A Fife councillor’s bid to end “five decades of uncertainty” for people in an area of Cowdenbeath has been shot down in flames.
Conservative Darren Watt has been roundly criticised for a motion he tabled at a full council meeting urging the local authority to repair unadopted roads around Johnston Park before fully adopting and assuming responsibility for the entire estate.
Council co-leader David Ross said Mr Watt’s move was “not sensible” and would result in chaos.
Ruling the motion contrary to Fife Council policy, Mr Ross added: “It would commit the council to unspecified financial costs.
“We need to listen to advice before we take these decisions.
“Taking them on partial information without professional advice will not only result in bad decisions but will get us into hot water legally as well.
“The failings of this motion are many. There are no costings and no indications of where the money would come from.”
Mr Watt said he was aware he had ruffled feathers and damaged relationships with colleagues by bringing the motion forward but he was attempting to bring to an end a long-fought battle by residents.
“Time after time the local authorities have kicked this issue into the long grass and we’ve now reached a critical point where these unadopted areas have fallen into such a state of disrepair they now pose a serious risk to the safety and wellbeing of the public,” he said.
“This sorry saga needs to be resolved once and for all.”
Mr Ross said similar situations could be found in towns across Fife.
“Dealing with one in this way as a special case would be opening the gates as to how we deal fairly with similar issues,” he said.
The Labour leader said officers and ward councillors were already working on the Johnston Park situation behind the scenes.
“There is a limit to what the council can reasonably expect to solve. We don’t have a blank cheque book,” he said.
He branded Mr Watt either naïve or cynical and added,” This is not the right way to resolve this situation.”
Cowdenbeath Labour councillor Alex Campbell said he was also disappointed by Mr Watt’s motion.
“The issue has been discussed at the last three ward meetings and recently we’ve been starting to get somewhere,” he insisted.
“It’s down to money. It’s a tight budget.”