Minutes of ordinary meeting of St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday 20th May 2013 in Mayview Hotel Function Suite (draft)
A.Anderson R.Craib E.Hughes T.Hughes
P.Copland V.Salvage W.Buchan V.Bland
Cllr Macgregor Cllr Docherty Cllr Riches
Members of the public – 6
1. Welcome and Apologies
A.Anderson opened the meeting.
There was an apology from G.Brown
2. Declaration of Interest
3. Police Report
Sergeant Ian Whittle presented the police report. He stated that crime was low in the area but, having received a recent report of theft from an unlocked car in Gourlay Crescent, warned residents to be vigilant. Following a complaint about youths riding motorbikes, the police have spoken to and warned the relevant youths that, although they may have permission to use bikes in landowners field, they must not ride bikes in the streets. Any further trouble should be reported to police.
Three areas of priority have been identified in Ward 20 ( which contains St Monans)
1. Driver behaviour
2. Rural Theft
3 Anti Social Behaviour and Youth disorder
Nos 1 and 3 are easily detected by the police but no 2, rural thefts, can be harder to detect and help from the public is appreciated.eg theft of scrap metal. Anything suspicious should be reported to the police on 101.There will be Action Day on 5th June to help raise awareness of the problem of rural theft.
People should also be vigilant for possible skimming at ATMs and report anything suspicious.
A member of the public raised concerns about vehicles parked on pavements causing an obstruction
Eg in Miller Terrace and Station Road, across from Top Shop. Police will investigate.
It was explained that the police and traffic wardens are now not responsible for general parking issues. FC have employees working as parking attendants who have powers to fine vehicle owners parked illegally.
A question was asked about what was the outcome of the arson incident in Inverie St some months ago. Sergeant Whittle informed us that the case fell through.
When questioned about dog-fouling issues, he stated that this could be considered under anti- social behaviour.
4. Dog Warden ( Andy Jones)
A.Jones followed on with the continuing problems of dog-fouling in the village. He explained that St Monans is visited regularly but he needs the support of residents in reporting incidents and is very grateful to all those who have contacted him already and would urge the public to continue to contact where necessary on 0845155022
Warning letters have already been issued to some dog owners in the area. This may prove sufficient to change behaviour but follow up action will be taken if deemed necessary.
Any dog found wandering without an owner will be lifted and a charge of £70 will be levied for reclaiming it.
Dog wardens are soon to run education programmes within schools.
A.Jones is to ask I.Barbour about the possibility of signs prohibiting dogs from play parks.
He has already asked for a new bin to be installed beside the bathing pool.
5. Harbour Regeneration
Gordon Bell of the Harbour Users Association and now co-opted member of St Monans Community Trust presented the idea of a new initiative for the village.
The HUA has about 80 members of those interested in using/developing the harbour area.
At present Fife harbours are being maintained where possible but there is no money for development. There is a fear that there may be no incentive to have any money spent on it and there will be further decline.
The initiative would hope to develop leisure and tourism around the harbour with knock on benefits to the whole village.
The aim is to carry out the development in 3 stages
1. West End
3 East Basin
Each phase would stand alone with benefits to the community on their own, but ultimately the aim is for a full regeneration.
G.Bell stressed that support and interest from any member of the community would be welcome as he wishes the project to be open and beneficial to the whole village.
A feasibility study has already been carried out, but at the time no money was available to take the project forward.
The plan is to apply for grants and lottery funding through the Community Trust.
The first stage is to apply for funding from FC Community Investment Fund to carry out a technical survey.
The project already has support from our local cllrs and the CC added its support to the idea at the end of the presentation.
6. Update on Allotments
A.Anderson gave an update on what had happened since last CC meeting.
Members of CC met with Toby Anstruther and fed back views of community.
Views were also sent to Dilys Livingston at FC.
DL and Peter Duncan were to meet with TA to discuss the possibility of Bowhouse and sort out criteria.
AA made it clear to all parties that the CC were in support of Bowhouse option.
TA and DL /PD are to meet with members of the Allotment Association.
DL had indicated to AA that the Allotment Association were not in favour of Bowhouse option.
AA asked DL if the full association had been asked their views given that a member, present at the last CC, seemed to be unaware of any discussions. There has been no reply to this as yet.
TA had informed the CC that he has ideas to develop Bowhouse with various micro food industries which the CC considered positively.
He already has plans to offer allotments at Bowhouse later this year.
The planning and development surveyor with Strutt Parker has sent a letter to FC stating that in his view vehicular access to any new housing/allotment area on the proposed site to the west of the Manse would not only be unnecessary but detrimental and that the aspiration for a connected place could be achieved through provision of pedestrian and cycle links rather than road links.
At present there is no decision on the allotment site and a housing development would not proceed until a housing developer was found.
7. Last Minutes and Matters Arising
The Chairperson asked for the inclusion of more detail
Item 3 should now read as follows:
3. Proposed housing/allotment site.
The main purpose of this item was to explain the thinking behind the alternative allotment sites, where known, and to gather the views of the residents.
A. Anderson outlined the position of the various sites that were mentioned in the spreadsheet supplied by Fife Council. This was followed by a period for questions and general debate about each proposed site.
The potential site at Netherton Industrial Estate was zoned for Industrial use only and could not be considered. The potential site west of the cemetery was ruled out due to the need for an extension to the cemetery among other reasons. The swimming pool and other areas to the east of the village were also discounted for a variety of reasons.
The potential sites owned by Balcaskie estates were the main focus of attention. The area to the west of the Inverie burn was discussed at length. The landowner had met with some CC members and explained his thinking. Basically there would be no fences and no sheds. It could be extended if there was a demand for more allotments. One shed could be sited at the railway bridge for all the allotment holders use. Fruit trees/bushes could be planted on the St Monans side of the burn to form a community orchard and to partially screen the site. Access would be from either end.
The potential site at Bowhouse Farm was discussed. One issue with this site was getting school children to and from it. It was suggested that the school had a minibus and a very willing driver and that there would be no problem with this.
Some of the points raised and comments made were; It was a shame that there were no Allotment Association office bearers present to voice their opinions. It was pointed out that if the Allotment Association couldn’t or wouldn’t agree to any of the alternative sites, then a community solution could still be progressed without their approval and those in the local area wanting allotments could participate if desired. It was stated that the CC had agreed to houses and allotments in the field west of the manse. A. Anderson pointed out that there was a caveat of the greenfield site being zoned for allotments if no alternatives were brought forward, as previously clarified at the public meeting in February. It was pointed out that there had been a petition, signed by over 100 people against the field west of the manse.
What would happen to the field if no allotments were formed there? Probably more houses. Fife Council have not made it clear as yet. This question will be raised with Dylis Livingston when the Community Council submit their response based on the community’s views as expressed at the meeting.
One potential allotment holder present was asked what she would like to see in the allotment site. A shed to store tools and a poly tunnel for extending the growing season.
At the end of a fairly lengthy discussion, where everyone had a good opportunity to air their views, a vote was taken on each of the potential sites. Whilst there was support for the site at the Old Putting Green on the East Braes, the overwhelming favourite was the site at Bowhouse as proposed by the landowner. It was in fact the only site that had no opposition. It was put to the meeting that the CC should enter into further discussions with the landowner, Toby Anstruther of Balcaskie Estate and then discussions held with the local Allotment Association with a view to obtaining their support for this solution. There was general consensus that this should happen and will be taken forward.
7.1 (5) AA received a response from Liz Murphy . Some issues were to be addressed. Some areas are still causing concern such as sinking lairs and AA will contact LM again.
7.2 (8) Cllr Riches is awaiting more particulars from GBrown ( on holiday) before following up on position with steps to beach.
8. Chairperson’s Report
A Anderson thanked all who had helped at Beach Clean and gave special thanks to Balcaskie for their support without whom the day would have been much less successful. At this point M Ashworth reported that 2 skips were filled ( usually only1) and FC had refused to empty second one as only 1 is permitted per event. Balcaskie ( Toby Anstruther and Sam Parsons ) offered to dispose of waste due to great response from the community. Next year MA will order a skip for both the primary clean up and the village one in order that we can get 2 skips.
AA reminded people to sign the online petition for retaining public toilets in NE Fife. He will try to obtain some paper copies to put in local shops for those without internet access.
Cllrs are fighting hard to stop these closures. Cllr Docherty had used his medical experience to identify inadequacies in the Equality Impact Assessment carried out by FC.
AA reminded everyone about Sea queen Day on Saturday 22nd June.
9. Secretary’s Report
9.1 The bowling club had been asked if they could supply water via a hose to water the plants in the Serenity Garden at entrance to the bowling green over the summer. It is hoped that a reasonable fee can be agreed to access the water or an alternative solution would be required.
9.2 Due to a change in the person handling Common Good Fund applications, there has been a delay in the Floral Display application being considered. The problem has been raised with the new officer, Laura MacKean and local cllrs and prompt notification of the decision should be forthcoming on Wednesday 22nd May.
10 Treasurer’s Report
Due to absence of Treasurer there was no report this month.
There is an application for replacement UPVC windows in house at top of Forth Street. At present no details are available, but as it is in the Conservation area, further information will be looked for.
CC members felt that the timescale for comments about tree removal at the end of West End was very short ( a week) and has already been passed. Cllr Macgregor to follow up with planning officer.
12 School Report
P.Shafren reported that pupils, after assessing general condition of litter in village, thought that it was generally quite clean but thought that there should be a “ cigarette bin” outside the Top shop as there were many cigarette ends on the pavement there.
It was pointed out that there was a requirement for the shop to keep its frontage clear of litter, which would include cigarette ends.
An invitation was offered to all to attend the school’s ” Playground Party” on Friday 24th May at 1.30pm.
13 Public Questions
13.1 A question about whether permission had been granted for a tree on the Plerick to be cut back was raised. Cllr Riches to follow up.
13.2 Why has the bin been moved on the Plerick? R Craib to contact Waste Aware.
13.3 The green at West End is eroding. G.Bell suggested preservation of it could be included in harbour development project.
13.4 With black bags being collected on a Wednesday, holiday let properties’ bags are sitting from weekend with the result that gulls are ripping bags open. Cllr Riches pointed out that it is the responsibility of letting agents to remove rubbish. Information on who the various agents are to be sought.
13.5 Query on who is responsible for cleaning burn between the railway bridge and the main road as it is clogged with irises and dislodged sandbags. A.Anderson to contact T Anstruther.
13.6 There have been cut trees left at Station Road entrance to Industrial Estate. R Craib to contact Waste Aware
14.1 Residents in rural properties are having problems with bin lorries not coming up tracks. M Ashworth reported two households unable to take bins to main road. Appeals need to be made if problems are faced. Cllrs will help with visits where necessary.
14.2 V.Salvage reported that there had been another accident with an elderly person on the Plerick because of no railing. Report to Ian Barbour.
14.3 No update as yet on plant replacement for West End. VS to IB
14.4 Overgrown paths. VS to IB
14.5 Report of dead tree needing to be removed at playpark at Newark Street. VS to IB
14.6 Report of stones coming out of old railway bridge. VS to IB
14.7 An offer from a local business has been made to sponsor the “Welly Boot Garden”
15 Close and Date of Next Meeting
A.Anderson thanked everyone and closed the meeting.
The next ordinary meeting will be on Monday 17th June at 7.30pm in Mayview Hotel Function Suite.
All members of the public welcome.