THURSDAY March 21 is the big day in Lochgelly when the people of the town get the chance to elect a new community council.

Lochgelly is one of 26 communities in Fife which did not have a council following the organisation of elections last autumn.

But Fife’s Depute Returning Officer, Linda Bissett, intends to hold a fresh round of Community Council elections on Thursday March 21 and she hopes that the town will ensure that Lochgelly CC is reborn.

Petitions have already been submitted for Cairneyhill, Lochgelly and Strathkinness which currently do not have a community council.

Fife currently has 79 active Community Councils out of a potential 105. And Linda Bissett is keen to encourage more people to make a real difference in their local areas and very much in Lochgelly.

Linda commented: “Community Councils are an important part of giving our communities a voice. They can provide Councillors and statutory bodies with the grassroots viewpoint and opinions that are essential to shaping services and making decisions about issues that matter to local people.

“New blood is always needed if groups like this are to grow and develop.

“For those areas wishing to re-establish their Community Council and looking to organise a petition I would remind them that when speaking to local people it would be worthwhile making sure that some of them would be willing to take on the roles of office-bearer, that is Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer as this has occasionally been a problem in the past.”

A Community Council is a voluntary organisation set up by statute by the Local Authority – in this case Fife Council. The local authority is responsible for running the elections and dealing with the notification of election, nomination papers and the results.

The community council is run by local residents to act on behalf of its area. As the most local tier of elected representation, community councils play an important role in local democracy.

Lochgelly has had a very active community council for decades which recently have pioneered campaigns to get the town a new health centre and huge improvements the public park.

Also they organise the Citizens of the Year awards so it is an organisation which is important to the town.