This week in Annandale 06/07/2015

Access Ability public meeting in Moffat Town Hall
Apart from the usual ongoing casework the main highlights of the week included the Access Ability public meeting in Moffat Town Hall. This was well-attended by residents and carer or families affected by accessibility issues. Concerns over road and pavement safety and how to get from Annandale Way to the Library, or Ettrick Drive to Benmar (the new home of the Post Office) without incurring unnecessary risk were well voiced.

The familiar themes of common sense and joined-up thinking emerged and a customary bashing of the council over the consistency of dropped kerbs, non-slip pavement surfaces, winter treatment zones, etc., over many years (referring back to the Solway Heritage study in the 2000s which never got pushed hard enough) but it still remained a constructive meeting in that there is an opportunity to really listen to what the community is saying and find a way to spend-to-save on potentially simple solutions that will reduce future issues and make the town more accessible for everyone.

The loudest shout was for a pedestrian controlled crossing on the High Street which if the town wants, the town should have, and the council should help find a way to enable it to happen. In progress.

Kirkpatrick Juxta (Beattock) Community Council
There were a variety of issues raised at the meeting on Wednesday but a few DGHP housing issues which I’ve followed up with DGHP and they assure me they are addressing the issues.

Community and Customer Services Committee
Kirkcudbright Art Gallery and the Viking Hoard were the most talked about issues at this committee with a strange report plucking a seemingly arbitrary figure of £100,000 of council funds out of the air to start a public fund-raising project.

This generated a lot of debate within our council group as the general support of the initial project was there, but the ifs and buts and lack of specific detail on the Viking Hoard addition to the project and the implications for the sustainability of the project for the future were a concern, especially when Westminster Austerity and the the impact that has on Scottish Government and then Local Council budgets, is the backdrop for considering what best to invest in to benefit the most people fairly.

Not being able to have full control of Scotland’s economic regeneration powers mean a constant battle to mitigate and balance whatever a completely unrepresentative Conservative government elsewhere decides upon. This is not good for Scotland.

Community Empowerment Bill
is not far from Royal Assent and there will be a number of briefings coming out to help understand how this will make an impact on how community decisions are made.

Where is Moffat Town Clock?
I am following this up…


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