Burntisland Community Council
Minutes of Meeting held in the Burgh Chambers
on Friday 12th February 2010 at 7.00 PM
A MacDonald (Chair) R Smith (Vice Chair)
T Hailey, M Douglas, S McGregor, S McGregor, S Purvis, C Dewar, G Ritchie(Secretary), A Grant (Treasurer)
Councillor S Leslie, Councillor R Edwards, Councillor G Kay
1 Chairman’s review
The Chairman explained that the format of the meeting would be slightly different from normal in order to allow enough time for discussion of the possible sites for a new school.
Firstly, the Minutes of the meeting held on 11th December were approved on a proposal by Aneris Grant, seconded by Tim Hailey. The Minutes of the meeting held on 8th January were approved on a proposal by Bob Smith and Sheila McGregor.
Secondly, he reported on various activities which had taken place since the previous meeting and which did not require discussion, but should be noted as items of on-going business. The Scots Verse trophies had been presented during a very successful evening, with associated press coverage. The Community Award had been presented to Helen Barrett, again with great success and with good press publicity. About 70 senior citizens had attended a Burns Lunch at the ExxonMobil plant at Mossmorran, and 19 also attended a pantomime in Dalgety Bay, again sponsored by ExxonMobil. Four members had visited the primary school, with Jo Hadoke as Chair of the Parent Council and Miss McCormick as Head Teacher. A walkabout had taken place with Fife Council officials to review and confirm the work to repair paving around the High Street, which was expected to start in a few days’ time. Thanks were extended to all who took part in these various activities.
2 Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from G Lowe, R Blanchard, H Leuchars, Ken Halley (Locality Manager).
The Chairman recorded with regret that he had received a letter of resignation from Cheryl Spears, who had been unable to reconcile child care availability with the dates of Community Council meetings.
3 Notification of Community Concerns for discussion under 'AOB' item11
No topics were notified.
4 Police Report
It was noted that PC Gibb, in his new role, might be the appropriate contact for future meetings and clarification would be sought from Sgt Potter.
5 Locality Manager’s Report
In Ken Halley’s absence, the Councillors reported on various topics as follows.
Plans are now in hand to extend parking restrictions in Rose Street. The proposals are currently with affected residents for consultation.
There is evidence that the A921 East of Aberdour would need to be strengthened, involving a road closure of up to 14 weeks. The schedule of such a closure would have a major impact on Burntisland so the Councillors are trying to schedule the work to avoid the peak trading periods in Burntisland if practical in terms of safety.
The first meeting at the Toll Centre with the Community Police Officer had been poorly attended but highlighted dog fouling, speeding and parking as key issues.
Miscellaneous repairs include the surface of the promenade and pot-holes in numerous roads caused by recent weather conditions.
6 Primary School – new build location
Alister Henrie and Tom Nisbet of Fife Council introduced and outlined the work which had been done so far in considering alternative sites for a new school. Their report had been widely circulated by e-mail and already discussed with the Parent Council, Sports Group and Toll Centre Management Committee. They emphasized that there would be further consultation over the coming months and no final decision of any kind had been taken.
In summary, Burntisland primary school was already large by any standards. Significant sums had been spent in trying to upgrade the current facilities. However, some buildings were not able to be used; others were damp or difficult to maintain; classroom, social, dining and PE spaces were far from satisfactory; and there is no further room for expansion. The officials had therefore been tasked to identify alternative sites for a new school and to prepare later in the year a separate report on the feasibility of re-building on the present site.
All of the shortlisted alternative sites are significantly bigger than the present school site, reflecting current standards in school design, to include only 1 or 2-storey buildings and associated provision for PE, community use and associated car parking and other services.
Concerns were expressed that consultation was proceeding without any change having been made to the relevant Local Plan. In response, it was noted that the consultation process was iterative and was very much at the stage of fact-gathering. No commitment was being made by Fife Council at this time to the location, design, budget or timescale of a new school.
It was said and generally agreed by the meeting that none of the proposed sites was ideal. The Toll Park is in split ownership. Some green space would be lost but it is not known how much. Haugh Road and Seamill would be difficult sites in engineering terms. Bendameer was relatively distant from the centres of population. The Links was considered by local people to be totally inappropriate. It was also noted that some of these potential sites would be blighted until such time as a decision could be taken on a new site. If a decision is taken to build on a new site, then the current site would have relatively little value. For example, some of the buildings are listed and would therefore require the consent of Historic Scotland for any re-development.
Suggestions put forward for consideration included the creation of a 2-site school; the need to ensure wider public information and comment, through drop-in sessions and / or library posters; and the need to design for possible expansion in future years.
Overall, the meeting accepted that the East Toll Park was the “least worst” of the short-listed sites for a new school, but felt that it was too early to rule out alternatives such as Haugh Road, Seamill and Bendameer. It was also too early to rule out the possibility of a re-build on the current site, with pupils being decanted into temporary buildings on the Toll Park during construction.
It was agreed to maintain links with the officials and to participate in future discussions once the investigative work and appraisal of options had been refined.
7 Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports.
A letter of thanks was read out from Helen Barrett, following the presentation of the Community Award. The Secretary reminded all present of a forthcoming event at 3:00pm on 21st February to which all were invited, marking the centenary of the Guide Association. The new Community notice-board is now in full use and already being managed by Jim Murdoch and John Russell.
The Treasurer reported that the Burgh Buzz was looking financially strong, though some advertising revenue had still to be received.
8 Burgh Buzz – Bill Kirkhope.
Responses to the latest issue have been very positive and the size, at 20 pages, was considered to be “about right”. Shell has made a donation of £100, which will be used to fund crossword prizes. The current editorial team is still few in number and new members will be made very welcome.
9 Ongoing business.
9.1 Review of planning applications.
Tim Hailey reported on several domestic applications. No comment was made.
9.2 Strategic Develeopment
Arising from the “open to suggestions” topic at the previous meeting, the Chairman had prepared a draft list of projects which had the potential to impact the economy of the town. Some refinements of the detail had already been advised and more changes were expected.
After discussion, it was agreed that in the first instance a small group should be established to identify how progress could best be made. The three Councillors agreed to liaise with Community Council representatives comprising Alex MacDonald, Bob Smith, Morag Douglas and Tim Hailey and to report back to the next meeting.
9.3. Review of the Scheme for Community Councils in Fife.
Proposed changes to the scheme are now being circulated for consultation. It was agreed to carry this topic forward to the March meeting.
10 New Business
10.1 Public Information Notices
A letter was read from Marilyn Livingston, MSP, asking for support in her opposition to a proposal which would mean that local authorities no longer have to make certain categories of announcement in the printed press. It was agreed to support her action, as a significant number of people do not have access to the internet.
10.2 Kinghorn Road waiting restrictions
It was reported that Fife Council have now written to residents in Kinghorn Road, asking for their views on possible changes to parking restrictions. The options apparently did not include the proposals made by the Community Council two years ago. Those proposals have been sent afresh to Fife Council.
10.3 Bus connections to Ferrytoll
Councillor Kay reported that in the light of concerns expressed by people in Burntisland, Aberdour and Kinghorn, he had discussed with Stagecoach the possibility of a direct link to Ferrytoll. However, trials had indicated that journey times would lengthen by about 30 minutes as a result. So far, there is no obvious solution.
11 Any other business
No other items of business had been noted.
12 Date of next meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for Friday 12th March at 7:00pm in the Burgh Chambers.
The members of the Community Council met in private to consider the appointment of a new Secretary. After discussion, it as agreed to invite Isabel Smith to become a member of the Community Council (in the light of a recent resignation) and to take on the role of Secretary.