After raising issues of concern over Little Raith Wind Farm, and a member of the public raising their own issues over the wind farm at previous meetings, Community Councillor Steven Murray asked for an update from the Community Council regarding the Health & Safety of Little Raith Wind Farm focusing in on the concerns of SEPA of the possibility of increased concentrations of Benzene in our local air.
The Community Council had agreed to communicate with Fife Council regarding the health concerns, and Community Councillor Steven requested an update. As yet Fife Council have not replied to the Lochgelly Community Council.
As this specific health concern also involves Mossmorran, whom are still flaring well into their second week, the discussion inevitably focused on the health concerns with Mossmorran (this will be detailed in another article).
Councillor Steven Murray did on several occasions raise concerns over the health issues connected to Little Raith Wind Farm with other Community Councillors raising the same concerns, but unfortunately the conversation kept steering towards the health concerns of Mossmorran, rather than the matter at hand.
Community Councillor makes Demands
Community Councillor Robert Miller stated that the Community Council should request a meeting with Kennedy Renewables to demand money from them for the Lochgelly Community Council. Robert felt that Lochgelly should have the majority of the money and it should go directly to the Community Council as this is what the previous developer; West Coast Energy had promised the Community Council.
At a previous meeting held in October, a minority of the Community Councillors referred to the Trust Fund as being fraudulent, however, ‘Loch of Shining Waters’ did not see any basis for this claim other than personal opinions of the Community Councillors making the claim.
A minority of the Community Councillors continued to suggest that the Trust takes a percentage of the available fund, leaving less in the pot for the local communities that are eligible to apply for the monies.
Community Councillor Eileen McKenna then stated the process of how the trust fund will work through a matrix system and how the Community Council already has two delegates (Linda Erskine & Steven Murray), nominated by the Community Council to attend the working group meetings and feedback to the Community Council. Eileen also stated that the Community Council read the constitution of the Trust and never raised any objections at the time.
However, this information did not satisfy Community Councillor Miller and Chair McPherson as they both continued to call for the developers to be requested to attend the next Community Council meeting.
It is unclear what action is to be taken as the majority of Community Councillors do not believe that the Trust is in any way fraudulent, but nevertheless, it appears that a request will be sent to Kennedy Renewables to request them to attend one of the meetings to discuss the fund.
The Community Council seem to be split 40/60 regarding the health concerns and some of the Community Councillors are making an effort to get the health issues explored but are facing an uphill struggle to be even heard or for the discussion to stay on track and not be sidelined by the connected issues with Mossmorran.
In October Community Councillor Alex Sharpe stated there was no negative health effects but didn’t provide any proof to back-up that declaration, whilst Community Councillor Robert Miller reacted with some anger towards a member of the public declaring that ‘it is a waste of time discussing this issue and I will no longer listen’.
Whilst we have our own issues of concern with the Trust fund and how this money will be equally spread between the communities affected, we certainly do not believe the Trust fund is in anyway fraudulent.
In fact witnessing how a minority of the Community Councillors are putting issues of control over the money as their main (and only) concern, it is the one thing we feel that the developers have got right, the Trust fund should not be administered by any Community Council but should be administered by a newly formed and independent Trust group.
It is also of concern to us that members of the public are not getting any space to air their concerns over Little Raith Wind Farm, or any other issue they may have, until the very end of the meeting when Community Councillors are already putting on their coats and preparing to leave the meeting, with the members of the public requested ‘to keep it quick’.