One of the site coordinators; James, attended the latest Community Council meeting (12th October) to raise the issue of Little Raith Wind Farm. At the same time, this has given us an opportunity to provide an update on the Lochgelly Community Council.
Councillor Mark Hood presented an update on his councillor activities and raised concern over the amount of dog fouling on the increase within the local area. Councillor Hood suggested that a possible source of the problem was that the current administration had stopped providing the dog refuse bags as this was costing the local authority £40,000 per year.
Councillor Hood would like to see these bags reintroduced as he felt the value of cleaner streets outweighed the cost.
This led onto a debate over horse fouling, and what, if anything, legally binds a horse owner to clean up if their horse fouls the streets.
Councillor Ian Chisholm was unable to attend and had put in his apologies.
Councillor Hood raised the issue of vandalism in our local schools particularly a recent incident whereby the outdoor flower arrangements at the West Primary School had been destroyed by some youths. It was highlighted that the West Primary School has been working hard to provide more greenery for the pupils to enjoy, with the added benefit of detracting from the concrete nature of West Primary School, and the added bonus of providing hands on teaching for the pupils about environmentalism.
The issue was debated with the Community Council now seeking to approach the local schools to try and put across the message that improvements locally, whether big or small is for everyone to enjoy and share responsibly and wasteful vandalism is a detriment to us all.
Community Warden Report
The Community Warden notified the Community Council that the area they cover has increased whilst the available Community Wardens have been reduced.
The Community Wardens are continuing to engage with youths at all age levels, and the warden indicated that while the engagement is positive, a common complaint they receive from youths, is that there is nothing for them to do. This issue was not merely localised to Lochgelly, but a regular complaint from all the areas the Community Wardens serve.
This issue was recognised by the Community Councillors but no solutions were presented. It was noted by a Community Councillor that the Royal Oak Community Club have been providing a regular music/disco night for the youths in the club which has had some moderate success in engaging some of the youths.
Little Raith Wind Farm
The Community Councillors discussed the progress of the 4 Winds Development Trust and the fund. Two Community Councillors are required to serve on the Trust and it was decided that Linda Erskine and Steven Murray would be the Trust representees.
The fund to be distributed by the Trust was discussed with some Community Councillors expressing that the money should have went directly to the Community Councils. A minority of the Community Councillors expressed their concerns that the Trust would be in some way fraudulent, this accusation was not backed by the majority of the Community Council.
After discussion of the Trust and fund, the Chairperson requested permission from the Community Councillors to allow James and another member from the public to raise their concerns of Little Raith Wind Farm. Permission was granted by the Community Councillors.
James notified the Community Council that at the time of the meeting 114 people have voted no on the Little Raith poll and ask the Community Council how they are going to represent the views of those people. James also raised some of the concerns with Industrial Turbines in general and specific concerns with Little Raith Wind Farm.
After a heated debate it was decided that the Community Council would make a public statement to highlight concerns over some of the issues and likely impact, as the local community do deserve to know of the potential issues, however the Community Council are remaining neutral to the development but will be raising questions to the connected parties and seeking answers for local concerns.
We will be following the work of the Community Council on this issue and will continue to keep the Community Council updated of the poll results. We would also like to urge people to attend the next Community Council meeting to put forward your own concerns over Little Raith Wind Farm, as this will help ensure that the Community Council is representing the views and concerns of the local community.
AOCB (Any Other Community Business)
Community Councillor Erskine raised the concern over the hospice closures currently being planned by NHS Fife, specifically the closure of Ward 16 at Dunfermline Queen Margaret. By cutting 9 hospice beds from Ward 16, NHS Fife believe they will achieve a saving of £322,000.
The Community Council were not supportive of the actions of NHS Fife and will be seeking to raise awareness of the issue and monitor the situation.
After going through a summary of generic mail, a letter was read out to the Community Council from Catherine Cubert the public spokesperson for the Shell/Exxon Mossmorran plant. The letter was written in response to an earlier letter by the Community Council.
We do not know what was written by the Community Council, but we have surmised from the reply, that the Community Council has asked for a Mossmorran representative to attend one of the Community Council meetings.
The reply stated that Mossmorran has a network of communication channels open for notifying local groups, local authority and the local community over local issues, including distributing minutes from the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Community and Safety Committee on the Fife Council website.
Any local group or individual that has concerns with Mossmorran are welcome to contact the plant for a discussion, including making a site visit where they would be happy to listen to and answer their concerns. Travel will be provided by Mossmorran if necessary.
Due to the above, Mossmorran do not feel it necessary to attend the Community Council meeting.
Date of Next Meeting
The Community Council will be holding their next meeting and AGM on the 9th November 2011 at 7pm, located at the Royal Oak Community Club. We are hoping more people will attend and raise their local concerns. We will also be attending to get an update on Little Raith Wind Farm and ask the Community Council on how they are going to represent the views of the majority of the local community that have voted on our poll, objecting to Little Raith.