Community Council requested to consult local authority on damage compensation and monitoring of radioactive emissions

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RNAD Coulport

At Ardentinny Community Council’s April meeting a local resident requested the following action from the Community Council as part of its remit “to help make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the community it represents.

The request was made in the context of past events at HMNB Clyde and RNAD Coulport. For example, the MOD officially recorded 105 ‘nuclear safety events’ in the Coulport and Faslane bases in 2013-14, and in March 2014 Ardentinny residents experienced damaging impact from blasts at Coulport.

Therefore, the request was made to consult with Argyll and Bute Council “as to where compensation would be obtained should there be any damage to residents’ homes and livestock, e.g., horses; and ‘what emergency procedures have been put in place and how satisfactory are they?”  The Clyde Off-site Emergency Plan has recently been updated and can be found here. The Council has been advised that the population of Ardentinny is in excess of 50, as published in the plan.

With regard to radioactive emissions, it was requested that “the community council consult the local authority on how to ensure that there is consistent and local, independent monitoring of the safety of the beach at Ardentinny and that the results are made public.” Levels of emissions can be found in the RIFE-19 Report on Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (Dec. 2014) which is compiled by the Environment Agency; Food Standards Agency; Natural Resources Wales; Northern Ireland Environment Agency; and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Faslane and Coulport are specifically covered in pages 168-169 and Appendix 2, p.249 & p.254.

According to SEPA, the radioactive waste currently being discharged from Faslane and Coulport is below the current agreed limits and there are plans to agree new limits to better reflect actual discharges together with continuing conditions which require the amount of discharged waste to be minimised.

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Spraying of knotweed (updated)

Ardentinny Community Council recently funded the training of a local volunteer to spray Japanese knotweed. Spraying took place on 24 August, according to signs placed in the beach path area. However, these signs are no longer there and so we have written to the Community Council Convener to request the name of the pesticide used in order to inform the public.

In the meantime, it may be advisable to keep animals under control between Coronation Wood and the entrance to Ardfin avenue and also to refrain from eating any berries/brambles in the area.

Update: We have since been informed by the Convener of Ardentinny Community Council that the substance sprayed was ‘Round Up’.

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Road Kill Ardentinny – Is it Necessary?

Pheasant today near Angle Cottage

Sadly, wildlife fatalities around Ardentinny continue. Earlier today a pheasant was mown down near Angle Cottage on the road along the Glen. One has to wonder how these incidents occur.

Pheasants in the area are particularly tame. They can frequently be seen wandering by the side of the road and, at times, on the road. However, are these vehicles travelling so quickly that it is impossible for them to take avoiding action?

It’s the same situation for squirrels and the crows who crack open their mussel shells on the highway. Are vehicles driving too fast on these narrow roads to be able to see these creatures ahead?

Back in 2010 some local residents erected signs near the Swedish Houses to alert drivers of ‘baby” squirrels crossing. The possibility of signage warning of wildlife has also been discussed at Community Council meetings. However, these have yet to materialise.

One does wonder if this latest incident was related to someone relishing pheasant on the menu for their New Year meal, as just 20 minutes after our photograph was taken, the bird had mysteriously disappeared!

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‘Procedures protect’

This was the quote made by Community Councillor Bill Williamson at Tuesday night’s meeting of Ardentinny Community Council. He was quoting his late father-in-law, Walter Muir, who himself was the Community Council’s first Minute Secretary. The context was a discussion regarding the need for Ardentinny Community Councillors to consider and bring to the table their thoughts on policy and procedures regarding their remit in responding to the individual and collective needs of the community.

The call for this reflection arose from two recent events. The first was the issue of responsibility for informing residents of aerial spraying of bracken on the hills behind the village. The Community Council had been informed of its taking place but considered it was not necessary for the Council to inform the public while others considered it was. On investigation , it was established that the legal responsibility to do so lay with the helicopter company undertaking the spraying. However, it was a contentious issue as the public appeared not to have been informed and it threw up a need for clear guidelines as to the Community Council’s role on this and similar issues.

The second was the issue raised at Tuesday’s meeting (3 April 2012), i.e., the letter of support submitted by the Community Council to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in respect of a planning application for the refurbishment of Ardentinny Hotel. It should be said that there was no objection made by anyone present to the principle of restoring this Grade B listed building and bringing it back to life as a valuable asset to the community. However, concerns were raised regarding whether it was within the Council’s remit; possible conflict of interest; and the accuracy of the Council’s submission in representing the community, given the amount of community pre-consultation.

In any discussion where there is a difference of opinion on roles and responsibilities, there exists the possibility of stalemate. Ardentinny Community Council saw beyond the minutiae and agreed to take the positive step to consider the drawing up of procedures to guide future decisions and action. This prompted Bill to quote Walter as he did. Sadly Walter is no longer with us but his wisdom still resonates in Ardentinny.

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