Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Judith Turnbull Tel. No. 01835 826556  Email:

Link: Teams Live Event

No. Item


Welcome and Meeting Protocols


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting of the Teviot and Liddesdale Area Partnership held remotely via Microsoft Teams, which included Elected Members, guests attending and those watching the live stream. 



Feedback from meeting of 17 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Copy of Minute attached.


The Minute of the meeting of the Teviot and Liddesdale Area Partnership held on 17 November 2020 had been circulated and was noted.



Urgent Business


Under Section 50B(4)(b) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the Chairman was of the opinion that the item dealt with in the following paragraph should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency, in view of the need to keep Members informed.           




Covid-19 Update


Jenni Craig, Service Director Customer and Communities gave an SBC update on the Covid-19 current position.   Mrs Craig explained that Covid-19 had recently accelerated significantly with an increase in positive cases, partly due to the highly transmittable variant of the virus which was present in the Borders.   Mrs Craig emphasised that it was essential that everyone followed the current guidelines to stay at home and minimise face to face contact.   Referring to Covid-19 testing, Mrs Craig advised that due to the high case numbers, particularly in the Hawick area, a Mobile Testing Unit had been deployed to the Teviotdale Leisure Centre.  In addition, a walk-in test facility had been opened at the Langlee Complex in Galashiels for symptomatic testing.  Booking for tests was via the UK Government online portal.   The Council was also involved in discussions with partners about the potential for asymptomatic community testing facilities in the Scottish Borders.  In terms of SBC services, there was currently no direct impact over those already in place from the Level 4 period.   However, the need to continue to deliver essential frontline services and give support to communities might result in staff being deployed to support other areas, for example the care service, which would result in other services having to scale back operations.  Mrs Craig then discussed the Community Assistance Hubs (CAHs) explaining that they remained operational to co-ordinate support with community groups and partners within localities.  Mrs Craig then advised that there had been changes to education provision with online remote learning being provided for all pupils.  In-school support was still available to support key workers and vulnerable children.  Mrs Craig advised that any teacher or key worker’s child testing positive would have a major impact on the school setting, therefore places had to be booked online and applications were considered on an individual basis.  Any planned Senior Phase Assessments would be postponed and carried out when possible with appropriate preparation time provided.    With regard to Live Borders, their facilities were closed.  Live Borders membership had been kept updated and digital services ranging from online fitness classes to online library access continued to be offered and could support home learning.  Regarding support to businesses, there was a range of funds available and the Council continued to work closely with South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE) to ensure support was made available to businesses.  Information was available on the Scottish Government website at ‘Find Business Support’.  Mrs Craig concluded her presentation by advising that anyone within the community requiring assistance should contact 0300 100 1800 to access support through the CAHs.   In response to questions, Mrs Craig advised that she would investigate the lack of acknowledgements for business grant applications submitted through the SBC website.  Mrs Craig would also feedback to NHS colleagues publicising Mobile Testing Unit availability the Teviotdale Leisure Centre as a suggestion for a venue for testing and the access limitations at Hawick Town Hall.  She would also feedback concerns that people were not abiding by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Fit for 2024: Review of Area Partnerships & Community Fund and action for Teviot & Liddesdale Area Partnership

Recommendation proposed from Teviot and Liddesdale Area Partnership to be considered for public consultation. (To follow).


With reference to paragraph 4 of the Minute of 17 November 2020, , the Chair advised that the Area Partnership needed to build on the findings of the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) report and consider how to strengthen community engagement and participation.   He welcomed Barbara Elborn, Newcastleton & District Community Council and Philip Kerr, Southdean Community Council, who provided a pilot proposal for a new way forward based on feedback and discussion with Teviot and Liddesdale Community Councils, Elected Members and officers.   Introducing the presentation, Mrs Elborn explained that the proposed model would level up rural communities, create a new forum that met community needs, whilst working with the Council and partners in terms of provision of services at a local level, acknowledging strategic development requirements and funding.   The model would build on core values established under the Community Empowerment Act and Participatory Budgeting Charter, be flexible, transparent, accountable and engage more widely with communities.  2020 learnings had shown that working collaboratively with key partners achieved more and it was important that the Community Assistance Hubs continued as they were indispensable in delivering services to the community. Administrative support would also need to be retained.  Mrs Elborn went on to explain the three common elements from feedback were:  more transparency and say; greater influence in service provision that impact each of us in different ways; and, community sustainability through economic growth, developing what we have, maximising its uses and attracting new investment.  Shared learnings and experience, for example with access to a community council website, would increase confidence and expand community engagement.  Mrs Elborn suggested that the remit for the Area Partnership going forward should include: budgets and funding; service provision and local delivery; and strategic issues impacting on place. It was also suggested that regular engagement with police, fire, health, education, waste services and the road services should be reintroduced.  Sub-groups could be established which would be easier to manage and expand expertise in terms of learnings, for example to discuss bigger issues such as extending the railway line into Carlisle.  Based on the principles of the Participatory Budgeting Charter, the fundamentals in developing the new vision and objectives should include:  Community – reflecting the needs of the community it served; Participatory – consultative not imposed; Deliberative – beneficial to the wider community; Accessibility – everyone has the opportunity to have a say.  


5.2       Mrs Elborn then referred to the management of the Community Grant Fund.   To ensure transparency and accountability the model suggested that all applications should be scored and assessed against criteria and that scorecards be published so the applicants knew why they had been awarded points.   More information was required in terms of project assessment and why those decisions were being made. This would give a more considered view for each application before discussion at the Area Partnership.  In the future, consideration could be given to allow communities to vote online for projects.   Representation proposed for the new forum would be each community council, elected Members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Teviot and Liddesdale Community Fund 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

One application for approval:


(a)     Hobkirk Community Council


(Assessment attached plus Teviot and Liddesdale funding information).

Additional documents:


6.1       Gillian Jardine, Locality Development Co-ordinator advised that since the last meeting the Fund had received a further allocation which meant that the total Community Fund was £66,837.00   If the application to be considered tonight was successful the balance remaining would be £42,541.66. 


6.2       Hobkirk Community Council

The application for consideration was from Hobkirk Community Council which was seeking £3,064.34 for the purchase of shrubs, trees, compost and material to plant shrubs at Bonchester’s War Memorial and Village Hall. Mr Phipps from Hobkirk Community Council  was in attendance and explained that the intention was to make the village look more vibrant and appeal to visitors travelling to the area.   The pruning and maintenance of the shrubs would be undertaken by volunteers in the community.  The Area Partnership approved the application for grant funding of £3,064.34 to Hobkirk Community Council. 




Community Fund Project Evaluations

One evaluation for consideration:


(a)          Alchemy Film and Arts.


(To follow).


With reference to paragraph 6.2 of the Minute of 19 November 2019, the Chair welcomed Rachael Disbury from Alchemy Film and Arts who was in attendance to give an evaluation of the £9,925.00  funding they had received for the ‘Once upon a time in Hawick’ project.  Ms Disbury explained that despite Covid-19, they had managed to deliver some of the proposed project and also a digital version of their Festival.  This had received 15,000 online visits, many from international visitors, which they hoped in future years would generate in actual visits to Hawick.  Alchemy’s original proposal had also included community activities and they had been able to assist community groups to stay connected and transfer their content to digital means.  Ms Disbury advised that they had delivered digital workshops to groups such as Interest Link; outdoor film workshops with Branching Out; partnered with Hawick Archaeological Society to produce online screenings of their lectures and digitally streamed Santa for Cherrytrees Nursery.  Ms Disbury went on to advise that Alchemy had won an Inspire Award and had been nominated for a Scottish Charity Award through their work with community groups.   Towards the end of 2020, they had launched Borders Community Archive which was designed to secure Hawick’s history on film.   They had also continued to coordinate the Border Screen Network and research and development on local themes for projects in 2021 including artist Andy Mackinnon and Natasha Ruwona who was working on a project surrounding Tom Jenkins:   To conclude, Ms Disbury advised that it had not been the year Alchemy had expected but they had delivered a digital festival, research projects, established a community archive and responded to community needs by providing digital support and this would continue. In response to a question, Ms Disbury advised that they were one of the first film festivals to go online.    The Chair thanked Ms Disbury for the interesting project and the Area Partnership congratulated Alchemy on their achievements during this difficult time. 


Other Information and news for noting pdf icon PDF 157 KB

a.                  The Teviot & Liddesdale Community Fund for 2020/21 is open - guidance and application form is on SBC website:


b.                  Teviot & Liddesdale Locality Plan & Action Plans - these plans are now published and outline the priorities of the Teviot & Liddesdale area and could be the focus of a future Area Partnership meeting:


c.                            Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 – Currently, there are no formal Participation Requests and no formal Asset Transfer requests being considered within Teviot & Liddesdale.  Further information can be found here:


d.                  Fit for 2020 (report attached) outlining proposals for community engagement over future service delivery.




The Chairman, Councillor Richards, advised that the Teviot and Liddesdale Community Fund for 2020/21 guidance and an application form was available on the Council’s website.  Any group wanting to submit an application should do so by the start of February for consideration at the March 2021 meeting.


8.2       Referring to the Teviot & Liddesdale Locality Plan & Action Plans, he advised that these plans were now published and outlined the priorities of the Teviot & Liddesdale area and suggested these could be the focus of a future Area Partnership meeting:


8.3       With regard to the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, currently there were no formal Participation Requests and no formal Asset Transfer requests being considered within Teviot & Liddesdale.  Further information could be found here:


8.4       Councillor Richards further advised that Fit for 2024 proposals for community engagement had been circulated with the agenda.  Mrs Elborn raised concerns that the proposals did not identify engagement with local rural communities.   It was hoped that the new proposed model would be a way of engaging with local communities in the Teviot and Liddesdale area.  Ms Wilkinson advised that this was the start of the engagement, the wider public consultation would involve Area Partnerships.   Ms Batsch raised that the Third Sector should be resourced to support engagement with Fit for 2024.



Any other formal business


Regarding the Community Council Scheme Review Group it was noted that John Scott was to be replaced by Cameron Knox.   




Open Forum


Mrs Elborn advised that Newcastleton and District Community Trust had started its first outreach learning project for women in business who needed support.  There was a limited number of free places. 


10.2     Regarding campervans at the Common Haugh, it was advised that this would be considered at the next Hawick Common Good Fund Sub-Committee. 


10.3     Mr Kerr advised that Keltbray were offering vouchers for households disrupted by recent power outages and he would follow up.   Severed phone lines had recently been repaired by Open Reach.  SBC’s emergency planning team did not have BT or Open Reach on their preferred contact list and Ms Jardine would discuss this with emergency planning.  




Date of Next Teviot and Liddesdale Area Partnership - 9 March 2021

Are there any items you would like to propose for the agenda?  (Please contact your local councillor, Elected Member or the Communities and Partnership Team).


The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, 9 March 2021.  Suggestions for agenda items could be sent to the Locality Development co-ordinator at   It was agreed that the next meeting should start at  6.00 pm.



The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting.



Scottish Borders Council

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