Statement to Dunfermline Constituents by Bill Walker MSP

I was very disappointed to be convicted of the charges made against me in Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday 22 August 2013 by Sheriff Katherine Mackie. The verdict and, in particular, the comments of the Sheriff are now being considered carefully.

I would like to thank my wife, family, colleagues, staff and friends who have supported me throughout this long ordeal which started in March last year and which, of course, is not over yet.

Court proceedings have not yet concluded with the sentence not due to be announced until 20th September 2013 after the receipt of reports. Thereafter, there will be an opportunity to consider whether there are grounds for appeal and, under legal advice from my solicitor, I shall be making no further comment until then.

Viewing platform visitor boost planned for Forth Bridge

Forth Rail BridgeA viewing platform, set 100 metres above the River Forth, is set to open on the Forth Bridge, offering spectacular views and drawing potentially hundreds of thousands of visitors to west Fife per year.

The platform will be reachable from two glass lifts connected to a new visitor centre in the base of the rail bridge’s northern Fife Tower. Alternatively, visitors can take part in guided climbs to the South Tower from a second visitor centre in South Queensferry. Read more of this post

The passing of Mr Len Woods

Len WoodsI was very saddened to learn of the death of Dunfermline-born Mr Len Woods in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Saturday 24th August 2013.  Len had not been in the best of health for some time, but his death still came as a shock. 

Len was a popular and well-kent man throughout west Fife and elsewhere in Scotland. He attended Dunfermline High School in the 1950s and still maintained many friendships in and around Dunfermline from those days.  His early working life in textile sales led to his recent consulting activities within his own company, which took him all over Scotland, England, Ireland and abroad.  He formed many lasting business and personal relationships wherever he went.  He met his wife, Elma, at school when they were both 14 and they married in 1967.  They had two sons, Gavin and Callum, and lived in Saline for many years. Read more of this post


The announcement that an Events Officer will be appointed for Dunfermline is welcome and long overdue. More than once in this column, I’ve spoken about the wasted potential of our city centre and the need to drum up more footfall, including tourism.

I have long lamented that Dunfermline has an array of excellent organisations working to promote the city but these groups frequently work in isolation. The new Events Officer will bring them together to produce an events calendar aimed at enticing visitors into Dunfermline. It is vital that we get more people into our city centre, because we need local businesses to thrive if we are to restore our economy. Not only that, but we have a beautiful and historic city that ought to receive due recognition. Read more of this post

College merger

The long-anticipated Fife College finally came into being earlier this month, with the merger of Carnegie College, Adam Smith College and parts of Elmwood College.

Combining, as it does, the strongest elements from these three institutions, an opportunity now exists for the new regional college to become one of Scotland’s foremost educational and training centres. Read more of this post

Sad passing

I was saddened by the deaths of two former colleagues: Dunfermline Labour Councillor Mike Rumney and former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, David McLetchie MSP. Both worked tirelessly for their constituents and parties.

Mike and I served together in Fife Council and on the board of FETA, the Forth Road Bridge operator. He was a committed hard-worker and an easy man to get along with. Read more of this post

Funding for community garden workshops and cookery classes in Kincardine

Big Lottery FundKincardine Community Association has secured £9,800 Big Lottery funding for a community garden and cookery workshop project.

The grant, from the Communities and Families Fund, will pay for six months of “growing workshops” aimed at encouraging parents and children to grow their own food in a family-friendly community garden. The group will also hold 56 cookery classes for parents and children to create healthy home-cooked meals.

MSP Bill Walker, whose Dunfermline constituency includes Kincardine, said: Read more of this post

Queen Margaret Hospital palliative care enhancement

NHSLocal MSP Bill Walker has welcomed NHS Fife’s announcement that palliative care facilities are to be enhanced at Dunfermline’s Queen Margaret Hospital.

The £28,000 refurbishment, partly funded by endowments, will see the Queen Margaret Hospice (ward 16) completely redecorated. A number of planned improvements – including new bathroom facilities for patients, a multidisciplinary therapeutic area and the creation of a room with overnight facilities for relatives – will provide a more homely and comfortable setting for patients and their families. Read more of this post

Fife’s ScotAsh shortlisted for two top business awards

ScotAsh, which manufactures sustainable products from ash produced by Longannet Power Station, has been named a national champion in this year’s European Business Awards in recognition of its innovation, business excellence and sustainability. The company will now compete for Ruban d’Honneur status in the next round of the competition, with the winners due to be announced next April.

In addition, ScotAsh has been shortlisted for the Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Awards, to be announced on 26th November. These awards recognise Scottish firms that reduce their impact on the environment. Read more of this post

Dunfermline software firm receives £5,000 Business Gateway funding

Dunfermline-based Cooper Software has received £5,000 Business Gateway Fife funding to develop a new website and social media strategy.

The systems integrations specialist – which has premises in Pitreavie Business Park and recently opened a new office in Manchester – provides innovative software solutions and support to a wide range of businesses, including BSkyB and Babcock. It works with organisations investing in large-scale IT projects or who are facing problems with current systems. Read more of this post

Abbeyview Kids Club funding

Big Lottery FundAbbeyview Kids Club in Dunfermline has received funding to replace play equipment and provide a wider range of activities for children of various ages.

The £1,402 Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery Fund will pay for a brick block construction set, archery game, pool table, Lego friends and Ninjago, and table-top games.

MSP for Dunfermline, Bill Walker, said, “Congratulations to Abbeyview Kids Club on this funding. The club forms an important part of the local community by providing affordable childcare for children from a range of local schools. Read more of this post

S4M-07368: Welcoming the New Fife College

That the Parliament welcomes the establishment of the new Fife College, following the merger of Adam Smith College, Carnegie College and parts of Elmwood College; congratulates its Principal, Mr Hugh Logan, on his appointment to lead the college, and extends its best wishes to the staff, students and the Fife community on what it sees as this exciting new development.

Supported by: Nigel Don, Richard Lyle, Colin Beattie, David Torrance

Date Lodged: 01/08/13

“New chapter” for education in Fife

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker has welcomed the creation of the new Fife College, following today’s (Thursday’s) merger of Carnegie College, Adam Smith College and parts of Elmwood College.

The merger is a result of the Scottish Government’s regionalisation plans, which aim to improve the funding and structuring of colleges and to widen opportunities.

Mr Walker said: “Today’s merger begins a new chapter for education here in Fife. It opens up a wealth of opportunities to improve learning. Read more of this post

Dunfermline Golf Club heritage boost

Heritage Lottery FundLocal MSP Bill Walker has welcomed a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund award for Dunfermline Golf Club to create a Heritage Wall.

The year-long project will focus on the history of the club, which was founded in 1887 and moved to Pitfirrane in 1953, and its A-listed club house. The club’s archive collection will be organised and scanned to create a digital archive, for display on the club’s website and on a Heritage Wall inside the club house.

Mr Walker said: “Congratulations to Dunfermline Golf Club on this funding for their project. The club is one of Fife’s many excellent choices for golfers and has a very rich history. Read more of this post