Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Minutes of KCC meeting 18th October 2021 (including AGM)

Draft minutes of general meeting:

Present: Charles McEwan (Chair), Hazel McWhirter (Treasurer), Mary Harkness, Kevin Dean, Tricia Veevers, Mary Mackenzie (Minutes), Hazel Johnston, Katrina Dick, Jane Markwell, Brian Melville, Lynne Melville, Lesley Parker, Debbie McBain, David McBain, Robert Drysdale, Richard Marsh, Mary Murdoch, Catherine Gray, C Gray, Mark Godfrey, John Hall, Olive Hall, Kate Harkes, Les Mercer, John Drysdale, Gordon Walker, David Edwards, Elizabeth McMillan, Graham Parkes, James Rae, PC John Jamieson, PC Andy Osborne, Jo Fairlie, Carol Lochrie, DG Councillors Katie Hagmann and David Inglis

Chair welcomed everyone

Apologies: Joe Wright, Andrew Gladstone

Police Report: PCs Jamieson & Osborne in attendance, so invited to give their report first.
Kirkcowan – Police again provided assistance after receiving calls about a vulnerable resident, and alerting other appropriate health agencies.
General information – Increased patrols during school holidays to deter anti-social behaviour in particular hotspots. | Currently asking for public response to the use of bodycams by police to improve security & transparency.  9,000 replies so far, mostly in favour. Go online to add your views. | Some guidance available for students about safety online. To report any incidents or concerns, dial 101, or 999 in an emergency, visit  or call in at Newton Stewart Police Station.

AGM was then held, the draft minutes of which will be presented at next year’s AGM.

Election to fill vacancies on the KCC: We are looking for 2 additional Community Councillors.
An election will be arranged by D&G Council Ward Officer. Notices with information about the nomination and voting process will be displayed in the Post Office, on the website, and on social media. Closing date for nominations is Monday 15th November 2021.

Carol Lochrie from Machars Action, the new Secretary to Kirkcowan Community Development Trust since April, addressed the meeting about the ongoing discontent from residents about KCDT. She stated that she is committed to resolving this, through better communication, dealing with facts not accusations, and seeing the Community Action Plan through to completion. Lynne Melville was welcomed as the newly-elected Director on the Board. Information sharing was seen as a priority, using Facebook pages, websites, posters, noticeboards and open meetings. Improvements will be made to interactions between our local organisations, with regular joint meetings. There was strong support in the room for one every 4 months, as suggested by C McEwan, aiming to hold the first joint meeting in early December. Carol stated that having inherited a historical mess from the previous Secretary, she and Katrina Dick were working hard together to resolve all issues, and restore a sense of cohesion in the community.

Noticeboards at the Park and at the Hall were seen as a top priority by those present. KCC were asked to arrange purchase & installation urgently, before Christmas if possible. A noticeboard with hinges at the top was agreed to be more durable. K Hagmann mentioned that planning permission may be required for permanent, free-standing boards. C M to contact Planning Dept. for advice. Other possible options for displaying information were discussed, including school noticeboard, Autumn Club window, unused noticeboard in bus shelter, Kirkmoor window and the Surgery.

KCC Halloween Pumpkin Trail around the village is being organised by H Johnston for Saturday 30th October, from 5 – 6.30, finishing at the Hall. Asking for volunteers to help, and encouraging people to decorate houses and leave treats out. Prizes for fancy dress. More details to follow.

Remembrance Sunday: A KCC wreath will be laid at the memorial on Sunday 14th at 10.30am after Church Service. D&G Council have been informed.

Flagpole: A new cleat is needed, P Veevers offered to buy a replacement online. L Parker said she would ask J Parker if he could do the repair, which may need welding. A few other people were suggested as possible repairers.

Christmas Fayre:  Primary School Parent Council and Friends of Kirkcowan are organising a fundraising Christmas Fayre on Saturday 20th November, 10am – 1 pm. Adults £2, children £1.50 to include refreshments. Stalls (baking, books, toys, crafts, re-gifts), raffles, face painting etc. Donations to stalls & raffle welcome – contact Jemma McNeill, Anne Connick or Caroline Wilson.

Jubilee 2022 Tree-planting: A Gladstone will be attending an online meeting in November to find out more details about this. Various suggestions for the location of the tree were made, the rest garden and cemetery being the most popular.

Christmas Arrangements: New, coloured Christmas tree lights were discussed and will be ordered. The evening of Sunday 5th December was suggested for having an official switching-on ceremony, with school children and hopefully a choir. Volunteers to sing some carols are wanted.
Selection boxes: Morrisons have been approached for donations, to be given to children via the primary school.
Christmas Party/Dance: This suggestion from the floor was well received and will be explored further.

Litter Picking: Sunday 7th November, 2-4pm. Volunteers to meet at church. Hi-vis vests, bags and picking sticks will be provided.

Diary Dates: List proposed by M Mackenzie to publicise all upcoming events. Posters, FB pages and website.

Garden area: At corner of Church Street and Wellhouse Road. Looking for more volunteers to get involved with developing this area.

Kilgallioch Windfarm Extension: K Dean showed a newspaper article about this and asked why it had not been discussed in any meetings. Planning application and consultation had occurred some time ago, KCC were not made aware at the time, possible breakdown of communications.  

Treatment of KCC Representative at Trust meeting: Concerns were again expressed at the action of the Trust towards J Wright at the last Trust meeting and what action should be taken in addition to the complaint letter that was sent. It was suggested that a private meeting should take place between J Wright and another supporting KCC member and the Trust spokesperson with a Trust supporting member, facilitated by an independent mediator, and it was suggested that Citizens’ Advice Bureau might possibly provide that function.

C McEwan thanked everyone for attending.

The next meeting of KCC: Monday 15th November 2021 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

The public meeting closed at 9.40pm

The committee stayed on to decide KCC representatives for other organisations.

Mary Mackenzie (Minutes Secretary)