Concern over lack of consultation to relocate kids home from Glenrothes to Kirkcaldy

Raith Gates care home. PIC: FPA
Raith Gates care home. PIC: FPA

An old folk’s home in Kirkcaldy has come out top as the preferred site on which to build a new children’s care home.

But residents living in Raith Estate, next to Raith Gates care home which is earmarked to move to a new care village in the town, say they have not been consulted about the plans and have voiced concerns.

They claim they only heard about them on Tuesday and feel the process is already well advanced, without any local input.

Local councillor George Kay has also slammed the lack of consultation as “deplorable” and called on the Council’s executive committee, which is set to discuss the issue on Wednesday, to delay any decision until questions have been answered.

Fife Council identified seven sites on which to relocate Rimbleton residential childcare house in Glenrothes. The current home, which houses four children, needs to be replaced as it is in a bad state of repair.

The site currently occupied by Raith Gates care home has been identified as the most suitable after a process which involved scoring them on a set criteria.

Councillor Kay said: “Ward councillors were informed of this decision last week without any prior input. There was an emphasis on the sensitivity of the site but the way that sensitivity has been addressed has been to ignore any consultation whatsoever with the community. This can only lead to mistrust and antagonism.”

He also questioned why the Council was ignoring advice about the value of the land.

“It is recognised to be among the most valuable in Fife and the Council has a duty to achieve best value. If this came to the open market it would surely command a premium which could then be reinvested into providing resources which are most needed in the provision of social housing and the building of this new proposed house.”

Euan Fraser, chairman of Raith Home Owners Association, said: “My committee are most concerned that this proposal has reached this stage without any consultation with local groups, and we are proceeding immediately to lobby and possibly petition all councillors on the executive committee to delay a decision until the full consultation processes are completed.”

Local resident Rachel Andrews (24) said: “We were only given seven days notice of the proposal. There are lots of elderly residents here and many have concerns.”

Dougie Dunlop, head of children’s services with Fife Council, said: “If the site identified as the most suitable is approved, site investigations will take place.

“Officers will also engage with local residents and communities about the plans in more detail.”