Kirknewton Christmas Festival


The first Kirknewton Christmas Festival begins in one weeks time.  Thanks to all the community groups who have worked hard to put all the events together

Flyers with the full listings for the Festival are available around the village and should be delivered with the next issue of Konect.  Some of the highlights are below

On Friday 2nd December following the School Christmas Fair (10.30am – 12.30pm in the school hall) you can make Christmas Cards for Mum and Dad and from 2-3pm you can make fruity lip balm fo ryou or for pressies at Potter Around, Overton Farm – entry is £10 for each Kids Club (please note the change of time from the flyer).

On Saturday 3rd December at 6pm there is the annual lighting of KirknewtonVillage Christmas Tree.  This event was very well attended last year despite the thick snow underfoot.  The event is meeting from 6pm in the school playground for a 6.15pm departure with a torch lit procession along to the tree at Park Terrace.  Following the ‘switch on’ there are festive refreshments in the village hall (please be aware space is limited in the hall so there may be a queue to get in). Glowsticks are available to buy in advance from Kirknewton Community Development Trust office or Potter Around for £1 each or on the night (please bring change!).

On Sunday 4th December at 2-4pm there is a Playgroup Jumble Sale in the Village Hall.  Donations of kids clothes, books, dvds, CDs, and games can be made to the Playgroup from 9am to 11.15am the week before please.

On Saturday 10th December from 12 til 3pm the Development Trust presents the ‘Kirknewton Family Christmas Craft and Food Fair’ at Potter Around.  There will be craft stalls, Gala gifts and ice cream, Christmas decorations, BBQ, home baking, tea, coffee, mulled wine, carol singing, Santa’s grotto and special Christmas surprises.  Entry is free.

On Sat 17th December there will be a Christmas Tree and Table Top Sale in the School Playground.  Hot drinks, mince pies and even Father Christmas will be there.  Some come along to find a bargain!

The following day on Sunday 18th December from 4 to 7pm there is a Christmas gig with vocalist Kenny in the Main Street Village Inn.

As with other villages and towns there are plenty of school nativitie sand parties but for the true spirit of Christmas you can’t get any better than joining in the Carol Singing Torchlight Procession (followed by mince pies and hot chocolate) on Saturday 24th December from 10pm. The event is starting from Meadowbank Road, at the Roundabout from about 9.45pm (to leave at 10pm)

The procession is followed at 11.30pm with the Watchnight Service inKirknewton Church and on Sunday 25th December the Christmas Day Service is at 10am.

For listings go to the Kirknewton website at www.kirknewton.org and keep checking the facebook group / twitter for updates.

I hope you have a great time at all the events and have a Merry Christmas too!

 

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Kirknewton Development Trust Open Day


Have you filled out the Skills and Volunteer survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B8SCJJB – only 2 days left!

Fill it in online at the Development Trust Office Open Day on the final day – 22.11.11 – staff will be on hand to help.

Hand in the paper copy of the survey now or on 22.11.11

Enjoy a warm cuppa and ask any questions on traffic calming measures, the Christmas Festival, the army barracks, the rail crossing barriers, the new Resource Centre building, park dewvelopments, investment in AD Plant / Hydro / Fauch Hill Wind Farm, the proposed cycling route, the Kirknewton Development Plan, the Development Trust (or anything else).

Collect new bags for the Food Waste Trial, get a free caddie and join in the food waste trial, collect a free energy monitor (worth £25 – while stocks last), free books on Cycling to Work or hand in your old shoes for recycling (in aid of the Variety Club).

Hope to see you there

Big push for the final weekend of Kirknewton survey


THE BIG SURVEY PUSH – your 11 days are nearly up!
Today is one of the biggest volunteering days of the year – Children In Need.
It is also the final weekend to let us know your skills (sometimes you may even be paid for what you do!), if you take time to raise funds for others or Kirknewton activities, if you are a carer, if you volunteer in or out of the village, if you want to volunteer but are unsure of what to do or even if you don’t have time to do anything.  We want to hear from you online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B8SCJJB.
Volunteer ‘hours’ can sometimes be used as ‘cash’ for match funding bids to help get things done in the village.
PLEASE take 5 minutes now to fill out the survey or this weekend.  You can fill out the survey online or on paper copies that have come through your door.
Paper copies can be delivered to the Development Trust office at 24 Main Street.  Deadline is 22nd November.
Thanks.

‘Tis the season to be jolly in Kirknewton


‘Tis the season to be jolly – the Kirknewton Christmas Festival is coming!

If you take a look at the Kirknewton Development Plan Theme One, Priority 2 is to identify and promote groups/events and to increase the number of successful annual events by 2013.

Already the Parent Staff Association have announced their events for 2012 (and the forthcoming Family Ceilidh at the Stables – get your tickets now!) and the Development Trust are keen for local groups to develop an annual series of events every year that make us the ‘Gateway to the Pentlands’ from the west/West Lothian and help our local economy.

The first ‘Kirknewton Christmas Festival’ from 2nd to 25th December is an example of that.  The idea came out of the successful Christmas tree lighting event last year (very cold, very slippy underfoot, very well attended!) and Potter Around suggesting a craft fair and the Development Trust thinking about having a traditional Christmas food fair.  Instead of several individual events struggling to promote themselves why not put them all together in one tiny festival and wrap them up with a lovely christmas bow on top!

So as soon as you could say ‘ho ho ho’ the school, the gala, the playgroup, Potter Around, Kirknewton church, the PSA, the Kirknewton Inn, the Allotment Association and the Development Trust (and a few others still to be contacted for help!) responded to the call and over 20 events were put forward to entertain Kirknewton folk on their very own doorstep during December.

Highlights are on after the School Christmas Fair  on Friday 2nd December 10.30am til 12.30pm in the school hall) you can make Christmas Cards for Mum and Dad from 1.30pm and from 3-4pm you can make fruity lip balm for you or for pressies at Potter Around, Overton Farm – entry is £10 for each Kids club.

On Saturday 3rd December at 6pm there is the annual lighting of Kirknewton Village Christmas Tree.  This event was very well attended last year despite the thick snow underfoot.  The event is meeting from 6pm in the school playground for a 6.15pm departure with a torch lit procession along to tree at Park Terrace.  Following the ‘switch on’ there is festive refreshments in the village hall.  Glowsticks are available to buy in advance from Kirknewton Community Development Trust office or Potter Around.

On Sunday 4th December at 2-4pm there is a Playgroup Jumble Sale in the Village Hall.  Donations of kids clothes, books, dvds, CDs, and games can be made to the Playgroup from 9am to 11am week the before please.

On Saturday 10th December from 12 til 3pm the Development Trust presents the ‘Kirknewton Family Christmas Craft and Food Fair’ at Potter Around.  There will be craft stalls, Christmas decorations, BBQ, home baking, tea, coffee, non alcoholic mulled wine, carol singing, Santa’s grotto and special Christmas surprises.  Entry is free.

On Sat 17th December there will be a Christmas Tree and Table Top Sale in the School Playground.  Hot drinks, mince pies and even Father Christmas will be there.  Some come along to find a bargain!

The following day on Sunday 18th December from 4 to 7pm there is a Christmas gig with vocalist Kenny in the Main Street Village Inn.

As with other villages and towns there are plenty of school nativities and parties but for the true spirit of Christmas you can’t get any better than joining in the Carol Singing Torchlight Procession (followed by mince pies and hot chocolate) on Saturday 24th December from 10pm.  The event is starting from Meadowbank Road, at the Roundabout from about 9.45pm (to leave at 10pm)

The procession is followed at 11.30pm with the Watchnight Service in Kirknewton Church and on Sunday 25th December the Christmas Day Service is at 10am.

Full listings can be found on the What’s On section of the Kirknewton website

It’s thanks to volunteers coming forward that we get things done in Kirknewton – you will hear more stories on this blog all this week.  We also want to know what skills and volunteer time you do already or can offer (and we want to hear from you, even if you can’t) via our Skills and Volunteer survey that you can fill in online or on paper from various outlets in the village – it takes less than 5 minutes to fill in and we need your responses by 22nd November.  Thanks in advance for taking the time to fill out the survey.

Kirknewton still proposed for army base


Last week there was a meeting with Physical Development Support at the City of Edinburgh Council and representatives of Defence Infrastructure Organisation (the property arm of MoD) , Scotland Office, Scottish Government and the other Scottish local authorities impacted by the basing review.   They have been kind enough to share this with representatives within the local communities

The DIO project team provided an update on what they are currently doing.  As reported in October they are now starting on a series of capacity reviews of each site in their estate to understand issues such as current accommodation, site constraints, capacity for additional on-site growth, access, planning constraints, schools capacity etc.  In parallel with this is the Army 2020 review which will determine the size and structure of the army presence in various locations.  The key aim remains to consolidate into fewer locations and dispose of surplus estate especially those sites where they may expect to realise a significant capital receipt from its sale.

D IO have a project manger in place to manage the Scottish aspect of these capacity studies, David Graham.

Amid growing speculation the question was raised as to whether or not the announcement made for Edinburgh/West Lothian would actually be implemented  in full  – i.e. will they close Redford / Dreghorn / Craighiehall and build new base at  Kirknewton. The answer was that the position remains as per the July announcement and the current capacity studies will look at the detail of how to implement that decision.  DIO advised that we should not listen to views or opinions coming from any party as these will be personal opinions and speculation as  no one has the full information yet on which to base any  final  decisions.  

The two parallel pieces of work (capacity study and Army 2020) will begin to come together by spring 2012.  At this point they will have an evidence base on which to make future estate decisions.

A media release was also sent out by the MOD last week and the comment about Edinburgh divisions was;

‘HQ 2nd Division at Edinburgh and HQ 5th Division at Shrewsbury will both disband by April 2012, although some tasks will continue until at least August 2012 when HQ Support Command should be fully operational.

Despite the closure of HQ 2nd Division at Edinburgh, the Army will retain a General Officer Commanding (GOC) Scotland with the minimum of staff, which maintains the level of senior representation in Scotland to oversee the rebasing changes. In addition, the Army intends to relocate HQ 1st Division, currently based in Germany, to Scotland by 2020 which would take over the GOC Scotland role.’

Cycle routes around Kirknewton – gateway to the Pentland Park


The Inaugural Meeting of the Cycle Path Development Group took place last Thursday. The objectives of this new group fit in with theme three of the Development Plan – Local Environment and Green Space and also cross over into theme two, community facilities and services and theme one, community development and volunteering.  Many thanks to all those who attended.

An enthusiastic evening’s discussions resulted in the following:
Initial proposal for the development of Selm Muir Forest to include a cycle/walking loop with long term plan to phase in various skill trails off the main loop.
Forestry Commission and other local stakeholders to be contacted to arrange a meeting in order to discuss the proposals.
Developing Mountain Biking Officer Graeme McLean to be contacted.
Cycle Scotland to be contacted with regards to the technical assistance that was offered.
The Group will investigate whether there is a viable off road cycle route to Selm Muir Forest from Kirknewton Village, working with Bike Club.
The Cycle Path Development Group will set up a Google email group for its members (14 people expressed an interest to join this group). An invitation will be sent out in due course.

Co-ordinated by members of the Park Action Group (that meets tonight, 15/11/2011 at 7.30pm in the Development Trust Office) a group of willing adults and children planted bulbs in the Kirknewton Park that will (hopefully) bloom in the spring.  You can see pictures from this activity, proposed new equipment for the park (to replace the roundabout) and from the recent Allotment Association Apple Day event (at which 200+ people attended) on the Kirknewton Community Facebook Group – again all this activity fits in nicely with the Kirknewton Development Plan that you can read online here

It’s thanks to volunteers coming forward that we get things done in Kirknewton – you will hear more stories on this blog all this week.  We also want to know what skills and volunteer time you do already or can offer (and we want to hear from you, even if you can’t) via our Skills and Volunteer survey that you can fill in online or on paper from various outlets in the village – it takes less than 5 minutes to fill in and we need your responses by 22nd November.  Thanks in advance for taking the time to fill out the survey.

Speeding measures in Kirknewton


Did anyone wonder what this was on the lampost near the exit of Meadowbank / Kaimes / Hillhouse Wynd, to the east of the village?

A few weeks ago a willing volunteer entered the Development Trust office and offered their time and skills to take forward some of the traffic management issues currently in the Development Plan (Theme 4, Planning and Strategic Development, priority 3 ‘explore speeding options’)

A few weeks later a team of six volunteers met with Councillor Carl John, Road Safety & Traffic Management Senior Engineer Andy McMahon, Alistair Shepherd from Lothian and Borders Police and myself to discuss a particular area of concern to the East of the village.  This area has had three capital assessment requests in the past (unfortunately dates are unknown when) and has been the location of a traffic incident.  One of the volunteers also reported their husband had broken their ankle after falling from the pavement and had to be protected by two cars due to speeding traffic prior to the arrival of an ambulance.  This incident had not been reported to West Lothian Council until the meeting.

The concern for this area of the village is the speed at which traffic and buses are travelling on this straight stretch of road leaving and entering the village and the thin width of the pavement at this area.  The group of people wanted to see what options there could be for speed calming measures from here to the main street of the village and wish put a proposal to the council for budget consideration from January for the new financial year in April.

At the site visit it was evident a number of cars were travelling at the correct speed of 30mph but a number of cars were speeding and slowing down, particularly as one of our party was wearing a yellow safety jacket.  During this visit Andy McMahon recommended approximately 5 full road width speed bumps at 100 yard intervals as the likely solution from the entrance of the village leading to the centre of the village (roughly to the garage entrance).  This would cost approximately £40,000.

Alistair Shepherd offered to put up a new piece of equipment from the police that measures number of cars and speed.  He expected that to be operational by the end of Noveber but we were lucky to get it installed far earlier than that.  The group decided to monitor cars leaving the village on the pavement side (as this was more of concern) although it is expected that cars coming into the village would be travelling even faster.  The equipment was up for one week and the results are expected soon.  This will help determine how dangerous the area is (although it is recognised the pavement, no matter at what speed the traffic is, is a danger spot).

In the meantime the residents of Kirknewton who volunteered to take this issue forward request you think about your speed at this area – already we have seen one accident, an injury, hands being brushed by traffic while standing on the pavement and the death and injury of a number of household pets.

Other issues that came out of the community consultation traffic management recommendations and comments made at the meeting and by a number of people in the past were reported back to me by Andy McMahon after the meeting and I thought they would make interesting reading for you.

“The parking issues outlined in your report at Kaimes Crescent and Main Street. In response to the double parking issue raised in Kaimes Crescent. Any instances of obstructive parking caused by double parking should be reported to the police for any necessary enforcement. In reference to the parking issues raised on Main Street. This issue has been looked at previously and proposals were forwarded to the community council, however no  agreement could be made regarding the extent of the proposed restrictions. As stated at the meeting, the parking will slow vehicle speeds along the Main Street, however if there are any specific pinch points or problem areasidentified, these can be investigated further.

In response to the parking issue outside the school detailed on the plan within your report. The council works with all schools in West Lothian to promote various initiatives, in an attempt to reducethe numbers of children being driven to school. These include walking, buses, parksmart, cycle training etc. This work is ongoing and is proposed to continue.

The request for traffic calming on Main Street from Hillhouse Wynd to Forth View discussed at the meeting and your request for traffic calming on Station Road detailed within your report.

The council receives many requests for traffic calming and similar other works throughout West Lothian.  Unfortunately the funding available to implement schemes is limited and therefore has to be prioritised. Requests for traffic calming have been prioritised based upon the injury accident rate (it should be noted in subsequent information from Andy that dates of requests for traffic calming from residents of Kirknewton do not seem to have been recorded) .

The available funding for traffic calming and other such works is fully committed with prioritised schemes currently being implemented. Unfortunately there is no further funding available for traffic calming and similar works at this time. However, I can confirm that a request for traffic calming on Main Street, Kirknewton is on our request list and a request for traffic calming on Station Road will be added to our list, to be assessed should funding become available.

Additionally, as requested the estimated cost of providing traffic calming on Main Street from Hillhouse Wynd to Forth View is likely to be around £40,000.

In response to the request for the existing 30mph speed limit east of Hillhouse Wynd to be extended further east.  Unfortunately it will not be possible to extend the 30mph speed limit furthereast at this time. This is because speed limits are set based on the character of the road and the level of adjacent development, in accordance with Scottish Government guidance. However, the speed limit will be reviewed, if further development to the east of Hillhouse Wynd is proposed in the future (the triangle of land near the footbridge has been earmarked for sheltered housing if funding becomes available).

Pedestrian safety concerns as the result of the existing narrow footway between Hillhouse Wynd and Kaimes Crescent.  Unfortunately due to the constructional constraints resulting in thesignificant cost of widening this footway, it is unlikely to happen in the nearfuture. However, a request for the footway widening will be added to our request list, to be assessed should funding become available.

The issues detailed in your report regarding cycle facilities and remote paths has been forwarded to the council officer responsible for cycle infrastructure (we have also sent the Transport Initiatives report to Andy to pass on).

I have checked our speed survey database for surveys carriedout in the Kirknewton area, the results of which are detailed below:

A survey carried out in September 2005 on the C27 outside Ormiston View near Gogar Burn showed average speeds of 27.4mph eastbound and 29.1mph westbound.

A survey carried out  in May 2007 on the B7031 Station Road showed average speeds of 31.6mph east and westbound.

A survey carried out in December 2008 on MainStreet near Hillhouse Terrace showed average speeds of 27.6mph eastbound and 29.2mph westbound.

Furthermore a detailed accident investigation of the Kirknewton area has also been carried out. This showed that there has been five recorded injury accidents in the area in the latest five years to the end of May 2011. This investigation highlighted no concerns, as there is no pattern to the accidents recorded in this area that could be treated by engineering measures.”

As you can imagine the volunteers of the group are quite happy to follow due process at the moment but are determined to prevent a serious incident from occurring rather than be prioritised if one happens!

UPDATE – 17.11.11

As part of our investigations Network Rail have provided the the figures of cars going over the level crossing in one day in 2011, 2010 and 2007. These figures are calculated by ALCRM so may not be exact but a likely prediction. The vehicle numbers suggest an upward trend, as suggested by members of the local community.

July 23rd 2011 – 4563 vehicles / 115 trains

2010 – 3527 vehicles  / 95 trains;

2007 – 3254 vehicles / 114 trains

It’s thanks to volunteers coming forward that we get things done in Kirknewton – you will hear more stories on this blog all this week.  We also want to know what skills and volunteer time you do already or can offer (and we want to hear from you, even if you can’t) via our Skills and Volunteer survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/B8SCJJB (or on paper from various outlets in the village) – it takes less than 5 minutes to fill in and we need your reponses by 22nd November.  Thanks in advance for taking the time to fill out the survey.