Burntisland Community Council
Minutes of meeting in Burgh Chambers on
Friday 8th May 2009
Alex MacDonald (Chair)
Bob Smith (Vice Chair)
Aneris Grant (Treasurer)
Gordon Ritchie (Secretary
Cllr Ron Edwards
Cllr Susan Leslie
Apologies for absence:
Heather Leuchars, Gillian Lowe, Sheila McGregor, Sgt Edith Potter, Ken Halley.
2. Minutes of previous meeting (10 April 2009)
Proposed for adoption by Bob Smith, seconded Christine Dewar.
3. Notifications for topics under AOB:
– as given in section 11.
4. Police Report
Noted that there had been no significant concerns since the previous meeting. Noted that the June meeting would be addressed by the Chief Constable, Mrs Norma Graham.
5. Matters arising from Minutes.
All matters arising were already included in the agenda.
6. Fife Council Locality Manager’s Report.
Noted that neither a report nor apologies had been received from the Locality Manager. Comment was expressed that the absence of feedback on matters raised caused frustration and suggested that the process of communication was not working. Feedback was particularly sought on the status of the tender process and commercial contract for managing attractions at the East end of the Links.
Post-meeting note: Fife Council subsequently advised that some e-mails sent to addresses ending “@btinternet.com” had been wrongly blocked by BT. Both the Chairman and Secretary have such e-mail addresses. Fife Council have been in contact with BT to resolve the problem and e-mails appear now to be getting through.
6a.Locality Managers report received by email on 17th May due to above problems:
Payment of Council Tax
The standard monthly instalment date has traditionally been the 15th of the month since the introduction of council tax in April 1993. However since April 09 direct debit payers have the choice of the 1st or 15th of the month. In recent years there has been a year on year increase in requests to pay on the 1st of the month.
The Council has provided a wide range of payment facilities using modern technology with the volume of electronic payments increasing year on year. While direct debit gives the choice of two dates other facilities allow payment 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It should be recognised that the 1st of the month is the date by which payment is due, it can be paid earlier. Council tax payers can choose the time and date that suits them and don’t have to wait until the 1st of the month.
Burntisland Skate Park
Tenders for the skate park were issued in the spring of 2007 with a tender return date of 25/04/07. Thomas Menzies (Builders) Ltd was the lowest tenderer but Fife Council was unable to issue an acceptance at that stage as there were insufficient funds in place.
Funding only became available the following spring and authorisation to accept the tender was given early in June with an official acceptance being issued on 13th June 2008.
Unfortunately, before work could start, Scottish Power had to divert a cable. Although we were aware of this, Fife Council could not accept the quote from Scottish Power to carry out this diversion until funding was in place. This was done within a few days of the confirmation being received however, despite requesting Scottish Power do this as quickly as possible they did not divert the cable until 18th November 2008.
Normally start dates are negotiated with the Contractor when the contract is accepted however; in this case we were unable to allow the Contractor to start until nineteen months after the tender return date.
The Contractor at this stage was committed elsewhere but hoped to be able to make a start early in the New Year. As is often the case toward the end of the financial year, Clients are trying to spend their money and several of Menzies' contracts were extended including some for Fife Council. This meant that they were unable to commit resources to the skate park until April. Under the circumstances it would be unfair to penalise the Contractor despite our disappointment that the work was not started sooner.
Grass Cutting specification - 14 to16 cuts per year, this works out approx every 2 Weeks during the summer. Only times it may be cut when shorter than normal would be to accommodate an event e.g. the Highland Games.
Recreations – The/Catering/ Bouncy Castle and Crazy golf recreational facilities will go ahead with the same licensee as per last Years arrangements.
Litter picking from Grass Areas
Jim Carroll, Environmental Services has confirmed that Street Orderlies should clear litter from grassed areas that are part of an open space. Community Services are responsible for the Links and parks.
Incubator Units, Lammerlaws
The planning application received a few objections - mainly in relation to use of land and design. We are hoping that the application will be dealt with in the Funding we were chasing but now looks less likely to fill the gap required. Funding therefore remains the main hurdle for Fife HARCA.
A full update will be sent direct to the Community Council by Jim McLeish, Team Leader, Economic Regeneration & Partnerships.
Ground at Lonsdale Crescent
This area has been inspected and there was evidence of garden rubbish having been dumped on this piece of ground. Arrangements have been made to have this removed.
High Street Broken slabs
A squad was based in Burntisland in Mid March and carried out all of the slabbed repairs in the High Street including the Mercat Cross, the section outside the old cinema and various other locations. If there other locations in need of attention please provide me with a list and I will pass this on to Transportation for action.
7. Heritage Trust current projects update.
Ian Archibald reported that 5,000 flyers had been distributed about the inner and outer Heritage Trails. The manufacture of the plaques is in progress and these to be located at the entrance to the Links and at Union Street. The plaques had been funded by Awards for All.
This year’s Heritage Exhibition focused on industry in Burntisland and would run until end-August. A grant had been received from the Royal Society to support an exhibition commemorating Mary Somerville.
Iain Somerville’s latest book was nearing completion and is expected to launch in July.
8. Events Committee report
Morag Douglas advised that the Events Committee and Civic Week committees had now merged. A Street Party will be held in the High Street on 20th June, with participants processing from the East end of the Links. Flyers would be distributed to promote the various events scheduled for Civic Week.
Volunteers were still required and names should be given to Morag. Noted that there will be no marquee on the Links because of the logistical difficulties of providing adequate security.
9. Secretary and Treasurer Reports.
The Secretary reported on the difficulties being experienced with the Fife Free Press report on last months meeting due to over zealous sub-editing resulting in missing out important headings and information. Discussions are ongoing with the Editor to address this problem.
Noted that the accounts were now ready to be audited and would be published in due course.
9.1 Burntisland Blooms
Noted that good progress had been made in finding sites for hanging baskets. A requested was made and approved by the Community Council for part-funding from the Common Good Fund. However, vandalism and theft of plants from the existing planters continued to be a problem.
9.2 Burntisland Sports Group
Noted that Gillian Lowe is now Chair of the Sports Group. A location for new facilities would depend in part on decisions still to be taken regarding the upgrade / re-location of Burntisland Primary School.
9.3 Proposed community notice board
Noted that the planning application for the information board were now underway and drawings virtually complete. A site meeting would shortly take place to verify the exact location on the chosen location at the top of Union Street off the High Street. Briggs Marine had kindly offered sponsorship up to £2,250, with additional donations from the Rotary Club, Shell and ExxonMobil.
9.4 Planning applications
In the absence of Tim Hailey, the Chair advised that no significant applications had been submitted.
Information from Mrs Wight-Boycott was noted that the former Ramblers Rest had been acquired and would be developed to form a dance studio on the upper floor and tearoom facilities on the ground floor. Details would be available at a later date. The Community Council welcomed the fact that the premises would be brought back into use.
10 New Business
10.1 Common Good Fund
Noted that although the Community Council had previously welcomed the Friends of the Earth proposals for reduction in disposable bags, no advice had been received that an application had been made to the Common Good Fund. This contradicted the current process for consultation and a decision had now been made by Fife Council.
A proposal from the Scouts for part-funding of 17 Scouts to attend an international event was approved.
A proposal from the Highland Games Committee for part-funding towards a new marquee was also approved.
10.2 Fife Constabulary Policing Plan
This topic would be held over until the Chief Constable’s attendance at the June meeting.
10.3 Fife Access Seminar Glenrothes 11th June
Noted that an invitation had been extended to attend the above event and those interested should register via the Secretary.
10.4 Fife Council Transportation Services consultation
A report was given on opportunities to attend public consultation days. Concern was expressed that Burntisland did not currently have a direct service to Victoria Hospital or an adequate service to Edinburgh. Cllr Edwards advised that discussions were in hand and the outcome would be known in due course.
10.5 Community Council insurance
A summary of the insurances currently in place through Fife Council was noted.
10.6 Scottish Government – Community Councils model scheme
A consultation paper was now available from the Scottish Government regarding proposals for the future However, as Fife Council are currently preparing a note indicating the potential impact on the Fife scheme, it was agreed to await publication of that report before commenting further.
11 Any Other Business
11.1 Meeting date
After discussion, it was agreed to continue meeting on the second Friday of each month.
11.2 Scottish Water
Noted, with concern, that Scottish Water had no resources in the current financial year to address periodic flooding in Haugh Road. It was agreed that it would be beneficial to invite a representative from Scottish Water so that community concerns could be discussed and highlighted.
Noted that signage from the station should direct visitors to the High Street rather than directly to the beach. Also noted that the current positioning of the 30mph limit at the Golf Club was inappropriate and should be extended further from the town.
11.4 Broken slabs – High Street
Noted that several slabs appeared to have been overlooked when others were repaired. Details should be advised to the local office/ Locality Manager and not held over until the next Community Council Meeting.
11.5 Links seating
Noted that available seating was inadequate. Enquiries would be made about the availability and distribution of seats particularly along the railway wall.
11.7 Forth Ports
It was agreed the Secretary make contact with Forth Ports to try to initiate some dialogue about their latest plans for the development of the dock area.
12 Date of next meeting:
Friday 12th June at 7:00pm in the Burgh Chambers