Minutes March 2020

The first ever digital NCC zoom meeting including Councillor Muirhead and assigned officer Sandra Banks from Midlothian Council (Communities & Lifelong Learning) stressing the importance of the Newtongrange Resilience campaign during the coronavirus outbreak. MC critical services, police report, litter pick, key secretarial duties, parking non-essential objectives and the Newtongrange Masterplan discussed.

7pm-8:45pm Tuesday 31st March 2020 on Zoom unable to meet @ NCEC due to Covid-19

Members Present In Attendance
  • Andrew Marshall (Deputy Chair/Sec)
  • Jeremy Adderley (Chair)
  • June Robertson
  • Jason Ferry
  • Linda Anderson
  • Ross Anderson (Minutes Secretary)
  • John Muir
  • Fiona Brooks
  • Sandra Davidson (Midlothian Council)
  • Clr. Muirhead
  1. Welcome and introductions – JA welcomed Clr. Muirhead and Sandra Davidson (SD) assigned worked from MC Communities and Lifelong Learning specifically for Covid-19 concerns. Please let Sandra know of any initiative in Newtongrange sandra.davidson@midlothian.gov.uk.
  2. Police Report Between 25th February 2020 and 30th March 2020 in beat area MS03 – Newtongrange, there were 31 recorded crimes reported, of which 16 to date have been solved. This is a detection rate of over 50%. (ii) Items of Note – there continues to be a number of house breakings within the area. We would take this opportunity to remind local residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour whilst also ensuring that their own personal home security is sufficient i.e. locking doors, windows and keeping valuables out of sight.(iii) Discussion Points – JR mentioned a lunchtime gathering of young adults in the skatepark 30-31 March who were unwilling to disperse. – Please note that our Community Team email address is not for reporting crime or ongoing incidents. Such incidents should be reported by calling 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency). (iv) PC McGuff will not be attending NCC meetings, replacement still be recruited. RA will approach PC Pendreich for future reports.
  3. Minutes of Previous Meeting/ Matters Arising February minutes approved any essential changes email RA. NCC & Clr. Muirhead agree that all non-essential aims to be postponed until Covid-19 and Newtongrange Resilience will be key focus for foreseeable. AM accepted as Deputy Chair & secretarial help from now on and will maintain defibrillators and maintain two noticebooards with latest CC information. JM mentioned to NCC members to contact him if needing reimbursements for printing etc. JA felt to Masterplan will remain but unable to fully discuss in zoom meeting see papers/email 10/3/20*.
  4.  Constitution update MC legal were still to rubber stamp our change to constitution to maximum of 16 members. 
  5.  Website & Social Media If any member is interested in helping JA, JF & RA with this please get in touch?  JA thanked RA for the posts over the last while. Members asked to provide pictures and posts if happy to do so. GC to follow up on the opportunty of geting social media training with Richard (MC) currently Moorfoot CC have had support. FB to add post or photos for website participated in the “Bryan’s Wood Blitz” litterpick and despite COVID-19 restrictions a good community turnout with groups of all ages, black bags and equipment were provided by MC. Promote Newtongrange Village Voices facebook group
  6. 2019-20 Year Aims for NCC 1) Newtongrange Resilience:  JA thanked JF for the power of work that he has done in this key campaign.  MC has provided the group with initial £10,000 to support the provision. JA & JF both addressed meeting with this now the CC top priority for the foreseeable. In the middle of March JF set up Newtongrange Resilience a private volunteer/support group on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/892353957868051/ which already has 530+ members and looking for more. When a new member joins it asks where you live (Newtongrange divided into 4 zones) and what you can do? At present JF stated 14 replied with additional specified details which will help. JF&JA has built a working relationship to share knowledge with SD. JF needed specific criteria NCC Risk Assessments & identification/authorisation letters/photo id. for volunteers. Clr. Muirhead assured any GDPR concerns destroyed once emergency is over. JM mentioned he has enhanced disclosure in the vulnerable group scheme. that volunteer information would be stored but  A flyer is in production and will be distributed. A coordinated delivery organised by AM will proceed asap once all risk assessment forms have been signed by volunteers (non-NCC members). This is essential as some will be unable to access information channels other than the phone. Clr M to share best practice with JA e.g Gorebrige Community Cares facebook & Robert Hogg Mayfield soup kitchen, NC1 food provision and a senior citizens blether which have been key for resilience and wellbeing . Clr M offered to print the NRV flyer. Emergency food (one of basis, get people out of trouble), dog walking, taking out your bins (blue & red bins currently stopped), help signpost you for support, a friendly chat and local guidance. NRV has a centralised number for a trusted firm Swift taxis 0131 660 5000. You can also email nrv@newtongrange.org or visit NCC website. All meeting attendees were asked whether they wished to volunteer. LA stated that last week NC1had delivered 18 meals and have secured ‘The Sidings’ as their base. Gary Whittle (Pet Helpers) was delivering meals on their behalf. JA assured LA that we were working with NC1 and they are one of the named organisations on the flyer. JF needs to keep cross-working with them and any other key organisations yet to be identified. JR/LA already identified vulnerable people who needs support we must ensure we need a guidelines update.  JA/JF been communicating with Kelvin Manager @ COOP. COOP cannot make payment over the phone (keypad example in Wales unlikely). Remember to donate food at the COOP (ideally in date non-perishable food e.g tinned soup, backed beans, cereal, pasta, rice, tuna, tinned veg) or to the Storehouse food collection @Newtongrange Church Hall Fridays 9:30-10:30am. Important to help all open local shops try and minimise visits, be respectful follow the rules! Lloyds pharmacy was overwhelmed by unprecedented demand and currently do not have a Head Pharmacist after Hayley left. COOP like all food provider has been struggling with the food supply chain due to the crisis. NCC now set up an account (grant acceptance funded by MC JM to bank asap) with the COOP to provide key stock ingredients food box for people in emergency need for food (not foodbank), which volunteer bags up & delivers. JA stated we have had examples self-isolating people who have money unable to access it. “This needs a mechanism where people who can afford to pay can pay”. SD mentioned Red Cross has a similar scheme JA/JF to follow up. Volunteers should not be expected to handle cash or put “hands in own pocket”. LA commented how busy (but not crowded) the park was and how essential the park was for the daily exercise of the community.
  7. Community resilience ideas – from RA 
    i) Front/Back garden Easter facebook event – only drawback cost & brown bin collection. JA suggested a photo competition, sunflower growing idea for children JF promote via facebook.
    ii) Newtongrange Sunday sing along. 11:30am community singing to things like Dame Vera Lynn, favourite hymns & Glee songs collaborate with Black Diamond Radio details here ; Inspired by clap for NHS/carers/key workers & bagpipers. JF contacted BD
    iii) Newtongrange Gala programme cover entries on white boards at swimming pool? (Replace falling down letters) N/A at current time. Maybe contact RA to contact Connor Wright iv) Thank you posters on wheelie bins for refuse team w.b 13/4/20 RA posted on facebook
  8. Clr. Correspondence (i)  Clr Muirhead re-affirmed that MC was now critical service only MC are training a large number of staff in different duities with 60 staff on Midhelp telephone line. The  team are here to help 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday. For emergencies at anytime call us on 0131 663 7211. (ii) School hub community provision set up 22/3/20, one week before Midlothian Council (iii) Clr Muirhead stated there was good cross-party collaboration with critical meetings held in a virtual environment. (iv) MC still to get money for next financial year from Scottish Executive, money for CC for emergency food provision now available to NRV. Additional money for foodbanks provided.
  9. Any other Business (i) Zebra crossing on 6th Street is progressing. (ii) JM mentioned no planning in Newtongrange and NCC account £3,100.90. (iii) Demolished old cobblers shop building on Dalhousie Road.(iv) JA attended zoom meeting of Federation of Community Councils 3/4/20 and another is on 8/4/20. JA to report back next meeting


*(see latest from AM reagarding Masterplan email circulated to NCC by email 10/3/20):
Masterplan Steering Group Proposals
Village Centre – Short term
AIM – to identify and introduce activities in the area in-front of the former swimming pool which will enhance its appearance and introduce ‘portable’ activities into this area. The short activities identified should not prejudice the longer term masterplan layout but should form the basis for longer term uses and activities which can be adopted on the proposed new town square.
potential parking for the school appears feasible.
I’ve spoken to a Landscape Architect – creating a grassed area is pretty expensive, circa £5000. Might be nice?
Wildflower planting is a little less, circa £4000. No maintenance?
Any proposals would need to be agreed by the Council as landowner (given potential liabilities in relation to 3rd part insurance, impact on neighbouring properties etc.

The hoarding and area to the rear. The hording was put in place to screen the demolished building site from street view whilst potentially providing a backdrop for the area to its front. It was thought that under this arrangement it might be possible to invite Newtongrange primary school children to decorate the hoarding to create local interest. Other options could be considered.
Removal of the hoarding and top soiling was suggested by you as an idea that the community had. As we discussed the cost of this would be prohibitive and would likely be additional cost any future more permanent proposals.
Its use as car parking space could be considered if there is a need – even on a temporary basis in connection with possible events in the village centre. My only concern would be potential for damage to vehicles or possible trip hazards. If such a use was to be proposed this would have to be managed and administered by the Community and would require that all road and statutory requirements are adhered to.

Main Steering Group
The main steering group shall comprise of a maximum of [6] members representing the key stake holding bodies (Community Council, Gardiner Place Management Committee, Church of Scotland, (plus 3 others to be agreed) who will guide support and challenge the work of the various subgroup ensuring a coherent and joined up approach taking into account the requirements of the Community and landholding bodies the provisions of the masterplan (where appropriate).
To consider sources of funding making best use of grant opportunities and external funding which might be available to Local Community bodies or the Local Authority

Sub Groups
Library, Church
AIM – explore the potential for sharing space within an extended Church building to accommodate Library and Church related services. Review opportunities for shared services and additional service provision (if time and space available).
and input into design proposals taking account of the requirements of the Church’s requirements as a place of worship.

Library, Church and Pool and Leisure Centre Sites
AIM – Subject to establishing space sharing opportunities develop and agree the preferred format and mix of uses which deliver vitality secure best value for these sites and how they might contribute to ensuring the heat of the village is attractive active and accessible and based on the findings and overall use categorise and recommendations of the Master plan.

Welfare Park
AIM – to develop and enhance the park as a community asset with environmentally friendly facilities which accommodate existing uses from within the community, promote and strengthen opportunities for greater and use of the park and enhancing community activity in the park.
Work to develop an effective and attractive, low carbon, energy efficient space efficient and flexible community facility within the park which re-provides appropriate changing space for Local sports groups (changing and storage requirements)
Making best use of green technologies (ground source heat /solar power) light and heat facilities in the park and potentially generate a source of income for the community.

  1. Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 27th April 2020 at 7.00 pm Zoom TBC
Ross Anderson

Ross Anderson

I'm involved with the Newtongrange Community Council because I want to help preserve the unique heritage, character & facilities of the village.

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