Port William Community Council Notes

POLICE officers attending the first meeting of the Port William Community Council in 2012 confirmed they had received reports of “a prowler” in gardens in South Street recently.

One community councillor said she had an unsettling incident when someone rung her door bell at five in the morning a couple of weeks ago.

The police had investigated both incidents and suggested that perhaps it could have been a drunken prank.

The officers asked for the residents to be vigilant and report any similar incidents to them immediately.

The officers added that it had also been reported to them that the portable unit situated up on the Maxwell Park had been vandalised.

There has also been an increase in the number of quad bikes going missing from farms in the Dumfries and Galloway area and owners of quad bikes were warned to make sure their vehicles were secured.

THERE was concern about the possibility of damage to the tarmac parking area in front of the Second Sands beach area at the north end of the village due to HGV’s parking there overnight.

CC member Pauline Watkins said this practice must be damaging to the ground but it was agreed that as the land was privately owned and the landowner had given permission for the lorries to park there it was nothing to do with the community council.

Wigtown West Councillor Grahame Forster said that if there was any deterioration in the surface of the parking bay Dumfries and Galloway Council had an obligation to protect the road and the coastline.

A Port William businessman who has ambitious plans for a turning an iconic building in the village into a tourist attraction has asked for a letter of support from the community council.

Joiner Frank Gilmour is in the process of turning the 200-year-old former mill in the village into a heritage site with a working mill and holiday accommodation.

He was also planning to offer training for tradesmen during the renovation process.

Community councillor Anna Thompson pointed out that the village’s development Trust were on the point of buying the building when Mr Gilmour stepped in to purchase it.

Mrs Thompson said that the plans that the Development Trust had drawn up were the same as what Mr Gilmour was planning.

“He has used the plans that we had. That’s exactly what we planned,” she said.

Chairman Jock McMaster commented that Mr Gilmour had obviously had “sound advise” about the way ahead and the community council unanimously agreed to give him a letter of support in his quest to find funding for his project.

The eternal problem of water coming off the Mill Hill onto the road was discussed once more.

The crux of the matter was that the council would not consider putting a drain in if the landowner, and there was a debate as to who that might be, was still discharging water from the land.

“It’s the chicken and the egg syndrome, said Grahame Forster.

Jock McMaster said that the water had been on the road at that point “all my lifetime” and he asked for some time to do some investigations into tracking down the landowner.

Port William webmaster David Hirst reported to the community council that there had been 1468 hits in the last month and that 1182 of those were looking for accommodation.

He could also report that 73 per cent were new users.

The village of Port Williams in Nova Scotia had been in touch with an idea to link the two villages in some way.

Councillor Hirst said that the Canadian village was of a similar size to Port William and Port William Primary School had expressed an interest in linking up with the school over there.

CONSTRUCTION traffic accessing the new housing development via Church Street have damaged the manhole covers and slabs that protect the PO cables for a second time it was reported at Wednesday night’s meeting of the community council.

The manhole covers had already been replaced once before but the constant heavy traffic going up to the site had caused cracks in the covers again. Wigtown West Councillor Grahame Forster said he would contact the council about the damage.

Community councillor Annie Murray made a heartfelt appeal for the interior of the main hall in the village’s Maxwell Hall to be painted.

She said that there were lots of other village halls in the Machars that were a pleasure to go into, but the hall in Port William fell well short of those standards.

The meeting unanimously agreed with her point adding that a fresh lick of paint would be most welcome as the hall was well used by a variety of community groups.

Grahame Forster said he would make enquiries to the criminal justice department to see if it was possible to get someone to do the work as part of their community service.