Minutes of Meeting held in the New Town Hall
on Thursday 8th July 2021 at 7pm
Present: Margaret Wardlaw, Linda Lauder, Peter Mills, Jim Wood, Lynn Balfour
Councillors: Cllr. John Docherty, Cllr. Linda Holt
Apologies: Cllr. Bill Porteous, Gary McClure
Invited Guests: PC Robert Wallace (St Andrews Police), Robbie Blyth (Fife Coast and Countryside Trust), Crispin Hayes (Shared Use Path)
Public Attending: Four members of the public were in attendance.
Opening of Meeting:
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.
MW informed attendees that all tables and chairs had been fully sanitised prior to the meeting, and that mask wearing and social distancing would be in place, although masks could be removed prior to speaking.
PC Robert Wallace (St Andrews Police)
MW introduced PC Robert Wallace from St Andrews Police who was in attendance to talk to the monthly Police report and several items on the agenda.
The June Police report for Pittenweem was discussed. The following points were noted:
- The community speed watch initiative has been on hold due to Covid, therefore volunteers have not yet been trained. Any further interested volunteers should let the PCC know in the first instance. The purpose of the initiative is to train people in local communities to use handheld speed capturing devices to monitor speeds in these areas. Volunteers do not stop vehicles and cannot issues formal warnings or fines. Volunteers can participate in other areas out with their immediate locality if preferred. It was noted that this initiative has worked well in other areas in order to have a speed check presence as Police do not have the resource to be constantly carrying out speed checks.
- The Police have been in contact with local schools in relation to recent bouts of anti-social behaviour which have been particularly noticeable with the easing of lockdown. A communication has also been sent to parents.
- The Take 5 Campaign is ongoing to highlight financial fraud particularly amongst the vulnerable in the community.
- The community is encouraged to report any intelligence around substance misuse. Instances of suspected drug dealing can be reported anonymously via 101 and Crime Stoppers. It was noted the Police rely heavily on members of the public to report this kind of activity in order for action to be taken.
- Reports of off-road bikes on the coastal path are being investigated but evidence is needed in order to take action. The Police encourage anyone witnessing this to call the 101 service at the time it is happening as the Police are unable to act if they are not aware.
- During the month of June, in Pittenweem 16 calls were made to the Police, with 2 crimes recorded.
Ongoing issues at the West Braes were discussed. The Police have been made aware of vehicles gathering, potential drug dealing and discarded drug paraphernalia. Police patrols have been carried out, but nothing has been found during these checks. Further reports of graffiti, underage drinking and discarded glass at the beach were highlighted at the meeting. PC Wallace reiterated that such instances must be reported to the Police at the time using 101 and that the Police cannot act if they are not made aware of the issues. It was agreed that the Police will look into the possibility of having posters put up at the West Braes/costal path area encouraging the public to report anti-social behaviour incidents to 101. The FCCT will also look into adding a poster about needle stick injuries.
Speeding in the Pittenweem area was discussed in more detail. Concern for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on the A917 was highlighted given the number and speed of cars passing through and road traffic accidents that have previously occurred. It was noted the Police have carried out speed checks from St Monans travelling towards Pittenweem and also in Pittenweem itself. PC Wallace noted speeding is an issue across the entire East Neuk, and that the community speed watch programme does offer a further opportunity to monitor traffic speeds and educate drivers. PC Wallace noted that the role of the Police is to enforce regulations and not to set them. Determining speed limits and traffic calming measures is the remit of the FC Traffic department. PC Wallace noted that the Police will do their best to carry out more speed checks but highlighted that there is very little resource to do this on a recurring basis.
MW thanked PC Wallace on behalf of the PCC for attending the meeting.
Robbie Blyth (Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT)
MW introduced Robbie Blyth from the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) who was in attendance to provide information about the remit of the FCCT.
It was noted that the FCCT manages the coastal path, coastline, and a number of assets on behalf of FC. The toilets and litter maintenance at the West Braes are particular responsibilities, however it was highlighted that the management of the car park does not fall within the FCCT remit.
Significant challenges with greater access to outdoor areas and facilities managed by the FCCT were highlighted due to the situation with the Covid pandemic and no additional funding. Increased opening hours of the West Braes toilets have been put in place, meaning these are now open from 1 April to the end of October from 10am – 6pm (October 10am – 4pm). Additional litter picks in the area have also been added.
Issues with speeding on the road leading to the West Braes car park were discussed. The FCCT will put up signage about responsible driving and parking, which has been done in other coastal village parking areas. The FCCT will also try to determine the ownership of the road and look into the possibility of having a traffic calming measure put in place.
Robbie Blyth put forward a suggestion about considering a Parking Charge Notice Scheme for the West Braes which would allow parking to be chargeable for a small fee and also allow a limited number of motorhomes to park overnight. This scheme is being introduced in Elie and Kingsbarns to control the amount of parking whilst generating a small income that can be reinvested back into the area. It was noted that surplus funding from a scheme in Pittenweem could be used for the West Braes Project. It was noted that this parking model can also help to mitigate anti-social behaviour problems with a more formalised presence in the area. The FCCT could help to take this forward if there is appetite to do so and would be responsible for policing the area. It was noted that this initiative would not mean providing any additional facilities for motorhomes, as the intention would not be to significantly increase the number of visitors.
A suggestion was made to put up a sign to inform people that the toilets are not manned. FCCT will look into this. A further suggestion of placing a donation box into the toilets was made and FCCT also agreed to look into this.
Cllr LH noted that the FCCT has also taken forward a programme to remove the giant hogweed at the Recycling Centre and the work is progressing well.
MW thanked Robbie Blyth from the FCCT on behalf of the PCC for attending the meeting.
Crispin Hayes (Shared Use Path)
MW introduced Crispin Hayes who was in attendance to provide information about potential routes for the new Shared Use Path (P/weem – Elie).
Crispin Hayes outlined two routes currently being considered that impact on Pittenweem. The routes being considered are mainly off-road routes. The sort of path that is being considered is a high-quality tar mac path that will be a minimum of 2.5 metres wide. It was noted that due to Covid, it has not been possible to do community consultation. The PCC highlighted it will be important to arrange for this so that the whole community are informed and get to have a say.
Crispin Hayes noted that part of the project will include bike parks, bike maintenance posts and good signage which will all be important to make sure people can use the path well, along with providing an opportunity for sustainable tourism in the area.
It was agreed that a wider community consultation is needed. MW will arrange a date the week beginning 12th August 2021. Crisping Hayes agreed to bring drawings of potential routes and a projector. PCC will alert the community, including local businesses.
MW thanked Crispin Hayes on behalf of the PCC for attending the meeting.
MW noted that the agenda order had changed to allow the invited guests to attend, participate and then leave the meeting. The members of the public in attendance also left at this point in the meeting.
Proposal of June 2021 Minutes
The June minutes were proposed by J.Wood and seconded by L.Lauder.
MW reported that the meeting with Lesley Craig from FC had been successful. There were several suggestions that were not possible to take forward, however it was agreed that traffic calming measures at the St Monans side of Pittenweem in the form of three countdown warnings and dragon’s teeth marked on the road would be the most straightforward and economical options at this time. PCC members in attendance voted unanimously in favour of this suggestion.
Yellow Lines South Loan
It was confirmed that yellow lines will be painted up to house 8A. PCC members were unsure if this would solve the issue as large vehicles still park at the narrowest part of the road blocking access. JW confirmed yellow lines will be painted up to the Back Gate, but this will be part of a second phase of work.
A Zoom meeting will be arranged with Sheena Watson from FC to explain different community consultation formats and what funding might be available to assist. Cllr LH will find a suitable date for the meeting to be held.
A suggestion was made about opening up the primary school carpark during the summer holidays as an additional parking venue for visitors, in the same way the Waid Academy carpark is currently being used. Cllr LH will write to Donald Grant at FC to ask if this would possible in Pittenweem. It was noted that the large potholes in the cemetery carpark are likely deterring people from parking there. Cllr JD will take this forward again with FC.
JW provided the following Planning updates:
- 54 High Street: Permitted planning application and change of use from art studio to dwelling house
- 15 High Street: Listed building and planning permission consent
- A bench is due to be installed at the Memorial.
It was noted that an objection lodged last month by the PCC in relation to a wood burning stove could not be upheld as the notice was for a building warrant and not an application for installation.
New Vice Chair
MW noted a new Vice Chair of the PCC will need to be appointed and should be discussed at a future meeting.
PM reported that the light on order to be fitted in Cove Wynd is due to arrive on 12th July.
MW noted she is still waiting to hear from the joiner about fixing the noticeboard.
MW noted the Men’s Shed is likely to be back up and running on 21st July when all members will have been fully vaccinated. They will be working on the benches when reopened.
No further update
Several approaches have been made to individuals about joining the PCC without success. Information will be placed in the noticeboard and added to the various websites inviting new members.
PM reported another meeting with the Anstruther Cycle Group is taking place tomorrow and there is still a lot of controversy about the MUP proposals. PM noted that SUSTRANS have taken over mediation between the two groups as they are keen that this is a collective community-based decision. PM noted his thanks to the PCC for their support and for helping to ensure Pittenweem has a say. PM noted he is particularly grateful that the PCC has engaged in discussions and have been able to come to a collective decision on suggestions put forward, noting that there is not an equivalent response from Anstruther Community Council. PCC members recorded their thanks to PM for representing Pittenweem and for being assertive about Pittenweem’s views despite the difficulties faced.
LL provided the following updates:
- May and June PCC minutes have been sent for inclusion on the About Pittenweem website and copies were also given to the Library.
- A Fireworks Consultation is seeking views on requiring the general public and community groups to meet a number of mandatory conditions before they are able to purchase fireworks. The consultation closes on Sunday 15th August 2021 and can be found on the following link: https://consult.gov.scot/justice/use-and-sale-of-fireworks-in-scotland
- Footprint East Neuk will be hosting the following workshops (places are limited and must be booked in advance):
- Trees for Life and Living: Sunday 18th Jul 2.00pm – 3.30 pm
- Climate Friendly Gardening: Saturday 31st July 1.30 pm – 3.00pm
- A Walk with the Cows – Regenerative Farming: Saturday 28th August 10.00am -11:30am
MW reported the remaining balance in the main account is £296.98. MW noted she hasn’t had sight of a printed statement for some time and will go to the bank to sort this out.
No further updates out with points already covered during meeting.
Cllr LH noted a petition she initiated to remove the booking system from the Pittenweem Recycling Centre failed at the committee stage and that the online booking system will remain. It was noted the Pittenweem Recycling Centre is still restricted to 3 days opening per week.
Cllr JD noted the Pittenweem Recycling Centre opening times are being reviewed. The following telephone number can be used as a contact number: 03451 555550.
The following points were noted:
Short Term Lets
FC has put forward a proposal to register all accommodation being used for short terms lets. This will be discussed at the next PCC meeting.
Common Good Property
A query was received about the purchase of the Old Men’s Club at the Gyles. MW agreed to review the Common Good Charts as there is uncertainty about whether this is a common good property. Cllr JD will look into this to ascertain ownership. It was noted that the PCC do not want this to be purchased by an individual due to considerable community use and will write to Donald Grant in FC to put this position forward. It was agreed that a Community Asset Transfer could be an option.
PM provided a written review of PCC activity in 2019. MW will add this to the notice board and websites so that the community can get an understanding of the work carried out by the PCC. PM noted it would be good for someone to carried out a similar review for 2020 so there is an up to date record.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration 2022
MW put forward a suggestion of hosting a Beacon lighting ceremony in Pittenweem to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. MW has all details needed to register. The PCC will aim to support this.
MW closed the meeting at 9.30 pm by thanking everyone for attending.
Next Meeting: Thursday 12th August 2021 at 7:00pm in the NTH.
PCC – Pittenweem Community Council. MW – Margaret Wardlaw, LL – Linda Lauder, PM – Peter Mills, GM – Gary McClure and JW – Jim Wood.
Cllr LH – Councillor Linda Holt, Cllr – JD Councillor John Docherty and Cllr BP – Councillor Bill Porteous. FC – Fife Council.
OOHS – Out of Hours Service, MUP – Multi Use Path, PAF – Pittenweem Arts Festival, NTH – New Town Hall. WBP – West Braes Project.
CGF – Common Good Fund, FCCT – Fife Coast and Countryside Trust