October Minutes – 2017

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Minutes from the October 2017 Meeting

Largs Community Council

Approved Minutes
19th October 2017 at 7pm

Largs Library

Present: CCllr D Blair (Chair), CCllr A Carson, CCllr P Perman, CCllr J Perman, CCllr A Adair, CCllr M Wood, CCllr J Stewart, CCllr D Cochrane, Cllr I Murdoch, Inspector B Skimming

Apologies: CCllr V Lundie, CCllr E Marshall, CCllr J Phillips, Cllr A Hill, Cllr T Marshall

Item Business
1 Welcome
Chair welcomed members, councillors and Inspector Skimming of Police Scotland
2 Apologises
As noted above
3 North Ayrshire Council Report
Cllr Murdoch reported on developments at Douglas Park Shelter.
That the Asset Transfer was unknown to him when he initially voted for demolition. In the light of new information, he felt uncomfortable about his decision so decided to ‘Call the matter in’ at Cabinet meeting along with Cllr A Hill and Cllr Davidson. However, the decision to demolish the shelter was ratified on Tuesday 24th October. The vote was 3 to 2.
CCllr P Perman asked if Cllr Murdoch could appraise LCC who the Cllrs were that voted against saving the shelter and if these Cllr’s had local knowledge of the strong feeling that most people in Largs have of this landmark.
Cllr Murdoch and Cllr Alan Hill both fiercely oppose the use of ‘Common Good Funds’ being used by NAC to pay for the demolition, which is “adding insult to injury”.
The Council members presented congratulated Cllr Murdoch and Cllr Hill for ‘Calling it in’.
Promenade Resurface –
Work is to begin in next few weeks; the surface will be black with red chip.
Gallowgate Lane –
Work will begin in early 2018. Bins are to be refitted asap.
Action: Cllr Murdoch said he would chase up getting rid of the Bins before work is started and that the work must be completed by March 2018.
BID 2 Town Summit Meeting – to be held on Monday 23rd at 6:30. It was felt that 3-4 days’ notice to hold a meeting of this importance was unacceptable. Cllr P Perman reported that local businesses had not been communicated with and expressed surprise that we had not seen the current BID Accounts. Nor the outcome of the Vikingar Consultation Day, run by NAC a few months ago. Furthermore, NAC Community Partnership policy does not seem to be living up to its asperations.
Aubrey Pond – Cllr Murdoch reported that there were a number of unresolved issues with the building works and that the pond continues to leak. Nothing has been fixed since March. That a meeting is planned with Thomas Rennie whereby he would be making suggestions to the external contractor.
Other NAC business:
That he was pleased to report NAC had a discussion about Young People in care being exempt from paying council tax and agreed to write to the Scottish Government asking for it to be implemented as NAC don’t actually have the power to do this. However, since then the Scottish Government have announced that this is something they wish to do.Skate Park – CCllr Wood asked when will the skate part work be started. That money was approved but nothing has been done?
CCllr Blair reported that some Bellesdale Avenue residents still had concerns over large vehicles
4 Minutes of 21st September meeting 2017
of this particularly difficult and disruptive meeting.
The minutes were Approved. Proposed by CCllr Carson and CCllr Adair.
5 Matters Arising from Minutes
Re: Douglas Park Shelter demolition decision made by NAC
CCllr J Perman reported that NAC had been given 20 working days to reply to a ‘Freedom of Information’ request regarding all correspondence with Douglas Park Shelter demolition decision. That the deadline was up on Friday 21st October. LCC felt it was terrible that they had to go to the length of asking for a formal FOI request to get clarity about an Asset Transfer promised to Fairlie Growers in 2016/17.CCllr Blair reported that the good faith they had built up over the years, as Chair, between LCC and NAC has been severely dented. The supposed ‘Partnership’ between NAC and LCC feels hollow as our views have been dismissed. The question raised by the NAC Cllr, at a public LCC meeting, whether LCC was ‘properly constituted’ was unnecessary and the inference seems to have been to undermine the Chair and the council. The Community Councillors in attendance agreed that the demolition decision was not conducive to ‘Locality Partnership’ aims, which is designed to bring local people together. On the contrary, it came down to 4 elected councillors (outwith Largs) to make this important decision in a 15-minute meeting.
It was noted that the leader of NAC, Labour Cllr Joe Cullinane had not responded to the Chairs letter asking for clarification regarding this matter, despite local, Cllr Alex Gallagher assuring the Chair that he would do so.CCllr Cochrane expressed his astonishment that in all his experience dealing with Local Government he had never seen anything like the contempt NAC have showed to LCC in this matter. That on the one hand it was disturbing and on the other NAC were acting with alacrity. It feels like the matter was planned and decided ‘before’ LCC was contacted. To add insult to injury, NAC now propose to use Common Good funds to pay a contractor to do the demolition work!
This is disgraceful behaviour by NAC aided and abated by 2 local elected councillors. Cllr Gallagher’s comments are disdainful, and insulting, scoffing at LCC in comments to Largs & Millport news, “LCC originally said they would be happy to see the building demolished and then later changed their minds. I can’t be expected to change my mind every time LCC changes their mind. I’m not sure who LCC thinks it’s representing in this case. It’s not a clear-cut decision that we want this building down…the LCC was right first time”
It was claimed that Cllr Gallagher is laughing at local activists who began the Asset Transfer. The mantra of NAC Community Empowerment is a ‘Joke’!
It was noted that Cllr Gallagher has not attended any LCC meetings in many years. If he had he might have had a clear understanding of the contradictory communications LCC had received from NAC. His attitude in the Largs & Millport newspaper was condescending to Largs residents and Largs CCllrs who ‘volunteer’ their time to protect Largs community.
CCllr Carson reported that she and Cllr Hill had attended several meetings at which NAC had discussed the Asset Transfer progress (not just the surrounding garden but also including the Shelter). That it was only recently that Fairlie Growers had reluctantly dropped the shelter from the Asset Transfer because NAC would no longer cover the public liability insurance and this was a cost they could not meet.The Chair read out the email reply he received from Elma Murray (Chief executive, NAC) concluding her internal investigation into the decision to demolish the shelter. The committee agreed the tone of the reply was dismissive and patronising. It claimed NAC was not obliged to communicate with LCC and that the Chair might benefit from training. The Chair reiterated that he acted professionally, adhering to correct procedures in a democratic manner. LCC would await the FoI requests although NAC initial response was not acceptable.
6 Secretary’s Report and Correspondence
None
7 Treasurer’s Monthly Report:
Since the last meeting on September 21th 2017 there has been Expenditure but no Income on LCC Project Account. The balance is £2244.07.
There has been no movement on the Largs Community Council Administration (or Current) Account since the last meeting and the balance remains at £390.22.Treasurers Year End Report:
Please find attached the Year End Accounts (from 1st September 2016 – 31st August 2017) for your Approval.
These apply to three Accounts:
The Resilience Account balance was transferred to the new Charitable Resilience Association, Treasurer on 1stMarch, 2017.Resilience Account: The Closing Balance on August 31st 2017 is now Zero.
Administration Account: The Closing Balance on August 31st 2017 was £390.22
Project Account: The Closing Balance on August 31st 2017 was £2606.03After this meeting the Year End Accounts, plus cheque books and Receipts will be sent to Mr Paul Doak, Senior Manager, Internal Audit, Risk & Assessment, Finance, at NACThese Accounts were Approved and proposed by CCllr Adair, Seconded CCllr P Penman.
8 Sub-Committee Reports

Police as reported by Inspector Skimming – see attached report from 15th Sept to 14th October.

CCllr Wood reported that she had spoken to local teenagers who said Douglas Park was frequented by a few local teenagers only in good weather and hardly ever in the winter. Trouble this year was caused by people outwith Largs and sometimes after Kelburn Festival weekends.
Inspector Skimming confirmed that Douglas Park was not considered a nuisance area. The police had received some calls but nothing that would cause concern. That on average they had received one call per week and this was not necessarily connected with youth social disorder but other matters and that was considered reasonable.
The Chair raised concerns about the effectiveness of NAC ‘antisocial behaviour unit’ asking if it is working? NAC has a responsibility to repair damaged buildings promptly because research shows that vandalised buildings only attract further antisocial behaviour. NAC neglected to repair the Shelter for over a year and raised the question did this attracted further vandalism.
CCllr Wood directed a question to Inspector Skimming on behalf of a member of the public (who had been recently broken into for the second time). She asked how common it was for burglars to ‘Bump Open’ Patio doors. The inspector replied this was a term burglars used and is a technique the police were aware of, he confirmed that Patio doors are vulnerable to this criminal practice.
CCllr Stewart suggested that teenagers would benefit from a designated place to meet like a teenage café or ‘Unders Night’ in a licensed premises, whereby both underage teens as well as over 18’s can go. A good example is ‘The Cat House’ in Glasgow.
Licensing
CCllr Wood reported that Fiddlers nightclub would only be permitted to stay open on Saturday’s until 2:30am.

Planning
None reported

Environment
CCllr P Perman, CCllr Carson and CCllr Blair attended a meeting with Forestry Commission Scotland. That more progress had been made regarding pathways for cycling and walking were to be put to the applicant for approval. It was felt that progress was being made but it was frustrating it had taken 5 years to get this far. Further open meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th November at 7-9pm.

CCllr P Perman reported that a meeting to discuss Compactor Bins would be held on Monday 23rd October at Largs Academy. That this matter would also be raised, again, with Largs BID to ask them to purchase new bins.
That the matter of sea gull management on the promenade be deferred to later meeting.

Transportation
CCllr Adair reported that a meeting with CalMac Ferries had been arranged at the Brisbane hotel to discuss ways to deal with heavy Traffic waiting for the Ferry to Millport, there was a plan to make a designated lane from the Ferry backing up to Church Street.

The subject of multimedia public warning information about Winter Roads and gritting was postponed to a later date.

New Social Media
CCllr Stewart and CCllr Carson made a presentation regarding the new LCC website. This was done demonstrating the newly purchased overhead projector that LCC have donated to Largs Library for public use. There had been a delay adding the Approved CC minutes due to technical reasons but assistance with this problem is being investigated. other ideas were put forward by CCllr Stewart and approval to make further additional ‘buttons’ with more public local information was approved by the committee. Largs and Millport newspaper journalist Calum Corral offered to add a link to LCC. The CCllrs were congratulated for their efforts.

Links to Largs Community Council media address:
Twitter: @largscc and the web: www.largscommunitycouncil.org

CCllr Wood offered to donate a projection screen to the Library. The Chair thanked her for this donation

9 A.O.C.B
Largs and Millport press reporter, Calum Corral warned that Hemlock had been reported on the beach and to take care with dogs and warn children not to touch this very poisonous plant.
10 Date of Next Meeting – 16th November 2017

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