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Issue 44 February 2016

posted 8 Feb 2016, 18:12 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 10 Sep 2017, 11:57 ]
SALINE GLEN FEASIBILITY STUDY 


The Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust (SSCDT) commissioned a study using a small grant award by the Big Lottery fund to investigate the feasibility of a community purchase of Saline Glen. After going out to tender to seek suitable consultants, the study was awarded to Duncan Bryden Associates. Using professional consultants who are experienced in community buy-outs is both important for the community and expected by potential investors.

The full and final report is available on the community web site so I will simply cover the main points in this short article.

One of the main considerations with any such investment is to determine any cost of ownership and if in this case the Glen has the potential to generate any income so a number of possibilities were investigated by the consultants.

Coal

There is coal within the area of the Glen in the past this has been mined via drift shafts and at 70m depth there is an old Coal Board mine last used in 1927. The Coal Board has no intention to issue any licence for the extraction of coal within the Glen boundaries.

Hydro Electricity (Renewable Energy)


Duncan Bryden worked with Locogen (small-scheme hydro generation specialists) to investigate the possibility of a small-scale hydro scheme. Although the Glen does border the small burn there are other land owners to be involved so any income would potentially be apportioned between all landowners. However the volume of water and the gradient are not sufficient to meet minimum requirements for such a small scheme so any application would be rejected.

Timber

Whilst there is timber that could potentially be harvested the access is so restricted for any machines that extraction is not viable. Some small-scale gathering of firewood is possible but again the steep slopes makes such work potentially dangerous and difficult with requirements for specialist training and equipment.

Paths

As those of you who use the Glen today will know, the paths and route ways do need improvement, especially if they were to be brought up to core path standards. Fife Council may (after community consultation) remove the eastern section from core path plans owing to the high costs of making it safe and useable.

Valuation

The consultant’s report also included comparisons of valuation with other areas of woodland recently sold to compare with the current asking price for the Glen. The SSCDT acknowledges that the Glen is not overvalued and the asking price is reasonable.

Conclusion

As you can see, the Glen has little or no potential to generate any regular income yet as community owners we would have a cost of ownership. At a minimum for public liability insurance and some monies to cover essential annual maintenance a sum of some £1000 pa would be needed and will have to be found from other sources. Taking ownership of the Glen through a successful purchase and then simply doing nothing but maintaining the status quo would be irresponsible given that improvement is essential in order for the Glen to then be enjoyed by a larger section of the community. The critical consideration then becomes about gaining access to sources of grant funding to make the purchase then to fund the essential improvements and paths upgrade. We are advised that while it may be possible to obtain the funds for a purchase it will be almost impossible to obtain the funding required for the much needed and desired improvements. So it’s for these reasons that SSCDT recommends that no further action be taken towards a possible community purchase of the Glen at this point.

Gareth Turner, Chairman of the SSCDT 

Acknowledgements: Duncan Bryden Associates, The Big Lottery Fund, SSCDT Office bearers 







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. 




DOG FOULING……..AGAIN! 

Previous issues have identified complaints about the anti-social minority of dog owners who allow their pets to foul parts of our community. The cemetery and the school-community centre-Eastercraigs circuit seems to be popular with these people who have no consideration for others or children's health. They now appear to have extended their activities to the footpath to Steelend.

It is accepted that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible people and clear up after their pets. However, it seems that the one or two owners who are giving the rest a bad name are oblivious to requests to be a bit more considerate. It looks like the only thing that might change them is a hefty fine. We would therefore call on anyone spotting dog fouling to report it to Fife Council via Fife Direct. Remember, it might be one of your children who slips in the mess.





FIT FOR FEBRUARY? 

Lesley Halstead is running a fitness class on Thursday mornings at 10.00 am in Saline Community Centre. All are welcome to come along any Thursday to join in.







All contributions for inclusion in the Bulletin are welcome and should be submitted to Jacquie Clapperton on salineandsteelend@btinternet.com  or by telephoning 852367. 





116TH FIFE SCOUT GROUP 

The Scout Christmas Post was completed on schedule with the last deliveries being made over the weekend before Christmas. This exercise raised a very welcome sum of money for our funds. A big thank you all who used this service and helped with the deliveries.

The Beavers enjoyed their Christmas outing to the cinema and McDonalds. The Cubs joined with the Scouts and Explorers for an evening of 10 pin bowling followed also by a trip to McDonalds for some well-earned nourishment.

The Leaders and Group Executive along with partners enjoyed a get together and meal in the Sweet Chestnut restaurant.

This term so far we have recruited a new Beaver and four Cubs to the Group, thus continuing our steady progress of growth.

At the beginning of the year, our Cubs attended the District Cub party celebrating the start of a year of special activities to mark 100 years of Cub Scouting. We are now looking forward to the next exciting activity, details of which are still to be released.

Peter Philp 
Group Scout Leader 
01383 852612 
116th Fife Scout Group 
Registered Charity Number SC031132 



YOGA

Saline Church Hall, every other Tuesday 3pm 
Contact Rose,    for details.



CHURCH NEWS 

Ceilidh

The Ceilidh held in the Community Centre on 30 January was well supported despite the weather by a good crowd who thoroughly enjoyed the music and dancing led by the Crossford Music Group. Over £600 was raised for the Church Restoration Fund - thanks to all who supported this venture.

Monday Club

The after school club for pupils in P4, P5, P6, and P7 is starting another six-week series on Monday 8 February from 3.00 to 4.15 pm in the Church Hall. The cost is 50p per session. There will be the usual programme of games, stories, craft, and music. New members should be accompanied by an adult to register on their first visit.

Family Beetle Drive

This is planned for Friday 26 February in the Church Hall - look out for posters giving further details.

Church Guild

The February meetings, at which all those interested are welcome, will be held as usual on Monday evenings in the Church Hall at 7.30 pm . Maureen Jack will speak on February 8 about her experiences in Israel and Palestine as a member of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme. On 22 February we will hear about NHS Services in Fife and future plans from an NHS 'Ambassador' who will also be glad to hear our ideas and answer questions.

World Day of Prayer

This event is observed internationally on the first Friday in March each year or as near that date as possible. The material for the service and information about the background is written by groups in a different country each year. This helps us all to focus together on the same theme and think about how the various concerns apply in our different circumstances. The service material can be used by large or small groups, of any age with CDs of music and pictures of the writing country and the whole service available. Over the years this has proved a great inspiration and opportunity for Christians from very different traditions to worship together. Services are held in a number of places in the area. The local service will be held in Saline Parish Church on Friday 4 March at 7.00 pm when members of Carnock and Oakley Parish Church and The Church of the Holy Name will be taking part.

Fairtrade Fortnight: 29 February - 13 March

In support of this national promotion there will be Traidcraft Goods on sale in the Church Hall at the following times: Sunday 21 February at 11.30 am ( after morning service ), Monday 22 February at 7.30 pm (at the Guild meeting), and Wednesday 24 February at 10.30 am ( at the Coffee Morning).



COMMUNITY COUNCIL MATTERS 

Twenty-five souls braved awful weather to attend what proved to be a lively meeting with welcome new participants.

AGM

Cllr Bobby Clelland took the chair for the election of office bearers. David Chisholm, Donald Murdoch and Marie Crane remain as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer respectively while Jim Currie replaced John Crane as Vice Chair. Bobby remarked on John's considerable work in the community and on the help given to him personally. All shared this appreciation.

David remarked on progress made in 2015 and on the regular good attendance at meetings. He noted that a recent meeting with other community councils showed a lack of interest elsewhere. There are likely to be many issues in 2016 and it is important that people participate to ensure that the community's views are best taken into account

Updates from November

The community minibus is now operational and is based in High Valleyfield but volunteer drivers are still required. The bus has been provided by the South West Area Committee to address the problems that many have in accessing facilities. Cllr Bobby Clelland confirmed that it can be booked at staffed local offices and that charges are low.

Saline Glen

Gareth Turner gave a comprehensive review of investigations into acquisition of the Glen through the appointment of a consultant to give independent advice. These are described in more detail in this issue. The consultant's report can be examined on the community web site.

Broadband

Following the last meeting, Cara Hilton MSP was advised of community dissatisfaction with BT's progress(?) to providing us with a satisfactory service. 
She contacted BT's Head of Policy and Public Affairs who responded that fibre broadband should be available by April this year but subject to their customary disclaimers. 
Cara has acknowledged previous unfulfilled BT commitments and will take the matter further if necessary. 
She had also advised BT to speak to the Scottish Government contact for Rural Broadband.

Sheila Travers described the difficulties experienced by businesses and people living in the more remote parts of our area, most of whom will not benefit if BT decides to stir itself. She explained how farmers and businesses can only submit online returns and how reliable broadband is essential to them. It was noted that the UK and Scottish Government had made money available for such cases and it was agreed that Sheila's request to Cara be supported.

Nether Kinneddar Lodge

The Community Council previously did not oppose a planning application to change the use of a house to holiday accommodation. However, the applicant has been informed informally that Fife Council was minded to refuse it on road safety grounds. Those present noted the efforts that he had made to improve visibility, how guests would be directed to the cottage and see benefits to the community from the proposal. They also felt that Fife Council had approved more contentious applications and felt that the proposal would not result in more vehicular use. It was therefore agreed that Fife Council be asked to defer a decision until other options had been examined.

Raffles

The Community Council currently holds a gaming licence to hold raffles. While the original raffle for Bonfire Night is no longer required, it was felt that there was scope to use raffles to raise funds for good works in the community. It was therefore agreed that the licence be renewed and be made available to groups in the parish. This, of course, is subject to the raffle meeting the relevant criteria and groups are advised to contact the Community Council if they want to use this facility.

Fife Council Budget

Cllr Clelland reported on the budgetary pressures being experienced by Fife Council and the £50m equal pay settlement. He advised of discussions of a possible council tax rise despite Scottish Government threats to cut its grant. The meeting felt that a rise was justified if services are to be retained and that this should have been done earlier. Bobby advised that there had been a poor response to Cllr David Ross's offer of online discussion of the budget with him. This is an important issue for us and people should comment. The possibility of a link from the community web site is being examined but, in the meantime, the consultation can be accessed via Fife Direct.

Allanwater, Oakley Road Development

Planning permission has now been granted for this development subject to conditions requiring agreement on some aspects before construction starts. The first homes will part of the affordable housing requirements.

Kingdom Housing Association

Alan Henderson has advised that planning permission has been granted but that building warrants have yet to be issued. KHA is still on course for a spring 2016 start and new tenants will be advised in line with the timescales previously indicated.

The Glebe

The previous proposal has been withdrawn and replaced by a new application for nine houses served by a realigned access. This still concerns residents while the Community Council's other concerns have not been addressed. Accordingly, it was agreed that the Community Council should continue to oppose this proposal.

Flooding

There is still concern that the North Road play area continues to be flooded with no solution yet found. This is hindering parents' efforts to progress improvements. The Community Council will therefore be looking to set up a meeting all parties to examine and agree a way forward.

Bus Service Timings

There was concern that diverting the 6 service via Parkneuk has resulted in Fife College students' connections at Dunfermline bus station being missed. It was agreed that a meeting with Stagecoach be sought.

Councillor Clelland's Surgeries

These will now be held in Saline Golf Club. Bobby acknowledged the role that the club has in a community with few facilities. The Community Council shares this view and encourages people to use the available facilities. Social membership is cheap, good meals are available and there is regular entertainment. The weekly quiz is popular but there is scope for more to participate. Please give it a try. Remember those of us who didn't frequent the hotel and now bemoan its closure.

Date of Next Meeting

Meetings continue to be well attended and are covering more issues relevant to people in our communities. It was nice that a new resident remarked on how much he and his wife enjoy life here while two newcomers indicated that they would be continuing to attend. The Community Council and Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust can take positive action to make our community better for all but need more people to contribute. Why not give it a try? Meetings are informal so why not come along on Tuesday 23 February 2016 at 7.30 in Saline Community Centre.



Our Sponsor

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



THE 10TH WEST FIFE VILLAGES EXHIBITION OF ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY 



The Exhibition Committee met on 26 January in the Community Centre. It was agreed that the 2016 Exhibition will take place on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May. Kirklands Gardens is to open that weekend. The Bus Museum is also interested in being involved. Initial contact is being made with the local primary schools.

John Crane, who brought this popular event into existence and under whose guidance it has flourished for so long, announced his resignation at the meeting. All those involved extend our heartfelt thanks to him for his generous gifts of time, enthusiasm and unfailing courtesy. We really cannot thank him enough for all his hard work.

The date for the next meeting of the Art Exhibition Committee will be February 23 at 7.00 pm in Saline Community Centre.

Marylla Ferguson
Exhibition Organiser



HERITAGE SOCIETY 

On Wednesday 27 January, Kevin Thompson delighted a good audience with A Night with Burns, telling his story in music, poems and stories, and beautifully illustrated with appropriate pictures. The speaker at the February meeting on Wednesday 24 February will be Ian Tenant on the subject of Early Flight in Scotland. Meetings are held in the Church Hall at 7.00 pm for 7.30 pm. There is a charge of £1 for members and £2 for visitors to cover expenses.



SWRI OPEN MEETING 

Saline SWRI have an open meeting with a speaker from the Guide Dogs Association on Wednesday 2 March at 7.30 pm in Saline Community Centre. All visitors are welcome to this meeting.




Forthcoming 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.

Rainbows
Every Thursday 5.00pm-6.00pm
Saline Church Hall

Brownies
Every Thursday 6.00pm-7.30pm
Saline Church Hall

116th Fife Scout Group 

Beaver Colony, Every Friday, 6.00pm-7.30pm
Cub Pack, Every Thursday, 6.30pm-8.00pm
Scout Troop, Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9.00pm
Explorer Unit, Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9.00pm
Carnock Community Centre, Camps Road, Carnock. Open to both boys & girls


Highland Dancing Classes
Tuesdays 4.00pm-5.00pm
Thursdays 6.30pm-8.00pm
Saline Church Session Room

Adult Badminton
Mondays 7.45pm
Wednesday 1.30pm and 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

Saline Smilers (Toddler Group)
Tuesdays 9.30am-11.30am during school terms
Saline Community Centre

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

Fitness with Lesley Halstead
Thursday mornings, 10.00 am
Saline Community Centre

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

Saline & Blairingone Parish Church 

Monday Club
For P4, P5, P6, and P7
Monday 8 February for six weeks
Church Hall, 3.00 -4.15pm
50p per session

Family Beetle Drive
Friday 26 February
Church Hall

Church Guild
Monday evenings
Church Hall, 7.30pm .

World Day of Prayer
Friday 4 March, 7.00pm
Saline Parish Church
With members of Carnock and Oakley Parish Church and The Church of the Holy Name.

Fairtrade Fortnight: 29 February - 13 March
Traidcraft Goods on sale in the Church Hall on:
Sunday 21 February at 11.30 am Monday 22 February at 7.30 pm Wednesday 24 February at 10.30 am

Saline SWRI
Saline Community Centre
Wednesday 2 March, 7:30 pm
Speaker from Guide Dogs Association
OPEN MEETING - All visitors welcome


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

Community Council Meeting
23 February, 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

Country Dancing
Mondays, 7.00pm
Saline Community Centre 

Yoga, Saline Church Hall, every other Tuesday 3pm 
Contact Rose,    for details





This Community Bulletin is produced by Saline and Steelend Communications Group 
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