I have been living in West Fife for the last 16 years with my husband and daughter, having moved to Scotland from my native Germany in 1998. I work as a dispensing assistant at a pharmacy in Alloa and have been a member of the Scottish Greens for several years now. I am passionate about local politics and believe people should have the powers to improve their lives and their local communities.
The past few years have seen the centre of Dunfermline go through a downturn and we need fresh, new ideas to create the changes that are needed. To achieve this I believe we need to divert more power to where it belongs, that is, the hands of the local communities andresidents.
Many towns have the potential to be great places to live, work and raise families, but few can rival Dunfermline with regards to its history central location and leisure opportunities.
If you want to know the best way to govern any locality, ask the people who live there! It shouldn't be surprising to discover the wealth of ideas and knowledge hidden away in our communities.
Not long ago I went around the houses in the centre of Dunfermline, not for canvassing purposes but to learn what it is that matters to local residents. The answers were plenty and varied, from cleaning up the Rex Park burn, better, cheaper and more reliable public transport links, pollution on Appin Crescent, to lack of seating in the Town Centre. Many had good ideas on how to improve these issues and it showed how our own abilities and lifestyles limit the viewpoints we personally have.
I learned that it wasn't just the quantity of seating that was a problem, it was frequency! This was told to me by several elderly residents and not something that I would necessarily have thought of myself. This is why we need to talk and listen to all of our residents: and not as a “listening exercise” but because they have important ideas and concerns we need to hear and people like myselfwho are willing to fight for them.