Thursday, 31 July 2014

Taybridgehead Summer Sports Day

Primary School Children will have the opportunity to take part in lots of different sporting activities during the Taybridgehead Summer Sports Day on Saturday 16th August. The sports day organised in partnership with the Waterstone Crook Community Sport Hub and Active Fife will be held at Waterstone Crook Sports Centre, Newport, taking place between 10am to 3pm.

Children will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of sports delivered by local sports clubs and activity providers within the area. These may include football, trampolining, gymnastics, tennis, bowls and many more.

Duncan Caithness, Sports Development Officer said “The summer sports camp serves two purposes. To highlight the development of a new community sport hub in Fife and to provide an opportunity for local children to take part in activities that are available in the local community.”

Community Sport Hubs are part of SportScotland’s contribution to the Scottish Government’s 2014 Legacy Plan.

For more information on the Summer Sports Camp please contact

Cllr Tim Brett, Taybridgehead Ward Councillor added, “This is a great initiative that I hope lots of local people will support.”  

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Campbell and Brett launch 100 apprentices youth jobs challenge in North East Fife

Help give young people the chance to succeed urge local Lib Dems
Sir Menzies Campbell MP and local councillor Tim Brett today urged businesses in North East Fife to get behind efforts to provide 100 local young people with the chance to gain work experience through apprenticeships or training opportunities.

The new campaign is aiming to persuade local businesses to sign up to taking on one or more apprentices or trainees to create a 100 new opportunities for local young people.

The 100 Apprentices Challenge will be launched at Watts of Cupar on 8 August 2014 and all employers – large or small, whether they've employed apprentices and trainees before or not – are invited to attend.  Local training providers who are taking part in the challenge will be present to speak to employers about the possibilities that taking on an apprentice or providing a work experience placement offer.

A number of local businesses, who have employed apprentices in the past, as well as the apprentices themselves, will make contributions in support of the challenge and to encourage others to sign up.

Commenting, Sir Menzies Campbell said:

“Young people in North East Fife have an enormous amount to offer local businesses but too often they do not get the chance they need to gain essential skills and experience. I think that needs to change.

“Apprenticeships and training opportunities are key to ensuring young people gain the skills and experiences necessary to succeed on the job market. Not only do they provide young people with opportunities and careers they may not otherwise have had, they are a real help to all businesses who take them on.”

Councillor Tim Brett added:

“The 100 Apprentices Challenge is seeking to give 100 young people across North East Fife the opportunity to gain skills and take vital first steps on the career ladder. I hope that as many local businesses as possible will get behind this initiative and help give more young people the chance to succeed.”

Friday, 25 July 2014

Review of tragic Mikaeel Kular case will help ensure lessons are learned

Scottish Liberal Democrats in Fife have welcomed the announcement of a significant independent multi-agency case review into events around the tragic death of Mikaeel Kular.

Councillor Tim Brett, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Fife Council and previous chair of the social work committee until May 2012 said:

"Mikaeel Kular's tragic death was sorely felt by all the community in Fife.

"This wide-ranging and thorough review is in keeping with what the Liberal Democrat group wished to see implemented. We look forward to the findings being announced in December so that all agencies can move swiftly to learn any and all lessons from Mikaeel Kular's tragic death. This is what is needed to reassure people in Fife and beyond that the highest standards are being maintained in these key services."

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Fife LibDem praises important work of Protective Services

A Fife Liberal Democrat councillor has praised the good work of Fife Protective Services in monitoring and testing food to ensure it is what it says on the label.

Cllr Tim Brett said, ‘It is good to know that the team takes the mislabelling of produces seriously, and I commend their commitment. Of 30 samples of meat and fish products were tested last year, 3 failed due to traces of a species other than stated on the label, though the small amounts suggest these are mainly due to accidental cross-contamination. Another 4 surveys are planned later this year.’

Cllr Brett observed that the Protective Services were a vital part of public health. ‘There is excellent joint working between Fife Council and NHS Fife, resulting in the development of a Joint Health Protection Plan. The Protective Services staff protect us all from a range of health hazards, with the e-coli investigations in Dunfermline earlier this year being a good example of their vital work.’

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Fife LibDems hail school PE targets

Liberal Democrat councillors welcomed the news that nearly all Fife schools were meeting the target of 2 hours physical education per week.

Group leader Cllr Tim Brett said, ‘I am delighted at the progress that Fife has made and that so many of our pupils are benefiting from so much activity. Only one school is not yet achieving 2 hours per week and I understand that steps are being taken to rectify this. 

‘Ensuring that pupils receive this amount of PE is vital because if they get into the habit of being active while young, they are more likely to continue to be so in adulthood, with consequential benefits to their long-term health. The importance of this should not be underestimated when 15% of children in Fife, like in nearly every other part of Scotland, are overweight, obese or severely obese.’

LibDem councillors examine new approach to Stop and Search in Fife

Cllr Margaret Kennedy
Councillor Tim Brett, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Fife Council and Councillor Margaret Kennedy, the group’s spokesperson on Police and Criminal Justice, are examining the pilot project that is being run in Fife in relation to Stop & Search.
The pilot will trial a number of new initiatives such as sending letters to any children under the age of 16 (looked after children under the age of 18) to advise their parents or guardians that they have been searched. Furthermore, following concessions secured by Scottish Liberal Democrats at Holyrood, children under the age of 12 will no longer be subjected to so-called ‘voluntary’ searches after the police conceded that they are incapable of giving informed consent.

The pilot will be undertaken between July and December this year and will then be formally evaluated.
The new arrangements will be reviewed by the Police’s Liaison Advisory Group. Schools, the University of St Andrews and colleges will also be updated on this every two months, with a report going to the Council’s Safer Communities Committee.

Councillor Brett explained, ‘There has been widespread concern across Scotland about the significant increase in the use of stop and search under the new national police force. There have been particular worries that there has been a major jump in the number of individuals who have been stopped and searched, with an astonishing 470% increase in Fife, as well as concerns about the number of young people and children who have been affected by this. I was therefore pleased to attend a presentation at Police Headquarters in Fife when we were advised of the introduction of a pilot in Fife that it is hoped will start to improve the way in which stop and search is used.’

Councillor Kennedy (pictured above)  agreed. ‘This pilot is a step in the right direction, particularly for such a sensitive subject. It is welcome that Police Scotland are finally exploring how to introduce proper procedures and recording systems, although I believe Fife’s legacy force would have done this before rolling out the new stop and search policy – not more than a year later. Evidence-led, properly regulated stop and search can be an effective tool in detecting crime and making our streets safer; however, the current position in Fife is that 67% of stop and searches are voluntary with the remaining 33% being statutory. I remain concerned that this still means that two thirds of searches are conducted without sound legal basis, intelligence or suspicion.’

Councillor Brett added, ‘It is hoped that this pilot will provide us with a much clearer idea of the impact that stop and search is having on our communities.’

Thursday, 10 July 2014

LibDem councillors welcome the high availability of Newburgh fire station

Cllr Tim Brett, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Cllr Donald Lothian, Councillor for the Howe of Fife and Tay Coast, have welcomed the news that Newburgh Fire Station has the second best record for availability of any of the retained fire stations in Scotland.

Cllr Brett said, ‘These figures emerged from discussions that I had recently with Iain Vincent, Lead Officer for the National Fire Service in Fife. As people will be aware we rely on the retained duty system for the manning of our fire stations in North East Fife and, at times, there can be difficulties in having enough crew available for the station to be manned, particularly during office hours Monday to Friday. However, Newburgh Fire Station has the second best record for availability of any retained station in Scotland.’

Cllr Lothian agreed, adding, ‘This is very good news and must reassure the population of Newburgh and surrounding areas that staff are available to man the fire appliance whenever it may be needed.’
Cllrs Donald Lothian and Tim Brett at Newburgh Fire Station

Poor mobile phone coverage in NE Fife

Liberal Democrat councillors are urging NE Fifers living in mobile phone ‘black spots’ to let them know, so that application can be made for improvement.

Following telephone regulator OFCOM’s recent confirmation of its commitment to extend high-speed broadband, smart phone data and mobile phone coverage in rural areas such as North East Fife coupled with the UK government’s announcement that 98% coverage indoors will be a condition of the grant of a 4G licence, Fife LibDem Group Leader Cllr Tim Brett said,
‘This announcement is very welcome. Here in NE Fife there are still too many areas of poor reception. I am asking residents who live in these black holes to let me know so that I can make the case for the required improvements. For example, parts of the Howe of Fife and even St Andrews do not receive a reliable signal.’

East Neuk councillor Elizabeth Riches agreed. ‘There are places in Anstruther, Cellardyke and Crail with such poor reception that workmen have to walk up the hill should they need to use their mobiles and, should anybody ring me on my mobile, it is by no means certain that the signal will last for the duration of the call. It is hardly an incentive for new enterprises to locate in such a beautiful area of NE Fife if such basic communications are lacking.’