Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Minutes of KCC meeting 18th September 2023

Kirkcowan Community Council Meeting – 18th September 2023, Kirkcowan Village Hall

1. Council Members present – Hazel Matthews (Chair), Mary Harkness (Sec), Hazel McWhirter (Treasurer), Robert Drysdale, John Drysdale, Mary Mackenzie, Kevin Dean Public present – Cllr Katie Hagman, PC David Broadfoot, PC Andrew Osborne, Kath Googe (Minute Sec), Mandi Emslie, Gill Kent, Jim Rae, Sarah Burton, Robert McGaw, Frankie Somerville, Lynn Somerville, Alan Wright, Suzette Lonsdale, Keith Service, Catherine Gray, Scott Townley, Lynn Marshall, Charlie Marshall, Peter McCubbin

Apologies for absence – Andrew Gladstone, Cllr Richard Marsh

2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising – Minutes previously circulated.
M. Emslie stated she did not agree with the accuracy of the minute concerning her dog park presentation. Some minor amendments were accepted however the consensus of the CC was that the report was accurate.
Amended Minutes – approval proposed by JD, seconded by MH.
KD thanked MM for putting up the revised bus timetable at the bus stops.

3. Police Report – PC Broadfoot reported that no crimes or incidents have been reported in the Kirkcowan area in the past month.

4. Notified Public Concerns – No concerns notified prior to meeting. Hazel Matthews, Chair asked the public present if they wished to speak. Lynn Somerville spoke first and raised a sensitive issue as a concern. The matter was not within the remit of KCC and so PCs David Broadfoot and Andrew Osborne were asked if they would take the questions, to which they agreed. The public were advised that Police Scotland do not make decisions regarding the accommodations of individuals within the County. They further advised that they would only become involved if criminality had taken place or if a specific incident was reported. Anyone with concerns for their personal safety should call 101/999 according to the circumstances. When asked if a protest would be allowable – PC Broadfoot advised that any action taken by members of the public would have to be done peacefully with no criminality involved.
Councillor Hagmann spoke to the fact that D&G Council undertake stringent risk assessments and have robust safeguarding policies in place for a circumstance as this. She offered to make a copy available to the CC via the Chair of the policies so that the information could be used to reassure concerned residents.
The Chair closed the discussion, reiterating that the matter was not a CC issue, and that course of action available to those present would be to petition the housing landlord, and if concerned for their safety to contact Police Scotland.

5. Reports and Updates
Treasurers Report:
Outgoings: AD Tools – Repairs to Dickie Wood Path £1,188.00
H Johnston – materials for Church St garden £1,309.88
Hall Fees £57.50
Totals: No 1 a/c £11.30 | No 2 a/c £23,933.24

KCDT Report – Hazel Matthews
– The contract for the work on the playpark has been awarded to Jupiter Play. The contract/agreement has been signed by both parties. Once detailed plans have been received, a planning application will be submitted to the local authority.
– KCDT has approved the Autumn Club application for 50% of cost of a minibus. The bus will be owned and insured by the KCDT. David Edwards of the Autumn Club will manage bookings for the minibus, available to all groups to hire. Only cost to groups is fuel. Drivers must submit their driving licence to Mr Edwards. The minibus must be returned fuelled and clean after an activity. Kirkcowan Service Station has agreed to offer the minibus parking space and service the vehicle. The cost of tax, insurance, servicing and MOT is estimated at £1,500 annually.
– The winter fuel allowance is on the agenda for the next KCDT meeting.
– AGM scheduled for early November- date to be confirmed at next meeting.

6. Elected Members Report – Cllr Katie Hagmann
– The Youth Council and Youth Parliament are a success.
– The next full Council is 4th October.
– D&G are working on plans for Policing to 2026.
– Changes to the polling districts for elections will not affect Wigtownshire.
– The National Entitlement Cards can be used as ID for future Westminster elections.
– It is confirmed that no schools in Wigtownshire are affected by RAAC (aerated concrete) – however D&G are checking all public buildings in the region.
– The consultation Right Place Right Care is completed, but not public yet. There is concern from Education that school students in Wigtownshire are not attaining such good results as students in the rest of the Dumfries and Galloway.
– Cllr Hagmann is involved in meetings negotiating with Council Staff over pay and conditions, with a better pay offer, hoping to avoid planned strike action which will close schools next week.

7. Correspondence
– From Cllr Marsh: Pothole repairs on C22W (A75 to Balloch O Dee) should be complete by end September.
– Bus timetables, as at 23/8 are still not ready for putting into bus stops – hopefully those erected by CC will alleviate problem meantime.
– Regarding request to use of land at Teapot Close grass area for secure dog park – D&G advise that a number of services and multiple contacts would need to co-ordinate to carry the project forward. No details of who or what given but the departments involved and the response from D&G will depend on whether the proposal is for a commercial or community facility.
– MH has received clarification on Balgreen football ground. Ownership remains with Tarff Rovers and KCC hold the deeds for safekeeping, whilst the silverware is with the SFA.
– Proposed Glenvernoch Windfarm – a public exhibition will be held on 28th September at the Hive in Glentrool, from 3pm to 6pm. All welcome to attend.
– KCDT – Village Shop/PO update. KCDT sent the following statement in reply to CC request for an update.
‘A review of KCDT funding for the Post Office and village shop has been undertaken, in line with the conditions set out when the funding began. The Post Office and village shop continue to be a valuable asset to the community. It has been suggested that residents’ feedback on continued funding should be sought by the end of 2023.’
– Village Hall Survey. The village hall committee have not yet been able to collate the returns received. The committee are waiting for a 10 year lease to be confirmed by the D&G council before making definite plans. RD asked for the hall committee to have a designated Representative to attend the next KCC meeting to clarify specific questions relating to repairs and other matters. He observed there are some slates missing on the main roof, cracks in walls and outside lights are not coming on.

8. Minute Secretary – Associate Member of CC
CC voted in favour of Kath Googe, 6 Newton Stewart Road, Kirkcowan becoming an Associate Member of the council, whilst acting as Minute Secretary, to remain effective until the next full elections. ‘For the avoidance of doubt, an Associate Member has no entitlement to vote, propose or second motions or amendments, count towards meeting a quorum, hold office or be a representative or delegate on its behalf or be considered a Community Councillor.’
Proposed Mary Harkness, 71 Main Street, Kirkcowan, seconded by Robert Drysdale, 7 Meadow Park, Kirkcowan.

9. Halloween
Funding of £300 received from D&G. HM is willing to arrange activities but needs helpers. Date for this year’s celebration will be 28th October, with a Pumpkin Trail, prizes, party games in the hall. HM to contact Kirkcowan PTA for assistance.

CC have now found a contractor willing and able to carry out the work on the corner garden. The building materials have been purchased and are stored locally until hard landscaping work begins in October.
CC now able to send full expenditure account for 2020 CREPL award and submit grant application for 2021 and 2022, to raise sufficient funding to complete the work. 2021 award of £2689 is insufficient for total project so apply for 2022 award of £3003 also and request funding for pergola and new plantings to bring expenditure request to fund award level = £5692. HM to get quote for pergola.

9. Any Other Competent Business
– Secure Dog Park. Mandi Emslie updated the committee on the progress with the proposed Kirkcowan Secure Dog Park (KSDP). Fb group now has 57 members. The founding committee is herself, Gill Kent and Karen Ogilvie. Two areas have been discounted – Teapot Close, and Reivers field. The group are investigating an area on the side of the lane to Barhoise, and an area near Craighlaw Kennels. Jim Rae suggested they also look if there is scope in Jenna Morra wood, which is community woodland. ME
stated they ideally need a quarter to half an acre of level grassy ground.
– KD observed that an unknown person had raised the Red Ensign on the flagpole one morning – removing it by evening. It was agreed that no harm had been done.
– KD asked why Hall toilets were locked over the Flower Show Weekend. MH informed this was usual practice when an event taking place, however the Public can seek access to the toilets via the Main Entrance if it is open and manned.

The meeting closed at 21.10.

Date of next meeting Monday 16/10/2023

KG 20/9/23