Category Archives: Community Council

Woodland Management

Yesterday on the steep bank of the Papana Burn adjacent to the park in Garvald, the young trees received some annual maintenance work. Approximately fifty individual trees required some attention including the straightening of leaning trees, cutting of some intrusive weeds (e.g. gorse / brambles), replacing dead saplings and repairing damaged tubes and stakes. Photos taken by Graham Barnes.

Energy Saving Trust Advice Sessions

Home Energy Scotland are a Scottish Government programme managed by the Energy Saving Trust. They have a network of local advice centres covering all of Scotland and offer free, impartial advice on energy saving, renewable energy, sustainable transport, waste prevention and more.

They are hosting two events in March called “Re-energise your old home” to bring together a range of industry experts to help people reduce heat loss in older homes and explain the benefits of renewable energy. At the event you can listen to short talks from the experts, ask questions and get tailored advice including the latest information on funding.

The events are taking place in Portobello on Tuesday 21 March (6.00-7.30pm) and North Berwick on Thursday 23 March (6.00-7.30pm). If you are interested in attending, you can obtain your free tickets using the links below:

North Berwick:

New village signs

We have shiny new village signs at the entrances to the village. They have been paid for by the Haddington and Lammermuir Partnership and installed by the Roads Department. Similar signs have been provided for all villages in the area.

The Community Council were asked to publish the consultation for the signs on the website, which they posted on the website in November, but they have no responsibility for them. If you have any queries about the signs please contact the Council’s Roads Department. Thank you.

February 2017 GMCC meeting minutes available

The minutes from the February meeting of Garvald and Morham Community Council are now available on the GMCC page. New committee members were given a warm welcome and among the items discussed were the proposed Garvald broadband mast, an exciting proposal for an archaeology project in Morham, the Crystal Rig Fund and the development of future projects.

Garvald Shelter

Message from Penny Short,
Champion for Children & Young People, Haddington & Lammermuir Area Partnership:

Following consultation and the overwhelmingly positive response from villagers regarding installing a shelter in the park, I submitted an application to the Haddington and Lammermuir Area Partnership for funding and this was recently approved.  I am delighted to let you know that the shelter will be installed very soon.

As you will be aware, the shelter will be installed, maintained and looked after by the Council’s Amenity Services and its location and design was largely dictated by Amenity Services to fit in best with the play park and surrounding area.  Ideally I would have liked a door on it and perhaps comfier seating but health and safety regulations meant that this was not possible – however it will still be an excellent shelter/haven for those in need.  It will have a motion sensor light (as we know it can get very dark in the park in winter) which will only go on if someone is using the shelter and I am still in discussions to organise wi-fi which will  be very useful.

As initially proposed it will be built principally to be used by our young people as a social space and to recognise that they are a very valuable part of our community and it is important that their needs are met and their voices are heard. But of course it is hoped that the shelter will be used by all villagers, young and not so young, and I know that everyone will, as always, use it responsibly and considerately bearing in mind the close proximity of houses to the public park.  I hope this will be a great asset to the village and that everyone will enjoy using it.

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