Minutes of Kintore & District Community Council meeting on December 15, 2020

Minute of Kintore and District Community Council meeting
Held 7.00pm on December 2020 by video conference

Vice chairman, Ken welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that KDCC did not normally meeting in December, but there were a number of matters to be discussed. Ken reported that awards had been presented to Sheila Gray and Ann Marston to mark their long services with the community council and wished them well in their well deserved retirement from the council. Ken also welcomed Moira Moran to the meeting.

1. Apologies and Declarations of Interest
Present: Ken McEwen, Bill Duthie, Alan Milne, Kenny Thomson, Drew Cullinane, Lesley Monaghan, Jess Lumsden, Donna Heron, Paul Davison, Janine Cracknell, Cllr Glen Reid, Cllr Dominic Lonchay.
Members of the public: Moira Moran
Apologies:, Cllr Fergus Hood,
Police: No police were expected due to no meeting normally in December.

2. Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.

3. Minutes of the previous meeting
Ken apologised for an error in preparing the November minutes meant the Aberdeenshire Councillors’ Report had been omitted. This has now been added to the minutes that will be up for approval tonight. Jess proposed approval of the minutes, seconded by Janine.

4. Matters arising:
All matters arising would come up under agenda items.

5. Police report
No report expected as police had been informed we did not meet in December. Cllr Dominic Lonchay added from an Aberdeenshire Council meeting that police had reported an increase in fraud and scams.

6. Urgent business
No urgent business.

7. Treasurer’s Report
Kenny reported the balance of the community council account was £3483. He reported there would be costs for defibrillator consumables. The Floral Display account stands at £1,327.

8. Planning matters
Scotia Homes/Town Park: Ken thanked Paul for his comprehensive objection to the Scotia Homes proposal. The objection had raised a number of concerns – reduction in the size of the town park and its greater distance from the town centre, suitability of the sports provision, density of housing, disappointing design and impact on Gauchhill Wood. Paul was asked if he could provide councillors with confirmation of the original size of the Town Park as the council officials had a lower figure. On the sports provision it was pointed out that the cricket club had folded, but it was clear that the demand locally was for facilities such as a skate park, tennis courts (a swimming pool was also high on the wish list, but not for a park). Paul offered to respond to Aberdeenshire Council pointing out the facilities the community wants to see in a Town Park.
C&M McDonald Suzuki: Ken thanked Paul for preparing a response giving our approval for the expansion into the adjoining brownfield site with the old derelict garden centre. He had highlighted the need to safeguard the watercourses.
Gauchhill: Paul proposed a response to the revised plans for a new home at Gauchhill. As trees had been removed from nearby, he proposed that we object to the revised plans due to the lack of trees as part of the development. This was agreed and Paul would respond by tomorrow’s deadline.

9. Proposal for rearranged AGM
Ken reported that Alison Cumming had confirmed that there was no problem with KDCC continuing with a vice-chair, but no chair. What we need to do is to decide in January if we intend to hold an AGM in February. If we don’t have a nomination for chairman, we could risk Kintore and District Community Council being dissolved. Janine said she would be willing to be nominated for the secretary’s post, as it was known Drew intended to step down at the AGM. But the critical nomination is for a chairperson and the lack of physical meetings during the pandemic was not making it easy to find suitable candidates. If we do not have the prospect of a nominee at our meeting in January, we should probably plan to continue as we are until the summer when an AGM would be required. So, it was imperative, that all members consider which of our members would stand as chair, or in the absence of an existing member candidate, who we can bring in as a candidate for the chair.

10. Action Kintore
More than £5k had been raised so far to proceed with plans for the Town House. Action Kintore was now planning how to proceed with an asset transfer. At the moment there is a discount for planning applications submitted by community councils, but there is a change proposed that community councils need to be actively involved in the project before submitting a planning application. We need to check that we comply with this requirement.
Due to the local increase in Covid-19 cases, Action Kintore had taken the decision to stop all sessions for the moment. This is obviously a disappointment but it was deemed essential.

11. Flooding
Jess confirmed she had passed various links regarding flooding measures to Ken who had forwarded this to members. However she and Lesley had not yet met with Alexander Burnett MSP, she also said she had got no response from SEPA. She was proposing to speak to Malcolm Allan. Ken reported that three of the community councils at the Garioch Community Council Forum meeting reported flooding as a major concern. Unfortunately the Kintore Flood Study was not due until 2026 and Ken said we understood the fear and concern of those in flood-prone areas, but it was difficult to see how to put together a workable plan to mitigate the threat. Both Jess and Lesley raised the added concern about the potential increase in flood risk if the violet route for the A96 Dualling were selected as it would mean construction a viaduct on the River Don flood plain at Tavelty. Cllr Glen Reid said he had a response from Aberdeenshire Council about the bund in Kingsfield Road. Aberdeenshire Council had also pointed out that the rail works had not included any flood mitigation measures for Northern Road. Ken pointed out that Dawn Brown at the Garioch Partnership said that they had £1,000 that was allocated to Kintore for flooding and suggested Jess or Lesley speak with Dawn.

12. Garioch Area Community Council Forum
Ken reported that he and Janine had joined the video meeting. The bombshell in it was the request from Inverurie Community Council that they should take over Thainstone from KDCC. In their submission they said: “Over the past year we have sought to engage with Kintore & District Community Council… Despite positive discussions, due to a range of factors, not least the lack of Chair of the Kintore & District Community Council and the coronavirus pandemic, we have been unable to agree an acceptable position for either party.” Ken pointed out that Colin Wood of ICC had written to Fiona Cooper on October 2, 2019. Due to her death, there was a delay, but Paul and Ken had met with ICC on November 13, 2019. At that meeting they had said the community council was adjusting to the death of its chairman and they would not comment on the proposed boundary change. There has been contact between the councils on matters of mutual interest since November 2019, but at no point since November 2019 has ICC contacted KDCC about boundary changes. So, it is completely untrue to suggest that “we have been unable to agree”. Moira said that she and others living in Thainstone voted in Kintore and identified with Kintore and KDCC. Ken confirmed Alison Cumming had sent a letter to reassure KDCC that there would be full consultation on the proposal next year.
It was proposed that the meeting take vote on whether Inverurie Community Council should take over Thainstone from KDCC. The meeting voted unanimously to reject the proposal that ICC take Thainstone into their territory.
ICC made a presentation on police involvement with community councils. They had worked with the police to change the format of the reports. It had been accepted that attending CC meetings was maybe not the best use of police time. Ken referred to the delays in getting an answer from the police on dialling 101. He said it seemed extraordinary that you could report an assault online, but you could not report a minor crime. Cllr Dominic Lonchay said that this delay had been raised at a council meeting with police. Alison Cumming pointed out that there should be ward-specific and community police emails for each area.
There was a presentation of Covid-19 impact on communities.
A ‘light-touch’ review included some changes to the community council Scheme of Establishment. Other than the previously-mentioned changes to the ability of community councils to gain discount on planning applications, there was nothing that seemed to be an issue for KDCC.

13. Aberdeenshire Councillors’ Update
Cllr Glen Reid reported that there were new signs at bus stops in Kintore Giving live updates. He was also concerned about parking on the cross hatched areas opposite Station Garage and the visibility problems it caused. He reported that the speed camera had been at the Coop earlier that day. He was disappointed that the November target for the speed calming at the school had been missed and it now looked like being March. Glen has also been looking at the ‘green routes” that operate in Perth and Kinross and provide routes for walking and cycling.

Cllr Dominic Lonchay said that the delays in answering 101 calls was raised at a recent meeting with the police. He highlighted that a new council leader had been elected at the recent Aberdeenshire Council meeting. The budget deficit was a major concern. And there was a move to improve the status and powers of the areas.

14. Correspondence
Drew had circulated correspondence to all by email.

16. AOCB
In response to a question about the clock on the Town House, Drew said there seems to be a fault as it is stopping even when recently wound. Aberdeenshire Council have been informed.
Janine reported from the recent Kemnay Academy Parents Council meeting. There was talk about challenging behaviour from pupils and a need to encourage them to take healthier food and drink. There was a particular concern about energy drinks purchased at RS McColl. Glen said this was something he had taken up with the Coop, but RS McColl had not bee receptive and their head office said it was up to individual managers whether they imposed a 16 age limit on their sale.
Ken asked Moira Moran if she wished to become involved with the council. She confirmed she would and a motion to co-opt her will be added to the January agenda.

17. Date of next meeting -
The next meeting of KDCC would be on Tuesday, January 19 at 7pm.
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