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North Queensferry Community Council

Draft Minutes of Community Council Meeting on Thursday 9 November  2023

Members Present: Iain G Mitchell (IGM), Jim George (JG), Lin Collis (LC), David Shields (DS), Gary Bald (GB), Peter Selbie (PS), Jacqui Lowe (JL),Barbara McKechnie (BM)

Cllr Dave Dempsey (DD), Cllr David Barratt (DB), Cllr Patrick Brown (PB)

Guest: Andy Paterson (AP), Roads and Transportation Services, Fife Council

Members of the Public:  David Neill (DN), Alan McCulloch (AM), Nigel Carter (NC)

Minutes:  Barbara McKechnie (BM)

Agenda Reference



1. Apologies

Cllr Sarah Neal (SN)


2. Minutes of Inaugural Meeting

No comment received, Minutes Approved


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Following earlier amendments, Minutes Approved


4. Matters Arising



5. Battery Road Car Park and Toilet

AP updated the meeting on research for solution to the manual opening and closing of gate (principally by JL and PS) at Battery Road Car Park.  Issue has continued for approx. 2 years.  AP acknowledged disappointment on review of options, including pros and cons of bollards, but supplier has been found for non-off-the-shelf solution to include timer.  AP hopes to have Key Planning recommendation with cost estimate for preferred option at Ward meeting on 20 November.  JL queried value for money considerations; PS verified with AP that timer could not be added to current gate; AM queried use of approach trigger barrier.  IGM confirmed that timetable now in hands of other Fife Council (FC) departments.  Clear timing signage is also imperative – not in AP department remit.  Re Toilet:  DB confirmed usage data still not available.  DB concurrently did online search and found car park barrier plus timer for under £3k.  IGM asked DB to circulate information.















6. Forth Bridge

IGM had shared latest correspondence with Network Rail (NR) Communication Manager Sarah Duignan who confirmed no resolution to house/ground contamination issues and option appraisal agreed in May 2023 was not available. Very strong feelings were demonstrated in the discussion that followed.  Members confirmed this issue must now be escalated.  IGM will raise issue in letter to Annabelle Ewing (AE) MSP in the first instance.  JL queried raising to UK MP (Douglas Chapman) as NR a UK wide company plus writing to NR Chairperson.  DN suggested temporary solution of plugging rain holes (previously implemented while NR work crews operated on Bridge).   IGM will include DN suggestion in letter to AE.  IGM recommended escalation of issue to be taken in stages.  JL has gathered, on her property, metal chips by magnet and GB presented small metal plate and solid residue collected from own property and on Old Kirk Road – in effect a serious Health and Safety issue.  GB will notify NR hotline so that any occurrence is officially recorded.  Photographs off this recent debris must go to IGM for inclusion in letter to AE. IGM stressed that any resident with property contamination issue must make official complaint on hotline and to NQCC to facilitate taking forward. LC asked that IGM, once he confirms one solicitor may be able to assist residents, that the information be made public. JL and DN advised the extensive, costly efforts to keep car paint work clean and safe from contamination.  AM, whose house exterior is affected, suggested escalating the disappointing NR treatment of issues to the Press.  IGM concluded AE will be given opportunity to respond before letter to be written to NR Chair and, next step, to Press.  IGM’s reply to Sarah Duignan will include the DN suggestion of rain hole plugs and all photographs of metal debris stressing risk of injury/death.  (Photographs of car contamination had been previously supplied to NR management by Mike Low at the end of the May 2023 meeting).


























7. Remembrance Sunday

IGM confirmed Rev A Fraser will take service at the War Memorial.  Road closure notices are displayed but no confirmation from Fife Council that traffic cones, or closure boards, will be available.  DB will check.




8. Brock Street Play Park

IGM had circulated letter from DN requesting NQCC support for funding bid and the reply from NQCC confirming such.  This reply was formally approved by the meeting.


9. AV Equipment

IGM had circulated a detailed list of equipment involved, a sketch by JG of the proposed equipment installation plus the proposed Agreement between the NQCC and the Community Complex for the transferred ownership and continuing maintenance.  Location of network cabling, possible need for dimmer switch and more detail on reconditioned computer were discussed prior to approval.  JG will discuss with David Watson for installation plans.






10. Proposed Path to NQ Community Complex

Following actions from the Local Action Plan, IGM had circulated NC emails/map reference and plan for designated, accessible, pedestrian pathway to the Community Centre.  NC outlined the plans and confirmed design will incorporate parking deterrent and disabled friendly features. IGM confirmed to NC, of NQCC ongoing support and assistance if required.


11. Rights of Way

GB queried Right of Way access at foot of Post Office Lane and Charles Black Lane which are no longer available.  BM advised, and NC supported, that this had arisen with Local Action Plan and a walk through the village had taken place previously with Sarah Johnston, Access Officer, Fife Council.  It was confirmed at that time, if there was alternative access close by, then no further action would be taken. Discussion followed re legal definition.   JL stressed that if there is no actual complaint of lack of access (when an individual could take access right to court), then there is no action required by NQCC.  LC to contact Scottish Rights of Way & Access Society, Senior Access Officer, Eleisha Fahy for further discussion.











12. Rumble Strips at Rankins/War Memorial

Following an onsite meeting with Mark Dewar, FC, JG circulated a plan relating to relaying of the Rumble Strip at Rankins.  No mention was made by Mark on follow up for the sets at the War Memorial.  JG will follow up. However, it was confirmed by DD that no funding is currently available in Roads and Transportation for the works.  Originally laid in ‘90s as markers for the conservation area, it was discussed just how to progress in current times – are they to function in conservation format or as a traffic calming measure.  The relaying of the sets approximately 2 years ago did not allow enough time for the understrata to set properly (due to difficulty closing road for long period).  IGM queried if FC could draw up options for slowing traffic and for the relaying of more durable rumble strips which would include length of time of road closure and costing.  DD will follow up with FC.














13. Edinburgh Airport Noise Group

- Appointment of Representative and Report

The meeting approved Bruce Finlayson (BF), supported by Mary Finlayson as representative of NQCC at Edinburgh Airport Noise Advisory Board meetings.  Going forward, IGM and DS will liaise with BF re future representation.  The Report advised of two flight paths being discussed in detail.  Final submissions will be next year and this was confirmed by DD, possibly next July with two other Scottish Airports involved in current discussions.  LC mentioned increasing sound levels of planes taking off.





14. Police Report (Oct and Nov)

Reports for September and October received and circulated a but Officers  unable to attend due to Court attendance commitments.  Between 1st and 30th Sept, from 48 calls, 1 resulted in a Crime Report which is still ongoing and not of interest to the wider community.  From 1st Oct to 31st Oct, from 57 calls, 49 related to the Queensferry Crossing and 1 resulted in a detected (person charged or arrested) Crime Report, not of interest to the wider community.


15. Albert Hotel

On behalf of the Community Trust, IGM confirmed Part 5 has been submitted, preventing Owners entering any other agreement.


16. Ferry News

The Community Centre has transferred responsibility to the Community Trust.  The Local Action Plan was thanked for making this transfer possible.


17. Fife Councillors’ Reports

DB – A dog charity sponsor has now been found for emptying of rubbish bins at Cruickness benches (bins requested in 2016 could not be installed due to no staff to empty!)

PB – At Ward meeting previous week, play park strategy was approved for 2 parks in area. PB advised that budget planning has now started for next year.

DD advised that the recent flooding under the railway bridge at Jamestown was not straightforward cleaning of drains – further work planned in 2 weeks.   Recent slower changing time at traffic lights on off ramp South, off M90 at Ferrytoll, now reverted.  Possible trial to delay drivers wishing to circumvent delays on M90.


18. Treasurer’s Report

NQCC’s current Bank Balance is £7699.43 with all invoices tendered, including those put forward today, having been paid.  Of this balance, £3990 remains allocated to The Brae Project and £399.33 to the Floral Enhancement Group, leaving a current balance of unrestricted funds of £3,310.10.  All that remains outstanding is an invoice for the Xmas tree and that will be reimbursed by Fife Council pre Xmas. The annual grant is being prepared and will be submitted by the end of November.  JL will notify timing of installation of tree by FC, to DN for co-ordination with Floral Enhancement Group.


20. Floral Enhancement (including Christmas Tree)

Item moved up on Agenda due to Christmas Tree discussion.    DN updated on continuing work with the Group and purchase of tools with the funding grant received.    GB asked that Fife Council be advised of weeding left untouched after tree trimming in same area at Old Kirk Road.  LC advised DN that garden tool sharpening facility available at the Community Shed at the Marina.




19. Planning Applications

JG advised Members of applications relating to 1. poles for 10 further information boards and 2. an application for extension to cottage within conservation area.  No comments received on first and meeting believes any issue will be covered by FC planning review team for the second.


21. Correspondence

DS advised of admin papers from Fife Council and communication from Scottish Rights of Way & Access Society (see #11 above).  The latter information was passed to LC.


22. Any Other Competent Business

AM raised issue of broken glass on roads around the Bottle Bank facility at Deep Sea World.  DB advised the road should be brushed afterwards and will follow up.  AM queried the quantity of leaves on The Brae and the blocked drains – DD will follow up.  LC mentioned the number of parked cars on pavement beside the Telephone Box but as there is nowhere else for these residents to park plus an alternative pavement on other side of road, it was not felt necessary to follow up.  GB highlighted double decker busses travelling over road white line, but JL pointed out that her recent encounter with a bus had been with a smaller bus.  BM suggested not driving at the appropriate speed for the road bends is the issue.   GB raised the issue with partly demolished stone wall in Chapel Place the opening which is protected with Heras fencing and the length of time this has been in the  current state, JG to contact the Planning Department






Next Monthly Meeting:  14 December 2023            

Residents of North Queensferry are welcome to attend all Monthly Meetings

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