Minutes of Meeting of
East Lammermuir Community Council
held on Tuesday 8 January, 2013 in
Oldhamstocks Village Hall
Present: Cllrs: P Armstrong/M Kirkland/C Bruce (Chair)/ J Hanvidge/J MacDonald/B Wyllie
Apologies: Cllrs: P McLennon/N Hampshire
In attendance: Cllr M Veitch/ East Lothian Countryside ranger – Duncan Priddle/PC K Huges/PC L Scott/ Sustaining Dunbar – Morag Haddow/Dunbar Cycling Group – Mark James/Four members of the public/Pauline Jaffray
The chair wished all present a very happy new year and introductions followed. It was agreed Morag Haddow and Mark James should address the meeting first on Connecting Innerwick and improving access for walkers and cyclists to reach Dunbar without having to travel on or cross the A1. MH was very much aware of the difficulties involved in encouraging villagers to use alternative modes of transport, especially when no alternative facilities/pathways etc were in place.
MH had looked at and researched various options in order to make access available and felt after discussion the easiest and cheapest option was to include a cycle/walk way using an existing right of way. Where a right of way did not exist MH was hopeful to meet with and obtain agreement from landowners in order that a continuous right of way could be put in place. Mr Gilchrist, who was in attendance at the meeting and farmed in the area was able to advise on the right of ways currently in place and put forward suggestions as to the best possible route. It was noted ELCC had, during the A1 upgrade met with and discussed various options for allowing Innerwick villagers access to cross the A1 and the building of a flyover and/or tunnel had proved to be too expensive.
PC L Scott advised it was illegal to cycle on the A1 from Thistly Cross roundabout to Edinburgh, but not illegal to cycle from the same roundabout to Cockburnspath. However, Lothian & Borders Police strongly advised cyclists not to cycle on this stretch of the A1 as it was extremely dangerous and they were very much in support of an alternative route for cyclists/walkers to reach Dunbar.
MH is looking at submitting a bid/application for funding within the next few weeks and is also in discussions with Viridor Waste Management for a cycle path from Oxwellmains to Dunbar.
ELCC are keen to support this initiative and a letter of support would be addressed to MH.
Following the departure of MH & MJ, East Lothian Ranger – Duncan Priddle presented a presentation entitled The Lost Landscape of East Lothian and the initiative currently being adopted by ELC to win it back.
DP apologised to the meeting for the lack of consultation in presenting this initiative to the EH42 community and he hoped to readdress this by inviting all interested parties to an informal but informative site visit at Barns Ness on Saturday 2 February commencing at 11am in Barns Ness car park. ELCC agreed they would advertise this event and forward information on to all interested parties.
DP explained the background to this initiative and how many of our East Lothian grasslands are starting to fail and how ELC wish to readdress this problem and put in place at number of schemes to help improve our grasslands. If our grasslands are declining, so too are the important species it supports and the knock on affect this has to our environment is also in danger. The reasons for this decline were explained as was the importance of identifying key sites – currently Aberlady Bay/Barns Ness/North Berwick Law/Traprain Law – and engaging with the local population to secure volunteers was also of importance.
One possible drawback to securing volunteer support was the introduction of car parking charges at Barns Ness and the impact this would have, not only on volunteers keen to support this initiative but on others who visit this site regularly. It was very likely, to avoid the car parking charges, cars would be parked inappropriately, possible blocking field entrances etc. PC Hughes advised if cars were parked badly and causing a potential hazard action would have to be taken.
The meeting thanked DP.
2:00 Approval of Minutes of Meeting held on 27 November, 2012. The minutes were approved.
3:00 Any other business to be added to agenda. Due to the time, it was agreed no further items will be added to the agenda and the Blackcastle/Cocklaw Hill wind turbine planning application would be discussed.
ELCC had requested an extension to the planning deadline date in order to get a better understanding of how villagers felt with regards to this application. Councillors for Stenton Spott and Oldhamstocks advised they had not received any direct response at all. However, one member of the public who was in attendance at the meeting strongly opposes this planning application due to its geographical position and for the potential of one wind turbine to, in the future, to become a wind farm which was what is happening elsewhere in the locality.
The timing of the exhibition, early December, held in Oldhamstocks and Innerwick was also questioned and the communication advising of this project had been poorly circulated. ELCC felt the consulation had failed resulting in ELCC not being confident in understanding the views of the community. It was agreed Cllr Armstrong should write to ELC asking for a further extension: PA
The meeting further agreed information on this project must be circulated and in particular to Innerwick community. ELCC agreed to ensure information is circulated: CB/BW/PJ
The landowner of Cocklaw Farm and been notified by BT mast-technicians, two members of the ELCC had visited the site without permission and potentially broke health and safety rules. This was not the case. The site had been visited by two members of Sabel and an apology was made directly to the landowner, by a member of the public in attendance at the meeting, for not seeking his permission to visit the site.
4:00 Police Business:
PC K Hughes submitted the following report:
Between the 21st and 28th of December a van was broken into by forcing the rear doors in the Stenton area. Power tools valued at into the thousands were stolen.
Overnight on the 28th of December a vehicle (again in the Stenton area) was entered via the soft top roof and the following items stolen from within. Two red and cream chainsaws, one orange and green Husquvarna chainsaw and a Dewalt power drill. Items are valued at around two thousand pounds.
Patrols have been made to check areas where mud on the road has been a problem. No major issues were identified and the number of complaints have dropped.
Operation Ether will be launched again in February and will be starting in East Linton. This will be more high profile than the last operation, hopefully with roads policing officers also involved.
The latest agreed priorities of the Dunbar CAPP are as follows:
-Parking issues in Countess area, Dunbar: patrols to be made of fire station car park, disabled bays in front of Beachingfield Community Centre and disabled car park in front of school gates.
-Mud on roads: extra patrols to be conducted in rural areas to checks for mud on roads associated to agricultural vehicles.
-Thefts from insecure properties and vehicles: extra patrols already being carried out, various crime prevention tactics to be considered.
The date of the next CAPP meeting is Thursday 17 January, 2012 held at Dunbar Police Station, to which all are welcome.
5:00 Treasurer’s Report:
6:00 Matters Arising (Previous) Due to time scale, this item also incorporates Councillors’ reports.
Cllr Wyllie had enjoyed attending the Rural Voice workshop at Winton House on 28 November and felt there was a good balance of attendees and decent broadband, better transport, supporting local businesses were a few of the items discussed.
The build up of the mud on Stenton bridge has still not been removed and is a potential hazard. Cllr Vetch has reported the matter, but would do so again, advising the mud in question was the result of years of neglect. MV
Stenton grit bin has also been removed. Can Cllr Veitch find out why? MV
ELCC Newsletter has been circulated, but unfortunately not in the Innerwick area. CB would enquire with Cllr Collins, who was unfortunately not in attendance at tonight’s meeting. CB
Cllr MV advised the post office service had failed to operate in December and he would once again contact the Royal Mail to enquire why and to seek assurances from them this would not happen again. MV
Cllr MV advised repairs have been made to Pitcox Road, however the problems with regards to drainage and the verges of Stenton Village Green still required attention. MV
ELC are looking at the Spott boundary wall and the netting put in place at Oldhamstocks bridge was not working efficiently. Oldhamstock verges also require attention. MV
Cllr MV has written to British Telecom re the poor broadband service available in Oldhamstocks and advised Scottish Borders Council are also investigating. It may be beneficial for a representative of Oldhamstocks to contact SBC. CB
Dog fouling in Oldhamstocks is of great concern and a number of incidents have taken place recently, which should be reported to the necessary official departments of ELC. Also it appears the new dog fouling bin, erected in Innerwick was not being used. Would it be possible to transfer this bin to Oldhamstocks?
Sincere thanks were expressed to Torness from Innerwick village for the repair of the Christmas tree lighting system. It was noted many villagers had commented on how delighted they were to see the Christmas tree lights back in action.
ELCC meeting closed at this point in order for the Crystal Rig Windfarm applications to be discussed.
8:00 Correspondence: No items raised.
9:00 Date of Next meeting: 26 February, 2012 Stenton
16 April Spott
18 June Innerwick
27 August Oldhamstocks
1 October Stenton
26 November Spott