Statement made on ‘naming meeting’ issue

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Fife Labour Party this week issued a statement on the ongoing controversy over the naming of the new Sports Centre in Glenrothes.

Labour Group Chairman Mike Rumney said: “We would confirm that following the meeting of the Glenrothes Area Committee where the questions of what to call the new Glenrothes Centre was discussed and voted on, Fife Labour group has submitted a formal complaint against two members of the committee for the way that they verbally attacked a fellow councillor because she expressed an opinion that differed from theirs. This matter is currently being investigated through the internal processes of the Council and we will make no further comment until such time as that investigation has concluded.

“On the issue of the naming of the new centre, we believe the way this matter has been dealt with by councillors is not only an affront to local democracy but also an insult to the memory of the late Mr Woods whom the SNP majority voted to name the centre after.

“It is worth remembering that the councillors agreed to ask the public of Glenrothes and users of the centre their views with an option of three names, the current Fife Institute of Physical and Recreational Education (FIPRE) or the Glenrothes Sports and Leisure Centre or the Michael Woods Sport and Leisure Centre. The result was that ‘Glenrothes Sports and Leisure Centre’ was the most popular choice with 43% of respondents voting for it, followed by ‘Michael Woods Leisure Centre’ with 22% voting for it and then ‘FIPRE’ with 21% voting for it.

“It is also worth noting the comments from the Fife Sport and Leisure Trust who stated to councillors that ‘Glenrothes Sports and Leisure Centre’ was their preferred option. The reason for this they said was: ‘This name will maximise the marketing and branding opportunity to promote opportunities for all ages and activity levels to regularly participate in sport and recreation as part of a physically active lifestyle’. They continued: ‘The newly named state of the art sport and leisure facility, with the capacity to attract major regional sporting events and competitions, will further enhance the name of the town’.

“To ask people their views on the three options and then ignore them and also to ignore the opinion of the Trust that will operate the centre makes a complete mockery of the process. It further damages the reputation of Fife Council and sends out a clear message that there is no point of participating in any consultation with Fife Council as te Council will generally ignore the public view as they think they know best.”

Mr Rumney concluded: “I have written to the Chief Executive of Fife Council, Mr Ronnie Hinds asking him to examine the way this matter has been dealt with and to look at the legality of the way the decision was taken and to give a view as to whether it is indeed a competent decision.”