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COMMENT: AROUND THE CONSTITUENCY

Parliament returns next week after the summer recess. I supported calls for an emergency recall to agree on urgent action to deal with the cost of living crisis but it’s clear the UK Government are not interested. The outgoing prime minister seems to have been on holiday most of the summer and his colleagues are more interested in arguing over who should replace him than in doing the ministerial jobs they’re paid to do. It’s unforgiveable that the Government have wasted several months when they should have been taking action.


I had a busy schedule of advice surgeries during the summer and my constituency team are now following up an extraordinary range of queries. I’m looking to set up joint surgeries with some local advice groups, specifically on energy costs and the cost of living. I’m hoping to arrange these in several constituency locations in the next few weeks.


I was pleased to be able to visit Strathruddie Farm outside Kinglassie which is to be the location of a new renewable energy development. Renewable Connections have been given planning permission for a “solar farm” that will be capable of producing 25 million watts of electricity – enough for about 7,000 homes. Fife is playing a leading role in making Scotland self sufficient in clean renewable energy and it’s great to see the latest confirmation that Central Fife is playing its part.


I also enjoyed visiting the Little Thistle factory in Glenrothes. Little Thistle is one of the best known shops in the Kingdom Centre and most of what they sell is made right here in Glenrothes. As well as supplying their own shops they also export Scottish themed gift as far away as Australia. It was fascinating speaking to Kevin and his colleagues about how the business has developed and their plans for the future.


Last weekend saw a busy calendar of community events across the constituency. The wonderful Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative held their Harvest Festival to celebrate the amazing variety of fresh healthy veg they have grown this year; this was just a few days after I had visited CLEAR Buckhaven to see the fantastic progress with their community garden at Kirkland Drive in Methil and to find out more about their bike recycling work.


Sunday was a big day for the volunteers of SWACS (Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society) with the official installation of security grilles to protect some of the caves whose centuries-old carvings are among the most important in Britain. Before this we had a simple but moving ceremony to dedicate a new picnic table at Macduff’s Castle in memory of Frank Rankin. Frank was passionate about the Wemyss Caves and about everything else to do with the history and heritage of the Wemyss and Levenmouth area. He was a founder member of SWACS and remained actively involved for over 30 years until his passing a few years ago. Many of the environmental and access improvements you see around the Wemyss Caves are the result of his decades of commitment to this priceless stretch of Fife’s coastline.


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