Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Offices, Newtown Street, Duns

Contact: Pauline Bolson Tel (01835) 826503.  E-mail:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions.


The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting.


Order of Business.


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


Presentation by Borders Sport and Leisure Trust.

Presentation by Mr Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive and Ms Debra Martin, Area Manager, Borders Sport and Leisure Trust.


The Chairman welcomed Mr Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive of Borders Sport and Leisure Trust (BSLT) to the meeting to give a presentation on the activities of BSLT in the Berwickshire Area.  Mr Jackson explained that the Trust was launched as a company limited by guarantee with charitable status in 2003. The purpose of the Trust was to inspire everyone in the Borders to enjoy more active lifestyles, sporting excellence and healthier futures.  The organisation grew significantly in 2011 when Sports Development, Active Schools and the Queens Leisure Centre were transferred from Scottish Borders Council to the Trust.  Further development in 2011 and 2012 included the 3G Arena at Netherdale and the Borders Tennis Centre respectively, with the Tweedbank Bowling Club and Peebles High School Sport Centre in 2014.  In total there had been £1,070,812 investment in the Berwickshire Area since 2003.  The wide range of services being delivered by 29 employed members of staff and 419 volunteers within the Berwickshire community (with its population of 20,862) each year included 18,000 swimming lessons, 22,600 Active Schools visits, 53,000 general swim sessions, 22,000 gym and/or class visits and 35 sports clubs supported.  The presentation then considered the business side of the Trust, looking at the income and management costs from 2004/05 through to 2014/15 and at where investment was made on a monthly basis.  Mr Jackson explained that the aim was to reach a point where all opening hours at the facility in Berwickshire would at least break even.  He went on to  that there were challenges ahead for the Trust and listed them as trying to achieve a balance between what was sustainable and what was worthwhile, ageing facilities, the economic climate, changing habits of customers and energy costs.  The presentation also noted the strengths of the organisation, such as the skilled and friendly staff, a diversity of programmes to reach all ages, the geographical reach of facilities and services, excellent relations with partners and a knowledgeable, voluntary Board of Trustees.  Mr Jackson closed his presentation by emphasising that the communities that the Trust served remained at the heart of its 2015-19 Strategy for the Borders.


In response to questions, Mr Jackson confirmed that there had been growth in a number of activities, that Community Sports Hubs, although still in their infancy, were making an impact in local communities and with regard to football development, that 96 young people were currently taking part in the programme, with a number of youngsters participating at National Club level.  With regard to facilities for the disabled, Mr Jackson emphasised that all BSLT facilities were accessible and acknowledged the importance of providing activities for disabled people. The Chairman thanked Mr Jackson for his attendance and interesting presentation.



NOTED the presentation.



Minute. pdf icon PDF 113 KB


There had been circulated copies of the Minute of 4 December 2014. With reference to the decision at paragraph 6 (b), it was noted that this should have read "NOTED that the above spend would leave a balance of £152 in the Small Schemes and Quality of Life budgets for Berwickshire."



APPROVED the Minute for signature by the Chairman, subject to the above amendment.



Flags at Lamberton Toll pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Flags at Lamberton Toll.  (Copy email attached.)

Additional documents:


With reference to paragraph 14 of the Minute of the Meeting of Berwickshire Area Forum of 4 December, 2014 the Chairman reported that he had written to Transport Scotland to explore what flexibility there might be in relation to the flags flown at the national border at Lamberton Toll.  A number of points for clarification were raised by the Chairman in his letter and some historical background was also provided to Transport Scotland, the full details of which were included in the correspondence attached to the Agenda.  The Chairman had since received a response from Transport Scotland and this had been circulated in advance of the meeting for information.  Transport Scotland's Area Manager, Gemma Montrose, confirmed that Transport Scotland did not have a policy, as such, for the flying of flags adjacent to the Trunk Road network.  Any formal proposal for alteration would require the views of external stakeholders such as VisitScotland and Scottish Borders Council to be sought through consultation and taken into consideration. This would be done following a detailed formal request proposing alteration of the flag arrangement. Ms Montrose also pointed out that any ‘non-standard’ flags proposed would need to gain prior approval from Transport Scotland.  She went on to advise that Transport Scotland's Operating Company, Amey, maintained the current provision of flags at Lamberton Toll and that this arrangement would need to be revisited and possibly altered should any change to the flag flying arrangement be proposed.  Discussion followed and it was agreed that the Chairman would progress this matter with Transport Scotland and report back to the Forum in due course.



AGREED that the Chairman would progress this matter with Transport Scotland and report back to the Forum in due course.



Health and Social Care.

Engagement by NHS Borders.  Ms Edwina Cameron, Interim Director of Workforce and Planning.



6.1     The Chairman welcomed Ms Edwina Cameron, Interim Director of Workforce and Planning and Dr Sheena MacDonald, Medical Director from NHS Borders who were present at the meeting to update the Forum on matters of interest and concern within Berwickshire.  Ms Cameron began by highlighting some of the key issues for NHS Borders at this time, the first of which was a review of all services which would deliver the best possible care to local communities within the available resources.  Members were advised that the public consultation for the Review took place during the summer of 2014 and at no time was it stated that community hospitals would close.  Ms Cameron went on to explain that NHS Borders had a duty to ensure that community services were situated in the right places and that the Service Review would be underpinned by the principles that people in the Scottish Borders helped to design.  She went on to explain that only in-patient services were being reviewed at the moment but that other services could be affected and it was necessary to move with the changing needs of the community, eg an inpatient could be prescribed a course of antibiotics which could be administered at home rather than in hospital.  With regard to the Out of Hours Service, discussion took place and a number of concerns and questions were raised.  It was noted that there had been a national shortage of GPs since 2014 and Members were advised that NHS Borders was one of the best services in Scotland at the current time.  With regard to the use of the Knoll Hospital in Duns for Out of Hours Service, Dr MacDonald advised that this service was always provided from the BGH after 11.00pm and that currently, the service was achieving close to 95% of its target response times.


6.2     Discussion took place in relation to consultations and the effectiveness of communication between NHS Borders and local communities.  It was noted that during recent consultations, a number of Community Councils had submitted comments but had not received any acknowledgement so were unsure whether their contributions would be taken on board.  Ms Cameron and Dr MacDonald apologised for this oversight but confirmed that all submissions from Berwickshire Community Councils had been received.  In terms of statistical information used by NHS Borders, it appeared that Kelso was included in figures relating to Berwickshire and that this was not a true reflection of the area, particularly in respect of the more remote East Berwickshire.  This was relevant when services were removed from Duns and offered from a centre further away.  It was noted that a national Review of Out of Hours Services had been announced by the Cabinet Secretary and that the outcome of this was expected in August.  Ms Cameron advised that, as a result of being unable to recruit GPs within the Scottish Borders, it had been necessary for NHS Borders to proceed with its Review earlier than this.  Discussion took place regarding cross-border services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Police Scotland.

Quarterly update report by Police Scotland.


Inspector Keith Dougal presented a report to the Forum updating Members on Police Scotland activity in the Mid and East Berwickshire Wards up to 31 August 2014.  Inspector Dougal advised that the figures in the report showed a decrease of 11% in reported crime in the Berwickshire Wards compared to the same period the previous year and that, over the same timescale, solvency had decreased by 6% in East Berwickshire  whilst increasing by 6% in Mid Berwickshire.  Members were informed that the local Multi-Member Ward Plans had now been published and were available for downloading from the Police Scotland website.  The report gave details of Operation Monarda, due to commence on 23 March 2015 and explained that this was a national campaign to target doorstep crime.  Inspector Dougal encouraged communities to continue their vigilance locally in terms of reporting any suspicious activity to Police Scotland and "keeping an eye" on any vulnerable or susceptible neighbours.  With reference to Ward Priorities in East Berwickshire, it was noted that 59 drivers had been stopped and charged with speeding between 1 December 2014 and 1 March 2015.  In terms of drugs misuse, 11 positive searches had been carried out during the reporting period in East Berwickshire.  Anti-social behaviour continued to be a priority and a total of 12 tickets had been issued during the reporting period, 14 premises were in the advanced stages of being issued with ASBOs and other premises were currently being monitored.  Inspector Dougal advised that rural thefts continued to be an area of concern in isolated areas close to main arterial routes and that home security surveys were available through the Safer Communities Team when premises met the required criteria.  Mid Berwickshire continued to have problems relating to indiscriminate parking and it was noted that 5 parking tickets had been issued and 2 motorists warned during the period covered by the report.  Again, youths and anti-social behaviour was a high priority for Mid Berwickshire, with 12 tickets being issued and a further 14 premises currently in the advanced stages of being issued with an ASBO.  The report noted that there had been no reports of dog fouling in the area during this reporting period.  In response to questions, Inspector Dougal explained the way in which shift patterns operated within the Service and that Community Police Officers (CPOs) could attend Community Council meetings if they were on duty and available but would have to leave to respond to any calls that came in.  Posters by Police Scotland which were displayed in local communities appeared to be out of date and Inspector Dougal agreed to investigate this to ensure that current information was provided.  Inspector Dougal also agreed to look into and report back to the Forum regarding the current situation for the provision of monthly local reports provided to all Community Councils.



(a)     NOTED the report.


(b)     AGREED that:-


          (i)      Inspector Dougal would investigate the provision of updated Police Scotland posters for local communities;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Quarterly update report and Multi- Member Ward Operating Plan for Berwickshire by the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.  (Copy attached.)

Additional documents:


There had been circulated copies of a report by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Station Manager Scott Forbes was present at the meeting to give an update on activity in the Berwickshire area since the previous report on 4 December 2014.  Members were informed that over this reporting period, there had been 8 house fires, 2 of which had been malicious calls; 7 open fires, of which 2 were vehicle-related, 3 were controlled burning, 1 was a burning tree and 1 was burning rubbish; 8 special service calls covering a range of activity; and 33 non-deliberate unwanted fire alarm signals.  Station Manager Forbes highlighted the ongoing activity carried out by the SFRS within the Berwickshire area, including Home Fire Safety Visits, Firesharp and Fire Safety Audits.  It was also noted that the implementation of the SFRS Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for Protection of Children and Adults at Risk of Harm had continued to create closer partnership working with other agencies such as Social Services.  The report listed the winter fire safety campaigns underway in December, namely festive fire safety, safety at home, fire and alcohol and cooking safely.  The Spring Thematic Action Plan had begun in early March 2015 and covered areas such as wildfire/grassland, rubbish/refuse and derelict property.  Station Manager Forbes provided an update on the current Retained Duty System (RDS) recruitment situation in Berwickshire and it was noted that the soon to be launched local initiative being run in partnership with Radio Borders included an acknowledgement to local employers for the release of employees to enable them to serve their local community.  Station Manager Forbes advised the Forum that a pilot initiative had been launched in Peebles whereby the SFRS supported the Scottish Ambulance Service in responding to cardiac arrests.  Members noted that the Multi Member Ward Operating Plan for Berwickshire covering the period 2014 – 2015 had been published and was attached to the report for information.



NOTED the report.



Request for the Confirmation of the Stopping-up Order for Part of DE17/6 at Harbour Road, Eyemouth. pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Consider report by Service Director Commercial Services.  (Copy attached.)


There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Commercial Services seeking confirmation of the Stopping-up Order for part of the DE17/6 public road at Harbour Road, Eyemouth.  The report explained that part of the road known as Harbour Road would be incorporated within the redevelopment of the Mission Centre recently approved by Council due to the provision of an external ramped access.  Members noted that approval would mean that the solum of roads included within the Order would transfer to the ownership of the landowner and the area would be incorporated within the new development.  The report advised that Planning Permission for the alterations and extension of the existing Mission Centre building on Harbour Road, Eyemouth to create a new Arts Centre was sought by Hippodrome Arts CIC on 5 March 2014.  Roads Planning had raised no objections to the Application, provided the existing parking bays opposite the proposed ramp were altered to provide wider bays with improved access off the narrower section of road.  Planning Permission was granted by Council on 15 July 2014.  Ward Members were subsequently consulted on the proposal for the Stopping-up Order for the area in question and raised no objections.




(a)     APPROVED the stopping-up of an area of the DE17/6 Harbour Road, Eyemouth adjacent to the Mission Centre, an area of approximately 49m2.


(b)     AGREED to delegate authority to confirm the Order to the Council's Chief Legal Officer, subject to there being no substantive objections.



Amendment to Eyemouth Off-Street Parking Places Order


There had been circulated copies of a report by the Service Director Commercial Services proposing to amend the Eyemouth Off-Street Parking Places Order 2012 to include Harbour Road Car Park and rescind the current Scottish Borders Council (Off-Street Parking Places) (Eyemouth) Order 2002.  The report explained that concerns had been raised regarding overnight parking in the Harbour Road car park in Eyemouth.  It was noted that irregular and overnight parking did not come under the provisions in the 2002 Order and that inclusion in the more general Traffic Regulation Order introduced in 2012 would bring the car park in line with other main car parks in Eyemouth.  A plan of the car park at Harbour Road was shown at Appendix A to the report and the Scottish Borders Council (Eyemouth) (Off-Street Parking Places) Order 2011 (Amendment) Order 2014 was attached at Appendix B.  Members were advised that the statutory two stage consultation process was completed on 18 December 2014 with no objections or adverse comments received.






(a)     amend the Eyemouth Off-Street Parking Places Order 2012 to include Harbour Road Car Park; and


(b)     rescind the Scottish Borders Council (Off-Street Parking Places) (Eyemouth) Order 2002.



Presentation on Land Use Strategy (LUS) Framework.

Presentation by Andy Tharme, Scottish Borders Council.


The Chairman welcomed Andy Tharme from Scottish Borders Council to the Berwickshire Area Forum to give an update presentation on progress in respect of the regional Land Use Strategy (LUS) Framework.  Mr Tharme explained that, following the examination of opportunities and constraints and through the development of mapping and extensive stakeholder engagement, a draft Framework had been produced which was approved by Scottish Borders Council in December 2014 for public consultation.  The presentation detailed the extent of consultation carried out in 2013/14 with regular meetings taking place of a key stakeholder group representing 20 organisations in addition to engagement with 44 organisational representatives and 36 Community Councils.   The draft Framework set out the key land uses in the Borders and how these might change.  Further sections dealt with how the Framework should be used, the next steps and monitoring and assessment going forward.  The Framework identified the important goods and services delivered by the Borders landscape, namely: the provisioning of crops, livestock, renewable energy and timber; the regulating of water quality, flood risk, soil erosion, sediment risk and carbon resource; supporting biodiversity and pollination; and cultural considerations such as sense of place, game and sporting, historic sites and landscape designations.  There were seven opportunities for change identified and mapped indicatively in the Borders at present: mitigation of flood risk; expansion of timber provision; native woodland expansion; biodiversity enhancement; improvement in agricultural production; water quality enhancement; and enhancement of soil carbon storage.  The presentation went on to look in more detail at where the information and maps could be used in respect of natural flood management and the enhancement of water quality.  Mr Tharme stressed that the Framework was a non-statutory strategy for the Scottish Borders.  It would assist and support decision-making about land use that was currently undertaken through existing processes.  It also provided new information as a web-based tool which could be used to evaluate different land use options in an integrated way at sub-catchment or farm/estate level.  Mr Tharme advised that, following the end of the public consultation a final report would be submitted to Scottish Government by the end of March 2015.  In answer to questions Mr Tharme confirmed that although the formal public consultation was now closed, further comments could still be submitted by interested parties and would be considered whenever possible.  Mr Tharme advised that the Framework was available on the Scottish Borders Council website and that the web-based mapping tool would be available on SBC Local View Fusion by summer 2015.  Mr Tharme also confirmed that the next strategy document was due to be published in March 2016.  With regard to the structure of the Pilot Schemes across Scotland, Mr Tharme explained that there were two main formats used and this allowed officers to compare and contrast between the two.  Discussion took place regarding how biodiversity could be incorporated into the Small Schemes and Mr Silcock and Mr Tharme agreed to consider ways in which this could be taken forward.  The Chairman thanked Mr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.


Open Questions.

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


There were no open questions.






Community Council Spotlight.

Consider matters of interest to Community Councils. 


Keep Berwickshire Tidy

Judy Torrance from the Berwickshire Civic Society advised that the Keep Berwickshire Tidy Awards were being re-launched in 2015.  Visits by the judges were scheduled from mid-April to the beginning of May 2015.  The results would be announced following the judging in early May 2015.         





16.         WOOFS Bags

Kym Bannerman reminded those present that WOOFS bags were only supplied to those who had registered to receive them.  Anyone who wished to be added to the list should contact Kym Bannerman.






Future Agenda Items -

Open discussion to consider future agenda items.


Discussion took place regarding subjects for consideration at future meetings and it was agreed that the following items be considered for inclusion on future Agendas:-


(i)      the scheduling of one additional meeting per year to the Calendar of meetings for Berwickshire Area Forum;


(ii)      a further update from the Strategic Transport Project on transport issues in Berwickshire;


(iii)     A1 and A1 Junctions;


(iv)    the Scottish Ambulance Service.



AGREED that the above items be included on future Agendas for Berwickshire Area Forum.



Date of Next Meeting (Berwickshire Area Forum).


The dates of future meetings of the Berwickshire Area Forum were noted as follows:-


4 June 2015;

3 September 2015;

3 December 2015;

3 March 2016; and

2 June, 2016.


It was noted that these dates would be subject to change should an additional meeting of Berwickshire Area Forum be added to the Calendar.







Scottish Borders Council

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