THE campaigners for the original boundaries of Benarty Community Council being restored will this week find out what councillors think of the proposals that will be put to the Communities and Housing Committee.

Benarty became aware of a discrepancy in the Community Council boundary in late 2017, when plans showed that the village of Glencraig had been cut in half, with the northern boundary running along the Fitty Burn.

Contact with Fife Council showed that no records existed, not being kept after a specified period – a whole raft of important, historical, legal, statutory documents cannot be presented; although Fife Council insist these are gone they did find one map from 1999 showing the Benarty area.

The people of Benarty set about the task of joining the whole village of Glencraig together under its 'home' within the villages of Benarty. In the face of obstacles from Fife Council, Lochgelly Community Council and even Fife Councillors, the people of Benarty brought forth a wealth of historical, social and community data to present to Fife Council through official channels indicating 'that the right thing to do is to combine the village of Glencraig within one Community Council, Benarty Community Council'.

The villages of Crosshill, Lochore, Ballingry and Glencraig came together in support with 1,456 names on a petition to change the community council border. This was presented to the Communities and Housing Committee and they backed the community of Benarty by authorising a review.

Tom Kinnaird said this week on behalf of the Boundaries Campaign group: "A review took place over the Christmas period and the overwhelming majority of those consulted agree the boundary should be changed. The Committee meets on Thursday February 14 to decide on the review and Benarty waits with baited breath to see if the village of Glencraig will be complete within its boundaries."

He added: "Lochgelly groups submitted misleading information to the review and a local councillor for both areas, publicly and privately, campaigned on the review, calling it a vote.

"The Benarty Community Boundaries Group released our petition to Fife Council in full, which includes Fife Council maps loaded with contradictions. In 2010 there was a review of the Scheme for Establishment of Community Councils and one of the major changes was the splitting of one community council into two, causing a re-numbering of community councils. Yet it may be noted that the map sent out by Fife Council to Benarty campaigners, seemingly dated from 1999, bears the numbering adopted after the 2010 review. The date on the 1999 map is also a curiosity. It is also odd that the designated number for Benarty in the Scheme changed from 13 to 7 then back to 13.

"We requested a deputation to speak directly to the committee members on Thursday prior to the vote which will conclude the matter. This allows up to five members of our group to speak for a total of five minutes and take follow up questions from the members. We were denied those 5 minutes and told it was against standing orders.

"We appealed for reconsideration stating that the St Andrews Tenants and Residents Association were granted a deputation at the previous meeting; excuses were made for that; our request was denied again. Five minutes is too much trouble for Fife Council, the council who are currently begging for people to get involved in their Community Councils".

He concluded: "So now we wait. There are 105 Community Councils in Fife and I would urge every one of them, request your maps and ask your senior citizens, is this correct? The older folk know exactly where the lines should be and we had a huge response from across both communities.

"We’ll see how the vote goes on Thursday and fingers crossed, we restore Glencraig to its rightful place, back to Benarty. If not, the fight goes on!"