Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Community Council Spotlight

Consider matters of interest to Community Councils.



Mrs Knight, Burnfoot Community Council, reported that in May the community council had held a Cornet’s night at Burnfoot School which had been well attended.  The Burnfoot Carnival would take place on Saturday 8 July at Burnfoot School. There would be bands, shows, stalls and other entertainment, it was hoped that Councillors would be able to attend.   Mrs Knight also reported that the Community Council required a secretary.  Meetings were held on the last Tuesday of each month at Burnfoot School.  If anyone was interested in the position, they were asked to contact Burnfoot Community Council.  


8.2       Mr Griffiths, Hobkirk Community Council, advised that flood repair works had commenced at Bonchester Bridge and thanked Members and officers for their assistance.  With reference to paragraph 11.2 of the Minute of 21 March, the community council had been informed that burial plots at Hobkirk Churchyard were owned by the community not the Church.  The Council were investigating responsibility for maintenance and would respond to the community council.  Mr Griffiths referred to the Birneyknowe Windfarm application which had been rejected unanimously by Scottish Borders Council.  Banks Renewables, the applicants, were now appealing the decision in terms of economic benefit and visual amenity.  This meant that the community were now faced with a Public Inquiry and would be required to give evidence.  The community would require to be legally represented which could cost in the region of £10k to £20k.  To conclude his report, on a positive note, Mr Griffiths advised that the community were holding a party on 25 August to coincide with the Scarecrow Festival.  In answer to a question,  Mr Dunlop advised that the estimate for a notice board was still awaited. 


8.3       Mrs Elborn, Newcastleton Community Council, referred to their last meeting when it had been requested that Council officers addressed removal of the tarmac left at Douglas Square.  The tarmac had been removed the following day, the community council had photographic evidence if the Council required to pursue for fly tipping.   Mrs Elborn continued that following a meeting with the local Health Service the community council had been advised that the mobile dental service was to be removed from the primary school.  No communication had been received regarding the closure and the removal was of concern to the community.    It was noted that the community council requested that works to access roads and pathways at Ettleton Cemetery be resolved through the Small Scheme or Quality of Life Scheme before the onset of inclement weather. Mrs Elborn agreed to send Mr Dunlop details of the problem areas. Mrs Elborn advised that there was an ongoing problem with speeding timber transportation through the village and damage being caused to the roadside and verges. Police were carrying out speed checks but more were required.  The community council would be attending the Transport Feasibility meeting to ensure that freight transportation would be considered as part of the railway line extension. There was also the requirement for the road infrastructure to be investigated as the increase and volume of timber extractions would continue to affect the road infrastructure.   Representives from the community council would also be attending the FCS Forestry Panel meeting.  The change of use from farmland to planting without full consideration of the impact on flood management and the requirement for mobile phone technology and broadband was of concern.   Trees had the potential to ruin line of site locations for masts resulting in no signal for areas. This was not a planning consideration and the community council were seeking to fund a project officer to investigate more fully. SBC’s planning department were supportive of the communities’ concerns.  However, national policy required that 25% of Scotland’s landscape should be covered by trees by 2020.  Mrs Elborn further advised that the community council were also working with Borders Broadband to provide a rural solution for homes and business.  It was important that the council worked with the community to delivery this project and noted that anything which obstructed the landscape, such as a tree(s), could jeopardize the project.  The community council asked that the Council consider these issues and lobby Scottish Government regarding.     Mrs Elborn went on to refer to the local topographical survey underway in the village to determine the flood plan.  There had been an incident recently when rainfall fell from the hillside into the Lakes, this required to be investigated as a priority.  Mrs Elborn further advised that there had been a large turnout at their last meeting when there had been a discussion on job cuts to temporary staff at Newcastleton Primary School. Officers from the Council had been unable to respond to the communities’ concerns.  The community council has since met with the SBC’s education department and had been given reassurance that their concerns would be addressed. However, one issue regarding the concerns of a parent had yet to be resolved. 


8.4       It was noted that there would be no community council meeting in July.  There next meeting would be the Annual General Meeting, following which the community council election would be held.   To conclude her report Mrs Elborn advised that Newcastleton Music Festival would take place in two weeks’ time and all were invited.    


8.5       Mr Roberts, Denholm Community Council, advised that the Denholm Ride-Out had not been been well attended, but was still a success.  He thanked the Police for their presence at the event for which they had received many positive comments. Another successful event hosted by Denholm was the Jimmie Guthrie Memorial Run.  With reference to paragraph 11.3 of the Minute of 21 March regarding the mobile phone mast, the site visit had identified a location which would be discussed at the community council meeting the next evening.  The provision of an additional mast would result in a significant improvement in mobile phone coverage for the Denholm area.


8.6       Mr Turnbull, Hawick Community Council, referred to his appointment as the new chairman of Hawick Community Council, due to the resignation of Mrs Short.  With reference to paragraph 11.5 of the Minute of 21 March regarding dog fouling, he reported that the community council had received funding from the Small Schemes budget for bags and warning posters which were now in place.   He enquired as to the status of enforcement officers, Mr Dunlop advised that he would investigate and report back to Mr Turnbull outwith the meeting.  With regard to the Resilience Group, 23 members had been trained to use the defibrillators and he was pleased to advise that a defibrillator would be located at the Town Hall.  Mr Turnbull further advised that the community council had purchased 10 two way radios which would enhance the Resilience Group’s communication and would also be used at the Christmas Parade.  Mr Turnbull concluded by advising that the community council had been disappointed that Wilton Park Café had still not opened, the cafe had lost valuable resources as they had missed another season.



            (a)        NOTED the reports;


(b)       AGREED:-


(i)         That NHS Borders be requested to supply a list of dates representatives would be available to attend Locality Committee meetings; and


(ii)        Works to Ettleton Cemetery, Newcastleton be pursued through the Small Schemes or Quality of Life budget.





Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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