Cllrs. Docherty, Holt & Porteous: Responsibility to Community

At the recent (Monday, July 9) Community Council meeting at which the proposal for the change to Bankie Park to accommodate a new care home was discussed, Councillors John Docherty, Linda Holt, and Bill Porteous were avid listeners and even more avid note-takers.

Moderated by Chairman Andy Peddie, an informative presentation with charts and diagrams was given by David Heaney from the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership regarding the replacement of Ladywalk House care home, and the re-placement/re-positioning of Ladywalk House in a different area in Bankie Park.  This proposed change has met with strong opposition for various reasons, and more meetings with additional information will take place to fully inform people and look at the circumstances.

After Mr. Heaney’s presentation, Cllr. Bill Porteous was the first councillor to make a brief statement. He spoke about the current Ladywalk House not being fit for refurbishment, just total replacement, and as the elderly deserve the very best,  the new facility would provide that. He currently supports the Bankie Park proposal–which was met by loud boo’s and nays from attendees–and said this and other changes that might follow to Bankie Park,  should be looked at in their entirety as there could be additional benefits to the park itself and its’ users.  He also said he would be looking at timelines, guarantees, special benefits, etc. offered by Fife Council, and he recognises his responsibility to ALL the residents of the area, not just the kids, the elderly and the users of Bankie Park.

Cllr. Linda Holt was next to speak, and made the heart-felt admission that she had not had any idea of how passionately, deeply, people felt about Bankie Park, and protecting it.  She feels a duty to look at the whole situation of Bankie Park as part of her civic duty as a councillor to the area. Cllr. Holt asked the Fife Council visitors to return to another meeting with answers to questions such as:  what will the quality of the reclaimed parkland be like?   changing the regulation preventing care homes from being too close to each other? buying land from a private owner?  any other potential site that could be looked at anew, or revisited/-reconsidered. Her final decision on this proposal would be made after all options have been looked at and all questions answered.

Cllr. John Docherty was the last councillor to speak, and touched on less long-term care being needed, despite an increasing aging population, because home care is preferred and more in use. He also said that as a councillor his responsibility is to the whole community, and he looks forward to the questions raised being answered.

Martin Dibley, secretary of the Anstruther Community Council,  gave a “heads up” by saying that elections for the Community Council will take place in October, and this is an opportunity for people to join the CC and make sure their voice is heard, especially on this Bankie Park issue.