A PLEA has been made for a second caretaker at The Brunton after police were called to deal with a group of teenagers during a meeting of Musselburgh & Inveresk Community Council last week.

The meeting had just got under way at 7.30pm last Tuesday when the caretaker on duty asked community police officers, who were present to give the regular crime report, if he could “borrow them for five minutes” to help him with an incident, claiming doors were being “kicked in”.

The Musselburgh Courier was later told that just after the meeting started the caretaker closed the rear doors of The Brunton.

A group of five or six teenage girls then appeared and started slapping the doors with their hands, pulling faces at the caretaker and shouting.

As police officers were in the meeting, he asked for them to pop down to speak to the group.

A police officer advised the girls to leave and also that CCTV was in operation at the door.

The girls eventually left.

Later in the meeting, chairwoman Irene Tait reiterated the need for a second caretaker as a back up in case there were youth problems at the community building on Ladywell Way.

There have been concerns over the past few years about inappropriate and anti-social at the building, which was opened by the Queen Mother more than 45 years ago.

But East Lothian Council, which owns The Brunton, reported a “significant reduction” in the number of complaints in this area.

This was due to a number of measures being put in place, including additional caretaking staff, enhanced door security, staff training and collaboration with partners including Police Scotland in the form of a Problem Solving Partnership (PSP).

Mrs Tait said: “We have quite a record of having youths gathering at the Brunton Hall.”

She added that the issue would disappear and then reoccur.

“It’s the fact that there’s only one caretaker – there is no back up,” she added.

“That’s never been resolved. I have always thought there should be two people.”

Ward councillor Stuart Currie agreed, saying: “It definitely needs two folk.

“What is going to happen is they are going to restrict the entrance or access?

“The whole point of the place was that it was supposed to be accessible.”

He added that the Musselburgh Common Good Committee approved casing in glass a part of the concourse where there were pillars to create a reception area.

A council spokesperson said: “There was a minor disturbance caused by a small group of teenage girls.

“CCTV images are currently being accessed and the police will follow up on identifying the individuals concerned.

“Fortunately the number of anti-social behaviour incidents at The Brunton has decreased significantly in recent months and there are no plans for additional caretaking staff but the matter will continue to be monitored.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that two officers providing a briefing at a community council meeting were asked to assist in dealing with a number of youths causing a disturbance.

“A number of female teenagers were spoken to and warned about their behaviour.

“They then left the area and no further police action was required.”