GLENROTHES AREA FUTURES GROUP

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the GARF offices, 1930 on Thursday 16th February 2012

1. Welcome

The Chair, Bob Grant, welcomed people to the meeting.

2. Attendance and Apologies

Apologies received from Ian Crichton (FC), Annabel Ewing (MSP), Murdo Fraser (MSP), Fiona Grant (FC), Trisha Marwick (MSP), Davie Nelson, John Park (MSP) and Denise Wallace.

Present were Linda Ballingall, Ian Bennett (police), Robert S.M. Brown, Bill Brown, David Cooper, Alex Forsyth, Bob Grant, Bob Hutchison, John Jackson, Irene Laing, Alex Lawson, Brian Lumsden, Julie MacDougall, Kay Morrison (FC), John Morton, Allan Murray, Ron Page, Lindsay Roy (MP), Sharon Strang (police), Aidan Thomes (police), Ross Vettraino (FC) and Mary Wallace.

Back to Archives

3. Chair’s Report

The Chair gave a brief address, where he outlined some of our campaigns, particularly relating to the A92 and Glenrothes Town Centre. In particular, the town centre is not just the Kingdom Centre shopping mall, poverty is now increasing in the area and the long-awaited new store still seems a way off.

On the A92, a new partnership has been set up involving community councils and similar bodies between Glenrothes and the Tay bridge (A92 Safety Partnership), our petition on the A92 has been dropped by Holyrood (there are no Holyrood elections pending this year) and safety for A92 users around Glenrothes has been kicked into the long grass. He also mentioned the importance of the surrounding communities (e.g. Leslie, Markinch, Cadham, Pitteuchar) and their success to the long-term future of Glenrothes.

4. Minutes of Previous AGM

The minutes of the 2010 AGM were agreed.

Back to Archives

5. A92 Report

The Convener of the A92 Group, Ron Page, gave this.

The petition has been wound up. The main comparison with the A82 (Glasgow-An Gearasdan-Inverness road) Group is that that group has the active support of the main local authority involved, Highland Council. A92 Group members had recently met with Keith Brown (Minister of Transport) and James Barr/Tullis Russell and a meeting with Diageo is planned. One major disappointment with the James Barr (developers handling Tullis Russell’s application for 200 houses on Cadham Road) meeting was a refusal to consider using part of the site to divert Cadham Road away from its present junction with the A92 to the Tullis Russell Roundabout.

Other points arising during discussion included the warped nature of Transport Scotland’s recent STAG report on the A92; lack of support from Fife Council (although FC has clearly articulated opinions on the future development of the A92 Red House Roundabout, it maintains that similar views on, e.g., the Balfarg Junction would not be within its remit as the A92 is a trunk road); the fact that resources are limited means that, e.g., work on the A9 should take priority over anything on the A92; better technology (e.g. numberplate recognition software etc.) means that it should now be easier to catch dangerous drivers; additional funding should come from the UK government; need to consider interaction of other roads with A92 (e.g. Standing Stane Road, A911 etc.); lack of signage advertising the delights of Glenrothes; lack of “No Entry” signs on one-way slip-ins at Bankhead; and the looming disaster of 200 additional properties emptying onto an unreconstructed Cadham Road.

Back to Archives

6. Town Centre Report

The likely developer of the long-awaited new store on North Street (literally) is now Tesco’s rather than Sainsbury’s. Tesco’s has recently got planning permission for enlarging its presence in Cupar and Dunfermline but no work has started yet: there is a suspicion that such moves are more to prevent others than to actually build, hence the lack of optimism regarding the Glenrothes store.

AXA/CIS (owners of the Kingdom Centre) were criticised for making it difficult for useful shops to survive in its mall and stymying any development on its periphery, to say nothing of making life difficult for the YMCA and CISWO.

Bob Grant also said, e.g., "We can and should ignore whatever supermarket developments take place and focus on the Futures Group's seeking a real town centre with a heart. We look for the development of the current shopping mall and the improvement of this and the area. Our town centre vision is the continuation of Fife Council's town centre development plan for Glenrothes, the supermarket, Glenrothes Heritage and our surrounding communities such as Markinch, Leslie and Thornton."

In discussions, the view was expressed that Glenrothes did not need another low-budget grocery-plus superstore but some “quality” shops (e.g. Debenham’s, Marks and Spark’s etc.).

Back to Archives

7. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer reported an expenditure of £30 over the past year (Lomond Hills Hotel (Freuchie) room booking for A92 Safety Partnership meeting) and that the current balance was £521.91.

8. Guest Speaker

It had originally been intended to have three guest speakers, the local MP, the local MSP and the Chair of the Glenrothes Area Committee on Fife Council. However, only one (the local MP) was available.

Lindsay Roy remarked on the community spirit present in Glenrothes, a heritage to build on. He welcomed recent work by Fife Council to make Glenrothes physically attractive but stressed that this needed to be accompanied by work on the local economy. He supported the continuation of the A92 campaign as a vital part of both economic development and general health and safety, stating "If you want to shape the future you remember that you can't change the past - it is history. We've got to work together and present a united front on issues such as the A92, Tesco and the town centre along with other issues for the Glenrothes area. And this is where the Glenrothes Area Futures Group is so important."

The new Tullis Russell biomass plant will cause 6 [30-tonne] lorry deliveries of fuel each hour (largely daylight hours, not at night) which will obviously impact on the A92 in the area.

It was pointed out that Jessop’s the Jeweller’s had recently lost its Rolex franchise, just one indication of the reduction in money being spent in the Kingdom Centre.

Back to Archives

9. Elections

a. Chair: Bob Grant was propsed by Ron Page, seconded by Mary Wallace and elected unopposed.
b. Secretary: David Cooper was proposed by Bob Grant, seconded by John (Séan) Jackson and elected unopposed.
c. Treasurer: John Morton was proposed by Ron Page, seconded by David Cooper and elected unopposed.
d. Vice-Chair: Linda Ballingall was propsed by Ron Page, seconded by Bob Brown and elected unopposed.

10. Group conveners

a. A92: Ron Page was proposed by Bob Grant and accepted.
b. Town Centre: Linda Ballingall was proposed by Bob Grant and accepted.

11. Any Other Business

It was brought to our attention that Glenwood Community Centre was in a somewhat parlous state, and was noted that the area did not currently have a functioning community council. It was also proposed to set up a cross-party group.

Back to Archives