Let’s talk about our town centre

Gordon Brown with Kirkcaldy councillors Judy Hamilton, Neil Crooks and Kenny Selbie at Fife Farmers' Market - one of the initiatives for debate at the new summit
Gordon Brown with Kirkcaldy councillors Judy Hamilton, Neil Crooks and Kenny Selbie at Fife Farmers' Market - one of the initiatives for debate at the new summit

A SUMMIT is planned to turn the spotlight on the issues affecting Kirkcaldy’s town centre.

It will be led by the politicians now in control of Fife House and Kirkcaldy Area Committee - but the key contributions will come from the people who live and work locally.

The summit idea came from a weekend meeting between Gordon Brown MP and Councillor Neil Crooks, the newly appointed chairman of the area committee.

On the agenda were concerns over the growing number of shops closing down in the High Street, fears over the future of the Farmers’ Market, and what can be done to inject new energy into the business and retail sectors.

They now plan to stage a major summit which will be open to a wide range of groups and individuals to air their views.

Mr Brown said: “A lot of good work has been going on to tackle some of the issues in the town centre, but we need to do more to engage with the retail and business sector in the town, and we need to give residents and visitors the opportunity to tell us what they think needs to be done that will encourage them to come into the centre”.

Worrying closures

The MP has raised his concerns at what he described was a ‘‘worrying rate’’ of shop closures across the High Street together with the decreasing numbers of people coming into the town centre.

He wants to bring everyone together so that they can voice their views, concerns and ideas.

Councillor Crooks will help to organsie the summit which will take place in the coming weeks.

He told the Press: “Gordon is rightly concerned about the ongoing decline in the town centre and the numbers of shops closing.

‘‘I have agreed to work with him and with all the town centre organisations to redouble our efforts to bring about a prosperous and successful town centre.

‘‘A summit will give business and commerce the opportunity to give us their views on what has been done and what needs to be done as we move forward.

‘‘There are a lot of people who have invested in Kirkcaldy and work hard to keep their businesses vibrant in what is a difficult time. We owe it to them to listen and take on board what they have to say.’’

Cllr Crooks also accepted some key decisions affecting the town centre - the revamping of Adam Smith’s roundabout, and the on-going issue of Blue Badge access to the High Street - hadn’t helped.

He said: “I am ambitious for Kirkcaldy, and, along with Gordon, will look to drive an agenda for change. If you are interested in moving Kirkcaldy forward then your input will be welcome - that is the message we want to send.’’