At LoSW, we believe that the ‘public’ consultation should be halted and held at a later date to fix the apparent unfairness in the consultation process. Ideally, due to the large areas to be developed, a separate 1 month consultation should be held for each area currently under review.


View Changing Face of Lochgelly in a larger map

Failing that, the consultation should be extended by at least 2 months to give the local community a chance to view and analyse the document, so people can give better informed feedback on the proposals and have the opportunity to be consulted properly.

Why should the consultation be halted or extended?

We believe that each area should be given a separate consultation or a minimum extension of at least 2 months should be granted based on the following:

  1. The plans available to download from the Fife Direct website are different from the plans held in the local office. The plans available in the local office gives more in-depth information on some of the areas to be redeveloped. Both online and offline documents should be exactly the same. We have been notified that users of the Microsoft Windows OS can view the full documentation and it is the same as the offline version. The 2 volunteers that have been going through the documentation have been using the MAC OS X operating system which did not allow the full content to be viewed without additional software. You can view the full explanation at: Amendment to the consultation
  2. Those without internet access can only be consulted through the local office. The local office is only open 2 days a week and they only have 1 copy of the plans, requiring the plans to be read there and then, and with over 90 pages this is completely impractical, and more than likely will not be read, or read in detail. Also, those that do not have internet access and need to view the documents in the local office, only get 8 days to do so.
  3. Both documents contain irrelevant data, making both documents unnecessary large and complicated
  4. Both documents stray from Government guidelines on accessibility and readability
  5. The consultation is being held at a time when the Community Council are on their break, therefore the Lochgelly community do not have any official local representation, other than the Lochgelly Community Development Forum
  6. The size of the development areas is too large for 1 consultation process. In fairness and transparency, each area to be developed should have it’s own separate consultation period (i.e., a 1 month consultation period for Area 1, a 1 month consultation period for area 2, etc.)

What you can do?

If you feel that the way the consultation is being handled is unfair and think it should be halted and launched at a later date, or, at the very least, should be extended, you can take some of the steps below (As a group, we are taking all the steps laid out below)

  1. Contact your local councillors, and let them know why you feel the consultation should be halted or extended.
    Margot Doig
    Mark Hood
    Ian Chisholm
  2. Contact your member of the Scottish Parliament.
    Helen Eadie
  3. Contact members of the Scottish Parliament that represent the Fife Area
    Liz Smith
    Murdo Fraser
    Annabelle Ewing
    Claire Baker
    Willie Rennie
    Richard Simpson
  4. Contact the First Minister of the Scottish Parliament
    Alex Salmond
  5. Contact the MSP responsible for Cities Strategy at the Scottish Parliament
    Nicola Sturgeon
  6. Contact the Cowdenbeath Area Committee members (We’ve omitted members that are listed previously)
    Alistair Bain
    Ann Bain
    William L. Clarke
    Alexander Maxwell
    Alex Rowley
    John Simpson
  7. Contact the Lochgelly Community council and request they hold a special meeting, and represent your views to Fife Council
    Secretary: Christine McGrath
  8. Contact the Lochgelly Community Development Forum and ask them to represent your views.
    LCDF
  9. In case the consultation is not halted or extended, we advise you to fill out the questionnaires so at least your views on the development areas are put forward.
    http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/lochgellyguidance

We will be carrying out all the steps above, and we request that if anyone agrees to our points on why the current consultation should be halted or extended, that you follow some (or all) of the steps above. If enough people write to complain about the consultation process and request the consultation to be extended, then it may happen. If your neighbours do not have internet access, please let them know of the consultation, the flaws in the process, and what they can do to try and halt or extend the consultation so it is handled fairly for all members of the local community and for better transparency.

We have been breaking up the document and publishing it online in an easier to use format, you can access these pages by clicking on the related posts below, or by clicking on an area in the map above for further info and links to the page containing the full text.

Please feel free to leave any feedback, request for info, or your comments below, thanks.

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8 Comments

  1. Lochgelly

    June 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    We are currently still writing our letters to be sent to the above representatives, however local councillor Mark Hood has seen our tweets for this post and notified us through twitter that he would look into this. He got back to us via Twitter and has mentioned that it is being put forward to the Area Committee and he is asking if more time can be allowed for the consultation.

    Thanks for looking into this issue.

    Reply

  2. tiptoes

    June 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    the whole plan is an unworkable farce
    all new development will have to be in the one area not scattered all over the town
    the planners who drew this up should be dismissed for gross incompetency
    although they were probably only acting from orders from the top

    Reply

    • Lochgelly

      June 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      Hi TipToes, thanks for your comment.

      There is a meeting tonight at 7pm at the Royal Oak community club concerning the xmas lights, but we have manged to get the consultation on the agenda. One of our volunteers will be attending, and we are hoping more people from the community will show up to put forward their views. If you can manage to get along, or get others to show up, the more people that show the better, as it would at least make it harder for Fife Council to just approve the plans 😉

      Reply

  3. Lochgelly

    June 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    We’ve heasrd back from Mark Hood, and he mentions that the consultation cannot be extended as it is needed for the Cowdenbeath Area Committee report due in September, but individuals can still leaver their comments with councillors up until then.

    Reply

  4. Lochgelly

    June 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    One of our volunteers went to the Community Council Xmas Lights meeting last night and the issue of the consultation was raised. The Community Council will be also writing to local councillors and MSPs to try and get an extension.

    Reply

  5. mam

    July 17, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I agree that more time for consultation should be pushed for and also for the plans to be made more public with wider access for responses – not just via the internet. I live very close to one of the development areas and only found out about it by chance. None of my neighbours were aware of the plan.

    Reply

  6. mam

    July 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I submitted comments on the Fife Council site via the survey on Sunday and it gave me a comments number but my comments are not showing on the site or when I go into ‘my comments’. Does this mean it hasn’t worked and I have to submit my comments again? I may add that this was after 2 attempts – for my 1st attempt it lost the information and I had to do it all again. So far only one comment is visible against the consultation. Although, this is no suprise when the site is so difficult to use!

    Reply

    • Lochgelly

      July 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks for letting us know about the issues you’ve been having, I reckon the comments will probably be manually approved as in the past it has taken a couple of days before comments are displayed, so I would hold of from commenting again.

      I think the council may have been closed today so I reckon it should appear tomorrow. If it doesn’t you can probably contact the council and give them your comment number:

      Alison Wood, Planner
      Tel: 08451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 22 68 Fax: 01592 583638

      We’ll be leaving our comments tomorrow, so I’ll let you know if we had any problems and please keep us up to date if you continue to have problems on their site.

      Reply

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