The Community Action Plan summarises community views about: Lochgelly – the community now, the vision for the future of Lochgelly, the issues that matter most to the community, the priorities for projects and actions. The plan will be used as a guide for the Lochgelly community to try and make happen over the next 5 years. The Action Plan has been informed by extensive community engagement carried out over a six-month period from March – August 2015.
Working closely with volunteers on Loch of Shining Waters, the team have been successful in using Freedom of Information legislation to scrutinise private and public bodies to bring greater accountability and transparency into the Central Fife area. The work conducted between myself and several key volunteers include:
- Investigating Lomond Homes non-payment of a section 75 agreement
- Publicising councillors and community councillors accepting Gifts of Corporate Hospitality from plant operators at the Mossmorran petrochemical facilities
- Bringing to public attention the various breaches to charitable regulations by the 4 Winds Trust charity which is managed by local community councils
- Examining public expenditure by the local authority
- Developed a public archive on Lochgelly Community Council
The Mossmorran Action Group is a constituted voluntary group that was formed by residents from several communities in response to the long-term impacts residents have faced from operations at the Mossmorran Petrochemical facilities located in the Cowdenbeath area which are operated by Shell (Fife NGL) and ExxonMobil (Fife Ethylene Plant). The group has adopted a range of aims and objectives including disseminating information into the public domain, improving accountability and transparency of local representation, and seeking mitigatory solutions where possible to address the long-term impacts from the operations of the plants.
In 2017, I stood as an Independent Candidate seeking to be elected as a Fife Councillor for the Lochgelly, Benarty and Cardenden Ward.
Engaged with residents in the Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath area in partnership with another local resident to collect objections to the proposed permanent Met Mast at Little Raith Wind Farm. Created template objection letters to help residents object to the application online.
Results: Despite 47 objections and 0 letters of support, the application was approved by councillors.
Documents: 16/02689/ – Full Approval letter (PDF)
Across deprived communities of Central Fife, residents are facing exceptional and unjustifiable difficulties in accessing GP services. A league table of 122 GP practices in Fife and Tayside published in the Courier newspaper on June 7 2016 showed certain Central Fife surgeries at or near the bottom for access and patient satisfaction.
The immediate solution to lacking primary care provision at Central Fife surgeries is to increase staff resources to meet clinical demand.
This petition calls on NHS Fife, Fife Council and the Scottish Government to form an emergency taskforce to address the lack of GP and associated services in Central Fife’s deprived communities by lifting the NHS Scotland Health and Care Experience measures for practices in these areas to the Fife/Tayside average within 6 months.
The IWG has been engaging with planners at Fife Council to seek planning redress to issues of concern with wind farm development planning. The IWG consisted of Cllr Dave Dempsey (Chair), Cllr John Wincott and Cllr Kay Morrison with five local community representatives (Greg Brown and Stavros Michaelides from the Clatto Landscape Protection Group, James Glen from the Loch of Shining Waters, and Suzanne Turner and David Potts from SPOT, Jim Birrell Senior Manager-Planning, Alastair Hamilton Service Manager- Community Developments & Investment and Chris Smith Lead Officer.
The remit of the IWG was to consider the current planning application assessment processes, with particular reference to visualisations and residential amenity considerations. It was also set against lesson learned from the Department of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) appeal decision letters and specific issues raised by the local representatives and other parties around visual and residential impact. The credibility and usefulness of submitted photomontages and the need to ensure a robust and logical assessment of the planning issues is set out in a transparent and easily understood format in officer reports were also key elements in this improvement process.
Results: Validation standards to be adopted to help assess future planning applications with particular focus on visualisations provided by the developer and greater consideration for residential amenity.
Documents: Wind Turbine Report | Wind Turbine Validation Checklist
Lobbied the Scottish Government to include Little Raith Wind Farm as a case study site as part of the research to be produced by ClimateXchange on behalf of the Scottish Government and authored by SLR and HoareLea consultants.
Results: This study looked at whether the visual, shadow flicker and noise impacts predicted by wind farm developers in documentation submitted with their planning applications are consistent with the impacts experienced once the wind farm is operational.
The research extends our understanding of how local residents experience wind farms in terms of these three impacts. The report makes a number of recommendations for better guidance on how they can be predicted and mitigated. It also identifies several improvements in planning guidance and best practice that have been implemented in the time between the case study wind farms were planned and built, and the present.
Documents: FINAL REPORT – Wind Farm Impacts Study (PDF)
Engage with residents in the Lochgelly area via door-to-door canvassing, pop-up stalls within the town centre, and engagement facilities online, on behalf of Lochgelly Community Council in partnership with former community councillor George Elder. Collect local views for or against development and represent the majority view to the wind farm developer(s), local authority, and local councillors.
Results: The majority of residents were opposed to the proposed development. The developer due to a change in the subsidy mechanism at UK Government level withdrew their application.
Documents: Hilton Wind Farm – Community Engagement – Final Report (PDF)
Engage with residents in the Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath area in partnership with another local resident to collect objections to the proposed extension of Little Raith Wind Farm. Create template objection letters for collection of signatures through pop-up stalls in the local areas that would’ve been impacted. Work in partnership with key professionals at Scotland Against Spin to deliver a strong and robust objection on behalf of Loch of Shining Waters. Keep residents informed as the application progresses. Submit objections to Fife Council planning department and submit objection and further information to the Scottish Reporter (DPEA) as part of the appeal process.
Results: Application was rejected by Fife Council. Kennedy Renewables appealed the decision and the application was rejected by the Scottish Reporter
Documents;: Objection (PDF) | Supplementary Objection (PDF) | LoSW Statement of Appeal Response (PDF)