The Community Council held their monthly meeting on the 14th December at 7:00pm, after the Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year ceremony.
None of the local councillors were present and apologies were received from Community Councillor James Haddow, in attendance was a Community Police Officer from Fife Constabulary.
There was an update from Community Councillor Murray regarding Little Raith Wind Farm. Both Community Councillor Murray and Community Councillor Linda Erskine attended the Trust meeting for Little Raith Wind Farm and provided the Community Council with an update on the 4 Winds Development Trust.
The constitution for the Trust is likely to be used as a working guide/template for other Wind Farm Trusts in the Fife area.
Health issues were raised in connection over SEPAs concerns over possible higher concentrations of Benzene in the air because of the Wind Turbines. The developers stated that they will be monitoring air levels 12 months before the turbines are erected and 12 months during the turbines operation.
The Community Council are still recommending for Fife Council to install additional Air Quality monitoring devices around Lochgelly.
The Wind Turbine fire in Ardrossan (video below) raised concern with some of the Community Councillors over the safety of the Wind Turbines and it was noted that on the same day 2 Wind Turbines across Scotland had also collapsed. Concerns were raised over the likelihood that this would happen at Little Raith.
The Community Council are invited to the next meeting of Little Raith Wind Farm on the 16th January 2012.
The next issue to be raised was Mossmorran, this was a very in-depth and lengthy discussion with various points being raised so we will be covering the issues in a separate article.
Horse Training at Public Park
Community Councillor Jean McDonald raised an issue of horses churning up the land at the Public Park. It was recognised that there are two groups using the park to train their horses.
One group uses the bottom of the park, at the red ash section, and cleans up after their horses. What was causing concern for some of the community councillors, was the group of horse riders using the top of the public park.
It was noted that these horse riders are galloping up and down the park, causing the land to be churned up and damaged, as well as posing a safety risk for children and families in the park. It was also noted that this group is allowing their horses to foul the area, and not cleaning up after the horses, unlike the group using the bottom of the park.
It was recommended for the Community Council to contact Fife Council notifying them of the situation and request clarification of what options is open to them to resolve the matter.
The issue of Dog Fouling in the Lochgelly area, with owners refusing to clean up the mess was again raised by the Community Council.
Community Councillor Murray reported a motion by Fife Council for a cross party of groups to work together to tackle the issue. The motion was supported by Kelty Community Council, and Community Councillor Murray recommended that Lochgelly Community Council make a public press release to support the motion by Fife Council.
Issues were discussed regarding the cause of the increased Dog Fouling, at which point the Community Police Officer mentioned that there are several factors leading to the increase of dog fouling.
Councillor Murray believes an education campaign would be helpful as police time should not be wasted on having their time focussed on dog fouling issues.
Chairperson McPherson agreed on the point raised and a discussion began on whether the Community Council can attribute to the education of dog owners.
Community Councillor McDonald then requested if a Dog Warden could attend a meeting of the Community Council to give further information and options of the rules and legislation, and what options are open to members of the public.
Community Councillor Brian Schultz recommended involving the local schools in a poster campaign to encourage dog owners to clean up after their dogs.
After the debate, some of the local areas to be most affected by dog fouling was identified, including the West End Park and the Violet Park.
Letters to Community Council
Awards for All
The Community Council received an update for Awards for All, notifying them that they have funds available for any community projects that may be able to benefit from the funding support. Grants of up to £10,000 are available, as long as it can be spent within a year.
Chairperson McPherson recommended applying for the money to upgrade some land in Lochgelly that was in poor condition, but this was rejected by other Community Councillors, as the land is on private property, and publicly available funds should not be spent to regenerate private land, as this is the responsibility of the land owner.
Instead it was recommended that it may be beneficial for the funds to be sought to help support the Youth Club at the St Serfs church (Macainsh Church) and provide them with much needed funding and support so the youths can benefit from additional activities and support.
Loch of Shining Waters – Little Raith Wind Farm
Another letter was received from us regarding whether or not the Community Council supported the turbine heights to be increased in 2008. At a previous meeting, we were told by some of the Community Councillors that the turbine height increase was discussed at the Community Council in 2008 and approved/supported by the Community Council.
We checked with the planning application to get the exact time line of the consultation period and then made a Freedom of Information request to Fife Council for the Community Council minutes from that period. From the FOI request we discovered that the Community Council were on holiday during the consultation period and therefore couldn’t have supported the plans, we have therefore requested that proof be provided of any discussions regarding the turbine height increase.
The reason we request this proof, is that the developers are claiming to have the full support of the Community Council (which then translates to the support of the local community), and from the polls we have conducted, the development is not supported locally, and it is unclear whether or not the Community Council fully support Little Raith Wind Farm.
Homes The Avenues
Homes The Avenue Ltd has now put forward their planning application for 107 houses to be built behind the Public Park at the Avenue. Community Councillor Eileen McKenna raised concerns over road safety issues regarding the housing which will face directly onto the Avenue road.
Issues were also raised that Lomond Homes have been dumping dirt onto the site, from another site, changing the layout of the land, and concerns were raised on whether or not this was legal. Further clarification on the issue is being sought from SEPA.
It was discussed that the Community Council will raise their concerns officially on the planning application.
Ore Valley Housing Association
Ore Valley Housing Association wrote to the Community Council to inform them of a planning application for a Day Care facility for the elderly to be built on the waste ground behind the Minto Lounge bar. This was supported by the Community Council.
Community Council Secretary
The issue of not having a Secretary was raised, and as yet, the role is unfilled. Chairperson Ernest McPherson is taking the Secretary role on top of his own duties on a temporary basis until the role of Secretary is filled.
We are unsure if we can publish their contact details so we will try to get this issue clarified, so people have a form of contact for the Lochgelly Community Council.