Community News

Hardengreen shooting range given the go-ahead

Midlothian Advertiser - 7 hours 31 min ago
An indoor firearms range has been given the go-ahead just yards from a college campus and residential housing in Midlothian.

Firearms range approved in Hardengreen Business Park

Midlothian View - 7 hours 52 min ago

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

An indoor firearms range has been given the go-ahead just yards from a college campus and residential housing in Midlothian.

The shooting range will be used by operators Land Warrior Airsoft to test their weapons, as well as being available for private bookings.

The company, which already operates out of one unit at Hardengreen Business Park, Dalkeith, is one of the leading suppliers of airsoft weapons and plans to open the range in an adjoining unit.

It became a registered firearms dealer two years ago and its agents told Midlothian Council planners that it expected the range to be used potentially by Police Scotland “as required”.

It will also be available for private gun owners for “testing and zeroing purposes”.

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In details provided to planners, the company said the range would operate between 10am and 9pm and expected the bulk of visits after 5pm, with an estimate of up to five customers a day during the week, doubling at weekends.

It plans to take on up to four more members of staff once the range is established.

The business park lies next to Edinburgh College’s Midlothian Campus on Dalhousie Road.

Developers told Midlothian Council planners the range would be locked from the inside when in use and all appointments pre-booked.

They added that security was already high on the site, with CCTV and a door entry system built in line with National Rifle Association guidelines.

The local authority’s planning officers have granted permission for the unit to be converted from commercial purposes to what was described in the application as a “multipurpose indoor shooting range” associated with the airsoft business.

A report by officers raised concerns about the impact of the noise from the range and odours on neighbouring businesses and residences.

However, it included conditions in its planning approval to address the issues, including demands for suitable insulation and ventilation.

Edinburgh College’s Midlothian Campus is described as one of the most advanced technology teaching centres in Scotland, including on its premises state-of-the-art facilities, including an oil production platform simulator and giant solar meadow.

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Categories: Community News

3G, Councillor Milligan, Penicuik havoc and ScotRail

Midlothian View - 8 hours 1 min ago

Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

PAYFC (Penicuik Athletic Youth Football Club) petition for the pitch at Penicuik playing fields goes before the Council’s Petitions committee the week beginning 18th March. By the time you read this we will know how it fared. When you consider that 350 young people use its facilities with over 50 volunteers keeping the whole thing going then it should be a no-brainer for the council to replace that awful pitch.

Louise Shepherd (PAYFC’s development officer) has my full support from the outset. Add to that other young Midlothian musicians are keeping up the pressure for music tuition and may yet bring a petition forward then the council is being told loud and clear that the young people of Midlothian are on the move.

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Does anyone know if Councillor Derek Milligan has access to e-mails? Does he know how to use them?

I need to know because I have had no response whatsoever to my first asking him when he last attended council leaders’ meetings at COSLA to put the case for Midlothian funding. I have written again and hope that someone somewhere will take the trouble to answer, even if he can’t or won’t. At the very least it is impolite and at worst unprofessional because I am not going away.

Penicuik havoc. Be ready for this as Penicuik Town Centre is closing on 23rd and 24th March and again on the weekend of 6th and 7th April. This is to avoid closing the road’s on Mother’s day and impacting on local businesses although this is small comfort given all the disturbance losing parking. I have put details on my Facebook pages.

ScotRail. I am only too aware of the chaos cancellations at the weekend and the overcrowding which drives me to despair as a user and one who campaigned since 1999 for the line to be restored. I am raising the issue with the Government and with Alex Hynes Chief Executive of ScotRail.

The post 3G, Councillor Milligan, Penicuik havoc and ScotRail appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

Midlothian Council’s anger at Gorebridge ‘Gas Street’ time bar decision

Midlothian Advertiser - 15 hours 37 min ago
The leader of Midlothian Council has been left “profoundly disappointed and frustrated” by last week’s Court of Session decision to dismiss the council’s £12 million legal claim against one of two companies advising on a failed Gorebridge housing development.

Cometh the Earth Hour

Midlothian Advertiser - 15 hours 38 min ago
Midlothian Council is asking residents and businesses to demonstrate their commitment to the environment by supporting WWF‘s Earth Hour at the end of this month.

Midlothian crimebeat March 12-19

Midlothian Advertiser - 16 hours 11 min ago
Here is your weekly round-up of crime in Midlothian, as reported by Police Scotland.

Life-saving machine at Newbattle Bowling Club

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 15:00
Newbattle Bowling Club last week took possession of a life-saving defibrillator machine, which its president labelled “a vital piece of equipment”.

Charity’s new service and new Gorebridge home

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 15:00
The Play Midlothian charity recently launched a new service to support play at home for disabled children across Midlothian.

Life-saving training in Bonnyrigg

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 14:30
Danny Burnett from FA Training Services provided defibrillator and CPR training at Bonnyrigg Primary School last week, with around 20 members of the public, of all ages, in attendance.

Burnbrae pupils show their Social Bite

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 14:27
Four of the five Burnbrae Primary pupils, who raised money for Social Bite with their Wee Sleep Out, attended a dinner in Edinburgh last week, after they were named in the homeless charity’s top 10 fundraisers in Scotland.

Borders Railway raised at First Minister’s Questions

Midlothian View - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 10:40

Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South Tweeddale and Lauderdale, has raised recent performance issues on Borders Railway with the First Minister, calling on Scotrail Abellio to be told it’s “in the last chance saloon”. This comes in the wake of multiple cancellations and delays to services recently, in addition to ongoing problems with overcrowding.

The MSP, who campaigned from her election in 1999 for the reinstatement of the line, questioned whether current ScotRail franchise holder Abellio are up to the job given the continuing issues with performance. The Scottish Government has issued two formal warnings to it since December 2018, meaning it must put remedial plans in place to resolve the issues or risk losing the franchise, although these are yet to be made public.

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Commenting Ms Grahame said:

“As one who campaigned from the moment I entered Parliament in 1999 to have the line reinstated I am furious at the failures of Scotrail Abellio. On Borders Railway there has been a service meltdown. It was a breakdown too on the Borders railway on Sunday – the cancellations have continued since then.

“The improvement notices have been issued but the second notice that was served requires that a remedial plan be delivered soon. The plan might be delivered, but it will not deliver trains—plans do not drive trains. Is not it time that the Scottish Government told ScotRail Abellio that it is in the last chance saloon? I certainly think so, and so do my constituents.

“The line can be a real asset to the area as we have seen already, but these benefits are only realised when it is functional and reliable – there must be real action on overcrowding and cancellations as a result of staffing issues. If performance can’t be improved it is time for Abellio to go.”

To view the question being asked at FMQs then click HERE.

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Categories: Community News

Finalists can nearly taste awards success

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 07:16
More than 30 businesses are celebrating after reaching next week’s finals of this year’s Midlothian and East Lothian Food and Drink Awards.

Penicuik road closures due to resurfacing work

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 07:14
Midlothian Council is to carry out essential resurfacing on Penicuik High Street, including the junction with Bridge Street and West Street.

Another award for Midlothian castle

Midlothian Advertiser - Fri, 22/03/2019 - 07:07
The front of house manager at Borthwick Castle was named best in the business at last week’s Scottish Thistle Awards, capping a great month for the local attraction.

£12m court ruling against Midlothian Council

Midlothian View - Thu, 21/03/2019 - 19:06

The 64 council homes on Newbyres Crescent and Gore Avenue in Gorebridge being demolished in 2016

Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Derek Milligan said he is “profoundly disappointed and frustrated” by yesterday’s Court of Session decision to dismiss the council’s £12 million legal claim against one of two companies advising on a failed Gorebridge housing development.

Sixty four council homes on Newbyres Crescent and Gore Avenue in Gorebridge were demolished in 2016 after elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) were found in some of the properties in 2014.

The council had been pursuing consulting engineers Blyth & Blyth for costs in excess of £12 million on the grounds the company had not carried out proper investigations of the site.

However, in a written judgement issued at the Court of Session on Wednesday, Judge Lord Doherty ruled as Midlothian Council raised the action against the firm in September 2018, more than five years after incurring expenditure (reference here is made to the Supreme Court ruling in November 2017, see point 14 of the ruling), the action should be dismissed.

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Councillor Milligan said: “While our focus has always been the health and safety of our residents, we have a duty to pursue the public pound and to try and recover this loss.

“To say I’m disappointed and frustrated by the court’s ruling is something of an understatement. The court’s decision effectively means that the council ought to have commenced proceedings before we knew we had grounds for doing so.

“Indeed, we had effectively run out of time to pursue an action before anyone even knew there was a problem with the design of the development. This seems very unfair.

“How could we raise an action in court before we even realised there was a problem? We feel, therefore, the court ruling is harsh. We believe that the consequences will be far reaching for those seeking redress for defective buildings.

“While we understand the legislation is currently being revised in Scotland, this comes too late to help us.

“We will be taking further legal advice on how to proceed and if we have grounds for an appeal.”

The post £12m court ruling against Midlothian Council appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

Council leader expresses disappointment at Gorebridge gas ruling

Midlothian Council - Thu, 21/03/2019 - 16:31
Midlothian Council Leader Derek Milligan said he is “profoundly disappointed and frustrated” by yesterday’s Court of Session decision to dismiss £12 million legal claim relating to Gorebridge housing.

Leadburn Junction improvement pressure

Midlothian View - Thu, 21/03/2019 - 15:53

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Fresh pressure will be put on Midlothian Council to improve a fatal junction after neighbouring local authority, Scottish Borders Council, backed the plan.

Leadburn Junction, which lies between Penicuik and Peebles, has been the focus of several campaigns for improvements over the last 15 years; however, calls for a roundabout have so far been resisted by the local authority.

A motion due to be brought to a council meeting next week will call for action to be taken after councillors on neighbouring Scottish Borders Council supported a similar motion last month.

The motion by Conservative Councillor Andrew Hardie calls for officers to engage with Scottish Borders Council officers to bring forward plans to install a roundabout before summer recess.

The junction lies south of Penicuik at a spot where the A701, A703 and A6094 converge.

It is estimated around 11,000 vehicles use the junction every day, many travelling to and from the Borders.

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Midlothian Council said that it reviewed accident hot spots each April to prioritise work in its area and the most recent report on Leadburn Junction said there had only been one serious injury crash and two less serious ones over a three-year period.

In 2010, a pensioner died in a two-vehicle smash at the junction, prompting calls for improvements.

The following year, a woman was left with spinal injuries after a four-car pile up at the junction.

However, the death of two people in a crash near the junction in 2016 were ruled by police not to have been connected to the road layout.

The local authority has introduced a series of improvements at the junction in recent years, including reducing the speed from 60mph to 40mph.

Responding to calls for improvements to the junction in January, a council spokesperson said:

“Midlothian Council will continue to monitor this junction and report any adverse changes, including any potential actions to elected members if required.”

The post Leadburn Junction improvement pressure appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

Midlothian funding down 4.4%

Midlothian View - Thu, 21/03/2019 - 15:47

Figures from a new report from Audit Scotland has highlighted significant challenges for Midlothian Council including deprivation and core funding.

The ‘Local government in Scotland: Challenges and performance 2019’ highlighted changes in core funding for Scotland’s 32 local authorities and highlighted that ring-fenced funding, such as for social care and education, now makes up 69 per cent of council net expenditure which has squeezed output on other services:

“As a result, as we have previously reported, councils have made larger reductions to services other than education and social work. These include economic development, waste management and planning services, which are still important for maintaining the health, safety and wellbeing of residents.”

Particularly concerning was the report’s analysis of core funding in Midlothian Council which it highlighted had seen a 4.4 per cent reduction since 2013/14.

The analysis also underlined that deprivation remains an issue for Midlothian and noted that its non-working age population has risen.

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South Scotland MSP, Michelle Ballantyne, expressed her concerns with the report and highlighted that decreases in core funding impacts the provision of public services.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:

“Despite being one of the fastest growing areas in Scotland, the SNP Government has cut core funding for Midlothian Council over the past five years.

“With our population growing, Midlothian needs more support from the Scottish Government to ensure that our public services are not hurt. Sadly, this has not been the case.

“This report underlines that core council funding has fallen by 4.4 per cent, which has had a significant impact on the provision of local public services.

“Ring-fenced funding for social care and education increasing is part of the issue, despite being ‘a priority’ of the Scottish Government, its allocated funding does not seem its public ambitions, leaving councils to pick up the pieces.

“The Scottish Government needs to take a new approach in order to ensure that local residents get a fairer funding settlement.”

The full Audit Scotland report can be read HERE.

The post Midlothian funding down 4.4% appeared first on Midlothian View.

Categories: Community News

NHS Lothian contacts patients about possible infection risk

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/03/2019 - 13:57
NHS Lothian has contacted patients who had heart aortic valve replacement operations at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the last six months to advise them of a possible infection risk.

Midlothian Council wins diversity award

Midlothian Advertiser - Thu, 21/03/2019 - 07:35
Midlothian Council was last week named ‘Council of the Year’ in the Scottish Diversity Awards 2019.

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