Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Minutes of KCC meeting – 17th May 2021

Kirkcowan Community Council Meeting – 17th May 2021 at 7pm, online via Zoom, due to continuing Covid19 restrictions

Draft Minutes

Present: Charles McEwan (Chair), Hazel McWhirter (Treasurer), Joe Wright (Deputy Chair), Mary Harkness, Andrew Gladstone, Kevin Dean, Les Mercer, Tricia Veevers, Mary Mackenzie (Minutes), Hazel Johnston, Wendy Wood, Councillor Katie Hagmann.

  1. Chair welcomed everyone and said that, as before, the meeting would be recorded to help with writing up Minutes. No objections. Litter pick went well – bags left at the school for project, to be collected by DGC.
  2. Apologies: Cllr J McCamon
  3. Minutes of the last meeting (19/04/21):
    Minutes accepted: proposed by JW and seconded by HMcW
    Matters arising – Re. the suggestion of installing exercise equipment on grass area up Teapot Close, which  belongs to DGHP,  KD would prefer not there, but in the Park. | Also asked about opening the toilets, but will discuss this later. | There is also the possibility of developing football & other facilities at Balgreen. | The safety grille over the mineshaft in Jenna Morra Wood is now in place.
  4. Police Matters:
    Dog thefts, but not particular to local area.  Some live ammunition found in private garden and dealt with.
  5. Treasurers Report:  HMcW Account no.1 has £46.30 | Account no.2 has £13,261.65 of which £4,627.26 is the Sports Fund, £2,643.68 is held for groups. Outgoings – £205.98 for wood protector and shrubs for planters.
  6. Correspondence:  To CM from Calum Nichol (DGC) about litter pick equipment.
  7. Local Planning Applications: none
  8. Update from April KCDT meeting:  JW – Aiming to have the Education Grant Scheme up and running soon, with grants towards higher education or training course such as SVQs or HNCs. Carsecreugh money should  be available soon. Liaising with Carol Lochrie at Machars Action.

Dogs in the Park: There are2 opposing views, allowed or not, so KCC should discuss solution. MH contacted the Community Safety Officer who said that dogs can’t be legally barred, but they must be under control at all times (returning to owner on first call). Leaving dog fouling anywhereis an offence. MH has placed poo bag dispensers at entrances to Dickie Wood and has had to refill twice in a week. Any waste bin can be used for disposing of dog waste. There are waste bins at 2 entrances to the park, so a spare bin needs to be moved to other entrance. DGC can’t provide any extra ones. There is one in middle of park, which DGC can be asked to move. The conflicting signs should be removed, and the sign about fouling renewed.

Footpaths: AG – The railway line, initially walking along & back would be fine, and this could be extended over the Barhoise burn. Not planning to have a made-up surface, only new gate & fencing along the edge of the field from Wellhouse Road. Free trees are available from Woodland Trust for tree planting, involving the School, to replace existing gorse, hawthorn etc. as part of Prince Charles national scheme for the Queens Platinum Anniversary next year. Seating could also be installed along the route. AG will get quotes and progress the project with the aim to apply for funding and complete over winter ready for spring. All agreed.

Car park & footpath at Glebe. AG – KCDT has agreed to fund A Paterson to draw up plans, but a decision needs to be made what KCC wants. Many possible alternatives were discussed, but none could be guaranteed to solve the problem, and as a result of a general vote, it was agreed to leave the idea of a separate car park in the meantime and concentrate on establishing a safe walking route from the village to Johnstone’s Bridge & the Jenna Morra wood. The proposed solution is to have a fenced path inside the dyke, parallel to the Wigtown road, from the Glebe to the bridge. Agreement from Church of Scotland will be required. AG will get prices for making access gates & fencing for both the Wigtown Road and Railway Line. Aim to also get this done over winter. All agreed.

Steering Group: CM – Ideas from residents and the group about how the park could develop, keeping an open area for sports, a path around the perimeter etc.  AG – A Landscape Architect has been chosen and has given a timetable for the project. She will come and visit the park, survey what’s there, provide some design ideas for discussion, and aim for construction happening next year. DGC planning application will be required and a maintenance plan developed. So progress is being made and the steering group will take any comments from residents to the landscape architect.

Communication: Not everyone uses Facebook or the internet, so a general meeting would help let the community know what is planned and to provide input, once some outline designs have been produced. A newsletter is overdue with the latest updates. All members to have input and produce a draft to be sent out with the KCDT newsletter.
Regarding comments in local press about windfarm money, how it is used and divisions created, we need to point out that everything is primarily done for the benefit of our community, and other communities can apply for money from the wider grant fund.

Vacancies to be filled:  A new Secretary is needed – could new members consider this position?
Also have to nominate a rep for KCDT?  (HMcW is on the Board already and happy to carry on)
A Director is needed for Kilgallioch Community Benefit Company, along with Richard Marsh, to consider grant applications and distribute funds for other communities in the wider area. It involves a monthly meeting. MM & TV considering, will contact RM.
Machars Action: MH (rep for wider MA) has had no meetings during pandemic. JW was rep but has had no contact. KH informed that MA have been meeting online, but may not have KCC contact details (Carol Lochrie has replaced Jak Kane who has retired, and is also on the KCDT)

Induction training for KCC members – 19th  June with Karen Anderson from Annan, in person in the Hall. This will be covering responsibilities, procedures, where community councils fit into local government structure, admin etc.

Flagpole: LM –flagpole and rope need an upgrade, would look better painted white. KD – flag is fine, flagpole needs repair. JW will contact J Parker to do repairs to flagpole. KD will hoist the flag on 3 days in June.

Storage boxes: CM would like to get some storage/ex-recycling boxes to organise the contents of the container at the school which houses the emergency supplies. KD has a contact on Facebook.

Hall: Toilets still closed. Due to the extra cleaning involved, the Covid restrictions and the extra cost, opening public toilets in non-Council buildings is very difficult throughout the area. DGC owns the Hall, but the Hall Board, as tenants, are responsible for the toilets and have to decide when it’s safe to re-open. Could we cover signs? Road-end signs are the responsibility of the Roads Dept.

Woods for wildlife: TV asked if KCC could buy & install bird and bat boxes for the Jenna Morra & Dickie woods. CM – school may be taking this on as an environmental resource. In the JM wood, volunteers have cleared most of the plastic tubes and made more informal paths, but perhaps the woodland group could look at making these provisions for wildlife. KD has a list of some of those who are interested, and informal activity has been taking place, but a group has not yet been properly formed or co-ordinated. An interesting and informative online meeting took place with a representative from Community Woodlands Association, but wasn’t well-attended, perhaps due to lack of communication. AG will contact Katrina to get the group co-ordinated and active, and it is likely that encouraging wildlife with nesting boxes would be one of the priorities. A Facebook page (Kirkcowan Community Woodland) was set up some time ago by Dan Baillie, but would need a new administrator from the woodland group, if Dan gave his permission. MH will ask him.

KCC meetings: Could we re-open to public meetings in the Hall? Restrictions mean a maximum of 40 in the big hall as long as the 2m distancing rule remains. People might have to book. Many people would come to a meeting but won’t join Zoom. Wait for restrictions to ease.

CM – Thanks for attending.

The next meeting of KCC will be on Monday 21st June 2021 at 7.30pm  (NB. time change)
via Zoom.

The meeting closed at 8.57pm                                               Mary Mackenzie (Minutes Secretary)