Burntisland Community Council

 

Minutes of Meeting held in the Burgh Chambers

On Friday 8th January 2010 at 7.00 PM

 

                       

Present

           

A MacDonald (Chair)

            R Smith (Vice Chair)

            T Hailey, M Douglas, S McGregor, S McGregor, S Purvis  

            Councillor S Leslie, Councillor R Edwards, Councillor G Kay

            Sergeant E Potter.

           

1          Apologies for Absence

        

G Lowe, C Dewar, R Blanchard, H Leuchars, Gordon Ritchie, Aneris Grant, Ken Halley (Locality Manager).

 

2          Minutes of previous meeting (11 December 2009)

 

In view of attendances at this and the December meeting it was agreed to defer approval of the Minutes until the February meeting.

 

 

 3         Notification of Community Concerns for discussion under 'AOB' item11

        

The following were noted and included for discussion if time permits:-

1 Environment & amenities

2 Site for new school               

            3 Potholes in roads

            4 Grit bins

            5 Graveyard access        

 

4          Police Report – Sgt E Potter.

 

There had been very few incidents to report over the Christmas and New Year period. Fife Constabulary is now deploying a Community Engagement Model, as a result of which a Community Officer (PC Keith Gibb) will be allocated to cover Kinghorn, Burntisland and Auchtertool. Posters and leaflets will be distributed. Community Councils will be represented at meetings, with the first being at the Toll Centre on 1st February at 7:30pm and thereafter on the first Monday of alternate months. The Community Officer will work flexible hours, with operating practices being based on the example of Avonmouth, where statistics showed a resulting drop in incidents.

 

           

5          Locality Manager’s Report

The Locality Manager had submitted a monthly report which was presented to the Council as follows:-

 

Severe Weather

 

See update below from Stuart Nichol, Executive Director - Environment & Development Services. 

 

Salt, Sand and Grit supplies

 

§          Salt deliveries arrived as expected on the 6th and 7th January. 440 tonnes were received and a further 500 tonnes are expected tomorrow.

 

§          Unless there is a significant change in the weather forecast over the next few days we expect this supply to enable us to maintain current provision until Monday 11th January.

 

§          We continue to treat most A and B class roads and bus routes to schools with salt. Other priority roads and footways are being treated with sand to help stretch salt supplies as far as possible.

 

§          We are in daily contact with the Scottish Government and other local authorities to try and secure further deliveries of salt for next week. Every possible avenue is being investigated.

 

§          The quarries are now open again following the festive break so new supplies of sand and grit have been received. We need approximately 750 tonnes to fill all of Fife’s grit bins. Stock is now replenished and it is expected all bins will be refilled by Monday 11th January.

 

§          It is important to note that salt is not considered as effective when the temperature falls below minus 6 so care is still required even on treated roads.

 

 

Action taken

 

§          Priority is still being given to routes 1 and 2. This includes routes to schools.

 

§          Additional priority has now been placed on:

 

-          Filling Grit Bins. All Fife’s 3000 grit bins will be restocked in the next few days.

 

-          Clearing footpaths and pavements and keeping recycling centres open. Transportation will be sending out additional teams from today to make best use of the sand and grit available. Staff from community services, facilities and environmental services is now part of the team. Street Sweeping staff for example are filling up grit bins and salting and clearing footpaths and recycling centres.

 

-          Keeping schools open - ensuring paths and roads are clear. Paths were cleared by janitorial staff. Playgrounds have been gritted wherever possible and strict protocols have been put in place to manage closures. Today - 98% of schools were open. Four of Fife’s 186 schools were closed. Any system problems - for example heating - are being fast-tracked.

 

-          Keeping critical services moving - ensuring access for critical care services and those supporting the most vulnerable. Social Work has obtained a number of 4x4 vehicles, from other council services and the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, to keep home carers mobile. Day centre staff has activated a phone service to ensure service users have food and heating and to help make arrangements for someone to visit if necessary. Other services such as meals on wheels and residential care are all working as normal.

 

-          Managing waste - providing alternatives where bin collection is impossible. Temporary refuse collection points have been introduced with 1280 new containers and skips. Press releases are going out to tell people they can use brown bins instead of general refuse bins. Street Sweeping staff has also joined the refuse collection teams to help with areas that are difficult to access.

 

§          Over 130 transportation staff is working directly on managing the impact of the severe weather on roads and pathways.

 

§          Staff from community services and facilities who are unable to carry out their normal duties, roofers for example, have now also been redeployed to work in local communities and under the direction of the transportation service.

 

§          These staff have already been involved in clearing pathways to schools, access to buildings and turning circles for school buses.

 

§          The Chief Executive has formally convened a senior management group to oversee and coordinate the council response.

 

 

Future action

 

Our priority at the moment is to respond to the weather conditions. As soon as circumstances improve we will be carrying out a full review of the Council’s response to these severe weather conditions. This will help identify the challenges faced, how well we responded to them and lessons we can learn from the experience. This will be a public report to the Environment Enterprise and Transportation Committee on 4 March.

 

Update on Issues raised at November Meeting

 

Palais Steps (Thistle Street to Manse Lane)

A quote has been requested for fitting the missing section of hand rail and the work will be carried out in due course.

 

The overgrown ivy that is over-hanging the wall at this location has been reported to Community Services and they will have it cut back.

 

Steps, Back Beach to Lammerlaws

The fitting of a hand rail at this location is being progressed.

 

School Crossing Patrol (SCP), High Street

Awaiting feedback from Education Service on the evaluation of the location of this SCP stance on the High Street.

 

Pedestrian Barriers outside the Port Bar

I reported at the last meeting there are no plans to provide barriers at this location and was asked what the criteria is for installing barriers as there are pedestrian barriers at other locations.

 

 Ian B Smith, Lead Officer, Traffic Management (Mid-Fife) commented ‘The High Street upgrade works were designed in compliance with Department for Transport guidance (DfT) and  'Designing for Streets' which is soon to be issued by Scottish Government.  The Department for Transport had previously published their guidance and the Scottish version is similar to the DfT document.

 

The guidance in designing for Streets aims to reduce the presence of street clutter and in relation to pedestrian barriers there is now a presumption against their use. As an example, Kensington High Street in London has recently been upgraded with the removal of all pedestrian barriers. There are therefore no proposals to provide pedestrian barriers on High Street, Burntisland.’

 

Update on Issues raised at December Meeting

 

High Street Road Repair (2511/09)

This fault was initially reported to Transportation Service.  It was inspected and appeared to be a burst water pipe therefore it was passed onto Scottish Water.  In the meantime Transportations’ standby service was asked to go out and make safe so that there was minor disruption to the road. 

 

I have contacted Scottish Water requesting information about the damage and the repair that was carried out but I am still awaiting their feedback.

 

Directional Sign for Rossend Castle

It was reported that the sign in Lothian Street was pointing in the wrong direction.  This has been referred to Transportation Service for attention but winter maintenance is the current priority.

 

Links Place – Overflowing Drain

This has been inspected and the problem appears to be that the down pipe from the flats is blocked at the trap or the connection to the sewer causing intermittent surcharges when waste is discharged from the flats.  The occupants of the flats are responsible for the repair and Fife Council will pursue them to rectify the problem.  This may require notices to be served on all of the occupants of the flats.

 

Links Place – Wheelie Bins

Environmental Services have written to the residents of the flats in Links Place asking that they remove their bins from the kerbside after they have been serviced.

 

Broomhill Avenue Garage Site

The garages on this site have been inspected in response to the concerns raised about the condition of some of them.  One of the garages is in a poor state of repair and the matter is being addressed.

 

 

7          Burgh Buzz – Bill Kirkhope.

 

The deadline for articles for inclusion in the next issue will be 15th January.

 

8          Secretary and Treasurer Reports.

 

Town Notice Board – delivery has been delayed due to bad weather but will be progressed as soon as conditions permit.

 

Fife Council has produced updated guidelines for Community Council Treasurers and will be organising a Training Day for Treasurers. It was noted that public liability insurance automatically covers the day to day activities of Community Councils, but special events still had to be notified separately, with an additional premium potentially being required.

 

 

9. Business carried forward from previous meetings:

 

9.1. Burntisland Sports Group: Gillian Lowe is awaiting details of a meeting with the Toll Centre Management Committee; she is also collating further responses to the questionnaire and will prepare a report in due course.

 

9.2.Mossmorran & Braefoot Bay Community Safety & Liaison Committee

 

Shell has now recorded 621 days without a loss time incident at Mossmorran, and 7,252 days at Braefoot Bay. Donations to local community groups in the last quarter amounted to £5,300. The total workforce is currently 428.

 

Exxon Mobil have recorded 5,227 days without a lost time injury. They were recently awarded an international environmental award for their site-based educational programmes. Donations to local community groups in the last quarter amounted to £6,165. The total workforce is currently 302. ExxonMobil have also invited 70 senior citizens from Burntisland to attend a Burns Lunch at Mossmorran on 28th January. Christine Dewar agreed to co-ordinate the distribution of tickets and the pick-up points for the transport provided. ExxonMobil were also sponsoring a pantomime in Dalgety Bay and have provided tickets for Burntisland Senior Citizens. Christine Dewar agreed to co-ordinate the distribution of tickets. Offers of transport to and from Dalgety Bay were made by Sam Purvis, Cllr Susan Leslie, Gordon McGregor and Cllr Ron Edwards.

 

9.3. Review of local planning applications

 

Two planning applications were both for single domestic purposes. Tim pointed out that in due course Burntisland might be impacted by the proposed retail outlet at the former B&Q site in Kirkcaldy.

 

9.4. Christmas Lights

 

Gordon McGregor has carried out a survey of the current condition of the lights and also the costs of repair, installation and dismantling. The trial with 2 additional brackets has been successful but some more bulbs were damaged by the strong winds. We are awaiting confirmation from Fife Council that they will take over responsibility for the lights in future years.

 

9.5. Scots Verse Competition

 

It has been confirmed with the school that the presentation evening will be on 22nd January. All trophies and medals have been engraved for the winners in each of primaries 1 to 6. In the expected absence of the Chairman, Bob Smith agreed to host the proceedings. Several of the named memorial trophies will be presented by appropriate family members.

 

9.6. Burntisland Blooms

 

More shopkeepers have responded favourably to the project to increase the number of hanging baskets in the High Street.

 

9.7. Community Award 2010

 

It was agreed that the Award would be presented to Helen Barrett on Friday 5th February, at 7:00pm in the Burgh Chambers, subject to confirmation that the date would suit her diary.

 

9.8 Fife Structure Plan – update

 

Tim advised that there was no significant change for Burntisland.

 

10.  New Business:

 

10.1. Open to Suggestions forum

 

It was agreed that a key objective for the Community Council should be to stimulate economic activity in Burntisland, following on from previous discussion about the Kirkcaldy Business Improvement District. It was noted that a number of groups already sought to do that (e.g. 2020, Events, Heritage) but there was sometimes overlap or a lack of co-ordination. There was no desire to set up an additional group, but it was agreed that the Community Council should act as a facilitator for the existing groups. It was also agreed to invite participation from organisations, businesses and individuals who could contribute to that process – not by saying what they want, but by saying what they can do. The Chairman offered as a first step to draw up a list of projects, either active or in the pipeline, which were related to economic activity.

 

10.2. Review of Fife Councillors’ briefing notes

 

It was noted that 40% of the Fife population have “below average access to quality green space.” The Fife Sports and Leisure Trust will be refurbishing the Beacon Leisure Centre. Grants of up to £2,500 are available to community groups from the Celebrating Fife 2010 project, with details available by e-mail via celebrating.2010@fife.gov.uk .

 

10.3. Appointment of Secretary

 

The Chairman advised that Gordon Ritchie was likely to stand down not later than February or March and that a new Secretary would be required. The options were to appoint an existing member as Secretary or to co-opt a new member and appoint that person as Secretary. Two people have so far expressed interest in the Secretary’s role. It was agreed to consider the position in private after the February meeting. A question arose as to whether a co-opted person could be appointed as Secretary and the Chairman undertook to check the Scheme for Community Councils in Fife.

 

Post-meeting note: The Scheme gives the Community Council the general power to co-opt new members to fill casual vacancies up to the limit of 14 voting members. Thereafter, additional members can be co-opted with no voting rights. Only those with voting rights can hold office as Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer.

 

11.0 Any other business:

 

11.1     Environment & amenities – Peter George reported on handrails at the Palais steps, Lammerlaws and Haddow Grove; rubbish dumping at Links Place; and green areas which are the responsibility of Fife Council. Councillors agreed to follow through.

 

11.2     Site for new school – Jo Hadoke as Chair of the School Parent Council asked for the Community Council’s views on the current proposals for a new school site. Councillors expressed concern that no arrangements had yet been made for a presentation to be given to the Community Council by the relevant officials. It was agreed to defer discussion until a presentation could be arranged, and in the meantime to maintain communication with the Parent Council, the Toll Centre Management Committee and the Sports Group.

 

11.3     Potholes in roads – already discussed during the Locality Manager’s report.

 

11.4     Grit bins – already discussed during discussion on the Locality Manager’s report.

 

11.5     Graveyard – concern was expressed that over the Christmas period mourners had been unable to access certain graves because of barriers which had been erected by Fife Council. Councillors agreed to follow through.

 

12        Date of next meeting

 

The presentation of the Community Award will be on Friday 5th February at 7:00pm in the Burgh Chambers.

 

The next business meeting will be on Friday 12th February at 7:00pm in the Burgh Chambers.