Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held in Nelson Hall, McDonald Road library on Monday 18 February 2019 at 7:00pm
Actions and decisions are red italic. nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.
1.a.i LCCC members
|Clara Boeker||NA||NA||NA||✓||✓||A||No meeting||✓||✓|
|Jack Caldwell||✓||A||No meeting||✓||A||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Roberto Colasuonno||✓||A||✓||✓||✓||*||✓||NA – resigned|
|Cllr Marion Donaldson||✓||A||*||✓||A||A||A||NA – resigned|
|Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan||A||✓||*||✓||A||A||A||✓|
|Cllr Susan Rae||A||A||✓||✓||✓||A||✓||A|
|Cllr Lewis Ritchie||✓||*||A||✓||*||*||✓||*|
|Ben Macpherson MSP||✓||A||A||*||*||*||A||*|
|Deidre Brock MP||A||A||A||A||*||A||A||A|
✓= present, A = not present but sent apology, * = not present and did not send apology
|PC Margo Darling||Police Scotland||Alan McIntosh||Broughton Spurtle|
|PC Lauren Mitchell||Police Scotland||10 residents and visitors|
See item 1a above
1.c Declarations of interest
1.d Order of business
It was noted that the agenda stated the time allocated for each major section.
1.e Resignations from LCCC of Roberto Colasuonno (elected member) and Marion Donaldson (ex officio member)
These resignations were noted. Action: chair to write to Roberto and Marion, conveying LCCC’s thanks for their work.
1.f Vacancy for co-opted member
It was noted that there are now 3 vacancies for co-opted (voting) members.
2 Approval of minutes of 21 January 2019meeting
Approved (proposed J Hein, seconded H Tobermann) subject to clarification of the following:
- Item 2, line 1 (approval of November 2018 minutes) ‘More information requested 5e. CE to ask Bruce to make recording available to Charlotte’.
- Item 5e in November 2018 was Revised remit of T&CS committee, new remit of the Clean Streets subcommittee)
- I McLeod stated that the November 2018 minutes did not accurately reflect [this part of] the meeting. Action: B Ryan to supply audio-recording of November minutes to C Encombe
- Item 2, line 3 (‘Old minutes: Approved by Harald and seconded by Clara’)
- Item 3: the action should be that J Hein is to follow up the London Road bus-stop issue with CEC, not Lothian Buses
- Item 5c (77 flats without compliance) and 5f (Signage)
3 Matters arising
- Item 5aiii: this was to do with Stead’s Place development, which has been refused, so this action is moot.
- Item 6b: I McLeod has forwarded the relevant email to H Tobermann
- Item 6d: Cllr Rae absent. Decision: this item to be dropped
- Item 6e: I McLeod has received no response from CEC about waste issues. Action: Cllr McNeese-Mechan to follow this up.
- Item 7a: see item 6a below.
- Item 7b: see item 6b below.
- Item 8c: remit has been amended as stated
- Item 10: Pilmany Development Project request for volunteers is now on LCCC website.
4 Community Police Officer’s report
PCs Mitchell and Darling reported
- Police are action on complaints about rough sleepers on stairs.
- There have been drop-ins at various places.
- They have run an internet safety week at Lorne primary school.
- A neighbourhood watch scheme is being set up in Easter Road. Police have also met with residents at Jamieson Place and Abbeyhill. TCV is working to upgrade residents’ outside space
- There have been two ‘fire-raisings’.
- There have been high-visibility patrols on Leith Walk.
- There was a house-breaking on Leopold Place.
- Recently, there was a hate-crime on Leith Walk: they are optimistic about finding the perpetrator
- A person has been apprehended and charged for assault and robbery.
- They are considering reviving the police-council surgeries (Wednesdays, 12 noon to 1pm, at McDonald Rd library)
- Action: PCs to email details, B Ryan to advertise these on LCCC’s website
A resident expressed strong concern about poor, dangerous parking by Dominos’ pizza vehicles, hence obstructing the cycle-lane, Greggs’ staff loading their van on double-red lines in the cycle-lane, and other poor parking. These issues tend to occur from 5pm and go on through the night. The resident stated that she had contacted CEC many times about this, and complained directly to Dominos, to no avail.
- H Tobermann noted that the relevant TRO is in place, so should be enforceable.
- Cllr McNeese-Mechan noted that CEC parking attendants do not work after 18:30.
- The PCs also noted that CEC is responsible for enforcing red-line parking issues. However police can be involved if there is a dangerous situation blocking the roadway.
- I McLeod suggested calling 101. It was also suggested that because the offending businesses are subject to catering licensing, this might be a way to tackle these issues.
- It was noted that the cycle-lanes on Leith Walk are advisory, i.e. vehicles can park in them [if there are no other road-marks or signs forbidding parking].
- Actions: PCs to pass on these concerns to their relevant colleague, who will then speakk with Dominos; PCs to ascertain whether ‘the roadway’ includes cycle-lanes.
5 Transport & clean streets
5.a Status of Tram Extension Project prior to publication of the Final Business Case and LCCC’s likely attitude
H Tobermann noted that
- LCCC has been discussing trams for over 10 years
- The final business case for the extension of the trams to Newhaven is about to go before the full council
- Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) consists of New Town & Broughton CC, Leith Central CC, Leith Harbour & Newhaven CC and Leith Links CC. It existed since summer 2018. CCTT was initially in favour of trams in principle, but has serious concerns about several issues around the published plans.
- CCTT has been meeting with members of the trams team, monthly, to work through the concerns.
- A major issue for CCTT was the timescale of this project. This was vindicated when the final decision was put back from December 2018 to March 2019.
- At this week’s CCTT meeting, it will decide on its current position. Hence HT wishes to ascertain LCCC’s current position.
- Points for of trams include their capacity (compared to buses) and that once a tram-line is built, it is likely to remain.
- However, CCTT’s major concerns about the current project have not been answered to any large extent, and now a further large concern has arisen.
- The original cost of ~£160m included £30m risk premium, but now the cost is estimated at £207m, much more than the original premium. Hence, there is concern about costs.
- Cllr McNeese-Mechan stated that the rise is partly due to inflation but mostly due to the effects of Carillion’s collapse. This reduced appetite for such work, so the trams team had to go back to the market for updated costs. This raised the price to £197m. A further 6% was added for optimism bias, leading to the £207m current cost. That is, based on relevant academic advice, £10m ‘insurance’ against unpredictable issues is included in the total. However, an academic has suggested that this project includes a pessimism bias, i.e. extreme caution.
- C Encombe noted that the decision would not wait for the lessons due from the Hardie enquiry.
- She also asked about funding for supplementary projects (e.g. active travel), stating that there was no budget for these. Cllr MM responded that there are other budgets for active travel.
- H Tobermann stated that the current plans do not include firm proposals for ‘reasonable’ features such as parking zones, fully integrated ticketing, intermodal information. He acknowledged that there has been discussion of these, but no commitment to implement them.
5.a.i LCCC members’ and residents’ opinions (anonymised)
- Support in principle but concerned about the details of this plan and lack of remit to deliver a beneficial outcome.
- Support in principle, but concerned about accessibility and lack of answers to other issues
- Concern about effect on surrounding areas, e.g. Easter Road
- Concern about effect on surrounding areas, so CPZ should be in place before construction starts
- Concern about the increased cost, especially when CEC is cutting other budgets (e.g. music), suggestion that electric buses would better reduce pollution
- Concern about disruption to local businesses – is the £2·4m allocated to business logistics issues enough?
- Concern that the issues around Constitution Street are insoluble: the tram route should not use this road
- Concern about tight deadlines for work-commencement imposed by legislation; concern that the price has been driven up by contractors; concern for local businesses, concern about traffic being moved to Easter Road.
- HT stated that delay in awarding contracts will have minimal effects because tender-prices are fixed for 3-4 months.
- HT stated that legislation mandates Constitution St route, and that work must start in early 2020.
- Supports in principle; get the work done asap to minimise price-rises
- Concerned about Easter Rd/Broughton St bus diversions, and lack of published modelling around these.
- Support in principle but has doubts about this scheme’s plans
- Concern whether this plan will deliver environmental benefits, e.g. reducing car-use
- [Resident] CEC needs to wait until the Hardie report is issued. Investment in communities is needed, not on trams
5.a.ii Timeline and brief of strategic review of parking (email from Andrew MacKay)
This timeline was noted. I McLeod noted that she has asked CEC for updates, especially about a social media officer, to no avail, and to say that there had been no noticeable increase in enforcement. The Leith CPZ will be discussed by CPZ in May.
It was suggested that, while the data is not weighted by proportions of vehicles and doesn’t investigate blame, it re-emphasises need for car safety and redesigning based on sensible transport means.
6 Parks & green spaces
6.a Outcome of proposal to locate Lady Boys of Bangkok/La Clique Cabaret in Pilrig Park from 29 July to 28 August 2019
It was noted that the Ladyboys of Bangkok (LoB) will not be performing in Pilrig Park in 2019. It was suggested that the issue may recur in the future. N Gardner thanked Cllr Rae and others for work on this matter, while Cllr McNeese-Mechan noted that CEC’s director of place acted quickly to find a new site for LoB.
6.b Request to CEC and Millers to open Water of Leith walkway during weekends and to enquire regarding the status of an additional pedestrian bridge as mandated in the Bonnington development brief
C Encombe noted that the walkway issue has lasted 2 years. H Tobermann stated that Millers do not work at weekends, and so the walkway would be safe then. Millers would need to remove and reinstate barriers and add appropriate signage.
H Tobermann noted that the brief mandates a new bridge linking Pilrig Park and the North Edinburgh cycle path.
- Action: H Tobermann to write to CEC and Millers on these issues
6.c Consultation on SESplan Supplementary Guidance – Cross Boundary Green Network Strategic Framework (12th February 2019 to 10th April 2019)
C Encombe noted that SESPlan is about developing the south Scotland, and urged members to respond to the consultation.
7.a Stead’s Place decisions: 18/04332/FULand 18/04349/CON
7.a.i Unanimous DMSC decisions and reasons for refusal
These were noted. C Encombe acknowledged the community around Save Leith Walk.
C Boeker noted that
- CEC’s decision was unanimous, thanks to the many reasons against demolition and proposed development. For example, the building that would have been demolished makes a positive contribution to a conservation area.
- The developers still own the area, so may appeal or submit a new application.
- SaveLeithWalk is considering options to tackle appeal or other applications.
- J Siann added that the Cockburn Association’s finding that demolition would be illegal was invaluable.
- He suggested that LCCC re-joins the Cockburn Association. J Wilkinson is a member, so could represent LCCC.
- Joining was later agreed nem con. Action: J Siann to liaise with the treasurer
- H Tobermann was optimistic that the detail of the objections would prevail in any appeal. He has also written to Edinburgh University, a key partner in this development, to ascertain its position.
The workshop informed about housing (both social and accessible) and green-space needs, and youth issues, and business needs. It devised three masterplan concepts, taking in many aspirations from residents, including input from an online survey. These concepts would preserve and enhance the sandstone buildings, and lead to a green village..
The next stage of promoting this work would be for LCCC to advertise it. Action: B Ryan to put do this via LCCC’s website.
C Encombe commended this work, suggesting that Leith could become an area where developers need to talk to locals first.
7.a.iii Support in principle development on the scale suggested by the
community workshop and to urge the Planning Committee to adopt appropriate formal guidance at the earliest opportunity
It was suggested that the ‘tram shed’ development opposite the Stead’s Place area should be included in LCCC’s work on this area. It was also suggested that information in context should be provided, so people can give informed feedback
Decision, Action: agreed nem con: H Tobermann to write to CEC
7.b 19/00411/LBCand18/10265/FUL Dryden (“Site 32 Metres West Of 26 Dryden Street) Erection of dwelling blocks inside the Shrubhill Tramway Workshops. Erection of a new dwelling block in the gap site between the existing buildings and associated landscape works. Associated fabric repairs and alterations to the existing buildings. Currently: (Local Delegated Decision) (The Engine Yard Ltd)
H Tobermann noted that this proposal’s name is incorrect. It is about the former tram sheds. It was agreed that LCCC’s planning committee should handled this. Action: J SIann to circulate a link to his comment on the Edinburgh Planning Portal.
7.c 19/00415/PAN Refurbishment of the existing building, or potential demolition for sui generis flatted accommodation, class 7 hotel, student accommodation and commercial uses with associated footpaths, roads, landscaping and potential reconfiguration of existing car park. land east of 139 Leith Walk (CW Properties)
H Tobermann noted that these developers have been invited to present at LCCC’s April meeting.
Public consultation events will be at McDonald Rd library: Mon 22 April 2019 (2:30–7:00), Tues 23 April 2019 (12:00–7:20)
8 LCCC office-bearers’ reports
8.a Proposed licensing variation for The Windsor (pub), 45 Elm Row – comments by 7 March
- I McLeod noted that the information provided by CEC does not specify what the extended hours would be, and that the text about noise conditions was unclear. Action: I Mowat to advise where such information can be found.
- B Ryan noted that previously audible noise was automatically an issue, but now objectors need to prove nuisance.
- IM also thanked LCCC members for input to the discussion of a catering license for 301 Leith Walk. She has submitted an objection to the application for a late hours catering licence.
8.b Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer not present – no report.
8.c Reports from other office-bearers
9.a BEFS Bulletin – Improving Tenement Maintenance(January 2019)
This is for tenement residents’ information.
10 Open forum
11.a ‘Detailed agenda’ issues
- I McLeod expressed strong concern: she had asked for waste to be an agenda item (under transport and clean streets), but this had not happened. She had also asked for licensing to be a separate agenda item: it had appeared under office-bearer’s reports but she is not an office-bearer. She questioned the value of adding links to information to the agenda.
- H Tobermann replied that he had been ‘awaiting further details’ about the ‘waste’ item from IM, and that ‘waste’ is part of the transport and clean streets section.
- C Encombe noted that links enable members to read the information before the meeting.
- IM then stated that the detailed agenda had not been issued in time for members to read the background information.
- S Kennedy suggested that the links to background information were useful, but that it should be possible to add an agenda item without creating these documents. She cited the resident’s issue with poor parking (item 4 above).
- H Tobermann stated that he produced the detailed agenda as a service to LCCC members – it is not a requirement. However, production of some information about issues and detailed agendas is helpful, in his opinion. (Others concurred.) If an issue arises after the agenda is published, it is possible to ask the chair to include it in the meeting.
- I McLeod stated that she had asked for parking to be on the agenda a week ago, and then resigned from LCCC.
- Action: C Encombe and B Ryan to work with members to see how they wish agendas to be.
J Siann asked about how LCCC could present visual information. Action: J Caldwell to arrange use of library’s projector
11.c Social event
LCCC agreed to meet socially after the next regular meeting.
J Caldwell noted that he and others are working on improving LCCC’s email and other electronic cpmms.
12 Future meetings and meeting topics/presentations