Scottish Borders Council

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Via MS Teams

Contact: Jenny Wilkinson, Clerk to the Council  Tel: 01835 825004 Email:

Link: TeamsLiveEvent

No. Item


Welcome and Meeting Protocols


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting of the Berwickshire Area Partnership.  The meeting was held via Microsoft Teams and the Chairman outlined how the meeting would be conducted and how those both in the meeting and watching via the Live Stream could take part.



Feedback from Meetings pdf icon PDF 140 KB

(a)       Minute of meeting held on 20 May 2021.  (Attached)


(b)       Minute of Special meeting held on 10 June 2021.  (Attached)

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the meetings of the Berwickshire Area Partnership held on 20 May and 10 June 2021 had been circulated.  With reference to the last sentence in paragraph 2.2 of the Minute of 10 June 2021, regarding consensus, it was agreed that the reference to “1 or 2 people” in dissent would be amended to the “mood of the room” to better reflect the discussion at the meeting.



AGREED the Minutes of meetings held on 20 May and 10 June 2021, subject to an amendment to the last sentence in paragraph 2.2 of the Minute of 10 June 2021, so that it would now read “In response to a question about consensus, Ms Wilkinson further confirmed that this not mean 100% agreement.  It was agreed that this would reflect the general mood of the room instead.”     


Place Making - Co-producing the Future of Our Places pdf icon PDF 508 KB

Interactive session facilitated by the Scottish Futures Trust.


This conversation seeks to build on the energy of communities and local responses to Covid, and engage with developing national policy on the importance of ‘place’ to support people to live better locally.  It is an interactive, facilitated session, focussed on local experience and insights, to begin the process of working out the best way to work together to shape the future of our places based on shared priorities. 

Additional documents:


3.1       With reference to paragraph 11 of the Minute of 4 March 2021, the Chairman introduced Mr Diarmaid Lawlor, of Scottish Futures Trust, to facilitate a brief workshop around Place Making.  Mr Lawlor explained that the context for the discussion would cover the What, Why and How of learning from Covid & lockdowns:

·       What – working better together around local needs

·       Why – build on Covid experiences and support community ambitions

·       How – shared principles/way of working on local priorities, alignment and simplification.

The format for the workshop was based on three questions around: ambition and key issues in the community; success criteria; and principles – how we could better work together.  Mr Lawlor led the discussion and made real-time notes to summarise the comments and points made.  A number of points were raised:  resilient communities working well together; rural farming community; natural networks to be fostered; voluntary sector undervalued; recognising micro-priority areas; use of a bottom up approach; the importance of connectivity in terms of broadband and also road, rail and bus; the opportunities around re-opening Reston Station; success would mean more young people staying in the Borders, families moving to work here, decentralisation; size of population an issue; affordable housing; making best use of digital opportunities at home, at work, and in an entrepreneurial way.


3.2       The Chairman explained that a summary of the workshop discussions across all the Area Partnerships would inform a report to Council at the end of August to set out the detail of the place making approach.  Subject to Council approval, the first place-making events would begin in Autumn 2021.  The Chairman thanked Mr Lawlor for attending and facilitating the workshop and for all those who had taken part in the discussion.  A summary of the context and key points of the workshop are appended as Appendices 1 and 2 to this Minute.



A consultation about potential changes to the five local Area Partnerships – closes 1 August 2021.



Ms Gillian Jardine, Locality Development Co-ordinator, advised that the consultation on the future and potential changes to the five Area Partnerships was open until 1 August, so there was still an opportunity to have a say in how the model should evolve and how meetings should be run. 


Berwickshire Community Assistance Hub

·            The number of new referrals to Berwickshire Community Assistance Hub has greatly reduced since the last meeting. However, we are keen to stress that the Hub is still operational and can be contacted through 0301 100 1800 or by anyone requiring support for themselves or someone they know.


·            Berwickshire Community Partnership (Community organisations, Third Sector, SBC and NHS Borders) continues to meet on a fortnightly basis. The group is working to identify what would be required to establish a regular community magazine similar to those seen in other areas e.g. Kelso Life, Gala Life.  The group also continues with its focus on improving access to public transport for the benefit of people’s health and social wellbeing.


The meeting continues to be attended by a range of organisations with the shared experience and knowledge being a very valuable resource to identify solutions to problems and issues that are brought to the meeting.



An update on the operation of the Berwickshire Community Assistance Hub had been given on the agenda for the meeting.  Since that had been published, Ms Jardine, Locality Development Co-ordinator, advised that there had been an increase in the numbers of positive Covid cases or households having to self-isolate.  This had meant an increase in welfare calls and referrals for assistance e.g. financial, access to food, picking up prescriptions, etc.  This was the case across the Borders and not limited to Berwickshire.


Eyemouth Primary School

Consultation update from Steven Renwick (Projects Manager) and John Butcher (Lead Education Advisor).


Steve Renwick, Project Manager, and John Butcher, Education lead for the project, joined the meeting and gave an update on the proposals for Eyemouth Primary School.  Mr Renwick explained that, following a Citizen Space consultation, strong community support had been shown for 2 of the 3 options with a distinct favourite in adopting a campus-style solution.  A report had been considered by Council which had agreed to go ahead with the formal education consultation which would start at the beginning of the new academic year in August and run for 30 days.  This consultation would focus on the educational benefits.  Mr Butcher explained that this was a statutory consultation, with a formal document produced and distributed.  It would outline the proposed rebuild of the Primary School in a new campus arrangement which would be located within the boundaries of the High School within the town.  This would focus early years, primary and secondary provision, and also develop the young workforce, all in the one location.  The formal consultation would require public meetings to be held to outline the education case and then people could formally respond.  A report would be produced for Council to make a decision and then this would be sent to Scottish Government for their consideration.  The decision of Council would either be agreed or it could be called in for further examination, after which it could be agreed, amendments requested or refused, although the latter was unlikely.  Mr Butcher had been heartened by the discussion on place making earlier in the meeting to capitalise on the Borders.  In education terms, the aim was for young people to have an excellent education and play a full part in their community.  The Inspire Learning programme gave young people opportunities to learn through a digital platform, which was unique in Scotland.  It was all about collaboration and working together, building on community.  Eyemouth was a distinct community with its surrounding towns and villages, and by building a new Primary School wing and early years facility, this would offer young people the opportunity through the years to build relationships with staff and each other; to get specialist support when needed; and access high quality, first class learning.  Staff could work together and share best practice to develop children’s skills from the age of two.  Parents would know that their children were in a safe environment.  Both the Head teachers in the Primary School and High School were supportive and collaborating on the project.  The Area Partnership welcomed the update, which was a really progressive opportunity for the Eyemouth community.


The meeting was adjourned for 10 minutes to allow for a comfort break.


Berwickshire Community Update

Opportunity to share updates from your community or raise topics for future discussion.


7.1       Ms Juliana Amaral advised of BAVS sessions on the Community Recovery Fund with the next meeting due on 5 July at 3pm, the aim being to create partnerships and this space was useful to share ideas.  BAVS was also recruiting for a Board member (Trustee) and was particularly interested in hearing from younger people and those from different backgrounds.


7.2       Ms Jennie Sutton gave an update on the Cockburnspath Community Shop which had received £10k of funding and had opened one month previously.  The shop was run by 2 managers, 16 volunteers and a young person was currently being recruited through the Kickstart programme.  The shop had received huge compliments from the local community; predominantly sold local food and artisan products; was used by both locals and walkers; and overall was a great success.  A second online poll had now been launched the previous weekend for Cockburnspath and Cove, on transport, services and facilities, and already 500 responses had been received.



Berwickshire Community Fund Assessment Panel

Verbal update on Panel membership.


With reference to paragraph 2 of the Minute of 10 June 2021, the Locality Development Co-ordinator, Ms Jardine advised that there had been six applications to join the Assessment Panel.  All were strong candidates who went beyond the criteria and Ms Jardine was pleased to say that all six had been appointed.  The Area Partnership noted that James Anderson, Keith Dickinson, Andrew Mitchell, Anne McNeill, David Scott, and Rachael Wood had been appointed by the Service Director Customer & Communities.  As the Panel had space for eight people, applications could still be received from anyone wishing to be considered for appointment.  The Clerk to the Council confirmed that should the number of voting members of the Assessment Panel remain at six, then the quorum for meetings could be reduced to four until a full complement of members was achieved.   SBC Elected Members were not counted as part of the quorum as they were non-voting members of the Panel.


Berwickshire Community Fund pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Funding table attached.


The Locality Development Co-ordinator, Ms Jardine, advised that no applications had yet been received for the Berwickshire Community Fund and reminded everyone that applications needed to be received by the end of July for consideration at the Area Partnership meeting on 2 September 2021.  In response to a question, Ms Jardine confirmed that the Fund was being promoted on social media and there had been some local press coverage on the recruitment of members to the Community Fund Assessment Panel.  A further push would be made and the link to the application was issued at the meeting (Community Fund 2021-22 | Scottish Borders Council (  In previous years in Berwickshire, it tended to be mid to the end of the year before applications came in to the Fund.




Build Back a Better Borders Recovery Fund


The Locality Development Co-ordinator, Ms Jardine, gave details of the Build Back a Better Borders Fund, which was new funding available for projects for recovery from Covid linked to culture, sport, the environment, recognising volunteers, etc.  A link to the Fund was provided at the meeting (Build Back a Better Borders Recovery Fund | Scottish Borders Council (  The Chairman confirmed that this was a one-off Fund to help communities recover from Covid, which was open now and he encouraged applications from community groups.



Additional Information for Noting pdf icon PDF 362 KB

For information on current community information and useful links, see the Additional Information document (attached)


For information on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, see the Area Partnerships’ information pack:  Area partnerships information pack | Area partnerships | Scottish Borders Council (


The Area Partnership noted the current community information and useful links which had been circulated with the agenda and also the information contained in the Area Partnerships’ information pack.


Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Area Partnership is scheduled for 2 September 2021, with the agenda being issued on 19 August.


Are there any items you would like to propose for the agenda?  For example:

·       September – Budget

·       December – Winter maintenance 2021/22

·       February – Locality Plans


(Please contact your local councillor or the Communities & Partnership Team)



The next meeting of the Berwickshire Area Partnership was scheduled for 2 September 2021 at 6:30pm and would be held via MS Teams.  Everyone was encouraged to submit items for the agenda.


Any Other Business/Open Forum


Mr Donald McNeill advised that the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service had a live public consultation underway until 18 July 2021, which was on the draft long-term vision for the Fire & Rescue Service and what the service would look like in the coming years.  The document itself set out the high level strategic intent and priorities for the service over the following 10 years, recognising the changing risks/demands.  Dwelling fires continued to decrease year on year, but there had been an increase in wild fires and flooding, along with changes to demography.  Information would be emailed out to the Area Partnership.  In response to questions, Mr McNeill advised that unfortunately there were still road traffic accidents, including fatalities, not just on A class/trunk roads but also on minor country roads. 


Future Berwickshire Area Partnership meeting dates

·       2 September 2021

·       2 December 2021

·       3 February 2022

·       3 March 2022

·       9 June 2022


The dates for the future meetings of the Area Partnership, as detailed on the agenda up until June 2022, were noted.  The Chairman referred to comments on the agenda for meetings to be over long and over-wordy so asked for any thoughts or ideas on how this could be improved in future.  The Chairman thanked everyone for their contributions to the meeting that evening.



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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