- 08 Feb
Minutes of Public Meeting January 16th 2020
Chairman – David Nicoll
Secretary – Moira Bartrop c/o GO@L,
1 Bowerswell Road, Perth PH2 7DL
Public Meeting (QGM) Thursday, 16 January 2020
Gannochy Community Hall @ 7.30pm
1. Chair David Nicoll welcomed everyone to the Quarterly General Meeting, noting the good attendance on a fairly inclement night.
2. Attending: David Nicoll, Jack Rivett, Dave Beattie, Colin Goodrum, Maurice Gray, Brian Raine, Colin Styles, Terry Myers, Moira Bartrop, Cllr Chris Ahern, Cllr Peter Barrett, Cllr Eric Drysdale and 16 members of the public..
Apologies were offered from Murdo Fraser MSP, and Ralph Anderson
3. The minutes of the meeting on 21 November 2019 were proposed by Brian Raine, seconded by
Terry Myers and duly approved.
4. Police Report: PC Laing reported that
a. crime issues at the Murray Royal Hospital appear to have been resolved since the site recruited its own security staff.
b. there had been instances of shoplifting at the Co-op on Main Street but the perpetrators had been caught and charged.
c. at the time of his patrols PC Laing had not seen evidence of poor or illegal parking but would continue to monitor the area.
d. graffiti “artist(s)” who had defaced the railway bridge and buildings at Friarton had been identified, caught and prosecuted.
e. PC Laing had brought a supply of card defenders to distribute – these help prevent cloning/skimming of debit-credit cards
General discussion followed regarding the questionable, if not illegal, parking outside St Mary’s Monastery when services are in progress: it seems unlikely that a request to install yellow lines will be successful. White lines indicating where gaps should be left are not enforceable and Cllr Barrett advised that PKC would charge for them to be painted. PC Laing agreed he would approach the Monastery to suggest they supervise parking on the road before and during services and the Community Council would write to re-iterate this.
A member of the public raised the subject of the motorists still misusing the yellow box at Bridgend despite the new signage reminding them not to enter the box unless their exit was clear. It had been thought that observation of this rule had improved but recently regular users noted that it was as bad as before the sign was erected. A whole range of questions and suggestions were mooted, mostly repetition of topics from Community Council meetings over recent years:
“Could not the traffic light sequence at Bridgend be adjusted? “
“No, this would have a knock-on effect all the way to Barrack Street.”
“Could cameras be mounted at the junction?”
“No, there would need to be a fatal accident for the junction to be deemed dangerous before cameras could be installed.”
“There are hopes that the creation of the CTLR will alleviate congestion at Bridgend.”
“The CTLR may improve congestion but it will not eliminate it.”
5. Matters arising::
a. Speeding at Conachar Court – speed checks had been carried out but there was no evidence to suggest that motorists were breaking the 30mph limit, rather volume of traffic, the shape of the road and the closeness of the residence’s access to the road junction are the cause of problems. A VAS has been requested but no money for this is available till the March 2020 budget. Cllr Ahern agreed to ask for an “Elderly Persons” sign to be erected.
b. Parking outside St Mary’s Monastery – dealt with in the Police report.
c. Overgrown hedges in Manse Road – Cllr Ahern informed the meeting that letters had been sent to residents reminding them of the need to keep vegetation under control. The response to Colin Styles’ question about trees blocking the light from street lamps was that nothing could be done.
d. Give Way lines at the Gannochy Road/Muirhall junction – improving the road surface at the junction and re-instating the lines would need to wait until Spring – the presence of ice and salt is not conducive to successful, lasting road repairs.
e. Traffic control at Bridgend during public events – the junction had been monitored during events and no discernible evidence of offences being committed had been found. Colin Goodrum pointed out the need to alert drivers from all directions of the changed road priorities at Bridgend during events.
6. Items raised by members of the public:
1. poor local road surfaces particularly on Strathmore Street, Gannochy Road, Lochie Brae and Dundee Road at the Isle of Skye Hotel (where pedestrians waiting to cross the road are regularly soaked by traffic driving through the large puddle there) – improvements are planned and PC Laing noted that he had seen a lorry-load of tarmac on Pitcullen Terrace, probably destined to fill in potholes! Cllr Drysdale asked for a copy of the Facebook message and said he would address the issue.
2. Post-box in Dupplin Road – any queries about replacing the post-box need to be taken up with Royal Mail rather than PKC.
3. Rusting bollards on Perth Bridge – installed as a safety measure to prevent vehicles mounting the cantilever pavements on the bridge, it was reported that these had been rusty before they were installed. Cllr Barrett explained that there was still major work to be done on the bridge. Remedial/strengthening measures had been planned for the underside of the bridge prior to the construction of the CTLR – this was not now the case as the bridge was deemed “safe in the meantime”. Cllr Ahern sought assurance that the bridge is actually safe. David Nicoll stated that he feels the overall condition/appearance of the bridge creates a very poor introduction to the city. Colin Styles reminded the meeting that the services of the Community Payback team used to be available to paint the walls of the bridge and queried if this might be an option now.
4. Brighten Up Bridgend (BUB):
Ian Morgan of News Direct at West Bridge Street announced that the Post Office would open on 27th March – this welcome news prompted a round of applause from the meeting. He further revealed that he had received a contribution of £500 from The Sun newspaper towards the BUB campaign.
Ian explained that he had invited pupils at Kinnoull Primary School to “Design a Christmas Light” with one winner from each of the 7 classes having their design on display in his shop. Members of the public would be invited to vote for their favourite with the overall winner actually having their light created and put up next winter. When he said he would apply to PKC for some of their stock to erect at Bridgend Cllr Drysdale revealed that North Muirton already did this. Ian’s plans for the community next Christmas include erecting a tree in the corner of the Back Wynd car park. He hopes that fellow shopkeepers/businesses will join in his campaign to improve the local area but, most importantly, he needs the support of the whole community to make the new Post Office a success.
7. Rivertree Developments – Murray Royal Hospital
Dave Beattie summarised the background to and the outcome of the developers’ appeal:
“The Reporter has indicated that he is minded to approve Rivertree’s proposed developments subject to PKC and the developer agreeing to arrangements for developer’s contributions towards education and transport by mid-March 2020.
From the Community Council’s view point, we feel that when someone indicates his intentions, he is inviting stakeholders to comment upon these intentions. Thus we propose to write to the Reporter expressing our views on his reported intentions.
The Reporter has accepted a meaningless transport assessment from the Appellant since he considers that the Appellant was badly advised by PKC. PKC, in turn, agree that they misled the Appellant but that bad advice was provided by an employee who has since left their employment.
The Reporter’s attitude was further influenced by PKC’s assertions that the Cross Tay Road Link would address all Bridgend’s congestion and pollution issues thus any additional stress caused by this development would be short lived. PKC has subsequently released detailed traffic analysis showing traffic levels after the new link is commissioned. These numbers, which were not available to the Reporter, suggest strongly that PM peak traffic following the new Tay crossing will not reduce versus today.
The Reporter has taken the view that the Appellant should not be compromised as a consequence of local authority incompetence. He fails to recognise that the Appellant is only compromised once. The long suffering community is continuously compromised.”
Dave informed the meeting that we need to go back to the Reporter letting him know that he has not considered all the information and that the Community is being compromised by PKC. We then need to insist that a reliable traffic assessment is carried out before approval can be given to the second part of the development. His reply to Colin Goodrum’s query about the existence of a proper traffic model was that there is a more sophisticated one available. Cllr Drysdale took Dave’s written copy of PKC’s figures regarding the reduction in traffic volume and said that he would challenge them.
8. Royal Garden Party: David Nicoll told the meeting that the Community Council had been asked to nominate possible guests for this year’s event at Holyroodhouse. Suggestions should be forwarded to the Community Council – by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to BGKCC, c/o GOAL, Bowerswell Road, PERTH PH2 7 DL.
9. Ward Councillors’ Report
Most of this report had been dealt with in previous items but Cllr Barrett noted that there would be a budget meeting at PKC on 4 March. Savings of £5million to £9million are sought and it is likely to be the most challenging budget in recent memory and would have a profound impact on services provided by the Council.
Cllr Barrett reported (i) that the “Light Nights” had attracted approximately 60,000 in 2019. This year a small charge was being levied on two nights to ensure the event was more sustainable.
(ii) that the PKC graffiti removal team will act to remove graffiti within 3 days
once it has been reported.
(iii) that the yellow box at the junction of Bowerswell Road with Dundee Road had been re-instated.
Cllr Drysdale agreed that it would be a very challenging budget and savings would have to come from discretionary sources. Addressing the subject of shop closures he revealed that the City Centre Taskforce was looking at ways to maintain and improve the city centre so that Perth would remain an attractive place to visit.
10. Hillside Hospital Development
Before Christmas Dave Nicoll and Colin Styles attended a meeting regarding this long-empty plot and learned that an 80-bed care home was planned for the site, not residential houses. The proposal sounded reasonable with consideration having been given to the height of the building and to the access point which was to be moved further along the Dundee Road than the existing one. The entry/exit would not be light-controlled but would allow space for passing vehicles so the main road would not be blocked.
In a slight diversion from the Agenda the meeting discussed the proposal to install parking bays in some residential streets, the theory being that marked bays would limit the number of vehicles in the street. This still does not resolve the problem of what is to be done about residents’ parking/permits.
Jack Rivett said he would put a post on BGKCC’s Facebook page regarding PKC’s invitation to participate in their budget consultation.
12. Treasurer’s report:
Colin Styles reported an outlay of £18.99 on two items – the domain name for the BGKCC website and a gratuity for the Go@l office.
Millennium Park £2414.22
Friends of the Millennium Park £190.00
Colin Styles reported that he is awaiting the “top up” for the BGKCC account from PKC but this has been delayed due to the election in November.
12. Any other business:
Mike Irons reported that he had repaired damage to grass verges at Langley Place and Langley Drive caused by works vehicles involved in installing new gas mains. Cllr Barrett said that he would meet with Mike to discuss the problem areas. It was noted that it becomes illegal to park on pavements in March 2020.
Cllr Barrett said he would respond to Mrs Carmichael’s question, relayed by Colin Styles, about PKC’s refusal to reinstate a waste bin.
When a member of the public asked how long it would be before the residents parking permits fiasco
would be resolved Cllr Drysdale noted that the issue at Bridgend was part of a bigger city picture which was complex and very unsatisfactory. He added that local parking should be for residents, not commuters.
Dave Beattie commented that the situation was very unfair and had been handled badly by PKC; the permits should have been re-instated till a proper review had taken place.
The meeting further voiced great dissatisfaction with council workers parking in Commercial Street and walking into town.
David Nicoll thanked everyone for attending, announced the date of the next public meeting and closed the meeting.
Date of next Public Meeting: Thursday, 16 April 2020 at 7.30pm
Gannochy Community Hall, Gannochy Avenue, PERTH PH2 7JR