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On Sunday 1st March the Green Room celebrated their first birthday at a reception to unveil the Kirknewton wall hanging. The wall hanging has been put together by a group of volunteers over the last year and depicts the history of Kirknewton, significant buildings in the village and issues being discussed today. It is a true snapshot of life in Kirknewton 2015, a piece of artwork and true history in the making. The artwork was unveiled by CEO of the Kirknewton Community Development Trust Tony Foster and he thanked everyone involved with this mammoth project. He said, "The wall hanging is absolutely fantastic and everyone involved should be so proud of this achievement. I hope people visiting the Green Room will enjoy it for many years to come. You notice something new everytime you look at it. It's exceeded all our expectations." The Green Room has drop in sessions for coffee/tea every Tuesday to Thursday mornings from 9am to 1pm.

Following the recent community engagement work the number one reason people like living in Kirknewton is because of 'community spirit'. This has come out of nowhere in 2010 when location was the number one reason given in a similar piece of work. External consultants employed by KCDT, thanks to Big Lottery Scotland funding, spent from 9th to 23rd December 2014 encouraging local people to share their ideas and opinions about the area and the land purchase project at Camps Junction. It culminated with a drop-in feedback event in early 2015. Overall 561 people participated, either face to face, 81 online, 197 from Kirknewton Primary School and 41 at the feedback event on

January 10th 2015. There was a fantastic level of interest with 2800 comments recorded. KCDT were particularly encouraged by the thoughtful response people made on the online survey which extended the range of people who were able to participate. One of the things asked for was 'improving communication beyond social media such as facebook'. That's why we have produced this pilot newsletter. You can read more on page 21, the full report online at http://issuu.com/kirknewton/docs/ kirknewton_community_engagement_rep or read a copy in the Green Room


Kirknewton News is a community newspaper, witten by and for local people in Kirknewton. It is produced by Kirknewton Community Development Trust (KCDT), supported by the Big Lottery Scotland. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the KCDT. If you would like to get involved with the Kirknewton News, please get in touch at infokirknewton@gmail.com WANT TO CONTRIBUTE? Submit articles or letters to the Editor at: infokirknewton@gmail.com or to the Kirknewton Green Room, 12 Main Street, Kirknewton, EH27 8AH. Alternatively call 01506 883 988. WANT TO SPONSOR? To sponsor, email: infokirknewton@gmail.com or call 01506 883 988 KCDT is registered with the office of the Scottish Regulator No SC037895

Kirknewton is in the worst 20% of geographic access to healthcare services - the sort of low scoring reserved for remote and rural areas of the Highlands and Islands. No wonder then that during the Kirknewton Community Development Trust consultation in 2010 healthcare was an issue that needed to be addressed. That is why KCDT and the Community Council wrote letters of support for the proposed Pharmacy and encouraged as many of you to fill in their consultation which helped support the application (and objections from other pharmacies). Thanks to everyone who took the time to make their views known during that consultation – KCDT and the Kirknewton Community Council are sure it really helped make the case. Thanks to Fergal Coffey and his team for opening the pharmacy. We wish you the best of luck and we are sure everyone in Kirknewton will support you the best we can!

WHY DO WE NEED A NEWSLETTER? Kirknewton Community Development Trust (KCDT) kept on being asked to produce one, is the answer. Particularly for those of you who don’t use social media such as Facebook or twitter and aren’t familiar with the world of the web, blogs and e mails. You can’t beat a publication you can sit down, put your feet up and read from cover to cover featuring news and articles written by people you may know, about issues on your local doorstep. This ‘pilot’ issue of the Kirknewton News, funded by the Big Lottery Scotland, provides you with a sample of the opportunity such a newsletter brings to our communities. It is yours to use to get your message across and it is hoped that with your support we can continue. I would encourage you to get in touch if you want to get more involved with our content – our e mail is infokirknewton@ gmail.com. I’d also like to give a big thank you to those who rallied to the call and produced content for this first issue, not quite knowing what to expect! I am particularly pleased that some of the articles inside this publication are written by a number of ‘junior’ reporters from P7 to high school, who have used the experience of producing a newsletter as volunteer hours towards their Saltire Awards. Well done to you all. I hope you enjoy this issue. I hope you learn something new as we take this opportunity to go into more detail on stories you may be interested in.

Tony Foster

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/kirknewtoncarshare To help with transport issues in Kirknewton KCDT thought they would help add a new and local dimension to travelling from Kirknewton and launch a local car share club. So if you are looking to offer a lift or would like a lift for work, university, school, an evening club or regular appointment this is for you. The project also offers you the chance to look for a cycling, running or walking buddy. They will match people who take similar journeys. You can meet in the Green Room or talk to the person via telephone/email. If driving you can possibly charge for a lift that maybe is less than the bus/rail fare but covers the cost of the extra passengers. Follow the link above to join the club. If we can match you with anyone we will be in touch....


The Green Room, a zero energy development and social space built by the community, for the community of Kirknewton, celebrated its first birthday on Wednesday 25th February. 5 years work, 400+ volunteer hours worth nearly £8000, a KCDT and community contribution of £30,000 and a Leader contribution of nearly £121,000 went into the build at 12 Main Street (you can see some of the original discussions going on at the former site on google street view!) The Green Room can be opened any time and has drop in events Tues – Thurs from 9am til 1pm. You can pop in for wifi, a cuppa, home baking, meeting friends, a chat, reading a newspaper or book. You can hire a tablet/ laptop/e-reader or people who work from home can have a space 'out of the office' with printing facilities if required. If it's raining you can also wait for the bus!

The build is also available for meetings, state of the art training facilities, parties and family events. It recently launched a Cinema party offering – for £5

a head you can watch a movie of your choice in your own private cinema with popcorn and juice. The zero energy development was built by the Kirknewton Community Development Trust. The build was one of the objectives identified in the Kirknewton Community Development Plan 2012 - 2014. The new build minimises use of energy by incorporating very high levels of insulation and airtightness into it’s structure. With the generation of electricity using photo-voltaic cells on the roof and the recovery of heat from ventilated air we hope to make the building carbonneutral over it’s life. The project is also supported by the Big Lottery Scotland. Project aims include the creation of employment and volunteer opportunities for experience required to get back into employment or education. The aim is also to provide more opportunities for young people in the village. Announcing the funding a year

ago, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Director, Jackie Killeen, said: “The Big Lottery Fund supports projects across Scotland that aim to improve the quality of life for individuals most in need and their families.” The Kirknewton ‘Investing in Communities’ grant of £266,120 supports the work in the Green Room. The funds paid for capital equipment for the building, running costs for three years and creating local employment, including a finance and administration officer (Zoe Hubbard) and a volunteer and youth co-ordinator (Jennifer Ba) who support current and new groups in the community. Stewart McKenna, Chair of the Trust, said, “We are pleased that BIG re-affirmed their confidence in the community of Kirknewton and the work of KCDT in making our village and its environs a better place to live, work and play. Kirknewton really is becoming a vibrant community and BIG, through their assistance, are really helping to catalyse this change”


The current Scottish Government have rejected 65 per cent Kirknewton community support for the proposed Fauch Hill windfarm after a public inquiry. They have also rejected the best community negotiated deal on investment in the turbines and community benefit. What does that actually mean? Kirknewton will lose £100,000 a year for the next 25 years to put into projects you want to see (speed signs, improvements to village etc.) and the funding for youth project staff from August 2016. This is very sad news, particularly for Kirknewton volunteers, who spent several years on the project and many of you who have shown an active interest in the social impact these funds would have made for the community. To add insult to injury KCDT recently met with the successful Harburnhead wind farm developer and were informed that their investment in a community turbine offer has been dropped. KCDT were told that this option was dropped due to lack of interest, based on a public meeting held in 2012. KCDT had shown a willingness to meet the developer since the Reporter's Decision Letter in July 2014, to discuss the investment opportunity presented to the reporter and ministers at that time but have been put off and delayed by the developer. KCDT believe that the investment opportunity presented at the inquiry by the Harburnhead developer was a hollow and cynical offer to create a false parity between the windfarm offerings on community ownership and Scottish Government targets at the public inquiry. In that regard the Reporter and Scottish Ministers may have been misled. This is also worrying, considering the community benefit payment (irrespective of large pre and post development payments) is below the recommendation of their own government - Harburnhead are offering £2000 per installed MW as opposed to £5000 per installed MW. The community benefit package is about, the reporters summary said; "Neither proposal requires a community benefit package to make the respective scheme acceptable. In both cases, the community benefit package is

voluntary and a matter for the respective applicants. There is no reason to doubt that either offer is genuine and both offers are significant in monetary terms. Overall, we find no significant differences between the two proposals in relation to tourism, economic development or community benefits." KCDT have written to local MSP Angela Constance and Councillor Carl John to inform the Energy Minister Fergus Ewing about their concerns. They are asking a number of questions; How important are the information and details provided at public inquiry? How important is community engagement, community benefit, community ownership and community investment to the Scottish Government? How do you deal with granted schemes that withdraw community offers and do not meet the expectations of your ministers decision? KCDT emphasised they were extremely disappointed to hear the reporters decision on Fauch Hill, particularly after all the hard work that volunteers in our community gave in consulting fully with our community on the issue, negotiating the best community benefit and investment deal in Scotland, encouraging the development of the West Calder Development Trust, getting support of local SNP councillors and now having no sustainable future for the Kirknewton Community Development Trust and the Green Room. They have asked the government ministers to consider the points raised in this communication and act accordingly in the interests of the wider communities they represent.


KCDT have been awarded seven potential hydro sites on Forestry Estates residual land across Scotland and intend to develop them alongside the nearest relevant local community, offering them 51% ownership. This followed the idea of KCDT Chair Stewart McKenna to commission company babyhydro to find 2MW of hydro potential and provide the information for all communities to see via the Local Energy Scotland website. Using Cares funding from Local Energy KCDT investigated over 40 sites, put notes of interest in sixteen sites and were awarded seven in total. Three sites are in Strathpeffer at Allt an Ellein Ghuirm, Allt Riabhach and Allt na Bana-mhorair, in Appin at Allt a Mhuilinn, Kilmun at Allt Coire an t-Sith, Fort William at Allt a Choire Riabhaich and West of Creag an-larlain in Inverness. The cost of developing the sites will be in the region of £4.5 million with a gross revenue of over £600,000 a year anticipated. Once all the relevant local communities are on board with the project the next stage is to begin a feasibility study to give comfort to KCDT and the local communities that there are no deal breakers on each site. This work will cost in the region of £20,000 and hopefully KCDT can pay for this from a non recourse loan available from the Scottish Government, that only needs to be paid back once the scheme is in place. It is anticipated that the schemes will be financed as a portfolio of sites, thus spreading the risk. However local members of each community will also be able to invest in each project too.

There is a new pathway through the K i rk new ton Communit y Woodland. KCDT thinned trees planted 15 years ago and members of the community cut them down for wood fuel then wood chipped the rest for the path. The edging is largely from old broken fencing which has been replaced with a shiny new one. This has been co-ordinated by the Trust with helpful advice from Central Scotland Forest Trust and help from local businesses and a team of volunteers. Well done all and we hope the community enjoy it!


LEVEL CROSSING Still continues to cause problems and delays with one of the latest incidents being a pedestrian struck by the descending barrier on the head and shoulder on the 12th January as she crossed over. The incident was caught on film and is under investigation by the Transport police. POST OFFICE Notice has been given that the Post Office will close this summer unfortunately because not enough customers were using the services. A Planning Application has been lodged to change the use from a shop to form a flat, extension and other alterations. PARK Porta-cabins are to built in the Park to accommodate nursery children from the Primary School when it closes to have remedial building works undertaken. When these works are completed the children will return to the primary School and the porta-cabins will remain permanently to be used as sports changing facilities and meeting places. PLANNING APPLICATON 0691/P/14 For permission in principle to build 45 retirement homes behind the School. At the time of going to press there has been no decision yet. KIRKNEWTON COMMUNITY COUNCIL To raise awareness of the village’s status as a conservation area it is proposed to erect signs as you come into the area. WATERLOO TOWER Off Linburn Road to Kirknewton. This is a category B listed (Gothic folly) building which is unfortunately in a very poor condition and should only be viewed from a distance. It was built to commemorate Wellington’s Victory over Napoleon at The Battle of Waterloo on June 18th 1815 which this year is the 200th anniversary. KIRKNEWTON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TRUST The Trust are seeking to acquire the triangular shaped land at Camps Junction between where the pedestrian bridge crosses the railway track and the road East out of the village to Edinburgh. It is hoped a small development can be build with low energy running costs for retirement homes. EAST CALDER/CALDERWOOD DEVELOPMENT It has been reported that the Calderwood Developer Peter Stirling has intimated that he might be unable to build the new secondary school (Calderwood High) or the park and ride at Kirknewton Railway Station as agreed in a section 75 with West Lothian Council. It might be necessary for West Lothian Council to negotiate with the Developer to safeguard the land for the new school and possibly a bond as a contingency in case of a worst case scenario. Vic Garrad

Dear Resident, As you may already appreciate, Kirknewton is a village stretching back quite a few hundred years. Indeed, our Parish Records date as far back as 1587. Even some of our gravestones go back to the late 1600's, bearing interesting contemporary inscriptions no longer seen on modern day gravestones and these are obviously worthy of preservation. Our Main Street has been fortunate in that the buildings have been mainly able to hold on to their original character as they were when built in the 1800's. These, along with the Hunting Tower — formerly the local Jail House — form not only part of our village history but also its heritage. West Lothian County Council, the predecessor of West Lothian Council, had the foresight to designate the village as a conservation area. The aim being to preserve the character and the appearance of our village for future generations. In addition a number of buildings within the village have been listed by Historic Scotland. In order to create more awareness of the existence of the Conservation Area, the Community Council have decided to highlight it by placing compatible signage as you enter the Area. Being a resident within the Conservation Area does, of course, carry certain obligations. We would therefore ask you to bear this in mind when considering alterations or external work for listed buildings - to your property. For example, most external work will require planning permission within the conservation area and for listed buildings, listed building consent may also be required for both external and internal works. The council is unlikely to support applications for uPVC replacement windows. This is not to say, however, that good modern design will not be approved simply because of the conservation area status. The Green Room opposite the Grave Yard is a good example of this. There are also other buildings in the area which date from relatively recently but designed and approved to blend in, such as the corner shop development and the residential estate both off Main Street / Whitemoss Road. If you are contemplating modifications to your property you may find it useful to consult the West Lothian Council website at w w w.westlothian.gov.uk /plan ninci-and¬buldinqstandards. Alternatively, email planninqwestlothian.qov.uk. You may be interested to know that Kirknewton Community Council meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month (July excepted) in the Green Room at 6.45pm and you are cordially invited to attend. Thank you, Kirknewton Community Council


Kirknewton Community Development Trust has been encouraged to submit an application to the Scottish Land Fund for the purchase of Camps Junction at the East end of the village for low energy housing for the elderly but The response from SLF suggests the proposed Heads of Terms from West Lothian Council are incompatible with SLF method of working. KCDT have asked WLC to remove such conditions that make this proposal unworkable and allow KCDT considerably more time and latitude to raise funding for what is a considerable capital sum for a small community body to subscribe. KCDT have strong encouragement from WLC planners for the proposal and the call has been made to other departments within WLC to support this community in a similar, generous manner, especially considering that KCDT propose to buy the land at full market value and do not seek any discount. KCDT do realise the practical knowledge of acquisition of the land and construction of the Green Room that projects of this kind take may take considerably longer than initially planned. They wish to expedite this development for the sake of those in the community who are likely to benefit from the availability of such Amenity Homes, and wish to have a relaxation on all those conditions that impose strict timescales that could cause this ambitious project to fail. Considering that WLC has owned this land for the last 18 years without any improvement, maintenance of development KCDT fail to understand why such tight constraints of time should be imposed on our proposals. As part of the Land Fund’s application process SLF will be looking for evidence that KCDT proposals are robust, well planned and achievable. It is understandable that WLC will have similar concerns but it it believed that it should be possible to agree terms with WLC that would comply with Land Fund timescales and requirements and avoid an unnecessary burden for KCDT. In terms of assessing what information is reasonable to request prior to a community purchase going ahead another point of reference would be the information required by Scottish Ministers when

a community submits a Right to Buy application under the Community Right to Buy legislation. The guidance (http://www.scotland.gov.uk/ Publications/2009/06/08101427/3 para 105) suggests that a feasibility study or business plan is provided but planning consent and development funding would not normally be expected prior to acquisition. This is similar to the requirements for the Land Fund. From SLF reading of the HOTs formal missives will be concluded but entry and transfer of ownership will only takes place once the suspensive conditions have been met, which may be up to 18 months after conclusion of missives. If this is the case then there is a fundamental problem as the current SLF programme runs until March next year and all money has to be spent by 31 March; in SLF experience, the possibility of meeting all the conditions in that time period would completely unrealistic. WLC has asked for HOT that would be acceptable to KCDT. KCDT put in an offer with no conditions. Meantime the Trust have worked with Rural Housing Scotland to establish need, consulted with the community on the proposals as part of the recent community engagement work and commissioned work to establish title, land valuation, topographical studies and architect plans as part of a ÂŁ9,000 Investing In Ideas grant from Big Lottery Scotland.


Kirknewton Community Council have been having a series of meetings regarding the fence at the Camps foot bridge over the Edinburgh to Carstairs line. The fence is regarded as being entirely inappropriate for the rural and conservation village status of Kirknewton and a potential waste of money for the tax payer that could have been avoided with consultation before installation with the local community. Network Rail continue to claim Safety is Network Rail's primary concern. They have a duty of care to both the general public and train passengers / crew, particularly at locations of repeat railway crime. NR is legally obliged to fence the railway with a barrier that provides a suitable deterrent to site specific risks including trespass and or vandalism. They are funded by the Scottish Government, who through the Office of Rail Regulation expects NR to spend budgets to achieve optimal whole life costs. Risks from adjacent land use or human activities at a given site can change over time, so they aim to install a fence type that where possible will not require to be amended in the future. Network Rail insist there is clear physical evidence of past trespass and fence damage in the locus of the foot bridge where the original fence remains

(pre-renewal) on the North side. These include a suicide and a potential suicide, trespass (youth and adult), vandalism (15' ladder laid onto the tracks) and attempted theft of scrap rails However they have not shared this with Kirknewton in writing, as requested at one of their meetings together. The fence that was removed on the South side was life expired post and wire fencing. However access to the land was not granted by the landowner. The new fence type was selected to address the history of incidents at the site and potential for future reoccurrence. Expanded metal fencing is one of the standard fence designs that we use across GB at locations of repeat trespass / vandalism. However this is determined by a scoring matrix which may be awed for this area. Network Rail say they fully appreciate that the new fence is visually more prominent in the landscape than what it has replaced. They also appreciate that the plans for the new fence were not consulted on with the local residents or Council representatives. Indeed the fence has been installed 1 metre away from the orginal fence line, in land owned by West Lothian Council that KCDT are currently in discussions to purchase. They are currently considering how we can address the visual impact issue and we will revert with a proposal on this matter once land ownership is established. If the fence is determined to currently not be on NR property they will move the fence back onto their own land. An opportunity the Community Council feel they could use to change the fence to a suitable colour for the surroundings



The second Kirknewton Volunteer Awards took place at the Stables on Friday 28th November 2014. On the night we also took donations and raised £202 for Movember Kirknewton Inn group and £50 towards the Balerno High School 2G pitch. SPORTS VOLUNTEER – Aiden Murray This award goes to Aiden who organises fixtures, regular coaches plus all that goes with it from trips away to making lunch etc. Due to the poor sport facilities in Kirknewton many kids go to external sporting clubs, including Currie Rugby Club, and have hugely benefited from the experience. Giving up most Sunday mornings to coach a bunch of kids is a pressure but the winner of the Sports Volunteer award is enthusiastic and loves seeing the team do so well. BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – Hilly Cow Wigwams with special mention to ProSigns for Xbox fundraising campaign ARTS VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR – Potter Around & the Yarnbombers In February 2014, when the Green Room opened, a group of people came forward and suggested producing a wall hanging for our wall that will feature aspects of our community (See story on page 1). But we felt this was just an aspect of the work in arts and crafts that a local business and a group of guerilla knitting rebels has given the village over the last two years. ACTIVE CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Kenny Birch After the Community Consultation of 2010 KCDT conducted a skills and volunteer survey to help put some of the projects into practice. Kenny has worked above and beyond the call of duty. He helped, as a volunteer, to project manage the build of our £140,000 zero energy project ‘The Green Room’. That one sentence does not capture the amount of work this person put into a building that at times was as challenging as it is unique in terms of its energy efficiency. It is quite clear to many of us that the project would not have come in on

time and budget without the help of Kenny Birch. YOUNG VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR – The Youth Club EVENT OF THE YEAR – Kirknewton Gala So much hard work throughout the year goes in to preparing this event each year. The committee research what kind of things the people of all ages in the village would like to see at their gala day and try to provide this. Its hard to please everyone and sometimes they don’t but it doesn’t put them off. Every year there are different activities to try out and a fun day is had by all. TRUST SPECIAL AWARD – Duncan McCool Following the publication of the Community Development Plan Duncan came forward to develop cycle routes in Selm Muir Wood. Little did he know that we’d ask him to look at a possible route from the centre of the village to said wood so people young and old would be able to walk and enjoy the beauty of our rural location without relying on a car. We are not there yet but Selm Muir Wood, working with the Forestry Commission, has many improved routes with the Forestry Commission so impressed with our volunteer efforts and attendance to bushcraft events they are keen to develop the wood further and run more events, such as this years Easter Bunny Hunt! This work provided inspiration for us to improve the local community woodland by cutting down trees, woodchipping them to improve the path, using old fencing for the borders and improving the fencing.

11 BOARD MEMBER OF THE YEAR – Julie Greer Julie normally does a tremendous amount for the Gala anyway, but it has been particularly striking this year. She has continued to work hard for the Gala at a time when others may have stepped back from their gala tasks. She is worthy of the award anyway, but particularly so this year. Julie has worked so hard to make the Gala an amazing success,is always positive with a lovely smile. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Mabel Hope We all volunteer for a reason. Some do it to win awards (but not usually!) Some do it to keep their mind and body active. Some do it to help their kids school or club. Some do it to pursue their hobby. Some do it because helping others makes them feel good and they get something back in return. But what makes someone win a lifetime achievement award. Here are a few comments about Mabel. She has endless energy for helping others. She gives lots of time and effort. She is a regular volunteer at the Kosy Kaff and looks after tea and coffee after the Kirknewton Church Service. She is unstinting in her helpfulness. GROUP OF THE YEAR – Allotments Association This group have come a long way in a few short years. Five years ago they were just a group of people with a common interest in growing our own food. The allotments association is a fantastic group of people who deserve recognition for all that they have achieved so far – which is why they win Community Group of the Year 2014 (Find out more on page 18). Kirknewton Volunteer of the Year 2014 – Nikki Thomson Nikki, in her own quiet, humble way has made a huge difference in the community. Kirknewton has been very lucky to have her involved with the community. She has served as an office bearer in the playgroup and babies and toddlers. She helps anyone who asks and is usually a first point of call for friends in need. She has spent the past 5 years volunteering in the surrounding area of West Lothian as a breastfeeding peer supporter. This has involved her working with new mums and babies in their own homes, on the phone, attending the East Calder support group on a weekly basis and St. John’s breastfeeding clinic. She has recently commenced midwifery training and I’m sure all the mums and babies in and around Kirknewton wish her well.

The Kirknewton Community Development Trust are looking for some help on projects - perhaps you have the time and skills to lend a hand. Please contact Tony Foster at tonykirknewton@gmail. com if there is something you feel you can help with; CAN YOU HELP WITH... • Low energy housing? • Hydro projects? • Solar energy? • Raising finance for amenity housing, hydro, solar or wind projects? • Drainage (of football pitches), solar powered floodlighting, skate parks, motorbike tracks or playpark equipment for older children? • Gardening and helping to improve the look of communal green spaces? • Source local food suppliers for our regular Food and Craft Fairs? Could you organise a beer, whisky, wine or gin tasting event? • The youth club, could you organise a trip for kids or do a talk on a specific subject of interest? • A local film club? • Developing a new sports facility for Kirknewton? • Applying for funds and fundraising? Or raising advertising, sponsorship and in kind gifts? Anything of interest - please get in touch! Email: tonykirknewton@gmail.com


MONDAY 3.30pm – 5pm Face2Face



9am – 1pm Drop In

9am – 1pm Life Begins 50s Drop in, half price teas and coffees for over 50s, cards, dominos, board games.

7pm – 8pm Keyboard Lessons

10.30am – 11.00am 6.30pm Bookbugs Family Book Club 12th May 9th June 6.45pm Every 2nd Tuesday of the month Community Council Keep up to date with the news at www.kirknewton.org Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

MONDAY 7pm – 8.30 pm Boxcir

TUESDAY 9am – 11.15 am Playgroup

2.30pm – 3.30pm 6.45pm – 7.45pm A Star sports Physio Pilates - pre school 3.30pm – 4.30 pm A Star sports - P1 and P2


WEDNESDAY 9am – 11.15am Playgroup

5pm – 6.15pm Rainbows

9am – 1pm Drop In 1.30pm – 2pm Kirknewton Babies Music Group

2.30pm – 3pm Bookbugs 30th April 28th May 25th June

FRIDAY 9.30am – 1pm Access 2 Employment Job Club Appointments 10am – 12pm Financial Inclusion Network Benefits Advice 6pm – 8pm Youth Club

To book onto any of the courses, or for more information please email: zoekirknewton@gmail.com or call: 01506 883 988 We’re at 12 Main Street Kirknewton, EH27 8AH




9.10am – 10am 9am – 11.15am Daytime Pilates Playgroup 10.10am – 11am Daytime Pilates - Beginners 7pm – 8pm 4pm – 5pm Zumba Kosy Kaff - P1 – P6 Club

AM and PM Lord Academy of Performing Acts

6.30pm – 8pm Brownies 7pm Kirknewton Walkers 8.15pm Highland Dancing

To book onto any of the courses, or for more information please email: bookingkirknewton@gmail.com or call The Green Room: 01506 883 988 or Gill Greaves: 07816 880 175 or 01506 883 261 We’re at Main Street, Kirknewton, EH27 8AH


• Brownies • Childrens Tae Kwon Do • Ladies Bible Study • Mum & Toddler Group • Contact: knec-mail@knec4jesus.org.uk for more information. As well as our regular services, there’s also lots more going on. We’ll try to highlight just some of it for you! On Saturday 21st March at 11am we’ll be holding our annual Spring Fayre. Last year’s was a great success and we are hoping to make this year’s even better. This could be your chance to buy gifts for Easter which are a wee bit different to those you buy in the shops. • We would be pleased to receive donations of new mugs and face cloths over the next few weeks - these will be gift wrapped with Easter Eggs and sold on the day. • Are you good at crafts? Would you be willing to make some simple crafts to sell at the Fayre and/or would you be willing to show others and help them to make some too? • Would you be able to bake for our Cake and Candy stall? • Can you help on a stall? If you can help with any of these then please contact Andy or Ann Dunlop on 01506 881 254.

MONDAY 10am – 11am Craft a Story Story for under 5s Crafty stuff with story time and songs, tea or coffee for the adult - £4.50 5pm – 7pm Kids Oil Painting Classes 7pm – 9pm Adult Oil Painting Classes

TUESDAY 7.30pm – 10pm Ladies Night




10.30am 10.30am – 12.30pm 2pm – 4pm Knitting and Adult Oil Art Club Crochet Classes Painting Classes - £20 a session

7.30pm Oil Painting Knitting and 5pm - for kids Crochet Classes 7pm - for adults Blocks of 4 classes to be booked at a time for evening classes. £50 for a block of 4 for children £70 for a block of 4 for adults. Call to book.

2.30pm – 5pm Warhammer Club

Jewellery Workshops Monthly workshops with Aleks Diamante teachings the basics of jewellery and how to make specific desirable items Candle, soap and lip balm workshops and parties available.

To book onto any of the courses, or for more information: please email: chat@potteraround.co.uk or call Karen: 01506 238 961 We’re at Overton Farm, Kirknewton, EH27 8DD


The Kirknewton Twisters Youth Club has now been running for over a year now. The club, which is open to young people in primary 7 and above, have taken part in a variety of different sessions including magic trick workshops, quiz nights, film nights, circus skills workshops and lots and lots of ‘cookery sessions’ (which included the notorious kebab smoothie!) The sessions are run by a team of committed volunteer youth workers, who have taken the time to get to know the young people, and strong relationships have been created. Unfortunately during September 2014 the youth club’s new XBox One was stolen from The Green Room. Although this was an awful incident, it did have one major positive effect. The young people were able to rally round and decided to fundraise to save up for a new XBox One. The young people organised and held a Hallo ‘wean cake sale. With the amazing contributions and donations from the community the young people raised over £400 and replaced the console. Saltire Award The young people used this group fundraising event to enter on to the Saltire Award scheme. The Saltire Award is a volunteer scheme open to all young people 12-25 years old. Saltire certificates are awarded for the amount of volunteering done. On completion of each stage of the award participants receive a certificate which is endorsed

by the Scottish government and signed by the Scottish Minister. They capture a young person’s volunteer experience and are a great way to keep a record for a CV. Plus with young scot reward points they entitle young people to fantastic prizes. My name is Katie Gelsthorpe and I am a third year Festival a Currently the young people are working on the next Edinburgh Napier University. As part of my course I have to stage of their award, called ‘The section months. My Approach’. work experienceThis is at The Green Room working Development Trust.people I began the role of10-25 Training, Tourism an will be completed whenFebruary the young offer and I am looking forward to my time here in Kirkne hours of their time to volunteer. As part of the next stage have many tasks to keep me busy, my main roles are to pro of the award we will beIcentre going uptotopromote Cyrenian’s and also KirknewtonFarm as a tourist destinat Room will act as an anchor in the in Spring to do gardening, pressing apples ascommunity, well as so people will example, and then use the facilities/attractions nearby for te cleaning out chicken coups. This newsletter is also being means more people using The Green Room during quieter ti used as a medium for the to make theirbusinesses. It w villageyoung and morepeople money being spent in local Kirknewton working together and seeing volunteer contribution. They have given up their timea rise to in volunteers I am from Eastarticles. Calder andWe was surprised at how much I didn research and write up some great would like much to do here whether it be quad biking at Mad Max, get to encourage as many young people in the village on to glamping at Hilly Cow Wig Wams, there really is something f the scheme. If you would like your child to be involved My hope is that local business can work together in order to in the Saltire Award scheme please get in to showinoffKirknewton what is on offer here. touch with Jennifer Ba atI hope Theto Green see you inRoom. The Green Room soon! Email: jenniferkirknewton@gmail.com

My name is Katie Gelsthorpe and I am a third year Festival and Events Management student at Edinburgh Napier University. As part of my course I have to do a supervised work experience for six months. My work experience is at The Green Room working for the Kirknewton Community Development Trust. I began the role of Training, Tourism and Events Development Officer on the 2nd February and I am looking forward to my time here in Kirknewton! I have many tasks to keep me busy, my main roles are to promote The Green Room as a training centre and also to promote Kirknewton as a tourist destination. The idea here is that The Green Room will act as an anchor in the community, so people will use the Green Room for a meeting, for example, and then use the facilities/attractions nearby for teambuilding or reward exercises. This means more people using The Green Room during quieter times, more

people coming into the village and more money being spent in local businesses. It will also hopefully see local businesses in Kirknewton working together and seeing a rise in volunteers and employment within the village. I am from East Calder and was surprised at how much I didn’t know about Kirknewton. There is so much to do here whether it be quad biking at Mad Max, getting creative at Potter Around or glamping at Hilly Cow Wig Wams, there really is something for everyone! My hope is that local business can work together in order to get tourism booming in the village and to show off what is on offer here. I hope to see you in The Green Room soon!


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One of the interest groups in Kirknewton is a walking group, Kirknewton walkers. I talked to the Kirknewton Walkers about the benefits of walking and how to get involved. This is what one of the group said: • How did kirknewton walkers start? It was a group of ladies, who fancied some walking and some company, so we thought that we would start ‘kirknewton walkers’ to give everyone an opportunity to walk with someone else, especially in the winter months when walking in the evening and in the dark is better with company. We first started the group as ‘kirknewton stompers’ but the name was too puzzling and people were not sure what kind of walking it is and ‘stomping’ may imply a very vigorous walking. We the changed the name 2 years ago to ‘Kirknewton walkers’ to stress that this is an open group where everyone, no matter how fit or trained, is welcome. • What kind of walking do you do and where? As this group is open to everyone and people can join us at any time, we accommodate all preferences for walking. Depending on the weather and how much time each individual has available, we will go slowly or a bit faster and make the walk either standard time (1-1half hours) or go faster or longer. In the winter months, when it’s dark, we tend to do an ‘East Calder Loop’ which is a 4 and a half mile to 5 mile round walk from Kirknewton and back. We do this to enable us to keep to the street lights and to stay safe. In the summer months, we are visible and safe to walk further, so we can extend our walks to Almondvaile country park, behind East Calder, or East or Kirknewton then Balerno, Currie and Juniper Green. • Why do you walk? There are 2 main reasons for us to walk, of course the main reason is walking for good health. Walking helps you keep fit and to control your weight. Walking is free and in the village everybody has many opportunities to enjoy walking. The second big reason for us to walk is for the joy and socialising. It’s nice to chat when your walking and share news. If anyone doesn’t know many people in Kirknewton, it’s a good opportunity to make friends. We are a very chatty group, often joking that we chat and walk not walk and chat. • How often and when do you walk? We meet weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7pm, we

meet at the bus stop opposite the park. However we are not restricted to this time only, if anyone cannot make Wednesday but wants to walk we can meet another time. In summer, naturally, we all tend to walk more often and sometimes we meet twice or more times a week. • If anyone wants to join, how do they? They are very welcome to come on any Wednesday at 7pm. However if they want to follow our arrangements they can join the Kirknewton walkers Facebook page @kirknewtonwalkers • What advice do you have for new members? Bring a pair of sturdy shoes and light but water proof clothing, and a smile! Everyone is welcome! See you soon!

Why not pop along with your little monster and bring some instrument / pots and pans to make some noise to well known nursery songs! This is a parents run group for little ones under the age of two

Every Thursday 1.30 - 2.15pm Kirknewton Green Room Cost - A small donation (£1) towards the Community Development Trust We’re looking forward to seeing some new faces!

Contact Amanda (07814 055 499) with any questions


From small beginnings big things can grow, this is certainly true for the Kirknewton Allotment Association. Starting as informal meetings around a kitchen table a dedicated group of people hatched a plot to acquire land in Kirknewton for the purpose of growing food (and flowers). The hunt was successful and a field opposite Potter Around was offered for the purpose of allotments. The field was well just that, but a hardy band of enthusiastic people, marked out each plot and path and began the slow process of clearing weeds then clearing them again! The site now is transformed, green houses, compost bins, rain catching systems and cane pyramids have sprung up. Towering sunflowers and fragrant sweet peas rub shoulders with the kale and cauliflowers. Bumper harvests of potatoes have been shared, asparagus beds planted, sprouts harvested in the dark and giant pumpkins grown. The Allotment Association has brought together a unique bunch of people who share a love for all things growing, the swapping of tips particularly in the eradication of slugs and snails and ways to preserve excess crops (beetroot wine anyone?) have livened up committee meetings. The plot holders are looking at ways to improve the site and as a result the Association has taken an active role within the community, helping at Gala, selling plants at the school Spring Fair and running Apple Day. Fundraising has allowed the shed roof to be replaced and tools to be bought. The future looks rosy, nearly all plots are taken and the site is well maintained, with the spring tidy up just around the corner. If you have an interest in growing your own food and would like the opportunity to take on an allotment get in touch via our website (kirknewtonallotments. org) or take a wander up on March 29th to the Spring tidy, meet some plot holders and view the transformed site

KIRKNEWTON & EAST CALDER CHURCH Kirknewton and East Calder Church is the local Church of Scotland congregation. We meet for regular worship in both villages every Sunday, with traditional services held in Kirknewton Church at 9:45am, then at 11:15am in East Calder. On Sunday evenings the more informal InFocus is on in East Calder Church Hall at 6:30pm. Since April 2009 the congregation has been led by Rev Dr Andre Groenewald, who is also the Chaplain to Kirknewton Primary School. He is always available to anyone in the Parish for help, advice or assistance. Also he will be happy to discuss any marriage or funeral arrangements. Andre can be contacted at the manse on 01506 884 585.


At the meeting of the Council’s Education Executive on 16th December it was agreed that £1.35M would be spent to upgrade and refurbish Kirknewton Primary School. To facilitate the safe completion of these works it will be necessary to decant the P1-7 pupils to East Calder Primary for session 2015/16. Nursery age children will remain in Kirknewton at a new facility located within the village before returning, with all the pupils, to the refurbished building in August 2016. The scope of the works includes an upgrade to the heating system, full re-wiring, statutory compliance works (removal of asbestos) and some internal reconfiguration to the building. New headteacher Eileen Brown has made reassurements that parents will be kept informed at all stages as decisions are made on the arrangements for the decant. Parents/Carers and the Kirknewton Parent Council met with council officials in January as many had been upset no indication of the Council plans had been made public prior to the decision being made at Council Executive. Kirknewton Primary will continue to operate as a separate school housed within an area of East Calder Primary where there is currently sufficient accommodation. Due to rising rolls in East Calder it would not be possible to delay this project to later years and the children will benefit from a refurbished school at the earliest opportunity. Again the headteacher has reassured parents that the education of the children will be in no way compromised and that the school will maintain the highest standard of teaching and learning during this period. The school runs a breakfast club from 8am and the after school club is called Simply Play. You can find more details about Kirknewton Simply Play at www.simplyplay.org


The Balerno Parent Council with help from members of the Kirknewton community recently acted on concerns raised by parents/carers about the standard of buses to Balerno High School. Andy Yovanovitch at West Lothian Council communicated an invitation to E & M Horsburgh to attend the parent council meeting on the 2nd of February but they declined to attend. They did convey an invitation for any members of the parent council wishing to organise a visit to their depot in Livingston to view their bus operation first hand. Andy Yovanovitch has not been able to ride on the buses but has carried out a visual inspection of the vehicles at Balerno the day after a meeting in Kirknewton before Christmas 2014. He was accompanied by Councillor John Carl that afternoon. According to Andy all three buses were clean and dry and the windows appeared to be functioning properly. There was no evidence of any mould anywhere. One or two of the seat cushions appeared to be loose however these are not bolted onto the frame and are secured via push in clips for ease of removal for repair. The boarded up side doors were not emergency exits. The fourth bus which covers the country route is a single deck 33 seater and appeared to be fine in every respect. He also carried out an inspection last

Balerno High School are doing a fundraiser for a 2g astro pitch and need to raise 150k! Pupils of Balerno High School are desperate for this 2g pitch and are working with surrounding primary schools such as Dean Park Primary School, Ratho Primary School and Kirknewton Primary School. Kids have been taking part in fundraisers for this project such as Dress Down Days, Bag Packing and Bake Sales to raise as much money as possible! The 2g pitch is suitable for Hockey as Balerno High School has a popular Hockey Club. This will help the club greatly as we have to train at Currie High School

September with a colleague and found no fault. V O S A carried out an inspection at the school on the morning of 20th of January. They advised they found no cause for concern. This was reported this to the Balerno Parent Council meeting in February. Horsburgh have said they could put more modern coaches on the run, but there would be a cost to WLC. Tony Foster, Chair of Balerno Parent Council, has asked Andy Yovanovitch to investigate that option as well as the lack of reports to the school about when buses have broken down. Only one incident had been reported during this academic year. Parents unhappy with the current state of the buses, which has included photographs of mushrooms growing on the floor of the bus, have taken the matter to the press. Watch this space.

and have to have home games at Forrester High School! Other sports can also be used on the pitch such as lacrosse, tennis, athletics and netball and it will be a resource that can be used by all, not just the high school! The aim is to get more people involved, more active, more healthier and by giving all people to exercise on a new 2g pitch. We have submitted or are in the process of submitting the following grant applications: Legacy, Weir Foundation, Big Lottery, Scotmid, Benzies Foundation, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Postcode Lottery and South West Neighbourhoods.

GOOGLE SEARCH ‘Kirknewton Primary School Blog’ Classes will be posting to the blog each week – Please visit regularly and leave your comments. (All comments will be moderated so they may not appear immediately) Please note that the school’s email address has changed to Wlkirknewton-ps@westlothian.org.uk Mail is still being forwarded from the old address for the time being.


Following the community consultation (see page 1) KCDT now has the opportunity to use community ideas to take forward opportunities and projects locally. It was clear that the village has a lot more going on and increased socialcohesion. More local events and activities all help bring people together and increase the feel of community People had many ideas about what could be done to make Kirknewton an even better place to live; some of them are similar to the 2010/11 work like improving or new facilities and more activities. The village is seen as a friendly place, with good community spirit, easy access to Edinburgh, Livingston and the countryside with some good facilities. The park is reported as good but it is clear things still need to be improved to make it a good place for all ages. Older children would like things in the park they can enjoy and something needs to be done to improve facilities for other sports. People are still suggesting a bigger hall, bigger than the community hall with storage spaces for sports equipment. Public transport remains an issue of concern with buses identified as needing the most change to improve service. The longstanding issue of buses to Balerno was talked about and is something the Community Council and Trust are keen to resolve. People have the same concerns over congestion on the High Street and traffic entering the village to fast as they did in 2010/11. The Trust and Community Council have been working hard to bring positive changes related to traffic issues and community comments in this report will help reinforce and support their work. The work in 20110/11 highlighted the need for a place to meet

and eat like a café or the pub serving food. Whilst people can get a coffee at the Green Room and are made very welcome it is not quite the same as a stand alone café. People are still suggesting a café or restaurant in the village. A suggestion was made for a local Business Association and another person asked the Trust to work collaboratively with local businesses to ensure they don’t compete. Whilst the community engagement work was going on the news that the school would temporarily close for the 2015/16 school year was released. Fortunately it did not dominate the community work although there is no doubt the villagers were concerned, particularly at the lack of consultation. From the comments people made it is clear that the school is a valued part of the community. An astonishing amount of information has been shared by the community which makes for interesting and useful reading. It is an excellent starting point for developing the next 5 year community plan and can be used by other community organisations as well as the trust to target funds and apply for additional funds to support local initiatives. We are confident and pleased that, as a result of this exercise, even more people know about KCDT and the Green Room and have had a chance to share their issues, ideas and opinions about life in the village.




Councillor Carl John As one of the Councillors for Kirknewton, I welcome this new addition to our local area’s media, and the fact it gives Local Members the chance to keep the village informed of what we are doing at Council Level. In the past few weeks myself and officials have been addressing concerns raised about the quality and safety of the buses provided in transporting village children to Balerno High School, and we have been assured that they are up to standard. We have also been assured that the coaches which will take our primary school pupils down to East Calder School, are up to standard and safe. Another ongoing campaign that I am involved with is to reinstate a pedestrian bridge at Kirknewton Station to link both East and West bound platforms. As you will recall, we had such a bridge at the station until the line was electrified, and it was removed to install the overhead wires. Now Railtrack are replacing other bridges on the line, and non-disability compliant bridges are being installed on the new Borders rail line, so why not Kirknewton? I am also supportive of the Kirknewton Development Trust in their plan to build houses for older Kirknewton residents on the triangle of land as you enter the village from the North East, and thus allowing our older residents to remain in the village where they have friends and family network. I hold regular surgeries in the Green Room, Kirknewton on the second Tuesday of each month at 5.30pm to 6.45 pm. Also at East Calder Community Centre on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6 pm. Or I can be contacted by telephone on: 01506 281726 Thank you, Councillor Carl John

ors for Kirknewton, I welcome this new area’s media, and the fact it gives Local to keep the village informed of what we are Councillor Dave King – Executive Councillor for Culture & Leisure and Depute Provost I am one of the Elected Members for East Livingston and East Calder Ward which is the fourth . largest ward in West Lothian with a population of nearly 20,000 I represent East Calder, Uphall

Station, Pumpherston, Craigshill, Mid Calder, Kirknewton, Wilkieston, Harburn and Roman Camps. I am the Chair of Culture & Leisure with the Council and a member of the Council Executive, Education Executive Employee Appeals Committee, Chair of West Lothian Leisure Advisory Committee, Vice Chair of East Livingston and East Calder Local Area Committee, Joint Consultative Group, Licensing Committee and Environment Policy and Development and Scrutiny Panel (PDSP). My appointments to outside bodies include: Public Service Excellence, Craigsfarm Community Development Project Ltd, Lothian Electoral Joint Committee, Scottish Council on Visual Impairment, West Lothian Development Trust, West Lothian Leisure Ltd - Committee of Management, West Lothian Trust For The Benefit of People With Disabilities, West Lothian Twinning Association, West Lothian/Grapevine Twinning Association. I have lived in East Calder for many years, married to Blanche and I have a son Garry I hold weekly surgeries every Wednesday in the village hall at 3.15pm I also do house visits for the disabled and elderly I can be contacted on 01506 281 729.

myself and officials have been addressing t the quality and safety of the buses provided children to Balerno High School, and we have y are up to standard. We have also been hes which will take our primary school pupils chool, are up to standard and safe.

paign that I am involved with is to reinstate a Kirknewton Station to link both East and West


Graeme Morris MP One of the great things about Kirknewton is its strong sense of community spirit, whether this be in charity and voluntary work or organising events. Kirknewton has a thriving volunteer network and last year I was delighted to attend the Kirknewton Community Development Trust Volunteer Award Ceremony at The Stables. It was an honour to present an award to local people who have been working tirelessly to help the community. Over the past few years I have attended Kirknewton’s annual Gala Day. It is always fantastic to see the local community come together and I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those involved, including the Gala Committee, in making such wonderful events possible. As your Member of Parliament, I am always keen to be of assistance to as many constituents as possible. I continue to make representations to various agencies and the Government on the issues that matter to you, including the provision of super fast broadband and Kirknewton Level Crossing. If you have a problem you need help with or just want to raise a concern or any other issue, please get in touch by calling 01506 410 109 or emailing graeme.morrice.mp@ parliament.uk. You can also find full details about my work at www.graememorricemp.co.uk. Angela Constance MSP I was thrilled to be asked to write a contribution for the first edition of the new Kirknewton Newsletter. The sense of community that exists in Kirknewton has always impressed and inspired me over the years. The Kirknewton Community Development Trust is pioneering concern which has been demonstrated with the establishment of the Green Room, a first class community facility that is a hive of activity. The way in which both the Community Council and the Development Trust are always seeking to reach out and find new ways to engage the wider community is an example that many public and government bodies could learn from! As the constituency MSP for Almond Valley I have had the opportunity to support many community led causes over the years and the campaign to improve Kirknewton Park was memorable for the tenacity and commitment of local mums. The park is now the venue for the annual Gala day which I always enjoy attending. As well as supporting local causes, I also try and help with any concerns that arise and I was utterly appalled to see the footage on YouTube of a pedestrian being struck by the barrier at the level crossing in Kirknewton recently. There is a long history to the installation of the full barrier crossing and I am meeting Network Rail very soon to discuss concerns further. The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are working on many issues of local and national importance and hopefully with the help of this newsletter I will be able to keep Kirknewton well informed. Meantime if you wish to contact me my details are: Tel:01506 460403 Email:angela.constance.msp@scottish.parliament.uk Address:Unit 5, Ochil House, Owen Square, Livingston, EH54 6PW Neil Findlay MSP Firstly I would like to thank the CDT for allowing me to contribute to this fantastic initiative. Community newsletters are important in reaching out to everyone in communities, not just those on iphones, laptops and tablets, which I know is the intention of this newsletter. So well done to all involved and I wish the CDT every success as it moves forward. I promised the editors that I would be non-political in the articles I submit! What I meant was that is that I would not be party political, but it would be remiss of me as a politician not to discuss things that are, by their very nature, political issues. It is my bread and butter after all! One of the issues concerning me is low pay and insecurity at work. In my new role as Shadow Spokesperson for Fair Work, Skills and Training I understand the scandal of low pay and how it impacts on every community across Scotland - 16,000 in West Lothian alone earn less than the living wage of £7.85 per hour. I also know that unemployment, underemployment, temporary, part time or zero-hour contracts are also rife. 84,000 people in Scotland are on exploitative zerohour contracts - many in Livingston shopping centre. As a society it's time we made work fairer, better paid and more secure for everyone including communities like Kirknewton. Helping achieve these things is what brought me into politics in the first place. Rest assured I will continue to strive towards that outcome. Neil Findlay MSP

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Kirknewton News Pilot Issue  

The pilot issue of the Kirknewton News. Published by Kirknewton Community Development Trust and supported by the Big Lottery Scotland.

Kirknewton News Pilot Issue  

The pilot issue of the Kirknewton News. Published by Kirknewton Community Development Trust and supported by the Big Lottery Scotland.