Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Berwickshire High School, Langtongate, Duns, TD11 3QG

Contact: Eileen Graham Tel: 01835 826585  Email:

No. Item




Councillor Fullarton welcomed everyone to the Berwickshire Area Partnership and thanked the Community Councils, Partners and local organisations for their attendance.  He outlined the programme for the evening and introduced the speakers.  The Chairman welcomed Paul Gilbert from Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and Changeworks Project Officer, Neil Robertson, who were the partners in the Home Energy Scotland project and were present to give an update to raise awareness on the energy efficiency measured for home owners and private landlords.  Mr Gilbert explained that Home Energy Scotland was a free, impartial energy efficiency advice service funded by Scottish Government designed to help householders stay warm in their homes and save money on their energy bills.  Home Energy Scotland would also provide information on funding, incentives and finance options for energy efficiency improvements.  The funded energy efficiency programme which was run by the local authority was designed to help householders install internal wall insulation.  He explained that insulating homes with internal wall insulation would make homes much warmer and was also better for the environment. This project would work alongside community groups and community councils in order to engage and promote the measures that could be taken.  Contact could be made through the links on the SBC website or by contacting Home Energy Scotland for free and impartial advice and support or by contacting the Communities and Partnership Team at Scottish Borders Council (SBC).  Leaflets were also available at the meeting which gave full information on the project.



Localities Bid Fund 1

Update from Connect Berwickshire Youth Project. (15 mins)


The Chairman welcomed representatives from Connect Berwickshire Youth Project (BYP) who gave a presentation on Summer 2018 at Connect BYP funded by the Localities Bid Fund.  Stephan White and Amy Walker from the project advised that the Youth Project had been extremely grateful to have been chosen by the community to receive the funding for their Summer Programme which covered transport costs for young people throughout the Summer.  They explained that access to transport was one of the biggest barriers for young people as was the cost of taking part in the activities for low income families.  This funding helped to offer discount cards to young people and to lease a minibus so that young people could take part in holiday club sessions within different towns.  They further explained that the summer programme of sessions had also themed trips which included: an animal week with a trip to 5 Sister’s Zoo and the safari park; family week; enterprise week; challenge week and a trip to M&D’s theme park. There had also been a one week sailing trip to Dorset with a voyage round the Channel Islands to various places which included RYA Competent Crew and Watch Leader training whilst on board.  Mr White responded to the following questions:-



(a)       Question – how do you choose the people who go on the various voyages?

Response – we ask young people if they would like to attend, although the Dorset trip required experienced sailors.


(b)       Question – how do you tell people - do you market it through the schools?

Response – we have youth sessions in Duns and also promoted this through the Berwickshire schools, mainly Berwickshire and Eyemouth High Schools.  We also use social media and after school clubs.


(c)       Question – could you explain about the Saltire Awards?

Response – all volunteers signed up to Saltire Awards working towards 100 and 200 hours then they get the Young Scot Award. They could also do youth achievement awards, bronze through to platinum.


(d)       Question – what were your objectives?

Response – mainly to get those families on low incomes to get new experiences and make more friends and to allow young groups to travel to and from different youth groups.


(e)       Question – how many young people do you have?

Response – we have 30 to 60 young people at the moment.


The Chairman thanked Stephan and Amy and recommended that everyone looked at the photographs on display to see what they had been doing throughout the summer.



Feedback from Meeting on 6 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Copy Minute from meeting on 6 June 2019.  (Copy attached).


The Minute of the Meeting of the Berwickshire Area Partnership held on 6 June 2019 had been circulated along with a summary of the discussion attached as an Appendix to the Minute.  The Chairman gave a brief outline of the previous discussion.



Berwickshire Locality Plan pdf icon PDF 746 KB

Additional documents:


4.1     There had been circulated copies of a presentation on Transport Planning by Timothy Stephenson, Passenger Transport Manager for Scottish Borders Council.  The Chairman outlined the background around the problems with regard to transport, advising that this was an opportunity to raise any ideas and to think about various options.  Mr Stephenson advised that engagement with communities to assess views was very important and group discussions would take place after the presentation.  Mr Stephenson explained that the subsidised local bus services across the Borders currently cost £1.5m per annum.  The local bus service was not a statutory requirement but was discretionary and it was school transport that was a statutory requirement.  There was an obligation this year to make savings of £85k which had already been secured, without further cuts to bus services, and £165k saving was required for 2020.  The plan for 2020 and beyond identified a number of under-performing bus routes with passenger numbers declining and the cost per passenger subsidy was very high.  He also outlined the programme to meet with communities and Bus Users Scotland to form a transport plan.  The local bus services in the area were highlighted in the presentation with information relating to the net subsidy per annum, total passengers per annum and average cost per passenger outlined for service number: 72 Berwick/Hutton/Paxton; 85/87 Kelso/Greenlaw/Berwick; 710 Kelso/Coldstream; and 902 Westruther/Stichill/Kelso routes, with the 85/87 route at £11 per passenger and £47,749 net subsidy being too high.  The Borders bus network needed to be reviewed to potentially put something better in place. The average cost per passenger across the Borders bus network was £3.65.  This did not mean that these routes would be withdrawn but as they could not be sustained, there was a need to find a way to still be able to provide a service.  Some ideas and innovations suggested were: NEED of Alnwick, a Community Transport Scheme; West Linton taxi scheme; Bo’ness Community Bus and non-bus related options – eg e-car, e-bike, trip share; and community transport/social car schemes.


4.2     This consultation was about hearing from communities who had any new suggestions and for them to play their part by bringing innovative ideas to take this project forward.  There was a full discussion held and Mr Stephenson answered the following questions:



(a)       Question – why had Westruther never had a bus through it for years?

Response – there was a demand led bus service which had been in place since 2010 and could be run on the back of other routes or via the school bus service.  A telephone call was required first to SBC to arrange to be picked up and be taken anywhere along the route.


(b)       Question – what percentage of cost was subsidy and who was using the route?

Response – in most cases where the subsidy was very high because passenger numbers were very low – ie on the Greenlaw route, the one-way fare was £3 but was costing £14  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Berwickshire Interim Community Fund pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:


(a)     Interim Community Fund Overview Map

          There had been circulated copies of the Interim Community Fund Overview Map which showed the current position as of September 2019.  The total budget allocation for the interim community fund 2019/20 was £212,494, with an available balance remaining of £148,246.  Ms Pringle outlined the details of the allocations which showed: the Community Council commitments total £13,680; Berwickshire Federation of Village Halls at £13,502 and the local festival grant commitments at £14,060.


(b)     Internal & External Funding Maps for Berwickshire

There had been circulated copies of the internal investment in Berwickshire for the period April 2016 to March 2019 which totalled £916,049.  Ms Pringle explained that the internal and external funding maps for Berwickshire were broken down and showed a snapshot of the funding secured.  There had also been circulated copies of the external investment for the same period totalling £1,531,537 along with the breakdown of each category.


(c)     Berwickshire Community Fund Application – Swinton & Ladyklrk Community Council

With reference to paragraph 8 of the Minute of the meeting held on 6 June 2019, the Communities & Partnership Manager, Jan Pringle, explained that the Berwickshire Community Fund 2019/20 was now up and running.  An application had been received for approval from Swinton & Ladykirk Community Council with a funding request of £2,241 to upgrade unsafe/non-compliance electrical supply and distribution system to Swinton Village Green, in turn supporting a wide variety of community events and activities.  Any approval would be subject to an SBC framework contractor being used for the electrical works so that all works would meet the appropriate electrical standards.  The Chairman of Swinton & Ladykirk Community Council thanked Ms Pringle for her assistance and support in getting the application submitted within the required deadline.  It was agreed to approve the grant of £2,241 to Swinton & Ladykirk Community Council to upgrade the unsafe/uncompliant electrical supply and distribution system to Swinton Village Green, subject to the work being undertaken by an SBC Framework contractor and that all work met the appropriate electrical standards.


(d)     Eyemouth & District Community Council – it was noted that this application was from Eyemouth & District Community Council and not Chamber of Trade.  This had been fast tracked and the application for £930 had been approved.


(e)     Honour our Troops – this application had also been fast tracked and the application for £501 had been approved.



Future Agenda Items


The Chairman asked for any suggestions/proposals for future agenda items or any items to be submitted to Ms Pringle for the next meeting.  The following topics were submitted:-


(a)       Passenger transport discussion


(b)       Computer Mapping - Gavinton Community Council requested a 10 minute slot to highlight the successful use of the computer mapping system to highlight to other community councils and communities what use could be made available through the Ordnance Survey (OS) data which could be accessed through SBC.


(c)       Budget setting process – to have a more in-depth discussion with Finance colleagues on a realistic look at the budget setting process.


(d)       Overview on Homecare Services from SB Cares – to assess the direction of travel for Berwickshire.


(e)       Supporting Mental Health in Berwickshire – how services were provided and local needs made available.


(f)        Drug & Alcohol Support Services Provision.


(g)       Regeneration – how communities could get stronger and support regenerative activities - joint presentation from SBC Economic Development and SoSEP with groups involved.


(h)       Successful Projects/Programmes within the Berwickshire Area


(i)         Capacity in Communities to take on activities/volunteering – eg.. Cockburnspath Action Plan had just started to be developed, with a 2 pronged approach:  people needed to realise what the options were and to think about what they would want and then to prioritise.



Any Other Business


Ms Pringle gave an update on forthcoming events: 


(a)       Lord Lieutenant’s Volunteering Event on 25 September at Springwood Park, Kelso – to celebrate and develop the tremendous work carried out throughout our communities; the event was open to the public from 2.00pm – 4.00pm to find out what volunteering opportunities were available;


(b)       Eyemouth community drop-in centre event on 26 September at Eyemouth Primary School - 4.00pm - 7.30pm - to view plans for the new Eyemouth Community Campus;


(c)       Open Consultation on the SBC website to help develop the scheme on the Area Partnership and Community Fund;


(d)       Review of Polling District/Polling Stations; and


(e)       Grow your own Food.



Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 5 December 2019 – venue to be confirmed


The next meeting of the Berwickshire Area Partnership was scheduled for Thursday 6 December – venue to be agreed.  Councillor Fullarton thanked all those who had attended the meeting for their participation and input.




Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


For more Contact Details