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Newsletter Editorial March 2021

Updated: Sep 2, 2021


At the time of the last Community Bulletin in November, we were looking forward to some relaxations of the Covid restrictions but sadly things got worse and we found ourselves in lockdown again. I am sure I am not the only one who found the situation harder than the first time around. At last there is reason for optimism. The vaccination programme is under way and by the time you read this schools have reopened for some children at least. Can I once again thank those who in a wide variety of ways have kept us informed and entertained, performed tasks for those who couldn’t get out, and generally provided support for others. We should also acknowledge the efforts of those local farmers and contractors who worked to clear snow from side roads and pavements during the recent bad weather, something for which they are unpaid.

I hope very much that this spirit of generosity and neighbourliness will continue once life begins to return to the more usual pattern. At the beginning of last year, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust was about to publish our updated Community Action Plan which sets out the priorities for achieving a sustainable future for our village. The document will be delivered to all homes once conditions permit. The original plan was prepared in 2011 and the form, character and demography of Saline and Steelend has changed significantly over the intervening ten years. I hope that those who are new to the area will want to join in bringing further positive change.

There are also projects that were put on hold when the pandemic struck, particularly the initiatives to provide a pharmacy in Saline Community Centre and the acquisition of the vacant land on Main Street opposite the shop for the school to use for outdoor learning. The opportunity still exists to acquire some of the unused Council garages to create secure storage for local groups or businesses, and perhaps a swap shop for unwanted items. New plans for the remediation of the former Comrie open cast site may support the extension of the local paths network towards Oakley, Blairhall and beyond.

Finally, I hope that some of you, particularly those who have contributed regularly on the villages’ Facebook page, will consider coming along to Community Council meetings when they resume. I can assure you they are quite unlike Handforth Parish Council meetings! They are relatively informal and provide the opportunity for anyone to raise issues and participate in discussion.

In the meantime, stay safe.

David Chisholm

Saline and Steelend Community Council

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