Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Burgh of St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday, 21 September 2015 at 7.30 pm.
Members of the public: 7
|Action / Person Responsible|
|1||Welcome and Apologies
The Chairman welcomed everyone.
Apologies: P Peddie, S Tarvit, V Bland
|2||Declarations of Interest
|3||3.1 Update from Police Constable Gillian Tetlow
PC Tetlow had looked at the minutes from the last meeting, particularly regarding the messy party.
She had had some emails regarding some concerns, which they are looking into.
There has been no increase in crime.
There have been some parking issues, but the police were not aware of any real problems.
A member of the public gave the PC some details regarding a man who has been sleeping out near the church, but who is not causing any disturbance. The policewoman asked if anyone had seen anyone hanging around the toilets.
The policewoman said that they wanted to attend coffee evenings and was given the following information:
In answer to the Chairman’s question about what had happened after the messy party, R Craib that other people (not the party goers) cleared up the mess. M Ashworth said that whoever had the party had cleared the wood that had been left in the field; adding that we have not managed to find out who cleared up the beach. PC G Tetlow said that they had had no other calls to any other similar events.
The Chairman thanked PC Tetlow for her update.
|4||Last Minutes and Matters Arising
R Craib said that she had some positive things to report:
4.1 (8.2) Overflowing Bins
They have moved the bin as asked. A member of the public said that they are still not emptying bins over the weekends.
4.2 (8.3) Grass at the Saltpans
This has been cut twice.
4.3 (8.5) Craigiewell Footpath
This has been done.
4.4 Grass Cutting
M Ashworth said that at the last meeting it was said that we are only getting our grass cut once, but the Council have gone back on their decision and have now done it twice, which has been a greatly appreciated.
4.5 (6.2) Information Sign
G Brown said that John Hill was making progress with the signs. Completed cost is £1513.20. G Brown added that he would fit the signs on his return from holiday.
4.6 (3.2) (9.9) Road Surfaces
P Copland said that he was a bit concerned about the interpretation of what is a pothole – having seen the yellow paint on the roads at Pittenweem, around holes which do not look anywhere near as bad as the potholes in our village. He said that he hoped that they will be coming soon to do the same at
M Ashworth said that there are 2 large potholes in Abercrombie which are so big that someone has put a paving stone in them (so that no-one has a fall), but no-one has been there to spray it with yellow paint.
P Copland said that he would contact Ross Walker again.
P Copland asked if CC members could contact him with details. Cllr Riches said that Ross Walker would send out a member of staff called Charlotte, but if you want him to come out you must request that he personally comes.
A member of the public said that Council staff had recently filled in some potholes. The Chairman said that they are filling in some and missing others that are not on their schedule. P Copland said that if it is not on their defects list they will not make the repair.
Previous Minutes Approved:
Proposer – V Salvage Seconder – M Ashworth
CC Members /
A Anderson congratulated and thanked everyone involved with the local Arts Festival. It was a great success. He also congratulated Bill Porteous and his band of helpers in achieving a Gold and also a Horticultural Award, and said that this was much appreciated.
(Bill Porteous said that a great deal of thanks was due to countless people around the village and also to the Council. However, he said that he knew the Council had further cuts to come.)
The Chairman said he was sad to hear that Patricia Shafren was leaving (her post as Headmistress of St Monans’ School). He said that she had brought a breath of fresh air when she came, and engaged in many of the village activities, adding that we wish her good wishes in her new post.
The Chairman said that he was stepping down and that this would be his last meeting with the CC and as Chairman. We have achieved a lot since I came. The time and effort by the people who sit round the table should never be underestimated, and thanked them for their help and support. The Chairman also thanked the Councillors and the members of the public for attending the meetings and keeping the CC on our toes. He said that he would continue to support the CC and wished them all the best.
R Craib said that this was also her last night as a CC member. She said that she was leaving the CC as her job is very demanding, adding that she also does a lot in the local community. She said that she had really enjoyed representing the local community.
The Chairman asked to give a vote of thanks to Ruth. He said that the Secretary not only is responsible for the Minutes, that there is a lot of work required in organising the CC. The Chairman added that Ruth and her family have done an awful lot for the community and said he would like to thank Ruth for all that she had done in the last few years.
7.1 General Report
G Brown said that since the last meeting there have been a few changes in the finances.
As mentioned earlier £1,500 has been paid out for the signs for the Saltpans.
Regarding the floral budget, we have spent £108 for the Jim Braid Gardens. We have taken in a considerable amount in sponsorship, and said he thought we have only once had more in sponsorship.
We have also had a couple of Bills:
– for 8A West Shore for £33.08 for electricity
– a demand for rates.
Finances are slightly more healthy than they were. Instead of having a deficit in the 3 accounts, there is a positive of £33.81.
The Chairman asked for an update on the MUGA. G Brown said that we have an update on the tenders: £113,000, plus £5000 contingency, plus £11,000 for Fife Services. G Brown said that he felt a bit aggrieved because he had been told since January it was out to tender and in the time since it was out he felt the costs had gone up a bit.
As a result of the amount required for Fife Services he, |G.Brown, would be asking other community groups to contribute. G Brown said that he feels that we should go ahead now.
G Brown said that there seem to be about 3 or four departments involved.
The Chairman asked what we are paying the £11,000 for.
G Brown said that this was for Alan Bisset doing what he has already done, plus overseeing the project. Cllr Macgregor asked if it would be possible to ask him for a breakdown. Cllr Riches suggested that the CC should contact Ken Gourlay.
Cllr Riches said that the difficulty Alan has is that he as to deal with various services.
7.3 Bill for Plerick Railings
G Brown said that you will recall that V Salvage got the railings done in the Plerick. We eventually got the bill, which I sent to Laura McKean asking for the money from the Common Good Fund. We have not yet received this in the bank. I am in the unhappy position where I am about to have Fife Council harassing me for the bill, which I have to harass Fife Council for the money for.
7.4 Heritage Collection
G Brown said that, regarding the Heritage Collection, he had asked a couple of times about the two buildings. He was informed that someone had been given the Station Road building. However, the person who thought he had it, now does not have it.
That leaves us 8 West Shore. We are working on the assumption that we have not got it. G Brown said that in this case we would need to get all our items stored out of the store by 13 October.
P Copland said that he thought it very impolite of Fife Council not to inform the CC. The Chairman asked how the CC could escalate this, and who to contact. Cllr E Riches suggested that the CC should contact Alan Paul. The Cllrs asked if they could also be copied in.
R Craib said that we have nowhere to put the items in store. A member of the public asked if there was anywhere in the Town Hall, however the Chairman said that because of the security required, the Town Hall would not be suitable.
G Brown said, to be of benefit, it has to be stored beside the Heritage Collection. The Chairman said the CC would contact Alan Paul.
G.Brown said that there has been no decision made regarding Station Road as far as we know. A member of the public said that that was shocking, as it was Council owned.
The Chairman said that there has been a change of administration and there is a need for the Council to take every opportunity to get money. Also they have the cost of maintaining the outside of the building.
G Brown said, regarding the current Heritage Collection building, some time ago before the summer holidays he had emailed the Council regarding painting the Heritage building. G Brown said he had tried several local painters for them to paint the whole building, including the upper flat, however no-one was interested in doing the job. However, he said that he would put it back to the woman who owns the upper flat to ask her to get her own quote and we will do the lower part ourselves. He said that, therefore, he would be quite happy if the work was done by two different contractors. Part of the agreement states it should be painted every 5 years at our expense and also when the lease expires we have to paint it prior to the end of the lease.
Cllr Riches asked who owns the Heritage Building. The reply was John Aines.
G Brown said that there was nothing to report this month.
9.1 A member of the public asked if the CC could chase up Scottish Water about the water running down the brae from Rose Street, saying that it was going to end up with the steps coming down.
Cllr Docherty said that if you have concerns please email me as this strengthens my case.
9.2 A member of the public complained that people are using the ground behind the vets as a dumping ground. They said that there is garden rubbish, roots, and the dog fouling signs are no longer there.
The Chairman said that it is Muir Development who should be complained to because it is private land. He added that he did not know if Environmental Services have any power, but it would be up to Muir Homes to complain. It is certainly a safety issue. A member of the public said that there is a part that they do not cut the grass at all. P Copland said that he would try to find a name at Muirs to complain to.
9.3 A member of the public said that there is a railway sleeper down the Plerick that has been keeping up the banking that is all broken and is quite loose. V Salvage said that she would ask Ian Barbour about this.
9.4 A member of the public asked if there was any more word about the houses. The Chairman said that there was no more than was on the website. The Councillors said there was a site visit planned regarding the housing on 5 October at 11.30 am and a meeting of the Councillors at 2.30 pm on 7 October.
9.5 A member of the public said that she did not see any dog fouling signs on Inverie Street. A member of the public asked if your own dog fouls in your own garden was it allowed to put it in the public bin. The answer was that you could put the dog mess in the blue bin or put it in the public bin.
10.1 St Monans Emergency Dredging.
The Chairman introduced John Kirk. John Kirk described an incident that had occurred on 14 September 2015. He said that he was not aware that there was any emergency dredging work due at St Monans harbour. Mr Kirk gave out a document which contained details of what had happened with photographs at various stages.
He said that when he talked to the men carrying out the work they told him that there was 100 cu m of what they said was sand, but which actually was grey sludge, which was to be deposited from the entrance to the harbour to the foreshore.
Mr Kirk said he had made a few phone calls and found that they did not have approval to do this. He was told that there was no licence for that work. He said that he therefore spoke to the contractor and said that if they did not have a licence, they were breaking the law. By 10.30 am they had taken 3 dumper loads, which amounts to 6 cu m which they dumped on the beach. (The contractor was contracted to move 100 cu m.)
This would result in the sludge covering 50m x 10 m of beach and be about 8 inches deep over the whole area. The beach is about 50 m long, so this would cover along the whole length of the beach and cover 10 m of sand up from the shore.
Mr Kirk got a reply from Malcolm Rose, of Marine Scotland instructing Fife Council to immediately stop the work.
Cllr Riches and Ross Spiers (Lead Professional – Harbours, Flooding and Coastal from Fife Council) knocked on Mr Kirk’s door. Basically the problem was how to stop this. Ross Spiers took the initiative and he instructed the contractor to return the sludge back to where it came from. However, they had already scraped about 12 cu m of clean sand from the beach to form the ramp. Their machine had broken down. The best that could be achieved as to tip the sludge at the top of the ramp, with the total loss of the virgin sand used to form the ramp. So there is 12 cu m of good sand and 6 cu m of sludge which has been washed out to sea.
They took chemical samples. Mr Kirk asked Malcolm Rose whether there was anything toxic. They said that everything was in order – for dredging and what has gone out to sea. If anyone has any problems or concerns to contact him direct.
Marine Licensing Casework Manager
Marine Scotland – Marine Planning and Policy
375 Victoria Road
Aberdeen AB11 9DB
General Queries 01224 295579
Direct Line 01224 295455
Mr Kirk went on to say a concern for him was eg playgroups who come there. Mr Kirk went on to say that the work still needs to be carried out and the sludge will need to be disposed of.
G Brown said the he had received an email saying that the contractor is going to have an excavator to carry out the work on 29th and 30th. The excavator will be placed against the East Pier slipway.
Mr Kirk said he was concerned that the sand that has gone out to sea.
G Brown said that there is another plan in March to get the big dredger in and have it removed properly.
Cllr Riches said that the problem is, without action, that you will lose access to the harbour as the sand is building up tide by tide.
G Brown said that a woman on a boat was thrown into the water when her boat hit the sand so this is a health and safety issue.
A member of the public said that he was surprised at the lack of public consultation.
Mr Kirk said that according to Malcolm Rose, the application was made in January. There has been a change in procedure and Community Councils now have to be notified; previously they did not have to do this.
Mr Kirk said that the contractor said that he had been advised by some locals that the sand in the harbour was golden sand and so they would have had a win-win situation where they could deposit the golden sand on the beach.
The plan now is to dump the ‘sand’ by the East Pier.
Cllr Riches said that they had a licence to do the work within the harbour.
The question, why cannot we get a dredger, was asked. The answer was that there is only one dredger and access to it is scarce. This is a temporary quick fix, so that we will still be able to use the harbour.
Cllr Riches commented that it was not Fife Council’s best hour. Adding that they should have been in touch with the CC and they were not.
The Chairman said that we need to remind them that they have to contact the CC and also have to ask them to bring in sand from somewhere.
G Brown said that where they made the ramp, this was filled with 12 cu m either side. What we have has mostly gone out to sea.
Mr Kirk said, another point on the 100 cu m to be moved: Malcolm Rose’s view is it is not poisonous, but is would have a smothering effect, so the whole of the foreshore creatures would have been smothered. So it is a real catastrophe that has been averted just by luck. Had the machine not broken down, we would have had a major problem.
The Chairman asked for a volunteer to contact Mike Thorpe (whose name was suggested by Cllr Riches as someone who would have the authority to put right such a catastrophe).
G.Brown said that he would send the email, and could circulate any reply to the CC and to the Councillors.
Cllr Macgregor said that he has been having a problem with his private emails, so the only possible way to contact him was through the Council email.
B Buchan said that 2 weeks ago someone told him about the problem of seaweed on the road. He telephoned Waste Aware as the seaweed was thick. B Buchan said that the person an elderly man in his 80s did it himself in the end. It was a week later that the Council came to do it.
10.3 Road Signs Advertising Events
B Buchan said that we have been told that road signs to advertise things were not acceptable. However he had noticed that such signs beside Elie, St Andrews, Largoward have not been taken down.
Cllr Riches said that they have been taken down in some other places.
10.4 Bench in Cemetry
V Salvage said that she had contacted bereavement services 4 times about a donated bench for the cemetery. Each time she said that she has been told it is the bench manufacturers fault. The last time she was passed on to Mitch Graham. V Salvage said that the bench was ordered months ago, and that that she felt for the grieving family.
10.5 Crossing Signs at Abercrombie
M Ashword said, on a more positive note, after many years of complaining about the crossing in Abercrombie Road, we have now signs to say we have bends there.
10.6 Detours and Road Closed Signage
A Anderson complained about signage for detours and road closures in the area. He said that the Anstruther to St Andrews Road Closure was not adequately signed. This was a particular problem in the dark. There was nothing advising how long the road was shut for. He said that we are still in the season relying on passing trade from tourism (which was totally killed off by the inadequate signs). He gave an example of one detour sign that sent vehicles to a road that was shut.
The Councillors gave examples of signs which advised of roads due to be closed in the area.
A Anderson said that it was the lack of signage and the impact on tourism that is the problem.
A member of the public said that there was a new ramp at Lundin Links was terrible, and complained that there are no signs to say that there is a ramp. Cllr Riches said that they now have painted the white stripes on either side.
10.7 Thanks to Chairman
The Chairman asked if there were any other points. Cllr Riches said that we cannot go without saying a great thank you to the Chairman. She went on to say what a very good and effective Chairman A Anderson had been.
|11||Close and Date of Next Meeting
The Chairman said that for the last time he would close the meeting.
The next Ordinary Meeting will be on Monday, 19 October 2015 at 7.30 pm in the
Mayview Hotel Function Suite.
(The Annual General Meeting will be on Monday, 19 October 2015 at 7.00 pm in the Mayview Hotel Function Suite.)