This week in Annandale 11/01/2016

Lochmaben Community Council

Lots of post flood reporting of issues on the back of the first meeting of the year: potholes at the Barras, outside Sandhu’s shop, flooding in around DGHP properties, etc. These are the sorts of things that community council’s can report through CCES (a system for fault reporting and enquiries – still in its probation period for a lot of community councils) but need cajoled a bit.

Kirkmichael Community Council

Was glad to be able to stop in at Parkgate and Kirkmichael Hall to catch up in the new year. The community council covers Nethermill and Parkgate, which are in Annandale North ward, but for some historic reason is listed under Lower Nithsdale. As a result I was able to report some flooding issues and bus shelter concerns for action by the authorities.

Kirkpatrick Juxta Community Council

Beattock’s community council is on the same night as Kirkmichael’s. I’m going to have to split my night between some of the public forums to make sure I can provide at least some councillor support. A number of issues were raised including the ongoing need for the pavilion to be repaired (which I was assured by council officers would start this month) and the need for decent pitches for the various football clubs that may now have need of it given recent flooding. Network Rail are under the microscope again after reports of littering on their land in Beattock so this has been reported, and of course the work needing done to sort the drainage problems near Woodlea Court and Smiths Way.

Policy & Resources Committee

This was a platform for a non-constructive and misdirected moan at the Scottish Government by the leader of the Administration, although we agreed as a committee to ask him to write to Deputy First Minister John Swinney to ask for clarification on the details of what Dumfries and Galloway Council would be signing up to with the settlement, especially around Health and Social Care Partnership funding and teacher numbers. I asked that the reserves ‘found’ from Scottish Government funding for Early Years had been properly spent including supporting early years partnership providers with living wage provision and got a not-very-illuminating response both from the leader and the finance officer. The quality of the report writing seemed very politicised and it didn’t accurately reflect exact details in the John Swinney letter but this fits in with the state of the current Administration. On a positive, the Lockerbie Swimming Pool legal agreement with the council for the old caravan site land was agreed and extended until 2020 to tie in with the planning permission. I declared an interest as previous trustee after having sought governance advice.

Station Park, Moffat meeting

Council officers, councillors and members of Moffat Community Council had a constructive meeting at the park and then in the Buccleuch Hotel in Moffat where plans and ways of working were laid out with actions to be followed up. It seemed to be progress of sorts but meetings don’t make the work done so this will have to be watched especially to see how the pond is repaired. The Community Council and Moffat as a whole has access to some external funding but this needs backed up by a Council commitment to prioritise the work.

 

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