Minutes of Kintore & District Community Council meeting on June 21, 2020

Minute of Kintore and District Community Council meeting
Held 7.00pm on 21 July 2020 by video conference

Apologies and Declarations of Interest
Vice chairman, Ken welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Present: Cllr Glen Reid, Cllr Dominic Lonchay, Ken McEwen, Drew Cullinane, Ann Marston, Derek Logan, Rachel Lewis, Bill Duthie, Alan Milne,
Apologies:, Cllr Martin Ford, Cllr Fergus Hood, Kenny Thomson, Sheila Gray, Jess Lumsden (who was unable to join due to technical issues).

Police: No police in attendance

Declarations of interest: none

Minutes of the previous meeting
These had been circulated.

Matters arising:
In Paul’s absence we assume an observation had been submitted about the tree felled at a property on Gaughhill Road.
It was reported that the masterplan for the site at Bridgealehouse, opposite the station, had been turned down.
Rachel had now got backing for her packs for the young people at The Bothie.
Drew has contacted Aberdeenshire Council to seek an increase in community council numbers.
The Tuach Burn sub-group has been formed and a report from them is on the agenda.
Drew will circulate the community councillor guidance.
Kenny has paid the deposit to Fireworx Scotland for the Kintore Fireworks on November 6.
It was not known if Paul and Lesley had followed up on the wall at Crichiebank.
Similarly it was not known if Paul had found out about the work at the Town Park site.

Police report
Ken had contacted the police, but no police report had been forthcoming.

Urgent business
No urgent business.

Treasurer’s Report
Before he went away, Kenny submitted his treasurer’s report:
Community Council Account
The balance reported to the 16 June KDCC meeting was £5323.63, of which £2000 is ‘ringfenced’ money held on behalf of Lend A Hand Kintore. However, £857 of that £2000 was paid on behalf of Lend A Hand Kintore for a special ‘coronavirus’ edition of Kintore Konnect, which reduces the ‘ringfenced money’ to £1143.
The balance of the Account shown in the latest Bank statement dated 9 July was therefore £4466.63.
Pending transaction on the Account:
On 25 June, a cheque for £431.25 was issued to Fireworx Scotland as a deposit for this year’s event scheduled for November 6th. That cheque has still to be cashed by FS and therefore not shown on the statement. That deposit will be carried forward to 2021 if this year’s event has to be cancelled.
There are no other outstanding bills to be paid, nor pay-ins expected.

Floral Displays Account
The balance of the Account shown in last month’s bank statement dated 29 May was £1156.62
There have been no cheques issued but a total of £595 has been credited, comprising donations from a total of 11 private individuals and businesses.
The balance of the Account shown in the latest statement dated 30 June was therefore £1751.62.
Pending transaction on the Account:
As reported to last month’s meeting, a poster and collection can for donations were placed in the butchers shop. It was emptied yesterday by staff and found to contain the sum of £14.38 cash which has been paid into the Account.
Ainslie Reid has bills to pay and will progress that in due course.

Planning matters
In Paul’s absence Ken raised the application for the Thainstone Business Park “For Sale/To Let” sign on the A96. He said it was unfortunate that we seem to have such a short time to respond to applications. He had felt that this new application was materially different from the previous application, which was for a much more promotional sign which, he believed, would potentially be distraction for drivers. This new application, was for a standard sign of the type that people would be very familiar with. The drawings show it would have no pictures or graphics (other than agents’ names/logos) and no small text, just “For Sale/To Let” and a telephone number.

Ken had emailed members to see if they wanted to object to the new application, but received no response. Alan explained he had been away, but when he got back he realised Paul had made some valid points. Derek said his concern was about potential distraction if signs on the verge are taken down and new ones put up. Ken confirmed that there had been an issue at Thainstone with illegal signs on the verges. Paul had managed to get them cleared when a new one appeared announcing reopening of the Porterhouse Restaurant following the coronavirus lock-down.

Lend a Hand Kintore update
Ken said there was not a lot to report. Kintore had been hugely supportive in looking after their “ain folk” in streets across the town. They are working away with a small number of regular vulnerable people who need support. Given the news reports that we may have to live with Covid-19 for the foreseeable future, Lend a Hand Kintore will have a continuing role.

Phoenix Fund event
Drew had informed Aberdeenshire Council that Action Kintore would be taking the lead. Brian Johnstone, former KDCC chair and now chair of Action Kintore, had suggested an event in The Square, something like the early days of the Kintore Summer Festival. Aberdeenshire Council had been given a grant to £5,000 for something to encourage people back to patronise local businesses, the money has to be spent by September 30, 2021.

Brian’s thoughts were to encourage local businesses to set up stalls in The Square, with entertainment, possibly a music stage at Chalmers Mackay (if they were keen to do as they did for the summer festival) and invite people to look around the Town House and hear about Action Kintore’s plans to bring it back into use.

Initial thoughts are that springtime next year might detract from the Kintore Summer Festival, so ideally we should be looking at September/October this year. Ken felt that a name was needed for the event and it should not use the Phoenix name. A list of local business is being drawn up and any other businesses to be added should be passed on through Drew, or Ken. Jess had supplied some new names.

Glen suggested watching the opening date for the station opening, which is expected to be later in October, and whether it could be tied in with that. That way people could come to the event from Inverurie, or Aberdeen, by train. Ken said he hoped that people would come forward to help.

Kintore Fireworks
The hopes are that this can go ahead as planned on Friday, November 6 starting at 6.30pm. The deposit has been paid, but will be carried forward for 2021 if the event cannot take place. The organising team of Kenny and Brian Johnstone believe social distancing can be achieved. Ken said that, as well as the band of supporters on the day, the community council needs to consider continuity and look to find people who will ‘shadow’ Kenny and Brian, so that they can take over at some time in the future. In September, we shall be looking for volunteers for the usual jobs on the night.

Action Kintore/The Bothie update
Action Kintore will front the as-yet unnamed event that will result from the Phoenix Fund.
The first tenders are now in for developing the plans for the proposed redevelopment of the Town House to make it a venue that can be used by the community.
Rachel confirmed that The Bothie is now allowed to open up with a maximum of 15 young people, with suitable social distancing and hand sanitisers. So that will not continue Monday and Wednesdays from 12 noon until 3pm. The focus will be on wellbeing and worries, like going back to school.
Rachel has gone for a funding bid with the Garioch Partnership to get money for PPE and a new laptop. Rachel needs a referee. Glen offered.
Last Thursday The Bothie building was vandalised leaving the strawbales exposed. From the CCTV, two of the lads have been identified with the police. Rachel said she thought the young people are bored and they didn’t realise the damage they were doing. It shows we need to be opening up youth services and places like the Crafty Cafe. Ken said that Kenny had thought an initial estimate of the repair, if it was done by The Bothie trustees themselves, would be around £200, but it’s the principle of damaging a project that is designed to help young people that is troubling.
Ken thanked Rachel for all her work with our young people and said it was much appreciated.

Defibrillator sub group
Ken said that it was great to report that the final of the four new PADs had been installed. A tremendous result. Alan reported the last one of this programme was installed at Rebecca Carr and he said that we had even got a mention from the manufacturer Zoll. So that completes five PADs now in Kintore with a sixth to come when the one at the new Kintore Station is added. Glen said that the station will make it public and ask Alan to monitor replacement parts. Derek suggested that – in case any PAD was unavailable – could there be a card in the box that identified where others were. Alan will produce a laminated card.

Tuach Burn sub-group
Alan reported that the group had inspected the Tuach Burn and found it was not as bad as had been feared. There were some branches and trees, but caution was needed in dealing with them because of noise issues with chainsaws and also concerns about their role in landscape and ecology. He said that once there was a larger body of people gathered, it would be a matter of getting in the burn with waders and pulling out any rubbish that can be reached. Alan said that the more he understands the situation it seems that the flooding risk is the Don backing up and filling the burn. He feels the work is more to make the burn tidy, rather than helping the flood risk. Alan said there was also some confusion about Aberdeenshire Council owning the land. Dominic and Glen suggested sending an email with a copy of the letter and they will take it up with the council.

Kintore Vision and Plan
This was on hold as Paul had offered to look at how other town plans were formatted and if there was a preferred style. So there was not anything currently to be discussed, but Ken said it would be good to achieve our late chair Fiona Cooper’s ambition to update the ‘Action Kintore’ report.

Community Council membership
Drew has followed up the increase in numbers with Aberdeenshire Council. But Ken explained he had put the three names of Alan, Bill and Jamie into a hat and on that basis, it was proposed to nominate Alan and Bill as co-opted members and Jamie as an associate member.

Ken proposed, therefore, that Alan and Bill be co-opted to the community council. This was agreed unanimously.
Ken then proposed that Jamie be brought into the community council as an associate. This was also agreed unanimously.

Ken said he had not had any update on the timescale for community council elections hopefully to be held in September, which would lead to the KDCC AGM hopefully in October. At our AGM members would need to fill the vacant post of chairperson and confirm other office bearers (vice chair, secretary and treasurer) from those elected.

Aberdeenshire Councillors’ Update
Glen had had some concern from constituents about workers coming into the area and potentially bringing COVID-19 with them. He has checked and the developers say that all workers have been screened and a COVID-19 monitor has been appointed.
Glen has had concern about speeding on Kingsfield Road and he has asked for this to be monitored by the police.
Glen said Kintore Pleasure Park and other parks had had a commitment to take away the grass from the first cut after lockdown. Some have been done but the main park has grass about a foot-and-a-half to two-foot long in some places. Blackburn and Kemnay have been done and council officers told him that Kintore youngsters could go to Port Elphinstone or other areas to use the park. Glen pointed out this was unsatisfactory for the tenth largest town in Aberdeenshire with 5,000 people and it was necessary to provide facilities. The Area Manager has got involved and Glen is now waiting for a date when the cut will be done and a commitment to lift the first cut.
Dominic reported that Aberdeenshire Council will have to find £60 million savings in the current financial year. There is a “recovery group” within the council looking at a recovery plan for the area.
Dominic reported that surface dressing season for roads is now upon us, but it will be cut short and about half the roads that were planned to be done will have to be held over.
Dominic says there has been a lot of complaints about grass cutting and weed removal, as Glen reported.
Dominic ‘Spaces for People’ has resulted in a one-way system in Inverurie with wider pavements. He said he was not personally in favour of the measures.
Dominic also said reported that increasing the numbers for KDCC would not be a problem.

Email from Macmillan with resources for cancer support. Drew will forward.
Email from resident asking if KDCC still does a garden competition. Ken said he remembers, not so long ago, residents coming to a meeting to get their award. Ann said he thought that the last one was 2017. Drew wondered how it was nominated. Ann said that she, Lesley and Kenny went round. It was agreed it would not be happening this year, but it could be considered again in 2021.
Lorna Gillespie notifying that the deadline for the September Kintore Konnect is August 7. The September edition will run through until December.

On the subject of allotments, which was raised at the June meeting, Glen said that Aberdeenshire Council were happy to work with a committed group. Ken will put something on Facebook. Glen said the problem is that people say they want something, but they want someone else to deliver it. This, he said would have to be a committed group who would get involved in making it happen.

Derek said he had met with Lorna Gillespie. She wanted to make KDCC know that she was finding it more difficult to keep Kintore Konnect going. The only ways to keep it going was to find new business or generate more from existing business. She is looking to KDCC for ideas, or suggestions of people who might want to take it on. Glen said that Newmachar News is a good example. It is run by the community council. He also thought there was an opportunity to involve pupils attending Kemnay Academy to make it a community project. Derek wondered if the final year school children could take it on. Ken said that at some point he would probably want to stop doing kintore.org.uk and the Kintore Facebook page, so the magazine, website and social media could be brought together. Derek said that Lorna and he had talked about Kintore Konnect going online. Ken cautioned that for every person who wants things digitally, there is a person who wants things in a paper format. Glen wondered if this could also be a way to get younger people involved. Glen will get the name of the contact at Newmachar and the English teacher at Kemnay Academy and then meet with Lorna. It was suggested we aim for this to be geared up for the new committee to take forward after the AGM.

Date of next meeting
It was agreed to maintain the tradition of no meeting in August and so the next KDCC meeting would be on Tuesday, September 15.
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