Concern as privacy issue surfaces once again

Leven Library
Leven Library

A COMPLAINT about lack of privacy at Leven Library’s temporary Fife Council offices has emerged again.

The Mail has already reported on residents’ frustrations that private conversations were being heard by other members of the public.

This week a reader contacted us to once again raise the issue after he and others clearly heard a conversation about somebody’s housing arrangements.

The reader said: “The person involved in the conversation that I heard was clearly upset by this and, since there is no privacy in these offices, then everyone could hear and see exactly what was going on.

“This is another example of Fife Council treating the public with contempt.

“Housing should be a private matter, but people are expected to discuss their issues in an open office. An office which Fife Council has just spent thousands of pounds upgrading.”

“With such a high demand for housing in the area surely the money could have been better spent trying to rectify this problem, rather than on an office that clearly doesn’t work.”

Diarmuid Cotter, a council customer service manager, told the Mail the authority has combined local offices with libraries in a number of places.

The aim, he said, was to give people conveniently located hubs for council services and to save on property costs.

He added: “The refurbished building is a lovely facility, there’s even a new landscaped courtyard area behind the building where customers can take their books or newspapers to relax in pleasant surroundings.

“But, as with all new arrangements, you don’t always get things right first time.

“We’ve listened to feedback from library and local office users and have drawn up new designs for the front desk layout, which I’m confident will address people’s concerns by separating the different areas of business. “The work has still to be scheduled, but I hope we’ll see the new desks in place by September.

“In the meantime it’s important to note that we use separate interview rooms to talk about sensitive or personal issues with customers visiting the local office.”