News from Oban Community Council

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Oban community councillors are raising questions about police presence in the town.

Lack of visibility of officers is causing some concern, the community council’s April meeting heard.

One member commented: ‘You don’t see police on the streets anymore’ and remarks were made about the number of police cars parked outside the station – rather than being out on patrol.

George Berry, who is about to be co-opted as a new community councillor, described the roads being a ‘free for all’ with no police traffic cars ‘out there just now’.

Community councillor Frank Roberts said he had found contacting police to be ‘appallingly bad’ and added ‘as for traffic cars, I think they mainly spend their time parked up in Albany Street. I counted seven cars there one day.’

A letter to police about anti-social behaviour in the town is still awaiting a response, two weeks after being sent.

It is understood the town’s police are looking for secondments from the Central Belt for the summer, the meeting heard.

Community councillors are inviting police to restart monthly reports to members’ meetings.

The meeting also heard that campervans and overnighters are still getting away without being ticketed at Ganavan, news is also pending on new parking traffic regulation orders being brought in.

Departing councillor Elaine Robertson told the meeting she had brought the matter up with Argyll and Bute’s chief executive Pippa Milne and executive director Douglas Hendry who said they would ‘chase it up’.

Planning issues discussed at the meeting included a change of use bid at the former Nancy Blacks to turn it into a café and takeaway. There is also a retrospective application to use space above George Street’s Retrophenia shop as flats – believed to be intended for holidaymakers which would take three flats out of circulation for workers desperate for accommodation in the town.

Departing councillor Roddy McCuish said the living space above the shop had been empty for years before being refurbished adding, in his view, that anyone applying for retrospective permission should have to pay ‘treble the fees’.

‘Otherwise it’s an insult to everyone else who goes through the due process of paying their fees and waiting to get permission first before starting any work,’ he said.