LCCC March 2022 minutes

Minutes of Leith Central Community Council ordinary meeting, at Hillside Bowling Club, on Monday 21 March 2022 at 7:00pm

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

1 Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies

1.a Attendance

  • LCCC voting members: Jack Caldwell, Alan Dudley, Charlotte Encombe, Ian Mowat,Harald Tobermann, John Wilkinson,
  • LCCC ex-officio and non-voting members: Bruce Ryan (minutes secretary), Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan (Leith Walk ward)
  • Others: ~5 residents and visitors,

1.b Apologies

  • Pierre Forissier, Sheila Kennedy, Lucy Wood-Waters, Cllr Rob Munn, Cllr Susan Rae, Deidre Brock MP,

1.c to note: declarations of interest in any items on the agenda


1.d to agree: order of business below


2 Approval of minutes of the ordinary LCCC meeting on 21 February 2022 meeting

Approved as-is (proposed J Wilkinson, seconded I Mowat, nem con)

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

  • Item 5.b.i (communal bins): IM has invited Erica Manfroi and colleagues to the next LCCC meeting. Because she can’t make 18 April (Easter Monday), this meeting will now be on 25 April – venue TBC
  • Item 5.e (Iona St portakabins): Cllr Rae has received no response when asking if there is a permit for the portakabins.
    • Action: Cllr Rae to pursue this
  • Item 10 (hybrid meetings, streaming in-person meetings)
  • This was moved to AOCB.

4 Policing matters

See PDF on LCCC website, or text in appendix 1

  • H Tobermann: the report does not say whether crime levels are increasing or decreasing.

5 Transport & clean streets

5.a Update on Trams to Newhaven construction works and final design

5.a.i to note: Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 10 February 2022

  • H Tobermann: ‘headlines’ from March CCTT/TT meeting:
    • The ‘Pilrig Muddle’ wheels are now largely restored. Atkins has been commissioned to design a location for them. (This may be on the Iona St/Leith Walk junction.)
    • CEC and TT are now working on ‘ready for operations’, i.e. handover to CEC departments of bins, lighting, road surfaces etc. There will also be consideration of whether CEC departments can work with what has been created. There are some indications that CEC is struggling for resources to handle increased needs.
    • If a CEC department is dissatisfied with any item, e.g. a road-surface, it can refuse to accept it. The contractor will then be asked to fix this item – but there may be an ‘agreement to disagree’ (e.g. if contracted standards have been met but the CEC department still doesn’t accept the item). Alternatively, the item may be held for fixing after project-end. Examples of this include the 2-way cycle-path on Elm Row, narrow pavements/indentations on Leith Walk.

5.a.ii to note: construction issues

  • A resident: who will test for noise and vibration after handover?
    • Action: H Tobermann to ask for this to be put in post-project/handover procedures
  • A resident: who is dealing with bins – there are many food outlets = much rubbish in my area.
    • Action: HT to ask if sufficient bins have been planned along the tram-route.

5.a.iii to note: issues for businesses during construction (and final design)

  • H Tobermann: we don’t yet have a report from the meeting of businesses and TT. At the last meeting, data was provided from an out-of-date dataset. Current data, using proxies, have been promised.
  • I Mowat: there are no clear signs of Leith Walk crossings
    • H Tobermann: see map on LCCC website. Flags showing the crossings have been promised. Action: HT to pursue this.
  • C Encombe: there should be an indication of whether side-streets are open. Action: HT to pursue this.

5.b to note: update on roll out of Communal Bin Review (CBR) Phase 1 and 2 in the context of the Strategic Parking Review in ‘Pilrig’, Leith Walk’ and ‘Abbeyhill

5.b.i to note: bin hub roll-out issues at Abbeyhill and elsewhere in LCCC areas

  • I Mowat is collating comments on roll-out. It seems it’s not going smoothly, for example the hub near me only has one bin, and other bins are still in the old location, occupying a parking space.
    • H Tobermann: CEC has been affected by supply-chain issues, i.e. new bins have not yet been received.
  • H Tobermann: the new system will only work properly if people do not park next to the hubs. The controlled parking zones will enable fining of ‘bad parkers’. Currently, ‘bad parking’ is a police matter, and the police are not taking action.
  • Action: I Mowat to organise an LCCC T&CS meeting before 8 April, to collate issues, then inform CEC for 25 April LCCC meeting
    • H Tobermann: P Forissier has compiled a dossier of issues in Dalmeny St

5.b.ii to agree: presentation on CBR by CEC officers Erica Manfroi and Andres Lices at the April LCCC meeting

Agreed – see item 3, point 1

5.c to note: reports of fly tipping 2019-2021 (by ward)

  • H Tobermann: LCCC area might be becoming a magnet for fly-tipping.
    • Cllr McNeese-Mechan: I am asking CEC to deploy mobile CCTV systems, because a single witness is insufficient to prosecute fly-tippers.
      • I Mowat (a lawyer): the ‘two witness’ requirement may not be true – a photograph may be sufficient
    • A resident: fences prevent people putting waste into bins.
      • H Tobermann: fly-tipping occurs outwith Leith Walk too, so it’s a general issue

5.d to note: Scottish Water roadworks in Albert St/Murano Place

  • H Tobermann: this road was closed unexpectedly, but TT had relied on it being open. It appears that houses have been connected to old systems, which then broke. There are claims that these residents have been without water since January. While SW was digging, it found that sewers have collapsed, but the extent of this issue is not yet known
    • Action: HT to pursue this

5.e to note: any other Transport & Clean Streets matters relevant to LCCC area


6 Planning

6.a to note: Bingo Hall (former Capitol Cinema in Manderston Street) missing from the approved extension of the Leith Conservation Area and joint CCs letter of protest

  • H Tobermann: the original masterplan and draft extension included the hall in the conservation area. Now the Manderston St arches are protected but not this building.
    • A resident: a letter from CEC implies that CEC is conflating two policies: that it needs this area for bin-lorries, and that the local development plan (and Scottish Government policy) mandates preservation of this and similar building.
    • H Tobermann: a further report will go to CEC’s June planning committee meeting. LCCC should submit a deputation.
    • J Caldwell: there were more than 100 responses to the consultation, so there is considerable interest in this matter.
    • Action: P Forissier to write to CEC welcoming reconsideration, and reiterating LCCC’s points about re-use of the building

6.b to note: LCCC’s objection to 22/00745/FUL | Proposed conversion of bowling club and bowling green to residential dwelling and garden. | 54 Rosslyn Crescent Edinburgh EH6 5AX

  • H Tobermann: this application was previously rejected. There is much support for the new application, but the locations of supporters are not known.

6.c to note: Status of current planning applications in LCCC area (MAR22)

Action: PF to archive old items

  • H Tobermann: a resident thanked LCCC for objecting to outdoor seating at Joseph Pierce. This was not permitted by CEC.

6.d to note: any other Planning matters relevant to LCCC area

  • J WIlkinson: there is an application for a tool station (DIY shop) in the former cloth shop in the Bonnington estate. There would be no demolition, just change of use-class from class 1 to class 1/6.

7 Parks & green spaces

7.a to note: any Parks & Green Spaces matters relevant to LCCC area

  • J Wilkinson: a section of the Water of Leith walkway has been closed for several months. According to Caroline Patterson of, large stones have been removed from the wall to make it safe. Assessment is now needed before work can proceed. CP was due to advise me if this assessment is happening, but has not done so. There appears to be a pattern of denial of access to public spaces. I will continue to pursue this instance.
    • H Tobermann: it is unsatisfactory that this section has been closed for over 2 years.
    • Cllr McNeese-Mechan: CEC is chasing the owner to make repairs.
  • I Mowat: Pilrig Park could benefit from a path linking Balfour St to Pilrig House, following the desire line.
    • J Wilkinson: Friends of Pilrig park will decide how it can contribute to this topic.

8 LCCC Governance

8.a to note: The Gunning Principles for consultations

  • H Tobermann: case law backs up these principles. LCCC should remind CEC and developers of them at each consultation.
    • I Mowat: PAN consultations are done by developers, so following these principles may not be legally required – but it would be good if they were followed.
    • J Caldwell: it appears that these principles were not followed in the consultation about the Bingo Hall/Capitol Cinema.

9 Open Forum (local residents)[1]

  • A resident: I would like CEC to clear streets more effectively

10 AOCB (LCCC members)[2]

  • J Wilkinson: the scaffolding has now been removed from the Stables block, and the road is being cleaned.
  • J Wilkinson: there is new graffiti on at the cemetery on Pilrig St.
    • Action: JW to report this to CEC
  • C Encombe: an Edinburgh Community Council wishes support for twinning Edinburgh with Gaza city
    • Decision: this is outwith LCCC’s remit
  • B Ryan: if LCCC meets at McDonald Rd library, streaming and hybrid meetings will not be possible due to lousy wifi

11 Future ordinary meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations

11.a to note: future meetings on 3rd Monday of each month at 7pm (except July and December): 18 (or 25) April, 16 May (AGM)

  • Decision: next meeting will be on 25 April – see item 3, point 1
    • Action: CE to sort venue – possibly McDonald Rd
  • Decision: LCCC AGM to be held in June 2022
  • This is to enable preparation of accounts, and sourcing of a venue
  • There will be an ordinary meeting on 16 May.

12 Appendix 1: police report

12.a Welcome to your LCCC Newsletter for Jan/Feb 22

12.a.i Calls of interest to the Police in our area 20/02/2022 – 18/03/2022

Total number of calls between 20/02/2022 & 18/03/22 – 599

  • Disturbance calls 61
  • Vandalism reports 16
  • Crimes of Dishonesty reports 37
  • Drugs misuse reports 19
  • Public Nuisance / Anti Social Behaviour 55

12.b Community issues

12.b.i Anti Social behaviour

Police officers identify and attend protracted neighbour disputes in the relevant areas. They triage and advice reports accordingly and link with City of Edinburgh Council FHS department when appropriate to resolve reported issues.

Targeted patrolling around Easter Road and Dalmeny park in response to youth antisocial behaviour.

12.b.ii Road Traffic matters

‘Safely to school’ continues to run across all of the Community areas. Community officers patrol areas during children drop off/pick up times ensuring children arrive to schools safely.

12.b.iii Community support

Community surgeries planned for the month of April. Dates of surgeries to be confirmed.

Intention to hold community surgeries at McDonald Road Library and Dalmeny Drill Hall monthly. The surgeries are a great opportunity to speak to local communities in a safe and welcoming environment.

Local Community team are working with Ukrainian Roman Catholic church at Dalmeny Road in the wake of the war in the Ukraine. Patrols are being carried out and crime prevention provided to ensure goods collected by the local community are safe and will reach those in need.

UpCycle initiative aimed at young members of the communities has been launched by the local community team. Along with professional repairers officers help young kids to restore bikes for their subsequent use.

12.c Some notable recent incidents in the Central/South Leith area:

A number of incidents of vandalisms within the relevant areas of communication network cabling has been reported to Police. A male has now been identified in respect of those and a report was submitted to COPFS office.

12.d Coronavirus pandemic

The Police response under Operation Talla has continued in line with the updated Government regulations

As of the 17th January 2022, all major COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted; however, Government advice to stay safe includes to:

  • get the vaccine when offered
  • wear a face covering when required
  • wash your hands regularly
  • self-isolate/take a PCR test if you have symptoms
  • take regular tests if you don’t have symptoms
  • meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors
  • keep your distance from people not in your group
  • work from home if possible

12.e Neighbourhood Watch Scotland in local wards

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12.f About Us

  • Local Area Commander: Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal
  • Leith Community Policing Team based at Leith Police Station:
  • Inspector Colin Fordyce
  • Sergeant Samantha Rose
  • Plus 8 officers dedicated to community issues in Leith

12.f.i Contact Us:

[1] This agenda point allows members of the public to raise issues of public interest; during online meetings, please raise your virtual hand.

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