Minutes September 2022
The September NCC hybrid meeting @ The Dean Tavern, The Lamp Room & on zoom captured community concerns and on-going issues. In person police report and discussion with PC McFarlane. Membership, park improvements including petanque and tennis and Liney Dyke conservation status discussed. Councillor reports were offered and further updates given by our Midlothian South, ward councillors.
|Members Present||In Attendance|
- Welcome and introductions –
- Apologies on behalf of June, Rebecca and Clr. Ellen Scott. Andrew will arrive @ 8pm. Clr. Kelly Drummond has technical issues with zoom.
- Previous minutes – August 2022 approved; proposed by LA and seconded by JM.
- Police report – PC Jason McFarlane read out the report which RA circulated by email before meeting.
- Between 31/08 – 27/09 103 calls received to the Newtongrange area.
- Regarding incident at Ramsay Cottages on 8/9 blood left behind on vehicle and this has now been sent for investigations.
- Motorbike stolen and this is ongoing. PC M warns that Newtongrange is as thieves paradise. Alleyways (not very well lit). The perpetrators try sheds, doors and windows. Sheds usually hold the high value items. Fortunately, the number of thefts has gone down.
- CJ asked about shoplifting for food (due to the cost-of-living crisis). PC M felt this has not been an issue in Newtongrange. CJ informed that last economic recession there had been a lot of food theft in Gorebridge.
- PC M keeping a watchful eye on break-ins and patterns. Once again any camera footage i.e doorbell camera can help with identifications.
- PC M did feel there would be a rise in thefts moving forward.
- PC M was a little pessimistic regarding the court system. With him sighted for 500 trials and only giving evidence on 5 occasions.
- PC McFarlane attending a select-a-DNA course which could lead to retrieval of stolen item/criminal identification. Each can has a unique code and does not show to the naked eye but under specific light. High value equipment could be sprayed with this. CJ mentioned that a similar scheme of spraying furniture happened in MC housing estate.
- Damage to vehicle on Park Rd. JM notes that there is very little room at road junction and parking is atrocious. There are currently no double yellows on Park Rd. PC M said he works very closely with MC Road Safety department.
- Protecting and improving services:
- The Pop-up-park – Action for Clr. B to see if we can get a breakdown of costs for the £50k project. LA dissatisfied with the current state of affairs and limited consultation process. The metal for planters has not been galvanized. The weeds were simply left in-situ. Still no resolution for the back of the hoardings. Concern about how easy planters will be to move for xmas tree etc. AM says it is a half-way design for future ‘Masterplan’ developments.
- Street ramps for wheelchairs– CJ Bryce told us when out in the village on her wheelchair. She wishes to be independent, but the infrastructure forces long detours. The corresponding dips to cross roads can often be 500 yards further on. Mansfield Ave. is a particular problem. They do not complement each other. Equally bus stops do not always have accessible crossing points. JA asked CJ Bryce if herself and CJ could think about specific areas which need improved. With action to highlight specific areas of concern on a map.
- Table Tennis promotion – Kay Gall wished to let us know about the Ageing Well 50+ table tennis group on Monday 1-2PM starting in Newtongrange Leisure Centre 03/10/22. She had previously discussed matter with JR. With the closure of the Church Hall there was no longer a table in Newtongrange. Now thanks to Clr Ellen Scott there is a table for all. Action for RA to help promote via social media and let NDT/WOIN colleagues know to further spread word.
- Newtongrange Park – Park Railing painting project – JR asked RA to mention the park railings project. Stuart Pratt, Community Payback Team has collected the paint bought by Village Voices. With the park centenary in 2026 it is imperative that this project starts soon.
- Newtongrange Park – Noticeboard improvement – Ja had a meeting with Gavin Halston. The resolution is for Halston Engineering to fix noticeboard to the standard we require. The noticeboard is substandard to what we agreed. Action for JA to ensure this happens and to get a copy of the invoice & warranty.
- Newtongrange Park – Park Gates . LA said on speaking to Justin Venton (JV) he stated that the gates were safely stored and rehung in spring 2023. JA mentioned there is a need for the gates to hang of the black pillars.
- Newtongrange Park – wild flower mound in playpark. LA had emailed JV regarding the weeds on the mound. JV mentioned that after weeding, taking the top soil off and adding new grass seed has been added to the mound. NCC expressed concern that the fence was not up after seeing.
- Newtongrange Park – Sensory Garden & paths – Catherine Johnstone was told by JV the implementation of the garden would start ‘Late Autumn’, therefore this side of xmas.
- Newtongrange Park – NCC Remembrance Day ‘laying of wreath’ JM to lay the wreath. AM to do next year.
- Naming on new streets in Easthouses development – LA wanted to ensure that the naming of streets was done in consultation with the people who know the area and the relevance of the name to place. An action for Clr B to find out more.
- NDT latest – Am informed meeting about new member of staff Joy Godfrey, PT Community Inclusion Worker. He also mentioned that Fiona and Joy have been successful in getting funding for projects. NDT board has gone through a skills exercise to see what maybe missing. The latest news is that there is a book club, Tai Chi, crochet and knitting club. There will be a community showcase event on Saturday October 9th 11AM-1PM @ The Dean, Function Room where all local groups can promote what they do. Other things to look out for is a Halloween Event, Poppy spreading all over the park. JA & AM went to DTAS AGM (Scottish wide Development Trust event).
- Liney Dyke – Conservation Area map – Midlothian Council unable to provide plan of conservation area. JM to write to the Scottish Office.
- Petanque and tennis – SH informed meeting that Newtongrange Petanque Club now has over 50 members, biggest club in Midlothian. The club plays on Tuesday/, Thursday 2-5PM and Sunday 11AM-2PM. SH suggested a charity game for park centenary funding with NCC representation. SH also wished to thank Clrs, B, S and D and Justin Venton for support. JA feel we need signage for tennis and petanque piste. Next tennis session with Michael Robson is on Sunday 23rd of October 2-5PM. RA to collect equipment from school.
- Thanksgiving Service to the Queen – JM & LA to represent NCC @ service St Nicholas Buccleuch, Dalkeith
- Todd the snake – JA announced that a contractor has been found. JA to ensure money for project is still safe?
- The Jubilee beacon – JA to collect beacon from Ron Campbell. It was suggested JA contact Nicola Moss/Mhairi Cross from NMMS to see if they we could donate it to them for their collection.
- RA confirmed Fiona Clandillon to attend August 30th hybrid meeting.
- Councillor’s – Clr B has raised the question regarding bins & weeds, with Robbie Beattie, MC Neighbourhood Officer. It costs over £100+ for bins. Weed issues cross over two MC departments and they will need to agree to pay for any action. The issues will take time and money to resolve. Regarding Transport: Clr B is pursuing the speeding policy to try and get speeding reduction measures in place. Alternatives like pop-up police (cardboard cut-outs) which have been witnessed in Edinburgh a possible option. Regarding Planning: Clr B feels within this ward we are potentially reaching saturation point with regards new build housing and essential facilities and infrastructure is trailing behind. Why continue with developers building 3-5 bed homes. Current schools are oversubscribed and new projects for Gorebridge HS and Easthouses PS are only just beginning. Clr B suggested the administration will try where appropriate to ‘slow down the flow’ of applications. The current financial position is challenging with budgets needing cut. JA asked Clr B about budgetary cycle? Clr B said it is back to year by year. With a £14-15m deficit. CJ asked about whether MC are using outdated forecast population figures? Clr B mentioned that Clr Ellen Scott had been pursuing this with her compiling endless reports & statistics with regards population with regards to education and facilities. LA concerned that house building is using up all the farmland. While we still need this land to grow our food. CJ asked about the issue of developers ‘land banking’. Clr B did mention that the Lady Brae project was refused by planning and turned down on appeal due to no suitable school provision. The Carrington Road application is under appeal. Clr B also mentioned he attended the Scottish Bus Conference in Glasgow. With the takeaway that bus operators are really struggling with the reduction of grants from the Scottish Executive and the lower passenger numbers post Covid.
- Treasurer – Financial statement is £1,799 in bank. No money returned from COOP. JA to apply for small grant as there is now a new application process.
- MFCC – N/A.
- Planning Applications – No update on determination date. AM to keep an eye on Springfield Development as previously expected determination end of May/June. Will ask the council to keep us updated. We wish to remain/neutral regarding any dispute between NWH & Springfield regarding land and will not be attending meeting.
- Correspondence – A resident filled out a suggestion form asking where in the village residents could hold evening meetings. RA to email back with suggestions. with only the Dean Tavern, Library, NCLC free to use subject to availability and the Dean has the longest opening hours.
- Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 25th October 2022 at 7.00 pm, Dean Tavern Lamp Room and Zoom – register here