Community Council adopts new format for meetings and Forestry criticised for no warning of military manoeuvres
Perhaps in an attempt to encourage more community participation, Ardentinny Community Council announced a more succinct approach to its meetings in the future, with any business not concluded by 21.30 being carried over to the next meeting. Also, with the introduction of prior ‘business meetings’, it was proposed that matters arising from the minutes would take a much shorter time and that other items on the agenda could be addressed more quickly. Why not come along to the next meeting and support those who work on our behalf.
The meeting of the 4th December brought to light some interesting issues:The MOD has promised to supply a written response to the concerns raised recently by the Community Council. A member of the Community Council also raised concern that the MOD had undertaken manoeuvres in the surrounding area during November with no forewarning to residents.
David Robertson of the Forestry Commission apologised for not having informed the community in advance but explained that it had been a last minute request for approximately forty troops in training to camp at the beach area and that it seems that they had not informed FCS of the intention to do any more than just camp for one night. He said he would get in touch with the MOD in this regard and report back at the next meeting.
The deteriorating condition of the roads and the lack of gritting and/or signage on the Larach once again predominated discussion with the Community Council promising to write immediately to the Council’s Roads department.
The subject of the proposed windfarm at Cove was raised. It was agreed that Ardentinny Community Council would circulate all residents with outline information on the proposal together with details of the next presentation to be made by the Roseneath Peninsula West Development Trust in the Queen’s Hall , Dunoon on Monday 10 December at 19.00hrs.
Finally, it was agreed to put the question of a local emergency action plan on the agenda for the next Community Council business meeting.
Community Council: Ardentinny Hotel project gets green light; Police Report; Coronation Wood; Memorial bench.
The planned renovation of Ardentinny hotel to provide a bar/restaurant, house, and holiday let accommodation has been approved by the National Park’s Planning Department. This was announced at the Community Council meeting held on 2nd October when the Convenor read aloud a letter from the owners conveying their thanks to the Community Council and the community for their support of the project.
The Convenor also welcomed new Community Councillors Roy Harrison and Marian Norris to the committee and announced that Bill Williamson had been appointed secretary.
Community Police Report
PC Donald MacKay reported that the 3 main areas of concern which had emerged from public consultation among The Shore community were: speeding; bogus callers; and drunk and disorderly behaviour and therefore these were police priorities. He also said that there would be a planned diary of bi-monthly mobile police office meetings with 2 scheduled drop-ins between meetings, so that the community can discuss issues in the interim.
A group of volunteers has begun clearing the wood and they are now awaiting a visit from a tree surgeon. The Village Hall Association and the Community Council are contributing £500 each to this project while the Community Trust will contribute through fund-raising efforts. However, when the Trust began its dissolution process prior to its recent revival, it passed its remaining funds, which were in excess of these contributions, to the Village Hall Association for the benefit of the community. The project is to include new planting, some of which will be undertaken by the local schools community.
Some of you may have noticed that the Memorial bench to Tim and Sheila Honeyman has been removed from the Laird’s grave. The issue was raised by Bill Williamson as he had been approached by the late Mr. & Mrs. Honeyman’s daughter. David Robertson of Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) explained that this is in line with new FCS policy not to have memorials on FCS land. He did say that a new bench will be placed at the Laird’s grave but without the memorial plaque. We can now report that the plaque is being returned to the owner who is considering having the memorial bench at Glenfinart Walled Garden.
In response to the call for more volunteers to serve on Ardentinny’s Community Council, two members of the Ardentinny community came forward as candidates for the recent Argyll and Bute community council by-elections. As the positions were uncontested, Argyll and Bute Council has declared that Roy Harrison and Marian Norris remain validly nominated candidates and shall be declared to be elected Community Councillors of the Ardentinny Community Council not later than 11.00 a.m. on 27 September 2012.
Congratulations and thank you to both candidates for offering to serve the community in this way.
(Information supplied by Argyll and Bute Council)
Ardentinny Community Council repeated its plea for a volunteer to research and possibly take forward a hydro power project for the village. The issue was raised at its bi-monthly meeting held after its AGM on 7 August, 2012. National Park Representative, David McKenzie stressed that the government and its agencies were fully supportive of such projects and cited examples of where the developer pays for the plant in exchange for 50% of the revenue from the grid while the community takes the remaining 50%. Although the figures didn’t always stack up, as it was mentioned that Forestry Commission Scotland also expected 50%, if the site was on their land. Clearly there is a need for further research into the proposal. Anyone interested in being involved should contact Community Councillor, Dennis Gower on 01369 810220.
PC Donald MacKay brought along security UV Marker Pens for community use. These were distributed among the community councillors for further distribution to residents. Alternatively, you can contact Eileen Connell on 01369 810285 for the use of one. PC MacKay also reported successful patrols with Operation Ironworks and it was agreed that there had been no problems at the Picnic area, as in previous years. He reported that he will soon be undertaking the necessary training for his licence to drive the mobile police facility which will then make visits to Ardentinny.
The Forestry Commission’s representative reported that the beach toilets were ready but had not been installed as they are still awaiting the relevant permissions from SEPA and the National Park Planning Authority. She also requested that anyone seeing anything untoward happening at the beach area should contact the police (01369 763000) immediately rather than wait to report it to them within their working hours.
The MOD had still not confirmed whether or not it will send a representative to Community Council meetings. The Convenor reported that she had been invited to attend HM Naval Base Clyde’s Local Liaison Committee Meetings. Councillor Bill Williamson requested that he might also attend and said he thought there was still a case for an MOD representative to attend Ardentinny Community Council meetings as there was a precedent for doing so and that the invitation had been extended in the light of issues published by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator’s annual report 2011. In addition, Community Councillor Malcolm Bartley expressed concern about the plans to *privatise the security provision at Coulport.
Ardentinny Centre closure for refurbishment
Centre Manager Aidan Docherty sent his apologies but submitted his report stating that the Ardentinny Outdoor Centre would close on 20th August for 6 months for the purpose of refurbishing the premises. They hope to be back in operation in the village by Easter or June 2013, at the latest. In the meantime they will operate out of Toward and they are continuing to negotiate the purchase of Ardentinny centre from Argyll and Bute Council.
Letter to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park regarding Ardentinny Hotel planning application from Ardentinny Community Council.
THERE WILL BE A COMMUNITY COUNCIL OPEN MEETING
ON TUESDAY 17TH JULY 2012 AT 7.30. P.M. AT THE VILLAGE HALL TO DISCUSS THE PLANNING APPLICATION. ALL WELCOME
At a meeting held in the Village Hall on 17 July 2012, it was initially unclear if the issue under discussion was one of planning, semantics or something else. A group of 24 residents, both permanent and semi-permanent, gathered last night in the village hall in response to the meeting notice (see sidebar). As the meeting was about to begin, one community councillor said it could not go ahead as it lacked a quorum of community councillors. This was challenged by the three other community councillors present, which included the Acting Chair, who ascerted that it was not a Community Council meeting but a public meeting. Many of the attending public were also of the opinion that it was a public meeting while one expressed the view that they thought it had been called by the Community Council as it had a mandate to elicit the public view before responding to the National Park with regard to the planning application in respect of the refurbishment of Ardentinny Hotel.
As all Community Council meetings are open to the public, except where confidential matters are to be discussed, it is understandable that the meeting notice could be interpreted in different ways. The reality will doubtless be revealed in the minutes of the Community Council meeting that decided to call this additional meeting in respect of this particular planning application. However, what was more important to those in attendance was that the meeting proceed and reach a conclusion.
The Chair conveyed the apologies of the current owners of the hotel/planning permission applicants. He also said that he expected their architect to attend to answer any questions on the planning application. However, s/he was not present. He went on to ask if any of those present had any objections to the planning application. One resident responded by saying that he had already written to the Planning Department in support of the application. Noone raised any objections. Only one resident raised concerns about parking and traffic safety and the Chair suggested that that might be conveyed personally to the Planning Department as it was not supported by others present.
There was discussion regarding the legality of the Community Council conveying the results of the meeting to the National Park Planning Dept., given the unresolved issue of whether or not the meeting was Community Council or public led. It was advised and agreed that any individual Community Councillor, could convey the results of the consultation to the National Park Planning Dept. while members of the public could also personally communicate their support or objections.
For further information on Community Councils’ remit and their role with regard to planning applications see
To view the Ardentinny Hotel planning application and supporting documentation see http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/planning/online-planning-information/menu-id-595.html.
At the Community Council meeting held on 7 June, 2012, there was a refreshing breeze of good news all round.
Policing of picnic area
First, PC Donald Mackay reported positive results from their increased patrols at the picnic area, and indeed letters of thanks to the force had been received in recognition of that achievement. There was also the confirmation that Ardentinny would receive an additional 15 hours dedicated patrols under the Ironworks scheme whereby a member of the force plus a Ranger would police the area at the weekends. This will commence 22 June.
It was agreed that a joint committee comprising a member from the Community Council, Community Trust, and Hall Association would take forward a plan to renovate Coronation Wood. This would be funded, in part, by the Village Hall in addition to possible grant funding.
Actual Reality in negotiations to buy Ardentinny Outdoor Centre
Centre Manager, Aidan Docherty outlined plans to celebrate Ardentinny Outdoor Centre’s 40th anniversary and intimated that Actual Reality is in negotiations with Argyll and Bute Council in order to buy the Outdoor Centre in Ardentinny. He stressed their commitment to the local community saying that this should secure 37 full-time jobs and outlined various activities, such as Community Open Days and collaboration with the Walled Garden project.
Newly elected Councillor Gordon Blair attended the meeting and took on board various issues of community concern and promised to look into and feed back on these. He said he would feed back to the Community Council secretary and to the two other Cowal councillors. He also said that he was meeting with the other Cowal Ward councillors to try and agree a rota system of attending community council meetings within the ward. He said we now have proportional representation and therefore it’s not a question of just concentrating on Colintraive or Lochgoilhead but more a joined up notion of working together and that he would do his bit to make sure that works.
Not quite all good news
It was announced that Community Councillors Teresa Forsyth and Jimmy Gordon had tendered their resignations. All community councillors work voluntarily on behalf of their community and the loss of two of their number is regrettable. Thanks go to Teresa and Jimmy for their invaluable contributions.
The next Community Council meeting and AGM will be held on Tuesday 7 August at 7.30 p.m. in the Village Hall.