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Issue 42 November 2015

posted 6 Nov 2015, 19:13 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 10 Sep 2017, 12:00 ]
Co-op Members Asked to Support Our Bulletin. 

The Co-op has introduced a £750,000 fund for Scottish communities. The distribution of these funds, raised from the sale of bags in their shops, will be decided by the one million Co-op members throughout Scotland. The Saline & Steelend Communications Group, who publish your monthly Bulletin, have applied for £600 to cover the printing costs for a six month period.

For almost 3 years the we have managed to provide our community with a monthly newsletter that gives notices and articles on a host of local matters. At over £100 per issue, we struggle to maintain this service.

Co-op members in the area will, however, have the opportunity to support our application. From 16 November until 7 December when all members will be invited to vote on local organisations who have applied for funds.

More information on how to vote will be available from 16 November by visiting:


Improving services across West Fife

Aileen Aitken attended the meeting and explained the work she has been carrying out across the West Fife villages. She is in post with Fife Council as Community Education Officer until March 2016 with a remit to improve the situation in the West Fife Villages following welfare “reforms”. She described the responses to a survey of communities’ views. Unsurprisingly the big issues are poor public transport and financial hardship but there is also a lot of support for community cafes. Importantly, some people are willing to help set them up. Jim Hensman from the Community Council described his involvement with the Oasis initiative and highlighted the importance of community facilities being in high profile locations.

Other good news is that an 8 seater minibus will be available to communities from December but volunteer drivers are required. A credit union for the West Fife Villages, run by volunteers under the auspices of the Kingdom Credit Union, will be open for business in High Valleyfield from 2nd November. It will accept savings and also provide loan facilities for people who would otherwise be forced into less desirable lenders. She highlighted the rate of interest being charged by one High Street store compared with those of the Credit Union. A ‘dividend’ comparable with what might be earned with a building society account is paid to anyone who is prepared to deposit money with the Credit Union for the benefit of others. Aileen has been asked to write an article on the survey and the other initiatives being progressed, which will provide more details for interested readers.

Saline Solar Farm

Andy Brand from Muirmealing Solar Ltd described his company's proposals that were outlined in the September Bulletin. In response to questions, he indicated that construction would take place over a 3 month period, that panels were designed to absorb rather than reflect light and had an anti-glare finish, while access to the site would meet Fife Council's requirement. He pointed out that 5 megawatts of electricity would be generated, which compares favourably with the 2 MW generated by the tallest wind turbine. The company would also be prepared to contribute to a community fund.

It was noted that no objections to the proposals have been received to date and those present could see no reason to do so. However, it was felt that local businesses had the skills necessary to carry out much of the works described by Mr Brand and it was agreed that the Community Council should explore options with the company.

Residents concerned about North Road housing proposal

Readers will remember the saga several years ago of the planning application for development to the rear of The Glebe. Despite the number of objections lodged, planning permission in principle was granted for three houses and a controversial access from The Glebe. Now an application for permission in principle for nine houses on an extended site, but using the same narrow access, has been submitted, leading to concern from residents in The Glebe/North Road area. Worryingly, works have started without permission and without consulting neighbours, which has led some to wonder why.

Residents disputed the applicant's assertion that this is a ‘gap site’ and that it reflected the urban form of the local area. They felt that it should be more accurately described as ‘opportunistic back-land development’, which does not comply with planning policies. They also argued that the predominate housing form in the immediate area is single homes on large plots. They also highlighted the significant impact on traffic in The Glebe and North Road along with inadequacies in foul and surface water drainage systems. There was concern too about refuse lorries and large delivery vehicles manoeuvring their way into the development along an access that is hardly wider than the driveways to homes in The Glebe. Whilst broadly supportive of some new homes being constructed in Saline and Steelend the Community Council shares the concerns about the suitability of this particular site and will be writing to Fife Planning to object to it.

Fairer Scotland event

The Community Council has received a report on this event which was attended by representatives of community councils from across Scotland. It can be inspected on the Saline and Steelend web site but in summary the views reflect many of the concerns expressed at our Community Council and in the Community Bulletin. Local authorities are severely criticised but the Scottish Government does not escape censure. Fife Council has recently made welcome moves towards greater community involvement although more needs to be done. The Community Council's position is to note the criticisms and concerns but to concentrate on the positive suggestions for future action.

Planning Liaison

A meeting between Fife Planning and representatives of community councils from across Fife showed that most felt that their views on planning issues tended to be ignored. In an effort improve matters, Fife Council is establishing a liaison group and David Chisholm has agreed to be a member. Meetings will be held quarterly with the first on 23rd November. David will report back on them to Community Council.

Police Update

Speed checks are continuing in both Saline and Steelend and parking attendants have been patrolling streets around the school. Police officers may also have been seen cycling round the area. There are no significant crimes to report although residents are asked to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity. Cows on the road at Upper Steelend after dark had been safely dealt with. It is anticipated that the recent excitement created by a series of traffic offences and the culprit abandoning the vehicle in Steelend and legging it over fields will be reported to the next meeting!

Community Council Vacancy

The sad passing of Dave Quinney has created a vacancy on the Community Council.

Fife Council has advised that a formal by election is not required but suggests that the position is advertised to ensure that no-one is excluded. In any case, the Community Council is keen to broaden representation from all sections of our community. If you are interested or wish further information, please contact David Chisholm ( or Donald Murdoch ( before the Community Council meeting on 24th November 2015.

Local Businesses Benefiting from Solar Farm?

“Community Council Matters” reports on the presentation by the promoters of the proposed Muirmealing Solar Farm and the support that local people are showing for it. Consequently, there is a good chance that approval will be given.

The Community Council is keen that the local economy gains some benefit from the proposals and considers that most of the work such as access tracks, landscaping, fencing and maintenance could be carried out by local businesses. It has asked Muirmealing Solar to consider the works involved and which businesses might be approached to express interest. They have said that they will be able to advise once planning permission has been granted and a grid connection secured. A company will be appointed to manage the project and this is likely to be in 2016. They are keen to use local trades and will contact the Community Council at the appropriate time. So that the Community Council can pass names on anyone interested should email their details to David Chisholm or Donald Murdoch.

Date of Next Meeting

Meetings continue to be well attended and are covering more issues relevant to people in our communities. There is still scope for more to participate and have their say. Meetings are informal so why not give it a try on Tuesday 24 November at 7.30 in Saline Community Centre.

Come and have a go at the new yoga class in Saline

Yoga has recently become very popular indeed, especially amongst celebrities, and is often seen as a way of keeping fit. It is a (very good) way of keeping fit, but is much more than just exercise.  Yoga means ‘unity’ and is a lovely way to become more at ease, both physically and mentally.  One of the principles of yoga is non-violence, and so rather than pushing, pulling and stretching into some of the impossible-looking poses that you might have seen in photographs, the class will teach you how to be kinder to yourself; to support yourself to move with ease and lightness, and to become more at peace in your everyday life.

You don’t have to be supple, fit, young, slim or able-bodied to do yoga - everyone is welcome, although, for now, the class is not open to unaccompanied under-sixteens.

Where?                                        the church hall,

When?                                          3 - 4.15pm, every second Tuesday

                                                     10th & 24th November, 8th & 22nd December

Cost                                              £5

Do I need to bring anything?     Please bring a yoga mat if you can. You can buy them quite cheaply at some supermarkets and online.

Please also bring a blanket and some warm socks.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing

Contact                                          Rose on 851 855

Facebook page: Yoga in Saline


Cub Scouts in Fife will be celebrating 100 years of the movement in 2016 and many exciting events that will be promoted in the Community Bulletin and web site are being planned.

A Dunfermline District 2016 Cub Calendar with pictures of every pack is being organised. There are 12 spaces available for local businesses to sponsor. This is a good opportunity to advertise your business in the homes of all cubs, their friends and relations. Please consider it.

The second initiative is a Grand Howl in one of the Dunfermline high schools with all cubs present. Part will involve all cubs being reinvested, receiving their own calendar copy and being presented with a Centenary Badge. There will also be a sponsorship board on display showing all the companies backing the 100 year celebration.

The summer event will be a Cub day out on the new Borders Railway with a field full of activities ready for the cubs arriving. The organisers also hope to illuminate a “100 Years of Cubs” sign or a projected image onto Dunfermline City Chambers throughout 2016. Also being investigated is camping on an island on the Forth while, to finish the year, a time capsule will be buried close to Dunfermline Abbey, with a plaque on display.

We are sure that most people will acknowledge that this is an exciting project and welcome the benefits to the youngsters involved. Obviously the organisers need to raise funds and, if you would like to sponsor a page in the calendar and/or help with any of the events, please contact Assistant Commissioner, Alan Twaddle (Saline resident) at

A Tribute to Janet Weir

As most of you will know, Janet passed away peacefully in hospital on Thursday 15th October, aged 98. Janet was brought up in the west of Scotland and trained to teach Domestic Science at the Glasgow Do’ School. After several years teaching in Falkirk she took up a post at Dollar Academy where she remained for the rest of her working life. The presence of so many of her former pupils at her funeral, over 30 years after she retired, shows how much her work as a teacher and friend in retirement was appreciated.

Janet came to live in Saline in the late 1970's and was well involved in the church and community, devoting her life to the ‘church family’ . She started ‘Christian Aid’ coffee mornings in her home originally, but as it became an annual event, her sister, Phemie, couldn’t cope with the volume of people who came through the door so Janet moved things to the church hall where it has been held ever since !

Janet saw the need in the 80's for an “Afternoon Get together” for the senior (at that time) ladies of the Woman’s Guild who found it difficult to come out on dark evenings, so her ‘afternoons’ were started and well attended for many years. She baked for the tea and always had a story (usually Scottish), as well as slides and photographs and a time of worship.

Janet was a brilliant photographer and always had her camera handy. She had a wonderful collection of slides.

Janet would bring trays of goodies for the children’s Christmas parties and Sunday School picnics - always much appreciated by everyone and never anything left on the plates!

She was a well-travelled lady and with her friend, Ellen McArthur visited many countries, bringing back lots of stories and pictures to share with others. Although she was unable to go out of doors for the past few years she enjoyed the company of all those who dropped by for a ‘wee blether’ - keeping her cheery and interested in what was happening.

Janet will be sadly missed by all who knew her but we all have happy memories of time spent in her company and thank God for her life and friendship. (contributed by Janette McNaught)

Scout Post – Christmas 2015

Peter Philp, Leader, (T: 01383 852612) of 116th Fife Scout Group along with a number of other Scout Groups in Dunfermline and surrounding area are offering a Christmas Post for 30p per card. Cards will be accepted for:

Aberdour Alva Backmuir Bowershall Blairhall Cairneyhill Carnock Charlestown Clackmannan Comrie Cowdenbeath Cowstrandburn Crombie Crossford Crossgates Culross Dalgety Bay Dollar Dunfermline Freuchie Gowkhall Hallbeath High Valleyfield Hill of Beath Hillend Inverkeithing Kelty Kincardine-on-Forth Kingseat Limekilns Lochgelly Lumphinnans Low Valleyfield Menstrie Newmills North Queensferry Oakley Pattiesmuir Rosyth Saline Sauchie Steelend Tillicoultry Torryburn Townhill Wellwood


Local collection points are:

Mr Bernie McKeown, 11 West Park - Evenings
Mr Dave Robertson, 17 Hawthorn Bank - Evenings

Mrs Gail Clark, 14 Henderson Place, Saline
Mr Peter Philp, 70 Upper Kinneddar

Mr John Williams, 5 Knockhill View - Evenings

Mrs Jackie Miller, 26 Lidsays Wynd

West Fife Villages Exhibition of Art, Photography & Craft

Our regular village art enthusiasts are reminded that we have a brief meeting to discuss the 2016 Art Exhibition. This will be held at 7pm on 24 November in the Saline Community Centre. If it is decided to go ahead with the event in the spring of 2016, this will be the 10th exhibition held in Saline since 2005.

Anyone interested in promoting or supporting art in the area are encouraged to attend.

Marylla Ferguson - Exhibition Manager 

There is currently a moratorium on fracking in Scotland, but when that is lifted, international petrochemical company, Ineos, are poised to extract shale gas and are undertaking a PR exercise to persuade Scots that fracking is safe and will bring much-needed revenue to the Scottish economy. On the sixth of October, Ineos came to Saline and held an open meeting at our Community Centre. 

Fracking involves pumping high-pressure water into shale seams deep underground to create fractures in the shale and release tiny bubbles of trapped methane, which can then be processed to provide gas for domestic and industrial use. Fracking has created vast wealth for companies in America and elsewhere, but it is highly controversial and has been associated with problems including earthquakes and pollution of water.

Ineos claims that it will act responsibly and can avoid the mistakes made elsewhere. They also maintain that UK laws are sufficiently robust to protect against abuses and that companies with fracking licences will be held responsible for the environmental damage they cause. Environmentalists claim that the legal safeguards were inadequate to begin with and are now being further weakened by Westminster.

Once the consultation exercise north of the border is completed, the Scottish Parliament will decide whether or not to allow fracking to go ahead. More info on Fracking can be found on the Minewatch page of the community website.
Ian Holmes-Lewis 

Drumming Group

Folk from Saline & Steelend are literally walking over hot coals to support Sambangra.  On Saturday 24th October several women from the drumming group that meets in the Miners Welfare every Tuesday did a fire walk in Falkland to help raise money for new drums. More than two hundred pounds has been collected, which we hope will be supplemented by grants applied for by the Arts sub-committee of our Development Trust. The drumming group has been going from strength to strength, and more drums will enable us to recruit new members. To celebrate their extraordinary bravery and commitment, Sambangra's Musical Director, Ian, is composing a new piece called 'Firewalkers'. 

Huts at Carnock Wood

Since speaking to the Saline and Steelend Community Council in April last year and holding a Drop In in the Community Centre the following June, there has been steady progress with the proposal to build a dozen huts in Carnock Wood. In the background, we have been persuading the Scottish Government and others that huts are a good idea. An affordable place for families and friends to escape to at weekends or during the summer, to get closer to nature in the same way as our Scandinavian cousins have been doing for centuries. Interest in hutting has been growing strongly.

We’ve succeeded in getting a mention for huts in the new Scottish Planning Guidelines and new SES Strategy Plan. Now, we have just started the planning application process for huts in one corner of Carnock Wood. We have taken on an experienced planning consultant and are exploring the whole concept with the planners at Fife Council.

Some of the more eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a few yellow tipped posts appearing amongst the bracken. These represent roughly the centre points of where the huts may go. Huts are quite small- less than 30 square metres internal floor area, largely off grid and can only be occupied intermittently. They will be of wooden construction and located on the edge of the trees. The impact in this part of the wood should be quite low and access by foot will continue as before.

As we proposed in our meetings last year, 10 of the sites will be offered by ballot and interview to those who express an interest in having a hut, 2 will be offered locally, again by ballot if required plus interview, and 1 will be a school hut, to be used as an outdoor classroom by the primary schools in the area. This process will probably take place later in 2016 assuming that planning permission is forthcoming.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the proposal further, please Email me on I’ll post updates more regularly in this Bulletin, now that things are starting to move. T: 01896 849 777 or 07891 961 960

Saline Environmental Group

SEG have planted Spring bulbs at several locations around the village – thankyou to those who turned out to help. The birdboxes which were decorated at the Graveyard Open Day have now been installed down Saline Glen – let's hope they will be noticed and occupied in the Spring! Identification of trees which have or which maybe should have Tree Preservation Orders is ongoing. If you are aware of any noteworthy trees around Saline/Steelend which you feel should have the legal protection of a Tree Preservation Order, please contact Joe Crawford on 07886075169

Church News

Swap Shop Friday 13th November at 7.00pm in the Church Hall. Bring along good clothes or accessories - swop for something 'NU 2 U' at a moderate charge. Enjoy refreshments in good company. (proceeds for Restoration Fund)

Monday Club. Calling all pupils in Primaries 4,5,and 6. Come along to the Church Hall on Monday at and enjoy an hour of games, crafts, stories and music. starting Monday 2nd November.


Our Sponsors

This edition of the Bulletin is being sponsored by the Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust

Other Meetings & Events: 

Steelend Miners’ Club

Zumba: Mondays, 7.00pm-8.00pm
Zumba Toning: Wednesdays, 7.00pm-7.45pm
Sambangra Drumming Group. Tuesdays, 7.00pm-8.30pm, £2 

Saline Golf Club

First Saturday of each month: Family Night, 5-7pm
Tuesdays: Bingo Night, 7.30pm
Thursdays: Quiz Night, 8.30pm, entry £1/person
Sky TV and free wi-fi. Associate membership £10 per annum, £4 concessions
Q’zine Catering: also available for all functions.

Craft and Chatter
Thursdays 10.00am-12.00noon
Last Friday of month 7.00pm-9.00pm
Shieldbank Coffee Shop

Sambangra Drumming Group
Tuesdays, 7.00pm-8.30pm, £2
Steelend Club

Line Dance Classes
Monday 10.00am - 11.00am
Friday 10.00am - 11.00am
Saline Community Centre

Afternoon Craft Group
Every second Tuesday from 8 September
2pm-4pm, Saline Church Hall

The Editor reserves the right to refuse, edit or factually correct all items submitted for publication. All views expressed in this Bulletin are purely those of the author of the item concerned and are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Communications Group as a whole. All contributions for inclusion in the Bulletin are welcome and can be submitted to Jacquie Clapperton on 
or by telephoning 852367. 
Copy deadline for December issue is 5pm Sunday 29 November.