It seems that many of the residents in our area are unaware of what the Community Council does or what has transpired at the monthly meetings. The Community Council is your representative voice for any matters concerning the village including policing, planning, road safety and anything else that affects the quality of life here. While you can raise many of these matters directly with the responsible authorities it is more effective if you also advise the Community Council who can then reinforce your concerns, possibly co-ordinating them with those made by other concerned residents, by adding its support by means of its complaint thereby adding weight to the comments.
The proceedings of the Community Council are posted on the village website www.abernethyvillage.co.uk and on the notice boards. The shortcoming of this method is that it requires you to remember to go and look and you must know when they are going to be available. Also it is difficult to let the community know when something exceptional is to be dealt with at the Community Council meeting and you lose the opportunity to express your support or concerns. To address these problems it is proposed that a newsletter, delivered by email to all subscribers' inboxes, will be established in the village and will be sent out a week after the meeting with details of what has been discussed and what action has been taken or proposed. A week before the meeting a newsletter will be issued with an agenda for the meeting. The newsletter will also be used to advise subscribers of any exceptional matters which need to be brought to the attention of the residents as and when necessary.
To be successful this newsletter requires to have a mailing list of all those residents wanting to receive a copy. This list will not be made available to anyone other than the newsletter issuer. If you wish to receive a copy please subscribe by sending an email to email@example.com
After a near-death experience Abernethy Community Council is back in business with a total of seven (out of nine available seats) volunteering to serve on the council. The enlarged committee should enable us to be more effective, the first proposal will be to allocate specific members specific responsibilities so for instance we will have someone reviewing the weekly planning application list, someone else covering police and neighbourhood matters, another looking at the amenity of the area (bins emptied, roads gritted, grass cut etc.); this approach will ensure that the bread and butter business of the community council will be given the same priority as ongoing matters such as the TayPlan, Binn Eco Park development, local planning proposals and the many initiatives emanating from local and central government.
One topic that came up at the November meeting was communication so elsewhere in the Crier Les McIntosh sets out his thoughts on a more direct approach to informing the community of recent council business. We will trial this for a period then ask for feedback and if considered successful and worthwhile it will be adopted. Notwithstanding this, there is no substitute for in-person attendance at our monthly meetings so we hope that the recent and very welcome increase in villagers in attendance will be maintained.
For future Crier editions we will attempt to summarise more recent community council proceedings and anticipate topics or noteworthy events that are likely to occur before the Crier’s next quarterly publication Cycle.
Main Issues Report: the final consultation shows that the PKC Reporter has recommended that the four areas in Abernethy and three in Aberargie are rejected. While developers can still challenge his recommendation the rationale behind the rejection is sufficiently robust that it is unlikely the recommendation would be overturned. The community council will be responding to the consultation by supporting the Reporter’s recommendation in respect to the seven areas, it is very important that villagers respond too so that PKC can see the depth and breadth of community feeling.
Planning Applications: one particularly noteworthy planning application was lodged in January: an application to increase the current anaerobic digestion facility more than two fold. Lodged by an unfamiliar company as the previous operator had gone into receivership, a quick check with Companies House revealed that the management of this new venture is virtually that which was responsible for running the now defunct TEG. This raised the prospect of a return of the noxious odours we experienced from the former operation but potentially magnified more than two fold. Having raised our concerns with the new operator we will be accepting their invitation to present their proposals at a future community council meeting, we intend to hold them far more to account than might have been evident in the past.
Police Matters: while no substitute for actual police presence at our monthly meetings, Police Scotland publish a “Commander’s Report” which we now post to the village Facebook page (Abernethy Perthshire), this provides a concise summary of crime patterns and incidents, both locally and also across the greater Perth and Kinross area; I urge you to read the updates as we have experienced some crime in the past few weeks so we need to be ever vigilant and aware of all that is going on around us. Those readers of the Facebook postings will be aware of several reported crimes in and around our area: the thefts of heating oil, garden and power tools (both from vehicles and sheds), quad bikes and agricultural equipment and machinery, most regarded by the police as opportunistic thefts but they stress that we tend to make life easy for the criminals through lapses in basic security.
The last word on this subject: there have been reports of suspicious workmen in the general area, apparently exploiting the recent stormy weather offering on-the-spot roof repairs, the police advice is to treat these enquiries with utmost caution and if in doubt politely but firmly decline their solicitation.
And finally, the community council was consulted on and responded to the national police plan. While the document contained some fine words and superficially impressive statistics we stressed the need for more back to basics community policing and greater visibility and awareness of road safety but we have also asked for an explanation for the poor clear up rates for house breaking which some still (unfathomably) consider a victimless crime.
Village Maintenance: January’s cold spell and stormy weather exposed some of the village maintenance shortcomings that are now centrally controlled by PKC with several people reporting lack of gritting or blocked drain. Through Councillor Anderson these complaints have been raised with PKC and while we recognise the need for prioritisation (school bus and arterial routes) we will monitor actual activity against PKC’s maintenance schedule.
Future Events: at time of writing this update (31st January) the sole noteworthy event in the diary is PKC’s Main Issues Report community drop-in sessions, the dates of which are in February and early March so will be posted to the Facebook page.