Key points from the Gore_bridge Community Council meeting on June 20.
Police – The first drop-in surgery received a positive response and further drop- in surgeries will be arranged over the coming months. Dates will be updated as soon as we have them.
Crime Awareness – There have been a number of incidents of fire-raising over the past month in Hunterfied, the library, leisure centre and the Beacon.
Parking issues have been addressed by police with tickets issued for parking on double yellow lines in Gorebridge Main Street. It can be pretty dangerous trying to drive up and down the Main Street when cars are parked on double yellow lines and we encourage people to use the parking bays and car park available.
There were a number of food and alcohol thefts from McColls. Anti-social behaviour from a number of youths was dealt with following the gala day.
The police still encourage everyone to secure their property appropriately as there continues to be car and motor bike thefts.
Stobhill/Newtongrange site – The community council had sight of the plans to develop the site of the council depot at Gowkshill and on the opposite side of the A7 on June 13 and a number of local residents attended to discuss the consultation which took place on June 15 at the Mining Museum. The plans include some commercial and retail units together with three blocks of flats on the mining museum side of the A7 which will link with Newtongrange town centre. The Gowkshill side has potential for retail units and possibly a hotel. In addition there are plans for around 150 houses.
The community council challenged that this land should be protected for a future site for a high school and we encourage locals to look at these plans and raise your concerns with Midlothian Council. The community council is writing to invite a representative from Midlothian Council planning to give a presentation to the community to help us to understand the planning process and enable us to submit our objections more effectively where necessary.
New Persimmon development – Plans have been submitted to residents of the Barratts estate for 125 houses. There are a number of valid objections from residents who attended the community council meeting and we will be writing to support the objections.
Original plans were for 76 houses, and to increase this to 125 houses will have an impact on the current residents and there will be health and safety issues with construction traffic being directed through the narrow residential Castle Avenue road. There is a huge impact on wildlife in this area and this is a popular area for walkers and dog walkers. From looking at the plans, the miners’ heritage path from Jacob’s Ladder to the Gore and Emily pits will be lost. This path links Dewar Estate with Gorebridge Main Street and the station.
Beacon – The devastating fire-raising at the Beacon on May 18 caused considerable damage, resulting in the build being pushed back by at least nine to 12 months. This is a huge blow to the community and businesses who were all set to start using the facility which was due to open in June. The work to complete this is covered by insurance by both the trust and the contractors and there has been a positive response from the community to support the completion of the build.
The trust is hoping to secure a pop-up Beacon as an alternative whilst the building works carry on.
Miners’ Memorial – Positive response to the fundraising efforts online with £390 donated so far. In addition £250 has been received by cheque from local residents and a couple of local businesses. We will continue to promote this and encourage everyone to share the link to the JustGiving page - https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Gorebridge-Miners-Memorial?utm_term=PYkQYQawe.
If you would prefer to send a cheque payable to Gorebridge Community Council. Please send this to Secretary, Gorebridge Community Council, 19 Louis Braille Way, Gorebridge EH23 4LD.
Councillors’ updates – Cllr Jim Muirhead advised that the first steps the council are taking is to reintroduce the CAT police teams. Discussions are ongoing with Police Scotland and start date to be agreed. We still have our community police officers Forbes and McGuff who were in attendance at the community council meeting (in between dealing with incidents).
There is a £2 million overspend this year and with £4m taken from reserves. The council need to find £6.5m on top of the £9m forecast for 2018/2019. There will be some cuts coming over the next few years.
Cllr Cath Johnstone advised that the travelling community had to be moved on from a site in Newtongrange. She also attended the Newbattle summer concert and recommends attending the next concert which will take place at Christmas time.
Community Council Membership – We have a few exciting projects to get involved in with the community council and we encourage local people to get involved and join us. We are looking for local residents with a variety of skills including planning, fundraising and communications but mostly an interest in improving Gorebridge for ourselves and future generations.
The next meeting will be in Gorebridge Primary School, Barleyknowe Lane, on August 15 from 7pm to 9pm. Please come along and find out more about what we do and how you can help.