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Project or Focus Work of the Community Council
Viewpoint and Cemetery Steps Project
Some while ago the Community Council looked at the problem of the steps adjacent to Kinghorn Cemetery that lead down to Pettycur Beach. Reports of flooding and slippery surface on the steps were long standing, the fence around the cliff was shabby and the picnic area neglected with broken seats. The Community Council decided to improve the whole area and liaise with Fife Council to resolve the danger on the steps, which is a regular path for walkers to Pettycur Beach. Hence the Viewpoint and Pettycur Steps Project was born.
The then Chairman, John McLeod, took a lead role to work with Fife Council and began looking for funding. John died suddenly and the other members of the group rallied round to progress the project to make it reality. Now, a year on, John would be pleased with the progress made. Fife Council has worked to rectify the flooding on the steps. Plans, design, consultation and funding have all been accomplished and once planning permission for the viewpoint is finalised a Project Manager is in place to oversee the construction and completion of the work. The timetable for this to happen is late summer to December 2010. Then another area of Kinghorn will have a completely new look.
Improvements at the War Memorial
Some while ago the Community Council along with others was invited to meetings held in the Parish Church Hall to decide on landscape and road improvements around the War Memorial. This project is led by Fife Council and plans were put forward for community groups and neighbours to comment upon. The Community Council has long campaigned for the road system around the War Memorial to be changed. The suggestion is to make a pedestrian plaza outside the entrance to the Parish Church Hall and make Pettycur Road two way. Fife Council is still working on the finances to put the proposals in place and when these are secured the changes will go ahead. This will give quite a new feel to the High Street and a place for people to sit out on nice days.
Community Facility at Harbour Toilets Upper Floor
Everyone who lives in Kinghorn will be aware that the Harbour Toilets at Kinghorn Beach are completely renovated and will be the talk of the town for how lovely they are, rather than for how long it has taken for the work to be completed. The upper floor of the toilets has been transformed into a tasteful community space. Anticipating the opportunity of using this facility, the Community Council held public meetings with several community groups to stimulate interest, but this idea did not work out. Now the Community Council has taken on the lead to develop this facility for the community. A Business Plan to operate it has been forwarded to Fife Council and a group of volunteers has
emerged to operate the building. If the two can be married then the future is bright. There has been many ideas suggested for use of the space, an environmental centre, a display area, outdoor classroom, bird and sea-
Kinghorn Pathways Group
The Pathways Group was reconvened towards the end of 2009, initially to record the network of pathway connections within Kinghorn itself. Sometimes these pathways can become lost with new building and sometimes they can get blocked off. To ensure these pathways are preserved for posterity it was decided to map and describe them. This was soon accomplished under the expertise of one member of the group who did an excellent job of information gathering and mapping. Now, with the help of Fife Access Forum, a consultation process will begin which will lead to all the pathways being formally recognised; for good. This is also an important historical piece of work.
The Pathways Group also highlighted two local pathways which they wished to improve. The path going from the head of Kinghorn Loch to the old ruined cottage at Rodanbraes was one. This land is owned by Rio Tinto Alcan and they agreed to clear and widen the path so it will be easy for the Group to maintain. The initial work is now complete and there are now great opportunities for further improvement. The other pathway is the North Myre which leads around the back of Myres Park and along the field to Red Path Brae. This path will remain accessible as long as it can be kept trimmed back in the summer months. The Pathways Group, which has only been reconvened for a short time, has met with tremendous success and long may it continue.
Monthly or Routine Work of the Community Council
A routine part of the work of a Community Council is to consider planning applications in its area. Two applications, in particular, were considered by the Community Council because of their significance to the community. The first was the Lochside Development of houses and a Care Home to be built on the site of the Old Tannery. Concerns were expressed about the positioning of the Care Home at the highest point and the need for putting in road alterations before the development began. The application is now passed and details agreed. The Community Council was not successful in changing the position of the Care Home, but has indeed supported the proposals since 2004, since when the company has consistently engaged the Community Council in consultations and proposed changes.
The second Planning Application discussed at length last Autumn was the application for new Ecology Centre right on the loch side, together with a large workshop building. There were thirty individual objections to the application from within the community. Members, and the majority of the public present, decided to object on the grounds that the planned building was overpowering, in an unacceptable location and failed to meet the criteria for development in the countryside. Planning permission was granted in February, against the desires of the community.
– to paraphrase Monty Python.–
A Community Council endeavours to make a difference within a community and this can be accomplished in different ways. One function of a Community Council is tackle the many problems, complaints and requests from local people and find satisfactory solutions. This could be classed as the routine work of the Community Council. Another function is to improve and enhance the community by developing particular projects and this can be described as focused work. In Kinghorn the members of the Community Council strive to achieve both functions and are proud of its efforts over the latest three years that it has been in session.
Rural Award Blue Flag Beaches
Kinghorn now boasts two Rural Award beaches, when last year Kinghorn beach joined Pettycur in this status. It all helps to lift the spirits in Kinghorn to give the place a feel good factor. We must work to continually improve our beaches to keep our flags which are assessed on a yearly basis. This year, adding to the beach survey regularly run by the Harbour Residents and Environmental Group, local people have also given time to clean up The Braes and a big thank you is expressed to all who helped.
Kinghorn and Pettycur beaches are just beginning to recover from the most severe spring storm for many years. The storm damage was tremendous and Fife Council has excelled with the clean up. Costly repairs to harbour walls and damage to roadways will take longer to overcome.
Over the last couple of years the Community Council has become aware of how keen the Kinghorn folk are to recycle. When a recycling point was installed and then removed in Barclay Road many residents, and the Community Council, were upset and campaigned long and hard to have the facility returned but all to no avail. Later a new recycling point was installed at Orchard Road and recently due to demand an extra paper recycling container is being added. Well done to all those in Kinghorn who have shown so much commitment and enthusiasm for recycling, Fife should be proud of you.
Two items highlighted by individuals have led to action being taken by Fife Council recently, so it is important to let the Community Council know of any issues in your area so it can take them up. The state of some of the headstones in the cemetery was brought to our attention and Bereavement Services are now going to repair these. The netted rock face at Pettycur Road is also being investigated after a resident reported concern, and it looks as though the rockface will be found to be somewhat unsafe, and needs stabilisation.
We are grateful to all the people who assist on groups and get involved to help the Community Council achieve more than it could on its own. We are grateful to the members of the public that come along to our meetings and put forward their views because the input of the community is essential to a well run Community Council.
Last year the death of Kinghorn’s long standing Chairman, John McLeod, was a big blow. John was solid, steady and rarely ruffled, which made him ideal for his position. He was keen and active but had the patience to see things through and all the members still miss his strengths. The Community Council is fortunate to have a second able Chairman in Fraser Ballantyne. He is also experienced and has given commitment and encouragement to progress the projects undertaken by the Community Council. We are grateful to him for stepping in and filling a huge gap.
And what of the future?
There are always things to do and here are some ideas that have already been suggested
New notice boards for the High Street and Eastgate
An improved play area at Kinghorn beach
Encouraging the building of a woodland cemetery at the loch
The Pathway Group to publish a pocket booklet of the pathway network within Kinghorn with information and history to accompany the routes.
In October there will be elections for a new Community Council, this time with twelve members and a four year term to accomplish things, so please consider if you could help, either as a community councillor or one of the numerous folk from the community who assist or even run our sub-
|Gibson Golf Clubs|
|From Celtic Origins|
|Gibson Golf Clubs|
|From Celtic Origins|