Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Community Council Spotlight

Consider matters of interest to Community Councils.



Mr Roberts, Denholm Community Council, advised that the last community council meeting had been on 19 July.  During the interim, they had held a by-election for four vacancies.  Two valid nominations had been received, therefore no ballot was required.   Once the withdrawal period had passed appointment letters would be issued.    With regard to the Hawick Flood Prevention Scheme, Mr Roberts stated that Denholm Mill residents had met with Council officers, the meeting had been informative and the residents had been reassured.    The Community Council had received the first tranche of funding from the Langhope Rig Community Fund which had been used for the production of a printed community newsletter.  Mr Roberts went on to express concern that the Cross Keys Hotel in the village, had received a 200% increase in their commercial rates.  It was hoped that the appeal process would result in this rate being reduced.  To conclude his report Mr Roberts advised that on 27 August, Denholm would host the Steve Hislop Memorial Run.  This year the proceeds from the event would be donated to Motor Neurones Disease Scotland. 


11.2     Mrs Knight, Burnfoot Community Council, advised that Burnfoot Carnival on 8 July had been a success and had raised £4k.  Mrs Knight further advised that the Border Bus windows had been broken and she hoped the police would follow up.  Mrs Knight also raised concerns as to the play area at Sleepy Valley.  Mr Dunlop explained that the problem to the paving slabs had been caused by tree roots; a small area had now been repaired. However, it would be the autumn/winter season before the works could be completed and barrier fencing removed.


11.3     Mrs Elborn, Newcastleton Community Council, advised that they were presently holding elections to the community council, there were 12 vacancies.   With reference to paragraph 9.3 of the minute of 20 June, she advised that there had still been no contact with the community council regarding the closure of the mobile dental service. Mrs Elborn further advised that the community council and the development trust had attended the Transport Feasibility meeting and requested that freight transportation should be considered as part of the railway extension.  Mrs Elborn reiterated the concerns raised at the last meeting regarding the need to change the planning policy for forestry planting to ensure that planting did not affect flood management and line of site for broadband connectivity.   Mrs Elborn then referred to the introduction of a 30p charge to use public conveniences.  The community found this unacceptable, people were refusing to pay and it was affecting tourism. The Newcastleton Business Forum has suggested, as an alternative, that toilet facilities should remain free but that a £1 charge could be levied for the use of the shower facility.   Members discussed the issue and noted the concerns, the Chairman advised that public conveniences were not a statutory requirement and that the charging policy would be reviewed after six months.    Mrs Elborn concluded her report by advising that Newcastleton Holm Agricultural Show would be on held on 26 August, there would also be an Elliot clan gathering on 23 August and a performance by Scotia on 25 August. 


11.4     With reference to paragraph 9.2 of the minute of 20 June, Mr Griffiths advised that five community councils had joined forces to set up the Birneyknowe Action Group to raise money to ensure representation through the appeal process   As well as raising funds, they had received advise from a landscape officer who had identified an Iron Age site within the area of the proposed development.  The Ministry of Defence had objected to the Pineburn windfarm development on the basis that the turbines would endanger pilots; they were now considering their response to the Birneyknowe development.   With regard to burial plots at Hobkirk Churchyard, the Council had investigated and payment for burial plots would be introduced.   Discussion was still ongoing as to the use of the former Hobkirk Primary school building.  Finally, the Scarecrow Festival and village party would be held on 26 August. 


11.5     Mr Robson, Upper Teviot and Borthwick Water Community Council, advised that their last meeting had been in July.  The Community Council had still two vacancies but there was little interest.  At the last meeting the community council had been advised that rural crime in the area had virtually ceased.  However, robberies on farms had started again.    The Community Council had also submitted a request for funding for road repairs from the Timber Transport Fund.  They had met with the Council’s Roads Manager who had outlined the road repairs for the area.  Unfortunately, there were sections of road which required repairs which had not been included which would be a disappointment to the community.  To conclude his report Mr Robson advised than their Annual Show would be held on 2 September.


11.6     Mr Knox, Hawick Community Council, advised that the Community Council had welcomed a new member who was looking forward to his role.  He further advised that arrangements for the Christmas Parade on 2 December had commenced.  Mr Knox highlighted that the community council had earmarked £5k from their community benefit program.  Application forms were available in the library and contact centre.  Closing date for applications was 30 September and grants of up to £500 were available.



NOTED the reports.





Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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