Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Lauder Primary School

Contact: Fiona Walling  Tel: 01835826504 Email:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions



In the absence of Councillor Edgar, who had sent his apologies, the meeting was chaired by Councillor Thornton-Nicol.


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting of the Eildon Area Partnership and thanked Community Councillors, Partners and local organisations for their attendance.  Councillor Thornton-Nicol also welcomed Neil Robertson from Changeworks who had brought along information on a Home Energy Scotland insulation scheme.


Locality Bid Fund 1

Update from Rowlands Youth Project (15 mins).


The Chairman introduced Susan Law, from Rowlands Youth Project, Selkirk, to give an update following the group’s successful bids to the Locality Bid Fund.  Ms Law explained that Rowlands had applied for funding for two separate projects: Food for Thought; and Swap Shop, which organised exchange of clothing, school uniform, ball gowns etc. Both projects had been successful in the voting process and had been awarded funding. Food for Thought had developed at the Rowlands Centre as a social enterprise involving young people producing and preparing meals for sale on Friday afternoons as a community initiative.  After deduction of the cost of food, half of the profit went back to Rowlands and the other half to the young people involved. In addition to this monetary incentive and the experience provided, the project gave the young people access to training with the opportunity to obtain qualifications. Individual achievements from the first group of young people included a college place, employment and award of Hygiene Certificates.  A second group of young people had now been brought into the project. Ms Law went on to give her views about the Locality Bid Fund application and voting process and ideas about how this could be improved in the future.  Members of the Area Partnership welcomed the news of this successful project.  In a brief discussion following the presentation, it was suggested that the project should link in to the NHS Borders Healthy Living Network. 



Feedback from meeting on 27 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 493 KB

Copy of Minute attached.


The Minute of the meeting of the Eildon Area Partnership held on 27 June 2019 had been circulated. A summary of the discussion and review of the priorities identified in the draft Eildon Locality Plan was attached as an appendix to the Minute.  One of the priorities identified by the Eildon Area Partnership was to improve the provision of transport in the area.  The Chairman highlighted that at the last meeting in June the discussion began about transport provision and how this could be improved to help meet the needs of local communities.  A range of comments were made, focusing on improvements to bus timetables and the number of services running; digital information on bus services being available for passengers; and looking at other companies who ran transport and whether these could be accessed by the public, i.e.  post buses, Borders College and having e-cars available in villages.  These comments led on to the main theme for the evening which was transport networks and connections within Eildon, as outlined below.



Eildon Locality Plan pdf icon PDF 248 KB

            Economy Skills & Learning


(a)        Transport networks and connections within Eildon – update on Scottish Borders Transport Conference from Timothy Stephenson, SBC Passenger Transport Manager (30 mins).


(b)        Discussion regarding potential options/solutions/actions (45 mins).


(Copies of Eildon Community Profile, Transport Planning presentation and Scottish Borders Bus Map attached).

Additional documents:


4.1       Transport networks and connections within Eildon

Scottish Borders Council Passenger Transport Manager, Timothy Stephenson, and Transport Services team leader, Gordon Grant, were in attendance to give a presentation on Transport Planning in the Scottish Borders.  Copies of the Scottish Borders Bus Map and of the presentation had been circulated with the agenda and were available at the meeting.  Mr Stephenson explained that the Council currently subsidised local bus services at £1.5m per annum.  However local bus services were not a statutory requirement but were discretionary and like all local budgets the payments were always being reviewed.  In 2018 there had been savings made of £200k based on data collection, alternatives being put in place and some innovative thinking.  In 2019 there were £85k of savings already secured without further cuts but a £165k budget saving was needed for 2020.  Some tough decisions therefore had to be made to achieve the savings.  A number of under-performing bus routes had been identified where passenger numbers were declining and the subsidy per passenger was very high.  However rather than just looking at service cuts the Council wanted to use 2019 to meet communities and see if things could be done differently.  In August/September the team would be talking to Area Partnerships about transport and in September/October Bus Users Scotland would hold a big conversation (public consultation) with users.  The Council would work closely with communities to form a transport plan.  The local bus services being reviewed in the Eildon Area had a subsidy per passenger of up to £7.60 compared with an average of £3.65 per passenger across the Borders bus network as a whole.  Mr Stephenson was keen to hear from communities who wanted to try new things: something that was an alternative to ‘the traditional bus; something flexible, that could be controlled locally; and something that communities could commit to.   He gave some examples of innovations in other areas and also referred to non-bus related options such as E-car, E-bike, Tripshare and community transport/social car schemes.  


4.2       Following the presentation, the Chairman invited those present to take part in a round table discussion about transport planning in terms of potential options, solutions and actions within communities.  The Locality Development Co-ordinator provided a template to aid the discussion and on which points could be recorded.  A summary of the output of the discussion is attached as an appendix to this Minute.



Eildon Community Fund pdf icon PDF 531 KB

o   Interim Community Fund overview map;

o   Internal & external funding maps for Eildon;

o   Eildon applications: Lauderdale Scout Group;

o   Newtown in Bloom fast track (application £1,291.94 – approved).


Copies of documents attached.

Additional documents:


The Locality Development Co-ordinator referred to documents which had been circulated and which were available at the meeting giving an overview of the Interim Community Fund and internal and external funding sources in the Eildon area.  She explained that there was a total 2019-20 budget allocation of £329,438 for the Eildon Community Fund.  Within this fund, after committed allocations of: £10,525 for Community Councils; £28,400 to Local Festivals; £14,470 to village halls; and awards to date/applications to assess of £23,230; there was an available balance of £252,813 left in the fund for the 2019/20 financial year.  Details of an application to the Eildon Community Fund from Lauderdale Scout Group had been circulated.  The Scout Group had requested £10,000 towards the project to repair and improve the Lauderdale Scout Hall.  To date the flat roofs had been repaired, new heating installed, the floors refurbished, indoor and outdoor lights upgraded and the walls painted.  The funding was requested for the next part of the project which was to repair the pitched slate roof, at a total cost of £14,088 plus work to the timbers (costed at an hourly rate).  A total of £3,500 had been secured from other funding sources and £1,000 provided as match-funding.  It was explained that the scout hall was a place for community groups and the wider community to get together and socialise and was used seven days a week by the scouts and other local groups.  The Scottish Borders Council officer recommendation was to approve the application as the request met the criteria of the Community Fund.



AGREED to grant £10,000 from the Eildon Community Fund to Lauderdale Scout Group towards the project to repair the pitched slate roof of the Lauderdale Scout Hall. 



Galashiels Network

Update from The Bridge.


With reference to paragraph 10 of the Minute of 27 June 2019, Pauline Grigor, Community Worker with the third sector, gave an update about the development of a third sector Community Network in Galashiels. The concept was to pilot a project to link in with Galashiels Development Trust.  An Open Day was planned into which community groups and funding groups could link.  Ms Grigor asked for 2 Elected Member volunteers to represent the Area Partnership on the steering group.  Councillors Drum and Thornton-Nicol were nominated and agreed to join the steering group.



AGREED that Councillors Drum and Thornton-Nicol join the Galashiels Network Steering Group as representatives of the Eildon Area Partnership.



Future Agenda Items



The Chairman asked that suggestions for future agenda items for Eildon Area Partnership meetings to be forwarded to the Locality Development co-ordinator at .



Open Forum

Questions for Elected Members.


There were no questions for Elected Members.




Norrie Tait, Community Learning & Development Team Leader, brought along trophies for presentation to Galashiels Academy pupil representatives John Carr and Doddie Turner in recognition of their contribution to the Area Partnership in the form of peer research and a presentation about Health and Wellbeing in the Galashiels area. John, who was moving on to a new career, had been unable to attend the meeting but Doddie’s trophy was presented to him and this was accompanied by a round of applause for both young people.



Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 14th November 2019 – venue to be agreed.


The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and, before closing the meeting, advised that Eildon Area Partnership would next meet on

Thursday, 14 November 2019.




Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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