Cash boost for taking a pride in your town

Margaret Reilly of Take a Pride in Glenrothes group
Margaret Reilly of Take a Pride in Glenrothes group

THE SUCCESS of last year’s Glenrothes Take A Pride campaign is set to receive extra cash boost this year, and has spurred others on to copy the New town’s lead reports, NEIL HENDERSON

Dunfermline, Inverkeithing and Kirkcaldy are all set to roll out their own versions of the Take A Pride initiative after seeing Glenrothes benefit last year.

The community group set up to improve the look of Glenrothes had their bid for £50,000 approved by councillors at the Glenrothes Area Committee meeting last week.

In the last two years the scheme has supported partnerships with a number of strong community and volunteer organisations including Rowallan Green Environment Group, Tarvit Green Gardening Group and the Kinglassie Action group as the seek to improve their own towns and villages.

The long term goals of the Take A Pride have been brought into line with the Greener Scotland objective and thus will prioritise the desire for Fife Council to become the leading ‘green’ council.

The New Town scored a major success last year, thanks in part the Take A Pride campaign when Glenrothes landed the ‘Best Large Town’ award in the UK wide Britain In Bloom competition

Meanwhile, communities around Glenrothes have also been granted specific funding as part of the Town and Village Improvement Project.

Under the new scheme the funding is based on population figures, therefore Leslie will get £15,000; Markinch £11,000; Thornton £8,500; Kinglassie £6,500; Coaltown of Balgonie £4,500; Star of Markinch £2,500; and Milton of Balgonie, £2,000.

A series of local roadshow events scheduled to start in the coming weeks aims to improve local democracy give residents a direct say in how the money can be best used in their immediate surroundings.

Fife Council’s, Margaret Reilly confirmed to committee members that following the agreement to fund this, the third year of initiatives, the first roadshow event, scheduled to take place in Coaltown of Balgonie would be scheduled in the next few weeks.

She also confirmed that following community input, all funding would be allocated within the current financial year.

Former Area Committee Chair, Councillor Fiona Grant welcomed the plan to extend the participatory budget scheme, she said: “The rather clumsy name belies the simple fact that this scheme allows local communities direct influence over how money is spent in their communities.

“Local folk suggest a range of options and work together to choose the projects which actually happen.

“This scheme is not just about money however, any idea brought forward will be seriously considered and may well happen even if not funded through this particular method.”

At the meeting last week Councillor Peter Grant highlighted the success of previous campaigns and added: “In the future I’d like to see even greater sums of budget being decided upon by specific communities, giving them a much more powerful say in what happens in their area.

“If they can decide on how five thousand pounds is spent, then why not one hundred and five thousand?”