Clock fight goes on

BURNTISLAND councillors have vowed to continue the fight to have the town’s clock chimes brought back.

As angry Burntisland residents turned out in force at a protest against the removal of the bells, Councillors George Kay and Ron Edwards wrote to the Press expressing their concerns over the lack of consultation, both with them and Burntisland residents.

More than 200 people turned out for the demonstration at the town’s Burgh Chambers last Thursday when, on the stroke of 7 p.m., they rang bells they had brought along, to show their feelings at Fife Council’s decision to silence the clock chimes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. without consulting them.

The chimes have been silent for six weeks since the authority removed the mechanism to silence it overnight.

The protest was organised by Burntisland Community Council, with backing from elected representatives.

Morag Douglas, who organised the campaign and a petition which attracted 1100 signatures, and has also set up a Facebook page ‘Save Burntisland Clock Chimes,’ said she was delighted at the turnout.

“It was great to see so many people coming along on a cold night over the festive period, and it really showed the strength of feeling.

Grievance

“Everyone was asked to look up at the clock and ring their bells, and they made quite a noise.

“It was made clear that everyone has the right to complain about a grievance, it’s the way the Council has reacted to this one complaint which has upset everyone.

“We have asked officials to look at other alternatives and come back with some possibilities at a meeting later this month.”

Councillor Ron Edwards said: “I have looked at the guidelines and Scottish Government guidance on this, and it is clear that, while it considers that the noise levels may be exceeded, the government wishes to moderate the action and requires the guidelines must be applied with care.

“There is a clear requirement to consider the appropriateness of any action and that it must be both “proportionate” and only applied after consultation and mediation with the community that will be aggrieved.

“This has certainly not been taken into consideration in this case.”

Councillor George Kay added: “This may seem to be a problem purely confined to Burntisland but I most certainly do not think this is the case.

“If we lose our chimes then there is not a clock or church in Fife or Scotland which would be safe from being closed down for the same reason.”