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Still trying to keep focussed on councillor work despite the considerable distraction of the upcoming General Election, although it’s been good to canvass opinion and get a chance to speak to constituents generally in more remote areas of the ward.
Monday featured presentations from 6 Groups in Annandale & Eskdale who received funding between £5,000 & £10,000 from Area Committee last year, so we were able to hear what they’d been able to achieve with the support and ask some questions on the various projects. This included the ongoing work of the River Annan Trust INNS (Invasive Non-native Species Project), particularly in it’s bid to map and treat all the Japanese Knotweed on the banks of the River Annan. Rockerbie gave a quick update on their efforts to put Lockerbie on the musical map, and the Annan Harbour Action Group gave a comprehensive description of their work to date along with an open invitation to Annan Harbour Day which will have activities for all ages on Saturday 16th May, including a raid on England.
I attended Lockerbie Community Council to pick up any issues raised and provide updates for ongoing work. We’ve written formally to Tankerton, the IOM company that leases the industrial units on Bridge Street, to ask that they ensure future tenants proactively consider the residential neighbours, especially in relation to parking and noise, as there had been some issues with previous tenants before they vacated.
Planning Applications Committee is always interesting and the busiest item was the Mochrum Fell Wind Farm application (13/P/2/0327) where a lot of representors made their views clear to the committee. Unfortunately the Landscape Architect was unable to attend to answer specific questions so we agreed to a Site Visit with the Architect present.
Community Enterprise Scotland facilitated an event for the Lockerbie Old School Project in Annandale Comrades Club, Lockerbie, which had a good mix of ages and interests present. This is one of the projects coming from the community that would fit in with the Lockerbie Regeneration Group model (still being progressed), and in terms of former council assets, it will be interesting to see what this looks like when considered under the much anticipated Community Empowerment Bill.
I got to know the Kettleholm and Castlemilk area a bit more intimately on Thursday and discovered wee pockets of beauty in Annandale that I never normally see. It’s hard only to wear one hat when out canvassing as there are often very local issues that people care about. The irony is that many people sooner go to Facebook than to a ward councillor to try and get a better outcome, if they go anywhere at all, but sometimes it’s just about getting your voice heard rather than getting something done.