July Minutes – 2019

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Largs Community Council

Approved Minutes
Thursday 18 July 2019 at 7pm at Largs Library

Present: CCllr A Carson (Chair), CCllr V Lundie (Secretary), CCllr P Perman (Treasurer),CCllr K Murray, CCllr J Stewart, CCllr Linda Smith, CCllr Alan Peddie, CCllr J Perman, CCllr J Phillips, CCllr A Adair, CCllr M Wood, Cllr I Murdoch, Cllr T Marshall, Cllr A Hill

Apologies: CCllr D Cochrane

Item Business
1 Welcome

CCllr Carson welcomed all members and proposes Alan Peddie onto LCC. Seconded CCllr J Stewart.  CCllr Peddie welcomed onto LCC. CCllr Peddie brings knowledge and experience gained from his position at Edinburgh University working on sustainability projects and is keen to be involved in or environmental sub group.

2 Apologies

As noted above. CCllr Carson confirmed that CCllr A Kelly has now resigned due to increased caring commitments at home.

3 North Ayrshire Council Report

Cllr Marshall gave update on the local development plan, which is produced every 5 years by NAC.  The only update involving Largs specifically is that the proposed development site in Brisbane Glen would not be able to proceed due to the adverse impact on the landscape.
Cllr Murdoch advises that the decision regarding Hunterston reactor 4 switch on is due 24 July.  The issue remains that reactor has between 200-300 cracks bricks. Should it be switched back on it would be for a period of 4 months after which time it will be checked again. Reactor 3 switch on decision will be made beginning October.  If the decision is to switch on, it will be confirmed at that time what the acceptable upper limit of cracked bricks is, suggested limit is 700.
Cllr Murdoch continues to express concern at the lack of EIA for the SSSI site at the proposed Hunterston decommissioning site.  There is new information that has come to light as a result of FOI requests. There have been substantial changes which were referred to in the Scottish parliament, including changes (Oct 2018) in the amount of dredging (increased to 2.4m tonnes) to be carried out which has not been disclosed.  Cllr Marshall clarified that any dredging does not require planning permission and that at this time the required license has not yet been applied for to Marine Scotland.  Cllr Hill added that despite Peel having consultations they were well aware that there was a 10-12 fold increase in the amount of dredging and the affect it would have on the local environment, they chose not to reveal this. CCllr Carson advised that to keep up to date with news on this public may wish to join FOFC page.
CCllr P Perman asked about Cllr Marshall about £23k for jetty survey.  LCC was granted monies from the carpark fund for the outdoor gym equipment; however NAC then tender to three different companies for costing this equipment, and NAC then decide which to go with. CCllr Perman’s question is did NAC not do the same, ie obtain more than one quote to carry out the survey. Cllr Marshall responded that having met council officers went with a design that was greater than was necessary and cost approx. £2m, therefore not proceeded with.  Cllr Murdoch clarified that had it been a viable project it would have gone out to tender. CCllr J Perman’s stated that clearly the terms of reference had not been made clear to the survey company.  Cllr Marshal responded that the council officers misinterpreted what the elected members had put forward.  CCllr P Perman’s point was that had the correct requirements been made clear then then survey would have returned something suitable and not wasted the £23K which could have been better spent.

4 Minutes of Meeting of  20 June 2019

Approved CCllr J Stewart, 2nd CCllr J Phillips

5 Matters Arising from Minutes

Actions from previous meeting – item 8a, meeting have been arranged for Thursday 25 July, 3pm, Largs Library for environmental sub group. CCllr Carson advised that it is debatable as to whether we can become involved in a project such as Douglas Park; it would involve many people and long term commitment.

6 Secretary’s Report and Correspondence and Social Media

No correspondence.  NAC are in recess so very little coming in from them.
CCllr Stewart report that via facebook we have had 20 published posts which have reached approx. 2k people. We have been relatively successful reaching people via Largs People page. FB is expensive and difficult to run so our aim is to make use of other more widely used media formats, eg, Twitter (very popular with NAC), CCllr Peddie, via his work, has access to small group of people who work on communications, who had offered to give him help and advice in this area which he is happy to input to LCC media areas.  MOP John Knowles feels that a website should be the gateway to any organisation and that ours is poor.
CCllr J Perman raised an issue contained within the minutes of North Coast Locality Partnership (11/11/18).  CCllr Perman queried the rise in funds being charged to carpark fund for cleaning of public conveniences from £25k-£35k. An increase of 40%.  Elected members responded that they will obtain a breakdown of this figure.

ACTION – elected members to obtain breakdown of figures.
Cllr Hill suggested that perhaps if any members have questions or queries on a specific topic that is could be made know beforehand so that the elected members could collate the relevant information prior to meeting.  Cllr Carson agreed where possible this would be done.
CCllr J Perman advised that Largs has made an application Beautiful Beach Award (Newton?), at a cost of £300.  Cllr Hill advised that he is aware of Millport being awarded this but not aware of Largs. However an application is not confirmation of the award.  Cllr Perman’s point is, if the application was for Millport’s Newton Beach, then why is it charged to Largs Carpark Fund?
ACTION – elected members will find details and report next month.

7 Treasurer’s Report

No change to the account balances.
Admin a/c £279.36 and project a/c £724.07(£200 still due paid, invoice pending)
Approved CCllr Phillips, 2nd CCllr Adair

8 Sub Committee Reports

a.    Police – reported by CCllr Woods. (see attached report). CCllr Carson had call today from member of public expressed concern about a young female begging at railway station. She had been dropped off at 8am and not being collected until 8pm.  Police attended and were following up. MOP asked if any update on closure of local police station and would there be an open day. CCllr Wood responded that there was no date as yet for closure and would ask about open day.

b.    Licensing – Masonic Club, Largs has applied for a variation of licensing times. Looking to start serving from 11am, main reason is that they invested heavily in permissions for showing sporting events, a lot of which are European timings. Meaning starting earlier here. Some other local premises are licensed from as early as 8.30am. CCllr Wood is an immediate neighbour and advises that she has never had any issues at all with this venue. Also they have not previously had any refusals to licensing, we have had no police reports of any issues and it is more than likely to be members only and their guests, not random members of the public who would use the venue. LCC response – no objections.

c.    Planning –   application made by Mr Heeney of NAC for advertising consent for the erection of a billboard at the Vikingar and also at Bowen Craig. It is for the purpose   of providing a specific place to advertise local events and is not for commercial purposes. This will eliminate various banners being attached to railings etc.  LCC response – no objections.

d.      Environment – CCllr P Perman reported that NAC advised they could not plant up the bed at foot of Gogoside Road, so LCC accepted the request to do so.  LCC was able to use £200 for plants; Thomas Reeney of NAC advised that they could top up our fund with a further £100.  Plants were purchased from local supplier.  Helen Miller of NAC Street Scene was able to donate further plants which we accepted.  She has made further contact advising there are even more plants available for us.  CCllr Perman has had several remarks about how nice is it to see it planted up.  Local business, Haylie Stores, has also donated and laid free bark. The neighbouring B&B business has now agreed to keep it watered.
Our Outdoor Gym project is progressing and it is currently in the hands of NAC.
CCllr P Perman has arranged a private Environmental Sub Group meeting for 24 July at 3pm, to clarify what direction and topics subgroup is taking on, eg several groups are clashing with beach cleans. CCllr Perman to send out an agenda for the meeting she has called.

CCllr Peddie gave update and summarised that Cllr Murdoch introduced him to Thomas Reeney of NAC Street Scene and had a good meeting, primarily about keeping Largs clean. Street Scene are happy to donate as much equipment as necessary for community clean ups. Some members of his separate environmental page are keen to be involved and would like to attend the forthcoming meeting.  The only issue they envisage is storage of equipment.
Dog poo is still an issue, reporting this with details of owner and dog will help target persistent offenders.

Street Scene also happy to send member to prom areas to monitor cigarette butt issue, particularly on prom. Issuing of some fines would be a deterrent.

CCllr Peddie proposed a few new projects, a sandwich board with litter pickers and bags, prompting public to do 2 minute beach clean. Fishworks had intimated they would be happy to store it. Other locations already use this. Obviously this would require funding.  CCllr Carson confirmed that funds would not come from LCC but that there are various sources of funding available. Subject to funding LCC (9 members) support this idea. CCllr P Perman advised that if the new compactor bins are working as they should then this idea is not required. Cllr Murdoch advised that new bins are working wonderfully, however people still chose to deliberately drop it. Cameras will be installed to monitor littering.
CCllr Peddie also suggested to pilot a Largs branded reusable coffee cups to reduce waste of disposable cups, with businesses offering a discount.  CCllr J Perman suggested that perhaps we should encourage the local businesses to provide a discount rather if you bring in a reusable cup rather than us trying to sell the reusable cups.
CCllr P Perman is concerned that LCC are perhaps taking on too many projects that we need to maintain. CCllr Carson assured CCllr P Perman that there are members of the public keen to help with projects but need the help of LCC to get them of the ground.

In principle majority of members support, others would like more detail, CCllr Peddie will obtain more information on this.

Finally, CCllr Peddie is keen to set up a ‘Park Run’ event in Largs. Park Run is a 5k walk, run, jog, etc group covering all ages. Membership is free and allows you to participate in events worldwide (approx. 1500).  It is intended to be a community event to benefit from social inclusion and mental health benefits that are gained from this. It was recently covered by Kelly Holmes on TV.  It may also promote an eliminate of tourism, eg Millport has 10-15 regular runners but a recent event attracted 290 participants to the island. Start-up costs are in the regional of £3600 covering banners, insurance, training volunteers, etc. The aim is as a community builder. GP’s are supportive of this.
General consensus is that it is a good idea; however concerns raised about insurance, marketing of, initial costs, continued volunteer support. CCllr Peddie is still working on obtaining more specific details.

e.    Transportation –  CCllr Adair reported that he had received complaints about motorhomes who had driven past the Greenshutters and through the storm barrier opening and parked right on the prom.  Having contacted the police he was advised that is outwith their remit and is down to NAC. Cllr Murdoch advised there had also been an incident where a couple of motorhomes had driven through the bollards at Aubery and parked adjacent to the kids play area! Cllr Murdoch stated that when the discussions about decriminalising of parking one thing he would like to see being taken into account is that there is a provision for coach parking and motorhome facilities.  CCllr Lundie advised that being motorhome user she advised there are areas (within Scotland) that provide minimal facilities for a minimal cost and automated machines for emptying cassettes and topping up water etc.
Advance notice of partial road closure A737 (Beith to Dalry section) 22 July and 18 August 2019

9 A.O.C.B. – CCllr Smith gave an update on proposed project ‘The Living Room’, it due to open sometime September by Christian Against Poverty. It is a centre to help people with debt, bereavement and general help and advice. There will be paid employees as well as volunteers. CCllr Smith will be volunteering, with the support of LCC, having previously worked in the Jobcentre has knowledge in the sector. It is a community hub and will be able to direct people to the relevant services.

CCllr Murray advised that next month (August) will be her final meeting as she is moving to Stirling for University.

10 Date of Next Meeting – 15 August 2019

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