I would like to thank all members for their active support of Leith Central Community Council. Looking through our past Minutes we have dealt with many more issues than in the previous year. A particular thanks must go to Bruce Ryan, our Minutes Secretary, who keeps us all on the straight and narrow. Thanks to him our paper work and website are impeccable and up to date, and his extensive knowledge of hyperlocal democracy has helped to make us more confident in our conviction that we are making a positive difference in our community. I would also like to thank Leah Lockhart and Marion Donaldson for making sure that our activities are publicised as widely as possible to the local community, not least by breaking into the Twitter sphere. I would also like to thank our outgoing members for their support.
Below is a breakdown of our attendance:
|first name||last name||May 14||Jun 14||Aug 14||Sep 14||Oct 14||Nov 14||Dec 14||Jan 15||Feb 15||Mar 15||Apr 15|
|number of members present||9||8||9||10||10||8||8||5||11||7||9|
|= not a member|
A = Sent apology P = Attended
Looking forward, there are spaces for more council members and as ever we are looking for more people to join us.
A significant amount of time is spent on planning matters. Our job is to meet with the developers, scrutinise projects and ask questions. If required we submit formal comments to the planning department. Due to the large number of gap sites, developer activity is brisk. Not only will there will be three more student housing developments in Leith, Shrub Hill is in the process of being developed as is the Post Office Sorting Office site and we will have our hands full with the development of the St James’ Centre.
Renovation of Leith Walk
The renovation of Leith Walk continues to also take up a large amount of time, not least since the re-development of the St James Centre has caused new – if not necessarily concrete – proposals for a tram down Leith Walk. This is one of the reasons why the top of the Walk is still untouched, something that frustrates our representatives on the Leith Walk Stakeholder meetings greatly. As we keep pointing out, Leith Walk has been affected by tram works for nearly 9 years. This is far too long and we are determined to keep nagging the council to properly renovate Leith Walk as soon as possible, tram or no tram.
Other items on the agenda have been varied to say the least. Anyone can attend our meetings and have their say – increasingly people do. Among others we discussed parking in Gordon Street and Manderson Street, proposed price-rises for Edinburgh allotments, 20mph zones, alcohol and drugs issues, feedback on trade waste pilot scheme and Shrub Place pavement-blocking. It is not so much that we were necessarily able to resolve particular issues, it is more that through the discussion everyone present gained a better understanding of the complexities of living in Leith, Scotland’s most dense populated area.
Any Other Business
In anticipation of the referendum on Independence we held a debate which some 120 locals attended.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone present here to our meetings as it is only with the active support of people like yourselves that this Community Council is able to make your voice heard.
Charlotte Encombe, Secretary, Leith Central Community Council