Scottish election May 2021

Stirling Council Media Release

Voters urged to get election-ready for May

Stirling residents are being urged to get ready for the Scottish Parliament elections as early as possible.

Scotland will go to the polls in less than three months’ time on 6 May and general voter registration closes on 19 April.

With a significant increase expected for postal votes amid the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, the deadline for postal vote registration has been brought forward to 6 April to allow the anticipated surge in applications to be processed in time for the vote count.

Carol Beattie, Constituency Returning Officer for Stirling and Stirling Council Chief Executive, said: “The process of voting in this year’s election is going to look very different because of Covid.

“Significant changes will be made to polling stations and our vote count location to make sure everyone taking part in this year’s election in whatever capacity can do so safely and in line with government restrictions.

“If you’re 16 or over, it is time to start thinking about how this will affect you, especially if you want to use a postal vote. Our advice is to check if you’re registered now and consider your options for voting in the weeks ahead.”

The Electoral Registration Office for Central Scotland is the key source of information on voter registration for residents in Stirling.

Information on registering and methods of voting are available on its website and letters have already been sent to households across Stirling with the current voter registration status of occupants.

Pete Wildman the ERO for the Stirling Council area said: “I would encourage anyone who wishes to vote by post at this election to apply now for their postal vote.”

Rural Stirling benefits from £1.7 million of LEADER funding

Stirling Council Media Release

More than £1.7 million has been committed to 58 community and business projects in rural Stirling as part of the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER programme.

The LEADER programme aims to help innovative, locally driven, bottom-up projects that will support the local community and develop the rural economy.

Since 2015, Stirling Council has hosted the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER Team who have been supporting a wide range of community organisations, businesses and farms to prepare projects and applications for funding.

As well as investing £1.76 million in rural projects in the area, the LEADER programme has also levered in an additional £3.23 million into the area.

This created and safeguarded 95 jobs, directly supported 678 enterprises and created or improved 50 community facilities.

Convenor of the Finance and Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley said: “By supporting these grassroots projects and ideas, either for new start-ups or existing businesses taking a new direction, we have been able to empower our local communities, giving confidence to a community or business to make something happen which will benefit their wider area.

“We find that the most resilient, strongest and effective projects are those that have the community at their heart. The impact and benefits of these rural initiatives are wide-ranging; delivering confidence, mental health improvements, physical activity, improved income opportunities, access to services and support, friendship and so much more.”                                   

Vice Convenor Alison Laurie said: “There have been numerous benefits that have come through the LEADER funding, from creating and safeguarding jobs, to the setting up of businesses, new products and area-wide events, all of which will help rural areas prosper in future.

“A key part of LEADER is about learning and sharing learning, and the positive experiences that have already been achieved will help guide the development of future community and locally led projects.”

LEADER is an EU and Scottish Government funded programme which is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Examples of project successes for Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER have included:

Creating resilient and Smart Communities

The Rural Food Hubs project led by Forth Environment Link

–        Having already set up a ‘Neighbourfood Hub’ in the city centre, the project organised ‘Click and Collect’ local food hubs in Balfron and Killin to service rural South West and Highland Stirling, along with local hosts G63 and Scrumptious Garden.

Rural Food Hubs

–        Both markets found their services were very much in demand during the Covid-19 lockdown, with 34 food producers supplying to customers in Balfron and 20 to the market in Killin. Satellite pick up points were also set up in Killearn, Aberfoyle and Drymen with volunteers also delivering to people who were shielding during lockdown.

Investing in sustainable economic actions

Fishing Around the Forth

–        The project has supported 20 fisheries in the FVL area.

–        The project saw creation of a hub including website and online ticketing for wild fisheries to use. This allowed the fisheries to adapt to changing times during the pandemic.

Fishing Around The Forth

–        Fishing around the Forth has supported outdoor recreation by promoting fishing available along with tourism to the fisheries.

–        Having resources during these times when many businesses did not saved the 2020 fishing season.

Preparing climate actions

Loch Earn Railway Path Phase 4

–        The completion of Phase 4 has enabled people to use 1.8km of route that was previously difficult to navigate, as an alternative option of travelling actively, instead of using the busy A85 trunk road.

Loch Earn Railway Path

–        The new route allows for the comfortable navigation for path users while still accommodating for farm and estate use.

–        Although one section does come off of the old railway line, the path alignment is as direct as feasibly possible while ensuring an enjoyable, scenic route.

Fostering partnership working

Local Food and Drink Co-ordinator

–        The project aimed to increase the range and number of local food production, processing and retail outlets and marketing opportunities in the area.

Local Food and Drink Coordinator

–        The project saw production of the Alive with Local Food Strategy, a well-researched strategy focusing on support for the local food and drink economy.

–        It supported the setting up of the Local Food Business Network to increase the visibility of local food businesses and facilitate better collaboration between businesses.

–        It helped establish a Forth Valley Food Festival to become an annual promotional campaign to celebrate local food businesses and give visitors a chance to experience local food.

Social Inclusion and addressing inequalities.

Barrwood Camp Ground Extension Project

Barrwood Camp Ground Extension Programme

–        The project aimed to develop facilities and paths, and enhance biodiversity to allow customers and members of the public to access a previously inaccessible area of the Barrwood.

–        The infrastructure provided by this project has proved very attractive to customers of all ages and abilities, and has been well used over the last eighteen months.

–        The Trust is experiencing increased residential use by youth groups, all of whom enjoy more active outdoor experiences when present.

–        Increased day visitor numbers and more walkers passing through have also been noticed.

Councillors approve new household waste and recycling policy – Stirling Council

Stirling’s Councillors have adopted a new household waste and recycling policy which includes a 100% concession scheme for the new Garden Waste Permit.

The £35 annual opt-in charge for garden waste collection will start on 19 April and will support the Council’s drive to improve its household waste collection services.

Residents in receipt of a council tax reduction will be eligible to receive their permit for no charge, along with those who receive a garden maintenance service.

A household with someone who is ‘severely mentally impaired’ may also qualify for the concession.

Almost 7,000 of Stirling Council’s householders will be entitled to the free service and will receive their permit directly.

Transparency

The new policy consolidates the current practices of the Council’s waste and recycling services to households for ease of reference and transparency. 

There are only four areas of current service provision which will change under the new policy (We will advise residents when these changes will apply):

  • A household of five or more, rather than a household of six or more, with excess non-recyclable can apply for their standard 240L grey bin (general waste) to be swapped for a larger 360L grey bin.
  • Households with more than two children in nappies will now be able to apply for the non-hazardous healthcare waste collection service – an additional 240L grey (general waste) bin.
  • From April 2021, and once the current stock is depleted, the Council will no longer provide food waste caddy liners from Council buildings. Residents can put food waste in their caddy loose, line their caddy with newspaper or kitchen roll or purchase compostable liners from supermarkets or online.
  • As part of the current standard household waste and recycling collection service, contaminated recycling bins are not emptied. Whilst the Council would encourage contamination to be removed, residents can now request a chargeable uplift for a contaminated bin. 

Members of the Environment and Housing Committee approved the policy following a vote last week (11 February).

The policy reflects the changes to the Council’s Waste Transformation Programme that was approved by Councillors in June 2020.

Almost 70,000 new grey and brown bins have been delivered to households (as of 10 Feb) as part of phase one of the transformation.

Along with the policy, the committee report also includes a list of waste and recycling requirements for the public, such as container presentation times, contamination guidelines, collection of missed bins, assisted collections and bulky uplifts.

To view the report, the policy and guidelines, please click here to download the agenda papers.

A recording of the Environment and Housing Committee meeting is available to view on the Council’s YouTube channel

Discretionary Business Support Fund

Information from Councillor Martin Earl

Below is a link to the new Discretionary Business Support Fund that is being administered by Stirling Council.

This fund is designed to provide support for those businesses that have been unable to obtain support since October last year.

This is for small and micro businesses ( 50 employee or fewer) . The following  designations are eligible :-

NOTE :  Applications must be made by 5pm February 10

  • Limited Company (including Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations and social enterprises)
  • Sole Traders
  • Trusts
  • Partnerships
  • Community Interest Companies
  • Freelancers
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Sub-contractors

https://www.stirling.gov.uk/jobs-business-investment/business-advice-support/discretionary-business-support-fund/

Thornhill Views Feb 2021

Please find a link to Edition 42 of Thornhill Views. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZI74-6BQxkRXtad93Gi8RsvpIKvNiHTL/view?usp=sharing

As we are in lockdown and aiming to Stay at Home we are not distributing hard copies door to door this time.  We are therefore, once more, seeking the support of local community group secretaries and organisers if they would kindly distribute this copy through their membership circulation lists on our behalf.

Printed copies will be available in the shop later in the week so when you are buying your essential items from Robert and his team you can collect a copy – not forgetting one for anyone who is shielding at present.

We’re pleased to get this edition out in time for people to note the date for the Community Council meeting this week as well as articles about:

  • What does the Future hold for Thornhill and surrounding area?
  • Dog-fouling – the word on the pavie
  • Wind-farm development 
  • The new TCT chair – a profile in our Villager Views series
  • Will you be heart-bombing this Valentine’s Day?
  • Twenty’s Plenty
  • Dates for your Diary – a bit of fun to look forward to!

Petition against proposed new Stirling link road

Information from Councillor Martin Earl

Dear All,

You may be interested in signing this petition.

The Council have agreed to build/fund this link road. This has created  a lot of controversy and generated a large number of objections. This petition has been lodged via the Council’s new e petition platform seeking a reconsideration of that decision.

I do not support the building of this link road for many reasons ranging from use of scarce finances to environmental concerns and the need for this new road and believe it is the right thing for a reconsideration of the original decision voted through at a council meeting

https://engage.stirling.gov.uk/en-GB/initiatives/viewforth-link-road-a-pause-for-reconsideration-community-consultation

Further information about the proposed link road can be found here: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/news/2019/january-2019/plan-lodged-for-new-stirling-city-link-road/

Scotrail/First Bus Service Update & Funding Opportunities

Information from Councillor Martin Earl

Scotrail have announced reductions in services from February 1

Link below to drop down menus for each route providing specific information:-

https://www.scotrail.co.uk/february-2021-timetable-change?utm_source=FebTTservice&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=531577_February%20Timetable%20Update

First Bus have made changes to services due to a number of Covid cases related to the Bannockburn Depot.

This link enables you to find the service of interest and keep tabs of current timetables

https://www.firstgroup.com/south-east-and-central-scotland/plan-journey/timetables/?source_id=2&operator=25&page=1&redirect=no

Here is a link to a specific support fund launched for Taxi and Private Hire companies/drivers

https://www.stirling.gov.uk/jobs-business-investment/business-advice-support/taxi-and-private-hire-driver-support-fund/

Here is a link to a fund just launched for businesses supporting the Wedding Sector

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/service/funding/scottish-wedding-industry-fund#nextsteps