Category Archives: Uncategorized

More Covid community testing at McDonald Road Library this week

On top of the permenant test centre (for people with symptoms) at Leith Library, as well as the drop-in vaccine clinics at St James Quarter, the EICC and Leith Community Health Centre (details), authorities have set up another testing hub at McDonald Road Library. Here is the latest alert from them with all the details;

Regular testing for people with no COVID-19 symptoms is one of the ways we can all help keep people safe and stop the spread new variants in Edinburgh. Infection rates are high across Edinburgh, so we’re urging people to keep testing, even if they’ve been vaccinated.  People with no COVID-19 symptoms can come along for a test at:

  • Wester Hailes Library from Monday 23 August to Saturday 11 September (closed Sundays)
  • McDonald Road Library from Monday 9 August to Saturday 28 August (closed Sundays)
  • Blackhall Library, Monday 30 August to Saturday 11 September (closed Sundays)
  • Blackhall Mosque,1 House O’Hill Road, EH4 2AJ from Monday 23 to Thursday 26 August 9.30am to 4pm. 
  • Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, EH2 2LR from Saturday 21 August to Saturday 28 August (closed Sunday) 9.30am to 5pm
  • Tumbles/Power League car park, 20 Westbank Street, Portobello EH15 1DR from Friday 20 August to Sunday 29 August 9.30am to 5pm
  • Craigmillar Medical Practice, 106 Niddrie Mains Rd, Edinburgh EH16 4DT, from Monday 23 August to Saturday 28 August, 10.00am to 5.30pm and Sunday 29 August, 9.30am to 5pm
  • South East locality office, 40 Captain’s Road, Edinburgh, EH17 8QF, from Monday 23 August to Saturday 29 August, 10am to 5.30pm and Sunday 29 August, 9.30am to 5pm

We’re open from 9am to 6pm unless stated above and there’s no need to book. You can also pick up home testing kits from our centres at libraries. Testing is free, fast and safe. It will only take around 15 minutes to take the test and 45 minutes for people to be sent their results.  If you can’t get to the library, you can order free rapid lateral flow test kits onlineor by phoning the National Testing Centre on 119.   Almost 1 in 3 people infected with Covid-19 don’t have any of the usual symptoms but are potentially passing on the virus unknowingly to family, friends and others in the community. By getting tested people can find out if they are positive and self-isolate at home to stop spreading the virus to others. People who have been vaccinated are also encouraged to take a test as they may still carry the virus. 

You can find out more about community testing on our web pages at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/communitytesting

Bonfire night – advice from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has published a fire-safety leaflet for 5 November. Please read the full leaflet but here is the section on ‘bonfire safety’:

  • Never drink alcohol if you are tending a bonfire or setting off fireworks – remember it is an offence to consume alcohol in a public place.
  • To reduce the emission of harmful smoke and combustion products bonfires should comprise of untreated wood and paper based materials only.
  • There is a danger of explosion from pressurised containers or sealed vessels amongst bonfire material or irresponsibly thrown on burning bonfires.
  • Never throw fireworks on bonfires.
  • Never use flammable liquids to ignite bonfires – use proprietary fire lighters.
  • Smoke from bonfires must not pose a public nuisance, affect visibility on roads or otherwise inconvenience vehicular traffic.
  • Sparks, flying embers or burning debris must not endanger nearby property.
  • Never leave a burning/smouldering bonfire unsupervised – make sure it is completely extinguished.

And on disposal of fireworks

  • After your display used fireworks should be disposed of by soaking for a least a few hours in water before placing in a plastic bag then disposing of the soaked, bagged fireworks in your outdoor general refuse bin.
  • If you have any fireworks which did not work, do not return to them till after your display has finished. At the end of the display the faulty fireworks should also be soaked, bagged and binned.

Webinar on Reallocating Road Space for Walking and Cycling During Covid-19

(copied from an email from the Improvement Service)

Planning for Place programme have asked us to make you aware of an upcoming webinar on Reallocating Road Space for Walking and Cycling During Covid-19.  Facilitated by Irene Beautyman, Place Lead at the Improvement Service, the webinar will be of particular value to council officers, elected members, community groups and all interested in pursuing the role of place as an enabler of healthier lives.

The online event is open to all those with an interest in facilitating active travel during the Covid-19 lockdown and in enabling safer conditions for walking and cycling.

Here is the link to sign up to the webinar: https://www.improvementservice.org.uk/events/reallocating-road-space-for-walking-and-cycling-during-covid-19

Parks and Greenspace update (31 March)

(adapted from an email sent to LCCC on 31 March 2020)

Here are a couple of briefing notes that have been issued regarding the measures the Parks and Greenspace Service are putting in to place to help contain the spread of Coronavirus.

  • The first one details the general approach for all our parks and greenspaces across the city
  • The second regards those details specific to the Pentland Hills Regional Park.

All events that were scheduled to take place in April and May in a park have been either postponed or cancelled. CEC will keep you informed when any guidance is issued for those booked in June, July and August.

Obviously as time goes on litter/bins and things relating to health and safety in some parks may become issue’s. Can those who are not in self-isolation and who are taking their daily exercise in parks please keep their eyes out for any problems and report them via https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/report

There are still some Parks Officers, Rangers, Forestry, and others from Greenspace along with the Waste teams, still on the ground and inspecting parks and emptying bins. However, with so many areas for them to monitor, it’s taking a little longer than usual. So if we can alert them to serious problems in specific areas these can be prioritised appropriately.

Please just let me know if you need any further information.

Sarah Murphy
Senior Programmes Officer
Parks, Greenspace and Cemeteries
Level 3.1, Waverley Court
4 East Market Street
Edinburgh, EH8 8BG
Tel: 0131 529 7955
Sarah.Murphy@edinburgh.gov.uk

Place Brief for the site between Leith Walk & Halmyre Street: LCCC’s consultation response

15 February 2020

Background

On 11 March 2019, LCCC called for formal planning guidance from CEC for the sites on both sides of lower Leith Walk (‘Stead’s Place’ and the site opposite, framed by Leith Walk at the old tram depot site to Manderston and Halmyre). On 25 March 2019, Neil Gardiner, CEC’s Planning Convener, responded: ‘There is considerable merit in your suggestion to prepare guidance in relation to the Stead’s Place site and also cover neighbouring development opportunities, for example land on the opposite side of Leith Walk. The preparation of a Place Brief would provide the opportunity for the local community to come together with landowners/ developers to discuss development options, aspirations and concerns across a number of development sites.’

In early 2020, CEC started work on a Place Brief for the area between Leith Walk and Halmyre Street in the form public workshops and an online consultation.

Key elements and characteristics of the emerging Place Brief 

In view of the prominent location of both sites – east and west of Leith Walk, between Stead’s Place and Jane Street, and Manderson Street, Halmyre Street Smith Place respectively – Leith Central Community Council welcomes a Place Brief that guides future development in this area in a way that is sensitive to the surrounding urban fabric that is home and workplace of a strong community. Leith Central Community Council is conscious that the latter is vital to sustain the existing high density of the area. Given the size of both sites, insensitive or inappropriate ‘insertions’ would undermine this strength and should therefore be ruled out by the Place Brief. 

At the same time, the Place Brief is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve East-West and North-South permeability and to provide a step-change in health provision and much needed social and truly affordable housing.

The following elements should be part of the Place Brief:

  1. Manderston Street and its railway arches should be part of the Brief, as well as former Tram Depot office building (165 Leith Walk) and the ‘Stead’s Place’ shop frontage with the warehouses behind.
  2. The effects of any future development on the Conservation Area and all listed buildings surrounding the site should be acknowledged. In particular, the 2-storey ‘Stead’s Place’ shop frontage needs to be a key element of any future development, as acknowledged by the DPEA appeal decision.
  3. The provision for truly affordable housing for rent and to buy, including social and council housing, should be made a priority to tackle homelessness and overcrowding.
  4. This part of Leith has an active local economy giving opportunities to access good quality work. A mixture of affordable residential, industrial, commercial and retail options is essential to protect a vibrant and lively Leith Walk as a place where people live and work.
  5. High quality pedestrian, and where possible, cycle routes through both sites – both north-south and east-west – should be designed in from the outset.
  6. Recognising the existing diversity of uses, there should be no single dominant use.
  7. Sensitive and diverse architectural styles should be at the heart of the future design.   
  8. No overly massive design should be allowed; scale and density must be in tune with existing buildings surrounding the sites.
  9. Considering the size of the site, the future developments should create an attractive series of places rather than one place.
  10. Design features should complement existing styles while contributing to the existing eclectic character of this part of Leith Walk.
  11. Outstanding precedents like the award winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich and Leith Fort should inspire the Place Brief.
  12. The inclusion of significant greenspace should be an essential part of the Place Brief.
  13. Developer’s contributions should be ring fenced for community agreed projects.
  14. Cultural and social spaces should be considered a priority for future community development. 
  15. There is a range of spaces and opportunities to meet for the elderly and vulnerable people but many are at risk, like the Bingo Hall. 
  16. Serious consideration needs to be given to the relocation of the outdated NHS facilities at Allander and Inchkeith House to a purpose-built health centre on the West side with ‘walk-in access through one of the retained shop frontages. The existing – refurbished – buildings would lend themselves to retail or community use at ground level with residential accommodation above.