Surprise election in Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly and Kelty – the polls close on Sunday

oor bit
Voting ends on Sunday 27th November 2016 – have your say or your oor bit!

No, not another Council by-election in Fife but a novel consultation to involve locals in the deciding which projects merit Council spend.

The vote is based on individual honesty,  participants must live in the area and there are checks in place to help identify any potential fraud.

FIFE Council is calling on local residents in the Cowdenbeath area  to have their say on “Oor Bit” and vote for their favourite local projects.

£250,000 has been made available through Fife Council’s Cowdenbeath Area Committee in partnership with Community Councils and other community organisations to encourage local people of all ages to come up with ideas to improve oor bit of Fife.

In the first phase, which ran over the summer, local people generated over 150 ideas online and by completing and returning postcards. These ideas have now been reviewed by a steering group of local people and council staff resulting in a short-list of 30 projects to be put to the public vote.

Area Manager Kevin Sayer commented: “I’d encourage everyone in the local area to get involved.”

Now it is your chance to decide how that £250,000 is spent in your local area.  To do so you must be over eight years of age and live in the Cowdenbeath Committee area.

Projects to vote on range from:

  • cycle routes
  • skate parks
  • outdoor gym equipment  and
  • community clean-ups.

Voting takes place at open public events and online via www.oorbit.d21.me

The vote kicked off in Lumphinnans on Saturday 29th October where members of the Lumphinnans Social Group went door-to-door with the ballot papers. While Hill of Beath hosted an event in the Community Centre on Tuesday 1st November, Crossgates followed on Sunday 6th November at the royal British Legion Club.

Other voting events were held in Cardenden, Lochgelly,  Benarty Centre.  With the  Kelty event being held on Saturday  26th November,

Voting will close with an event at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre on Sunday 27th November.

Wednesday 30th November is the big day for the announcement of the successful projects.  This takes place at the Cowdenbeath Area Committee at its meeting in Hill of Beath Community Centre

Please do vote and you can do so online now!

Kevin added: “Anybody aged eight and over living or working in the Cowdenbeath area is eligible to vote. EVERY VOTE COUNTS – please attend the local events (look out locally and on local Facebook pages for more information) or vote online at www.oorbit.d21.me ”

 

50 Years of bus services – Dalgety Bay

A shorter version of this article appears in  the Dalgety Bay Diary October 2014 edition The good news is that the unnamed author has  passed the complete story to CN for publication, and we will now quote from that…
Dalgety Bay – W Alexander (Fife)
W Alexander Fife coach
A typical coach on the W Alexander Fife service. Photo used with the permission of the copyright owners The Bus Gallery see http://www.thebusgallery.co.uk/fife

Prior to the creation of Dalgety Bay as we know it today, W Alexander (Fife), operated a Kirkcaldy – Dunfermline bus service stopping at a point which is now the corner of A921 road and Eastern Access Road serving the small community clustered around the church towards Barns Farm area.

Another  coach circa 1968 on the W Alexander Fife service.  Photo used with the permission of the copyright owners The Bus Gallery see http://www.thebusgallery.co.uk/fife
Another coach circa 1968 on the W Alexander Fife service. Photo used with the permission of the copyright owners The Bus Gallery see http://www.thebusgallery.co.uk/fife

As Dalgety Bay grew in size from 1965, Alexanders’ route 7A linked Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay. In 1985 the company became part of the Scottish Transport Group when the government introduced a policy of deregulating the bus industry to promote greater competition; W Alexander Fife then became Fife Scottish Buses.

Fife Coastliner, Service 57

Capitalising on the growth of the town, a development in July1990 was the introduction of the ambitious “Fife Coastliner” Service 57 between Anstruther, Leven and Edinburgh  stopping at Pentland Rise.

During the early-mid1990’s, the town expanded westwards with a large number of houses built on the site of St Davids’  harbour; shortly afterwards representation was made by residents to provide a bus service. Stagecoach responded by diverting a number of early morning/late evening service 7, Dunfermline – Kirkcaldy buses.

Bayliner

Commemorating the 25th. anniversary of the town in 1990, Service 79 between Dunfermline and Dalgety Bay was route branded” as “Bayliner” using single deck buses painted with a “Bayliner” logo above the windows. In July 1991, the Stagecoach bus group purchased Fife Scottish Buses for £9.1M which was then renamed Stagecoach Fife.

Two years later, a Kirkcaldy independent operator trading as Orion Buses challenged the Stagecoach monopoly by operating a “circular” Dunfermline-Cowdenbeath-Kirkcaldy-Dalgety Bay-Dunfermline service. This competition was nullified by Stagecoach who increased the frequency of their established services and Orion was forced to withdraw within the year.

This was a sign of “things to come” and over the years, many well established Fife bus and coach operators were absorbed by the Stagecoach empire including such well known names  used by local schools for outings such as Rennies of Dunferrmline, Allisons Coaches, Moffat & Williamson, Glenrothes.

As time progressed, it was recognised that Stagecoach Fife wished to abandon a number of uneconomic bus routes and they stated their intentions to Fife Council. Following the “Bayliner” brand, Stagecoach revised route 79 as Dalgety Bay – Kelty via Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline running to a half hour frequency.

Two uneconomic routes subsidised

About this time and in order to maintain a service where hardship would be caused to communities if a bus connection was lost, Fife Council agreed to subsidise two uneconomic routes which served Dalgety Bay that is;

Bus 83 From Asda to InverkeithingService 83 Inverkeithing – Dalgety Bay (Ridge Way, ASDA)

 

Service 83 was subsequently withdrawn without replacement on 13 August 2011 and Service 80 renumbered to Service 87, August 2011 using single deck buses on an hourly schedule, Dunfermline – Duloch – Hillend – Dalgety Bay – St Davids –Inverkeithing- North Queensferry (Rail Station).

  Bus 80 to DunfermlineService 80 Dunfermline – Duloch – Hillend – Dalgety Bay – St Davids Harbour – Inverkeithing – Ferrytoll Park & Ride

 

 

 

An advantage with using single deck buses on service 87 was that they complied with a 7.5 tonnes weight limit imposed on B916 road Hillend – Dunfermline to protect the late 18th. century bridge west end of the railway station; double deck vehicles previously used exceeded B916 road weight limit by 2 tonnes although some Inverkeithing High School buses still use double deck vehicles.

Swedish Scania Omnilink Services 53 Dalgety Bay and 55 Dunfermline

A new initiative occurred October 2007 when Stagecoach purchased a number of six wheeled high capacity Swedish Scania Omnilink single deck buses intended for use on Dunfermline – Edinburgh Service 55 and new Service 53 Dalgety Bay – Edinburgh via St Davids which operated on a 30 minute frequency.

This new service supplemented existing hourly Kirkcaldy – Edinburgh Service X58 and hourly St Andrews – Leven – Kirkcaldy – Edinburgh service X60 which runs via Dalgety Bay railway station and augmented early morning/late evening service 7 buses.

Regrettably although service 53 provided St Davids with a regular, reliable service, it proved to be grossly underused and was cancelled; replaced by peak time services 53, X53, 57 & X57 mainly using Scania buses. In view of low patronage, the future of these services is not  guaranteed.

In August 2014, following complaints of poor timekeeping, Stagecoach in liaison with Fife Council revised times of service 87 from an hourly to a 75 minute schedule.

Town Centre Study – Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community CouncilDalgety Bay Town Framework Report

It is to be regretted that although the Dalgety Bay & Hillend Community Council initiated a “town centre study”, final recommendations made October 2011 found no place for provision of a “central” bus station in the town. Significantly, Leven (population 8051 @ 2001 Census) boasts a comparatively new 8 bay bus station but Dalgety Bay (population 10011@ 2001 Census) does not appear to warrant such a facility which could create a focal transport hub as opposed to the scattered stops at Meadowfield, Regents Way, Moray Way North (opposite Community Centre) and Railway Station.

Rail Link Kirkcaldy to Glasgow

Steam Train - Kirkcaldy to GlasgowAlthough a rail link Kirkcaldy – Glasgow via Inverkeithing existed up to 1965, First Scotrail has chosen not to resurrect this service. The author invited Stagecoach (Fife) to consider filling a “gap” in present bus services by linking Inverkeithing Park & Ride to a Glasgow bus service to benefit Burntisland, Aberdour, Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing and local residents.

Stagecoach’s response was that  they consider Dunfermline and Halbeath Park & Ride facilities as adequate.

Copyright.  The article remains the copyright of the unnamed author and the author has given permission for this article to appear in CN and Scotland4me.  Photographs are provided provided by:

The bus gallery – permission to use much appreciated that is the first two in the article relating to buses in the 1960s.
the unnamed author – photos of the 80 and 83 buses.

The picture of the train is from Royalty Free stock and the featured image is the copyright of Scotland4me.net

We must begin to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis – Alex Rowley MSP

ALEX ROWLEY MSP BUILDING HOMES FOR THE FUTURE

Photo shows Alex Rowley laying a final brick at a council house new build site in Cowdenbeath

New analysis from Scottish Labour has estimated that their proposal to build 60,000 homes per year over the next five years would support around 49,200 jobs a year. These estimates have been verified by the independent experts at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe). Of those 60,000 homes, 45,000 would be for social rent either through councils or housing associations.

Scottish Labour will also help first time buyers save for a deposit. Under the plan, a person who currently saves through a first-time buyer ISA up to the value of £3,000 would be entitled to an additional £3,000 from a Scottish Labour Government to help toward the cost of a deposit to buy a property. Under this plan, the average couple each saving £100 a month would be able to save for a £15,000 deposit within three years.

Scottish Labour analysis suggests that by the end of the next parliament around 17,200 first-time buyer purchases a year will benefit from our plan. The number of people helped will be higher as the majority will be couples buying their first home – both will receive help under Scottish Labour’s plan.

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Alex Rowley said:

“Everybody deserves a home and a chance, but whether you are a private renter, a social tenant or looking to buy for the first time it has been a difficult few years.

“Getting it right on housing can be the key that unlocks so much opportunity for our country; we can tackle poverty and grow the economy by building more homes. New analysis shows that our plan to build 60,000 homes over the next five years will sustain thousands of jobs

“The SNP Government in Edinburgh have turned a housing shortage into a housing crisis. Scotland has more than 150,000 people on social waiting lists, an unacceptable amount of private tenants living in poverty, whilst three quarters of non-owners feel they will never own a home.

Mary Lockhart, Jayne Baxter MSP and Alex Rowley MSP
Campaigning in Rosyth on Saturday- houses for rent

Alex Rowley MSP  and colleagues campaigning in Rosyth on Satruday
Alex Rowley MSP and colleagues campaigning in Rosyth on Saturday

“That’s why Scottish Labour is promising bold and radical action in every area ofr housing. We’ll help first time buyers save towards a deposit with £3,000 of extra support for those who put a little aside every month.”

“A whole generation of young people have been left behind by austerity and Labour will give them a chance to get on in life. So many young people in Scotland are stuck in a cycle from which they can’t escape. They end up renting to save for a deposit, but the rent is so high they simply can’t put enough money away. No wonder more than half see the size of a deposit as a barrier to owning a home.”

“For those living in the private rented sector we’ll ban rip off rent rises to stop bad landlords hitting tenants with unfair rent hikes.”

“We’ll build a minimum of 60,000 affordable homes over the next five years, 45,000 of which will be council or housing association homes. That’s the figure that industry experts tell us we should be aiming for and it will begin to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis.”

“After nearly a decade in office and a majority in parliament the SNP have been managerial on housing. Labour’s bold housing plan would build a fairer nation and a stronger Scotland.”

BibleWorld in Rosyth – open to public 6 to 8pm on Wednesday 18th Feb 2015

BibleWorld is open on Wednesday  18th February 2015 to the public from 6 to 8pm.  It is located in the car park of Rosyth Public Park in Parkgate, Fife, UK.  More excitingly it has been available as a resource for schools all this week during the day. So why not pop along to see for yourself and find out more about the Bible. While you are there why not try  the music quiz.  It is fun to do.

Bible World Mosiac

Bible World is the schools education department of the Scottish Bible Society.  It brings to life the Bible for children and young people across Scotland.

For teachers, their aim is to help them meet the requirements of the Curriculum for Excellence in creative and dynamic ways.

Bible World one of the many Video Clips

For children, their aim is that you have fun fun fun as you discover real life heroes and heroines whose stories can help us today.

 

Dalgety Bay PTA – Christmas Raffle 1st Prize IPAD Mini and Cover

Dalgety Bay PTA at Asda

Late last week I popped into Asda in Dalgety Bay.  What did I see?  A a very helpful lady selling raffle tickets for Dalgety Bay PTA.  The prize has been kindly donated by  Louie Brown’s bar.  That is Dalgety Bay’s very own leading restaurant and leisure venue. So I took a quick photo see above.  Sadly the lady was camera shy.  No idea why!

The draw will take place at their Christmas Fair 4 30 pm 5th December. Therefore if you would like a ticket please contact Susan Birrell, Dalgety Bay Primary School, St Bridget’s Brae, Dalgety Bay, Fife KY11 9LT

 

 

Ferrytoll Gyratory closures Fridays 7th and 14th November

A90 / Ferrytoll Gyratory

Friday 7 November 2014, 2100hrs to 0600hrs – Closure of the north side of gyratory for the erection of bridge beams at FT04 and closure of Lane 1 A90 northbound for prevention of driver distraction.    Signed diversions in place.

Friday 14 November 2014, day time – Welldean West layby closed for storage of Gantry Crane for later delivery to sita via B981.

Closure Friday – Ferrytoll Northbound Merge slip road A90 Castlandhill Road – Rosyth

In order to carry out essential repairs to the surfacing on the Ferrytoll Northbound Merge slip road to the A90 (off Castlandhill Road) the slip road will be temporarily closed on Friday 24 October 2014 between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm. Diversions will be clearly signposted.

Source Transport Scotland

 

Fife Community Council Elections 2014

This is a brief note to explain why we are making people aware of the Community Council Elections in 2014.

Fife Council are encouraging Fifers to stand and participate in their local community councils.  To that end we support the widening of the democratic process.  We would also encourage people to stand for elections such as Fife Council, Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.  The more variety we have the better.  it gives the electorate more choice.

Historically most but not all Community Councils just have enough people come forward to fill the majority of vacancies, and therefore there is no need for an election.

But what happens say…  if there are more candidates than vacancies?  The solution is simple there is then an election and the people in the community decide.

See http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/topics/index.cfm?fuseaction=service.display&p2sid=ABA5B599-0AE2-4337-836B-71162E5E1BB0&themeid=2B892409-722D-4F61-B1CC-7DE81CC06A90&promo=D6644429-AEAD-0625-0B08BAE09E2943D4#

This page says…

“Community councils are elected every 4 years.

The next Community Council elections will take place on Thursday, 13 November 2014.

See below for more information on how to stand as a candidate along with the election timetable and nomination pack. 

Please note that nomination papers should be returned to the council by no later than 4pm on Thursday, 16 October. “

As an aside it is important to fully complete the nomination papers, otherwise the candidate cannot stand.

Therefore if you would like to stand as a Community Councilor for your Community Council you can find your nomination papers here:-

http://www.fifedirect.org.uk/publications/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication.pop&pubid=C1067AD6-CA74-1AFC-276DB4F017758572

 

 

 

 

 

Diversions to Inverkeithing FerryToll Park and Ride Friday 10th Oct to Monday 20th Oct 2014

Thanks to information just provided by Stagecoach for changes to bus services, Councillor A McGary (SNP Councillor for Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay and Aberdour)  and Traffic Scotland we are able to report:-

A temporary road closure has been arranged for B981 Hope Street, Inverkeithing from Ferryhills Road to Ferry Toll Park & Ride to allow road realignment and reconstruction works to be carried out in safety.

The closure will be operate from:

  • 8pm on Friday 10th October until 6am on Monday 13th October 2014.
  •  8pm until 6am each night Monday 13th October until Saturday 18th October 2014.
  •  6am on Saturday 18th October until 6am on Monday 20th October 2014.

That is two full weekends and night working through the week

A text copy of the closure order issued by Fife Council is shown below:-

THE FIFE COUNCIL (B981 HOPE STREET, INVERKEITHING)

(TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF USE) ORDER 2014

 Fife Council has made an Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 prohibiting the use by vehicular traffic of B891 Hope Street from Ferryhills Rd to Ferrytoll Park and Ride.

 The Order is to allow road realignment and reconstruction works to be carried out in safety and will be operational from 20.00 on 10/10/14 until 06.00 on 13/10/14;  between 20.00 and 06.00 each night from 13/10/14 until 18/10/14;  and from 06.00 on 18/10/14 until 06.00 on 20/10/14 or until earlier completion of the works.

The alternative route for through traffic will be via B980 Castlandhill Rd, Dunfermline Wynd and Hill St.  Access for pedestrians is unaffected.  Any queries regarding this Notice should be directed to Lynne Lees, Legal Services, Fife House, North Street, Glenrothes, Fife KY7 5LT.

Editorial: Fife Council’s Chief Executive Rejects meeting with Leaders of the Disabled and Elderly

Leaders of three voluntary organisations have written jointly to the Chief Executive of Fife Council.   They raised concerns about the decision by Fife Council  to no longer fund their organisations and asked for a meeting to discuss those issues.  In a reply to those leaders , the Chairs of Disabilities Fife, Fife Elderly Forum and Frae, Fife Council’s Chief Executive states he is unwilling to meet with them to discuss their urgent concerns.   See final paragraphs of… Letter of 3 September 2014 from Steve Grimmond, Fife Council rejecting a request to meet disabled and elderly leaders.

In our view, Fife Council should be talking with these voluntary organisations at the highest level as the loss of funding has had a significant impact on what they can do.  We also are of the view that Fife Councillors have been misled about the impact of  their decision  on the local community.  We believe the impact assessment should have been high and not low.

As a result all those orgranisations are struggling to find alternatives.   Disabilities Fife is the first that will be hit  and  is now looking at crowd funding.

Please do support them if you can.   It is our view that Fife Council are treating these organisations unfairly and not providing enough support during the provision of a new Equalities Hub in Fife.   It is also our view that Fife Council are forcing those that are less fortunate, the blind, deaf and other disabled people and the elderly to provide the funding by the removal of their year on year funding.

Fife Council should be finding this money from other sources  not the voluntary sector that have been left high and dry, which have little resource to do this work.  Leaving these organisations without sufficient monies to continue.  Come on Fife Council, be fair to those that are less fortunate than yourself.  You are a multi million pound organisation with over 20,000 employees.  Surely you can provide more support?