CRA Chairman’s Closing Update 28 10 2021
Cellardyke Residents Association
14th AGM 28th October 2021
Chairman's Report 2020-21
At our AGM in 2017, I indicated that I would be stepping down as Chair finally and irrevocably. And here I am, presenting my absolutely final last chairman’s report once again.
Cellardyke Residents Association has now completed its work. Looking back, 14 residents attended the first meeting on 20th August, 2007, four of whom are still attenders - myself, Davie Corstorphine, George Walker and Paul Lewis. At least five of those original members, Sonny Corstorphine, Alex Parker, Jim Hughes, Bill Cathcart and Bill Leslie are, sadly, no longer with us. More recently we lost Allan Mclelland and John Brown, who made significant contributions to our association, and to Cellardyke. There was only one item on the first agenda, the plan by Muir Homes to build 340 houses on the site of Anstruther Holiday Park which was located, of course, in Cellardyke.
And so the CRA came into existence as the forum for the discussion of, and opposition to, the original proposals. We became the go-to group for press responses to events, and represented the 180 written objectors at the Reporter's Appeal, where , it should be said, Fife Council and the CRA prevailed, led by our then chair, Jill Calder, against a legal team led by a QC. We learnt a lot about the planning process, and about politics. The final plan for Silverdykes was the improved plan required by the Reporter, and the development is the better for it. Since then, the CRA evolved from its campaigning roots into a recognised partner in the community, inaugurating the Cellardyke Burns Supper, beginning the process of reviving the Sea Queen Ceremony, creating Information boards in Cellardyke, leading the floral work in Cellardyke, eventually achieving the Gold award - and in general doing all it could to safeguard the identity and history of Cellardyke, as is set out in our constitution. The minutes of the past 14 years show a huge amount of time and effort put in by our members in representing the interests of Cellardyke.
All things change, however, and because things change, we find ourselves at the end of the road. Last year we decided to stand together for one last push to complete the work of the SLC, and that is now done. The Cellardyke Trust is taking forward the task of promoting the heritage, history and identity of Cellardyke, a main objective of the CRA. The Sea Queen Festival has been reborn, and the excellent Cellardyke Information Boards created by John Brown and his team are read daily by visitors and locals alike. Both of these are sharing and safeguarding the culture and heritage of Cellardyke and its people. The Cellardyke Facebook page – and particularly Richard Wemyss’ Cellardyke Echo - is a lively forum for the present, past and future of Cellardyke. None of these could have been foreseen in 2007.
One of the items in the first minute of the CRA in August 2007 referred to the proposed payment of £400,000 due from Muir Homes which would be conditional upon the completion of the development, in lieu of the shortage of open green space in the Silverdykes development. The Silverdykes Liaison Committee (SLC) was formed in August 2011, and was chaired by the CRA, with the agreement of all parties, from then until its proposed dissolution at the end of 2021, first by Catherine Wilson, and then by Glenn Jones. CRA representatives have additionally been George Walker, Paul Lewis and Dorothea Cargill Thomson, and I thank them for their support. The final proposals from the community were gathered in July 2021, discussed by the SLC and the recommendations accepted by Fife Council. Criteria for awards were published from the start, and priority was given to proximity to Cellardyke, which was most impacted by the development. Legacy arrangements have been put in place to ensure that funds are spent as intended, the Community Council has agreed to provide oversight on behalf of the community, and the SLC, job done, will disband later this year.
As SLC chair, I would like to thank our CRA representatives, all the Fife Officers who have worked with us, most recently Iain Wilson, our colleagues on the Community Council, Daryl Wilson and Lorna Jones, our Silverdykes Residents’ co-opted member Gerald Cooper, our councillors, first Elizabeth Riches and then Bill Porteous, and the representatives of Muir Homes, David Scobbie and Alan Arnott. The SLC was drawn together out of legal necessity, but evolved into a co-operative and effective group, working amicably together for the good of the community. None of this could have been foreseen back in 2007. Finally, I would like to thank you, the members of the CRA who have stood behind us for this final year, for your backing in finishing the job we started.
Although £400,000 has been allocated through the SLC, several projects are still in progress, and through match funding, the total generated for open space leisure provision in the community will be greater than that. Already, the Safe Cycle Routes have generated an additional £200,000 in match funding from Sustrans because of the SLC award, and other groups can similarly use theirs as proof of support in applying for other grants. The Section 75 funding has therefore not only provided specific leisure facilities, but is also providing seed corn for the future.
Here is a summary of projects proposed by individual residents or community groups which have been completed or are ongoing, and which have been supported by Section 75 funding allocated through the SLC:
- the restoration of the Cellardyke Pond (or Bathie)
- additional and replacement facilities/play equipment for Cellardyke Park, including slide, disabled access swing, basket swing and wooden clambering frames
- replacement play equipment in Windmill Court, Cellardyke
- replacement play equipment at the Billowness
- replacement play equipment at Dreelside
- safe Cycle Routes to School between Kilrenny and the Pittenweem boundary, including the new path through Bankie Park
- completion of play equipment and facilities in Bankie Park including Komplan explorer arch
- outdoor table tennis table and football goalposts for Bankie Park
- improved floral display facilities and landscaping at the St Andrews Rd entrance to the town
- a disabled access ramp to Bankie Park at the Ladywalk side, and wheelchair accessible picnic tables and benches
- replacement bench and wheelchair accessible picnic table for St Ayles Crescent
- historical and heritage information boards for Cellardyke
- Anstruther Skate Park
- Anstruther Community Allotments
- memorial bench and seats in local stone for Cellardyke East End, and a community garden
- improvements to paths and steps at the Toon’s Green/War Memorial Cellardyke
This is the legacy of the CRA. Thank you to those who have chaired the CRA : Bill Leslie, Sonny Corstorphine, Jill Calder, Dorothea Cargill Thompson and |John Brown. Thank you to George Walker, who has managed our website, and will leave it online as a record. Thank you to all those who have served as office bearers; thank you to our secretaries – principally, Catherine Wilson and Nette Carder, who has served both the CRA and the Cellardyke Trust for the past four years. Thank you to everyone who has been with us on this journey, especially those who have followed it from start to finish, and thank you to those who are taking our aims forward through the Cellardyke Trust. All that now remains for the CRA is to formally propose the disbandment of our Association.
Glenn Jones, Cellardyke, 28th October 2021