Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held in Nelson Hall, McDonald Road library on Monday 17 September at 7:00pm
Actions and decisions are red italic. nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.
In the chair’s and vice-chair’s absences, the meeting was chaired by the secretary.
a Attendance and apologies
i. LCCC members
|Jack Caldwell||✓||A||No meeting||✓||A|
|Cllr Marion Donaldson||✓||A||*||✓|
|Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan||A||✓||*||✓|
|Cllr Susan Rae||A||A||✓||✓|
|Cllr Lewis Ritchie||✓||*||A||✓|
|Ben Macpherson MSP||✓||A||A||*|
|Deidre Brock MP||A||A||A||A|
✓ = present
A = not present but sent apology
* = not present, did not send apology
|PC Mark Barrie||Police Scotland||~1 residents/visitors|
|PC Kevin Weaver||Police Scotland|
b Co-option of Clara Boeker and John Wilkinson as LCCC members
These co-options were proposed by the secretary. They were agreed nem con
It was noted that
- These co-optees are now full voting members of LCCC, except that they cannot vote on further co-options.
- C Boeker is active in Save Leith Walk. She wishes to join LCCC’s planning and transport/clean streets working groups.
- J Wilkinson had previously been a member of Liberton CC. He has interests in planning/built environment.
c Declarations of interest
2 Minutes of 20 August 2018 meeting
These were approved as-is (proposed A Dudley, seconded L Moore, nem con)
b Matters arising from previous minutes and not included in agenda below
- Item 5 (treasurer). L Moore reported that the ~£100 grant increase was due to LCCC’s area’s population increasing.
- Item 6b (Stead’s Place). This consultation has been extended to 28 September.
- Item 6d (Lidl). N Gardner reported that neighbour notification had been deficient, so the consultation has been extended to 21 September. He suggested that because this branch has not yet been open for 12 months, the request to extend delivery hours is premature. Action: J Siann to submit NTBCC’s objection
- Item 7.a.iv (destroyed bus shelter on London Road) Action: S Kennedy to email CEC about this.
3 Community Police Officer’s report
PCs Barrie and Weaver reported:
- CPOs patrol for rough sleepers early in the mornings. Belleview borders on the areas of such patrols.
- CPO surgeries are each Wednesday at McDonald Rd library, 12 noon–2pm, except when CPOs must perform other duties. Action: B Ryan to add this to LCCC website.
- CPOs have met with Lorne primary school over double-parking by parents outside the school. There patrol the area at relevant times, to tacitly enforce against double-parking. This is also taking place at Leith Walk primary school.
- CPOs are involved in the community fun day at Dalmeny park on 21 September. This is hosted by Destiny’s Angels, CEC and other voluntary groups, and enables engagement between people and the emergency services. Action: PCs to supply PDF poster for LCCC website.
- Antisocial behaviour at hostels for homeless people is causing issues. Hence CPOs are visiting them and soup-kitchens and drop-in centres more often. They have also visited GameChanger (a lunch venue on Easter Road, to speak informally with homeless/rough-sleepers.
- Operation Agora is combatting bicycle theft/crime. CPOs are working to improve bicycle locking and marking. They will be happy to work more on this, in conjunction with a marking company. This is ongoing, in order to build crime intel.
- CPOs are working on/in conjunction with various events, e.g. the Mela.
- They are not currently able to deliver crime statistics. Action: CPOs to investigate possibility of resuming delivery of stats.
- Hostels for homeless people do not cost users £16 per night, so statements by beggars about such costs are incorrect.
- Night-shelters will open soon, staying open in the evenings until mid-spring. Action: CPOs to supply dates, B Ryan to advertise these via website.
4 LCCC Office Bearers’ Reports
a Protocol for dealing with License notifications
S Kennedy reported that she receives many emails concerning licensing, and hence she suggests that LCCC should create a licensing working group. This was agreed nem con, as was the following protocol:
- LCCC secretary forwards applications to working group, communications group spokesperson, minutes secretary, emphasising deadlines.
- Minutes secretary advertises applications on the website and Facebook.
- Communications group spokesperson advertises applications on the notice board.
- Licensing working group decides if any actions are needed.
- If so, licensing working group decides takes actions, and informs other LCCC members at the next monthly meeting.
It was agreed that the working group initially includes S Kennedy and I Mcleod. Action: B Ryan to update website etc.
b Treasurer’s report
LCCC’s current bank balance is £2781·81.
c Other office bearers’ reports
None present, so no reports
d Activities and plans of LCCC Communications Group
Spokesperson not present, so no report
5 Transport & Clean Streets
a Update from LCCC Parking Working Group
I Mcleod reported:
- Following LCCC’s deputation delivering its petition on 17 May, IM was led to believe that CEC would give high priority to considering parking in LCCC’s area .
- However, in the report delivered to CEC, LCCC was effectively 5th in line for consideration. It appears that CEC are treating parking petitions in ‘first-come, first served’ order, not order of priority.
- Hence IM has written to Cllr McInnes over CEC lack of response about short-term measures for LCCC’s area (first raised with CEC 4 months ago), and CEC not considering areas in most need first.
- IM has drafted a letter to Cllr Mcinnes, concerning two broken promises (no contact about short-term alleviation, not addressed areas of most need. IM noted that CEC’s director of place (Paul Lawrence) had said that order of need would be followed. She also stated that in view of likelihood of trams being installed along Leith St, parking in LCCC’s area must be considered urgently. The letter would be copied to Paul Lawrence and members of CEC’s transport committee.
- Cllr Rae responded that CEC are taking a strategic approach, and suggested that the letter should emphasise that Leith has the lowest rate of car ownership but the most problems with parking. She stated that she has received complaints about other related issues, and that there is a backlog in processing TROs, potentially meaning that the TRO for controlling parking in LCCC’s area might not occur until 2019. Hence she suggested that the letter should state that such delays are not acceptable, and that parking issues caused by contractors should be dealt with.
- BR noted that New Town & Broughton CC has similar concerns about contractors causing parking issues. He noted that CEC is working on a parking action plan, potentially including control of parking in more of NTBCC’s area. He suggested that if such controls are created, they will harm LCCC’s area.
- There was discussion of a letter from Ben Macpherson MSP to Cllr Rae. Action: MSP’s assistant to send a copy to LCCC.
- Action: IM to update her letter to Cllr Mcinnes et al in the light of the MSP’s letter, then send it. (Also CC to CEC director of places, relevant CEC cllrs, MSP).
- A Macintosh noted CEC’s major consultation on city centre transformation, which will also consider areas around the city centre, including parking. He suggested that LCCC responds to this consultation.
- There was discussion of several reports and consultations concerning parking. IM noted that J Siann will represent LCCC at the northeast Edinburgh community engagement workshop, which is part of city plan 2030. IM asked whether there duplication of effort and disconnection between such efforts. She reported that papers from CEC’s transport and environment committee (now called transport, infrastructure and environment) are now unavailable on CEC’s website.
b Lothian Buses
i. Absence of response to LCCC’s email (13/8/18 and 24/8/18) regarding impromptu No 11 diversions,
This lack of response was noted. I Mcleod asked why the police did not remove the parked cars causing the diversion.
- It was stated that this is because police had no right to do this.
ii. Failure of Lothian bus ticketing app failure in September – impact on local residents
This was noted.
c Dryden Gait Electricity Substation (serving LCCC area and a further 10,000 nearby households) vital replacement works delayed by 3 months to March 2019 partially due to Shrub Place contractor parking issues in Dryden Street
This was noted.
d Proposed tram extension; Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT)
i. for CEC consultations, greenlighting of £165m tram extension and construction
This was noted.
ii. Vital measures (public realm improvement, bus/tram integrated ‘oyster’-style ticketing, etc) are classed as ‘supplementary programmes’ (=not part of tram extension package) and will require separate CEC approval (and funding)
This was noted. B Ryan stated that such topics were on the agenda of the August CCTT/trams team meeting. Minutes of this meeting will be circulated when available.
J Siann noted that the application for 144 Pitt St is significant. This is a 5-storey development of 8 flats. An application in March was refused by CEC. An almost-identical application has now been made. Action: JS/LCCC planning committee to submit objection based on lack of windows, overcrowding, inappropriateness. (agreed nem con)
b Extended deadline of (late advertised) 234-246 Easter Road (LIDL): Unloading and loading 06.30 to 20.00hrs (18/03989/FUL)
This was noted.
c 18/04332/FUL and 18/04349/CON: Demolition of existing buildings and erection of a mixed use development 106 – 162 Leith Walk Edinburgh EH6 5DX
The following items were noted:
- address correction and extended deadline for comments – 28/9/18
- absence of response from CEC planning following request (28/8/18 and 5/9/18) regarding unauthorised shutters at the above location
- LCCC’s assessment of 18/04349/CON and 18/04332/FUL
- LCCC’s response to 18/04349/CON and 18/04332/FUL
J Siann noted that this development (Steads Place) will increase the student population of this ward (and thanked N Gardner for relevant calculations), and deliver a ‘huge monolith’ on Leith Walk. He requested further comments on LCCC’s draft responses. Action: JS to update and submit LCCC’s objections to both the demolition of existing buildings and the proposed new development (agreed nem con); JS to copy objections to B Ryan for publication on LCCC website.
7 Parks & Green Spaces
a Promised opening of Water of Leith Walkway in September between Bonnington Bridge and Anderson Place after year-long closure
L Moore reported an email from Arthur Mann, strategic land director of Miller Homes, reporting that there will be further delays to repair of a boundary wall (until November or December), hence further delays to reopening the walkway. This is because Vodaphone has not removed a live power cable, and Scottish Power will not do this until October.
J Wilkinson asked about the plaque that has disappeared from Newhaven Road end of the walkway.
b Friends of Pilrig Park report
N Gardner reported that the small playground area has now been completed. There has been a survey on relaxed cutting areas.
c Update on other Friends groups
N Gardner reported that
- Friends of Montgomery St Park is now ‘healthy’.
- Action: B Ryan to publicise the following on LCCC’s website:
- Saturday October 6th: Plant It! day 2.00-4.00pm.
- Sunday November 3rd: Family Hallowe’en event 6.00-7.00pm
8 Councillors’ reports, MSPs’ reports, MP’s report
a Update on NE Locality Committee and LCCC representation
It was noted that LCCC has not been notified of committee meetings. Action: Cllr McNeese-Mechan to chase this up.
Cllrs Ritchie and McNeese-Mechan noted that locality committees comprise relevant CEC cllrs, and hence can scrutinise relevant CEC budgets and services. Neighbourhood Partnerships comprise wider sets of people in smaller geographical areas and have advisory functions. Cllr McNeese-Mechan added that while most NPs work very well, some do not. Hence when localities were created to decentralise some CEC services, there was debate over whether NPs should be retained. However, CC members can attend locality meetings and obtain minutes.
J SIann added that he had attended a recent meeting of the NE Edinburgh community engagement body. No specific local issues were covered there. Instead it considered strategic planning issues that will come up in this area in the next 5 years.
Action: Cllr Donaldson to circulate a written explanation of localities and NPs.
Action: Cllr mcneese-Mechan to send information on locality meetings to LCCC secretary, not LCCC chair.
b Update on Leith Neighbourhood Partnership
Cllr Donaldson noted that she currently chairs this and that the next meeting is on 27 September at 6:30, at McDonald Road library. At this meeting she will hand over chairing to Cllr Rae.
Action: Cllr Donaldson to send agenda to B Ryan, for publication on LCCC website.
c Cllrs’ reports
i. Cllr McNeese-Mechan
There is ongoing budget/change strategy work: no conclusions reached so far.
ii. Cllr Donaldson
A report to CEC’s finance and resources committee is due. This will cover £106m budget gap over the next four years. There will be a consultation on community priorities. Action: Cllr Donaldson to send relevant materials to B Ryan, and a report to NE locality committee policing update, for potential publication via LCCC website.
iii. Cllr Ritchie
He noted press reports press that foodbanks are generally now struggling. He has tabled an emergency motion for CEC to re-establish a foodbank working group, to raise awareness and co-ordination between foodbanks.
- It was noted that there are no donation points in Abbeyhill. Cllr Richie responded that while there are national organisations such as the Trussell Trust, individual foodbanks operate independently, and there is no co-ordination and forward planning about, for example, the type of donations need in future weeks and months.
- Action: B Ryan to advertise needs (e.g. hygience products) on LCCC website, if such information is supplied.
9 Open Forum
a Leith Street
I McLeod requested LCCC members’ opinions on whether Leith Street should not be open to cars. Her experience is that buses take too long to travel this route.
- J Hein stated that not being able to turn left at the top of Leith Street is also problematic.
- J Wilkinson queried the point of the not-yet open cycle-path on LS.
- R Colsuonno responded that it is to take cyclists to Waverley station.
- A Dudley stated that this cycle-path is too close to pedestrian paths, as is that on Leith Walk.
- Action: B Ryan to supply his videos of European cycle-paths for this debate.
- Action: LCCC to debate this at its next meeting.
b Abbeyhill Colonies issues
I McLeod stated that issues in this area (e.g. bins and waste, litter) have not been discussed at LCCC meetings.
- It was noted that NE locality discusses matters thematically, rather than by area.
- It was noted that CEC has a waste management forum, and that its meetings are informative.
- Cllr Rae noted that a smaller group is organising a meeting of a smaller group covering waste. She suggested that LCCC/Abbeyhill should join this group.
- Cllr Ritchie suggested that LCCC should have a committee dedicated to waste issues.
- It was suggested that LCCC should see how resurfacing and installation of new bins in Albert St turns out.
- Cllr McNeese-Mechan noted that particular layouts and waste-collection routes are correlated with worse problems. Hence CEC is considering changing some routes so that problem areas are dealt with first. CEC is also investigating installation of bins with sensors, so that collections happen when needed.
- I McLeod noted that such issues can be tweeted to @edinhelp or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, but LCCC should have input into CEC/more strategic work on litter and waste. She proposed splitting LCCC’s Transport and Clean Streets working group into two separate groups, with membership to be decided at the next meeting. (In the meantime, members of the former T&CS working group should be members of both new groups.)
- Decision: the above proposals were agreed nem con
c Other points
- There will be a public Save Leith Walk meeting on Tuesday 25 September (7pm to 9pm) at Out of the Blue,
- There will be an open colony of artists event at Abbeeyhill Colonies on Saturday and Sunday (noon to 6pm).
12 Future meetings and topics/presentations