Action needed on area’s problems

Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes
Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes

IT has a growing number of old folk who may not have enough younger people to provide for them in the years ahead.

There are major concerns about the future of its town centre.

And there are also fears over the education, wealth and health of the people who live in it.

The Glenrothes area, it seems, is in urgent need of treatment and a ‘task force’ drawn from all walks of life in the town needs to be formed to draw up an action plan to deal with the problems, councillors will hear today (Wednesday).

A report to Glenrothes Area Committee will call on members to draw up a hit list of the most pressing priorities, and then join with community activists, business people and groups and the voluntary sector in finding solutions.

The study was compiled by a planning group which consulted a wide variety of reports and data as a basis for discussion of what the priorities should be.

It also found that economic conditions were hitting townsfolk hard, with council tenants asking for house transfers to beat the bedroom tax and a need identified for a town food bank.

Hospital admissions were higher in the area than for Fife as a whole. Literacy was a key issue, as was school attendance, and youth offending.

“Too often, in local community planning, everything has seemed to be a priority, meaning that nothing has been a priority”, the report states.

Official figures and local knowledge, “both demonstrate that there are parts of the Glenrothes area which consistently appear in the worst 20 per cent of data zones (in Scotland).”

For some areas, the rating was five per cent lower than that and to address the situation needed “focused multi-agency action”

But there was room for hope, with falls of 29 per cent in the number of crimes committed in the 11 most deprived parts of the area and of 65 per cent as a whole since 2006.In a report to the committee, the main priorities pinpointed were employability and rising unemployment, persistent health and educational inequalities, and the impact of welfare reform.