Hard not to write anything this week without considering it under the auspices of the 2015 General Election #ge2015 and how that may affect Dumfries and Galloway. Spoiler Alert: as of Friday morning, Richard Arkless (SNP) is now MP for Dumfries and Galloway Constituency, and by a slender majority of 792 votes ahead of Emma Harper (SNP), David Mundell (Con) was returned as MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, which encompasses the Annandale North ward. Interestingly the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat was narrowly won by Calum Kerr (SNP) so we’re the only ones still in a blue bit on the map of Scotland.
Aside from assisting with the election campaign I tried to keep focus on ward issues, although family duties prevented me from attending Lochmaben Community Council so I sent my customary email report having met earlier in the day in Lochmaben with community representatives to hear the future arrangements for the bedding plants, and how the local community would work with the council to take on local floral pride. It was also an opportunity to discuss the upcoming meeting with DGHP and Taylor Wimpey about dog poo and litter management in the two neighbouring developments with council officers.
The Lockerbie Swimming Pool Trust met on Wednesday night and will be presenting to the Federation of Community Councils for Annandale next week. The focus of the group is now fundraising for the project given that the planning application is now in and working its way through the system, and the data from the community survey carried out last year is available with much detail and evidence to support the current and upcoming funding streams that are available to bid into. Breaking the project down into modular components may allow applications for specific parts of the development and open up potential sponsorship by local and interested businesses to help with the cocktail of funding required to make this work.
Wamphray community are working on developing, or at least modernising their community hall facilities and the Planning Officers within the Council are happy to meet with representatives to offer guidance and support in order to achieve their goals based on some pre-application sketches. Getting in at an early stage really helps projects like this stay on the right track instead of running the risk of investing time and resource working up detailed ideas, assuming it will all be fine, only to discover it may not be!
I reported and dealt with a number of enquiries and raised with the appropriate council officers for road defects and carriageway repairs around Johnstonebridge and Moffat, as well as some issues surrounding St Mungo primary at Kettleholm. The Hightae Primary School matter remains an area for concern. Get in touch if this affects you.