November 2018 Final Minutes

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held in Nelson Hall, McDonald Road library on Monday 19 November at 7:00pm (ratified in January 2019)

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

  1. Welcome

    1. Attendance

      1. LCCC members





        Clara Boeker


        No meeting

        Jack Caldwell


        Roberto Colasuonno


        Jeremy Darot




        Alan Dudley

        Charlotte Encombe


        Nick Gardner


        John Hein

        Sheila Kennedy


        Iona McLeod

        Lorraine Moore


        Damian Sefton



        Julian Siann


        Harald Tobermann



        John Wilkinson

        Bruce Ryan

        Cllr Marion Donaldson



        Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan



        Cllr Susan Rae


        Cllr Lewis Ritchie



        Ben Macpherson MSP




        Deidre Brock MP




✓ = Present, A = not present, sent apology, * = not present, did not send apology

      1. Others

        PC Callum Clark

        Police Scotland

        Michael Traill

        Leith Links CC

        Ella Taylor Smith

        Broughton Spurtle

        Claire O’brien

        Pilmany Development Project

    1. Apologies

See item 1a above

    1. Declarations of interest


  1. Approval of Minutes of 15 October 2018 meeting

Approved as is (proposed I McLeod, seconded A Dudley, nem con)

  1. Matters arising from previous minutes and not included in agenda below

  • Item 6aii. H Tobermann noted that the formerly relevant CEC official has moved job. LCCC will continue trying to contact the Powderhall railway group
  • Item 6b. HT is also taking on this action re Water of Leith walkway closure.
  • Item 7a. HT has submitted a query about Dalmeny St lighting but has received no reply. He will persevere. PC Clark noted that there are ongoing issues in this area. Action: HT to liaise with PC Clark about this
  • Item 7d. Cllr Rae not present, so this action is taken forward to January LCCC meeting
  1. Community Police Officer’s Report

    1. Update on recent relevant incidents, crimes and police activities in LCCC area (October 2018)

PC Clark reported

  • Local personnel changes: Gill Geany is now Chief Inspector for northeast Edinburgh command. CI Kevin McLean has moved to another role in Edinburgh division. Alan Carson has returned to this area as the ‘second inspector’.
  • Community Police Officers (CPOs) have attended many community events recently. These include
    • Edinburgh cycle fair on 21 October. CPO activities focussed on road safety and crime prevention.
    • a conference on support for vulnerable people
  • CPOs continue to work with DVLA: 9 cars were uplifted on 22 October, 4 more on 1 November from areas including Manderston St and West Bowling Green St, for having out-of-date car tax.
    • Police can only act if car tax is out of date. Lack of MOT is a DVLA issue. It can be hard to trace registered keepers.
  • Work with environmental wardens led to removal of an abandoned van from Stead’s Place.
  • Patrols working with various night-shelter organisations continue to try to help rough sleepers and homeless people.
  • Operation Winter city started on 17 November to keep people safe in the city centre.
  • 5 people are under curfew due to various offences.
  • 1 person has been arrested for a serious assault in the Leith Walk area. The public is thanked for assistance here.
  • 1 person was jailed for 4 years for arson on the Sikh temple and a Methodist church in August.
    • It appears that the perpetrator may have been a militant atheist who has no links to hate groups.
  • CPOs from Leith assisted in a drugs raid in NIddrie, gaining positive results.
  • Anyone with information on theft from an ambulance should phone 101 or contact crimestoppers.
  • 20 stolen bikes have been recovered across the city. Many thefts were from inside common stairs with loose railings.
    • Abandoned bikes are not a police responsibility and so should be dealt with by owners and factors.
    • I McLeod noted an example of CEC had removing abandoned bikes after 2-3 weeks’ warning.
  • Operation Agora, which tackles cycle crime, continues. A proactive team has also been created.
  • Bonfire night was very successful: there were significantly fewer calls than normal and no [related] arrests in NE Edinburgh. This was in part due to ensuring that inflammable material was removed long before the event.
  • Forthcoming actions include
    • a speeding enforcement, in cooperation with the DVLA
    • checks on licensed premises
    • checks on taxis and private hire cars
    • visits to vulnerable people.
  • Dalmeny Park friends (FoDP) group will hold a public meeting on 22 November at McDonald Road library, to create a group to take over management of the park, and hence make it safe.
    • Action PC Clark to send poster to B Ryan, who will put it on LCCC website.
    • H Tobermann noted that an FoDP representative could attend LCCC meetings, and join LCCC if FoDP becomes constituted.
    • LCCC voted its thanks to PC Clark for his work, above and beyond the call of duty, to restart FoDP.

Action: PC Clark to investigate sharing of crime statistics, ideally before LCCC meetings so they can appear on LCCC agendas

    1. Pilmany Development Project (PDP)

C O’brien reported that:

  • It is the 40th anniversary of PDP. PDP has been working closely with police, and with inter alia a group of youths charged with a bonfire incident last year. PDP also noticed that bonfire night this year was quiet; the only part of Edinburgh suffering related issues was Portobello. Clare 40 anniversary of Pilmany Development Project (piloted youth centre)
  • PDP supports up to 150 people per week.
  • PDP is at risk of closure due to its grant from CEC’s health and social care budget potentially ceasing in April 2019.
  • PDP’s Christmas fayre is at the Pilmany Resource Centre on Saturday 24 November, 11am to 2pm.

C Encombe stated that that PDP could also become represented on LCCC.

  1. LCCC office-bearers’ reports

    1. Treasurer’s report

Current balance is £2614·82 but has yet to pay bills for advertising in the Spurtle and for webhosting.

    1. Other office bearers’ reports

      1. Secretary

S Kennedy reported that CEC is looking for participants in its budget group challenge. She noted that the NE locality meeting agenda was published on 5 November, yet the meeting was on the afternoon of 6 November. Action: S Kennedy to email complaining about this short notice, CCing H Tobermann

      1. Chair

C Encombe reported that Willowbrae CC has threatened to drop out of the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (EACC), but wishes to collaborate with other Edinburgh CCs. John Tibbitt of Leith Links CC is standing to be vice-chair of EACC. M Traill noted that CEC should be circulating candidates’ statements to all Edinburgh CCs and that CCs can vote at the AGM or via email. HT recalled that LCCC policy is to not be involved with EACC, and that EACC does not represent LCCC.

CE also requested that if people wish items to be on agendas, they should send in short briefs to circulate prior to meetings.

    1. Report of LCCC Communications Group

J Caldwell reported that around 50% of LCCC members had sent him mug-shots for the website. The end-of-year newsletter is in progress. JC is currently trying to improve LCCC’s email provision. Its current provider does not allow good governance.

S Kennedy noted that LCCC has a cellphone but its battery has died. It was agreed to remove this number from the website.

    1. Current meeting and business arrangements of LCCC

H Tobermann noted that LCCC has recently rationalised is committees and working groups. These include planning, transport and clean streets (but see item 5e below), parks and green spaces, which to some extent mimic CEC committees and have fixed spots on LCCC agendas. Others include communications, parking and licensing, which can also generate agenda items, ideally supplying short briefing papers prior to meetings.

    1. Revised remit of T&CS committee, new remit of the Clean Streets subcommittee

Various methods of subdividing duties between the T&CS committee and CS subcommittee were discussed. H Tobermann suggested that transport and clean streets issues are often linked. For example, if refuse vehicles cannot access certain streets (nominally a transport issues), refuse bins on these streets cannot be emptied, leading to a clean streets issue.

Action: LCCC to finalise draft remits (now on the website) for January 2019 meeting.

  1. Transport & Clean Streets

    1. Proposed tram extension – Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT)

      1. Revised tram decision making and project timeline

This timeline was compiled by H Tobermann, who noted that, in part due to pressure from CCTT, the final decision on the tram extension will be in March. CCTT is due to meet with CEC trams team on design/layout; life and business support during construction; environmental case; supplementary projects, including through-ticketing. (C Encombe noted that there was no line in the trams budget for these projects.) It was noted that trams will not run on the proposed extension until after the next local government election.

      1. CCTT submission to 2nd design consultation on tram extension and business support package on behalf of LCCC (and the other CCs along the route)

This was ratified nem con.

N Gardner asked whether businesses were happy with the trams team (TT) business support arrangements. H Tobermann reported tha there had been an acrimonious meeting, but that there was incomplete contact between TT and businesses.

N Gardner asked whether disabled groups had been consulted on the tram plans. H Tobermann suggested that traffic during tram construction would be on one side of the road only, with appropriate barriers, and noted that CCTT had pushed for appropriate protection to be in place and unchanging during construction. HT also noted that TT had stated it followed relevant CEC design guidance, which includes consulting with disabled groups, and that TT had promised there would be 10-15 staff on duty on Leith Walk each day to help people and businesses.

Concern was expressed about cycle paths, especially behind bus-stops, and lack of proper segregation from footpaths

    1. Progress of public realm reinstatement at Shrub Place/Places for People

H Tobermannn noted that reinstatement of Leith Walk after previous tram-works was still incomplete here (‘phase’ 4 of the Leith programme). In this area, an exit from an underground car-park has yet to be built, and other nearby works are unfinished. Action: because Cllr Rae was due to report on this, this matter will be revisited in LCCC’s January meeting.

    1. Update from LCCC Parking Working Group (strategic parking review)

I McLeod reported that Andrew Mackay (AM) had contacted her just after the LCCC October meeting – see the PDF now on LCCC website. She has had no response to her email to AM of 12 November. According to AM, Leith Walk is already subject to increased [parking] patrols, but ways to increase these further are under discussion. Also, no parking assistants (PA) should state that a parking issues is not on his/her beat but deal with the issue asap. AM and colleagues are looking for a social media officer ‘specifically …to deal with parking issues raised via the various Social Media platforms’.

H Toberman stated that parking enforcement on Leith Walk between McDonald Road and Annandale is impossible because relevant Traffic Regulation Orders are in abeyance. This is likely to be the case until after the trams have been installed. HT also suggested that PAs are expected to deliver a quota of tickets, and hence may not respond as AM has stated.

    1. Leith Street future traffic management – potential options

      1. Does LCCC agree that Leith Street should be open only for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport (a) while the current work on Picardy Place is taking place or (b) permanently?

Discussion points included (L Moore) the new St James development may have car-parking access/egress on Leith St, so this might be impractical; (A Dudley) buses in this area are very slow; (N Gardner) that such a restriction may have knock-on effects on Easter Road; (a visitor) that such a restriction may have knock-on effects on the west end. Also Leith St would have 4 lanes when building is complete, and hence room for cars and cyclists; (S Kennedy) during the St James work, while it is in part only 1 lane each way, such a restriction may make sense – but not necessarily thereafter.

      1. If so, what steps should we take to progress this?

C Encombe suggested that LCCC could contact Sustrans, St James developers and CEC. H Tobermann noted that CEC is contractually obligated to the St James development, and so introducing such a restriction may be impractical. J Hein noted that Leith St is in NTBCC’s area, so LCCC should ask them before submitting comments.

Action: I Mcleod to draft a letter, and circulate this draft to LCCC transport committee members and NTBCC.

Action: B Ryan to email the agenda questions to NTBCC’s planning convenor, and forward any reply.

    1. Clean streets

I McLeod reported that Cllr Rae has not heard from Andy Williams (CEC waste official). However, waste will be discussed soon at a full CEC meeting. IM and S Kennedy use LCCC’s twitter feed to report issues to CEC. (So far, this has gained a nice response but no actual sorting of overflowing bottle-bins.) It was suggested that tweets are CCed to Leithers don’t Litter.

  1. Planning

    1. Status of current planning applications November 2018

H Tobermann noted that there are two new items:

  • Montgomery St Lane: conversion of a yoga centre into residential accommodation
  • Newhaven Rd: alter fire damaged pub by removing an attic floor, form two temporary extensions using shipping containers. L Moore suggested that this may reduce various antisocial issues.
    1. LCCC’s response to CEC’s plans for the defunct Powderhall Waste Transfer Station

This was noted , and has also been copied to NTBCC because Powerhall is also partially in NTBCC’s area.

    1. Recent planning portal upgrade – initial feedback

N Gardner stated that the portal is still not working properly. Action: this matter to be re-examined in LCCC’s January meeting

  1. Parks & Green Spaces

    1. Continued closure Water of Leith Walkway (between Anderson and Newhaven) since 20 May 2015 and further delay of re-opening to December 2018 or January 2019

L Moore reported that there had been some signs of improvement but she is not optimistic about reopening in December. LM also reported that some money has been given to the Water of Leith Trust as compensation for the extended closure

    1. Friends of Pilrig Park report

N Gardner reported that there will be a litter pick and clean-up on Sunday 25 November 10:30 to 12:30

    1. Update on other Friends groups

None present, so no updates

  1. Councillors’ reports, MSPs’ reports, MP’s report

None present so no reports

  1. Open Forum1

No items

  1. Bulletin2

    1. George Street, First New Town Design Concept (Online Questionnaire to 25 January 2019)

C Encombe recommended that LCCC members and residents respond to this questionnaire.

    1. Scottish Government consultation on onshore unconventional oil and gas development and Shieldhill & California CC’s campaign (Scottish Community Alliance, October 2018)

C Encombe recommended that LCCC members and residents respond to this consultation.

  1. AOCB3

I McLeod reported that she submitted an objection to a planned extension of licensed hours at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Action: IM to forward the objection to B Ryan, B Ryan to put it on LCCC website.

B Ryan urged LCCC members and residents to attend the £EITH CHOOSES launch ((20 November, Kirkgate, 6pm)

Item 7aiv of August minutes: Action: J Hein to draft communication, S Kennedy to submit it on behalf of LCCC.

  1. Future meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and topics/presentations

See agenda

1 for residents of LCCC area only

2 for information only; LCCC members may request discussion of related items at a future meeting

3 for LCCC members only