‘Fractious’ Fife park community group faces call to disband

Lochore Meadows (PIc: Fife Photo Agency)
Lochore Meadows (PIc: Fife Photo Agency)

A community group working towards improvements at Lochore Meadows is to continue, despite council advice to disband and start again.

Friends of Lochore Meadows was formed in March 2018, to help maintain and improve the park.

But a council officer branded its meetings “fractious” and “factional” – and said many members had yet to undertake key skills assessments.

The group has made some strides in creating a gender balanced, age representative group which focuses on barrier-free play provision.

Public surveys have also been carried out to find out what improvements should be made.

But it is facing problems.

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A report to Cowdenbeath area committee stated that some members had not signed up to its constitution and very few have completed the skills register.

Kevin Sayer, community manager, said: “This makes the task of delivering training and team-building very difficult.”
He said there was “an unhealthy focus” on the capital budget for the park “at every meeting” and said that was to the exclusion of more fruitful topics on the centre’s development plan.

He added: “Finally, and of most concern, the meetings continue to be fractious, and factional.

“The same ground is gone over at every meeting and little or no progress has been made.

“A number of opinions have been expressed about staff, and when they have attended, they have been met with aggression.”

Mr Sayer concluded that the group either needed to disband and let something else take its place – or grow quickly into a committed and supportive team.

At the area committee, the group had its say via a statement.

It said: “The group has had a number of people leaving for different reasons, and new members have been there to replace them.

“The group has agreed to a work plan, based on public consultation which will be taken forward over the next few months.

“We are grateful to the 1300 people who took part in the consultation and we are excited to work with Fife Council officers to realise that vision.”

The committee agreed to allow the group to continue in the meantime to see if improvements could be made.