Meeting held on Zoom on 14 July 2020 at 7 30pm
Councillors: David Richmond (DR) (Chair), Peter Cailey (PC), Suzette Harris (SH), Jonathan Henderson (JH), Helen Keating (HK), Fiona Power (FP), Nigel Scott (NS), Francois Van der Zee (FZ), Councillor Jane Maitland (JM)
Minutes Secretary: Susan Miller (SM)
Apologies: Robert Dodds (RD), Ruaridh Hesketh (RH)), Councillor Pauline Drysdale.
2 Conflicts of Interest
2.1 DR reminded members to be mindful of any potential conflicts of interest and to declare them if necessary.
3 Public Forum (Agenda item 2)
3.1 There was no public forum. Matters raised by the community were dealt with at item 8 and 16.
4 Police Report (Agenda item 3)
4.1 There was no police report.
5 Dumfries and Galloway Report (Agenda item 4)
5.1 JM spoke about D and G Council’s plans for re-opening towns after lockdown; Gatehouse would be included in the 3rd phase as one of the smaller towns. There was some discussion of the concerns as tourism started up again but the need to restart local businesses was recognised. It was noted that the D and G Council road signs discouraging visitors had been replaced by signs on lamp posts encouraging Covid19 respectful behaviour. JM said she would report back the feeling of the need for caution during the coming months.
5.2 JM reported that D and G Council was now moving back to normal operation with a full Council in person meeting taking place at the end of July. There would be no summer recess.
6 Minutes of meeting on 12 May 2020 (Agenda item 5)
6.1 SH said that information on the ongoing risks of online fraud had not been posted on the Facebook page and DR said he would remind RH.
6.2 SH said she had been unable to find the planning application for Galloway Preserves on the D and G Council website. FP confirmed it was on the website but there had been no progress on it since the last meeting.
6.3 The minutes of the meeting on 9 June were agreed. The formal proposal was made by SH and seconded by FZ.
7 Matters Arising (Agenda item 6 – Boreland Wood)
7.1 DR said that Cllr Campbell had agreed with relevant officers that a site meeting would take place as soon as conditions allowed to which the complainant would be invited. In the interim DR would ask Cllr Campbell if the smiley sign could be relocated to the ‘danger’ zone and HK would ask CCES to cut back the trees/bushes and repair the light. DR asked members to consider items to be raised at the site meeting to facilitate a structured meeting.
7.2 FZ advised that nothing further had been heard regarding Duncan McConchie’s (Laggan) initiative to restart local businesses post lockdown.
7.3 NK said that some remedial work to cut back the overhanging bushes at the unoccupied house in Dromore Road had been carried out and the situation would be kept under review.
8 Chair’s report and Correspondence (Agenda item 7)
8.1 DR asked members to consider the 2020 Review of Amended Scheme for Community Councils for consideration at the next meeting.
8.2 DR said that an application had been received from the Community Centre for funding from the Common Good Fund. He would circulate the application for consideration at the next meeting.
8.3 DR said that as lockdown conditions eased and people resumed their normal routine and activities the helpline and volunteer rotas were getting harder to fill. After discussion it was agreed that DR would stand down the volunteers from the end of July when the shielding arrangements were due to end and ask all volunteers if they would consent to their details being held should the need arise to restart the arrangements in the future. He would also contact the Spar to see what ongoing arrangements, if any, they would put in place for deliveries from August onwards. JM suggested that Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway might be able to provide details of local volunteers.
9 Planning Applications (Agenda item 8)
9.1 JH and DR took no part in the discussion of item 9.2 (ii) and (iii)
9.2 FP reported that since the last meeting
(1) there had been no planning decisions
(2) there had been three new applications:
(i) Construction of an earth-banked slurry lagoon, at Cally Mains Farm, Gatehouse
(ii) Formation of a window opening, installation of 2 timber windows on side elevation + demolition of disused hipped and flat-roofed extension to side elevation at the Murray Arms Hotel, Gatehouse (full and listed building consents required)
(iii) Felling of 2 Portuguese laurel trees, 5 beech trees, 2 sycamore trees, 5 Leylandii, 2 ash trees, 5 holly trees and pruning of 1 copper beech tree at the Murray Arms Hotel, Gatehouse of Fleet.
(3) the Council had been consulted on the application at 27-29 High Street, Gatehouse, and after receiving nine email replies from members a response had been sent at the end of June (see documents for Application 20/0383/FUL on D and G Council website).
9.3 Members agreed that comments would be submitted to the Planning Office regarding the Murray Arms applications.
10 Treasurer’s Report (Agenda item 9)
10.1 PC reported that the Admin Account stood at £638, the Common Good Fund (CGF) at £1644 and the Covid19 fund at £367.
11 Lockdown Signs (Agenda item 10)
11.1 See item 5.1 above.
12 Community Centre (Agenda item11)
12.1 See item 8.2 above.
13 Smiling Sweepers (Agenda item 12)
13.1 The town’s voluntary group of street sweepers, the Smiling Sweepers, had sought the Council’s help in finding a suitable location for storing the sweeping cart and tools. A number of options were considered and DR agreed to liaise with Ken Smyth regarding the store behind the former TIC in the Spar car park and to ask Mandi Houfe if the Community Centre would be suitable. JM said StreetScene should be consulted to see if they would provide funding for a suitable shed.
14 Memorial Tree (Agenda item 13)
14.1 HK said that Thomas Mackie was very pleased at the Council’s support. After further discussion it was agreed that DR would liaise with Nigel Barrass of the Forestry Commission and StreetScene regarding options for type of tree and siting and HK would ask Thomas Mackie if he wished to be involved in those discussions.
15 Cardoness Lights (Agenda item 14)
15.1 The Council noted that the funding application had been unsuccessful and considered other options. After discussion it was agreed that DR would approach the GDI and, if it was unable to support in full or part, consideration would be given to funding via the Common Good Fund and/or some form of community fundraising (eg JustGiving, raffle etc).
16 AOCB (Agenda item 15)
16.1 DR referred to recent news reports regarding the possible closure of Kirkcudbright Hospital – the meeting agreed the Council should support any efforts to retain this local service. Mention was also made of news reports that Boots the Chemist plans to close some shops across the UK and the Council noted its concern at the possible impact on local delivery of vital community services.
16.2 HK reported that
(1) a further town crier’s outfit had been located and it was agreed that it could be displayed in the Mill on the Fleet and loaned out as required.
(2) the report on conditions of public seating in parts of the town had been sent to Robert Lowther
(3) there would events each day of Gala Week although not a full programme
16.3 HK asked when meetings would resume in the Community Centre. SM advised that the committee were awaiting confirmation that they could reopen which would not be before the end of July; plans were being made to make the building Covid19 secure and August might be a possibility but September might be more likely.
16.4 DR confirmed that the toilets in the car park were now being unlocked and re-locked daily by a D&G sourced individual.
16.5 SH raised complaints received about access to the beach at Newton Farm and at Mossyard. The Council noted that road at Newton Farm was private and therefore a matter for the owner and at Mossyard was public and therefore a matter for the Council.
The meeting ended at 9 25pm
Next meetings: 11 August, 8 September, 13 October