Author Archives: Leith Central Community Council

Leith Volunteer Fair #2 in October

After the success of the first Volunteer Fair in June, where organisations such as Leither’s Don’t Litter, the YMCA and our Community Council took part in, Leith Community Education Centre are hosting a second one on Thursday 10th October 2019 from 4pm to 7pm.

The volunteer fair is an excellent way to get involved the local community and learn what people and organisations are up to across greater Leith.

East Lothian (London Road) bus consultation

As you may be aware, London Road has several stops for East Coast Buses number 113 to Pencaitland and number 124 to North Berwick, connecting the Leith Central area in Edinburgh to East Lothian.

East Lothian Council are consulting on the viability of these routes and seek feedback from anyone that is uses them, to see if they’re worth continuing.

You can take part at

Consultation opens 9th September and closes 20th October 2019

Leith Proposals event coming up

Leith Proposal: What’s good what’s bad and what need to change?

While the planning system can be complex and confusing, it is also vital to how Leith will develop and its future. This is an opportunity to meet with neighbours and colleagues alongside members of the Community Council to explore, identify and prioritise some of the key issues affecting the area.

This is one of a series of events developed by Leith Creative in partnership with the three Leith Community Councils.

Have your say at this community master-planning and design workshop. Tickets are availible here.

McDonald Road Library, Saturday 21 September, 11- 3pm

LCCC June 2019 approved minutes

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held in Nelson Hall, McDonald Road library on Monday 17 June 2019 at 7:30pm

Minutes initially recorded by B. Ryan.

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

  1. Welcome

    1. LCCC members











Clara Boeker


No meeting

No meeting

Jack Caldwell

Jeremy Darot



Alan Dudley

Charlotte Encombe

Pierre Forissier


Nick Gardner

John Hein

Sheila Kennedy

Ian Mowat


Lorraine Moore



Damian Sefton



Julian Siann

Harald Tobermann

John Wilkinson

Bruce Ryan

Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan


Cllr Rob Munn


Cllr Susan Rae

Cllr Lewis Ritchie


Ben Macpherson MSP



Alison Johnstone MSP



Deidre Brock MP



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

    1. Others

      Alan Macintosh

      Broughton Spurtle

      4 residents

      PC Kevin Weaver

      Police Scotland

    2. Declarations of interest in any items on the agenda


    1. Order of business

Decision: at this meeting, to hear councillors’ reports immediately after police. Discussion of precedent is in item 7 below.

  1. Approval of minutes of 20 May 2019 meeting

  • I Mowat noted that dates in the AGM financial report are incorrect. Action: IM to circulate correct version via B Ryan.
  • In the police report, ‘MDA’ = misuse of drugs

AGM & ordinary meeting minutes approved subject to making these changes (proposed A Dudley, seconded H Tobermann).

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

  • Item 3 is in progress
  • Item 6.a.i: Cllr Rae is waiting for replies. Concerning closure of Leith St, B Ryan to send an email he has already drafted to Laing O’Rourke objecting ‘post-mortem’ to misinformation by Laing O’Rourke on this closure. H Tobermann stated that this closure was approved by Edinburgh’s traffic management review panel, that this panel is somewhat opaque and has no CEC cllr members, and suggested that CEC cllrs should assert democratic accountability. Cllr Rae noted that the contract did not allow for recompense to CEC for the contractors’ mistake that led to this closure.
  1. Community Police Officer’s Report

PC Weaver reported

  • Concerning a cyclist being knocked off his bike in the lower stretches of Leith Walk, the driver has been charged. During the police proceedings, a child tried to steal the bike – and has been charged. H Tobermann suggested that the design of the cycle-path at the locus was partly to blame, and that relevant lessons should be taken in by the Trams project.
  • Police are working on rough-sleeper issues, due to robberies at the bottom of Leith Walk.
  • PC Weaver has given information about safety to Broughton Primary School.
  • Police are working on antisocial behaviour issues on Leith Walk.
  • Poiice are undertaking ‘naval visits’ and taking water-safety training.
  • Police are engaging with Extinction Rebellion protests, and with speeding issues.
  • Action: B Ryan to put speeding leaflet on LCCC website.
  • Leith gala was a success, in that there was no [detected] criminality
  • There was a stabbing in Spey Terrace yesterday.

N Gardner asked about phone boxes that have been left to become unsightly, and apparently only serve as sites of ASB and drug-dealing. It was noted that BT has an obligation to keep a certain number of boxes in good order. Action: N Gardner to forward relevant contact details to PC Weaver, PC Weaver to chase this up.

Cllr Ritchie noted that ‘Chris’ is being tagged in graffiti across Leith. PC Weaver stated that this has not been reported, but will follow this up.

  1. Parks & Green Spaces

    1. Re-opening of the Water of Leith Walkway (press report)

H Tobermann noted that the ‘naked men’ are back in the Water of Leith, after 2 years of campaigning to get the walkway reopened, and that a major obstacle has been that CEC does not own the land, and so has few rights over it. He suggested that a permanent public right is needed in relevant planning permissions. He thanked the Spurtle for its positive coverage of LCCC’s work on this issue, and noted that such work demonstrates the value of community councils.

    1. Friends of Pilrig Park report

N Gardner reported that FoPP’s annual picnic is on Saturday (12 noon to 2pm). They have drafted a simple questionnaire about park improvements. This will include a question on catering vans. It was noted that LCCC has not yet decided its position on this topic. Discussion on this issue included

  • Need for appropriate waste facilities – current bins are too few and too small (A Macintosh and others)
  • Need to avoid setting unwelcome precedents (A Macintosh)
  • Regulations forbid ‘junk food’ being sold within a certain distance of schools (A Macintosh)
  • CEC’s current failure to deal with refuse (S Kennedy)
  • Allowing such vans on a trial basis only, with appropriate monitoring (I Mowat, A Macintosh)
  • CEC has already permitted such catering vans, and has already advertised for francisees (H Tobermann). He also suggested that the relevant consultation had been poor, because it omitted important questions.
  • Should parks be commercialised, and their peace disturbed by such vans? (H Tobermann)
  • Where do the proceeds from licensing of vans go, and how will they benefit the parks? (C Encombe)
  • S Kennedy responded that the money would go to CEC parks department, which has suffered budget cuts.
  • Cllr Ritchie suggested that catering vans have a duty of care, including clearing up waste they generate. If this duty was fulfilled, he suggested that such vans could be positive additions to parks and employment.

No position was decided: instead LCCC’s licensing committee will deal with each instance on its (de)merits as appropriate.

    1. Friends of Montgomery St Park

Action: N Gardner to circulate, via B Ryan, the details of FoMSP’s annual summer day (probably 14 September).

  1. Planning

    1. Joint Community Councils’ Written Submission regarding 106 – 162 Leith Walk, Edinburgh Appeal reference PPA-230-2274 Appeal reference CAC-230-2004

CE noted that this document was very well written, thanked H Tobermann, N Garder C Boeker J Siann, Leith Links CC and Leith Harbour and Newhaven CC for their contributions, and that this document is a great example of CC collaboration.

  • J Siann noted that the developers included out-of-date drawings in their appeal against refusal of planning permission,
  • H Tobermann noted that the submission has been supplied to Drum, CEC, Cockburn Association and Save Leith Walk.
  • Cllr Rae stated that CEC councillors are grateful for this ‘very helpful’ document.

H Tobermann noted that the next step is the deadline for submission to the appeal (6 July). The SG reporter has been appointed, and now has to read all submissions, visit the site and decide whether to hold a hearing (relatively light process) or a public enquiry (this will need serious lawyers) needed. So the process will take at least until summer 2019. Then the reporter will decide for or against planning permission, based partly on the submissions but mostly on legal precedent.

H Tobermann also noted that Edinburgh University has withdrawn from the plans due to Drum’s lack of community engagement, but that business that had been in the affected buildings continue to suffer gravely.

    1. Local Plan 2030:

      1. Cockburn Association’ssoapbox session’ on Our Residential City on 26 June at McDonald Road Library (booking info)

H Tobermann noted that the Cockburn Association is ‘gearing up’ for the next version of Local Development Plans (LDPs).

      1. LCCC area proposals design event on 21 September 2019

It was noted that Duncan Bremner of Leith Late is organizing this event about the Leith LDP. The venue is still TBC.

    1. 200 Bonnington Rd (adjacent to former John Lewis depot)

      1. CEC sale of the property to developer for £1·35m

H Tobermann noted that this was previously used for health and social work, and latterly for by the CEC trams team. Outline planning permission for a housing development has already been obtained by John Lewis for this site.

      1. Window for community consultation under new Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement

H Tobermann noted that because there is no full planning application for this site, a community buy-out could be organized, and that CCs cannot organize such buy-outs but other constituted groups can.

    1. Report from recent Civic Forum

It was noted that no LCCC representative attended this.

    1. 19/00415/PAN (rear of 139 Leith Walk): update

H Tobermann noted that LCCC agreed at the last meeting to suggest that the developers should ‘pack it in’, because they have failed to arrange a suitable PAN-presentation to LCCC. He also noted that they wish to make such presentations after the summer, and that he has asked CEC if this means the developer will need to make its application completely de novo.

    1. Other Planning matters relevant to LCCC area

J SIann noted that he has very recently updated LCCC’s planning spreadsheet, which contains many long-standing applications. He suggested asking CEC when these will be resolved.

  • Action: H Tobermann to circulate URL of spreadsheet via B Ryan
  1. LCCC office-bearers’ reports

    1. Community Council election

      1. timeline for CC election 2019

  • The timeline was noted. It is also on LCCC’s website, in this post.
  • C Encombe noted that she has circulated relevant notices, but that actual application forms do not yet exist.
  • J Caldwell displayed the flyers he has had printed, and asked for volunteers to distribute them. Action: He will put relevant files on Dropbox, and circulate a link, and organise distribution.
      1. Local Interest Group require to (re-)register with CEC (

Action: C Encombe to inform N Gardner about this, with regard to Friends of Montgomery St Park and Friends of Pilrig Park.

      1. Comms Group update on publicising CC election

See item 7e below

    1. LCCC meetings August 2019 to June 2020

      1. Update on availability of McDonald Rd Library (Amy McNeese-Mechan)

C Encombe noted that she wrote to Cllr Mcvey about this. He responded that he understood the issue, but left Cllr A McNeese-Mechan to take this forward. Cllr AMM has had no success so far. Action: C Encombe to urge cllr AMM to hurry.

      1. Proposed meeting dates August 2019 – June 2020

  • Decision: LCCC will not meet in December.
  • Action: C Encombe to notify Cllr AMM, and keep LCCC members informed, including a copy of the flyer advertising dates.
  • Action: J Caldwell/B Ryan to circulate dates as e-calendar invitations, complete with appropriate reminders.
  • Action: S Kennedy to inform McDonald Rd librarian of dates, including a copy of the flyer advertising dates.
  • Action: C Encombe to inform LCCC of meeting time and venue changes, if these occur. (by end July(
    1. Treasurer’s Report: annual accounts FY18/19, budget FY19/20, Changeover of signatories to bank account

I Mowat noted

  • Not meeting in December would save LCCC £60 of minuting costs.
  • LCCC would be in large deficit if it had to pay for meeting premises
  • J Wilkinson suggested that CCs can claim venue-costs from CEC, in addition to the annual CEC administration grant.

Action: IM to (1) circulate up-to-date version of accounts; (2) circulate and budget (including pending information of cost of screen [or white bedsheet]; (3) liaise with L Moore about approval of accounts

Decision: signatories are to be treasurer, chair, vicechair, secretary. Cheques will be signed by two of these.

    1. Report from partnership/locality meetings

J Caldwell noted

  • He and B Ryan attended inaugural Network Neighbourhood (NN) meeting. They suggested that the NN is poorly thought-through and very poorly implemented. (See B Ryan’s report on LCCC website. [Action: BR to circulate this report to LCCC members.]) For example, Leith Walk ward is not as well represented as Leith Ward.
  • J Caldwell has submitted a list of potential NN member organisations, including many from LCCC’s area.
  • He will also attend future quarterly NN meetings on behalf of LCCC.
  • A letter about necessary improvements to NNs has been drafted by Leith CC members. Criticisms mentioned in this draft include insufficient representation of CCs, and lack of channels for CCs to raise issues and get things done.
  • Action: JC to report further when this letter is finalised.
    1. Comms Group Report

J Caldwell noted

  • 1000 LCCC flyers have been printed. Some were distributed by JC and I Mowat at the recent volunteer fair & Leith Gala.
  • He has resent the password for so I Mowat can now use it.
    1. Reports from other office bearers

No items

  1. Transport & Clean Streets

    1. Community Councils Together on Tram (CCTT): update

H Tobermann reported

  • CEC/TT is trying to engage with businesses along the route, while CCTT is trying to find out about changes to traffic.
  • There will be a 2-year temporary traffic regulation order covering the area, enabling TT to handle emergent impacts.
  • There has been no information published by Lothian Buses on changes, due to ‘commercial confidentiality’.
  • HT noted that construction begins in October, so information is needed now. He suggested yet again that the project is being rushed and does not yet have proper preparation.
  • There was discussion of bus-route closures on Leith Walk, and their effects on Bonnington Road and Easter Road.
    1. Updated programme Carriageway Resurfacing Works – Summer 2019

H Tobermann noted that this was mostly prompted by the need to fix side-streets along the tram-route before those works start. J Wilkinson noted that some work has been delayed already, and that there have been issues with traffic cones.

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

S Kennedy reported about the strategic review of parking:

  • CEC’s transport and environment committee is meeting this Thursday.
  • CEC has completed a review of ‘area 3’: this has taken into account points raised by LCCC’s parking petition.
  • LCCC’s area is the most pressured in terms of parking, and so is top of a list of recommendations for controlled parking.
  • This list also takes into accounts pressures from the tram extension.
  • H Tobermann noted that during tram-work, the TTRO will be used to manage parking. Hence he suggested that the final parking changes must be ready for the end the tram-work.
  • Action: S Kennedy or J Caldwell to share link to strategic parking review document, B Ryan to add this to website.
  1. Licensing

No items

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

    1. Cllr Rae

She reported that Network Rail has started clearing a brae in Bonnington, so the wall at the top can be fixed. She also noted that the Greens and the Vegan Society stalls at Leith Gala were placed next to the meat-burger van, causing much ‘fun’.

    1. Cllr Ritchie

He noted that tomorrow morning is the deadline for questions to various CEC officer-holders, so he is collating questions around small businesses. It appears to Cllr Ritchie that some CEC policies hamper small businesses, so he is trying to tackle this. Examples include large rates rises and need for better processes.

  • I Mowat stated that the rates system needs improvement to support both businesses, e.g. with regard to information processes. IM also noted an appalling traffic-jam at Bonnington Toll, due to broken red traffic lights. This is apparently not the first time this has occurred. J Caldwell and J Wilkinson corroborated such issues.

C Encombe raised the subject of short-term lets. Cllr Ritchie noted that a relevant bill is going through the Scottish Parliament. A proposed amendment to give regulatory powers over short-term lets is allegedly being blocked, but the bill is at parliamentary stage 3. However, CEC is in favour of getting these powers.

  • B Ryan noted that a consultation is in progress, closing on 19 July.
  • Action: B Ryan to share link to this consultation and notes on PLACE Edinburgh from NTBCC June meeting with LCCC.
  1. Open Forum1

A Macintosh offered to put LCCC’s advertising flyer on the Spurtle website for free. Action: J Caldwell to send it electronically.

  1. AOCB2

  • I Mowat noted the City Centre Transformation Project consultation, closing at the end of June.
  • H Tobermann noted the agenda protocol, and suggested that cllrs’ reports should remain towards the end of agendas, not least because they are not usually substantive, but are unstructured, so may take up more time than appropriate. He suggested that if cllrs have issues to raise earlier, this could be agreed in the standing ‘order of business’ item,
  • B Ryan noted that moving cllrs’ reports in perpetuam was not agreed, even though this may have been intended.
  • S Kennedy noted that any items towards the end of the agenda are likely to be rushed.
  • Action: Cllr Rae to report back to other councillors.
  • J Caldwell noted that there is a focus group on a Leith-based creative network, at the Kirkgate (11am tomorrow).
  1. Bulletin3

    1. Recent exhibition and research by Place-Age: Place-making With Older Adults: Towards Age-friendly Communities

This was noted.

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

    1. Dates 2019/20

See item 7.b.ii above.

    1. Potential future presentations

      1. Briefing by Euan Leitch, BEFS on upcoming Tenement Maintenance legislation and related matters

Action: H Tobermann to invite him to present at LCCC’s September meeting.

      1. Charrette: 19/00415/PAN (rear of 139 Leith Walk)

1 This agenda point allows members of the public to raise issues of public interest.

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

3 This is for information only; any discussion to be brought to a future meeting.

Trams to Newhaven: August 2019 update

(Adapted from an email by the City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘Trams to Newhaven’ team)

Ground investigation works

Ground and site investigations (GI) along the route are now in the final stages, with the last of this phase of works due to complete by mid-August.

These essential pre-enabling works, programmed by the tram project’s Systems and Infrastructure contractor Sacyr, Farrans, Neopul (SFN), involve SFN carrying out detailed GI works at 25 sites along the route. The work is being carried out in sections of approximately 100 metres at a time under localised lane closures.

The purpose of these GI works is to determine the ground conditions along the length of the new tram route so that the project’s final design can be confirmed. SFN will check the depth of the bedrock along the route, for example to see how deep tram infrastructure foundations need to be, as well as the dimensions of the ‘slab track’ which will be laid under the tram track itself.

Current works

Works will commence on Leith Walk at Jameson Place from today, 31 July, and complete on 4 August 2019. This will be followed by a final round of GI at Elm Row opposite Haddington Place from 5 August to 9 August 2019. This will result in the temporary removal of parking /loading bays for approximately one week, with temporary traffic management arrangements in place.

Should you have any queries or concerns regarding the works, particularly around any scheduled deliveries you have planned during this time, please contact the team via the button below. Alternatively you can give us a call on 0131 200 2000. Further information can also be found at our website at

Dalmeny Street Park Community update

As there hasn’t been an active ‘Friends of’ group for a few years, people are coming from across the area and are working with Edinburgh Council and service partners such as Edinburgh Police North Eastto improve Dalmeny Street Park and plan out the future. Below wording is based on their April 2019 newsletter;

Survey results
Firstly, very many thanks to all who took part in the recent survey that was carried out both online, at the park itself and Restalrig church. Responses have shown that a cleaner park, dog issues, and anti-social behaviours were all key matters. We shall be sharing these findings in early May.

These have been discussed with the Edinburgh Parks Team, who as you will appreciate have a very limited budget to cover the parks across the whole of the area. So, based on what is required to bring the park up to an acceptable level for all users of the facilities available we, that is the community, must produce a development plan so that phased works can be carried out.

We obviously cannot rely on the City of Edinburgh Council to fund everything that we would like to have so based on the questions that were in the survey and order of priority given by the community, we can break the list down to what we can help with as a community and larger projects that the council can do if and when funds become available.

Cleanliness of park
Ade carries out a litter pick of the area every Friday afternoon weather permitting, there is always room for VOLUNTEERS.

Dogs fouling
The Environmental Wardens are going to be monitoring the area to ensure mess is cleared up by owners. It has been mentioned that some dogs are not always being watched by owners, so it was suggested that for the summer months we trial the removal of gates at entrances.

Rubbish bins
The City of Edinburgh Council have placed 2 brand new bins at the entrance to park much larger than previous ones.

The existing benches are painted black however we can paint them any colour we wish so long as it is all weather paint. If we want extra benches it was suggested, that we try for the picnic style which could encourage people to have a picnic without fear of dogs trampling over their food.

The banking at the IONA street end of the green space could be planted with flowers, the new park logo could be the centre piece, project for local school?

This was obviously very near the top of list however it is also the most expensive, it was suggested that we try to source eco-friendly, (solar power) and apply for funding through other sources. Local Police felt that lights may encourage more people to loiter around the area however it may also encourage more dog walkers, or walkers in the evening.

These are just a few of the many ideas/ suggestions that have been under discussion on how to improve Dalmeny Street Community Park for use by all not just a few. If you have a few hours to spare or wish to become involved in any way, please contact us via the Facebook Group ‘Dalmeny Street Community Park‘ or better still come along to one of our meetings at Pilmeny Resource Centre 15 Buchanan Street, commencing 7pm every second Tuesday of the month.

Regular updates will follow. There will also be a BIG LUNCH event on the 1st of June, in conjunction with the Eden Project who are hosting gatherings across Scotland and the UK.

Petition to re-open Leith Walk shops

Petition to re-open the Leith Walk shops

Last month, Leith Central Community Council worked alongside numerous organisations and neighbouring community councils to oppose the development on the site of 106-154 Leith Walk (also known as Stead’s Place).

The City of Edinburgh Council subsequently rejected Drum Property Group’s application. One of the items that was raised included the closure of the shops on Leith Walk.

The Save Leith Walk campaign has set up a petition to re-open the shops, which can be signed at 38Degrees.

Community Asset Transfer event

Between 2-4pm on the 24th March at the Leith Community Education Centre, Leith Creative will be hosting Matt Baker from the Stove.

For those who don’t know the Stove, they are an artist collective and community network who, amongst other things, are looking to buy back some of the local high street in the town for community use.

Matt has a wealth experience within the asset transfer process and can give an overview of the many forms of support that are available to communities, alongside sharing some personal insights as to how that happens on the ground.

Taking inspiration from some of the town hall debates happening nationally we are seeking to develop a new forum to address some of the pressing issues affect the area and are open to suggestions and recommendations for guests.

The event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be be available but feel free to bring a dish for pot luck snacks.

More info available on the Facebook event at