The FVA held 2 events in the village hall last week. The first was the AGM which was well attended and the draft Minutes appear below. The second event was the March Coffee Morning which coincided with Pancake Day, so we had pancakes aplenty – our regular drop scones from the griddle along with traditional pancakes served with lemon or maple syrup.
Fearnan Village Association, Minutes of the AGM and Business Meeting
Held at 4.00 pm on the 1st March 2014
The Chair, Sue Gardener, opened the meeting by welcoming members. The meeting would be in 2 parts – the FVA Annual General Meeting, followed by the Business Meeting.
Annual General Meeting
Apologies were received from Pat Menzies, Peter McKenzie, Tim Wheeldon, Dan Clutterbuck, and Ian and Anne McGregor.
Minutes of the AGM 2013
The minutes of the AGM in 2013, along with the minutes of the 2013 Business Meeting were adopted and signed by the Chair.
Chair’s Report on the Year’s Activity
Membership – our present membership is 63, up from 57 last year.
Matters concerning or affecting the village:
Perth & Kinross Development Plan –The campaign of lobbying and letter writing proved to be well worth the effort, and was wholly successful. The original draft plan issued by the Council proposed 2 development sites and 40 new houses for Fearnan but, following our campaign, both sites were removed from the final version that was approved by the Council. The Chair thanked all those who had written letters objecting to the Council’s proposals.
Fearnan Brae/Main Road Junction – This issue was raised at the 2013 FVA meeting and, as requested, it was brought to the attention of the Community Council. As a result, the Chair had attended a meeting with representatives of PKC Roads Dept. to seek a solution.
Broadband – we continue to attend meetings and lobby for an improved service.
Fearnan History – Ian McGregor has done a considerable amount of work archiving material and researching the men commemorated on the War Memorial. Initial work has started on the possibility of an Interpretation Board for the Registered Monuments in or near the village (the Baptismal Font, the Boar Stone, the Measles Stone, and the Market Cross) and a walk to connect them.
Social Events: These continue to help to bring people together. The 2013 Winter Pudding Night was a great success and Coffee Mornings continue to be enjoyed. The Strawberry TeaZ held in the summer was a new venture, which proved to be successful and fun. Mulled Wine and Mince Pies provided a warming start to the Christmas Season, raised some money for the Aberfeldy Hospital, and proved a useful introduction for new comers to the village.
Thanks: We have had to say a sad farewell to Ian and Anne McGregor who have moved house and thank them for their loyal support and hard work on behalf of the Association since it started.
Special thanks also to our committee Julia Lane, Laurie Lane, Fiona Ballantyne, Neil Ballantyne and Peter McKenzie for their commitment and hard work during the year. Thanks to Julia for representing us on the Village Hall Committee and to Laurie for attending Loch Tay Association meetings on our behalf, and sincere thanks to all our members for their support.
Key points from the Treasurer’s Report: A table setting out Income and Expenditure for the last year was presented to the meeting.
- Funds carried forward at the end of the year amounted to £3693.60.
- Donations to good causes during the year amounted to £137.05, and the use of funds had included a Hot Plate Griddle and a Photo Mounting Board.
Key Points from the Blog Report: There has been a 25% increase over the year in people viewing the FVA Blog. Apart from the UK, we have regular readers in the US, Iceland, Canada, Germany and Australia. A Gallery Page has been added, using the photos from the Fearnan Archive, and this is now one of our most popular items. The blog articles about the project to identify the men commemorated on the Fearnan War Memorial has produced a number of new contacts and readers along with some interesting photographs for the Archive.
There were no further questions and the Chair declared the AGM closed and moved on to the Business Meeting.
FVA Business Meeting
Local Development Plan
Our objections to the proposed developments in the village were successful and the final Plan has now been adopted by PKC for the next 5 years. A copy of the Plan is available in Aberfeldy Library. The only building permitted within the village boundary will be in-fill, that is to say utilising any existing but undeveloped sites between houses in the village. Any development outside the boundary will be classed as ‘housing in the countryside’, that has a different set of planning policies and which should give us greater protection from development.
The latest information is that Perth and Kinross Council, Scottish Government, the UK Government, the EU and BT are to fund a project that will deliver 2MB broadband for rural areas by 2017. At the same time, Highland Perthshire Community Partnership has an initiative that is designed to ensure that peripheral areas that are not commercially attractive to the internet service providers are able to benefit from the government initiative.
A question was asked about the impact of a ‘Yes’ vote in September on the main project to deliver 2MB broadband. This is not clear at this stage but it could mean changes in the funding partners.
We have now purchased the domain name fearnanvillageassociation.com, which gives the blog an easier name to remember– http://fearnanvillageassociation.com. It can also be found by searching for http://fearnan.com. Many visitors to the site find us through searching for Fearnan on the Internet, and we know that people who are considering moving to the village have accessed the site for information about Fearnan.
There are 2 new developments planned for the Blog. The first is a Walking Map for the village (discussed below under Interpretation) and an Oral History project that will involve a series of interviews with people who have lived in the area for a long time and who have memories of the village in the past. These will be recorded, with the permission of the interviewees, and the recordings will be added to the Fearnan Archive.
Fearnan Brae Road Junction
This has been a bone of contention for many years, with local people arguing that visibility is very poor and the Roads Department maintaining that visibility is adequate. Following a meeting between the Community Council Chair and the Roads Department, the Council is proposing to mount a sensor on the Brae, which will transmit a warning to traffic on the main road about vehicles approaching the junction from the Brae. Mirrors were discussed but, not only do they get frequently stolen, we understand there would also be an insurance liability if there was an accident and it could be proved that the mirror was e.g. slightly misaligned, dirty or in some way inadequate. The Council’s solution means that responsibility remains with them. The positive outcome is that the Council are now engaged with the problem and we need to work with them.
Members at the meeting asked if the Council would consider reversing the sensors, so that traffic on the Brae received the warning about approaching traffic on the main road. The Chair will raise it with Councillors at the Community Council meeting at the end of March. She will also ask them to provide information about the timescale for this work.
As requested at the last meeting, a pancake griddle has been purchased and fresh pancakes are now available at the Coffee Mornings.
Ian McGregor has passed the Fearnan Archive to the FVA and we need to decide who is going to look after it. There is now a cabinet in the village hall for Fearnan memorabilia. There is enough material for another photo board, and we need to check that this would be acceptable to the hall committee. Julia Lane will check this. Action Julia Lane
Having left the village, Ian McGregor has offered the FVA the rights to his book about Fearnan. We plan to accept this offer, but need to investigate how we go about doing this formally.
Social Events and Dates
Our programme of events in 2014 will be as follows:
Coffee Mornings: all at 10.30 am in the village hall
15th April, 13th May, 10th June, 16th September, 14th October.
Strawberry TeaZ: Saturday 12th July, 3.00 pm.
Armistice Day, Centenary Event: Sunday 9th November,
11.00 am at the War Memorial, followed by Soup and Rolls.
Mulled Wine and Mince Pies: Saturday 6th December.
2015 Pudding Night: Saturday 21st February.
The meeting agreed that this year the Mulled Wine and Mince Pies event should be a fund-raiser for the village hall but felt that we should specify how the funds should be used.
The village has 4 registered monuments and in addition, there are other points of interest, such as the burial ground, the Gallery and the Pottery. During the course of the last year, the committee had tried to attract funds to develop an interpretation board that could be set in a central place in the village, along with signs for the monuments and the walking routes that connect them. So far we have not been successful in raising these funds but, in the meantime, we plan to put a walking map on the web site. Paper copies of the map can be made available in local holiday homes and visitor information offices. We will report progress on this as the project develops.
A number of suggestions were made as to how maps might be distributed and how people might be encouraged to walk the routes, and we will incorporate these into our thinking.
2014 marks 100 years since the start of the Great War and the FVA is proposing that, on Remembrance Day this year, we will serve Soup and Rolls in the hall after the service at the Memorial. It may also be the occasion to unveil the new photo board showing the material collected about the Great War and how it affected people in Fearnan.
PKC’s Green Space team have a budget to clean and repair local war memorials and the Fearnan Memorial is on their list. The step is to be repaired and set back into the memorial, rather than protruding, and the lettering is to be cleaned.
The farm is in the hands of the executors and we understand that it is to be put on the market. There is no other information available on plans for the farm.
The dead poplar tree close to the children’s play park was raised. The Chair has spoken to the owners who are aware of the concern.
The Chair thanked the members for attending and closed the meeting.