March Minutes – 2018

Bringing information & events to the Largs community

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Largs Community Council
Approved Minutes
15 March 2018 at 7pm at Largs Library

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

Apologies: CCllr E Marshall, CCllr A Carson, Cllr T Marshall

Item Business
1 Welcome

Introductions and welcome to our visitors, Louise Riddex, Locality Coordinator, NAC and Angus Campbell, Calmac Community Board.

2 Apologises

As noted above

3 Visitors

Louise Riddex, Locality Coordinator, Community Development Team at North Ayrshire Council.  Louise covers North Coast and Kilwinning.  Louise is a point of contact for support for Community Councils.

Angus Campbell from Calmac Community Board which is a new arrangement and as part of Calmac’s commitment to running the ferry services they had committed to provide better community engagement. The board was established in November and was set up to better influence Calmac as to what the community’s expectations are.
(See attached presentation slides).

CCllr Blair raised the point that this impacts on the town of Largs particularly parking with visitors leaving cars parked for days on end and go to Millport. Also in busier periods the numbers and timings of late ferries. Angus advised that from experience Calmac are not very good at forward thinking and not very responsive from bottom up.  CCllr Adair advised that he has discussed, several times, with local Calmac representative (Carol-Ann) regarding suggested traffic routes and NAC dismissed their suggestions.
Cllr Murdoch pointed out its Calmac responsibility to run the ferry service and NAC are responsible for roads. NAC have to laisse with Calmac with regard to road markings for ferry que, but ultimately the public highway is NAC responsibility. The Markings are to be renewed and ferry que to be extended. Fort Street is not wide enough to allow for a double ferry que and this idea would also result in all parking being removed which would not go down well with residents.
Cllr Hill stated the Calmac is probably a victim of its own success and perhaps Fairlie would have been a more suitable location. On other routes freight has its own lanes, and Largs may possibly be the only service that doesn’t have any marshalling or able to line up traffic, so impacting on businesses on the island waiting for deliveries.
Angus happy to come back and take input in relation to how this impacts on people of Largs.  CCllr Stewart asked if we can link up via our community page.


4 North Ayrshire Council Report

Cllr Murdoch reported that it took 3 days to get Brisbane Glen cleared at Middleton Farm. Drifts were 5/6 feet deep. He is organising meeting with residents from Brisbane Glen and Routenburn Road areas, and other agencies to see if some kind of management plan can be put in place for such instances or emergencies.
Aubery Pond – after 9-10 months the seams are finally sealed with bitumen.  The Model Boat Club will be sailing in time for Easter.
Regarding the prom – Cllr Murdoch raised a formal objection and raised it at the committee on 28 February and the response he got was that it was perfectly acceptable given the budget provided.  The budget was in fact reduced by £120,000 because they opted to go with the tar option.  Cllr Murdoch and Marshall have requested that the 2nd phase be done by outside contractor.

There is some debate as to whether NAC will replace the missing bollards.

Gallowgate Square is starting to take shape and Councillors have been assured that it will be finished for Easter.  Cllr Murdoch has also requested that the builders compound in the adjacent carpark removed by Easter.  Two new lights are due to be fitted to the front of Gallowgate Square, however these will not be fitted in time for Easter.  Regarding the shelters on the prom the guttering is still to be fitted.

Following on from previous discussion about parking areas in Bath Street and Bellmans Close, there are wheels in motion and asked us to bear with it. It is being looked at.

On 28 Feb there was the budget and full council meeting. Part of the budget is directed at decriminalising parking, which Cllr Murdoch has been pressing for.

Locality partnership has 3 priorities. At the meeting each priority was assigned a leader. Cllr Murdoch has been assigned Stress and Anxiety in Young People, Cllr Hill assigned Older People in Social Isolation and Cllr Breen (West Kilbride) Financial Inclusion.

The aim of the local partnership is to get people and agencies to work together and get decision making as local as possible. Ideally find out within each community what is available now and look at what we can do to improve these for each of the groups identified.

CCllr Wood stated that Largs is very bad for young and old, not having a Community Centre.  Cllr Hill advised that in terms of capital spending the council doesn’t have any and that’s not likely to change in foreseeable future.

CCllr Stewart asked if Councillors would be looking for input on what was available and how it could be improved as this is something she would be interested in.

Louise’s role includes working with these groups and she has already started ‘mapping’


CCllr P Perman asked if we had been able to acquire the compactor bins that we had previous discussed. Cllr Hill advised that he would chase this up.  CCllr P Perman also asked if suitable location had been found for the bins from Gallowgate Square.  Cllr Murdoch responded that as advised at previous meetings, there is a proposal in place, but assured us they will not be going back in the square.

Cllr Murdoch continued with report, advising that with the partial opening of the new campus he visited to see what the traffic was like and was pleased to see that, possibly due to good weather, that majority of parents walked the children to school. Please to see a high volume using the Surrey Glen. The Councillors have had a third site visit, confirming that the facilities are amazing.   He is still looking at introducing a pedestrian crossing on Moorburn Road. NAC will continue to monitor traffic in relation to this. CCllr Blair touched on an article regarding a child was knocked down and killed by teacher within school grounds; the relevant council has been prosecuted for failing to ensure children’s safety.  A report was carried out by Sustrans and CCllr Blair feels that the content hasn’t been followed.  Cllr Murdoch stated that had request a site visit for the local fire brigade given that they would have to attend any emergencies.  NAC responded that this was not necessary since the brigade were involved in all aspects of the planning.  The brigade phone NAC themselves and a visit was arranged.

CCllrs Blair and Wood expressed their opinion that the lighting through Surrey Glen is quite sparse.  Cllr Murdoch will look into this.

Cllr Murdoch also advised that there was an application in for an extension to the jetty at Peel Ports.  He and Cllr Hill recently attended a presentation concerning this which he considered to be very poor.
Cllr Hill stated that we should be concerned as anything taking place out in the Clyde impacts on not only on Fairlie but Largs and Cumbrae too.


5 Minutes of Meeting of 15 February 2018

Proposed CCllr Wood, 2nd CCllr Adair.


6 Matters Arising from Minutes

CCllr J Perman gave update on our FOI request as at 12 March.  Further update received from Jennifer Ross, FOI Officer.  Regarding the report to the cabinet by Craig Hatton, “..following representation from local elected members…”   The council confirmed that they received submissions from two councillors on 13 July.  Who are these two councillors?  There is no evidence from Councillor Gallacher prior to 13 July, nor from Police Scotland. There is an email from Police Scotland dated 14 July. It was also stated that no property inspection was carried out by PMI and the council have confirmed that there is no written inspection available. So, there was no report done prior to consultation with ward members, Police Scotland, Largs Community Council, Fairlie Organic Growers prior to 13 July. The consultation took place between 18-21 July.  So, who dreamt up the idea to demolish the building?

An email was sent by Mr Hatton on 18 July to Councillors Murdoch, Marshall, Gallacher, Hill and Andrew Fraser stated that “I am minded to demolish the shelter”.  Cllr Gallacher responded on 19 July “It sticks in the throat that we have to destroy what is a perfectly sound structure built for the public good. We need to cooperate with the Police etc. to see if there is a long term solution we can apply. Also, we obviously cannot knock down the building without replacing it with something.”  A further response from Mr Hatton on 20 July “Happy to consider form of replacement, although we need something that won’t attract anti-social behaviour. Once we have a clear way forward and timescale around potential demolition I’ll arrange to meet with ward members to discuss thoughts on potential replacement.”
CCllr Blair confirm that he received the phone call whilst on holiday to advise about ‘dangerous building’ on 19 July.
The question we have now is whose idea and on what basis was the recommendation that the only viable solution was to demolish the building?  It certainly wasn’t based on information from PMI because the council do not have a report from them.
The meeting to discuss a replacement hasn’t taken place.
There are several anomalies.
CCllr Blair acknowledges and appreciates James’ work on this matter so far.  We, LCC still have the option of registering a formal complaint as to how the whole issue has been handled, including the FOI request.  Based on the information we have now the information that we were provided with last July was not the whole story, wasn’t clear or accurate. There is also the issue of using Largs Common Good Funds for the demolition of the building.

Louise confirmed that the asset transfer application has now been removed. She personally advised Fairlie Organic Growers that the asset transfer is no longer in place due to the building no longer being there. They are now looking at an alternative option of a long term lease for the flower beds that they wish to use.

Fairlie Organic Growers were at some point in August still interested in the asset transfer and it was waiting to go to court. There were other interested parties eg Friends of Douglas Park who do not appear to have been consulted.  Furthermore the Police had never expressed any concerns to LCC.

Cllr P Perman proposes that we carry on with this request to obtain all the information, 2nd CCllr Adair. Vote – Unanimous.  We will have meeting at later date to decide how we wish to process as there is still more to come out.


7 Secretary’s Report and Correspondence

Email received about a Community Asset Register, a database of volunteers who have skills or assets that would be of use during an emergency, eg 4×4 vehicles, rope skills, first aid.
CCllr Blair felt that this should have been in place prior to winter and not during the bad weather we’ve just had. Largs Community Resilience Team already has such information to call on local volunteers. It was felt that this would be duplication.

We have also had a good response for our micro grants, 13 in total. A mixture of new and repeat applicants.  These will be assessed by subcommittee at a date to be arranged.
Given that the SSE turbine project is to be extended further grant funding will be available for discussion.

A lot of the correspondence we have had in is in relation to the forestry project.  CCllr Blair advised the revised EIA would be appearing any time now in the local paper, which would then start the 28 day consultation period.   The documents will be available to view at the library.
Beith CC and Inverkip and Weymss Bay have asked for more information since they too border CMRP.
CCllr P Perman has asked that we have a special meeting to purely discuss this topic.  It is the general consensus that very little has changed from the original submission. Given that public money will be used on this project we are surprised at lack of engagement.

Ian Dippie advised that the ploughing that can be seen at Lochwinnoch is what we can expect on the hills around Largs.  It is his understanding that the applicant’s representatives have still to arrange a meeting with NAC. Other concerns that Save The Gretas Group have is the state of the area around the Falls area.  Ian showed photos of before and after the Hydro project, some 2 ½ years on and is doesn’t compare with the promises in the Hydro EIA.  We were all disappointed at the scenes.

CCllr P Perman proposed that we have another public meeting, perhaps at new campus. CCllr J Perman feels that apathy may have set in. CCllr Blair will also request an extension to the 28 days consultation.

Ian Dippie intends to raise another petition.


8 Treasurer’s Report

Forwarded by CCllr Carson.  Expenditure of £112 on the Admin account to cover insurance leaving a balance of £332.87.  No movement on the project account with remaining at £1994.07.

Approved by CCllr Adair, 2nd CCllr Stewart.

CCllr Blair stated that NAC issues funds to community councils who then have to settle their individual insurance premium which costs more than when previously the council negotiated as a collective.


9 Sub Committee Reports

a.    Police – See attached. Reported by Inspector Convery – further to our previous discussion about updating the way we record and detail in the police reports, a new format has been devised and will implemented next month.
Calls to police up very slightly with an increase of 7 compared to same period last year.  One noticeable difference is increase in common assaults. It is a variety of cases and public not to be concerned.  Thefts were higher than normal, again variety of thefts from floor polisher, wheelie bins and a new washing machine from a front garden.
‘The Beast from the East’ struck Largs particularly bad.  Local officers worked well with other organisations, eg, roads departments, local plumbers.
CCllr P Perman pointed out that further to traffic jams in Largs today, buses were again diverting up and down May Street, which has a restriction of 7 ½ tonnes.  Inspector will communicate with school to determine school transport company. CCllr J Perman advised that the school bus is not the only offenders. He has reported on numerous occasions to Network Rail, ScotRail, and NAC. More signage required on Irvine Road and bottom of May Street.
CCllr Wood advised that issue arose due to lights being out of sequence.

b.    Licensing – CCllr Wood had attended a meeting in Dalry with covered the new licensing act. The main thing to come out was the way in which we object to an application.  The committee meet every 28 days, so sometimes we are missing the timeline for submitting comments. The comments or objections now must be in writing, dated and presented before the next meeting. Emails will not be considered. Also covered at the meeting was Code of Conduct and what is expected from Community councils.

c.    Planning – application from Mr McIntyre for a new house on the site of ruin near Middleton Farm. It is within the footprint of the original building.   Response – no objections.

d.    Environment – As previously reported concerning the forestry project at Kelburn, CCllr P Perman wrote to Savilles stating that we hadn’t been provided with enough information and neither Fairlie Community Council, CMRP nor NAC was informed. They acknowledged response.
CCllr P Perman had contacted Largs Community Resilience Team regarding the forthcoming road closures A78.  They will wait until they are approached by Police Scotland for assistance.
Regarding beach clean ups, the local SNP seem to be doing some and so will liaise with them regarding dates as don’t want to clash. Costa has also advertised that they are doing one.
CCllr Blair had mentioned that he was waiting for a response about local fishing boats carrying our clean up at sea on the days they aren’t permitted to fish. There are grants available for this.
CCllr Blair advised that we have a potential visitor from CMRP regarding the seagulls. The gulls have been tagged and can then be tracked.

e.    Transportation – none new to report.

f.     Social Media – CCllr Stewart thanked CCllr Carson and Greg for the setting up of our brand new web page.  CCllr Carson is pressing for each of us to forward a photo to be loaded onto page. They are also looking to get any local events, meetings etc. loaded.

10 A.O.C.B. – Regarding Community Planning Partnership another meeting due soon.  With reference to Proprietary Budget meeting meant to be 12 May however has been put back until after summer holidays but she will keep us informed.   Funds in the region of £23000, limited to £1500 per applicant.
11 Date of Next Meeting –  19 April 2018

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