Community Council Meeting Reports (2001)

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ommunity Council Meeting of 12 January 2001

Immediately prior to the meeting, Irene Stenton, on behalf of the Wishart family, presented the Community Council with a most impressive pennant featuring the Burntisland coat of arms. The pennant commemorates the family's long association with the Burntisland & District Pipe Band, an association which goes back to the first days of the band in the 1920s. Alex MacDonald, Chair of the Community Council, said that it was an honour for him to accept the pennant on behalf of the town. The pennant will be attached to the bass drone of the pipes of the band's Pipe Major on special occasions. When not in use, it will be on display in the Burgh Chambers. After the presentation it was down to business. It was confirmed that the Burgh Chambers will be redecorated in due course, but some repairs to the building will have to be undertaken first. The Community Council have received an undertaking that they will be consulted prior to the issue of any licence relating to local dumping of material in connection with proposed dredging for gravel in the Firth of Forth. Following expressions of concern about falling rocks near the Binn estate, the Community Council have written to the appropriate landowner, pointing out the potential danger. A new shield to record the names of winners of the town's Community Award is in preparation, and is being paid for by a generous member of the public. There was prolonged discussion about new tourist road signs proposed by Fife Council for the three main entrances to the town. The signs can accommodate references to four local features, and the Community Council are to recommend that these should be the Beacon centre; the golf course; historic sites; and the beach and Links. The Community Council will continue its sponsorship of the annual flower show. There were some animated exchanges relating to the proposal by the Burntisland Tenants & Residents Association for a children's play park at Dick Crescent. Fife Council had written to the Association in a generally supportive vein and had made a number of suggestions relating to the proposal: i.e. that some technical aspects required further examination, and that consultation with other interested parties would be desirable. The Community Council decided that it could not support the proposal until these questions had been addressed. The Community Council had been informed that the former infants' school in Dollar Road was to be demolished, and they will ask Fife Council to landscape the area following the demolition. The question of the recent flooding adjacent to the Coastal Path will be pursued with Alcan Chemicals. The next Community Council meeting will be on Friday, February 9, and will be preceded by the presentation of the Community Award for 2001 to Mr Alexander Ferguson. 

ommunity Council Meeting of 9 February 2001

The meeting was preceded by the presentation of the Burntisland Community Award for 2001 to Alexander Ferguson. Community Council Chair Alex MacDonald spoke of Mr Ferguson's voluntary work for the community, and highlighted his role in working with and encouraging the youngsters in the Pipe Band; in putting up the Christmas lighting in the High Street; as a driver taking old folk to a local day centre; and in opening and closing the east Links toilets in the summer (an action which had saved them from permanent closure and possible demolition). He then presented Mr Ferguson with the inscribed Community Award shield and a personal commemorative scroll. The first item of business was the summer shows. Fife Council had decided that they should once again occupy the Links for 11 weeks, and had delegated the selection of dates to the Community Council. It was agreed that the showmen's request that the period should begin one week earlier than last year be accepted, and this year's dates will therefore be from 26 May to 12 August. The Community Council have been advised that, if and when the new ferry service from Rosyth to Continental Europe begins, some other activities which require a rail link may be transferred to Burntisland docks. There was some news from Fife Council on their short term plans for the old school building in Dollar Road. When it is demolished, the area will be grassed over, pending a decision on use in the longer term. In this connection, it was noted that there was a demand from local footballers for an all weather training pitch in the area. The Community Council are to press for the complete removal of charges at the Links car park. Chair MacDonald quoted from lengthy correspondence between Fife Council and Alcan Chemicals, which indicated that the Council were taking complaints about noise, vibration and flooding very seriously and that they were demanding appropriate action from Alcan. There was some discussion of a recent article in a national newspaper about the plant at Mossmorran and alleged health problems, and the Community Council expressed themselves satisfied with the rigorous air quality monitoring system currently in place. The Community Council agreed to support the proposed rebuilding of the Scout Hall in East Leven Street. The Community Council declined to support the Burntisland Tenants & Residents Association's suggestion that water charges should be billed separately from Council Tax (thereby making it easier for people to withhold payment of water charges). The Community Council welcomed a proposal from the family of the late Margaret and William Gilbertson that they endow an annual award in their memory, the award to be for service to the community by a young person. Finally, the Community Council decided to oppose a retrospective planning application by a resident of Ferguson Place for the erection of a pigeon loft. The next Community Council Meeting will be on Friday, March 9, in the Burgh Chambers.

ommunity Council Meeting of 9 March 2001

Before business, the Community Council hosted a small reception for the winners of their annual Scots Verse Competition, together with families, friends and head teacher. Chair Alex MacDonald, in introducing the winners, said that the competition had been inaugurated in 1986 as part of the commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the death of King Alexander III. The 3 winners were then each presented with a trophy and a dictionary, and gave a recitation of their winning entry. The Primary 3 winner was Nicola Moir with 'The Hoolet'; the Primary 5 winner, Stuart Robertson with 'The Mairch o' the Legions'; and from Primary 6, Lisa Plain with 'Lament for a Lost Dinner Ticket'. Then it was down to business, with Secretary Margaret Macdonald reporting that she had appealed to Railtrack to get the remaining gabion on the Links removed before the start of the tourist season. The developer who had been refused planning permission for houses on part of the Red Pond site was now appealing against the decision. The Community Council had been informed that the sums due to the Common Good Fund as a result of retrospective rent reviews had been credited to the fund, although precise details of the sums involved had not yet been received. The Community Council then tackled 2 applications for grants from the Common Good Fund. The final decision on such applications is made by Fife Council, with the views of the Community Council being taken into account. The first application was from the Burntisland Tenants & Residents Association for a grant towards the start-up costs of 5,000 for an information centre in the High Street shop unit which was formerly a dentist's surgery. The second was from Burntisland Parish Church for a grant of 2,000 towards the total cost of 10,000 for the celebrations in June to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the decision to proceed with the preparation of the King James Bible. In neither case had a breakdown of costs been provided, and both applications were continued to the next meeting to allow these to be produced. There was some discussion about future housing developments at the Binn House site, where there is currently planning permission for 3 houses. The local builder with an interest in the site and a number of householders from the Binn estate were present at the meeting, and there were inconclusive exchanges about the builder's plans, the stability of the face of the Binn above the site and possible tree felling. The Community Council will write to Railtrack with concerns about the new weight restriction on the Lammerlaws Road bridge. The next meeting of the Community Council will be on Friday, April 13.

ommunity Council Meeting of 13 April 2001

The meeting began with expressions of annoyance and frustration at Railtrack's continuing inability to remove the remaining supporting gabion from the Links, and the Secretary will pursue this in robust terms via Fife Council. A letter had been received from Fife Council with, in the Community Council's view, a rather lame justification for the imposition of seasonal car parking charges at the Links car park. The Community Council will continue to campaign for removal of the charges, and will press Fife Council to implement this, using the coming summer as a trial period. The application from the Parish Church for a grant of 2,000 from the Common Good Fund towards the cost of the King James Bible celebrations in June was considered. It was explained that, broadly, grants from the Fund had to be confined to projects which benefited everyone in the town. While noting that some of the total costs of 10,000 did not meet this criterion, the Community Council nevertheless agreed to recommend that Fife Council approve a grant of 2,000 for expenditure on items such as the proposed pageant. The Community Council confirmed their objection to the erection of a proposed fourth house on the Binn House site. It was reported that Burntisland was indeed on the list of communities which would benefit from security closed circuit television when funding had been settled, and it is likely that the High Street and Links Place will be the favoured locations. Discussion then turned to the item of most interest on the agenda, the major application by Grange Park Leisure Ltd, based at the West Dock, Burntisland, for outline planning permission for a leisure development to the north of Grange Farm. This would comprise, on a site of some 70 acres, areas for static and touring caravans, a development of lodge houses, and provision for a variety of sporting and recreational pursuits, including an equestrian centre. With appropriate caution, the Community Council concluded that such a development would be an appropriate use of the site, but that much more information was required, particularly on the numbers and density of caravans and lodges which were envisaged. They would also be passing to Fife Council a list of the concerns which were expressed at the meeting. These covered such questions as rights of way, the visibility of the lodges and caravans, intrusion from the development into the surrounding countryside, access to the main road, and the ability of the town's drainage system to cope. It was reported that the applicant for planning permission for a pigeon loft at a property in Ferguson Place had lodged an appeal against Fife Council's refusal to grant permission. Finally, the Community Council noted with approval that the Horticultural Society had written to all businesses in the town, offering to provide them with the materials for hanging basket displays this summer.

ommunity Council Meeting of 11 May 2001

Donald Grant, Fife Council's Locality Manager, was present, and was able to inform the meeting that he had heard informally that Railtrack would be removing the remaining supporting gabion from the Links on the weekend of 19 & 20 May. He also undertook to look into a number of concerns raised at the meeting - the inadequacy of toilet provision on busy holidays; the potentially dangerous overgrown hedge in Ferguson Place; the maintenance of the grass at the war memorial; the sand on the promenade; and the rubbish bins and a tarpaulin embedded in the beach. The Community Council considered the application from the Burntisland Tenants and Residents Association for a grant of 2,000 towards the cost of computer equipment for their proposed information office in the former dentist's surgery in the High Street. These applications are decided by a Fife Council sub committee, which takes account of the views of the Community Council. In this case, the sub committee had already considered this application at their meeting on 3 May and had requested more information from the Association - particularly on the running costs of the project and their financing. In the circumstances the Community Council decided to take no action. There was some discussion of the problems being faced by Alcan Chemicals as a result of the appearance of active new springs, and therefore more water, which were impinging on the bauxite waste tip at Whinneyhall. Alcan are carrying out a one-off drainage operation, involving the laying of a sealed pipe in the course of the Kirkton Burn, and are warning children to keep clear of this. The Community Council were informed that the Trust which manages the Beacon Centre had decided to increase charges there by 3%. It was hoped that the all-weather pitches on the grassy area adjacent to the Centre would be ready for use this autumn, although there was still a shortfall of 20,000 in the funds required to meet the total cost of 110,000. An application might be made to the Common Good Fund for a grant to cover this shortfall. The Community Council agreed to support a request from Burntisland Heritage Trust for a one year extension to their lease for the former tourist information office in the Kirkgate. East of Scotland Water were keen to inform the community of their plans for Phase 3A of the Burntisland main drainage scheme. Work is scheduled to start in Lochies Road in September, and last for 18 months. The Community Council decided to invite East of Scotland water to make a presentation at their August meeting.

ommunity Council Meeting of 8 June 2001

A response had been received from Fife Council on the Community Council's proposal that the charges for the Links car park should be removed. Statutory requirements meant that changes would take between 6 and 9 months to implement, and Fife Council would also like to carry out a survey of opinion, which would lengthen the implementation period further. The Community Council considered that a survey was unnecessary, and will ask Fife Council to press ahead without one. There was some excitement when representatives of the Burntisland Tenants & Residents Association attempted to question the Community Council on grant assistance from the Common Good Fund for the proposed Burntra enquiry office. After some animated exchanges, 'next business' was moved and carried, but it was not until the informal intervention of the police representative that order was restored and the meeting could continue. It was reported that the appeal against Fife Council's refusal to grant planning permission for a housing development at the Red Pond had been unsuccessful. The Community Council was critical of the methodology being employed in Fife Council's current survey on fairgrounds, and they will warn Fife Council that the survey results will carry no credibility if the methodology is not improved. The next Community Council elections will be held on 11 October. Fife Council are trying to secure replacement benches for the Kirkgate. There will be no Community Council meeting in July, and the next meeting will therefore be held on 10 August.

ommunity Council Meeting of 10 August 2001

Refreshed after their summer break, the members of the Community Council assembled for their August meeting in the Music Hall, rather than the Burgh Chambers which are in the throes of redecoration. The first part of the meeting was devoted to a presentation by representatives of East of Scotland Water on Phase 3A of the Burntisland Main Drainage Scheme - not, one would have thought, the way to spend a fine summer evening; but in the event the presentation was well done, and the East of Scotland Water representatives displayed a generally helpful attitude towards the Community Council's concerns. The areas affected by Phase 3A are Lochies Road, the Lammerlaws, Seaforth Place and Ross Point. Extensive use of relining of old mains pipes will minimise the impact on local people. The Community Council were particularly worried about the visual impact of the planned "control kiosk" to be erected at the southern end of Lochies Road, on the sea side of the castellated wall, and East of Scotland Water undertook to have another look at this. Chair MacDonald reported on developments with the redecoration of the Burgh Chambers: he believed that Fife Council were doing a thorough job, although he was unimpressed with the lack of consultation, for which Fife Council had apologised. Some elements of the work would not be completed until next year - the renewal of the curtains, and the refurbishment of the furniture. There was some discussion about the arrangements for the next Community Council elections, which will be held on 11 October. The Community Council will ask Fife Council to set the same hours for the polling station as prevail at local authority elections, rather than the currently planned 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The Community Council decided in principle to lobby for better public transport from Burntisland whenever an opportunity presented itself. They will try to get the new town bus operator to include West Leven Street in its schedule. They will object to the planning application by the owners of Rossend Castle to convert part of the adjacent play area to a car park extension. Expenditure of 200 on new circuit breakers for the High Street Christmas lights was approved, and this should greatly improve their reliability. The Fife Council Locality Manager agreed to pursue the question of improving audibility in the Burgh Chambers, particularly for the hard of hearing. On questions of local maintenance, action is being taken on the fence on the Lonsdale Crescent/Broomhill Avenue footpath; on the overgrown state of the Monks Walk; and on the footpath between the breakwater and South View, Lammerlaws. The next meeting of the Community Council will be on 14 September, when it is hoped that the Burgh Chambers might again be available.

ommunity Council Meeting of 14 September 2001

Burntisland Community Council met on 14 September for their last meeting prior to the elections on 11 October. The venue was the newly redecorated and much brighter Burgh Chambers, but the meeting began on a sombre note with Chair MacDonald leading a minute's silence to mark the tragic events of the preceding Tuesday. The first item on the agenda was a presentation by officers Courts and Ward of Fife Constabulary on the CCTV system to be installed in Burntisland town centre. There will be five cameras altogether, all mounted on poles. Three of them will be on the High Street - at Harbour Place, Kirkgate and the pedestrian crossing; and the others will be at the west end of Kinghorn Road and at the Links car park. The system will be installed in a total of eight towns in Fife, and is described as the most advanced in Europe. The target is to have it up and running by May 2002. The arrangements for the Community Council elections on 11 October engendered some discussion. The restricted polling times proposed by Fife Council were considered unacceptable, and the Community Council will again ask for an improvement, and for more than one polling place. East of Scotland Water had reacted positively to the Community Council's concerns about the proposed pumping station control kiosk adjacent to the beach at Lochies Road, and this will now be sunk deeper, and painted to match the castellated wall. Although Alcan had reported that the Whinneyhall drainage project had been a success, the Community Council will ask them if they are satisfied that it will not need to be repeated. Some concerns about the new Mobus local service are to be taken up with Fife Council - the size of the bus; facilities for the disabled; and the possibility of removing the bollards at the top of South Hill Street to allow the bus to include West Leven Street on its itinerary without having to reverse. The Community Council had written to the Scottish Executive, to say that in their view Fife should remain a unit for strategic planning purposes. It was noted that Fife Council had taken enforcement action in respect of unauthorised dumping and storage at the Binn House site. There is to be a Fife Council transportation consultation meeting in the Upper Library Hall at 6.30 p.m. on 2 October. Among the items to be discussed will be the Links car park charges, the local bus service and the Millennium cycleway. Sergeant Paterson told the meeting that he would be leaving in the near future, and would be succeeded by Sergeant Gordon Thyne. The Community Council thanked him for his work in the town, and wished him well in his new duties in Bosnia.

ommunity Council Meeting of 26 October 2001

Following the recent postal election, Burntisland's new Community Council held its inaugural meeting in the Burgh Chambers on 26 October. The main business was the election of officebearers, but this was preceded by a statement from Willie Leggatt, who intimated his resignation from the Community Council. The results of the elections were as follows: Chair - Alex MacDonald; Vice Chair - David Plant; Secretary - Margaret Macdonald; Treasurer - Aneris Grant; Minutes Secretary - Avril Coventry. Andy Wight-Boycott was re-appointed editor of the Burgh Buzz. There was some discussion of urgent business, namely a planning application for new houses at Fleming Way. The Community Council decided not to oppose the application, but to express its concerns about certain geological aspects. The first full business meeting of the new Community Council will be on Friday, November 9, at 7.00 p.m. in the Burgh Chambers.

ommunity Council Meeting of 9 November 2001

Chair MacDonald began by welcoming new councillors Stuart Laing, Ian Quinney, John Scobie and Avril Turpie to their first full business meeting. Indications from Fife Council were that, while the charges at the Links car park would be removed, the procedures would be time consuming and that the charges would remain until at least June 2002. The Community Council had received a report from Alcan Chemicals on the Whinneyhall drainage scheme. This had been satisfactorily completed and the yellow pipe had been removed from the Kirkton Burn. A study was now being carried out to locate the underground springs which had been the cause of the build up of excess water, and the feasibility of diverting these would be examined. This assessment would require the closure of certain rights of way. There was some discussion of the scale and absence of notification of these closures and the Community Council will pursue these with Alcan. Fife Council had agreed to recategorise the grass cutting at the war memorial - the effect of this is that the grass will be cut more often and cut properly. Fife Council had informed the Community Council that they hoped to begin the stabilisation work on the road to Aberdour in mid-December, provided negotiations with the local landowner proceeded satisfactorily. The work would take about eight weeks to complete. The Showmen's Guild had proposed the following dates for the shows in 2002 - arrive from 21 May; open on 26 May; close on 18 August; depart by 20 August. This represented an operational period of 12 weeks, an increase of one week on 2001. After some discussion, in which the local economy was the dominant factor, the Community Council decided by eight votes to four to recommend to Fife Council that the Showmen's Guild's proposals be accepted. Members learned that a 'turn right' lane is to be created on Kinghorn Road at Linwell Court. They went on to give sympathetic consideration to suggestions for extensions of the 30 miles per hour speed limits on both Kinghorn Road and Cowdenbeath Road, and will ask Fife Council to implement these. The meeting was informed that the planning appeal in respect of a pigeon loft in Ferguson Place had been rejected, and the loft will have to be removed. The Post Office had informed the Community Council that there was little prospect of a replacement post office in the Grange Road area. The Community Council will however ask them to provide a new post box or other letter posting facility to serve the Cotburn Crescent area. Fife Council will be asked to reinstate the playground facilities at both the Cotburn Crescent and Rossend Castle play areas. The police and traffic warden will be encouraged to monitor parking at the junction of James Park and Ferguson Place, following a recent incident in which the refuse truck had been unable to negotiate the corner and bins had lain unemptied for a full week. Following discussion at the previous meeting, the Community Council had written to Fife Council to say that the new planning application for houses at Fleming Way should be determined according to technical criteria. The Community Council have thanked the Showmen's Guild for a donation of 200, which will be used towards improving the High Street Christmas lights. The Community Council went into private session to consider the co-option of a new member to replace William Leggatt, who had resigned. They decided to invite George Kay to become a member, and Mr Kay has subsequently accepted.

ommunity Council Meeting of 14 December 2001

Sergeant Thyne of the local police started the meeting with a summary of the local force's priorities over the Festive Season. These included the targeting of drivers under the influence of drink and/or drugs, speeding drivers, and seat belt offences. The local police are also carrying out a review of Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Burntisland, some of which have lapsed. Chair MacDonald then brought members up to date on the proposed development in the Rose Street area. A local developer, Mr Bob Wilkie, and various other organisations were working on a project which would involve the demolition of three buildings - the Porte Cinema, the derelict tenement at the corner of Rose Street and Thistle Street, and the former Labour Club to the rear of the High Street. The land would be developed with a mixture of new housing, some landscaping, and car parking to serve the High Street and the Young Community Hall. It was likely that a planning application for the housing element would be submitted early in the new year. The reaction from members was generally favourable, although everyone was keen to see detailed plans for the project. Mr Wilkie, who was present at the meeting, agreed that local folk should have every opportunity to make their views knows. The consultation process might include a public meeting and the display of detailed plans and drawings at an easily accessible local venue. Chair MacDonald also brought members up to date on the all-weather pitch at the Beacon Centre. The contract had been awarded and work should start in January, with the facility being ready in April or May. There was some discussion about the problems caused by the indiscriminate setting off of fireworks, and the Community Council will make representations on this to the local MP and to Fife Council. There was a call from the public benches for the seats on the promenade and Links to be repaired or replaced well before the tourist season, and the Secretary will take this up with Fife Council. The Community Council then went into private session to select the winner of the Burntisland Community Award for 2002. The name of the winner will be kept secret until he or she is officially informed at New Year.

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