Muckhart Village from Seamab

Slow Ways Initiative

Clackmannanshire Council recently confirmed its support for the Slow Ways initiative and the Traffic & Transportation team has adopted Slow Ways as an external resource in its latest Active Travel Action Plan. MCC welcomes and supports this development.

Amongst other ideas, the Active Travel Action Plan sets out the plans for inter-community routes for active travel, off our roads, and part of this process will involve identifying and testing various walking and cycling routes and options. This is where Slow Ways – and you – can have an important role to play. Your support and local knowledge can make the Council’s task easier and more informed. So, what is the Slow Ways initiative?

Slow‌ ‌Ways‌ ‌is‌ ‌an‌ ‌ambitious‌ initiative‌ to‌ ‌create‌ ‌a‌ ‌comprehensive‌ ‌network‌ ‌of walking‌ ‌routes‌ ‌that‌ ‌connect‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌Britain’s‌ ‌cities‌ ‌and‌ ‌towns‌ ‌as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌thousands‌ ‌of‌ ‌villages. 700 volunteers completed a first draft mapping of the Slow Ways network during the Spring 2020 lockdown. The organisers are now looking for 10,000 volunteers to help walk, review, record and improve the Slow Ways routes.

Each Slow Way route connects two neighbouring settlements and routes can be combined for longer journeys. As far as possible, routes are direct, off-road, safe, accessible, easily navigable and pass through settlements with services and public transport hubs. The Slow Ways network – through its unique approach to plotting, mapping and recording routes – aims to make it easier for people to see, plan, enjoy and share walks between places.

Slow‌ ‌Ways‌ ‌will be used for both recreational and functional purposes, aiming to offer‌ reasonably direct walking options backed by trusted route information. This will include walking‌ ‌to ‌visit ‌friends‌ ‌and‌ ‌family, ‌travelling to meetings, going to shops, pilgrimages, charity fundraisers or travelling ‌to‌ ‌school‌ ‌or‌ work.

A large number of potential benefits have been identified by volunteers, partners and backers in developing the Slow Ways initiative. These include, but are not limited to:

Health benefits
• ‌improving ‌health‌ ‌and‌ ‌wellbeing‌ ‌by‌ ‌encouraging‌ ‌physical‌ ‌activity‌ ‌for‌ ‌short‌ ‌trips‌ and ‌longer journeys ‌
• helping to mitigate the causes and effects of Covid-19, being part of recovery plans, and offering public transport alternatives
• creating opportunities for people to connect with friends, family and colleagues

Environmental benefits
• reducing ‌pollution and ‌emissions‌ through active travel options as an alternative to carbon-based transport
• contributing to the decarbonisation of local and national transport systems and helping to address the climate emergency
• connecting people to ‘nearby nature’, heritage, places and communities

Transport benefits
• encouraging modal shift – supporting more people to walk more of the time, for more purposes
• providing ‌safe, ‌direct‌ ‌and‌ ‌enjoyable‌ ‌routes‌ ‌between neighbouring‌ ‌towns‌ ‌and‌ ‌cities
• linking active travel to public transport hubs
• promoting greater use of existing paths, trails, networks, and the connections between them

Economic benefits
• saving people money by encouraging ‌an‌ ‌inexpensive‌ ‌form of travels
• spreading economic activity by inspiring visits to, and stays in, more places

Community benefits
• sharing a positive, empowering, rewarding and inclusive project at a time of national crisis and recovery
• offering a source of community‌ engagement, focus, ‌identity‌ ‌and‌ ‌pride‌
• ‌boosting the equity of use of path networks
• increasing the use of currently under-used paths – thereby keeping them open and valued

 

Further Information

Web – slowways.uk

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Newsletter – slowways.uk

Twitter – @SlowWays, #SlowWays

Contact – hello@slowways.uk

 

References
– Ledbury Town Council was the first to officially support Slow Ways. 20 July 2020 Report, with Recommendation “that Ledbury Town Council promote the Slow Ways Project within Ledbury in the hope that groups and individuals will get involved with the project”.

The Clerk magazine ‘for Local Council professionals’: ‘Creating a new national walking network’, November 2020, page 61.

BBC News, 16 Oct 2020 – Slow Ways “seeks to elevate the position of walking in our national conversation, to be seen not just as a worthy, healthy hobby but part of our national transport infrastructure” – and ITV News, 16 Oct 2020.

The Burnfoot Hill Fund: We’re Looking for a Muckhart Panel Member !

Further to the post on 9th February (see below), announcing Muckhart’s membership of the EDF Burnfoot Hill Community Fund, Foundation Scotland is now ready to recruit a member from our community to join the Muckhart Community Panel.

This Panel will be made up of two members from Muckhart Community Council (MCC) and one member from our community and will represent Muckhart on the Burnfoot Hill Community Fund Advisory Panel which awards community grants – worth up to £5,000 – based on entitlement and the benefits to be gained.

The Burnfoot Hill Community Fund Advisory Panel, in turn, is made up of local representatives from Alva, Menstrie, Dollar and Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton and Devonside and, now, Muckhart. It will deal with grant applications, across all five communities, and will meet three times a year, twice to consider applications and once for a review meeting.

Briefly, the purpose of the Panel is:

  • To advise the Foundation regarding awards from the Fund
  • To advise the Foundation on other aspects of the management of the Fund, such as, promotion and awareness-raising or the development of strategic activities designed to maximise benefits to the community

The Muckhart Community Panel, in addition to representing Muckhart on the Burnfoot Hill Community Fund Advisory Panel, will also assist MCC in managing and allocating local Winter and Event grants – each worth £2,500 – which will be awarded to our community on an on-going, annual basis. The Muckhart Community Panel will also assist MCC in managing and awarding local Micro-grants – worth up to £500 each – designed to fund local, small-scale projects.

So, if you are aged over 16 years, live in the Muckhart area, have an interest in community activity and wish to join the Muckhart Community Panel, then please contact Eimear, at Foundation Scotland, to request a nomination form or to discuss the fund, or panels, in more detail, via the contact details listed below:

Email: eimear@foundationscotland.org.uk Telephone: 07912 759623

Alternatively, you can request a form from Mike Wilson, MCC Secretary, via the link below:

Email: sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

Click on the following link to access the poster:

EDF Burnfoot Muckhart Panel

EDF Burnfoot Hill Community Fund

Further to discussions and the Minutes taken at recent MCC Meetings (MCC Minutes) this is just a brief note to confirm that at the last Advisory Panel meeting of the EDF Burnfoot Hill Community Fund, held in October, Panel members voted unanimously to support MCC’s request for Muckhart to join this fund and, subsequently, to take a seat on the Fund’s Advisory Panel. On behalf of the whole of our community, MCC’s sincere thanks goes to both Foundation Scotland and the Advisory Panel for accepting our community into this fund.

Further to  a recent introductory meeting of MCC members with Foundation Scotland, it was confirmed that Muckhart organisations and groups would shortly be able to apply for grant funding – up to £5,000, per application – for a wide range of projects which can be demonstrated will bring clear benefit to our community.

In addition to being able to access the wider Clackmannanshire Community Fund, MCC can confirm that two grants (a Winter and an Event grant) will be awarded to our community, on an on-going, annual basis, and that MCC will also be able to access and award individual Micro-grants, worth up to £500 each, designed to fund local, small-scale projects, again, which can be demonstrated to benefit our community.

Three Panel members, comprising of two members from Muckhart Community Council and one member appointed from the wider community, will represent Muckhart on the wider Clackmannanshire Advisory Panel which decides upon the larger grant awards, based on entitlement and the benefits to be gained, as described in the grant application.

MCC will be working closely with Foundation Scotland, over the coming weeks, to establish the local Panel, together with local administrative and management resources, and, shortly, will be looking to recruit a member of the community to join the Muckhart Panel.

It is not clear yet, how the community member is to be appointed, as this process is currently being reviewed by Foundation Scotland and the Advisory Panel, so, some kind of election process may be required, however, this is still to be confirmed.

Watch this space for further announcements !!

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

Shuttle Bus to Vaccination Centre

A free shuttle bus will run between Alloa Shillinghill (stance 2) and the vaccination centre at Forth Valley College’s Alloa Campus from Monday 8 February to Sunday 28 February.

The service will operate every 20 minutes Monday to Sunday and there is no need to book in advance to use the bus.

The first bus from Shillinghill is at 8.15am then every 20 minutes between Shillinghill and the college’s main entrance. Last bus from the college’s main entrance to Shillinghill is at 8pm

The bus will be operated by Oder of Malta Dial a Journey and run in conjunction with NHS Forth Valley to assist with transport to the vaccination centre.

https://www.clacks.gov.uk/coronavirus/generalinformation/

Scotland, it’s time to roll up our sleeves

SHARED ON BEHALF OF SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

People across Scotland are being encouraged to ‘roll their sleeves up’ and get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible.

A new campaign has launched to emphasise the importance of the vaccine and its safety, highlighting that it is the best way out of coronavirus, as it offers the best protection.

The vaccine will be offered to 4.5 million people in Scotland, with those most at risk of COVID-19 prioritised, in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Delivery of the vaccination programme is underway, led by NHS Boards who will contact those eligible when it’s time to arrange their vaccination appointment.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“Vaccination offers us greater protection against COVID-19 and it offers us hope that this year will be a brighter one. It is another vital tool in our work to suppress the virus, but other measures including testing, and lockdown restrictions remain absolutely essential to suppress COVID to the lowest possible level in Scotland.

These three critical actions will help us protect the NHS and save lives, towards a brighter year ahead. However, we don’t yet know how well vaccination stops people transmitting the virus to others – which is why it’s essential people protect the progress we’ve made, and continue to follow the restrictions currently in place, whether they have been vaccinated or not, while vaccine delivery is rolled out across the country.”

For more information visit  nhsinform.scot or call 0800 030 8013

Further information can be found in the following leaflets:

20-21 – Covid Vaccine – general leaflet – 21 January 2021

20-21 – Covid Vaccine – pregnancy leaflet – 21 January 2021

 

trueCall: protection from telephone scamming calls

Further to recent reports regarding the increase in the number of telephone scamming calls that are currently taking place. a resident contacted MCC to recommend ‘trueCall’, a product designed to help protect against scamming calls, in particular, for more elderly and vulnerable residents. This recommendation, subsequently, was passed on to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland (NWS) which has responded with the following information:

NWS promotes trueCall to its Watch Coordinators and members to stop nuisance calls. The following leaflet provides further information for anyone who may be interested in this product: trueCall leaflet

NWS has also provided a discount codeL19, which is worth £10.00, should anyone be interested in purchasing this product and will be circulating some information regarding trueCall on its social media channels over the coming days.

MCC’s thanks goes to the resident recommending this product.

25 January:

MCC has been advised about another device which may be useful for elderly and more vulnerable residents, namely, Hobsafe which is a device that is designed specifically to prevent hobs from being left on if the person preparing food is distracted.

Further information can be found on: Perfect Controls

Again, thanks to the resident recommending this product.

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

 

Clackmannanshire Council: Cases of Avian Flu

MCC has been informed that the Council has been advised that the cause of death of three mute swans found in Clackmannanshire, in December 2020, has been confirmed as Avian Flu (also known as Bird Flu). Although the risk to human health is extremely low, the Council understands that this may cause concern for local people.

More information is available on the Council web-site: https://www.clacks.gov.uk/environment/avianflu/

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is leading with control measures and is being assisted by the Council.

Local poultry farmers have been notified about the control measures they must take and information for keepers of captive birds (chickens, pigeons, etc.) has also been made available and the rules on bio-security measures must be followed. Anyone who finds dead swans or other wild birds should report this to DEFRA on 03459 335577, selecting option 7.

Information for poultry keepers on biosecurity and protecting their birds can be found by following the link to the document, published jointly by the Scottish Government, Defra, and the Welsh Government.

Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu/

Update: Superfast Broadband service – Golf Course Road, Blairhill and Mosspark

MCC has been advised that Briskona has recently issued a second letter offering free superfast broadband connectivity to over 30 properties across the wider Muckhart area. These properties are currently unable to access a superfast broadband service due to their distance from the existing fibre-enabled exchange and cabinets and, consequently, are entitled to Scottish and UK Government Broadband Vouchers to cover installation and equipment costs.

See the earlier post, dated 14th December, for more information.

For further information on this offer, please visit Briskona’s website www.briskona.com or call their Office on 01786 235031 to talk to a member of their team.

Big Energy Saving Month: Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau

Big Energy Saving Month

This year’s Big Energy Saving Month, which will run from  11 January to Sunday 31 January, seeks to help people save time, money and energy through everyday actions.

We know energy bills are a real struggle for people and falling temperatures in the past week, alongside ongoing restrictions as a result of coronavirus, means people will really be starting to feel the squeeze.

Figures released by the Scottish Government last year revealed 1 in 4 households in Scotland, over 600,000, find themselves in fuel poverty and official estimates suggest this could rise to 29 per cent of households as a result of the pandemic.

This issue is a real problem for those already struggling with energy bills, with inefficient and expensive heating systems or those who are unable to access discounts and support online.

We would encourage everyone to take a look at the simple changes you can make to help save energy, reduce your bills and access any entitlements that you may be due.

Visit the Clackmannanshire CAB page at https://www.clackscab.org.uk/news/big-energy-saving-month which rounds up what we’ll be doing and how people can get involved. We will also be posting from our Facebook www.facebook.com/ClacksCAB and Twitter www.twitter.com/clacks_cab accounts using #BESM21.

 

Yours sincerely,

Jonny Miller

Clackmannanshire CAB Managing Director

Important: Getting the Right Care in the Right Place

Changes to the way people access A&E services have been introduced in NHS Forth Valley as part of new national arrangements to help people get the right care in the right place.

This new approach will make it easier for people to quickly access clinical advice and treatment from experienced local healthcare staff and ensure the Emergency Department is able to provide safe and effective care to people when they really need it.

Under the new national arrangements anyone with a non-life-threatening condition who would usually go to A&E should now call NHS 24 on 111 day or night to be directed to the right NHS service. NHS 24 will assess people by telephone and, where appropriate, refer them to a new Urgent Care Centre at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. This new facility, which is staffed by experienced local doctors and nurses, brings together a number of existing services within the hospital, including minor injuries, GP Out-of-Hours services and assessment services, in one location to provide comprehensive advice, support and treatment for a wide range of urgent healthcare issues.

More information can be found in the following Press Release: 14-12-20 New Urgent Care Centre Opens

In addition, a new Winter Zone has been created on the NHS Forth Valley web-site with local health information and advice for the festive period which can be accessed via the following link: http://www.nhsforthvalley.com/winter

Finally, the following link lists the local pharmacies that will be open during the Festive Period:

Pharmacy Availability over the Festive Period