FRIENDS of Lochore Meadows needs to become a more effective group to help one of Fife's biggest visitor attractions continue to develop its facilities.

Cowdenbeath Area Committee was told by Community Manager, Kevin Sayer, in a hard hitting report, that 'something needed to give in this group' if real progress was to be made in helping the park develop.

The Advisory Group began meeting in March 2018, but in the past year and a bit there has been a significant turnover of members.

Councillors were told by Mr Sayer: "The initial meetings of the group focused on its reason for being and its remit.

"The process was supported by representatives of Fife Voluntary Action, who led monthly meetings and a draft constitution was drawn up.

"At the first meeting of the group and before they were constituted, a show of hands was asked for those who were in favour of the transfer of the Park from Fife Council to the group. The vast majority of those present supported the transfer."

But he added: "There has been a significant turnover of members and a number of community representatives have ceased to attend. More recently there have been other community council reps attending sporadically.

"The local MYSP no longer attends meetings. Various reasons have been given for the reluctance to continue on the group, the predominant feedback has been of lack progress and of turgid, fractious and factional meetings."

Mr Sayer said that some things have been achieved. The group has recruited more members which improved the gender balance and in the 9th month a strong committed group of office-bearers was elected.

An early decision was made by the group to focus on barrier-free play provision in the park and this has resulted in meetings with the group who fundraised for a similar provision at Dunfermline's Pittencrieff Park, Health Professionals and with the company who did the installation.

A SWOT Analysis was carried out by the office-bearers and it was agreed that a survey would be undertaken to ascertain what citizens wanted in the park and that was concluded by May 31.

Then he said: "On the negative side we still have members who have not, or will not sign up to the constitution, while very few have completed the skills register which makes the task of delivering training and team building very difficult.

"Finally and of most concern, the meetings continue to be fractious and factional. The same ground is gone over at every meeting and little or no progress has been made.

"Something needs to give with this group. Either they need to quickly grow into a committed and connected team, which will require a large amount of support from FVA and our Community Learning Development staff, with no guarantees that some members will accept support and advice.

"Alternatively the ground needs to disband and allow another group to take their place. Either way there needs to be an effective group in place which will be willing to complete a skills register and agreed and abide by a robust constitution."

Committee convener, Councillor Linda Erskine commented: "It would be good if more members of the Area Committee could come forward to join the group and help it out."