This week in Annandale 11/04/2016

The Good:

Lockerbie Common Good committee met and had to consider what to do about the rent owed by Lockerbie Golf Club. The club rents out the common good land and this pays into the fund for dispensing to local groups and good causes. However times have been tough generally for some golf clubs, especially with the trend of wet weather affecting drainage on courses. Many clubs have reverted to 9 holes to manage the costs of ground and green maintenance and this is something I think Lockerbie should consider. We’ve decided to support the club again taking into account the wider benefits it can offer but we need to meet with them to assist with other sources of funding and establish some communication. I have a ceraing respect for those who pay their bills as they fall due, and ask for help in advance.

Attended Beattock (Kirkpatrick Juxta) community council and followed up various issues including getting the unauthorised development at Langbedhom called in to come before Planning Applications Committee.

Attended Royal Four Towns community council in the kitchen at the back of Hightae village hall to support and update on local issues. Big issues over the roll-out of superfast broadband due to the way the contractor (BT Openreach) is managing operations – it’s very hard to know exactly when your area with be supplied.

South of Scotland Alliance met in Moffat on the Friday and agreed some lobbying targets for the next Parliament, including better mobile phone coverage, better rural broadband and key infrastructure projects. The NUTS2 consultation has been supported by Scottish and UK Government so it just remains for the EuroStat to agree it – watch this space.

The Bad:

Grim Police warnings about public safety and policing requirements for Celtic v The Rangers in the Scottish Cup. This could become more frequent and costly for our society after having a peaceful reprieve since the original Rangers were liquidated and the new club had to work it’s way up from the bottom division over the last 4 years.

Policy & Resources Committee featured the Smoking Policy – what is the practical thinking behind this? I can understand the feasibility of stopping smoking in public doorways for health and good presentation reasons but the woolly policy seems vague and hard to enforce across the region. Look how well smoking bans work on NHS estate?! I moved a counter-amendment to find a middle way and the vote went to 9-9. This time, however, the Leader declined to use the wisdom of his pack of cards and exercised his casting vote in favour of the nebulous recommendations.

The Necessary:

Police and Fire & Rescue Sub Committee with new V Division commander in place – Gary Ritchie.

Charging for services seminar for councillors – looking at how D&G Council sets a framework for setting appropriate charges corporately and within specific departments.



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