Ardrossan and Arran, Saltcoats and Stevenston Area Committee
25 November 2010
STEVENSTON, 25 November 2010 - At a Meeting of the Ardrossan and Arran, Saltcoats and Stevenston Area Committee of North Ayrshire Council at 2.00 p.m.
Margie Currie, Peter McNamara, Ronnie McNicol and Alan Munro.
D. Wilson, Streetscene Manager (Environment & Related Services) and C. Forsyth, Assistant Transportation Manager (Roads) (Finance & Infrastructure); J. McHarg, Assistant Manager (Community Services) and B. Anderson, Performance/Grants Information Officer (Education and Skills); J. Cumming, Project Officer (Economic Development), M. Anderson, Committee Services Officer and D. McCaw, Committee Services Support Officer (Chief Executive’s Service).
Also In Attendance
Inspector B. Skimming (Strathclyde Police).
Councillor Currie in the Chair.
Apologies for Absence
Anthony Gurney, David Munn, William Gibson and John Hunter.
1. Appointment of Chair
In the absence of either Chair, the Committee unanimously agreed that Councillor Currie chair the meeting.
2. Declarations of Interest
In terms of Standing Order 16, Councillor McNamara, declared an interest in Agenda Item 8: Community Development Grants Scheme and Local Youth Action Fund 2010/11: Applications for Financial Assistance: Friends of the Plantation, and took no part in the discussion thereon.
The Minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee held on 14 October 2010 were signed in accordance with Paragraph 7 (1) of Schedule 7 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.
4. Strathclyde Police
Inspector Skimming provided information on the following:-
Disorder incidents in the north of Ardrossan area, in particular Stanley Avenue and at the rear of Seafield School, which are now the focus of a Police Action Plan;
A drugs operation in Glencairn Street, Stevenston, involving 2 dwellinghouses and a car;
A reported rape at Stevenston Cross;
Plans for the festive period, including the availability of funding for disorder patrols which will run from 5 December in the evenings and in Saltcoats Town Centre;
Successful joint working with North Ayrshire Council Trading Standards, in particular in relation to the test purchasing initiative; and
The recent re-organisation of the community policing teams providing 24 officers for the Saltcoats and Stevenston Ward, 10 officers for Ardrossan and 5 officers for the Isle of Arran.
5. Strathclyde Fire and Rescue
Submitted report by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue on activity from 4 October to 14 November 2010, which included information on:-
accidental dwelling fires;
deliberate fire raising;
a number of refuse fires;
heath and grass fires;
malicious false alarms;
a road traffic collision;
other special services relating mainly to flooding; and
community safety initiatives, including home fire safety visits, firereach and work experience courses, leaflet drops and presentations.
Inspector Skimming reported on the positive impact of Strathclyde Police and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue working together in relation to Bonfire Night activities.
6. Roads Issues: Update
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Finance & Infrastructure) giving an update on progress in respect of a number of roads issues which were highlighted by the Area Committee at its meeting held on 24 June 2010.
The report summarised the current position on the following:-
Kilwinning Road, Stevenston: Request to permit taxis to utilise bus lanes
Feedback from Strathclyde Police Roads Policing Unit suggests that the request to alter the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to permit taxis, including private hire cars, to travel in the bus lanes would not be supported and that the reduction in length of the bus lanes has proved successful in improving traffic flow and road safety at peak times.
Bus Stop: Princes Street, Ardrossan
In an effort to ease congestion, the shuttle bus services have been instructed to stop further back in the vicinity of Bute Place if a service 11 coach is already parked at the bus stop and to move into the bus stop once this coach has left, with driver changeover activities for the shuttle service then taking place before the next service 11 coach arrives. The Assistant Transportation Manager reported that Irvine Bay Urban Regeneration Company has, however, recently written to Stagecoach objecting to the new solution, as the buses are stopping in front of the newly refurbished Jack Miller building and the Roads service will, therefore, write to Irvine Bay Company to enter into discussions regarding this matter.
Illegally parked cars at this location are adding to the congestion problems and Strathclyde Police have been requested to carry out enforcement action in this area.
Speed Limits: Saltcoats Sea Front
Taking into account guidance from the Scottish Government regarding the setting of speed limits and the function of this route as a local distributor road, it is not considered to be an appropriate location for the introduction of any form of 20 mph speed limit zones at any point along the route. Strathclyde Police have also confirmed that they would not support the introduction of a permanent mandatory 20mph speed limit unless engineering measures were installed to physically reduce traffic speed to an acceptable level.
There was discussion on the issue of speeding linked to cars gathering near the old St. Peter's school site and Strathclyde Police undertook to look into this as an enforcement issue.
Bus Stop: Opposite St. Matthew's Academy, Jack's Road, Saltcoats
Concern was expressed by Members that the bus stop in this location is not visible due to overgrown trees growing and the absence of road markings to indicate that this is in fact a bus stop. There is also a bus stop on the opposite side of the road at the same location which can cause congestion.
The Committee agreed that (a) in relation to the bus stop at Princes Street, Ardrossan, the Head of Infrastructure & Design (i) continue to monitor the situation and enter into further discussions with Strathclyde, Police, SPT and Irvine Bay Urban Regeneration Company to try to resolve this issue; and (ii) report back to a future meeting on the outcome of discussions; and (b) in relation to the bus stop opposite St. Matthew's School, Jack's Road, Saltcoats, the Head of Infrastructure & Design investigate this matter and report on the outcome.
7. Pollution within Watercourses
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Finance & Infrastructure) on the Council's approach to addressing pollution within watercourses in the Area Committee boundaries, such as Stevenston Burn and the Stanley Burn.
The responsibilities for addressing pollution within watercourses principally lie with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). The Council does, however, have a duty to ensure that standards of cleanliness in respect of litter and other waste are maintained.
At present, the Council has a number of initiatives underway to improve the standards of watercourses within the area of the Committee as follows:-
The development of an Open Space Strategy which recognises the importance of watercourses in a well-managed green space;
Improvement works to clear silt and debris from the burn within the Holm Plantation, which are currently subject to an application to SEPA and are scheduled to start during March and April 2011;
Clearance of debris and fallen trees from the section of the Stanley Burn and its banking nearest to Parkhouse Gardens, Ardrossan; and
The removal of debris from the Stevenston Burn and its banks at Kerelaw Castle and to the rear of New Street along with a spray programme to control non-native invasive weeds.
Members asked questions and received information on:-
Flooding in Gilmour Wynd and the Darg Road area of Stevenston. The Roads representative confirmed that a new pipe has been laid down Darg Road which now floods into a nearby field; and
The loss of the yellow flag status for the Ardrossan beach because of pollution running from watercourses into the sea.
8. Community Benefit Fund: Application for Grant Aid
Submitted report by the Chief Executive on an application for grant received in respect of the Community Benefit Fund.
The Project Officer (Economic Development) reported on a planned press release to publicise the availability of community benefit funding support.
The Committee agreed to make an award of £2,000 to 3TFM Community Radio.
9. Community Development Grants Scheme and Local Youth Action Fund 2010/11: Applications for Financial Assistance
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Education and Skills) on applications for financial assistance under the Council's Community Development Grants Scheme and the Local Youth Action Fund.
The Committee agreed to make the following awards:-
Community Development Grants Scheme Organisation Award
The International, Historical, Cultural & Geographical Agency £ 500
Friends of the Plantation £ 438
Ardrossan Christmas Decorations Committee £ 500
Local Youth Action Fund Organisation Award
St. Matthew's Academy Eco Group £1,988
10. Stevenston Common Good Fund: Application for Financial Assistance
Submitted report by the Chief Executive on an application for financial assistance from the Stevenston Common Good Fund.
The Committee agreed to make an award of £872.25 to the Ardeer Homing Society on the basis that improving the outward appearance of the premises would have a positive impact on the amenity of the area and, in so doing, bring benefit to the wider community of Stevenston as a whole.
11. Date and Venue of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Area Committee is provisionally scheduled to take place on Thursday 3 February 2010 at 2.00 p.m. in the Ardeer Neighbourhood Centre, subject to confirmation of a revised Committee timetable for 2011 by the Council at its meeting on 1 December 2010.
12. Future Agenda Items
The Committee agreed that any items for consideration at the next meeting of the Area Committee should be submitted to M. Anderson or D. McCaw.