Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Burgh of St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday, 15 June 2015 at 7.30pm
|Present:||A Anderson (Chairman)||V Bland|
|P Copland||W Buchan||G Brown (Treasurer)|
|R Craib (Secretary)||P Peddie||V Salvage|
|E Hughes||Elaine Porteous (Minute Secretary)||Cllr E Riches|
|Cllr J Docherty||Cllr D Macgregor||Members of the public: 5|
|Action / Person Responsible|
|1||Welcome and ApologiesThe Chairman welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming to the meeting.
Apologies: M Ashworth, P Shafren.
|2||Declarations of InterestApplication for the Common Good fund for a grant for the Community Artists’ Festival. P Copland, G Brown and R Craib declared an interest.|
|3||Planning Street Lighting in West Street
W Buchan passed on a copy of a letter he had received from the Spar Shop. The letter was sent from the Spar Shop to
Mr Broadhurst of Fife Council, advising them of the poor street lighting in West Street, stating that they are concerned for the safety of their customers including the elderly who will be coming to the Post Office to collect pensions and other moneys.
V Salvage said that the copy of the letter had been given to the Community Council (CC) as the Spar Shop hoped that the CC would support their plea for improved lighting. A Anderson asked if everyone in the CC was in favour of supporting this. (All in favour.)
Cllr E Riches suggested that it may be best to have the street assessed. V Salvage said that apparently there is only one light in the street and the road that goes up to the Plerick. She added that there is a dark area at the first part of Station Road.
W Buchan commented that the new lights are very poor.
Cllr E Riches said that she would ask for these places to be assessed.
Cllr E Riches
|4||Last Minutes and Matters Arising4.1 (10.4) Reduction in Bins
R Craib said that Fife Council had been contacted. Regarding the bin at Station Road, the bin has been moved to a small grass area up Station Road. They do not know of any other bins being removed. They are going to investigate it. V Salvage said that there used to be 2 bins beside the car park next to Craig Millar, but now there is only one, adding that they need 2 bins there as by the weekend it is overflowing.
|4.2 (3.1)(3) Planning – Discussion on ProceduresThe Chairman said he had tried, but had not been able to catch Jim Birrell. (Jim Birrell is retiring in July.) Cllr E Riches offered to chase up Jim Birrell and A.Anderson agreed to forward latest email requesting a response to the points raised.||
Cllr E Riches
|4.3 (6.1) Noticeboard at Bottom of Station RoadG Brown said he had had a good look at the Noticeboard. He decided that it does not need replacing because it just needs new perspex, which he has ordered and will be arriving on Wednesday. Then it will be cleaned and painted. Stuart Tarvet has offered to paint it within the next couple of weeks or so.||
|4.4 (7.3) Common Good TrainingAll the Councillors at the meeting had attended this training, which was held in the Council Chambers. Cllr D Macgregor said that there were 4 speakers: Andrew Fergusson, Michael McArdle, Margaret Lowe (Accounts and Common Good Finance), and Laura MacKean (who deals with the applications for Common Good Grants). At the training they were told what the Common Good is. It is heritable and moveable property including cash, now held by local authorities, formerly the property of burghs. Disposal is limited by legislation where it is heritable property and has to be retained.
Examples of typical common good property include: former burgh chambers; parks, museums and theatres; recreational land; other properties – houses, industrial units; moveable property – ceremonial robes, twin town gifts, paintings; cash and investments. Cllr Macgregor advised the meeting that there was a Common Good Register. He also said that there was a section on the training course about the maintenance and disposal of Common Good Property. To maintain it, first call on the Common Good Fund. He said that a Community Empowerment Bill went through Parliament, which can give communities the right to buy.
Cllr E Riches advised that the Common Good Register is available on the Fife Council website. (Go to Fife Direct website, then scroll down to ‘C’ in the alphabetic choice, and choose ‘Common Good’.) You will see a map, and anything that is Common Good is hatched in green.
Cllr Riches added that it can be a bonus if it brings in income, but it can also be a drain on funds. Some services can be charged to Common Good.
Cllr E Riches said that she had requested that CCs should get their final ac counts each year sent to them. She was told that it is available on Fife Council website. However, Cllr Riches had asked that they be sent to CCs as getting a copy would aid decision-making.
|4.5 (7.4) Fife Plan and Tay PlanThe Chairman asked Cllr Macgregor if he had anything to report from the meeting he had attended on 27 May. Cllr Macgregor said that there was nothing about St Monans.|
|4.6 (10.2) Blocked Water ButtA Anderson said he had spoken to Liz Murphy. She is going to get the drain repaired and will then ask colleagues about the potential of getting the pipe unblocked.
A Anderson said that he also raised that we do not have potable running water there. She said that the cost was preclusive.
|4.7 (11.5) Public ToiletsR Craib said she had found out that the summer opening of the public toilets is until 5.30 pm and Anstruther is open until 7 pm, so she said that she had put notices along the coastal path.|
|4.8 (11.3) Concerns about AsbestosA Anderson said that he had contacted Mr Rennie regarding his concerns about asbestos and said that as he had raised his concerns with all relevant bodies that the CC would leave this in his hands.|
|4.9 (6.3) Election of New Vice ChairmanAs V Bland is standing down as Vice Chairman after many years service, the Chairman had asked at the last meeting if anyone was interested. The Chairman said that Peter Copland had very kindly put his name forward and so A Anderson said he would like to nominate Peter Copland. Ruth Craib seconded. Carried.|
|4.10 (10.5) BenchesV Salvage said that she had been contacted by someone who offered to pay for the bench at the Plerick, but would want to do this not straight away, but in a few months time.
A member of the public asked about the bench at the cemetery that looked into a hedge. V Salvage said that she had looked at it.
|4.11 (6.2) Sea Queen DayP Copland said that Sea Queen Day had taken place that Saturday, but it had had to be cut short because of the weather. He gave thanks to all the helpers, without whom they would not have been able to do such an efficient job, and also thanked all others who had contributed to the day, including the Committee and those from the Reaper, saying that they did a great job. He added that there was some fantastic photographs on the Courier website and there should be more on the East Fife Mail.|
|Proposer: V Bland Seconder: V Salvage|
|5||Chairperson”s ReportThe Chairman congratulated everyone on the Sea Queen Day, and seconded what P Copland had said, adding that it was a great day. The Chairman added his thanks to everyone, as there is a lot of work done well in advance.
The Chairman went on to say that there had been a problem on the day because only cones and 4 plastic barriers were available, (which we put up at the end of the streets); there were no ‘Road Closed’ signs. The Chairman said that while he was happy to make light of St Monans being the poor cousin, there was a problem. A lot of vehicles came down the street, and even a bus at one time, which was dangerous. Cllr E Riches took note that there were no signs. (Despite, the Chairman added, having been paid £475.)
Cllr E Riches said that this had also happened in Anstruther for their Harbour Festival.
|Secretary’s Report6.1 Application for Common Good Fund
Application for the Common Good fund for a grant for the Community Artists’ Festival. M Ashworth voted for the proposal in absentia. The Chairman asked those who had not declared an interest if anyone objected to the application. Result: Unanimous in favour of the application.
|6.2 Wildlife and Paths EventThe Secretary had received an email forwarded by Fife Council, from Marion Munro of Paths for All, advising of a Wildlife and Paths event at the SRUC Oatridge Campus on Tuesday, 28 July 2015 from 9.30 am-4.30 pm. It is an indoor and outdoor event, which is open and free to volunteers of community councils, development trusts and community groups who maintain paths in their local area or green spaces. The topics include: why it is important to look for wildlife before practical work is carried out, and how to spot and record the wildlife you find.
To find out more about the event, how to book a place contact:
or contact Marion Munro at Marion.Munro@pathsforall.org.uk
|6.3 Solar PanelsThe Secretary said she received a ‘phone call about this. She said she would bring it to the CC’s attention It is about putting in solar panels and then getting money for the community. A Anderson said we cannot apply for funding for any renewable energy projects from Community Energy Scotland or any other body for a 10 year period without potentially becoming liable to pay back grant received for the wind turbine project.|
|6.4 Fife Council’s Customer Listening ProgrammeR Craib had received an email from Fife Council’s Development Management Team (Economy, Planning and Employability Services) regarding their customer listening programme, saying that they would like to meet with representatives of Community Councils, to learn more about the service the Council provide from our customer’s perspective, and to identify any areas where improvements can be made. The email went on to say that they were not in a position to provide dates or location of the meetings, but said they would like to be advised of the names of those who wish to attend.|
|7||Treasurer’s ReportG Brown reported some expenses: beach clean refreshments; painting pallets and timber for benches; perspex for notice board: which came to about £190.
Also there had been expenses for the Heritage Collection of £5.
He added that Bill Porteous has done a marvelous job of collecting money for the floral display. So far it has reached £571.
|8||PlanningG Brown said that he was not aware of anything in Planning.
A Anderson said that he had received an email from Planning Department of Fife Council shortly before the meeting saying that a Planning Application for 57 houses was now on the website and they would welcome our comments.
The CC will arrange another public meeting to discuss the application. G,.Brown was asked to register the CC as Consultees to allow sufficient time to hold such a meeting and feedback any comments from the community
|Public Questions9.1 A member of the public asked whether there has been any word about what was happening at Bowhouse. G Brown answered that that has been passed.|
|9.2 There was a complaint from the member of the public regarding messy road markings in Inverie Street at the entrance to King David Street. The road markings are not in a straight line. The Chairman said that he had noticed that they were very thick.|
|9.3 V Salvage said that there was a large amount of litter in George Terrace. It was suggested that she should contactJohn Easton, as had been advised previously, if there was a problem.||
|9.4 A member of the public said that the steps down to the seating overlooking the church has still not been repaired.V Salvage replied that it should be the department of Parks and Leisure who is responsible for re0doing these steps, but there seems to be only one workman doing such work in NE Fife so it may not be deemed as urgent compared to other work. However she would contact Iain Barbour to ask.||
|9.5 A member of the public said that she had spoken to someone about the railway bridge. The person said that they had eventually managed to get the viaduct at Lower Largo repaired. (Initially Fife Council had wanted the local CC to pay for it) A Anderson will contact Lower Largo CC to enquire how they traced the party responsible for the bridge.G Brown commented that he believed that the viaduct was listed at one point.||
|9.6 Bill Porteous of Beautiful St Monans said that he wished to thank George and Win Brown for the help they had given him for Beautiful St Monans; and also thanked the people who have given me their help over the past few weeks. He confirmed that the judging would be on Tuesday, 14 July.A.Anderson and the CC asked the community to make extra effort to assist in tidying their local area ahead of the visit on 14th July.|
|9.7 A member of the public (Brenda Allan) asked whether anything was happening about the Memorial Garden at the Saltpans.
G Brown said that he had got agreement from Community Payback saying that they could get it dug out, but only if someone was going to take it on. G Brown said that the CC cannot look after that and he said that he thought it was unfair for Beautiful St Monans to look after it. He asked Brenda Allan if she wanted to take it on, as she had previously suggested. Brenda Allan said that she would be willing to take it on with the help of her friend Beryl. G Brown said that he would get back to Community Payback.
G Brown suggested to Brenda Allan that she should speak to
Bill Porteous and come up with suggestions for fundraising. The Chairman thanked Brenda Allan for the offer to maintain the Memorial Garden at the Saltpans and asked her to pass the CC’s thanks to Beryl as well.
|9.8 G Brown said that the benches at the Jim Braid Garden and the West End Garden are away for renovation just now.|
|9.9 A member of the public complained that road surface at the cross roads and at East Street is a mess – all patched and humps. A comment was made that it has been marked with yellow. A member of the public said that they came and filled in some holes and left others.|
|9.10 A member of the public said that the tenant at No 58 has erected a shed right next to their front door (on the main street). They have gardens at the back.
A Anderson replied that it was his belief that whether they are allowed to do this depends on the size of the shed; the floor area and the height. If, however, anyone locally believes they are being disadvantaged, eg regarding blocking of light, they can complain. He advised to take any concerns to Lyall Smith in Planning Department.
|AOCB10.1 Cllr D Macgregor said he is a member of the Fife Cultural Trust, which looks after museums, art galleries, libraries and theatres. He said that the problem we have in the Cultural Trust is there are constant cuts to their budget from Fife Council, so they are having great difficulties doing would they would like to do.
There will be a hub and spoke system for libraries. Not all the libraries will remain open permanently. The ‘hub’ will be places like St Andrews and Cupar. In the East Neuk they are considering whether one or two may have to close. Cllr D Macgregor said that he would keep the CC posted.
The Chairman said that he had noted that part of the new Waid building was to be a library. Cllr D Macgregor said that there has been objections because it is inconvenient for people.
The Chairman went on to say that it is a dreadful shame that when we get a new school that the Waid does not have a new swimming pool. Cllr E Riches said she had argued for a swimming pool at the Waid and that it leaves us with a school which is furthest from any swimming pool.
|10.2 B Buchan said that he thought the CC were putting posters round the village giving the location of the nearest defibrillator.
R Craib said that she had asked for this about a year ago, giving all the information required.
G Brown said that the signs will be supplied free of charge. There is a vinyl one, which can have vinyl lettering added to it. There are A3 signs, which are on a backing of foam and there are metal ones with a vinyl cover. If we tell Gillian what we want, we will get it. R Craib said she would have a look at her old emails to try to find the one she sent originally with all the information.
|10.3 A Anderson said that when the Brown sign for the Green Door Café was taken away, they took away the sign for the Mayview. E Hughes said that it was an injustice. It has been paid for. The sign could have been altered.Cllr Riches agreed to coantact relevant persons within Fife Council and investigate with a view to getting a replacement sign.|
|10.4 Cllr Riches circulated a plan showing suggestions on how to improve the parking at Inverie Street: one giving 9 extra spaces and another giving 11 extra spaces, leaving the existing lampposts and trees, but chopping the green bits.
Cllr Riches said that she needed a view from the CC to take to the residents. (Cllr Riches said that she would take it round the residents to see what they think.)
A Anderson asked if anyone had any objections to the proposal for 11 spaces. There were no objections.
Cllr E Riches
|10.5 Cllr J Docherty said that the Health and Social Integration Board want a representative. He said that there has been close working together with Fife Council and the NHS (supported by Scottish Government) to try to improve health care and social integration into the local community. For example, if the Community find there is a shortage of some services, that can be raised. It will definitely have an impact.|
|10.6 G Brown said that Community Pay Back (CPB) benches have been taken away and will be brought back early next week. Then, he said, my involvement with CPB will end. V Salvage said that she was quite happy to take CPB back.|
|10.7 A Anderson said that we have been trying to find an alternative solution for the Heritage Collection.A.Anderson explained that the lease value would not be discussed at the open meeting due to commercial confidentiality required in the bidding process.
G Brown said that regarding storage, we now have a store beside the Post Office, on a short-term lease until the Post Office is leased out or sold. He said that it was his intention to move some things on Thursday morning and asked for volunteers to give him a hand.
G Brown gave an update regarding the Heritage building. We are not going to discuss money, but I have placed a Note of Interest on both the current Post Office, at 8 West Shore and
6 Station Road, with a view to leasing one or other of them. They will be marketed for some time, then there will be sealed bids and they will sell to the highest bid. He suggested that a lease is probably better than to purchase. It would take out less from the Common Good Fund. He said that he had spoken to the Councillors asking for support for this, for money to come from the Common Good Fund. The Councillors agreed to support this.
On the advice of Cllr D Macgregor, G Brown said he went down the Common Good Fund route. He said he had spoken to Laura McKean. She does not see any problems so long as our local Councillors are supporting it. It would have to go to Committee. However, there is no guarantee. Cllr Riches agreed there was no guarantee, but said that they can lobby.
Cllr Riches went on to say that, as we are using the Common Good Fund for the existing building that it would be unlikely that anyone would say ‘no’.
G Brown said that the Note of Interest is going in tomorrow morning, then it is just a case of waiting for the closing dates.
G Brown said, regarding the size of each building, that the former Green Door Café is about 40% larger than the Post Office. Having said that, the Post Office would not be far short of the size of the Green Door Café, if you include the store at 8A, which would add about 13 sq m.
A Anderson said that a continual problem that we have is the need for storage space.
G Brown said that when we come to the sealed bid, we would put both bids in. If a business goes for it – as we want to support local businesses – then we can withdraw.
V Salvage asked, if other people put bids in for both, then we would have nowhere for the Collection?
G Brown answered, “Yes”. It needs to be near the front where visitors come.
A Anderson said that we need to make an application to the Common Good Fund now, because there is a chance that the Council comes back and ask for surety of payment.
If we were to purchase one of them it does not affect the Common Good Fund. It is still an asset, as part of the Common Good Fund.
G Brown said that Fife Council did try to sell Station Road before. They thought they had it sold, but then nothing actually happened. The bottom flat can only be sold as commercial premises.
G Brown said that he personally feels that the CC has a good chance of acquiring one or other property. Adding that the Post Office is in a slightly more attractive position.
V Salvage asked, if it is leased, is there an obligation on the Council to repair. The answer was, that the CC was responsible for the repair of the current building. A Anderson said that however if there was something found to be major, eg within the walls, then the Council would be responsible for that.
Cllr E Riches said that then in that case the CC should be asking for a Condition Survey. A Anderson said that we would check the terms of the lease.
Cllr Riches said that she hoped that the 3 Councillors can write in and say that it is for the community good. Laura MacKean had said that there may be some funding support from the Council.
A Anderson asked if everyone was happy with what was being proposed and if anyone had queries or objections. (None)
A Anderson /
Cllr E Riches
Cllr J Docherty
Cllr D Macgregor
|11||Close and Date of Next MeetingThe Chairman thanked everyone and closed the meeting.|