A Fife MSP has accused Fife Council’s senior management of lacking ‘empathy’ towards Fife residents who have been suffering problems with flooding for over a year.
Alex Rowley wrote to Fife Council Chief Executive Mr Steve Grimmond telling him he was ‘absolutely disgusted’ at the way Fife Council had both dealt with and behaved towards families from Cardenden who have suffered for more than a year as a result of a burn flooding their gardens to the extent they cannot use their gardens and now have serious concerns about the water damage to their properties.
Mr Rowley said; “Fife Councils complete failure to show any kind of empathy for what these families have been and are suffering and your complete failure to offer any kind of assistance over the last year beggars belief from a public local authority that is meant to care and support local communities”.
The Cowdenbeath MSP said he had first raised the matter with Fife Council on the 19th February this year. He went on; “I have repeatedly asked your officers for a site meeting to discuss the specific problems these families are having to deal with as a result of the flooding of the burn behind their houses and indeed copied you into an e mail I sent one of your Executive Directors Mr Keith Winter on 3rd September this year requesting a site meeting with officials to discuss the issue as I had become convinced they simply did not understand what was happening at these families houses and they had refused my request for a site meeting.
He also stated that he had been involved with over 40 pieces of correspondence with Fife Council over this matter that had included him writing to a large group of senior officers. Adding that local councillors have tried and tried to get someone to look at what these families have been going through.
Mr Rowley continued; “There has been a complete lack of willingness of Fife Council to offer any support whatsoever other than to say it is not their responsibility and the burn should be maintained by the landowner.
“Even if it is the case that the council have no legal responsibility surely they have a public responsibility to support and help people. I understand that the council are saying it is the duty of the farmer to clean the burn that is causing the problem but I would expect the council to do everything in its power to force action from the farmer and to take steps to stop the flooding not just hide behind a nothing to do with us approach. There was a time when being a public servant meant something about a responsibility to helping others.
“I have suggested to the Chief Executive that their complete failure to even try to understand the issue and complete lack of empathy for these families and what they have been going through is unacceptable and must be one of the worst examples of a local council failing local people that I have come across and asked him to consider the points I am making”.
Photo shows Alex Rowley with resident Mr Bennett viewing the flooding