As part of the local election coverage by Central Fife Times, all standing candidates have been given the opportunity to submit up to 150 words on any topic they wish, each week until polling day. My third and last hustings piece focuses on Community Engagement and Community Ownership.
Fife Council talks about putting communities first, but often officials and councillors decide what communities want, while we barely get a look-in. “Consultation” is tacked on as an afterthought once decisions have been made.
So we get poor projects, wasted money and a growing disconnect between communities and Fife Council. This was illustrated in the scandal over the Meedies and controversy over the closed loop cycle track. Yet Fife Council is still acting without the community onside.
It’s high time the Council trusted residents to shape our communities. We know best what works and doesn’t.
Community Action Plans should be prioritised, and revised if necessary. Residents should form 51% of a new strategic management at the Meedies to oversee an ambitious vision for its future on a par with the Kelpies. I will also press for more Community Learning and Development support to help us take on facilities and run projects.