A COUPLE of weeks ago former Cowdenbeath Baptist Church minister Graham Kinloch commented on the difference to the town's High Street since he arrived in the town in 2011.

Well it certainly is on the up, to such an extent it has been shortlisted in the Rising Star category of the Great British High Street Awards.

The people of the area are being invited to cast their on-line vote in the awards process and hopefully there will be a massive number of votes cast for Cowdenbeath.

Rev Kinloch, who last weekend left to take up a new charge in Livingston, noted his pleasure at how different the centre of the town now looked compared to eight years ago, and the completion of the latest huge mural by Kerry Wilson at the new look Green Square, has added massively to the ambience of the shopping hub of the town.

There are still things needing tackled though. While the new Lidl/B&M stores project is making a huge difference to the north end of High Street, the derelict burned out shell of the Crown Hotel still lies there and it is an unfortunate mess in the changing centre of the town.

With all the investment that has taken place in Cowdenbeath over the past three years, from a variety of sources, the town has changed so much for the better, but still we have this decade old relic blotting the landscape of the north end of High Street.

Fife Council have been trying hard, as have local councillors and MSPs, to persuade the owner of the site to make a positive decision on the future of the Crown site.

A couple of planning applications have been submitted but nothing positive has arrived to replace the derelict shell.

At a time when the High Street is very much on the up it is time that this mess is sorted out.