The Community Council held their monthly meeting (12/12/12), but due to a double booking at the Royal Oak, the venue was changed at the last minute to the Lochgelly Centre. Staff at the Royal Oak were redirecting any members of the public to the new venue.
The two vacancies was the first item of the agenda, and the Community Council had received four nominations from the local community. A secret ballot was held to elect 2 members, and Thomas Durham was elected to serve with 7 votes, and James Glen elected to serve with 6 votes. James Glen was then nominated and seconded to serve as the Secretary for the Community Council.
Fife Council Draft Budget
The Fife Council Draft Budget proposal and consultation was discussed. The Community Council discussed other issues and positives with the proposed budget and prepared an official response to the consultation;
- LCC welcomes consultation and proposals
- LCC approved of support to young people through Apprenticeship programmes.
- LCC support the removal of Care charges
- LCC have significant reservations regarding workforce reductions within Park & Open spaces and the impact this will have on the impact of recreational spaces.
- LCC would like a review of closure of community schools during holidays and request investments in sports facilities.
The Fife Council Draft Budget is currently still in consultation, up to the 6th January 2013. Fife Council have adopted a new approach to the consultation by utilising online technologies that work best with ‘crowd sourcing’ techniques.
The budget can be viewed in-depth at: http://publications.1fife.org.uk/uploadfiles/publications/c64_AdministrationpackDraftBudgetforpubconsult.pdf.
To take part in the consultation, please visit: https://delib.fifedirect.org.uk/.
A financial report was provided by Treasurer Dod Kinnell. Currently the general fund is very low with only £30 available for the Community Council after all the local donations have been distributed. The yearly grant and floral grant for 2013 has been awarded to the Community Council, which will be made available in February/March.
4 Winds Development Trust
An update was provided by Brian Schulz and Stevie Murray regarding their representations on the 4 Winds Development Trust. The constitution has been agreed upon and submitted to OSCR for final approval. If approved a charity number will be provided to the trust to operate as an official Scottish Registered Charity.
The trust will be working towards raising awareness of the availability of funding monies, with a maximum of £1000 available per local group.
It was highlighted that other wind farm developments provide a higher rate of community benefit than what is being offered via the Little Raith development, and the lower offer was due to the financials being agreed upon several years ago.
Members of the trust will not be accepting any expenses, but will be using the fund to cover any running costs. The running costs are expected to be very low.
Road & Pathways
Several Community Councillors highlighted issues with regards to the roads and pathways in Lochgelly being in a state of disrepair. Most of the concerns related to the lack of work to improve paths and roads on the back streets of Lochgelly.
Councillor Mark Hood provided an explanation that once the main roads were improved, then side streets will eventually be tackled. Hood noted the concerns and will contact the relevant departments to obtain further information on procedures and timescales for improvements.
Concern was raised that Lomond Homes will renegade on their agreed upon payment of £300,000 for the Lochgelly area under a Section 75 Agreement. It was highlighted that other communities in Fife may lose out on Section 75 Agreements if Lomond Homes is too close.
It was noted that the closure of Lomond Homes is a strong possibility. Hood is determined that Lochgelly will not lose the £300,000 but admitted there is difficulties but will continue to try and secure the money.
Community Councillors were supportive towards Hood, but expressed concerns that the money will never be made available to Lochgelly.
Mossmorran has published their annual Air Quality review. It was mentioned that the in the main, emission levels were within the set guidelines permitted, however on a couple of occasions Mossmorran did exceed set emission levels.
Other communities not in the direct vicinity of the plant have also raised concerns of potential impacts on their Air Quality, including the Cardenden and Bowhill areas.
The Cowdenbeath Area Committee have agreed to seek time based Air Quality Monitoring devices, and took a vote on whether or not the area budget can be used to partially or fully fund the devices.
Funding for the devices will not be paid for by the area budget as the Area Committee Councillors feel that the costs for the devices should be met by the operators at Mossmorran, since both operators are multi-national companies and the source of emitted pollutants.
Monitoring by Kennedy Renewables was discussed with representatives to the 4 Winds Development Trust stating that Kennedy Renewables will be monitoring for a year rather than the required 6 months.
It was highlighted by other Community Councillors, that SEPA have already stated that while the data will be useful, it will not be enough to fully assess the impacts the turbines are having on pollutant dispersal.
Lochgelly Community Council are still committed to seeking automatic time based monitors for the local community.
Any Other Community Business
Gritting of Roads and Pathways. Several CC raised issues of pathways and roadways being left in treacherous conditions in certain areas of the town, including a lack of gritting facilities at certain locations. Hood will consult with appropriate departments regarding future strategies
General discussion regarding of several communities being referred to as the Cowdenbeath Area or Cowden-Gelly, and whether or not a more generic term can be used, such as Central Fife, as all the communities have a strong sense of identity within their local areas. It is outwith the remit of the Community Council, however it was noted by Councillors.
Robert Miller highlighted the work of Kelty Community Council in producing a low budget A5 booklet containing various community news which is sold at low cost to help with printing costs and wondered if such a project can be looked into for replication into the local area.
Community Councillors highlighted the good work of the Lochgelly Community Development Forum for their work on the Christmas Lights. Community Councillors noted that the event was well attended and liked by the local community and the LCDF should receive praise for their continued community work.
Councillors Mark Hood and Linda Erskine have put forward a joint proposal for a regeneration project to improve the Public Park. Proposals are to identify short term low cost goals that are easily achievable, and higher cost long term goals that will require more planning and funding.
The proposal was presented to the Community Council for their support, which was readily given, and a site visit to identify areas and possible improvements will be made on the 28th December at 10:00am.