Busses between Kelty and the Victoria Hospital
I have been contacted by a number of people in the last few weeks telling me about the problems getting to and from theVictoriaHospital. People have asked me if there is any way the no 18 bus can be re routed to travel round by the hospital.
I have also had it pointed out to me that there are no busses on a Sunday from Kelty to Kirkcaldy and in the evening the last bus is before the visiting finishes. I check out what you would have to do as an alternative and discovered that a bus journey to the hospital would be around 2 hours. So this means that a person visiting a relative or friend would have a four hour round trip on to of the visit and it seems to me this is just not acceptable.
I wrote to the operations director for Stagecoach in the East of Scotland Sarah Longair and raised these points with her. Her response was as follows;
“Thanks for your email, unfortunately due to the time constraints on the service, it would not be possible to add this in without removing the service (18) from the parts of Kirkcaldy that it does currently serve. Most of these areas aren’t served by other services therefore it is unlikely that we would do this.
The service in the evenings is subsidised and specified by Fife Council – we operate as per the terms of the contract. Apologies that I cannot be of more help on this occasion”
I am disappointed by this response from Stagecoach and have now taken the matter up with NHS Fife and the Council to see what can be done. I don not think we should accept this situation and we should be launching a campaign to get proper public transport made available for people who wish to visit their loved ones in hospital. I have been told of some of the difficulties that particularly older people have had trying to get to visit when there are no buses and it is not acceptable.
NHS Fife has issued a press statement on the matter and this is below;
“Chief Executive for NHS Fife John Wilson, said: “In the run-up to the recently-opened new wing at Victoria Hospital, NHS Fife successfully worked in partnership with colleagues at Stagecoach and Fife Council, to improve access to the site from across Fife. There are now over 280 buses travelling to the hospital on weekdays, with more than 270 on Saturdays and at least 80 on Sundays, many of which offer a direct service and stop at the new bus stops situated near the main entrance.
Further access improvements are always to be welcomed as and when they can occur. I welcome the support of Councillor Rowley in identifying areas where further improvements can be made and in raising these directly with Stagecoach he can bring the views of the community he serves directly to the service providers and this is invaluable.
As part of our efforts in increasing more sustainable travel, NHS Fife encourages staff, visitors and patients to make use of a dedicated journey planner to help them find the easiest way to get to Victoria Hospital by public transport. This journey planner, which is available on the NHS Fife website www.nhsfife.org, has been devised to provide personalised travel plans, tailored to meet individual requirements.
A handy ‘How to get to Victoria Hospital’ leaflet also provides information about public transport and car parking and is available from libraries, GP practices, health centres and Fife Council offices and to download from www.nhsfife.org”.
I am afraid this is also unacceptable given that it leaves our community without any direct access by public transport to the hospital and I would therefore want to discuss what we can do to put forward our case for public transport to be made available for people travelling to and from the hospital.
I have also had many issues raised with me about the ongoing problems with the new hospital. While I accept that any move to a new hospital will not be without its teething problems, I am afraid that things are way beyond this and I am demanding a meeting with the Chairman of NHS Fife and the new CEO to discuss the problems that local people are experiencing.
Flooding at Lindsay Court
I have bee pushing to try and find out what is the problem with the water running up in front of the houses at Lindsay Court and to get some action to repair it. The parks service who maintain this area wrote back to me some weeks ago to say that the responsibility was with building maintenance and they had passed the matter to them.
I have written to them all again and asked that something be done.
Keeping our streets clean
I continue to receive regular complaints about dog fouling and report these to the services. New bins have been put up in many streets with signs asking people to clean up at the back of their dogs and giving numbers for people to report irresponsible dog owners. So we do live in hope that we are getting through to everyone that dog fouling of our streets, open spaces and parks is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
The display of daffodils in parts of the village was looking good until we had snow this week and I am afraid that then sort of flattened them! I will be meeting the greening group soon I hope to discuss the summer programme and where we want to be going in the next few months and what other ideas we can bring forward for making things even nicer. The winter bedding is looking good in the tubs and was I think worthwhile doing.
I have also contacted the parks service to make sure we are going to have the usual weed killer programme carried out in the paths and verges as this makes a big difference to the general feel in our streets.
St Ninians Trust
The St Ninians Trust met on the 20th March and agreed the following;
Eagle Glenn Residents Association £1,000
St Josephs School £0,750
Kelty Parish Church (Holiday Club) £1,000
Kelty Parish Church (Carpet Bowls) £1,000
Kelty 77th Scouts (Trip) £1,000
Kelty Heritage Group £1,000
Kelty Amateur Boxing Club £1,000
Kelty FC £0,996
Kelty Community Council £0,700
Kelty Old Age Pensioners £0,900
Kelty Marian Colts £1,000
Kelty 77th Scouts (Sports Centre visit) £0,740
Kelty Primary School £1,000
Kelty Hearts JFC £1,000
Kelty Community Centre (Youth) £1,000
Kelty Community Council £0,705
Kelty Childrens Gala £5,000
The above is just some of the groups that are active in the village but shows the range of groups we have. I think we must be one of the richest villages in Scotland in terms of community activity and I hope more will come forward and get support for work they are doing.
Alex Rowley 01383 831158 07772890560 firstname.lastname@example.org