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North Queensferry Community Council

Draft Minutes of Community Council Meeting on Thursday 8 February 2024 V2

Members Present: Jim George (JG), Jacqui Low (JL), David Shields (DS), Gary Bald (GB), Peter Selbie (PS), Cllr David Barratt (DB), Cllr Patrick Browne (PB), Cllr Dave Dempsey (DD), Cllr Sarah Neal (SN).  Members of the Public:  Rob Baker (RB), Alan McCulloch (AM), David Neill (DN)

Agenda Reference

Description

Action

1. Apologies for Absence

Lin Collis (LC), Barbara McKechnie (BM)

Iain G Mitchell (IGM) participated on Item 4 via WhatsApp

 

2. Minutes of January Meeting

January Minutes approved. 

 

3. Matters Arising

None

 

4. Forth Bridge

On 31 January -there was a site meeting with Keith McLennan and J McLaren of Network Rail and GB JG DN PS and Rob Blythe of Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.  Rob Blythe identified a rusty coloured object on the Coast Path.  Continued to Old Kirk Road and Forthside Terrace.  Keith McLennan sent a summary. 

On 7 February – we received a response from Alex Hynes (MD of Network Rail) along with an Options Paper. Our view is that the letter is constructive although he states the work is ‘non-essential’.  Our view is that Network Rail does not have a right to be a nuisance and is trying to pacify at the least expense.  We have now been given a reasonable timescale for remedy.  They seem to be doing the work properly and we now have a better rapport with people at a working level.

Agreed that we are now dealing with two issues, ‘dirty water’ (not rust spots) and debris from the bridge.

Four options have been set out:

Option 1 (£0.5 - £0.7M) is regarded as a non starter.  Option 2 (£1.2 - £3.6M) – success depends on the water not being dirty.  The upper end cost is close to Option 3 (£3.5 - £3.8M) which involves a new drainage system for the bridge.  Option 4 (£4 - £5.8M) is the ‘gold plated’ solution and involves extensive disruption to train services.

Initial review and discussion determined that Option 3 has the most advantage and we should press to have Option 3 enacted.  Meeting agreed the need to vote on the matter at an Extraordinary Meeting before 14 March and discussed how we best share this information with the Community ensuring everyone gets it.  Either letter drop by NQCC or distribution by Network Rail – who will have a list but not to share because of GDPR. IM to fix a date to meet with Andrew Hynes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Battery Road Car Park and Toilet

PB:  Meeting regarding barrier has been arranged for W/C 12 February and reports that progress is being made.  There is an issue with the toilet door not closing, trying to resolve this.  Toilet is checked twice a day, but there is still no information on usage.         PS: One of the large bins closest to the Forth Bridge Memorial is blown down during high winds.  A repair is required to prevent this.

 

 

6. Fife Community Councils Association

There have been complaints from other Community Councils over lack of funding.  Meeting agreed to steer clear of this issue as we have a good relationship with the Council.  JG, GB, JL, PS offered to attend panel and hear complaint by Lochgelly Community Council.  JG to advise tomorrow

 

 

 

 

JG

7. Albert Hotel

Part 5 Application has been accepted as properly lodged.  A reply to the response from the owner is being drafted IM will re-work the draft and circulate it to the Trustees.  DB confirmed no work has taken place since the last Council inspection.  Alastair Ritchie will send the new addition of the Albert News to LC to see if it can be printed at the same time as the Ferry News and delivered alongside it to provide an update to residents.  Funding – no serious fund-raising will take place until the Part 5 application is resolved.

 

IM

8. Police Report

Between 1st January and 31st January 2024, a total of 50 calls were recorded by Police Scotland in relation to the North Queensferry area. For some context 45 of those calls were to the Queensferry crossing, FRB or motorway network. 5 other calls were in relation to concern for persons and assist member of public. During the same period, 4 Crime Reports were created for the area of which 4 have been detected (persons charged or arrested). 1 of which was in relation to the motorway network. There were no crimes of interest to the wider community.  We discussed suicide attempts from the Forth Road Bridge – Queensferry has proposed a group of people to patrol the bridge at night.

 

9. Fife Councillors’ Reports

SN: Responded to a report by GB of a wall on Old Kirk Road starting to give way.  SN explained a section of wall fell some years ago – Council carried out an emergency repair and charged householders.  Confirmed wall is still crumbling along with some leaks and damp in storage areas.  There is a problem with division of costs because of conflicting Title Deeds and SN is working on resolution of this matter.  (There may be other properties where Title Deeds are not in order).  

DB:  Inverkeithing High School is to relocate to Rosyth, there is uncertainty over the existing site.  Campaigning for retention of the existing sports facilities.

DD:  Mystery bench at Battery Road Car Park was paid for by a member of the public and installed by the Council.  The Brae is being closed to repair a water leak.  An issue with pathways raised at Local Action Plan meeting was fixed the next day.  Edinburgh Airport Community Fund is to be doubled.  Consultation process on flight paths is drifting at present.  Regarding buses – there will be a review in 2026 prior to the next contract.  This is a key date for enacting any changes.  PS raised the issue of large buses entering the village.  DD reported that large buses can be full nearer the destination.  PS asks whether the review can enable village to be served by smaller buses in the new contract.

PB:  New High School project is a £4.5M spend.  Council budget resolving on 22 February.  Re Forth Bridge – testing by Council Environmental Service followed up and making FOI request to Nigel Kerr to obtain all results. 

 

10. Treasurer’s Report

NQCC’s current Bank Balance is £8491.03 with all invoices tendered having been paid to date and nothing pending. Of this balance, £3990 remains allocated to The Brae Project and £749.33 to the Floral Enhancement Group, leaving a current balance of unrestricted funds of £3751.70

 

11. Planning Applications

Scottish Water application to install a mast at Battery Road Bus Stop.  JL points out this will be in eyeline from where people take pictures.  The area already very congested with street furniture.  Agreed to object.  A formal request has been made by IM on behalf of North Queensferry Community Council to be consulted as a Statutory Consultee in respect of the above application.

 

12. Floral Enhancement

DN reports team has recommenced early.  Work on embankment above The Brae will start once water repairs are complete. 

 

13. Correspondence

By email Mike Low raised concern about formation of icicles under the Forth Bridge and says it is time to involve the Health and Safety Executive.  DB reiterated that there is a strong argument for Network Rail to resolve drainage on the Forth Bridge

 

 

 

 

14. Any other competent business

JG:  Attended meeting with INEOS re Hound Point.  An invitation is following to visit Hound Point.  Bulging wall on Main Road below Northcliffe – DB will have someone take a look at this. 

GB: Chapel Cemetery – DB seeking response on maintenance and still awaiting response on structural report. 

AM:  Who has the key to the Chapel Cemetery?  Bin on The Brae has detached – suggest replacement with a normal bin.  DB contacting Jim Stenhouse on this.

DN Reports an increase in dog fouling in the village.  Making an application to Local Community and Planning Budget and notes that the NQCC Constitution is unsigned.  DS to check document and resolve.  This is urgent for the application.

NQCC Website needs refresh with all documents available.  DS attempted to update present website with out success.  RB suggested asking for help via the volunteering scheme at his work.

Audio Visual set up is dependent of David Watson’s diary and Centre staffing.  JG to resolve / facilitate.

JL:  Leaving the village so she has to resign.  The meeting gave our thanks for her work as a member of the Community Council.

 

 

DB

 

DB

 

 

DB

 

 

 

DS

 

 

 

 

JG

 

Next Monthly Meeting: 14 March 2024, 1930 at the Community Centre

Residents of North Queensferry are welcome to attend all Monthly Meetings

 

 

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