This week in Annandale 19/10/2015

Hightae Footpath update
Ashrood to Acorn Villa – members of the community will be carrying out the ditching and clearing of the footpath. It will be the end of the year before it can be done and workers will be fully insured.

Last meeting of Lockerbie Community Council 2015
Public told by Council that there would be no second call for nominations, but a few days later the Council said that there would be a second call for nominations. One of those statements must be true?

Lockerbie Roundabouts
Grim news from the Director of Planning & Environment: the B7076 roundabouts at entrance to Lockerbie aren’t currently being considered for any maintenance works to tidy up the areas, despite ward councillors raising this at recent meetings. Any improvements will have to be considered against budget availability (stock answer). However the northern roundabout had sustained some accident damage and remedial works are planned, although when this will be carried out has not been confirmed.

Lockerbie Steering Group
Let’s face it, this has never happened even though some attempts were made to establish a community-led regeneration forum to help deliver the Lockerbie Regeneration Masterplan. There has been no demonstrable community support, but there still are a number of groups trying to take forward individual projects such as the redevelopment of the former primary school and the swimming pool and leisure centre. There may be some support to bring business leaders and community groups together to push this (as Annan and Gretna have both benefited from similar types of arrangements since the decommissioning of Chapelcross) but things are still fractured.

Lockerbie High Street
DGFirst are currently working on the design and cost estimate for finishing the high street footpaths but this financial year the funds in footway capital programme funds are fully committed. At the moment the scheme has been included for prioritisation in next year’s capital footways programme. Why not fund to finish the rest of the work already carried out first before starting new projects elsewhere? You might reasonably ask.

Lockerbie in Bloom
Because of the delay in finishing the high street pavements, there are still ongoing delays with the re-location of the Lockerbie in Bloom posts. Most posts have been reinstated but there are still four outstanding and discussions are continuing with the group.

Car Parking at Lockerbie Station
The SWestrans Capital Programme for 2016/17 includes £183,570 which would complete the second phase of works at Lockerbie, through reconfiguration of the existing parking, including demolition and reconstruction of the wall adjacent to the former Dumfries line platform. £130k of this is associated with the wall. There would be a net gain of 20 spaces. There have been alternative suggestions but I can’t say where these are at just now in case it prejudices any discussions. Worst kept secret?

Lockerbie Traffic Management
Residents will be interested to know that there is a Traffic Management and Parking Restrictions – with proposed waiting restrictions for Lockerbie centre together with a Traffic Regulation Order which may people have asked for, the community council (as was) in particular. Due to meet again with Director to get this implemented.

Samuel Elliot Trust
We agreed to award Johnstonebridge Community Council funds for the older people’s Christmas Dinner but the Trust itself is now at a level where we’ll have to consider the future of it, as it’s not likely to generate much income in the coming years.

Annandale & Eskdale Area Committee
Aside from the Social Work report on performance, and the serious questions over provision of home care hours in Annandale and Eskdale, the biggest talking point on the agenda was better public input into Area Committee meetings. I think community councils should have a voice rather than having to sit quietly, should they ever wish to attend, as it is now. This should be as simple as possible and not complicated by ornate rules about writing questions 5 days in advance, to be considered on the day but with no right to speak. Is there really an issue with having twice as many people at the meetings? Given how many councillors turn up on a regular basis, probably not. Most community councillors as volunteers have enough to do and attending meetings from 10am on a Wednesday will rarely generate a full house.

Beat the Street
This was developed as a real-world walking and cycling game, Beat the Street encourages all ‘players’ to track their walk and cycle activity using smart cards that they tap on ‘Beat Boxes’, found along their journey. The aim is for the community as a whole to see how many miles around the world they can travel over the 6 week game period. A fellow councillor for Forfar in Angus was inspired by the interviews from Annan regarding the project and this could be a positive example shared learning across Scottish Councils. Beat the Street was delivered by Intelligent Health on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Council (Sustainable Travel) and NHS Dumfries and Galloway (Health and Wellbeing) and was match funded through a grant from the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme.

UAX DG0061A2
Who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the access road and yard area at Lochmaben UAX DG0061A2? (the yard behind St Margarets Flats) I finally found a good contact in BT who is asking for the legal documents for the site to be retrieved from archive to check. A BT site visit may go ahead to assess the condition, and mark up a plan to show any areas needing repair. If you have queries about BT buildings, even if you’re not a BT customer, please use the Property Helpdesk number 0800 22 33 88. This will log your issue onto the system and give you a reference number and a timescale for response.

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