Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday, 17 June 2019, at 7.30 pm. Present: P Copland (Chair); S Bridges (Secretary); W Buchan; S Collier; M Ashworth; G Bell; Cllr Porteous; Cllr Docherty and Cllr Holt. 7 Members of the public.
1. Welcome and Apologies.
V Bland, V Salvage, W Morris, H Ironside, M Syme, S Potjewijd and PC Robb had all sent their apologies.
2. Declarations of Interest
3. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising.
It was noted, with some disappointment, that there wasn’t a community Police Officers report for a second consecutive month. Cllr Holt advised that as a minimum, a written report should have been received. It was agreed that the Secretary would escalate the Community Council concerns to Police Scotland. All other matters were considered closed, except for the following:
3.1 Poor Condition of Bus Shelter on Elm Grove. Cllr Porteous noted that Fife Council had sub-contracted out this repair as part of a larger programme of work. However, it had now dismissed the sub-contractor and Fife council were currently working through the backlog. Remains ongoing.
3.2 Fife Council outline drawings to replace Churchyard bridge Due to financial constraints, this is now unlikely to proceed.
3.3 Gully Cleaning in Abercrombie Although a number of gullies have been cleaned, the road towards St Monans has not. Cllr Porteous will continue to follow up this matter with council officials.
3.4 Fence post on right of way adjacent to 24/26 Station Road. Ongoing.
3.5 Potholes at two garages sites within St Monans. Following a request to establish what parking restrictions could be provided by Fife council for the garage sites, Cllr Docherty advised that he had raised this with the Housing department. The Department cannot do anything to prevent parking on either site. Officials had therefore advised local residents who owned garages on either site to consider erecting ‘no parking’ signage to deter car owners from parking. This suggestion was received with considerable derision from the meeting. It was pointed out that this signage would be pointless and unenforceable as the land was owned by Fife Council. Cllr Docherty agreed to refer the concerns of the meeting back to council officials.
3.6 Repairs to railings on Station Road. Noted that some of the dangerous rails had been removed.
3.7 2019 Annual Beach Clean on 26 May. This had been a very successful day with over forty residents turning up in the heavy rain to clear the beach. Many residents observed that there was less litter than in previous years. The primary school children had also spent some picking up litter around the Saltpan houses. Mr. Bridges also noted that he had received an email from a visitor offering to donate fifty pounds to the Beautiful St Monans fund as she was so impressed with the community activity on the day.
3.8 St Monans Residents Group The next meeting will be on 19 June in the Masonic hall at 6.30pm.
3.9 East Neuk Salt company and East Neuk Heritage Company. There was no update on proposals to rebuild one of the saltpan houses or exhibition centre.
3.10 Community notice board. Noted that we are still looking for quotes to replace the notice board on Station Road. Regarding the garden area around the notice board, it was reported that ‘Beautiful St Monans had weeded the area. In addition, the local architect firm has now planted bee friendly plants in the garden.
3.11 East Neuk Community Council Group. Noted that there was a good attendance from both residents and community councillors at this meeting, hosted in the Church hall.
3.12 Fife Health board out of hours consultation. Cllr Docherty was pleased to report that the integrated joint Health & Social Services board was to meet later in the week to vote on the revised consultation proposals, which now included keeping the current opening hours at St Andrews hospital.
3.13 Dangerous cycling through Abercrombie. Mr. Copland advised that the police have followed up on the letter read out at the previous meeting, highlighting concern at dangerous cycling through the village.
3.14 Dangerous parking around Station Road, Gourlay Crescent and Inverie Street junctions. Following up on a request to determine if railings could be placed on the corners of this dangerous junction, Cllr Dochery has been advised that it wasn’t council policy to install railings as they are now considered a health and safety violation. In an emergency, pedestrians who were on the road or exiting their cars could be impeded from getting onto the pavement. Again, there was considerable derision expressed at this unsatisfactory explanation. There being no other comments, Mr. Buchan proposed (Mr. Collier supported) that the minutes be adopted. The minutes were approved.
4. Chairperson’s Report
On behalf of the community, Mr. Copland expressed his thanks to the Sea Queen Committee for their hard work in delivering a very successful Sea Queen day 2019. He also noted that Hugh Wallace had agreed to be Chair of the Residents Association and reminded those present that the next meeting would be on 22 May in the Masonic hall at 6.30pm. Mr. Copland has received a letter of resignation from Elaine Porteous as the minute secretary to the Community Council. A role she has successfully held for seven years. On behalf of the Community Council members past and present, Mr. Copland expressed his sincere thanks to Mrs. Porteous for her service to the community.
5. Secretary’s Report
It was noted that the first bi-monthly community newsletter had been distributed to every household within the district. Fife Council had provided some comment on the content through the St Monans Development Officer and positive comments had been received from residents. As a result, Mr. Bridges advised that a Common Good Fund application was now being prepared to support the publication of six further editions.
6. Treasurer’s Report
Due to the Treasurers absence, there was no report for this month.
7. Members reports
Planning Matters: Mr. Copland noted there had been nothing of significance to raise at the meeting. Community Support initiatives: In his update, Mr Collier noted that new planters have been installed around Braid court and that a planning application has been submitted for the new bin area. He also advised of an incident over the 3rd and 4th June, which had been reported on the community hotline. The meeting was also advised of some petty shoplifting crime within the area.
8. Councillor Updates
Cllr Holt advised that Fife Council has commenced a review of current gritting routes. The proposals include removing Castle Street and Inverie Street from the primary road gritting network. It was observed that this proposal would impact the street entrance for the local fire service. Cllr Holt urged residents to submit comments to Fife Council. Cllr Docherty took the opportunity to publicise a local charity, which was seeking volunteers who were willing to provide 2 or 3 hours per month befriending local vulnerable adults. Anyone interested in learning more about the charity was invited to contact Cllr Docherty.
9. Towns Team update
Mr. Bell was pleased to report that the Bowhouse weekend had produced a profit of £1,845. This had been divided up amongst the local community groups who had supported the weekend, including; St Monans Charity; Sea Queen committee; St Monans Arts Festival; Beautiful St Monans; St Monans trust and The Little wellies parent &Toddler group. Mr. Bell expressed his thank to all the volunteers who helped make the event a great success He also thanked the Bowhouse estate for agreeing to host the local community at their weekend.
10 Community Development Officer update
Due to Ms. Potjewijd’s apologies, there was no report for this month.
11. Public Questions
11.1 Overgrown Hedges Overgrown hedges were reported at the lane beside the chinese restaurant and the one leading down to the Auld Kirk Beside (belonging to the deckhouse property). Cllr Porteous agreed to follow with both owners.
11.2 Grass cutting and weeding by Fife Council A resident complained about the lack of weeding around the streets. She also complained that grass cuttings were not collected up by council employees. Cllr Docherty agreed to take both matters up with relevant department officials at Fife Council.
11.3 Picnic benches for the Serenity garden A request was received to place two picnic benches (one with disability access) within the serenity garden. There was considerable support for this suggestion. A standard bench costs approximately £500 (the disabled access bench, a little more). Although the floral display account was not considered appropriate to fund this request, it was agreed that the Community Council would support a grant application, on behalf of Beautiful St Monans group. It was also suggested that the construction of both benches could be a project for the recently formed “Mens Shed” group. Mr Bridges agreed to approach their secretary, Steven Izatt, to discuss this further.
12. Any other business
12.1 Sea Queen Day – volunteers, parking issues and children activities A total of 25 volunteers helped during the Sea Queen day event and this year all were invited back to the Sea Queen Lunch afterwards. Mr Collier suggested that this informal thank you should be encouraged in future Sea Queen days. He also noted that there was some issues with inconsiderate parking on the side streets, despite the carpark being half-full. The Sea Queen committee will consider this for next year’s event. Finally, Mr Collier expressed his thanks to Helen Ironside for organizing all the children’s activities on the day.
13. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Community Council will be on Monday, 19 August at 7.30 pm.