let’s agree to disagree and get on with regenerating Kirkcaldy town centre.
That was the message which came from a stormy meeting to discuss the way forward on Kirkcaldy’s long-running swimming pool saga.
As the ‘Save the Tolbooth Street Car Park’ campaigners called time on their 22-month campaign after failing to persuade Fife Council to move the pool plans from the popular town centre car park to another site, they claimed a small victory with the decision to keep the car park open until after Christmas.
In a letter issued following the meeting, chaired by Gordon Brown MP, the campaign, comprising a group of Kirkcaldy-based businessmen, wrote: “In what can only be described as a quite stunning vindication of our arguments the Council has stated that it will work with the contractor to ensure that the car park is kept open until after Christmas to minimise the impact its closure will have on retail.
‘‘What difference does it make if it’s before or after Christmas the impact will be devastating.”
Thanking the 9500 people who took time to sign their petition, the letter added: “Despite this epiphany by Fife Council and small victory for our campaign, ultimately the car park and most likely our High Street are doomed and we as a group have failed, simply because we could not change the minds of any councillor, who all voted in line with their party’s beliefs.
‘‘Politics should be about the people.
‘‘In this case as so often happens it was not and it is a disgrace that this decision was taken for some misguided political posturing.”
On a positive note the campaigners urged locals to continue to support the town, saying: “Now that our campaign is at an end we look to the future and ask that all of our supporters continue to support the various initiatives that seek to provide an unbiased voice for the man on the street.”
Bill Harvey, co-ordinator of Kirkcaldy4All, which is leading a number of initiatives, including the Kirkcaldy Comedy Festival, said: “The general consensus was that we can’t change the decisions which have been made.
‘‘These are now set, and we should all be looking to the future to see how we can best help to take the town centre forward.”
Councillor Alex Rowley added: “While there were clearly differences of opinion, what was agreed around the table was that it was important that everyone works together to make Kirkcaldy town centre a vibrant place.
“A commitment was given by the Council that it will work with the traders to overcome any problems that may arise during the building work, and Gordon Brown is committed to working towards this common goal.”