Minutes June 2020 – Draft

The fourth digital NCC meeting The meeting highlighted the impact and successes of Newtongrange Resilience Volunteers (NRV) and NC1, along with improved maintenance of Welfare Park and attendance & summary report from Cllr Johnstone

7pm-8:45pm Tuesday 26th May 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
  • Linda Anderson
  • Ross Anderson (Minutes Secretary)
  • John Muir
  • Liz Wilson
  • Clr. Catherine Johnstone
  • Janet Donaldson (NRV)
See Agenda
  1. Welcome and introductions – Apologies from Ann, Fiona & Cllr. Muirhead.
    1.  JA discussed the big loss to the CC with the departure of former Chair Jason Ferry who had served NCC for ten years. AM to create a letter of thanks, which will be shared please email him if NCC members wish to include content.  JM shared his thoughts of Jason Ferry & found him supportive, welcoming to new attendees like himself & fully connected to how the village operates. Jason was the prime motive for him joining the CC. JM happy to source a gift with two possible suggestions of stationery or heritage gift.
    2. JA mentioned the need to pickup any of Jason Ferry’s responsibilities. This to be considered further next meeting.
    3. The police chase and subsequent crash of a stolen car near to the MCs Chip Shop, on Newbattle Road sparked social media discussion & JA asked NCC for specific areas that had repeated issues with speeding. JR/LA mentioned
            A7 from the Mining Museum to the Viaduct Also speeding is on Newbattle Road, not just Bryans Road 
            (Suttieslea to Bryans Corner and from Bryans Corner to The Beeches and  Bryans Corner to The White Gate. (JR to put speeding hotspots in an email to the Community Council) Actionfor JA to follow up for August meeting.
    4. JA asked NCC whether they had viewed the NRV document of images highlighting recent activity at ‘The Pool’.
  2. Police Report 
    1. Between 26th May 2020 and 29th June in beat area MS03 Newtongrange there were:
      1. 38 recorded crimes reported, of which 13 to date have been solved. This is a detection rate of over 34%.
        Incidents of Note

        · Overnight on 12th June, unknown person(s) have forced entry at an industrial unit in Butterfield Industrial Estate and have removed plant equipment valued at £22,000. Enquiries are ongoing with CID with this incident.
        · Following information received, Police carried out further enquiries at an address in Newtongrange regarding a cybercrime. A search warrant was granted and officers attended. Electronic equipment was seized and a male arrested and held in custody to appear at court.
        · In the early hours of 14th June, three high value bikes were stolen from a garage near Colliery View. Officers are continuing enquiries and if anyone has any information contact 101.

        · On 1st June, following a domestic argument near the Suttieslea Estate, a male has pushed his ex-partner causing her to fall, he was traced, charged with assault and held for court.
        · A Midlothian Council worker was assaulted in the course of his duties by a male, near to Main Street. Police are following a positive line of enquiry to trace the male.

        · On 13th June, a male was stopped near Lothian Bridge driving in excess of the speed limit. The male refused a roadside and station breathalyser and was arrested and released when sober on a Police Undertaking.
        · On 15th June, a vehicle was checked and stopped on Murderdean Road, the male driver did not have insurance, licence or permission to drive. He was arrested and charged with all offences.

        · On 23rd June Road Traffic Officers stopped a vehicle on Suttieslea Crescent, due to the nature of the driving. The male driving was tested and found to be under the influence of drugs. Following tests, the male was arrested and charged for drug related offences.
      2. 141 calls to Police
      3. Police Scotland is launching its #ShutOutScammers campaign in partnership with Trading Standards Scotland on Monday, 15 June, 2020, to advise the public how to spot a rogue trader, or bogus caller, on their doorstep this summer. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and physical distancing guidance presents a unique set of circumstances to us all. It is also an opportunity for criminals to exploit the crisis to their economic advantage. As limitations on movement and social interaction begin to ease and the ability to have outdoor work done at home and in gardens resumes, there is a concern unscrupulous traders may target the most vulnerable in our society. Rogue traders and bogus callers operate throughout the year but incidents generally peak in May, June and August. Current restrictions mean more people are at home when they would usually be at work, and as a result they may encounter more doorstep callers who know householders will most likely be in when they ring the doorbell.
        Police Scotland is asking the public to follow its advice if they receive an unexpected, and unknown, caller at the door:
        · Always ask for identification;
        · Never feel pressured into making an on the spot decision;
        · Never hand over money on the doorstep.

        More advice can be found on the Police Scotland website and via Trading Standards Scotland. (JR/LA emphasised Social Media is not the best way to contact many of the villagers, as they are not on Facebook, but we felt everyone needed to be aware of bogus callers).
      4. Hate crime incidents and domestic abuse incidents can now be reported online via the official Police Scotland website, www.scotland.police.uk or by visiting a third Party Reporting Centre. Information regarding crime can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through an anonymous Online Form – both of these routes are completely anonymous and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
      5. Police Scotland use social media to circulate the latest news, events and information to the public via Twitter (@Midlothpolice) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/midlothianpolice).
      6. If any person has any information about the incident(s) listed above or indeed any other issue please contact your Community Policing Team: MidlothianSouthCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk

    2. Discussed how we could spread the word about #ShutOutScammers campaign specifically getting the message out to the the elderly population. Janet Donaldson (JD) worried that NRV door knock or flyers could add to the anxiety. JD had feedback regarding the importance of the daily paper for older residents. RA considered incorporating the information in to the first NCC ‘Newtongrange Flyer’ newsletter which was already a priority for this year prior to COVID-19. RA, JR & LA expressed interest in creating a working group to create content for the newsletter & JA offered support. JA to ask PC Brian McGuff or any available colleague along to the regular Saturday ‘The Pool’ 12-2PM event to offer community guidance.
    3. RA was informed by PC Iain Anderson:
Regarding the complaint from resident about Buttlerfield Industrial Estate – a briefing note has now been circulated to all Officers in Midlothian to be aware and to carry out patrols when on operational duties.
  1. Minutes of Previous Meeting/ Matters Arising
    1. May minutes approved (proposed JR seconded LA) 
    2. For Matter Arising – LA wished to discuss speeding in Newbattle Road (discussed 1c).
  2. Newtongrange resilience – Jeremy asked all NCC the question: NRV – does the NCC want to continue to operate the NRV? How can it be made sustainable?
    1.  Regarding AM suggestion of bullet points. Action for August meeting for JA to create a short report summing up the contribution of NRV.  The conclusion for now is NCC want to continue to operate the NRV further discussion in August.
    2. JA asked now NRV has been implemented due to the Covid-19 emergency can NCC support this group? The container costs money & maintenance of defibrillator by AM is an ongoing responsibility. MC grant clarified that money had to be spent on food.  Unspent money not earmarked for food ventures needs to be returned at the end of  August.  JA confirmed to LA that Fiona Horne from NC1 had been reimbursed for outlays. NC1 has less strict demands on funding. JD asked if we can keep it ticking over. AM agreed and felt that the resilience group could be maintained & reactivated in specific situations. Volunteers, neighbours, family & friends have absorbed the things we can do & provide good ‘citizenship’. The resilience group has already shown with ‘The Pool’, that a community use enlivens the previously unused space and these ideas could be incorporated into the Masterplan plans for the required public facilities.
    3. Clr J mentioned the posibility of creating a development trust/charity shop function in Newtongrange, separate from NC1. 
    4. Due to NRV responsibilities JA requested help with administration duties. AM action to ‘dovetail’ with JA & formalise his duties before August meeting. For planning emails JA to set automatic response so JM gets all future emails instantly. 
    5. JA recollected that in May 2019 meeting Rhona Duncan (Police Scotland) suggested the importance of setting up a Resilience group with the Beast of the East the catalyst for weather related / road issues / unforeseen crashes or incidences. North Berwick & Rosewell seen as good examples. Moving forward we might need to reconnect with Rhona.
    6. Currently the NRV consists of 7 area coordinators but cannot rely solely on their commitment need to grow. The highs and lows of the NRV? JD suggested NRV “came out quite well in the wash”.  JD highlighted that a small number of residents needed special care packages & did finally get the care package required, although the situation illustrated a systematic failing that highlighted bigger issues.
    7. JA mentioned that the drawing club complaint resolution had been resolved. He reflected that it was a testing situation, broke agreement and highlighted a lack of kindness with regards to social media. 
    8. JA felt the highs so far has been “the social social distancing” events at “The Pool” on Thursday evening and Saturday afternoons held at the old swimming pool (market square) site. People “feel like it is safe to come out for a chat”. JA highlighted the importance to “tread carefully, follow the rules”. He suggested that NCC remember to like social media posts and show pride in what has already been achieved. The intention is to slowly build the energy which includes free performance from festival street performer Todd Various #drlove
    9. LA highlighted what community projects the church has been doing over lockdown period with the  success of the cat & dog search in Welfare Park, messy church still to come to Newtongrange. Community kept update through the church magazine & online.
  3.  Local lock down issues Four phases summary
    1. The police chase and subsequent crash of a stolen car near to the MCs Chip Shop, on Newbattle Road sparked social media discussion & JA asked NCC for specific areas that had repeated issues with speeding.
    2. JA recommended to all at meeting to complete CLL listening and learning survey 
  4. Community resilience ideas –
    1. Clr J suggested a community fridge for Newtongrange citing Gorebridge example at The Beacon. JA highlighted the need of a large amount of finance, community drive, resources & management required. 
    2.  Clr J suggested the setting up of a further development trust in Newtongrange. To further ideas like community fridge,  or long term ambition a charity shop with Sharyn Hill Mayfield Development Trust a possible contact. Other trusts in Newtongrange are NC1,  Dean Tavern Trust & the Mining Museum. 
    3. Clr Johnston suggested liaising with Pastel to see if NRV could receive unsold perishable stock, to supply a meal through the bakery. LW thought it might be difficult to get it up & running. NRV/NC1 have already received donations from COSTCO & TESCO.
    4.  Resurrect NCC Newsletter Newtongrange Flyer ideas. JD highlighted the importance of a daily paper in print to many people in the village. JA will help with production once content is considered. Action for August meeting RA/LA/JR 
    5. To coincide with 130 anniversary RA to contact Andrew Hickie of Newtongrange Star committee with social history & memorabilia project. LA/LW offered help & discussed a memory box through the decades similar to one created by the National Mining Museum. Possible inspiration LW relation Andrew Purves, Tommy Pearson, Fred Olsen?, Jas Pryde. Action for August meeting RA/LA
    6. JA to invite PC Brian McGuff or available colleagues to participate in an awareness session, like Lockdown events at ‘The Pool’
  5. 2019-20 Year Aims for NCC– On agenda for reference during wider discussion
  6. Reports
    1. Councillor’s – (Due to meeting discussion overunning  Clr J unable to provide full report) Clr J mentioned MC Community allotments document: http://www.midlothianview.com/wp-content/uploads/Allotment-document-v4-002.pdf. Clr. J suggested those with a desire to grow things could be paired up with those who couldn’t manage their gardens, and some of us liked this idea for the community. JA mentioned their was community interest in allotments perhaps in the overgrown ex Miners Welfare plot. Historically many allotments for growing fruit/veg in the big back gardens of the mining houses. a1. No COVID currently in Midlothian care homes. a2 Highlighted need to complete survey regarding changes to Border bus services with social distancing measures reducing capacity. a3 Clr J sent email to Kevin Anderson with regards to long term drainage issues with Welfare Park still to be addressed by council & needs a great big lorry to suck up & clear blocked drains. Weedkiller issue still to be resolved. a4 https://www.midlothian.gov.uk/news/article/2977/council_approves_route_map_out_of_covid-19 (Next full council meeting 25th August) Action to ask Clr J for comment regarding Drydens & Story noise pollution complaint. a5 JA queried Clr J on MC policy on continuing social care assement during Covid, their use of emergence powers & lack of complaint procedure.
    2. Treasurer’s NCC account as of 30.6.20 £3,400 & NRV £8,200. MC requires unspent cash back at end of August. JM to ensure accounts are clearly categorised for next meeting.  NRV project received donations of £210 via Newbattle St Mary 1063 & £300 via Newtongrange Star Committee, also £66 in cash donated. AM & RA to send thanks to organisations. £494 still on COOP card. JD asked whether this could go towards communty fridge? £501 left in Coalfield Regeneration Fund. JM to get expense requests from Pat Bowie of NRV. A sum of money (£200) agreed to fund the preservation of the Covid Snake if required.
    3. MFCC (Jeremy) – JA proposed more NCC members participate in the MFCC, not only the chair, LW showed an interest in attending (RA to create table with dates & names attached for August meeting). There has been a marked increased interaction with online meetings. JA really valued the FED meetings. The meeting offered the ability to send resources both ways and getting direct access to MC. The Federation were advocating some form of hybrid meeting for improved accessibility and greater public engagement, can NCC adopt something similar hybrid meeting with increased NRV participation in process? JA was impressed by Fiona Robertson (invite to future meeting?) who discussed issues with schools going back in August & problem solving in communities. Notably the Scottish Executive change from blended learning to full-time schooling. 
    4. Planning Applications – John. Only one minor alteration of a house. With worries of a fast & loose culture JM needs to follow up with Graeme.King@midlothian.gov.uk with regards to who in the council checks if neighbours are notified of new planning proposals. 
    5. Funding Applications – JA made application to COOP for a grant to support on-going village resilience
  7. Correspondence
    1. Still looking for options of how to preserve Tod the corona snake for community & permanent location once conserved. LA suggested that NCC could give money for the conservation. What permission is required to make permanent? JD to check with Mining Museum contact.
    2. JA informed us of him receiving an introductory letter form Lieutenant Colonel Richard Callander LVO OBE TD, successor to Sir Robert Clerk as Lord-Lieutenant for Midlothian
      1. invitation to hear about initiatives by groups and individuals in the area.
      2. AM sent letter to Lord-Lieutenant for Midlothian.
  8. AOB
    1. JA to follow up with Active Travel measures.
    2. AM mentioned Clr Jim Muirhead was to follow up the painting of zebra crossing stripes in time for school return. JM mentioned potental hazard of overhanging trees on 6th Street 
    3. Penicuik Church Holiday Club
    4. RA to collect water roller & place in ‘The Pool’ shipping container for community use required back by Fiona Horne late autumn.
  9. Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 25th August 2020 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.

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