The Lochgelly Community Council held their monthly meeting at the Royal Oak Community Club on the 9th May 2012, starting at 7pm.
Apologies were received from Linda Erskine, Helen Ross, Brian Schulz and Jean McDonald. Local Councillor Ian Chisholm was absent with no apologies, and local Councillor Mark Hood was in attendance.
Eileen McKenna raised concern that the minutes from the last meeting were inaccurate, as they did not contain her letter of complaint which should have been attached to the minutes so that the local community can examine her reasons for walking out of the Community Council meeting in March. Ernest McPherson stated that the letter had been added to the minutes which are available in the Lochgelly Library.
Special Projects – Jubilee Park
Christine McGrath raised a question regarding the Special Project for the Jubilee Park at Grace Street, specifically asking if there has been any work progressing the project. Ernest McPherson updated Community Councillors that he has been looking at an Environmental grant for trees and flower planting. The grant can provide funding for £2,000 – £20,000.
The plans for the Jubilee Park project have all been passed, but no further work has been done towards the special project.
Stevie Murray is hoping that the Special Project fund can also be used for developing other areas of Lochgelly, that will have a wider positive impact for the wider local community. One example provided was to redevelop the tennis courts at the public park, as this area has deteriorated and is currently unused.
Stevie also raised concern that the Jubilee Park project will only benefit a small area of the community. Ernest informed the Community Councillors that Grace Street residents are fully supportive of the Jubilee park project.
Community Councillors and local Councillor Mark Hood, received numerous complaints regarding the smell from the fields at the bottom of Lochgelly.
Concerns were raised that the issue took a while to be addressed, and Mark informed Community Councillors that a report will be created and discussed at the next Cowdenbeath Area Committee meeting.
Stevie was concerned over the amount of time the smell lingered, and Ernest spoke with two farmers using the slurry. The farmers did not realise that the smell would be so bad and have stated they would not use that type of slurry again.
Concerns were raised in general that the issue of the smell had taken so long to be addressed and the hands of the community were “tied” in dealing with the issue.
Stevie raised concerns over the conditions of the road and wanted to know if this had been highlighted in the local papers. It was confirmed, that the Fife Times did include a write up of the Community Council concerns, but only two streets were identified in the report, Motion Street and Mid Street.
Concerns were also raised regarding the illegal parking of motorists on the corner of Motion Street and Auchterderran Road. Main offenders were those stopping outside the shops to quickly grab some items. The main concern was over the safety issues caused by negligent motorists.
Community Council would like a letter of concern sent to the transportation department and request that double yellow lines or barriers should be erected to discourage motorists from parking illegally on the corner.
Any other Community Business
Jon McGee requested that a letter of congratulations should be sent to Linda Erskine regarding her election to serve as a Councillor and to thank her for her time on the Community Council. As a Councillor, Linda Erskine will have to step down from the Community Council, which means there will be an opening for anyone who wishes to serve on the Community Council (details will be forthcoming).
The housing at the bottom of South Street has been finished and the Community Council would like the recycling points to be reinstated on the area. The rest of the land will be further redeveloped for more housing, but this is not expected for at least another five years, therefore the recycling points should return, even if only temporary.
An update was provided from Stevie regarding the 4 Winds Development Trust (group formed to distribute funds from Little Raith Wind Farm). Community Councillors were informed that that the group was still not constituted, the delay is due to the constitution is still being examined by the appointed lawyers.
Jon asked if churches will be eligible to apply for the community fund and was informed that they cannot apply for any funds, however a member of the church can apply to access the fund on behalf of the church group.
Concerns from members of the public
A member of the public provided an update to the 2x100m turbines at Mossmorran which were approved by Fife Council under delegated powers. A letter of complaint was sent to Fife Council as they own the verge of the land, and therefore they should not have used delegated powers to approve the turbines. Due to the vested interest of Fife Council as property owner of part of the land, the application should have appeared before the Cowdenbeath Area Committee.
Fife Council have investigated and responded to the claims, Fife Council admitted that the application should have went to Committee, however, it is too late, but they have learned their lesson for future applications.
The member of public also informed the Community Council that another scoping application has been submitted to Fife Council for a 98m turbine to be located at Mossmorran. None of the Community Councillors were aware of this application.
The member of public also informed the Community Council that another 14x146m turbines are also being planned for Blairadam Forest, which will be visible within a 30 mile radius, which will have a visual cumulative impact on the Lochgelly area, by the time all of the proposed turbines from other developments have been built.
A minority of Community Councillors have requested to see the response from Fife Council and asked for the details of the planning applications to be sent to them.
The meeting was officially closed, and the next meeting has been arranged for the Royal Oak Community Club to be held on the 13th June 2012, starting at 7pm.