Round up of news from the South & West Area Committee

The South & West Fife Area Committee met virtually on Wednesday 7 October 2020. This is an outline of what was discussed and agreed by members.

Radiation monitoring in Dalgety Bay 

An update on the radiation monitoring in Dalgety Bay was given to members of the South and West Fife Area Committee by a representative from SEPA this morning.  MoD, which has the responsibility for the clear up operations, had not accepted the invitation to update the Committee.  As a result, only a brief update could given to Members.

SEPA informed the Committee that no work was expected to start until 2021 and that the appointed contractor has proposed the creation of a facility in Inverkeithing to provide pre cast materials for the work.

North Queensferry and the Forth Bridges area 

Members of the S&WFA Committee were concerned that the North Queensferry and Forth Bridges Area is managed by a number of organisation groups each with their own function. It is not easy to identify what the cross overs are or how they feed back to the local members and the community as a whole.

Members agreed that a North Queensferry Action Plan should be created to share information, identify where blockages to proposals are happening and start to attach timescales to any proposals.

Reduction to the speed limit in Low Valleyfield 

The community of Low Valleyfield had voiced their concern about the current speed limit of 40mph. Following discussions with the officers in Transportation, the Committee agreed that the lowering of the speed limit to 30mph should be promoted.

Provision of wheelchair accessible housing in Inverkeithing regeneration area  

There had been some concern that new Council houses being built for the Council at Spencerfield did not include any ‘wheelchair accessible’ houses. Members were advised that the term ‘Wheelchair Accessible’ carries a number of very defined specifications. While none of the properties meet the exacting standards completely, two of the new properties are family homes designed with wheelchairs in mind. The only limiting factor being the kitchen size which, though not small, does not lend itself completely to meet the standard. These two 3 bed properties are part of 22 in the area which are designed with specific needs in mind.

Flooding incidents in South and West Fife 

The Members have been discussing issues of recent flooding within South and West Fife and hearing about the responsibilities of Fife Council, Scottish Water and SEPA.

They were advised that historically drainage was designed to vastly reduced standards which now leads to more frequent flooding. Also, identifying who is responsible for which part of the cause can mean delays in rectifying the problem.

New guidelines mean developments now need to include drainage capacity that will handle a 1 in 30 year storm and includes a 35% increase for climate change. This type of capacity includes the sustainable drainage ponds in many of our modern developments.

Fife Council are currently compiling a list of flood risk areas across Fife and local members have been asked to use their local knowledge to feed into this. This will be used to bid for future flood prevention funding.

It was stressed that while Fife Council have the responsibility of clearing gullies, grids, and culverts often the actual cause can come from elsewhere. There was agreement that when flooding happens there should be a determination to clear the flood first and determine responsibility afterwards.

Supporting families in food poverty over the October holidays

Due to the current restrictions the previous way to support families in food poverty is not an option.  On a local level, South and West Fife will support identified families, in a more targeted approach, with meal boxes similar to the likes of Gousto.

These boxes will provide 7 days of meals, recipe cards, live streaming sessions, and online cooking videos showing how the meals are made. These will be supported by top up vouchers where necessary.

Unlike the Cafe Inc idea this system allows for a wider geographical spread while enabling people to build confidence and skills with food. Community pantries will still be running across the area throughout the October holidays.

Background papers for the meeting are available by clicking here.