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Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 7th June 2022 in Earlsferry Town Hall and via Zoom

 

Present:  Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum, Patricia Ritchie and Cllrs Fiona Corps and Alycia Hayes

 

Apologies from: Sandy Bingham, Nicola Hetherington and Cllr Sean Dillon

 

No new declarations of interest.

 

May minutes - proposed by Angela, seconded by Angus.

 

Chair’s Report

Shelagh welcomed two new local councillors Fiona Corps and Alycia Hayes to the meeting and expressed the hope that Sean, who has contracted Covid, makes a speedy recovery. Before settling in Fife Alycia travelled internationally as an Opera Singer for 18 years before entering politics. She has been a Councillor before in another area and now lives with her family in Kingsbarns.

By way of providing a brief update on the most pressing issues that have been on every agenda for the past few years Shelagh explained that we are still waiting for a response from Fife Council on how to resolve the traffic issues in our villages. Despite many assurances we have still not had a visit from anyone from FC. We accept that things were difficult during lockdown but it seems as if Covid is becoming the normal excuse for any inaction. Despite numerous requests we have been told that we cannot have any traffic calming measures as Elie is on a main road. Strange to see that Lundin Links and Largoward, both on a main roads, have several. Robbie Blyth has drawn up a draft plan but that this deals mainly with parking issues, in particular at Ruby Bay, Shelagh to circulate to Cllrs. Cllr Fiona Corps informed us that FC has adopted policy of introducing 20 MPH speed restrictions throughout all villages and towns in Fife for a trial period. The CC welcomes this plan.

As for parking, our thanks are extended to Elie Estate Trust for allowing parking on Nairn Park but acknowledge that this is neither a permanent nor a satisfactory solution. It is understood that the parking meters for Ruby Bay Car Park are on order but may take a while to come due to Covid, Brexit, ship stuck in Suez Canal, climate change or just general incompetence.

Shelagh also described our on-going problem with sewage provision in the villages and explained that no new house building can be undertaken until such time as Scottish Water can provide a more up to date and efficient sewage treatment system.

 

Local Place Plan

We are aware that Fife Council is preparing a ‘Local Place Plan’ - in their words:

‘The council is preparing a new Local Development Plan and it will be shaped by the views and aspirations of communities across Fife. The plan will replace the current plan approved in 2017 and will set out planning policies and proposals for the use and development of land across Fife. We aim to adopt the plan in 2026 and it will look ahead for 10 years from then.

Our new Local Development Plan will consider any registered Local Place Plans, to allow communities to have a more direct role in the decisions that influence their place, We're inviting communities to prepare Local Place Plans so that they can play a proactive role in defining the future of their places.

Local Place Plans are community-led plans, setting out proposals for the development and use of land. Once they have been registered by the planning authority, we have a legal responsibility to take them into account in the preparation of the Local Development Plan.’

The CC will be looking into ways in which we can gather public opinion and it is hoped that, following all the work he did on our Charette in 2019.Shelagh to seek help from those involved with the Charette who might be persuaded to help with this project.

 

Jubilee Weekend

Congratulations were extended to all the groups, organisations and individuals who contributed to the numerous fantastic and very successful Jubilee celebrations.

Thanks also to Fife Council who returned day after day to empty our overflowing bins.

 

Toll Green

The continuing puzzle over who actually owns Toll Green rumbles on. The questions remain:

  • Who actually owns Toll Green?
  • Who should maintain it?
  • Who can use it?
  • Who has the authority to undertake any construction on TG?
  • Papers sent to Fife Council legal dept for consideration, no response received.

Cllrs Fiona Corps and Alycia Hayes have promised to see if they can come up with any answers.

It is understood the wooden huts placed on the Green by the owners of the Buffet have been donated to the community and discussions are ongoing as to where they might be re-sited.

Meanwhile, it was noted that an application has been submitted by the Environmental Action Group for funding for the replacement of railings on Toll Green. It was felt, at the meeting that this is something that FC should be undertaking and that planning permission would be needed in any case. Angela to provide more information about the proposed project.

 

Memorial benches

Our councillors were updated on the history of memorial benches – see May minutes. We are still trying to find out if tree planting may be considered a suitable alternative as the general feeling is that there are enough benches in the village already.

 

Infrastructure

Grizelda agree to dig out the original infrastructure spreadsheet and update it.

  • Broken drain cover at Cadgers Wynd
  • Rusty gate to path leading to 9-hole course just north of the school
  • Sink hole at Boat Wynd

These been repeatedly reported to Fife Council and we are still awaiting action.

Angus has already written to Coal Authority asking for an update on progress re sink hole on Grange Road. He agreed to write again as nothing seems to have been done in six months and congestion traffic is getting worse as the village becomes busier. It was agreed that the diversion across the golf course is totally unsatisfactory.

 

Beach Group

Angela to meet with a reporter for the Courier who is preparing an article on coastal erosion. It was noted that some homeowners behind the dunes at Earlsferry may be contributing to danger of erosion. The article is expected to be published at the end of June/July. This will be highlighted on CC Facebook when it is printed.

 

Social Media

There has been increased activity on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry - over the past few weeks. Over 1000 people ‘reached’ with ‘post engagements’ up by over 500% and page ‘likes’ up by 50%.

 

Community Council members

It was noted that there are spaces on the CC for new members and local residents are being encouraged to consider joining us. Shelagh to put a call out on Facebook. Some young blood would be very welcome. A local person has already been approached and their interest confirmed.

 

AOCB

Alycia brought to our attention FC’s consultation on short term lets within our communities. Grizelda agreed to publicise this on CC’s Facebook page. 

See www.fife.gov.uk/housing/short-term-lets for more information.

 

 

Next meeting Tuesday 5th July at Earlsferry Town Hall at 7.30pm.  As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public are invited to join.

 

 

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Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 17th May 2022 in Earlsferry Town Hall and via Zoom

 

Present:  Shelagh Mackay and Vixen, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum and Martin Dibley, Chair of Visit East Neuk

 

Apologies from: Cllrs Sean Dillon and Fiona Corps and Nicola Hetherington

 

No new declarations of interest.

 

April minutes - proposed by Angus, seconded by Angela.

 

Chair’s Report

Shelagh reiterated our sincere thanks to our three departed local Fife Councillors for all the work that they have done over the past years and expressed regret that the two independent candidates had not been successful in their bid to be re-elected. We all wished them good luck for the future.

Shelagh once again expressed thanks to Alex Nairn for taking the time to answer questions at the single topic meeting held on 12th April in connection with proposed plans for a sewage treatment work at the Grange development site. Following the meeting Shelagh has written to Fife Council, SEPA and Scottish Water requesting clarification of what may/may not be permitted.

 

Questions from the public

Concern has been expressed with regard to the damage caused to the fencing on Earlsferry Dunes by workmen at Olgivie Villa. Robbie Blyth of FC&CT has given assurance that builders will be asked to make right all damage caused, at the completion of the job. In the same area a broken drain cover has been reported. It is understood that the damage has been caused by works vehicles and this has also been reported to Robbie.

With regard to the fencing which appeared on the beach at the bottom of Golf Club Lane the meeting was informed that this had been installed in error. Although this had not been intentional, we await, with interest, to see if this has any affect on the movement of sand.

We have received notification that yet another memorial bench has appeared at Chapel Green despite assurances form FC that no more were to be installed. The owners of the adjoining gardens are particularly anxious as these benches make it very easy for a would-be intruder to access their properties. Our previous local councillor, John Docherty, had taken on board this problem and had assured us that Fife Council’s policy was to offer protection to vulnerable people. As the adjoining property owners are pensioners, some living on their own, they most definitely can be defined as ‘vulnerable’. We are very disappointed that FC have reneged on their previous promises and hope that one of our new local councillors will be happy to take this on. We are still receiving requests from people wishing information on how they can have a memorial bench. We understand that some time ago Fife Council assured us that no more benches were to be installed anywhere in the village. Shelagh to look back to see who actually gave this assurance.

 

Jubilee Celebrations

It was noted that a large number of Jubilee celebratory events are planned for the weekend 3rd – 5th June and that these are all being well publicised throughout the village and on social media.

The Community Council’s application for a grant to purchase a gazebo for use during the Jubilee weekend was successful – approx. £2,000.

 

Traffic review

Still no response from Fife Council. It is fervently hoped that our new local councillors may take up the baton and continue the hard work done by Linda, Bill and John all who did their best to persuade FC to address this serious problem before our villages get any busier.

 

Toll Green

The question of ownership of Toll Green continues to be unresolved.

 

Presentation from Martin Dibley, Chair Visit East Neuk

Martin attended the meeting in order to explain the make-up and aims of Visit East Neuk:

Visit East Neuk has been in existence since 2010 and is one of six Local tourism Associations across Fife whose aim is to assist with the development of Tourism in their respective area. Each Local Tourist Association operates under the umbrella of Fife Tourism Partnership. Their remit is supporting Tourism on a Fife wide remit.

Tourism, in 2019, brought in just short of £116m to the East Neuk economy and provided jobs for 2,432 people. (source Destination Leadership 2021)

The committee of VEN is elected at each AGM and is made up of local people who are mainly in the tourism and hospitality industry in the East Neuk or have an interest in it. The committee are all unpaid volunteers.  

Membership and minutes are all available on the Fife Tourism Partnership website, ours go back to 2018.

To support local tourism Visit East Neuk holds open meetings, open committee meetings during the year and an open AGM at the end of the season.

What we are doing now:

  • Consumer facing Facebook page and Instagram at VISIT EAST NEUK NOW. We post between 20 and 25 times a week on anything interesting to potential visitors to the East Neuk.
  • We have a new Facebook page EAST NEUK LOCAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION, which is purely business to business and is aimed for anyone in the hospitality and tourism industry in the East Neuk. Posts to this are aimed at providing tourism related information to the industry and is not a consumer facing page.
  • Our community web site EASTNEUKNOW.COM  is building to be the go-to place for information as to what's on, what's available and what's  where  in the East Neuk. This site is aimed at providing information not only to residents but visitors and potential visitors.
  • Production of our printed visitor guide booklet which is available to all.

 

Infrastructure

Broken drain cover at Cadgers Wynd

Rusty gate to path leading to 9-hole course just north of the school

Sink hole at Boat Wynd

These been repeatedly reported to Fife Council and we are still awaiting action.

 

Next meeting Tuesday 7th June at Earlsferry Town Hall at 7.30pm.  As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public are invited to join.

 

 

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Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council single topic meeting held on 12th April 2022 in Earlsferry Town Hall and via Zoom

 

Present:  Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angus Meldrum, Nicola Hetherington, Sandy Bingham, Cllrs Linda Holt and John Docherty, Alex Nairn representing Elie Estate Trust and members of the public David Smith, Emma Gilchrist and Bob Duff

 

Apologies: Angela Anderson

 

Reasons for this meeting

Shelagh explained that, following some questions from the public which were sent in an email which were not highlighted at the CC monthly meeting, it was decided that a single topic meeting should be arranged in order to address the points which would have been covered in CC meeting help on 5th April.

 

  1. Concern has been expressed over the proposed sewage provision at the Grange site. With regard to sewage provision, it was noted that, in the planning application, SEPA had made it quite clear that on-site sewage provision would not be acceptable and had declared an objection. The question was asked why it now appears that an onsite sewage treatment works might now be acceptable to FC Planning?
  2. It was also asked if each individual house was to have its own treatment works or if one large one would service all.
  3. Third question asked was if the Wadeslea development was going to go ahead as, if there is no suitable sewage solution how could houses be granted planning permission and subsequently built?

 

Cllr Bill Porteous expressed the opinion that these questions are for SEPA, Scottish Water and Fife Council and not for discussion at a CC meeting. Shelagh disagreed and felt it was appropriate to discuss them and then direct queries to the appropriate body.

 

Alex Nairn explained that all building proposals are still at the discussion stage and that nothing is yet definite. He acknowledged that there is a sewage problem already existing in our villages and that possible on-site treatment works might help to alleviate the existing situation. He gave firm assurances that any work done will be in full agreement with SEPA and Scottish Water.

 

David Smith thanked Bill Porteous for his comment and Alex Nairn for his honest answer. He explained that, as members of the public have approached him expressing their concerns, he felt that it is the responsibility of the CC to address public concerns. A further concern was that if the Grange site were to go ahead but not the site at Wadeslea then any land offered in compensation by Elie Estate Trust to Fife Council would have no practical value if it could not be built upon.

 

Alex Nairn explained that, although SEPA do not usually approve of on-site sewage treatment works, they might accept one at the Grange if only temporary. He felt that as for the possibility of the Grange plans going ahead and Wadeslea not that is a question for SEPA and Scottish Water.

 

Cllr Linda Holt said that she will write to Planning Committee voicing her concerns over the possibility of development at Wadeslea not going ahead due to sewage problems.

 

Alex Nairn stressed the that Elie Estate Trust is 100% committed to building affordable homes at Wadeslea and that it is all up to Scottish Water. David Smith stressed that is not anyone’s intention to countermand Elie Estate Trust’s efforts and thanked Alex Nairn for his honesty and assurances.

 

Shelagh to write to FC, SEPA & Scottish water.

 

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Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 5th April 2022 in Earlsferry Town Hall and via Zoom

 

Present:  Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum, Cllrs Linda Holt and John Docherty, Robbie Blyth representing Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, Alex Nairn representing Elie Estate Trust,

 

Apologies from: Cllrs Bill Porteous- joined meeting by Zoom Patricia Ritchie, Nicola Hetherington

 

No new declarations of interest.

 

February minutes - proposed by Angus, seconded by Angela.

 

Chair’s Report

Most topics are on the agenda with the exception of:

There has still been no response from Lesley Craig with reference to traffic management over the forthcoming busy months. This is a matter of concern and urgency as we are now only two weeks from easter. We have been informed that FC has been in touch with Alex Nairn  of Elie Estate Trust requesting use of Nairn Park as a temporary car park. More on this topic later on.

 

The meeting welcomed Robbie Blyth who updated on FC&CT’s plans as follows:

FC&CT are to recruit additional members of staff.

Car parking charges are to be introduced at Ruby Bay Carpark as follows:

Cars up to two hours – free

Car daily parking - £2

Overnight parking for camper vans to be restricted to seven marked bays - £10

A machine is to be installed and everyone must get a ticket to display. The car park will be manned and anyone contravening the rules will be issued with a fine.

Toilets will be open during daytime hours from 1st April – 31st October. A very basic overnight toilet is to be installed in September and FC is considering installation for chemical toilet disposal facility.

Tents will not be allowed on the picnic area and leaflets will be made available to illustrate exactly what ‘wild camping’ actually means.

FC requested use of Nairn Park as a temporary car park. Although Alex Nairn is prepared to consider this for this year, he stressed that this must be seen as temporary measure and that establishing suitable alternative parking must be a priority.

Cllr Linda Holt advised that we should wait till after local elections and if no progress has been made we should highlight the problem in every way possible including going to the press.

Following several requests from members of the public, Robbie agreed to look into ways in which homemade ‘shrines’ which have been popping up all over our beauty spots, including those at Ruddons Point (a SSS and a RAMSAR site) might be halted. The owner of the land also to be contacted by Grizelda.

Robbie is also to investigate the missing bin at the bottom of School Wynd and the possibility of siting a new one at the Toft.

 

Beach Group report

The meeting was assured that the seaweed at the Harbour Beach is to be removed imminently.

A full report will be added at the end of these minutes.

 

Councillors’ reports

Cllr Joh Docherty  reported that all reported damaged road signs are now taking up to six months to be repaired.

John also informed the meeting that he had been deselected by the SNP as a Fife Councillor candidate and that he would be standing as an Independent candidate. E&ECC wished him well.

 

Cllr Bill Porteous expressed his thanks to Robbie Blyth and his team for all their efforts to address the problems in our villages. Bill informed the meeting that he would be standing down as a Fife Councillor.

 

Elie and Earlsferry Community Council would like to thank our three local councillors for attending our meeting so regularly and who have worked so hard in trying to address our villages’ problems. We are so grateful that they recognise that the East Neuk in general, and Elie and Earlsferry in particular, have unique problems which are often misunderstood and overlooked by Fife Council. Our local councillors have done a sterling work in bringing these to the attention to the powers that be at FC.

 

 

Traffic review

After several requests from the Chair and Cllr Linda Holt a reply has been received from  FC’s Lesley Craig, advising that there was no update.  We are still waiting for a traffic review site visit which was promised two years ago. Again we are approaching the summer season no further forward than 2 years ago, arguably the villages were even busier during the pandemic than previously, but FC do not appear to be willing to engage with the CC on this issue.

 

Next meeting Tuesday 17th May at Earlsferry Town Hall at 7.30pm.  As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public are invited to join.

 

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Meeting of Elie and Earlsferry Beach Group held on-line on 3 March 2022

Present: Angela Anderson; Robbie Blythe; Graham Bucknall; Linda Holt; Alex Nairn; Andrew Ovenstone.

Apologies: John Docherty; Keith Dewhurst; Ronnie Sinclair, Bill Porteous.

  1. Seaweed management

There has been a considerable problem with seaweed and detritus collecting on the beach over winter. The two areas of the beach which were worst affected were by the Granary and the Water-Sports Centre.

There is still a need for a long-term solution which involves the seaweed being removed as required. Robbie believes there is a strong case for its removal by Fife Council as a proposal had previously been put to Fife Council in relation to this and agreement on its removal had been received from the Council.

Alex had obtained a quote of £60k for a beach rake and proposed that a group of local volunteers undertake the raking of the beach on a regular basis with Fife Council being tasked with its collection and removal.

Graham advised the Ship Inn could co-ordinate volunteers, agree a program of works and provide light funding in support of the raking of the seaweed on the beach and insurance cover.

Robbie advised there was insufficient funding to purchase a rake but the use of the rake which had been sold by Fife Council to Shell Bay Caravan Park might be the better option.

Action

  • Robbie to check on current level of seaweed and if necessary, ask Fife Council to remove it.
  • Robbie to contact Fife Council to discuss and get agreement on a  strategy for removal on a regular basis of the seaweed and detritus.
  • Alex to contact Shell Bay Caravan Park regarding the use of the rake approximately 10 times per year.
  • Alex to circulate a You-tube video on beach raking.

 

  1. Maintenance and repair of Life-Belts

It was noted that a number of the Life-Belts on the beach were in need of repair. Robbie advised that Fife Council had placed new Life-Belts on all designated beaches.  Elie was not included in this list.

Angela indicated that under the Public Health Act 1963 Local Authorities have responsibility for providing life-saving equipment on beaches.

Action

  • Robbie to contact Fife Council about the state of the Life-Belts.

 

  1. Management of Dune Paths

Keith had noted there are multiple points of access through the dunes to the beach.  He put forward a proposal for a managed access point through the dunes at the bottom of Castwell Wynd where there are currently 3 paths crossing the dunes. He proposed making use of Greenheart Oak sleepers spiked down with ground screws to create a straight slow steady gradient down to the beach level. These managed access points are usable for all, including wheelchair users. This project could act as a pilot, which if successful could be rolled out to other areas of the beach which have similar problems. 

Robbie was supportive of the concept however he advised that each area of the dunes is owned by the beachside home-owners which front it, so they would require to be in agreement with and supportive of this proposal. It would also need resources and funding and the paths would require to be maintained.

Action

  • Robbie to contact Keith to discuss the proposal and see what could be done but he felt there may be other matters which might need to take priority.

 

  1. Public Toilets

The toilets at Ruby Bay are due to be upgraded. This will be done at the end of the season when the entire unit is to be replaced. The new toilet is to be placed on Fife Council land. A new septic tank is to be put in place before April.

Between 1st April and the beginning of October the toilets will be open between the hours of 10am and 6pm. In October, the toilets will be open between the hours of 10am and 4pm.

The disabled toilet was left open overnight this last winter, however the locks have now been changed. Somebody with a key had been accessing the toilets and leaving them open at all hours.

Currently there is provision for the toilets to be open 140 days per year. The additional provision of opening days has been over and above the existing service , however the hope is that the new toilets at Ruby Bay could be open all year round.

 

  1. Wild camping

No doubt people will continue to come to Elie in large numbers, and the  intention of the signage which has been erected is to nudge the campers to where they should go.

It is not acceptable for wild camping to take place at Ruby Bay, so robust signage is to be erected on the green at Ruby Bay. It will advise that no more than 4 tents should be placed on the foreshore. Poles are to be put in place in set areas on the shoreline and areas away from the carpark to assist compliance with this guidance. Benches have also been placed at strategic points in an effort to control wild camping.

There are currently no measures available to enforce this, but the hope is that these measures will ensure people only camp in designated areas.

There is currently no toilet provision during the night. The intention is to install a temporary toilet during the holiday season in the vicinity of the public toilet block for night-time cover. This should prevent defaecation on the dunes.

 

  1. Traffic Management Plan

FCCT will continue to manage Ruby Bay car park and would hope to get the lease and use of Nairn Park again this year as an overflow car park.  However, this does not offer a long-term solution to the parking problems identified in the area during peak tourist times.  Elie estates has indicated this is the last year they are willing to lease Nairn Park for this purpose.

Alex advised that Elie estates had gifted land to the community which they could use for parking.  However, it was pointed out that this land was occupied by the dunes and access via the road to Ruby Bay was already proving to be difficult. Robbie also flagged up that it was unlikely there would be local support to turn an additional area of the dunes into a car park.

Robbie advised that traffic management is the responsibility of Fife Council and whilst we did not have the necessary skills in our group to create a suitable Traffic Management Plan, Fife Council does have that skill-set.

In the meantime, Robbie will be looking to employ 2 parking attendants.  Parking Meters will be put in place at Ruby Bay along with new signage. There will be space for overnight parking for 8 motor-homes. Where this is not complied with, invoices will be attached to the relevant vehicles.

Action    

  • Robbie to make a strong case to Fife Council with regard to the development by the Council of a Traffic Management Plan. He will also advise the Council that they will require to get something in place within the next 12 months.
  • Robbie to propose to Fife Council that the recycling centre be re-sited.

 

  1. Disabled access at the Harbour

The best option for this would be through the land at the Water-Sports Centre. There is a need for a joined-up plan for beach access.

Action

  • A beach access plan is to be developed by the Beach Group and consideration will be given to upgrading the area.

 

  1. Waste and sand management Issues at the Harbour

Sand which had been encroaching on the road had been scooped up and placed over the harbour wall onto the beach. However, this sand had been contaminated by the overflow of sewage in the area.

Alex proposed a staggered fence be placed near to the exit onto the beach from the Toft to trap the sand.

 

There is also a problem with poo bags been placed in the bins at the Ship Inn as people wander off the beach.

The sink-holes which have appeared behind the seawall defences at Ruby bay have also not been dealt with.

Action

  • Robbie to speak with Transportation Services about the sand and sewage effluent
  • Robbie in collaboration with Andrew and Graham to try and develop a plan for sand and waste management at the harbour.
  • Robbie to contact Transportation Services about the sink-holes.

Post hoc – Seaweed Management

Graham Bucknall advised that the area around the Toft in front of the Ship Inn, the Toft and the dunes is the worst area in Elie Bay with regard to seaweed and detritus build up, as we discussed during the meeting.  It was this area I referred to when I said it had been “atrocious” since before fireworks in the autumn, had been allowed to build up and was now both impassable to all but strong adults (children, disabled, the elderly no chance) and also full of litter, dog mess, etc.  It is really bad and is an embarrassment when visitors assume we are happy for it to be like that.

 

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MINUTES 2022

Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 1st March 2022 in Earlsferry Town Hall and via Zoom

 

Present:  Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum, Patricia Ritchie, Nicola Hetherington, Cllr Linda Holt and Alex Nairn representing Elie Estate Trust

 

Apologies from: Cllrs Bill Porteous- joined meeting by Zoom and John Docherty

 

No new declarations of interest.

 

February minutes - proposed by Angus, seconded by Angela.

 

Chair’s Report

Most topics are on the agenda with the exception of several requests from members of the public requesting memorial benches. All requests are passed on to the relevant department at FC but requestees are advised that, since there are already numerous benches sited throughout the village, tree planting of native trees might be considered as a preferable alternative. FCCT are happy to advise.

 

Councillors’ reports

Cllrs Linda Holt and Bill Porteous are both attending the meeting convened by Willie Rennie on the ‘Superheadteacher’ campaign and hope to join this meeting later. Meanwhile the CC expressed their thanks to both councillors for their efforts to persuade FC to shelve their plan of appointing a ‘Superhead’ for all primary schools in East Neuk, Lundin Links and Largo.

Both joined meeting later and Linda confirmed that FC has, for time being, bowed to pressure from the public and shelved the plan to appoint a Superhead but she advised that fresh proposals will be presented after the local elections. The Group is working on a Participation Request to the Scottish government. The request uses a ‘toolkit’ developed for the very successful ‘St Andrews Hospital ‘Out of Hours’ campaign.  A Participation Request National Event is to be hosted by the Scottish Government on Thursday 10 March.  

 

Traffic review

After several requests from the Chair and Cllr Linda Holt a reply has been received from  FC’s Lesley Craig, advising that there was no update.  We are still waiting for a traffic review site visit which was promised two years ago. Again we are approaching the summer season no further forward than 2 years ago, arguably the villages were even busier during the pandemic than previously, but FC do not appear to be willing to engage with the CC on this issue.

 

Charette

Plans are now available for a new play park. These will be circulated among members for opinions. The work needs to be undertaken by FC approved suppliers and contractors, as a consequence, Fife Council has costed the work at £68k. Shelagh to meet with Bridget to discuss further and investigate funding opportunities. It was noted that Ian Wilson who had responsibility for parks and recreation with FC had assured us that funding would be available. It is not known if he is still in office. Sandy has a few ideas about funding opportunities and will forward these to Shelagh. The plans have been developed from input from PTA and local children.

 

Community Jubilee Project

A meeting is to be held next week 10 March. Details will be posted on E&ECC and E& E Chat Facebook sites.

 

Update from Alex Nairn

The meeting welcomed Alex Nairn to the meeting. Alex had already submitted up update on building plans as follows:

The planning applications were approved by the North East Area Committee in Feb 2021 subject to a Section 75 Legal Agreement.  The Section 75 is in all but an agreed form although we have had no response from Fife Council’s legal department since before Christmas.

Of note is that an open-space/play contribution of £1,000 shall be paid for each market housing unit to be spent on the provision, improvement or upgrade of open space and/or play facilities within Elie.  Additionally, to safeguard the provision of affordable housing in the event that the Grange is developed and Wadeslea is not, an area of land at Wadeslea has been offered to the Council by way of an option to cover this eventuality.

It is still our intention to offer the land for half the affordable houses to a housing association (probably Kingdom HA) to provide social rented housing and invest in the construction of the remaining half of the affordable houses and offer them as mid-market rent.

Discussions are ongoing between Scottish Water and SEPA over the upgrading of the waste water treatment works (WWTW) serving Elie & Earlsferry.  What is clear is that a new biological treatment works will be required and it will be a number of years before it is available (currently a series of primary settling tanks at the Harbour).  

The resident population of Elie & Earlsferry is approx 860 and the public sewage system has been designed for a population equivalent of 2,000.  However in the busy summer months more than 4,000 can reside in the village meaning the sewer system is operating at twice the capacity it is designed for.  For this reason there can be no new sewer connections in the village until this situation is resolved.

We are investigating temporary on-site sewage treatment, similar to what the Elie Holiday Park installed for the 20 new static caravans at Shell Bay.  Engineers and an excavator were on-site last week assessing the ground conditions both at Wadeslea and the Grange which were found to be favourable.

 

Alex then took questions:

Following Robbie Blyth’s request on behalf of FC&CT that Nairn Park be retained as an overflow car park Alex agreed that this was acceptable as a temporary measure but that he felt that FC must take responsibility for providing adequate parking and more suitable access to it. He pointed out that Elie Estate Trust had sold some 26 acres to FC in the 60s and that FC should consider using some of this land for provision of parking.

Nicola asked that, if charging was to be made for parking, the excess funds after paying for parking attendants could be put towards village projects.

Trisha asked if priority can be given to ‘locals’ applying to rent the ‘social housing’ houses to be build at Wadeslea. The meeting understands that allocation is awarded according to a ‘points’ system but enquiries will be made if Trisha’s request can be considered.

The meeting expressed thanks Alex for his contribution and that we look forward to further regular updates.

 

Infrastructure

The rusty gate giving access to the nine-hole golf course is still of concern.

If was noted that, due to a sand blockage at the sewage treatment works at the harbour, there has been an overflow on to the road. It was agreed that the CC should write to Scottish Water in an attempt to persuade them to recognise the situation as a high priority. Alex Nairn informed the meeting that he had contact details for officers at SEPA and Scottish Water and that he would pass these on to CC. A lack of maintenance and a build up of sand resulted in the system working inefficiently with some ground damage.

The Chair is to meet with the sailing club to see if joint pressure can be applied to resolve the issues.* update

 

Police Report, February

10 calls to the police were reported, consisting of various types including assist member of the public, an assault and road traffic matter. Two crimes were recorded in this period.

 

Planning

It was noted that the planning application for a house at Chapel Green has been resubmitted - https://planning.fife.gov.uk/online/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=R7588ZHFKV600&activeTab=summary . Concern was expressed concerning the apparent re siting of the trees which were planted to replace the ones which had been, previously, illegally felled. The Community Council is to request that it be a Statutory Consultee with regard to this application.

 

It was also noted that heritage groups may be concerned about the erection of a glass balustrade at the Granary.

 

Carol’s Shop have approached Fife Council in connection with a request to have a safe queuing space outside the shop, a diagram of the proposal was emailed to CC for comment. The decision rests with Fife Council.

 

Cllr Linda Holt highlighted FC’s proposal to scrap the weekly summary of planning applications which is widely circulated, including to CC’s. This would mean the CC members would have to search FC’s planning portal to establish any relevant applications, an almost impossible task. Shelagh to write to FC planning department to object.

 

Social Media

We have over 1000 followers of our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry

Last month our CC Facebook postings have received approx 300 views with a total of 886 ‘likes’.

 

Treasurer’s Update

Nothing new to report.

 

Beach Group

Next meeting is planned for 3rd March.

 

AOB

It has been noted that, over the past few years, several ‘shrines’ have appeared in at least two of our popular beauty spots near Shell Bay/Ruddons Point and by the Lady’s Tower. It was agreed that these locations are not suitable for such displays and it is hoped that people appreciate the environmental impact of plastic and other manmade items being left in beauty spots enjoyed by wildlife and humans. Visitors and locals alike are encouraged, in the words of Native American chief, Chief Seattle, “Take only memories, leave only footprints.”  

 

The idea of removing 3 pieces of plastic from the beach or pathways when out walking should  also be encouraged. Many people do much more than this, but it would help if more did so.

 

 

Next meeting Tuesday 5th April.  As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join. Information on whether this will be a ‘face to face’ meeting or via Zoom will be posted on CC Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry  nearer the time.

 

*Update- Cllr Holt hasreceived the following update- many thanks:

 

Our teams visited the site today to investigate the cause of the spill.

 

We have found that the sewer rather than the works itself has had sand build up inside it which has restricted its hydraulic capacity. We have organised for a team to attend and clean the sewer and the CSO to bring it back to full capacity.

 

To reduce the risk of it filling with sand again, we will be sealing the manhole and have added it to our regular maintenance schedule.

 

Finally, we have now a cleaned up the impacted area. We are now waiting on a skip being uplifted.

 

I understand the strength of feeling locally around this issue and the importance of the blue flag status beach.

 

With this in mind we have recently been carrying out the following upgrades to local assets:

-              We have upgraded the telemetry on South St and Cadgers Wynd waste water pumping station. This was completed this week.

-              In the next month, South St pumping will receive new and improved pumps which will further increase its reliability. The types of pumps being installed here have been successfully installed elsewhere at multiple other locations.

-              Cadgers Wynd pumping station will also have new pumps installed over the coming months.

 

 

**********************************

 

Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 1st February 2022 via Zoom

 

Present:  Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum, Patricia Ritchie, Nicola Hetherington, Cllrs Linda Holt, John Docherty and Robbie Blyth from Fife Coast and Countryside Trust

 

Apologies from: Sandy Bingham and Cllr Bill Porteous

 

Declarations of interest. It was noted that Patricia Ritchie is no longer Chair of Earlsferry Town Hall Group and that Grizelda Cowan is now on Visit East Neuk Group.

 

Update from Robbie Blyth

It was noted that since the removal of the public bin by footpath from Harbour Beach to The Toft almost opposite the Ship Inn, the owners of the adjacent garden have reported a significant amount of rubbish being thrown into their garden. Robbie explained the bin had been removed by request of the owners of house opposite the footpath who own the land. He assured the meeting that he would look into alternative locations for a replacement bin and that he would liaise with the Wangs who own the garden. It was also reported that, as a result of recent storms, the bin at the bottom of School Wynd has relocated itself to end of South Street. Robbie assured the meeting that this would be sorted.

Robbie reported that several meetings have been held at Fife Council in an effort to address the problems relating to parking (camper vans and cars) and toilets at Ruby Bay Car Park. He will update the CC once plans have been fonalised with FC. Discussions are ongoing over charging, parking attendants, toilet access and overflow parking.

 Cllr Linda Holt informed the meeting that the whole issue has been taken over by ‘Heads of Services’ at Fife Council and is being addressed as a priority. However, any action will depend on available resources.

Shelagh informed the meeting that otters have been sighted around Ruby Bay, Robbie said that this was a positive development  and members of the public are being asked to keep any eye out for evidence of them. All information should be passed on to Pauleen Amour-Barclay, Fife Nature Records Centre – Pauleen.Amour-Barclay@fife.gov.uk

 

The fence which had been erected which was blocking the footpath along the dunes at Earlsferry has now been opened up. The meeting was pleased that a solution which was good for both dune sustainability and public access had been reached.

Shelagh expressed our sincere thanks to Robbie and his team for all their hard work within the community.

 

Infrastructure

The rusty gate giving access to the nine-hole golf course is still of concern. Cllr John Docherty confirmed that he has reported this to the relevant department at FC and we await action.

Angela reported that the sink hole at Boat Wynd has been temporarily filled in with turf, presumably by a concerned resident, but still no action from FC. Cllr Bill Porteous agreed to look into this again.

 

Visit East Neuk

After discussion, it was agreed: that Visit East Neuk would not pursue the project of placing the puffin logo on the ‘Welcome to the East Neuk’ road signs.   The Group may, in the future, revisit a project to revamp these road signs but will do so only after consultation with all the East Neuk Community Councils.

It was confirmed that VEN has accepted Grizelda to join the group as the CC’s representative.

 

Councillors’ reportS

Linda Holt confirmed that the broadband company, EASTNEUKNOW who is offering fast broadband has decided to set up privately. Anyone interested should register their interest - https://www.eastneuknow.blog/register/

John Docherty confirmed that A917 is to be upgraded.

The general number for all FC enquiries is 0345 550000 and that its hours of operation have been changed to 9am – 5pm. John informed meeting that he will attempt to persuade FC to lengthen this period.

 

Community Jubilee Project

Shelagh attended the first meeting at ETH on 27th January 2021. This was well attended and a healthy number of volunteers have signed up to help with plans which include  a Street Party on Earlsferry High Street.

Shelagh agreed to represent the CC on the Jubilee Celebration Group and to apply for funding from the Local community Funding Fund.

 

Speeding traffic within village

Yet again concern was expressed about the excess speeding through the village, in particular along Links Place and down Park Place. It was noted that Leven and Lundin Links have recently acquired a large number a speed bumps and questions were asked as to why FC has repeatedly failed to respond to our pleas for some effective speed control measures. Shelagh agreed to request (yet again) a site visit from FC’s Lesley Craig.

 

Police Report

It was noted that there was a police presence in the village last weekend operating speed checks on the road into Elie from St Monans. We look forward to knowing the results of their findings.

Police reported eight calls during January including one traffic accident and one crime.

 

Social Media

Last month our CC Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry  was visited by 656 people and there were 69 ‘engagements’ and six ‘likes’.

 

Treasurer’s Update

Angus reported that there is just over £1,200 in our bank account with approx. £9000 from Neil’s fabulous fundraising run and approx £3000 in CC fund.

 

Beach Group

Angela reported that the group members were very glad that a compromise had been reached re the footpath in the dunes at Earlsferry. Next meeting is planned for end of February/beginning of March.

 

Cycle Path

A meeting was held on Wednesday 10 November 2021 at Earlsferry town Hall to discuss the proposed Cycle Path between Pittenweem and Earlsferry.  We heard from Crispin Hayes and Sonja Potjewijd, the meeting was attended by 3 members of the CC and 21 others. The maps attached were displayed in the hall and comments were invited via post-it notes to enable Sonja and Crispin to capture the attendees’ views. We were introduced to the 4 options which had been considered- North of A917, south of A917, the old railway line and the coastal path.

The coastal path is a non-starter, the railway line has access issues, North of A917 is the shortest and scores best on the selected criteria (no further info provided). Consequently it is the favoured route.

An application has been made by SUSTRANS- a 3rd sector organisation, to transport Scotland for £10M of government funding. This funding was no direct impact of FC so money isn't available for other purposes. SUSTRANS will fund 70% and 30% needs to be raised.

So far the number of responses to the scheme across 3 villages has been encouraging and the results form part of the consultation. The aim behind 'Places for Everyone' is that a 3 metre wide path should be safe for a 12 year old to use it to cycle to Waid academy, so called Utility journeys, but it can also be used for leisure purposes to encourage people to get out of their cars.

It was recognised that for 5 months of the year there are probably more leisure journeys than utility journeys. Alongside this program there is an organisation eastneuk50.co.uk looking at train journeys from Kirkcaldy to St A to Tayport to Dundee by train, this could help extend the tourist season in the area.

The path is deemed to be technically easy, no difficult technical barriers, but Landord agreement is required, construction could start in 2024, with fundraising being done in 22/23.. Discussions with landowners will inform detailed design drawings The section between Anstruther and Pittenweem is being funded by FC. FC will maintain the path within the road corridor.

The width of the path varies depending on the speed limit of the road- up to 40mph 4m strip, over 40mph 6 metre strip, the variable speed limits on the A917 may require to be reviewed, with an ambition of 20mph through villages?

The path is unlikely to be lit, but may have solar powered studs, bike parking and maintenance also form part of the consultation.

 

Sonja’s and Crispin’s details are below.

Sonja Potjewijd:  spotjewijd@gmail.com

Co-Founder, Footprint East Neuk

Centre Manager, East Neuk Centre Trust, Principal Officer, East Neuk Community Action Plan (ENCAP)  079 39147150

Crispin Hayes crispin@eco-consultancy.co.uk

 

AOB

Under the banner of Spaces for People Shona Jones, who runs the very popular ice cream shop in the village, is in talks with Fife Council discussing the possibility of retaining the space on the road outside her shop for safe queuing.

 

Next meeting Tuesday 1st March.  As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join. Information on whether this will be a ‘face to face’ meeting or via Zoom will be posted on CC Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry  nearer the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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