Minutes March 2023
The March NCC hybrid meeting chaired by Andrew Marshall @ The Dean Tavern Temperance Room & on Zoom captured community concerns and on-going issues. Councillor’s reports were offered and discussion regarding building relationship with NMMS, Midlothian Climate Action Group, Bike Safety Event and correspondence.
|Members Present||In Attendance|
- Welcome and introductions –
- Apologies Jeremy Adderley, Cath Johnstone, Rebecca McCosh, Clr. Bowen and Clr. Scott
- Previous minutes – February 2023 minutes : for approval after corrections proposed JR – seconded BW
- Matters arising – Action for Clr. D to get playground facility requirement list from Midlothian Council Place department. JR also hoped the “swing park would be the best it can be” this could be helped by the Renewing Scotland’s play parks investment for local authorities.
- Village Exhibition (Nicola Moss (NM) – Curator National Mining Museum) – This discussion a follow up from initial discussion between JA & NM to have larger museum objects around Newtongrange linking the village and its mining heritage to the museum. Critical for NMMS to safeguard the heritage. NM mentioned a current project at Lochore Meadows Country Park, Lochgelly. NM also discussed the Coal App: Landscape Legacies of Coal Mining: Newtongrange a curated heritage walk (which currently cannot be uploaded). RA has downloaded the app. Ideas discussed having a scaled map which highlights the length of underground tunnels Lady Victoria/Lingerwood colliery under the village. LL mentioned the mining house, Summerlee – Museum of Scottish and New Lanark, where you see how they lived: sites, sounds and smells. RA mentioned the need to highlight the role of women in mining communities perhaps across the road from the miners statue. JR mentioned that where the NMMS reference library is you used to be able to visit the green table, learn about the street games and hear the voices from the past like Willie Drysdale and asked about loaning the memory boxes to the community. NM mentioned there are 10 different loanable themed boxes. KG mentioned the lack of plaque or signage for the conservation area of the village. LJ highlighted the popularity of geo-cashing and the Adventure Lab app. LL thought having boards up with historic photographs in the village would be good. AM asked about NMMS participation and objects at events. Having a space to rotate artefacts whether in the library, schools or other outdoor/indoor setting. NM thought small temporary displays in cases might be possible. NM highlighted timescales, cost & health & safety issues for temporary moves. This project will have two strands artefacts & enhancements to highlight mining heritage. The ambition for community tourism to get more people into the area. AM reminded all that Newtongrange is supper lucky to have a museum on its doorstep but it is still needing joined out. NM thinks there is potential but there is no current budget provision for next financial year and would need funding. JM asked about a combined ticket for museum entry and travel. KG wondered if there was any ‘model’ unconverted cottage and felt that the village itself needs branded such as Newtongrange ‘mining heritage’ village put out on the hoarding and entry signs. Create pop-up points which are very successful in Portobello. Create trails and persons of interest such as Willie Drysdale.
- Police report –
- PC Jason McFarlane emailed report. Action for SM to circulate to members.
- Report issues – report of dead fox/deer at Newtongrange railway station (when police arrived there was no dead body)
- Lothian bus driver reported youth behaviour
- Car crashed into wall at Bryans Road
- Touring caravan caught fire and destroyed near Shell Garage
- Person under influence of drink/drugs displaying violent behavior on Newbattle Road
- Protecting and improving services:
- Newtongrange Primary School Playground – NPS PTA sub-group met with Clr. Drummond to discuss playground improvements and have received £4k education funding to revamp a zone within the playground but there is “a big way to go”.Clr D stated it was obvious the school did not have the soft play features that can be so enriching.
- Community Garden – NGG started work in the space next to the Leisure Centre this month. Laura approached Councillors regarding environmental funding for garden.
- The Pop-up-park – Council have previously said they do not have the money to sort rubble area. It has been over four years now since swimming pool came down.
- Noticeboard– LA contacted Wayne Clark regarding lighting up noticeboard in park. Needs Connor Wright to source LED lights and install in the noticeboard and Chris King can get it connected. Linda has keys to the noticeboard. Action for LA to proceed.
- Midlothian Climate Action Network – LJ reported on exciting opportunities for current projects such as damming the Esk, to solar co-op, create a hub in Midlothian. NCC could shape the hub or just participate. What about a solar meadow, heat energy from the bings all around Newtongrange or community turbines?
- Bike Marking – RA informed meeting that 18 people attended with 26 bike markings issued.
- Newtongrange Star – JA/RA/AM to meet with Archie Lockart, President of The Star Football Club.
- Dalkeith Library microfiche machine – Clr D followed up with Clr Margo Russell.
Councillor’s Report – for Clr. Bowen sent and read out by AM
- Clr. Bowen now Deputy Provost, no longer in cabinet so no longer responsible for Economic Development, Planning & Transport.
- Attended Destination Hillend, Dismissal Appeal Hearing, Tyne & Esk LAG, Licensing Board and General Purposes and Planning committees
- Midlothian Council has purchased a new pot-hole repair machine (Pot Hole Pro machine)
- Newtongrange ward issues: Sensory Garden completion, Community Garden, future of the old swimming pool site and library (LM has concern about the loose bricks at front of library), derelict garage in Morris Road. Looking to arrange a meeting with Lothian Buses to discuss improving local services. NCC discussed the removal of the bus stop/shelter heading to Newtongrange by Lord of the Noodles as a retrograde step. Residents around Bryans Road cannot get direct bus to Edinburgh city centre now with the removal of 33 bus (48 deemed unreliable and is timetabled to be every 30 minutes to Fort Kinnaird). What about these people with mobility issues. Reid Drive residents who rely on public transport are particularly disadvantaged. BW mentioned that there was only 7 stops from Beechwood to Mansfield Park A lot of people rely on public transport in Newtongrange and needs improved service and stops. Action for AM to email Clr. Bowen with these very specific issues.
Clr. Scott report was sent to members but due to time restraints not read out:
- Prior to a planned Midlothian Council Estates June visit to look at all aspects of Newtongrange NCC discussed points of concern – loose red bricks and state of the old seats in front of the library, residents land-grabbing parts of communal lanes/pavements. Fly-tipping by residents on 4th and 6th Street including fridges that have been there for months. JM points out this is becoming an environmental health concern and could bring vermin. Bags at the old pool site have not been lifted. Reminder that Midlothian Council do collect Bulky uplift but it needs to be placed at the front of requestors property prior to 7am. Newtongrange might not currently be on a list of 5th November “firework” concern list but fly-tipping in and around gardens is a regular occurence. JR mentioned the absolute disgrace of strewn wheelie bins at the top of the village by A7 preventing access to pavements. Action for JR/JM to compile these issues and others and send to Clr. Bowen.
- JR asked who is looking out for Newtongrange regarding funding and asked Clr. D about UK Prosperity /Levelling Up Funds and if this related to the pop-up park. Mayfield received funding for adding solar panels to the pavilion in the park. Clr D to look at what Midlothian projects have received funding. AM informed meeting that the pop-up park money was not UK Prosperity /Levelling Up but green space specific. Action for AM to check email to find out specifics regarding pop-up park.
Clr. Drummond: Newtongrange specific
- Regarding Masterplan looking to get specific timeline
- The Masterplan is at the Programme Board stage.
- Newtongrange Walk-around in June 2023 by Estate Council Officers to witness first hand problem areas, anti-social behaviour, messy gardens and highlighted issues.
- Clr Drummond discussed the incident regarding the bedded area by the Miner’s Wheel with Landscaping Manager. Who will replace things to an appropriate level. Stones have now been reset, bulbs planted and plants returned which are now in the Community garden.
- There are now road signs for St Andrews Primary School and speed claming measure put in place.
- Clr. D attended Miners’ Strike (Pardons) Scotland Act 2022 Display launch event on 23/03/23 and found out what this meant & how it affected the families.
- Newtongrange case work predominantly housing repairs, finance and education the main issue.
- Clr. D dissatisfied with the state of old benches by the library. Needs a temporary solution.
- Clr D. attended Wood foundation and CLAS (Leukemia&Cancer) event
- Clr D announced new surgery time @ Newtongrange Library Thursday 3:45pm
- Treasurer – Financial statement is £1,134.62 in bank. £200 sponsorship money for planters will be transferred to Newtongrange Guerrilla Gardeners. Website costs of approx. £383 will need to come out of account. Kelvin, Newtongrange COOP Manager has made a complaint for the retrieval of £500 NCC are due to repayment. We are also waiting on the Midlothian Council CC grant & specific project applications. All points at a need to fundraise. JM queried whether we should approach all businesses in Newtongrange approx. 30 regarding a £25 sponsorship for a year.
- MFCC – SM attended first meeting. Alun Williams gave a presentation regarding public event licenses which costs approx. £120 for 100+ people. This relates to Newtongrange Gala Day and could be unfair due to scale of event in comparison to bigger events held at Dalkeith Country Park. There is atransition fund for this year but moving forward would involve greater fundraising and insurance questions. SM mentioned a Local Partnership Plan training day. Which will ideally result in more community ownership from the people who live in the area in decision making.
- Planning Applications – NCC discussed who makes the decisions regaeding the planning decision regarding first floor extension over the shop on Hamilton Crescent, containing three flats. Clr D advised that a Local Review body deals with the appeals. Springfield – The developer will reach out regarding next meeting with Newtongrange, Mayfield/Easthouses and Gorebridge CC’s.
- NCC unanimously agreed that AM will draft up a letter of support for the Newtongrange Church Development appeal. JA said it is important to make clear “how the space might be used by the community”
- Pothole priority list – Mansfield Road, Double roundabout by A7, Gardiner Place (sunken drain), Top of 9th, 5th Street, Anderson Avenue, Abbey Grange and Hamilton Crescent. Action for AM to take photos of the potholes. There is also an online form for individuals to request improvements.
- A.O.B – Lorna Leslie formally co-opted onto NCC. KG mentioned that there is demand for a second table-tennis group but this might meet up at Newbattle Community Hub as Newtongrange Leisure Centre is very booked up. MM asked about new street naming. Last time we discussed the matter it was Democratic Services department. LM thanked JA for contacting Derek Oliver to get the St.David’s vennel drop kerb sorted. LM – NGG has allocated spend on all the ward Councillors Environmental fund money. Help is required to get an ordered polycrub in position. It was suggested Edinburgh College (Midlothian Campus) students might build it as part of a university project task. Other suggestions were to approach Councillor Colin Cassidy or a business like Baillie Gifford. Action for AM to check up on the Speed Trap report.
- Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 25th April 2023 at 7.00 pm, Dean Tavern Ground Floor Meeting Room and Zoom – register here