LCCC minutes: February 2018

The following minutes were approved at LCCC’s meeting on 19 March 2018.

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held in Nelson Hall, McDonald Road library on Monday 19 February 2018 at 7:00pm

Actions and decisions are red italic underlined. nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.

1 Attendance, apologies, declarations of interest

1.a Attendance

Alan Dudley LCCC Bruce Ryan minutes secretary
Charlotte Encombe LCCC chair Cllr Marion Donaldson Leith Walk ward (Labour)
John Hein LCCC Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan Leith Walk ward (SNP)
Iona McLeod LCCC Cllr Susan Rae Leith Walk ward (Scottish Green)
Lorraine Moore LCCC treasurer Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Damian Sefton LCCC Sgt Niven Bull Police Scotland
Julian Siann LCCC 14 residents and visitors
Harald Tobermann LCCC vicechair

1.b Apologies

Jack Caldwell LCCC Ben Macpherson MSP Edinburgh Northern & Leith (SNP)
Roberto Colasuonno LCCC Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith (SNP)
Jeremy Darot LCCC Rory Garriock CEC trams liaison officer
Sheila Kennedy LCCC secretary Speaker for item 5 below

1.c Declarations of interest

C Encombe, the CEC cllrs and a visitor from Leith Links CC all declared interests in Leith Chooses

2 Approval of Minutes of 27 November 2017 and 15 January 2018 meeting

  • November 2017 minutes approved without changes (proposed C Encombe, seconded H Tobermann, nem con)
  • January minutes approved subject to correction of minor errors (proposed I McLeod, seconded J Siann, nem con)

3 Matters arising from previous minutes, and not covered below

  • Item 5.2 (community meeting re 154 McDonald Road): HT’s action is in progress
  • Item 5.3 (LCCC policy towards AirBnB): HT’s action is in progress
  • Item 5.4 (CEC consultation on emailed planning representations): HT has submitted LCCC’s reponse
  • Item 6.1 (Dalmeny St street lighting): HT to discuss this matter with J Darot when the latter returns to Edinburgh
  • Item 6.4 (meeting with RNIB re Leith Walk phase 4): Cllr Donaldson has contacted David Wilson. He is now in touch with RNIB. A Dudley reported that there will be a meeting with the design manager in early March 2018.

4 Community Police Officer’s Report

Sgt Bull reported

  • Operation Contrition has run since 15 January, working against violence stemming from the drugs trade.
    • Action was centred on Cables Wynd House and Great Junction St, but because drugs networks extend beyond those areas, so this operation focuses on the Leith Walk area.
    • It checks inter alia licensed premises, curfews, etc, and asks the public to report relevant suspicions.
    • It has led several arrests, and to the seizure of over £70,000 of drugs, a significant amount of money, a stun-gun and CS gas canisters, thanks to information from the public.
    • Any action from the police requires 4 pieces of intelligence received by them within 21 days.
    • This operation has been funded by CEC paying for relevant police overtime.
    • HT expressed concern that core police work is funded by CEC rather than from PS‘ own budget. Sgt Bull responded that there is a service-level agreement between CEC and PS, and that CEC has funds that can be used by local PS teams as they choose. In this case, it is being used to fund PS overtime for this operation.
    • I McLeod mentioned a shop in Abbeyhill about which there are local suspicions.
  • The NE Edinburgh community alcohol partnership (this includes CEC, local retailers, schools and Police Scotland) is working to reduce youth disorder and sales of alcohol to youths
    • There will be a week of action starting Monday 2 April, including visits to licensed premises and additional patrols, and giving out security advice because alcohol prices are due to rise. PS and others will have presences at the Dalmeny St Park community fun day (31 March 10:30 to 2:30).
  • A 26 year-old male was arrested for serious assault on 18 February
  • A 14 year-old male was arrested for carrying a knife in February
  • A 26 year-old male was reported to the procurator fiscal for several serious offences committed 2-3 February
  • A resident asked about a spate of burglaries, and for PS comments on CCTV cameras. Sgt Bull responded that these are managed by CEC, but PS have input on their use, and that there are only 5 movable CCTV cameras in NE Locality.

5 Presentation and Q&A: Leith Viaduct Project

HT reported that this presentation was postponed. The background is that local architects and others have been seeking to replace a viaduct that had crossed Leith Walk where the railway used to be. They have now found that ownership of a key piece of land has changed recently, and so do not yet know how this will affect matters. Hence the postponement.

6 LCCC Office Bearers’ Reports

6.a Draft Park Group remit

This was approved nem con

6.b Update on DPA/GDPR

B Ryan reported that LCCC is now registered with the Information Commissioner as a data controller.

6.c Activities and plans of Communications Group

Held over until March

6.d Treasurer’s Report and LCCC FY18/19 budget proposals

  • LCCC’s current balance is £2546·74. This is likely to reduce to around £2000 by the end of 2017-18 when current spending obligations (parking leaflets, advertising in the Spurtle, minutes secretary/web-manager) have been fulfilled.
  • Concrete ideas for using LCCC’s money spend were requested.
  • HT proposed the purchase of a digital projector, screen and extension cable so that meeting papers and presentations can be seen clearly. These would be kept in McDOnald Road library so that other community groups can also use them.
    • Expenditure of up to £400 was agreed nem con.
    • Action: HT to ascertain costs
  • There was discussion of the difference between deficit (where expenditure exceeds income) and debt (where a person or organisation owes more money than it has). LCCC may be in deficit, i.e. it is spending its savings, but is not in debt.
    L Moore suggested that LCCC should look into fund-raising activities.

    • L Moore to provide list of expenditure so far in 2017-18 in March meeting.

6.e Other office bearers’ reports

6.e.i Update on NE Locality Committee and Leith Neighbourhood Partnership

  • Cllr Donaldson reported that there the next NP meeting is on 14 March
  • C Encombe requested a volunteer to attend NP board meetings, due to D Garab resigning from LCCC.
  • Cllr Rae and McNeese-Mechan reported
    • Leith NP is within NE locality, and is chaired by Cllr Maureen Child (elected to this chair today).
    • that the NE locality committee met for the first time today. There is no current intention to disband Leith NP. However a report about the future of NPs will come to the next locality meeting.
    • Locality meetings are on webcam. They are attended by Cllrs, the fire brigade, Police Scotland. (There was no NHS representation at today’s meeting.)
    • Today’s meeting focussed on inclusion of CCs and the community, whether questions can be texted in, timing of meetings to suit others. A feasibility report is due soon.
    • NE locality’s vision is working in localised manners with officials (including planning) across wards, and in partnership with NHS, police, the community (including community councils), parents’ associations, churches, all other stakeholders.
    • NE locality’s services are listed on CEC’s website.
    • While Picardy Place is in the City Centre ward (and hence NW locality – see CEC mapping), it can be discussed at NE locality because it is very relevant to NE locality.
    • It was suggested that NE Locality provides a succinct remit of its role, and noted that there was a summary in the November minutes (item 8.3.1). However, it was suggested this is work in progress, and that localities’ decision-making powers are affected by legislation, so their roles may evolve.

6.e.ii Update on Leith Chooses

Cllr Donaldson and C Encombe reported that the application date has now passed, and that there have been many applications, hence the amount of money available has been exceeded.

Voting on which applications to fund will take place on Saturday 3 March at the Kirkgate, in a family-oriented event. Voting online is also available.

Announcement of results will happen soon thereafter.

C Encombe asked for volunteers to help at the voting event.

7 Planning

7.a LCCC Planning Sub-committee: Status of current planning applications

  • J Siann reported that the list available through the link in this subheading would be updated prior to each LEE meeting.
  • Decision: the current version was ratified nem con

7.b LCCC response to consultation on Draft Supplementary Guidance:
Developer Contributions and Infrastructure Delivery 2018 (closes 23/2/18)

JS reported that there is a consultation on ‘section 75’ developer contributions to infrastructure (closing 23 February). The consultation document sets out a clear road-map of expectations and issues. Individual responses are welcome.

For JS, the contentious parts of the consultation:

  • potential ‘excessive’ contributions to tram development. In this proposal, all properties within 750m of the tram-line would be expected to make contributions.
    • HT suggested that tram contributions are in fact too low, and that allowing owners of big developments to escape making contributions should not be allowed to recur. However, he was content that smaller shops and developments could be excused from large contributions.
  • Low provision of additional school places in LCCC’s area, where the population is likely to be expanding.
  • No new healthcare provision in LCCC’s area.

H Tobermann suggested that LCCC’s planning committee should submit a response.

A McIntosh suggested that CEC is under-resourced to collect contributions, and that good governance is needed to rectify this. (JS responded that this is in the proposals.)

Action: JS to draft LCCC’s comment, share it with LCCC planning committee, and submit a final version by end of 23 February

7.c LCCC response to CEC consultation Making Representations on Planning Applications

Decision: LCCC wishes CEC to retain option for emailing comments on and objections to planning applications.

7.d Other planning matters

A resident asked about the rumoured demolition of the buildings including the Barnardo’s shop on Leith Walk (between the junctions with Steads Place and Jane St).

  • H Tobermann responded that the new owners are considering this, but have not yet made a decision.
  • Cllr Rae responded that these frontages are not listed, and that social enterprises will be given option of return.
  • Cllr McNeese-Mechan responded that the red sandstone is important. She has enquired where existing social enterprises should go during demolition and rebuilding, but has not yet received answers.
  • Cllr Rae also noted that demolition and building work might start very soon after Shrubhill work finishes, leading to more disruption. A resident suggested that this work would clash with tram works.
  • It was noted that while councils cannot fully control how buildings are used, they can insist on class-uses, e.g. change of use from retail to carry-out food can be prevented.
  • The PAN should come to LCCC in due course. Hence Action: this matter to be on LCCC’s March agenda

8 Transport & Clean Streets

8.a Parking Working Group update, petition Improving Parking in LCCC Area

I McLeod reported

  • The parking petition is now on CEC’s website, and has been signed by 89 people so far. It has been publicised via Facebook and Twitter.
  • While 50 signatures may be enough, 200 is a desirable number.
  • Volunteers for leafleting the area were called for. (There was discussion as to how this was best organised.)
  • The Spurtle offered to disseminate the leaflet online.

8.b Impacts of closure of Leith Street and planned Picardy Place on LCCC area

HT reported that Picardy Place works will extend the tram/Leith programme disruption.

8.b.i LCCC emails regarding Picardy Place plans

Decision: HT’s emails, reported in The Spurtle, were ratified nem con.

8.b.ii Proposals for ongoing collaboration with Picardy Place campaign

  • HT reported that other organisations are continuing to oppose/improve on the plans CEC has adopted, and stated that it is important that traffic flows through PP work for LCCC. He asked whether any LCCC member would volunteer to attend relevant meetings, but no-one volunteered. (B Ryan expressed an interest in attending meetings.)
  • Hence Decision: LCCC will maintain a watching brief but not take part in such meetings.

8.c Leith Programme Phase 4 snagging progress

HT reported that phase 4 was ‘completed’ in November 2017. However snagging items remain. These include texture-separation of footpaths from cycle paths, a bus-tracker, workmanship issues and damage to Iona St (blocking of guttering, issues for pedestrians, damaged kerb-stones etc).

  • Replies to his and B Ryan’s enquiries reveal that the project team is no longer looking after snagging – it has been handed over to CEC, thus losing expertise and avoiding responsibility.
  • While there has been reassurance that there will be no extra cost to CEC citizens for fixing brand-new potholes, HT suggested that this cannot be guaranteed without first assessing such costs.
  • Action: HT to send a strongly-worded response – agreed nem con.

8.d Leith Programme budget, trams update and businesses engagement

HT reported

  • This concerns the £9·3m voted to repair damages caused by mis-repair after utilities were moved.
  • So far, £6·6m has been spent, buying repairs to just over half of the affected road.
  • CEC has earmarked £1·4m of the remaining money for repairs from McDonald Road to Montgomery St, but this work is currently stalled due to a legal challenge. It was hoped that the trams representative would attend tonight (this was prevented by a sudden injury). However, tram-work isn’t likely in the near future, but repairs are needed now.

It was noted that even if LCCC had asked for a respite from major road-works, remedial work in Elm Row etc is needed now.

9 Parks & Green Spaces

9.a Friends of Pilrig Park report

No representative, hence no report.

9.a.i Poor repairs to Pilrig Park wall and builder debris

  • A resident reported that wall-repairs are now finished.
  • It was stated that repairs need to set for 4 weeks prior to grouting, which made it appear that nothing was being done.

9.b Update on other Friends groups

See item 4 above about fun-day in Dalmeny St Park (31 March 10:30 to 2:30).

9.c Feasibility Study and Masterplan proposal to collaborate with Leith Harbour and Newhaven and Leith Links CCs

C Encombe has been working on this proposal with N Gardner. She has applied for Leith Chooses funding. She noted that Leith Creative had found that there is much local support for improvement of Leith’s green spaces.

9.d Continuing closure of Water of Leith walkway between Bonnington bridge and Anderson Place

Cllr McNeese-Mechan reported that she is chasing this up, because the walkway has been closed for 6 months. Miller Homes has told her that it may take another 6 months to fix this issue. She has also found that this is not a public right of way. It was noted that this area is a home for wildlife, which is reflected in the new design.

HT recalled similar closures in this area. Action: HT to seek clarification from CEC of ownership of each part of the path – agreed nem con.

10 Councillors’ reports, MSPs’ reports, MP’s report

10.a Cllr McNeese-Mechan

  • She is working on parking issues in Spey Terrace etc that are preventing access by refuse lorries to bins.
  • She is undertaking constituency work on warm housing.
  • She is working with EIF to get more performances and events in the Leith Walk area.
    • C Encombe asked about performances for school-children. Cllr M-M responded that £50,000-worth of tickets were allocated to deprived children allocated to brats, and this was matched by LRT. This will recur for the next 3 years. There was also engagement with local pupils studying for relevant nation5 qualifications, but there is no commitment yet to repeat the funding for this.

10.b Cllr Rae

  • She noted that this week is CEC’s budget week.
  • The Greens are working particularly on education issues, especially around Drummond Community High School and Trinity Academy. She is also working on development issues in Leith Walk, and issues around bins and parking.
    • It appears that there are persistent parking offenders, and that it takes too long to get action on poor parking.
  • She has been involved with Leith Chooses, which is in her opinion an ‘amazing’ community council activity.
  • She noted that the NE locality’s first motion concerned conversion of Powderhall railway into a green corridor.

10.c Cllr Donaldson

  • She has met with Leith Walk primary school and DCHS about the GME issues etc.
  • She has been working on homelessness in Edinburgh.
  • She has been ‘immersed’ in CEC’s budget as vice-convenor of finance. The proposals for 2018-19 are now available.
    • These include £2m for tackling homelessness.
    • The Greens will submit their own budget proposals.
  • Cllr Ritchie is still a CEC councillor but an independent. He has resigned from the SNP, so is not subject to SNP discipline.

11 Open Forum

A resident noted the Chief Planner’s agent for change letter. This letter states

The Agent of Change principle clearly places the responsibility for mitigating any detrimental impact of noise on neighbours with those carrying out the new development or operations.

12 Bulletin

12.a Third State of Scotland’s Greenspace Report (published on 1 February 2018)

Action: LCCC members to read this, so it can be discussed in March.


No items

14 Future meetings

See agenda