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Tuesday April 17, 2012

Edgemore 8pm until 9.45pm

In Attendance:

Elvanfoot Residents                                  Guests
Wilma Alexander                                      Aileen Campbell, MSP
Amanda Burgauer                                      Ian MacAllan, Council Candidate
Marc Burgauer                                        Ralph Barker, Council Candidate
Jill Burke                                           Molly Wilkinson, Crawford Community Council
Len Hopkinson
Todd Hopkinson                                       Apologies
Jean Humble                                          David Barclay
Jim Humble                                           Claudia Beamish, MSP
Andrew Knowles-Brown                                 Helen Hally, CEDAER
Denise Lindsay                                       Colin Mackie
Elizabeth MacArthur                                  Ian McEwan
Helen Macleay                                        Yvonne McEwan
Stuart Macleay
Graham McDonald
Kathy McDonald
Noel Price
David Robertson
Ian Spence
Kerry Spence
Maryann Taylor
Jonas Wheeler
Thalia White

IS opened the meeting at 8.15pm with a welcome message and an introduction to the Elvanfoot
Residents Association. He explained the background to the formation of ERA and laid out the plan
for the evening’s consultation.

AB then facilitated a group discussion to find out what people felt was needed in Elvanfoot. 50 years
ago, Elvanfoot was a thriving community, with a station, a post office and a village hall. The general
feeling was that there was currently no focal point in the village and it was seen just as a place to
drive through.

The lack of broadband availability is a major problem for all in the village. Of the group attending, 6
are trying to run businesses from Elvanfoot and finding it hard because of the lack of connectivity. 4
stated they could reduce commuting and work from home more regularly were the broadband
capacity increased.
AB told the group of some of the research she had conducted on ways to improve broadband in the
area, including upcoming 4G services once the auction has taken place, the availability (or lack
thereof) of mobile broadband and a project in Lancashire that has delivered Community Owned
Broadband in a similar area to our own, although to more villages. She suggested that a broadband
working group be set up to develop a viable project. DR and JW volunteered to join this working

A problem has arisen with light pollution from the Elvanfoot Substation, as their floodlights are on all
night. No-one could come up with a reason why this should be necessary and DL agreed to take this
forward and discuss with Scottish Power.

There was general support for subsidised energy and / or microgeneration given that we are now
surrounded by turbines. Previous discussions with SSE were reported as them being unable or
unwilling to provide assistance in this but it was felt that alternatives could be looked into.

Mention was made of the large number of plots for sale with planning permission. No-one was
exactly sure how many this is, but it was felt that improving Elvanfoot would encourage people to
buy and develop the plots. Overall it was felt that new houses bringing more people to the village
would be a good thing. There are several unoccupied houses at the moment, including property to
rent, and improvements to the village might make these easier to let. The group agreed that they
would like to see these occupied and the abandoned buildings brought back into use.

Transport is a major problem in the village with only two buses a day and neither at times suitable
for college or work. It was felt that this is too big an issue for ERA alone, but that we should look
into the Rural Community Transport service and to linking with Glencaple and Lowther Development
Group and other organisations working on transport.

The application to demolish the Elvanfoot Suspension Bridge has been withdrawn by South
Lanarkshire Council and we can, as a village group, seek funding for the restoration of the bridge. DR
brought to the group’s attention that not only is the suspension bridge in need of repair, but that the
main road bridge over the Elvan in the village is once again damaged, both on the kerbs at the sides
and underneath the bridge where the structure is in a poor state. It was agreed to report this to
South Lanarkshire Council Roads Department.

It was felt that the bridge is an important feature in Elvanfoot, but that a standalone project to
repair the bridge was not enough and that it should be part of an effort to recreate a community
space for the village. A wider discussion ensued on what exactly the community space should

    -   Social opportunity
    -   Shared infrastructure
    -   Pub or cafe
    -   Multipurpose meeting space
    -   Health and Fitness
    -   Education hub, internet links to courses, some classes internally
    -   Entertainment, e.g. exhibitions, music, cinema screenings
    -   Microbrewery
   -   Cidery (making cider from Clyde Valley apples)
   -   Skills exchange
   -   Craft hub
   -   Innovation centre, cheaper/closer incubation units
   -   Access to outdoor activities, eg over the Clyde and up the hill into the windfarm, for cycling,
       running, trails etc.
   -   Employ 1-2 local people
   -   Attraction to visitors, including cyclists passing by on the Lands End/John O’Groats race etc

The meeting agreed that Elvanfoot Residents Association would take these ideas forward, creating
working groups as necessary and continuing to keep everyone informed through leaflets, email and
the ERA website.


Ian Spence and Amanda Burgauer will meeting with South Lanarkshire funding leaders on Monday
April 23, 2012 to discuss these ideas and try to get funding for feasibility studies for:

   1. Repair of the Elvanfoot Suspension Bridge
   2. The creation and sustainability of a community space, either in one of the abandoned
      building in Lower Elvanfoot, or as a new build
   3. The development of a broadband project, as a social enterprise or community benefit
   4. The development of outdoor activities to take place on the windfarm site once construction
      is completed to be linked to the community space via the Suspension Bridge
   5. The removal to safekeeping of the stained glass windows from Elvanfoot Church
Appendix 1 – posted on the ERA website forum by Ian and Yvonne McEwan, whose wedding
anniversary prevented them from attending the consultation.

Permalink Submitted by IanandYvonne on Sun, 04/15/2012 - 16:32

Not having fast Broadband affects us in many ways, as I'm sure it does all of us. We couldn't agree more with
what Amanda has written, and we admire her drive. General headings of what we are missing out on, or struggle
with are:
Current affairs
iPlayer, etc.
We don't even have a landline; there is no point since it doesn't support Broadband.
We are restricted to O2, so we can't take advantage of competition.
O2 is prone to disruption of service, sometimes for a couple of weeks at a time.
We are restricted to Sky for television because we don't have Broadband.
Web design - I had a design agency and relocated because BT told me that they could supply fast Broadband.
I used to do some consultancy, but where's the point in being a computing and IT guy when I'm living in the
computing dark ages?
Of course we need upload speeds to be at least as fast as the download.
Kindle - we have to go the pub to download books because not only do we not have Broadband, but we ain't got
3G either.
These are just a few thoughts, straight off the top of our wee heads, and clearly there are overlapping categories
because the Internet is so crucial to modern life. Lack of Broadband adversly affects us each and every day. We
support wholeheartedly what Amanda is doing and will help in whichever way we are able.

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