Fresh bid to tackle the ‘Ming’

Lindsay Roy MP after addressing the protestors at the Scottish Water Meeting regarding the 'Methil Ming' - at New Bayview, Methil
Lindsay Roy MP after addressing the protestors at the Scottish Water Meeting regarding the 'Methil Ming' - at New Bayview, Methil

UP to 100 fed-up residents turned out to protest against Scottish Water’s handling of the ‘Methil Ming’ at a meeting at Bayview Stadium on Monday.

Scheduled to start at 10am, representatives from the water company turned up an hour early to avoid the growing crowd, but still left knowing, in no uncertain terms, how strong the ill-feeling is towards how the issue has been handled.

The protest, which was carried out peacefully, was made up of residents of all ages. Many dressed in white boiler suits with gas masks and the majority carried home-made banners painted with slogans such as “stop the stink”.

The meeting itself involved the water company’s representatives, Fife Council and a number of the area’s politicians.

Before entering Lindsay Roy MP addressed the protesters promising he would ask for answers before praising their actions in signing a petition and gathering so colourfully outside the meeting.

He said: “You are much more powerful in the community than I am. I am most indebted to you. Your community deserves as good a quality of life as people do in St Andrews or anywhere else.”

After the meeting, which lasted for around one hour and 45 minutes, a smaller group of protesters, which had remained outside Bayview the entire time, asked Scottish Water’s officials for comment but that request was ignored.

Mr Roy did, however, speak on behalf of the politicians in attendance, including David Torrance MSP, Claire Baker MSP, Cllr Charles Haffey, Cllr Andrew Rodger, Cllr John O’Brien and Cllr David Graham.

He said: “In a robust but constructive meeting Scottish Water acknowledged there were odours coming from the plant and has agreed to provide a summary of the actions it is going to take, within the next week.

“These relate to technical work, improving the complaints procedure, better monitoring, better feedback and some independent involvement is also a possibility.

“All in all I think Scottish Water appreciated how seriously the matter is viewed in the community and how strongly people want change for the better.

“Collectively we are committed to supporting the community in that quest.”

Mr Roy said he would wait for Scottish Water to see what specific actions it took before commenting on how successful the meeting had been.

He added: “I was happy in the way {Scottish Water representstives} handled the meeting but we will wait and see to what extent we are happy in terms of what they tell us the outcomes are in layman’s terms.

“We reserve judgement about the exact details but certainly they took our views very seriously.

“We want to applaud the members of the community who turned up for taking such a responsible approach.”

RESIDENTS URGED TO JOIN THE PROTEST

SIGNS posted around Levenmouth on Monday morning asked residents to “join the protest”, and many took heed of the invitation.

At the protest itself a number of placards all told Scottish Water one thing – the area is fed up of its ‘Ming’.

Two policemen stood watching, relegated to the roles of bystanders as the event passed peacefully but powerfully, as signs were waved in the direction of Bayview Stadium, where Scottish Waters’ representatives were meeting.

Pete Meldrum, one of the organisers of the protest, summed up the morning, saying Scottish Water would now know residents wouldn’t rest until the the problem had been solved.

He added: “We want this put right for future generations. It affects the way people live and the environment they live in.

“If this was in St Andrews this wouldn’t be allowed to happen; we deserve better. It won’t be resolved overnight but Scottish Water has to be taken to task and given time limits and financial penalties if it doesn’t come up to the mark.

“We have come together now as a community. Today was a peaceful protest and there will be more of this. Scottish Water has got to get it right.”