Press Release, 9th December:
FIFE council has voted to close 16 libraries in the latest round of service cuts.
The libraries being axed as a result of the decision are: Abbeyview, Bowhill, Colinsburgh, Crail, Crossgates, East Wemyss, Falkland, Freuchie, Glenwood, Kinghorn, Lundin Links, Markinch, Pittenweem, Pitteuchar, Thornton and Townhill.
A public consultation earlier this year saw 2,800 responses from local people.
Alex Stewart-Clark, Conservative candidate for the Mid Fife and Glenrothes constituency, said he was disappointed Fife Council had put money before communities.
He said: “This is extremely sad for the families and communities of Fife.
“Fife Council has put finance before community and finance before learning, which is a sad state of affairs.
“Closing 16 libraries is very drastic and it’s unfortunate and disappointing that the proposals were not reconsidered or at least reduced.”
Press Release, 3rd December:
THE Scottish Government’s plan to force a state guardian on every young person in Scotland has been blasted as an “assault on the responsibility of parents and families”.
The Scottish Conservatives used their parliamentary business in Holyrood today to urge the SNP to rethink its controversial named person plans.
The proposals, as part of the Scottish Government’s Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) drive, would see all zero to 18-year-olds given a “named person” such as a teacher or social worker.
But experts have repeatedly criticised the move, saying it is unaffordable, and intrusion on people’s right to family life, and will dilute resources for those most in need.
And in today’s debate, the Scottish Conservatives said it “fundamentally changes the relationship between children and their parents”.
Alex Stewart-Clark, candidate for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, described the plan as an “invasion” into Scotland’s families.
He said: “How would a parent feel if they had the state interfering and taking away their responsibilities with regards to their child’s health, education and parenting?
“In recent months, the Scottish Government has gone on a major charm offensive to persuade parents that all is well and that named persons are really in their best interests.
“More worryingly, the authority rests with the name person over how any such declaration of autonomy will be viewed.
“If there are thousands of parents across Scotland doing a thoroughly good job – and there are – then what right does the Scottish Government have to tell them that the state knows better?
“What on earth is the point of insisting that these families have a named person on exactly the same basis as those families who face genuine problems?
“The logic is entirely lost on most people.
“Expecting all children to have a named person is an assault on the responsibility of families and parents for whom there are no problems.”
Press Release, 2nd December:
Please find some comments from Alex Stewart-Clark, Conservative candidate for Mid Fife and Glenrothes in the Holyrood election, in response to support for a planning system reform in Fife.
FIFE residents, communities and businesses are calling for a radical overhaul of the Scottish planning system.
Following a survey carried out by the local council, it is clear there is widespread support for a reform of development planning and future housing delivery.
Local people are calling for decisions to be made with a view to improving amenities and infrastructure instead of just hitting targets.
They want to see town centres redeveloped and brownfield sites transformed.
Responding to the survey’s findings, Conservative candidate for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, Alex Stewart-Clark, said: “Locals and business owners want our slow planning system reformed.
“The Secretary for Social Justice & Communities,Alex Neil, needs to make determined steps.
” Purpose designed place-making areas with community engagement and empowerment is vital.
“We need the right developments in the right places with thought for preserving and investing back in our communities.
“Infrastructure development is a risk, but the pay off happens when businesses and communities attract round it.
“Incentives for the development of town centres and brownfield sites are vital to stop the erosion of village and town high streets.
“Development plans should be made by locally elected representatives but with community involvement.”
He added: “Our Fifers deserve a planning service that meets local needs first.
“Fifers need economic development and regeneration and we need to get to the market first.
“The planning system bias towards developers’ profit over local communities has to stop.
“The system needs to be simplified and speeded up so that decisions can be made quickly.”
Press Release, 1st December:
FIFE Council is ploughing ahead with its proposals to close 16 libraries.
Following a consultation in which more than 2,800 people took part, the authority is still recommending that branches across Fife are axed.
The branches earmarked for closure are Abbeyview, Bowhill, Colinsburgh, Crail, Crossgates, East Wemyss, Falkland, Freuchie, Glenwood, Kinghorn, Lundin Links, Markinch, Pittenweem, Pitteuchar, Thornton and Townhill.
Alex Stewart-Clark, Conservative candidate for the Mid Fife and Glenrothes constituency, condemned the council’s plans.
He said: “Libraries are one of the few public services we have left in our towns and are an important part of neighbourhood life and education.
“Not only are they valuable for their intended purpose, they are also an important way of bringing communities together,
“Many hold sessions for new parents and older people. They give people access to computer and internet facilities where these are not readily available at home. We do not want to take away from those who don’t have.
“They are a great asset to our communities and should not be lost.
“The SNP government has closed so many other public services over the eight years in government: Post Offices, police stations and GP surgeries.
“Pubs are suffering from the draconian alcohol laws. This is depriving our towns and villages of our community hubs.
“We must put a stop to this or else all our villages and towns will become dormitory housing sprawls that look to the cities for community.
“We say keep the libraries open. Community is more important than economy.”
Fife Council will make its final decision on the closure on December 8.
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Contact Gemma Fraser, who handles all press enquiries.
Call: 07809 771378.