Councillor’s U-turn on Glenrothes town centre fund

Albany Gate, Kingdom Centre

Albany Gate, Kingdom Centre

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A local councillor has called for more funding to stop Glenrothes from falling behind its rivals - just a year after his casting vote effectively ruled against substantial funding for the town.

The surprising turnaround came at this month’s Glenrothes Area Committee meeting when Labour councillor Ian Sloan voiced his support for £50,000 worth of initial funding to help develop a events strategy to promote Glenrothes town centre.

“Glenrothes is being left behind, Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline are way ahead of us,” said Mr Sloan.

“I feel this is an appropriate vehicle to move us forward and help us catch up with our neighbours.”

Back in January 2013, Cllr Sloan used his casting vote, while temporary chairman of the committee, to reject a motion by SNP’s John Beare which called for Glenrothes to be given equal treatment regarding Fife Council investment to that received by other towns of similar population.

Opposition councillors were quick to pounce on the apparent u-turn, Peter Grant welcomed Mr Sloan’s “change of heart”, while calling for a more detailed plan to be drawn up and clarity over whether it was a town centre promotion that did not just mean the shopping centre.

John Beare said: “We are putting the cart before the horse being asked to approve funding without a strategy.”

Ross Vettraino added that the committee must not rule out anything to promote the town but stressed the need for quality retailers to bring an 
increased footfall to the town.

Committee chairman Altany Craik told councillors the fund was “seed money to kick start an effective events and marketing strategy”.

He added: “We need to bring a vibrancy to the town centre as a whole, we’ve not had a promotion vehicle in the past, historically we have not been very good at that sort of thing.”