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Also inside

New ways of working Modernising our local services

Counting everyone in Take part in the 2011 census

A life is for learning Adults brush up on their skills

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Contents and comment

Stirling Council Leader Graham Houston

Comment A commitment to continuing change and improvement are at the heart of the council’s Budget for the coming financial year, agreed just as Stirling goes to print. The council is facing up to the harsh economic situation, taking the opportunity to review what we have been doing and identify ways to improve and modernise. We are on a continuous journey of change. Over the past year we have been asking all our services to consider where efficiencies could be found and suggest ideas about how we can save public money while providing better local services. We’ve listened and encouraged local people to get in touch with their ideas, too. Everyone’s efforts have helped Stirling maintain a strong financial position compared to many other Scottish councils. Working together within the council, with local people and with our partner organisations is the key to the best future for our area. The severe weather at the end of last “We saw many year led to some examples of outstanding examples community of this. We saw community spirit spirit at its best” at its best, and the support and assistance of local people was vital. Residents cleared pavements in front of their homes and checked on vulnerable neighbours. Community councils worked in partnership with council staff to distribute extra supplies of sand to neighbourhoods to top up grit bins. It was teamwork in action. It’s this kind of joined-up, positive approach that we need to build on over the coming years, facing the challenging times head on. Through strong leadership, sound management and partnership working we aim to deliver the best possible services for local people and the Stirling area. Stirling magazine brings you current news and stories from across Stirling’s public sector organisations. Please let us have your comments and ideas for future issues by emailing



What’s inside…

4 Stay a step ahead of flooding 5 Beware of crime on your doorstep 6 Get fit and active this spring 8 Committed to getting the most out of every public pound 10 Don’t miss your chance to vote on 5 May 12 East Plean Primary: new surroundings, new friendships 13 Behaviour in schools: information for parents

14 What’s on in your area 16 Interview: chair of Stirling Strategic Learning Alliance 18 News from NHS Forth Valley 19 Get the jab, stop the flu 20 Working together to cut our carbon footprint 21 Enjoying our awesome outdoors responsibly 22 The History of Stirling in 100 Objects 24 Great courses for adults 26 Find out how to contact your local councillor


Stirlingmagazine is published by Stirling Council. Editor: Susan Cunningham Email: Tel: 01786 443360 Design and editing: Connect Communications, Studio 2001, Mile End, Paisley PA1 1JS. Tel: 0141 561 0300 Visit: www.connect Print: More. Printed on 90gsm (cover), 70gsm (inside) FSC® paper


Copies of articles are available by request in a range of other languages, large print and on audio tape. To request articles in any of these formats. please email or write to Stirling, or call 0845 277 7000


To contact Stirling Council, please call 0845 277 7000, text: 07717 990 001, email:, visit us online at or write to Stirling Council, Viewforth, 14-20 Pitt Terrace, Stirling FK8 2ET.

Picture © Graham Harris Graham

We’re looking for your digital photos of the Stirling area – a local landmark, a favourite view, or a great day out shared with family or friends. Please send, along with a little background information, to stirlingmagazine@ Reader Graham Harris Graham sent in his favourite view, pictured. He said: “Picking a favourite


What’s your ‘Stirling’ image? photo of the Stirling area is tough. I guess this is the photo that gets most attention from friends. “It’s the view looking west towards the Trossachs from the memorial to Colonel Sir David Stirling (founder of the SAS) near Doune. I shot this at daybreak last December and had to lie in the snow to get the viewpoint. It was minus 12°C.”



Learning from hardest winter IMPROVEMENTS

Council leader Graham Houston has written to community councils asking for their help. He wants to hear about people’s winter weather experiences; where the council performed well, where any problems were, and how we can do things better in future. The answers, with all the comments and queries we’ve received through our contact centre and on the council’s popular Facebook page, will help the council deliver services during severe winter weather.

Ice and frost damaged many roads

After the big freeze Stirling Council is to get £326,000 to cover the impact of last winter’s big freeze on Scotland’s roads. The money is a share of the extra £15 million that the Scottish Government is giving councils to deal with urgent repairs on local roads and cover the extra costs of winter roads maintenance.

In brief Don’t miss the residents survey Stirling Council’s sixth residents’ survey will take place in March. The survey asks for residents’ views on: ● satisfaction with a range of services/facilities provided by the council ● how residents have, and prefer to contact us ● experiences of contacting the council ● communication with and information from us ● quality of life in the Stirling Council area. The survey is an important way of consulting and listening to local residents and council service users. It can highlight areas where improvements or further investigations are needed. The survey will be sent to 1,300 members of the Stirling Sounding Board, the council’s statistically representative citizens’ panel. You can also have your say online by visiting STIRLING.GOV.UK



In brief Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown has congratulated Stirling Council for taking a major step in helping homeless people. The council has reduced red tape by removing the “priority need” requirement, so everyone presenting as homeless can be helped on an equal basis. The homelessness charity has also welcomed the news that Stirling Council has reduced by half the numbers of homeless people it accommodates in bed and breakfast.

Archive picture of Buchlyvie

Stirling Council’s Archive Service has joined with the National Archives of Scotland on a project to digitise and make available online the kirk session records for the whole of Scotland. These are free to view at the Archive – a laptop and Wi-Fi is available, so you can just drop by and access the information. The Archive is now open four days a week from Monday-Thursday, 9.30am12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm. It’s free to visit and staff are on hand to assist researchers. Groups and tours can be arranged by appointment on Fridays. Visit the Archive at 5 Borrowmeadow Road, Stirling, call 01786 450745 or visit archives

A scheme set up by Central Scotland Police and Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service in conjunction with the council’s housing and social care services has scooped an award for innovation. The Vulnerable Person Fire Referral project is helping to save lives by identifying people who are at risk and who would benefit from fire safety checks. 4


Stay a step ahead of the floods Keeping up to date with flooding risks so you can protect your property has never been easier Floods are on the rise in the Stirling area The frequency of floods has risen dramatically in Scotland over recent years. In fact, there are now approximately 100,000 properties at risk from rivers and the sea. Your property is your responsibility – but help is available. Although the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) can’t prevent floods from occurring, it can provide you with advance warning about when and where floods are likely to occur through the Floodline service, so you can take the appropriate action to limit the damage to your home or business. For more information, just

call 0845 988 1188 or visit www.floodline floodupdates Your area even has a dedicated quick dial code so you can go straight to the flood messages relevant for you. The quick dial codes will change in the next few weeks. If you don’t already have your new area code, please check the website or call Floodline. Improved Floodline service In the next few weeks you will be able sign up to receive free messages to your mobile or landline that will notify you when SEPA has issued a flood alert or warning for your area. The messages will direct you

Vital pipe replacement work to last until June CITY CENTRE

Major work to replace gas mains and service pipes in part of Stirling city centre is set to last until June. The project is being carried out by Turriff Contractors on behalf of Scotland Gas Networks (SGN). Work is necessary along Goosecroft Road and then up Station Road, finishing at the junction with Murray Place. Stirling Council is in contact

with SGN to agree and arrange closures, temporary traffic lights and diversions. A few stances in Stirling Bus Station and some bus stops in Murray Place and Barnton Street will close while the work takes place, with alternative stops provided on Goosecroft Road. SGN and Stirling Council will be keeping local people and affected businesses informed about the changes as the work progresses.

to the website or Floodline’s recorded telephone service for more detailed information on the river or coastal flooding near you. With new userfriendly flood warning symbols and messages that are easier to understand, it will be clear what action you should take to protect your property. You may also receive information through your door about the new service. To find out more, visit

Changes to benefits for private renters April will see changes to housing benefit for people who rent from a private landlord. It is possible that new claimants will get less than their actual rent as new lower limits are imposed. Existing tenants who stay in the same property will get more time before these new limits affect them. Tenants affected will receive a letter on the changes. You can also find out more at www. or by calling the benefits team on 01786 443210.


The frequency of floods has risen dramatically in Scotland over recent years

Doorstep criminals often target older and vulnerable people /signup or call 0845 988 1188. Out and about for advice Stirling Council’s flooding team, SEPA and the Scottish Flood Forum have been meeting with communities in areas particularly at risk of

flooding to raise awareness about flooding and give advice on how to prepare. As Stirling goes to press, Strathard, Bridge of Allan, Gargunnock, Riverside and Cambuskenneth community councils have already been visited, and workshops are planned in Callander, Raploch, Causewayhead, Cornton, Fintry, Thornhill & Blairdrummond and Port of Menteith. Visits to other community councils at lower risk of flooding are also planned.

Food safety scheme keeps public informed ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

A new scheme to help customers make informed choices about where they eat or buy food is being introduced in 26 councils across Scotland, including Stirling. Environmental health food safety officers will rate premises as part of routine inspections and issue “pass” or “improvement required” certificates for public display. All 1,500 food businesses

in the Stirling Council area have been sent letters about the scheme and how it will apply to them. Find out more from the Food Standards Agency Scotland’s website at safetyhygienescot/ foodhygieneinfoscot or call the council’s food safety team in environmental health on 0845 2777000.

Beware of crime on your doorstep local community police officer can arrange a free and The Stirling Doorstep Crime independent safety and security Partnership is warning local check on your property. people to be cautious about Don’t make snap decisions, and agreeing to buy goods or services don’t be afraid to talk to someone on the doorstep or allowing you trust before making a unknown persons into decision. Always their homes. obtain three Doorstep independent criminals often quotes from target older different The Stirling Doorstep Cri and vulnerable traders. A me Partnership is made up of people, but a good trader Central Scotland Police, Stirling few simple steps will be Trading Standards, Victim Suppor can help you happy for t, Age Scotland and stay safe: you to check other agencies Always check to them out. see who is at the door Check with before answering, and look family members, out the window for traders’ neighbours and friends if vehicles. you need work done, and ask them If you are not expecting to recommend someone they trust. someone to call, or are suspicious at Most utility (gas, water and elecall, don’t open the door. Contact the tricity) companies offer customers a police and tell them your concerns. password identification scheme. Check any leaflets that are put You can contact the company to through your door. For example, arrange this. look for full contact address informaFor more information on tion. A good tradesperson is usually protecting yourself from a busy tradesperson and doesn’t doorstep criminals, contact have to resort to knocking on doors Central Scotland Police on to find customers. Be wary of special offers or warn- 01786 456000 or Stirling Trading Standards on 01786 443322. ings that your house is unsafe. Your KEEPING SAFE




Health and fitness

Spring is a great time to think about getting fit and healthy. With our stunning rural surroundings and wide variety of energetic activities and coaching available, there’s something for everyone – so get out there and go for it!

Get a healthy heart The Peak is host to Healthy Hearts, an NHS-run rehabilitation group for people of all ages. Cardiac patients are referred by hospitals or GPs for a 12-week programme, involving classes and educational sessions. Progress is checked regularly by nurses and group leaders, who also devise individual programmes. Kirsty Wilson has been going to Healthy Hearts for 12 years and said: “They’re so kind and committed. It’s kept me as healthy as I can be. “The group is a great

support and I’ve made lots of new friends. They even phone to check I’m okay if I don’t turn up one week!”

Challenges to motivate you The internationally renowned sports coaching and facilities at Stirling University’s Gannochy Sports Centre are open to the public to use. Pop in and try out the swimming pool, sports hall, squash courts, running track, tennis courts, golf facilities and gym. Classes for adults and children, personal training and sports challenges will help keep you motivated as summer approaches, but if you’re looking for Easter holiday activities, there’s plenty on offer between 4–15 April. All the regular favourites are back: canoeing and kayaking, pre-school swimming, beginner and improver swimming, mini

tennis, golf, football, tiny tumblers, gymnastics, aquatic activities and trampolining. New this year, there’s Super Savers, a rookie lifeguard course; Triathlon Club, an opportunity to practise your swimming, running and cycling skills; and water polo, an introductory course which develops all the basic skills required for water polo. Bookings can be made in person at the Gannochy Sports Centre reception, or phone 01786 466900/500. Please call to make a booking. Easter special offer: pay for one class and get the second one half price during the same week!

Get up and Ideas to get fit with kids... Easter Egg Hunt: Why not organise an egg hunt outside for the family – you’ll enjoy munching the chocolate even more after all the extra exercise and fresh air. Play in the park: Stirling has many fantastic play parks, from King’s Park with its bike track, tennis courts, skate area and wide selection of equipment, to Bridge of Allan’s play area at the foot of the Wallace monument with water and sandpit fun. Pushing the kids



on swings and roundabouts is a great workout. Back-to-school games: Join the children in a game of tig for an alternative intervaltraining session, or go back in time with skipping, hula-hooping or even pogo sticks to burn calories and have fun as a family. Go wild: Check our events calendar for exciting wildlife activities, or enjoy walks together – having fun together doesn’t have to cost the earth!

Health and fitness

INFO Active Stirling: 01786 432323 The Peak: www.the-peak-stirling.or 01786 273555 University of Stirling Sports Centre: 01786 466 500

go for fun Great activities for everyone Active Stirling has a fun-packed kids’ Easter programme planned. Highlights include daily ice-skating and swimming classes, dance, cheerleading, Peak Fit and Peak Play. With new gym equipment and classes ranging from zumba to the popular Les Mills’ classes such as Bodycombat and Bodybalance (the next Les Mills launch takes place on Monday 11 April) at the Peak, there’s plenty for grown-ups too. But you don’t have to travel far to get fit – Active Living Express is

a new scheme offering local residents the chance to use leisure facilities in high schools between 6–10pm, Monday to Friday. Classes at Stirling High School include zumba, pilates and yoga. The current block runs until 1 April and the next runs from 18 April–26 June. Membership is £3.50/4.50 per week. At Raploch Community Campus, gym membership is £10/8 per month and with brand new machines, it’s a fantastic facility.




The council is continuing to review everything we do to make sure we’re getting the most out of every pound, explains council leader Graham Houston. Your views on how to make services even more efficient are always welcomed

Reviewing and modernising COUNCIL LEADER

Out and about: Housing Services joiner Robert Hunter (left) and third-year apprentice joiner David Taylor consult their electronic notebook to check on jobs and log work

New technology We are exploring how new technology can help us work more efficiently. This could open up opportunities for more working from home and mobile working. 8


The current economic situation makes setting council budgets this spring more challenging than ever. In Stirling, we are committed to making the best use of scarce resources and ensuring that every public pound is spent wisely, and we’re doing this by reviewing and changing what we do – and how we do it. Change is never easy, but it’s also an opportunity to review, refocus and modernise our services for local people and how we work together with our partner organisations, for WHAT’S example NHS Forth Valley YOUR VIEW? and Central Scotland Police. It’s also a time to examine HOUSTONG@ where we can join up with STIRLING. other councils to streamline services and make savings. GOV.UK Our programme for change means Stirling is already well ahead in some of these areas. For example, we have agreed with Clackmannanshire Council to deliver two services jointly – education and social care. This will allow us to share expertise, work more efficiently and provide improved services for local people. In social care, we’re also changing ways of working to ensure we can meet the needs of our most vulnerable people. For example, reablement is a new approach to tailoring services for older people on an individual basis, helping them get the support they need when they need it. For most people, contacting the council by phone or web is the preferred option, but we know some people prefer to talk with an officer face to face. Our new partnership onestop shop is opening soon in the city centre.

The service begins with about six weeks of tailored services to help an older person get back up to speed and live independently at home again, where possible. Service users are involved in decisions about what will work best for them and in setting their personal goals.

One-stop shop Located in Port Street at the bottom of King Street, the one-stop shop will transform a prominent building that has been unused for some time into a welcoming, easily accessible advice centre. It will be a convenient place for local people and visitors to get advice and information from the council and VisitScotland. As well as enhancing our customer service, the one-stop shop will let Stirling Council make savings on property costs over time. We’re also using new technology to make efficiencies and savings in how we work. The council’s housing repairs team, for instance, is introducing mobile computer technology so tradespeople can receive real-time work requests while out and about and respond more quickly to customers’ needs. And our new Easybuy system will help make sure the council is buying goods and services efficiently. I’m always keen to hear your views and ideas about how we can work together to make local services as efficient as they can be. ■

Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils joint services The project to join up education and social care will mean pooled management arrangements, but each council will have control over decisions about services for their particular area.



Get in touch Make contact... through Stirlingmagazine at councillors’ surgeries email call 0845 277 7000 or write to me at: Cllr Graham Houston, Leader, Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET

Your money Your local services Each year every council sends out a council tax bill to each household. An information leaflet must also be included explaining how council tax is worked out and where your money is spent. There are also details about reductions, exemptions and benefits, and where to get advice if you are having difficulty paying.





At the elections in May, voters in Ward 3 (Dunblan e and Bridge of Allan) will no lon ger be in the Stirling constituency but will now come under the new Clackmannanshire and Dunblane constituency

On one day – 5 May – there will be two polls, three ballot papers and 44 polling places

The big voting day is 5 May

The Scottish Parliament elections and UK Parliamentary Referendum on 5 May will be your chance to exercise your democratic rights – so don’t miss out!

Stay up to date The Electoral Commission will be sending a booklet to every household in the UK in early April explaining about voting in both the Scottish Parliament poll and the Referendum. There will also be television, radio and online advertisements. And the www.aboutmyvote. com website will be constantly updated with all the latest information.


On Thursday 5 May, there will be an election for the Scottish Parliament. There will be two parts to this: a vote to show your preference for your constituency Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), and another vote for your regional MSP. And a referendum on the same day will decide whether the UK’s Parliamentary voting system remains as First Past the Post or changes to the Alternative Vote (AV) system. It’ll be the first UK-wide referendum for more than 30 years. Polls will be open on Thursday 5 May from 7am-10pm, and polling staff will be available to help with any queries. Can I vote? You can vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election and the referendum if you are registered to vote in Scotland, are 18 or over on 5 May 2011 and are: a British citizen, or



a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the Irish Republic. British citizens living overseas can’t vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election. However, they can vote in the referendum. Citizens of other European Union countries registered to vote in Scotland can vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election. However they can’t vote in the referendum. You have to be registered to

vote by Friday 15 April to vote in the election and referendum. Ways of voting There are three ways of voting: In person on 5 May Voting in person is straightforward and a member of staff is on hand to help. You will receive a poll card in the post telling you where your polling place is. If you do not receive one, you can contact the elections office on 01786 443370 to


Changes to polling places Old: Callander Primary School New: Callander Kirk Hall South Church Street, Callander FK17 8BN Old: Doune Primary School New: Muir Hall

George Street, Doune FK16 6BZ Old: Balfron Primary School New: McLintock Hall Buchanan Street, Balfron G63 0TX Old: St Ninians

Primary School New: Beechwood Scout Hall Newhouse, Abbots Langley, Stirling FK7 9HQ Old: Riverside Primary School New: Stirling Indoor

If you give us your email address we can email you an enquiry form each year to check your registration details instead of sending a letter. This could save a significant amount in postage and printing costs. Your email address will not be included in the electoral register and will only be used for communication from the electoral registration office. Please email stirling@

find out where your polling station is. Polling places are open from 7am-10pm. If you have not been issued with a ballot paper by 10pm you won’t be able to vote, so make sure you arrive in plenty of time. By post To apply to vote by post you will need to fill in a form and send it to arrive at the electoral registration office by 5pm on 14 April. A postal ballot paper can be sent to your home address or to any other address, even overseas. You should receive your ballot paper around 19 April. If it doesn’t arrive, you can get a replacement from 27 April by calling 01786 443301. Also call this number for a replacement if your postal ballot paper gets lost or accidentally spoilt.


By proxy Voting by proxy means allowing somebody you trust to vote on your behalf. You will need to fill in a form and


Bowling Centre Forth Street, Riverside FK8 1UE Old: Braehead Primary School New: North Parish Church Hall Springfield Road, Stirling FK7 7QW

send it to arrive at the electoral registration office to arrive by 5pm on 21 April. Am I registered to vote? If you’re not registered, you won’t be able to vote. Most people register using the form that is sent to each household every year. If you’re not sure if you are registered, contact the electoral registration office as soon as possible. Applications to register or change your details are available in local libraries or from Complete, sign and return by fax, scanned email or by post by 15 April. Get all the forms at Contact your local electoral registration office at Central Scotland Valuation Joint Board, Hillside House, Laurelhill, Stirling FK7 9JQ, call 01786 892289 or email

Old: Bannockburn Primary School New: Bannockburn Community Centre 15 West Murrayfield, Bannockburn FK7 8NB

Throsk: For the first time electors in Throsk will have their own polling place at Throsk Community Centre Kersie Road, Throsk FK7 7NA.

Help us build up a picture of Stirling 27 MARCH: CENSUS 2011

The next census will take place on Sunday 27 March, and will be Scotland’s biggest population count. The census provides a snapshot of conditions at a point in time. It’s carried out every 10 years and is conducted on a residential basis. The statistics relate to where people usually live, rather than where they were on census day. The purpose locally is to get a clear picture of how many people live in the Stirling area, and our needs. The funding Stirling receives from the Government for each area is based on this information, which means that the more accurate it is, the better. Stewart Gibson, census regional manager for Stirling, said: “It’s very important that everyone is counted in the census. In these times when every penny counts, it’s more important than ever that spending decisions are made based on good information.” Questionnaires will be delivered to every household in Stirling. Each one will have an internet access code, so you can fill it in online, or as a hard copy if you prefer. If you have trouble filling in the census form, help is available from the enumerators who will visit every household.

Census in numbers



Rather an email than a letter?

The date of the first UK census

100 The number of years that personal census information is held before being made public

£250 million How much this year's UK census will cost

25 million Total households which will be questioned in March

2011 This year will be the first time that tick-boxes for same-sex civil partnerships will be included

Further details on Scotland’s Census can be found at



Education Stirling reporter Deborah Kilpatrick chats to East Plean Primary School children at Raploch campus

A fire may have damaged their school, but the pupils of East Plean Primary have been thriving in new surroundings at Raploch Community Campus. Stirling magazine visited them as they prepared to return to Plean

Friendships from flames RELOCATION

After a serious blaze in early November badly damaged East Plean Primary, the school moved to a temporary home at Raploch Community Campus, and over the winter pupils and teachers have been travelling by bus to and from the campus each day. However, the school is planning to return to a temporary teaching village in Plean this March. Head teacher Connie Desmond said: “The children have settled in really well. At Raploch, we’ve been able to keep things as normal as possible, with all the usual assemblies, awards and even the head teacher’s tea parties taking place. The life of the school goes on.

“I just want to say a huge thank you to the whole Raploch community, particularly everyone here at the Community Campus, for their kindness, support and fundraising. “Other areas have been wonderfully supportive as well. We recently took a representative from each class to Borestone Primary School – their pupil council held a ‘Plean in Need’ day instead of ‘Children in Need’ last year, and presented our kids with a gym bag featuring the school crest for everyone in the school, together with a cheque for £206. It’s things like this that have helped keep everyone’s spirits up, and built lasting links between schools and new friendships for the children. “We’ve enjoyed being here, and now we’re looking forward to returning to our new temporary home in Plean.”

Pupils make temporary move as school rebuilt The fire-damaged school will be rebuilt. As Stirling goes to print, the structural engineers’ report is due, and the education service is working with the insurance assessors to list everything that was lost.



The move to the temporary teaching village is expected in March. The village will have spacious connected rooms. The Balfour Centre will be used for gym and dinners.

In their words... East Plean pupils were happy to tell Stirling how they’ve been enjoying their temporary stay at the Raploch campus Primary 1 Arran: “This school is nice and the playground’s good.” Rachel: “I like our classroom because it has lots of toys. I like the seats in the dinner hall too.” Maya: “I like the other pupils and our classroom is nice because it’s so big.”’ Primary 4 Leah: “Raploch is good because it’s big. Getting the bus in the morning is awesome!” Kieran: “It’s kind of fun being here.” Ryan: “It’s exciting! We have a big playground and the East Plean boys play football with the Raploch boys.”


Behaviour in schools INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

In June 2009, Stirling Council established a scrutiny panel on disruption within Stirling’s schools. The main objective was to improve the learning environment, as disruptive classes are a barrier to effective teaching and learning. The research generated more than 3,500 responses. From the results, the panel was able to make recommendations for improvement. The study showed that the behaviour of pupils in the Stirling area is generally better than national averages. It also showed many examples of positive behaviour in classrooms, with the incidences of low-level disruption in Stirling’s schools reported as less frequent than in the national picture. In line with the national picture, the research highlighted a concern that the most frequent incidents of low-level classroom disruption involved negative pupil-to-pupil interactions. Behaviour management A range of approaches to promote positive behaviour and respond to negative behaviour are used including: staged intervention multi-agency planning buddying/peer monitoring restorative approaches circle time reward systems golden time general promotion of a positive ethos throughout the school. Pupils were asked to nominate two options that would help pupils behave better and stop bad behaviour. Primary school pupils cited golden time/rewards and talking about behaviour as part of their school’s rules and values, whereas

FAST FACT In the survey, teachers and head teachers rated the overall ethos of their schools highly, and children reported that they were happy coming to school

secondary school pupils opted for more punitive measures with detention and exclusion. Support for staff The majority (85 per cent) of Stirling’s primary school teachers agreed that they regularly discuss with colleagues ways of improving behaviour in the whole school compared with 70 per cent of Scottish primary school teachers. More secondary school teachers (+11 per cent) than the national average agreed that teachers know there is confidential support and counselling available should they need it. Classroom support staff had higher levels of agreement than the national average with being regularly involved in discussions about improving behaviour in the classroom (+10 per cent), and that they’ve had adequate training on how to deal with behaviour management difficulties (+18 per cent). Recommendations for improvement The main recommendations within the action plan are to: Continue to take forward national and local positive behaviour polices and guidelines.

Further strengthen the support available to staff in dealing with disruptive behaviour. Extend the work already being done to enhance positive relationships in schools through the health and wellbeing area of Curriculum for Excellence. Focus on pupil-pupil interactions Ensure that parents are fully involved in the development of whole school policies on positive behaviour and relationships. An Implementation Group has been set up by the education service to take forward these recommendations. The council agreed to fund the training strategy developed by the service, and this plan is now well under way. All educational establishments will ensure that they consult with parents/carers and their communities on their positive behaviour policy on an annual basis. Further information for parents on Stirling Council policies will also be made available. For details of the scrutiny panel on disruption in Stirling’s schools: disruptioninschools



Events and activities

What’s on Monday



14–25 March Scottish Youth Parliament Election Young people aged 12–25 can vote at polling stations throughout the Stirling council area



21–27 March Climate Week


Lecture, The Artist and the Sitter by Matilda Mitchell Stirling Smith Museum, 7.30pm Cinema Night: Twelve o’Clock High (1949) (cert U) Mugdock Country Park, 7.45pm




Your essential pull-o area. For more inform




We’ll Meet Again Albert Halls, 2.30pm Talk Night: The Clydebank Blitz Mugdock Country Park, 745pm





Youth Parliament Election Results Night Venue tbc, 7–9pm. Young people and wider community members are invited to attend our election results night to find out who Stirling’s elected Members of Youth Parliament are for the next two years






Back Walk Spring Clean Back Walk, City Centre, Stirling, 10am. Lend a helping hand to manage the vegetation and remove litter below the castle





Let’s do something! in King’s Go for a walk the Park and enjoy and es spring crocus daffodils

The Wiyos Tolbooth, 8pm

Bootleg Sixties Quite simply the best ’60s show around. Albert Halls, 7.30pm


istered Check I’m reg ons to vote in electi on 5 Mayto! arrange

Rollermania Albert Halls, 7.30pm An evening with Le and the Legendary City Rollers

(Do I need y vote?) a postal or www.aboutmyvot


Cinema Night: Fiddler on the Roof (1971) (cert U) Mugdock Country Park, 7.45pm


Derek Acorah Albert Halls, 7.30pm


Third annual Ondeo City of Stirling Sevens Bridgehaugh, Causewayside

Forms for posta 5 May election today by 5pm

Strictly Ballroom Albert Halls, 8pm. I course carvery buff welcome drink. Tick

Last date to reg for a proxy vote







Easter Monday


ponds Explore Doune with the kids

11 May - C

May Bank Holiday





Andy McM hallenge 66 en Stirling as emy in part of his Guinness Wor attempt to ruld Record Marathons ( n 66 Ultra days! Not to 50km) in 66 be missed!!

Dumyat Hill Race

Scottish Parliament elections


Habitat Surveying King’s Park, Stirling, 10am. Help the rangers with a habitat survey of King’s Park


out guide to upcoming events in our mation, visit

m and Latin ncludes a twofet and kets £35.00





The Nordic Fiddler’s Bloc & Samling Tolbooth, 8pm Riding for the Disabled Ceilidh Albert Halls, 7.30pm

Strathspey & Reel Concert Albert Halls, 7.30pm Les Freres Guisse with Coca Tenorio & DJ Dolphin Tolbooth, 8pm Scottish Youth Parliament Election Outreach city centre, 9am–6pm



Concert Night: Duo Alba Mugdock Country Park, 7.45pm

Theatre Night: Indian Summer by Lucy Maurice Mugdock Country Park, 7.45pm


Hallaig: A Celebration of Sorley MacLean Tolbooth, 1.30pm Gaelic Song Workshop Tolbooth, 4.30pm Facing The Atlantic: Julie Fowlis with Rosa Cedron Tolbooth, 8pm


10am Gardening Club: Easter Parade The country’s top 10 Easter plants for the home and garden. Mugdock Country Park, 10am



Timeless Theatre presents Memory Lane Albert Halls, 7.30pm

Buchlyvie 10k road race

School Easter holidays start

Heart of Scotland Choir Albert Halls, 8pm


Stirling Wedding Show Albert Halls, noon Poetry and song fundraising concert Stirling Smith Museum, 2.30pm


3 10

Mum would Sunday lo shopping at ve a day out Victorian arcStirling’s special lunch ade with a of the many at one in the city cecafés ntre

Roary the Racing Car Albert Halls, 2pm River Spring Clean River Forth, Stirling, 10am. Help spring clean the fisheries



Last date to register to vote. 01786 892200

School summer term starts











Bank Holiday –

16–17 April Doune Hillclimb


Good Friday

gister Concert Night: The Mick West Trio Mugdock Country Park, 7.45pm. Combining one of the best voices in Scotland with c Publi Holiday – two superb musicians

Easter Sunday great

King’s Knot is a Take place to roll eggs! stle Ca e th to up ll ro a st afterwards to see the restored Stirling Heads



Stirling Duathlon and Kids’ Duathlon


al votes for ns mut be in



m. es McKeown Bay


Events and activities

COLOUR KEY: Sports events Outdoor events School and bank holidays Tourism, theatre etc

Royal wedding

Walk in the Woods Mine Woods, Bridge of Allan, 10am

Body & Soul Fair Albert Halls, 11am

Stirling Orchestra Albert Halls, 7.30pm


The Searchers Albert Halls, 7.30pm




The Stirling Strategic Learning Alliance aims to switch people on to learning throughout their lives. Its chair, Dr Ken Thomson, depute principal of Forth Valley College, explains how

An artist’s impression of the Forth Valley College Kildean Campus, opening 2012

New What is the Stirling Strategic Learning Alliance? It’s a partnership of people from different organisations involved in education in the Stirling area. It involves the schools, college, university, community learning, the Raploch Urban Regeneration Company and Scotland’s skills body Skills Development Scotland. We want to make the most of the knowledge and expertise across our education sector, share good practice and learn from each other. It doesn’t matter what age the learner is – the Alliance is working to make sure that education can progress throughout their lives. It began two years ago and the stimulus for change was the new Forth Valley College campus at Kildean. It was seen as a new beginning, so we wanted to take the opportunity to develop a new partnership and explore new ideas.

An artist’s impression of the interior of Forth Valley College Kildean Campus, and right, Dr Ken Thomson



What projects will the Learning Alliance be working on? One example is a research project which involves work shadowing and work experience between colleagues in college and schools. We could have a college lecturer in engineering going into a primary school to experience and learn from the techniques staff are using to

Education Useful links www.skillsdevelopment tirl w.s ww partnership.htm

way to learn get the children interested in a project, say, about bridges. And there might be things that are happening in a college setting that with a bit of imagination could be transferred to a primary class. We hope to find new ways of capturing the interest and imagination of a pupil who has become switched off to a subject, or enthuse a young person about a subject they hadn’t even thought about studying before.

“We hope to find new ways of capturing the interest and imagination of a pupil who has become switched off to a subject, or enthuse a young person about a subject they hadn’t even thought about studying before”

Any other examples? There are also a number of other projects linking college and university. Forth Valley College now offers two degree courses in creative industries which are validated by Stirling University. Our business department is working with Stirling University’s School of Management, to link our Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development programme into the university’s MSc programme – and we’re planning link-ups between science classes and the university’s experts in aquaculture.

times the size of our current Kerse Road site, with an à la carte restaurant open to the public, an atrium that can be reconfigured to accommodate concerts, meetings and conferences, redesigned classrooms, learning centre, library and lots more. We’ll be focusing on creative industries, hospitality and tourism at the Stirling campus. We will also have courses in construction, engineering and science which will allow progression to our other campus in Falkirk.

What are you looking forward to most when the new Forth Valley College at Kildean opens in 2012? The view! The campus will have a riverside setting, looking out on the Wallace Monument and the Ochils. It’s going to be stunning. The new campus will be three

Dr Ken Thomson, depute principal of Forth Valley College

It’s a tough time for young people coming onto the jobs market. What would you say to pupils and students about job prospects? The message is – work hard; look to the future; ask yourself what is it you want to do, and start planning now. Also, listen to the advice from your school and focus on

making the most of your opportunities. Identify your interests and skills and work at them. The Stirling area has real economic strengths, particularly in the creative industries such as tourism and hospitality. Courses at Forth Valley College are very much designed to play to these strengths so our young people have the skills to go on to have the best possible job prospects and opportunities.

Coming up The Stirling Strategic Learning Alliance is planning a one-day conference in June to share ideas on learning and teaching.



Health news

Patients claim cash with help

Jim Fleming and Ann Logan with their friendly dogs Becky and Ronnie


Since March 2007, more than £10 million in previously unclaimed benefits has been awarded to people across Forth Valley with help from Macmillan Money Matters, a joint initiative between Stirling, Clackmannan and Falkirk Councils, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Forth Valley. Initially, Macmillan Money Matters focused on cancer patients, their families and carers. People with cancer can have many worries and concerns around income, remaining in employment or fuel poverty at a difficult time. The small, dedicated Macmillan Money Matters team can help people to navigate the maze of the welfare benefit and tax credit system by giving comprehensive advice that meets individual circumstances. Brenda Mitchell, Stirling Council’s professional officer, financial wellbeing, said: “This is a fantastic amount of money generated by the team. The Forth Valley project was one of the first of its kind in Scotland, and its phenomenal success has led to other similar projects being rolled out nationally.” Building on this success, additional funding was secured in April 2010 to extend the service to incorporate other long-term conditions. Brenda continued: “It’s important that people know that our service is no longer only for cancer patients, but also for people with other conditions such as dementia, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Recently, one sick patient had a number of financial issues which resulted in them securing £28,000. “Most of the £10m will be spent locally – so, as well as helping individuals, it’s an important boost for our area’s economy.” For many patients, family members and carers, the service has become invaluable, and the team is currently exploring new opportunities to use its existing patient base to develop additional services for people across Forth Valley. For more information on Macmillan Money Matters, contact Brenda Mitchell, professional officer, financial welfare, on 01786 442438 or email

Green oasis fresh medic OUTDOOR REHABILITATION

Scotland’s first hospital ranger is taking forward ambitious plans at the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital in a bid to encourage patients, visitors, staff and the local community to make more use of the 70 acres of green space surrounding the site. Enjoying the green oasis around the hospital can help

patients as part of their recovery, and provides the local community with a natural asset on their doorstep. New community ranger Gordon Harper, who is employed by Forestry Commission Scotland, said: “Woodlands provide excellent opportunities for green exercise, including walking, cycling or simply getting away from it all and enjoying some time to de-stress. Gentle exercise can be just the tonic for outdoor rehabilitation and can form part of a patient recovery programme.

“Gentle exercise can be just the tonic for outdoor rehabilitation and can form part of a patient recovery programme” Gordon Harper, community ranger



Patients attending Stirling Royal Infirmary will soon be welcoming four-legged visitors! Pooches Becky and Ronnie are to visit wards across Forth Valley to be pampered and petted as part of a new Therapet scheme. Research has shown that stroking animals relieves anxiety, slows down the heartbeat and reduces blood pressure. It also makes someone who has had a heart attack much less likely to have another. The voluntary service is being run in partnership with Canine Concern Scotland Trust.

is a ine “I’ve been busy carrying out a consultation exercise with residents who live within a kilometre of the hospital grounds. I’m keen to find out what they would like to happen with the woodland and get them involved too.” There are plans for the hospital’s grounds to be transformed into an attractive woodland setting with existing paths upgraded and cycling tracks installed. The loch area is to be landscaped and a circular walk set around it. Other plans include an outdoor classroom and environmental education area.

Health news

Doggy treats

Avoid the flu, get the jab VACCINATION

Local people across Stirling who are at increased risk of flu are being urged to take up the offer of a free flu jab. The vaccine, which is available until 31 March 2011, offers protection against three strains of influenza, including H1N1. It is free for anyone aged 65 or over, anyone under the age of 65 with a medical condition that puts them in an “at risk” group (this includes people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease and asthma, renal and liver disease, Type 2 diabetes on medication, and those with neurological conditions

such as multiple sclerosis), pregnant women, NHS staff and unpaid carers. Dr Henry Prempeh, NHS Forth Valley consultant in public health medicine, said: “For the majority of healthy people, seasonal flu is an unpleasant but short-lived illness from which they make a full recovery. However, for those at risk, contracting flu can have serious or even fatal consequences. “That’s why it’s important that anyone at risk of complications gets vaccinated – it really is the best way to protect yourself from flu. It’s also important to remember that the vaccine does

not contain a ‘live’ virus so it is impossible to catch flu as a result of getting the jab.” For further information on the flu jab, speak to your GP practice or visit

New facilities give choice TREATMENT ROOM SCHEME

A pilot scheme has been launched in the Stirling area to give patients more choice when they need treatments from a community nurse – for example, ear syringing or wound dressings. Two treatment rooms – at St Ninian’s Health Centre and Orchard House Health Centre – will become the hub for these types of procedures and will give patients more flexibility when booking an appointment. Theresa McLean, Stirling Community Health Partnership lead nurse, said: “This scheme is running for four months from February, and we’ll be seeking patient feedback. The treatment rooms will see patients for a variety of procedures including ear syringing, wound dressings, prescribed injections or blood tests before surgery or chemotherapy. Centralising the treatment rooms from some existing GP practices will make

it easier for many patients to be seen closer to home.” Patients who can attend are those from Wallace, Viewfield, Park Terrace, Airthrey Park, Park Avenue, Bannockburn, Orchard House, St Ninian’s and Allanpark practices. A treatment room will continue to operate at Bannockburn Health Centre

for people who live locally in Bannockburn. Appointments for either treatment room can be made by telephoning 01786 468251. Patients needing blood tests for conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, or for monitoring warfarin or other drugs, should continue to make appointments at their GP practice.



Low Carbon Stirling

Sofa, so g for top pr Green events The Low Carbon Stirling campaign is a partnership between Stirling Council and Going Carbon Neutral Stirling (GCNS), who are working together and with other groups to help people in the Stirling area to reduce our carbon footprint. We are still planning events for the future, but look out for: The Big Street Challenge, in which more than 80 participants from six streets and communities are working together to reduce their carbon footprint. A number of the householders received one-to-one sessions on reducing their carbon footprint, and streets are also putting together a range of ideas for projects planned for later this year, including tool hire and bulk buy schemes. A spring event to launch a community food growing

forum. Everyone with an interest in growing and/or eating is invited to come along. A date and more details will be posted on the GCNS and council websites soon. Whether you’re a seasoned grower who is willing to be a mentor or a first-timer keen to get digging, please get involved. The Edible Borders project – selected flower borders will include some vegetable growing to increase interest in growing your own. Recent successful Low Carbon Stirling events have included the Cosy Homes event helping people with hard-to-heat homes, and a Cycle Strategy Day to discuss how to encourage increased cycling in the Stirling area. For more information on Low Carbon Stirling, email If you would like to contact Going Carbon Neutral Stirling, email or call 01786 471775.


A furniture recycling project that is bringing big benefits to people in the community, as well as the environment, is set to be extended. The Valley is managed by the Salvation Army with support from Stirling Council’s housing service, community services and the criminal justice service. The project was launched in June 2010 and sells unwanted furniture and other household goods to the public from a showroom at the Imex Business Centre, Craigleith Road, Springkerse, Stirling. The project is helping people who may be setting up home for the first time or perhaps rebuilding their lives

after becoming homeless. The Valley accepts and sells tables, chairs, suites, beds and white goods. If needed, items can be restored and cleaned by community service offenders who are learning valuable new skills while paying back to the community. New Stirling Council tenant Mr Saleem was delighted with the help he got from The Valley and the council. He said: “The staff were very friendly and helpful and my tenancy got off to a great start as a result.” The council’s housing services and waste services are

Primary school cuts its energy with insulation

Save the bee On the Verge is a new Stirlingbased environmental campaign launching this spring. The project, aimed at providing food sources for ailing bee populations in the hope of aiding their recovery, will sow nectar-rich wildflowers in Stirling’s green spaces. Schools, local community groups and the general public can

Recycling scheme is making sure old furniture goes to homes in need

get involved, and free seeds to plant in local gardens will be handed out. On the Verge will be funded through donations from local businesses. To find out more, email

A £1.1 million refurbishment of Cowie Primary School, due to be completed this summer, aims to significantly reduce fuel use and carbon emissions by insulating all walls and roofs. Work also includes a new flexible gym and dining hall and fully upgraded kitchen. The school’s boiler and heating controls were replaced last summer. Hadden Construction are the contractors.

Switch off your lights for Earth Hour – 8.30pm on 26 March WWF’s Earth Hour on 26 March starting at 8.30pm is the world’s largest display of hope for a bright future. Hundreds of millions of



people across the world will switch out their lights in a massive demonstration of their concern about tackling climate change and protect-

ing the natural world. As an individual, family, business, school, community group or organisation, you can join in this global event.

Visit earthhour today to find out more, register to take part and help us top the league table of areas taking part all across the UK:


ood oject extending the project further by putting in place arrangements to collect all recyclable furniture at the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Lower Polmaise near Fallin and from households requiring a special uplift and transporting it to The Valley for sale. For further information, call 01786 479262, or visit The Valley during Monday-Saturday, 9pm-5pm.

Give musical instruments a second wind If you are spring cleaning and come across any woodwind, brass or percussion instruments in good condition that are no longer being played, please donate them to Raploch’s Big Noise children’s orchestra. For more information on donating, email george.anderson@

Help to keep our countryside safe OUTDOOR ACCESS

Whether you are out for a hike, camping or just appreciating the glory of nature for a few hours this spring, there are a few ways you can keep the countryside safe and enjoyable for everyone. Outdoor enthusiasts should take extra care during lambing season. Look for signs with advice from land managers and find an alternative route to avoid crossing fields with young livestock. Richard Barron, senior access officer with Stirling Council, said: “Do not enter if you have your dog. Dogs can worry livestock and mothers can become aggressive when protecting their young. Just take a different route for a few weeks.” Stirling Council Access Team has free signs for land managers to help during lambing time. The signs allow you to specify dates when you would like the public to avoid lambing fields. Please contact the access team on 0845 277 7000 if you are interested in obtaining lambing or other land management signage. Jim Fleming from Top Dog Training reminds dog owners: “April to July is the main ground nesting bird season. Dogs are into everything and can easily disturb

nesting birds. Keep them on a lead or under close control when crossing sensitive areas such as moorland, forests, grasslands and loch shores.” Bobby Cranie, animal control officer at Stirling Council, said: “Remember to clear up after your dog. Your dog’s faeces can carry diseases that can be passed on to humans, farm animals and wildlife.” He added: “You can pick up your free poop scoop from Stirling Council libraries and local offices as well as some vets.” With warmer weather on its way, you may be planning a camping trip. “When wild camping, there are a few things to bear in mind,” said Roddy Ross, chair of Stirling Council Access Forum and Duke of Edinburgh Award leader. “Don’t leave rubbish

behind. It may be dangerous to livestock or even other users and, if nothing else, it spoils the view!” Richard Barron, senior access officer, added: “Use a stove instead of an open fire, where possible, and never cut down or damage trees for firewood. Keep your fire small and don’t light one in open woodland. You also need to remember a trowel if you aren’t near public toilets and don’t urinate near open water, rivers and burns.” You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities as either an access taker or a land manager at For further information, contact the access team on 0845 277 7000.

Plan where to walk online Stirling has been involved with a groundbreaking website launched by outdoor access charity the Fieldfare Trust. Phototrails allows users to view photographs of routes and descriptions of the paths’ features and amenities such as seats, disabled parking, and toilets. People of all abilities can use the site to decide if a trail is suitable for them. If you would like to visit the website and see if there any Phototrails in your area to visit, go to



Our Stirling area

100 chapters of Stirling’s great story Stirling reporter Deborah Kilpatrick talks to Elspeth King about her book A History of Stirling in 100 Objects LOCAL HISTORY

Jacobite fan This fan commemorates events of 1 February 1746, with Duke William of Cumberland’s triumphant ride into Stirling in 1746 and the Jacobite retreat. It even shows the accidental blowing up of St Ninian’s Church (the tower alone was left standing and remains to this day), with all of the bodies landing in the graveyard, and the Jacobites fleeing over the Fords of Frew with looted treasure and provisions. No doubt many Stirling ladies were using fans like this when Duke William was given the Freedom of Stirling in April that same year.



With the unveiling of the restored Royal Apartments and Stirling Heads (see fact, right) at the Castle, it’s an exciting year for lovers of Stirling’s rich and unique history. So it’s timely that 2011 also sees the publication of a new book, A History of Stirling in 100 Objects, by renowned writer and historian Elspeth King, director of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum. “The book shows how Stirling has made an important contribution to politics and the country’s heritage – the history of the city is not just about the Castle and the Wallace Monument,” Elspeth explained. “For instance, Stirling was a centre for printing and publishing. “It was also a trading centre for the Gaels and Highlanders, and occupied a strategic position at the edge of the Highlands and Lowlands. When the weaving and wearing of tartan was banned in the Highlands after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Wilsons of Bannockburn made a worldwide reputation producing it. “Highlanders would bring cattle hundreds of miles down the drove roads to market in Stirling and the surrounding area and when they got here, they wanted to buy swords, pistols and daggers – so Stirling was a centre for sword-making too. “And as well as manufacturing, of course, our area has a wonderfully rich cultural background. Burns visited in 1787, for example, and while here penned his famous ‘Stirling Lines’ on the window of the Golden Lion Hotel where he stayed. Later, he was made to smash the glass as the poem was so controversial.” Other than the Municipal Buildings, every item

The book by Elspeth King, a renowned writer and historian, documents the fascinating history of items that can be found in the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

“The history of Stirling is not just about the Castle and the Wallace Monument” featured in Elspeth’s book can be found in the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum – and she skilfully tells not only the story of the objects, but also how they contribute to the story of Stirling and connect with the big picture of Scotland’s history. This lavish book is a must read and should inspire readers to visit the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum and see these wonderful relics first hand! Visit Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum at Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK8 2RQ (opening times are 10.30am-5pm on Tuesday-Saturday, 2pm-5pm on Sundays). Admission and parking are free. Call 01786 471917 or visit

The Grain Gallon signals a change in measures Following the act of Union in 1707, the old weights and measures were discarded and new measures were adopted. The Grain Gallon, which carries the couchant wolf, the symbol of the Royal Burgh of Stirling, was one of these.

Our Stirling area

Kings Park view Here is a view of Stirling from the south showing the Kings Park area before any of the Victorian development took place. Kings Park was the pleasure and hunting grounds of the Stewart monarchs when staying in Stirling Castle. One of the early watercolours in the Stirling Smith collections, it is the work of Adam Callander, who was active from 1780-1811, when he exhibited a total of 51 paintings at the Royal Academy in London. Before the Royal Scottish Academy was established in Edinburgh in 1826, many Scottish artists had to go to London to get exhibition space and a market for their art. Photos and descriptions Š A History of Stirling in 100 Objectsby Elspeth King

FAST FACT Five of the original 56 Stirling Heads at Stirling Castle, which had to be removed in 1777 because they began falling down, have been replaced after more than 200 years.

Bonnie Prince Charlie This iconic portrait of Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, was painted two years before Culloden and came from the house of the Seton Stuarts at Touch. The artist is Cosmo Alexander. The Stirling Smith also has the punch bowl from which Bonnie Prince Charlie drank when he stayed at Bannockburn House, as well as the pocket watch owned by the farmer who guided him across the Forth at the Fords of Frew on his way south. These items, once in private hands, are now the property and common heritage of the people of Stirling.

Stunning wedding dress This beautiful entry in the top 100 is the 1742 wedding dress of Miss Anne Gillespie, daughter of Provost Thomas Gillespie. It was gifted to the Smith in 2006 and is now on display following a programme of cleaning and conservation. The gown is made of Spittalfields silk brocade complete with white silk gauze trimmings. It was discovered during conservation work that the wearer had put her foot through the petticoat by mistake, but a perfect repair patch was stitched in.



Lifelong learning

A day in From left: Jackie, Crawford and Asif


Stirling reporter Deborah Kilpatrick visits the Cowane Centre to discover how adult learning activities are improving lives KEEN TO LEARN

The Cowane Centre in Stirling is the hub for the council’s Adult Learning activities. It’s buzzing with life and full of friendly people eager to learn. As I found out when I popped in one morning in January, the atmosphere is warm, sociable and supportive. 9.30am: The numeracy class runs from 9.30-11.30 am, so I join in. Tutor Trisha helps me catch up. “Everyone in the class has different abilities – some are looking to brush up on skills, while some have broadened from numeracy into maths and are doing Intermediate 1,” she explained. The friendly, informal unpressured setting helps the group improve their core skills. “Continuous assessment helps encourage success – exam conditions are what put a lot of people off at school,” said Crawford, a retired teacher who now volunteers at the centre. “It allows us to check what people understand and what we need to work on,” added Trisha. Literacy and numeracy classes often increase students’ skills and confidence so much that they go on to study at Forth Valley College, or try other classes at the Cowane Centre. 10.30am: A welcome tea break gives me the chance to chat to the students without disrupting their work. Someone’s even brought in a delicious homemade cake. 24


Tutor Duncan with student Abbie

“I’ve found out things I never knew and coming here gives me confidence to try out new things like computing. It’s helped me a lot” Elizabeth, student “When you learn something you feel good. You only get out of life what you put into it,” said David, who’s been coming to the centre for a few years. Elizabeth cared for her mum for 20 years. “I didn’t know what else I could do afterwards, but this has given me so much enjoyment and friendship,” she said. “I’ve found out things I never knew and coming here gives me confidence to try out new things like computing. It’s helped me a lot.” For others, it’s an important step towards getting back to work. Asif

was encouraged to come to the numeracy class by the council’s employability team. He said: “I hope to start a work placement twice a week and start a job soon.” He had an interview later that day. Jackie is improving her skills to progress in her career. “I do school escorting at Riverside Primary School, but I’d love to be a classroom assistant. This is helping me catch up,” she said. Jackie’s daughter has been helping her brush up her computing skills, but is hoping to join her mum as part of


Lifelong learning

the life of Get on course for fun The adult learning team, based at the Cowane Centre, offers literacy and numeracy classes to people following a one-to-one discussion about their learning needs. However, there are a wide range of other community classes available locally as well as at the Cowane Centre. These range from computer skills to arts and crafts. For a one-to-one chat or a course list, contact the team on 01786 432360, or visit

said Tam. “I’m 41 now and was fed up not being good at reading and writing, feeling embarrassed in front of people. I didn’t want to live like that any more so I decided to improve myself,” he said. A WIDE “I plan to start up a RANGE OF property maintenance COURSES ARE business so I need to be able to produce invoicAVAILABLE es, for instance. Since CALL 01786 coming to this class I’ve 432360 found out I’m more the numeracy group too. capable than I thought, and It’s not just students who I’ve started doing maths too. I reap the benefits of adult now have the confidence to ask people, learning though, as volunteers gain even strangers, for help with spelling.” from the experience too. When Another literacy student, Abbie, Crawford’s wife died seven years ago, has written a concert review it helped him rebuild his life. “I get a for the latest learners’ publication lot of satisfaction, friendship and and is about to make a start on fun from being here. It’s one of the another article. “I love it here. The building blocks of my week,” he said. teachers encourage you, and it’s Janis, another volunteer, added: “It’s a good laugh and it’s nice to see people helped me get back on track. I’m very positive now.” growing, getting more confident.” Stephen said: “I had an accident It was Kate Langley’s first day and when I was eight that left me with she said: “I’m impressed because learning difficulties, but within a everyone’s so keen to learn and couple of weeks of coming to the there’s good banter going on.” numeracy class I got a 100 per 11am: Time for me to join the literacy cent mark. The company’s great in both classes, I get on class. When I knock on the classroom with everyone, door, I’m given a warm welcome. because I can Adult learning can be life changing,

relate to everyone and it gives you a good social life as well. I was a nervous wreck at first, but they’ve been very good to me here.” Susanne added: “I felt I couldn’t do anything at first and now I’ve written a children’s book and started maths too.” Noon: Classes are over for the morning. As the learners head off for a well-deserved lunch, it’s back to the office for me, with fresh inspiration to try something new myself.

Elizabeth brushes up on her maths


Useful information

YourCouncillors Learn more about your councillors on our website

Councillor Tony Ffinch Conservative email:

Councillor Fergus Wood SNP email:

Councillor Graham Lambie SNP email:


Councillor Paul Owens Labour email:

Councillor Alistair Berrill Conservative email:

Councillor Colin O’Brien Labour email:


WARD 3 DUNBLANE AND BRIDGE OF ALLAN Councillor Callum Campbell Conservative email: Councillor Colin Finlay Labour email: Councillor David Goss Lib Dem email:







For access to all Stirling Council services phone the contact centre on: 0845 277 7000 • text: 07717 990 001 Visit or email



WARD 4 CASTLE Councillor John Hendry Labour email: Councillor Graham Reed Lib Dem email: Councillor Jim Thomson SNP email: WARD 5 STIRLING WEST Councillor Neil Benny Conservative email:

4 6

Councillor Graham Houston SNP email:

Councillor Scott Farmer SNP email:

● BT (Faults) Tel: 0800 800151 ● Central Scotland Fire & Rescue Service HQ Tel: 01324 716996

Councillor Andrew Simpson Labour email:

Representing you in Parliament


Learn more about the Scottish and UK Governments online at and

Councillor Ian Brown Lib Dem email: Councillor Corrie McChord Labour email: Councillor Steven Paterson SNP email: WARD 7 BANNOCKBURN (Bannockburn, Cowie, Plean)

Councillor Margaret Brisley Labour email:


SNP tel: 01786 471899 email: Bruce.Crawford.msp@ web: Constituency Office Unit 111, John Player Building Stirling Enterprise Park Stirling FK7 7RP OCHIL KEITH BROWN

SNP tel: 01259 219333 email: Keith.Brown.msp@ web: Constituency Office 80 Mill Street Alloa FK10 1DY

SNP tel:0131 348 6765 email: Christopher.Harvie.msp JOHN PARK

Labour tel: 0131 348 6753 email: John.Park.msp@ RICHARD SIMPSON

Labour tel: 0131 348 6756 email: Richard.Simpson. msp@ ELIZABETH SMITH

Conservative tel: 0131 348 6762 email: Elizabeth.Smith. msp@


Councillor Alasdair MacPherson SNP, email:macphersona@

Labour tel: 0131 348 6759 email: Claire.Baker.msp

Councillor Violet Weir Labour email:

Conservative tel: 0131 348 5610 email: Ted.Brocklebank. msp@

Dates of meetings are online at meetings or contact us by phone at 0845 277 7000


Useful information


● Central Scotland Police Tel: 01786 456000 ● Consumer Direct Tel: 0845 4040506 ● Falkirk Royal Infirmary Tel: 01324 624000 ● First Bus Lost Property Tel: 08708 727271 ● Floodline Tel: 0845 988188 ● Forth Valley College Tel: 0845 634 44 44 ● Forth Valley Royal Hospital Tel: 01324 566 000 ● Hydro Electric Tel: 0800 300000 ● MacRobert Arts Centre Tel: 01786 467155/466666 ● NHS Forth Valley Tel: 01786 463031 ● Quantum Meters Tel: 0845 6066766 ● Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley Tel: 01786 451919 ● Scottish Power Tel: 0845 2727111


● Scottish Water Tel: 0845 6008855 ● Stirling Royal Infirmary Tel: 01786 434000



Conservative tel: 0131 348 5293 email: Murdo.Fraser.msp@


● University of Stirling Tel: 01786 473171


● TRANSCO (Gas Emergencies) Tel: 0800 111999

Labour tel: 01786 446515 email: web: Constituency Office 22 Viewfield Street, Stirling FK8 1UA

● Traveline Tel: 0871 2002233



Caring for Stirling’s people

Reablement Helping you stay independent eablement is a care at home R service from Stirling Council to help older people stay independent in their own homes, where this is possible.

For example, if you have lost a bit of confidence after an illness or hospital stay, it could be suitable for you. You will be able to set your own goals to help you enjoy your

Stirling Council is working in partnership with:



independence again and then we’ll work with you to help you achieve them. If you would like to find out more, please contact the reablement team on 01786 443694.

Stirling Magazine - Spring 2011  
Stirling Magazine - Spring 2011  

Flooding, doorstop crime