One of Leith Central Community Council’s main remits is to ensure residents in the area know what’s going on. The large volume of works across the Leith Central area has meant we’ve put extra focus in ensuring information is getting relayed. This has included having several developers in to present building work proposals to the community, such as at the site of the soon-to-close John Lewis depot in Bonnington and Student Accomodation along Leith Walk. We’ve also hosted various public meetings regarding national items of interest, such as Scottish Government Planning Reform, which was presented by Ben Macpherson, our MSP for Edinburgh Northern and Leith.
Lastly, we’ve held discussions with Leith Walk and Leith Street contractors on multiple occasions to learn more about upcoming works and feed back into the plans. Several times, this has also resulted in some members going on walking tours with the contractor to inspect completed works, such as those in Pilrig Street.
When the 2017 snap General Election was called, we invited all five candidates to the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street for a live elections hustings – an opportunity for the community to hear candidates’ views on various issues and policies. This was chaired by Port of Leith Housing Associations’ Keith Anderson.
We are taking part in the newly launched ‘Leith Chooses’ alongside ‘Leith Harbour Community Council’ and ‘Leith Links Community Council’. Similar to last year’s Leith Decides, this one-day event in 2018 will give everyone in Leith a chance to vote for funding to organisations, injecting local democracy into public spending.
We were in favour the proposed community buyout of London Road Church, which was sold by the Church of Scotland. We campaigned alongside In:Spire, the steering group of local residents who were interested in turning the church into a community centre, with some members of our Community Council knocking on doors in the evening to get supporting signatures. Unfortunately, despite massing 15% of signatures of support from local residents, the final application was declined by the Scottish Government.
Lastly, we ran successful small-scale campaigns, such as a campaign to keep the Royal Mail Postbox in Montgomery Street open.
Most importantly, LCCC is a forum which allows residents, business-owners, police, the third sector and elected representatives to discuss the area. Thank you to all of those who have taken part in 2017, and we look forward to working with everyone in 2018 and beyond!