Councillor Mike Barnacle’s Column
Residents will have received their Council Tax Bills for 2017/18 last month and will have noted an increase of 2% set by PKC. I have worked with my Independent colleague, Councillor Cuthbert, in negotiating on the budget proposals of the various political groups in order to try and get additional resources for the Kinross-shire Ward and we ended up supporting the Administration budget for the reasons outlined in Councillor Cuthbert’s column, to which I would add a note of extra money for playparks and footpath/cycle networks of £362,000 in 2017/18 and £325,000 reinstated into the 2018/19 budget to provide primary schools with more flexibility to deliver music and PE in the curriculum. Although £100,000 for roadside footpaths may not seem very much given our long list of requirements (that budget has been frozen since 2009/10 as a consequence of an ‘unprecedented’ nine year Council Tax freeze) it is nevertheless welcome to have the flexibility now to resource expenditure urgently needed. As noted with your bills, PKC have ‘no discretion’ in relation to the extra percentage increases on Band E to H properties ‘imposed’ by the Scottish Government.
The Community Consultation Event on the 18/2/17 called by myself and Councillor Cuthbert in relation to development proposals for zoning in LDP2 in Fossoway at Blairingone, Crook of Devon and Rumbling Bridge was very well attended and we are hugely encouraged by that. Forward Planning are collating responses, which should be available by the end of March. Fossoway CC is proposing to hold a further ‘special’ meeting on this matter on 18th April at Fossoway Primary School since they have still to decide their position on whether or not any of these proposals should be included in LDP2 for further consultation in Autumn 2017. I would encourage residents to attend this meeting, especially those who couldn’t attend the event on 18/2/17, to give your views to the Community Council and Local Members present. There will also be a further opportunity to comment on priorities for the A977 capital programme using our consultation form (see email to Chic Haggart of 20/3/17).
I note Kinross-shire Civic Trust’s letter to PKC of 3/2/17 complaining about PKC Planning Department’s interpretation of our Local Plan as being ‘indicative’, whatever that means, when it comes to housing numbers quoted for sites. I agree with the Trust and also Councillor Cuthbert in his column that Local Plan numbers should be adhered to and only minor percentage changes allowed (certainly not the increases he highlights as examples of bad planning practise), for reasons stated.
A Proposal for a Holiday Park and Visitor Centre between Burleigh Castle and Sands is the subject of public consultation on Saturday 1st April at Lochleven Campus between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm. This is a ‘major’ application for the area and was discussed at a surprisingly ‘packed’ meeting of Milnathort Community Council on 9/3/17. I got the impression that a clear majority of folk were opposed to this proposal but people were encouraged to find out more at the public consultation and provide feedback to their Community Councils and Local Members. I am on record as advocating the concept of a Visitor Centre at the Pier area in Kinross, although I realise access difficulties may preclude this. I also quite like Burleigh Sands as it is at present and am therefore cautious about development proposals around here.
Finally, at time of writing, Fife Council is still consulting on the Westfield Biomass Plant proposals but confirmed receipt of an objection from PKC, principally in relation to projected lorry movements on the B9097 and C50 approaches. It is possible this decision could be made at Scottish Government level.
Councillor Mike Barnacle
Independent Member for Kinross-shire