East Lammermuir Community Council
Minutes of meeting of the East Lammermuir Community Council
held on Tuesday, 8 March 2016 at 7.30 p.m.
in OldhamstocksVillage Hall
Present: Chris Bruce, Janice Hanvidge, Janette MacDonald, Barbara Wylie, Donna Collins, Peter Armstrong, Ann Lyall, Elisabeth Wilson
In attendance: Pippa Swann, Stuart Gibb, Michael Veitch
1. Apologies Pauline Jaffray
Safe and vibrant communities
2. Local Area Partnership
(i). The local area plan
Pippa Swann, chair of the Dunbar and East Linton Local Area Partnership, and Stuart Gibb, Local Partnership manager, introduced themselves to the meeting. The focus of the Dunbar and East Linton is on community planning, delivering services as is best for local people and having a say. This is enshrined in legislation in particular the Community Empowerment Act 2105.
There are three tiers of planning:
Strategic level: senior officers of council, main services, QMU and business. The overarching aim is to reduce inequality in East Lothian and they are responsible for the EL plan.
The third level is area partnerships, at the grass root level. The current budget is £200k, of which £50k is for road capital projects, £100k for amenity services, and £50k general fund (most of latter carried over to next year). Next year there will be an additional £100k for educational initiatives to increase attainment. Budgets are tied to the area plan.
The prime purpose to develop an area plan, and there are six thematic groups, each with own projects. All are focused on reducing inequality. There is a 10 year plan, constantly evolving. Current projects, both big and small include:
Town house garden
East Linton pavements
Pippa Swann said that if anyone is prepared to propose/take on a project, they are likely to be supported.
Cllr Michael Veitch joined the meeting during this discussion.
There was discussion about the shift from home care “reablement” services. Pippa Swann said that village halls have potential to assist rural areas. CB pointed out that the “At Home East Lothian” lottery bid failed because of low numbers in villages. There are two aspects in the plan for village halls to operate as activity hubs.
There was a substantial discussion about broadband. Progress was reported by SG. ELC is working with Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) and is making some progress. There is a timescale for identifying postcode areas, a list filtered by BT. CBS is to fill the gap between the 95% covered by other schemes. There will be public consultation then commercial consultation; the latter may be problematic.
CBS will assess the capability of companies to deliver, and then move into a procurement phase. Anticipated problems include: the block around rules covering state aid, although some exemptions are allowed for broadband; and the forthcoming EU referendum and “purdah” period. Consultations started 2 March and procurement is to start in April.
About 2.5k properties over East Lothian will be involved comprising: no broadband, partial broadband, non superfast broadband. Some postcode areas are not included as BT plan to roll out up to 2017. CB said Oldhamstocks has a TD postcode, and it was confirmed that this is not a problem.
As the scheme is state aided, it will be open to any provider who wishes. The infrastructure will be owned and managed by community representatives, likely to be company limited by guarantee.
(iii). Mobile reception
Poor mobile connection was also discussed. BW stated that ELC should not accept the maps that mobile providers offer, as they are inaccurate. DC reported on a system in the North of Scotland whereby first responders within a 4 mile are activated by pager. A similar project has not gone ahead. A reliable direct connection is necessary when emergency medical care is needed and an ambulance used.
3. Approval of Minutes of Meeting held on 12 January, 2016
The minutes were approved with the following amendments:
6.00 Matters arising
Broadband: delete Broadband Scotland and substitute ELC.
… CB/JH to speak to: delete SG and substitute Lothian BB.
Cockburnspath and Cove Community Council
At end of section: Cllr EW asked for a summary table of local wind farms. She agreed to review the Local Energy Scotland site for suitability.
4. Any other business to be added to the Agenda:
FYI Community payback work team is available
5. Councillors’ reports
Torness 7 April. AW agreed to be the representative at this.
BW said the location of meetings for Viridor credits meeting has been changed to Euro Central, and she is willing to continue in this role. Agreed to invite Richard Miller from Viridor to a forthcoming meeting on 23 Aug in Spott.
BW reported on the meeting of the Area Partnership. There is £250 for each CC to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. There is a proposal for drinking fountains, which cost £600 to install. Previous health concerns appear to no longer apply.
It was reported that this is mostly out.
MV is concerned about the number of potholes in the area. With a reduced roads budget, priority should be for the main aerial routes. DC raised the problem of with lorries diverting on rural roads when the A1 is blocked.
Gareth Hill is the ELC active schools coordinator. However children who go to school in Co’path are excluded from these activities. MV undertook to raise this with the Director of Education.
As reported at last meeting, except lights of A1 underpass now working.
6. Treasurer’s Report
The bank sent a personal cheque to JH because of her inconvenience. She will return this for the lunch in 23 April. A donation of £50 out of this sum was agreed for Maggie’s Centre, from which local people have benefited.
Lillian Pride has sent out details of the admin grant (to be clarified).
£250 per Community council is available to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
JH will ask for the £250 on behalf of ELCC, to be split between the four villages.
Action: inform parish welfare associations.
JM left the meeting
7. Wind farms
(i) CB reported that at Hoprigshiels three new wind turbines are being built by Berwickshire Housing Association, and they are exemplary developers. They intend to give the money without strings to Co’Path and Oldhamstocks, split 50/50. (By contrast Ferneylea has been running for over a year and has not paid anything out.). Between these two small wind farms there is a total of £45k to be split between the two councils. There was discussion whether the ELCC should offer to administer this money. The Oldhamstocks Community Association (126 households) are willing to take it on. Agreed
(ii) Aikengall 2 is currently under construction. (Aikengall 1 promised to give us £25k per year. Instead they fund the Be Green shop). Scottish Government guidelines propose £5k per annum per installed megawatt. Rob Fryer, the Community Windpower development manager, said £100k per annum will be made available divided between 4 rural CCs, and the remainder (£242k) to Be Green.
Representatives of the four CCs met recently to agree a common approach, following which Community Windpower made a further proposal of 1/6 to each of 4 rural CCs, Dunbar CC and the Be Green shop. ELCC’s share would be £57k.
Further discussions are planned with the other CCs. It was agreed ELCC should request the entire sum to be disbursed to the CCs. (NB the Scottish Government guidelines say it should be a community benefit, whereas The Be Green shop is wholly owned and run by Community Windpower. Current proposals would mean over time £2.4m would be kept by the company.)
MV left the meeting
5. Councillors’ reports continued
JM arrived a little late, rang the bell and could not get in. She has been in touch with Jacquie Bell.
DC reported major work for cabling for Torness up to Branxton, which is hugely disruptive. Two low loaders a week will pass through rural areas and police will divert traffic and close roads. There will be 24 hours notice of movements, by text.
CB suggested there should be website.
DC said thread been unlawful excavations and access to fields, with access. Locked for some landowners. The Scottish government involved. DC can provide phone numbers.
6. Matters Arising (Previous)
9. Date of Next Meeting – 17 May, 2016 – Stenton Bowling Club
The proposed facilitator for meeting 23 April is not available. Councillors’ are asked to keep to date in their diary.