Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 3rd August 2021 via Zoom
Present: Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum, Sandy Bingham, Patricia Ritchie, Nicola Hetherington, Cllrs Bill Porteous and John Docherty, plus several members of the public
Apologies from: Jim Robertson and Bridget Sneddon and Cllr Linda Holt
Declarations of interest. Angela informed meeting that she is secretary of the Environmental Action Group.
Minutes from June meeting: proposed by Trisha seconded by Nicola.
Update from Chair: Shelagh expressed disappointment that Fife Council seem to be unwilling to address the problems we are experiencing with regard to rubbish collection and access to the recycling centre at Pittenweem. This feeling was shared by rest of the meeting including our local councillors.
Cllrs John Docherty and Bill Porteous are still trying to press FC for changes to booking system for Pittenweem recycling centre. There is now a phone number to call – 03451 555550 but this is seldom answered. Both councillors agreed to request once again the centre be opened on more days a week.
Cllr Bill Porteous acknowledged that there continues to be a problem with traffic congestion in the village with very few available parking spaces during the busy months. It is hoped that FC will recognise the need to address this problem and, with a recent new appointment in Transportation, he expressed some optimism.
Questions from the public:
The owners of the garden next to Ship Inn Beer Garden have expressed concern that the rubbish bin placed on the path from the beach which is adjacent to their garden has been removed. This has resulted in considerable rubbish being dumped in their garden The meeting asked councillors if the bin could be replaced or another bin be sited close by.
It was suggested that the owners of the house closest to the beach access may have requested the bin be removed from their land.
It was noted that Ship Ahoy has been closed for time.
A member of the public reported that a house owner in Park Place had roped several rubbish bins together in order to secure a parking place. It was agreed that this is an infringement of the law.
Once again it has been suggested that residents’ parking permits be introduced. But meeting felt that there are not sufficient resources to monitor such a system.
Trisha once again expressed our need for traffic wardens and it was agreed that we should work more closely with the East Neuk Forum in an attempt to persuade Fife Council to address this problem which is experienced throughout the East Neuk.
Cllr Bill Porteous stressed the need to persuade Fife Council to recognise that all our coastal villages are popular holiday destinations and are in desperate need of effective resources during our busy periods.
There has been concern about recent beach parties which have left behind a great deal of rubbish including used potable barbecues and glass bottles. There was a report of one child suffering severe cuts after playing on the sand. The CC has requested that signs be put up advising no fires, no litter and no glass bottles. FC&CT is to be asked to provide these.
The Community Council would like to thank those members of the public who daily walk along the beach and pick up all the litter left by the young revellers. Without them the beach would be a much less pleasant and much more dangerous place.
Ruby Bay Car Park:
It was noted the that the provision of the overflow car park at Nairn Park has been very effective and thanks were expressed to Alex Nairn for its provision. It is not a long term solutions and other options need to be identified.
Toll Green Update:
According to research carried out by members of the E&EAG it maybe that Toll Green is owned by Fife Council. Comments from their legal team are awaited.
The fundraising initiative for the Marathon being run by Neil Grieve & Ken Roach has reached 75% of the target - £5000. The run is to take place on Sunday 6th August, starting at 6.30am. All funds raised will go towards upgrading our flags and toward cost of new equipment for the play park. *
There is still a frequent sewage problem at the bottom of Golf Club Lane and Ferry Road. Cllr Bill Porteous confirmed that Scottish Water recognises that there is a capacity issue and that an upgrade is urgently needed. Cllr John Docherty has also been in talks with SW and explained that there is a need to make the new style pipes compatible with the old ones.
Local police have informed us that they wish to receive any information on substance abuse and any other areas of concern. In the last month they have received a total of 17 calls - Covid breach, traffic collisions, one crime and one missing person. A police representative will attend CC meeting when/if they become ‘live’.
It was noted that the owners of the Ship Inn have withdrawn their planning application. They have said that they would like to liaise with the community before they resubmit alternative plans. It is understood that the chief concerns are the lack of parking provision, the height of the proposed new build and the environmental impact.
The group has received request to remove the fencing on the dunes but has been advised by Robbie Blyth of FC&CT that it would be premature and that it must stay in place for the time being.
Common Good Application
The Elie & Earlsferry Environmental Group submitted an application to Fife council to access the Common Good Fund for improving facilities for wheelchair users at Toll Green, installing a table to accommodate wheelchair users and putting two benches on the High Street between the Church and War Memorial. Cllr Linda Holt had previously advised that, normally such applications would be for 50% of cost but Angela explained that the group has no funds. CC supported the application for cost of the provision for disabled users table but suggested that we consider other applications for benches from those who wish to pay for a memorial bench.**
Next meeting Tuesday 7th September 2021 via Zoom. As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join.
* A total of £10,000 was raised. Huge thanks and well done Neil and Ken!
** A request for a memorial bench was received shortly after the meeting as demand outstrips supply. The applicant is considering the High Street.
Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 8th June 2021 via Zoom
Present: Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum, Sandy Bingham, Patricia Ritchie, Nicola Hetherington, Cllrs Linda Holt, joh Doherty and Bill Porteous, Robbie Blyth from FC&CT plus several members of the public
Apologies from: Jim Robertson and Bridget Sneddon
No new declarations of interest.
Minutes from May meeting: proposed by Angus seconded by Nicola.
Ruby Bay car Park Update
Prior to meeting Robbie Blyth submitted a Q&A document addressing many of the questions from the general public relating to state of play with influx of visitors and parking at Ruby Bay. This can be read as an appendix at the end of these minutes. If you are reading a hard copy you can read them on line by going to our website - http://www.elieandearlsferrycc.org/ - and clicking on Minutes.
The following questions were asked at the meeting; all answers are from Robbie unless otherwise stated:
Trisha Ritchie stressed the problem that letting properties which are classified as businesses do not qualify for domestic uplift of waste. This has lead to the recycling point at Ruby Bay car park being used inappropriately and frequently over flowing.
She also asked if overnight parking was to be permitted in Nairn Park when it is used as an overflow car park.
Answer: The use of Nairn Park must be seen only as a ‘temporary fix’ and that no overnight parking is permitted. The gates are to be closed at 6pm and a call our charge of £50 will be levied on any driver who becomes locked in.
Julie Grieve, Question: If signage is to be put up at Nairn Park will parking there be monitored?
Answer: Signage will be put up by the weekend and it will be monitored by FC&CT staff wherever possible. Nairn Park will be only opened when necessary and a one way system to help with traffic congestion will be put in place.
Jose Monroe, Question: What method of payment for park is planned?
Answer: There will be no charge for parking in Nairn Park.
At Ruby Bay in Phase 1 there will be no parking fee. In Phase 2 parking fee of £2 will be levied on all vehicles parking at Ruby Bay for more than 2 hours with overnight parking £10 in seven marked bays. FC&CT staff will do their best to monitor parking regulations and all breaches will be issued with an invoice for unpaid fees (a fine cannot be issued.) It is hoped that Phase 2 will be in place by the end of the summer.
Question: Are tents allowed? Wild camping is permitted within guidelines but camping in the car park is not appropriate. Again FC&CT staff will monitor the situation.
Emma Neilson, Question: What can be done about ‘boy racers’ in carparks?
Answer: This is a matter for Police and all concerns should be reported to them.
Nicola Hetherington, Question: What can be done to address safety issues for pedestrians at the Toft and up Admirality Lane?
Answer: There is a one way system into the overflow carpark and there will be signage advising drivers to be careful and considerate.
Question: Will there be a charge for parking in Nairn Park
Alex Nairn Answer: No charge.
Angela Johnston, Question: Will there be CCTV cameras installed?
Answer: There will be no cameras – considered unesthetic in area. FCCT will target days which they believe will be busy and the area will be manned. Infringement notices have already been issued and the situation will be monitored even more robustly during the forthcoming busy months.
Alan Sheach, Question: Could we have more speed controlling signs in the village as the 20MPH speed limit is constantly being broken?
Answer: Lesley Craig of Fife Transportation Services is actively looking into this and Shelagh reminded the meeting that we have been in discussion with Fife Council on this matter for a while. CC will, once more, request some more speed restricting signs. Cllr John Doherty confirmed that Fife Council is beginning to recognise the need for more speed controlled measures throughout the East Neuk. Cllr Linda Holt stressed that Lesley Craig is very proactive and will come out for a site visit if asked. Shelagh will ask.
Emma Gilchrist, Question: What procedures are in place to deal with possible arrival of travellers?
Answer: If they are on private land it is the landowner’s responsibility to move them on if desired. Cllr Bill Porteous explained that Fife Council has a department to deal with members of the travelling community and are ‘fairly robust’.
Alex and Shelagh agreed to discuss other possible parking site on Elie Estate land.
Shelagh Mackay, Question: Might the recyclying facilities at Ruby Bay be extended or are there any other possible sites for recycling points?
Answer: No answer to this at the moment – it will be considered.
There then followed a discussion on how to deal with waste produced by tenants of holiday properties. Alex Nairn asked if all holiday letting businesses could adopt a practice whereby their tenants’ rubbish could be collected. Jamie Robertson of Elie Select stressed that all their properties do have bins and said that they encourage all their tenants to use the recycling sites whenever possible. Alan Sheach stressed that it should be the responsibility of the holiday properties’ owners or their agents to see that all their rubbish is dealt with. Again it was recognised that it is a problem that holiday home renters cannot legally use the Pittenweem recycling centre. A suggestion was made that access to the recyclying centre could be by the property address rather than number plate.
Alex Nairn suggested the use of a large bin with a combination lock to assist with the waste management at rental properties. A site visit to the 26 acres of FC land around Lady’s Tower should be visited by CC, Lesley Craig and Robbie Blyth.
Toll Green Update
FC have agreed to cut the grasss for this summer, access is difficult as new machinery has been purchased by FC and there are a number of obstacles on the grass. No new information re ownership.
The fundraising initiative for the Marathon being run by Neil Grieve & Ken Roach has reached 16% of the target at £845 from 23 supporters. It is possible to donate in Appeltons shop as well as on the CC just giving page.
Crispin Hayes attended the meeting to update the CC on the shared path between Earlsferry & Pittenweem route options. Sadly due to a very full agenda there was insufficient time to discuss the options. Crispin hopes to join us again at the next meeting. Currently the routes being considered are North of A917, South of A917 and along the old railway line.
The bank balance stood at £2732.
Substance abuse and off road bikes continue to feature throughout the East Neuk.
The police received 12 calls covering a range of topics during May, 1crime was recorded. TR reported that a kayak was stolen from The Terrace, yet to be reported to the police.
A discussion took place regarding the operation of the unit with particular concern about waste and whether all of the necessary regulations were being met. A large white van is almost permanently situated opposite the unit and appears to being used for storage of supplies for the unit. Councillors agreed to encourage FC to arrange a compliance visit.
There will be no meeting in July - date of next meeting – Tuesday 3rd August 2021 via Zoom. As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join.
Questions and answers from Robbie Blyth, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust
This is a response to several comments via email and social media to Fife Coast & Countryside Trust and other stakeholders. As such, it covers many of the issues that the Community Council may wish to discuss tonight. I would be more than happy to answer any questions or receive comments people may have. I will submit a written copy of what I say tonight to Elie and the Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council secretary for circulation following the meeting within this written statement.
Question / Comment from the Community: What planning requirements are there to make a change of use of Nairn Park to a carpark/overnight campsite, including new access points at Nairn Park and the instalment of fixed signage at Ruby Bay
FCCT Response: Land managers are currently allowed to temporarily change the use of a site such as Nairn Park without formal planning consent provided that the change falls under ‘permitted development’ (and is temporary). In this case, an overflow carpark may be permitted on a temporary basis of up to 56 days total in any calendar year. Prior to emergency legislation brought in because of the pandemic, only 28 days was permitted for such changes.
Fixed signage mounted on a temporary basis is also covered by permitted development such that signage that communicates the management practices related to the carpark at Ruby Bay does not require formal planning consent.
Question / Comment from the Community: An undeveloped strategy at Ruby Bay and policy of appeasement now leads to a change of use of a former sports field, loss of residents quality of life both in the context of an unforeseen change in their neighbourhood and increased traffic density, It provides little financial reward for the village vs actual impact and in my view is in contrast to the backdrop of a conservation area and the land marks of the lighthouse and coast line.
The strategy for Ruby Bay is to manage the provision of overnight parking at safe and sustainable levels that comply with existing legislation. The introduction of a Parking Charge Notice Scheme for the carpark will control the parking and make provision for a managed overnight parking facility. The controlled use of the carpark in this manner will take careful consideration of the aesthetics of the locality. In addition, FCCT has secured funding for a new public toilet facility which will greatly enhance the site. Any revenues secured by FCCT through the management of overnight stays in the car park will be re-invested in the management and improvement of the site.
The current change of use for the former sports field (Nairn Park) to overflow parking is a temporary measure and complies with current planning legislation. Any permanent change of use is a matter for the landowner and would be required to follow due statuary process with all the required checks and balances.
Question / Comment from the Community: FCCT, landowner/s bring forward a vision that actually takes Ruby Bay forward as an inclusive attraction. It’s so much more than a motor home park and bottle bank.
FCCT Response: We recognise that Ruby Bay Carpark is not a motorhome park or indeed a recycle centre but a gateway to the coastal path, beaches and areas of historical and important SSSI’s. The steps we are now taking to proactively manage the carpark are key to the way we manage the whole area, and indeed other parts of Fife’s coastline. We would be very supportive of the development of a broader vision but are aware that this requires input from many stakeholders and should include residents, visitors, landowners, the business community, Fife Council, Police Scotland and many more stakeholders. All we are doing currently is taking small steps that will yield improvements and deal with important and immediate issues.
Question / Comment from the Community: Install double yellow lines on admiralty lane leading to Ruby bay and at the Toft to keep choke points clear.
FCCT Response: The installation of double yellow line is a matter for Fife Council Transportation Services and such provision will require a Traffic Regulation Order. Should the community wish for this provision the matter requires to be raised directly with the officer responsible for such matter: Lesley Craig, Lead Consultant, Traffic Management, Transportation & Environmental Services (Fife Council) email: Lesley.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 03451 555555 Ext 480082
Question / Comment from the Community: Nairn park should be designated for overflow parking for cars only so as to ward off overnight camping
FCCT Response: Technically speaking Nairn Park is no longer a park as the lease agreement with the landowner and Fife Council has ended. Therefore, it is a field that could be used for agriculture or any other uses the landowner sees fit while following due planning process. When it is used as an overflow carpark, wild camping would not be permitted. Given that is still used by many for recreational access, FCCT would support the move to discourage wild camping as well as motorhome stays unless there is obvious community benefit.
Temporary parking signage shall read:
“Overnight parking and camping is not permitted within Nairn Park. All vehicles are required to vacate this site by 18:00 when the field gates are locked. Telephone 01592 656080 for further guidance as any call out to open gates after hours will incur a payment not exceeding £50”
Question / Comment from the Community: Signage at Nairn park to deter wild camping.
FCCT Response: FCCT provide guidance leaflets on wild camping and will endeavour to engage with service users as resources permit. It is anticipated that the temporary carpark signage may dissuade wild camping.
Question / Comment from the Community: Paid for entry to Nairn Park and Ruby bay with money re invested locally only.
FCCT Response: As Nairn Park is private land, FCCT cannot comment on the future management of this site at this stage. A parking charge scheme is to be introduced for Ruby Bay Carpark. As suggested, any income generated will be reinvested into the management and improvement of the carpark and associated facilities and beaches. FCCT will consider how this might be reported on to the Community.
Question / Comment from the Community: How was the increase in refuse addressed in the pilot project which allows camper vans to stay overnight at this location? There should be an increased uplift organised as part of the pilot with consideration given to domestic waste being mixed with recycled waste. This seems an ill thought out scheme. Obviously, there will be more waste if camping is allowed. In the meantime, additional bulk bins are required. Or perhaps leave things as they are so the pilot is seen to have failed due to the selfishness of the campers.
Image and comment via Elie & Earlsferry Chat (Facebook) 6th June 2021
FCCT Response: The pilot project is designed to reduce the amount of motorhomes parking over night with the aim to make the activity more sustainable. The excessive waste is created for several reasons which I shall list:
- Currently access to the nearest Council refuse tip (Pittenweem Recycling Centre) is restricted to Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with a Lunchtime closure 12:30 to 13:00 via a booking system. The challenges pertaining to the Ruby Bay Recycle Point are not unique to Elie and are replicated in many other locations in Fife during this difficult time.
- The refuse lorry could not get up to the Ruby Bay Recycle Point due to the number of vehicles parked in the upper carpark and it may have been more appropriate to empty on a Monday, Wednesday & Friday by Fife Council if resources area available.
- Evidence would suggest that some of the debris is commercial waste therefore creating an additional strain on the Recycle Point that is not designed to receive such waste.
- Given the greater number of visitors to Ruby Bay, footfall will increase to the Recycle Point to mitigate against this FCCT have increased the emptying of the general waste bins with the carparks to twice a day at peak periods. This is beyond the terms and expectations of our service level agreement with Fife Council and has been done with minimal additional cost thanks to the willingness and hard work of the FCCT team.
On a more positive note on the afternoon of the 6th June, FCCT staff removed the excessive carboard shown in the photograph and the bins where emptied by Fife Council staff.
Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 4th May 2021 via Zoom
Present: Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Patricia Ritchie, Angus Meldrum, Nicola Hetherington, Cllr Linda Holt
Apologies from: Jim Robertson, Sandy Bingham, Bridget Sneddon, Cllrs Bill Porteous and John Docherty
No new declarations of interest.
Minutes from April meeting: an amendment suggested re Covid implications, subject to this change minutes proposed by Trisha seconded by Angela.
Shelagh expressed some concerns re activities at Ruby Bay included a motorised buggy on beach which was spotted last week and ‘wild campers’ making open fires. She has raised this with Robbie Blyth who is looking into provision of fire dampening equiopment.*
Shelagh, once again stressed the need for more recycling bins at Ruby Bay and the need to try to persuade FC to open the recycling centre at Pittenweem at least five days a week without need for advance booking. She also requested that holiday home renters should be permitted to use the Pittenweem recycling centre and noted that the build up of rubbish left out might encourage rats and cause disease. She wondered if there could be an extra recycling post (similar to one at Ruby Bay car park) ideally in Earlsferry, the issue was identifying an appropriate site. A possibility may be in the car park at the Sports Club. Another suggestion was that the amount of recycling bins behind church.
Cllr Linda Holt informed the meeting that she has repeatedly conveyed our problems to Cllr Ross Vettraino, Convener - Environment, Protective Services & Community Safety, who appears not to accept that there is a problem. Shelagh to write to him once again, copy to councillors and Linda will forward to Fife press.
Shelagh will also make a request to Robbie Blyth for more bins at Ruby Bay.
There have been several requests for memorial benches but it seems that we already have as many as is needed. CC is looking for suggestions for alternative ways to commemorate a departed loved one – possibly planters or planting of trees in memory. It is understood that there is a tree planting group in Anstruther – we will investigate this.
The continual problem of traffic congestion and parking problems was discussed. The possibility of issuing parking permits for residents was suggested but the meeting felt that this would be impossible to enforce if our parking problems cannot be policed. It was accepted that there is reduced parking in High Street which is not ideal but that, as long as social distancing is necessary, local businesses are in direct discussion with FC to see if the current arrangements could be altered.
It was suggested by a member of the public that local businesses might use a central drop off point for goods ordered in Earlsferry to reduce traffic flow, but meeting felt that this would not be viable.
It was agreed that we need more traffic wardens to visit the villages and a request is to be made to FC and Community Police with copy to be Robby Blyth.
Plans are progressing. Nicola Hetherington will keep the CC up to date with progress.
We have received an offer from two enterprising locals, Neil Grieve and Ken Purves who are embarking on a charity marathon run in aid of provision of new flags. More information to follow. We hope this generous offer will be well supported and that it might also help to fund items for the playpark. CC would like to extend a big thank you to both runners.
Boat Wynd – the hole is still there – meeting requested that it be repaired with some urgency.
It was noted that the gable end of house, 1 Earlsferry High Street which had FC council signs removed is in dire need of repainting. ** And the traffic sign reinstated.
LOCAL BUSINESS UPDATE
Concern was expressed over the lack of commercial waste bins at Chip Ahoy and the resulting apparent use of public bins. It is hoped that Fife Council will investigate.
A total of 11 calls were received in the last month including reports of Covid breaches, missing persons, lost and found property, traffic collision and one crime. Police are still active in addressing the problem of substance abuse.
There is still concern in the village about the planning proposals at the Ship Inn, primarily over resulting parking problems and traffic congestion, also the height of the extension and associated loss of daylight to neighbouring properties.
Planning application at Torwood House was also raised and concern expressed about possible removal of recently planted trees.
Shelagh to write to FC on both these sites.
Our CC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry) is followed by 909 people and is ‘liked’ by 766 In the last 28 days it has been seen by 548, up by 10%, post engagements are up by 122% at 269 and have received 7 ‘likes’, up by 133%
Elie and Earlsferry Chat Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/390596588820883) continues to be very popular with 932 members and several posts daily.
The CC has received a request from newly formed independent Elie and Earlsferry Environmental Action Group for funds held in CC’s bank account belonging to E&EAG. This will be transferred upon receipt of invoice and copy of constitution.
Fayre Day Group in conjunction with RLNI has produced a Chain Walk leaflet is now on sale for £1 per copy.
Date of next meeting Tuesday 8th June 2021 via Zoom. As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join.
* Since the meeting we have received an email from James Dawson, Head of Communities and Engagement at Fife Council who has spoken to Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for guidance. They will look to take a preventative stance through distribution of their fire safety information and our own via social media. They will also keep an eye out for potential fire safety issues when staff visit the site. They are going to install a bin for used barbeques and a stub plate for cigarettes this year.
** Since meeting we have been informed that the sign was removed with owners consent and a contractor was appointed to repaint. Cllr Porteous is following up with FC as to when & where sign to be reinstated.
Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 6th April 2021 via Zoom
Present: Shelagh Mackay, Grizelda Cowan, Angela Anderson, Patricia Ritchie, Angus Meldrum, Nicola Hetherington, Sandy Bingham, Councillors Linda Holt and John Docherty.
Plus 18 members of the public
Apologies from: Jim Robertson, Bridget Sneddon and Cllr Bill Porteous
New declarations of interest. Cllr Linda Holt informed meeting that she is a Board Member of Fife Coast and Countryside Trust
Minutes from March meeting: minutes proposed by Trisha, seconded by Angus.
Following discussion at last meeting an intermediary has been informed that the owner of Toll Green has been identified but wishes to remain anonymous. It was suggested that if they wish to gift Toll Green to the village they should contact a lawyer and speak with Fife Council. The CC will not now make any further enquiries into the ownership of Toll Green.
Earlsferry Town Hall
Following last CC meeting at which was discussed the request from ETH for the sum from the Common Good Fund of £12,500 to help fund urgent repairs, an email was circulated to all CC members requesting an immediate decision on this to enable the final sale to be completed by 31st March. Support for the request was unanimous from CC members and our local Fife Councillors. There followed a suggestion that correct procedures according to the constitution had not been adhered to but it was pointed out that the constitution was drawn up pre Covid and, therefore did not specifically deal with taking decisions by email rather than in a formal meeting. Indeed, this action had been suggested by Fife Council’s Janice Laird and our three local councillors. Subsequently it was agreed to make available sum of £12.500 from Common Good Fund; this was matched by Fife Council and sale has been completed with sum of £31,500 being paid into the Common Good Fund account.
Cllr John Docherty
John is still campaigning to make the Fife recycling centres more accessible to those who are not able to book on line. He is pressing for a booking method via phone as is the case with other councils.
He acknowledged that there are problems with several road signs in our area which have been removed and/or damaged. He will be attending an East Neuk Forum meeting where this should be discussed.
Cllr Linda Holt
All Linda’s points will be addressed later in meeting
Cllr Bill Porteous
Bill sent apologies but wished to register his thanks to Graham and others on the EAG group - it’s been excellent work and shows the power of willing volunteers!
Traffic and parking in villages
Robbie Blyth has produced an extensive paper with suggestions on how to address traffic issues; as yet Fife Council have not approved his suggestions. *
Lesley Craig of Fife Council is also looking into the problems.
It was noted that three parking fines had been issued recently.
Bins & recycling within Elie & Earlsferry
As discussed already we have seasonal issues which suggest that we require more bins, more frequent emptying of bins and confirmation that we have the correct type of bin.
Starting with the type of bins we have, the preference seems to be for the gull proof type. Shelagh has spoken with representatives from Crail CC who were very helpful re the large compactor bins. They may not be the best solution as they can get very heavy, they require planning permission & we don’t seem to have an obvious place to put them.
Robbie Blyth, FCCT, has been very helpful in terms of frequency of emptying the bins which we currently have.
It was agreed that it is difficult for weekend visitors to a second home without wheelie bins to deal with their rubbish. Taking it ‘home’ isn’t always that easy an option - a better solution is required.
Shelagh has spoken with letting agents in an attempt to understand the differences between commercial & domestic waste collection and to ask if they have any specific difficulties or suggestions. It would seem there is a common issue.
The letting agents which are running businesses are responsible for ensuring the renters are aware of their responsibilities and they actively encourage recycling. Some properties are not registered as businesses, pay Council Tax and have wheelie bins which the agents ensure are put out in line with FC collections.
There are still issues depending on the size of property, the maximum could be up to 20 people and as regular size bins are probably aimed at a family of 4 there is obviously going to be excess waste.
Currently the recycling centre at Pittenweem is open 3 days a week and you are asked to bring proof of a Fife address while attending the centre. It was agreed that it be helpful for renters to visit the site even although they are not resident. The two sites currently within Elie at Ruby Bay & Kirkpark Road are not adequate in the 9 week summer season. In addition we have recently lost capacity at Kirkpark Road following a fire safety inspection at the Church.
Identifying a third site is proving difficult, but some suggestions have been received which require further investigation.
The letting agents face a timing issue as not all arrivals & departures fitting in with bin collection dates, they therefore have a timing as well as a capacity issue. A potential solution would be an industrial size, foot operated bin with a significant capacity which could be sited out of view, but accessible for commercial collections.
As for Second Homes Registered as small businesses it is difficult to estimate how many properties there are of this type. They do not pay Council Tax and their waste is classified as commercial, but again waste collection dates may not fit with property occupancy.
Cllrs Linda Holt and John Docherty have both tried to convince Cllr Ross Vetraino that there is a significant problem in Elie made worse by the restrictions in using the recycling centre at Pittenweem. Unfortunately he does not accept that.the situation needs to be reviewed and updated.
The CC would really like Pittenweem recyclying centre to be reopened fully, without a requirement for a booking and proof of property ownership. The overall objective is to reduce Landfill & recycle has much as possible, barriers to this happening really need to be removed.
There is a consultation under way – meanwhile everyone is invited to complete this survey:
Bridget has spoken to Fife Council again; no one will come out to see the playpark at the moment citing health and safety covid etc. One man is now managing playparks for Levenmouth and East Neuk and he is unfamiliar with the area. He is going to look at park on Google maps and find out about services at the site. He hopes to be out end of April to assess the lifespan of the existing equipment and whether the previous plans drawn up are useable. Bridget will meet with him when allowed. Unfortunately, the FC rep who drew up the previous designs passed away suddenly and so some records of work done to date are not readily available. Funding source at FET has been identified but nothing can be applied for until new design and costing has been done by FC. Bridget has informed them that public consultation on this park has been carried out via Charette and school PTA questionnaires previously done. This would speed things up if it doesn’t have to be done again. Final designs can still be put out again to public for comments when they are drawn up. Bridget has offered to supply correspondence relating to previous designer and plans etc .
Earlsferry Town Hall
Boat Wynd – the hole is still there with a cone on top – meeting requested that it be repaired with some urgency.
CC would like to extend congratulations and thanks to Shona Jones who has submitted an application for a Staycation Award and for a public water tap.
8 calls have been received in the last month including one crime report, lost property and a missing person report. The owner of the beach buggy being driven on the dunes has been identified
Todburn House, Chapel Green – the CC has requested that it be a Statutory Consultee with regard to this application.
The Ship Inn has lodged a full application for their extension to include for additional bedrooms. The CC has requested that it be a Statutory Consultee with regard to this application.
Several members of the public who attended the meeting expressed following concerns:
- resulting lack or privacy and daylight
- parking problems
- the height of proposed building exceeds acceptable height
- the whole proposed development is just too big
- the proposed development will destroy the environment of the Toft
All objectors were directed to Fife Council Planning website where all valid reasons for objections can be found.
Our CC Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry) is followed by 903 people and is ‘liked’ by 762. In the last 28 days it has been seen by 573 (-7%), Post Engagements 219 (+71%) and has received 7 ‘likes’ (+600%)
Elie and Earlsferry Chat Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/390596588820883) continues to be very popular with 890 members and several posts daily.
Total in bank account is £4197 divided between E&AAG £1465 and CC £4197.
The subcommittee of the CC who look after the floral displays within the village among many other projects have decided they do not wish to be affiliated with the CC and with effect from 6 April are no longer operating under the CC. We of course wish them well with keeping our villages looking attractive. Very many thanks for your hard work.
Fayre Day Group in conjunction with RLNI has produced a Chain Walk leaflet which will be on sale for £1 per copy.
Date of next meeting Tuesday 4th May 2021 via Zoom. As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join.
Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 2nd March 2021 via Zoom
Present: Shelagh Mackay, Angela Anderson, Angus Meldrum, Nicola Hetherington, Grizelda Cowan, Patricia Ritchie, Sandy Bingham, Councillors Linda Holt, John Docherty and Bill Porteous.
Apologies from: Jim Robertson, Bridget Sneddon,
No new declarations of interest.
Minutes from February meeting: minutes proposed by Angela, seconded by Angus.
Cllr John Docherty
John is still campaigning to make the Fife recycling centres more accessible to those who are not able to book on line. He is pressing for a booking method via phone as is the case with other councils. He will be attending N E Fife Area Committee meeting tomorrow where this should be discussed.
All necessary road works in the East Neuk have been identified but as yet there is no date for repairs to be carried out.
Cllr Linda Holt
Linda echoed John’s points re recycling centre and confirmed that she will contact Cllr Vetraino to request an effective telephone booking system.
With regard to road works repairs she explained that the potholes have not been attended to as they are not considered emergencies. She is continuing to press FC to attend to them and has launched a petition to demand that they be seen to with some urgency - http://chng.it/KCjYYZx4
Cllr Bill Porteous
Bill has spoken to John Mayhew, Strategic Manager for Scottish National Parks with regard to area of East Neuk and Landward being considered as a National Park.
Bill also expressed his concern about the numerous potholes in our area and appreciates that we are beginning to lose faith in in Fife Council. He hoped the FC might consider using Fix my Street website, the UK's best-known site for reporting street repair issues & getting them fixed.
The sink hole on Boat Wynd is as bad as ever. Cllr Bill Porteous has already asked FC for this to be fixed. He will ask again!
Traffic and parking in villages
The meeting agreed that there is now some urgency to address the expected problems in the coming months. Linda confirmed that she would speak to Lesley Craig who has taken over from Colin Sterling to request some short term measures to address the problems.*
Trisha requested that we have some signs to advise cyclists not to cycle along the one way streets the wrong way. **
Alex Nairn has been asked if Nairn Park can be used as an ‘overflow’ car park during busy times and it was agreed that some signage for this would be required.
Speedwatch training has been taking place but no one from Elie/Earlsferry is participating.
In order to address the constant problem of overflowing public rubbish bins at busy times Shelagh has requested that we have more bins, that they are emptied more frequently particularly at weekends and that we should investigate the option of compostable bins such as those at Crail. It is apparent that FC has a problem addressing seasonal peaks as it is really only during busy times that we experience these problems.
The toilets at the harbour are to be open for longer but as yet we have no details.
There is increased concern over this problem. Bill stressed that this is not a problem solely caused by our visitors and that in many cases it is the residents’ dogs who are the culprits.
Shelagh has received an email from Graham Meacher from the EAG suggesting that some actions proposed in the Charette should be taken forward. There is an EAG meeting on 9th March where this will be discussed.
It was noted that planning for the two large developments at Wadeslea and the Grange have been approved with some conditions. It was noted with some concern that many of the councillors on the Fife Planning Committee had very little knowledge of the area and that the members of the CC were very disappointed with the whole process. There was some confusion with regard to the social housing and Alex Nairn was able to confirm that the plan is to have 24 houses with a 50/50 split between social rental housing to be managed by Kingdom Housing and mid-market rented housing to be managed by Elie Estate.
The EAG has requested that funding from the Common Good Fund be made available in order to pay for the pollarding of the trees on Toll Green. It was agreed that as it has not yet been possible to ascertain who actually owns Toll Green, the CC are unable to grant or deny permission to pollard the trees on Toll Green. There was concern expressed about the impact such action would have for the resident rooks, the funding request was not approved.
There is a planned walk round Elie and Earlsferry on Wednesday 17th March to address cycling issues. **
There is hope that the Community Speedwatch programme can get going.
In the last month there were 10 calls from our areas with no reports of any major crimes.
Elie and Earlsferry CC Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry :
People reached – 556
Post engagements – 256
Likes – 3
Elie and Earlsferry Chat Facebook group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/390596588820883 - continues to grow and now has 789 members with regular posts every day with some lively discussions.
Alex Nairn requested opinion from CC on presence of motor bikes being permitted in public areas popular with walkers. The meeting agreed with Alex that these were not desirable but that that a one off organised event on private land might be an acceptable plan.
Post meeting-email request:
Earlsferry Town Hall Limited requested the sum of £12,500 from Common Good Fund to help fund the cost of urgent, essential repairs including installation of a new boiler. This was unanimously agreed by the email.
Date of next meeting Tuesday 6th April 2021 via Zoom. As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join.
* Since our meeting Cllr Linda Holt has contacted Lesley Craig who is being been very proactive and is seriously looking into ways in which our traffic congestion problem can be alleviated.
** Following a walk round the village with SUSTRANS several issues were identified:
- Roundabout at the bakers
- No specific parking for bikes at any of the car parks
- Temporary parking restrictions in High Street
- Bank Street/Links Place - narrow with a lot of parked cars
- Woodside to Wadeslea blind junction
- Crossing point at the school - increased signage to slow cars down
- One way streets – Earlsferry High Street, Admirality Lane and the Terrace
All residents and visitors are invited to complete this survey - https://form.jotform.com/plumpie/earlsferrypittenweempath?fbclid=IwAR2L6w6fX5UeZFV58I-epWlr802XvILq1qcPBXRbc14BLdQIKQn7B23SOzk
Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 2nd February 2021 via Zoom
Present: Shelagh Mackay, Angela Anderson, Jim Robertson, Angus Meldrum, Bridget Sneddon, Nicola Hetherington, Grizelda Cowan and Sandy Bingham. Councillors Linda Holt, John Docherty and Bill Porteous.
No new declarations of interest.
Minutes from January meeting: One error - figure in the EAG bank account should have been £3678.94. Corrected minutes proposed by Angela, seconded by Nicola.
Cllr Bill Porteous
Bill put forward a proposal that that the area of East Neuk and Landward be considered as a National Park with following aims;
- To conserve and advance the natural and cultural heritage.
- To promote the sustainable use of the natural resources of the area
- To promote understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area.
- To promote sustainable social and economic development of the communities of the area.
Cllr John Docherty
John is still campaigning to make the Fife recycling centres more accessible to those who are not able to book on line. He has attended a meeting with Environmental, Economic and Scrutiny Committee and is pressing for a booking method via phone.
Cllr Linda Holt
Linda has questioned Fife Council with regard to the large potholes on the road outside Elie towards St Monans. She noted that these have been in existence for weeks, several cars have sustained damage and still no work has been done. Instead there are traffic lights set up to allow motorists to avoid them. She reported that she’d been informed that the problem has been caused by rising water and that Scottish Water, having been contacted, had reported that it was nothing to do with them. Linda has requested that the potholes be fixed temporarily and the traffic lights removed while bigger investigations are undertaken.
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
A neighbouring resident raised several problems relating to the chip shop, Chip Ahoy, in Rankeilor Street including lack of storage for commercial bins, opening times at odds with permitted hours, access to water supply, covered smoke detectors, noise and odours seeping into neighbouring houses and lack of fireproof walls and ceiling. Cllr John Docherty who is on the Regulation and Licensing Committee, agreed to look into this
TRAFFIC AND PARKING IN VILLAGES
We look forward to welcoming visitors back to our villages. A discussion was held about the likely impact of a large number of spring & summer visitors to the villages. Robbie Blyth has produced a document with suggestions of how traffic and parking problems may be addressed and an overall traffic management plan is in discussion with FC and FCCT. A local resident from Liberty has contacted CC to advise that they are unable to enter their driveway when cars are parked opposite. This will be included in the traffic management plan.
In addition FCCT, & FC are to be contacted to discuss areas including toilet opening hours, rubbish collection, parking. All members of CC to send comments to Shelagh ASAP to enable a wish list to be prepared for discussion.
The playpark sub group has identified some funding sources and is now in talks with a contact at Fife Council – meeting planned for Wed 3rd February.
Cllr Linda Holt recommended setting up a constitution and investigating possibility of utilising another’s bank account – possibly EAG. Angela agreed to discuss this with Graham Meacher. Cllr Bill Porteous suggested that they contact Helen Ironside of the similar group at St Monans and Cllr John Docherty recommended talking to Kate Holly at Kingsbarns CC.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND REPAIRS
Shelagh informed meeting that she had received emails re proposed installation at the harbour of electric charging points. FC currently do not have any funding available for the installation of charging points. Shelagh is waiting for more information on this.
The sink hole on Boat Wynd is as bad as ever. Cllr Bill Porteous has already asked FC for this to be fixed. He will ask again!
With regard to the applications for the developments at the Grange and Wadeslea the North East Planning Committee meeting will be held remotely on Wednesday, 10th February, 2021 at 1.30 pm to discuss and make a decision.
This is a virtual public meeting and can be attended on a ‘just watching’ basis by anyone.
This link will take you to the Agenda and all the relevant papers including the committee papers along with the officer's report:
The officer's report recommends both applications being given conditional approval subject to legal agreement.
There has been a discussion on Facebook Elie and Earlsferry Chat - https://www.facebook.com/groups/390596588820883 - on the presence of motor bikes on the beaches, Fife Coastal Path and in the woods at Kilconquhar.
In order to clarify the legal situation Robbie Blyth of Fife Coast & Countryside Trust has issued following statement:
FCCT do not give permission for petrol or diesel powered vehicles to be on the Coastal Path, the beaches or any other land that we manage on behalf of Fife Council and private landowners. This includes motor bikes. To drive a petrol or diesel powered vehicles without the land owners / land managers permission is a statuary offence under the traffic the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 34) and I would advocate zero tolerance and that the matter is reported to Police Scotland every time with registration numbers (if possible) or a description.
For those who wish to explore the open countryside and land, familiarity with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) is advisable. Please see:
The CC has received an email from the Cabinet Off, Government Digital Office advising us of the necessity to ensure our website is accessible to all. This is being investigated by Shelagh, Grizelda and Angela
It was agreed that the CC Chair would contact Graham Meacher of EAG, as a sub group of the CC, to avoid duplication by two groups.
Jim robertson has agreed to produce a paper on the true meaning of re-wilding as opposed to a cost cutting exercise.
Date of next meeting Tuesday 2nd March 2021 via Zoom. As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join.
Minutes of Elie and Royal Burgh of Earlsferry Community Council meeting held on 6th January 2021 via Zoom
Present: Shelagh Mackay, Angela Anderson, Jim Robertson, Angus Meldrum, Bridget Sneddon, Nicola Hetherington, Grizelda Cowan and Sandy Bingham. Councillors Linda Holt and Bill.
Apologies from: Patricia Ritchie Cllr John Docherty
No new declarations of interest.
Minutes from December meeting: Proposed by Angela, seconded by Nicola
Everything to be covered in meeting.
ENCEPT have again offered help to anyone needing support during the pandemic – find out about all their activities by visiting their Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ENCEPT.UK/
Linda reported ongoing discussions at FC re traffic problems. Following several proposals from Robbie Blyth of FCCT Colin Stirling is to set up a series of walkabouts and Zoom meetings.
Cllr Bill Porteous
Bill put forward a proposal that that the area of East Neuk and Landward be considered as a National Park. Linda explained that, based on her previous experience of a similar proposal in another part of Scotland, this is a long drawn out process which, in her opinion, would have little chance of succeeding.
There is now a small playpark group which will take forward funding applications. They have already been in touch with other playpark groups which are also looking into funding possibilities. They are still waiting to hear back from Ian Wilson from Fife Council who has taken over responsibility for Parks and Recreation.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND REPAIRS
The meeting was delighted to learn that the repairs required at the footpath by the school have been completed.
It was noted that there are some serious potholes in and around our villages and that numerous requests have been made to FC that they should be repaired with some urgency.
The meeting was informed that FC Planning have requested that the planning applications from Elie Estate for the developments at Wadeslea and Grange be given an extension till 12th February.
Facebook Elie and Earlsferry Chat - https://www.facebook.com/groups/390596588820883 - has been set up and is proving to be a very useful mouthpiece for businesses and locals alike. Already it has 524 members and enjoys a lot of activity.
Total of £5878.20 in bank of which £3678.94 is in the Environmental Action Group’s account..
Date of next meeting Tuesday 2nd February 2021 via Zoom. As usual this will be a public meeting and members of the public will be invited to join.