BURNTISLAND COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of special meeting held on
Friday 19th September 2008 at 7 p.m.
A MacDonald - Chair
R, Smith –Vice chair
G.Ritchie - Secretary
A. Grant -Treasurer
Councillors G. Kay and R.Edwards.
Andrew Ferguson, Brian Shand, Linda Purdie and Sandy Dewar
1.Apologies - C.Dewar, R.Blanchard (B.C.C.) M. McArdle (F.C.)
10 members of the public attended.
2. A. MacDonald opened this special meeting, giving the background of Common Good Fund in relation to the Royal Burgh status, and Kirkcaldy District Council and latterly Fife Council, explaining that there had been many problems over the years in obtaining the exact details of both the administration and finances of the Fund. It was hoped that this meeting with Fife Council would eventually provide all the information required on what was a complex subject.
3. Points raised are summarised as follows: Sale of ground to ALCAN had facilitated the Beacon Centre. Many points remained at issue, including:
a) Identification of land owned or held by Common Good
b) Management of property/assets
c) Application of resources for the benefit of the community.
4. Management of Links: B. Shand - Community Services Manager. Financial accounts for 2008 were not yet available but it was expected that there would be a deficit - full details to be provided later. During discussion it was made clear that no Management Fees were included in the costs. However, upkeep of grounds, i.e. grass cutting, maintenance of equipment and horticultural costs were included. Specific questions were asked re Links lease to Fife Council for £500 - this was the District Valuer’s assessment based on the brief given at the time. Concern was expressed at sub-letting of ground by showmen, but B.Shand explained that this was a complicated situation which required negotiation with the Showmen's Guild.
5. Current value of fund and investment policies:
Full details of the above were given, indicating that analysis of investments and policies were dealt with professionally by Hendersons. Actions - revaluation of properties could be considered at a future date.
6. Criteria for spend - see the circulated document.
7. Common Good titles review:
Title checks will be carried out and a corporate asset plan produced. The whole situation will be looked at, to enable Common Good property / land to be properly identified. T. Hailey will represent the Community Council to carry this out through local input and consultation with Fife Council. Action - fully detailed documents to be produced.
Discussion in detail took place on various points raised with respect to the Management principles of Common Good. There required to be consultation on the management of assets, but the maintenance of land and buildings was a Fife Council responsibility. Members of the public drew attention to buildings which they felt had not been adequately maintained.
Actions - Fife Council officials agreed to consider how the management practices could be measured and to produce an asset management plan.
Questions were asked re premises at 96 High Street and the possible sale / rental and financial value. Actions - Financial services to produce a list of Common Good properties.
Strategic plan requested: Questions were asked in relation to selling of Common Good land, particularly the Links - Fife Council stated that Common Good assets can be sold by Fife Council following legal process and consultation with B.C.C. However, should a question ever arise with respect to the disposal of Common Good property this would have to be dealt with at the Sheriff Court.
Management of Trust Funds: Fife Council put forward a proposal that various Trust Funds could be amalgamated, as some of these were many years old and Original purposes were no longer relevant.
Actions - agreed in principle - investigations to be made and recommendations to be brought back to Community Council.
CONCLUSION: This meeting had served a useful purpose in that many points of concern has been raised, but it was obvious that further meeting between Fife Council and Burntisland Community Council will require to be held before Common Good policy is finally agreed..