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THE new MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath wants to be as accessible as possible for constituents who need help or advice.
Neale Hanvey has already been working hard over the festive period to assist a Kirkcaldy woman with health issues who has been stranded abroad, and realising the urgency to be able to tackle the varied situations that will crop up he has his office manager in place and is busy recruiting other staff members.
The former Fife Councillor told the Times this week he has been around the constituency and has met with constituents in Kirkcaldy, Lochgelly, Dalgety Bay, Burntisland and Benarty and also took part in the Splash4Cash event at Lochore Meadows Country Park on New Year’s day.
He said on Friday: “I really enjoyed the Splash4Cash and it really showed me what a tremendous community spirit there is in the Ballingry, Lochore, Crosshill and Glencraig villages.
“I have been fortunate to get Linda Holton as my office manager, for she has worked with several MPs and is highly experienced in what is needed to make things work smoothly.”
He is acutely aware that it is a large constituency, geographically, with many really different communities, ranging from the coastal village of Aberdour, to the likes of the former mining villages of Kelty and Ballingry through to the major towns of Kirkcaldy, Cowdenbeath, Dalgety Bay and Lochgelly.
Neale added: “They all have different problems and we need to find ways of making our High Streets able to meet the challenges of the online era.
“I remember as a youngsters enjoying the buzz of being in various High Streets and there is no doubt that alleviating poverty is a way of helping things improve with more spending power, but there are a number of other issues that need to be tackled.
“2020 will be an important year for the Mossmorran Petro-chemical complex which has been of concern to residents in the communities around the plants and this year should see a start to things improving.
“I have spoken with both Shell and Exxon and they want to see their relationships with the towns and villages get better. That will require collaboration and compromise and I want to play any part I can in helping this occur.
“Looking at Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly High Streets, they both received money from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre fund with £400,000 and £300,000 coming to the towns, and hopefully that can help make key improvements in both.
“I know that the Town House is an important feature in Cowdenbeath and that positive progress is made in the coming few months on what the future holds for the beautiful building.”
He said that he was hoping to secure the right place for his office base in the next few days, and he was looking to carry out his surgeries in as accessible places as possible for people.
“When I was a councillor I held some surgeries in places such as supermarkets and these proved quite popular, so I will be thinking how best I can make my self as accessible as possible to all my constituents.
“I want to put together a strong team which is ready to deliver for the many communities in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.”