THE results of Fife Council’s “Oor Bit” consultation are in. Over 1,400 people from the Cowdenbeath area have been voting on their favourite local projects as part of a bid to involve the community in deciding local spending priorities.
And now 14 projects close to people’s hearts will be funded to the tune of £250,000.
Fife Council’s Area Manager Kevin Sayer was the driving force behind the project – one of the first of its kind in Scotland.
He commented: "£250,000 was made available through the 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.
A steering group made up of 19 local community representatives was supported by the council and Pauline Grandison from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. Citizens from as young as eight years old were given a say and we had great support from Democratic Scotland, D21 on-line polling website and the Your Priorities polling website."
In the first phase, which ran over the summer, local people generated over 150 ideas online and by completing and returning postcards. Those ideas were then reviewed by the steering group and a short-list of 30 projects was put to the public vote.
The winning projects were announced at a meeting of the council’s Cowdenbeath Area Committee. Committee Chair Cllr Mark Hood commented: “This has been a fantastic process where local people have taken control of their own destinies. I’m looking forward to seeing all of these projects make a real difference in our local communities and that this project can serve as a blueprint to encourage similar work across Fife.”
Fife was one of the early adopters of PB in Scotland and its great to see how they have continued to set the pace and innovate new approaches. As well as hosting, for example, a delegation from Kenya in October 2016, and appearing in a BBC documentary, where PB featured prominently.
The winning Oor Bit projects were:
Ward 7 – KELTY: £30,000 for outdoor multi-gym equipment – We would like to have a Multi-Gym in Kelty – probably in the park at Bath Street. The installation of suitable equipment would help the whole population to stay fit and healthy.
BENARTY: £5,000 to light up War Memorial, install seat and flower vase -It would look nice to see the war memorial have solar lighting perhaps red poppies that light up to further enhance the site! Perhaps some flower urns around there for fresh flowers and perhaps a memorial bench for the elderly to sit and rest and reflect to await the village bus!
Ward 8 – CROSSGATES : £30,000 for a cycle route to Fordell Firs – Cycle Path running from Crossgates to Inverkeithing which would link up in passing with the cycle path to Duloch to Dunfermline
HILL OF BEATH: £25,000 for a skate park (Part funded) – There are two areas of green, one at the existing playpark and another at the community centre. Between them, the installation of a skate park is more than feasible which would give the kids somewhere decent to go.
COWDENBEATH: £10,000 to improve area at train station – The railway platforms in the train station are well maintained and tidy but the access routes are overgrown and unsightly. They give a poor impression of the town. Let’s get them improved for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
LUMPHINNANS: £15,000 for pond upgrading – The area around Lumphinnans pond used to be an attractive walkway for families but it has now fallen into disrepair as has the jetty. If it was restored local nursery and primary school children could use it for nature walks and activities rather than having to be bussed to Lochore Meadows.
Ward 9 – LOCHGELLY: £10,000 for a Youth Club – Lochgelly needs a place for young people – We would like a youth club in a safe centre where we could meet friends and youth workers. There would be Wi-Fi and access to IT, music, cooking, toilets, parties, trips and to learn stuff. It would be good if it was on two nights a week please.
CARDENDEN: £25,000 for improvement to Wallsgreen Park entrance and lights in park – Improvements are being made to Wallsgreen Park but the entrance into the Park is uninspiring and presents difficulties with access. It is hoped to create a new entrance, which will enhance this amenity and to improve the lighting in the park.
COWDENBEATH: £10,000 for improvements to Public Park –signage and heritage displays – Where the old bandstand was we could create something which reflects the history of Cowdenbeath. For example, we could we put a replica of the old Fountain in and some notice boards reflecting stories of Cowdenbeath.
HILL OF BEATH: £25,000 to part fund MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) – We would like to have a Multi-Use Games Area in Hill of Beath. Many of the villages in Fife now have this facility and we feel that the young people in Hill of Beath deserve somewhere that they can play outdoors and which will encourage them to have a healthy lifestyle.
COWDENBEATH: £15,000 for The Line – clear up and displays – The line was where the pugs ran to take coal from the mines. It would be good if the area was tidied up along its length and if displays and notice boards were installed to tell stories of and celebrate the rich history of Cowdenbeath.
£5,000 for Gateways – install things to remind people of mining heritage – Why not install some kind of mining artefacts at the gateways to Cowdenbeath? This would help to remind folks of our heritage.
CROSSGATES: £25,000 to part fund MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) – We would like to have a Multi-Use Games Area in Crossgates – perhaps the area by the bowling green. Many of the villages in Fife now have this facility and we feel that the young people deserve somewhere that they can play outdoors and which will encourage them to have healthy lifestyles.
LUMPHINNANS: £20,000 for a Trim Trail – The trim trail at the new astro pitches was never finished and no exercise machines were installed. The installation of suitable equipment would help the whole population to stay fit and healthy.