A SENIOR local councillor has accused the ScottishHealth Minister of ‘ducking the issue’ of the time required to get a new Health Centre in Lochgelly.

Councillor Mark Hood, who represents Lochgelly and Cardenden, has written to Shona Robison, the Scottish Government Health Minister, asking her review the need for a process that is likely to take over 5 years to undertake.

Speaking to the Times this week, Mr Hood said: "Lochgelly desperately needs a new Health Centre if we are to address the health needs of the community and we simply should not have 5 years to wait for that to happen.

"I recently was given a tour of the Health Centre by a local GP and its clear the facilities are deteriorating quickly.

"As well as the lack of space in the building the roof is letting in water. This is putting more pressure staff in the health centre".

"The Health Minster instead of ducking the issue, should accept that 5 years is too long for Lochgelly to wait for a new health centre and it needs to be given a higher priority."

In her reply Ms Robison explained that the process needs to be robust to ensure ‘taxpayers' money is invested efficiently, effectively and appropriately and that these capital projects deliver value for money'.

However Mr Hood added: "I fully share Ms Robison’s desire to ensure we spend taxpayers' money wisely, but it should not take 5 years to do so. "Does this process consider the cost in both human and financial terms of the community having to live with a substandard facility for a further 5 years.

"All I am asking is the process is completed quickly and we get the badly needed new Health Centre for the town as soon as possible.’