Fife MP backs calls for alternative care home site after resident backlash

Stephen Gethins with residents at Bankie Park.
Stephen Gethins with residents at Bankie Park.

Fife politicians have signed a letter calling on health bosses to find an alternative site for a replacement care home in Anstruther.

Fife Health & Social Care Partnership announced Bankie Park as the preferred site for a replacement home for Ladywalk earlier this year.

In response, more than 1800 people have signed a petition calling for these plans to be dropped.

READ MORE: Anger over East Neuk care home plans

Now, North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins has written a letter to Fife Integration Joint Board chair Simon Little, asking for an alternative site to be found for the new care home.

This letter has been signed by MSPs Willie Rennie, Murdo Fraser, Claire Baker, and Mark Ruskell.

Mr Gethins said that while there was agreement that a new care home was needed, Bankie Park was the wrong choice and would impact on the amount of public green space available in the town.

He added: “Bankie Park is a well-used public green space used by people in Anstruther and the wider East Neuk community.

READ MORE: Residents turn out for care home discussion

“The importance of this space to the local community is illustrated by the strength of opposition to the plans.

“The new proposal could result in the loss of much valued public space from Anstruther, which already has a below-average quantity of green recreational areas.”

The letter has also been sent to the director of the partnership, Simon Kellet, Fife Council co-leaders David Alexander and David Ross, and Steve Grimmond, chief executive at the council.

READ MORE: Debate over East Neuk care home site continues

Campaign group spokesman Graham Ellery said: “We welcome this cross-party support for our campaign.

“As a community we believe that Fife Council’s plan for Bankie Park will destroy the structure, recreational use, wildlife habitats and wildflower meadows.

“We are not fighting against having a care home in our town but do not want to see that at the expense of our green space.

“We do not see how their plans will improve this situation. We encourage locals who feel passionate about protecting our Bankie Park to write to Fife Council consultation to voice their concerns, join the online petition or complete one of our objection cards/petitions locally.”