ST. MONANS AND ABERCROMBIE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minute of the ordinary general meeting held in the Church Hall, Station Road on Monday 21st August 2023 at 7.30 pm
|Vicki Salvage (Chair), Marjory Ashworth (Vice Chair), Billy Morris (Treasurer), Diane Martin (Minute Secretary), Mervyn Blank, Richard Croker, Eileen Montador, David Robertson, Morven Syme, Niamh Syme, Councillor Fiona Corps, Councillor Sean Dillon, PC Rob Cook, PC Rob Wallace
|Cllr Alycia Hayes
|Members of the public: 22
|Welcome and apologies. V Salvage welcomed everyone to this first meeting since June and highlighted the busy agenda due to the holiday period. Apologies were received and recorded.
|Declarations of Interest There were no declarations of interest.
|1. Invited Speakers
Mr Peter Duncan (Fife Council Allotments) After 14 years Fife Council are now delivering allotments in St Monans. The allotments are located in the middle of the new Windmill Gardens housing estate. Plot sizes will be a mix of 100 m2 and 50 m2. The site itself is currently in the second phase with the land, which was provided free of charge by the housing developer, now in public ownership. The site is now protected by the Allotments Act. There are 40 plots available, and all are filled. There is also a waiting list. Mr Duncan advised that they are nearing the allocation stage and the purpose of visiting the CC this evening is to keep local people up to date. There will be an area with fruit trees which will be open to the public. The allotments will be bounded by a green Heras type fence and there will be car parking. Each plot will be provided with a shed and there will be a common polytunnel and a suitable meeting room for plot holders. It is estimated that the plots will be allocated by the end of October. Following questions, Mr Duncan confirmed that access to the plots will be restricted to key holders. This development has been used as a template elsewhere, with Fife Council working with other developers to establish similar community assets. People interested in plots should contact: email@example.com
Mr Martin Dibley (Visit East Neuk) Mr Dibley is the Chair of Visit East Neuk. One current project which is underway is to put a visitor map orientation board in each of the East Neuk communities. Mr Dibley wanted to know if there was a need for this in St Monans and if so, would the CC be willing to work alongside VEN to take this forward? It was agreed that a board would be preferable in the middle of the village and that the CC would support this project. Mr Dibley handed round the proposed Anstruther map to give those present an idea of the type of drawing that will be produced. Local artist Yolande Kenny has been commissioned to prepare these. VEN will need assistance from the CC with wording and details to be added to the map, other important local information and ideas of suitable sites for the board(s). Cllr Corps suggested that it would be helpful to add in the locations of the village defibrillators. It was also suggested that the current print size was too small and that a bigger enlarged version would be preferable.
|2. Police Report Copies of the July newsletter were made available and then PC Rob Wallace updated the meeting with the following information: There were 24 calls to the police in July (cf. 29 calls in June)3 crimes were recorded – a disturbance, a domestic incident and a report of vandalism. Further information was provided about the nature of each call received by the police. Due to annual leave and the police being called away to support colleagues in Grangemouth during July, there was reduced police presence in the village over the last month. A discussion followed regarding reports of an intruder and again, the police encouraged local people to report every concern that they have. This can be done by calling 101 or using the Police Scotland website, or 999 if appropriate. A member of the public raised concerns about vandalism to flowers and vases in the church yard. This was noted by the police.
|3. Previous Minutes and Matters Arising
Item 3 – leaflet/noticeboard – ideas to be brought to the next meeting.
Item 6 – water bills at the Heritage Collection – Cllr Dillon and B Morris to progress this.
Heritage Gin – awaiting response from distillers.
Item 8 – slipway – Harbour Maintenance are very busy and will get to this in due course.
Item 10 – gutters still not cleared – Cllr Dillon to progress this.
The previous minutes were proposed by Eileen Montador and seconded by Marjory Ashworth.
|4. Chair’s Report
Sea Queen Day – this was a huge success. Danielle was a beautiful Sea Queen. Unfortunately, the weather impacted the day meaning the event was over more quickly. The ceilidh at night was also successful. The band used were very good and should be contacted for future events.
Death of Bill Buchan – Bill’s funeral will be held on Friday 25th August in the Auld Kirk at 10.15 am. All invited. There is a card to be signed by members of the CC. Marjory Ashworth will make the tribute for the funeral from the CC. Mervyn Blank suggested that, due to Bill’s long service with the CC, could we perhaps erect a bench in his memory? Cllr Dillon suggested that the council would prefer the planting of a tree. This will be discussed with the family.
Secretary Vacancy – this position is still available. Applications for election for the CC should be with Fife Council by 4pm on 31st August 2023.
Local events – the Arts Festival takes place from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd September. There will also be a Doors Open Day at the Auld Kirk from 2.30 – 5pm on the 2nd and 3rd September. There is also a ceilidh taking place in the Townhall this coming Saturday, 26th August 2023.
|5. Treasurer’s Report
Heritage Account – since October 2022, £1809.27 has been paid out in water charges which is a significant drain on the Heritage account. A recent meeting took place with Maureen Burgess of Fife Voluntary Action to discuss how to register the Heritage Collection as a charity. This process should take 10-12 weeks and once approved, should make applications for additional funding etc. much easier. The current balance is £611.83, and fundraising may be required to pay for the recent water bills. The footfall at the Heritage Collection has small and donations have been low due to most people not carrying cash. It was suggested that a QR code could be provided to allow people to donate online? It may be necessary for the Heritage Collection to separate from the CC to assist with funding applications etc. Next year it is the 25th anniversary of the Heritage Collection and there are plans to mark this.
Floral Account – current balance is £3007.08. At the beginning of July, the account balance was £987.46. Over £3500 was paid into the Floral account after shutting down the cash management account. To date £2300 has been paid out for watering charges. We are still waiting for money to be paid out from the Common Good Fund which will go back into the Floral account. It takes 10-12 days to process invoices.
Cash Flow account – money was paid into the Floral account in June/July. M Ashworth was paid £21.75 for the beach clean. £168 was paid for the disco. £90 was paid for the hire of the church hall for 3 separate meetings and also a further £375 for CC meetings held throughout the year. The current balance is £659.00.
|6. Members’ Reports
M Ashworth – speed signs have now been erected in Abercrombie. They were initially set to 30mph but, following a call to the Council, this has been corrected to 20mph. They have been erected in the middle of the village rather than each end. There are still people speeding through with one driver noted to be doing 41mph. M Blank thanked the Council for the speed signs and asked if they were also going to carry out the survey using a data recorder to establish if the signs were having a positive impact? Cllr Dillon will look into this.
M Syme – no planning reports this month
M Blank – congratulated Beautiful St Monans on the fantastic floral displays in the village, voiced his concern about the double decker school bus travelling through Abercrombie when the road was so narrow and there were no pick ups required, and also highlighted the Council’s approach to dealing with potholes which is not considered cost effective.
N Syme – reported that residents of the new housing scheme would like a noticeboard. Not all residents are on Facebook so can’t access the CC minutes etc. It was agreed a suitable place might be near the footpath at the railway bridge. N Syme to take this forward.
D Robertson – reported flooding at the back of Elm Grove. Cllr Corps to follow up on this.
R Croker – looked into the blocked footpath between Station Road and Braehead. The owners should, in accordance with the planning consent, have erected a retaining wall. They didn’t do so resulting in the blocked pathway. Cllr Dillon will now follow this up with Fife Council Planning dept. Thanks were extended to R Croker for pursuing this.
|7. Members’ Questions Nothing reported.
|8. Councillors’ Reports
Cllr Fiona Corps No report
Cllr Sean Dillon
Street Lighting: The council are aware that streetlights in the village have been left on during the day. Originally the problem was with a photocell not working, this was replaced last week however, the recent power outage has caused further issues. The council are working with Scottish Power to resolve this as soon as possible.
Windmill Gardens Speeding: With the upcoming completion of the Windmill Gardens development, a number of residents have been in contact regarding the issue of speeding between the Inverie Burn and the Old Manse. As part of the planning conditions, the developer has to install further signage including a speed indicator sign and the new “Welcome to St Monans” which is hoped to remind drivers of the speed changes. If this problem persists once this has been carried out, I have been assured further speed surveys will be carried out.
Crown Estate Funding: Since 2019, new arrangements were established to allow coastal communities to benefit from the net revenue generated by the Scottish Crown Estate marine assets. The funding is to be used for expenditure that specifically benefits coastal communities with individual local authorities making decisions on the funding of projects and being transparent and accountable to their communities and others for the expenditure. Projects can request funding for up to £40,000 and should focus on community priorities, the priorities of Climate Action Fife and meet at least one of the following investment priorities: · Environment enhancement. · Emissions reduction/removal of waste. · Jobs. · Tourism. · Skills development. · Diversification projects. · Investment for a community purpose. · Climate change adaptation. The deadline for applications is Monday, 4th of September 2023 and to request an application form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Parks & Open Spaces Consultation: Fife Council wants to know about the quantity, quality and accessibility of outdoor space in Fife for those under 18. This survey will help us decide what opportunities and aspirations there are for open space and play areas. It will also allow us to remove barriers where they exist. The consultation can be found at https://www.fife.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-diaries/have-your-say-…-on-fifes-play-and-openspaces.
Wendy Chamberlain MP & Willie Rennie MSP Summer Tour: On Tuesday, 22nd of August our local MP & MSP will be in the East Neuk to allow constituents to raise any issues or concerns with them on an informal basis. They will be outside the Mini Market between 13:00 & 13:30.
|9. Invited Speaker
Mr Pete Peddie (SMAKE) The recent consultation process about possible uses for the Auld Kirk revealed overwhelmingly that the community wanted the building to continue and be used as a venue for the arts, concerts, weddings, Christenings, funerals, coffee shop etc. A feasibility study is underway and must be produced to reassure the Church of Scotland of the viability of the proposals. The SMAKE group are now hoping to meet with the Planning officer from Fife Council to discuss proposals and also Bereavement Services regarding the paths around the kirk. SMAKE also now have a Facebook page which can be accessed for updates. Doors open day – the Auld Kirk will be open to the public on 2nd and 3rd September from 2.30 – 5pm. The public are invited to come and marvel at the Auld Kirk and enjoy a cup of coffee.
|10. Public Questions
Will the CC provide assurances that invoices for the floral costs be paid in a timely manner in the future?
A lengthy discussion followed between representatives of the Beautiful St Monans group, members of the public and the CC regarding the previous issue of delays in invoice payment to Pathhead Nursery. After some debate, it was agreed that a separate future meeting should be held between members of the CC and Beautiful St Monans to discuss the way forward. This will allow all parties the opportunity to come prepared with the information required. The suggested meeting date is Monday 11th September which is after the Arts Festival and before the next CC meeting.
Can anything be done about the uncovered drain at Coal Farm?
Cllr Corps advised that this is the responsibility of BT, and she will chase this up.
Are there any events which take place in St Monans during the winter e.g., Christmas Fayre?
The Primary School, the Dance Group and the church may hold Christmas Fayres. Also there is a Burns Supper in February and Bowhouse holds various events. N Syme also advised that there continues be groups active in the village over winter e.g., choir and Yoga.
|11. AOCB Nothing raised.
|12. Date and time of next meetings
V Salvage thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting. The next meeting will be held in the church hall on Monday 18th September 2023 at 7.30 pm, with refreshments being served from 7pm.