Minutes of Meeting held on Wed 11th May  2016 at 7.30pm in Church Hall.

Present:-Mrs. I Walker [ Chair], A.Annandale, B. Lawrie, L.Walker . Messrs. I.Duncan, D. D’Angelis, K.Topping & S. Younger . Fife Councillors. K.McCartney , F. Melville & B. Thomson.

Apologies:-  Messrs. R.Baxter & D. Gilbert.  Fife Councillor. D. Morrison.

Minutes of last meeting:- Approved by S. Younger and seconded by L.Walker.

Matters arising:-

Avant Pre-determination Hearing. Before commencing the discussion, the Chair raised a concern about the desire and practice of elected Councillors excusing themselves from any discussions on planning matters. She explained that part of the function of the Community Council was to ensure that elected Councillors were aware of the views of the community. By continually withdrawing from meetings when planning matters were discussed, was denying them that opportunity. A protocol is in place from Fife Council to deal with this.  Fife Councillor Melville helpfully outlined though, some of the difficulties and perceptions from applicants or developers of them being present, and any potential impact on the decision making process. It was therefore agreed that on this occasion the elected Councillors retire to the public seating area to listen, but not to contribute to the discussion or debate.

Members of the public who had attended the hearing had expressed concerns at the lack of sound facilities in the hall and many were unable to follow the proceedings clearly. The Objectors who had the opportunity of addressing the local Councillors and Officials, had highlighted their concerns on drainage, road safety , schooling , village infrastructure and questioning what benefits the development would bring to the village.  The Local Planning committee will review the details of the hearing on 8th June before the final decision is made by the full Fife Council on 30th June. The elected Councillors then rejoined the meeting.

Bob Martin – Open Golf Champion:- The Chair wondered whether it was worth considering some form of memorial to Mr. Martin, as his connection with the village seemed rather tenuous. The two times Open Golf Champion (1876 & 1885), was born in Cupar and a clubmaker to trade . He lived and worked in St.Andrews for many years, before retiring to live in a cottage in Lower Main Street for several years, prior to his death in 1917. He was buried in St.Andrews Cathedral burial ground. The Secretary said he would continue with his efforts to establish the property that Mr. Martin had lived in during his time in Strathkinness, with a view to erecting a plaque to commemorate his achievements.

Standing items:-

Planning:- It was noted that approval had been sought for planning extensions at Knockhill of Nydie Caravan and Camping site. No objections had been noted.

Police Report:-  No Police officer was available to attend the meeting. Mrs. Irene Walker would contact the Community Police Officer for an update on policing activities in the village.

Treasurer’s report:-   Mrs. L. Walker reported no change to the bank balance from the previous month.

Village Infrastructure and traffic update: Councillor Melville had received notification that the new safety signs had been installed at the lower crossroads. It was noted that road surfaces had deteriorated  with the increased traffic on the diversionary route for the Guardbridge closure, whilst potholes had been marked there seemed to be little progress in repairing them.

Transportation:- No issues reported.

Magus Muir:- The Secretary reported that the purchase of the property should be concluded in the very near future. The Forestry Commission Local Officer, Mike Strachan, had visited the site last month and expressed his support for the work that was being carried out by the students from Elmwood College. He described the site as one of the best examples of a natural birch woodland in Fife and looked forward to working with the Community Trust on the project. Mr. K. Topping expressed his concerns about the health and safety and woodland management issues at the location. The Secretary reported that as soon as the Community Trust took ownership of the site a Woodland committee would be working with Tony Wilson of the North East Fife Ranger Service to implement the 5 year development plan for the project.

Public Open Space:- The Secretary reported that an issue had arisen regarding the provision of a power point in the central area of the site. Messrs. Headon had offered to reposition the existing builder’s supply. However, the electricity supply company has intimated that the original supply was a temporary arrangement and that a permanent supply and metering system will have to be installed. Once this has been costed, a decision on whether the matter should proceed will be considered.


The Chair raised her concerns as to how well the Community Council engages with the community. It was disappointing to hear that some residents had been unaware that the pre-determination meeting was being held last month, despite details being displayed on the public noticeboard, published in The Citizen and featured on the community website, Perhaps now is an opportune time to consider how communication could be improved in the future and ways found to encourage villagers, who are interested in village matters, to attend the Council meetings held on the second Wednesday of each month. Mrs. Lyn Walker suggested that the irregular publishing of the Kirk & Community newsletter was not very helpful in highlighting Council matters.

The Secretary reported that judging in the Beautiful Fife, Best Kept Village competition would take place near the end of July.

Next meeting:- Will be the AGM on Wednesday 8th June 2016 in Church Hall at 7.30pm