Boats, Buses, Fly-tipping, and Signs.

These appeared to be the major issues arising at the last Community Council meeting held on 4 October 2011.

All community councillors, bar one, were in attendance, along with seven others, who listened to the lengthy agenda which included the following:

Police Report
The police reported one crime of fire raising of the public toilets at the beach. Someone has been charged and it has been requested that any community service they might be asked to do, be undertaken in Ardentinny. When asked if there was any more news on the fires at the caravan site or the drugs raid at the same location, it was reported that an investigation into the former is still ongoing and that the latter case has not yet gone to court. Apparently the police now try to visit Ardentinny twice a shift and the public are invited to approach them regarding any concerns they might have.

Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer reported expenditure of £20 for Scottish Rights of Way membership subscription and a bank balance of £2049.54 pence.

Forestry Commission’s report
Jessie Crowe reported that the Forestry Commission plan to replace the destroyed beach toilets when funding is available and in the meantime they will leave the portaloos which are in place.

Fencing of the Nursery Field continues to be delayed until the owner of the caravan site completes the work he intends to do.

The rhododendron cutting programme is ongoing; the hedge cutting programme is still delayed until the contractor’s machine is functioning and the Stronvochlan Road work is still on their programme.

The Water to the bowling club will be left on for October after which it will be turned off to avoid frost damage.

Regarding previous discussion regarding the Carrick-Ardentinny route. The Forestry Commission does not intend to erect a bridge or handrail, as suggested and the risk assessment paperwork is available for Stephen Johnstone to inspect, as requested. Someone from FCS is also willing to walk the route with Stephen, at Stephen’s convenience. Jessie also said that distances on the route are marked on the finger posts but it is not possible to state how long the walk will take as it varies from walker to walker.

Questions arising from the FCS report focused on the responsibility of the control of Japanese knotweed on the shore. Suggestions were given on who to contact for advice and training.

Boats
Concerns from the regional to the very local were discussed. The first being the proposal by the Department of Transport to remove the Clyde coastguard service in order to make a saving of 1.4 million. Should this go forward, any calls for assistance in the Clyde area will be handled by Ireland or Aberdeen and this lack of local knowledge could be potentially life-threatening. Sandra Davidson explained that the lifeboats will remain but those controlling them will not know the area as well as the Clyde coastguard and while sailors can often describe where they are, giving local landmarks, they may be unable to give their map coordinates. The Convener read aloud a standard letter of protest addressed to the Right Honourable Philip Hammond, MP which the Community Council could send, if agreed. However, she also asked those present if they had any further local knowledge which might usefully be added. Sandra Davidson promised to email her a paragraph with the information requested.

The second ‘boat’ issue was that of an abandoned boat on Ardentinny beach. It was reported that this had been donated by the owner to a charity auction and had been won by a resident who plans to remove it.

Buses
Councillor Marshall announced that the Sligrachan Sunday bus service would end on the 23rd of October. The new Sunday timetable is available here.

Fly-tipping
In addition to the concern regarding the abandoned boat on Ardentinny beach, it now seems that the area surrounding it has become a tip and Councillor Bruce Marshall was asked if a Council uplift of the offending tipped material could be organised. He agreed to liaise with Teresa Forsyth and try and organise an uplift, as requested.

Signs
Signs of a various nature were a recurring topic for discussion. The Forestry Commission is considering putting up additional signage at the Ardentinny end of the Carrick- Ardentinny route. The content of new signage on the Larach continued to be debated. Councillor Marshall requested a copy of the previous police input on this matter and promised to take it to the appropriate department for consideration.

The Convener also raised an issue, which had been carried forward from the previous meeting, regarding the level of responsibility the Community Council should take to inform residents, by way of a notice, of any future aerial spraying. After some discussion it was agreed that it was the legal responsibility of the contractor to put up signs warning the public and not that of the community council. After further discussion regarding whether or not the legally required signage had been put in place by the contractor and whether the Community Council was required to further inform the community, the Convener suggested that this would be discussed with other Community Councils to establish their responsibility on the issue. It was also agreed that the Community Council would write to the Helicopter Company asking them for details on the content and the location of the signs they claim to have put up. The Convener said she would draft a letter and circulate to all Community Councillors for their feedback & also try and get feedback from the next Caucus.
Ardentinny Community Council meeting Minutes 4 October, 2011 (pdf).

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