Minutes June 2022
The June NCC hybrid meeting @ The Dean Tavern, Temperance Room & on zoom captured community concerns and on-going issues. Police report, membership, park improvements including petanque and tennis and Liney Dyke conservation status discussed. Lloyds pharmacy prescription service concerns also tabled. Two Councillor reports were offered by our Midlothian South, ward councillors.
- Welcome and introductions –
- Apologies on behalf of Andrew, John, Chair, fellow NCC and attendees introduced themselves to Bill Hunter who lives near The Sun Inn.
- Fiona Brooks has offered her resination to NCC. We all will wish her well.
- Fiona Brooks emailed RA to mention she raised £200 sponsorship for the planters project and had let JA know. FB was hoping for a letter of thanks.
- PC Jason McFarlane was on leave. PC Lindsay informed meeting that there would be police representation from other officers.
- Sandy Howden is now a member of NCC.
- Previous minutes – May 2022 (amendments required to be agreed August meeting)
- Police report – PC Graham Black read out the rport which RA circulated by email before meeting.
- Between 01/06 – 28/06 115 calls received to the Newtongrange area.
- Notes of interest: JR concerned people are breaking into gardens. PCs said they are looking for bikes, hinges, tools etc.
- LA mentioned the speed of cars flying up the Peth from Newbattle Abbey. JR also mentioned Bryans Road to White gates. PC Black there has been local speed checks, more police speed gun trained. What was noticeable was the number of cars on the road, with 2/3 cars per household.
- Bill Hunter asked how many traffic police cover the whole area? PC Black did not know the number. He mentioned the division is separate from Penicuik where he is based. Fettes & Dalkeith are where the traffic police for the area are based.
- Sandy Howden asked about what they should do if they catch people in the act. PC Black advised people to phone 999, take a step back and allow police to deal with it.
- RM noted it was good there was little disturbance in the Queens Jubilee/Gala Day.
- JA asked what should residents be looking out for? PC Black mentioned that police offer a crime prevention report. Which includes advice & recommendations for house & garden security improvements.
- Protecting and improving services:
- Old Swimming Pool site – LA mentioned that someone from the council was surveying the site. Why have the white hoarding, much of it on Dean Park Place is already down. JA mentioned that AM has an action to look at costings (ball park figure) regarding grassing over the rubble. Clr. B often asked ‘What’s Happening’ at this and the old Top Club site. MC needs to be transparent with plans especially regarding old bowling green and pavilion. RA to ask about surveying when contacting Fiona Clandillon.
- Newtongrange Flyer – SH mentioned that his wife could help with the flyer. SH also mentioned Newbattle/Esbank CC are using a printer in Hardengreen £300 and we could liaise with the CC. Newsletter to be digital & print showing diversity of projects in NCC & other community groups in Newtongrange. Ideally the post would start as a blog post on site.
- Guerrilla Gardeners (GG) update – RM feels the Wednesday sessions have lost a little momentum with 4 at last session. They have added a poster at the NDT office. Joy Godfrey NDT idea of a Planting Party. SH suggested ‘Black Diamond’ radio as he had recently been on regarding petanque. GG have worked with the Scouts. Greta & Sheila happy working on their own their own looking after ‘The Miner’ etc.
- Newtongrange Park noticeboard & seats. Seats coming back to the park. A light had been damaged by a lorry for Gala Day. La worried about the base of the light. Justin Venton aimed to have them reinstated by 9th of July.
- Todd the Snake/School Sign project. JA still looking for contactor/landscape gardener. Names suggested were Roy Borthwick, Mr Cassidy and Phil from Lothian Terrace for £2,000+ project. Clr. D will also ask around. Nothing will happen to school reconvenes.
- Main Street poor condition – LA noticed the bottom end of Main St. is a poor condition strewn with weeds and cigarette butts. NCC asked about what happened to Newtongrange street cleaner. Three in the park & roadside pre-Covid. Observered that Loanhead and Easthouses still have the provision. Action for Clr. D to see how many people are employed on the streets. The Beeches is also a terrible mess.
- Old bowling green & pavillion @ Newtongrange Park. Unable to be used for tennis or petanque. Fiona Clandillon – Head of Development (FC) has plans for use. Action for RA to ask FC along to next meeting for latest information regarding council Masterplan plans.
- Sensory Garden & paths – Paths need to be fit for purpose for wheelchair/mobility issues. The St. Anne’s path is slowly disappearing and needs attention. Justin Venton has done well with the old greenhouse area.
- NWH Lorries – LA concerned about the vast number of lorries using the under pressure roads from 6am. Bryan’s Rd, Stobhill Road and Lady Brae choked with pollution. Sandy Howden (SH) mentioned the white dust all over his house on Crawlees Rd. NCC asked can MC planning department do anything about it with the increased number of vehicles? Action for AM to check in with Cath McGill for MFCC details. Leave for August meeting
- Dalhousie Rd bins – AM/JR to contact Derek Oliver about issue. Still no improvement.
- Lloyds Chemist, Main Street prescription service – No clear improvement with service. Although the store seemed to have more staff on in certain days. Action still for JR to contact Morag Barrow Joint Director, Health and Social Care, Chief Officer of Midlothian Integrated Joint Board MC. Clr. Bowen felt in his opinion the Lloyds at Bonnyrigg, seemed better organized with the prescription service. LA mentioned that it used to be in a clear alphabetical order. JA also suggested getting a plan together to have a chat with the Lloyds Manager with regards to the standard of service provided.
- The old pool site – LA/JR asks what is going to happen with the rubble behind the hoardings. It is an absolute mess and change is a long time coming. JA had previously asked about price of grassing the area? Get a quote from a local landscape gardener. What about a pop-up garden project, why does it not include area beyond hoardings? Nice looking garden plan or food growing initiative (it was added to a list of possible allotments, along with the overgrown area behind the fence next to the Leisure Centre)? The Leisure Centre grass is an eyesore, A jungle with weeds and trees. Action require for Justin Venton to get it trimmed. The communication from MC seems very disconnected. Rev Gayle Taylor (GT) AM & JR to chat to Pat Bowie regarding the area behind the hoardings. RA to ask Fiona Clandillon along to next meeting.
- Welfare Park paths – NCC request that the paths need to be maintained to a good order.
- The library building – Still waiting on news. RA to ask Fiona Clandillon along to next meeting.
- Liney Dyke – Regarding the 20 Lothian Road back wall replacement. JM still waiting on MC proof that the Liney Dyke wall is not in the conservation area. Legal dept. must keep records of the conservation area. Action for JM to let us know what HES/ Castle Rock said about plans.
- Petanque piste @ Bryans Rd. entrance of park – SH mentioned that the project is going ahead. The project will commence at the end of summer. The initial cost from James Kinch £11,500 + 2 park benches, path for wheelchair access and two park benches. £1,000. SH now micro-funding for 10 sets of boules for community group use. RM askes will there be screening along the road with shrubs? The path coming in from Park Rd. is very mucky & floods regularly, This will need improvement.
- Tennis courts – RA informed meeting that the old tennis courts were cleaned and lines painted. He is really happy with the result, although initial lines were wonky. Justin to forward report when received. Still to receive nets and posts from Sharon Lynch. Need to look at storage options with possible Tennis pavilion partnership with Dalkeith Thistle Community Football Club agreed in principle. Waiting on Mark Kenmure to reply will information regarding the lease. Newtongrange Primary School to offer net and tennis/badminton rackets over summer holidays. Ra to collect. Looking to have facilities for a summer of sport. Longer term looking to combine with Midlothian Community Tennis concept. RA mentioned idea of NCC/NPL & other summer event where we can litterpick & play tennis along with promoting our groups. NDT members in group to discuss at next meeting.
- The Newtongrange Masterplan: ensuring community development remains at its heart and engaging business and the village in its progress
- RA confirmed Fiona Clandillon to attend August 30th hybrid meeting.
- Councillor’s – Clr. Douglas Bowen & other councillors have now finished councilor induction sessions. Clr B mentioned how NCC & other local groups can have an important role in ‘Participatory budgeting’ idea from Brazil. Community groups allowed to bid to carry out the project. The Clr. B will be having a session with Peter Arnsdorf regarding this. LA asked if there was a paper on ‘particiaptory budgeting’. Action for Clr. B to see what crieria is required for the next meeting. One complaint Clr. B regularly receives from residents is that the schools, doctors and roads cannot cope with the number of new builds. A report on future developments from MC is forthcoming. Clr. B did say Councillors do have leeway regarding the Scottish Executive (SE) figure of 800 new houses per year. Which must include affordable/starter homes. JA asks what sort of influence do you have on the numbers? Clr B said if MC clearly cannot cope we could say 600 a year. Although there can be a penalty from the SE for not achieving target. Also if MC reject planning development SE can overturn. JR concerned about lack of social houses & pricing out people who cannot afford to live in the area they grew up in. Clr B. stated a figure of 200-300k for starter houses is ridiculous figure & will look to try & improve the situation. At the latest Planning review body meeting MC turned down appeals (Lady Victoria Grange, Carrington Road. LA asked if Lady Victoria Park has been published? The location was incorrect it was Ramsay Cottages, Cockpen. Concern over the number of garages, walls coming down in and around Conservation Area. Some categories are exempt. Other factors like how close they are to other buildings. Clr. Kelly Drummond mentioned they only get significant development in front of Councillors. 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 mentioned that the proposed 2 tier Easthouses PS will hold 459 children. With 16 places for children with social, emotional & behavioral needs. JR would like to see more than 16 places. There will also be 80 pre-school places. Catchment area reassessment at the top of the village.
- Treasurer – JA did not bring statement so will update figure of £1,730.94 in August meeting. AM, JA & JM spent a long time together sorting out signatures for RBS account. RBS is now completely digital.
- MFCC – N/A.
- Planning Applications – AM to keep an eye on Springfield Development with likely determination end of May/June. Action AM to put post up regarding NCC & other CC’s activity.
- Correspondence – JA to contact Morag Barrow, Chief Officer Midlothian IJB and Joint Director of Midlothian HSCP reggarding prescription service at Lloyds. JA mentioned that Alan Watson was in touch regarding old bus sites. x81, 89 & 90 were mentioned. Although it was thought that it was the earlier SMT service. With 29 no longer going to Mayfield & x95 2 hourly service except in morning 6:40, 7:40, 8:40 top of the village. Clr D mentioned that MC talk of an orbital bus service will be shared. Ron Campbell’s ‘Beacon’ perhaps Halston Engineering or The Recycling Centre might take it?
- Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 30th August 2022 at 7.00 pm, Temperance Room, Dean Tavern and Zoom – register here