Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Minutes of KCC Meeting 15th November 2021

Draft Minutes

Present: Charles McEwan (Chair), Hazel McWhirter (Treasurer), Mary Harkness (Secretary), Andrew Gladstone, Kevin Dean, Tricia Veevers, Mary Mackenzie (Minutes), Hazel Johnston, Katrina Dick, Brian Melville, Lynne Melville, Mary Murdoch, Olive Hall, Mark Godfrey, Rory Godfrey, David Edwards, Elizabeth McMillan, John Drysdale, Gordon Walker, DG Councillors David Inglis and Jim McColm.

  1. Chair welcomed everyone and gave a roundup of items since last meeting:
    Conduct of meetings – discussions are among committee, comments from public should be invited by, and addressed to, the Chair, not across the room | Well done to H Johnston & others for a very enjoyable & well-attended Pumpkin Trail | Remembrance Sunday wreath-laying; thanks to Police for stopping traffic during Armistice Day ceremony | New Christmas tree lights have been bought | A small group of volunteers did litter-picking on the roads towards Wigtown & Newton Stewart | Nominations for 2 new KCC members have closed today, election will be held by DGC on 6th December | Combined meeting between KCC & KCDT will be arranged in early December | Noticeboards have been ordered, to be sited in the Park & at the Hall, provided planning permission is granted, if needed.
  2. Apologies: Cllr J McCamon
  3. Minutes of September meeting (20/09/21): (not considered at October AGM)
    Accepted: proposed by M Harkness and seconded by P Veevers
    Minutes of October Meeting (non-AGM section) (18/10/2021)
    Accepted: proposed by H Johnston and seconded by K Dean
  4. Police Matters: No Police present. C McEwan read out Report.
    Again urging public to report incidents or concerns direct to police, not to KCC |
    Extra patrols will continue to counter anti-social behaviour | Santa’s Sleigh organised by NS Round Table, will visit Kirkcowan on 15th December | ‘Connecting Scotland’ programme providing digital devices and support – the deadline has already passed. (K Dick mentioned that there is a session to help people use their digital devices in Newton Stewart Centre on Wednesday mornings called Login & Connect.) A Gladstone asked that if anyone witnesses a vehicle crashed into a Craichlaw dyke, they could record the registration number and inform him, so that insurance can be claimed for the damage. Police no longer do this.
  5. Treasurers Report:  H McWhirter Account no.1 has £11.30
    Account no.2 has £13,274.78 – of which £4,627.26 is the Sports Fund; £2,347.97 is held for existing community groups; £6,299.55 remains available.
    Income for Oct-Nov: £1,896.00         Outgoings for Oct-Nov: £1,201.13
  6. Correspondence:   M Harkness
    * School noticeboard – Mrs Andrews says KCC can use the school’s outdoor noticeboard now, and even after our own notice boards are erected. It needs a new back board. As a gesture, would it be possible for a handyman in the village to make this repair?
    * Carol Lochrie confirming with Directors of KCDT that 9th December is acceptable for joint meeting with KCC.
    * KC Benefit Company: Nomination of P Veevers to Board has been acknowledged, but J Mortiboy has to notify them that she has resigned first, before replacement is accepted.
    * Free Warm Winter Clothing scheme. Email from DGC – Donations of clothes requested. Clothes then available at 2 local events: Stranraer on 3rd December and Castle Douglas 5th December.
    * Coast2Coast Closed Road Car Rally planned by Machars Car Club on 6/7th May 2022. Some road closures around Kirkcowan, including Shennanton to 3 Lochs, Mochrum Loch, and Auchenmalg to Glenluce click here for maps PDF
    By law, all persons possibly affected by road closures must be given 6 months’ notice. All queries and concerns should be directed to Roy Campbell, Chairman, email Machars Car Club.
    * Zoom annual subscription: Valid until March 2022 – agreed to keep subscription rather than refund unused portion, as Covid state uncertain and meetings may need to resume on Zoom.
  7. Local Planning Applications: none

Jubilee Tree Planting 2022: A Gladstone
Proposal, over this winter or next, that we plant a single specimen tree with a commemorative plaque within the village – either in the rest garden, the cemetery or at the bottom corner of the Park. Additional trees could also be planted on the embankment on the north side of the railway line path as it is developed. It would be good to involve the primary school children in this activity. Free trees are available from the Woodland Trust. D Inglis commented that the official scheme is called the Queen’s Green Canopy and it is hoped that many communities and groups become involved in planting as many trees as possible nationally.

Footpaths: A Gladstone
A map was pinned up to show where the proposed walk routes will be. And a detailed explanation was given of the works required to create access and informal off-road paths in 3 directions from the village: 1) inside field dykes to Johnston’s Bridge; 2) eastwards along old railway line from Wellhouse Road; 3) out Station Road, past Oldland to the Mindork road end. These would form phase 1 of a plan to create a network of circular walking routes on the outskirts, joining up with existing tracks and paths. This will be expensive, but is part of the Community Action Plan which was very popular with the majority of residents. An estimated £50,000 will be required for the groundworks, gates and fencing. Other quotes will be needed in order to apply for funding from KCDT. If approved, the aim is to have the works carried out over winter ready for spring next year.
Creating suitable cycle tracks, further extensions and upgrades can be considered next year and additional match funding could be sought from other sources, such as ‘Paths for All’ and Sustrans. Maintenance is also a big consideration, often overlooked, leading to neglected, overgrown paths.
The path from Teapot Lane to the Dickie Wood suffered considerable damage during heavy rains last month and will be reinstated as soon as possible, with improved drainage, by A Gladstone.

KCDT 26th October meeting: H Johnston
4 grant applications had been submitted. In future all applications will be sent to KCC for consideration as they are received. To comply with data protection laws, personal names will be omitted and only the group name will be public | Discussed action plan for Jenna Morra Wood |  Plans for the Park are progressing, with work expected to begin next spring |  The Trust will hold Open Meetings in November for the public to air views and suggest projects |  Application forms for £200 winter fuel grant will be sent out |  Joint meeting between KCDT & KCC on 9th December is to be confirmed. Notices will be posted up.

Greenspaces Steering Group: K Dick
Asked to be notified if she is required to give report in future as not always present at KCC meetings. The 2nd draft of the Park design was discussed and sent back for amendments. The next draft will be made available for the community to comment on.
C McEwan reiterated that he did not feel there had been sufficient consultation with the community or notice taken of his input re exercise equipment. K Dick stated that there had been full consultation to find out what residents wanted before the Community Action Plan was drafted.
D Inglis, as chair of the Steering Group reassured the meeting that many people’s input had been taken into account. The Park will be designed and developed to have something for everyone.

Christmas Tree Lights Switch-on:  At 5pm on Sunday 5th December beside the Church. Music by C McEwan and others, all welcome to join in with singing…and bring a hot drink.
A suggestion was put forward to have lights along Main Street next year to brighten the village, like in Newton Stewart & Glenluce.

Christmas Eve Services: Watchnight Service in the Church at 11.30pm.
KCC decided not to hold an evening service with Santa this year. Instead, the chocolate selection boxes will be distributed via the school before holidays. Parents of toddlers and home-schooled children can put their names forward for these before 10th December.

Flagpole: J Wright has done repairs. K Dean put the flag up for Remembrance ceremonies, and will raise the Saltire on 29th for St Andrews Day.

Public Toilets: K Dean asked why the toilets were closed at 10am one morning. No-one knows.
The broken door has been reported to DGC but nothing done yet.

Street Lights: Several throughout the village have not been working, and some are on all the time. These have also been reported to DGC on several occasions, C McEwan & K Dean will make contact again.

Christmas Party in Hall: L Melville, having contacted C McEwan after last meeting, asked whether any arrangements had been made yet. Some misunderstanding had occurred regarding who was going to organise this. KCC have reservations and would prefer that other people in the village take this on if it was a popular idea, bearing in mind that Covid is still a limiting factor.

C McEwan – Thanks for attending.

The next meeting of KCC will be on Monday 20th December 2021 at 7.30pm

Meeting closed at 9.25pm                                               Mary Mackenzie (Minutes Secretary)

Addendum: 01/12/2021

An interim Zoom meeting has taken place to discuss the following:

If planning permission is needed for Noticeboards, re. ‘advertising’ – & alternative arrangements

Power outages and resilience planning – generator / gas heaters / emergency opening of school

Arrangements for Christmas lights Switch-on on Sunday 5th December

The application to KCDT fund for phase 1 of the footpath works, ideally submitted by 15th Dec.

Identifying which street lights need attention, and contact DGC again.

Next meeting’s Agenda

KCC Election times – can they be extended? No, organised by Returning Officer for DGC.