Res­i­dents of Mark­inch asked how they want £20k wind­fall spent.

Mark­inch: Res­i­dents be­ing asked for their ideas re­gard­ing wind­fall

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JONATHAN WAT­SON jowat­son@the­

Res­i­dents of Mark­inch are be­ing asked to put their think­ing caps on af­ter re­ceiv­ing a £20,000 wind­fall.

The fund­ing has come from the Tullis Rus­sell task force, aimed at re­gen­er­at­ing ar­eas most af­fected by the demise of the pa­per maker.

Hun­dreds of lo­cal peo­ple are now to be quizzed on ways to spruce up the town’s his­toric cen­tre.

JP Eas­ton, the Fife Coun­cil team man­ager who is co­or­di­nat­ing the process, known as par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get­ing, said ev­ery sug­ges­tion would be con­sid­ered on its mer­its.

“It is a great chance to let peo­ple be cre­ative as well as prag­matic,” he said.

“We want peo­ple to think about what en­hance­ments they would like to see in their com­mu­nity, sug­gest the ideas and then have a pub­lic vote to de­cide which ideas get funded.”

The ini­tia­tive fol­lows a sim­i­lar process that con­cluded in Leslie last week, where nine projects were ini­tially short­listed for cash.

Af­ter a vote by mem­bers of the pub­lic on Thurs­day, res­i­dents there al­lo­cated their £20,000 to in­stalling new Christ­mas lights, mak­ing small cos­metic im­prove­ments to the lo­cal High Street, and clean­ing and restor­ing the lo­cal war me­mo­rial.

All sug­ges­tions came from forms sub­mit­ted by mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and there are hopes the Mark­inch ini­tia­tive will gen­er­ate the same ex­cite­ment as seen in Leslie.

En­try boxes will be lo­cated through­out the town, along with ad­di­tional sug­ges­tion forms.

The dead­line for en­tries will be Oc­to­ber 30, with a pub­lic vote to take place in Novem­ber.

Mr Eas­ton said: “We have just com­pleted par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get­ing in Leslie and peo­ple said it was dif­fi­cult to de­cide which projects should be funded.

“How­ever, it was great to see chil­dren, par­ents and even grand­par­ents com­ing to­gether and all vot­ing for the projects they thought should be funded.

“In short, this is a way for lo­cal peo­ple to have a di­rect say in how, and where, pub­lic funds can be used to ad­dress lo­cal re­quire­ments.

“We are ex­cited about the ideas peo­ple will have and are re­ally look­ing for­ward to bring­ing par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get­ing to Mark­inch.”

It is a great chance to let peo­ple be cre­ative as well as prag­matic. JP EAS­TON

Pic­ture: Steven Brown.

JP Eas­ton and David He­witt of Fife Coun­cil, Mark­inch res­i­dent Mar­ion Law and modern ap­pren­tice Amy Ni­col with bal­lot boxes for ideas on how to spend £20,000 in the town.

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