Minutes of Kintore & District Community Council meeting on October 20, 2020

Minute of Kintore and District Community Council meeting
Held 7.00pm on 20 October 2020 by video conference

Vice chairman, Ken welcomed everyone to the meeting. He reported that he had received the not-unexpected resignations from John Thomson, Ann Marston and Sheila Gray. He thanked all three for their service to the community through KDCC. Ann Marston, he noted, had 23 years of service and, although he did not know the figures, Sheila Gray must have had a similar number of years.

Kenny asked if we were going to make some presentation to them and it was agreed this was appropriate. Flowers were suggested, but Lesley proposed something more long lasting. She agreed to investigate and report back.

Ken welcomed Janine Cracknell and Donna Heron to the meeting.

Ken explained that the proposed AGM had been cancelled as a plan that would have seen nominations for all the key posts had fallen through on October 5. In the aftermath it appeared unlikely that we could expect nominations and so the AGM had been called off. Item 11 on the agenda was to look at options to reschedule.

1. Apologies and Declarations of Interest
Present: Ken McEwen, Bill Duthie, Alan Milne, Kenny Thomson, Drew Cullinane, Lesley Monaghan, Jess Lumsden, Jamie Grant, Paul Davison, Janine Cracknell, Donna Heron.
Apologies:, Cllr Fergus Hood, Martin Ford (who had technical issues trying to connect by phone)
Police: No police in attendance

2. Proposal for the co-option of Janine Cracknell and Donna Heron.
Janine Cracknell and Donna Heron were both unanimously co-opted onto KDCC

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

4. Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes were approved by Kenny and seconded by Lesley.

5. Matters arising:
Lesley had been uncertain about International Paper still owning the wall at Crichiebank.
Ken suggested the Kintore Community Plan, and its possible updating by the Garioch Partnership, would be best held for when we have new office bearers in place.

The question of whether we should resurrect a garden competition in 2021, would be also be a good matter for a new team next year.

Ken reported that there were now 24 noted interests in allotments for Kintore. Kenny said it had been suggested that Action Kintore, could provide the charitable status for the allotment group and Kenny was due to sit in on a meeting of the group on October 21.

The possibility of combining Kintore Konnect, Kintore website and Kintore Facebook and involvement of young people was something that should considered by a new KDCC team.

Ken had reported Paul’s concern and the location of the accidents black spot on the B993.
The Tuach Burn Sub Group was on the agenda.

6. Police report
The police report had been received. It reported an assault with person charged. Four public nuisance cases, which were noted as “mainly youth behaviour and vandalisms”. On the Road Traffic crimes Ken explained to the new members that these incidents were sometimes on the A96 past Kintore, rather than in the town. There had been five road traffic crimes, namely speeding, drink/drug driving, no insurance and tyre offences. There had been two crimes noted as “minor possession of cannabis”.

7. Urgent business
No urgent business.

8. Treasurer’s Report
Community Council Account
The balance of the Account shown in the latest Bank statement dated 5 October is £3748.63. £1143 of that is ‘ringfenced’ money held on behalf of Lend A Hand Kintore and deducting that sum, the available balance of the Account is £2605.63

The only transaction since the last meeting was the cheque for £142.75, issued to Aberdeenshire Council on 24 April, as payment for the installation of a defibrillator at Kintore Primary School has now been cashed. There are no outstanding cheques.

Floral Displays Account
The balance of the Account shown in the latest Bank Statement dated 30 September is £1932.02.

9. Planning matters
Ken reported there had been no significant planning applications in Kintore since the last meeting. There followed a brief discussion about building work on Gaughhill Road. Paul reminded the meeting that KDCC had objected.

10. Kintore Community Action Plan
Copies of the 2015 plan and the draft vision for Kintore had been circulated. It had been suggested that the Garioch Partnership might undertake a review and update of the Action Plan. Ken felt this would best be instigated under the leadership of a new KDCC management team.

11. Proposal for a rearranged AGM
Ken explained that (dependent on the coronavirus situation) the community council elections should take place in May and our usual plan is to hold the AGM the following month, June. The question for this meeting is whether we would wish to try for an earlier AGM. Drew said he was intending to step down as secretary and would not be staying in post until June. Kenny suggested we look at a February AGM and hoped that we might find people willing to be nominated for the key posts by then.

Ken confirmed that he was willing to remain as vice-chair and caretaker until February and possibly longer if there was a shortage of candidates. However, he pointed out that the constitution requires that we elect a chairperson, vice chair, treasurer and secretary. (The posts of treasurer and secretary can be combined and it is also possible to appoint an outsider as secretary and to provide some payment for the service.)

Ultimately, however, Ken pointed out that a failure to fill the key posts of chair, vice-chair, treasurer and secretary would inevitably mean the community council would be dissolved. So it was important that all with an interest in the continuance of KDCC consider putting themselves up for nomination, or helping to identify people who would be willing to be co-opted to KDCC before the AGM with a view to standing.

12. Action Kintore/The Bothie
The Bothie is getting back to providing its groups for young people. However, outside groups cannot yet be allowed to use The Bothie again. This means that one source of revenue from event bookings is not available at the moment.

Progress is being made in raising the funding necessary to press forward with producing the necessary plans for the Town House renovation and transfer. Drew said it was difficult to get funding from businesses at the moment. As previously reported, there is a suggestion that the allotments group could used Action Kintore as a charitable body as they take forward their plans. Ken also thanked the trustees of The Bothie for rolling up their sleeves to repair the vandalism and the cracks on the frontage. A new surveillance camera system is required. A website is currently being developed.

13. Flooding
The recent flooding had fortunately not caused the property damage that we have seen in previous flooding episodes. However, there had been flooding of gardens and flooding on Kingsfield Road. Part of the reason people were caught out was that the SEPA warning was changed to red fairly late. Jess talked about a failure of the bunds and Ken noted that our councillors were aware and were taking this up with Aberdeenshire Council. It was suggested that a meeting with SEPA and should be arranged and this might be facilitated through the MSP for Kintore.

It would be good to find out what has happened to the Flood Study that started in Inverurie and was due to be extended to Kintore. A comprehensive study of the Don and the burns that feed it, through Kintore, was needed.
As Ken, as vice chair, was in a different constituency it was suggested that someone else should approach. Jess and Lesley agreed to make contact.

14. Tuach Burn Sub Group
It was still unclear as to what could and should be done. There were questions about the landowners’ responsibilities and concerns about setting a precedent if the Sub Group were to take over work to clear the burn. There was also a question about whether creating a straighter, clearer burn would just speed up the flow. Ken suggested that this was something that should be discussed if a meeting with the MSP and SEPA can be arranged. The question of Tuach Burn should be considered in tandem with this.

13. Kemnay Academy Parents Council
Janine had offered to become our representative on the parents council. This link with KDCC had been welcomed by the parents’ council and Janine would be our representative. Janine gave a report of what had been discussed at the meeting. This included the challenges of going back to school after the lockdown. Issues with behaviour of pupils in Kemnay, going to shops without masks. The S1 and S2 pupils have been paddling in the Don in close proximity to the school and it has become necessary for the head teacher to patrol Kemnay every lunchtime.  Parents are being contacted to support good social distancing and mask wearing amongst the pupil body.  The council meeting was the day before the Scottish Government’s decision to cancel the Nat5 exams. 

14. Community Council Chair and membership
Since putting this on the agenda, it had been agreed that the AGM would take place, as earlier stated, preceding the October 20 KDCC meeting.

15. Aberdeenshire Councillors’ Update
Cllr Martin Ford had messaged the chairman to say he had not been able to join the meeting by phone. That being the case, there were no councillors present.

16. Correspondence
Drew said that Aberdeenshire Council were about to announce a new initiative to bolster town centres following the Coronavirus lockdown. He was awaiting details. He reported other correspondence, none of which required discussion.

Ainslie Reid had written about bedding plants for the Kintore Floral Group for next year and whether they need to make other arrangements.

Ken reported that the owner of a house next to the station had written about a belisha beacon that is causing annoyance. He believes a councillor has taken this on.

17. AOCB
Lesley reported that up Castle Road the wall seems to be needing repointed.

Ken apologised for the technical issues with WebEx. Bill had been unable to unmute his sound and Donna had not been able to rejoin for the last few items. Cllr Ford had been unable to join by phone. Kenny had severe sound “chop” on his microphone. And unmuting of microphones had been slow. Martin Ford had asked if we would switch to Aberdeenshire Council’s system. Janine said that the Kemnay Parents’ Council had used the council system. Janine said that she didn’t see the others in the meeting and was very limited, she felt like a bystander on the Aberdeenshire Council system. Ken said he had tried the council system with Cllr Lonchay and had found it not very intuitive and would also require a councillor to operate the meeting. Over-optimistically he had hoped we would be soon be able to meet physically and so had turned down the option. The feeling of the meeting was that – not withstanding the issues tonight – WebEx had worked well for us.

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