All Party Calls …
Since CuparNow’s inception, we have sought and won cross-party support – and will always continue to be apolitical in our messaging. We are happy to share this update from Cupar Development Trust who have created a series of calls to all parties ahead of May’s election …
“These calls recognise the challenges facing Scotland’s towns, and the urgent need to develop policies, procedures, and funding for the principles listed. They are supported by the active local charity Sustainable Cupar (SC042695).
- Encourage housing (including Affordable Housing) in town centres: brownfield sites should be the priority for development. In Cupar the recent re-purposing into housing by Fife Council of part of the County Buildings stands out, as will the Kingdom Housing Association development behind Kirk Wynd, Crossgate, and Bonnygate, including the notorious gap site, assuming Planning Consent is given
- Encourage existing buildings to be maintained and re-purposed: surplus office space can be converted to housing, retail shops to community hubs and collaborative spaces, with other opportunities depending on each particular site. Hybrid working, where only some of the week is spent in the office, is likely to become the pattern, freeing up some existing office space. Demolition and new build is usually worse for the environment than refurbishing existing buildings.
- Acknowledge Climate Change and other Green imperatives: encourage all new development to meet Passivhaus environmental standards, as Kingdom Housing are doing in their new Gauldry development. Ensure that all new developments, and where possible existing town centre spaces, are improved by appropriate planting. Politicians should support the Climate Fife Plan 2020 – 2030. Cupar & District are fortunate to have organisations dedicated to green initiatives, and the development of green skills should be encouraged for citizens of all ages and abilities.
- Ensure that adequate, affordable, broadband is available: even before the Covid pandemic, broadband had become a vital resource, which those who have it see it is as an essential, like water and electricity. The Pandemic has shown up the divide between those who have access to broadband and those who do not – for whatever reason. Many households cannot afford broadband even when it is available, and cannot afford 3G access on their phones. Inequality has become worse, especially where school children have been unable to benefit from online learning. This call is for all residents and businesses to have adequate and affordable broadband no later than 31 December 2022. CDT strongly supports CuparNow’s call for Gigabit standards. Cupar & District is advancing rapidly in the understanding and use of digital resources, and is the ideal area in which to develop clean technology.
- Provide improved route and destination signage: quality signage makes a statement about a community to both residents and visitors. Part of the challenge is clarity of message, which poor signage undermines. Signage to local places of interest makes a statement to residents of the significance of features in their area, as well as encouraging visitors. The whole of North East Fife is a tourist destination, but signage needs to be improved. CDT is proud of the new orientation and interpretation signage installed in October 2020 for pedestrians in the town centre, but it is only a start.
- Encourage communities to maintain Events Diaries: Cupar is fortunate in already having the start of such a community diary, hosted by CuparNow. The information is vital in an area where many organisations wish to organise events, especially post-Covid, and will help to avoid diary clashes. Such diaries make strong statements to residents and visitors about the strength of community involvement, and encourage people, who might otherwise be reluctant, to become involved. As residents who previously commuted all week increasingly work from home, for at least part of the week, the information will unleash energy and talent for the entire community. For this to work to best advantage, adequate and affordable broadband will be essential.”
Thanks for reading!