MEETING HELD AT 7:30PM ON TUESDAY 14th MARCH
IN THE SUPPER ROOM AT THE KIRKCOLM VILLAGE HALL
PRESENT: – Susan Irons (KCC), Sara McCulloch (KCC), Gail Adams (KCC), Malcolm Baker (KCC), Thomas Cochrane (KCC), Kerry Monteith (D&G Council), Morag Rowley (Lochryan Sailing Club), Sarah-Jane Coleby (Resident), Bobby McKie (Bowling Club), Jane Stanistreet (Kirkcolm Primary School), Mark McFern (Police Scotland), Elaine McGregor (Kirkcolm Nursery), Jean McKeown (WRI & Church), Willie Scobie (Councillor)
APOLOGIES: – Angus Carrick Buchanan (KCC), Ian Morral (KCC), Iain Dick (Councillor), Peter Joiner (Resident)
The minutes of the last meeting were verified by Sara McCulloch and seconded by Susan Irons.
Mark McFern told the meeting this area had been quiet as usual. He said the new law regarding using mobile phones whilst driving is in force as of the 1st March 2017, if caught you now get a £200 fine and 6 points. He also mentioned that the Dumfries and Galloway Mature Drivers Scheme has kicked off in the four areas to improve road safety. It is a self-referral scheme to improve older driver’s confidence. There was a Microsoft Windows scam and a Fraud Squad scam in the area recently so the public need to be aware of these and make sure they take all necessary precautions. Mark McFern also mentioned the palm oil that has been found on Agnew Park beach as half a ton has been lifted. The public need to be aware of this in case of it getting washed up on the Scar or any nearby beach. There has been a press release came out now from SEPA on which there is a number to call if you see any. This palm oil is highly toxic to dogs and there have been many ill and dying. Mark McFern also said the only change to car seat laws is in the manufacture. If the car seat has a no 03 or 04 on the tag at the side it is fine but if 01 or 02 it does not conform anymore to the law.
- KERRY MONTEITH, WARD WORKER
This is a new position within Dumfries and Galloway Council as there has been a restructure from 6 directorates down to 4. Scottish Government has also introduced new legislation, the Community Empowerment Scotland Act 1995 which gives the communities more rights. It contains 7 topics which are participation request, communities right to buy land and buildings, community asset transfers, common good buildings and land, the declaration of forestry commission operations, football clubs, allotments and various things in relation to reducing business rates. The Act really is introduced to empower communities to give them the right to request land especially if it is unused or derelict and for the likes of community buildings. The Council is in first stages of transferring assets and undertaking of facilities and public halls. The Council is also having to draft a food growing strategy for the region which she will be coming back out to ask the KCC for help with this for our area.
Participation request is another aspect which is taking services away from the Council or the NHS and delivering them for the good of the community. Kerry’s role is to help the community look at these things and work with groups to see what their strengths are. Another part of her role is asset transfer, she is currently working with Portpatrick Benefit Society to put a bid in to take over the public toilets and Portpatrick Community Council to take over the hall. Another part is community resilience and regarding this she had contacted the Chair, Ian Morral who said most of the names she had were no longer on the community resilience team. This is about knowing your community in case of emergency and who is vulnerable etc. Sara McCulloch asked Bobby McKie if he was on this team and he said he was but Kerry said she only had 3 contact names. The community resilience sit under the KCC insurance but do not need to be members of the CC.
Kerry also works with other community groups to look at funding, build their capacity, build their skills and volunteers. She is also a lead officer for the Health and Social Care integration to look at the Council in this respect. Stranraer Common Good and the Wigtownshire Educational Trust are other parts of her role. The first would not be eligible for Kirkcolm but the second is underutilised and example is if someone was looking to go on a trip and couldn’t afford it. Kerry said she would send us a list of funding sources to clarify all this for the KCC. Malcolm Baker said the KCC got in a twist recently as to whether they could help people or not. Kerry said this should come be under the Constitution and the KCC should set rules or criteria for what the KCC would fund for.
Malcolm Baker asked Kerry Monteith when she was talking about asset transfer what would happen about transferring assets from the KCC to the Kirkcolm Community Trust. Kerry said there will be legal matters that the KCC would need to conform to as you can’t just pass things over. Malcolm Baker said the Trust would be distributing the Windfarm money. Kerry said if they wanted to pass funds over to another organisation there would need to be robust means to make sure this is spent appropriately. She said it was best to ask the CC team Fiona Ritchie and Wilma McKeown at the Council about the legal side of what they can do about transferring funds. Kerry Monteith said she is also looking at trying to get communities to do work themselves instead of passing over to a third party to save themselves money. She said Susan Irons and Sara McCulloch has her contact details if anyone needs any help with anything at all.
- PLAYPARK, BAYVIEW TERRACE
Sara McCulloch told the meeting this has been an ongoing matter for about nine, ten years, trying to build a new playpark for the kids which Kerry Monteith has been helping her on recently so she wished to bring it forward before she left. It has taken 2 years to get DGHP and the Council to write an agreement for insurance to take away the swings and put in 10 pieces of equipment. The problem she now has is the funders now want match funding, the Playpark group only have £4000 but need £15000 as the park is costing £31000 with insurance and everything all in. Jane Stanistreet asked if she had thought about in kind contributions where a volunteer gives their time and it has a value to it. Kerry Monteith said many funders do not except that anymore, Holyrood Trust perhaps do but they will only fund a piece of equipment but they are for the older children. The other problem is the funders want a lease on the land or for groups to own it. Kerry Monteith said DGHP won’t ever sell land but she is not sure how that stands now with the Community Empowerment Act. DGHP did give the letter for permission to build but a lot of funders have come back and said that is not enough. DGHP offered a more robust letter but this will still not be enough. Sara McCulloch said she did not know how to go forward with this, the playpark group have a couple of fundraisers coming up, a Car Boot sale on 9th April 2017 and a quiz sheet. Willie Scobie said there must be some way to get raise the money. Sara McCulloch commented that the group did not want to ask for the windfarm money as there will be others bidding for it as well. Malcolm Baker said the windfarm money survey is ongoing and then a plan can be drawn up and it may be looking for projects to fund in the first year. Sarah-Jane Coleby suggested looking at the funds where big companies the likes of B&Q give out grants and you can get everyone to vote for your project to get funds donated. The Tesco Bags for All is another fund that can be looked at in this way. Willie Scobie asked what DGHP had said exactly about the land matter. Kerry Monteith explained they said that they do not sell land and they had already given a letter for right to build. Then they said they might be able to do a lease but there would be a cost for legal fees, which is obviously not acceptable but are now going to go away and see if they could do anything else. Willie Scobie said he would contact DGHP to see if he could help in any way. Kerry Monteith said hopefully if we can get an agreement on the land then hopefully we can apply to funders. It was decided to wait on getting the land sorted and then trying to go forward with funders.
Thomas Cochrane asked Malcolm Baker what he meant in his last email about spreading 4 thousand pounds. Malcolm Baker said he meant transferring of funds from the KCC to the Kirkcolm Community Trust. Willie Scobie said there needs to be clear objectives in the constitution before doing this. Malcolm Baker said the Trust constitution had been approved by the Windfarm. Thomas Cochrane asked is the KCC not spending that money so that is why you want transfer it to the KCT. Malcolm Baker replied that at the KCT meeting it was said perhaps it might be best to move £4000 to the KCT and leave £4000 for the KCC running costs. Willie Scobie said it would not be for the KCT to decide that it would be the KCC that would decide if they wanted to transfer money. The KCT cannot just establish itself and say we’re taking half the KCC money. Malcolm Baker replied that the people were not the same but Willie Scobie said this did not matter it was for the KCC to decide. Malcolm Baker said that is why it was on the agenda. Willie Scobie said this would be clear in both groups constitutions. He said the people in the KCT on the KCC would need to declare an interest and be very clear as it is like giving money to yourself as it is public money. Jane Stanistreet said that at the Parent Council they have silent ballots for people to vote as they can raise an objection without it becoming personal as not everyone is interested in a play park for example. Kerry Monteith said that as the KCC has done the consultation that will give the voice of the community as to what they wish to do with the Windfarm money. Jane Stanistreet asked Sara McCulloch if she had asked the Church for some money for the Playpark. Bobby McKie said the concern that he has for the children is them running out onto the hill and cars flying up and down Church Road.
- BOOKKEEPER FOR KCC
Thomas Cochrane said the retired bookkeeper James McDonald is willing to take on this post for KCC. Malcolm Baker asked do the KCC now need to meet and interview him. Thomas Cochrane said he is going to be independent of the KCC. Malcolm Baker said there should still be a Treasurer but they will hand all the stuff to the Bookkeeper. Sara McCulloch said there should be financial reports at every meeting as Jane Stanistreet has at every PC meeting. Jane Stanistreet said she had been to many KCC meetings and never seen any financial reports at all. Malcolm Baker proposed that the KCC call an interview meeting with James McDonald. Sara McCulloch said we needed to get all accounts and books from Karl Jackson Barnes. Malcolm Baker said we also need an asset register and Ian Morral had started creating one. He said Ian had passed it on to him and he would get onto finishing it.
- O. BOX AT KIRKCOLM HALL
Sara McCulloch said the KCC would like to get a P.O. Box for outside the Kirkcolm Hall as there were things going to all different people in the KCC. Morag Rowley said the Sailing Club got one and you need to get the letterbox registered. Sara McCulloch asked her where they got their post box. Morag said they just bought it. Susan Irons said we would need to ask for permission from the Council to put the box on the wall. Willie Scobie said all the post should go to the Secretary but Susan Irons said she hardly gets any post for the KCC. It was decided to get permission from the Council first before putting this to a vote.
- TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO KIRKCOLM COMMUNITY TRUST
Malcolm Baker said he proposed that we transfer £4000 to the Kirkcolm Community Trust when it is established from the KCC account and split the remaining funds clearly between the funding to run the KCC and the remainder to be available to be used by the KCC. Thomas Cochrane asked in future years where does the KCC get its money from. Malcolm Baker said it would get the CC grant from the Council. Thomas Cochrane said the KCC would not be receiving any of the Windfarm money though. Malcolm Baker told the meeting the KCC get the grant for running expenses from the Council which is about £500. Thomas Cochrane said he thought the KCT would have plenty of money if the windfarm money was going there and would not need any money at the minute. Sara McCulloch asked for a vote and stated there was only 5 voting members present. There was no seconder for this proposal and 3 members voted no, one voted yes and the other would not comment. Willie Scobie asked who was all on the KCT and said if there was 4 Kirkcolm Community Trust members on the KCC things needed to be very transparent. He said they were voting themselves money and should be declaring an interest. He also said public perception needed to be considered. Jane Stanistreet commented that everyone sitting round the table are volunteering their time and have the best interests of the community at heart. She said if the KCT needs set up costs they need to come to the KCC sure about what they asking for and how much they need. It was decided to leave this matter to discuss at a further meeting.
- VOLUNTEERS FOR CORE PATH
Sara McCulloch told the meeting there is £10,000 ringfenced in the KCC account to be spend on the core path and the KCC are looking for a volunteer to take it on. Thomas Cochrane said the Government is doing the core path right from Portpatrick round to here so why would we spend this money on that. Malcolm Baker said it was the two miles walk and had been allocated by the Rangers, by the Council and we had to have it ringfenced as it was not spent by the end of the financial year and they wanted to protect that money so it had to be spend on that path. Sara McCulloch said could we not spend it to get a telescope and a bench for at the end of Fishers Lane. Jane Stanistreet asked if there was a plan in place when the funding was applied for. Malcolm Baker said it was years ago, with old members who left the KCC and was interrupted by the work on the waterworks. Thomas Cochrane asked if he could take this on and Bobby McKie offered to help him with it. Thomas Cochrane said all the grass needs cut down the Scar Road as well.
- FILING CABINET
Sara McCulloch told the meeting that someone in the village has a four-drawer filing cabinet that they wish to swap for the KCC’s two drawer filing cabinet. This means there would be extra room for all the KCC books and papers from previous years. Susan Irons commented that it was Ian Morral that had the filing cabinet. This was proposed by Thomas Cochrane and seconded by Gail Adams and agreed by all.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Jean McKeown asked for £50 to buy Easter eggs for the Easter egg hunt. This was proposed by Sara McCulloch and seconded by Thomas Cochrane and agreed by all. Bobby McKie said the Bowling Club was doing a Race Night on the 25th March in Stranraer Bowling Club. Bobby McKie said there will be considerable money being asked for from the Windfarm from the Bowling Club. Sara McCulloch commented that there is a pot hole in Bayview Terrace. She also said KCC had contacted CCES regarding the broken bus shelter in Bayview Terrace and she herself had telephoned them but that was two months ago, and they still have not been to repair it. The hard plastic is falling out and a child could fall and hurt themselves on it. Sara McCulloch told the meeting it is now March and normally we have had 2 meetings regarding Gala Day by now and we have had none. The Gala Day was set for Saturday 17th June 2017. Jane Stanistreet said the date for the Mini Walk has been set as Saturday 20th May 2017, it is no longer being hosted by the school. The Parent Council have taken it on and Sara McCulloch said to ask for help from the wider community. Willie Scobie said to contact Hazel Kerr regarding the CCES not working properly as they are trying to improve the system. Malcolm Baker told the meeting he would like to set a deadline for the Windfarm applications for Friday 14th April 2017.