Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the St Monans and Abercrombie Community Council held on Monday, 19 March 2018, at 7.30pm.
P Copland (Chairman); V Salvage (Vice-Chairman); M Ashworth; E Hughes; W Morris; V Bland; W Buchan;
P Peddie (Treasurer); Cllr J Docherty; Cllr W Porteous; E Porteous (Minute Secretary) and G Bell.
Members of the Public: 11
1. Welcome and Apologies
Apologies: Cllr L Holt, S Bridges (Secretary) and PC Tetlow.
2. Declarations of Interest
3. Last Minutes and Matters Arising
3.1 Area of Ground within the Village for the Corn Bunting
Mr Copland said that at the last meeting Johanna Willi, Biodiversity Co-coordinator with Fife Council, had provided an interesting talk about safe nesting sites for the endangered Corn Bunting. He reminded those present that we were trying to find a suitable area within the village that would be appropriate. (see new corn bunting site)
3.2 Traffic at Rose Street
Cllr Porteous advised that he now had a better photograph of parked cars blocking this street. Mr Copland noted that the Community Council is looking to build up a case to recommend yellow lines on both sides of the street.
3.3 Planters Opposite the Minimarket
Cllr Porteous said that he had not received any response from Certas Energy. He agreed that he would continue to pursue this matter.
3.4 Overgrown Hedge
It was confirmed to Mrs Salvage that the hedge (on the lane leading to the primary school) is still overgrown and requires to be cut.
3.5 Poor condition of railings in Station Road
It was also noted that the railings are getting worse.
3.6 Bins at Back of Miller Terrace
Mr. Morris said that there had been no movement re this. Cllr Docherty agreed to chase this up again.
3.7 Off-road Motorcycles and Quad Bikes
Unfortunately as PC Tetlow could not attend the meeting, there was no update regarding the quad bikes.
3.8 Water at Cemetery, parking in front of Cemetery gates and rotting struts at Bridge
Mrs Salvage advised that she had heard nothing back in response to the Community councils concerns. However, Mr Morris had now taken photographs of the rotting struts for the bridge. Cllr Docherty offered to follow this up with the relevant Council department and suggested that an appropriate engineer from Structural Services should be asked to complete a bridge inspection.
Cllr Docherty also advised that he would get the list of local plumbers approved by the Council.
Regarding the ongoing issues of parking at the Cemetery Gates, Mrs Salvage advised that a representative from Bereavement Services was scheduled to meet with her. Unfortunately, this had not happened and Mrs Salvage said that she would contact her again.
It was noted that a lack of water facilities at the cemetery has been an ongoing issue for over 3 years. Mr Copland said that when the Community Council received the approved list of plumbers from Fife Council, he would arrange for estimates for running the main up to a tap at the cemetery.
3.9 Steps Down from Braehead
Despite previously being reported twice to the local Council, it was noted that the steps continued to be slippery and dangerous to pedestrians.
Mrs Salvage was pleased to report that the bench has been installed, but nothing had yet been done about the one in Sandy Cairn. She agreed she would continue to pursue this with the Council.
Regarding the bench in the cemetery, Mrs Salvage advised she had contacted the sponsors and they had confirmed they had no preference for its location. A member of the public noted that at the cemetery on the plans there is a cut out of the grass with a seat on it.
3.11 Dog Fouling
Mr Copland expressed his disappointment that the community Council were no further forward in getting Fife Council to address this problem.
3.12 Potholes – Footpath Repairs
Mr Copland said that Cllr Holt was going to check Fife Council’s policy regarding the depth where they would make a repair for pavements.
It was noted that potholes had been reported on the road at the corner of Station Road and Braehead. It was also pointed out that there are a number of bad potholes at the West End as well as on the road to Abercrombie following the recent diversion.
Mr Bell said that water was coming out of the ground because a pipe had burst where they pushed the pipe in at the telephone kiosk on the West Shore. Mr Copland asked that members of the community to make as many representations to Fife Council as possible whenever they noticed a pothole.
3.13 Property in Gourlay Crescent
Cllr Porteous was aware of a meeting with Fife Council and thought that an amicable agreement has been reached between the parties.
3.14 Main Paths in Church Yard
It was noted that the main paths in the Church Yard were in a poor state of repair. Cllr Docherty had previously been in touch with council officials, but would pass these concerns on.
With regards to the disabled path, Cllr Porteous said that the Council official, Liz Murphy, is positive about doing something about that. Cllr Porteous said that he would try to confirm with her to repair the main paths as well. Mrs Salvage said that she would also mention it again.
3.15 Speeding in Abercrombie
Mrs Ashworth advised that the considerable increase in the number of cars that had passed through Abercrombie when the main Anstruther road was closed, had caused damage. She had raised this with Cllr Porteous and Fife Council. Cllr Porteous said that changing the speed limit to 20 mph is planned. He also advised that he was seeking someone from Fife Council to come and inspect the damage to the walls at the side of the farm.
Cllr Docherty also noted that many lorries had been mounting the verge and causing additional damage. He had reported this.
3.16 Quad Bike Theft
3.17 Grit Bins
Cllr Porteous confirmed that they had not replaced the grit bin in Forth Street.
3.18 Planning regarding House at Newark Street
It was noted that work has commenced. A wall has been built and more fence put in.
3.19 Light Bulbs in Town Hall
It was noted that the light bulbs had now been replaced. A member of the public thanked the Councillor’s for their help with this.
3.20 Publishing CC Minutes
Mrs E Porteous was thanked by the meeting for the considerable work she provided to the community as Minute Secretary.
3.21 Common Good Fund and Community Trust Fund
Mr Copland noted that the Common Good Fund is particularly healthy and any monies that are asked for from this fund must be of direct benefit to the community. He also noted that anything over £2,000 must go before the Committee at Fife Council.
Noting the poor condition of the windows, a member of the public asked if the Community council owned the Town Hall. Mr Copland advised that it had been asked approximately two years earlier, if it wanted to take over the running of the Town Hall. However, the Committee had declined due to the considerable financial challenges in maintaining such a large property. Cllr Porteous confirmed that it is Fife Council property.
3.22 Provision of bins at Windmill
Mrs Salvage noted that the suggestion to have bins at the windmill site was a ‘no go’. She explained that although the Community Council could purchase bins from Glaston, Fife Council would not make a financial contribution; nor insure them. Critically, they would not empty these bins either. To do so would require an appropriate made up road to be in place.
3.23 Electricity in Windmill
Mr Morris noted that Coastal Watch had new management in place and that the new manager was looking into resolving the electricity problem.
3.24 St Monans Harbour Development
Mr Bell provided a brief update, noting that a meeting was scheduled this week with the engineers. Currently, there are challenges with getting prices for the entire project because of rules of procurement. However, the current task which is being progressed is with regards to the West Pier (“Fishermen’s Project”) which includes providing lifts, electrics and water supplies to the harbor. This part of the project could proceed as the associated costs fell below the Procurement threshold.
He also advised that he had requested large scale drawings of the Beach and the Fishermen’s part from the architects. He agreed to post these in the Library. In response to a question about notifying people when they are ready for viewing, Mr Bell agreed he would liaise with the Secretary about putting details on the website and publicizing this through the Town’s Team meeting. He concluded by advising that the Towns team were looking into fundraising activities to assist in the project.
Mr Copland provided a brief update on the outline proposal by Richard Wemyss to develop boat repair and restoration within St Monans. He had met Scottish Enterprise to explore his proposal further and they had provided him with the name of an appropriate consultant. Mr Wemyss had met this consultant and she was now looking to establish if Scottish Enterprise would fund her work.
It was noted that the local community needed to be satisfied that the consultant ensures that her feasibility report was comprehensive and covered all aspects of a cost benefit analysis to the local community.
3.25 Hidden chamber
Mr Morris said that work on this was on hold just now.
3.26 Mobile telephone mast
It was noted that the new mast had been erected, but not yet connected.
3.27 Old Post Office – Possible change of use from commercial premises
Cllr Porteous advised that Fife Council has not received any Planning Applications in connection with the property. Mr Bell advised that he had been unsuccessful in finding an address of the owner. The only information available was that the owner is retired, an artist and was going to open a gallery. Once a contact address was provided, the intention is to write to the owner to encourage him/her to open the gallery quickly.
3.28 Loose steps to Church
The Council point of contact, Nick Williamson, is currently on holiday. However, they are going to send someone out to inspect the steps because the mortar has been washed away.
3.29 Gourlay Crescent house renovation rubbish
In response to question about the removal of bathroom and kitchen rubble outside a house being refurbished, Cllr Porteous advised said that he has emailed Fife Council to ask for this to be removed.
3.30 Setting up a local St Monans community charity
It was noted that Mr Stephen Collier had identified potential Trustees to set up the new local charity. Hopefully Mr Collier would provide a progress update at the next meeting.
4. Chairperson’s Report
On behalf of the Community Council, Mr Copland expressed his sincere condolences to Norman Hall’s family. Norman had been the St Monans Harbour Master for several years.
Condolences were also expressed to Philip Hughes wife and family.
During the recent bad winter weather, a local resident, Kirsty Ironside, had put together a team to deliver a “Meals on Foot” team to prepare meals in the Church Hall and distribute to those in the community who were unable to get to the shops or did not have sufficient stocks at home.
There had been a massive response to this appeal both in relation to people’s time and resources, demonstrating a wonderful community spirit during a difficult period for some.
Mr Copland advised that he had received a list of names of all those who Kirsty asked to be acknowledged for their support. These included:
Ruth & Brian Craib, Jill & Steve Bentley, Kirsty Bentley and her husband, Vicki & Martin Salvage, Grant Ironside, Linda Anderson, Victoria & Philip Riding, Carol & Peter Copland, Alison Child, Win Brown, Sandra & Colin Wilson, Linda & Steve Collier, Alex Purves, Shannon Purves, Callum Jarvis, Richard Crocker, Mandy Speirs, David Sharp, David Bell, Caroline Kilbane, Fiona Keay, Caroline Tarvit, Gillian Hall, Morven Syme, Stacey Brown, Gareth & Micha Jones, Lisa & Andrew Ireland.
The local Fireservice: Lyall Stephen, Steven Mcilhenney along with Richard Scott clearing paths with Waid pupils Jamie Scott and Alan Stephen Jnr.
From Waid and Madras schools; Ben Ironside, Kerr Bowman, Niamh Syme and Freya Brown., Louisa Hughes, Georgia Syme, Ruby and Cami Tarvit.
In addition, support was provided from the following local businesses; the Top Shop, Ardross and Gerrards.
Mrs Salvage noted that the Community Council had received a letter of thanks from a recipient, but had passed this onto Kirsty Ironside. It was acknowledged that this initiative had all been down to Kirsty and that while members of the Community Council were involved, it was not a Community Council initiative.
5. Secretary’s Report
The Secretary’s report was read by Mr Copland:
5.1 Survey regarding Bank Branch Closures
The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee wants to share with local communities about its inquiry into the impact of bank closures. The Committee wants to hear from as many people as possible (both as a business owner or as an individual) to find out how recent branch closures have impacted communities at as local a level as possible. The link is on the St Monans CC website http://parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/107957.aspx
5.2 Meeting in Elie to Discuss impact of Holiday and Second Homes
Elie & Earlsferry Community Council are having a public meeting in Earlsferry Town Hall on Monday 9 April at 7.15 pm to discuss the impact of certain proposals on the community and the issue of clearing communities by the influx of holiday and second homes. All are welcome from other East Neuk communities.
Mr Copland commented on this, saying that in the East Fife Mail it said that in Elie only 30% of owner occupiers lived in their properties at this time and in Earlsferry there is only 17% of people living in their homes there.
5.3 Community Action Plan (CAP) for St Monans and Abercrombie
Mr Bridges is working with 11 other local residents and interested community groups to produce a CAP document for St Monans and Abercrombie. Basically this document will be based on a huge survey of the community to establish what we collectively would like to see as priorities over the next 5 years and beyond. The St Monans steering group is working with the ENCAP (East Neuk CAP – a registered charity and umbrella group for the local area) to raise funds to begin this project. This is our biggest challenge. The deadline is tight but we are hoping to complete this mammoth task by late autumn this year.
Colinsburgh and Kilconquhar have already produced their own CAP and both Crail and Pittenweem are working on producing their own.
Mr Bell noted that the application for the CAP which is supposed to be in by this week did not go in this time. They had to go on a course regarding how to fill in the form. The next deadline is June.
6. Treasurer’s Report
Mr Peddie provided a list of up-to-date balances at the meeting. He noted that some expenditure from the Burns Supper was still outstanding as was the bill from Pathhead. He stressed the need for the community to consider how to raise funds for the Floral Display and the annual senior citizens tea party.
He also noted that in November 2015 a bench was purchased by the Community Council to the cost of £440. Mrs Salvage actually provided the funds to the Community Council to pay for the bench and had never been reimbursed. The Treasurer therefore proposed to refund Mrs Salvage for this amount.
Mr Peddie also advised the meeting that the bank account is held with the Royal Bank and the nearest branch is at St Andrews. He suggested that it would be more convenient if we could have the account at the TSB in Anstruther, noting there was also a branch in Leven. This was agreed and Mr Peddie was asked to make the necessary arrangements.
P Peddie said the B Allan was also waiting for a cheque.
7. Questions from members of the public
A member of the public complained about the mess on the path up to the bus stop through from Gourlay Crescent; and also at the Mini-Market. Mr Buchan said that he noticed at least four council staff in Largo Ward sweeping the streets and one with a hoe neatening the edges. He noted that St Monans gets one machine that simply sweeps streets.
7.2 Blockage in Sewage Pump at Bottom of Braehead
A member of the public said that there was a blockage at the sewage pump last Sunday at the bottom of Braehead.
7.3 Old Sewage Pipe Down Beach
A member of the public asked if it was possible to arrange for the removal of the derelict sewage pipe down to the beach at the church. Mr Copland said that he did not think this would be possible and the pipe would not have any scrap value.
7.4 Increased Cost of Hiring Town Hall
Mrs Porteous expressed concern about the increased cost of hiring the Town Hall and the change in policy to ask for monies in advance rather than arrears. Mrs Salvage agreed to look into how much these increases might be.
7.5 Potholes beside Garages at Bottom of Queen Margaret Drive
A member of the public noted that these potholes are bad; and that potholes were not filled in properly.
7.6 Items taken from the old Burgh Chambers
Mr Morris noted that in 1974/75 when the old Fife shire council was replaced by North East Fife District Council, a substantial number of artefacts and documentation were removed and never seen again. In particular, he mentioned the oil paintings that were in the Burgh Chambers, the 1656 Baillies Bench; the Baillies chairs and the Queen’s coronation picture of 1953.
Mr Morris asked if these items were still in the archives. Mr Copland advised that he did not know how to help. Nor did the Councillors. Mr Morris suggested that what was required was a list of all items that were taken.
Cllr J Docherty stated that he had recently been approached to help Elie & Earlsferry regarding some historical artefacts. Unfortunately, Fife Council had no records. He suggested that in order to provide an inventory, it might be useful to start by looking at the Press coverage at the time.
A member of the public advised that she had worked at the old regional council at the time and volunteered to get in touch with a member of staff in Cupar who was working there also to see if the colleague could assist.
7.7 Pittenweem Recycling Centre opening times
A member of the public asked Councillor’s whether it was correct that the Recycling Centre in Pittenweem would be closed on two days a week from October. This was confirmed.
8. Any other business
8.1 Annual beach clean
It was noted that the date of the annual Beach Clean was still to be confirmed.
8.2 Damage to Road in East Street and Virgin Square requiring Repairs
Mr Copland said that he had received an email asking if the Community Council could press Fife Council Roads Department for an upgrade to East Street. The email said that the damage was caused by 3.5 tonne trucks using Virgin Square. The section of road immediately north of 1 Virgin Square is particularly bad due to the past parking by the large trucks and vans. The email asked if East Street could be resurfaced, and said that it would be good if the damaged road in Virgin Square could also be repaired.
8.3 Update on Towns Team Meeting
Mr Bell provided a brief update, noting the last meeting was well attended. There was a very positive discussion about starting a new charity and how the various community groups are organized and work with each other.
On the subject of fundraising, Mr Bell also advised that the community had been allocated some space at the Bowhouse makers market over the weekend of 12-13 May to fundraise. Mr Bell had booked the space as St Monans Community Groups. Any funds raised can go to the various community groups. Typically, other local organizations who have been offered a space, have raised between £900 and £1000. Mr Bell noted that in the past, other community groups have sold teas, coffees, home baking, raffles, tombola, etc and asked for donations. This is an excellent opportunity to promote our local organizations and get over a message about what we do.
8.4 Structural damage to Sea Wall and uncovered sewage pipe
Cllr Docherty advised that Councillors are provided with road report updates, but all road repairs have been suspended due to the large number of potholes. He was also aware that there has been structural damage to the sea wall and a sewage pipe has been uncovered at the bottom of Shore Street.
8.5 Retiral of Rev. Peter Mills, Minister, St Monans Church
Cllr Porteous and the Community Council recorded their thanks and appreciation to Rev Peter Mills for his work and support to the community as parish minister of St Monans.
9. Close and Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on Monday, 16 April 2018 in the Church Hall, Station Road.