Present: P Copland (Chair); S Bridges (Secretary); V Salvage (Vice-Chair); W Morris (Treasurer); M Syme; H Ironside; M Ashworth; W Buchan; S Collier; G Bell; Cllr Docherty; Cllr Holt and PC Robb.
In attendance: Michael Bruce, Cox’n Mechanic RNLI Anstruther; Darren Peddie, East Neuk Salt Company and Sonja Potjewiid, St Monans Community Development Officer, Fife Council.
Members of the public: 15
- Welcome and Apologies
V Bland, E Porteous and Cllr Porteous had sent their apologies.
- Declarations of Interest
- Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
All matters were considered closed, except for the following:
3.1 Poor Condition of Bus Shelter on Elm Grove
3.2 Fife Council outline drawings to replace Churchyard bridge
Nothing to report.
3.3 Gully Cleaning in Abercrombie
There continues to be no progress in attempts to have the two blocked gully’s, on the main road, cleared. It was also noted that the damaged wall had still not been repaired.
3.4 Grit Bins
Nothing to report.
3.5 8 and 8a West Shore – Old Post Office
Noted that the property at 8A had been approved, subject to conditions. Details can be found on Fife Councils website. Mr Bell confirmed he had written to the owners on behalf of the Community Council, to ask when the gallery would open. To date, no response had been received.
3.6 Fence post on right of way adjacent to 24/26 Station Road
Cllr Docherty noted this continues to be an ongoing issue.
3.7 Traffic concerns on Station Road
Mr Copland confirmed that Fife Council would finance the installation of a new ‘Double D’ island at the junction at the top of Station Road to the A917.
3.8 Potholes at two garages sites within St Monans
It was noted that there was a lot of rubbish and litter in the vicinity, which could be considered as fly tipping. Mrs Salvage agreed to raise the matter with council officials during the village walkabout on 17 April.
3.9 Sustran EN50 (Cycle routes within East Neuk)
An update will be provided under ‘Any Other Business’.
3.10 Potholes in and around 15/17 West End
Mrs Syme confirmed that the potholes had been marked up for repair by Fife Council.
3.11 Repairs to railings on Station Road
Cllr Docherty has not received any update on progress. As a point of clarification, it was confirmed that the proposed remedial work would focus on the railings outside the properties of 18 -22 Station Road. However, it was also noted that the railing at the corner of Station Road with Hope Terrace was also in a poor state of repair. Mr Collier agreed to report this at the Village walkabout.
3.12 2019 Annual Beach Clean on 26 May
Mrs Ashworth has notified relevant officials at Fife Council but is still waiting for confirmation to proceed with this date. She could then arrange the necessary publicity. Cllr Docherty suggested to copy him with any follow up emails to encourage the Council to respond promptly.
3.13 Village Walkabout
Mr Collier reminded those present of the Village walkabout scheduled for Thursday 17 April stating at 11 am from the Town hall. Council officials would take part and everyone was welcome to attend.
3.14 St Monans Tenant & Residents Group
The next meeting will be on 24 April in the Masonic hall at 6.30pm. It was noted that the group had renamed itself to the St Monans Residents group.
3.15 Treasurers report
Mr Morris circulated the latest cash flow statement to the meeting. Unallocated free funds available totals £2,140. The Floral display account (used by Beautiful St Monans) was also showing a healthy balance of £6,125. He also advised that both he and Mr Peter Peddie were finalizing the year-end accounts (the year end being to 31 March 2018).
There being no other comments, Mrs Salvage then proposed (Mrs Syme supported) that the minutes be adopted. The minutes were approved.
- East Neuk Community Emergency Planning Team (ENCEPT)
The Chairman invited Michael Bruce, Coxswain of Anstruther RNLI to provide an update on ENCEPT. Mr Bruce explained that ENCEPT would provide co-ordination and practical assistance within the East Neuk area during severe weather conditions. He stressed ENCEPT wasn’t intended to replace statutory authorities but was there to complement and support these bodies. Gillian Duncan had agreed to be co-ordinator of ENCEPT, Michael has agreed the Deputy co-ordinator role and Elizabeth Riches had agreed to be treasurer. There are also representatives from two separate Community council`s on ENCEPT. In addition to St Monans, all other local Community Councils and constituted community groups approached so far were supporting ENCEPT. Each Community group would receive a memorandum of understanding (‘MOU’), which would document what this support would involve (each MOU may be different due to geographical location and population of village amongst other things). A 24-hour Freephone number will be available from the official launch at the beginning of May. A network of local farmers has been established to help in the clearing of local roads and any other emergency tasks which the emergency plan covers.
ENCEPT has been registered with the National Child Rescue Alert System, which immediately alerts the team and allows it to provide assistance in searching for missing children and vulnerable adults reported in the area. Grant funding had been provided to the group and this was being used to provide each community with a bag of equipment to support emergencies.
ENCEPT had asked for two nominees from each community as points of contact for ENCEPT. Mr Bruce also asked the CC to confirm if any of the village / church halls may be noted on ENCEPT register as a designated rescue centre should it be required in a local emergency, a keyholder point of contact would be required.
It was noted that Bill Buchan and Kirsty Ironside had agreed to represent St Monans. Mrs Salvage said that if neither could undertake this role, she would volunteer.
Mr Bruce concluded by advising that promotional material would be available from the beginning of May.
- East Neuk Salt Company and East Neuk Heritage Company
The Chairman then invited Darren Peattie from the East Neuk Salt Company to address the meeting. Since the last meeting, Mr Peattie advised the formation of the East Neuk Salt Heritage Company. This was a Community Interest Company and in addition to himself and his wife, its members included Vicki Salvage, Billy Morris, Steve Collier, Richard Wemyss and Leonard Low. A representative from Fife Council (Graham Ferguson) would also be on the Board. Mr Peattie advised he had been in various discussions with Fife Council in relation to this project and he stressed that he wanted the new company to be transparent with the community. Peter Peddie would also be part of the governing body and had agreed in principle to the windmill being placed under the stewardship of the Heritage company. He also stated that Mr Peddie had agreed to rent out land next to the windmill as a potential site for a heritage centre. In addition to this centre, the plan was to reconstruct one of the salt panhouses. Mr Peattie also advised that he was planning a family oriented event on a weekend in August to promote the Salt Pans. Although at an early stage of planning, he hoped it would include picnics, music and competitions.
Mr Peattie stated that the East Neuk Salt Company would like to build an evaporation centre within the centre of the village. He was considering three potential sites; the hauling slip area; the car park area beside the Smokehouse and the garage area opposite Craig Millers restaurant. In response to a question from a resident, Mr Peattie suggested the new building at the garages would be raised on stilts over the rocks and part of the beach. As a responsible business owner, the company would ensure that it maintained the surrounding beach.
A local resident asked whether any of the proposed plans had considered traffic management within the area. Mr Peattie suggested that better signage to the little used car park up beside Hope Place and better boat management down at the harbor, would help. However, a resident pointed out that Fife Council had previously refused funding such signage. Another resident suggested no cars should be allowed down at the harbour front, and another resident suggested it should be restricted for residents parking only.
The Chairman noted that the issue of traffic management was an important point and suggested that the ideas for parking generally should be raised a the upcoming Village walkabout.
- Community Police Report
PC Robb advised that PC Tetlow had recently moved roles within Police Scotland and PC Chris Stecka had been appointed in her place. There was also a new Community Police Sergeant, Mathew Spencer. Last month there were four crimes in St Monans (eight in the wider area). One was in connection with internet fraud. PC Robb reminded the meeting that he could offer the services of the community Safety Officer to meet with individuals and groups to provide advice on what people could do the protect themselves. A speed trap had been set up in the area recently and a small number of drivers caught speeding. Interestingly, every offender was a local resident (although no one from St Monans this time). PC Robb also reported two wildlife crimes involving off road motor bikes. If residents witnessed off road biking on the coastal path, a good description of the driver and bike helps the police.
A member of the public expressed his concern at the number of drug addicts he had seen around the village and the apparent lack of any police presence. PC Robb noted that on many occasions there were insufficient grounds to make an arrest and ‘stop and search’ powers could only be used where there was reasonable cause. However, Police Scotland continued to work closely with Fife Council officials to address the underlying problems.
Mrs Salvage added that the Community Council was also working with Fife Council and other agencies to promote the positive aspects of living in St Monans.
Finally, PC Robb reminded the meeting of the benefits of the ‘community speed watch’ programme. The local primary school Headmistress is keen to see the ‘pop up’ police officer back in use and cardboard cut-outs are available. These have proven effective in other communities.
Mrs Ashworth raised the continuing problem of speeding through Abercrombie. In particular, she highlighted the case of a local resident receiving verbal abuse by another driver for slowing down to turn into her drive. It was also noted that many drivers used their mobile phones whole driving through the village.
- St Monans Community Development Officer
Mr Copland then invited Sonja Potjewijd to address the meeting.
Mrs Potjewijd introduced herself and stated that Fife Council had created the Community Development Officer role on a part time basis and initial funding had been secured until end August. Part of the remit was to take forward some the ideas highlighted in the Community Action Plan (‘CAP’) and to stimulate more community activity. Sonja had been heavily involved in setting up the Little Wellies Club. She has also been talking to local children and young adults about what they wanted. Suggestions ranged from organizing tennis in May and football games on Monday evenings.
A monthly community newsletter was in the advance stage of being produced and it was hoped that the first issue would be on 11 May. Every home in the community will receive one. She stated that any articles from residents would be very welcome and to contact herself or Stuart Bridges for further detail.
She also mentioned that she was creating a CAP ‘drop in’ centre in the visitor’s room at St Monans library. The idea behind this centre was to promote the current CAP projects and to see what other ideas local residents had. The drop in centre would be open for a few weeks throughout May and June. Helen Ironside will be helping her in staffing the centre.
Finally, it was her intention to look into a summer programme of family orientated events. Volunteers to assist would be very welcome.
Mr Copland thanked Mrs Potjewijd for all the work she had done to date.
- Chairperson’s Report
Other than the points covered earlier, Mr Copland had nothing to report.
- Secretary’s Report
Mr Bridges advised he had written to the Chair of Balmullo Community Council, providing St Monans and Abercrombie support in their motion to prevent the out of hour’s services moving away from St Andrews hospital.
He is still sourcing estimates for a replacement community notice board on Station Road. Mr Collier advised that he had fixed the locking mechanism but noted that the board still leaked internally.
- Treasurer’s Report
Mr Morris had nothing further to add to his update noted at 3.15 above.
- Members reports
Planning Matters: Mr Copland advised there was nothing to report.
Community Support initiatives: Mr Collier advised that the work to upgrade the communal bin stores would commence on 25 March. New fencing would be put up around Braid Court, but a completion date was still to be confirmed. Funding for new planters in Braid Court was being sought. Meantime two local Braid Court residents have volunteered to help look after these, once established. On Station Road, there had been two drug- related incidents. Finally, he noted that the St Monans Tenants & Residents group had decided to rename itself the St Monans Residents Group.
St Monans Children’s Play park: Mrs Ironside circulated a copy of a proposed plan for a new park at the Mair. Alan Bisset at Fife Council had created the plan and the estimated cost was £120,000. The local primary school was very supportive of the plan. Mrs Ironside was now exploring funding opportunities. She also noted that Pittenweem are pushing for the creation of a skate park within their town and if the play park was to go ahead in St Monans, it was unlikely that we would also get a skate park She reminded the meeting that the local skate park had been declared unsafe by the Council. Mrs Potjewid also suggested that a picnic area and benches would enhance the proposed play park plan.
Beautiful St Monans: Mr Bridges read out a report submitted by Elaine Porteous. Brackets for new hanging baskets at East Street have been ordered. The cost is being met by a generous donation from a resident who lives in East Street. We also need to replace one or two barrels that are not repairable. Fife Council has met with members of the team to look at the public spaces around Braid Court, particularly regarding helping with planters and flowers. The Council representatives agreed to tidy up the area in preparation for tubs. All of the above is very positive. Steve and Linda Collier have kindly offered to help maintain the flowers in the tubs at Braid Court with the help of any residents of Braid Court who would like to help too.
Sonja Potjewijd has also contacted the team as she would like to arrange a gardening event in June to try to encourage people (who perhaps are tentative about joining in) to come along to do some gardening in the Serenity Garden.
- Councillor Updates
Other than the points covered earlier, both Cllr Docherty and Cllr Holt had nothing further to report.
- Towns Team update
Mr Copland invited Mr Bell to provide an update on the Towns Team activities. Mr Bell reminded everyone of the Bowhouse weekend of 11/12 May at which the community had been offered a stall to raise community funds. If a community group wanted to take part, they should contact Mr Bell as soon as possible. Mrs Salvage said that the Sea Queen Committee would be willing to take part.
- Public Questions
A resident complained of the untidy state of the garden area around the community noticeboard on Station Road. Another complained about the poor state of West Shore and East Shore. Cllr Docherty advised that Fife Council were currently undertaking road repairs and it was agreed that all three matters should be raised at the forthcoming Village walkabout.
Another resident asked for a progress update on the skiff repair. Mr Bell replied that although there were a number of wiling volunteers to help undertake repairs, there was a need for a qualified joiner or carpenter to complete the difficult work. He noted that the rowing club had a healthy level of support and that the St Monans team was taking the Elie skiff to the world championships at Stranraer later in the year.
- Any Other Business
15.1 Resident locked out of Narrow Wynd
Mrs Salvage reported a resident who was locked out of his home at Braidcourt as the main door was locked at midnight. He could not enter the premises or contact any of his neighbours. Cllr Holt agreed to investigate this matter with the relevant housing officials.
15.2 Creation of a St Monans History Club/ Society
A resident had contacted Mrs Salvage to ask whether there was any community interest in creating a local history club, under the auspices of the Community Council. Mrs Salvage suggested that there were several ideas that could be developed by the creation of such a club, including;
– Capturing senior citizens experiences of living in St Monans
– Markers, plaques and information boards around the village
– Reintroducing old names to the area (Mrs Salvage provided ‘the Mair’ rather than ‘the Common’ by way of an example).
Mr Darren Peattie kindly agreed to pay a production company, he had previously used, to undertake video and sound recording capturing the recollections of St Monans seniors.
Mrs Salvage agreed to organize and produce a poster publicising this new club. If members of the public wanted to learn more, she agreed to be the point of contact.
15.3 The Easton family visit to St Monans
Mrs Salvage read out a letter of thanks to the community from the Easton family, following their successful visit to St Monans. Mr Morris had also received a similar letter of thanks.
15.4 Connection of a defibrillator onto the Harbour Masters office
Mr Bell advised that Fife Council had queried the electricity power supply at the Harbour Masters office. This had now been resolved and it was the intention to start the work in mid to late summer.
15.5 Litter on road between Abercrombie and St Monans
It was noted that there was a considerable amount of litter on this road. Cllr Docherty agreed to look into this matter with Mrs Ashworth.
15.6 Sustran (National Cycle Network) ‘EN 50’ multi-use path
Mrs Potjewijd explained that the ‘Sustran EN 50’ was a region wide project to create a multi-use pathway from Kirkcaldy to Dundee. Each section of the proposed path was dependent on local community committees and Mrs Potjewijd was keen to seek local residents with an interest in cycling or walking to join a newly formed St Monans committee. Two routes were being planned to join up with the wider path network; one from St Monans to Pittenweem; the other from Elie to St Monans. If anyone would like to learn more about the project, they should contact the Secretary or Mrs Potjewijd.
- Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Community Council will be on Monday, 20 May at 7.30 pm.