We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

We asked tenants and registered tenants organisations for their views on our rent consultation and a proposed rent increase of 5%.

You Said

93% of respondents said they were happy with the level of consultation and information they get about the annual rent increase

91% think the rent they pay is good value for money

77% said that they think the proposal to increase rents by 5% is fair

We Did

All the feedback from the consultation was put in a report for the Council's budget meeting on Tuesday 21st February 2017 to inform the Council and Elected Members of the outcome of the consultation. At that meeting a decision was made to increase rents by 5%. We will write out to all our tenants now to tell them what their rent and services changes will be for 2017/18.

We Asked

We asked stakeholders for their views on the proposal to establish a new primary school and its associated catchment area within the land at Craighall, Musselburgh.

You Said

Of the responses which provided an overall view about the council’s proposal, almost all expressed support. In terms of the three individual elements of the proposal, a clear majority of respondents to the questionnaire (88%) support the proposal to establish a new school and its associated catchment area. A greater proportion of respondents overall oppose the element to host initially at Stoneyhill Primary School before relocating until the new permanent facility is built (72%).

We Did

East Lothian Council has made the decision to go ahead with the proposal to establish a new primary school and its associated catchment area within the land at Craighall, Musselburgh, subject to the adoption of the emerging LDP in a format that would require these new education catchment arrangements and facilities to be delivered. In taking its proposal forward, the Council will continue to engage with stakeholders over its planned transition arrangements for children who will attend the new school and those children who attend Stoneyhill Primary School.

We Asked

We asked stakeholders for their views on the proposal to alter the catchment areas of Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School and Wallyford Primary Schools to include the Land at Levenhall within the Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School catchment area. 

You Said

The Council received five responses to its questionnaire. A clear majority of respondents to the questionnaire (80%) support the proposal.

We Did

East Lothian Council has made the decision to go ahead with the proposal to alter the catchment areas of Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School and Wallyford Primary Schools to include the Land at Levenhall within the Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School catchment area. The new catchment and admission arrangements for Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School and Wallyford Primary School will become operational with immediate effect.

We Asked

We asked stakeholders for their views on the proposal to establish a new primary school for Blindwells and alter the catchment area of Preston Lodge High School to include the Blindwells new settlement

You Said

Of the responses which provided an overall view about the council’s proposal, almost all expressed support. In terms of the three individual elements of the proposal, respondents were overwhelmingly supportive of the proposal to establish a new primary school for Blindwells (89%). A majority of stakeholders (50%) supported the proposal to initially host at Cockenzie Primary School until the new permanent facility is built (25.9% oppose). A greater proportion of respondents opposed the proposal to extend the Preston Lodge High School (47%) and St Gabriel’s RC Primary School (51%) catchment areas to include Blindwells.       

We Did

East Lothian Council has made the decision to go ahead with the proposal to establish a new primary school at Blindwells and extend the catchment area of Preston Lodge High School. The Council will continue to consult and engage with affected stakeholders as the hosting and planned transition arrangements are developed and subsequently implemented. The Preston Lodge High School and St Gabriel’s RC Primary School catchment areas will be extended to include the Blindwells site with immediate effect.

We Asked

We asked stakeholders for their views on the proposal to alter the catchment area for Letham Mains Primary School.

You Said

The Council received twenty six responses to its questionnaire. A majority of respondents to the questionnaire (46.2%) support the proposal.

We Did

East Lothian Council has made the decision to go ahead with the proposal to alter the catchment area for Letham Mains Primary School. The new catchment and admission arrangements for Letham Mains Primary School, Haddington Infant School and King’s Meadow Primary School would become operational with immediate effect.

We Asked

We asked parents for their views on a range of lunchtime drink options for primary schools.

You Said

1,043 responses were received from parents:

  • 97% said they would like plain water to be available
  • 94% said they would like semi-skimmed milk to be available
  • 48% said they would like naturally flavoured milk drinks to be available
  • 58% said they would like fruit juice mixed with water to be available

Comments received included:

* Some parents were concerned about tooth decay if drinks other than milk and water were on offer

* Other parents were worried that there would not be enough choice for children if drinks were limited to milk and water.

We Did

We have listened to the feedback received and also considered advice from the British Dental Health Foundation. Based on this, we have decided to make the following changes:

  1. We have introduced a second water and milk only day onto the weekly menu - Mondays and Wednesdays will now be water and milk only days - this should help encourage children to drink more water / milk
  2. We have introduced a sugar free naturally flavoured milk drink for Thursday lunchtimes. This will add more variety to the menu, particularly for children who would not usually choose milk. If such drinks are consumed along with a meal any risk of tooth decay is significantly reduced.

We Asked

We asked for your views on proposals to move customer services from Aldhammer House to Prestonpans Library.

You Said

The majority of respondents said that they wanted the two services to remain in separate buildings and did not want to see any changes to the Library building. A small majority (54%) said they would like increased Library opening hours.

We Did

  • We decided not to relocate customer services to Prestonpans Library
  • We decided that more use could, however, be made of the Library building
  • We decided to increase the opening hours to allow more school classes to visit - the Library will be open for an additional 6 hours a week, opening from 9am each morning (10am on a Wednesday and Saturday) - this will be reviewed in a year to see whether it has resulted in increased usage
  • We will make changes to layout to allow more private space for people using computers (this will not involve creating interview rooms)
  • Vacant space in Aldhammer House is now being used by the Capital Credit Union
  • No further changes to Aldhammer House are likely to occur until a fuller review takes place of public sector accomodation in Prestonpans 

We Asked

We asked stakeholders for their views on proposals to relocate Wallyford Primary School and to change the Wallyford Primary School catchment area.

You Said

Respondents were overwhelmingly supportive of the proposal to relocate Wallyford Primary School (89% either agreed or strongly agreed), only a few respondents disagreed with this aspect of the proposal. A majority of stakeholders also either agreed or expressed no opinion regarding the proposal to change the catchment area (69% strongly agreed, agreed or had no opinion).  

We Did

East Lothian Council has made a decision to go ahead with plans to build a new primary school in Wallyford and to vary the school catchment area. Work will now go ahead to appoint contractors for the design and build of the new school which is due to open in the autumn term of 2018.

We Asked

We asked tenants and registered tenants organisations for their views on our rent consultation and a proposed rent increase of 5%

You Said

95% of respondents said they were happy with the level of consultation and information they get about the annual rent increase

93% think the rent they pay is good value for money

79% said that they think the proposal to increase rents by 5% is fair

We Did

All the feedback from the consultation was put in a report for the Council's budget meeting on Tuesday 9th February to inform the Council and Elected Members of the outcome of the consultation. At that meeting a decision was made to increase rents by 5%. We will write out to all our tenants now to tell them what their rent and services changes will be for 2016/17

We Asked

What you thought of the Draft Plan that had been put together. Specifically we wanted to know what you thought of the vision, values and priorities outlined in the Draft.

You Said

All of the online responses we received said that they agreed with the vision and values we had outlined and most (84%) said they agreed with the priorities identified. Individuals and organisations also made a range of specific suggestions about the Draft Plan’s contents.

We Did

Many of the points raised during the consultation were incorporated in the development of a Final Draft (you can view the Final Draft below – the amendments made as a result of feedback received are highlighted). The Children’s Strategic Partnership met in January 2016 to consider the Final Draft and this will now go to a meeting of the Resilient People Partnership in March. It is anticipated that the new East Lothian Children and Young People’s Strategy will be formally launched at the end of March 2016.

We Asked

We asked local disabled people, their family, friends and carers for their views on Disabled Go.

You Said

Feedback received suggested that Disabled Go is a useful resouce for local disabled people, their families, friends and carers. However, the need to improve awareness of Disabled Go was also identified.   

We Did

The East Lothian Partnership will continue to invest in the Disabled Go website and work will be done to improve the promotion of Disabled Go.

We Asked

We sought stakeholder views on the draft school session dates for 2016/17 and 2017/18.

You Said

The Department received a total of 31 responses to the Consultation. The consultation asked the question “Are you happy that East Lothian’s school session dates align with City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council session dates?” Of the 31 responses 25 were happy that East Lothian’s session dates align with City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council.

We Did

The Education Committee on 22 September 2015 approved the school session dates for 2016/17 and 2017/18. The dates have published on the Council website.

We Asked

for your opinions on where the best views in East Lothian were, and areas that you considered 'special' in terms of their landscape. We also asked what landscape improvements might be needed.   

You Said

You gave us varied suggestions on special areas, including the coast, woodland, farmland and mountain areas. You also told us about the best views to be had across the area. You gave us suggestions, some broad, some specific, to improve East Lothians landscape.

We Did

We took your suggestions for areas that are special and considered each one for inclusion within a Special Landscape Area. The good views you told us about informed the Statement of Importance written for each Special Landscape Area. The landscape improvements you identified, where relevant to the scope of the Landscape Review, were included with a Statement of Importance.  The Special Landscape Areas have now been included in the Proposed Local Development Plan for East Lothian. Further details are available on the East Lothian Committee Information pages here: http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/5987/east_lothian_council

For details of how comments on the Landscape Suggestion Box consultatation were taken into account, see http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/18015/14416_proposed_local_development_plan_technical_note_9_local_landscape_designation_review_appendix_iii_public_consultation

 

We Asked

About people's current opinion of Fisherrow Harbour and for their thoughts on potential improvements to the harbour.

You Said

Respondents raised ongoing issues with maintenance and the lack of facilities at Fisherrow Harbour. The results of the survey also showed support for the Waterfront Group's proposal to fund a feasibility study for ideas to regenerate the Harbour and surrounding area.

We Did

East Lothian Council carried out essential repair work to the internal walls of the harbour. An inspection of the external wall found it to be currently fit for purpose. Professional advice is being sought on the composition of the feasibility study and on any outcomes (e.g. pontoon installations).

We Asked

On behalf of The Beach Wheelchair Project team and in collaboration with North Berwick Community Centre and the North Berwick Coastal Area Partnership, we asked for your feedback on a proposal to bring Beach Wheelchairs to the beaches of the North Berwick Coastal area and eventually throughout Scotland.

You Said

113 responses were received, with 91% of respondents agreeing that providing Beach Wheelchairs would be a good idea. Over 85% of respondents stated either they, their child or person they care for would ‘definitely’ or ‘most likely’ use these Beach Wheelchairs if they were available. Several qualitative comments were also provided, with respondents acknowledging this provision would promote equal opportunity, strengthen inclusiveness and overall improve quality of life through allowing enjoyment of a simple, but beautiful and treasured experience of accessing the sand and beach. Constructive feedback and suggestions were also put forward in qualitative responses.

We Did

On behalf of the Beach Wheelchair Project, a funding application was submitted taking into account the potential interest and possible usage of the local community which could be gauged from the survey. Future consideration will be given to particular beaches and coastal areas referred to which have current regular visitation and/or where respondents expressed they would like to visit more than they do at present. Future consideration will be also be given to other areas of improvement required to improve accessibility, notably closer and more disabled parking and improvements in slipways and pathways.

We Asked

Comments were asked in relation to the draft school session dates for 2015/16.

You Said

Session dates should mirror both City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council session dates.

We Did

The Department took cognisance of the responses received from the consulation and acknowledged the fact that Midlothian Council's and City of Edinburgh's October break is the same week, commencing 12 October 2015. As a result East Lothian's October break was moved to align with Midlothian and Edinburgh City. The session dates in East Lothian align with Midlothian Council’s session dates other than in-service days and in the main with City of Edinburgh Council session dates, the exceptions being a 2 day later start in August 2015 for East Lothian; a 2 day earlier finish/return at Christmas for East Lothian, an in-service day following the February week in East Lothian which is held in May in Edinburgh, a spring Monday holiday in Edinburgh but not in East Lothian, and a one day later finish in East Lothian at the end of session. The Education Committee, on 30 September 2014, approved the 2015/16 session dates and the dates have been published on the Council's website.

We Asked

Council tenants for their views on the proposed rent increase.

You Said

84% of respondents felt the proposed rent increase of 4.3% was fair.

We Did

A final decision was made to increase rent and service charges by 4.3%.

We Asked

What council tenants, applicants and stakeholders thought about proposed changes to our Allocations Policy.

You Said

That you supported the proposed changes (1,400 people responded to our consultation survey and 60 people attended a consultation event).

We Did

We will continue to work towards implementing the proposed changes. We will keep tenants informed on progress via Homefront, the Council's tenant magazine.

We Asked

You to give your views on the school session dates for 2014/15

You Said

You were in favour of Proposal 1 (147 were in favour)

We Did

The Education Committee took note of this and agreed to approve Proposal 1 as the school session for 2014/15

We Asked

For feedback on the draft Musselburgh Town Centre Strategy.

You Said

Over 89% of respondents agreed with the Strategy's suggested actions. Respondents' three highest ranked priorities were that (1) the Tolbooth / Town Hall area of the High Street be improved to create a pedestrian area and parking; (2) environmental improvements be made to the Bridge Street war memorial area to include better access to the riverside and (3) heritage information available to visitors be improved and new town trails developed.

We Did

Consultation responses were considered and a number of small amendments were made to the Strategy to reflect feedback received. Given that responses were generally very positive and supportive, very few changes were needed.

We Asked

About your preferences in relation to adult learning term dates. We also asked how you found out about adult learning classes and how you prefer to enrol / pay for classes.

You Said

50% of respondents said they would prefer term dates to continue as they are. 85% of respondents found out about adult learning via the Council's Living newspaper; 32% found out about it via the Council website. The majority of respondents (45%) said they preferred to enrol / pay for classes online via the Council website; 24% preferred to do so by post; 24% preferred to enrol / pay in person at a Community Centre or Council Office and 8% preferred using the phone.

We Did

We will be sticking to current term dates (with three separate terms). We are still looking at options in relation to advertising the adult learning programme next year, based on the feedback received we may develop a web based information and booking system.

We Asked

For feedback on the council website to allow for a customer centric approach to future design and development.

You Said

Only 10% of respondents agreed that the website reached the maximum 4 star level, 35% suggested 3 stars, 40% 2 stars and 15% thought the website should only be awarded 1 star. Some elements of the site that users liked included the clear navigation, the layout of the homepage, the online planning tool and the consistent approach to presentation. Things that users didn’t like included the search function, the inability to personalise the content to make it more relevant to individual users, old content still showing, the number of clicks required to get to content, the use of jargon, the poor ‘report it’ tool and the inability to view the site on mobile devices.

We Did

A new web and digital strategy is being developed to ensure the website is improved and developed to meet customer needs and expectations. Consultation sessions were held with representatives of all East Lothian Community councils to gather further feedback and suggestions on how the website could be improved. All suggestions and feedback will be considered in detail for future website re-designs with priority given to key suggestions such as making the website mobile friendly and improving the online reporting tools. Other areas such as improving the site search, and ensuring all content is plain English and jargon free is ongoing and now forms part of all training given to website administrators.

We Asked

What customers use their local library for and what they think of the service provided.

You Said

The most popular reason for visiting a library was to borrow books (64%), followed by borrowing DVDs (23%) and using a computer (20%). Respondents expressed a high level of satisfaction in relation to the service received and the help and support provided by library staff. Some comments were made in relation to opening hours and access to library buildings.

We Did

We are considering how to improve access and toilets at Musselburgh Library and whether opening hours at Dunbar can be increased. We will continue to investigate e-book provision. We will conduct surveys regularly to seek the views of customers on service delivery.

We Asked

About your experience of arranging or attending a funeral at an East Lothian cemetery or of visiting an East Lothian cemetery.

You Said

The vast majority of respondents said they were satisfied with the overall provision of burial services. Some common complaints about the standard of maintenance of burial grounds and complaints about specific sites did however emerge.

We Did

We have already responded to some individuals about very specific issues raised. Actions to help resolve some of the most commonly raised issues will be included in a new Burial Ground Strategy which is currently under development. A further survey will take place in two years time to assess the impact of improvements made.

We Asked

What service users thought of the Community Alarm / Telecare service they received.

You Said

As with the 2012 survey, there was a high level of satisfaction with the service received. 92% of service users said they had found it easy to apply for an Alarm. 93% said installation staff were polite and courteous. 97% expressed satisfaction in relation to contacting the service, the actions taken, the support received and generally how their calls were handled.

We Did

Work will continue to maintain these high levels of satisfaction. Individual suggestions about improvements will be responded to as appropriate. Consideration is being given to giving presentations to sheltered housing schemes or hosting visits to the Contact Centre in order to give service users more insight into the service and to make them feel more comfortable about using it.