SCAM ALERT 1
Steelend's Jean Morris got a huge shock last week when she received a message purporting to be from HMRC. When she called the contact number, she was threatened with bailiffs, freezing of her assets and a visit to arrest her from the Police if she didn't pay £3000 in back taxes by 5pm. Fortunately, Jean's not that daft and suspected a scam, especially when the aggressive caller didn't know what HMRC stood for. Nevertheless she had endured a traumatic experience. She contacted HMRC who confirmed that they would have contacted her by post and would have been polite if they did phone. Police officers also confirmed that they knew of the scam and had received a number of calls.
This is a particularly nasty crime and some people could be terrified into coughing up. It is a warning to everyone to be aware of such calls. If you receive a call saying that you owe money, do not give out your bank details. HMRC and financial organisations will not ask you for details over the phone. As Jean did, phone whoever you allegedly owe money to double check. Also inform the Police who already have the scammers' phone number.
These apologies for human beings target vulnerable people. Please ensure that anyone you know who is vulnerable is warned of this and other scams.
SCAM ALERT 2
Royal Mail is looking to raising awareness of scam mail in our community. Royal Mail never knowingly delivers scam mail and understands the distress that it can cause. Scam mail is illegal and targets the most vulnerable in society and the aim is to put a stop to it.
Scam mail typically involves professional fraudsters sending convincing letters designed to trick people out of money or other valuables. It can include bogus competitions and fake prize draws. This mail mostly originates overseas and is hard to detect.
Anyone can receive scam mail and even the most alert people can be taken in by these criminals.
Royal Mail is committed to doing all it can to protect customers and in 2016 introduced a series of additional measures to reduce the impact. This includes a new industry-wide code of practice for dealing with scam mail as well as a new clause in bulk mail contracts. The company is working with other postal operators in the UK and around the world to share intelligence and take steps to prevent scam mail from entering the UK. To date, Royal Mail has stopped over 4 million suspected pieces of scam at its distribution centres around the UK, before they can be posted through customers' letterboxes.
While Royal continues to tackle this issue vigorously, it is important that we all remain vigilant and report possible scams sent to ourselves, relatives, friends or neighbours. Should you be concerned that you or someone has received scam mail, please contact Royal Mail by;
writing to Royal Mail at FREEPOST SCAM MAIL enclosing any suspect items or
SALINE AND STEELEND COMMUNITY COUNCIL MATTERS
There was a healthy attendance on a rather dreich evening at the August meeting. Most of the meeting was taken up by the presentation from the Fire Service, reported in more detail in the Saline and Steelend Community Bulletin
North Road Playpark
Little progress seems to have been made since last month and people are getting frustrated by the lack of feedback from Fife Council.
Fife Council has agreed in principle to lease part of the building to a pharmacist who can now at least move forward with her proposals. Obviously most folk would welcome a local pharmacy, particularly given the potential to develop other health related and social activities in the centre. However, it should be noted that the pharmacist has much more work to do before a pharmacy becomes likely.
It has been agreed that the service will be at 11am and that the community council will lay a wreath
Complaints have been made about bins being removed. Fife Council's response has been that these bins are on roads and pavements already gritted or are close to another bin. The council has also stated that, once bins have been removed throughout Fife, there will be an opportunity for people to argue the case for some reinstatements.
Oakley Road Road Safety
Following concerns about speeding on Oakley Road, Transportation were contacted and they advised that 2 speed tables are to be installed and the Saline signs moved. Unfortunately, the speed limit from the White Gates to Saline remains unchanged.
One positive aspect is that a number of younger people have expressed an interest in Speedwatch and will be contacted by one of the Saline Team. Remember that voluntary action like this can only be really successful if there is a bigger pool of volunteers. Please consider signing up.
New Community Council Members
It has been possible to fill 9 of the 10 available posts, which compares favourably with other communities throughout Fife. Muriel Phillips and Morag Aitken have stood down and are thanked for their contributions over a fair number of years. Welcome to Anne Buchanan, Ken Wcislo and Alastair Hamilton who have joined. There is still a vacancy and anyone interested should get in touch. Don't all rush at once!!
Date of Next Meeting
30th October at 7.30 in Saline Community Centre. This will also be the AGM. All welcome
GoodSam and Saline First Responders are partnering to enable the community to call 999 through the Alerter App. By using the app, nearby Saline First Responders will be instantly alerted of a cardiac emergency – thereby harnessing local first aid skills until the ambulance arrives.
The Alerter App is available on iOS, Android and Windows stores. To use it:
1. DOWNLOAD THE APP. Try out a SIMULATION and then simply leave the app running in the background of your phone
2. IN AN EMERGENCY, OPEN THE APP. AND PRESS THE RED BUTTON. Confirm who the call is for and speak to the operator as normal – help is on its way as usual
3. NEARBY TRAINED LOCAL RESPONDERS ALERTED. GoodSam uses your phone location to alert Responders and request them to come to the scene
Most homes will have received a postcard from the Fire Service offering free Home Safety visits and Free Smoke Alarms. This can be arranged by calling 0800 0731999 or texting “Fire” to 80800 or visiting www.firescotland.gov.uk
The Fire Service has useful booklets on Home Safety and Electrical Safety. These and other safety information can be obtained online at wwww.firescotland.gov.uk or by phoning 0800 0731999. The officers who attended Tuesday's meeting left some hard copies, which can be picked up from the community centre or village shop.
SALINE AND STEELEND COMMUNITY COUNCIL MATTERS
There was a sombre mood at this month's meeting following last week's tragic events.
David Chisholm remarked on the compassion and support that the community had shown towards Gail's family. He praised the heroism shown Sid Chesby and Jim Duncan who had tried to rescue her but had been driven back by smoke and flames.
It was noted that the Fire Service had responded immediately and had sent 3 fire appliances but those present felt that the distance from the Fire Station is a concern for West Fife Villages communities. It was acknowledged that it is highly unlikely that we would get our own fire station but that we should look at ways of making our community safer. One suggestion that was supported was the establishment of a Community Response Unit that could support the Fire Service in the way that Saline First Responders and GoodSam volunteers support the Ambulance Service. A senior fire officer may attend the September meeting and hopefully people will come along and make positive suggestions about how to make the community safer. Thought on the Community Response Unit would be welcomed
A minute's silence was held in Gail's memory.
John Crane Trophy and School Update
This year's award went to Molly Cusack and Marie Crane was pleased to hand the award over to her. Well done, Molly
Mrs Perkins, head teacher, advised that the school roll is up to 97. Children have been learning fire safety and the school holds regular fire drills. Children are keen on outdoor learning and have braved some awful weather recently. They are keen to improve Saline Glen but need help. Saline Environment Group have traditionally carried out clear ups but also would benefit from new members. What about it?
Children are working with Ian Holmes-Lewis and Clare Hebbert on a Halloween Lantern parade in the run up to the Fireworks Display. The previous parade and “Walking the Wizard” events were enjoyed by a lot of folk and this year's should be no exception.
The children were delighted to discover that the orchard planted by pupils a few years ago had borne fruit with a mammoth apple harvest. Some kids were spotted with pockets bulging with fruit, which is great as one of the objectives is to encourage them to eat more fruit. They will be working with Jenny Ventham from Forestry Commission Scotland to find ways to make use of surplus crops
North Road Playpark
Nicola Smith advised that following the good news that work had finally started, the contractor had stopped due to soft ground. Trial bores had found 2.5m of peat under the park and solutions have to be found. The bad news was that Fife Council did not have the staff to prepare stabilisation proposals. The good news is that Nicola's husband, Brian, got a structural engineer from his work to advise and he came up with a design that will be checked by Fife Council. Hopefully, work will start again soon. Thanks are due to Brian and his engineer, and once again we must thank the Playpark Group for their perseverance
The good news for youngsters in Steelend was that the necessary funding has been raised but the project has been delayed due to a shortage of Fife Council staff. I
The group formed to organise the event has made progress on what promises to be an exciting event. Local musician, Drew McCulloch, will be performing in Saline Golf Club afterwards and is composing music to accompany the display. Drew has appeared previously in the golf club to popular acclaim.
Our local councillors must be thanked for awarding £750 towards the event but more money will be required. Like previous bonfire nights, a raffle is being organised so please give generously. Donations of prizes for the raffle would also be appreciated. Watch the Bulletin and web site for details.
Blair House Site Restoration
Cllr Mino Manekshaw gave an update on progress. The contract will be for a set price and bids will be marked against key factors that aim to maximise community benefit. The team who will assess the bids will include a representative from each of the 3 communities around the site. The community council felt that this should be nominated by Kinneddar Park residents, who have borne the impact of the works on the site.
Disturbingly, Mino reported that vandalism was increasing and that this was eating into the money available for restoration. If anyone notices vandalism, please contact the Police
It is hoped that work on the contract will start in February 2019 but the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust will be starting some preparatory works soon
3 local people in the community have been successful in securing a plot and another has been allocated to the school.
West Fife Villages Community Councils Forum
The interim chair has circulated a draft new constitution which would enable non community councillors to represent their community. It will be discussed at an EGM on 19th September at 7.30pm
David Chisholm has been contacted by Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP who asked about local issues. He has advised her of the difficulties in raising the fund to carry out a comprehensive update of the Community Action Plan. Much of what has been achieved in the past years has been helped by the justifications included in the current Plan.
The works to address safety concerns west of Saline have been completed. Tom Dodds who has conscientiously raising the issue of vehicles leaving the road welcomed this. Time will now tell whether the problem has been solved. Thanks are due to Tom himself for keeping this matter in our councillors' minds and for them arguing our case at budget meetings
The complaints about slurry on the road and roadside rocks through and east of Steelend have been investigated by Fife Council who confirmed that no action could be taken
A complaint has been received from a new resident that speed limits on Oakley Road are being ignored, often excessively. The meeting agreed and most felt that the 20 mph signs were badly located and that imaginative ways of addressing the issue should be investigated. In particular, it was felt that the jump from 60mph to 20mph was a problem. Speeding through Kinneddar has been an issue for a long time an it was felt opportune to raise this again
Cllr Manekshaw reported on a Police report to the Area Committee. There has been a major drugs bust in Rosyth and Speedwatch has been active elsewhere. Our own Speedwatch volunteers have been frustrated by a lack of bodies and would welcome more volunteers. If you can help. Please contact the Police
Drivers should be aware that Police officers are conducting “Park Safe” patrols. Those of us who block pavements and park badly around the school should be warned.
Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday 25th September at 7.30 in Saline Community Centre. All welcome
With so many of us thinking of Gail McAffery at this time, safety in our community and how we can respond to accidents and incidents has been highlighted.Please watch the GoodSAM video at https://vimeo.com/197525859 and download the app that you can use for any MEDICAL emergency.. You have the support of GoodSAM responders in Saline alone- and the calls the Ambulance Service for you too
DOG FOULING (AGAIN)Children starting school, many for the first time, got a nasty welcome by the amount of dog fouling around the school. Some parents were understandably furious and we must remember the consequences of this antisocial behaviour, not least the dangers to children's health. Other areas also suffer and it time that something was done to address this menace. Fife Council can take action but only if they are given evidence that can be used against the perpetrators. Please therefore inform the council if you spot an owner not clearing up their pet's mess. Responsible owners should bear in mind that these antisocial folk are tarring you with the same brush
Blairhall Bogside Cairneyhill Carnock Comrie Crombie Culross Gowkhall Kilbagie Kincardine Newmills Oakley Saline Steelend Torryburn Valleyfield