Minutes October 2020
The eighth digital NCC meeting. The meeting this month capturing the resilience processes: highlights and on-going issues. Discussion about next steps for Community Development Trust and ‘The Pool’ for the next three months and other village issues.
|Members Present||In Attendance|
- Welcome and introductions –
- Apologies from John, Fiona, Janet & Clr. Johnstone
- AM complimented Brian McGuff for his Midlothian Police communication with NCC. It would be great if another representative would be available for the monthly meetings.
- Police Report
- RA requested report for meeting but was not provided. Will be circulated on arrival.
- RA had asked Midlothian Police whether the fire at a derelict building on Newbattle Road was the old Services & Artisans, no one at meeting knew. LA mentioned 1/2 ton of soil had been dumped in the vicinity. JR mentioned building has frequently been vandalised over the years, and thought that permission for housing on the site had been refused due to access problems. Clr. M to organise inspection of area to see if it is in a dangerous state. Clr. M agreed that this area was often vandalised & building use proposals rejected by councillors a few years back due to road access concerns.
- June minutes formally approved (proposed JR; seconded AM)
- For Matter Arising
- LA requested that meeting finishes at 9pm prompt.
- JA mentioned there was no traction with PC James Pendreich regarding attendance at ‘The Pool’.
- JA said that after initial promise regarding Bike Station lead ‘The Pool’ event, a problem with attracting target audience of 17-24 year olds scuppered plans.
- JA held discussions with HT V.Morgan of Newtongrange Primary School happy to have corona snake permanently set in ground but still require volunteer for the actual work (request will be added to Newtongrange flyer)
- Ja passed JR’s photos and concerns for Dalhousie Road wall to Derek Oliver
- LA confirmed location of placement of three new benches for play park was sorted and should happen late next month.
- AM states Masterplan now linked to Development Trust activity
- NCC Activity & Membership
- AGM – should it go ahead? Following a number of organisations NCC unanimously agreed to postpone the AGM which was planned for next month.
- Funding – The Scotland Loves Local Fund: JA asked fro a reason to engage with it? JR suggested using money to get paint for painting Welfare Park railings with assistance from community payback scheme an idea proposed in previous meetings. Clr. M felt it ticked all the boxes. JR/LA action for next meeting to get approx. costing for paint with a target of Spring 2021.
- Newtongrange resilience – update from Jeremy/Andrew.
- JA mentioned ‘The Pool’ Halloween ‘pumpkin carving event on Saturday 31/10/20 11AM-1PM would have special empathise on safety with all volunteers wearing masks & keeping distance from users.
- JA still felt we are missing activities for mid teen/younger adults. Graffiti/mural idea would improve the hoardings that are in danger of looking tatty.
- AM mentioned NRV has short, medium & longer term aims for ‘The Pool’ site with improving the look of the hoardings a short term objection. Discussions with council & land owner over site another objective.
- NRV dedicated phone number: after discussion it was decided that continuing with the SWIFT number: 0131 6605000 was the best option & to be added to Newtongrange Flyer.
- Community Resilence/Emergency Plan from August meeting do we proceed?: JA to investigate with NRV if they wish to adopt this & get back for next meeting.
- Community Development Trust – review of proposals
- AM reported on Development trust Zoom held October 13th 2020. Mentioned how Pat & Janet were a tour de force. Pat’s experience in setting up a similar project in Mayfield. The possibility of a community lead DT for the village would arrive at a advantageous time in the village with possible land available, services likely to be squeezed and groups needing suitable venues unavailable at present time. AM stressed there needs to be a mandate from the community themselves and a survey (link removed, now closed) was about to go out in time for the ‘The Pool’ event on 31/10/20, NRV door to door surveying & QR code in Newtongrange flyer. Survey needs to know what people would like in Newtongrange.
- AM stressed the church are progressing with their own development plan consolidating their building for community group use.
- JA on NCC behalf had agreed to print-up the surveys to coincide with the flyer printing. Like NRV, a DT would have short, medium & long term aims. With a dedicated building and permanent staff the ultimate ambition. The Sidings due to location was mentioned but no longer has working kitchen but discussions could be had.
- A village charity shop in empty retail unit first suggested by JR brought up at the October meeting & championed by Clr. Johnstone as an example of what might be achieved. Clr M mentioned success of Gorebridge with the Tuesday recycling sale and coffee mornings & that the Bonnyrigg DT Charity Shop generated good amount of money for the community, but Gorebridge & Bonnyrigg are much larger population. JR had noticed noticed the one run by the Community Trust in Bonnyrigg. LA mentioned the need for getting well stocked, constantly rotating donations.
- RA had Litter Pick idea combining with ‘The Pool’ 31st October opening. FB keen to participate RA to let he know confirmed date & time. Could this be a community payback venture?
- Local lock down issues
- JR mentioned public concern about non-compliance of mask wearing. The idea of a poster (possible school competition) displayed on local shop windows/bus shelters etc to promote a community wide togetherness in continuing with mask wearing. In addition JA asked Clr M about possible money from MC regarding street signage for community shared purpose. JA had asked about previously in an email regarding funds. Clr M unsure how effective this might be. Clr M mentioned speculation that Midlothian might remain in tier 3 but still unconfirmed.
- 2020-21 Year Aims for NCC– On agenda for reference during wider discussion
- Protecting and improving services:
- LA confirmed 3 Newtongrange play park benches to be put in place mid-late November 2020.
- LA mentioned MC were late in cutting hedges
- The Newtongrange Masterplan: ensuring community development remains at its heart and engaging business and the village in its progress
- AM to ask GD what is the current thinking on Masterplan and JD reiterated ‘We need to speak with one voice’ to get noticed.
- Engaging the community: positive solutions for inclusivity, village pride and achievement.
- Newsletter – JA asked meeting for last minute changes as he wanted to publish, send it to Abbey Printers asap? LA couple of grammar issues and could we reiterate FACTS. JR asked that NVV article photo is changed. RA to help coordinate distribution from Friday 30/10/20 with help from others especially to areas that are not online. AM suggested close of comments by Thursday 29/10/20.
- Remembrance Day – JM has wreath now need confirmation whether laying ceremony is 8/11/20 or 11/11/20. Due to current restrictions on public gatherings.
- Protecting and improving services:
- Council Reports
- Councillor’s – attending councillors – Clr. M.
- Discussions regarding tier proposals with intention to avoid Local-National Government disputes. MC Chief Executive to be consulted on a weekly basis regarding evidence. Clr. M uncertain how much say council will have?
- MC promoting local in economic recovery. Bring forward capital spend- i.e schools, house building to maximise the market for local employees, businesses. Clr. M informed meeting only 20% of MC budget comes from council tax almost 70% from Scottish Executive. This creating problems of a postcode lottery with implementation of government early learning provision. It is acknowledged that MC is the fastest growing council but decisions informed from 2014 population figures so does not reflect actual population. Enable MC employees to work from home, rationalise building stock all to bring costs down
- Councillor’s – attending councillors – Clr. M.
- Treasurer – JA informed meeting in JM’s absence that MC still have not cashed cheque for return of unspent grant. JA still being chased to satisfy audit of “Resilience money”
- FCC (Jeremy) – (JA report from zoom meeting attended along with LW Wednesday 16th September): Introduced to MC Chief Officer Place Derek Oliver. Who is main contact for MC economic renewal agenda. Community Councils will have responsibility in helping prioritise budgets. Is NCC able to be representative for local prioritisation? JA able to inform him of speeding issues in area and priority to get problem areas Bryan’s Rd, Newbattle Road surveyed. NCC members to check grit bins in local area to see if they are sufficiently filled and if not get back to JA by next week. All waste is managed by Regen. JA informed meeting of DO waiting to hear about Sustrans/MC bid to install 20miled and hour village gateways, Clr M informed meeting that they would know by end of the week. DO now informed of the perilous state of the Dalhousie Road retaining wall. Other issues flooding on A68, improving booking systems and local fly tipping concerns. MC have bought Christmas trees and NC1 leading on the installation of tree & lights. JA reminded meeting that NCC should try and attend and ask for advice when requires.
- Planning Applications – JA building workshop at 3 Dalhousie Road also a roof light and extension in the numbered streets.
- Ron Campbell objection to Spaces for people: Crawlees Road proposal. Clr M advised attendees to fill out the consultation. Once consultation period ends Councillors to consider. The overwhelming feeling was that it would not work and disperse heavy traffic through Newtongrange and add to the pollution on the Main Street. Other CC have sent response to MC.
- Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 24h November 2020 at 7.00 pm Zoom TBC – register here