Community Council Meeting Reports (2003)

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ommunity Council Meeting of 10 January 2003

As expected, the main discussion was on Alcan's gift of £1m to the local community. Vice Chairman David Plant and member Andy Wight-Boycott reported on the first meeting of the steering group which had taken place on 17 December and at which they had represented the Community Council. Representatives of Fife Council, Scottish Enterprise Fife, Scottish Development International and Alcan had also been at the meeting, which had been chaired by Marilyn Livingstone MSP. At the end of the day, the arrangements for administering the money would have to be acceptable to Alcan, and Alcan would want to be assured that the money would be used for sustainable regeneration. It was likely that Alcan would prefer a long term arrangement, rather than a quick division of the cake among a handful of projects. The possibility of using the Alcan money to attract additional finance from other sources would be investigated, but there might be troublesome qualifying criteria for such additional funding. Fife Council officials would be providing briefing material for the next meeting of the steering group on 20 January, illustrating the possibilities for administering the money. Options included a limited company or a trust, with perhaps seven directors or trustees. A possible model was the company which ran the Beacon Leisure Centre. Alcan were unlikely to be convinced that a body such as the Community Council would be able to administer the money on its own, although they would like local involvement. During the lengthy debate, a number of members said they would prefer arrangements which excluded Fife Council from the decision-making altogether. There was general agreement about the need for the local community to be consulted, but no agreement as to how this might be carried out. Chairman Alex MacDonald accepted that there was no consensus among members on the important questions, and acknowledged that there were suspicions that the money might end up being controlled by outsiders. However, regardless of anything else, it would be the responsibility of the Community Council to ensure, firstly, that local people were kept informed of what was going on and, secondly, that the views of local people were transmitted to the decision makers. The Community Council also agreed to propose at the next meeting of the steering group that the Burntisland 2020 Development Trust should be a full member of the group.

Alex MacDonald and Andy Wight-Boycott then reported on their visit to Alcan at Aberdour Road on the preceding Wednesday. Alcan had categorised the work to be done at the site as: neutralisation; demolition; remediation; and development. Some 50 workers were currently engaged on the first phase, neutralisation, which in plain language meant making the site safe. Particular attention was being paid to the effluent treatment plant (which might in due course be transferred to Whinneyhall). Surplus bauxite was being sold and exported. Although security was tight, it was nevertheless emphasised that local children should be warned to keep away from the site. Alcan appeared to be committed to a complete clearance of the Aberdour Road site. The situation at Whinneyhall was described as "a challenge", and Alcan were likely to retain responsibility for that area for the foreseeable future.

Members then considered Fife Council's new draft scheme (constitution) for Community Councils in Fife. This formalised the arrangements for postal voting, which is now to be used at all elections. The draft included a proposal that a casual vacancy following an election should be filled by the appointment of the first runner-up. The alternative suggestion was for a public meeting to be held to choose who should fill the casual vacancy. The discussion on this led to a vote, in which six members supported the 'public meeting' option and four supported the 'first runner-up' one. Members also agreed that there was no need for the proposed rule that a Community Council member should resign if he or she was selected as a local government candidate.

Fife Council had also produced draft proposals for the administration of Common Good Funds in Fife, and these were considered. The Community Council agreed to request three changes - (1) Community Councils should be consulted on all applications for grants, including those from Fife Council themselves; (2) the "common good" should be defined; and (3) the Fife Councillor(s) for the area of the Fund for which an application was being considered should have the right to attend the sub-committee meeting and should also have a vote when the decision was made.

Member George Kay proposed the establishment of a sub-committee to investigate all aspects of the possible provision of Christmas lighting in the High Street this year, and to report to the Community Council by June at the latest. This was agreed and the sub-committee will comprise Messrs Kay, Scobie and Smart.

The Community Council considered a request from Fife Council for their views on the desirability of lopping a number of pine trees between Aberdour Road and Dick Crescent and opted for the status quo, i.e. no lopping. Secretary Margaret Macdonald reported that she had written to Fife Council with concerns about the lack of adequate lighting in the Links car park and at the tunnels on the Links. She also informed members that the application for a development at Lonsdale Crescent had been withdrawn.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 14 February 2003

The meeting was preceded by the presentation of the Burntisland Community Award for 2003 to Ian Kilgour. Ian is on the left of the picture, receiving the award from Community Council Chairman Alex MacDonald.

Community Award presentation 2003

Ian, a retired teacher, was honoured for his work with Burntisland Town Twinning Committee. Burntisland's association with Flekkefjord in Norway is thought to be the oldest, still active, town twinning in the UK. It all began at a public meeting in Burntisland in 1946, and Ian, then aged eight, remembers the occasion well. In 1953, his first visit abroad was to represent Burntisland on a twinning visit to the Norwegian town. He subsequently held many offices with the Town Twinning Committee, including that of Chairman.

After the presentation, it was down to business. The police representative, in his report, said that there had been reports that bogus workmen had been operating in Burntisland, and advised the public to be vigilant. He also said that the police were, with the help of the CCTV system, currently targeting offenders who parked on the zigzag stretches adjacent to the pedestrian crossing in the High Street. Those who were caught were liable to a hefty fine, with penalty points added to their licence.

Chairman Alex MacDonald updated members on the Alcan £1m. The Trust which was being established to administer the money would have the following membership - one member from Alcan (for the first year only); one from Burntisland Community Council; one from Burntisland 2020 Development Trust; and four members (allocation to be decided) from Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise Fife. The Trust would be formally established in May, when the participant bodies would be invited to nominate representatives. Administration would be provided free of charge by Fife Council and Fife Enterprise. The Trust would operate initially for three years, with annual extensions thereafter if required. The Trust would invite applications for funding from local organisations, but would not itself manage projects. Projects would have to match the Trust's objectives, have proven community support, and be partly funded from other sources. The Trust money would not be used for projects which would normally be funded by, for example, Fife Council.

The Community Council considered an application from the Erskine Church for a further grant from the Common Good Fund, this time for the repainting of the church clock face which had last been painted 37 years ago. They were unhappy that they had still not received details of the new procedures to be applied to Common Good Fund applications, and considered that a further grant to the Erskine Church at this time would be premature. Members agreed to back the proposed double yellow lines on the east side of Cromwell Road, north of Ferguson Place. They will also ask for the same restrictions on the stretch of Cromwell Road opposite Manse Lane, to make it easier for drivers exiting Manse Lane to turn right. And they will seek a meeting with Fife Council for a general discussion on traffic questions.

Members then considered the revised planning application for the Rose Street and Thistle Street area, the plans for which are currently on display in the window of Delicate Essence in the High Street. The main changes from the earlier application are (a) that Rose Street would remain open, and be two metres wider with a better pavement; and (b) that there would be four terraced houses on the south side of Thistle Street where the derelict tenements now stand, instead of the seven houses in the original application. The old Labour Club would also be demolished. The nine-apartment block on the other side of Rose Street from the Porte Buildings was retained in the plans - although local developer Bob Wilkie, who was present at the meeting, again emphasised that this part would require public sector involvement if a development of outstanding architectural merit were to go ahead. Mr Wilkie asked the Community Council to seek support for the plans from the town's two Fife Councillors, neither of whom were present at the meeting, but the Community Council contented themselves a simple declaration that the plans met with their approval.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 14 March 2003

Before the start of business, the Community Council hosted a reception for the five winners of the annual Scots Verse competition and their families. The Chairman for the evening, David Plant, briefly described the history of the competition. It had been the idea of former Councillor Douglas Kerr, was for the pupils of Burntisland School, and had been inaugurated in 1986. The five winners then recited their chosen poems, and received their trophies and prizes of either a dictionary or a book token. The Gilbertson Trophy, presented by Christine Dewar (née Gilbertson), was won by Molly Frawley with 'The Boy in the Train'. James Lyon took the Cup for his rendition of 'The Snowman'. The Rosebowl was won by Alexander Mudie with 'Auld Sangs, New Singing'. Peter Hanson and Stephen Johnstone were the joint winners of the Quaich with their double act, 'A Dug, A Dug'. Pictured below - Christine Dewar and David Plant with the winners, left to right, Molly Frawley, Peter Hanson, Stephen Johnstone, James Lyon and Alexander Mudie.

Scots Verse winners

The business part of the meeting was of a routine nature, and shorter than usual. The Christmas Lights Sub-Committee, comprising Messrs Kay, Smart and Scobie, reported on progress to date, and members were encouraged to learn that there is a real prospect of some form of Christmas lighting in the High Street this year. There was also good news on three environmental trouble spots - Fife Council have agreed to regularly clean the East Broomhill footpath and the steps to the east and west; they are planning to improve the muddy surface at the site of the garages at the west end of Lonsdale Crescent; and they will shortly be providing new litter bins on the Links. News from Stagecoach was less well received, as they are not prepared to reinstate a direct bus link from Burntisland to Edinburgh.

The Community Council decided to nominate Community Award winner Ian Kilgour for a Nationwide Award for Voluntary Endeavour. They had also received a letter from Ian, thanking them for his award and for the presentation ceremony.

Several gentlemen on the public benches once again raised the question of access to James Park and Ferguson Place by emergency services and refuse vehicles. It was agreed that this should be discussed at the next meeting, when the appropriate representative from Fife Council would be present.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 11 April 2003

Chairman Alex MacDonald announced that Alex Whitton, a member for 28 years, had resigned. He also informed members that Secretary Margaret Macdonald and Minutes Secretary Avril Coventry were making good progress following illness.

Members were informed of Fife Council's plans for Market & Games Day on 21 July. There would be improved health and safety management, better signposting, and advance protection of the Games arena. Fife Council had responded to complaints about the reduction in the number of market traders last year by increased advertising of the facilities available, and applications this year had increased by 40. As double decker buses would be unable to access the Roundhouse car park this year, Fife Council were trying to find an alternative parking site which would be served by a shuttle bus service.

Chairman MacDonald described the new problems with Better Building's proposed development at the East Port. Historic Scotland had previously raised no objection to the demolition of the Porte Cinema and old tenements, but had very recently had a change of heart. They now wanted the cinema façade to be retained, and also the tenements' outer walls. The Community Council were not impressed by Historic Scotland's volte-face, and confirmed their support for a sympathetic development, without the need for the retention of any of the existing structures.

Members were given the latest news on administration of the Alcan £1m fund. The present steering group would be wound up and be succeeded by a Board of Trustees in May or June. The composition of the Board would initially be one representative from Burntisland Community Council, one from the Burntisland 2020 Development Trust, four in total from Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise Fife, and one from Alcan. New Trustees might be appointed in due course. The new Trust would not be a charitable trust, thus avoiding awkward constraints on the disbursement of the money. It was anticipated that most of the money would be paid out within three years. The steering group had suggested that the money might be allocated to the following areas of activity in the proportions stated - employment and economic development (50%), environment (20%), education and training (15%), inclusive community (10%), health and safety (5%). No money would be given for projects which would normally be financed from other sources. Projects would not be fully funded from the Alcan money - i.e. the promoters would also have to secure some funding from other sources.

Fife Council had informed the Community Council that they were unable to improve the surface at the Lonsdale Crescent garages because it would be too expensive in relation to the rents received for the garages. The Community Council will suggest to Fife Council that the following locations might deserve dog bins from the new allocation now available - the Toll Park, the Shipyard Park, Craigholm Lane, James Park and Lane, Colinswell. Fife Council would be carrying out investigations into a number of possible projects: the provision of a 'water feature' at the Links paddling pool; repairs to the Links bandstand; the provision of a skateboarding facility; the improvement of play areas; the possibility of including facilities for roller hockey at the Beacon all-weather pitch; the steps necessary to maintain Blue Flag status for the beach. It was stressed that these were investigations, not commitments to action. The Community Council will ask for better direction sign for the Beacon Centre. Transportation projects to be undertaken by Fife Council in the current financial year would include a pedestrian crossing on Cromwell Road and improved car parking in Spence Avenue.

Scottish Water had advised the Community Council that the traffic lights in Aberdour Road would be there until about 3 May. Traffic lights would be operating in Cromwell Road from 14 April for about three weeks. The contractors would be taking a 'summer break' from work in the town.

Stuart Laing proposed that the Community Council write to the Minister for the Armed Forces on behalf of the people of Burntisland, to thank those servicemen who had fought in the Iraq war and to express appreciation. After some discussion relating to the sensitivity of the issue, the proposal was approved.

Andy Wight-Boycott summarised  a recent environmental impact study which had been carried out into the Grange Park proposals, which comprise the erection of holiday lodges, static caravans, touring caravan stances and related facilities north of the Cowdenbeath Road. This had been the subject of an application for outline planning permission about two years ago. The anticipated scale of the development is such that strong and diverse views were immediately aired by a number of those present. To allow members to give proper consideration to the proposals, the Community Council decided to hold a special business meeting to discuss the development on Monday 5 May at 7.00 p.m. in the Burgh Chambers. This will not be a public meeting, but members of the public will be free to attend as usual. The development will be described in more detail in the next issue of the Burgh Buzz, out shortly, and a copy of the environmental impact study report is available for public perusal in Burntisland Library.

The mysterious plan for a floating terminal off Burntisland for the trans-shipment of coal en route to Longannet power station was discussed briefly. It was suggested that, if the project materialised, there might be 100 construction jobs and around a dozen permanent jobs created.  The question of whether or not there could be occasional stockpiling of coal onshore was raised. In the absence of any firm information from Forth Ports on the project, the Community Council will write to them, requesting details.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 5 May 2003

This special meeting had been arranged to allow the Community Council to discuss and form a view on the Grange Park holiday village outline plans (see picture below). The town's new Fife Councillors, William Leggatt and Ron Edwards, were both present, as were a dozen or so interested persons who filled the public benches. The developers had been invited to send a representative, but had ignored the invitation. Chairman Alex MacDonald summarised the current proposals, which are for 171 holiday lodges, 259 static caravan homes, 112 touring caravan pitches, a motel, and leisure and other facilities, all to the north of the Cowdenbeath Road. He pointed out that the scale of the development could be gauged by comparing it with Pettycur Bay Holiday Park - Grange Park would have a comparable population on an area nearly twice the size.

As expected, a wide range of views were expressed during the course of a lengthy, but generally constructive, debate. The arguments for the development were based on possible economic benefits to the town in terms of jobs and business for local shops; while the case against was centred on environmental concerns. After the debate, the Chairman put the more controversial aspects of the proposals to the vote - firstly of the Community Councillors, and then of those on the public benches. In both cases the same verdicts were delivered. There were majorities in favour of the principle of a holiday village. The part of the development consisting of 137 static caravans on the east slope of Silverbarton Hill was unanimously opposed. A majority of both Community Councillors and the public were against any development of holiday lodges, while the minority in each case supported such a development, but on a smaller scale. With both groups, the inclusion of a motel was opposed by the majority. The Chairman would write to Fife Council with the results of these expressions of opinion. He would also list other matters which were causing concern - road safety and traffic problems on the A909; the effects of additional foot traffic on the surrounding hills; the objectivity of the environmental impact study which had been produced by the developers; the implications if the village were to be built and the business failed; and the effects of the development on rights of way. At the end of the meeting, there was a call from the public benches for a public meeting to be held, but this was rejected on the grounds that there had been no demand for one and that the Community Council meeting had been well publicised; and that the issue had also been discussed at a Burntisland Tenants & Residents Association meeting.

The picture below is from the Binn, looking to the south west, and shows the area which would be most affected by the Grange Park proposals.

Holiday village location

  


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ommunity Council Meeting of 9 May 2003

Chairman Alex MacDonald brought members up to date on the Alcan £1m fund. The money would be administered by a charitable trust, as originally envisaged. While this would mean less flexibility in disbursing the money, it would allow Alcan to claim tax relief on their donation. The basic administration work would be carried out by the same team who administered the Fife Environment Trust. One additional part-time worker would be required, and that would be paid for from trust funds. A brochure with details of how to apply for a grant would be available, probably later this month. Reports indicated that the proposed offshore floating terminal for the trans-shipment of coal would not now go ahead, as Forth Ports had been unsuccessful in their bid for the Scottish Power Longannet supply contract.

The Chairman gave some independent assessments of the possible economic impact of the Grange Park proposals. Assuming 60% occupancy, the development might generate 20 jobs on site, and a further 100 jobs in the locality (the Burntisland share was not specified). It was likely that there would be an on site 'retail element'. Councillor Edwards recommended that objectors should aim to get their submissions to Fife Council by the end of May.

There was some discussion about difficulties relating to a footpath which ran close to Newbigging farmhouse. Craig Mitchell, the proprietor of the land in question, was present at the meeting and gave some information about a proposed replacement footpath to the north of the existing one. It was agreed to discuss this again at the June meeting, and to invite Mr Mitchell and other interested parties to participate.

Bruce Stuart, owner of Fair Shares in the High Street, addressed the meeting. He represented a small committee whose aim was to have Burntisland recognised as a Fair Trade Town, which could bring economic benefits. At present there was only one in Scotland - Aberfeldy. A number of criteria had to be met prior to the award of a 'Fair Trade Town' certificate. Progress was being made - four shops and one guest house in Burntisland now sold fair trade products. The Community Council decided to give formal support to the committee's efforts, and Councillor Edwards agreed to seek a similar commitment from Fife Council.

Helen Mabon, on behalf of Burntisland Heritage Trust, sought the Community Council's agreement to the hanging of a portrait of Sir Wilfrid Ayre in the main council chamber of the Burgh Chambers. Sir Wilfrid was the founder of the Burntisland Shipbuilding Company, and the portrait had been donated to the Heritage Trust by his daughter. The Community Council concurred.

The Community Council had received three expressions of interest from persons interested in being considered to fill its two vacancies. It was agreed to defer a decision on this until the August meeting. One of the criteria to be used in reaching a decision would be the degree of interest in Community Council matters which had been demonstrated by the candidates.

Members were informed that Fife Council were now in a position to replace the footbridge between Russell Grove and the Toll Park, at a cost of £8,500. With summer on the horizon, it was time for the regular attenders on the public benches to raise the familiar concerns about the use of inappropriate grass cutting methods on the Links; the urgent need for repairs to and rebuilding of the old limestone pier and the groynes on the beach; the spread of coal on the beach; and weeds etc at the war memorial. The Chairman undertook to write to Fife Council about these matters.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 13 June 2003

The first item for discussion was a proposal for a new footpath, put forward by Craig Mitchell of Newbigging Farm. The new path would run north from the western edge of the town, across the Cowdenbeath Road, and then west and south to join existing footpaths near Aberdour. Mr Mitchell said it was his intention that this proposal, which involved landscaping and new tree planting, should go ahead regardless of what happened to existing rights of way and footpaths. But he also hoped that the new footpath might prove to be an acceptable alternative to the existing footpath which ran very close to Newbigging Farm. The Community Council expressed its approval of the new path, in principle. However, the question of whether or not it should, or indeed could, be an alternative to the other path engendered heated discussion. The Community Council decided by five votes to four to postpone a decision on this question until its August meeting, to allow members time to carry out personal site visits.

Member George Kay circulated a report on the Community Council's litter initiative. He confirmed that Fife Council had now implemented a new system for maintaining the Links and he would welcome feedback from the public on the effectiveness of this. He can be contacted on 01592 872901. He also circulated a report from the Christmas Lighting Sub Committee which envisaged a programme of expenditure on new Christmas lighting for the High Street. Expenditure would be £14,000 in 2003, and between £5,000 and £6,000 in each subsequent year. Five strings of new lights would be provided in 2003, with an additional string in 2004 and again in 2005. Community involvement in both the design and funding was desirable, but the first approach for the necessary funding should be to Fife Council. The Community Council agreed that the Sub Committee should press ahead with seeking the necessary funding.

Chairman Alex MacDonald reported that the Alcan Trust should be formally established soon, and leaflets would then be circulated with details of the procedure for applying for grants. The Community Council selected Alex MacDonald as its representative on the Trust Board, with David Plant as nominated reserve.

Members were informed that the Burntisland Fair Trade Committee would be set up in the following week. Chairman Alex MacDonald reported that there had so far been four expressions of interest in filling the two vacancies on the Community Council. Councillor Leggatt argued that the vacant posts should be offered to the eligible runners up in the last Community Council elections. The decision on filling the vacancies will be made at the August meeting. The Community Council accounts for the year to 31 March 2003 were approved. They showed, inter alia, that the Burgh Buzz had yielded a modest surplus of advertising revenue over printing and distribution costs. The Community Council approved a grant of £25 to Burntisland School for a film project. At its August meeting, the Community Council will consider suggestions for a possible entry for the Calor Scottish Community of the Year awards. Fife Council had confirmed that the proposed parking restrictions at the corner of James Park and Ferguson Place were going ahead. The Fife Historic Buildings Trust was assembling a Lottery application for £1m for a Burntisland and Kinghorn Townscape Heritage Initiative, which would be aimed at the High Streets and historic buildings. Marilyn Livingstone MSP was calling a meeting of parties with an interest in the East Port development, to explore the possibility of finding a solution to the current problems caused by Historic Scotland's much publicised change of mind on its attitude to the development.

Lack of time prevented the discussion of two agenda items, which will now be taken at the August meeting. These are the establishment of a footpath group for the Aberdour, Burntisland and Kinghorn area; and a proposal from Douglas Kerr and Jane Weir for a memorial park to replace the existing play area and trees at Rossend Castle.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 8 August 2003
(There was no meeting in July.)

John Campbell of Fife Council gave a brief talk on the new street cleaning regime - a complex system of zoning of streets and grading of their cleanliness. The Council's resources would be more efficiently employed, and Burntisland's streets should see the benefits. Unfortunately the new system does not yet apply to the Links, nor to the adjoining car park and play area. Action will be taken on reported fly-tipping at Bendameer Road. George Kay reported on Christmas lighting for the High Street - Fife Council would not be considering the allocation of available funds until September, which might be too late for a new scheme in Burntisland to be implemented this year. Chairman Alex MacDonald informed the meeting that the Inland Revenue had accepted the Alcan Trust as a charitable organisation; and that the first funds should be disbursed no later than October. The Community Council decided not to discuss the footpath via Newbigging to Aberdour until such time as a decision was reached on whether or not this was a proper right of way in terms of the law. A donation of £25 to the Burntisland Fair Trade Group was agreed. No action was taken on filling the two vacancies on the Community Council because no-one had demonstrated sufficient interest in the Community Council's activities; efforts will continue to find suitable candidates. The Community Council will put forward two entries for the Calor Scottish Community of the Year Awards. Avril Turpie will prepare the environment entry; and Alex MacDonald the 'community life' one. There was general agreement that the War Memorial surroundings should be restored to something akin to how they were in the past - i.e. railings, but no grass; funding information on improvements is awaited. The Community Council will investigate the possibility of taking the name 'The Royal Burgh of Burntisland Community Council'. Former Councillor Douglas Kerr proposed the establishment of a commemorative garden with trees at the play area beside Rossend Castle. The Community Council supported the concept in principle, but they had reservations about the location and will discuss the question again next month. Fife Council had costed a skateboard area for Burntisland at about £60,000, and their examination of this project is continuing. The Community Council agreed to support the carrying out of urgent repairs to the slipway adjacent to the Beacon Centre.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 12 September 2003

George Kay reported that Fife Council would be unable to give any financial assistance towards Christmas lighting this year, but the prospects for 2004 were much better. The Community Council agreed to delay their proposed scheme until 2004, but to submit an application now for Fife Council funding in 2004. They will also pursue the question of floodlighting and other lighting options for prominent buildings in the town. The Aberdour, Burntisland & Kinghorn Footpaths Group were seeking representatives from Burntisland to assist them in their work on strategic footpaths, and the task of finding them was delegated to Andy Wight-Boycott. Councillor Edwards informed the meeting that he was trying to secure improvements to the town bus service, including an extra call at the library and a more accessible vehicle. The Links Showmen had made a donation of £200 to the Community Council. The Community Council agreed to give full backing to the Parish Church's planning application for the establishment of a shop and Internet café with evening opening at 245 High Street. Sergeant Paterson of the local police explained coming changes in shift patterns, which would lead to a further increase in foot patrols in Burntisland. He also mentioned an increase in 'boy racer' activity in the town. He then invited members to identify principal areas of concern. The main concerns expressed were about drinking on the Links, at the landscaped area overlooking the promenade and at the East Broomhill; and about anti-social drink related behaviour in general and especially late at night. Alcan had advised the Community Council that plant and other materials were being despatched via the docks over a period of several weeks, and that they had told the haulage contractors to avoid the peak periods for schoolchildren. Fife Council had been delaying the serving of the agreed Wasteland Notice on the owner of the Palace Cinema for spurious reasons, and they will be asked to serve it immediately. Councillor Edwards said that he had received an assurance from Scottish Water that the cobbled marker on the site of the old Mercat Cross would be properly reinstated. Following the meeting, George Kay was appointed Acting Secretary of the Community Council. His contact details are: address - 25 Kirkbank Road, Burntisland; telephone number - 01592 872901.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 10 October 2003

Speakers from Fife Council were present to promote the Best Kept Small Town competition, and to encourage Burntisland to make an effort for next year's event. The response from the Community Council and the public benches was that Fife Council should first of all be seen to be attending to the basic environmental improvements which were its responsibility. The Fife Council representatives therefore agreed to conduct an environmental audit of the town, and present a report with proposals to the next meeting of the Community Council.

Chairman Alex MacDonald reported that the Community Council had held a private meeting with RPS Consultants on the previous evening. RPS, who are advising Alcan on the future of the Aberdour Road site, are recommending as their preferred option a proposal from Taylor Woodrow for a development of around 400 houses. The promoter of an alternative scheme, Alexander Williamson of the development company Colinswell Land, was present at the Community Council meeting, and circulated his own plans for the site. He is proposing between 230 and 250 houses, with the added benefit to the community of a landscaped park on the southern part of the site, which would complement and enhance the Fife Coastal Path. There was some general discussion of the effect on existing facilities - in particular the school - of the competing proposals. It was also made clear that, at the end of the day, it was for Alcan to decide to whom they sold the site.

The Chairman informed the meeting that the Burntisland entries had reached the finals of the Calor Scottish Community of the Year competition. George Kay was confirmed as Acting Secretary of the Community Council. Local developer Bob Wilkie, who was present at the meeting, announced that it was still his intention to proceed with the demolition of the Porte Cinema, and he would therefore be challenging Historic Scotland on the issue. Fife Council are holding a consultation on their local transportation proposals on Wednesday 19 November from 3.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. in the Inchview Hotel, and the Community Council are keen that as many local people as possible attend to view the proposals and submit their comments. Fife Council had asked for the Community Council's view on the possibility of a grant of £5,000 from the Common Good Fund towards a children's water play facility to replace the existing paddling pool on the Links. The total cost of the project would be of the order of £55,000. Judgement was reserved until more details were provided. The Burntisland 2020 Development Trust had requested a letter of support for their Broomhill Viewpoint project, to allow them to demonstrate community backing to a potential funder, and it was agreed to issue such a letter.


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ommunity Council Meeting of 14 November 2003

The news on the town centre Christmas lighting was that there would be none this year; perhaps some floodlighting of prominent buildings from next year; and new Christmas lights in the High Street from 2005, when it was anticipated that new lamp standards, strong enough to support them, would have been installed. In the meantime, Fife Council will be asked to remove the existing unsightly cross-street cables. Alcan had announced that they were no longer in exclusive discussions with Taylor Woodrow in relation to the development of the Aberdour Road site; no further information was available at this time, other than that Alcan hoped to sell the site in the second quarter of 2004. The Community Council will apply for a £750 floral enhancement grant for the town for 2004, and will be looking for a local organisation to produce plans for using the money. Fife Council had agreed to a grant of £5,000 from the Burntisland Common Good Fund towards the proposed water feature on the Links, and the Community Council gave their retrospective approval. There was some discussion of the proposed Burntisland & Kinghorn Townscape Heritage Initiative - which could lead to a total of nearly £2m being spent on improvements in the two towns - and it was noted that there had been a commitment to consultation with the local communities.

The Burntisland Development Trust, set up to disburse Alcan's gift of £1m, had been incorporated, but confirmation of its charitable status was still awaited. Application forms and information packs would be available in two to three weeks, and the first meeting of the Trust proper would be held on 8 December. The Community Council decided to hold an Open Day on a date to be arranged, so that groups and individuals who were interested in applying for grants could receive information and advice. The Community Council also decided to support an application by the Burntisland 2020 Development Trust for Alcan money for the employment of a full-time Development Officer for two to three years. The Development Officer would be the pivotal figure as far as the community was concerned, and would be available to assist applicants for Alcan grants at all stages of the process - including helping them to find the necessary matching funding if that was required.

Members considered the Fife Council report, 'New Schools for Fife', and will ask Fife Council to carry out a study into the alternatives of building a new school in Burntisland (including the identification of possible sites) and of upgrading the existing school buildings. The Community Council were informed that the local Scout Group had abandoned their plans to renovate their premises in East Leven Street, which would now be sold. The Scout Group were now thinking in terms of a new building, perhaps shared. As other organisations such as the Pipe Band and the Air Training Corps were also having problems with their existing accommodation, the Community Council agreed that this question was one which might be investigated by the 2020 Development Trust's Development Officer, if appointed. Sergeant Paterson of the local police advised residents to be on the lookout for bogus officials trying to gain entry to houses to "check the water". He had been able to secure paint and equipment for a number of public spirited young persons who had offered to paint the graffiti-daubed shelter opposite the Erskine Church, and this work would be done shortly. He reported that the Bonfire Night display had attracted over 5,000 persons, and that there had been no problems. The Community Council agreed to write to the Castle Residents Association, to thank them for organising the display. Fife Council will again be asked to take action quickly on certain matters of long standing - the promised double yellow lines at the junction of James Park and Ferguson Place; the provision of adequate lighting in the Links car park; and the condition of the beach and public benches in the area. Nominations for the Burntisland Community Award for 2004 should reach the Acting Secretary (George Kay, tel. 872901) in advance of the next meeting of the Community Council, which will be held at 7.00 pm on Friday 12 December in the Burgh Chambers.


C
ommunity Council Meeting of 12 December 2003

Chairman Alex MacDonald announced that the first meeting of the newly constituted Burntisland Development Trust, responsible for disbursing Alcan's £1m gift, had taken place that morning. Information packs would be available very soon. The Community Council agreed to host an open day in late January or early February, to give local organisations the opportunity to discuss potential projects with representatives of the Trust. Mr Harry Corbie, representing the developers behind the Grange Park Holiday Village proposals, then addressed the meeting. He stressed that the plans were still very much in draft form, and explained the main changes which had taken place since the Community Council last discussed the issue. They were now proposing 200 static caravans (59 fewer), 112 touring caravan pitches (no change), 200 holiday lodges (29 more), more screening and planting, and basic facilities. Although the original proposals had included a motel, equestrian centre, adventure trail, and other outdoor features, it was now likely that the provision of these would be excluded from the initial planning application. The developers were thinking in terms of a phased approach, rather than a single large scale development. The Community Council confirmed that it was still in favour of a development, in principle, but reiterated the concerns which it had expressed in May.

There will be meeting, probably in January, to formally establish a Burntisland skateboard group which would take forward the proposal for a skateboard park in the town. The help of interested young persons and adults is required, and anyone interested should contact Community Council member Avril Coventry on 872941. The current view is that the park should be located in the Roundhouse car park, but the community will have the opportunity to comment on this. The Community Council had received two commendations in the 2003 Calor Scottish Community of the Year Awards - in the 'Young People' and 'Community Life' categories.

There was a lengthy discussion on one aspect of the revised draft constitution for Community Councils in Fife - the rules for the filling of vacancies. The Community Council confirmed their view that they should not have to offer vacant places to unsuccessful candidates from the previous election; and certainly not in cases when the election had taken place more than six months previously. It was confirmed that next year's Community Council elections had been postponed from May to October. The Community Council then considered if it should seek to co-opt new members for the period to October next year, and local organisations are invited to nominate representatives for possible co-option. Nominations should be submitted to the Acting Secretary, George Kay, 25 Kirkbank Road, Burntisland, as soon as possible.

Councillor Edwards reported that a preliminary audit of Burntisland School should be completed by the end of January; this would allow Fife Council to consider the options available to cope with the increased number of pupils resulting from development of the Alcan site. Action will be taken on two complaints raised by members of the public - the disgraceful condition of the main road at Whinneyhall, and the inability of Fife Council to empty the waste paper bins in James Park and Ferguson Place. The Community Council then went into private session to consider the nominations for the Burntisland Community Award for 2004.

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