St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council
DRAFT Community Council Minutes for meeting held on Monday 16 May 2022
Present: V Salvage (Chair) S Bridges (Secretary) M Ashworth (Vice Chair) W Morris (Treasurer) M Syme H Ironside M Blank E Montador
Cllr Corps Cllr Dillon Cllr Hayes
Apologies: N Cowie and PC Wallace.
6 members of the public
- Welcome and apologies
No declarations of interest were noted at the beginning of the meeting and the Secretary confirmed the meeting was quorate.
Mrs. Salvage welcomed Ward Councilor’s Sean Dillon, Alycia Hayes and Fiona Corps to their first meeting of the Community Council. She congratulated them on their election to the ward of East Neuk & Landward and noted that this was the first time that she could remember having three new Ward Councillor’s attend the Community Council following an election. Each Councillor then briefly introduced themselves to the meeting.
Mrs Salvage also welcomed Mr Mervyn Blank to his first meeting following his election to the Community Council.
- Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising
The minutes of the meeting held on 21 April 2022, were taken as read. Under matters arising:
2.1 No Campervan parking signage at the cemetery car park
Ms Montador and Mrs Ironside confirmed that they had not heard anything back from Fife Council regarding the replacement of the ‘no overnight parking’ signage at the entrance to the cemetery car park. Cllr Hayes agreed to take this matter up again with the Road traffic department at Fife Council.
2.2 Beach Clean – Sunday 22 May
Mrs Ashworth provided a brief update. She had contacted the school about the event and some picker equipment from Fife Council would be delivered to the school. A poster promoting the event had been produced for the school’s PTA to send on to parents. Delivery of a skip is arranged for Sunday morning and the planned event will take place from 11am to 2pm. Refreshments will be available on the day for volunteers and a tractor had been arranged to pick up the collected rubbish along the coastal path (up by Newark Castle).
Cllr Hayes noted that the previous minutes had referred to an election candidate looking at the railings on Station Road. She advised that she had she had been the candidate mentioned and had now taken the matter up with Fife Council officials to ask for an update on what could be done to fix these. Mrs Syme proposed, and Mrs Ironside supported, the adoption of the minutes. The minutes were signed by the Chair.
- Chair’s Report
On behalf of the local community, Mrs Salvage expressed her sincere thanks to the three previous Ward Councillors for all their hard work, help, encouragement and support to the St Monans and Abercrombie community. She wished them all well in whatever new ventures and challenges that they choose to follow in the future. ventures in the future.
Mrs Salvage also wished a happy retirement to two of the longest serving Community Councillor members who had given notice of their decision to step down after over 15 years’ service to the Community Council. Mr Vic Bland has been a helpful and willing Community Councillor. He was, at one point, the Vice Chair. In recent years Vic’s health has not been good, but despite this he was always happy to take messages to pass on to other members of the Community Council and whenever possible he supported local charitable activities. Vic’s notice board is still a popular place for resident to check on what’s happening locally. Our forthcoming Platinum picnic in the park will be using at least of one children’s game that Vic donated to St Monans.
Our other retiree is Mr Bill Buchan. He has also served on our Community Council for over 15 years – continuously. Over the years he has been involved in many projects including ‘Beautiful St Monans’ which the Community Council started around 14 years ago. As a keen gardener he was a great help with advice on hanging baskets and tubs – and especially on judging day when the external judges asked many tricky questions. He has also taken up campaigns when locals wanted help with untidy areas in the village and would take up the cause to Fife Council for action. Billy’s other passion was for entertaining – and he was at home singing funny songs to entertain residents at the Senior Citizens Tea parties which, until lockdown, were held in St Monans every year for over 100 years. Incidentally, we hope to start again soon! Every year Billy has also provided our Burns Supper Possie Nancie with a very attractive pinny and mop cap…and even in retirement Billy has promised to carry on this tradition.
Once again, many thanks to Vic and Billy for their many years of service.
This leaves two vacancies on the Community Council so in June we hope to have a ballot to choose two new members. These vacancies are currently being advertised and if you are over 16 years old and a registered voter in our ward then, please consider putting yourself forward. If you have some time to devote to making our villages better places for everyone to live; if you like helping solve local problems, this is a chance for you to put this into action.
For further information, please speak to any member of the Community Council or check the St Monans website. Or check the Fife Council Community Council page online.
- Secretary’s Report
Mr Bridges read out the latest community police monthly report:
For Abercrombie, it was reported that two calls to the police in relation to assist member of the public, road traffic matter. No crimes were recorded. For St Monans during the previous month, 22 calls to the police, consisting of various types including; suspect persons, theft, road traffic, noise and concern for person. Two crimes were recorded in this period. Mrs Ashworth disputed the information provided for Abercrombie and would seek clarification from PC Wallace.
Mr Bridges also noted four items of correspondence received including:
Notification by the Fife Coastal & Countryside Trust (FCCT) of their agreement for a taxi to drop off and pick up a Coastal Watch volunteer at the windmill every Saturday afternoon by driving along the coastal path. Considerable surprise was expressed by the Community Councillors and concerns were raised about the damage that a vehicle would do to this grassland and the lack of local consultation. It was also pointed out that there was a spring on the grass verge and in heavy weather, could prove a challenge for any vehicle. It was suggested that a more suitable drop off would be in the caravan park near the steps and that Fife Council should be approached. It was agreed that the Secretary would write to express the Community council’s concern to both the FCCT and Fife Council.
Fife Council have confirmed that they will install new cycle racks next to the play park once redeveloped.
A resident has raised a request for Fife Council to inspect and undertake any necessary repairs to the steps leading from the caravan park down to the coastal path. Cllr Dillon agreed to raise this matter with the relevant Fife Council department.
Finally, a resident had contacted the Community Council to express concern about a resident’s personal CCTV pointing into the public street rather than her personal property. Another resident at the meeting provided some more detail and also expressed concern. The Secretary pointed out that this was illegal and contrary to date privacy legislation. Residents who are converted should approach one of the Councillor’s in confidence to express their concerns and take the matter further.
- Treasurer’s Report
Mr Morris noted that there had been no movement on the account. He also mentioned that the town hall hire had been paid despite receiving a reminder from Fife Council.
- Members Reports
i. Platinum Jubilee weekend: Mrs Ashworth noted that a risk assessment had been completed and submitted; two first aiders and wardens will be place. Sponsorship for bunting had been reviewed and work was ongoing to print commemorative bookmarks to hand out to everyone attending the jubilee picnic. The picnic will be from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday. All children should be accompanied by a responsible adult. Everyone is encouraged to wear red white and blue on the day. The local PTA has organised a photographer to record the day for posterity. The Bowling Club will be open throughout the day.
Mrs Ashworth circulated an advert for jubilee commemorative coins from the official QPJ website. Each coin costs £3.14 and it was agreed that the Community Council would fund the purchase of one for each child in St Monans primary and nursery schools. If necessary, a funding approach would be made to the Common Good Fund. Details of the coin can be found at:
It was agreed that the Community Council would organise and pay for small awards (stickers etc) and sweets for the sports events. Mrs Salvage agreed to look into this.
Cllr Dillon volunteered to assist in the kite flying event and Cllr Corps offered to make her small sound system available to the organisers.
Finally, Cllr Dillon agreed to request Fife Council to arrange for grass cutting on the Mair one week before the event.
ii. Planning matters: Mrs Syme noted there was nothing of significant concern in any planning applications.
iii. Heritage Centre: Mr Morris stated the hope that the Heritage Centre would open on 1 June. He had been speaking with the property owner who was comfortable for the leasing arrangements to continue in perpetuity. (The Community Council sub-lets the property from Fife Council, who in turn lease the property from the owner). The current lease has some restrictions that Mr Morris would like to renegotiate, for example, it prohibits the sale of merchandise. For fund raising purposes (e.g., selling commemorative keyrings or allowing local artists to display and sell their art) this is a challenge. Mr Bridges also pointed out that it would be in the long-term interest of the community to renegotiate and update the lease, as we couldn’t always rely on the current owner’s generosity or availability to make decisions in relation to the property. It was agreed that a new lease should be actively pursued to address this and Mr Morris agreed to contact Fife Council Estates to try and progress this further.
Finally, Mr Morris reminded the meeting of the need for volunteers to make the Heritage Centre a success. If anyone is interested in helping – even if only a few hours per month, please contact Mr Morris or any of the Community Councillors.
- Public Questions
Mrs Salvage then invited questions from the public.
A resident who lives at the property adjacent to the alley leading from Braehead down to the Church reported the dangerous state of the path. The retaining wall is held together by dead trees and the wall is crumbling away. She had raised this with the FCCT and had complained to Fife Council. Robbie Blyth from the FCCT had been out to inspect the wall and had produced a report into this dangerous part of the right of way, but the resident was unaware of any subsequent action. It was the agreed that this was an accident waiting to happen. Cllr Hayes agreed to visit the site and discus further with the resident concerned and raise the matter with Council officials.
Another resident raised her ongoing concerns about the closure of the right of way between Statin Road and Braehead. The fencing which had closed off the access at Braehead ‘end’ of the right of way had been erected by the FCCT as a temporary measure to make the site safe. She noted that the owner of the property adjacent to the right of way had now put a garden gate, from the rear of his property, onto the closed right of way. There was some discussion about whether the owner was entitled to do this as the right of way had been declared dangerous and unsafe and had been closed. The three councillors agreed that they would like to visit the site to see the issue for themselves.
i. Beach Clean 2022 – the annual beach clean is going ahead on Sunday 22 May.
ii. Mr Morris noted that there had been a break in at a property in Johnstons Close and reminded everyone to be vigilant and to keep their doors locked.
iii. Mrs Salvage noted that Mr Bridges had indicated to the Community Councillors his desire to step down from the role of Secretary after nearly four years in the post. His decision was due to increasing work commitments. She was pleased to note that he intended to stay on the Community Council until the term expires in October 2023. On behalf of the community, she expressed her thanks to him for his conscientious and hard work to support the smooth running of the community council meetings.
- Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Community Council will be on Monday 16 June 2022 at 7.30pm.
There being no other business, Mrs. Salvage closed the meeting.