raised a concern over the works on the shelters with the benches still in place. Benches have even painted in situ!!
Works on Aubrey Pond still ongoing, although it has been on occasion too cold to do the work.  He has been assured that this will be done at the beginning of the year.

CCllr Carson asked for clarity about a fund, an apparent under spend from NAC, of £150K.  Cllr Murdoch advised that it is intended for funding festivals and such like. CCllr Blair advised that as a director of Largs Viking Festival, he was unaware of these discussions about funding.  All money that the Viking Festival raises goes back into the following year’s events. However, all the monies from the fair being in the car park goes back to NAC.
Cllr Murdoch explained that as result of restructuring, NAC is now looking to recover maintenance costs for the like of Douglas Park from the Common Good Fund.  There have been many discussions about funding but as yet no definite decisions.
CCllr Adair expressed his opinion that elected councillors should not be trustees of the Common Good Fund as this is a conflict of interests.
CCllr J Perman gave us an update on our Freedom of Information Request, initial request was unsatisfactory and CCllr J Perman submitted an appeal to which he received more information but still items missing.  A complaint to the Scottish Information Commissioner was made.  Response from Commissioner (Jennifer Ross) advising that they have accepted our complaint and will be carrying out investigation.

CCllr J Perman asked Cllr Murdoch if he was on board of directors of Largs Matters.  Cllr Murdoch responded that he was not but that he represents NAC. CCllr J Perman advised that if Largs Matter does not file their accounts by end of this month then they will be fined.

CCllr Adair enquired if a concern had been raised about the conduct of the Chair with NAC.  CCllr Blair advised that this whole episode is still pending.  However, there are still avenue that we can explore as a Community Council.


4 Minutes of Meeting of 16 November 2017
Approved CCllr Adair, 2nd CCllr Wood
5 Matters Arising from Minutes

None, any topics covered under other items.

6 Secretary’s Report and Correspondence

Letter received from local resident, John McCracken, wishing to raise his concerns about the redevelopment of Gallowgate Sq.  Mr McCracken has attending this evening and now able to voice his concerns in person. He has owned a flat in Gallowgate Sq since 1987.  He had received a letter from Elaine Troup of North Ayrshire Council’s Regeneration Committee advising that the planters and water feature were to be removed and that the square will be resurfaced.  There was no mention of the bins, which dominate the square at present. Having emailed Elaine concerning the bins, he received a response in which she mentioned that the issue with bins is still being looked into and is still to be resolved.   Mr McCracken has serious concerns that the square is going to be renovated and there is still going to be bins dominating it and the council were not attending to one of the main problems.  He also touched on the state of the derelict cottage which has lain like that for the last 13 years.  In summer months the trees within the property can grow to over 15 feet.  Every so often he phones planning department concerning the state of the ‘eyesore’ and the only action that is taken is for the trees to be cut.  He enquired about the possibility of North Ayrshire Council carrying out a compulsory purchase with a view to using it as a storage site.  Every so often the proprietor changes his plans for it to extend his deadline for any proposals.  He feels that the Council need to ‘push’ for him to carry out his development.   Cllr Murdoch invited to respond to Mr McCracken’s concerns.  Regarding the bin issue, this is something which we have discussed at length on many occasions.  He agreed that this needs to be addressed and that his opinion is that they should not be incorporated in or around the square but are the responsibility of the individual owners to be stored within their premises. He has other Councillors in agreeance that there should be no bins in the square. CCllr Blair stated that this is the general opinion of the Community Council as well.
CCllr Blair stated that this issue is still within the context of the North Ayrshire Council’s Enforcement Officer to take appropriate action.  Cllr Murdoch confirmed that the enforcement process tends to act on open or overflowing bins, and not necessarily the placement of bins.  CCllr Blair enquired as to who owns the square. Cllr Murdoch confirmed that 98% is North Ayrshire Council and 2% belongs to The Room (Stephen McDonald).  CCllr Blair stated that this current situation would not be accepted by other councils, eg Glasgow.  Cllr Murdoch has put forward an idea that the council give permission to Room to place a gate in their rear wall from the parking area at the former Stevenson Institute site, allowing him to bring bins out and onto Lade Street for emptying.
Regarding any planning for the derelict cottage, planning consent is live for 3 years, and no further pressure can be placed on the proprietor.
Cllr Murdoch to take on board on behalf of LCC with possibility of some screening or picture boarding.


CCllr Blair attended the meeting 29 November re Local Development.  Several members from other Community Council attended along with two elected Councillors, who were asked to leave.  It covered planning issues.  CCllr Blair felt that NAC set the agenda as to what was and was not discussed.  CCllr Blair was approached and advised that NAC would like to be in discussion with the Community Council over the plans for the new housing developments on the former school plots.


SSE have been in contact to advise that they are willing to release another £1000 for the micro grants at beginning of new year.  We still have approx. £6k in SSE account.


Y 7 Treasurer’s Report

No action on either account. Balances remain at £2044.07 in project account and £390.22 in the current account.  NAC auditor still in procession of our cheque book etc.
Proposed CCllr Lundie, 2nd CCllr Adair

8 Sub Committee Reports

a.    Police – As per attached report.  CCllr Wood introduced and welcomed our new Inspector, Colin Convery to Largs Community Council.  Inspector Convery advised that our local police team were involved in Largs Yuletide evening which passed without event, and that extra patrols are scheduled for over the festive period and 2nd January.   CCllr Perman enquired if the local police can do anything  about the ‘van’ on top of the ’van’, which has been parked on double yellow lines for quite some time now at the side of Deli El Cardo.  Inspector Convery will enquire further about this with his local officers.


b.    Licensing – none
c.    Planning – application for change of use from newsagent/café to restaurant and hot food takeaway at 31 Boyd St, Largs.
Member of public, Robert Brown speaking on behalf of residents from this area advised that they are not happy and that they have already objected on the basis that a takeaway had already been objected to at the Boyd St/Nelson St junction.  Also plenty takeaways already exist in the vicinity which causes traffic issues.  This will only increase this issue.
CCllr Carson stated that we can’t object to competition between businesses.  Cllr Murdoch pointed out that several businesses in that area have closed down and this would be another empty property.
CCllr Carson proposes accept, 2nd Cllr Lundie. For 3, against 2. Motion carried.

Application for internal and external refurbishment for future commercial opportunity at former Sheiling, Main St, Largs.
CCllr Wood proposes no objection, 2nd CCllr Adair – unanimous


d.    Environment – CCllr Blair attended recent CMRP forum during which the forestry project was discussed.  LCC arranged a meeting with FCS, Tillhill and interested parties. During that meeting we were advised that the applicant had submitted a substantial amount of updated and new documents to their existing application. Such is the volume of documents that FCS has brought in staff from other areas to assist with this application.  It was felt that the presentation of information from the applicant was poor and at times didn’t have images that parties were asking to see. On numerous occasions we have asked for 3D images, but were advised that this could not be done.  It was confirmed that the hill ridges would still not be clear of trees.  It was noted that other agencies or groups that could make a difference were absent.
An update EIA will be issued sometime in the new year.


e.    Transportation – Residents of Alexander Avenue still have concerns about traffic for new Largs Campus, in particular the position of the proposed pelican crossing. The crossing is to be positioned in the dip of the road raising serious concerns for pupil’s safety.  David McDonald(resident) has been in contact with Police Scotland about their concerns.  Inspector Convery confirmed that Police Traffic Management Team are satisfied that issues raised by independent auditors will be dealt with by NAC and that Police Scotland are satisfied with proposed design.  They will continue to monitor the design and make further comment if necessary.

9 A.O.C.B.
CCllr Blair and CCllr Wood, on behalf of Largs Community Council presented a Ceremonial Bugle to Royal British Legion.CCllr Stewart had been approached by one of the local foodbank volunteers to ask if we can highlight their service, especially at this time of year.  Also that when users collect their vouchers for use at the foodbank, issuing staff at Brooksby Centre seem to be highlighting the fact.  Can we do anything to help alleviate this?

CCllr Wood will take on this on board.


CCllr Stewart advised that statistics show that there are far more opportunities for adult activities compared to that for youngsters.  CCllr Stewart would like to approach Largs Academy to find out about what the youngsters want and to let them know they have a voice through the Community Council.  Cllr Murdoch intends to ask what facilities at the new campus will be available to the youngsters.

CCllr Wood advised that there is funding available for 12-25 years.


10 Date of Next Meeting –  18 January 2018

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