Minutes January 2021

The first packed digital NCC meeting of the year capturing community highlights and on-going issues. NCC membership recruitment for the new year needed with growing relationships with Midlothian Council, Federation of Community Councils and MTRaP. Plus next steps for Community Development Trust, rollout of the Newtongrange Flyer and the last ‘The Pool’ event of the year and other village issues.

Members Present In Attendance
  • Jeremy Adderley (Chair)
  • June Robertson
  • Andrew Marshall (Vice Chair)
  • Ross Anderson (Minutes Secretary)
  • John Muir (Treasurer)
  • Liz Wilson
  • Linda Anderson
  • Margaret Evans
  • Fiona Brooks
  • Connor Wright
  • Janet Donaldson (NRV/NDT)
  • Clr. Johnstone (MC)
  • Dana Jupp
  • Ed Jupp
  • Denise Swanson
  • Harriet Hunter (HH)
See Agenda
  1. Welcome and introductions – 
    1.  Apologies on behalf of Cllr. Muirhead (Cllr. M) and James Smith who wishes to attend in near future.
    2. JA welcomed Cllr. Johnstone and new attendees for appearing.
    3. JA confirmed Connor Wright (CW) membership form was complete and thus now a member.
  1. November minutes formally approved after two corrections (proposed LA; seconded CW)                 
  2. For Matter Arising 
    1. N/A
  3. Newtongrange resilience – update from Jeremy/Janet.
    1. JA introduced True Grit volunteers/Emergency plan issues that developed after our last November meeting. Harriet Hughes (HH) told the meeting that herself and Joe Dunlop took up initiative and are key contacts for setting up the community gritting group in Newtongrange. HH hopes that procedures will be ready for next winter. JA, (NCC), Jane Young, Brian McGuff and Ian Lennock  (IL) of MC involved with the setting up process. IL has agreed to supplying a one ton lockable salt bin for as yet defined central location in the village. CW mentioned that it takes all day to refill/replace approx. 22 regular grit bins so this is the best solution. JD mentioned that MC had provided new grit bin e.g a lane off 7th street amongst others. The one ton bin will need designated key holder(s). CW volunteered to join the group as he has been highly involved in his own estates gritting issues over the cold snap.
    2. JA highlighted the Keep oot o’ range in the grange and get in touch banners now displayed in the village.
    3. JA mentioned that MC/Red Cross to be the first point of call of requests. JD highlighted that there was a big response to volunteer but few requests.  
    4. JD highlighted NC1 have been awarded some funds from Forth Cash for Kids via Scottish Gov to support families in Newtongrange whose finances have been severely hit due to COVID WHOSE children are NOT entitled to free school meals.(N.B Scottish Gov are helping families on free school meals directly) This may be a little help with food/fuel etc. Strictly Confidential ! Email newtongrangecommunity1st@gmail.com if you would like (limited ) support.
    5. Community Resilence/Emergency Plan documents, advice and other CC plans were shared and discussed with Jane Young/Brian McGuff. Shared with NRV/NDT contacts
    6. There was a consensus that automobile speeding was still an issue during lockdown. RA asked if Could NCC also work with East Safety Camera Unit? JD commented that the constant reminder of Street Lights Mean 30 message on bin after bin did reinforce message. JA to get in touch with Brian Wailes, Chair of Eskbank and Newbattle CC regarding matter. Clr J agreed to explore targeting a specific road of concern in the village with police.  
  4. Newtongrange Development Trust 
    1. JA announced that Newtongrange incorporated its first DT application to OSCR
    2. Last meeting 19/02/21 NDT Office Bearers configured with Pat Bowie (Chair) and Janet Donaldson (Treasurer). LA felt it was a very productive meeting and made some progress. We were able to hear all points of view.
    3. NCC unanimously agreed that JM arrange a £250 cheque to NDT Treasurer Janet Donaldson for opening balance for NDT bank account (dual authority account). JA proposed and AM seconded motion. This money liklely to be purposed for ‘The Pool’ activities.
    4. Latest minutes were circulated widely around group.
    5. CW still looking for new shipping container option.
    6. Next DT meeting on Zoom Tuesday 2/3/21 7-10pm.
  5. Local lock down issues
    1. JA shared email prior to meeting regarding potential options  for new noticeboard in park.  NCC were successful in receiving funding from MFED for replacement of vandalised wooden noticeboard.  The intention is to source steel option (CW, JR, JM to look at options and share what they have found prior to next meeting) The noticeboards are essential for keeping NCC current to non-digital audience. Target to get new one in-situ by Spring.
    2.  CW to lead on Planters group & local business sponsorship project which Jason Ferry started.  AM shared planters map in Chat function. Will tools for volunteers need to be bought and stored in pool?  CW mentioned ‘The Dean Tavern’ floral decoration/planter is independently tended to. Mention of Brian Mack who created plaques for local businesses.  
    3.  JA reminded group of the great work Sheila, Greta and family do in revitalising many flowerbeds of the village at their own personal cost. NCC have agreed to co-purchase plants. RA mentioned Jo Dunbar and Carol Bryn mentioned Pentland Plants primrose crop purchase & planters in Newtongrange Resilience facebook post.
    4. CW mentioned when MC are installing new LED lights for library, lights vandalised previously. A weather resistant community campaign banner could be erected focusing all of the need this festive period for mask wearing compliance and social distancing to help drive down infection and ease restrictions by moving down tiers.
  6. 2020-21 Year Aims for NCC– On agenda for reference during wider discussion
    1. Protecting and improving services:
      1. FB to lead on NCC response to ‘Public transport – x95 Bus service’ which was started by Heriot Community Council concern about the future of the service.
      2. Clr J to address NCC perpetual concerns about Welfare Park’s serious drainage, flooding and priority gritting issues along with installation of new noticeboard once sourced with Justin Venton andto create a Park Group with JR, LA and others for long term view improvement plan for centenary in 2026. 
      3. AM checked defibrillators and new pads are required. CW, JM to help source. AM to also check if batteries need replaced.
      4. Neighbourhood Services Codesign (Jeremy)               Derek Oliver Chief Officer – Place MC said that the council was exploring ways that the communities are getting what they want or need improved. Their has been 3 meetings/workshops with JA reporting his finding to NCC/MFED. JA asked how do we get priorities in services in Newtongrange and can the communication methods improve? Having Clr(s). representation once more will benefit community.
      5. Community Forum – exploration of new ways for engagement especially with younger age group. JA to arrange meeting with Leslie Kelly, Operation & Development Manager, Volunteer Midlothian to see if we can work with her on projects.

        How can we reach out to priority groups in our ward?

        JA suggested an additional web software either embedded or integrated with NCC website which could steer ideas and responses.

        Post themes and areas of interest to create good engagement. It will need a form of moderation but could extend membership, start conversations and encourage people to take on areas of CC work.

    2. The Newtongrange Masterplan: ensuring community development remains at its heart and engaging business and the village in its progress
      1. AM informed he was invited to a meeting Gareth Davies (GD) held last week with NDT representatives JD & Pat Bowie. The Masterplan had stalled after last public meeting at The National Mining Museum Scotland in 2019. GD wanted to find out aims and objectives of NDT and AM felt this might “sharpen the focus as he struggled to move anything  forward as an individual”.
      2. The need to get key groups and NCC members LA/JR included in the Masterplan meetings with GD was acknowledged by JA.
      3. NDT to look at who owns the pool site as a priority and Clr J has an action to look into issue. As this is where NCC/NRV/NDT see as the heart of the village.
      4. JR shared her concerns of GD who championed  building some community facility with car parking requirements in the Welfare Park. The building in the park proposal was not in the village development plan, so there was never any public consultation about this. Building in the park wasd not mentioned at any time to community until GD dropped it in to NCC meeting in November 2019. JR said there were “very strong feelings about this in the village we don’t want to lose it”. Any reduction in the size of our community green space coupled with an ever growing population will be detrimental to health.
      5. JD said the CDT survey results provided a central community space was a desired outcome. Survey results/evaluation can be added to next Newtongrange Flyer.
      6. Gayle Taylor (GT) Transition Minister of Newtongrange Parish Church is responsible for the church redevelopment and the project is now moving with appointment of Project Manager. Clr J & M to arrange meeting with (GT) to find out more. CW stated 100% going to be church presence but part of the land will be residential.
    3. Engaging the community: positive solutions for inclusivity, village pride and achievement.
      • Newsletter – JA mentioned Coalfield Regeneration Trust had seen the first issue and liked it. In principle they have agreed to to fund the next two Newtongrange Flyer newsletters. It will need to cost less to produce than glossy first issue.  For February meeting NCC to come up with content and range of ideas about what content should be going forward. 
  7. Council Reports
    1. Councillor’s – Clr. Johnstone is back from her absence and has received many phone calls and doorstep queries over the last few weeks. She currently is unable to hold any surgeries. Clr Muirhead is also back working after a period of absence. AM has been tasked by MFED to send a letter regarding Clr Munro’s situation. 
      1. NCC noted that Cllr. Munro has not attended any of the meetings in 2020 which should be part of their duties. 
      2. MC Councillor reports are later due to staff being redeployed with MC delivering critical services only.
      3. Newbattle Community High School to be a mass vaccination centre for AstraZeneca due to be up and running in mid-February.
      4. Clr(s) J & Muirhead are responsible for the wards MC participatory budgeting fund totalling £40,000 for capital projects that can help fund organisations  for projects that must address community poverty and improving child prospects. JD highlighted that NDT are looking for a building & community asset transfer.
      5. Clr J and JA noted that infection rates are coming down in Midlothian as a whole which is a positive sign. With all care homes vaccinated in Midlothian and a positive vaccine wastage rate of only 1% (initial estimate 20%).
  8. Reports
      1. Treasurer –  NCC draft Annual Figures 2019/2020 JM still to get the independent review finalised. JA/JM to catch up with matter after meeting.

      2. The current balance is £2,967.92, with agreed money to be given to CDT Treasurer JD to open dual authority bank account with £250. (JA proposed AM seconded).
    1. MFCC (Andrew) –
      1. Midlothian Community Councils to be involved in
    2. MTRaP – JA
      1. CAPEX prioritisation list of roads for 21/22 – After discussion NCC listed three roads for JA to send to Paul Johnson. Lady Road, Welfare Park paths, Liney Dykes were the roads/paths designated.
      2. JA highligted MC Active Travel Strategy is committed to pathway in front of The Sun Inn improvement off and around the A7.
      3. Planning Applications – JM mentioned 2 house extensions and a restoration. Alan Hart Builders query regarding the Old Morris Club land is that it is registered as MC the owners.
  9. Correspondence
    1. A new resident enquired about length of delays at Recycling Centre. After discussion of shared experience we felt the service was working well and is still not operasting a booking system
    2.  Audrey Dick regarding no speed bumps on 8th Street.
  10.  Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 23rd February 2021 at 7.00 pm Zoom TBC – register here



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.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. February 19, 2021

    […] Previous Meeting (January 2021) Approval/ Matters Arising […]

  2. March 25, 2021

    […] Previous Meeting (January 2021) Approval/ Matters Arising […]