Fife’s appetite for politics wanes post referendum

Dysart harbour
Dysart harbour

Following on from the referendum it seems like Fife’s appetite for politics has been short-lived.

With the deadline for the postal ballot in this year’s Community Council elections today (Thursday), the nominations received by Fife Council have gone down - and two of councils in the Kirkcaldy area are folding through lack of interest, but one is set to be re-established in the coming weeks.

Notification from Fife Council says that both Dysart and Kirkcaldy North Community Councils were not eligible to reform due to a failure to get fewer than half the nominations for available seats.

However, a spokesman for Dysart explained that it was due to a misinterpretation of the correspondence from Fife Council and not a lack of interest.

Eunice Cameron said: “We were informed that we had missed the submission date to form a community council. We were under the impression that, as we had been established in 2012 on the back of the Dysart Regeneration Project, we were not due for re-election till next year.

“We are rectifying this anomaly this week when we will vote on a new committee and continue our valuable work in the heart of the community.”

Kenneth Miller, former secretary of the now defunct Kirkcaldy North Community Council, expressed his disappointment that there had not been enough interest to start again.

“We were entitled to 14 people and needed a minimum of seven to establish a community council, but we only managed two nominations for the whole of the area to the north of Chapel between the retail park and the Arnold Clark garage, which is extremely disappointing,” he said.

“We had been experiencing difficulty with our numbers and at times we were struggling to reach our quorum.

“It is disappointing for the community groups like the Brownies and Guides which will no longer get the little bit of financial support we were able to offer for things like their trips.

‘‘We also managed to do some little things like getting bollards installed and putting in more litter and dog bins. They were little things, but little things like that matter in local communities.

“I don’t know if it is deliberate apathy, but the people have spoken – or not spoken. I can’t see it reforming any time soon.”

Dysart and Kirkcaldy North were just two of a massive 33 community councils which have either been operating in their local areas or which the local communities were hoping to set up, but have been unable to go ahead because the number of nominees was less than half the number of vacancies.

Throughout the whole of Fife only four councils have had to go through the voting process as they had more people putting their names forward than there were seats available.

The remaining 68 will be able to form or reform without having to vote as there were fewer nominees than seats.

These include Kinghorn, Burntisland and Kirkcaldy West which all attracted good interest but no more nominations than allocated seats.

In the Press’ circulation area only Cardenden Community Council is going through the voting process having received more nominations than there are seats available.

David Taylor, secretary (pictured), said its members had been surprised by the upsurge in the number of nominations.

“There were 14 places available and 17 nominations, but one of these withdrew, leaving 16, and we were very surprised at this because in the past we have struggled for numbers,” he 
said. “We just hope that the people who have been nominated are doing so for the right reasons. However, I would say that it is good for the village and the more the merrier.”