Burgh Chambers on
Friday 12th November 2010 at 7 p.m.
Present: Alex MacDonald (Chairman)
John Russell (Treasurer)
Cllr Ron Edwards
Cllr George Kay
Cllr Susan Leslie
Attending: Bill Kirkhope (Editor Burgh Buzz); PS Scott Murray; Gary Cummins; Dr Jo Hadoke (Parent Council); Michelle Paton (Parent Council); 5 members of the public
Apologies: Bob Smith, Isabel Smith, Heather Leuchars, Gordon McGregor, Sheila McGregor, Ken Halley (Locality Manager),
1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks and Apologies for Absence
The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting and gave apologies for absence as noted above. He particularly welcomed John Russell and Peter George to their first business meeting as members of the Community Council.
2. Minutes of Meeting held on 8th October 2010
Minutes approved on motion of Tim Hailey and seconded by Christine Dewar.
3. Notification of Community Concerns for A.O.B. – Item 10
11.1 School site.
11.2 Clock – Burgh Chambers
11.3 Christmas lights
4 Police Report – PS Scott Murray
PS Murray reported that 10 people had attended the latest Police meeting at the toll Centre, at which there was strong support for the current priorities, namely traffic, parking, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour.
Three premises have so far joined the pilot “Safer Retailer Award”, which is run jointly by Fife Constabulary and Fife Council Trading Standards to ensure the responsible sale of restricted items. Other shops are likely to join. A “Test Purchase” scheme will start in the next two months.
The bonfire and fireworks display on 5th November had been a great success from a policing perspective. Early intervention by Fife Constabulary, together with British Transport Police and Stagecoach, had prevented potential violence from materialising among youths coming into the town. A quantity of alcohol had been seized from youths coming into Burntisland but there were no arrests and no anti-social behaviour. Two people were taken to hospital with underlying medical problems.
Arrangements are in hand for the Remembrance Day parade, at which Fife Constabulary will be represented by the Deputy Chief Constable.
In reply to a question, Scott undertook to obtain information about the requirements for setting up a “Neighbourhood Watch” scheme. He also advised that CCTV records were currently being checked in relation to the fire damage to the beach huts near to the beacon leisure centre.
PS Murray to report on Neighbourhood Watch
Cllr Kay advised that the official launch of the Safer Retailer scheme would be in Burntisland.
5 Fife Council Locality Manager’s Report
No report was received from the Locality Manager.
6. Presentation – The Drug and Alcohol Project – Graham Taylor
Deferred and re-scheduled for the December meeting.
7. Secretary’s & Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer – John Russell distributed a draft spreadsheet giving the current financial position and planned to make similar information available at each meeting. Some cheques had been received which had still to be paid in to the account. John also expressed thanks for the extensive support which he had received from Aneris Grant in her role as the previous Treasurer.
John Russell to update and distribute financial spreadsheet.
8. Burgh Buzz – Bill Kirkhope
Bill reported that the latest edition had been published on time and continues to be well received. Advertising revenue has again covered all costs of publication. The web site will be gradually re-designed over the next two months. The current editorial team has now been in place for a year and in future they will be seeking to engage rather than simply inform. Bill would particularly like to see responses to articles and welcomes feedback on the content. The next copy deadline is 12th January, for publication at the end of January.
All to submit articles by 12th January.
9. Ongoing Business Items
9.1 Review of Local Planning Applications – T Hailey
Tim reported that an application has now been submitted for Phase 2 of the Station House development, which will include a new disabled access ramp on the South side. He also advised that a new, and particularly lengthy, application had been submitted by Cala Homes for the Invertiel site which had previously been the subject of a meeting with this Community Council. There may be a fresh invitation to discuss the implications with the developer and planning officials, possibly in conjunction with other Community Councils.
9.2 Strategic Projects Group – War Memorial – A MacDonald
The chairman reported that Burntisland Development Trust had awarded £30,000 towards the cost of the War Memorial upgrade, as a result of which all BDT funds were now committed. Funding applications will be made to other bodies, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund. However, the Heritage fund is believed to make minimum donations of £50,000 and requires 5% of the total cost to be met from the applicants’ own resources, which can include support in kind. Following earlier discussions, Hurd Rolland are preparing an alternative landscaping design for consideration if the existing trees are to be removed.
Bill Kirkhope pointed out that 8th October 2011 would be the 90th anniversary of the construction of the War memorial and it would be fitting if the work could be completed by then.
Alex MacDonald / Bob Smith to prepare additional funding applications.
Bob Smith to circulate alternative landscaping options once available.
9.3 Scottish Water– Haugh Road Flooding
– A MacDonald/Cllr Edwards/Cllr Kay
No further information is available and there has been no indication of the expected meeting with Fife Council officials.
Cllr Edwards to progress meeting with Fife Council officials.
9.4 Common Good Fund – Property Review – T Hailey
Tim reported that a number of comments have been received and will be summarised for forwarding to Fife Council.
Tim Hailey to send comments to Secretary for forwarding.
9.5 Burntisland Community Council Election – new members
– A MacDonald
The Chairman reported that a combination of reduced nominations and a change to the Scheme for Community Councils means that there are now 4 places available for people to be co-opted as full members of the Community Council. One expression of interest has so far been received, from Zoe Williamson, who was present at the meeting. After discussion, it was agreed to promote the availability of places via the Fife Free Press the notice board and other means, with the intention of filling the places at the December meeting.
Alex MacDonald and John Russell to distribute a poster / press release.
9.6 Remembrance Day
The Chairman advised that with great regret, and for the first time in 30 years, he would be unable to attend the Remembrance Day parade this year. However, John Russell had agreed to lay the wreath on behalf of the Community Council. Peter George would also be able to join the parade. Christine Dewar, Tim Hailey and Morag Douglas all expected to be in supporting roles at the Burgh Chambers.
9.7 Common Good Fund – Fife Maintenance Work
There is no obvious sign of work having started, so Cllr Edwards will chase the repairs to the office at the rear of the Burgh Chambers. It was noted that similar topics were considered important but sometimes did not receive due discussion because of the limitations of time. The Chairman suggested that Environment could be brought higher on the agenda as a regular topic, perhaps to follow the Locality Manager’s report.
Cllr Edwards to pursue repairs.
Secretary to add Environment as a regular agenda item.
9.8 Burntisland Cemetery Works – All expected work is now in progress.
10. New Business Items
10.1 Mid Scotland and Fife Community Councils regional meeting.
Tim Hailey will attend this meeting on Saturday 4th December.
10.2 Forth Estuary Forum AGM
Tim Hailey will attend this meeting on Thursday 2nd December.
10.3 Survey on local development planning in Fife.
It was noted that Fife council will be conducting a survey among Community Councils seeking our views on local development planning in Fife.
10.4 Review of by-laws prohibiting consumption of alcohol in designated public places.
It was noted that Fife Council intend to make a minor change to the wording of the relevant by-law, but after discussion it was agreed that no additional changes were required for Burntisland.
10.5 Scottish Nature Heritage: Orrock Hill SSSI Denotification
As expected, SNH have now advised formally that the above location is no longer a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
10.6 Bicycle Parking – Burntisland High Street – Gary Cummins
Gary Cummins advised that Burntisland was on the National Cycle Network and therefore it was important for there to be adequate provision for parking bicycles. He had had several exchanges of e-mail with Fife Council Transportation officials, to no avail. He recommended that 4 stands should be provided in the High Street. Alternative sites were discussed, including the wide pavement near to the Co-op and also Union Street. Cllr Kay offered to set up a site visit to include himself, Gary and David Brown (Fife Council).
Cllr Kay to set up site visit.
10.7 Community Award for 2011
The Chairman reminded all present that nominations for the Community Award would be considered in private at the end of the December meeting. It was agreed to prepare a press release inviting nominations.
Alex MacDonald and John Russell to prepare press release.
10.8 Common Good accounts discrepancy
John Russell reported an error in the Common Good accounts in which a line item referring to Rossland Motel in Kinghorn had been shown against Burntisland. The Councillors reported that the error had been noted and was under investigation.
10.9 Signage to the beach
John Russell reported that a sign at the top of the Kirkgate pointed people away from the shops in the High Street, despite earlier requests to have it changed. It was agreed to ask Ken Halley for an update.
Secretary to request update from Locality Manager
11 Any Other Business
11.1 School site
The Chairman reported that a recommendation had been made, at short notice, to a Fife Council committee that the only site to be considered for a new build should be the East Toll park. Since the start of the consultation, nothing had changed in the scoring matrix, with the single exception of the Lammerlaws site; the summary of public responses was statistically meaningless; and there was no evidence of any account having been taken of the meeting with the Community Council or the separate survey carried out by the Burgh Buzz. Overall, the officials favoured the East Toll Park whilst the public favoured the Lammerlaws.
The Community Council had not itself reached a firm view on a preferred site and had been expecting to receive feedback before a recommendation was made to the committee. The Parent Council acknowledged that the decision had been a difficult one but strongly recommended that it was time now to go forward.
After much debate and very strong views, it was acknowledged that a decision had now been taken. It was agreed that the quality of the consultation which had been carried out was not acceptable. It meant that a very difficult decision had been taken on very poor evidence and could not reliably be said to be right or wrong. The opportunity to unite a divided community had been lost and the credibility of Fife Council officials had been diminished. It was agreed that a formal letter should be sent to the Director of Education recording our extreme dissatisfaction with the quality of the consultation process and setting our expectation that officials will be held to account.
Alex MacDonald to make formal representations to Fife Council.
11.2 Burgh Chambers clock chimes
The Chairman reported an exchange of e-mails between a Fife Council official and Cllr Kay, in which the official proposed to stop the clock chimes between 10:00pm and 7:00am in response to a complaint from a member of the public. Sound readings had reportedly shown excessive noise at 3:00am, in breach of WHO guidelines. The cost of the work was expected to be about £1,800.
It was noted that similar requests had been made in the past, with no support at all from the Community Council. After much (and very heated) debate, in which all expressed astonishment at the proposal, it was unanimously agreed that (a) there is no support for the proposal; (b) the WHO guidelines are advisory and not obligatory; (c) the railway line is likely to produce at least as much noise as the clock chimes; (d) immediate steps should be taken to demonstrate public support through a petition.
Alex MacDonald to advise Fife Council that we oppose the proposal.
Morag Douglas to organise a petition.
11.3 Christmas lights
The Chairman reported that lights had now been ordered and were expected to be erected during week commencing 22nd November.
11.4 Burntisland Environment
Peter George sought an update on various items, including the following:
· Drain cover – Kirkton Road (Ken Halley to advise)
· Seats on Links (being sourced from Kirkcaldy High Street after refurbishment)
· Forth Place sign (in progress)
· Possible demolition / relocation of the Royal Mail sorting office – nothing is known by Fife Council and no planning application has been submitted.
· Palais Steps (in progress)
· Recycling facility for Piper Crescent (under review)
· Pot holes at promenade (Ken Halley to advise)
Secretary to seek an update from Ken Halley to the e-mail of 10th October.
Date of next meeting;
Friday 10th December 2010 at 7pm in the Burgh Chambers.