Coronavirus and Leith Central

There’s not much we can add to government advice and rulings, but we want to reiterate;

  1. Stay at home. Protect the NHS.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Ensure your news is from a trusted source.

Leith, Bonnington, Broughton and Hillside are very densely built up areas which means we need to take particular care and heed the advice. If you’re confused about the fast moving rules, please check out either of these definitive websites (and only them!);

We applaud the dozens of community groups popping up in the area in response to COVID-19, from street-wide WhatsApps to larger community networks. Several of our members have been active in facilitating these groups, but to ensure the safety of everyone, as well as the magnitude of them now springing up (mostly on “street by street level”, we’re no longer catalouging them.

Volunteer Edinburgh are now starting a larger directory of them. Here are some national organisations that may be of help;

Nationwide support (phone and online)

  • 0800 111 4000 is a national helpline to provide essential assistance to those who don’t have a network of support but who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Those with health problems are re-directed to phone NHS 111 (dial 111) or the NHS Inform website. More information is on the Scottish Government Website.
  • 0800 028 2816 was the original helpline. It remains live for general advice and guidance on COVID-19. It is non-clinical.
  • GP practices remain available during usual hours (primarily for non-Covid-19 health matters).
  • Emergency services are unchanged on 999.

 

ReadyScotland (by the Scottish Government) have also released a directory of support numbers

Last updated by B. Ryan & J. Caldwell, 20:23 14th April 2020 on behalf of the LCCC communications group. Information may change.

Next public meeting

Follow this link (http://eepurl.com/do2MNb) to sign up to our mailing list.

Leith Central Community Council provides a forum for local people to engage with and work for their local community. The meetings are on the third Monday of every month and these meetings are public, so you are very welcome to attend and engage with what is happening in your local area.

Agendas and minutes are added to the Meetings page as they become available.

Update on LCCC activities during lockdown

Following guidance from the City of Edinburgh Council, Leith Central Community Council is not holding any public meetings during May and June.
LCCC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) has been provisionally postponed until July 20th 2020.
As the majority of transport, planning and other developments have been postponed, and effective consultations are not possible via fully digital methods, the committee members have agreed to postpone all public meetings until further notice. Any decisions that cannot be postponed, and hence are made via email, video-meetings etc, will be ratified at a future, properly-convened public meeting.
We will continue to review the situation and work within the guidance outlined by our partners in the City of Edinburgh Council, the Scottish Government and the UK Government.
Leith Central Community Council intends to continue representing our communities as much as possible, and our website will continue to receive updates.
If you have any questions about the LCCC or related issues, please contact us using the email addresses below:

Milan (Senior Welfare Organisation) COVID alternative services

LCCC has received the following email from ‘Milan (Senior Welfare Organisation)’. Reproducing the email is not a recommendation, and saying that is not a criticism – it’s just that LCCC’s web weaver doesn’t know anything about this organisation, except that it is registered with Companies House and with the Scottish Charity Regulator.

I hope this email finds you all well during these unprecedented times.  I am the manager of a registered charitable organisation (SCO23030) based  in Norton Park Edinburgh. We provide day care provision for elderly South Asian communities and due to closure of our day care services due to COVID_19 we are providing the alternative services.

  • Contactless Delivery of food parcels
  • Contactless Delivery of hot meals
  • Remote information/advice in community languages
  • Emotional support to older people
  • Supporting carers of older people though the pandemic situation

I would be most grateful if you could please add us to your website or any information leaflets you have so we are able to reach out to people in need

Pease do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further clarification

Kind regards

Sophia
sophia@milanswc.org

Active travel update

On Friday, the Council launched a campaign encouraging everyone to be considerate of other people and follow Scottish Government guidance when enjoying their outdoor exercise and travel.

The press release which was published on Friday can be found here.

Increase in people using off-road paths and parks

Since restrictions were introduced to help manage the coronavirus outbreak, there’s been an increase in people using the city’s network of paths, as well as parks, as part of their daily exercise and for travelling to work or local amenities – with up to five times their normal use.

Data up to week five of lockdown shows increases on the Union Canal towpath, with 17% growth in pedestrian numbers at Harrison Park, whilst cycling numbers have grown by 76% at Wester Hailes. On the North Edinburgh Path Network at Rodney St, pedestrian numbers have grown by 14%, cycling numbers by 32%.  At certain times of the week, especially weekends, much bigger increases have been recorded.

While it’s great that the routes are popular and well-used, we want to make sure that everyone can undertake and enjoy their daily exercise and travel in safety and comfort.

Paths for everyone code of conduct

The campaign will direct people to the Paths for Everyone section of the Council’s webpages, where we hope to be able to display information such as busy routes/times, coming from our pedestrian/cycle counter data.  This aims to encourage people to use alternative routes if they can, or exercise at a less busy time.  Smarter Choices, Smarter Places funding for this project is gratefully received from Paths for All.

About the campaign

example of temporary signageTemporary signage (example on the right: click the thumbnail to see the full-size image) will be rolled out this week, starting on the active travel network entry points, and signage in the parks will follow.  We will be running a complementary social media campaign also, and we would really appreciate your support with sharing this content amongst your followers and networks.

Report issues

There might be local issues that you are aware of where additional signs may help. Please email your suggestions to spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Wishing you all the best and thank you in advance for your support with our campaign.

Kind regards,

Judith Cowie
‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ Programme Manager
Active Travel
Road Safety and Active Travel
Transport Networks, Place Development
The City of Edinburgh Council
Judith.cowie@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

Waste services update

(adapted from an email from Edinburgh Council Waste Services to LCCC’s vice-chair)

Thank you for taking the time to write and to acknowledge the efforts of the Department to maintain a degree of normality for the majority of the services. There are a number of factors which have influenced where we currently find ourselves. Crews have obviously had to adapt to the way we collect (physical distancing in the workplace), less traffic will certainly have contributed positively, and of course less people being on the streets generally means less litter and areas that have been cleaned tend to last a little bit longer before their next clean is required.

We have seen less general waste collected from April into May but this does tend to fluctuate quite dramatically under normal circumstances anyway. Volumes of mixed recycling have increased as you can probably imagine given people are consuming more at home. Since we reintroduced glass collections we have been collecting significant volumes which is understandable given the service being suspended but equally I believe alcohol sales have increased by around 30% so I think increased tonnage of glass will endure for a few weeks yet.

We’ve obviously worked hard to get garden waste collections reinstated as quickly as we felt possible. In the first week of collections we collected around 1000 tonnes which compares to 3000 tonnes in total for all of May ’19.

The service was suspended for 5 weeks which means some customers missed two uplifts and others missed three. We will extend the permit ‘season’ to compensate customers for the service suspension.

Best regards

Andy Williams  Waste & Cleansing Service Manager
Waste and Cleansing Services | Place Directorate | The City of Edinburgh Council
A: Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG | T: 0131 469 5660 | M: 07725 642822 | E: andy.williams@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

‘Safer Communities Safer Scotland’ booklet

Click the graphic to access the full PDF:

From the introduction:

This booklet is packed with practical tips on how to keep you, your family and your community safe – from protecting your home and possessions to helping your children enjoy the benefits of the internet in safety. By following the guidance in the following pages, we can all help make Scotland an even safer place to live and work. The information should not alarm you or make you think that you are not safe in your home and your community. It is simply a reminder of what you can do to keep your home and community safe.

The content-list is

  • Home and Possessions
  • Road Safety
  • Scams
  • Fire Safety
  • Safety at Home
  • Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks
  • Scottish Gas Network (SGN)
  • Staying Safe When Out and About
  • Antisocial Behaviour
  • Preparing for and coping with Emergencies
  • Household emergency plan
  • Water Safety
  • Victim Support
  • Don’t feel trapped by loan sharks
  • Further Information
  • Neighbourhood Watch

Where to get help with your gas and electricity concerns

(adapted from an email from Changeworks)

‘As we continue to adjust to Covid-19 we’re all spending more time at home and using more energy than normal. Many households are experiencing financial strain and will be worried about the effect this will have on their energy bills.

Whilst Changeworks is unable to provide face to face outreach services to support people looking for energy and fuel billing/debt advice, we are still here to help. We’ve teamed up with SGN to produce a series of short films providing advice and support on managing energy use and where to get help with heating and electricity concerns.

Our first video – where to get help with your gas and electricity concerns – is now live on YouTube.

Handy links can be found here:

We’ll be publishing three more videos over the next few weeks and we’ll be in touch to share these with you too.

You can also still refer households you think would benefit from energy advice and fuel billing/debt support.

Our response to the Leith Walk/Halmyre Street consultation

The site between Leith Walk and Halmyre Street has had its consultation extended until 1st June 2020.

Before we submit the below views, we want to hear yours. Please fill in this 30-second form and let Leith Central Community Council know what you would like included in our response.

We urge all local residents and businesses to to take part in potentially shaping the future of the site either by filling in the above form or on edinburgh.gov.uk.

Place Brief for the site between Leith Walk & Halmyre Street

Leith Central Community Council consultation response

(15-02-20, P. Forissier / H. Tobermann)

Background

On 11 March 2019, LCCC called for formal planning guidance from CEC for the sites on both sides of lower Leith Walk (“Stead’s Place” and the site opposite, framed by Leith Walk at the old tram depot site to Manderston and Halmyre). On 25 March 2019, Neil Gardiner, CEC’s Planning Convener, responded: “There is considerable merit in your suggestion to prepare guidance in relation to the Stead’s Place site and also cover neighbouring development opportunities, for example land on the opposite side of Leith Walk. The preparation of a Place Brief would provide the opportunity for the local community to come together with landowners/ developers to discuss development options, aspirations and concerns across a number ofdevelopment sites.”

In early 2020, CEC started work on a Place Brief for the area between Leith Walk and Halmyre Street in the form public workshops and an online consultation.
Key elements and characteristics of the emerging Place Bief.

In view of the prominent location of both sites – east and west of Leith Walk, between Stead’s Place and Jane Street, and Manderson Street, Halmyre Street Smith Place respectively – Leith Central Community Council welcomes a Place Brief that guides future development in this area in a way that is sensitive to the surrounding urban fabric that is home and workplace of a strong community. Leith Central Community Council is conscious that the latter is vital to sustain the existing high density of the area. Given the size of both sites, insensitive or inappropriate “insertions” would undermine this strength and should therefore be ruled out by the Place Brief.

At the same time, the Place Brief is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve East-West and North-South permeability and to provide a step-change in health provision and much needed social and truly affordable housing.

The following elements should be part of the Place Brief

  1. Manderston Street and its railway arches should be part of the Brief, as well as former Tram Depot office building (165 Leith Walk) and the “Stead’s Place” shop frontage with the warehouses behind.
  2. The effects of any future development on the Conservation Area and all listed buildings surrounding the site should be acknowledged. In particular, the 2-storey “Stead’s Place” shop frontage needs to be a key element of any future development, as acknowledged by the DPEA appeal decision.
  3. The provision for truly affordable housing for rent and to buy, including social and council housing, should be made a priority to tackle homlessness and overcrowding.
  4. This part of Leith has an active local economy giving opportunities to access good quality work. A mixture of affordable residential, industrial, commercial and retail options is essential to protect a vibrant and lively Leith Walk as a place where people live and work.
  5. High quality pedestrian, and where possible, cycle routes through both sites – both north-south and east-west – should be designed in from the outset.
  6. Recognising the existing diversity of uses, there should be no single dominant use.
  7. Sensitive and diverse architectural styles should be at the heart of the future design.
  8. No overly massive design should be allowed; scale and density must be in tune with existingbuildings surrounding the sites.
  9. Considering the size of the site, the future developments should create an attractive series of places rather than one place.
  10. Design features should complement existing styles while contributing to the existing eclectic character of this part of Leith Walk.
  11. Outstanding precedents like the award winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich and Leith Fort should inspire the Place Brief.
  12. The inclusion of significant greenspace should be an essential part of the Place Brief.
  13. Developer’s contributions should be ring fenced for community agreed projects.
  14. Cultural and social spaces should be considered a priority for future community development.
  15. There is a range of spaces and opportunities to meet for the elderly and vulnerable people but many are at risk, like the Bingo Hall.
  16. Serious consideration needs to be given to the relocation of the outdated NHS facilities at Allander and Inchkeith House to a purpose-built health centre on the West side with “walk-in” access through one of the retained shop frontages. The existing – refurbished – buildings would lend themselves to retail or community use at ground level with residential accommodation above.

Please fill in this 30-second form and let Leith Central Community Council know your thoughts about our response.

Easter Road considered for footpath widening

The City of Edinburgh Council have indicated that Easter Road along with streets across the capital have been shortlisted to recieve widend pavements to help facilitate social-distancing if councillors approve the ‘Creating Safe Spaces for Walking and Cycling‘ (PDF link) report.

The report also proposes citywide measures, most notably reducing waits between Green Men at traffic lights.

It does not detail the exact nature of the possible pavement extension.

The webcast will take place on Thursday 14th May and may be viewed on edinburgh.gov.uk.

If you wish to feed back to your local Leith Walk councillors before then, please see our ‘About’ page for their (and our) email addresses.