Put the ‘Big Idea’ day in your diary


A number of you have already commented on the Big Idea event, which is great.  I thought I’d begin the week (and end of the month!) by giving you some more details.

At the moment Vikki Hilton, the external consultant, is gathering together the views of nearly 200 pupils from Kirknewton Primary and 250 of you from the village.  She plans to see pupils at Balerno High School who live in Kirknewton at lunch time, for only half an hour, on Wednesday 2nd March (so please have your say or encourage your kids to have their say at that event).   

A short presentation on the initial findings from the ‘I Love Kirknewton’ consultation will be made at the Village Hall on Thursday 10th March from 7pm. 

This will be followed by the main drop in day presenting ‘Your BIG Ideas’ on Sunday 13th March in the Village Hall from 10am til 5pm.  This will be your opportunity to help make your favourite ideas happen.  You will find out what you like about Kirknewton, what you don’t like and what you would like to see to make our community life better. 

As an example – if you said you want a brand new community centre we will provide a map of Kirknewton and you can choose your ideal location for the new facility.  If you suggested traffic calming measures we may ask where you would like speed signs situated.

There are a number of suggestions that have been repeated several times.  Even if you didn’t get the chance to put forward your ideas here is your opportunity to see what others have had to say and how together we can make those ideas happen.  That may be through funding from a sustainable income source in the area, applying for or raising funds for suitable projects, lobbying from the community council to relevant bodies, the work of the Development Trust, activities through other community groups or by using the skills and abilities of people who live in the village.

All this information will be utilised and provide a focus for the final Community Development Plan and the application to the Big Lottery.  I hope you can make the day!  

(Don’t forget England play Scotland at the 6 Nations rugby on the 13th too, so if you don’t want to miss the game come before 3pm or if you want to escape the game come and see us between 3 and 5pm!)

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Wood For Winter Warmth


A woodstove could be the answer for that hard to heat room.
Modern woodstoves are a practical way of heating in most houses, but how do you choose the correct one?
And what is the best wood for burning?
Is my chimney adequate?
Come and learn about buying wood-fuel, how to choose a woodstove and tips for wood storage and management at a free seminar and discussion in the Kirknewton Village Hall on Thursday 10th March from 7pm.
Your burning questions will be answered by Simon Lockwood (Scottish Native Woods Area Manager Central Lowlands) and Stewart Mckenna (founder and owner of Forest Fire Edinburgh).

Tony Foster, Kirknewton Development Officer, will also do a short presentation on the findings of the ‘I Love Kirknewton’ community consultation after the seminar.

Refreshements will be available

Look forward to seeing you there.

What’s the Big Idea?


What’s the Big Idea?  All will come clear soon…keep reading the blog!

Meantime the ‘I Love Kirknewton’ consultation is ended (bar meeting with the high school kids) and all the information is being collated for a series of feedback sessions in March.

A big thank you to everyone who helped to let people know about the consultation and to those who gave their views to help inform the first stage of the community plan.  There is a second step (more soon, I’ll be in touch) and all will come clear by the end of this week!

There has been a flurry of activity by the Development Trust for events in March.  There is a ‘Meals and Wheels’ event in the Village Park towards the end of March that the Powerdown team are busy putting together.  This event brings together the best bits of the Sustainable Transport/cycling event and the Food Fair from last year. 

 There is the launch of the food waste trial and many people in the village have been putting their names down as ‘bin champions’ for that. 

There will also be a seminar on the benefits of woodstoves for heating your homes on Thursday 10th March.  I’ll also be giving a short presentation on the initial findings of the ‘I Love Kirknewton’ community consultation.  Look out for further information on the Facebook group and in Konect magazine.

Happy Valentines Day Kirknewton lovers


It’s the final week of the I Love Kirknewton Community consultation.  We would like to capture as many thoughts as possible. Contact Vikki on 07803 930972 or e mail vikki@hiltonassociates.com to comment.  We need your name, age, location, what you like about Kirknewton, what you don’t like and what you would like to see in Kirknewton.  You can contact Vikki to interview you or e mail your thoughts by Friday 18th February.

You can also post your comments on this blog and I’ll pass them on to Vikki.

Kick off ‘I Love Kirknewton’ event success


The night before Sunday 6th February I had been in pain for seven hours solid and managed three hours sleep (kidney stone – ouch!!!)  but it didn’t stop me from being ready to set up the village hall from 8.30am for the ‘I Love Kirknewton’ community consultation event on Sunday 6th February.

Weather permitting the drop in event kicks off the consultation and, over the next few weeks, we hope to capture as many thoughts as possible.  We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out on the day.  I had been given an indication to expect around 30 people and we had over 100 braving the poor weather and making sure their voice was heard.  There was a great mix of people attending too, from people new to the village to those who had lived here most of their lives.  So a big thank you to those who were able to participate on the day.

Prior to the event Vikki Hilton and I went to the church to make a wee announcement and capture people’s views after the service.  This was the first time I had met Andre, the minister at the church, and he comes across as a great fireball of fun and many people had good words to say about him (and his jokes!)  Thanks to Andre for supporting the project, getting involved and allowing us to do that.  Loved the Kosy Kafe poem in the church newsletter that mentioned the ‘I Love Kirknewton’  project too!

Back at the Village Hall we had refreshments (thanks to Ann, Monika and Asda!), a display model of the eco plant and streaming video about food collection schemes/AD plants and a very cool kids corner which kept the wee ones entertained all day (science putty and magnetic stones being a particular favourite of mine!).  The steady stream of people made the day go quicker than expected and it was great to not only capture people’s views but hear everyone’s stories as well!

Due to my lack of sleep it was early to bed for me after the event.  The Drop In event kicks off the community consultation proper Vikki and her team will be out and about over the next two weeks gathering even more views from as many people in Kirknewton. 

You can still take part in the community consultation and have your say. If you want to guarantee your thoughts are captured or would like to be seen at home contact Vikki directly on 0131 331 1523, mobile 07803 930972 or e mail vikki@hiltonassociates.com

Wet and windy…


 The storm clouds have gathered but the Baby and Toddler group was fairly bright and breezy yesterday, with a sense of community spirit shining through.

Vikki and Sam fought the storm and knocked on doors throughout the day but have wisely decided to avoid the elements today.  The weather certainly didn’t help attendance at the Kirknewton Community Association but the discussion was historical and interesting.  We did discover a new group who we will see this afternoon and hopefully capture their views for the consultation.

This morning it was back to school, talking to the pupils of Kirknewtom Primary School.  The kids have some work to do over the next week that will be fed back through the pupil council.  Their homework is to also bring all their mums, dads and carers to the drop in event on Sunday 6th February, 10am til 6pm at the Village Hall (plug, plug, plug).

I have the hall keys, the display boards have arrived, the cakes are in the freezer, the tea urn is ready to boil, the kids will have toys to keep them occupied and now all we need is you and your views for the future of Kirknewton.  Vikki, the team and I hope to see you on Sunday.

Please don’t snow…

Trip to A & E


It all started so well, with the Konect article and flyer coming out informing everyone about the I Love Kirknewton Community Consultation on Sunday 6th February, 10am til 6pm in the Village Hall (I told you I’d keep going on and on about it!)

Then the posters went up around the village on the wettest and windiest days of the year so far.  Not ideal as they now look like soggy rags around lamposts but the ‘heart’ still shines!

Then I get the pain!  So bad I have to get myself to A&E.  Yup, my first ever kidney stone!  Ouch!  The timing couldn’t have been better.  All under control now and I’ve got one of the BEST facebook story EVER out of it (that I’ll tell to you on Sunday if you pop by!).

However things are beginning to improve.  The weather prediction for Sunday has gone from torrential rain to sunny intervals (please don’t snow, please don’t snow, please don’t snow).  Once I’ve finished updating you about my recent medical history I’m off to meet Vikki Hilton at the Parent and Toddler Group to have our first consultation meeting.  Later on today we meet with hall users at the Kirknewton Community Association.  In between snow showers we may even grab some people in the street to capture their thoughts and opinions too.

So we are off…