Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held in Leith Community Education Centre on Monday 19 August 2019 at 7:30pm
Actions and decisions are red italic. nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.
1.a LCCC members
|Clara Boeker||✓||*||No meeting||✓||No meeting|
|Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan||✓||A||A|
|Cllr Rob Munn||✓||*||A|
|Cllr Susan Rae||✓||✓||A|
|Cllr Lewis Ritchie||A||✓||A|
|Ben Macpherson MSP||A||A||*|
|Alison Johnstone MSP||A||*||*|
|Deidre Brock MP||A||A||A|
✓= present; A = not present, sent apology; * = not present, did not send apology
|Ella Taylor-Smith||Broughton Spurtle||2 residents|
|John Tibbett||Leith Links CC||PC Kevin Weaver||Police Scotland|
1.c Declarations of interest in any items on the agenda
1.d Order of business
Agreed as original agenda.
2 Approval of minutes of 17 June 2019 meeting
The draft was accepted subject to removal of various typos, and removal of ‘and residents’ from I Mowat’s point in item 10b (proposed A Dudley, seconded I Mowat, nem con)
3 Matters arising from previous minutes (and not on agenda below)
4 Community Police Officer’s Report
PC Weaver reported
- Police have been very busy due to the Festival.
- They have been doing rough-sleeper and hostel patrols, leading to some arrests on warrants.
- Souper Saturday took place in Broughton St Mary’s church. Attendees were well-behaved, with no drugs issues.
- Police informed 60 children about road-safety at Edinburgh Leisure.
- Drop-ins continue, giving advice to attendees.
- Police continue to patrols to counter antisocial behaviour.
- Police undertook naval visits, e.g. to HMS Forth, to brief sailors about safety on shore.
- Police surgeries in the library continue, albeit not taking place over in the past 3 weeks.
- PC Weaver will be out with Deidre Brock MP on Monday, as part of ‘give a day back to policing’.
- It was suggested that she should be shown the cycle-path and bus stops on Leith Walk.
- The new Edinburgh division commander, Sean Scott, recently visited Leith.
- The police task-force (1 sergeant, 6 officers) has been in Leith for 2 weeks, and will remain for another two weeks.
- It is getting very positive results on drugs, warrants, abuse of beggars, antisocial behaviour etc.
- Police have performed 25 licensed-premises checks (e.g. CCTV).
- Checks on underage sales can no longer be done by asking an underage person to try to buy alcohol.
- There will be an open-doors event in Leith police station on Sunday 29th
- The Edinburgh Mela may not go ahead but if it does, police will have a stall there (31 August to 1 September.
- The BT phone-box in Montgomery St is still operational.
- In relation to a question in June, it is hard to to catch graffiti perpetrators because they are active late at night.
- PC Weaver and colleagues liaise with police who patrol Easter road and Abbeyhill. PC Weaver will speak to relevant colleagues about reports of drug-dealing in these areas.
- PC Weaver advised not giving beggars money but (maybe) offering them food, because there are plenty of places ensuring that no-one in Edinburgh should go hungry.
- Concerning reports that many beggars are not actually homeless, he confirmed this and noted that often such people are trafficked. They may well prefer this (being housed in whatever accommodation their traffickers provide) to ‘having nothing in their home countries’.
- It was suggested that an organised -crime squad should be set up to tackle this.
- It was suggested that a collated list of food-outlets for beggars was created, because offers tend to be in one place on a day, but somewhere different the next day.
- Action: B Ryan and PC Weaver to work on this.
5 LCCC governance and Office bearers’ reports
It was noted that J Siann and J Darot are resigning from LCCC. They were formally deeply thanked for their work for LCCC, especially Julian’s work on planning.
J Hein said that he may not stand again to be a member of LCCC at the forthcoming elections.
5.a to note: continuing issues around availability of McDonald Rd Library
- The chair noted that she has emailed cllr Adam McVey, saying that not making venues available for CCs to meet as their members need is not good democracy.
- His reply was broadly supportive; he asked cllr McNeese-Mechan to progress matters.
- However, the chair has not yet received any substantive response from the cllr.
- B Ryan suggested talking with Caroline Lamond of Edinburgh Libraries.
- The secretary suggested that Ms Lamond hadn’t been positive about using the library after 8pm.
- H Tobermann noted that
- He has asked for the actual regulations or reasons preventing McDonald Rd staying open after 8pm, but has not received these yet.
- There are other CEC venues that stay open after 8pm.
- Some CEC library staff are agency workers who may well want more shifts.
- The chair noted that cllr McNeese-Mechan had suggested that cllrs could be responsible locking up CEC venues after meetings that run on after 8pm.
- H Tobermann suggested that suitably responsible CC members could be trained to look after CEC venues after CEC staff had finished for the evening. He also suggested that the Leith Community Centre café is not a suitable venue.
- Action: chair to book this venue (i.e. Leith Community Centre, ideally not its cafe) for LCCC’s September meeting.
- Action: chair to contact Ms Lamond about this, and to suggest that LCCC members could look after the library after CEC staff have finished for the evening, and are responsible bought to lock up the venue after meetings.
- Action: treasurer to investigate possibility of obtaining extra CEC grant to cover increased venue-hire costs.
- Decision: LCCC formally notes its displeasure at needing to spend its valuable meeting-time discussing this issue.
- Action: J Caldwell/comms group to update LCCC’s notice-board appropriately.
5.b to note: Treasurer’s Report
|The 2018-19 forecast||Predicted Spend||Actual Spend|
|Minutes Secretary invoices to Bruce Ryan||£540·00||£360·00|
Webhosting and WordPress Link to Domain
· Website from Oct 18 to Sept 19
· Print from Oct 18 to Sept 19
|Room Venue Hire / Hustings||£15·00||£0|
|Printing and Paper||£100·00||£11·98|
|Projector and Screen||£700·00||£299·99|
Items not predicted in the Forecast: 0
End of Year expenses were predicted to be a total spend of £1,835·00 / Actual Spend was a total of £807·98
Predicted end of year reserves were £1166·80 / Actual end of year balance is £2093·82
|The 2019-20 forecast||Predicted Spend||Actual Spend|
|Minutes Secretary invoices to Bruce Ryan
(February to July 2019 (no August or December) Jan to February 2020
Webhosting and WordPress Link to Domain
|Data Protection Registration 8.2.19 to 7.2.20||£35·00||£35·00|
|Data Protection Registration 8.2.20 to 7.2.21||£35·00|
· Website from Oct 19 to Sept 20
· Print from Oct 19 to Sept 20
|Room Venue Hire / Hustings||£15·00|
|Printing and Paper||£100·00|
|Projector and Screen||£299·99||£299·99 so far|
Balance end of March 2019 = £2093·82 / Grant received 26 July £1199·06. So predicted end of Year reserves in March 2019 is £1717·89
(Note projected fall in reserves is £375·93 so without projector cost of £299·99, minutes secretary invoice for Feb 2019 of £60 and data-protection registration £35 both payable previous year. LCCC would break even on this projection.
I Mowat noted
- The report is mostly the work of the previous treasurer. Her previous version was countersigned by an external auditor, A Meikle (a residents’ association treasurer).
- Action: treasurer to submit that version to CEC, because LCCC has already received its grant from CEC.
- L Moore is no longer a signatory of LCCC’s bank account; current treasurer (I Mowat) now is.
- Action: treasurer to try to get more signatories after the forthcoming CC elections.
- LCCC will almost certainly break even over 2019-2020 unless it has large unexpected cost, e.g. screen, venue-hire.
The chair noted she is joining the Cockburn Association on behalf of LCCC. She asked whether this cost should be on the projected 2019-2020 spend.
It was suggested that LCCC looks into using an internet bank.
Decision: if LCCC moves to an online bank enabling this, treasurer may sign off alone expenditures less than £100.
Action: treasurer to find out how CEC calculates its grants to CCs.
5.c to note: Comms Group Report, including update on publicising the forthcoming CC election
J Caldwell noted
- It is now very pressing to recruit more members.
- The comms group has agreed where to leaflet.
- The Festival and fringe have caused many places to be over-leafletted.
- He is about to leaflet LCCC’s core areas.
- He thanked the Spurtlefor running LCCC’s recruitment leaflet for free in July.
- The Edinburgh Reporter also distributed the leaflet via businesses on Leith Walk.
- Action: LCCC members to distribute leaflets as much as possible. (J Caldwell to coordinate this.)
- M Roy offered enable LCCC to distribute leaflets via her police-box.
It was noted that application forms for standing for the CC elections will be available from CEC on 9 September.
5.d to note: report from partnership/locality meetings
- J Caldwell noted that he and B Ryan attended the Leith Neighbourhood Network (NN)’s inaugural meeting.
- B Ryan added that he and other CC attendees had not been impressed by the NN set-up.
- He also noted that D Tharby of Leith Harbour & Newhaven CC has volunteered to represent members of the NN on the Locality Community Planning Partnership.
- J Tibbett queried whether it was possible for one person to represent the whole NN, which comprises over 40 diverse organisations.
- He later added that the NN’s role was largely to be determined by its members, even though it has no teeth or money, and so clarity on its role may arise in time.
- It was suggested that this position was actually a fall-guy, i.e. co-opting someone to explain to organisations why their funding was being cut.
- Responding to a question about the frequency of NN meetings, B Ryan recalled that the NN will meet several times a year, but that NN representatives such as D Tharby would meet annually.
- J Caldwell added that the NN situation is ‘fluffy’, citing an email circulated by the secretary that asked for suggestions of organisations to invite to future NN meetings, and noting that many suggestions had already been made at the inaugural NN meeting. He added that he has emailed a list of suggestions to relevant CEC staff but has received no reply, adding to his concern about ‘fluffiness’.
- Decision: LCCC to not contribute to this fluffy organisation, i.e. Leith NN.
5.e to note: reports from other Office Bearers
6 Transport & Clean Streets
6.a to note: Community Councils Together on Tram (CCTT): update
H Tobermann reported
- Preparatory test-drillings are nearly finished. Once they are finished, CEC will issue a notice to proceed.
- The best forecast is that digging for enabling works, e.g. at the foot of Easter Rd, will start in late November.
- Actual construction will start in early spring 2020.
- CCTT is meeting the trams team monthly.
- The most recent meeting gave the trams team feedback on its branding suggestions.
6.b to note: revised programme Tram Diversion Route Resurfacing Works (aka Carriageway Resurfacing Works Summer 2019)
The following three items were agreed nem con. The chair noted that Pilrig St will be closed for 3 weeks after the 29 August.
- LCCC broadly welcomes the Resurfacing Works, but regrets that urgent pavement resurfacing and surface water drainage repairs and upgrades have not been progressed in parallel, and there was lack of consultation.
- LCCC requests that any excessive wear and tear due to tram construction diversions is made good at the end of the tram works.
- LCCC requests timely consultations about the reinstatement of setted streets (e.g. Dalmeny Street) that have been tarmacked as part of the Works.
There was discussion of the pros and cons of cobbles, and lack of consultation before roads were tarmacked.
6.c to note: Edinburgh Citywide Parking – Area 3 Strategic Parking Review
The secretary noted that
- This review had been circulated to all LCCC members.
- H Tobermann added that the review should have been approved at CEC’s May Transport and Environment Committee TEC, but there was insufficient time. June’s minutes are not yet available, so he is unaware of whether the review was approved at that meeting.
- S Kennedy added that the review was approved in June, but now needs to go out for consultation.
- H Tobermann added that had the review been approved earlier, consultation would be happening now; and that it is essential that the parking arrangements are in place before the tram-works are complete. He suggested that this is just another example of CEC doing things in a rush because of lack of resources and hence readiness.
- J Wilkinson added that the review had cost £ 300,000, and hence CEC/TEC should have made time to discuss it.
M Roy noted that she has met with Darren Wraight about her police-box, but she has not yet received any response to her questions. She will submit a planning application for her police-box to have a marker so she does not lose business. I
6.d to note: any other Transport & Clean Street matters relevant to LCCC area
The secretary noted that SGN plans to work on upgrading its infrastructure in Easter Rd, taking 6 weeks from 2nd September. This will include 4-way traffic-lights being installed at the top of Easter Road, and a contraflow in Montrose Terrace.Only very local residents were informed.
- She suggested that SGN needs to communicate much better, and that this will affect the nearby primary school.
- H Tobermann added that this work is happening now so it can be completed before the trams embargo on non-emergency work in the area of the route begins. He added that this is an example of CEC cramming such work into an unnecessarily short time, despite being warned to allow enough time ahead of the start of tram construction.
- Action: B Ryan to add a link to roadworksscotland.org to LCCC’s website.
7.a to note: the retirement of Julian Siann as LCCC’s planning convenor
It was noted that J Siann had done much sterling work for LCCC. He is now resigning for personal reasons.
Action: chair to send him a thank-you card.
7.b to note: the need to organise a planning monitoring rota to secure statutory consultee status for LCCC and to maintain LCCC’s register of current planning applications
Decision: LCCC to pursue this after the CC elections
C Boeker noted that she was soon due to move out of LCCC’s area (to New Town & Broughton CC’s area). She asked what planning training is available for CC members.
7.c to note: report on Scottish Government Short Term Lets Consultation event
It was noted that the chair and secretary had attend this event. She noted that Andy Wightman’s bill on secondary short-term lets needing planning permission had been defeated in the Scottish Parliament. It was also noted that there are many issues around short=term lets, and that there is a very relevant article in today’s Edinburgh News.
7.d to note: concerns over insufficient fire safety at Shrub Place developments (marketed as ‘Engine Yard’) (Evening News, 02-08-19)
It was noted that the owners, Places for People, had admitted that steel in this building has not been properly fire-proofed. H Tobermann questioned how an occupation warrant could have been issued under these circumstances, and noted that the Greens will ask questions at the full CEC meeting this week. He added that the underground garage is not in use, and is not being let to flat-residents above it, hence causing them to park elsewhere. Because such underground parking was a condition of awarding planning permission, he suggested that CEC should not have permitted occupancy until the garage is available to residents. He also noted that the underground garage should have provided parking for gym-members and car-club cars. Hence on-street parking is being increased unduly and against planning conditions.
- He noted that the Masons are now selling their meeting-place in that building.
- It is up to the building’s owners to let the shop.
7.e to note: 19/03509/ADV| Advertisement of the following types: Hoarding. | 10 Croall Place EH7 4LT and LCCC request for extension for comments (minded to object)
H Tobermann noted that LCCC has received letters about this hoarding that overlooks the conservation area, and that renewal of permission for his hoarding did not take place in April.
- Action: LCCC to submit an objection.
- Action: all LCCC members to submit their own objections.
7.f to note: 19/03802/PAN| Demolition of the existing warehouse and office building. Construction of general market flatted dwellings, affordable flatted dwellings and student accommodation. | 48 – 50 Iona Street Edinburgh EH6 8SW
It was noted that this development may have up to 200 houses, and that the developers would hold an exhibition in early September, and are trying to arrange a presentation to LCCC.
7.g to note: 19/03433/PAN| Residential development comprising up to 63 apartments, associated infrastructure and landscaping. | 14 Ashley Place Edinburgh EH6 5PX
It was noted that the developers already have planning for 2-3 storeys but are seeking to build a taller development, and wish to present to LCCC about this.
7.h to note: community master-planning and co-design event (Saturday 21 September 2019, 11-3pm) Leith Proposals: Leith Central Community Council
It was noted that this event will be facilitated by Leith Creative, and will feed into the next local development plan. It will take place at McDonald Rd library. Attendance is free, but attendees must register via Eventbrite (link yet to be circulated).
7.i to note: revised schemefor the Local Plan 2030
It was noted that this scheme has been published very recently, that choices for the city plan will be published on 9 December, and that a new local plan will be proposed in August 2020, then there will be a long consultation process. Hence LCCC members should attend any consultation so they can influence the plan ab initio.
7.j to note: update on appeal (PPA-230-2274and CAC-230-2004) 106-162 Leith Walk
It was noted that this appeal is about the proposed Stead’s Place development, that there has been much correspondence about this issue, including complains by Save Leith Walk that the developers are not filing correct material, that not date has yet been set for a decision, and that Save Leith Walk is trying to organise a community by-out.
7.k Shop conversions to residential in LCCC area
The following items were agreed nem con:
- that such conversions in tenemental streets disproportionately benefit owners, while disbenefits accrue to residents through loss of amenity, increased incentives to shop further afield and reduced natural surveillance
- for LCCC to become statutory consultee in such cases to ensure increased scrutiny
7.l to note: opportunity for talk by CEC Archaeology Officer and FCA on findings at 70, 72 Newhaven Road (17/01183/FUL)
H Tobermann noted that the archaeology at this site had not been reported as stipulated. The relevant archaeologist has offered to present to LCCC at a future meeting.
7.m to note: any other Planning matters relevant to LCCC area
8 Parks & Green Spaces
8.a to note: update on draft masterplan plan (and timeline) for Coalie Park
It was noted that a former charity had given money to the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust with the condition that it was used for Coallie Park, that it was used to prepare a report, and that it is hoped that more money will be found to implement the plans, and thus benefit north Edinburgh. It is anticipated that this will be considered at the event on 21 September. (See item 7.h above.)
8.b to note: Friends of Pilrig Park report
8.c to note: other Park Friends’ reports
It was noted that the Friends of Montgomery St Park’s Summer Fair is on September 14th (12 noon to 4pm).
Nothing to report.
- Action: J Caldwell to run LCCC’s website while B Ryan is on holiday.
- J Hein noted that a freedom of information enquires revealed that Lothian Buses had not claimed money from Police Scotland for their damage to a nearby bus-stop.
- The secretary noted that two new bus-shelters on East Norton Place have no sides.
- It was suggested that people should tweet at CEC, because bus-shelters are the responsibility of CEC.
- It was suggested that the new format of bus timetables in bus-shelters is too small and incomprehensible.
o Action: secretary to write and tweet to Lothian Buses on behalf of LCCC objecting to poor signage and lack of shelter.
12.a Changes to commercial food and glass waste (CEC letter June 2019)
13 Future Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations
13.a to note: provisional dates 2019: 16 Sep, 21 Oct, 18 Nov, 16 Dec and provisional dates 2020: 20 Jan, 17 Feb, 16 Mar, 20 Apr, 18 May (including AGM), 15 Jun
13.b to note: future presentations and charrettes
- 16 September: Briefing by Euan Leitch, BEFS on upcoming Tenement Maintenance legislation and related matters
- 21 September: community master-planning and co-design event
- tbc: 19/00415/PAN (rear of 139 Leith Walk)
- tbc 19/03433/PAN (Ashley Place)
- tbc: 19/03802/PAN (Iona Street)