Maxton Scotland
The Parish Web Site - Scottish Borders

Community Council Noticeboard

Minutes of the Meeting of Maxton & Mertoun Community Council of 16th January 2014


Held at MAXTON VILLAGE HALL on Thursday 16th January 2014

Present: Isobel Veitch, Penny Harvey, Steve Deacon, Andrew & Trudy Leitch + junior representative Jade Deacon.

Apologies: C.B.O. Karen McIlroy

In Attendance: Councillor Rory Stewart

Members of the Public Present: Two

Chairpersons Welcome: Chairperson welcomed everyone and wished them Happy New Year.

Councillor Rory Stewart’s Report:
Councillor Stewart apologised for missing our November meeting but this was of no consequence as the meeting did not take place due to insufficient community councillors in attendance. He has passed on our query regarding the rail track to Susan Kevan, walking officer. There are funds available for community schemes.

Councillor Stewart reminded us of the Consultation on Review of Licensing Policy Statement and Introduction of Byelaws to Prohibit the Consumption of Alcohol in Designated Public Places - SBC Licensing Board Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.
Proposed changes by the Board subject to a 12 week consultation. Comments are invited – for reference see deadline for responses extended to Friday 17th January 2014.

At SBC there had been controversial voting on the removal of the brown bins and garden waste pick up in an effort to save money. Although Councillor Stewart voted against this it was carried and the service will stop in April 2014. Maxton had hoped the service might increase to include it but this is now out of the question.

Other money saving moves have been to get rid of ten senior managers and replace them with two new Deputy Chief Executives.

In education it is planned to reduce the school attendance to 4.5 days per week with children stopping at 12 o’clock on a Friday. This is to provide time off for teachers who will cover music, PE etc. which was previously outsourced – another money saving tactic. Inconvenience to working parents and resulting childcare crisis is unfortunate.

There are emergency funds available for village halls for installation of solar panels – Isobel has flagged this up to Maxton 21 and was told it had been brought to their attention by the Bridge but they did not think it was for them – she will mention it again to them.

SBC is also funding new salt bins and as Maxton lost at least two bins in the previous cut backs it would be good to get these reinstated. Councillor Stewart said he is pursuing this, so far without success, but he would check what is currently allocated in the area and see what he can do as it was stressed the bin at the Grantsfield main road junction is required as a safety issue as is the access to the church and homes in that road.

Concern expressed by residents again about the depth of the gully at the side of the main road. It was filled with earth by SBC but this was soon washed away as soon as it began to rain. The repair and provision of a kerb would seem the best solution but financial restraints at SBC put it down the list of priorities. However an officer of the council who visited again to see the earth washed away said he would put it on their list we are unaware of any progress in this matter.
The drain at the corner of the cul-de-sac in Grantsfield that has the surrounding tarmac washed away is still requiring repair.
The Muirhouselaw road has not yet been repaired as far as we know but Councillor Stewart will look into these matters.

Community Beat Officers Police Report Karen was unable to attend.

The new report is more general than previously and covers Jedburgh and District

Report KE08 – Maxton & St Boswells 16 recorded crimes and 3 solved – an increase of 1 compared to the same period in 2012

1 person was stopped and searched but no substances were found
1 person was given a ticket for being in excess of the speed limit in Maxton and several verbal warnings were given.

There have been a couple of incidents of theft within Clintmains area where a vehicle and shed were entered and tools removed.
Advice as always do not leave valuable items on view and within access to the fly by night opportunist thief.

Community information
Still receiving reports of suspicious vehicles in the area.
A red transit van with 2 males within. When questioned they state they are looking for storage facilities. This vehicle is known to the police so if seen please contact us.

Minutes of 24th October 2013: Adoption of Minutes
Proposed as a correct record by: - Penny Harvey
Seconded by: - Trudy Leitch

Matters Arising from the Minute:
Resilient Community Plan – Councillor Stewart said he would have a word with Kevin Sewell regarding his pursuit of Maxton. Those present at the meeting reiterated it was not something they considered suitable for us and we fully understood what was being made available contrary to Mr Sewell’s belief. It was felt a presentation by Mr Sewell or Jim Fraser would be a waste of their time. There is concern that Mr Sewell had said if we did not sign up for the Resilient Community Plan we would receive ‘nothing else from SBC’. The extent of our requirements would be reinstatement of a salt bin in Grantsfield and at the church.

A resident in Maxton who raised the issue of the cost of the goal post and net now appreciates the safety issues and constraints that must be met. He has offered to improve the planters at the entry to the village and also the area of garden next to the telephone box which is overgrown and unkempt. Other residents in the village have offered their assistance and the Community Council agreed that a special project fund should be set aside to fund all requirements for replanting and the floral enhancement of the village.

Treasurers Report:
Current balance of account is £2,464.93 less £2,025 set aside for planned accrual, leaving £439.93 available in credit

Balance at 24th October 2013 in credit £2,464.70
Bank interest received £0.23

Accruals for proposed projects
Football Posts + Net £ 625.00
Wooden Bench £ 200.00
Village enhancement scheme £1,200.00

Less Accrual £2,025.00
Total Available Funds £ 439.93

Concerns and Issues Raised by Members of the Community:

A local resident at Clintmains raised concerns as to whether the telephone box currently in situ would be removed by BT as it is no longer in use and is in a poor state of repair following recent storms which broke windows. The resident thought the box could be put to use as an information centre for walkers and tourists. He said it was currently occasionally used for treasure hunts.

Isobel contacted Douglas Scott at SBC who had been our contact during the last review of the telephone boxes. He advised that the council had come to an agreement with BT that no telephone boxes in the region would be removed without prior notice to the council who would then contact the local community councils. The boxes can be adopted by the community for a nominal charge of £1 but provision would need to be made for their future upkeep and maintenance. There are three communities in the borders who have taken on their local telephone boxes and use them as information centres for tourists and walkers. Douglas said SBC would not be prepared to take it on.

Isobel had reported this back to the resident that the box was in no immediate danger. He asked if the community council would consider taking it on as he felt it could be put to good use and was a landmark in the area.

It was agreed a visit should be made to the telephone box at Nisbet and it could be discussed again at the next meeting.

Correspondence: Various:
Mail dealt with at meeting:

• Introduction of Byelaws to Prohibit the Consumption of Alcohol in Designated Public Places
SBC Licensing Board
Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 – Consultation on Review of Licensing Policy Statement
Draft statement and proposed changes by the Board subject to a 12 week consultation. Comments are invited – for reference see deadline for responses extended to Friday 17th January 2014.

• Hello Communities – what’s new at Home Energy Scotland – check website for latest info.
Shine on Fife – solar promotion in Fife
Green Homes Network and Green Network for Business
Hard-to-treat cavity walls in Kirkcaldy
Green Homes Cashback
Changeworks helps Edinburgh send less to landfill with free workshops
Community Energy Fortnight
Rural Gateway call for Case Studies

The Scottish Government have concluded a contract worth £264.3m for the extension of superfast broadband across 27 local authorities. It is anticipated that 85% of homes and businesses across Scotland will receive fibre broadband by the end of 2015, rising to around 95% by the end of 2017.
Currently only 4.98% of people across the South of Scotland have registered their demand.

• Local Community Paths: Maintenance grants for Community Councils
These grants will reimburse expenses incurred through local maintenance or improvements undertaken, including grass cutting, vegetation removal, surfacing, installation of gates etc., up to a value of £450. This amount could also form part of a larger project which you have applied for from a combination of other funding bodies. However all work must be completed before the grant can be paid. Grant forms must be submitted by 28th February 2014 with full details of the proposed plans.
Find out more about path networks in your area by visiting the following websites:

• Electronic Planning Consultation
Community Councils are encouraged to start submitting responses to planning applications in their area electronically by sending them to
All planning information can be found online by following the hyperlink:

• Have your say on proposed Local Development Plan
12 week consultation 6th December 2013 till 3rd March 2014
View the LDP online at or at Council contact centres and libraries.
A guidance note is available at to assist with submitting comments on the LDP.

• Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP 2014-2020
Final Proposals have been published on the Scottish Government website. Closing date for consultation is Friday 28th February 2014

• Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – Local 3 year Plan 2014-2017 for the Scottish Borders
Consultation on draft local plan - survey available online until 13th March 2014 – submit comments and feedback at

• Survey of Community Councils, published on the Scottish Government website

• Home Energy Scotland – new financial incentives and loans available to householders and supporting new projects and community partners. Look online at: Cashback Scheme Community energy online
Home Energy Efficiency Scotland Area Based Schemes
Keep Scotland Beautiful are providing free Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) application and funding advice.

New Members of the Community Council: The process of election and code of conduct for councillors is available on the Scottish Borders Council website by looking under Community Council Schemes.

A.O.C.B. None

Date of, Time and Venue for Next Meeting

Thursday 20th February 2013
7.00pm – 8.30pm
Maxton Village Hall

Future Meeting Dates 2014
20th February 2014
20th March 2014
24th April 2014
15th May 2014 (AGM)

All members of the two communities are welcome to attend and take this opportunity to make a difference to their communities, your thoughts and concerns are of interest to all your Community Councillors.

Back to: Community Council Noticeboard

Date: 16/01/2014