Minutes of Kintore & District Community Council meeting on January 19, 2021

Approved minute of Kintore and District Community Council meeting
Held 7.00pm on 19 January 2021 by video conference Matters arising in bold

Vice chairman, Ken welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies and Declarations of Interest

resent: Janine Cracknell, Drew Cullinane, Paul Davison, Jamie Grant, Donna Heron, Alan Milne, Lesley Monaghan, Moira Moran, Kenny Thomson, Cllr Glen Reid, Cllr Martin Ford, Cllr Dominic Lonchay. Apologies:, Cllr Fergus Hood, Bill Duthie

Police: No police were in attendance.

Declarations of interest
Paul declared an interest in the A96 and the closeness of his house to the preferred Orange route option.

Minutes of the previous meeting
A combination of a mistype and autocorrect had changed Janine to Jean in item 12 the Garioch Community Council Forum, this was now corrected. Alan proposed approval of the minutes, seconded by Donna.

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

Police report
A copy of the police report was circulated. It showed one assault involving youths, a break-in at a fishing hut, three road traffic offences and one possession of cannabis. The police report also confirmed that the police are checking retail premises for compliance with Covid-19 regulations.

Reporting Period: 16/12/2021 – 16/01/2021
Previous Reporting Period:

Current Policing Priorities:
* Community Reassurance
* Drugs
* Road Safety

Community Reassurance:
People: Hi-Vis patrols in order to maintain public confidence and protecting people through Engage, Educate and Encourage.
Property: In line with the above to ensure the security of property.
These will likely change in due course and fall back to more traditional priorities based on crime patterns and community need.

Crime Overview and Explanation:
Assault 1 Involving youths
House Breaking 1 Fishing hut broken into
Public Nuisance Nothing criminal
Road Traffic 3 Fail to stop at an RTC, no MOT, Insurance or seatbelt
Drugs 1 Possession of Cannabis

Assault – Includes all recorded instances of violence.
Housebreaking – includes all break in’s to domestic and commercial premises, including attempted break in’s.
Public Nuisance – All youth annoyance and calls in relation to anti-social behaviour.
Road Traffic – all calls in relation to Road Traffic Offences (speeding, illegal parking, obstruction etc).
Drugs – all reports incidents in relation to drugs dealing and use.

This report covers the period of a month and there is no comparison due to previous reports being missed for one reason or another.
The crimes reported to us during this time have been of minor nature and there is nothing of significant note.

Significant crime/issues within your community:
As above during the reporting period, there have been no significant crimes or highlighted issues of concern.
There have been numerous calls to the area again to assist members of the public, road traffic collisions and general nuisance calls. None have resulted on anything criminal.

As ever there continues to be numerous reports and instances of fraud. Online and over the telephone. I would again urge residents to be extremely cautious and not give out bank details or any details over the phone. Your bank will never ask you to do this. If there is anything suspicious speak with your bank.

Planned Community Policing Activity/Advice:
We have continued our high visibility patrols in all areas of the community and carrying out numerous checks on retail premises and premises who are allowed to operate as essential.

There are no planned operations.

As ever, I would encourage your community to ensure all car and house doors are locked and keys secured, prior to going to bed. A locked door is the most effective way of preventing your property becoming victim to crime.

I would also remind your community to call the police in the event they witness a criminal act, and not merely post about it on social media. It is much easier for us to deal with crime, if it is reported direct to us at the time of occurrence.

Community Policing will continue to focus on reassurance and patrolling during this time.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to be fully understood, but all organisations agree that it will have had an effect on the mental wellbeing on our communities, particularly around personal resilience. 
Sadly we have seen a rise in suicide over the last few months across the region, which is devastating for families and friends, but also impacts widely across communities, as they come to terms with such a sudden loss.  There can be residual feelings of guilt or shame, caused by stigma (the feeling of being judged).

Helping starts with conversation, and not being scared to mention the suicide.  If someone is feeling that low, talking about suicide WILL NOT put the idea in their head, but it might release some of the pressure however.  Educate yourself around suicide, be kind, and ask people how they are feeling, and most importantly listen, you don’t have to be an expert or have the answers or give views, just be an empathetic ear.

Support information:
www.unitedtopreventsuicide.org.uk   - Scotland’s official new movement to prevent suicide
Provides info for those affected by suicide, contact details for services in Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire and allows users to create their own safety plan. Available to download as a free phone app from your app store
SAMARITANS is a confidential 24hr emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland
Phone - 116 123
BREATHING SPACE 0800 83 85 87
Is a free and confidential phone line service
Mon – Thurs 6pm to 2am, Fri 6pm – Mon 6am (lines open 24hrs at weekends)

Urgent business
No urgent business.

Treasurer’s Report
The balance of the Account shown in the latest Bank statement dated 5 January 2021 is £3680.63.
The £68 difference is the total cost of the inscribed mementos purchased and presented to Sheila Gray and Ann Marston following their retiral from KDCC. There is still £1143 of ‘ringfenced ’money held on behalf of Lend A Hand Kintore, so the current available balance of the Account is £2537.63. The balance of the Floral Displays Account at 30 December 2020 is £1377.02. This includes two £50 public donations received after the plea for financial support for this year’s floral displays in Kintore Konnect.

Planning matters
a. There was considerable discussion regarding the Scotia Homes/Town Park development. The general feeling is that Kintore had waited for a long time for its Town Park and what was now being proposed was not what Kintore had been promised. The size of the park had been reduced dramatically and the location had been moved away from its original location, as Paul and Lesley pointed out. It was originally positioned to be as close as possible to the existing centre of Kintore and Paul also believed it had been intended to be at the centre of the site with the housing round it – akin to a village green. The park element was originally to be 4.5 hectares. This had subsequently been reduced to 3.8 hectares, but it was agreed that that must be seen as the minimum size of the park. Paul agreed to prepare a paper to be submitted to Aberdeenshire Council responding to Scotia’s submission.
b. Elm Way flats – other than concerns about parking and visibility at the junction to The Square, there were no remaining issues.
c. Agile Energy – the plans had now been submitted and Paul was studying the environmental impact assessment. Martin stated that the license to operate is from SEPA and the planning permission is
Aberdeenshire Council. There is a clear split of responsibilities between SEPA and Aberdeenshire Council.

Kintore and District Community Council AGM
The Annual General Meeting would take place on Tuesday, February 16 at 7pm, prior to our regular community council monthly meeting. It was recognised that this might only be a few months before a second AGM in June, following the community council elections. The elections and the June AGM are, of course, dependent on the Covid-19 situation.

Action Kintore
a. Ken reported that the allotments group attended the Action Kintore meeting and reported that there was a team ready to take the plans forward and that there was an indication of a possible site for the allotments. it had been suggested that the allotments group might come under the umbrella of Action Kintore to achieve charitable status. However after hearing from the Garioch Partnership adviser both parties believed that it could be preferable for the allotments group to be constituted as a SCIO (Scottish Charity Incorporated Organisation) in its own right.
b. The Town House project is proceeding with plans to be drawn up and submitted along with the asset transfer from Aberdeenshire Council. There had been a question about whether the transfer should include some of the outside areas of the site, so that they could be enhanced. Ken recalled that Aberdeenshire Council has produced plans for the site to be upgraded, including re-paving in Caithness flagstones. Martin raised the question of what Historic Scotland might require. He noted the ground level had been changed at some point concrete steps added to the bottom of the external stairway. He also highlighted that the building had been harled until the early 20th century.
c. The Bothie was currently curtailed by the lockdown and Rachel Lewis was keeping in touch with the young people to try and help them through the current situation. The lockdown also meant that The Bothie was not making any revenue from being rented out as a venue. Drew highlighted that the trustees were looking to recruit new trustees with a strong interest in youth work.

Glen reported that Ann Overton was investigating what opportunities there might be for support of flood prevention measures such as the River Dee scheme to reintroduce meandering, or the suggestion of beavers. Ken reported that there were estimated to now be 450 beavers in Scotland and – although they are protected – the authorities have been persuaded to issue licences to cull a fifth of them. Drew suggested a campaign to get the 2026 date for the Kintore flood study to be brought forward. Kenny had proposed catchment schemes as a promising option. A good example was the parkland between Stronsay Drive and Fernielea Road in Aberdeen. This basin can be filled to hold back water from the Denburn, to prevent flooding, with the water being released slowly down the burn. It was agreed that Jess, Lesley, Drew and Kenny should meet online to consider the options and report back.

Thainstone: Inverurie boundary change proposal
The meeting expressed puzzlement as to why Inverurie Community Council wanted to take over Thainstone from KDCC. Ken stated that he was still annoyed at the misrepresentation by Inverurie Community Council (their submission suggests that KDCC were somehow in default regarding a discussion, where the reality was that there was no contact from ICC on the matter since November 2019). After discussion with the councillors present, it was proposed that the most effective response would be to get a petition, or letter, signed by residents of Thainstone stating their wish to remain in KDCC’s territory. Moira volunteered to undertake this.

A96 dualling: Preferred Route Response
Ken explained that Transport Scotland had announced that their preferred option for the dualling of the A96 north of Kintore was the Orange option, to the west of Inverurie. While we could be glad that the threat of a viaduct of the River Don flood plain had receded, the Orange route would involve a huge cutting through Shaw Hill. KDCC had submitted a response to the consultation calling for the existing route to be upgraded to dual carriageway. Paul pointed out hat the proposed Orange route junction would entail a 2km detour for himself and neighbours to access the new A96. The A96 team were holding a community council forum meeting on January 29 and Paul, Lesley and Moira expressed an interest in attending to put across KDCC’s concerns. (Note post meeting: The A96 team have asked for a maximum of two people per community council, so Paul and Lesley will take part.)

Garioch Community Sports Hub Tennis Centre proposal
Paul feels he has talked to Tennis Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council Sports Hub and he believes he has some understanding. He believes a club is the only way to achieve it as it would need income from a social aspect. We need people to come forward and support it. Lesley reported that the tennis courts in Westhill are well used. Kenny added that there has been a strong demand over the years.

Aberdeenshire Councillors’ update
a. Glen reported that in the recent frosty weather the buses were going along School Road and not on the route through Hallforest, because that road was not being gritted. He has spoken with Stagecoach and Garioch Roads as he believes the main bus route through Kintore should be gritted.
b. Glen has had some complaints about noise and light intruding from the new railway station. He has managed to get the noise reduced and is focussing on the lighting.
c. Dominic says the police report a reduction in all crime except fraud. So people should keep aware.
d. Dominic said that Aberdeenshire Council services are being maintained despite budget constraints and
e. Dominic reported that Ann Overton has been confirmed as Aberdeenshire Council’s Area Manager.
f. A2B dial-a-bus is to be reduced due to low demand.
g. Martin re-iterated the budget difficulties. The draft budget had a £22m deficit and this has now grown to
£24m, largely due to all sorts of reasons related to Covid-19.

a. Planning event details circulated.
b. A96 community council forum details circulated.
c. Community council website accessibility. Ken said that the community council does not currently have a
website, so it is not relevant.

Ken explained that Donna had offered to use her Zoom account for KDCC meetings, which would mean we would not be cut off every 40 to 50 minutes. On a show of hands it was agreed to thank Donna and take up her offer to host the Zoom meetings.

Date of next meeting
The next meeting of KDCC will be on Tuesday, February 16 at 7pm.
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