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Minutes of the meeting of Maxton & Mertoun Community Council held on 21st April 2016


MINUTES of the MEETING held at MAXTON VILLAGE HALL on Thursday 21st April 2016

Present: Isobel Veitch, Jackie Price, Andrew Leitch, and Trudy Leitch

Apologies: Gemma Cargill and Penny Harvey

In Attendance: Councillor Rory Stewart

Members of the Public Present: two

Chairpersons Welcome:
Andrew welcomed all present.

Councillor Rory Stewart’s Report:
There will be fires burning at key hills throughout the Borders tonight to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday.
Questions have been raised at Council regarding the state of roads. Repairs made by SBC are not up to the standard set for other utility companies and this should be addressed. Although SBC are quick to make repairs these do not last any length of time and break up when driven over by example road sweepers and other vehicles. This can be seen on Maxton Main Street and at the top of Grantsfield.
There was a School Estate review as many schools are in a very poor state of repair. The review which closed on 11th April will be off interest.
Asda are currently looking for local charities that can benefit from the money they have collected from the plastic bags charge. They have £700,000.00 to give away so all charities should contact them now.
As of 1st April 2016 Borders Sports and Leisure became Live Borders.
The Flood Grant Scheme still has money available for householders and farmers who were affected by the winter floods. They should contact the Scheme as soon as possible.
Scottish Borders Council financial plans are available on the council website for anyone interested.
The police survey – Your View Counts – is available for you to make comment on the new police service and any issues you have and it is hoped there will be a high response from the public.
Gun license renewals have been passed to the police service and later this year they will also have to register the new gun laws regarding air pistols. This work will be in addition to their current duties.
Local Access and Transport Strategy – Timber transport in the Borders is an important issue due to the effect it has on roads and the local population. A high percentage of woodland is reaching maturity and agreed transport routes to minimise disruption, increase safely and reduce damage to roads is a high priority for the Council.

Community Beat Officer John Dawson’s Police Report
Pleasingly there have been very few incidents for the Maxton and Mertoun Ward area since the date of the last meeting in March, 2016.

The new public survey entitled ‘Your View Counts’ was launched on 7 April. Information on this can be found on the Police Scotland website. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. I would encourage all members of the public to participate in this, as it will help inform policing priorities throughout the country for the year ahead. The web address is <>

Incidents of note Maxton & Mertoun
There were no incidents of note for the Maxton and Mertoun Ward area since the date of the last meeting in March, 2016.

Two Serious Road Traffic Collision incidents have occurred on the A68 St Boswells to Jedburgh Road:

25/03/16- a three vehicle injury collision occurred on the A68 near Forest Lodge Mill, St Boswells. The roadway was blocked for approximately 2 hours, during which diversions were put in place. A driver is being reported to The Procurator Fiscal for driving without due care and attention.

13/04/16- a two vehicle collision occurred on the A68 near Harrietsfield south of Lilliardsedge Caravan Park following which an 18 year old Female driver sadly died of injuries sustained in the collision. The roadway was closed between 2000-0600 hours to allow full collision investigations to be carried out, during which diversions were put in place. A report on the circumstances of the collision is being sent to The Procurator Fiscal.

Speeding/Road Traffic
3 Road Checks were carried out in the Area during March, 2016. 1 Seat Belt Offence was detected.

Rural Thefts
No Rural Thefts have been recorded in the St Boswells area during March.

Youth antisocial behaviour
There have been no recorded incidents of youth anti-social behaviour for the Maxton area during March and no recorded stop and searches in the ward area during the month.
There are no persons subject to Anti-Social Behaviour monitoring for the Maxton Area. (1 Person in St Boswells is currently on Anti-Social Behaviour monitoring).

Crime Prevention
Residents are urged to be vigilant of any suspicious activity and contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. You can also contact your Community Beat Officer PC3432 at Selkirk Police Station or e-mail

Minutes of meeting on 24th March 2016: Adoption of Minutes
Proposed as a correct record by: - Trudy Leitch
Seconded by: Jackie Price

Matters Arising from the Minute:
Clintmains speed limit has been reduced to 30 m.p.h. but some motorist still exceeding limit. Signs warning of the 30 m.p.h. limit should be in place soon.
The planters in Maxton Playpark have been filled as quoted by Stuart Young of SBC at a total cost of £131.30 - invoice still to be received. Suitable plants will be sourced to fill them.
Jackie is willing to source plants and compost to fill the new planters at Clintmains. She will submit receipts for the cost to be reimbursed.
Councillor Stewart submitted a request for the clearing of litter following concerns by local residents regarding the amount of litter lying at the side of the road – particularly fast food containers that seem to be thrown from cars on a regular basis.
Clintmains telephone box – Jackie has received a quote of £1000 from Scottish Power to reconnect an electricity supply to the telephone box. As this seemed a ludicrous charge she sought other electrical supply and found a solar powered supply that will cost £179 including battery. In addition there will be the cost of an inverter. Everyone agreed this was a much better option and should go ahead.

Proposed Planning Application at Dryburgh
There has been no further response so it is a case of watch this space.

Treasurers Report:
Current balance of account is £2,710.09 less £1,900.00, set aside for planned accrual, leaving £810.09 available in credit.

Balance at 31st March 2015 in credit £2,406.06
SBC accommodation cost reimbursement £150.00 £2,556.06
SBC annual Community Council Grant £630.00 £3,186.06
Bank interest paid £ 1.02 £3,187.08
Maxton 21 hall rental paid £135.00 £3,052.08
Project – Clintmains £ 1.00 £3,051.08
Project – Bulbs and compost £340.99 £2,710.09 £2,710.09
Accruals for proposed projects
Compost for 2 new planters in playpark £ 200.00
Plants for planters in playpark £ 200.00
Maxton Village enhancement scheme £ 500.00
Clintmains Plants, 2 planters+bench £ 500.00
Clintmains –telephone box project £ 500.00

-£1,900.00 Less Accrual £1,900.00
Total Available Funds at 31st March 2016 £ 810.09

Concerns and Issues Raised by Members of the Community:
Residents of Main Street Maxton report continued increase in speed of vehicles.
Broadband speeds continue to be a problem for residents.

New Members of the Community Council:
Four of the current Community Councillors are due for re-election in June 2016. In 2012 when this happened before a Returning Officer was requested to accept all nominations.
Isobel will contact SBC for advice on the procedure to be followed and this will be available for the next meeting.
Maxton and Mertoun Community Council is able to have 8 members so please come along to the meetings and consider joining to help make a difference in your community.

Correspondence: Various:
Mail dealt with at meeting:

• East Maxton, Maxton Planning Brief – Public Consultation
The consultation can be found on the internet on the following webpage: briefs consultation

• Borders National Park? Update – Progress in idea of developing a National Park designation in the Scottish Borders area. Lots of interest in concept, mostly positive, but some concerns raised by farmers who worry about greater regulations, and the issue of affordable housing for young people. Presentations have been given to Community councils and contact made with SBC with a view to put a proposal to the whole Council, Councillors and officials. Work has started on a feasibility study, fundraising to pay for a full professional report. A conference is planned for November 2016, precise date yet to be decided, to bring everyone interested together.

• Annual Community Council Insurance form received for completion – Isobel will complete and return to SBC before 31st March 2016.

• The Pension Wise Service provided by Citizens Advice Bureau – funding confirmed for service to continue in Scottish Borders. The service was initiated to provide a free impartial and confidential guidance service to assist people make decisions about their Defined Contribution Pension Pots. This was particularly important after the new Pensions Freedoms announced by the government in April 2015. The service is available to anyone aged 50 years and over who has a Defined Contribution Pension. The service provides vital information on what options people have with their pensions.

It is particularly useful for people who are 55 and over who may be considering accessing their pensions, especially as taking different options can have a considerable effect on their tax return and any state benefits they are receiving. It is a crucial service to help people become aware of what they can and cannot do and what impact their decisions may have on other financial issues. CAB and Pension Wise are hugely aware of scams and pensions are being particularly aggressively targeted. These scams will be highlighted at appointment with CAB.

• SBC notification of amendments to Local Development Plan – unclear whether this was still under review or was now being implemented. Councillor Stewart will look into this.

Other information which may be of interest
• Introducing Local Energy Scotland – New website and access Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)

• SBC publicising a new emergency messaging service (launched Thursday 23rd October) the aim of the scheme is to inform local communities of up to date weather forecasts, utility failures and emergency advice. Info available at (signing up required)

• Local Community Paths: Maintenance grants for Community Councils
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:


Date of, Time and Venue for Next Meeting
AGM Thursday 19th May 2016
7.00pm – 8:30pm
Maxton Village Hall

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.

Future Meeting Dates 2016
AGM Thursday 19th May 2016 and brief planning meeting
Thursday – 16th June 2016
No Meeting in July
Thursday – 18th August 2016
Thursday – 15th September 2016
Thursday – 20th October 2016
Thursday – 17th November 2016

No Meeting in December any urgent business will be dealt with via the phone/e-mail prior to the January 2017 Meeting.

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Date: 21/04/2016