Minutes August 2022
The August NCC hybrid meeting @ The Dean Tavern, Temperance Room & on zoom captured community concerns and on-going issues. Fiona Clandillon, Head of Development at Midlothian Council discussed the current status regarding the Masterplan and improvements in Newtongrange centre. In person police report and discussion with PC McFarlane. Membership, park improvements including petanque and tennis and Liney Dyke conservation status discussed.. Three Councillor reports were offered and further updates given by our Midlothian South, ward councillors.
|Members Present||In Attendance|
- Welcome and introductions –
- Apologies on behalf of Jeremy (Chair) and Rebecca.
- Introduction to Fiona Clandillon and PC Jason McFarlane who participated in the meeting on his day-off
- Catherine Johnstone is now a member of NCC.
- Previous minutes – May 2022 amendments and June 2022 approved by JR and seconded by LA.
- Police report – PC Jason McFarlane read out the report which RA circulated by email before meeting.
- Between 29/07 – 30/08 257 calls received to the Newtongrange area.
- 75% of calls are mental health related and missing people enquiries. The details are confidential ad cannot be disclosed. Often the same people calling. Huge volume of calls with mental health (especially in this area).
- PC McFarlane is mainly response policing after effects of covid & politics. The hope is that there will be more community policing moving forward.
- Anyone wishing to share anything to PC McFarlane or Midlothian can drop him an email via NCC or non-emergency: call 101
- PC M mentioned that thanks to good legislation reporting regular nuisance loud noise/music offenders “deemed to loud” can often be dealt with.
- PC M mentioned people can phone 101 anonymously or get in touch with NCC regarding suspicion of Cannabis/Drug offenses in the area. These will be reported to Community Action Teams. With legislation for smells of cannabis etc team can gain access to properties.
- Electric bikes/motorbikes are proving a huge problem with unidentifiable youths driving on the roads and pavements. Police are unable to pursue. Once again if residents are aware of such misuse you can report the individuals.
- PC M highlighted the effectiveness of door bell cameras in solving so many crimes. t can help with easy identification. Often think could my camera have shown anything?.
- Bill Hunter discussed if public cameras could be used to identify the regular group of people who frequent the dam area. The police respond often to dangerous jumping into the water, fires and litter and other irresponsible behavior. Ben Burgess Factor of Lothian Estates and Midlothian Police have met and another tree in the land was removed with the intention to get a CCTV camera in area. MC has finance for installing CCTV camera and needs pursuing.
- LA brought up traffic issues on Bryan’s Road and Newbattle Road. PC M said speed bumps should perhaps be up Bryan’s Rd/ PC M has regularly requested for speed guns in the area but it all comes down to numbers of accidents and funding. Catherine Johnstone did mention that a Mrs Green has experienced extensive damage to her property through calming measures on her road.
- Clr. B mentioned his metting with Derek Oliver regarding Midlothian Council’s new speeding policy. Wher money will be available for traffic calming measures in specified spots. Clr B could not give a timeframe. The paper will address the 20 mile per hour restriction as in East Lothian and The Borders.
- Protecting and improving services:
- Fiona Clandillon (FC), Head of Development MC. FC was originaly a Town Planner with key responsibilities now in learning estate projects i.e new Easthouses Primary School. Big Housing Developments i.e Lingerwood, Destination Hillend (Skiing centre) project and feasibility studies
- FC – Newtongrange Church/Library – Gareth Davies has been in touch with the church. With the church remaining on site. MC are looking at co-locating the library to a new (perhaps smaller footprint) energy efficient (EPC-G) building. With the acknowledgement that the Library-Church can be a really strong community asset. This started as a feasibility study, testing the business case to find out how much will it cost. Talks with library service staff and church stakeholders. To see how the relationship would work. Invested in a feasibility study such as digging trenches. Testing the business case. How much will it cost? Waiting for report 3 (actual costs) from architects in September. That report will go to full council in late November. Still waiting on sale of the church hall/car park land at back if the building. JR had heard rumors of shutting libraries. Clr. Scott asked about timescales in building new library due to the current situation of no public PCs availability in the library due to water leak damage. FC advised it would be an issue with Building & Maintenance @ MC as a new library will take some time. Bill Hunter feels the current library has never been maintained. FC has set in motion to this MC are developing an asset management schedule that includes libraries to build them up to standard. This does cost a lot of money. LA looking forward to the church-library developm,ent. FC advised that it was not an easy proposal but the will is definetely there.
- FC – Old Library land – If new library project happens. The next piece of the jigsaw will be for affordable housing for social rent/council houses. There is a plan to move Miner Statue with a proposal to move it closer to the church. LA asked where was the consultation regarding the miner statue?
- FC – Community Hub – Bill Hunter bemoaned the state of Newtongrange and facilities. Rosewell Development Trust The Steading building. Mayfield has used the bowling green. FC mentioned Place-Based Investment Programme (PBIP) Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF). NDT can do Capital Development. FC mentioned these funds which will take into account Community Wish List suggestions, not simply MC projects. This was a 5 year fund which now has 3 years left to allocate projects. Also Borders Railway Blueprint. Gorebridge Community Cares has also used Scottish Government Funds for larger capital projects.
- FC – The Pool area – LA stated it is the heart of the village and we want it preserved. A number of NCC members felt they were not consulted regarding the pop-up park plan for ‘The Pool’. This consultation was with Wardell Armstrong and a small number of NDT. This will have street furniture and greenery with additional planters to create a piazza style focus to the village. Idea to make it a more attractive place to dwell and have a coffee. The trees can be relocated when a permanent area is decided upon. Raised beds might be an option for area. RA has action to ask for further information/images regarding the project. JR concern about how much money this costs while not addressing what lies behind the hoardings. FC mentioned that MC are invested in Newtongrange, but just have not gone to ‘The Pool’ site west side of hoardings yet. How long will the old swimming pool rubble remain. People in Dean Park are are still facing onto a building site. AM had looked at proposals to grassed/turfed over the are at £10k, but FC felt this was unrealistic. It has already been four years. LA/JR have concerns regarding retail in the heart of the village. This will increase car parking requirements. The LDN Masterplan public consultation mentioned the possibility of 3 storey buildings. FC reiterated that they are only looking at building 2 storey builds. LA wants to conserve our village with heritage appropriate buildings. JR concerned that the houses would be built right up to the road on the Main Street.
- FC – Tennis Pavilion. Gareth Davies, MC has not moved on bowling pavilion. FC asked what is the longer term aspiration for the pavilions? JR concerned that there would be a big building & car parking in the park which would erode green space. Reminded FC that the park is a ‘Field in Trust’. The park is so well used and loved. FC suggested both pavilions could be part of a community driven project. NDT were told by Terry Healy that it would cost £60,000 to get the building up to condition. FC asked is there scope to bring the building up to speck. Grants available such as the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund projects. FA shared her experience of a community project in Duncan Place, Edinburgh. Where they saved the building, started developing plans & was helped by external advice & consultants. These projects can take time. FA said to consider how & who is it going to operate the (capital asset) pavilion and the maintenance costs? It is quite a lot of responsibility. Look again at having something similar to the coffee van in King’s Park.
- FC – War Memorial improvements – LA/JR
- Sensory Garden & paths – Catherine Johnstone asked about timeframes.
- NWH Lorries – Action for AM to check in with Cath McGill for MFCC details. Leave for September meeting
- Dalhousie Rd bins – AM/JR to contact Derek Oliver about issue. Still no improvement.
- Lloyds Chemist, Main Street prescription service – JR/JM noted improvement with service. JM mentioned MFCC dealing with matter as it is a Midlothian wide concern,
- The old Welfare club site – Catherine Johnstone used to get the grass cut by the Leisure Centre. The grass is an eyesore, A jungle with weeds and trees. Action required for Clr. B to get it trimmed once again on a regular basis. T
- Weeds – Still an issue. See Clr. B’s report 5i
- Liney Dyke – After Freedom of Information request Midlothian Council were unable to find specific Newtongrange Conservation are map to resolve issue in a satisfactory manner.
- Petanque piste @ Bryans Rd. entrance of park – SH mentioned that the distrubuted 8 of the 10 sets of boules for community group use. Still waiting on NPS & NHS to reopen from Summer holidays to hand them over. Newtongrange Pentanque Club (NPC) members are healthy and the piste is about to open. SH spent underspend on aggregate chips for the top surface of pistes. NPC currently has no Treasurer & bank account.
- Tennis courts – RA let FC know that he is still waiting on Mark Kenmure to reply with information regarding the lease of tennis pavilion. Michael Robson (MR) felt the roof needs addressed. MR is involved in many tennis projects across Scotland. He bemoaned the state of public tennis cours in Midlothian. With East Lothian exemplars in revamping facilities. House builder contributions could be earmarked towards help for sports locally in the community. As currently nothing goes back into community. It seems to go mainly to schools and roads (capital buildings). Newtongrange Park could has the criteria to receive funding from LTA/UK Gov approx £30,000 to refurbish courts. This part of the longer term Midlothian Community Tennis concept which included the new courts in Penicuik YMCA.
- The Noticeboard: JM wants resolution NCC & MFCC paid for a steel framed noticeboard with provision for lights. Similar to St Luke & St Anne’s, Mayfield. This is not what was supplied. JM went to Trading Standards and we are entitled to a copy of the invoice & gaurentee on product sold. JA informed AM that he has been in consultation with Halston Engineering and are looking at options to resolve this issue.
- RA confirmed Fiona Clandillon to attend August 30th hybrid meeting.
- Councillor’s – Clr B advised that regarding bins & weeds, Robbie Beattie, MC Neighbourhood Officer is currently coordinating a plan to where bins are required in the village. This will be a specific agenda item for September meeting regarding bins, street cleaning and weeds. NCC to have a think about where and why? JM/CJ asked about hedges. People are unable to walk on the pavement due to a specific hedge on 7th Street. Clr. D action to look at Lady Road path which is completely overgrown. Action for CJ to check this road. Clr. S mentioned that NDT was one of the trusted partners for MC ‘Heat and Eat Fund’ of £279,000 due to the energy crisis ‘. Newtongrange often linked together with Mayfield when it is awarded developer contributions. Clr. S mentioned the Newbattle Road closure. Clr D suggested an individual or group could lodge a complaint. However with regards the recent example of JM’s ongoing complaint regarding Liney Dyke “satisfactory” wall reinstatement. It does not bode well. JM has contacted Castle Rock & HES regarding Conservation plans that MC cannot locate. Clr D could not give a definitive number of streetcleaners in Midlothian due to the Covid situation.
- Treasurer – Financial statement is £1,999.27 in bank We finally have AM, JA & JM as signatures for RBS account. RBS is now completely digital.
- MFCC – N/A.
- Planning Applications – No update on determination date. AM to keep an eye on Springfield Development as previously expected determination end of May/June. Action AM to put post up regarding NCC & other CC’s activity. Confirmed by Clr. Scott that the palning application for Scott’s Caravan Parking Site is in the Midlothian South ward. Anne from MFCC advised JM to mention the ‘Dalkeith have your say‘ consultation.
- Correspondence – CJ Bryce wishes to attend meetings. RA to look for accessible room downstairs for September meeting and will let attendees know.
- Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 27th September 2022 at 7.00 pm, Dean Tavern and Zoom – register here