A FIFE councillor suggested "arson" as a method of getting a new health centre in the wake of the Woodmill High School fire.

Mary Bain Lockhart made the bad taste comment in a response to a social media post from Bryan Poole, formerly Fife Council's education spokesperson.

She said: "Arson... I wonder if that would produce the funding for the much needed new health centre in Lochgelly?".

Challenged about her comments by the Press, Cllr Lockhart didn't wish to comment further on her remarks, which were made on her personal Facebook account.

Mr Poole had shared a Dunfermline Press story highlighting 'super campus' plans to house both Woodmill and St Columba's high schools, and Fife College's Dunfermline campus, under one roof.

He brought up the article after Scottish education minister John Swinney pledged last month to spend more than £120 million for a 'super campus' in Dunfermline, which could be ready by the end of 2024.

Mr Swinney had visited Woodmill HS to announce Scottish Government funding to replace the school building lost in August's devastating fire.

Mr Poole posted on Facebook on September 4 that it was "fascinating" that politicians from both the SNP and Labour were attempting to take credit for lobbying for the funding.

He said: "If any ‘credit’ is to be given then it should go to Cllr David Ross (current Fife Council co-leader) and Lesley Laird (then Deputy Leader of Fife Council) who supported the-then education spokesperson (Mr Poole) who will modestly remain anonymous in taking that idea forward. Just a pity that an idea first mooted in 2014 is going to take until 2024 to become a reality."

A Facebook friend of Mr Poole suggested that the plans were only "seeing the light of day now thanks to the fire".

In reply, the former independent councillor, said: "Yes, I think you're correct regarding fire and (councillor) Andrew Verrecchia is absolutely right to want to scrutinise the financing of this project."

Cllr Lockhart, who represents Labour in the Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty ward, then made her comments about "arson".

Last year, she was suspended by her party while comments she made about anti-Semitism were investigated.

Cllr Lockhart had suggested in a Facebook post that headlines critical of Labour's position could be the work of the Israeli security services.

When asked about her 'arson' statement, several politicians declined to comment and the Scottish Labour Party did not respond.

In a separate development, Cllr Lockhart was one of eight female Fife councillors who received a “profoundly disturbing” phone call about 8pm last Monday evening.

An anonymous man identified themselves as a "male stripper", claiming to have been paid by a friend to go to their home and strip.

Cllr Lockhart told the Press: "I didn't like it at all.

"I was frightened.

"I don't know what the purpose of a call like that would be? It was horrendous.

"It wasn't just a prank. It was sad and quite sinister."

Police are investigating the incident and a spokesperson said: "We received a report of a nuisance phone call and inquiries are ongoing."

Fife Council also confirmed that they were aware of the calls.

Andrew Ferguson, depute monitoring officer, said that support and advice is available to anyone affected.

He added: "The fact that female councillors have been targeted in this way is very concerning and we would urge anyone who is receiving nuisance calls of this nature to report the matter to the police."