Kirkcowan – What's Going On?

Minutes of KCC meeting – 19th April 2021

Kirkcowan Community Council Meeting – 19th April 2021
at 7pm, online via Zoom, due to continuing Covid19 restrictions

Present: Charles McEwan (Chair), Hazel McWhirter (Treasurer), Joe Wright (Deputy Chair), Mary Harkness, Andrew Gladstone, Katrina Dick, Wendy Wood, Tricia Veevers, Janice Sommerville, Mary Mackenzie (Minutes), Hazel Johnston, Councillor Jim McColm

  1. Chair welcomed everyone and said that, as before, the meeting would be recorded to help with writing up Minutes. No objections.
  2. Apologies: Kevin Dean, Les Mercer
  3. Minutes of the last meeting (15/03/20):
    Minutes accepted: proposed by CM and seconded by MH
    Matters arising – a) CM had response from DG Education: they would not be consulting or informing parents on content of sex education in schools. b) The proposal for food hampers has been dropped. c) Date set for litter pick. The primary school would like to be involved as part of their plastics project – will discuss later in agenda.
  4. Police Matters: KCC – Police Report April 2021  (D Mcb no longer Secretary  but still receiving mail)
    vandalism; Covid breaches; street challenge; dog owners; locking up your property
  5. Treasurers Report:  HMcW Account no.1 has £46.30
    Account no.2 has £13,467.63 of which £4,627.26 is the Sports Fund, £2,643.68 is held for groups, and £6,196.69 is unallocated and available to spend. Outgoings – £11.98 for hooks. £143.88 annual fee for Zoom meetings. Income – £325 from KCDT for Dickie Wood work.
  6. Correspondence:  a) Communication from DGC about Litter Pick arrangements, supplying equipment needed. b) DGC about meeting on 5th May for new KCC councillors. It will be open to the public so a notice will be displayed in PO/shop for anyone who wants to attend.
  7. Local Planning Applications: none

Other items:

Update from March KCDT meeting:  JWs notes unfortunately scribbled over, so AG summarised from Minutes.
a) Have the surveyor’s report for Dawson Court, but have agreed not to take this forward at this time, as insufficient business case. b) The Park – have quotes from 3 landscape architects. c) Discussed the implementation of the Education Grant Scheme: nearing final draft. £1000 towards higher education or training course. d) Jenna Morra wood – the old mineshaft is filled with water and at least 20ft deep. Have asked for a quote from Dowling Stoves to manufacture a metal grille to completely cover the hole, as a fence would not provide a safe enough barrier. Could be filled in but is part of the village history. AG has attached a rope in the meantime should anyone fall in. e) Food hampers were rejected. f) D Inglis joining the Park Steering Group.

The Hall: 
MH – nothing new to report, but a question has been raised about the need to re-open the toilets as lockdown restriction ease. The signs are still visible and many motorists are stopping at the Hall only to find the toilets shut. There will have to be an interim phase until all restrictions are removed. Budgeted for twice a week cleaning but not enough, may need to be twice a day, which will cost a lot more, and no income at present. A fund is available for extra cleaning, but many other venues will be applying too, so may take time. The Hall Board will review the situation.

CREPL payment:
A small amount will be available from the Carsecreugh windfarm, shared with Barrhill, New Luce & Glenluce. Kirkcowan will be due approx. £2000 per year and this would be paid direct to the KCC, allowing it to decide how to use it without reference to the KCDT and its grant conditions. Will discuss with KCDT.

Zoom account: MH took out annual membership which will cost £143 inc VAT. Scheduled KCC meetings till next March, but canhave unlimited number of meetings with up to 100 people. MH would have to be the host for any meetings of other groups lasting more than 40 minutes (which private accounts can have free). Steering group could potentially use it as those meetings are usually longer.

AG – Many possible variables when creating paths. More regulations and higher costs to make all-ability paths. The aim is to have suitable paths for buggies, wheelchairs etc around the Park, Rest Garden & perhaps Dickie Wood. So for the other 2 proposed paths keep it simple to start, just create access gates, put up a fence and strim grass occasionally (with help from volunteers?). Railway line – no need for car parking in the meantime. The railway line has a hardcore base already and the grass makes it good to walk on. Initially, walking along & back would be fine, and this could be extended later to make a circular route. The priority should be for all walks to be off-road, getting people off the busy roads. This especially applies to the walk from the village to Johnstone’s Bridge & the Jenna Morra wood on the Wigtown road. The proposed solution is to have a fenced path in the adjacent field from the Waulkmill road end to the bridge. AG is keen to have a path there with graze-under fence so no need to cut grass, and will get prices for making access gates & fencing for both the Wigtown Road and Railway Line. Aim to get this done for the winter. All agreed.

Car Park at Glebe:
CM has a quote from A Paterson to draw up a plan for approx. £800.How much will the actual work cost? Quotes would be based on the plan. The pavement is narrow on the corner, and parked vehicles make visibility poor. Creating a footpath inside the opposite dyke would make a safe pedestrian route out of the village. Residents of Beech Grove are in favour of a car park, but some other residents aren’t. J McC – This is a long-running and contentious issue. Is there written permission from C of S to use their land? There is only a verbal agreement at present, so need it in writing. Get plan to show them the proposal. KCDT directors firstly have to agree to accept only one quote for the plan, and a decision can be made at that point whether to proceed or not. Are there any other traffic-calming measures possible to keep everyone happy apart from speed bumps? J McC – There may be a universal 20mph speed limit in towns & villages within the next few years. Parked vehicles do tend to slow traffic down.

CAP Steering Group:
KD – Park: quotes from 3 landscape architects have been sent out to Steering Group, now waiting for replies as to which to choose. A topography report will be commissioned to measure height differences over the area, which will provide a much more detailed map on a larger scale. 3 quotes will be needed for this – expected cost approx. £1500 – £2000.  
There followed a discussion about play & exercise equipment, different zones & the development process as set out in the CAP. KD – DGC are being kept up to date with any plans which may need their involvement.
AG – also worth considering the area of grass at Teapot Lane which could be suitable for fitness equipment. JW – and could include an all-weather pitch for ball games, but not a full size MUGA.

K Dean (not present) set flag at half-mast for Prince Philip’s funeral, and has a list of designated flag days. Does the Union flag need to be replaced? It is not worn, and has been washed, but not pristine. It will do in the meantime. K Dean has a list of items to put to KCC, CM will ask him to email them to other councillors for the next meeting.
Litter Pick:
Sunday 9th May at 2pm. DGC will supply equipment. School would like to be involved but not on the 9th. They will be in touch to make arrangements. WW – thank you to all of those who regularly pick up litter, not just her – many people do this and also deserve acknowledgement.

Dog Mess:
JW reported more fouling on his doorstep, and also in the park. Known individual has been seen by several people allowing his dog to foul, and has been written to previously. Contact dog warden or police to issue a warning? CM & JW to visit the individual in person. To avoid contamination in the Park, should more bins and bags be made available?  There is only 1 designated poo bin at the top end, but dog poo can be put in any waste bin, provided it is bagged. Would it help to put a sticker on all bins to let people know this?  There is a problem with the notices at entrances to park, they all make different statements  – ‘no dogs’ / ‘dogs on leads’ / no restrictions. This needs to be resolved. AG suggested ‘no dogs allowed’ on all 3 entrances. TV asked who is going to police this? Most dog owners are responsible and it isn’t fair to penalise the majority because of a few inconsiderate people. Need to check if it is legal to disallow dogs in Park? What to do about cat or fox droppings? Could poo bags be supplied at the entrances so that anyone could clean up any mess?

Wooden Planters:
MH asked if the money left over from original planters could be used to buy compost, plants etc. and for permission to get on with the project without further consultation with KCC?  Agreed. JW offered to collect any supplies if needed. Joiner will shorten & repair boxes at beginning of May. Group are currently salvaging plants and emptying the boxes. AG has garden compost available if required.

Chair – Thanks for attending.
A short meeting to confirm new KCC councillors will be held on 5th May.  MH has compiled a pack of useful information for them. As one vacancy remains, other possible Councillors could be considered once the new Council meets.
The next regular meeting of KCC will be held on Monday 17th May 2021 at 7pm, again via Zoom.
The meeting closed at 8.53                                                  

Mary Mackenzie (Minutes Secretary)