Dalgety Bay & Hillend Community Council
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CHAIRMAN'S REPORT 2013-14

Forth Road Bridge

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COMMUNITY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2013/14

 

Over the past year, the Community Council has been extremely busy dealing a number of major issues that have occupied the Council’s time:

  • Dalgety Bay Foreshore Radiation – All reports and correspondence have been placed on our website www.dalgetybay.org.uk to keep the community informed as progress is maintained and we have received regular updates from SEPA by their attendance to our Council meetings and responses from the DIO MOD on the matter. We have also received major assistance from the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, former prime minister and our local MP to provide political support in dealing with the problem. We are very grateful for this, along with the support of our late MSP and current Fife Councillors.

We now hopefully, are on the last lap and await the conclusion on the development of a remediation plan which is promised to be ready for community consultation by the end of June and on a timescale arranged for its implementation.

  • Earlier this year, the Council agreed to undertake a public consultation on the Fife Sports and Leisure Trust’s proposals to develop a dedicated Gymnastics Training Facility at Dalgety Bay Sports Centre. As a result of the public consultation which showed an overwhelming majority against the proposal it was rejected but following a recent meeting with the Trust a further consultation will now be arranged to obtain the views of the community as to what measures can be made to sustain and improve its multi purpose use.
  • Further to my report last year, we have now acquired Bathing House, Hopeward and Crow Woods for the community from Alfred Stewart Properties who kindly transferred their ownership to us free of charge and we have formally set up a voluntary Community Woodland Group to manage them on our behalf.
  • The Council has also set up Play Area Group to work with Fife Council in upgrading the play area in Jubilee Park. Their main role is to propose new play equipment which is acceptable and raise funds for Fife Council’s implementation.
  • The Council is awaiting the final approval from Shell UK to the provision of a Woodland of Hope for Relay for Life, Cancer Research UK.
  • We successfully negotiated with Fife Council to provide a Community Orchard in Longhill Park which is the brainchild of Peter Collins of Lovely Trees and is purposely located halfway between the primary schools for their study and use.

PLANNING

·         We have held a public meeting which was well attended to consider our response to candidate development sites contained in the emerging FIFEplan and the meeting was unanimous in its objection to further housing being built on fields at Barns Farm.

·         We have been consulted and participated in workshops to develop the Hillend and Donbristle Industrial Estates (HADIE) report which has been approved by Fife Council’s Local Area Committee.

·         St Davids’s Harbour Development - Following the Developer’s successful appeal at the Court of Session last year, this was referred to a Scottish Government Reporter who has now decided that conditional planning permission for 24 units, bistro and a lighthouse will be granted provided an agreement under Section 75 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 is negotiated between the planning authority and the owners of the land comprised in the planning application. The planning permission will not be issued until that agreement is made and registered.

·         We have had various meetings with the Scarborough Muir representative regarding their pre-application proposal to develop the town’s Western Gateway and now await the outcome of a report yet to be made to Fife Council’s West Planning Committee.

·         Following a revised presentation of mixed development (mainly houses) from Springfield for the site at 24,Ridgeway we have decided to recommend that the site be retained totally for commercial purposes in keeping with the HADIE report.

·         I have recently attended a Scottish Government Reporter Inquiry on the Spencerfield Farm Housing Development proposed by Taylor Wimpey which was refused by Fife Council and along with Inverkeithing Community Council was previously objected to by us. We await the outcome.

Away from planning we have;

·         again provided Festive Lighting in Regents Way and persuaded Tesco to provided Festive Lighting in the Shopping Centre.

·         in the Beautiful Fife Campaign 2013 again with the assistance of the Horticultural Society, Air Cadets and Rotary Club achieved a silver award for the town and bronze award for Hillend.

·         kept up our links with Ocsa, Hungary.

·         continued our efforts to have improvements carried out at the B916/B981 junctions

·         maintained our important representation on SEPA’s multi agency “Dalgety Bay Forum” and the “Dalgety Bay Particles Advisory Group” set up to deal with the foreshore contamination problem.

·         continued our representation on the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Community Liaison Committee and their Independent Air Quality Group, Muirdean Environmental Trust, the Police’s Community Engagement Forum and on the town’s Fairtrade Group.

·         on behalf of Exxon Mobil distributed free tickets to Senior Citizens to attend a pantomime at Lochgelly and arranged for them to attend a Burns Lunch at Mossmorran.

·         attended meetings with Fife Council and Tesco at the Shopping Centre to progress the occupation of empty shops.

 

 

On other matters we have;

  • Since May 2013, grant aided the following organisations and causes to a total of £1711

Dalgety Bay Gala……………………………………………………£300

DBHS (Schools Section)……………………..      ………………. £300

Inverkeithing High School Prizes………………………………     £100

Cycling Dalgety Bay Festival Event Day………………………….£150

Air Cadets Planters………………………………………………….£156

Sarah Jane Hampson(Fencing)…………………………………....£300

Woodland Explorers (Bench).……………………………………   £405

  • In addition, using funds given to us under Fife Council’s Participatory Budgeting Initiative we have issued grants totalling £5500 to the following;

Woodland Explorers…………………………………………………£200

Senior Citizens Club…………………………………………………£500

Dalgety Bay Fair Trade Group…………………………………… £1400

Play Park Project……………..………………………………………£300

Community Woodlands Group…………………………………….£1000

E.Barber-asst for prequalification to Commonwealth Games……£300

Community Orchard- Outdoor Classroom………………………..£1200

After Eight Mince Group……………………………………………...£600

 

As usual, there have been various other items that have occupied the Council over the past year that are too numerous to mention in this report.

Community Council Membership and Support

In the autumn of last year our dutiful treasurer had to resign from the Council due to personal circumstances and I offer my thanks to Catherine Chorley who volunteered to take on this role as replacement.  Apart from this, we have gained four new members. I again express my annual thanks to those who distribute the “Diary” newspaper, for without these volunteers and the advertising revenue it brings in, there could not be any Community Council grants issued, and we are now considering placing these Diary adverts on our website. I also express my thanks to the voluntary work of Eleanor Rowe, “Diary” editor and to Nicki Mcleod our “Diary Advertising Manager” along with the efforts of Bob Bagnall in maintaining the website for us, for without these people giving up their time to the community we would suffer a great loss.

My annual thanks go to our Secretary Jeanette Gray for her service and to all members of the Community Council for their time and contribution in the running of the Council and to SEPA and the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP for their upates on the radiation issue. Our ward Fife Councillors are again thanked for their attendance and service over the past year and my condolences are expressed to the late Helen Eadie MSP’s family and friends on her sudden death last year.

Before elections this autumn, there are still a number of limited vacancies on our Council by the co-option process and if residents have an interest in the future planning and well being of Dalgety Bay and Hillend they should apply to join us. Community minded people who have fresh ideas are most welcome.

I reiterate; this way you can be responsible for shaping and influencing the future of our area for the next generation. This will become very important with pressures on the Forth Bridge Area once the new Forth Crossing is built. Please contact our website if interested.

Looking forward, 2015 is the town’s Golden Jubilee year and a public meeting will be held this summer for organisations and residents to become involved in forming a committee to organise a programme of celebrations.

Subject to obtaining funds it is also hoped to progress the first stage of the development on our land of the Town Centre Strategy which has been submitted for inclusion in the FIFEplan. Further information and enquiries can be made using our website www.dalgetybay.org.uk

 

Colin McPhail MBE

Chairman May 2014

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