Residents of Markinch asked how they want £20k windfall spent.
Markinch: Residents being asked for their ideas regarding windfall
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
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.