February 2008

There are significant changes to note since the last Community Profile was prepared in 2002.

It is difficult to make direct comparisons between population census statistics in 1991 (used in previous Community Profile) and those from 2001 (current Profile), due to a slightly differing boundary being used in 1991. Informed estimates indicate however that the population of Strachur and Strathlachlan parishes decreased slightly (by approximately 5%) between the two censuses. Levels of new house building in the two parishes may point towards a reversal of this trend, but this will only be known with any certainty at the next census (due 2011).

The most significant issue within the population statistics is the increasing proportion of elderly residents in the district, which will have implications for healthcare, Strachur primary school, the labour pool and business activity locally.

The Strachur district is not only seen by outsiders as an attractive place to retire, but also as a beautiful area in which to have a second or holiday home. This has resulted in a very high proportion of this type of housing.

The severe lack of housing in a price bracket affordable to local people is an issue of major concern to residents in the district. Some social housing exists, but this is not seen as being nearly adequate by local people. There is also a view that locals should be given 'first refusal' when any housing association properties become available.

Public transport is an issue of concern locally. Local people have expressed a desire for an earlier morning and late night bus service between Strachur and Dunoon to allow people (teenagers in particular) to participate in social activities in the town.
Public transport links to Glasgow buses travelling on the A83, stopping at Cairndow, are also seen as inadequate.
The morning and afternoon services also serve as the school bus, which has caused problems in the past, as 'paying customers' are given priority over schoolchildren.

The local medical practice, with its pharmacy, in Strachur is viewed as a real asset to the district. The out of hours service service is valued by local residents.

There are reports of long ambulance response times to emergencies in the Strachur area.

Completion of the sports field at Strachurmore through the Strachur District Development Company is viewed as a priority within the community, both to provide adequate shinty and other community sports facilities and also to provide a sports ground for the primary school.

The stretches of road between Tigh na Criche and Bay Crofts, and the Primary school to the Crossroads are seen as having been badly designed and dangerous.

There is concern that the local Strachur sewage system will not be able to cope with a great deal more housing development, and also that frequency of supply failure at Leanach will increase as more houses are built in the Strachur Bay area unless a local storage tank in installed.

The recent proliferation of ‘alien' species such as Japanese Knotweed and Rhododendron Ponticum, plus ‘native' scrub, including birch, alder and willow, is causing road safety problems where sight lines are being blocked. This scrub is also blocking many important scenic views in the district, affecting tourists' enjoyment.

Local people have recently formed the Strachur and District Local History Society to address the need which has been felt for some time that real local history should be recorded before much of the folk memory is lost. The society will also have an interest in recording and presenting archaeological and historical sites for both locals and visitors.


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