Minutes September 2021
The September digital NCC meeting of the year capturing community highlights and on-going issues. . Welfare Park improvements also discussed. Latest developments for Community Development Trust, rollout of the second issue of the Newtongrange Flyer and Police and Councillor report tabled.
|Members Present||In Attendance|
- Welcome and introductions –
- Apologies on behalf of Clr. Muirhead and Lorna Stephenson
- Jeremy (JA) informed meeting he was looking to create a subscriber list of attendees.
- Matters Arising – JA congratulated Ross (RA) regarding the award of a £1,000 grant with project to reintroduce tennis and surface improvements in the park, from MacTaggart & Mickel Building Company. RA informed meeting that he needs to let Pat Bowie, Chair of Newtongrange Development Trust have sight of application before final commitment. The grant money due to go to NDT bank account. JA offered help with process and reminded him that he does not have to accept the grant. RA emailed Elaine Fleming from Social to get application.
- Clr Johnstone was asked about the Gorebridge High School consultation. It appears that no new high school would be built until 2029. Linda Anderson (LA) asked if there would be a consultation regarding Easthouses Primary School. Cle Johnstone confirmed this would be the case. Both schools will affect catchment area of Newtongrange.
- Last meeting NCC wished to make it clear that Councillor Kieron Munro has not attended any Newtongrange Community Council meetings despite being asked to participate physically or virtually. AM wrote to Kieron Munro and copied in Head of Local Conservative Party as requested last meeting. It was also minuted at September MFCC meeting
- JA sent thank you letter to be sent to Keith Slight regarding the new LED park lights. Clr. J mentioned issue with certain lights in the park but they have now been resolved.
- Margaret Evans (Village Voices) purchased x4 tins of paint from B&Q for half price. Still waiting on Stuart Pratt to get park fence painting project started.
- August Minutes – formally accepted (proposer JR) (seconded AM):
- Police Report – RA sent to NCC members prior to meeting.
- JA once again noted the presence of police at the school. However regular illegal parking on pedestrian crossings and yellow zig-zag area still continues.
- Dirt bike noise and disturbance are still an issue in an around Newtongrange
- Newtongrange Masterplan Update – LA mentioned that Newbattle Church was now under offer. NCC thought the early church planning in principle drawing with a proposal of seven houses (replacing current church hall/car parking area) reflects designs for life housing is sympathetic with what is there and will hopefully be done in good quality brick.
- Springfield Development
- JA/AM continued action to update page to keep it live.
- AM noted that there was nothing new as of 31/08/21 & no formal application has been sent to Midlothian Council. Keep a watch out for Council meeting agendas moving forward.
- Newtongrange Development Trust (NDT)
- Next “The Pool” event Saturday 09/10/21. This monthly table-top session. Helps keep in-touch with vulnerable, addresses poverty issues with surplus food provided by CO-OP, Tesco, Morrisons and Tesco.
- Great news that NDT has gained funding to recruit for a part-time post to move projects on.
- The bushes have been trimmed near ‘The Pool’ site and is a real improvement.
- NCC felt that ‘The Pool’ sight was turning into an eyesore. The Masterplan for this part of Newtongrange looks a long way off and it needs to improve. JA to approach NDT with regards to planning for the pool site to maintain good relationship with council & local community. The previous NCC idea of grassing the area or having a flat artificial surface might be worth reconsidering.
- AM informed meeting that two free shipping containers has arrived at ‘The Pool’ site and the rented container will be removed in time. A potential office onsite is also being considered.
- 2020-21 Year Aims for NCC– JA asked for next September meeting to think what we really want to take forward.
- Protecting and improving services:
- Noticeboard – Action JA/JM to find out a confirmed date for installation.
- NWH vehicle expansion – AM to email the company to ask about the process and copy Clr. Johnstone in. NCC concern over increased traffic on Bryan’s Road etc.
- Welfare Park – JR mentioned that the proposed new container (football changing room facility for Dalkeith Thistle F.C youth teams) prominent location adjacent to Abbey Lands football pitch would be painted green. Despite Justin Venton mentioning they were unsightly it will happen ( due to the number of other units in Midlothian Parks). Action for JR to look at ‘shipping container’ conditions of occupation agreement to ensure it is painted to a high standard and this is just a temporary lease arrangement. To ensure it is removed in time for the park centenary in 2026.
- Newtongrange Park Life litter pick – next one is Saturday 30/10/21 10AM-12PM. Only two available on 25/09/21 but park seemed clean. The wild flower planting was a success.
- LA/JR/Clr. J all met up with Justin Venton and park discussions mentioned using the same brick material as the Restoration Yard, Dalkeith Country Park for the entrance to the park and around War Memorial. Save the cherry tree. Create a ‘sensory garden’ inspired by Angle Park with much improved wheelchair access. Could NWH be approached for sponsoring such a project? The rockery bushes removed. Creation an avenue of trees to replace pine trees by the football courts and new trees planted by bowling green. New swings for the play park. Clr Johnstone highlighted the importance of the park for physical and mental well being. With the intention of using it more for group activity.
- FB mentioned that although football/tennis courts were cleaned of needles there was still dirt. Needs regular maintenance. It is also continually used by dog walkers and needs improved signage as a deterrent and make it a designated sport & leisure place once more. Action for RA/JA to move this forward with conversation with Justin Venton.
- JA highlighted the need for NCC to have aims such as “protection of heritage” embedded.
- JA/RM action to find tradesman to get ‘Todd the Snake’ incorporated into the school vicinity. JA to send letter regarding matter to Councillors to request possible envioronmental funding contribution.
- The Newtongrange Masterplan: ensuring community development remains at its heart and engaging business and the village in its progress
- AM to keep in contact with Gareth Davies regarding next steps
- Engaging the community: positive solutions for inclusivity, village pride and achievement.
- Newsletter – JA previously shared draft of newsletter with members and look to get published soon. Need to get it printed at a much cheaper price than first issue. Action JA/AM to complete
- AGM – Action needs delayed AGM to be publicized next meeting date. Need for Secretary Tuesday November 30th 7-8pm (JA/AM/RA)
- Planters sponsorship – FB suggested leaving it to next year and share half the costs of bulbs with Guerrilla Gardeners. FB action to capture her plans down in writing and it could beshared on website of social media
- Protecting and improving services:
- Councillor’s – Clr. J verbal presentation and emailed report. RA shared word document with members. Ja shared Clr. Muirhead’s emailed report with members
- Treasurer – N/A
- MFCC – N/A
- Planning Applications – See Agenda
- Correspondence – N/A
- Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 26th October 2021 at 7.00 pm Zoom TBC – register here