1. Parking at Newport Primary School – I met with Stuart Goodfellow from the Traffic Management Department on 1 May when we reviewed the parking issues at the school. I am waiting for Stuart to get back to me with any recommendations and will advise the Community Council of these as soon as I receive them.
2. New Madras College – As members will probably be aware, the Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek McKay has asked for a further four weeks to consider the Madras College planning application.I have just been advised that Scottish Ministers have decided not to call in the application and have authorised the Council to deal with the application in the manner that it thinks fit.
3. Tayplan Main Issues – I attended the drop in event on 29 April in Cupar. There is an opportunity for members of the public to submit comments and views on the main issues for the next Tayplan report by the end of June.
4. Newport and Wormit in Bloom – Members will have seen the publicity about the British Telecom cabinet that was placed in front of the “boat” at the bottom of Flask Road. Following representations that were made to British Telecom, I am pleased to advise that they have indicated that they will be prepared to move the boat, hopefully at the beginning of June.
5. Newport, Wormit and Forgan Trust – Following discussion at the last Community Council meeting I can confirm that the above Trust “supports people of all ages in the area of Newport on Tay, Wormit and Forgan by furthering health and relieving the effects of poverty, distress and sickness”. I do not have details of the Trustees of the fund but the fund is administered by Blackadders, Solicitors in Dundee.
6. Japanese Knotweed – Staff from Community Services have developed an action plan for dealing with the Japanese knotweed that is on the nature trail at the junction with Kirk Road and also behind the railway line in Wormit. I am also releasing a press release about this drawing attention to this problem and highlighting a link to advice on Fife Direct about this at www.fifedirect.org.uk/beautifulfife.
7. Welfare Reform Elected Members Briefing – I have received a briefing on the current position in relation to welfare reform and would be happy to forward this to anyone who would like to see it.
8. Fife Road Casualties Statistics – The Safer Communities Committee recently considered a report on the above statistics for 2013. The total number of casualties (for Fife as a whole) in 2013 was 550. This almost equalled the record low figure recorded in 2012 of 549. The 85 serious injuries represent the lowest ever number recorded. All measures have exceeded the Scottish Government targets.
9. Fife Carers – Dementia Workshops – The Fife Carers Centre have notified me of two workshops that are being arranged for unpaid family carers of people living with dementia in the St Andrews area. These workshops are taking place on Thursday 15 May – “Take a Walk in their Shoes” and Thursday 5 June – “Communicating with Dementia Words and Beyond.” I would be happy to provide further details to anyone who would like to attend.
10. Licensing of Private Hire Cars-Signage – I have received a briefing note on the above topic on the licensing of private hire cars by the Council and the Council’s policy on the signage allowed on these vehicles. I would be happy to provide this to anyone who is interested.
11. Eden Estuary May Newsletter – I have received the latest newsletter from Ranald Strachan on the Eden Estuary.
12. Health Inequalities Checklist – The Fife Health and Wellbeing Alliance of which I am a member has produced a health inequalities checklist. This is aimed at partnerships, organisations and community groups who are working with individuals and communities across Fife. It can be used to check if the group are working in ways most likely to reduce health inequalities. I would be happy to provide a copy to anyone who would like to see it.
13. Newport Library – The North East Fife Area Committee recently received the annual review from the Fife Cultural Trust who are responsible for the provision of libraries and theatres in Fife. With regard to Newport Library, it was reported that the library was open 22.5 hours per week and operated by 0.7 FTE staff. There were 36,717 transactions at an operating cost of £16,903. Trends over one year are an 8% increase in visitors, 3% increase in book business and a 19% decrease in PC business. Total transactions in 2011/12 were up by 1.2%. Over the last six years there has been a 27.6% increase in visitors, and a 24.1% increase in book business and a 6% decrease in PC business. I would be happy to provide a full copy of the report for anyone who would like to see it.
14. Tay Rail Bridge – I have been notified by the project manager of Taziker that they have been successful in being awarded the Phase 4 contract for maintenance work on the rail bridge. This work will last 120 weeks starting in July 2014. Taziker have advised that they intend to stay on the Wormit side of the bridge for the duration of the contract but that the generators and compressors will be moved onto the bridge so there should be fewer problems with noise as they will be 1000 metres out into the estuary. The giant vacuum on Bay Road will not be used on the next phase so, again, there should be no issues from that aspect.
15. High Speed Broadband Roll Out – Steve Revell, the Fife Next Generation Broadband Manager has advised that Newport on Tay has been included in the next phase of communities that will receive high speed broadband. The provision will be made from July this year but we have been advised that, due to the current network topography and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not be able to access fibre based broadband at the same point in the roll out. Further information can be obtained from the Scottish Government website http://www.digitalscotland.org/news/superfast-fibre-broadband-rolls-out-on-first-scottish-island and http://www.digitalscotland.org/media/20134/18-April-2014-release-locations.pdf.
16. RAF Leuchars – I attended the Freedom of the St Andrews parade for service personnel from RAF Leuchars. The transition arrangements are about to begin with 6 Squadron moving to Lossiemouth at the end of June. 1 Squadron will then be moving in September and there will be a significant reduction in RAF personnel at that point. The army units will not be arriving at Leuchars until the summer of 2015.
17. The Newport – the picture gallery in the Newport is now open and the chiropractic clinic will commence on the 19th May..Building work on the restaurant has now started.
18. Waterstone Crook Sports Hub-the next meeting of the group will be held on the 26th may at 6.30 pm in the Blyth Hall.