Public drinking ban for Falkland?

Councillor Lothian
Councillor Lothian

A BAN on drinking alcohol in Falkland has been agreed by councillors, reports MIKE DELANEY.

The village is among half a dozen small settlements to have their bye-laws reviewed to exclude imbibing in public.

The ban will apply to Falkland, including the area around the Palace (pictured).

The ban will apply to Falkland, including the area around the Palace (pictured).

The move has already proved controversial in the village, where it has been opposed by hundreds of residents who signed a petition.

Opponents included councillor David MacDiarmid, who claimed it was not needed because the village did not suffer from problems caused by the “Bucky, voddy, blootered brigade.”

He was concerned it would drive away the thousands of tourists who visit the village and enjoyed a drink outside.

But councillor Donald Lothian was among those who backed the proposal because of the benefits it had brought to 80 other communities in Fife.

He said: “I appreciate that some people have expressed reservations, but it needs to be remembered that this bye-law is solely to allow the police to better deal with anti-social behaviour.

“Only those who want to shout and bawl in the street and cause a nuisance are affected.”

Councillors agreed the proposal at a committee meeting in February, but it went to a full meeting of the Glenrothes-based local authority on Thursday.

The proposal will go to the Scottish Government for final approval.

But some of the villagers who signed the 350-signature petition will urge ministers not to give the go-ahead.

Falkland shop owner, Bob Beveridge, said: “The council is flying in the face of the majority of opinion in Falkland and it just seems to me that democracy doesn’t count anymore.

“The north-east Fife economy relies heavily on tourism - if you go into many tourist towns people are sitting outside in the sunshine enjoying a beer - but they are not going to be able to do that in Falkland.“

But, as things stand, the ban is expected to be in place by the summer, as will a similarly amended bye-law to cover Balbirnie Park.

Council leader and Glenrothes councillor, Peter Grant, also backed the move.

“I have had bye-laws in my ward for some time now and I have never once had a single person contact me to try and remove them,” he said.