St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council
Minutes for the meeting held on Monday 20th February 2023 in the Church Hall St Monans at 7.30pm.
Present: Marjory Ashworth (Acting Chairperson), Billy Morris (Treasurer), Trish Hardie, Mervyn Blank, Morven Syme, Eileen Montador, Richard Croker, Cllr Sean Dillon, Cllr Fiona Corps.
Apologies: Cllr Alycia Hayes, Vicki Savage (will arrive late).
Members of the public: 6.
1. Welcome everyone, refreshments are available. Vicki will be joining the meeting later this evening. In her absence Marjory will act as chairperson, with Trish taking the minutes.
2. No Declarations of Interest were declared.
3. No visiting speakers or groups this month.
4. Minutes of last meeting, proposed by Morven and seconded by Mervyn.
Matters arising from minutes, Cllr Sean Dillon asked for correct spelling of his surname. Hope Place, the raised kerbstone was reported to the council officer with responsibility for pavements and footpaths and will be repaired. The blocked drains have been reported to Scottish Water and will be investigated at an upcoming review of drains. Retaining wall at Braehead/Station Road has been reported to council building standards, they will discuss with the properties whose boundary this forms and take any necessary action.
5. Police Report, not received, Cllr Sean Dillon had the following information:
January 2023 – calls to Police, Abercrombie 1 call, 0 crime, St Monans 17 calls, 4 crimes.
Speed checks have been carried out in the area with warnings issued. Marjory stated “Pop up Bob” made a big difference in Abercrombie, slowing the traffic. Cllr Sean Dillon confirmed we can ask Fife Council to contact Community Police to bring this back to the area. Speeds signs for Abercrombie has been to committee and is progressing.
Richard stressed importance of encouraging residents to make calls to Police, it is not known from the figures provided, how many, if any were 999 calls, or if multiple calls are made about 1 incident how this is recorded.
Eileen asked why so many 2 bed properties seem to be allocated to single people, using Gourlay Crescent as an example of this. Morven clarified, it is simply a question of what is available at the time.
The next meeting of Gourlay Crescent residents is due to be held in March 2023. It was agreed a date should be confirmed as soon as possible but we need to ensure the relevant agencies are available before booking hall and publicising. It was thought to be important that the same agencies are asked to attend for continuity. Gourlay Crescent residents have provided positive feedback comments include, “feel safer”,”have seen a difference”, “not alone anymore”, everyone agreed to keep momentum going a date needs to be confirmed and residents advised. Skips are in Gourlay Crescent, but have been filled with items that should not be in them. Morven and a group of residents sorted through these, tidying up. Cllr Fiona Corps confirmed the skips are a goodwill gesture provided by Fife Council, with hindsight residents should have been advised of items not to be placed in them ( tyres, white goods, part of an engine ), the skips were intended for general household and garden rubbish. The skips will be uplifted, then 2 further skips will be provided, residents need to be made aware from April 2023 white goods will be uplifted by Fife Council free of charge.
6. Treasurers Report,
Billy confirmed hall hire prices have increased to £15 per hour.
A cheque has been received for The Heritage from Mr Bill Easton from Oregon USA.
Water bill is still causing problems. Funding for roof repairs at Heritage has been approved, a cheque has been paid to Fife Council for our half share of the cost. Wall repair, funding has been granted and accepted, now need to approve contractors to carry out work, new quote is £1,900.
Beautiful St Monans, still awaiting approval, but not expecting this to be a problem.
Cash flow account, Fife Council grant money should be logged in cash flow account by now.
Cash Management Account £3559.43
Cash Flow Account £1693.40
Floral Display Account £643.52
Heritage Collection Account £606.78
Heritage will open in April, lease to be changed at hopefully no cost , enabling goods to be sold and raise funds. Might be a need to purchase display stand to hold goods for sale.
Billy has two ancient recipes for gin in the Heritage, the gin is believed to have been distilled in St Monans in the mid 1800’s. The plan is to discuss these recipes with Kingsbarns Distillery to see if this gin can be recreated, using the name “St Monans Gin”. If Kingsbarns can make and market, this could generate an income from a negotiated % share of the sales. Mervyn mentioned Kingsbarns would need to signed an NDA to protect our recipe.
A new model of a Steam Drifter has been donated to the Heritage, the model was built by the late Henry Anderson and has been restored by the Fisheries Museum Boat Club, and donated by his daughter Elaine.
7. Secretary Vacancy, Marjory reminded everyone there are currently 2 vacancies on the Community Council, one of these is the position of secretary. It is possible we may have a volunteer to be our “Minute Secretary”, attending meetings and taking minutes, it is hoped this can be confirmed very soon. This would reduce the workload of the secretary position. If anyone is interested, or knows someone who might be interested please come forward, a full Community Council team is very important, so please spread the word.
8. Members Reports, Marjory mentioned the “No Access to HGV” sign is back up in Abercrombie, it is making no difference and the road is still being used and damaged by HGV traffic. This should be a Police matter, number plates should be noted and forwarded to the Police.
9. Chair’s Report, Not available as Vicki had not yet arrived.
10. Councillor’s Reports,
Cllr Sean Dillon,
Waid Academy Cluster Leadership Consultation, following approval of the seven proposals at the council’s Cabinet Committee on 12th January the Education department are now carrying out a consultation with parents and concerned individuals. Last week there were several meetings across the catchment, anyone unable to attend or with more to add can access the online consultation.
Recent Incidents at Waid Academy, following the recent sharing of footage showing violent behaviour Cllr Sean Dillon has called on a report to be brought before the council’s Education Scrutiny Committee on violence in schools and asked that it covers a range of areas including incidents over the last 5 years and support for victims, staff and witnesses. This report is due to be brought before the committee in March.
All those present at the meeting agreed the recent incident was deeply shocking and disturbing, particularly being on social media and receiving so many hits.
Cash Access, following a recent piece on the BBC Cllr Sean Dillon has been looking into the LINK Group’s financial access programme. He has been asked to provide specific locations which would be considered as central to the community. If there are any suggestions of locations fitting the description or businesses willing to have an ATM they need to contact Sean at email@example.com.
Cemeteries, Fife Council is carrying out a consultation over the future of our cemeteries. On current trends St Monans cemetery will reach capacity in less than 5 years. Anyone interested in taking part can use the following
Options for the future include, do nothing, extend cemetery, have a central cemetery for area, have a N.E.Fife cemetery, have an all of Fife cemetery.
Alan Stephen Funeral Director provided an update to the meeting, with more information to support a planning application for an Eco Cemetery in Elie. An Eco Cemetery is an alternative to a conventional cemetery, its aim is to reduce the environmental impact of burials and provide a peaceful and natural area, there is already one in Angus and another in the Borders. It would be open to all, with an as yet unknown capacity for cremated remains and internments. No headstones, the land was consecrated during its time as a convent (1950-1980 – The Convent of St Mary Reparatrice ). Bill and Elaine Porteous who are supporting the plan, subject to planning permission being granted and suitable vehicle and pedestrian access, had hoped to attend tonights meeting to speak on this topic but had a prior engagement. This could be a long term project for the future, a very forward looking plan, but obviously would not suit everyone.
Marjory stated more information would be made available regarding this proposal, it would be circulated and then discussed in more detail at the next Community Council Meeting.
Cllr Sean Dillon, there is to be a draft Local Transport Strategy to be available online from 3rd March 2023, this relates to a long term plan (10 years) for local public transport.
Anyone wishing to give an in person response can attend a pop up consultation in St Andrews Bus Station on Tuesday 7th March 2023 between 16.00 hours and 20.00 hours.
Cllr Fiona Corps – Nothing to add.
11. Public Questions
Will the cycle path go through The Mair ?
Billy stated it will not, it will be on the North side of the main A917, the path will need to be wider and will serve both walkers and bikes. The aim is to encourage people to come into the village, instead of just walking or riding by. Nothing is yet decided regards the final design, very much still a work in progress.
It was stated that people do not come into the village as there are no shops, no pub, it was mentioned the village is starting to feel like 2 separate villages, the old and the new.
Right of way – passage off Station Road between numbers 22-24, leading to Braehead.
This passage was well used, owners of number 24 have blocked both ends with posts, meaning it now cannot be used.
Meeting agreed Richard Croker and Cllr Sean Dillon would work together to investigate this issue, the reasons the posts have been put in and look into boundary and land registry implications and report back to next Community Council Meeting.
Billy raised the issue of flooding in Hope Place, Queen Margaret Street and at the 30mph into St Monans, due to collapsed drains, Cllr Sean Dillon confirmed the drains are to be checked and reports provided for action.
Eileen added a positive report, a broken lampost was reported and repaired on the same day.
Fiona asked if there was any update from Ruth Brown on the proposed tree planting.
There was no update as Vicki had not yet arrived, Marjory suggested a sub group could be formed to work on this, Fiona would like to be part of this and work with Ruth Brown, another meeting can then be arranged by the sub group.
Suggestions from the floor re sites for the possible ATM, Town Hall, Library, Bass Rock Business Centre, it was agreed any location selected needed to have car parking available near the ATM.
The tree opposite the Giddy Gannet is leaning, Cllr Alycia Hayes is looking in to this, Cllr Sean Dillon messaged her and received this information, the tree is to come down, date to be confirmed.
12. AOCB None.
Marjory thanked everyone who had helped, attended or supported our Burns Supper, it was noted the evening had been rather long and some items had to be omitted from the programme.
As the meeting was about to close Vicki arrived and gave a very brief Chair’s report.
Tree Planting – Ruth Brown wants suggestions where to plant the trees, (The Mair, Queen Margaret Street ?).
Due to time constraints trees need to be ordered quickly, Ruth has been asked to provide a copy of the plan. It was agreed to involve pupils at both St Monans Primary and Waid Academy with the planting of the trees.
Coronation Event in May, Marjory suggested an indoor event as May is likely to be too cold to be outside. The Town Hall has been reserved Saturday to Monday of the Coronation weekend, so options are available. Suggestions are needed for the event, something multi generational so all can enjoy, possibly a childrens entertainer, followed by a Ceilidh. There are only 10 weeks left to plan this event , ideally a planning committee is needed to take this forward. It also need to be publicised among other groups in St Monans. It might be possible to obtain some funding to support this event, Vicki will look into this and report back.
A separate meeting is to be arranged to plan this event.
Date of next meeting – Monday 20th March 2023 7.30pm in the Church Hall.