No Hogmanay celebrations this year

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PLANS to bring back a Hogmanay party to Kirkcaldy have been dashed – for this year.

But the chairman of the Kirkcaldy area committee has vowed to do his utmost to ensure that plans are in place for a big bash next year.

Councillor Neil Crooks wants to see the Town Square filled with families enjoying themselves and bringing in the New Year with a bang.

He said: “Although councillors felt the time was too tight for organising a Hogmanay event this year, they were unanimously committed to re-introducing something in the area for next Hogmanay and looked forward to working with other stakeholders towards that goal.”

Last week his fellow councillors from the committee turned down a proposition by social enterprise company Kreative Destiny to stage a family extravaganza in the Town Square with fireworks, a pipe band and a Beatles tribute band.

The man behind the party plan, Kirkcaldy businessman Bob Carruthers, has expressed his disappointment at the decision.

A special meeting between the Kirkcaldy councillors and representatives from the company was held last week to discuss the proposals after a meeting of the area committee the previous week decided there was not enough information available about the company or its plans. They also said they felt there was not enough time to arrange something on such a large scale on time for this year.

Kreative Destiny had applied for £25,000 from the local area budget to stage the event, with a further £25,000 from the enterprise, planning and protective services regeneration budget to help employ full and part time staff to get the company, which will operate as a social enterprise venture, up and running in the town.

Councillor Crooks who championed the case for the money to be made available, said: “I was glad that members had the opportunity to meet Bob and could not have failed to appreciate his enthusiasm and commitment to Kirkcaldy area.

“The council supports the creation of jobs in the local area and because Kreative Destiny is a social enterprise, surpluses will be re-invested back into the business.

“When the detailed business plan and articles of association which show the business is set up as a social enterprise are completed funding support will be given to the company.

“The company’s ideas link closely to the Kirkcaldy Ambitions town centre summit outcomes which are designed to increase footfall in the town centre and their discussions in particular with the Adam Smith Global Foundation may yet prove significant.

“Councillors present at the meeting on Wednesday felt that the council should not give funding for a Hogmanay event this year as plans came to the table later than they would have liked.

“But I’d like to make clear although support wasn’t given for the event this year, the council and Kirkcaldy Area councillors support the idea of a Hogmanay event for the town and will support Kreative Destiny in their future plans.

“I look forward to working with Kreative Destiny to build on the fantastic and impressive ideas they have for Kirkcaldy and can’t wait to see those ideas become reality.”

Mr Carruthers, the man in charge of setting up Kreative Destiny, said: “Some people were very hostile to the idea of spending money.

“There’s ample time to plan a safe event. That’s just nonsense. I’ve never heard anything so silly.”

And he said that the current recession would have been an ideal time to stage a party with free entertainment.

“At a time like this it gives the town a focal point for a celebration and brings people together.

“It also gives families something to do. It is a very positive thing that would have stimulated economic activity in the town.”

And he stressed the event would have been safe, with no alcohol being served in the area so families could enjoy it.