Minutes of extra meeting of St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday 7th November at 8pm in Mayview Hotel Function Suite.
A.Anderson V.Bland R.Craib G. Brown
P.Copland M.Ashworth V.Salvage E.Scott
Cllr Scott Hayward
There were 5 members of the public present.
1.Welcome and Apologies
A.Anderson opened the meeting. There were apologies from T.Hughes, E.Hughes,W. Buchan and
2. Declarations of Interest
3. Secretary’s Report
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Chairperson’s Report
A complaint against the CC by a member of the public was received by the Community Council.
Cllr Scott Hayward was asked to carry out an investigation on behalf of the CC Chairperson to achieve impartiality.
Cllr Scott Hayward summarised the complaints and his findings.
- 1. It was claimed that the CC acted inappropriately in that their discussion of a planning application was not sufficiently open and transparent having not been fully discussed at a properly convened public meeting.
This claim was upheld by Cllr Scott Hayward but he found that there was no intention on the part of the CC to hide their view from the public or the complainant. This was obvious from the fact that their view was publically lodged and displayed on the Fife Council website.
He also noted that the reason for discussions taking place out-with the meeting, namely by email communication, were in part caused by unrealistic deadlines set by the Planning system and FC procedures.
- 2. The complainant asked for the CC to withdraw its objection to his planning application. Cllr Scott Hayward gave the view that the CC had based its objection on a valid reason,consistent with the generally held Community view that the Conservation Area should be respected and concluded that it would not be appropriate for the CC to withdraw its objection.
- 3. The complainant contended that a member of the CC “had a conflict of interest” in that the CC member “did similar” work to that in the application. The CC member has confirmed that he has undertaken no remunerated building work for others within the bounds of St Monans since becoming a CC member.
Cllr Scott Hayward recommended that
- 1. The CC apologise to the complainant for not handling all their discussions and decision to lodge an objection in an open and transparent manner.
- 2. The CC should hold extra meetings to discuss planning issues to meet the very tight planning deadlines. He noted that the CC had already started this procedure.
- 3. The CC should include “Declaration of Interests” as a set item on the agenda.
- 4. The CC should ask the complainant to note that planning applications are decided by Fife Council. The CC can only lodge their views.
Cllr Scott Hayward highlighted that he had let the complainant know personally that he had a right of appeal to Fife Council re the planning application.
The Community Council voted to adopt all the recommendations of Cllr Scott Hayward’s report.
A.Anderson confirmed that he would write to the complainant on behalf of the CC, enclosing a copy of the report. He also thanked Cllr Scott Hayward for the time and devotion he had devoted to investigating the complaint and preparing his report.
6.1 New heating system for St Monans Church.
Questions were raised about the route of the gas pipe and the narrowing of the aisle between pews.
Mr A.Stevens was able to give further information and it was agreed that no obejction would be lodged.
6.2 Double garage at 35 Station Road. No objection.
7. Public Questions
G.Brown suggested that a map of the Conservation Area in St Monans be put up on CC noticeboard.
This was agreed with the proviso that public be told that the information should always be checked for individual situations in case of changes.
9. Close and Date of Next Meeting
A.Anderson thanked everyone and closed meeting.
The next ordinary meeting will be held on Monday 21st November 2011 at 7.30pm in Mayview Hotel Function Suite.
All members of the public are welcome.