This week in Annandale 25/04/2016

The Good:

Moffat Community Council – many issues reported and discussed including roads, road defects, speeding and general issues in liaising with the council

Wamphray Community Council – still pursuing a couple of issues but apparently there is a legal issue needing resolved between Crown Estate and Network Rail over the maintenance of the flood protection scheme.

Johnstone Community Council – still established!

Spent some time canvassing in the Cresswell area in Dumfries (unusually), and also Ae Village and Parkgate with our Dumfriesshire candidate, Joan McAlpine. There was a heated discussion by some local campaigners and some Town Hall attendees in Moffat at the weekend over the use of the area in front of the Town Hall. I got the tail end of it but I spoke to a member of the Town Hall Trust to hear what the understanding was and allow things to proceed smoothly. Turns out the area directly in front of the Town Hall, but excluding the public pavement, is part of the booking and consideration should be given to this. Hopefully the Town Hall Trust will make this clearer to avoid future confusion.

The Bad:

Annandale & Eskdale Area Committee featured Social Work and Education Services reports for scrutiny. Following Moffat Community Council last night, I asked for better arrangements to be made to support community use of Education facilities as there have been issues booking pitches at Moffat Academy due to the relationship with the PPP contractor and janitors/PE staff.

ATI community transport had an application that was scored down on some criteria but I argued for increased funding to recognise the community engagement and partnership working of ATI. This went to a tied vote but the Chair’s casting vote knocked it back to the lower amount. The securing of community transport is being looked at on a strategic level across the region but this will take time to conclude in order to secure funding.

The Necessary:

Local Review Body site visit took the members the scenic route to Waterbeck to see the application in question. In the end we felt that a sufficient case hadn’t been made to justify an exception to policy H3 around housing in the countryside.

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