Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Assembly Room, Jedburgh Grammar School, Jedburgh

Contact: Fiona Henderson Tel: 01835826502  Email:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions.



The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Minute. pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Minute of Meeting of Cheviot Area Forum held on 1 June 2016 to be noted.  (Copy attached.)


There had been circulated copies of the Minute of the Meeting of the Cheviot Area Forum of 1 June 2016.



AGREED to approve the Minute for signature by the Chairman.



Update on Enforcement Officers and the 'Green Dog Walker' Initiative

Update by Mr Craig Blackie, Neighbourhood Area Manager (Eildon).



With reference to paragraph 3 of the Minute of 1 June 2016, Mr Craig Blackie, Neighbourhood Area Manager (Eildon) was present at the meeting to update Members ona new refreshed approach being taken to tackle dog-fouling in the Scottish Borders.  Mr Blackie explained that the Wardens appointed, to cover the whole of the Scottish Borders had commenced their duties in May 2016.  To date across the Borders they had issued 32 Fixed Penalties – 9 in Kelso; 2 in Jedburgh and 1 in Ancrum.  There had been 2 Dog Fouling notices issued, although not in the Cheviot Area.  The Wardens worked on intelligence and had been working earlier and later in the day to catch perpetrators.  New posters and advertising would be distributed.  A full report would be brought to Council on completion of the 12 month trial period.  In terms of the Green Dog Walking Scheme, this had been very successful in Newtown St Boswells and interest in the scheme had been expressed in the Peebles area.  The Chairman thanked Mr Blackie for his update.     





Order of Business


The Chairman varied the order of business as shown on the agenda and the Minut reflects the order in which the items were considered at the meeting.



Raising concerns about Alcohol in your Community

Presentation by Licensing Standards and Enforcement Officers and Senior Development Officer, Alcohol and Drugs Partnership.



Licensing Standards Officers, Mike Wynne and Ian Tunnah were in attendance to give a presentation on behalf of the Scottish Borders Licensing Forum.  The presentation was in support of the publication of the Toolkit Resource for communities, copies of which were provided at the meeting.  The toolkit was designed to help anyone who would like to have a say on how alcohol impacted on their community.  It explained how the licensing process worked in Scotland and provided some practical tips to help people who wanted to get involved.  In response to the question ‘Why is alcohol licensed?’ Mr Wynne advised that due to the harm associated with the product, alcohol was deemed a high risk product and therefore subject to regulation.  The licensing system existed to regulate the sale of alcohol to minimise harm.  There were three types of alcohol license: permanent (premises); temporary (occasional); and personal in respect of managers/supervisors that managed the sale of alcohol.  The Licensing Board was made up of 10 elected councillors but also involved in the process of deciding who can sell alcohol were the Licensing Standards Officer, Police, Health Board, Community Councils, Local Licensing Forum and members of the Community.  The presentation went on to summarise the licensing application process and how Community Councils could raise concerns about alcohol in the community.    Community Councils could report problems to the Police or Licensing Standards Officer; input to the planning process; get involved with the Local Licensing Forum; comment on alcohol licence applications; and speak to their local Councillor.  Further details and advice about how to raise concerns were outlined in the Toolkit booklet.  Parties putting in an objection or representations in respect of an application would be invited by the Licensing Board to attend the hearing at which the license would be considered.  This was the third report by the Local Licensing Forum which aimed to collectively present information relating to evidence of alcohol related harm in the Scottish Borders based on national research as well as local data from Police Scotland, NHS Borders, Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.   Mr Wynne and Mr Tunnah concluded the presentation by answering questions from those present.






Community Empowerment Act

Presentation by Shona Smith, Communities and Partnership Manager.


Shona Smith, Communities and Partnership Manager was in attendance to give a presentation on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act – a locality approach.  The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill which was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 17 June 2015 and received Royal Assent on 24 July 2015 provided a legal framework that would promote and encourage community empowerment and participation.  It recognised that further regulations and guidance were required for most parts of the legislation and the timescale for operational completion was October 2016.  The Sections of the Act were - National Outcomes; Community Planning; Participation Requests; Community Rights to Buy Land; Asset Transfer Requests; Delegation of Forestry Commissioners’ Functions; Football Clubs; Common Good Property; Allotments; Participation in Public Decision-Making; Non-Domestic Rates.  In terms of Community Planning it placed Community Planning Partnerships (CPPs) on a statutory footing and imposed duties on them around the planning and delivery of local outcomes, and the involvement of community bodies at all stages of community planning. Tackling inequalities would be a specific focus, and CPPs would have to produce “locality plans” at a more local level for areas experiencing particular disadvantage.  The act placed a duty to support shared leadership and collective governance on five named CPP partners i.e. the local authorities, NHS, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Enterprise while expanding the number of public bodies that were subject to community planning duties.  What would this mean for Communities – the right for a Community to request to participate in improving outcomes of service delivery for example – how to better meet the needs of service users; offer volunteers to support a service or take over a service or facility.   When a Community Body requests participation, they require to specify an outcome that results from the provision of the service related to the request, set out the reasons for its participation, detail the knowledge, range or experience and provide an explanation of the improvement in the specified service outcome which may arise from its participation.  Under the Asset transfer community bodies have the right to request to purchase, lease, manage or use land and buildings from authorities and other public bodies (including ALEO’s) that they feel they can make better use of.  Transparent assessment of requests would be based on specified criteria and requests would be agreed unless reasonable grounds for refusal – does not have to be assets that are surplus to requirements.  In terms of Allotments the Act updated and simplified legislation on allotments.  It required local authorities to take reasonable steps to provide allotments if waiting lists exceed certain trigger points and strengthens the protection for allotments.  It required fair rents to be set and allowed tenants to sell surplus produce grown on an allotment (other than with a view to making a profit).  The local authorities were required to develop a food growing strategy for their area, including identifying land that may be used as allotment sites and identifying other areas of land that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Locality Property Plans

Presentation by James Lamb, Portfolio Manager



Mr Martin Joyce, Service Director Assets and Infrastructure and Mr James Lamb, Portfolio Manager, were in attendance to give a presentation on Locality Property Planning.  Mr Joyce gave an overview on why locality plans were being developed, what properties there were in the Cheviot Area which totalled 257, Property Issues and Developments for Public Services, what a locality property plan would look like, opportunities for communities and collaborative working, timescales, views and what happened next.  Mr Joyce went onto explain the key property issues facing Scottish Borders Council, NHS Borders, Police Scotland, and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.  In terms of timescales for developing the Cheviot Locality Plan, it was explained that the Property and Asset Registers were expected to be published by the end of September 2016 with pre-consultation events being held on 20 October in Jed & District and on 27 October in Kelso District.  An initial draft would be developed by the end of January 2017 and consultation on the 1st Draft in February 2017.  It was hoped that the Plan could be finalised by June 2017 and that all the Locality Plans could be signed off by CPP Partnerships by October 2017 and plans published by October 2017.  The Locality Plans would be reviewed and developed regularly between 2 – 5 years.   Views would be sought on - what public services such as the NHS, Council, Police and other local public service providers were doing well when it comes to their land and property in the Cheviot area; what could they do better; given the need to make substantial savings, where do you think the public service providers should be prioritising their resources when it comes to properties and land; what role do you think communities could play in the running of properties; and what support might communities need if they were developing a project that involved managing or buying a property.





Police Force of Scotland - 'J' Division Spotlight.

Update report by Police Inspector detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Cheviot area. 




          Inspector John Scott was present at the meeting to update the Cheviot Area Forum on performance, activities and issues across the Ward for the period up to 1 September 2016.  The Ward Plan Priorities for Jedburgh and District were highlighted as Drug Dealing and Misuse, Road Safety, Anti-Social Behaviour and Rural Crime.  In relation to Rural Thefts, Police Scotland had launched a series of information documents to keep rural communities safe.  The rural communities of Scotland were safe places in which to live and work. However, the nature of the environment and way of life meant there were some crime prevention tips particularly relevant to rural life that were worth bearing in mind.  Much of the crime prevention advice outlined in other areas of ‘Keep Safe’ was equally relevant to urban or rural area, but there were issues unique to rural communities such as:  Protecting Livestock; Securing Farm Machinery; Theft from fuel tanks; Securing tools and horse tack.  The information could be accessed at the following link


7.1     In terms of Road Safety, there have been 8 instances of drink driving in the Kelso area in the reporting period, and police continued to receive calls from the public in relation to this and will always act on these calls, with officers making extensive enquiries to detect offenders.  The public were encouraged to report all drink drivers either directly to the police on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111.  The Skills for Life programme and young drivers programme continued to run. This provided  free driver training and could be accessed through the Skills For Life page on Scottish Borders Council website.  With the rural roads and challenging driving conditions encountered in the Borders, new and young drivers were encouraged to take advantage of the excellent service.  There have been 13 drugs offences in the Kelso area in the reporting period and across the Scottish Borders there had been a number of cannabis cultivations detected by the police including 2 in Selkirk being the biggest seen in the country.  It was highly likely that criminals would be growing cannabis often on industrial scale in properties in our area.  The signs to look for are: people visiting the property on a regular basis to tend the plants; blacked out windows, either through curtains or bin liners etc; a smell of cannabis, the plants have a very strong smell; and rented properties that do not have people living in them.  Information from the community was always being sought, and any suspicions should be reported to either the local police station or call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  All information will be treated confidentially and the Police would always act on the information. 


7.2     In terms of Jedburgh and District, it was reported that official stop and search figures would be reported to the Police and Fire Scrutiny Board.  Officers stopped a vehicle where the occupant was believed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Scottish Fire & Rescue Service. pdf icon PDF 314 KB

(a)   Update report detailing ongoing work and initiatives in the Cheviot Area.


(b)   Update on ‘Living Safely in the Home Project’.



8.       Mr Andrew Girrity, Station Manager explained that the purpose of the report circulated was to inform the Cheviot Area Forum on Scottish Fire and Rescue Service activity since the last meeting on 1 June 2016.  The report detailed that during the period of the report there had been 2 House Fires (1 x cooking related and 1 x electrical), Fire – Open 10, occurrence of Special Services 10 and 11 unwanted Fire Alarm Signals.  In relation to partnership working, The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Community Action Team (CAT) within the Scottish Borders core work centred on the on-going delivery of the SFRS Home Fire Safety Visit (HFSV) policy.  The team continued to expand its partnership working with the Key agencies including Police Scotland, Health, Social Care and Housing in order to focus on members of local communities at High Risk from fire and achieve outcomes in helping to reduce overall numbers of accidental dwelling fires. 


8.1     Fire preventionand protection activity over recent years had been key to reducing the number of fires, casualties and losses in Scotland thus minimising the economic and social impact of fire on communities.  The seasonal community safety calendar provided the catalyst for a number of initiatives and schemes throughout the calendar year.


8.2     Activity which was ongoing within the Cheviot Ward area included Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staffs in all local stations providing Home Fire Safety Visits all year round.  The visits provided the householder with a home visit, focussing on identifying and reducing the risks of fire in the home. Smoke detectors with a 10-year battery life were provided as part of this free service; Firesharp was an initiative for Primary 6 pupils, providing face-to-face education within local Primary schools on matters of fire risk and prevention; The SFRS Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for Protection of Children and Adults at Risk of Harm was implemented to link into adult and child protection. The introduction of the policy had created closer ties with Social Services within Scottish Borders and ensured those people and families that fire crews identify as at risk were brought to the attention of Social Services and had resulted in joint visits to homes to reduce risk to those occupiers.  A strong partnership was being developed with the local Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service and involvement in MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference).  The Local Authority Liaison Officer (LALO) and Scottish Borders Station Manager for Prevention and Protection were fully involved in all local MARAC processes, attending the monthly conferences and all steering group meetings. 


8.3       Road Safety Community Action Team (CAT) had delivered road safety awareness to secondary schools throughout the Scottish Borders with the support of the local whole time personnel from Galashiels and Hawick.  Fire Safety Audits provided a targeted examination of business premises and their relevant documents to ascertain how the premises were being managed regarding fire safety.  The enforcement officer also engaged with members of staff to confirm  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Engagement by NHS Borders Representative



            As there was no representative present from NHS Borders, there was no update given.






Revenue, Capital and SB Local Works. pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Consider update on the progress of the planned programme of revenue and capital works, the work undertaken by the SB Local Squad and the proposed SB Local Small Schemes for the current financial year in the Cheviot area. 


Additional documents:



         With reference to paragraph 8 of the Minute of 3 February 2016, there were circulated at the meeting copies of Appendices A and B which detailed the current position in terms of the Neighbourhood Small Schemes and Quality of Life Scheme previously approved.  The Area Neighbourhood Manager advised that the allocated budget (£47,099) for small schemes was available through Neighbourhood Services for the Cheviot Area in 2016/17.  There remained £25,311 for future schemes, although any budget remaining at the close of the financial year would be lost as there was no carry forward provision.  In addition, a budget of £31,072 was available for Quality of Life Schemes in the Cheviot Area in 2016/17.  It had previously been agreed that this budget would be split equally between Kelso and District and Jedburgh and District Wards.  There was a remaining budget of £11,422 in Kelso and District Ward and £14,372 in Jedburgh and District Ward for future schemes. 



(a)  NOTED:-


(i)        the following new Neighbourhood Small Schemes agreed by



(1)   Formation of timber stepped access at Ancrum Play Area/ Duke’s  Path                                                                   £   120


                       (2)    Provision of signs at Heiton Village                           £   680


                        (3)   Resurface entrance to car park at Stichill

                               Village Hall                                                                    £1,025


                        (4)   Replace 6 No. street name plates in Town

                                 & Kirk Yetholm                                                          £1,030


              (5)   Upgrade Woodland Path                                           £   322


               (6)   Refurbish Railings in Bridge End Park, Kelso        £2,300


               (7)  Formation of Path at Morebattle Cemetery              £   480


(ii)        to delegate authority to the Service Director Neighbourhood Services to allocate the funds for the current financial year to Neighbourhood Small Schemes, subject to consultation with and approval by all six members of the Cheviot Area Forum via email.


(b)       NOTED:-


the following new Quality of Life Schemes previously approved by e-mail:-


(1)    Contribution towards Venue Costs, Healthy Cooking       

         Programmes                                                              £   275



         (2)   Installation of Bronze Panel on Kelso Stane, The Square,  

                  Kelso                                                                           £   680


                        (3)   Supply of Litter Pickers for various communities

                                in Jedburgh District                                                   £   500


                             (4)   Upgrade electric supply pillar at Ancrum

                                    Village Green                                                              £   930


Open Questions.

Opportunity for members of the public to raise any issues not included on the agenda.




There were no issues raised.






Community Council Spotlight.

Consider update on Skiprunningburn Flood Protection and matters of interest to Community Councils.




13.1     Skiprunning Burn, Jedburgh (Flood Protection Scheme) – With reference to paragraph 10.1 of the Minute of 1 June 2016, the Area Neighbourhood Manager advised that the main (Phase 2) works were completed in March 2016.  Following this a confined space contractor was appointed to undertake repairs to the culvert, which were identified in the 2012 inspection and 2014 CCTV survey. The repair works commenced on the 22 August for 1 week. However, the Contractor quickly brought to our attention that the number of repairs required within the culvert had changed from the original inspection/ CCTV survey.  It was agreed with the Councils Asset Team that the Contractor would spend the week concentrating on tackling the most significant repairs.  Going forward it was proposed that a further detailed inspection (similar to that undertaken in 2012) was required to accurately identify and prioritise the work required to the culvert.  This would be undertaken in spring/ summer 2017 so the works could be planned, priced and carried out within the same dry period to avoid significant changes to the planned works.



                        NOTED the report.



Future Agenda Items

Consider Items for Future Agendas.



The Chairman asked all present for future agendas items. 





Date of Next Meeting - Cheviot Area Forum.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 7 December 2016 at 6.30 p.m. in Kelso (Venue to be confirmed).


15.                   DATE OF NEXT MEETING             

            The Chairman confirmed that the next meeting of the Cheviot Area Forum was scheduled for Wednesday, 7 December 2016 in Kelso.



NOTED the date of the next meeting of the Cheviot Area Forum and that the venue was to be confirmed.


Items Likely To Be Taken In Private

Before proceeding with the private business, the following motion should be approved:-


“That under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the aforementioned Act.”





            AGREED under Section 50A(4) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration of the business detailed in  the Appendix to this Minute on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 6 of Part  I of Schedule 7A to the Act.





1.            MINUTE

The Area Forum considered the private section of the Minute of 1 June 2016.






The meeting concluded at 8.15 p.m. 



Consider Private Minute of meeting held on 1 June 2016.  (Copy attached.)



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


For more Contact Details