Last week at the River Community Council’s regular monthly get together in the URC hall Simon Noble revealed that he had recently held a meeting with residents from the “Sutors” area of Lochloy where there have been grass cutting problems in recent times. Simon told the meeting that there were 143 properties in the area and a survey had received responses from around 25% of those. Of those around 20 had given contact details. Those 20 people were invited to a meeting at the Dunbar Golf Club. Present at that meeting were councillors Liz MacDonald, Colin MacAulay and Andrew McCracken from the planning deparment, also invited as an independent representative was Frank Milne solicitor from Donaldson and Henderson and Robbie Barron from RB Landscapes who is one of the contractors that operates in the area.
Simon said: “it was a really good response from those that were invited and a good attendance.” He went on: “To cut a very long story short the residents agreed to form their own group to take forward two possible courses of action. One was that they felt that they wanted to take into their own hands making arrangements for grass-cutting area maintenance, plant maintenance in their own area. It was the only way they concluded that they could ensure that something would actually take place. The legal and historical issues are so complex that it could be a long time before, let’s say, the right answer was arrived at. They decided to take their own initiative and they did that on the basis that they could perhaps attract something affordable and reasonable without having to get involved in really expensive contracts and all the rest of that.”
One of the residents present was elected chairperson; the new group also want to explore the possibility of residents, particularly around the play area where there is a very large squareish space in the middle of the Sutors development, purchasing parcels of the land. According to Simon there is a glimmer of a possibility that they could buy that from the administrators of the now defunct developers.
Tommy Hogg, chair of River CC then said: “My own personal thoughts, I think that they will find it quite difficult to get a consensus from everybody.”
Colin MacAulay then said: “Big thanks to Simon, it’s not been an easy journey for Simon at all but its the first time it has taken a step in the right direction, in a number of years I think. There’ s still lots of wee bridges to be crossed. I don’t know whether there will be the kind of angst. I think it is a case of actually those that want to make the case just moving. I think there will be people that won’t care, when it comes to the maintenance side it will be like all these things, there will be some people that it will be very difficult to get funding out of but that doesn’t stop the majority going ahead.”