New area committee meets for first time

what has often proven to be a highly controversial committee meets in regular sessions for the first time since the council elections today (Wednesday), reports MIKE DELANEY.

Glenrothes Area Committee takes most of the decisions on issues affecting the town and the surrounding area, ranging from small grants to major planning applications.

One application which proved particularly controversial during the last term of the committee was the successful Skene Group bid to get the go-ahead for the extension to Leslie’s Lomond Quarry.

From 2007 until earlier this year the committee had five Labour and six Scottish National Party councillors, and another vote which divided on party lines was the decision to name the new sports centre which will replace Fife Institute after the late SNP councillor Michael Woods.

Labour pledged, in the wake of that vote, to look again at the issue if it gained power after the May election.

The party now has six councillors on the committee, as opposed to the SNP’s five, a straight reverse of the previous position, and the chairmanship has been taken by veteran councillor Bill Kay.

Last week, he told the ‘Gazette’ that he planned close communication with local people over the day-to-day issues which affect them.

The council held a procedural meeting on May 24, where Cllr Kay was elected by six votes to five, the vote splitting on party lines.

The same split happened when SNP councillors put forward a motion calling for their nominee for chairman - Cllr Fiona Grant - and Labour’s choice to each “present their views on Britain in Bloom.”

Among the items which have been included on the agenda are planning applications relating to developments at Whitehill Industrial Estate in Glenrothes and Thornton Waste Transfer Loading Station.

Area budgets for Take A Pride in Glenrothes and the Village Improvement Project will also be discussed at the meeting.