With the intention that the Community Council and Kirknewton Community Development Trust hope to encourage new members over the next few months we thought we’d get you up to date with some brief news updates.
The recent spate of poor reliability has been purely down to the barrier detection process which is principally an electro mechanical arrangement. This is what has been replaced with circuit controllers. This should see a marked improvement in the overall reliability of the level crossing.
There has also been a couple of changes made to the crossing which includes the levelling out of the footpath crossing deck and the introduction of a delayed yellow which means the yellow warning light is on for longer than designed which in turn delays the descent of the level crossing barriers. This equates to an additional 5 secs.
The KCC are in discussion with the developer at Calderwood in terms of the park and ride and its impact on the operation of the station. 200+ spaces are expected, which will impact on turning left into the station in particular.
There is still investigations going on about introducing a footbridge, covered areas on each side of the barrier to protect people on foot during inclement weather and information points on traffic lights and barriers if barriers are expected to be down for some considerable time. Some work has also been done on British Transport Police parking – you can read more at https://kirknewton.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/kirknewton-rail-barriers-resolution-on-british-transport-police-vehicle-parking/
At the other end of the village Network Rail have now accepted they own the pathway over the footbridge near Camps Junction and will fix the flooded area at the bottom of the stairs.
There is a recognition that Virgin Media works have been disruptive for people in Kirknewton with a mix of reports on the quality of the work. It was felt an approach to Virgin Media would be made to review the works once complete, to ensure it meets the high standard they reported it would be to Kirknewton Community Council. Meantime if you are unhappy with the work individuals are encourage to speak to a supervisor first. If not available call 0870 888 3116 (there is a charge) or e- mail ExpansionWorks@virginmedia.co.uk
KCDT staff have also offered support to the community around Harperigg to help conduct a survey of their local residents to determine their Broadband requirements, prior to any assistance and funding been made available from the Scottish Government. Broadband is very poor in the area, despite the content of an initial scoping exercise which rules them out of current funding. A second scoping exercise, that is due to end in March, should confirm eligibility for funding.
The Kirknewton Community Council invited CEO Gordon Dewar to their meeting but have yet to hear directly from him. There has been an alternative suggestion from his staff of meeting him before or after open meetings at the Kirknewton Village Hall from 2-7pm (tbc) on Monday 6th March. The KCC took a unanimous vote that they are against the suggested flightpath and a sub group is to be formed, with representatives from Calderwood, East Calder and Kirknewton to be invited. KCC members will also get the opportunity to speak at the Council Local Area Group meeting on 23rd February. Questions remain why the EH27 postcode did not feature in the original consultation (which was also an issue at Winchburgh), why there was no reference to KCC submission in the first consultation report, a lack of knowledge of East Calder/Calderwood expansion and activity to and from the Kirknewton airfield. Meantime you are encouraged to get your views known at http://www.letsgofurther.com/ and reject flightpath A6.
Between 10th Jan – 10th Feb there was 26 calls from Kirknewton, 6 road traffic calls, 1 Network call, 4 anti social calls – 2 youth related after a fire in the woodland. A few nights ago there was a fire in a bin in Hillhouse Crescent. It was close to a gas main, so had the potential to be even more dangerous to residents. Any witnesses should contact the police on 101. CCTV cameras for areas of concern are being investigated. However crime is down on this time last year. Youth crime is down and KCDT hope this is part of a series of initiatives for young people suggested in the Community Development Plan, including the regular Friday Youth Club which this week is up at Potter Around. Find out more about What’s On in the Village at https://kirknewton.wordpress.com/whats-on-kirknewton/
GP IN THE VILLAGE
In a letter to Cllr Dave King from Elaine King of West Lothian HSCP it was suggested the recruitment and management of one GP would be ‘slim’. A single handed GP is not popular these days. The new health centre in East Calder should improve capacity in the area. Elaine suggested local transport options should be looked at. KCDT have already trained over 15 volunteer bus drivers with the intention to transport people from rural areas, the village to an East Calder / Ratho / Balerno loop but management, transport, insurance and maintenance is costly with no guarantees of KCDT funding beyond mid 2018. The KCDT Youth and Volunteer Co-ordinator Jennifer Ba will be attending a conference on community transport, but advice is usually to work with a local transport partner.
FLYING FOX FOR THE PARK, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS,TRAFFIC LIGHTS, LAMPOSTS, PARKING BAYS, ROAD WIDENING, DOG POO BINS & MORE ODOURS!
KCDT has made a £11,000 application for a flying fox in the park to the Village Improvement Fund. It is expected a £5000 application will be made for new Village Christmas Lights for 2017, with the community voting on the potential choices. Extra parking bays have been suggested to the KCC at Smithy Brae, where parking and access for emergency vehicles is becoming a problem. The cost of this will be reviewed by the KCC for a Village Improvement Fund application. The Council are waiting on a PDSP report from Gordon Brown on potential speed calming sign, to be funded by KCC, near Hillhouse Wynd. The destroyed lamppost near the same area, hit by a car when it overturned, has been reported but no date yet for its replacement.
The KCC are writing to West Lothian Council to safeguard the area near Park Terrace, to widen the road to improve access to the area. Further down near the station a smelling dog poo bin has been moved lowert from head height! More bins for dog refuse have been requested. The KCC are also waiting on a report from SEPA regarding the Leavenseat Waste Incinerator. There is concerns about prevailing winds and smell to the area. on another issue a request to Councillors to Scottish Power and SEPA has been requested due to the amount of mud and dirt trenching from the Easter Newton Sub Station to Calderwood through Humbie Holdings and if SEPA have been informed this work will also have to go across the burn.
YARNBOMBERS, MUDDY BOOTS AND ALLOTMENTS
The Yarnbombers have been awarded £300 from the Community Council for their activities. KCDT has indicated they have no issue with helping to manage funds for Yarnbombers and Muddy Boots, who improve landscape areas across Kirknewton thanks to donation contributions. Finance support will be provided by the KCDT staff member, Finance Officer Stephanie Paterson. The Allotments are planning a work day on 25th March and all allotments are full.
A final plan which incorporates a number of the lessons learned from the Green Room development, keeping heating/lighting and hot water costs down for the proposed Park Pavilion Changing Rooms has been reached. The council are making site investigations for the area where the previous temporary nursery was (due to flooding concerns) or on the hill of the park (which may rule the project too costly). If all goes well the pavilion will be completed by February 2018 costing approximately £400,000. To improve usage of the Pavilion KCC & KCDT have also been in talks with the Council on £20,000 funding for drainage to the pitch, additional lighting and hard surfacing the basketball area. KCDT also raised £10,000 from Tesco Bags For Life for improvements to the community woodland which will be completed in the Spring. KCDT Youth and Volunteer Co-ordinator helped with the Tesco application for the Playgroup who were awarded £12,000 for a project in the Village Hall garden as well as an additional £1000 for improving green space from Network Rail.
CHARLES JENCKS PUBLIC ART
The proposed Charles Jencks Public Art planning application will be made by KCC and funded by KCDT. KCDT have funding applications in for approximately £55,000 from West Lothian Council Public Art Grant, Village Improvement Fund and LandTrust, who funded the new car park at Harperigg. This piece of art will no doubt improve a neglected area to the East of the village, attract visitors and hopefully tourism to the area. Read more at https://issuu.com/kirknewton/docs/camps_junction_art_booklet
KCDT are also at second stage of a community asset transfer for the land. Network Rail have indicated no issues with the proposals at present. With this project in mind KCDT has applied for an additional £10,000 to kick start a heritage project, funded by Heritage Lottery Scotland, to promote local history during the year of Heritage, History and Archaeology.
Thanks go to Dalmahoy Estate for the donation of the stones and help on transporting them to the village.
CAMPS JUNCTION HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY
KCDT have agreed a partnership with Almond Housing to develop the applications to Rural Housing Grant for £500,000 funding and planning. It is expected Responsible Social Landlord Horizon will manage the expected seven low cost energy amenity rented houses for the elderly. An additional £140,000 – £250,000 could be applied for from other European sources before Brexit. However with applications already in for a third Powerdown project and funds already used while investigating hydro options across Scotland, KCDT may have reached the European funds quota available to them.
CAMILTY WIND FARM
KCDT met with representatives of the Camilty Wind Farm project, which has been granted planning permission. However they missed the cut off period for claiming ROCs, which has put their original proposal into doubt. The development company Partnership for Renewables is also in the middle of a potential sale of all their assets. It was expected KCDT may be able to access £30,000 a year in community benefit as well as be able to invest 10% into the windfarm. This formed part of our submission to the lottery for future sustainability beyond August 2018.
FAUCH HILL WINDFARM
The KCC has initiated an online debate for and against windpower on this blog. The Fauch Hill developers have presented their new development and are in discussions with KCDT about investment if the proposal gets through planning. This application will be determined by KCC. The developers are paying the independent research company IBP for the current community consultation (agreed by KCC last time and funded by KCDT) and they will gather the opinion of at least 400 people from face to face interviews in Kirknewton (and an additional number from West Calder). KCC and KCDT also recommended the survey be online and this will remain open until early March. Find out more, including the debate, planning application and survey at https://kirknewton.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/fauch-hill-windfarm-debate/
The developers site can be found at http://www.fauchhillsustainableenergy.co.uk/
SCHOOL DAYS – ATTAINMENT FUNDING
The Kirknewton Primary School has been awarded £12,000 to raise attainment and Balerno has been awarded £19,200 to do the same. To find out more about the primary school go to https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/wl/KirknewtonPrimarySchool/ and the high school go to https://balernochs.wordpress.com/ where you will find links to Daily Bulletin with all the opportunities for young people at the school.
AND FINALLY – THANK YOU
Thank you for a record number of nominations for the Kirknewton Volunteer Awards, co-ordinated by KCDT, which is a bi-annual event to say ‘thank you’ to those you think have gone above and beyond the call of duty to improve life and work in Kirknewton. You decide who goes with your votes! 100 people have been invited to a free drinks reception, three course meal, awards ceremony and entertainment at the Dalmahoy Hotel on Friday 10th March at 6.30pm. Unlike previous years we have further tickets now available at £60 each for what promises to be a fantastic celebration of Kirknewton community spirit. To order tickets e mail email@example.com with your name and how many tickets required.
The Kirknewton Community Council will soon be encouraging people to stand for election to the KCC and Kirknewton Community Development Trust will be looking for new Board members (they have 8 of a possible 12) If you don’t like committees both groups are looking for additional volunteers to give their time on some of the projects listed above or any initiatives you want to take on from the Kirknewton Community Development Plan. Express your interest by e mailing firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. They look forward to hearing from you and will keep you informed with monthly summaries via this website so you can jump on board with some knowledge of current issues and projects.