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Proposed Youth Shelter in Garvald

Message from Penny Short:

The Haddington and Lammermuir Area Partnership wish to provide more places for young people to hang out both in Haddington and within the rural communities in the area. There is an inequality in the provision of social/recreational facilities of children and young people between the rural villages and those living in the town centre. As Champion of Children and Young People I have been tasked to consult local people about this proposal and I would be very grateful if you could take the time to read the information below and let me know your thoughts and views.

Why Install a Youth Shelter?

Young people mature by socialising and learning to relate to each other, away from direct adult supervision. Responsible and caring communities are beginning to cater for this vulnerable and impressionable age group by providing for their basic social need of a “safe place of our own to meet friends”. Purpose built heavy duty outdoor seating, generally referred to as Youth Shelters, are increasingly being asked for by teenagers and provided by the communities of which they are part of.

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. The Mental Health Foundation advise that things that can help keep children and young people mentally well can include:

  • having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
  • feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
  • being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
  • having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
  • feeling they have some control over their own life

Providing an “always open” youth shelter is a highly visible demonstration of a commitment by the community to include and cater for the needs of young people. They provide opportunities for 12-16 year olds to socialise and relate to each other. The structure would be designated as a “Youth Shelter” but of course could be used by people of any age including young children and parents of kids playing in the park if the weather is inclement.


Garvald is one of the most remote villages in the Haddington & Lammermuir area, with no public transport. There are currently 22 high school-aged kids in the wider Garvald area with 12 based in the village. If these young people are feeling isolated or wish to socialise with people their own age in a relaxed atmosphere away from parental supervision, they have currently nowhere to go that doesn’t require them to be physically taken there, usually by parents. There is no safe and sheltered area in Garvald where kids can just escape for some breathing space. The park in Garvald is an ideal location for this pilot because of its central location in the village and its large size which means the shelter would not be sited near any homes.

Design of Shelter

I looked at a number of designs of but prices quoted were around £15,000 for a basic shelter and none were visually attractive. After speaking to Amenity Services regarding the standard youth shelters available on the market, a suggestion was made that Amenity Services would design, make and install the shelter for around £5,000. The construction would consist of steel poles with specially produced boards which are durable and resistant with a life-time guarantee and with no maintenance required. The boards are designed to look like wood panels and the sheIter would have a natural ‘rustic’ look. The proposed shelter is not large and would be sympathetically designed to fit in with the play park equipment already in the park. It would be covered by the Council’s insurance and maintained by the Council. I am also looking at installing wi-fi in the shelter (at no extra cost).

Please let me have your responses by 17 January 2017. Thank you.

Penny Short

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    Update on Garvald Bike Racks from Penny

    Thank you so much for responding re the bike racks. I’ve received quite a number of comments from villagers but only three were in favour of the proposal.

    The positioning of the racks on the green was the main factor in the difficulties people in the village had with them. It was explained to me during a site visit to look at possible sites that the preferred option was across from the pub as they had to be somewhere that could be seen clearly and they would be used mostly by cyclists stopping at the pub.

    I had suggested the car park at the hall but given the current ongoing problems we have with parking availability in the village it was important not to take away any current spaces. My suggestion of placing the racks on the pavement (against the wall) was not acceptable as all pavements need to be kept clear. We also looked at somewhere in the park but this was refused as being too far away.

    The Garvald Inn’s proprietors were approached about the possibility of siting them in the pub car park but they they felt that the space was need for cars.

    Given how obtrusive the racks were going to be, the strong reactions from the people in the immediate vicinity and the general negative feeling towards them, I have declined the Area Partnership’s kind offer. It’s not that villagers were against bike racks being installed, it’s just if they could only be put in that location then the consensus was we didn’t want them.

    I hope that the foregoing is helpful and thank you again for taking the time to respond.

    Penny Short

    New Signs for Garvald and Morham – Comments Please

    The Local Area Partnership are proposing to install new signs in all villages within Haddington and Lammermuir Area. I would be grateful if you could take a look at your particular village’s signs (see below) and let me know if you have any issues with them. (The Bolton sign is only there as an example to show the actual sizing details.)

    To all Garvald Grange people, please note that I have asked for the sign to be positioned north of Garvald Grange to include them within the Garvald settlement.

    Please send all comments using the contact form below. Please also let those members of the community who live close to the signs know about the proposed changes so that they can have their say.

    Many thanks


    gatewaysigngarvaldgatewaysigngarvald-priestbank boltonsign_gatewaysignexample

    morham_gatewaysign2 morham_gatewaysign1

    PDF versions of signs:

    Vacancy on the Community Council

    The Garvald and Morham Community Council is on the look out for someone to join as a member.

    Anyone in the local community is welcome to put their name forward and we are particularly interested in hearing from any younger people who would like to be involved (minimum age is 16).

    The Community Council meets once every two months to discuss the issues of the day – from potholes to parking. We also manage the Crystal Rig Windfarm fund which provides funding for local projects. It’s a great way to be involved in the life of the village and to help get things done.

    Anyone interested, please get in touch with the Community Council Secretary, Rufus Bellamy.

    Road closed into Garvald

    The main road into Garvald has been closed by Scottish Water. It looks like this closure will last until Friday. This is emergency work as opposed to planned work which is why we weren’t notified. They are replacing part of the lead pipe with plastic.

    Community Council Elections

    Just a reminder that the closing date for nomination papers for this year’s community council elections is coming up (it’s on Thursday the 15th!). So if you fancy being on the CC pick up a form from the Council. Rufus at Bridgend Cottage also has some to give out.

    Letter about new number to phone when there is a power cut

    Hi all

    You may remember we emailed you a couple of months ago about the launch of a new national phone number “105”, which will be launched by all electricity network operators for customers to call should they need to report or get information about a power cut in their area. Instead of dialling 0800 numbers, customers will be able to call the new “105” number.

    Key points to note about this service are:
    · Dialling 105 will put customers through to their local electricity network operator – the company that manages the cables, power lines and substations that deliver electricity into homes and businesses in their area.
    · 105 is just one of the ways that customers can contact their electricity network operator. They can also contact them by phone or via their website, and most network operators are on social media too.
    · 105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.
    · Customers can call 105 no matter who they choose to buy electricity from.
    · Customers can also call 105 if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put anyone in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, they should call the emergency services too.

    One simple, but effective way you support the launch is through joining our social media Thunderclap. This allows causes, such as the launch of 105, to gain support from huge groups of people through using their social media following.

    Through Thunderclap people can show their support by agreeing to share a single message about the launch of 105. Our Thunderclap will complete at 10am on 6th September, at which point this single message will be sent from the Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account of everyone who signed up. This will give the launch of 105 a huge amount of reach in a very short space of time.

    How do you use Thunderclap?

    · Go to the ‘Power cut? Call 105’ Thunderclap page:
    · Click on the large red buttons to show support through using either Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.
    · The next dialogue will confirm the message that will be sent on your behalf when the campaign completes. Give it a read and check you’re happy. The default message is “There’s a new number to call in the event of a power cut. Don’t get left in the dark – call 105. “
    · Click ‘Add my support’
    · You’re all done!

    A national consumer awareness campaign will run from this month through to next spring and will include PR, media advertising, social media and coordinated messaging through partner channels.

    Hopefully you can help us to raise awareness of this important new national 105 service through your channels, once the service is launched. We can provide you with materials to use, including:
    · Copy for newsletters, websites and magazines
    · 105 imagery
    · Tips on what to do in a power cut
    · Comment from our spokespeople
    · Social media assets
    · An animated film explaining 105
    · We can also work with you to co-create bespoke content specifically for your channels.

    We will also want to continue to work with partners to raise awareness of 105 in the longer-term.

    A Stakeholder Toolkit, which includes creative collateral you might wish to use (in English and Welsh), along with the brand guidelines, has been produced. It can be downloaded from here.

    If you have any questions or would like any further information, do let me know. Also, if you are able to support awareness raising of 105, please can you let us know when, where and how you can help by contacting/emailing

    Kind regards

    Tracy Joyce
    Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications
    SP Energy Networks

    Letter about Community Council Elections

    As you may know, the current term of office for East Lothian Community Councils is coming to an end in the next few weeks. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank every Community Councillor for the service they have given over the last four years. These volunteers have worked hard for their communities in many different ways, from organising or helping to run community events, to representing local interests to East Lothian Council and other public and private bodies, as well as continuing to work closely with their partners in the Area Partnerships.

    Elections for this our most local level of democracy, are scheduled for this October and East Lothian Council will shortly be issuing details of how to get involved. In the past, most of our Community Councillors have been appointed unopposed as there have been insufficient nominations. I wish to be clear that this is no reflection on those who have put themselves forward, we should all be grateful that they did, however, more candidates than positions will trigger local elections. This benefits us all as it raises awareness of what Community Councils do, increases community involvement and ownership, and strengthens the mandate for each Community Council with increased confidence that they reflect local opinion.

    Nominations for this coming term will open on August 29th. Whether you are an existing Community Councillor, or just someone who has an interest in their local area and it’s future (and who doesnt), I would encourage you to stand for election. You need no special qualifications, apart from an open mind and a genuine wish to make a positive difference in your community. It does require making a commitment but it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, one that I heartily recommend.

    Again, my thanks to those who have decided against standing for re-election, my best wishes to you. To those returning and new colleagues who are successfully elected to their Community Councils in October, the Association of East Lothian Community Councils extends a very warm welcome.

    Yours etc,
    Hilary Smith
    Chair of the Association of East Lothian Community Councils