Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Minutes of KCC Meeting – 26th October 2020

Draft Minutes – Kirkcowan Community Council held on Monday 26th October 2020 at 7pm,
Online via Zoom due to Covid19 restrictions.

Present: Andrew Gladstone (Chair), Hazel McWhirter (Treasurer), Debbie McBain (Secretary), Dave McBain, Jackie Mortiboy, Charles McEwan, Dan Baillie, Mary Harkness, Joe Wright Jnr, Katrina Dick, Hazel Johnston, Wendy Wood, Tricia Veevers, Leslie Mercer, Mary Mackenzie (Minutes).

  1. Mr Gladstone welcomed everyone to the new way of meeting online.
  2. Apologies: Lesley Parker, Councillor Jim McColm
  3. Minutes of the last meeting (17/2/20):
    Amendment requested by MH re previously reported complaint by carpet bowlers about condition of Hall floor. A letter had been received in March from Keith Gordon stating that no such complaint had been made. Minutes otherwise accepted: proposed by MH and seconded by DB.
  4. Police Matters: No representative from Dumfries and Galloway Police.
  5. Treasurers Report:
    Account no.1 has £46.36
    Account no.2 has £13,904.43. This amount comprises £4,627.26 held by the Sports Fund; a total of £3,251.55 in grants has been allocated to several community groups; and £6,025.62 is unallocated.
  6. Correspondence: No correspondence
  7. Cost of Zoom technology: Approximately £20 per month. Suggestion of applying to KCDT for grant to cover the cost, also mention of the DGC grant available for Covid19 adaptations. As the cost is equivalent to monthly Hall hire, payment for Zoom will be substituted as long as restrictions last.
  8. Office Bearers: DMcB will be standing down as Secretary at the AGM. CMcE volunteered and nominated by AG, seconded by DMcB.   MM acting as temporary Minutes Secretary.
  9. Kilgallioch Windfarm Benefit Company (which distributes funds to the wider region) KCC along with Glenluce, NewLuce & Barrhill are each requested to nominate 2 members of their communities to serve as directors of KCBC. Richard Marsh was previously nominated and will continue as one, but AG has stood down due to a conflict of interest, being also a Director of KCDT. So KCC is seeking another member to take his place. JM was nominated by AG, seconded by MH. A maximum of 8 members of the community are also invited to become members of KCBC, Shalla Gray has stood down and will be replaced by MH who had previously been nominated.

    Items under discussion at last KCDT meeting
    (JW – CC rep):
  10. MUGA (Multi Use Games Area)
    Further to the proposal for a MUGA to be erected to encourage sports in the village, planning guidance has been sought for the 3 possible locations. Pre-planning reports have been received for (a) Balgreen Park – possibility of flooding, also distance from village: (b) Play Park – 3 main constraints are: closeness to and visual impact on the church and outlook; the park is a Protected Open Space; and in a residential area. (c) The field behind the Primary School – still waiting for Pre-planning report.    Nearby residents views are both for and against location in Park.
    Would siting MUGA at bottom of park be more acceptable? KD to check with Planning Dept. Discussions around issues such as parking, access, school use, management and charges.
    Acknowledgement of amount of work already put in by DB, and others, on the MUGA Facebook page, but he is stepping back now. A committee needs to be formed to work on a plan for the MUGA with a proposal to then be put to KCDT. KD will offer assistance with set-up, planning, admin & advice. JW will canvas support to form working group to take the project forward.
  11. Winter Fuel Payment – DMcB reported frustration of some residents over ongoing delays in last year’s payments. Time spent and journeys made to try and resolve issues. System complicated by the number of supply companies involved and the need for letters of authority to pay into personal energy accounts. Jak Kane is in charge of payments. Katrina Dick handles enquiries & letters, and is now in the process of sending out new application forms for this year’s WFP, which will be paid by cheque or direct transfer to personal bank accounts. It was suggested that outstanding payments be added to this year’s applications, instead of waiting for power companies to complete the process.
  12. Wooden Planters: Boxes are in a bad state, some rotting, and would be better sited elsewhere.
    Thanks to Hazel McWhirter & others for attending to the planting, using surplus DGC stock which was only available this year due to Covid19. Discussion about whether to buy in plants for next year or arrange a local group to grow them. Could also involve primary school children – JW will talk to head teacher. C McNeil to be asked to repair boxes where possible.
  13. Jenna Morra Woodland: Purchase by KCDT completed. A working group of interested locals is being formed to discuss and manage plans for the woods, including access, path improvement and possible extension, selective thinning/coppicing, community involvement, etc. Surveys are to be carried out for public liability insurance, and to record the existing species of trees, flora and fauna. Seeking FCS approval for some felling to create more open spaces. CMcE, JW, DMcB expressed interest in joining the group, which is open to anyone with an interest in the future of our woodland.
  14. Dawson’s Court – potential to purchase property? Tentative suggestion as a possible investment to provide KCDT with a rental income for the future. Mentioned mainly in the interests of transparency.
  15. Balgreen Park: Maintenance needed particularly to fences. AG suggested that he, as adjacent landowner, would pay 50% and CC pay the other 50%. Approx. £400 each. Or remove fences and allow to return to field. The buildings also need maintenance / refurbishment / demolition. Graze sheep to keep grass short?  A pity to abandon the football park given long history & importance of Tarff Rovers FC to the community. JM to contact Galloway Thistle to see if they are still interested in using it.
  16. Christmas Eve Service: Can’t hold indoors due to Covid19, but suggest a socially-distanced outdoor one with carols, in the Park. DGC money for sweets for the children.
  17. Coronavirus Resilience Group: Many thanks to everyone who has helped out during lockdown and since. Checking the generator worksas DB is away, JW will do this. (Village Hall: due to the length of this meeting, will discuss at next meeting.)

* Weeds in pavement & roadway at Hamilton Crescent, Council have sprayed previously, but hand-weeding required. AG to contact Community Payback to see if this could be done by them.
* HMcW arranging purchase and planting of spring bulbs.
* Dr Sutherland’s retirement – donations box in P.O. for anyone wanting to contribute to a present.

The Annual General Meeting of KCC to be held on Monday 16th November 2020 at 7pm, again via Zoom (dependent on current Covid19 restrictions)

Mr Gladstone thanked everyone for attending, expressed disappointment that more members of the public had not attended, and closed the meeting at 8.50pm.              
Mary Mackenzie (Minutes Secretary)