Feedback from the Public Consultation Meeting

Thank you to everyone that came to our Public Consultation meeting on March 30th, 2019 at the annexe.

We have now collated the feedback from the discussions. The purpose of the meeting was to promote the work of the LCDT (Lochwinnoch Community Development Trust) and to gather the views of the community relating to the proposed water project, as well as other future projects. It was important to determine the level of support in the community, gain insight into the type of future development opportunities that people wanted, as well as any challenges that may be faced.

The meeting was attended by 53 people, including Cllr Bill Binks & MSP Tom Arthur, the ages ranged from 31 to >75, sadly there was no representation from individuals aged 18 to 30, finding ways to engage this age group is one of the first challenges we face.

Below are details of the topics that were discussed and a flavour of some of the 150 views that were captured by the facilitators. (A full list of the feedback can be downloaded below)

What are the positives about Lochwinnoch- why do we choose to live here?

  • Good community spirit; sense of belonging; people say “hello” to one another and to strangers; acceptance
  • Mixed community with lifelong residents and newcomers; good age balance between old and young; not snooty Good people – caring, sharing
  • Access to nature: hills and water ; wind in your hair; lots of scope for outdoor activities proximity and connections to Largs, Troon, Irvine, Glasgow and the airport – rail links easy commute
  • Local services and businesses – doctor, dentist, chemist, vet, library, Post office, Spar/grocer, newsagent, butcher, bakery
  • 12 places to have meetings including the Bowling club, Lochbar Leisure, Masonic hall, library, Castle Semple, Golf Club, The Annexe
  • 3 active churches; 2 physical churches
  • Safety; low crime; community policing; good community relations
  • Arts Festival and Gala Day – attended by 1,000+ people; for families; inter-generational

What are the challenges living in Lochwinnoch?  What could be made better?

  • Flooding – annual and no improvement; back water into Semple Loch to save houses further down; dredge river by bridge. Drains blocked – Johnshill, Mansfield Road
  • Speed of traffic. Needs traffic calming, 20 m.p.h. limit and/or a one-way system; traffic management at the Cross; big vehicles on Lochlip Road
  • Bus drivers and timetables could be better; bus timetable information; guarantee people buses during the day for people who have a bus pass
  • Facilities suffering from lack of Council funding. Can we fill the gap e.g. bio-diversity officer, ranger, teaching assistants?
  • Lack of response when dealing with or trying to speak to the Council
  • Lack of youth engagement; need un-programmed time and space for kids and more events and a youth club Activities are skewed towards the older generation with little for kids
  • Divide in the village with same people involved. Challenge is how to breach the divides and get others involved.
  • We need a pot of money for 15-20 years to run training courses and signpost to other opportunities – to foster music talent. Business students could get involved in the project

If resources (money) were available, what projects could enhance the village?  What projects should LCDT focus on in the future?  What would you like to see developed?

  • Maintenance of McKillop, the Annexe, the playpark/skate park Improving the condition of pavements
  • Look at other transport options that will cater for young and old and tackle recognised isolation. Could we connect up to Car Club? Rickshaws?
  • LA site improves sports facilities, especially changing facilities Sports related structured recreation programme for kids and adults – it could involve the golf course, sailing club, bowling green, tennis court, and football. This could be an Active Communities post, plus coaches and mentors
  • Provide 1-2 bed properties (very few available) and sheltered housing in partnership with a Housing Association (lost 2 care homes)
  • Set up a Lochwinnoch Credit Union, we do have access to Johnston CU, but we need a better banking service
  • Sponsored apprenticeships to provide youth employment
  • Space for 11-18 year olds; encourage more parents and teenagers to get involved. Youth pot of funding for them to use for projects
  • Tool library or hardware store. Tools via donations and shed clearances. Could consider looking at the Council owned sheds on Gates Road as a space? (Lots of unused sheds there)
  • community run bus service, catering for different groups, at different times

Water extraction project: what are the upsides and downsides of developing this project?  What would you like to see happening / not happening? How can we overcome any challenges? Positives

  • Income for the village can support other community projects Profits will allow further investment in the village buildings and environment
  • It makes use of an existing resource that might otherwise not get used – Sustainable source
  • Environmental positives – fresh water; supply water directly on a large scale
  • Job creation – bottling, micro-brewery
  • Water-related businesses, artisan tonic water, branded as Lochwinnoch and creating jobs in the bottling plant
  • Potential to pump out to the B760 Negatives impact of tankers in terms of traffic – 3 tankers/day could increase to 6. Maybe Church St is not the best place for it?
  • What happens if the water extraction doesn’t work?
  • Communication with the community about the project

This has been a very useful exercise highlighting the views and some concerns voiced by those who attended the meeting, all feedback will be discussed by directors of LCTD.

The next step in the community consultation will be to arrange meetings for different focus groups.