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Congratulations Windygate Bowling Club

I’m grateful to Chris Miezitis and his team at Auchmuty Learning Centre in Glenrothes for a very informative visit last week. The Centre’s role provides a number of services including Youth Work, Job Clubs, Adult Basic Education, teaching English to speakers of other languages and Welfare Support. An important part of the way they work is to act as a link between different services so that people who need support don’t get overwhelmed by the complexities of how the Council works.

A big increase in their work over the last few years has been in the demand for welfare support. Alongside similar teams in other parts of Fife they’re right at the sharp end of the Cost of Living crisis, helping to make sure people are getting all the benefits they’re entitled to and, increasingly, referring them to Foodbanks or other emergency support when the DWP benefits system just isn’t up to the job. I greatly value the help my constituency team gets from Welfare Support teams across Glenrothes and Central Fife to support constituents who are struggling to get the money they’re entitled to.

Fife’s Welfare Support service is one of several organisations who are attending two special Cost of Living advice surgeries I’m holding soon. The first is in the Balmaise Community Centre in Leven (KY8 5AE) on Thursday 17 August from 10.30 to 11.30am, the next is in the Corrie Centre in Cardenden (KY5 0EH) on Friday 25 August from 10.30 to 11.30 am. Constituents are welcome to drop in at any time or you can book an appointment by phoning 01592 759335 or emailing

During a Cost of Living crisis it’s astonishing to see Sir Keir Starmer ditching many of the policies he promised to support when campaigning for the Labour leadership. He recently announced that a future Labour Government won’t scrap the vile “two child cap” on some benefits – a policy that senior Labour figures in Scotland have said is like something the oppressive regime in China would impose. Now he’s announced that Labour will also keep the Bedroom Tax which penalises people on low income if the DWP decide their house is bigger than they need – even if the Council can’t find a smaller house for them.

Analysis of the UK Government’s own figures shows that across Scotland around 20,000 children have been forced into poverty in the last year alone because of the Two Child Cap. Despite brave noises from Labour politicians in Scotland the uncomfortable truth for them is that Labour MPs will be forced to do what Sir Keir tells them to and continue to support this policy.

And finally as a fellow bowler (using the term very loosely!) can I offer hearty congratulations to Windygates Bowling Club who were crowned both gents and ladies fours Scottish Champions at the recent finals in Ayr. It was a good championships for Fife clubs generally but this almost unique double means Windygates definitely have bragging rights for the next twelve months.

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