Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Theme: Quality of Life

A facilitated discussion on the subject in order to put forward a set of initial outcomes for Berwickshire.  Guest speakers include Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Live Borders and the Council’s Community Learning & Development team.


Further information on local data and statistics can be found at: 





3.1       The Chairman welcomed representatives from Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Live Borders and the Council’s Community Learning and Development Team.  Further information on local data and statistics can be found at:Berwickshire Area Partnership.  The theme for the focus for debate for the remainder of the meeting was Quality of Life. The Chairman referred to the main item on the agenda – discussion around the theme ‘Our Quality of Life’ - and introduced the key speakers who each gave a brief summary of the work, relevant to the theme, being carried out by their organisation/section. 


3.2       Inspector McGuigan highlighted the commitment of Police Scotland as identified in the Local Police Plan 2017-20 for Scottish Borders.  Following a consultation process there were seven Local Police Priorities identified which linked to the themes within the Scottish Borders Community Plan: domestic abuse; road safety; violent crime; anti-social behaviour; drugs and alcohol misuse; protecting people (including child protection); and acquisitive crime (incorporating rural crime, doorstep crime, housebreakings and thefts).  Police had strong links to the Council’s Safer Communities team with proactive campaigns such as Drivewise Borders and Crucial Crew.  Inspector McGuigan stressed that all resources were clearly focussed on the priorities and also drew attention to the work undertaken over the past year by the Community Action Team (CAT) who provided a dedicated community resource which would specifically target issues such as anti-social behaviour and on-street parking.  Any matters to be resolved by CAT would be made through elected representatives.  A quarterly performance report on the activities of CAT was circulated.


3.3       Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager, Michael Jaffray, made reference to the Local Fire and Rescue Plan for the Scottish Borders which was included in the paperwork provided on the tables.  In particular, he drew attention to the focus on the key local priorities on helping people feel safer in their homes by giving access to appropriate assistance on broader safety in the home.  The service would work with local communities and the Eyemouth response team to promote community resilience to contribute to improved outcomes for people to be involved in non-fire emergencies such as extreme weather events.  He further went on to explain that work was being carried out with community partners on making roads safer and to challenge anti-social behaviour.  Mr Jaffray referred, in particular, to the aim to reduce unwanted fire alarm signals, where there was no fire but an automated fire alarm system was activated.  This currently accounted for over 65% of emergency response activity across the Scottish Borders.  Mr Jaffray explained that a full time Watch Manager had been employed in Eyemouth to reduce the non-fire emergencies and to support the local area partnership to take forward awareness aimed at high risk groups in the community.  Police Scotland were currently working closely with schools to improve existing preventative strategies as there was often a close link between deliberate fires and anti-social behaviour.  Mr Jaffray concluded by emphasising that the service wanted to work closely with communities and would welcome comments from local residents.


3.4       Community Learning and Development Manager, Mark Smith from Scottish Borders Council was in attendance to talk about the work of the Community Learning and Development Service and in particular the work being carried out with 11-25 year olds.  The learning activity focused in the Borders Youth Programme to work with young people who were at risk of offending in the community or not reaching their full potential had been a great success.  The anti-social behaviour problem in Eyemouth was based on young people having nothing to do.  He confirmed that work was being carried out in schools to target and accommodate young people and carers to address issues like mental health with the development of youth clubs, adult and family learning centres in Eyemouth.  Partners and members of community groups worked together to co-produce an approach and information resource to support emotional wellbeing.  This would be co-ordinated within the Berwickshire area wide partnership looking at the highlighted priorities and to share resources and further develop and support learners, partners, families and young people.


3.5       Assistant Curator, Andrew Tulloch from Live Borders gave an update on the cultural side of the area and work being carried out alongside libraries and museums to increase the number of tourists to the area to visit places like the Jim Clark Museum, parks, the castle and any exhibitions being held and to be aware of all the civic week events that take place.  Mr Tulloch reported that many volunteers contribute to the promotion of the delivery of the service to gain public engagement with the local activities.  


3.6       Following the introductory talks, officers joined Elected Members, partners and members of the public at their tables for a discussion on the main issues relating to “Our Quality of Life” in the Berwickshire Area.  A pack of information was provided at each table to aid the discussion as were feedback sheets to record the emerging points.  Following this first discussion period and a short break each group returned to their tables where they were asked by the Chairman to focus on prioritising the key issues raised and to discuss and identify ways of taking these forward within the Berwickshire Area.  A summary of the output of the discussions was provided as an Appendix to this minute.





Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


For more Contact Details