The difficulties of simultaneously being a Fife Councillor, MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland


It’s good local MP Lesley Laird is finally on the case with Mossmorran.

It’s a pity though that she wasn’t able to make the packed public meeting in Lochgelly on July 5 – in fact she didn’t even respond to the invitation to attend. But then nor did her Labour colleague MSP Alex Rowley who also blanked the meeting, preferring instead to issue press relases from on high.

As with Mr Rowley’s intervention, Ms Laird’s sudden interest raises some tricky questions. Why didn’t she do anything about Mossmorran before? The flaring, pollution and complaints from residents have been going on since she was elected to the Council in 2012.

Second, does she really think the Mossmorran operators are going to change their tune from the empty reassurances and non-replies they have been churning out for 32 years? Fife Labour couldn’t get the operators to take remedial action in all the years that it ran Fife Council, so what makes Ms Laird or Mr Rowley think they have a cat in hell’s chance now?

It’s also good that at long last Ms Laird is picking up the issue of the Meedies. Sadly, as an MP and now part-time humble councillor she has much less power to effect change there than when she was Deputy Leader of Fife Council.

What a shame Ms Laird wasn’t able to attend the three public meetings about the Meedies last year! Then the ambition, vision and yes, anger of Central Fifers about how the Meedies was being short-changed by Fife Council might have inspired her to discover her own ambition and vision for the park when it could have made a difference.

Even sadder is that she never intervened while on the board of the Fife Countryside and Coastal Trust to help the Trust secure the match funding and community involvement it was charged to.

Then we might all now be looking at the ambitious facility the Meedies deserves instead of the ugly, plainly inadequate prefab excuse for a visitor centre that is currently going up!

But perhaps all this is not surprising as Ms Laird is an extremely busy woman, holding down three jobs: Councillor for Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland.

Currently in New York, Ms Laird is rarely in her parliamentary constituency, let alone her council ward, and has little time for the residents of either thanks to the ministerial call of Westminster.

Perhaps it’s time Ms Laird resigned from Fife Council and allowed the residents of Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay to elect a member who can focus wholeheartedly on representing their interests at the council.

Yours etc

​Councillor ​Linda Holt

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