I was delighted to be asked to submit a piece to Crail’s magazine Crail Matters and to be invited to a hustings in Crail, to be held after the community council meeting on 24 April at 8.15pm. All credit to Crail!
I wish more communities were engaging in such an active way with the upcoming council election. Councillors are the key go-betweens for community councils and Fife Council, as well as between residents and Fife Council, particularly when problems arise.
I would be delighted to hear from any other community councils interested in organising a hustings. I’m looking forward to attending – as an observer – St Monans Community Council tonight and Cameron on Wednesday.
Here’s what I have submitted to Crail Matters:
“I have a track record in campaigning, and I’m standing to fight for the East Neuk at Fife Council so local needs are recognised and pledges delivered. Rural and coastal communities have been neglected in favour of larger towns. Locals know best what their communities need, and decisions should be taken as close as possible to those whom they affect.
Administratively, I want more budget decisions devolved to the North East Fife Area Committee, with greater accessibility and public participation at council meetings and enhanced accountability for councillors.
Neuk-wide, I want the budget for roads and pavements increased and a sustainable maintenance and upgrade plan created.
Like neighbouring communities, Crail has lost local shops and facilities in recent years, with those remaining under increasing pressure. Fife Council should develop a pro-active strategy to safeguard and grow local business infrastructure, addressing inadequate internet and mobile access, poor transport links and punitive business rates.
Major housing development is planned for Crail, but we must ensure that existing services, including roads, are not overloaded, Crail’s character is enhanced and a mix of affordable units are provided.
My son finished Crail Primary last year, and I experienced the incredible job staff do given ever-increasing budgetary challenges. I would take every opportunity to fight for more support and resources, including restoring the recent £3million cut to Fife’s Education budget.
Crail’s voluntary groups do essential community work, but like others in the Neuk, they need much better support from Fife Council, with fewer bureaucratic obstacles.”