ARDENTINNY COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING
Minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 5th September 2023 at Ardentinny Village Hall at 7.30p.m.
Present: John Brint (Convener) Mark Rowthorn (Secretary), Keith Wood (Treasurer), Bill Tierney, Helen West, Danielle Markey and Brian Hillesdon.
Public: Dee Robinson, Elsbeth Brint, Neil Robinson and Dougie Menzies.
Welcome and introductions
JB thanked everyone for attending.
Received from David McDowall, Eddie McGunnigal (Police), Nik Cox (FLS), Bill Williamson, and Anna Williamson.
Note: No Apologies received from A&BC Councillors, National Parks and Ardentinny Outdoor Centre.
Declaration of Interest
No declarations of interest declared.
Matters arising not covered on the agenda
No other matters identified.
Minutes of last meeting (6 June 2023)
Proposed: Mark Rowthorn
Seconded: Keith Wood
Matters arising from minutes
No matters arising.
A detailed breakdown of the financial activity (12-07-23 to 28-08-23) was presented by the treasurer, Keith Wood (KW) stated that contributions had been received from Ardentinny Renewables Trust towards the costs of cleaning the public toilets. Payments had been made to cover the expenses costs of collecting the free cycle racks that have now been distributed for installation around
Ardentinny. Further payments had been made for web hosting and upgrading the ACC website together with payments for commercial cleaners
Existing Balance £3,314.23
Income (ART) £1,242.00
Current Balance on 5th September 2023 £3,986.63
KW also informed the meeting that the ACC is continuing to progress the transfer to the new bank account. Presently ACC has opened the new bank account with Lloyds Bank but is still running the existing bank account in parallel for the interim period.
BT proposed that ACC should consider opening a high interest account so that interest could be earned rather than retaining a high balance in the current account. KW agreed to consider options for this.
JB read out the Police Report provided by Eddie McGunnigal in his absence. Between 06/06/23 and 03/09/23 there has been 2 incidents police have been actioned to in the Ardentinny Council area.
1 x fail to stop after road collision (wing mirror clipped)
1 x noise complaint
Forestry Commission Report
In the absence of Nik Cox JB read out the report from FLS:
The Beach Site has been busy during the holidays especially due to nicer weather days. Vans have needed some additional collections organised but Argyll & Bute Council have been able to action this quickly. There have been some issues with the toilets, but we are working with our building team to resolve. Following consultation with Argyll & Bute Council we have removed our blue/green algae warning notices from site. There will be forest road upgrades starting in the block above the village soon.
10 National Park Report
No report had been received from National Parks so JB read out the General News update from the National Parks email link:
Draft National Park Partnership Plan
This summer, we held a 12-week consultation on our Draft National Park Partnership Plan which sets out bold ambitions to ensure the widespread
restoration of nature across the National Park by 2030 and the aspiration to become a Net Zero National Park by 2040. All those who have a role to play in delivery of the Plan, and those who will be impacted by the outcomes and actions within it were invited to submit their comments. Over the past month, our team has been analysing the hundreds of responses submitted to understand key themes and actions to be addressed in the final National Park Partnership Plan, which will be submitted to the Board in December, and subject to Board approval, the final Plan will be submitted to Scottish Ministers by the end of 2023.
11 Councillor’s Report
No report was received from any of the invited Councillor’s.
12 Review of Ardentinny Residents Survey
JB explained that there had been good correspondence with AB&C who were open to consider installing the proposed colour contrasted tarmac at the village boundaries, crocodile teeth markings where the road narrows at Rock Cottage. They were also supportive of carrying out speed surveys to look at the need for speed limit changes throughout the village. AB&C are currently waiting to resource a Development Officer whose role it would be to implement this. This is delaying any immediate implementation of works. JB has written to AB&C to express our disappointment and to try to encourage a prompter response. DM briefed the meeting on the incident that had occurred to their vehicle outside their property and the damage that had been caused by a speeding motorist. This was reported to the Police to register it as an incident, because residents have tended not to report minor issues and as a consequence it is the police and Roads Department of Argyll and Bute Council perception that nothing happens in the village. The meeting encouraged residents to report any incidents to the police going forward as it will add weight to request for improved road safety.
Douglas Menzies related to the meeting an incident that he had observed earlier in the day where a young boy had chased a rolling ball into the road (in front of the Outdoor Centre) he ran straight in front of the bus. He said that he fully expected that he would have been hit. Everyone agreed that sooner or later there will be a fatality due to vehicle speed through the village. JB agreed to notify the police of the incident.
There was then some general discussion regarding the need for a 20mph speed restriction throughout the village.
JB briefed the meeting on progress to date. He explained that ACC had approached Southern Scottish Electrical Networks (SSEN) to see whether they would be prepared to allow the installation of a defibrillator on the side of the electrical substation on the Shore Road. However, he reported that they were unwilling for this to happen. They said that they considered the installation would be a risk to the premises as it may assist some one to climb on the structure and gain entry. They also said that they would be unwilling to bear the installation cost or to pay the electrical cost of running the defibrillator. JB said therefore that our only option in this area of the village would be to install a solar powered unit as there were no other potential power sources near to Ardenfield. We will approach residents on recommendations for a solar powered defibrillator location in the Ardenfield area in the coming weeks.
On a more positive note, FLS have agreed to allow a defibrillator to be installed on the toilets block in the Beach area and to provide the electric power free of charge. We will now seek funding for this defibrillator.
DM Thanked all who took part in the recent Beach clean-up. She confirmed that ACC are trying to get extra waste bins installed throughout the village (with extra collections). She also confirmed that we want to get Dog waste bins installed as well (with regular collections).
Charge Point/Climate Change
DM said that she would investigate diarying in another Beach cleanup and let everyone know the date. She thanked Neil Robinson for getting the new benches outside the Outdoor Centre and that she was investigating where we might install additional benches as there is funding specifically available for these. MR suggested that the locations still existed on the Shore path where FLS has removed the old ones and it was something that a number of people had identified in the resident’s surveys. Neil Robinson said that the blue replacements that were supposed to have been installed there had been located elsewhere (he thought the Lairds Grave) but no one was able to confirm having seen them. MR said that according to FLS and the Police that they had been stolen. Douglas Menzies informed the meeting that if benches were to be installed on FLS land that they could only be installed by an FLS approved contractor. It was therefore agreed that Nik Cox at FLS should be contacted to try to establish the location of the missing blue benches and get them installed along the Shore path as was originally intended. DM to chase up.
DM said that she was still trying to get Dog Waste bins installed in the village and will keep trying to pursue this. Regarding Electric Vehicle Charging Points she had written to AB&C to get Ardentinny added to their list of preferred locations. She said that grants are available to get EV charging points installed but these need to be installed by approved contractors. There are two local companies – one in Greenock and one in Port Glasgow. DM will put links on the ACC web site for funding sources.
Community Council Web Site
HW updated the meeting on progress currently being made on the Ardentinny Community Council web site, Facebook and Instagram.
HW said that she keeps these updated regularly with local events and information and encouraged everyone to ‘follow/like’ these to ensure that they keep receiving the posts.
Facebook and Instagram are very visual platforms, so she has been adding images of our village and surrounding landscape through the weeks with the newsletter to give information about our area. Posters and events can also be shared so please let her have any of these to share.
HW has also shared links from the Face book and Instagram to the new Community council website which has recently been upgraded. There are also links to the Facebook and Instagram pages on the website. Please have a look.
HW is still working on this and hopes to include as much as possible of what is going on in the area and what your Community Council is doing for you.
The weekly newsletter is added to the website every week and emailed to the mailing list. A copy is also posted to the village noticeboard at the church car park. (You can add your email address from the website if you don’t already receive by email and wish to) Anyone who is unable to access any of these who wishes a paper copy can at any time ask HW for one.
HW explained that the Community Council’s website’s function is to communicate to all the residents of the village and surrounding area. It is also a platform for any of the village groups or organisations to share their information so please feel free to contact me to do this. Anything that anyone thinks should be included please let HW know so that she can add them.
13 Beinn Reithe Fish Farm appeal update
MR explained that ACC have been closely monitoring progress on the proposed fish farm at Beinn Reithe because if it is successful, it will set a planning precedent for further fish farms to be developed in Loch Long.
MR reported at the previous ACC meeting on 6 June 2023 that the Ardentinny Community Council together with Gourock Community Council, Helensburgh Community Council, Hunters Quay Community Council and Lochgoil Community Council have written to Jenni Minto (Argyll), Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton), Stuart McMillan (Inverclyde), Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North), Ross Greer (West Scotland), Ariane Burgess (Highlands and Islands), Rhoda Grant (Highlands), Jamie Halcro Johnston (Highlands), Edward Mountain (Highlands), Emma Roddick (Highlands) and Minister Mairi Gougeon (Cabinet Sec. for Rural Affairs) to ask them to reject the Beinn Reithe Fish Farm appeal.
Of those contacted only 5 responded:
Stuart McMillan (Inverclyde)
Said that he “had no vote” so couldn’t help.
Ross Greer (West Scotland)
Confirmed his opposition to the FF.
Ariane Burgess (Highlands and Islands)
Gave a detailed reply and also confirmed her opposition to the FF.
Rhoda Grant (Highlands)
Simply deferred to the planning process by saying that “MSP’s have no locus in what is a legal process.”
Edward Mountain (Highlands)
Confirmed his position as being in line with the report on aquaculture that was published by the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee but said that he “had no part in the planning appeal which will be decided by a Government Minister.”
No responses were received from:
Jenni Minto (Argyll)
Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)
Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North)
Jamie Halcro Johnston (Highlands)
Emma Roddick (Highlands
Minister Mairi Gougeon (Cabinet Sec. for Rural Affairs)
Public Inquiry and Hearing sessions (Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997)
Subsequent to this the Reporter whose job it is to collect information and make recommendation to Ministers has announced that they will be conducting the
next phase of public hearings for approximately 6 days from 25th September until 28th September and then resume again on 4th October until 5th October 2023. The hearings will be held in the Three Villages Community Hall, Shore Road, Arrochar, G83 7AB.
The inquiry statements, hearing statements, documents and precognitions will be available electronically via Loch Lomond & Trossachs Nation Park Authority online planning public access system and also at the National Park authority HQ in Balloch for those who want more information.
Report from AFFtheClyde
David McDowall who has been advising ACC regarding the technical details of the fish farm appeal submitted the following report which MR read out to the meeting:
AffitheClyde submitted a written statement to the DPEA at the end of July dealing with waste aspect of development, spread of disease, vulnerability of the semi-enclosed cage design and the likelihood of widespread infection of captive fish, given the high stocking densities envisaged. This was responded to in part by Loch Long Salmon and AFFtheClyde submitted a response to this in early September.
A representative on behalf of AFFtheClyde will also be participating in the Hearing related to "Seascape, Landscape and visual effects" at the end of September.
We understand that the proceedings will be live streamed.
We'll provide more information on this later.
14 Liaison – MOD
BH updated the meeting regarding his attendance at the annual meeting of
HM Naval Base Clyde Local Liaison Committee (CLLC) 2023 held on Friday 25 August 2023 at the Clyde Off Site Centre (COSC) in Rhu.
This was the scheduled annual meeting of the CLLC. BH summarised the meeting from his notes of items of interest. (Note these do not necessarily cover all items discussed and do not replace the official Minutes of this meeting).
The meeting chairperson was Commodore Sharon Malkin Naval Base Commander. There were approximately 30 attendees representing Navy Ops, radiological monitoring, H&S, etc, Babcock’s safety rep,
SEPA, Argyll & Bute police, ambulance, fire, HNS, Argyll & Bute council, and various community councils including Rhu & Shandon, Garlochhead, Rosneath & Clynder, Cove & Kilcreggan and
The stated aim of the CLLC is to provide a forum for discussion of environmental, safety and social issues associated with HMNB Clyde that are of joint interest to us as neighbours in the community, with focus on nuclear, radiological, and emergency planning issues. In particular, to inform on the
scale of hazards and produce & review all offsite plans.
HMNB Clyde Site Operations 2022
The Valiant jetty expansion is ongoing
The Vanguard to Dreadnought transition will take place over the next 10 years beginning now. This will require changes on bases.
A total of 75 nuclear powered warships visited in 2022 (58 UK, 17 foreign).
Emergency Response/HECA & REPPIR
Several emergency response exercises were carried out in the last 12 months, including one based on a nuclear weapon incident on 12/4/22 and 3 based on nuclear reactor incidents – one at Coulport on 27 July. All exercises passed as ‘adequate’ – there were no fails (‘inadequate’).
Adequate or inadequate are the only 2 categories – there is no grading given.
What constituted ‘Adequate’ wasn’t specifically defined.
The Triennial review of REPRIR (Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001) was completed in Sept 2022 - no change notices issued.
A new buoy is to be used at Faslane which is 1.2km south of the existing site to allow more ships to arrive. This will extend the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) and take in an extra 90 residences.
The site at Glen Mallan is to be extended to allow for nuclear powered warships. This will also increase the DEPZ to include new properties on the east side of Loch Long and include areas in the National Park on west side Loch Long. This is north of Loch Goil and will not affect Ardentinny.
In response to a question, the navy accepted that these extensions may have objections from the Faslane peace camp.
[In the Clyde Offsite Emergency Plan the DEPZ is a zone 1.5km from the location of any possible incident. Residences within the zone are eligible for public information leaflets and other items (iodine tablets, etc). There is a document by issued by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) providing guidance on how the 1.5km distance for the zone is set.
Ardentinny sits just outside the Coulport DEPZ being approximately 1.7km from the closest part of Coulport.
Beyond the 1.5km DEPZ there is a 5km zone called the Outline Planning Zone (OPZ). Occupants in the OPZ will be alerted if there is an incident that could affect their direction of the OPZ. Ardentinny sits entirely within the OPZ.
The Clyde Offsite Emergency Plan does not cover in detail what would be done in the OPZ –this will be done on a case-by-case basis. Communication in the OPZ will be managed by civilian police and will cover items such as not passing through a release plume, road closures, evacuation or shelter, and other precautions or restrictions.
The Argyl & Bute Council representative Susan Connelly told me that this communication within the OPZ will use various means - social media, news, and there are plans to introduce access to the general mobile alert system that was trialled nationally recently.
Level 2 exercises cover events effecting the OPZ. Navy said in response to my question that it is not deemed necessary for detailed plans outside of the 1.5km - indeed the Navy say this could be considered detrimental.
Radiological Safety and Waste Management
Radiological waste arisings include solid, liquid and gas. Faslane produces solid & liquid arisings from reactor maintenance, etc. Solid waste is taken to Faslane, segregated, disposed of by their contractor. Generally, this goes by road to incineration in England or to disposal at Drigg in Cumbria in ISO freight containers or; posh wheelie bins. Liquid waste is taken to the Radioactive Effluent Facility in Faslane where it is transformed into a solid form then dealt with as solid.
Coulport produces tritium gaseous waste from weapons processes. This is dealt with by dispersion into atmosphere. The navy responded to my question that the options are limited for abatement or treatment and dispersion is all that is necessary to ensure safety.
In 2022 gaseous radiological discharges from Coulport were less than 7% of the set discharge limit.
Solid waste treatments at Faslane produced discharges less than 0.1% of their limit.
These discharge figures are all in the public domain in the Radioactivity in Food and the Environment reports (RIFE). The latest is from 2021 here. The 2022 report will be issued shortly.
Data gathering for the RIFE report is done by the University of Stirling.
A new waste treatment facility is under construction at Faslane called the Nuclear Support Hub (NSH). This facility will process liquid and solid arisings to the latest standards using the best practical methodology. It includes new portable effluent tank transfer barges from subs to hub.
Inactive commissioning is planned for autumn 2023 and the facility should be in full service in summer 2024.
There were 2483 near misses in 2022/23 financial year.
Injury accidents up from covid years (less people working from home) but within norms for industry.
Only 6% of conventional waste now goes to landfill compared with 30%+ in recent years.
Safety Assurance at the sites is covered by multiple internal teams and defence and external regulators covering multiple aspects of the facilities. This even includes veterinary regulators for the police dogs.
Two of the main regulators are the DNSR (Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator) and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). Neither group attended the meeting, but they sent updates covering the last year.
ONR reports are available in the public domain (latest report for 1 July to 31 Dec 2021 here).
Since 2015 the DNSR reports have not been released to the public domain.
SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) were present and gave an update. Links to their reports relevant to Coulport can be found here.
DNSR update items relevant to Coulport:
The Explosive Handling Jetty (the large building opposite Ardentinny) had some operational issues and was taken out of commission for a while. The issues were rectified and the jetty put back into operation.
Due to the Vanguard to Dreadnought transition, multiple modifications have been underway at Coulport (and are likely to continue). Following the current work, the DNSR team verified materials at the Trident Special Area and building 220 and were happy for the facility to return to service.
ONR update items
There were no items related to nuclear safety. There were several relating to
conventional safety, such as an electrical issue whilst changing batteries on a
Vangard submarine. Babcock were issued and complied with an Improvement
SEPA update items
SEPA are working on the updated RIFE report, sampling from the locality including postal survey, on site survey, mobile gamma spectrometry survey. Results will be published in the updated RIFE report.
SEPA are working on the application for the Nuclear Support Hub waste handling facility at Faslane (see above). This will be approved via letters of agreement (rather than permits, as the MoD is not subject to usual approvals). All aspects assessed are acceptable.
SEPA is defining a new performance assessment scheme for introduction in 2025. This will have more recognition of reasons for radiological discharges - not so binary - for example a hospital with higher radioactive use for a month because of more patients is not the same as a contractor who has repeatedly not complied with limits.
The local community council have asked MoD to look into fly tipping at the Peace Camp.
Attendees thanked the Navy for the update and letting us know what is going on. It was suggested that a more formal update to the community could be given - perhaps a visit to the community councils once a year? The Commodore responded that if we request, they will consider favourably.
In this respect, the MoD are currently working on a 40-year masterplan
At the end of his presentation BW agreed to put together a list of where the key information can be found and make this list available (possibly on the ECC website).
Ardentinny Renewables Trust
Douglas Menzies reported on the Ardentinny Renewables Trust (ART). He said that the trust were also in the process of changing banks
He reported that the current balance was circa. £22,355. He confirmed that several grants had been made to community projects/groups such as to Walled Garden, the Village Hall etc but that there is still plenty of funds available for community projects so ART was still open to applications. 5% of the net profit achieved by the hydro schemes goes direct to the trust for the exclusive use of the Ardentinny community area. DM said that ART had written to the Green Party informing them of the 4 Hydro Schemes run by the village but were disappointed by their response. Instead of recognising the potential for schemes such as this to be replicated in other areas of Scotland they basically just commended ART for what had been achieved.
Ardentinny Hall Management Team
Dee Robinson responded for the Ardentinny Village Hall by saying that as weekly updates were made (collectively with the ACC weekly news updates) she felt that there was nothing to add further at this meeting. Note: The Weekly News updates are available on the ACC website: www.ardentinnycc.co.uk
Ardentinny Community Trust
JB read out the written report provided by the Walled Garden:
The Walled Garden now have 4 young men volunteering through T.S.I and it’s working very well. Elena and Andrew are getting married on the 2nd September in the garden. Kathy Bruce has been working on a beautiful willow and bamboo sculpture for the garden and there is an open invitation to come along on the 10th September at 2pm and she will be there to talk about her work. The harvest fair will be held on the 1st of October 2023.
The garden will continue to be open from 11am till 2.30pm throughout the winter, weather permitting, Wednesday and Thursday.
Ardentinny Conservation and Heritage Group.
No report was provided.
JB said that as no wreath had been provided by the community for laying at the Village Memorial, he proposed that ACC purchase a wreath (for approximately £20) on behalf of the community. This was agreed by the meeting.
JB said that the Community Council had been invited to attend the Dunoon/Gourock Ferry meeting which is trying to gain support for further new car ferry service, JB confirmed that the ACC would attend to represent the local community interest in this.
Neil Robinson asked whether the ACC had heard anything about the possibility of wind turbines being sites on the hills adjacent to the village. MR confirmed that there had not been any planning applications made to date. Neil requested that if anyone becomes aware of plans to make the community aware asap.
17 Future Meetings
JB confirmed the dates for future meetings as:
Tuesday 5 Dec 2023 – 7.30pm – Ordinary Meeting
Tuesday 5 March 2024 – 7.30pm – Ordinary Meeting
Tuesday 11 June 2024 – AGM – 7.00pm followed by Ordinary Meeting – 7.30pm
ARDENTINNY COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING