Alloa Community Council - Annual Report 2016-2017´┐╝

Chairman’s Report 2017

Introduction

Alloa Community Council has been involved in a variety of profile raising opportunities this year including Community Matters, our Fun Day, hustings for local elections and hustings for the general election and continued campaigning for Platform 9.  There has also been an election for Community Councillors and as a result of this I’m very pleased to welcome six new members to ACC.  
Traffic Calming Claremont

ACC has been asked to comment on the proposed traffic calming proposals in Claremont  a couple of times this year.  We did put in objections to the number and placing of these, after speaking to residents if was felt the measures in place were sufficient but lacking up the top end of Claremont. 

Community Matters

ACC was heavily involved with the Clackmannanshire wide Community Matters project along with all the other Community Councils providing an idea opportunity to work alongside each other.  ACC organised and ran the event in Alloa Town Hall in January.   I would like to thank Simon Karner for all his help and support.  The event allowed groups in the community to showcase their organisations and to bid for funding for projects by means of a public vote.  The event was a success and resulted in good networking between community groups.  Alloa Learning Community & Parent Council,  Play Alloa, AEE Bowling Club, Alloa Old People’s Welfare and Hawkhill Community Association.

Fun Day

The Alloa Community Council Fun Day was held in June at Greenfield Park but the weather was not the best, so we had to finish early due to the rain.  It was lovely hearing Clackmannanshire District brass band and the singers from Resonate and meeting local businesses and charities.  We will be considering if we should be holding another fun day or perhaps we could be involved in a different event.  Organising the fun day take a lot of time and money.
Remembrance Sunday
On Remembrance Sunday, the vice Chair laid the wreath on behalf of Alloa Community Council at the war memorial.  Alloa Community Council has been invited to attend the ceremony on 21st March 2018 for the last VC awarded to a Clackmannanshire man, John Crawford Buchan.  

Hustings

This year Alloa Community Council has organised and ran two hustings, one in April for the local Council elections and one in May for the General Election, producing some lively debate at times.  For future hustings we will look at the format with the possibility of having groups of people going between candidates to quiz them on their policies.

Speakers

In October Anne Pearson, Chief Education Officer came and gave a detailed talk on Education in Alloa which was well attended by the General Public and Parent Councils.
We also had a representative from the Great Tapestry of Scotland give an informative talk.  Luke Graham MP attended a meeting to give us an update on City Deal.  Cllr Earle has attended meetings this year along with Cllr Forson and Cllr Dixon who are all welcome and provide us a direct link to Clackmannanshire Council.

Police

The Police regularly attend and produce a report for us to post online.  Some of the issues that have been highlighted to the Police in the past year include:- ongoing issues with parking in the town centre, lights at Lornshill Academy and the big issue at the moment seems to be mindless vandalism by youths.  In particular to St John’s Primary School, around Sunnyside Primary school, Forth Valley College and more recently Greenfield.  Forth Valley Staff have attended one of our meetings to see how the community as a whole can help with this.

Transport 

Transport in particular Platform 9 has been a major ongoing issue that Cameron Little, the transport lead for ACC has been campaigning for on our behalf.   Earlier this year after seemingly making little progress with our longstanding attempts to resolve the issue with Keith Brown, Transport Scotland and Network Rail , Cameron decided to contact Alexander Stewart MSP.  Through Alexander's efforts Cameron met with him and the Transport Minister Humza Yusaf on June 16 in Holyrood which resulted in a reasonably positive meeting.  The Transport Minister acknowledged the frustration ACC feel with the long running problem at Stirling Station.  He said that he would look into how funding might become available to fund what Network Rail has identified a permanent solution.  He said that he would have another meeting with us in the autumn to discuss what progress had been made.  As yet I have received no further information regarding another meeting with him.  I have met with Alexander Stewart, Cllr Benny and Luke Graham's secretary on different occasions at Stirling Station to let them see for themselves the problem and the 'workaround' that is claimed to solve the issue.

On these occasions we witnessed the problem at platform 9 that young mothers are faced with, when arriving there with pushchairs.  I hope in the next month to contact Alexander again to continue our attempts to resolve this issue.  A letter was sent to the First Minister reminding her of the problem, and to the fact that it was raised with her, at the 'Meet the Ministers' event in Alloa by Anna Forbes back in March 2015.  
Disappointingly, she chose to pass the issue to the Transport Scotland for a reply, which did not really address most of the points  we raised.
Cameron and Isobel attended the Fife Rail Forum in Kirkcaldy arranged by Mark Ruskell MSP to bring together the various rail campaigns in Fife and to discover what progress has been made.  Cameron reported that Alloa to Dunfermline Rail Link although much talked about by our councillors, there seems to be no public campaign at the moment.  There is talk of another appraisal being carried out (last one published in 2010).  

Through the Fife Rail Forum Cameron have been asked to meet with Mr Donald Campbell from Kincardine to discuss what can be done to help put pressure on Clackmannanshire Council and our local politicians to get some positive action on extending the rail link through to Dunfermline.  Cameron is in regular contact with the St Andrews Rail Campaign to offer advice and support following their request for assistance.

Cameron meet with Alan Murray (Clackmannanshire Council) regarding the part time Twenty signs outside Lornshill Academy.   Cameron believes the one on the approach from Tullibody is not far enough along the road to give the children who walk to and from the school the added protection that they are designed to give, and thinks we should again raise this issue with the elected members again.

Cameron and Anna attended Keith Browns 'Bus Summit' where the lack of a direct service to Falkirk and the lack of any service on a Sunday to St Andrews along with community bus services were discussed.

Media

ACC facebook and Twitter sites are regularly updated by Simon Karner, our social media lead.  Along with the ACC website to promote all that is happening in our community and network with others.

Summary

Alloa Community Council is a statutory body made up of volunteers who are consulted on Planning, Licensing, Local Plans and other Clackmannanshire Council matters.  The Police come to our meetings and if need be we can ask for their support to help our community.
ACC will continue to campaign on Platform 9 and are hopeful a solution can be found soon.  ACC are always keen to hear from the General Public to aid with and promote any issues or ideas that they have, as we see ourselves at the heart of our local community.
I would like to thank everyone for their involvement and help in the past year and look forward to working with everyone in the coming year.
Alloa Community Council meets at the Tommy Downs Room at Alloa Town Hall on the last Tuesday of the month at 7pm and we welcome members of the public to join us.

Jennie Syme
Chair Alloa Community Council
31-10-2017



Alloa Community Council - Annual Report 2013-2014

Introduction

First of all I would like to thank everyone for putting up with me for the last two years. As you all know I will not stand for Chair again at this year’s AGM. I feel it is important that there is a change of Chair every few years to bring in fresh ideas.

This year Alloa Community has managed to raise it profile especially through events like the Fun Day and the Queens Baton Relay as well as Social Media and we are in a good potion to move things forward.

Events - Alloa Community Council

The three main events we were involved in were the planting of Snowdrops, Fun Day, and The Queens Baton Relay.

Snowdrops

The Snowdrops were planted by the Footbridge over the railway near the new Redwell school and the snowdrops were planted by some of the pupils that would attend the then under construction Redwell School. 

Fun Day

The Fun Day was again held at Greenfield Park, and the weather was against us but we managed to get through most of the events before the rain started. Again the Fun Day raised our profile and gave us a chance to talk to people about Alloa maters. The paper work that we have been asked to complete had an impact on what we could achieve and although our Emergency Plan can be dusted down and reused the whole task has become more difficult and time consuming.

We should consider if we should have an other Fun Day next year and if so where we should hold it. With Greenfield House no longer being council offices should we consider using an other area. Should we consider rotating where the fun day is held. These issues are of course will be up to Alloa Community Council next year. Although we need to start the planning of the event soon and at least by January 2015.

Queens Baton relay

Alloa Community Council have provided feedback to the council re the way the QBR was organised and how difficult at times we found things. The failure for the route to be diverted through the park made the singing of the Anthem difficult to co-ordinator and was not a success. However, the children clearly enjoyed themselves and were supplied with crisps and water as well as certificates of attendance. We had thought of organising some further activities but in the end the paper work involved deterred us from doing this as we have limited resources being volunteers. 

Remembrance Sunday

Alloa Community Council continues to attend the remembrance service and William Duncanson will be laying the wreath for us again this year. As this year is the anniversary of the start of the First World War there has been and will continue to be more events around this which we will attend. 

Media

The Tweeter and Facebook sites are both up-dated daily and this has helped to connect to the community and promote our activities. The web site has also helped people to get in touch with us. There is a Google Calendar that we use to list meetings of Alloa Interest but also includes the meetings of the other Community Councils. We have developed links with other social media to get our message across and network with our community. We have of course been in the papers when we have had specific events like the Fun Day. A recent innovation on twitter is #Clackshour which is Monday from 20:00 to 21:00 which have joined in when we can. All these media have been used to promote Alloa Community Council and more importantly Alloa.

´┐╝Meetings of Alloa Community Council

Meeting location

We used to meet at Greenfield House, but this building has now closed. We have had one meeting at Kilncraigs but this was not seen as a success given the issues around the public attending, which we of course encourage. We need to find a solution and we might consider rotating where we meet.

Attendance

Attendance by some community councillors continues to be an issue, we all have busy lives and other interests but regular attendance is important to ensure the Community Council continues to hear as many views as possible.

Speakers

The Police normally attend our meetings and give their report. This has also given Alloa Community Councillors and others to highlight issues to them.
Several folk have asked to speak to us that we have not been able to invite, however we have had several speakers including Keith Brown MSP who listened to Alloa and Transport issues. Cllr Kenneth Earle has attended most of our meetings and provided a useful link to what is happening at the council level. It would be useful if other Councillors were able to attend.

Joint Community Council Forum (JCCF)

Alloa Community Councillors attend the JCCF and have an input into discussions there. It is good to hear from Fire and Rescue, Police and Emergency Planning etc. There are a number of training events and conference that members of the JCCF have help to arrange

Campaigns/Consultation

Alloa Community Council have supported a number of campaigns including saving the Alloa Post Office and supporting Hawkhill re their budget cuts. Gordon Banks MP has also asked our views about the number of Fun Fairs held at Alloa West Park. 

Redwell

Bill Thompson, our Planning Lead, for Alloa Community Council have taken a keen interest in the new Redwell School, especially the parking, speed limits and the paths to and through the Pleasure grounds. 

Greenfield House and Park

Alloa Community Council have asked the council to keep them informed about the use of Greenfield house.

Networking

Alloa Community Council have attended meetings of some resident associations, and other groups to hear the issues that these groups are facing. Being statutory volunteers we have a right to be consulted by many organisations to feeding back issues is a key role, especially where there is a perception that things are not working or things need to be resolved.

Transport

Cameron Little, our Transport Lead, has been campaigning about transport issues, especially about buses linking to Alloa Railway station and the issues folk with limited mobility have accessing and leaving Platform 9 at Stirling station. Many of the trains to and from Alloa use this platform. The Hospital Bus issues have been trundling away most of the year, which we again had an input. Speeding especially in the 20MPH areas of Alloa continues to be a problem. Alloa Community Council have also been monitoring the parking within the Town Centre and hope to come up with proposals about how issues can be resolved. There are no longer traffic wardens and parking is often a lower priority for the Police

Consultation

Alloa Community Council being statutory volunteers are consulted on a number of issues. We are sent Planning, Licensing and other Applications for comment. The development of the housing down by the Shore being an example. We have also been consulted on the Local Plans for the Police, Fire and Rescue, Council Local Development Plans etc. The number of issues we are asked to comment on appears to be increasing.

Asset Register

We have not added much to our Asset Register this year, although we now have a number of HiVis vest to be used when we run events like the fun day.

Networking

Alloa Community Council continues to network with other community groups and have been involved in setting up Positive Clackmannanshire. Positive Clackmannanshire has the potential to greatly improve our reach into the community as well as helping to improve Alloa by helping organisation to network together to their mutual advantage, all good for Alloa and the wider Clackmannanshire. These links will help us to attract new members when we next have an election either in the planned election in 2016 or if required an Interim election. We clearly cannot do everything and indeed no one organisation should try to do so. We therefore need to engage the many volunteers through out the town to it mutual benefit

Thank you

Although there is much we can still do for Alloa, we have achieved a lot, so thank you to everyone of you, and by our efforts we have a good foundation to move forward into the coming year.

Simon Karner
Chair Alloa Community Council
23-10-2014










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