Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Council Election 2017: Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss (Ward 22)

Post Thumbnail

Regeneration is the name of the game here where, in some parts, a third of children are growing up in poverty.

The community has never fully recovered from the demise of the pits and heavy industry in the 1980s and predictions the green energy revolution would herald hundreds of new jobs have not been realised.

Unemployment and ill health are prevalent and campaigners are pinning their hopes on the reinstatement of the Levenmouth rail link which they say would help kick-start the economy by giving locals access to jobs outwith the area.

It’s not all doom and gloom though – far from it.

A recent charrette in Buckhaven is bringing forth plans to regenerate large sections of the town, including the waterfront and the centre.

And thanks to local charity Clear, community volunteers are working hard on a number of projects to improve the area, while training is being given to ensure people have the skills vital to find work.

The Wemyss villages are also looking to the future with ambitious plans to capitalise on the ancient caves on the seashore with a visitor centre and links to the popular Fife coastal path.

Much needed new affordable housing is springing up in areas of Methil and the new Levenmouth Academy, which opened last year, has an attached college facility where courses are tailored to meet local job market requirements.

Councillors elected here will need to take cognisance of the many challenges facing local people and continue the work already done to pull the area from the doldrums.


Candidate profiles

The Courier invited each candidate to submit a short introduction to themselves and, if they wished, a video explaining why they deserve your vote.


Leslie Bain (SNP)

Leslie Bain was raised in Methil and attended Methilhill Primary School and Kirkland High School.

His work took him around the UK but he says he never forgot his Methil roots, which are still strong today.

“In recent times, I have been interested in many community-based organisations having been chair of two charities,” he said.

“This has given me real experience of issues faced by our communities.

“I will be a strong new voice for the people of Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss.”


Keith Barton (Conservative)

Keith Barton was born and brought up in Birmingham.

After a varied career in the glass industry, licensed trade and motor manufacturing, he was elected as a Conservative councillor on his local council, where he remained for seven years.

During that time, he was chairman of the vulnerable children’s committee and the equalities and human resources committee.

In 2012, he and his wife fulfilled a long-held ambition to move to Scotland and settled in Fife.

Now retired, Keith spends his time working for the Fife Conservative and Unionist Party and supporting Raith Rovers.


Ken Caldwell (SNP)

Ken was brought up in Buckhaven and has lived in the area for most of his life.

He has spent the last 30 years living in Methilhill with his wife, children and dogs.

A retired firefighter, he was an active member of the Fire Brigades Union and said he was very proud to have served the community.

“I am passionate about the community and the environment,” he said.

“I am involved in several local community groups, such as Our Methilhill, a member of Levenmouth Rail Campaign and a founder member of Buckhaven and Methil Rotary Club,” he said.

“I was previously a leader in Methilhaven and Wemyss Scout troops.”


Eunice Cameron (independent)

Eunice Cameron worked as a teacher at Buckhaven High School and ran her own school in Kirkcaldy for 11 years.

As well as education, she has experience in marketing and tourism and was secretary of Dysart Community Council.

She has also completed training for Fife Children’s Panel and worked closely with social work.

She said her future plans include developing a good relationship with Levenmouth Academy and working closely with families and children in the area.

She also hopes to work with Fife Council to plan youth training, encourage self-employment and help people to help themselves out of poverty.


Stephen Ferguson (Green)

Originally from Glasgow, Stephen Ferguson has lived in Kirkcaldy for 11 years.

He works in Edinburgh as an engineer.

“I put myself forward as a candidate as I strongly believe that Fife Council would benefit hugely from a Green voice dedicated to putting power back where it belongs – in the hands of local people,” he said.

“For far too long Fife communities such as Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages have fallen further behind.

“As a result, poor housing and joblessness are rife yet never get truly fixed.”

Mr Ferguson said the Greens offered a solution to address both issues – employ locals to make substantive, lasting improvements to local housing and the environment.


David Graham (Labour)

David Graham was born in Kirkcaldy and moved to Methil when he was three.

His family still lives locally and he is passionate about addressing the many challenges faced by the community to make it a better place to live, work and visit.

He has been a councillor for the area for the past five years.

“In that time I have worked hard to give the people of our community a voice on Fife Council,” he said.

”I am standing for re-election to continue the work I have started locally and continue to help those in our community who need that bit of support to get by.”


Ronald Hunter (independent)

Born in Methil, Ronald Hunter has lived locally all his life.

He was educated at Buckhaven High School, followed by Kirkcaldy Technical College and Edinburgh College of Commerce.

While working full-time at Central Farmers Limited, he qualified as an accountant and was given an award as the best student in Scotland.

“I have worked in several industries in roles from commercial manager to financial controller and lastly as a financial director,” he said.

“Having retired, I now have the time to dedicate to my interest in politics.”


John O’Brien (SNP)

John O’Brien was raised in Methil, attended Kirkland High School and still lives in the area.

As a result, he said, he knows the area and its people well.

He is married with grown-up children and grandchildren and works as a support worker caring for disabled and vulnerable adults with special needs and helping them access the community.

“I enjoy helping people,” he said. “I got into politics to make a difference to people’s lives and make the community a better place to live.”

Mr O’Brien has been a councillor for the area for the past five years and hopes to continue in the role.


Rory Roberson (Lib Dem)

Rory works for Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and regards himself as lucky that his job is also his great interest — a fascination with politics and elections.

Standing as a candidate for the first time, he realises that Buckhaven, Methil and the Wemyss villages are not areas of great Liberal Democrat strength but he is standing for election as he believes every voter should have the opportunity of voting for a Liberal Democrat candidate.


Ryan Smart (Labour)

Ryan Smart is  proud of his Levenmouth roots, having been born and brought up in the ward.

He was president of the students’ association at Adam Smith College, has experience as a youth worker and now works as a residential childcare worker, working with vulnerable young people and with children in care at a residential school,

He said: “Education is fundamental to me – every young person deserves a chance to succeed and at its heart politics has to be about providing for them.

“I’m delighted that Fife’s Labour Council has delivered a new state of the art education facility at the Levenmouth Campus.”