The Lochgelly Community Council held their monthly public meeting at the Royal Oak Community Club on the 13th February, starting at 7pm. The Community Council had several members put in their apologies and 3 members of the public in attendance.
The LCC have now received their annual grant from Fife Council and has been awarded a floral grant for 2013. Currently the general fund stands at £1507.39, with an additional £662 to be spent on floral displays in Lochgelly, and a special projects fund of £3541.84.
The special project fund is to be used for a landscaping project at the Jubilee Park down at Grace Street and New Farm Vales.
The general fund is mainly used to pay for any running costs of the Community Council, as well as providing local donations to help support local projects that are of benefit to the Lochgelly area. For those that are running any local project and need financial assistance, you can apply for the fund through the Community Council.
Once you apply for financial assistance for your project, the Community Council will discuss whether or not to support your claim and how much money will be awarded. Please note that the financial awards are given at the discretion of the Community Council.
The FIFEplan was discussed at the meeting with regards to proposed developments at the South of the town. Community Councillors highlighted the sustainability of the development in regards to impacts on current public facilities within the town, and concern was raised that access to local services need to be improved for existing residents, before additional strain is put on our local services.
Councillor Mark Hood highlighted that the FIFEplan aims to tackle inequalities within the town as well as examining public services sustainability over the long term while raising concern that only 5% of new housing development is being earmarked for Social Housing, and feels that 25% of new housing developments should be earmarked for social housing.
Concern was also raised by the Community Council over the state of existing housing stock which need upgrades to tackle growing problems of repairs, damp households, etc.
Regarding the specific development at the South of the town, concern was raised that building homes closer to Mossmorran and Little Raith Wind Farm may cause problems for the residents that end up in the new developments. It was highlighted that some of the public responses to the FIFEplan development have raised issues of Shadow Flicker and noise problems from both of the industrial developments and from the A92 on existing properties in Lochgelly, and by building closer these problems will be magnified for new residents.
This led to a discussion of the 2km set-back guideline for wind farms which is often ignored by developers, as well as discussion on the safety of the Mossmorran complex.
Councillor Mark Hood wants to examine ways to reduce the impacts from the three developments and recommended a tree planting programme as a possibility of reducing some of the impacts.
The tree planting programme was also reported in the Courier the next day, with Mossmorran representatives wishing to work with the community to implement the tree planting programme.
Also within the FIFEplan, there is a consultation regarding wind farm development onshore. Concern was raised by some Community Councillors over developments in the local area, and it was highlighted that the Lochgelly area, and from Dunfermline to Glenrothes corridor has been earmarked as a landscape that can handle very large wind turbines of 100m+
It was also noted that all the current very large wind turbines have already been placed in the areas that have been identified as within the top 20% of multiple deprivation areas in Scotland.
Mossmorran and Community Council visit
Recently there was a visit to the Mossmorran plant which was organised by the Benarty Community Council, after residents have raised concern over potential health impacts on their community to their local Community Council.
Benarty Community Council arranged for representatives to attend from various Community Councils and local Councillors, which included representation from Lochgelly, Kelty, Crossgates, Lumphinnans, and various others.
The Community Councillors that attended from Lochgelly and one of our representatives highlighted a disappointing response from the plant operators.
ExxonMobil and Shell were dismissive of any local impacts based on their own data-sets, therefore do not feel they should pay for any independent studies or pay for time based air quality monitors. The plant operators highlighted their ongoing commitment to being good neighbours within the local communities.
The general consensus on the site visit was that the meeting was a PR attempt, with no resolution by the plant operators to tackle the concerns felt within the various local communities.
Any Other Community Business
Out with discussion on the FIFEplan and Mossmorran, Community Councillors discussed a range of issues currently affecting the town including;
- Wheelchair access at kerbs is very poor in Lochgelly
- The walkabut at the Public Park was cancelled due to bad weather, but has been re-arranged for the 9th March and members of the public are invited to come along and provide their input.
- Initial funding has been secured for the Public Park to carry out some initial improvements which will identified through site visits and local consultation. The amount of funding secured was undisclosed
- An update was provided on the issue of Pot Holes and Fife Council expenditure, further details can be found at: http://www.markhood.org/potholes-major-issue-for-council
- The skate park was discussed with feedback received from some youths that the current location of the skate park is unsuitable, as other gangs congregate in the area, making it difficult for them to use the facilities. It may be possible to relocate the skate park in another area to avoid previous issues. Further discussion is required and youths are being asked to attend future meetings to give their views.
- Lomond Homes were under critical discussion regarding the non-payment of the Section 75 Agreement. Local councillors are waiting for the adminstrators to finalise their business to see what is left over for the Section 75 for Lochgelly before making any further comment or seeking further action
- Concern was raised about Loch Fitty being drained for coal extraction, with speculation as to the likelihood of this happening at the Gelly Loch
The next meeting of the Lochgelly Community Council will be held at the Royal Oak Club, starting from 7pm on the Wednesday 13th March 2013. Prior to the meeting there will be a Police Public Engagement meeting at the same location starting from 6pm. Members of the public are invited to attend both public meetings to give their input.
Admin Note: These are not the official minutes of the Lochgelly Community Council, we will try and obtain the minutes and publish them online when they are made available.