Author Archives: minsec

Final design ground-borne noise and vibration on the Trams to Newhaven extension

The following statements were released by the Tram Team to the coalition of the four community councils along the tram line extension. They address the delay around the conclusion to the final design, not the quite separate (noise/vibration) issues that may occur during construction.

2021_02_18

I can confirm that we are expecting the outstanding design submission by the end of next week (26th Feb) at which point we will have a 3 week review period to go through the submission (this period is set out in the contract). On the basis that the information is provided and is accurate, we would anticipate getting the report finalised by mid to end March. I am continuing to see if we can accelerate timescales but as I have said before this is not within our control as the contractor is working to an agreed design programme. I will of course keep you posted as more information becomes available.

2021_02_15

[…] We are having to work within prescribed design approval timescales which means the matter is not being closed out as quickly as I would like, that said, work is underway with Atkins and I thought a short progress note would be useful ahead of your community council meeting this evening. It is worth noting that the team continues to work under Covid-19 restrictions affecting all of us, this has inevitably had an impact of some of the design packages meaning we have had to prioritise design approvals to align with the construction programme.

As you know the matter arose following observations raised by Prof. Thompson in relation to a specific property on Leith Walk. I subsequently met with the property owner and representative of the community council to discuss the issues raised.

The issues are twofold. Firstly, there are specific queries around the Leith Walk property and the conclusions reached in relation to vibration. Secondly there are more general queries relating to ground borne noise (GBN) on the line.

On the back of the meeting, we asked Atkins, the Council’s technical advisor, to liaise with the contractor and the contractors design  team to address the vibration queries and to also provide some commentary on ground borne noise.

On the first point, Atkins are still awaiting final design information from the contractor to be able to provide a definitive view on the proposed design, this has been through several iterations, which is not unusual, and we anticipate having the last of the information in the very near future. On a positive note, Atkins have confirmed that the track system being brought forward is from a very well established company in the field of track components (Pandrol) and that they will be able to supply whatever vibration attenuation measures that the contractor specifies.

As well as addressing the specific questions raised by Prof. Thompson, we have also asked Atkins to confirm whether, taking a conservative approach, there are any instances where vibration would exceed the design standards specified under the contract, I am hopeful they will be able to provide a definitive answer to this once they are in receipt of all the design information. We have also asked them to set out and explain the standards adopted by the project.

With regards to ground borne noise it is common on light rail/tramways not to state limits as the GBN contribution is likely to be insignificant in comparison to the air-borne noise contribution for which limits are specified in the contract. We have however asked Atkins to research other light rail schemes to confirm this point and to also discuss the matter with the contractor and the contractors design team. The purpose of this is to provide greater certainty for people whose properties are close to the line and have concerns about ground borne noise levels. This will be included in the Atkins report.

LCCC January 2021 minutes

Meeting highlights

  • death of John Hein, resignation of John Tibbitt, co-option of Lucy Watters
  • Planning: Dryden St area, Bonnington area
  • various governance matters
  • LCCC response to Public Spaces Management Plan
  • Transport & clean streets: spaces for people, tram-works
  • Licensing: various matters

Minutes of Leith Central Community Council ordinary meeting, held via MS Teams, on Monday 18 January 2021 at 7:00pm

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

1 Welcome, apologies

1.a Attendees

  • LCCC voting members: Jack Caldwell, Alan Dudley, Charlotte Encombe, Nick Gardner, Sheila Kennedy, Ian Mowat,
Harald Tobermann, Lucy Watters, John Wilkinson,
Amy Woodgate
  • LCCC ex-officio and non-voting members: Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan (Leith Walk ward), Bruce Ryan (minutes secretary)
  • Others: Michael Trail (all Leith Links CC), Alan McIntosh (The Spurtle), 6 other residents/visitors

1.b Apologies

Pierre Forissier (Leith Central CC), Cllr Susan Rae (Leith Walk ward)

2 Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies

2.a to note: declarations of interest in any items on the agenda

A resident: I have an interest in item 6.c below, due to my co-authorship of the relevant Edinburgh Design Panel report.

2.b to note: J Hein’s death (24/12/20)

The chair noted John Hein’s service on LCCC (~12 years), including a long spell as chair, and that he will be sorely missed.

2.c to note: J Tibbitt resignation (7/1/21)

The chair noted that John Tibbett has now moved out of Edinburgh and so has to resign from LCCC. He probably also has to resign as chair of the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils.

2.d to agree: to notify CEC of the above changes

The chair noted that Lucy Watters is standing for co-option to LCCC.

  • Decision: L Watters was co-opted nem con
  • Action: B Ryan to remind LCCC office-bearers of the requirements for co-option
  • Action: chair to notify CEC of these changes.

2.e to agree: order of business below

Decision: agreed nem con

3 Approval of Minutes of 16 November 2020 meeting

Approved as is (proposed A Woodgate, seconded S Kennedy)

4 Matters Arising from previous minutes (and not included on agenda below)

Item 6a:

  • F Gerlach has resigned from LCCC.
  • Action: A Dudley’s committee roles to be discussed when he is present. (He joined the meeting after this point.)

5 Community Police Officer’s Report

No report provided

6 Planning

6.a to note: restrictions to CEC posting physical planning notifications

H Tobermann: the posting of physical planning notifications has been suspended by CEC, so fewer people may learn of proposed developments.

6.b to agree: to write to CEC and developers deploring deterioration of listed Dryden Street buildings, poor maintenance of Dryden Bridge footpath and damage to bridge

H Tobermann: this is about the old tram sheds to the rear of the Shrub Place site. 2 red brick buildings, one of which was of very fine quality, are badly deteriorating due to negligence by the developers. (They are actually obliged to look after the buildings.) Similarly, the developers have not maintained the Dryden Bridge footpath, so that it is badly dented, water-logged and collecting debris, and have blocked it such that it does not permit coronavirus-related physical distancing.

  • Action: H Tobermann to write to CEC and the developer

6.c to note: update on latest Platform/Bonnington plans (20/01932/FUL) and deadline for comments (23-01-21)

  • J Wilkinson: We recently met with Platform, who have made changes to their plans. Changes include taking planned buildings further back from the Water of Leith (WoL), adding more greenery, reducing some planned building-heights, and redesigning planned rooflines to resemble older industrial buildings. The Biscuit Factory would be retained, as would the building opposite it, so the new buildings will be around them. Some retail units would be created on Bonnington Rd, and construction would be finished around 2024. Affordable housing would be ‘pepper-potted’ around the estate, and Platform would manage the finished development.
  • J Wilkinson: the developers assume that residents will be in their late 20s to early 30s, mostly not owning cars.
  • I Mowat: I welcome the plan to retain the Biscuit Factory as a community asset/hub.
  • H Tobermann: there are some related transport matters:
  • The proposed number of flats has been reduced from ~560 to 453. 1000 bike-parking spaces would be provided.
  • 8% on-site car-parking would be provided (down from originally-planned 15%). Some will have e-car charging facilities.
  • All of this is in the context of a forthcoming controlled parking zone (CPZ) in this area.
  • H Tobermann: none of the above is a done deal – the application will go to CEC committee in February 2021, so the deadline for comments is 23 January. LCCC Planning committee welcomes the reductions in height and number of flats, and the increased space between the flats and WoL, but it is slightly concerned about the CPZ potentially not being in place in time – it suggests that establishment of the CPZ should be part of the planning conditions required by CEC. It welcomes the ‘pepper-potting’ of affordable housing, but is concerned that they will be truly affordable – there should be transparency around rental prices.
  • H Tobermann: construction would start in December 2021 at the earliest, lasting for ~30 months. No flats will be released until the development is complete, a factor LCCC Planning welcomes.
  • Action: H Tobermann to submit comment that the new plans are broadly acceptable, so long as the above concerns are met

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

Action: P Forissier to brief H Tobermann about other planning matters

7 LCCC Governance and Office Bearers’ reports

7.a to note: need for updated publication policy and procedures (website, Twitter, Facebook), learning from recent ‘social’ media issues

The chair recalled adverse online reactions to LCCC social media commemorations of John Hein, due to some of his activities outwith his LCCC work.

  • A Woodgate: comms team has been working to learn from this, e.g. not always auto-tweeting/auto-face-booking new blog posts.
  • Action: LCCC comms team to learn from this, and devise a comms policy. Currently it is concentrating on implementing MS Teams, which has taken more time than anticipated.

7.b to note: verbal report on webinar Scottish Open Government: Delivering on the Scottish Government’s Programme of Reforms

J Wilkinson: I attended this event, organised by MacKay Hannah and chaired by Richard Kerley of QMU. Speakers included:

J Wilkinson: The main benefit of this event was increased awareness of what is being done in such areas, and by whom.

Chair: I urge LCCC members to attend and get involved with such events and happenings – they affect us!

7.c to note: Office Bearers’ decision to set up Clydesdale Internet Banking (T&Cs) and IT spend (MS Teams)

I Mowat: this internet banking has been set up, but there are some issues about the email addresses to be used to do it. Costs per transaction are significantly less than costs for posting cheques, although such costs are very minor.

7.d to note: Treasurer’s report

See item 7c above

7.e to note: reports from other Office Bearers and LCCC groups

7.e.i Chair

  • C Encombe: I attended the Cockburn Association’s (CA) lecture on development of the Edinburgh Festival: the balance around commercial enterprise is now out of kilter, because (after it was found that money could be made) hotel organisations and airports were invited to join in. LCCC members are encouraged to attend CA events.
  • Cllr McNeese-Mechan: this is the opinion of one organization. Other data strongly suggests that the majority of Edinburgh’s population are positive towards Edinburgh’s festivals. (I understand that many of these do not have the Festival ‘on their doorsteps’.) Also the festivals are a huge employment source, which is very important considering current financial challenges to public finances. Hence the question is ‘how do we build back better?’, focusing on environmental stability – including transport and holiday-making (and ‘green payback’). Such questions have been important to festival boards before coronavirus. Performers need to earn in order to eat.
  • C Encombe: it has been found that 70-80% of the local population enjoy the Science Festival, but the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) attracts only 15 to 20% of Edinburgh’s population, so it is right to look at how much of this is for Edinburgh.
  • Cllr M-M: understood – for example opera has a relatively small market. However the free EIF events have mass draw. It is right to understand how statistics are derived.

7.f to note: update on LCCC representation on outside bodies

H Tobermann: Now J Tibbett has resigned from LCCCC, LCCC no longer has a direct link with Edinburgh Association of CCs.

  • Action: LCCC to discuss this matter – and the Festivals – at a later meeting – or possibly in a separate Teams meeting.

8 Parks & Green Spaces

8.a to note: Draft Submission to Public Space Management Consultation and deadline for comments (20-01-2021)

  • N Gardner: LCCC would prefer large events to be held on durable surfaces, and that maximum areas of parks (~20%) be used for events. CEC should aim for better financial details, e.g. taking a minimum %age of events’ profits. CEC should avoid clashes with school holidays. CEC should be able to fine organisers if events cause damage. Many European cities, which are compact and have narrow streets like Edinburgh, stretch their street markets across the cities.
  • J Caldwell: the submission should also mention population density
  • B Ryan: NTBCC has drafted a comprehensive submission, including comments on governance – I can ask them to forward a copy to NG in case this helps the final submission.
  • Action: N Gardner to update, then submit, LCCC’s response

8.b to note: verbal update on Powderhall Railway Path

H Tobermann: CEC obtained funds for a feasibility study, and Jacobs has done some work on this. However, the lead CEC officer has been working on Spaces for People matters. Also Network Rail has not been very forthcoming. The report is now promised ‘soon’, but no firm date has been given.

8.c to note: Friends of Pilrig Park report

J Wilkinson: FoPP’s AGM is due soon.

8.d to note: other Park Friend’s reports

  • S Kennedy: the state of parks (including Montgomery St park) is poor due to much additional use, and discarded masks.
  • N Gardner: clean-ups are difficult due to need for physical distancing.
  • L Watters: I have started a campaign to support community litter-pickers, including taking ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. There is currently insufficient bin-collection, and hence increased concern.

9 Transport & Clean Streets

9.a to agree: joint email with NTBCC regarding SfP measures (one-sided cyclepath) on London Road and CEC’s ability to maintain these new spaces adequately (snow/ice)

H Tobermann. NTBCC’s transport convenor has approached me about joint work on this. The proposed cycle-path would be one-way only, and not tied into other cycle-paths. Additional snow- and litter-clearance may be hampered by bollards. The island on London Rd does not support physical difference, but is not covered by Spaces for People. London Rd is the boundary between LCCC and NTBCC, hence the call for joint action.

  • Action: H Tobermann to undertake such joint work with NTBCC

9.b to note: verbal update on tram works and final overall impact on LCCC area

H Tobermann: coronavirus regulations permitted restart of construction after the holiday. But at least 8 street-lights were non-functional during the holidays, in part because the CEC lighting team can’t easily access Leith Walk due to tram-work related impedimenta, leading to long periods of darkness. There have also been issues around bin-emptying and information-provision.

Action: These will be raised at the next CCTT/Trams-team meeting, and via other channels.

9.b.i to note: any issues that have arisen for local residents or businesses that have not been dealt with satisfactorily by the Tram Project Team

S Kennedy: the new bins on Albert St are disgusting. What can be done?

H Tobermann: CEC committed to cleaning the whole area each night, but is currently achieving ~3/4 of this, leading to overflow and other knock-on effects.

  • Action: H Tobermann to add this detail to communications with Trams Team and CEC

9.c to note: any other Transport & Clean Street matters relevant to LCCC area

none

10 Licensing

S Kennedy: LCCC has responded to ~5 licensing requests for cafés to start alcohol off-sales with food, recommending against this. Another 3 have now been received.

  • A Woodgate: this may be so that cafés can sell via Just Eat, Deliveroo etc.
  • B Ryan: some pubs’ off-sales in the NTBCC area have caused problems due to people congregating after buying.
  • L Watters: I thought this practice had been banned, so it’s surprising that cafés are applying to do off-sales.
  • M Traill: consumption of alcohol in public spaces is currently prohibited in tier 4 areas. Purchasing is still permitted.

There was discussion of delegation of action to LCCC Licensing committee – often there is insufficient time for requests to be discussed at LCCC meetings, due to deadlines for submission to the Licensing Board (which is sitting online).

  • Action: LCCC Licensing committee to circulate its submissions to LCCC members, possibly after submission

11 Open Forum

11.a LeithChooses

J Caldwell: LeithChooses voting opens online at LeithChooses.net on Monday 25 January, closing Sunday 31 January. Anyone who lives, works, studies or volunteers in Leith can vote.

  • Action: B Ryan to email details to LCCC members

12 AOCB

12.a Food growing strategy

  • N Gardner: I have submitted, on behalf of LCCC, to CEC’s food-growing strategy consultation. (Closing date was today.) The submission favours raised beds, growing (in private gardens) and sharing (with the community). It would be helpful if CEC sets up a scheme to collect and share such food. Indoor markets need storage facilities to be viable, and cooking facilities. Food-growing would benefit from better integration with planning processes.
  • A resident: the strategy is a city-wide initiative, required under community empowerment legislation. CEC’s consultation avoided the topic of using private gardens to grow food, because this may infringe civil liberties. The strategy would touch on food-poverty, climate change etc. Hence the theme of ‘growing local’. I have mentioned the planning system in my response to the consultation.
  • A McIntosh: Over the last two years, the Spurtle has covered a charity managing back greens to grow food when the owners could not do this. I will share this link with N Gardner.
  • L Watters: this would be of interest to the Edinburgh Edible Economy movement – please share this submission.
  • Action: NG to circulate his submission to LCCC members

12.b Leith Forever

Chair: I encourage LCCC members and followers to visit Leith Forever – it’s full of interesting information

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

13.a to note: 2021: 15 February, 15 March, 19 April, 17 May (AGM)

13.b to note: future presentations and charrettes

13.b.i tbc: talk by CEC Archeology Officer and FCA on findings at 70, 72 Newhaven Road (17/01183/FUL)

Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 26 November 2020

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting
(Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 26 November 2020 at 5:30pm Continue reading

Free transport for people with mobility challenges to their vaccine appointment

An offer from Handicabs. LCCC is forwarding the below for information, not as a recommendation.

HcL are delighted to share that we are offering FREE transport for people with mobility challenges to get their vaccine.

Please note:

  • You do not need to be registered with HcL already.
  • Any person who has challenges with getting out and about due to age, disability, heath issues (short-term or long-term), additional support needs or geographic remoteness is eligible to use the service.
  • Bookings are subject to availability so call the relevant office as soon as you have your appointment and we will do our very best to help get you to your appointment and home safely.

West Lothian – 01506 633953

Edinburgh / Midlothian / East Lothian – 0131 447 9949

Just give either office a call to book.

But please note that transport cannot be offered to those with coronavirus symptoms. See https://www.hcltransport.org.uk

LCCC January 2021 meeting agenda

  1. Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies (19:00)
    1. to note: declarations of interest in any items on the agenda
    2. to note: J Hein’s death (24/12/20)
    3. to note: A Tibbitt resignation (7/1/21)
    4. to agree: to notify CEC of the above changes
    5. to agree: order of business below
  2. Approval of Minutes of 16 November 2020 meeting (19:05)
  3. Matters Arising from previous minutes (and not included on agenda below) (19:10)
  4. Community Police Officer’s Report (19:12)
  5. Planning (1917)
    1. to note: restrictions to CEC posting physical planning notifications
    2. to agree: to write to CEC and developers deplorring deterioration of listed Dryden Street buildings, poor maintenance of Dryden Bridge footpath and damage to bridge
    3. to note: update on latest Platform/Bonnington plans  (20/01932/FUL) and deadline for comments (23-01-21)
    4. to note: any other Planning matters relevant to LCCC area
  6. LCCC Governance and Office Bearers’ reports (19:37)
    1. to note: need for updated publication policy and procedures (website, twitter, facebook), learning from recent ‘social’ media issues
    2. to note: verbal report on webinar Scottish Open Government: Delivering on the Scottish Government’s Programme of Reforms
    3. to note: Office Bearers’ decision to set up Clydesdale Internet Banking (T&Cs) and IT spend (MS Teams)
    4. to note: Treasurer’s report
    5. to note: reports from other Office Bearers and LCCC groups
    6. to: note: update on LCCC representation on outside bodies
  7. Parks & Green Spaces (20:00)
    1. to note: Draft Submission to Public Space Management Consultation and deadline for comments (20-01-21)
    2. to note: verbal update  on Powderhall Railway Path
    3. to note: Friends of Pilrig Park report
    4. to note: other Park Friend’s reports
  8. Transport & Clean Streets (20:05)
    1. to agree: joint email with NTBCC regarding SfP measures (one-sided cyclepath) on London Road and CEC’s ability to maintain these new spaces adequately (snow/ice)
    2. to note: verbal update on tram works and final overall impact on LCCC area
      1. to note: any issues that have arisen for local residents or businesses that have not been dealt with satisfactorily by the Tram Project Team
    3. to note: any other Transport & Clean Street matters relevant to LCCC area
  9. Licensing (20:15)
  10. Open Forum[1]
  11. AOCB[2]
  12. Future Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations
    1. to note: 2021: 2021, 15 February, 15 March, 19 April, 17 May (AGM)
    2. to note: future presentations and charrettes
      1. tbc: talk by CEC Archeology Officer and FCA on findings at 70, 72 Newhaven Road (17/01183/FUL)

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

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

Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 29 October 2020

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting (Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 29 October 2020 at 5:30pm Continue reading

Supporting working carers in your workplace

VOCAL is marking Carers Rights Day, next Thursday 26th November 2020, with a special event/workshop aimed at supporting employers and line managers to set up internal carer support networks in their own organisations.

Since the Coronavirus there has been a steady increase in the number of people caring for someone else, with many now struggling to balance this unpaid caring role with their employment responsibilities. This free workshop is suitable for managers and supervisors in any workplace including public sector services.

Standard Life and Carers Scotland, in partnership with VOCAL, will deliver this free online workshop, sharing experiences and best practice of supporting carers at work, and linking you to other services and external support.

To find out more and book your place on this free workshop, please go to our Eventbrite Supporting Working Carers page.

For more information please contact Hayley Burton at VOCAL on hburton@vocal.org.uk.

LCCC’s web-weaver apologies for the delay in posting this.

Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 01 October 2020

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting
(Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 1 October 2020 at 5:30pm Continue reading