In May I was asked for a copy of the ‘I Love Kirknewton’ Community Consultation for the West Lothian Local History Library in Linlithgow. So your views and comments are now officially saved as a historical record of life in a wee West Lothian village in the early part of the 21st Century! That is quite amazing! I look forward to the 2099 episodes of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ or ‘Time Team’ who cross reference the printed record with the emails, facebook pages, twitter feeds, wordpress blogs and websites for the overall picture!
The Kirknewton Development Plan 2011-2014
So I thought it would be good to give you a half term report! The Development Plan Draft has been completed (actually, it is the 4th draft that has been submitted for public consumption – the first being truly horrendous). Your views and comments have been condensed into a workable three year action plan that can be seen for your feedback during June. Please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a electronic copy or come into the office to read it. Highlights of the draft Development Plan can also be seen at the Gala on 18th June. If you are interested in being on a small steering group that will review the plan and all comments at a meeting on Wednesday 22nd June please e mail me. Thanks to all those who have already expressed an interest. Hopefully the plan will be accepted as the will of the people by the Development Trust in July. That should keep us all busy and focussed as a community til 2014!
The AD Plant, Hydro and Wind Farm Developments
The AD Plant, which kick started the community development project, is still on the table but is to be discussed further this week. We believe that food waste from Edinburgh will be going to their own purpose built AD plant so this may be a smaller plant. Things change daily though, so watch this space!
We have been looking at plan b & c if plan a (d) doesn’t happen! The Hydro Plant at Harperrig is one option. This could bring £20,000 a year in commuity benefit and it would be great if you could support the online bid for £100,000 from energyshare to help build it. You can see Kirknewton is currently in then top 20 of the whole UK but we need more supporters! The link to the Kirknewton bid is http://www.energyshare.com/kirknewton-community-development-trust/
We are in consultation with the wind farm developers at Fauch Hill, West Lothian Council and neighbouring communities about community benefit models and investment opportunities. Many of you attended the Fauch Hill community consultation and they will return to provide information on changes made to the project and potential benefits for the community in the Autumn.
The Resource Centre
The need for more community space and activities was requested by many of you in the community consultation. There is currently no proposal for a new community centre in the 2011-2014 Development Plan, but we are far advanced with planning and potential funding for a Resource Centre on the old Gospel Hall site in Main Street. This will provide additional meeting space which will allow the Village Hall to be booked for more activity based clubs.
The Park and the sports centre without a roof!
I was fortunate enough to go and see a community park at Glenboig, near Coatbridge, with Becky Plunkett the West Lothian Greenspace Officer. This has provided us with inspiration for our park and we will investigate options and funding further to develop the park and possibly other areas around Kirknewton too. The term that has been used is ‘a sports centre without a roof’. There is already an option for £5000 of Outdoor Fitness Equipment (you can choose your favourites at the Gala) and we would like to improve the kick/basketball pitch, add a skate park/bike track in park, upgrade the woodland and add lights to the football pitch for games through the winter months.
The redevelopment of the play park has been a hit and the local councillors and West Lothian Council are helping us action some of your other requests in the community consultation – recycling bins being one of them (and you can read comments about that on the Kirknewton facebook pages). Temporary recycling bins are in the park and the more they get used the more funding goes to next years Gala – so get recycling your bottles today!
Food Waste Trial
The food waste trial continues with Core until September. 3 tonnes of waste has been collected during April from 30 bins and 230 caddies! Thats 3 tonnes of food waste not going to land fill. Thanks to the 230 households taking part. Strangely enough the amount of food collected in May was half that tonnage! Are people becoming more aware of how much food they were wasting? Let me know.
Most importantly thanks has to go out to everyone in the village who helped with the consultation, taken ideas and projects forward, contributed their time, given their views, shared information with friends & neighbours, supported any applications for funding, and put up with my blogging/facebooking/twittering/emailing/ messages/phonecalls/leaflets/posters/cries of help in the street (all OTT at times!).
I hope all of us can keep the momentum going and that the Kirknewton community hopefully benefit from all your hard work. Of course there will be disappointments along the way - but it will make the achievements all the more sweeter!
Oh, and if you haven’t lifted a finger to help yet (and you know who you are, hiding behind that computer screen) - it’s not too late to be part of history!