Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday, 18 June 2018, at 7.30 pm.
Present: P Copland (Chair): V Salvage (Vice Chair): S Bridges (Secretary): E Hughes: W Morris: V Bland: W Buchan: P Peddie: G Bell: M Ashworth: Cllr J Docherty: PC Tetlow and Cllr Porteous
Members of the public: 12
- Welcome and Apologies
Apologies: Cllr Holt and E Porteous
- Declarations of Interest
3 Previous minutes and matters arising
3.1 East Neuk Emergency Forum
It was noted that Kirsty Ironside and Bill Buchan had kindly volunteered to act as the St Monans & Abercrombie points of contact for the ENEF. The Secretary had provided their contact details to Ms Riches.
3.2 Bin collections at Back of Miller Terrace & Forth Street
Cllr Docherty continues to pursue this matter with Council officials on behalf of local residents.
3.3 Water facilities, parking at Cemetery gates, rotting bridge struts & footpaths in Churchyard
It was noted that there is still no water facilities at the cemetery. Fife Council continue to insist that, for insurance purposes, they can only have a council approved firm make the repair. Mr Copland had been advised from the council that the associated cost to repair would be approximately £10,000. The meeting considered this to be an unreasonable amount of money and Mr Buchan suggested that the Community Council take on the task of fixing the water supply, using funding from the Common Good Fund. If the Community Council can be provided with the approved list of plumbers, it was agreed that the Community Council would fix the water supply as suggested.
Cllr Docherty confirmed that he expected to see the ‘No Parking’ signs erected shortly.
3.4 Public benches
It was noted that the bench beside the boat at the entrance to the village was badly damaged. Mrs Salvage has reported this to the council on several occasions.
Mr Bell also advised that he had removed the two uprights supporting the ‘old men’s bench’ and provided them to a cast metal welding expert for an opinion on repairing them. Unfortunately, this is looking extremely unlikely, but the welder is looking into this further. Mr Bell also noted that the original boards are rotten.
3.5 The Old Post Office
The new owner has written to ask for the dates and details of this year’s Arts Festival. Mr Bell will follow up on this query and will also ask whether the owner would be willing to have a defibrillator fitted to the outside wall of the property.
3.6 Report from the Community Police officer
PC Tetlow was invited to speak to the meeting. Following the serious concerns raised previously, PC Tetlow could confirm that positive action had been taken with a number of arrests. Charges had now been brought against individuals in relation to drug offences. She again encouraged everyone to report their concerns to the police (either through calling 101 or emailing directly) to allow such action to be taken in the future. She also reported that there had been more police patrols within the village.
A member of the public stated that some elderly residents were frightened to make such reports and PC Tetlow offered to make plain clothes visits to the elderly or housebound, if requested. There was then a general discussion around the best method of distributing the police helpline contact details. The suggestion of posters around the village and an article in ‘Loaves & Fishes’ would help. Following a suggestion by Mr Bridges, It was also agreed that the Community Council would arrange for leaflets to be designed and delivered to every household within the villages. PC Tetlow agreed to provide the Chairman with content for this small leaflet.
On the wider issue of Fife council’s policy to provide housing to drug dependent individuals within St Monans, it was agreed that the Chairman would formally write to the Council’s Chief executive and officials to express considerable community anger and concern at the number of individuals being placed within St Monans relative to the overall size of the local population. He would also express concern at the lack of support services provided to these individuals as well as the lack of council support for other local residents. A copy of the letter would also be provided to the local MSP.
The Chairman thanked PC Tetlow for her report and she left the meeting.
3.7 St Monans Charitable Fund
Mr Collier advised that the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) had confirmed receipt of the application and that he was hopeful for a positive response within the next three months. The Trustees had met and agreed that the first project should be to improve the seating at Burnside Brae, next to the Kirk. This would include installing a handrail and improving facilities for buggies and wheelchairs. He also advised that the Charity would be willing to support funding for the cemetery water supply.
Mr Copland then called for the minutes to be adopted. Following Mr Bland’s proposal (and seconded by Mr Bell), the minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
- Chairperson’s report
The Chairman noted the very successful coffee morning to raise funds for the Victoria hospital neo-natal clinic, with over £1,148 being raised by two local young people, Calvin and Nathan Earnshaw.
- Secretary’s Report
5.1 Community Action Plan (‘CAP’)
Mr Bridges provided an update on progress with the Community Action Plan. He noted the positive feedback from the initial leaflet that had been distributed to every household. He advised that two local residents had been employed by the CAP steering group, on a temporary part-time basis, to deliver and collect the community surveys. The aim is to deliver these in stages to every household during June and July. In addition a number of ‘key stakeholders’ within the community (for example, leaders of community groups, councilor’s, etc) had responded to an invitation to take part in an interview to discuss their views. The first of which, with the primary school headmistress had been completed. Initial funding to support the CAP survey had been secured but more was needed to complete the work. The Steering group were actively pursuing funding sources. The community Open Day remains on schedule for Saturday 1st September.
5.2 ‘A Nations’ tribute’ – 100th Anniversary of the ending of World War 1
Following the Community Councils decision to support this national event, the Secretary has registered St Monans & Abercrombie with the UK coordinator. At this point, Mr Bridges believes we are the first community in Fife to register for this event. He has also written to the Kirk Session of St Monans parish church to seek approval for the ringing of church bells on the day and is in discussions with local residents to secure a piper. Cllr Docherty suggested that the army battalion based in Leuchars could be supportive of such an event and agreed to provide the Secretary with contact details of the Commanding Officer.
- Treasurer’s Report
Mr Peddie advised the meeting that an unexpected receipt for £3,000 had been received from the administrators of the Common Good Fund in connection with an application that the previous Treasurer had submitted and Mr Peddie wasn’t aware of. The application he submitted in March was still with the administrators, who have advised that there is currently a backlog of cases. Cllr Docherty noted that the next sitting of the CGF awards committee was scheduled to take place on 10 August.
Mr Peddie was pleased to report that the Tractor race night, held on 16 June, had been a success with takings of £948. Allowing for expenses (notably the hall hire and refreshments), the profit was expected to be approximately £400. The money raised is for the Sea Queen day. Particular thanks were expressed to Steven and Linda Collier, Marjory Ashworth and Victoria Riding for their support on the night.
- Planning matters
The Chairman noted there was nothing material to report regarding recent planning applications.
He then invited Mr Bell to provide an update on Harbour developments. Mr Bell noted that Richard Weymss had been in touch with him, and Mrs Salvage and Mr Copland, to inform them that his application for funding had been turned down. Unfortunately, this funding was a necessary pre-requisite to allow an expert consultant to conduct an in-depth report into the viability of his boat building project. Mr Weymss was now considering what, if any, next steps could be taken.
With regards to the Harbour regeneration plan, which has been approved by Fife Council, Mr Bell confirmed that he had received costings for this project. To complete the project will cost £2,254,000. Of this, £1,678,000 relates to the improvements to the slipway; £217,000 to improve the beach and £190,000 to improve the East slip. Two elements of the project can be taken forward;
– £25,000 for the West pier works to support the local fishermen. This works includes providing water facilities, winches, improved access, store, etc)
– £143,000 for the rejuvenation of the Winding Shed (to include toilet facilities for fishermen and other harbour users).
Mr Bell has approached the administrators of the Common European Maritime Fisheries Fund, who have expressed a keen interest in both aspects of this project. They have confirmed that the work outlined above meets their criteria for supporting the fisheries industry in Scotland and that a grant of up to 75% could be made. CEMF have also suggested including a fishermen’s workshop/storage facilities and a bait store be included in the proposal. Mr Bell has identified the garage he rents from Fife council (beside the winch store) as a possible site. However, Mr Bell cautioned against too much optimism at this point as there were two challenges for the community; the grant award had to be submitted by December and committed to being spent by end of March 2019 (ie the date of ‘Brexit’). In addition, any grant cannot be awarded to the local authority and as the harbour is owned by Fife council, this could make the application ineligible. However, Mr Bell was working with the CEFM team to establish a mechanism to satisfy this requirement.
Noting the time critical element to receiving this money for the local community and given the positive support from the CEMF, an expression of interest has formally been submitted on behalf of the community.
Noting the possible improvement to the toilet facilities down at the harbour, Mr Bridges pointed out that the facility would also be made available to St Monans primary school and nursery to use when the children came down to undertake the many school projects organised at the beach.
Finally, it was noted that another option would be to apply to the Lottery fund for the entire amount of £2.2 million. This will be considered, but will be a time-consuming process. Cllr Docherty also suggested the community look to the Trusthouse charitable foundation for some of its funding.
- Public Questions
A member of the public raised a concern about the careless and inconsiderate parking of drivers around the village, including parking on double yellow lines. Cllr Docherty has asked for a stronger warden presence within the East Neuk generally and advised that if the parking was such that it caused obstruction to wheelchairs and buggies, then that could be reported to the police. The Chairman also highlighted the safety issue around Inverie street and Gourlay crescent (at the ‘top shop’) through poor parking. Measures to address this, including the use of flower tubs, were being considered.
Another member of the public complained about the poor state of repair of Inverie street and another mentioned the vennel between Rose Street and Miller terrace. Councillor Porteous agreed to take these matters up with the relevant council department.
Mr Copland also suggested that residents directly complaining to the Council on the help line or by email, and providing photographic evidence, was more effective than formal complaints by the Community council.
- Any Other Competent Business
9.1 Gully cleaning in and around Abercrombie
Mrs Ashworth advised that a number of gully’s around the roads into Abercrombie had not been cleared and that this was now causing problems. Cllr Porteous agreed to raise this matter with the relevant Council officials.
9.2 Weed control on public streets
Mr Copland stated he had received an email from Cllr Holt to advise that due to Council budget cut backs, weed control services had been significantly reduced throughout Fife.
9.3 Grit bin removal
Cllr Docherty advised the Fife council were looking to reduce the number of grit bins within the region, currently over 4,000, and had earmarked a number of bins to be removed from the streets. These could be identified by a yellow circle. If residents objected to the removal of a grit bin, they were asked to raise their objections with Fife Council.
- Close and Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on Monday, 20 August 2018 in the Church Hall, Station Road.
Dated: 18 /6 /2018