LCCC May 2019 approved minutes

Minutes of the AGM of Leith Central Community Council, held in Nelson Hall, McDonald Road library on Monday 20 May 2019 at 7:00pm

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

The AGM was chaired Cllr Rob Munn.

1 Welcome

LCCC members

Name 2019 2020
May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
Clara Boeker No meeting
Jack Caldwell No meeting
Jeremy Darot *
Alan Dudley
Charlotte Encombe
Pierre Forissier
Nick Gardner
John Hein
Sheila Kennedy
Ian Mowat A
Lorraine Moore A
Damian Sefton *
Julian Siann
Harald Tobermann
John Wilkinson
Bruce Ryan
Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan
Cllr Rob Munn
Cllr Susan Rae
Cllr Lewis Ritchie A
Ben Macpherson MSP A
Alison Johnstone MSP A
Deidre Brock MP A

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


PC Kevin Weaver Police Scotland 6 residents and visitors

2 Approval of Minutes of 2018 AGM

These were approved without changes (proposed C Encombe, seconded A Dudley, nem con)

3 Annual report

The chair read out LCCC’s annual report (Appendix 1).

4 Treasurer’s report

  • The treasurer had submitted a draft report (Appendix 2).The balance at the end of MARCH 2019 was £2093·82.
  • It was noted that these have not yet been independently checked.
  • Action: outgoing or incoming treasurer to have these independently checked in time for ratification at next LCCC meeting.

5 Demit of current office bearers and election of office bearers

There were no candidates apart from those in the following table, who were duly elected nem con.

Position Candidate Nominator Seconder
Treasurer Ian Mowat Harald Tobermann Charlotte Encombe
Secretary Sheila Kennedy Harald Tobermann Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan
Vicechair Harald Tobermann Jack Caldwell John Wilkinson
Chair Xharelotte Julian Siann Nick Gardner

Appendix 1: annual report

It has been another busy year for LCCC. We currently have 14 members and 2 nominated groups. There are still 2 vacancies. To improve this situation, our Communications group is in the process of preparing fliers and other promotional material in preparation of the forthcoming community council elections in October 2019 in the hope that we will have the 16 members.


Last year our meetings were dominated by whether there should be a tram on Leith Walk. Now this decision has been taken, our community council, working together with Leith Links, Leith Harbour & Newhaven and New Town & Broughton Community Councils (Community Councils Together on Trams CCTT) are meeting regularly with the tram construction team to make sure that there will be as little disruption as possible to Leith Walk and surrounding area. CCTT will be working with the construction team for the duration of the construction of the tram to make sure that the needs of everyone in our community are considered adequately.

The benefits of working together with other community councils are many. Not only do individuals get to know each other better, but we get a better understanding of how other areas deal with issues, and, last but not least, as representatives of our community I feel we have become more confident, bolder in our hopes and expectations, and more able to give a voice to what matters to people in our ward.


Last year, in response to anecdotal evidence about the level of traffic and parking problems, a Parking Working Group was created. Following meetings with councillors and officials, a leafleting campaign was organised and petition launched to ask City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) to investigate the possibility of implementing regulated parking in our area. It received 390 signatures, which prompted CEC to carry out a Strategic Review. According to the review “ The results confirm not only that the areas around Leith Walk are among the most heavily parked areas of the city, but that the surrounding areas also show evidence of significant parking pressures[1].” After making the point that without regulated parking but with a brand-new tram matters could only get worse, ‘CEC agreed that there was ‘further justification for the need for prompt action to both address existing pressures and to protect residents and businesses from future parking problems[2]. The problems with parking in our area will not be resolved soon, but LCCC hopes that controlled parking will be in place by the time the trams start running.


In March 2018 LCCC received notice of a large development at the Foot of the Walk. The developer was to demolish the existing historical 2-story shops on Leith Walk and build over the 2 acre site with blocks of 6-10 storeys high. These were to house post-graduate students, a hotel, a restaurant and a number of affordable flats. The scale of the development did not find approval with the local community and very quickly the Save Leith Walk campaign was started in which LCCC was able to play its part. The developer came to one of our meetings to explain their plans and the Save Leith Walk campaign was given equal time to voice their views. LCCC voted unanimously to support the activities of the Save Leith Walk Campaign. Following appeals from a number of organisations, including LCCC, to a Special Development Management Subcommittee meeting CEC refused the planning application. Currently it is not known what the developer will do next with the site and the Save Leith Walk campaign continues to work with the community and LCCC on how the site might be developed sympathetically.

LCCC has also made a commitment to engage with more strategic development plans such as the Local Development Plan (LDP) and the Strategic Development Plan (SDP).

Whilst dealing with a number of other planning applications, one noteworthy achievement, again with the help of many groups from the community, was to persuade CEC to repeal their decision to allow a large theatre group take over most of Pilrig Park for the month of August.

Licensing and Clean Streets.

There now also exists a Licensing and Clean Streets Sub-Committee, which deal with specific issues as they arise.

To improve transparency of the meetings and make it easier for members and visitors to follow the proceedings, a £300 projector has been bought, which is also for use by other community groups in the library.

I would like to thank all members for their active support of LCCC and in particular those who have represented LCCC on other bodies and contributed to working groups and sub committees, which require an additional and not insignificant input of time and effort. A particular thanks goes to Lorraine Moore who retires as our Treasurer.

Appendix 2: Treasurer’s Report: End of financial year to March 2019

It was noted at the next meeting that various details were incorrect. I Mowat will supply a corrected version.

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held in Nelson Hall, McDonald Road library on Monday 20 May 2019 at 7:30pm

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

1 Welcome

LCCC members

Name 2019 2020
May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
Clara Boeker No meeting
Jack Caldwell No meeting
Jeremy Darot *
Alan Dudley
Charlotte Encombe
Pierre Forissier
Nick Gardner
John Hein
Sheila Kennedy
Ian Mowat A
Lorraine Moore A
Damian Sefton *
Julian Siann
Harald Tobermann
John Wilkinson
Bruce Ryan
Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan
Cllr Rob Munn
Cllr Susan Rae
Cllr Lewis Ritchie A
Ben Macpherson MSP A
Alison Johnstone MSP A
Deidre Brock MP A

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


PC Kevin Weaver Police Scotland 6 residents and visitors

1.a Declarations of interest


1.b Order of business

Cllr McNeese-Mechan suggested that Cllrs’, MSPs’ and MPs’ reports should immediately follow police reports.

  • Decision: This was agreed nem con

1.c Co-option of Nancy Campbell as nominated representative for MS Therapy Centre Lothian to Community Council

  • See Appendix 1: email to LCCC
  • It was noted that the MS Therapy Centre has not yet formally applied to CEC to be able to be represented on LCCC, that the Centre operates in LCCC’s area, and that the Centre’s representative would become a voting member of LCCC.
  • Decision: The co-option was agreed nem con, subject to CEC’s ratification of the Centre as a suitable body.

2 Approval of Minutes of 15 April 2019meeting

These were approved subject to correcting the date in the title (proposed A Dudley, seconded J Siann, nem con)

3 Matters arising from previous minutes (and not on agenda below)

Action: C Encombe to join Cockburn Association on behalf of LCCC

4 Community Police Officer’s Report

PC Weaver read out and emailed the following. Italic text is further comments by PC Weaver.

  1. Continued rough sleeper patrols and Hostel visits. Reports of people sleeping rough in various areas in Leith. Welfare referrals and advice can be made during contact. A hostel has closed for the summer, so rough sleeping may increase.
  2. Primary schools visited and inputs given on and keeping safe/role of the police, and road safety.
  3. Continued visits to various drop-ins within Leith giving advice to service users.
  4. Antisocial behaviour: patrols, regular engagement on Leith Walk/Springfield/Dicksonfield/McDonald Road and Library.
  5. Speed checks carried out fixed penalty tickets/warnings issued.
  6. Assisting with Misuse of Drugs Act warrants.
  7. Engagement with numerous vulnerable adults.
  8. Police/council surgery will be run each Wednesday 1100 to 1200hrs, if officers available, along with Council staff.
  9. New monthly surgery at Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Dalmeny St. See Twitter for details
  10. Extra patrols being conducted focusing on youth disorder over the Easter Holidays.
  11. CI Kevin McLean has retired. Inspector Andy Johnson is moving to Bilston Control Centre. This is unlikely to lead to changes in policing methods in the area. New Community Officer for NW25 PC Fiona Campbell replacing PC Mairi McDonald.
  12. There will hopefully be an open-doors day at Leith police station in September
  13. If community police officers are not visibly patrolling, this may well be because they are assisting vulnerable people who have contacted them. This is most likely at night and at weekends, when council services are closed.
  14. PC Weaver will try to arrange for Sgt George Nisbet to attend the next LCCC meeting

5 LCCC Office Bearers’ Reports

5.a Community Council elections and proposed LCCC promotional activities

J Caldwell reported

  • LCCC (with LHNCC and LLCC) will have a stall at Leith volunteers’ fair (7 June, Kirkgate), and at the Leith Gala on 8 June.
    • He asked for feedback on a draft poster. The best quote he has obtained is £95 for 1000 copies.
    • He also noted that LLCC had leafleted its entire area, but that this was not feasible for LCCC, so it would aim to display posters at local events and in local businesses. This is because it would be unfair to leaflet some homes but not others. A resident stated that this approach might be discriminatory because some businesses might refuse to display posters, thus depriving local residents of knowledge about the elections.
    • Paying for delivery to all homes was discounted, due to cost. (J Wilkinson noted that Liberton CC had leafleted its entire area. This cost over £6000, and ‘just about killed’ LCC members.
    • It was recalled that CEC had previously publicised CC elections with lamp-post wraps etc.
    • H Tobermann stated that such publicity could help obtain sufficient candidates for there to be an election for LCCC.
    • Decision: Spending of £100 for 1000 posters (or £200 for 2000 posters) was approved, subject to finishing the text.

5.b Final four-week consultation period (from 6 May to 3 June 2019) of revised Scheme for Community Councils

It was noted that the revised Scheme has a stricter code of conduct and procedures. Also, CCs will need ‘Engagement officers’, and report annually on such activities. However, there will be no increase in grants to cover such extra work.

5.c Timing of LCCC meetings

It was noted that CEC policy is for no-one to be in CEC buildings unless CEC staff are present. Hence LCCC meetings after June 2019 would need to finish before 8pm. (LCCC has previously met 7pm to 9pm so parents can easily attend.)

  • Meeting elsewhere, or paying for CEC staff to keep the library open until 9pm, were deemed to be unfeasible.
  • B Ryan argued that CCs, as a statutory, valuable part of Scotland’s democracy, should be enabled to meet as it needed, and that CEC should facilitate this.
  • Action: H Tobermann, C Encombe to write to CEC’s leader to argue this case

5.d Protocol for LCCC Agenda Process

Decision: protocol agreed nem con

5.e Current membership of LCCC committees and working groups

The following memberships were noted:

  • Communication group: Jack Caldwell, Sheila Kennedy, Bruce Ryan
  • Licensing: Sheila Kennedy, Ian Mowat
  • Parking working group: Charlotte Encombe, Sheila Kennedy, Julian Siann
  • Parks & green spaces committee: Charlotte Encombe, Nick Gardner
  • Planning committee: Clara Boeker, Nick Gardner, Damien Sefton, Julian Siann, Harald Tobermann, Pierre Forissier
  • Transport and clean streets Committee: Harald Tobermann, Sheila Kennedy, Clara Boeker
  • Clean streets subcommittee: Sheila Kennedy, John Wilkinson

5.f Arrangements for Leith Gala

J Caldwell noted that he would be at the CC stall most of the day, and requested volunteers. It was suggested that they take some LCCC outputs to show LCCC’s work, and noted that LLCC would be asking people what they wanted CCs to do.

5.g Proposed North East Community Councils joint working meeting

It was noted that this will be on Monday 3 June at 6:30. Decision in principle: LCCC to work with neighbouring CCs

5.h Comms Group Report

  • B Ryan suggested that LCCC publishes accessible précises of meetings. Action: J Caldwell to do so via social media.
  • Action: J Caldwell to attend Leith Neighbourhood network meeting.
  • Action: agenda links to be links to documents, rather than web-pages were possible

5.i Treasurer’s report

See Treasurer’s report in draft AGM minutes

5.j Reports from other office-bearers

Both the chair and secretary noted that all items were covered elsewhere in the agenda

6 Transport & Clean Streets

6.a Tram Extension to Newhaven

6.a.i CCTT update

H Tobermann noted that CCTT will meet monthly with D Wraight, R Leech of CEC tram team (TT) and senior contractor staff during (at least) the early contractor involvement period, so contribute local knowledge and monitor other works such as item 6.a.11 below, business support during the tram works, bus diversions and other traffic diversions.

  • C Boeker noted concern about a tree near the sandstone building on Leith Walk that is due to be felled to enable traffic diversions during tram construction. This felling is not required once the trams are operating. Could CCTT pursue this?
    • Action: C Boeker to supply details to CCTT, CCTT to pursue this with TT
    • A Dudley expressed ongoing concern about the Leith Walk cycle-paths: could they be made safer?
      • H Tobermann was not optimistic about this. Action: CCTT to raise the issue in any case
  • A resident businesswoman noted that she and neighbouring business-owners had seen no engagement with regard to business support, despite meeting with TT senior staff.
  • A resident expressed strong concern about diverting traffic along Easter Road. She noted that there are already problems on this road due to a short-term diversion, and that there had been no consultation or engagement by CEC on the diversions during tram-construction. She noted that there is already environmental and physical damage, and feared that this will be increased during construction. She also noted that commercial construction vehicles are ferrying rubble from the St James site. She asked councillors what they will do about this, and mentioned the ‘sinking fund for tenement maintenance’. She also later criticised the traffic-slowing ‘blisters’ that hinder emergency vehicles and buses.
    • Cllr Rae responded that councillors would ask TT why there had been no consultation, and whether they had tested the diversions. She noted that she has been emailed about damage to Easter Rd properties, and concurred that the rubble-lorries should not be using Easter Rd. Action: Cllr Rae to talk to the St James developers.
    • HT noted that there are plans to improve the junction at the foot of Easter Rd. He noted that all of Easter Rd is to be resurfaced. See item 6.a.iii below.
    • B Ryan noted that Laing O’Rourke (LOR) are most likely to responsible for the rubble-lorries.
    • N Gardner added that such lorries should travel via London Rd, Portobello and Seafield.
  • B Ryan also noted that LOR has not abided by its claim that Leith St would only be closed to cycling for a short distance near the large crane. (See NTBCC April minutes, item 5). Instead, it is currently closed to everyone but pedestrians from its junction with Princes St, and that emerging from Greenside Place junction is unsafe.
  • H Tobermann noted the existence of the Traffic Management Review Panel, and that it can decide on closures etc without reference to elected members. He suggested that such lack of accountability is unacceptable.
  • Cllr Rae added that CEC members had not been consulted about this closure, that work was in progress to obtain a ‘remedy’ (i.e. money) from LOR, and that LOR had made an assumption about specifications for the work. This has led to a redesign of the work, and hence need for the large crane and consequent road-closure.

6.a.ii Carriageway resurfacing works – summer 2019

H Tobermann noted that this program involves much work being done in a short time, to improve streets before Leith Walk is closed, making such work impossible.

6.a.iii Easter Road/Duke Street proposed junction improvements

It was noted that the current roundabout will be replaced with a signalised junction.

  • It was also noted that upgrades to traffic lights at junctions along Newhaven Road will occur in late May to June 2019.
  • H Tobermann reported that he has met the relevant engineer, that his previous work had been of high quality, and that he is communicative.

6.b Parking

6.b.i Strategic Review of Parking for Area 3 (p23-99 in

It was noted that CEC had concurred with LCCC’s parking petition, and that a detailed parking review has been completed.

  • S Kennedy reported that CEC’s transport and environment committee (TEC) has deferred this decision until June.

6.b.ii Parking Action Plan Proposals (TRO 19/29)

It was noted that the dates in the proposals are when actions were decided to be desirable.

6.c Leith Street closure May/June 2019: extended bus journey times

These were noted. H Tobermann has tried to get Lothian Buses to quantify how much time will be lost to such closures.

  • He has not received a reply, so has resorted to a Freedom of Information request.
  • S Kennedy added that residents had received no information about traffic-light changes at the Easter Rd/London Rd junction making right-turns impossible. She noted that this made access to the Colonies nigh impossible, and that lack of signage exacerbated this issue.
  • H Tobermann suggested that the Traffic Management Review Panel is responsible.

6.d Waste collection issues (p11-50 in

S Kennedy noted issues with collection of brown bins. TEC has received a report about waste management show that such problems are widespread. It appears that refunds are available to those suffering such problems. It was suggested that repeated tweeting to @EdinHelp (including job numbers) will eventually cause CEC to act.

  • She noted that she had not been informed when Edinburgh’s Waste Forum would meet.

6.e Any other Transport & Clean Street matters relevant to LCCC area

  • N Gardner noted that an ‘appalling’ kerb outside the Bonnington pub will be removed.

7 Planning

7.a Further delay to Local Development Plan (LDP) following rejection of Strategic Development Plan(SDP)

H Tobermann noted that Scottish ministers recently rejected the latest version of the SDP due to lack of links between land-use and transport.

  • He noted that because of this the LDP is ‘in limbo’ and so developers would take unwelcome advantage of this.
  • He suggested that there would be consultation on any ‘fixes’ to the SDP.

7.b Appeals by Drum (Steads Place) Ltd – 106-162 Leith Walk (PPA-230-2274 and CAC-230-2004)

C Boeker and P Forissier noted that Drum had appealed against refusal of permission at the last possible moment, and that Drum still wishes to demolish the sandstone buildings. They noted that there is an appeal period ending 6 June, that CCs can comment on the appeal, and that Save Leith Walk (SLW) had met with representatives from LHNCC and LLCC. They feared that the buildings will become derelict, making Drum’s appeal more likely to succeed. SLW’s current action is to repudiate relevant legal reports. They noted that because the current LDP is out of date, it does not reflect current community wishes, including retaining the sandstone buildings as part of the area’s character.

  • J Siann asked whether there would be further opportunities for the public to sign up to SLW’s opinion.
    • P Forissier added that there will be a public document that people can use to submit their own objections.
  • C Boeker added that people who had previously submitted objections could say that these still stand.
  • She added that SLW, with the Electoral Reform Society, is running a community assembly on 1 June.
  • It was noted that Edinburgh University has withdrawn from Drum’s plans. However, Drum still proposes student accommodation on the site, to be run by private operators.
  • P Forissier noted that SLW has recently met with Drum: it intends to keep trying until it gets permission for its plans.
  • Action: LCCC planning committee to draft LCCC’s response for in time for the June meeting.
  • Action: C Boeker to supply B Ryan with digital version of SLW materials, B Ryan to publish them on LCCC’s website.

7.c Tourism and Communities Working Group (T&CWG)

C Encombe noted that she had attended this, and that I Mowat had raised the issue of short-term lets. (See item 7.d.) She also noted that the meeting was chaired by Cllr Wilson, and that CEC is taking into account the proliferation of such lets. The composition and remit of the T&CWG were queried.

7.d Short-term lets

The following were noted:

7.e 19/00415/PAN (rear of 139 Leith Walk): update on PAC exhibition and charrette

H Tobermann noted that a PAN exhibition for this had been cancelled at short notice. Action: H Toberman to ask CEC to cancel the pre-application process if the developers do not soon hold the requisite exhibition.

7.f Status of current planning applications (to 07-05-19)

J Siann noted that he had submitted an objection to plans for a site behind Balfour St tenements. It had been proposed that a 3- or 4- storey building would occupy a current gap, but JS suggested that this was unsuitable due to poor sun-lighting, ventilation and amenity. He noted that most objections came from Balfour St residents but that there were a roughly similar number of supporting comments from East Lothian residents.

7.g Any other planning matters relevant to LCCC area

No items

8 Parks & Green Spaces

8.a Friends of Pilrig Park report

It was noted that FoPP’s summer fun day will be on June 22 (noon to 2pm), weather permitting.

8.b Update on Water of Leith walkway

H Tobermann noted that rather than the walk being re-opened, entrances are being fortified. Action: LCCC to keep pressuring

8.c Catering van proposalsin local parks

  • S Kennedy stated that such vans pressure parents to buy their children unhealthy snacks.
  • It was recalled that other commercial activities had been banned from Pilrig Park, and noted that its maintenance costs £8000 per year. It was also noted that CEC wishes to make £150,000 annually from such concessions, and that 100 such vans would be needed for such income (at £1500 rent per concession)..
  • It was suggested that there are insufficient bins in the parks for such catering vans.

9 Licensing

It was noted that ‘best One’ at 301 Leith Walk had been denied a 24-hour catering license, in line with LCCC’s objection.

10 Ward councillors’ reports, MSPs’ reports, MP’s report

Cllr Rae had nothing to report that is not covered elsewhere in the agenda

10.a Cllr McNeese Mechan

  • She is working on CEC’s contract for community policing.
  • She is working on contracts for CCTV coverage.
  • She and colleagues are reviewing 3rdparty cultural (venues, museums, festivals and public safety) grants.

10.b Cllr Munn

  • He is arranging surgeries, hopefully in McDonald Rd library, possibly on 1st Wednesday of each month)
  • He is on CEC’s planning committee, so can listen to planning discussions but not comment on any applications.

10.c Questions and answers

J Hein asked whether there was any progress towards replacing a bus-stop on London Rd that had been knocked down.

  • Cllr McNeese Mechan responded that it was being considered as part of a bigger piece of work on stop-placement and route optimisation. Hence she does not know if a decision has yet been made.
    • S Kennedy added that, according to a letter from CEC, nothing may be done. Stops need to be 400 m apart, so this and the next stop are too close. CEC will reconsider such matters when diversions due to tram-works are in place.
    • John Hein stated that this was unacceptable, and that the person (allegedly a police officer) who damaged the stop should be made to pay for it. C Encombe noted a precedent of long waits for bus-stops to be properly implemented.

11 Open Forum[3]

No items

12 AOCB[4]

No items

13 Bulletin[5]

No items

14 Future Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations

14.a Dates 2019

17 June (future dates TBA)

14.b potential future presentations

14.b.i Briefing by Euan Leitch, BEFS on upcoming Tenement Maintenancelegislation and related matters – date TBC

Appendix 1: email to LCCC about Nancy Campbell/MS Therapy Centre Lothian

Dear Charlotte,

Further to our recent conversation about the work of Leith Central Community Council, I would like you and your fellow Board members to consider me as a suitable member. The MS Therapy Centre Lothian has been based in Leith for 35 years this year, providing support services for the people living with MS and other long-term conditions in Leith, Edinburgh and the wider Lothian community. Our work with people living with long-term health conditions, I feel offers some real insights into the challenges people are facing, particularly in this challenging financial climate.

Kind regards,

Nancy Campbell

Strategic Development Manager

MS Therapy Centre Lothian

40c Swanfield

T: 0131 554 5384

Scottish Registered Charity SC014991


[3] This agenda point allows members of the public to raise issues of public interest.

[4] This agenda point allows LCCC members to raise issues not covered by the agenda.<

[5] This is for information only; any discussion is to be brought to a future meeting.