Cree Valley Community Council notes

TRAFFIC congestion in Dashwood Square continues to be a problem with the uneasy combination of buses, cars, pedestrians and build-outs.

An elected member, speaking at Monday night’s meeting of Cree Valley Community Council, accused the council of putting in traffic management measures that were “not properly designed”.

The problems were varied: CVCC member Kevin Dean pointed out that school buses were still coming out from Church Street into the Square instead of going away from the Douglas Ewart High School via Barnkirk causing gridlock on occasions. This was, said councillor Graham Nicol a “bone of contention about what buses do and don’t go up by Barnkirk”.

CVCC chairman John McNaught said that all the junctions around Dashwood Square continue to be a problem since the introduction of the build-outs two years ago. Although complaints had been made repeatedly to the council, he added, there seemed to be no sign of the problem going away. In fact, said Mr McNaught, he felt that council were hoping the complainers would go away instead.

Councillor Geddes suggested the council contact council officer Alistair Speedie “yet again” to revisit the scheme as there was “ongoing concerns and apprehensions” in Newton Stewart about it.

Mr Geddes raged: “This was not properly designed. It started of as a desk top exercise in Dumfries. It’s common knowledge that, on the ground, the measurements were not as they should have been.”

COUNCIL penny pinching has left the CVCC with nowhere to store their Christmas lights without paying out hundreds of pounds.

The council depot at Barnkirk is “not an option”, according to Christmas lights convenor Bob Boan, who approached the council about storage there. Mr Boan said that there was the offer of storage at Community Players facility at the back of the Galloway Arms for a rent of £480. He said the cost could be split 50/50 with the Galloway Pageant committee and both organisations had agreed that the money would be a big help to the Players, who were struggling financially. But after discussion it was though that an alternative storage could surely be found in the a place the size of the McMillan Hall.

Mr Boan added that the council had told him they would only contribute £200 toward Christmas lights and were asking for £3,000 to put up the street lights and £1,200 to put the tree lights up this year. Councillor Nicol said the thought the figure the council would contribute was nearer £1.000.

Councillor Sandra McDowall said that Barnkirk would be idea as it was on the flat and the all the elected members advised the community council to ask the council officer who refused to let them store the lights at Barnkirk to come to a meeting to explain why.

“The council are here to serve you, not the other way round”, said Councillor Geddes.

THE issue of litter hotspots in the town of Newton Stewart were discussed at this week’s monthly meeting of Cree Valley Community Council.

Two places were mentioned as being particularly problematic - Ivy Place and the Cinema steps.

Mid Galloway Councillor Alistair Geddes said that the council would tidy any ground that belonged to them but they were not responsible for the two areas mentioned. It was therefore up to the landowners to take responsibility for this.

MEMBERS of Cree Valley Community Council were concerned to learn that officers employed to promote the Biosphere project in Galloway and South Ayrshire will not be based locally.

The two project officers will work from Gatehouse and Thornhill, but the meeting felt they would better placed at the heart of the project - in Newton Stewart or Glentrool.

Councillor Geddes said he understood the officers were based in Gatehouse and Thornhill “for the time being”, adding that a “base” should not be decided just yet.

He said: “If you are talking about officer accommodation there is a wonderful facility in Glentrool village itself that would do as a base.”

The officers will be coming to the community council to discuss issues with them regarding the biosphere project and how to will affect the Newton Stewart area.

Biospheres are places with world-class environments that are designated by the United Nations to promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. They are places which value and promote conservation and sustainable development on a regional scale. Biospheres are created to protect the biological and cultural diversity of a region while promoting sustainable economic development. They are places of cooperation, education and research where local communities, environmental groups, and economic interests can work collaboratively on conservation and development issues.

SOME trees in the town are causing residents concern especially after the recent high winds. Two at the small triangle near Penninghame School were now leaning over towards residents homes, said CVCC chairman John McNaught.

Other areas of concern were at Drew Avenue, Princes Street and at Blairmount.

Councillor Geddes suggested that community councillors met with council officers on site to view the trees in question.