Proud burgh threatens to pull out of awards

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A ‘WAR of the Roses’ has broken out in Elie between the community council and Fife’s administration.

Burgh wee council members are threatening to pull the community out of Beautiful Fife Award consideration after slamming the grade it was given after the summer marking.

Elie, for the second year in a row, was given a silver award by the judging panel but was marked down, a community council member says, on criteria it was not responsible for up-keeping.

This has led to an air of bad feeling between community council members who believe their hard work is not being given the recognition it deserves, and Fife Council.

Member Steve Blaney told the Mail: “Our main criticism is that the report shows we were marked down for weeds growing in the school, rusty railings in the village and weeds in the High Street.

“But that’s nothing to do with us; that’s all the responsibility of Fife Council.”

Each year communities across Fife spruce up their villages and towns in the hope of winning one of the council’s Beautiful Fife awards which span a variety of categories including best small village and best coastal village.

Each entrant is also awarded an individual award for its own merits with Elie being given a silver this year.

The council’s parks and community events officer, Keith Jackson, said he’d wished Elie members had approached him with their concerns about weeding and railings.

Mr Jackson told the Mail: “Elie and Earlsferry scored higher marks than in the previous year and that shows they’re heading in the right direction.

“They were only one and half marks away from being awarded a silver gilt award and that’s probably where they want to be.

“Should they have any complaints then I’m happy to speak with them myself.”

He hoped the issue could be straightened out with Elie so the community could continue to enter the competition.

However, Mr Blaney said that was still a matter under consideration by members.

He added: “The work is mainly carried out by four pensioners who work hard while in Falkland, for instance, you have somebody who is virtually doing it full-time.

“If somebody gives you £10 and somebody else is given £100 to do work then you know who is going to win.

“It’s not really a level playing field.

“We have spoken about it around the table and are not happy at all with the decision so the feeling is that we’ll continue to do the work in the community and not bother about any awards.”