Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Burgh of St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday, 19 October 2015 at 7.30 pm.
Peter Copland Currently Vacant
6 Hope Place
|V Salvage (Vice Chair)||G Brown (Treasurer)||V Bland|
|M Ashworth||P Peddie||W Buchan|
|E Hughes||S Tarvit||I Reekie|
|Cllr E Riches
Cllr D Macgregor
|Cllr J Docherty
|Elaine Porteous (Minute Secretary)|
Members of the public: 5
|1||Welcome and Apologies
V Salvage welcomed everyone.
Apologies: P Copland (Chairman), R Craib, A Anderson
|2||Declarations of Interest
|3||Last Minutes and Arising
3.1 (7.2) MUGA
G Brown reported that the Community Trust now has the money that is needed for the MUGA. We were short of £18,000. Alan Bisset applied for a Community Grant and that has been awarded. The tender is going to be signed and work will commence fairly shortly – hopefully this year.
G Brown said that Cllr MacGregor had suggested emailing Alan Paul to complain about the level of FC fees and the delay which has led to increased costs. G Brown did this and Fife Council have now agreed to reduce their fees from 10% to 8%, which was welcomed and will save approx. £2000.
G Brown also mentioned that he would be asking the various village organisations to fulfil their pledges of financial support.
|3.2 (7.3) Bill for Plerick Railings
G Brown said that he had brought up last month that he had asked
Laura Mackean about the money for the Plerick Railings. He said that he got no response and sent an email and got no response to that.
Cllr D Macgregor said he would take it up.
|3.3 (7.4) Heritage Collection
G Brown said that he had heard absolutely nothing regarding this. He asked last month if they had one of the buildings. G Brown said that he was told that if we had to get out of the store we would have to get out by the 14 October. He had heard nothing. The closing dates for offers was before our last meeting, and he said that he really did expect to hear something before the last meeting. He said that he did ask and was told that nothing had been decided and a month on, he still knew nothing.
B Allan said that she had heard today that someone in the village was keen to take over the one at Station Road, but they had heard that nothing had been decided.
V Salvage said that that was really unsatisfactory.
|3.4 (10.4) Benches by the Church
V Salvage said that a bench had arrived and the family who ordered it are pleased.
However, she said that there are two older benches beside the cemetery which are broken. V Salvage went on to say that she had tried to contact Ian Barbour, but he is on holiday. One of the benches looks dangerous with raw pieces of metal sticking out. Cllr J Docherty said he would report this.
|3.5 (9.1) Scottish Water and Drainage
S Tarvit said he spoke to Broderick Campbell, who sent a letter which basically said that Scottish Water said that there was no such problems in St Monans, but there is a ‘phone number for an Inspector to come out. Cllr J Docherty said he had a contact with Scottish Water and he would let him know that there is definitely a problem (with drainage) in St Monans.
S Tarvit said that B Allan had been in touch with someone in Scottish Water who said that he was aware of a problem, but it was not that problem.
W Buchan and V Salvage commented that things were getting worse in various areas. V Salvage added that the area going up to the James Braid Garden is awful.
Cllr J Docherty said that he would be quite happy to arrange a meeting between the CC and Scottish Water. Cllr Docherty asked what time would be best to arrange such a meeting, am or pm.
S Tarvit replied that pm would be better.
|3.6 (10.1) St Monans Emergency Dredging
G Brown said that at the previous meeting he would email
Mike Thorpe to complain about what was done at the beach and got an email saying that every care would be taken when the work was carried out.
|3.7 (9.3) Broken Railway Sleeper at The Plerick
In answer to B Allan’s question V Salvage said that she had reported the problem. She said that someone has had a look and they said that the banking is not about to fall down. V Salvage said that she would take this back to Ian Barbour.
|Previous Minutes Approved:
Proposer – W Buchan Seconder – V Bland
G Brown said that, as he had touched on in the AGM, we have two areas of concern. One is regarding the Cash Flow. The accounts show that we actually only have £32.30. He said that he had a cheque given to him by V Salvage for a sponsored bench. Regarding the bill for the handrail, G Brown said that if we ever get the money from the Common Good Fund, that he would pay it.
He listed some future expenditure coming up for: data protection; a remembrance wreath; and for an old folks treat in February (saying that at the moment that we do not have the money to pay for that).
G Brown said that he had 3 proposals:
1 If we look back at the Cash Flow Fund – the Defibrillator Fund (We could claw back £555 which would give us some cash in hand.)
2 We could take money out of the Cash Management Fund. We have £3,500 in that.
3 The other thing that we will have to do is to do some fundraising, because although points one and two would help, we need to decide what to do, so that it keeps us going in the next few years.
G Brown said that we have cheques to go out, but that at the moment he has no-one to sign them.
Cllr D Macgregor said that he would drop the wreath off on Sunday, giving it to V Salvage.
G Brown said that the other area of concern is the floral display. Over the last few years the floral display has always cost us more than we bring in, and this year it is not on the floral display running totals because he said that he had not yet paid it. The Treasurer said he had a bill from Pathhead Nurseries for £4,038.09, and a bill from
Tony Chater for £1,078. For the floral display we will have £1,200 less than a year ago. To sustain the current level of floral display we would have to take in another £1,000. Bill Porteous did a really good job and took in over £2,000. We may need to do more major fundraising. Perhaps we could get some from the Common Good Fund or cut back on what we do for the floral display.
A member of the public commented that she thought that the hanging baskets were not getting enough water. G Brown said that there had been doubts expressed about whether they were getting enough feeding, adding that it would be great if we had our own watering system; that would save us £2,100, but it is incredibly tying. He said that he would not be prepared to take it on or do a share of it.
G Brown asked whether we wanted to keep the display as it is, or to cut down the display. He said that if we cut down the display, that we would automatically come out of Beautiful Fife. He said that asking for more money is an option, because we are still providing a fairly large percentage of the overall cost. He asked the Councillors’ advice regarding how they thought it would be received if the CC asked for more money for the floral display. Cllr E Riches advised the Common Good wants the request to be under £5,000, and not to be for the same thing every year. Cllr D Macgregor said that the wording of the request was important. Cllr E Riches asked if there was another group that could also apply, eg the Heritage Collection, who could apply, say, for 15 baskets. G Brown said that his understanding is that you get the money for one community. Cllr E Riches said that that was not the case, as Anstruther has various groups: eg one group will do the flowering tubs at the front, another group will do boats. Cllr Riches added that what you have got through sponsors is amazing.
Cllr Riches said that the school can not apply. G Brown said that he puts in the application on behalf of the Community Council.
S Tarvit asked if you could put in one application under St Monans and one under Abercrombie. Cllr Riches said that in that case you would have to spend the Abercrombie money in Abercrombie. G Brown added that you would also need to get separate insurance, although
S Tarvit thought that that might not be necessary.
Cllr E Riches said that she thought the CC should use
Cllr D Macgregor’s suggestion of choosing their words.
G Brown said that the main reason for raising this was to raise it in plenty of time, because he said that he will be doing the Common Good Application probably in a month or so and he said that he would like to know what we would get before spending it.
S Tarvit asked whether there was any way that we could rack our brains to get our watering and feeding costs down, and also plant costs. G Brown answered that it was almost impossible to reduce plant costs. Bill Porteous said that we were getting our value this year from the plants because of the late summer, the plants in the tubs were still doing well.
G Brown said that he thought this year that the place looks fantastic, and said he thought we get the value of the money spent back in spades because it looks so good, saying it certainly draws tourists in. He said that he knew that people come down to the Welly Garden and we are constantly referring them to where they can get a cup of tea. He added, however, that he would very much doubt if it helps to the tune of £6,000, but what do we want to live in? We have the money in the Common Good Fund and G Brown said that, personally, he would have no problem if we want to spend a big chunk of it on plants.
G Brown said that he would like everybody to think about it for the next meeting because, he said, he would hang back on doing the application until after the next meeting.
In answer to V Salvage’s question regarding the wording of the application Cllr E Riches said that she thought the CC should put in what it is you want.
P Peddie suggested that the CC should ask for more, and if you get knocked back you can take it from there.
G Brown said that there was nothing new to report. The one thing he did note was that the Committee Meeting took place for the Muir Homes development, and he noted that that got their approval.
Cllr D Macgregor said that they did ask questions about the road, but they could not take out a small part of the application. However, the most important point is that these houses will be built.
Cllr E Riches apologized to those who waited for the site visit, as they arrived later than planned, as they had had to attend several other site visits before that one.
B Allan asked if things had changed, asking whether there are going to be less parking for the allotments and whether there was to be 2 play areas. Cllr J Docherty said that they are going to move the playground along, and there will only be one playground.
G Brown said that he had noted that they are going to do a 3 m wide footway along the A917 which doubles as a cycle way.
B Allan asked if there was still going to be a footpath at the side of the manse. Cllr D Macgregor said that they are going to retain that.
S Tarvit asked whether the allotments were still there. It was confirmed that the allotments were still in the middle of the site.
The Councillors said that they had expressed concerns about the first two houses by the manse location by the road. Cllr Riches said that they commented that the speed will be reduced to 30 mph there. Cllr Riches said that they do note the concerns expressed by the CC.
G Brown said that he had to say that he had really noticed in the time he had been dealing with Planning for the CC that virtually no heed is taken of anything the CC say. We live in the place, we represent residents. We would like to think that the residents are considered. Cllr E Riches said that they are mentioned “but are not sustained’.
Cllr D Macgregor said that Councillors’ views representing the community issues are also ignored.
Cllr Riches said they talk about all the policies and one of them says that they should prioritise place over vehicular movement. We therefore argued that they should look at place before vehicular movement, and argued that pedestrian footpath created a better link with the village than cars. S Tarvit asked whether there has to be the death of children before someone takes note. Cllr E Riches said that she could tell him that it was not for lack of trying, but we did not win.
B Allan said the road would also have an affect on the new houses. Cllr E Riches said that the only thing you can say in its defense is that they will not be able to go fast because it is a windy road.
G Brown said he was struck by the fact that many people who complained about the plans at the public meeting did not put in their objections.
A member of the public commented on what G Brown had said, saying that if the community feel that the Planners are not taking any notice of their views, why should we bother to write in. This is particularly disappointing if you take account of the fact that the community as a whole welcomed the Muir development and we just asked for a few things and they got ignored.
A member of the public cited another development that the CC had raised an objection about. G Brown said that in many ways he thought that this is just one example of how Fife Council do not seem to really work with communities any more.
V Salvage said that we are lucky because we have Councillors like the Councillors present at the meeting who come and are interested. Adding that it must be very frustrating for you too. Answer: “It is!”
6.1 No Parking Sign Needed at the Churchyard
A member of the public said that we are needing a “No Parking” sign in the church car park, saying that a member of the public was hemmed in for an hour last week, and it could happen again, for example at a funeral. Cars are blocking the entrance.
|6.2 Molehills in Churchyard
A member of the public reported that the moles are back with a vengeance. The ground is unstable because of the moles. V Salvage said that she would contact Liz Murphy.
|6.3 Fence at Graveyard
A member of the public reported that the fence, between the graveyard car park and the field, needs to be attended to.
A member of the public said that there was an awful lot of dog fouling and asked if anything could be done. V Salvage said that there was little that could be done, apart from getting the dog warden to come here. She added that we have asked for more signs. Cllr D Macgregor said that it is the same everywhere. A member of the public suggested that sometimes a change in signs might help.
The answer to a question about dogs not on leads was that a dog warden can impose a fine.
A member of the public asked about a broken metal dog poo bag box on Braehead. The answer was that the Council do not provide dog poo bags any more. The member of the public asked therefore that the post and broken box could be removed as it is unsightly and for health and safety reasons.
|6.5 Disabled Signs
A member of the public said that in King David Street the Council has put up a disabled sign. However, he said, that, as far as I know, the gentleman died 2 years ago. W Buchan said that there is another example of this.
Cllr E Riches said that she would report this.
Cllr E Riches
|6.6 Plerick Wall Cracks
B Allan reported that the cracks in the wall going down to the Plerick are growing bigger due to weeds.
|6.7 Road Tarmac Work
A member of the public reported that the tarmacadam work that has been done throughout the village is of a very poor standard.
Cllr E Riches took a note of this.
Cllr E Riches
|6.8 Distribution of Meeting Information
A member of the public asked whether members of the public should get all documents handed out at the CC meetings. She was reminded that various documents including the Agenda and Minutes were available on the CC website. It was suggested that the financial information should be made available to members of the public at meetings. G Brown said that this could involve printing a fair bit more over the course of a year and we did not have the money to fund this. He said that he would be happy to put the annual audited accounts on the St Monans website, and that he felt all the local committees should do this also for the sake of openness and transparency. There was agreement that this would be a good move.
W Buchan said that the CC Minutes used to be put in the old Post Office. He asked if they are put in the new Post Office. V Salvage said that she would check.
S Tarvit reported that he had noticed when he had been working on the sign that the sign next to it is in need of repair. He said that it could be put on wooden posts and some parts need replaced.
G Brown said that that would be a good job for the Spring, adding that it is well worth repairing and replacing the legs. V Salvage said that
S Tarvit had made a very tidy job of the other one.
|7.2 Playpark – Possible Financial Contribution from Muir Homes
Cllr E Riches said, regarding the Planning for the Muir Development, that there is not going to be another playpark, but there will be a legal agreement regarding a financial contribution where Muir Homes will pay money to Fife Council towards improved play facilities and towards the second access and the delivery of affordable housing. Cllr Riches went on to say that we asked that the local community should be asked what it wants improved. W Buchan said that the skatepark was very dangerous. Cllr Riches said that perhaps the CC should have this on an agenda in the future to determine what it is that you want improved. When asked about how much this would amount to, Cllr Riches added that there was no figure given.
Regarding the legal agreement between the Council and Muirs, a member of the public said that he thought that that is a Section 601 Agreement – some of the things done have to be in the local development. He suggest that perhaps it might be a way of getting funds for Beautiful St Monans, or whatever.
To go on agenda
|7.3 Development of Netherton Industrial Estate
W Buchan said that Muir Homes is building quite a few houses. Netherton Industrial Estate is not being developed. The vet bought a piece of land and he has done something with the land. They have put new units in Anstruther. Could we not ask for something to be put into St Monans. Muir Homes are building houses but there is nowhere for people to work. Cllr E Riches said that we should ask Muir Homes what their plans are for that land. W Buchan said that it is industrial land and nothing has been built.
A member of the public said that she had asked some of the Muir Homes employees about the rubbish on the Netherton Industrial Estate. They still have not done anything about it. She also asked them clarify what belonged to Muir Homes and what belongs to the Council. W Buchan said it is still all their land, except for the vets.
V Salvage asked what happens about the fly-tipping. W Buchan said he had emailed Muirs and they ignored his email. Cllr E Riches said that she would bring this up.
Cllr E Riches
|7.4 Handover of Allotment Site
S Tarvit asked about the allotment site being handed over.
Cllr E Riches said she was assuming that the land will have to be handed over to the Council for them to run it. S Tarvit said that he was led to believe that the allotment site would need to be bought. Cllr E Riches said that we will try to get some information on that for you.
Cllr E Riches
|7.5 (4.6)(3.2)(9.9) Pothole at Abercrombie
M Ashworth said that the pothole that she had reported that had a paving stone and a brick in it has been filled in, but the paving stone and the brick have disappeared; she thought under the tarmac.
|Close and Date of Next Meeting
The next Ordinary Meeting will be on Monday, 16 November 2015 at 7.30 pm in the Mayview Hotel Function Suite.