Minutes August 2019

Returning from our summer break, the NCC spent ninety minutes with Christine Grahame MSP getting feedback on transport issues and how to get the most out of our embattled council.

Jeremy Adderley, NCC Chair

7pm Tuesday, 27th August 2019, Newbattle Community Learning Centre
Meets last Tuesday of the Month, contact – secretary@newtongrange.org

Members Present In Attendance
  • Ann Gunn
  • Andrew Marshall (Minutes Secretary)
  • Jason Ferry 
  • Jeremy Adderley (Chair)
  • June Robertson
  • John Muir (Treasurer)
  • Maureen McRae
  • James Smith (Secretary)
  • PC Brian McGuff
  • Linda Anderson
  • Ross Anderson
  • Christine Grahame MSP
  1. Apologies
    1. Peter Quinn
  2. Christine Grahame MSP
    1. Christine was welcomed to the forum and started the meeting with a counter invite to all present, stating that she is facilitating a cross community council meeting at the Scottish Parliament at 6:30pm, 7th October. The aim of the meeting is to share common issues and solutions together as a wider region. A tour of the building was also offered, for anyone who can attend earlier. AM confirmed he would attend. Christine spend the rest of meeting fielding questions from the council, raised on behalf of the community:
    2. Overcrowding and poor service on the Borders Rail. Christine, as a champion for the reinstatement of the railway, accepted that the railway is a great addition to the area. She also noted that ‘non-stopping’ has been largely ended and that overcrowding is an issued which, due to work times, doesn’t have an easy resolve. This is partly due to Scotrail owning some rolling stock and leasing others. CG noted that a more sustainable and viable solution would be more flexible working hours, where possible. CG confirmed she is investigating the cause of the most recent festival disruptions.
    3. Withdrawal of the Lothian Bus no.33. Seen as a backwards step in connectivity between the area and vital services in Edinburgh. CG questioned the level of consultation offered, prior to the removal of the service. CG to raise the item with Lothian Bus company.
    4. Upkeep of Newtongrange park and flower beds. Members raised the issue of poor and sporadic grass cutting to the park. It was agreed that NCC Secretary would write to CG confirming the actions and programme given by Justin Venton and whether these were being kept. CG noted that wild meadow planting has been successfully undertaken in Edinburgh – CG to circulate contact details.
    5. Masterplan and Library. Discussion surrounding both masterplans and the in particular the library, focussed on maintaining the library and the lack of specific space allocated to it in the proposal. It was recognised by CG that the library is an important and well integrated building in the village fabric, however it’s use could be widened to aid retention. LA raised that an outreach programme of council services within the library would be ideal for members of the public, for whom travel to Dalkeith is inconvenient.
    6. Settlement for Midlothian (Scottish Gov funding for council) and the COSLA formula was described and detailed by CG. Christine recognised that this formula is based on population, assessed each year and applied equally to all councils in Scotland.
    7. Community payback work was confirmed as not being able to substitute for jobs allocated to be undertaken by the council.
    8. At the end of Christine’s time, she requested a bullet point list on items where something has been promised, by whom and what hasn’t happened. JS to compile and issue list to CG.
  3. Police Report
    1. Overview and Trends – 284 calls to Police during the period. 51 recorded crimes, 21 solved. It was noted that the detection rate of 41% is higher than I previous periods.
    2. Items of Note – Break-ins are still prevalent.
    3. Discussion Points – Speed check proposed on Newbattle road – raised by community member via correspondence and by AG. This is outstanding since last meeting, due to festival and holidays. BM committed to additional speed checks over the next period.
    4. Lockdown crime event is scheduled for Thursday 26th September. The Sidings have agreed to host and provide some light snacks during the event. BM to circulate some information for issue to community via notice boards, NCC website and social media. AM to lead advertising on NCC platforms.
  4. Approval of June minutes
    1. Proposed by John Muir and seconded by June Robertson. This was undertaken after a review of Matters Arising. Action Points for members in bold.
  5. Matters Arising
    1. JM to review Planning Applications.
    2. Successful grant application to Midlothian council for an electronic & paper newsletter campaign promoting NCC which will catch every resident in Newtongrange over 3 years.
    3. PJ to contact licencing board to see if NCC can be consulted on the Fair attending the village. Initial contact suggests we can be consulted but PJ to confirm. Note – Paul Johnston has now moved on from his role with MC. Gillian Cousin is the new contact at MC. JS to extend invite to next NCC meeting.
    4. After the positive impromptu summer litter pick, a follow up event is to be planned and coordinated. To be discussed at the next meeting.
  6. Reports
    1. Councillors – None present to report.
    2. Treasurer – JM confirmed that Grant fund is yet to hit the bank account, although due on the 28th August. Current balance for NCC stands at £2,775.13. JM also noted that £200 has been received from Newtongrange First, for the reinstatement of the historic ‘Edinburgh’ sign. JS to issue a letter of thanks.
    3. Health & Social Care – Nothing to report.
    4. Federation – Nothing to report.
    5. Chairman – JA gave an overview of happenings over the Summer break. This included a discussion on a joint bid with Gorebridge to submit a funding application to link the villages to Eskbank via cycle routes. Given the short timescales and the onerousness of the application, a decision not to bid was taken. Subsequently, Midlothian Council have applied on behalf of the communities. JA also offered a summary of the consultation for the new primary school, proposed as 3 stream, on the old Newbattle High site. The rest of the land is currently earmarked for housing.
  7. Correspondence
    1. Community Planning – Revitalising local areas, MC making land available to developers with policy dictating that 25% needs to be affordable. Representative Grant McKay to attend June meeting and offer an understanding of changes to Planning Applications. Ongoing.
    2. Ref. minute in Police Report on speeding. BM Police to undertake speed gun checks.
  8. Any Other Business
    1. Ann requested that the Minutes be printed in a larger text format – AM to increase size for next posting.
  9. Date of Next Meeting
    1. Tuesday 24th September 2019 at 7.00 pm at Newbattle Community Learning Centre

Signed – Andrew Marshall 01/09/19

Jeremy Adderley

Jeremy Adderley

I'm involved with the Newtongrange Community Council because I want to preserve our status as a proud village and ensure residents have a say in local development

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