Minutes of Community Council Meeting held in the
Burgh Chambers on
Friday 11th February 2011 at 7 p.m.
Present: Alex MacDonald (Chairman)
Bob Smith (Vice Chairman)
Isabel Smith (Secretary – part meeting)
John Russell (Treasurer)
Gary Cummins (part meeting)
Cllr Ron Edwards
Cllr Susan Leslie
Attending: PS Scott Murray; Paul Briscoe (Deputy Editor Burgh Buzz); Jayne Baxter (Fife Council); members of the public
Apologies: Heather Leuchars; Cllr George Kay
1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks and Apologies for Absence
The Chairman reminded everyone that other activities had taken place since the previous meeting and extended thanks for those who had attended and supported the Scots Verse and Community Award presentations. Other meetings would be reported in the course of the agenda
Those present were welcomed to the meeting and apologies for absence were noted as above.
2. Minutes of Meeting held on 14th January 2011
Minutes approved on motion of Bob Smith seconded by Christine Dewar.
3. Notification of Community Concerns for A.O.B. – Item 13 (time permitting)
13.1 Burgh Chambers furnishings.
4. Police Report – PS Scott Murray
PS Murray reported that there had been a rise in the number of houses being broken into, particularly in West Fife but potentially impacting Burntisland as well. So far, the houses which had been targeted did not have burglar alarms or internal lights showing when the occupants were out.
There had been 23 attendees at the Women’s Safety event and positive feedback was received from those who had been present.
Reports had been received about inappropriate doorstep selling by 2 people of Roma appearance and householders were urged to be vigilant.
5 Community Trusts in Fife
Jayne Baxter represented Fife Council’s Performance & Organisational support team. They aim to be a single point of contact for local groups seeking advice on funding / resourcing / logistics when developing potential projects. They are based at the Saltire Centre in Glenrothes and can be contacted via 08451 555555 ext 471690. It was recommended that the team’s contact details should be promoted in the Burgh Buzz and that communication should be maintained with the secretary.
Paul Briscoe to publish contact details.
6.1 Doug fouling
Heather Leuchars had circulated a brief note by e-mail and Cllr Edwards reported on a Green Dog Walkers campaign which had worked well in Kinghorn. The latter was led by Robbie Blyth and it was agreed that he should be invited to a meeting of the Community Council to explore how a similar initiative might be run in Burntisland.
Secretary to invite Robbie Blyth to a future meeting.
6.2 Other issues
Peter George reported on a variety of topics which were in need of action. Cllr Leslie undertook to report an overhanging tree at the Palais Stairs which was causing an obstruction. PS Murray noted concerns about vehicles travelling into the town from the West and approaching the Colinswell roundabout at excessive speed. He reminded all present that there were new speed sensors available which could be deployed at that location. Cllr Leslie also reported that following earlier requests there were now refurbished benches which could be located on the Links. The Chairman undertook to pass on recommended locations based on previous discussions.
Cllr Leslie to report overhanging tree;
PS Murray to monitor Colinswell speed;
Chairman to advise on bench locations.
7. Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports
The Secretary reported that a litter picking / clean-up campaign could be run from 14th March. Cllr Edwards agreed to organise the necessary resources in conjunction with Environmental Services.
Cllr Edwards to progress clean-up project.
The Treasurer reported the financial position as shown in the appendix. Invoices have been received for the dismantling of the Christmas Lights and also for printing the Burgh Buzz. After provision for various projects, the available funds amount to £1,856.36.
8. Burgh Buzz – Paul Briscoe
Paul reported that the copy deadline for the next issue will be 15th April. It was noted that the cost of the colour issue from the current printer was £50 less than for the previous monochrome printing.
9. Ongoing Business Items
9.1 Review of Local Planning Applications – T Hailey
There were no planning applications other than single domestic applications.
9.2 Strategic Projects Group – War Memorial – A MacDonald / R Smith
The Vice Chairman reported on a recent meeting which he and the Chairman had attended with Hurd Rolland. The project will require Planning Consent, Listed Building Consent and Conservation Area Consent, which are likely to take 3 months to obtain before any significant work can start. The Chairman also reported that funding guidelines generally meant that no work could start until all funds were in place. After discussion, it was agreed to approach Awards for All to seek funding for a stand-alone feasibility study, the outputs of which will be the essential consents mentioned above plus a schedule of work and costs which are sufficiently robust to be contractually binding. In the circumstances it was noted, with regret, that it is now very unlikely that the project will be completed in time for the War Memorial’s 90th anniversary this year.
Chairman to progress application to Awards for All.
Vice Chairman to progress design brief and overall schedule.
9.3 Community Council election – new members
The Chairman reported that there were still two vacancies for full members of the Community Council and three expressions of interest had been received, from Lorraine Simpson, Brian Partridge and Neil Millsop. Information was read to the meeting from all three, with supplementary comments from Brian Partridge and Neil Millsop, both of whom were present. It was agreed to co-opt Brian and Neil onto the Community Council as full members.
Secretary to inform the Returning Officer.
9.4 Clock chimes
Morag Douglas, Bob Smith and Cllrs Leslie and Edwards reported on a meeting with Fife Council officials regarding the clock chimes and referred also to a report which had been circulated by e-mail.
There was an acknowledgement from Fife Council that if the appropriate procedures had been followed then the present situation might not have arisen. However, the fact that a decision had been made by officials meant that the Council was now in a difficult legal position, even if the original complaint were to be withdrawn.
The Council’s report was challenged on several grounds, including the analysis of noise levels and the appropriateness of the monitoring period. Technical questions had been asked during the meeting which could not be answered at that time and it was agreed that a fuller analysis and explanation would be provided in due course.
There remained a fundamental difference over what constituted a nuisance and in particular whether the determining factor was a measured value or a subjective judgement. If the latter, then there was now ample evidence from the local community that the chimes did not constitute a nuisance.
The meeting with Fife Council was scheduled to resume on 16th February.
9.5 Forth Estuary Forum AGM
Tim Hailey confirmed that he had attended the AGM and found it most interesting in relation to environmental topics, though there were no immediate outcomes in terms of action items for the Community Council.
9.6 Scottish Marine Regions consultation
Tim had been unable to attend this meeting so there was no report.
9.7 Grit Bin locations
The Chairman reported that Cllr Kay had provided a link to the Fife Direct website which included a map of grit bin locations in Burntisland. The map was not easy to read or print and had not been checked for accuracy. However, there appeared to be 24 grit bins at different locations in Burntisland. Areas which seem to be under-provided include Ramsay Crescent/ Duncanson Drive, the Binn estate; Nicol Drive / Cotburn Crescent; and Broomhill Avenue / Dick Crescent to Rossend. Some of the omissions might be because they are on bus routes. Sheila McGregor reported that there is no grit bin at Linwell Court.
Cllr Edwards had already been in touch with relevant officials about the location of grit bins and it was agreed that the Chairman would forward his observations to Cllr Edwards in order to support a comprehensive review
Chairman to forward findings to Cllr Edwards.
10 Items carried forward from January meeting.
10.1 Speed management strategy
In the absence of Cllr Kay, the other Councillors reported that consultation was imminent on proposals to reduce the speed limit to 40mph on the Kinghorn Loch road and 50mph between Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy. There was as yet no proposal to reduce the speed limit between Burntisland and Aberdour.
10.2 Bus service changes
Cllr Edwards reported that from 21st February the No 57 bus would run hourly to Edinburgh during daytime hours, with one stop in Burntisland. All but one vehicle was expected to have low-floor access.
10.3 Fife Coastal Path
There in no action required from the Community Council as this time.
10.4 Survey on new Local Development Plan for Fife
Tim Hailey will check the content of this on-line survey and respond on behalf of the Community Council.
Tim Hailey to respond online.
10.5 Fife Community Plan for 2011-2020
There is no action required from the Community Council at this time.
10.6 Burntisland Festival of Word and Spirit
It was noted that Andrew West had requested the Community Council to be aware of proposals for an event, tentatively scheduled for July, to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. More information will be forthcoming in due course.
11. Awaiting update
11.1 Scottish Water – Haugh Road flooding: meeting with Fife Council officials (Cllrs Kay and Edwards). No meeting has yet been scheduled. Cllr Edwards will pursue again with Steve Knowles.
11.2 Common Good Fund property review (Tim Hailey)
11.3 Common Good accounts discrepancy - Rossland Motel, Kinghorn (Cllrs Kay / Edwards / Leslie)
11.4 Signage to beach (Locality Manager). Cllr Leslie reported that she had raised the matter with relevant officials but there was as yet no outcome. During discussion, a preference was expressed for the misleading sign at West Leven Street to be removed and for alternative signs to be located at the junction of the Kirkgate and High Street. The eventual solution should direct visitors to the High Street and thence to the beach and Links, without implying that it is the shorted route.
11.5 Bicycle parking – site visit (Cllr Kay / Gary Cummins). It was reported that a meeting had taken place and two bicycle parking hoops will be provided close to he Co-op. This topic can now be closed.
11.6 Outcome of proposed visit to 104 High Street (Cllr Edwards). It was reported that the visit is being organised by Michael McArdle and has yet to take place.
11.7 Links Accounts Latest Figures. In the light of the earlier comments by Jayne Baxter, it was agreed that the Treasurer should initiate discussions about the feasibility of setting up a Community Trust to manage the Links, with other members taking part in the discussions as and when appropriate. This topic will continue in its own right as the Links Community Trust.
12 New Business Items
12.1 Spring bedding
Sheila McGregor reported that she had been approached at short notice by Cllr Kay who had learned that Fife Council’s budget for Spring bedding had been cut, with the risk that High Street containers would be left unfilled. He asked whether, in order to get over the immediate problem, a request for support from the Common Good Fund could be made in the name of the Community Council. In view of the timescale, Sheila had discussed the topic with the Chairman and then raised the paperwork for the application, on the understanding that it would be for this meeting to decide whether the application could be approved. The proposal was for funding to be £583 from the Common Good Fund and £576 from Fife Council Parks & Countryside. It was pointed out that the containers in question had been acquired by Fife Council and were separate from the Burntisland Blooms containers which were smaller and of a different type.
After discussion, it was proposed by Bob Smith and seconded by Peter George that the Common Good Fund application should not be supported. On a vote, the motion was not carried. The meeting agreed to support the application ad a one-off but to make firm representations to Fife Council that this was a wholly exceptional situation. In the normal course of events it was not appropriate for the Common Good Fund to replace statutory funding and no such application would be supported in the future. If Fife Council could not find the appropriate budget from its own resources then the containers should be removed rather than left empty.
Chairman to advise Fife Council accordingly.
12.2 Somerville Street
Martin McDonald, a resident of Somerville Street, attended the meeting to report his concerns regarding the environmental quality in Somerville Street, where he has lived since 2003, and to seek the support of the Community Council. His concerns included the absence of community space, street furniture and plant life, compounded by the presence of litter and anti-social behaviour. There was significant support for Mr McDonald’s initiative but in view of the lateness of the hour it was agreed that the topic would be considered more fully at the next meeting and scheduled for a higher slot on the agenda.
Secretary to schedule the March agenda accordingly.
13 Any Other Business
13.1 Burgh Chambers furnishings
This topic was carried over to the next meeting.
Date of next meeting;
Friday 11th March 2011 at 7pm in the Burgh Chambers.
Appendix – Treasurer’s Report
Appendix – Treasurer’s Report