Kirkcowan Community Council Meeting
20th November 2023, 7.30pm, Kirkcowan Village Hall
1. Council Members present -Hazel Matthews (Chair), Hazel McWhirter (Treasurer), Mary Mackenzie, Kevin Dean, Andrew Gladstone
Public present – Cllr Richard Marsh, Kath Googe (Minute Sec), Jane Markwell
Apologies for absence – Mary Harkness (Sec), John Drysdale, Robert Drysdale
2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising – Minutes had been circulated previously. The Halloween events had taken place with great success. The Litter Pick had been carried out and 7 bags of rubbish were collected. MM proposed, AG seconded – Minutes approved as accurate.
3. Police Report –Police Scotland unable to attend. Their report stated no incidents or crime reports since the last meeting.
4. Notified Public Concerns – None reported.
5. Reports and Updates –
Outgoings: H Matthews – Halloween supplies £107.40
Community Heartbeat £162.00
Footpaths £ 8,186.00
Hall Fees £55.00
Mary Harkness – ink £40.95
Derek Brown – grass cutting £390.00 Total outgoings £8,941.35
Income: Foundation Scotland – CREPL grant £5,692.87
D&G Council – discretionary grant £474.50
Total income £6,167.37
Bank Accounts : No 1 a/c £1,519.43 No 2 a/c £19,490.09
KCC is holding a grant of £163.00 for the Badminton Club awarded 2 years ago from KCDT. The Club has paused its activities. MM proposed, AG seconded and CC agreed that the funds should be returned to KCDT.
KCDT Report – KCDT met on 17th October. David Edwards was elected as a new director at the AGM.
AG is seeking quotations for the felling of marked trees in Jenna Morra Wood.
Winter fuel grants, – all houses have been sent information and an application form – grants to be paid out after the end of November.
Responses re Road Junction – Newton Stewart Rd and Main Street
Stagecoach reported no complaints from drivers, although they are aware it can be a difficult junction.
D&G Roads Dept. – No reports of incidents or injuries have been received in the past 3 years. They refer to the Highway Code.
Police Scotland reported they do not routinely police parking issues unless somebody registers a specific complaint.
- A quote of £1,380 +VAT has been obtained for wooden safety rails on both sides of the railway path on the bridge where it crosses the burn. After discussion AG agreed to follow this up with a request for metal safety rails instead.
- Proposed path from Barhoise to Johnstone’s Bridge – Agreed to seek 3 quotes for the footbridge over the Barhoise burn, and 3 pedestrian gates. AG to arrange with a view to an application to KCDT.
- The footbridge on the Barnearnie path has now been widened. Not yet received an invoice.
- Still outstanding is the improved stone at Oldland path.
- Publicity for the footpath network. It was agreed that information and a basic map of the existing footpaths should be drawn up, and displayed on the noticeboard. When the network is complete a leaflet for distribution to residents and visitors should be compiled. AG offered to do a basic map for noticeboards. It was agreed that for a formal printed map or leaflet he should contact Machars Action and JB Print.
6. Elected Members Report – Cllr Richard Marsh
- The strikes affecting schools have been suspended due to the Unions considering the new pay award offered by The Scottish Government.
- A new service improving the Cancer Journey has started, with the D&G Council in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Relief.
- Dumfries and Galloway Council have started issuing free winter clothing sessions at Stranraer and Newton Stewart.
- The New Community Resilience Fund is launched for community councils to apply for £500 – grants for local projects such as salt for village roads.
- Finance Procurement – The Council is financially sound for this year, although funds are very tight.
- Lithium batteries disposed of in refuse, (high percentage of disposable vapes) regularly spontaneously catch fire. This is responsible for the insurance premiums for the processing plant in Dumfries increasing by £400K.
- The UK Government has offered a grant of £13.5 million for levelling up through a bid for a Transport Hub in Dumfries and Galloway.
7. Correspondence –
- No planning applications this month.
- An invitation from the Village Hall Board for KCC to submit a Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer decoration for the Christmas Extravaganza to be held on 9th December.
8. Gala Committee – Fun in the Park
The committee requested in October for the funds of £831.92 held by KCC to be transferred to them. H McW proposed, seconded by MM, to comply with their request, motion passed by a majority vote.
Work has commenced on this project. When it is completed a report must be sent to CREPL / Foundation Scotland. There were differences of opinion within the CC on the way that the garden has been totally removed, and concerns that the completed garden plantings will take many years to establish.
10. Christmas Lights Switch On
This takes place on 2nd December at 6.30pm. Xmas lights already on the tree in preparation. Donations requested for buffet. Gazebo to be erected and music arranged. CC members chose 5 Christmas Carols to be sung- HM to print out song-sheets for use on the night.
11. Any Other Competent Business –
- The speed sign on Newton Stewart Road is working again.
- The Saltire will be flown on 30th November for St Andrews Day and 9th January for the Princess of Wales’ birthday.
- Selection Boxes of chocolates will be bought for distribution to all primary and pre-school children for Christmas. This was agreed.
- Machars Action AGM will be held on Tuesday 19th December at their premises.
- A company called Standtech is considering actions to propose to improve the towns including Newton Stewart under the Active Travel project.
- The initial proposal for the Blair Hill Windfarm was exhibited recently and the cut-off date for comments has passed. There will be many stages to be completed before a planning decision is made.
The meeting closed at 21.00
Date of next meeting Monday 18/12/2023
KCDT Grant Applications:
Autumn Club- Xmas Lunch / Burns Lunch £860
1st Kirkcowan Rainbows – Hall Fees for 2024 £742.50