A WEST FIFE councillor believes that funding is being distributed unevenly between the north and south of Dunfermline despite his ward receiving a bigger yearly budget than everywhere else in the town.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Dunfermline South James Calder has highlighted that Dunfermline North had received £9,998 of locality funding this year, whereas Dunfermline South had received £6,339 – when the north ward is around three-quarters of the size of the south.

However, these figures only apply to what has already been awarded to groups applying for money and finance allocated in total for the year to the Dunfermline South ward is £22,812, more than the allocation for the north ward at £19,942 and the central ward at £19,556.

Cllr Calder also targeted Dunfermline North, the ward represented by Dunfermline area convener Helen Law, claiming it received six times the amount of roads funding this year than Dunfermline South.

Cllr Calder said: “I am furious that Dunfermline South always seems to be receiving a fraction of the funding that Dunfermline North is.

“Whether it is roads or community councils, the SNP/Labour coalition running Fife Council need to take the time to review their funding formulas. While I am sure the Dunfermline area convener, Helen Law is delighted that her ward is receiving the lion’s share of local funding, I call on her to look into increasing the amounts given to Dunfermline South.

“After all, this is Dunfermline’s biggest ward by population and I want my constituents to be treated more equally by Fife Council.”

South Dunfermline Community Council (SDCC) are angry at the way funding is being distributed to community councils.

Alasdair Kay, chair of SDCC, said: “It is very disappointing that we have only been awarded £1,400 of funding this year when other areas are receiving almost £5,000.

“Despite applying for similar amounts to community councils in the north of Dunfermline, we have been awarded much less, and no explanation has been given by the Dunfermline area convener.

“This is not the first time that this has happened and I believe that it is time that a fair mechanism of distributing funding is applied in Dunfermline.”

Applications to ward budgets are considered as they are received and because of restricted processes this year, all community councils who have applied for funding have received a part award only to meet their ongoing and immediate expenditure.

The remainder of the funding requests will be considered when the area committee is fully functioning, due to be in September, where local councillors will review and consider all funding requests received to date.

Funding for road maintenance is decided by transport officers who assess what money is spent depending on the state of roads and what is a priority.

Cllr Helen Law responded: “Councillor Calder seems to not understand that ward budgets are allocated based on the number of electors.

“If one ward has spent more early there will be less left and therefore if there have been less applications, that ward will still have their balance going forward.

“I look forward to seeing more applications from Dunfermline South ward and indeed the consideration of existing applications where part payments only were made.

“Is Councillor Calder criticising community councils and groups from Dunfermline North for getting in early albeit each group is applying to their own budget only?

“I did think this had all been explained to Cllr Calder although I think he did not attend our last meeting where this information was again confirmed. I am surprised at a time like this he seems to be pitting communities against each other.”