We’re in it together to make things better

Mayfield Community Council members Robert Hogg, Judy Thomson and Stephen Liddell at Bogwood Court in the centre of Mayfield

Mayfield Community Council members Robert Hogg, Judy Thomson and Stephen Liddell at Bogwood Court in the centre of Mayfield

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Community groups in Mayfield have been working closely with the council to benefit their area, with town centre plans their top priority.

The unique ‘In It Together’ partnership group consists of two representatives a number of groups.

They include from Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council, Mayfield and Easthouses Development Trust (MAEDT), McSence, Y2K and Newbattle Church, with representation from Midlothian Councils’ communities team and Midlothian Voluntary Action.

The group has been meeting for almost a year and has held discussions with Midlothian Council about how to better Mayfield, one of the most deprived areas in Scotland.

It hopes to raise £100,000 to provide a preliminary town centre masterplan for Mayfield.

Sharon Hill of MAEDT, said: “We have been meeting for almost a year now and have involved people within the council to ensure that its priorities and future needs are also considered within our overall planning process.

“We are about to submit funding applications to enable a full consultation and production of a master plan of the wants, aspirations and needs of our local community.

“We see this as a three part process – scoping the area, mapping ownership and investigating opportunities and possibilities; engaging and consulting with residents, business holders, local government and other invested partners to enable articulation of our hope, wants, ideas and needs, both immediately and for the future; and producing a document which will detail the proposed plans for our town centre.

“This is a very long-term plan - 20/25 years, so we are in the very early stages.”

Robert Hogg, Community council chairman, added: “We are trying to think out of the box. Budgets are getting tighter and we are trying to talk to the council in a way that will benefit the community before they make decisions.

“There is a wide range of different things we can do to improve the area. We are talking to senior officials at the council –and it looks positive. The council hasn’t done anything like this before, and it is really into it which is good.”

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “Discussions have been wide-ranging and there is a clear common goal – improving the quality of the town centre and supporting the implementation of the neighbourhood plan, which many residents have contributed to.

“This project is still a work in progress and we’re at the start of a long-term process of change that will require agreement with the community, but the groups have made a strong start and we look forward to working closely to make further change happen.”