Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday, 19 August 2019, at 7.30 pm.
Present: P Copland (Chair), H Ironside (Minutes), W Buchan, S Collier, V Bland, G Bell, M Syme, V Salvage, W Morris, Cllr Docherty and Cllr Holt.
Members of the public: 12
1. Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest S Bridges, M Ashworth, S Potjewijd, Cllr Porteous and PC Stecka had all sent their apologies. There were no declarations of interest.
2. Corn Bunting in the Community Project Update – Alasdair Lemon RSPB Officer Tayside & Fife. Alasdair Lemon gave a brief overview of the RSPB’s corn bunting work including an introduction to the species, why the RSPB were concerned, what could be done to help and how the Corn Bunting Recovery project has been going. The main purpose of the presentation was to update attendees on how the Corn Bunting in the Community project has been going. Alasdair informed the community council that this year long project was being funded by the Postcode Local Trust with the key aim of increasing awareness of the conservation work landowners and farmers have been undertaking to help Corn buntings in East Neuk. The project has to date delivered four guided walks and two engagement events, the funding also helped covered the cost of seed which is given to partner land managers. The main outcome of the project is a walking/cycling self-guided leaflet that will show routes people can follow to be in with a chance of seeing corn buntings; it will also highlight cafes and shops on farms that are working to help corn buntings on their land. Alasdair is looking for feedback on what these walking routes should look like; you can email him for an electronic version of the form if you wish. Alasdair.Lemon@rspb.org.uk
3. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
All matters were considered closed, except for the following:
3.1 Poor Condition of Bus Shelter on Elm Grove. Work is about to start on renovation to the shelter.
3.2 Gully Cleaning in Abercrombie. Cllr Porteous continues to follow up this matter with council officials.
3.3 Fence post on right of way adjacent to 24/26 Station Road. Cllr Docherty advised this is ongoing.
3.4 Potholes, fencing and parking at two garages sites. Pleased to note that the fencing has been replaced to the entrance of Queen Margaret street. Cllr Docherty continues to chase officials about illegal parking and the council’s impractical suggestion to put up private no parking signs.
3.5 Repairs to railings on Station Road. Noted that repairs have now started.
3.6 St Monans Residents Group. The next meeting will be on 21 August in the Masonic hall at 6.30pm.
3.7 East Neuk Salt company and East Neuk Heritage Company.There continues to be no update on proposals to rebuild one of the saltpan houses or exhibition centre.
3.8 Community notice board replacement. Ongoing.
3.9 East Neuk Community Council Group. The AGM will be held on Thursday 22 August at 7pm in Crail town hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.
3.10 Fife Health board out of hours consultation. Cllr Docherty noted the meeting of the integrated joint Health & Social Services board was scheduled for 22 August. A further updates on the outcome would be provided at the next Community Council meeting.
There being no other comments, Mrs Syme proposed (Mr. Buchan supported) that the minutes be adopted. The minutes were approved.
4. Police Report
Mr Copland read out the report received from PC Stecka. In the month of July, the police received 1,466 calls in North East Fife. 35 calls related to the St Monans and Abercrombie area. Of these, 1 crime being a vandalism was recorded. Other calls were in relation to assist members of the public, numerous noise complaints that are currently under investigation, a concern for a person, public nuisance and road traffic incidents. PC Stecka would like to know if members of the community are interested in becoming a part of Community Speedwatch, three members of the public are required as a minimum. PC Wallace has been moved to a different area and PC Holmes will be joining PC Stecka in the East Neuk Area.
5. Chairperson’s Report
Mr Copland reminded everyone that the Community Arts Festival is the 14th & 15th September. Events are free to attend and suitable for all ages.
6. Secretary’s Report
The Chair read out the report from Mr Bridges. Common Good Assets register- All Community Councils were invited to comment on the register of common good assets maintained by Fife Council. We have reviewed the section for St Monans and confirmed that the register is correct. CGF applications for Community Council – Approval was sought for the following applications: a) St Monans Trust (to fund six editions of the local St Monans & Abercrombie newsletter). Approved by the Community Council. b) Sea Queen Committee. Approved by the Community Council. c) East Neuk Recovery Group Initiative. Rejected by the Community Council on the grounds that the application was not specific to St Monans & Abercrombie community. Earth grants – We’ve been notified of a new grant giving body for volunteers for small grants up to £500 for enhancing or creating community gardens and urban spaces. Details have been passed onto the Beautiful St Monans team. Public consultation re public play spaces in Fife – Notification received of a public consultation running from 21 August to 10 December about the future of play spaces in Fife (and including the parks in St Monans). More details can be found on the St Monans website. A formal response will be considered by the Community Council.
7. Treasurer’s Report
Mr Morris advised the meeting that although the funds in the flora display were good, the monthly cost of watering the plants was £725. The Invoice for the senior’s lunch had been received and needed to be paid. A copy of the recent accounts will be sent out to all Community Council members.
8. Members report
Planning matters – Mr Copland noted that nothing new had been submitted to the Planning department.
Community Support Initiatives- One resident’s complaint has been received. Mr Collier met the resident concerned and the issue has been raised with Fife Council and the police. Also noted that; – One incident in East Street involving a police presence. – One incident in East Street, man lying comatose in the street. Police not informed at the time, but made aware at the bi-monthly meeting with Fife Council and Police. Mr Collier reminded everyone to always report all incidents to the police. If incidents aren’t reported then they can’t be actioned. Update from walk about. Two replacement railings have been installed at the corner of Hope Place. Dangerous post at the top of the Dawsie has been made safe but two other dangerous posts – one at the corner of Hope Place / Station Road and one on the West Shore remain outstanding. This has been raised again with Fife Council as they are both dangerous. Braid Court Bin Store has been delayed subject to Planning but is still “on the books”. Issues with overflowing bins and fly tipping have also been raised with Fife Council who are actively monitoring the situation.
9. Councillor Updates
9.1 Recent Flooding. Cllr Holt advised that after the recent flooding to affect the Fife area Fife Council are looking at putting in procedures to deal with any flooding issues in the area.
9.2 Campervans parking overnight at Church. Cllr Holt has written again to Fife Council regarding the recent spate of campervans parking overnight in the car park at the church. There are concerns that the weight of these could be causing further damage to the bridge and exceeding the weight restriction limit. Although there is no law against overnight parking, there is to be a meeting between Fife Council officials and councillors to start a proactive policy for next summer. Cllr Holt is pushing for a working group for councillors to be involved in this. It was suggested that a politely worded letter from the Community Council could be drafted asking them to not park overnight. Although it is not possible to get a barrier pit across the bridge it was also suggested that signage is put up regarding the use of the car park for funerals, weddings and the weekly church service on a Sunday morning.
9.3 Water Taxis. Cllr Docherty advised that Fife Council have commissioned consultants to see where in the East Neuk would be the most suitable place to have a water taxi. It was decided that Anstruther seemed like the best place and will look into getting the water taxi to run between Anstruther and North Berwick.
9.4 Participatory Budgeting. It was announced that Fife Council have set up a new grant funding body set up within Fife Council. The participatory Budgeting grant is available to groups or organisation set up in the East Neuk and benefit the East Neuk area. Groups/organisations can apply for up to £5000. The applications are then voted on by the residents of the East Neuk .The total budget is £20,000 and the closing date for funding is Friday 6th September. This was set up to allow the people of the East Neuk decide when money will be spent. Caroline Berry from Fife Council is dealing with any questions on this.
9.5 Dog Wardens. Cllr Docherty advised that dog wardens no longer deal with any issues around dog fouling in the village. Any issues/complaints should now go to the Safer Community Team who can be contacted on 01592 583642
10. Public Questions
10.1 Condition of road surface in East Street. A member of the public said that due to the deteriorating conditions of the road surface in East Street, Fife Council were unable to place a disabled parking space in the correct area of the street and had to move it somewhere else in the street. The Community Council advised that the condition of the road surface was picked up on the recent walk around in the village.
10.2 Right of way between 26 & 24 Station Road. A resident advised that the right of way between 24 and 26 Station Road is wearing away with the gap between properties now only 13 inches. There is also a step drop to the left hand side which is very dangerous.
10.3 Untidy area at bottom of Station Road. The area around the notice boards at the bottom of Station Road is still very untidy. It was mentioned during the walk about to clean up the area and make it more appealing to the village but as yet nothing has been done.
11. Any other business
11.1 Update of the St Monans Charity. Mr Collier advised of the problems that the Charity had experienced opening a bank account. Progress had therefore been delayed, but it is hoped to be resolved shortly. Once this has been done we can begin collecting donations from Social Media and other electronic means. The Charity has provided one painted picnic bench at the West Pier with a second on order which should be in place w/c 25th August.
11.2 Resident Complaint. A complaint has been received from a local resident and read out at the meeting. In his email, the resident complained of an individual who had recently arrived within the village and was allegedly a drug addict. In addition to the individual being anti-social and he had also owned a dog which was also considered anti-social. The complainant had contacted Fife Council regarding his concerns. It was decided that Mrs Salvage would take this complaint forward to the Waid Campus Meeting on Tuesday 20th August to see what Fife Council can do. Cllr Holt suggested that the new sensitive letting policy that has been put in place for Braid Court & East Street should be extended to all Fife Council properties in the village.
11.3 Broken Drain Cover on Station Road. This has been reported to Fife Council who are dealing with the repair. At the time of the meeting, two cones had been placed over the drain.
11.4 Vacant & Derelict Land Survey 2019. The Community Council has been asked if it is aware of any new sites (urban, rural, industrial) that you would like to be assessed to see if they can be included in the VDL register for this year. are smaller than 0.1ha they still have the possibility of being included if clustered with other sites. The register for this year’s proposal to the Scottish Government will be closing by the end of August.
11.5 Burns Supper 2020 Next year’s Burns Supper will be either the 1st or 8th February 2020. The committee are currently looking for participants for the evening. If anyone is interested, please contact Mrs Salvage.
11.6 Sponsored Benches Mrs Salvage advised that due to staffing issues at Fife Council, applications for new benches has been suspended for 3-6 months to allow time for the correct person to be sought for the role within the council department. There is the possibility of getting new benches in the village through sponsorship from local businesses.
Date of Next Meeting: The next meeting if the Community Council will be on Monday 16 September at 7.30pm.