Tag Archives: Scottish Government

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)

Notification of major gas replacement works: York Road area Edinburgh – 17 August

Although outside of our area, those close to or due to travel in the York Road area on 17th August may be interested in this gas works notice.

(adapted from an email from SGN)

I’m writing to you to make you aware of our upcoming project to upgrade our gas network in the York Road area of Edinburgh. This project involves us replacing our existing gas mains with new plastic pipe.

Our essential work will ensure the local community receives a continued safe and reliable gas supply for many years to come. We’re working closely with Scottish Government to make sure we carry out our project in line with all current coronavirus safety guidance. We shouldn’t need to interrupt gas supplies to homes or businesses, and our engineers won’t be calling at residents’ homes, unless it’s an emergency.

We’re looking to start work in the York Road area of Edinburgh on Monday the 17 August and our project will last approximately four weeks.

We are required to remove a small section of pipe at the junction with East Trinity Road. During this project and due to the location of the pipe it will be necessary to close York Road at its junction with East Trinity Road. Local diversions will be in place during this time. To help carryout these essential works parking suspensions will be in operation and there will also be a requirement for temporary traffic signals.

We have extra safety precautions in place to protect our colleagues and our communities from the virus. Our colleagues will be keeping to social distancing guidelines on our sites and we’d ask communities to keep their distance too. There’s more information about our coronavirus response on our website: sgn.co.uk/coronavirus

I’m also writing to local stakeholders to make them aware of our project. Please feel free to also share this information with anyone you think may be impacted by our project.

If you have any specific enquiries about this project, please call us on 0800 912 1700 and our customer service team will be happy to help.

Thank you for your support during these challenging times and if there’s anything else you need please let me know.

Kind regards

Caroline Lawrie, Stakeholder and Community Manager
T: +44 (0)131 469 1701 (: 31701)
M: +44 (0)7747 7577 99
E:
caroline.lawrie@sgn.co.uk
SGN, Axis House, 5 Lonehead Drive, Newbridge, Edinburgh,EH28 8TG
sgn.co.uk

Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 25 June 2020

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting
(Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 25 June 2020 at 5:30pm Continue reading

No short-term lets in tenements for now

From Scottish Government guidance on ‘self-contained holiday accommodation’, and following from this post:

Most self-contained holiday accommodation, including fully self-catering accommodation, holiday homes/second homes and caravan and campervan parks can open from 3 July on the condition that the only accommodation provided/allowed are fully self-contained units with no shared facilities between households. For the avoidance of doubt shared facilities include entrance hallways, stairs and landings. Properties that are accessed via a common entrance cannot therefore reopen at this point.

Source: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-caravan-sites-and-holiday-parks/

Trams to Newhaven newsletter, 19 June 2020

Unfortunately, the newsletter was not published with a link to a version viewable in a browser. LCCC has replicated the text and links in the newsletter, for the information of its online followers.
Continue reading

LCCC May 2020 minutes

Due to the limitations of online meetings, we are only recording those who were present at or sent apologies for such meetings.

This meeting was for members only, so any decision recorded below may not be binding. Similarly, the LCCC June meeting may not have been empowered to approve the minutes below.

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held via Zoom on Monday 18 May 2020 at 7:00pm

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

Main construction start – Trams to Newhaven

(Copied from an email from Trams to Newhaven)

The main construction works for the Edinburgh’s Trams to Newhaven project will start from Monday 15 June 2020 in line with the Scottish Government’s Phase 2 ‘soft start to site works (only where physical distancing can be maintained).

Work on the project was stopped at the end of March to comply with Government guidance and to protect the safety of workers and residents during the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the First Minister’s announcement on 21 May of a phased return for construction sites, plans have been drawn up in line with Scottish Government safety guidelines and industry best practice to ensure the safety of workers and the public. At the briefing on 28 May the First Minister confirmed that site preparation could begin and, following the announcement today, main construction works can now start. This will encompass the existing sites on Lindsay Road, Melrose Drive and Constitution Street which will start from Monday 15 June. In addition, main construction works on Leith Walk from Elm Row to Crown Place will start on Monday 22 June.

In advance of this some preparatory works on Leith Walk will start on Monday 15 June 2020 ahead of the installation of traffic management which will begin on the evening of Friday 19 June and be operational from 5am on Saturday 20 June 2020 including Lothian Bus diversions. All traffic management arrangements are made in consultation with key partners in the city, including blue light services and public transport providers, through the Traffic Management Review Panel and are continuously monitored and reviewed to ensure they work as effectively as possible.

All works will be carried out through physical distancing and additional measures to protect workers’ health will include daily briefings, continuous on-site inspections and health and safety ‘ambassadors.’ The numbers of workers on-site will be kept to a minimum and a large proportion of the project office staff will continue to work from home. While physical distancing will be a key principle of construction working, workers will also have access to personal protection equipment (PPE) which they may choose to wear as an additional precaution if they wish. It should be noted that it may take time for the sites to become fully operational.

The logistic hubs at the Mitchell Street, Foot of the Walk, Dalmeny Street, Albert Street and Montgomery Street will re-open on Monday 22 June to support local businesses with deliveries and despatches. All communal bins that are currently situated on Leith Walk will be moved to the side streets.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Chris Wilson

For information

The Scottish Government’s phased approach to construction details six key phases to ensure work is carried out in a safe way. These are:

  • Phase 0: Planning
  • Phase 1: Covid-19 Pre-start Site preparation
  • Phase 2: ‘Soft start’ to site works (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 3: Steady state operation (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 4: Steady state operation (where physical distancing can be maintained and/or with PPE use)
  • Phase 5: Increasing density/productivity with experience

Site preparation start – Trams to Newhaven

From an email from Trams to Newhaven

Construction site preparation works for the Edinburgh’s Trams to Newhaven project will start on Monday, 1 June 2020 in line with the Scottish Government’s Phase 1 pre-start site preparation.

Work on the project was stopped at the end of March to comply with Government guidance and to protect the safety of workers and residents during the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the First Minister’s announcement on 21 May of a phased return for construction sites, plans have been drawn up in line with Scottish Government safety guidelines and industry best practice to ensure the safety of workers and the public. At the briefing on 28 May the First Minister confirmed that site preparation could begin.

In advance of the main work beginning, works to prepare construction sites and project offices will include the introduction of infection control stations, additional water stations and toilet facilities for workers within the site and in the project office, and ensuring all office workspaces and facilities are set up appropriately. Other works on site will include the removal of the protective in-fill material that was used to ensure the work site remained safe and protected during the shutdown.

Measures to protect workers’ health will include daily briefings, continuous on-site inspections and health and safety ‘ambassadors.’ The numbers of workers on-site will be kept to a minimum and the majority of project office staff will continue to work from home.

Once the construction industry is given the approval to move to Phase 2, works on the existing sites will recommence and the Leith Walk construction site will be established as planned prior to site shutdown.

Any commencement of main works will be subject to the Scottish Government giving approval to move to Phase 2 of their construction guidelines which states: ‘soft start to site works (only where physical distancing can be maintained)’.

The project team has been working on plans to mitigate the impact of the enforced shutdown as a result of COVID 19 on the programme and budget. Despite the current circumstances the project continues to operate within its £207·3m budget. The project is paid for by borrowing monies that are repaid over a 30-year period through future revenues from customers.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in contact

Regards

Chris Wilson

For information

The Scottish Government’s phased approach to construction details six key phases to ensure work is carried out in a safe way. These are:

  • Phase 0: Planning
  • Phase 1: Covid-19 Pre-start Site preparation
  • Phase 2: ‘Soft start’ to site works (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 3: Steady state operation (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 4: Steady state operation (where physical distancing can be maintained and/or with PPE use)
  • Phase 5: Increasing density/productivity with experience

Active travel update

On Friday, the Council launched a campaign encouraging everyone to be considerate of other people and follow Scottish Government guidance when enjoying their outdoor exercise and travel.

The press release which was published on Friday can be found here.

Increase in people using off-road paths and parks

Since restrictions were introduced to help manage the coronavirus outbreak, there’s been an increase in people using the city’s network of paths, as well as parks, as part of their daily exercise and for travelling to work or local amenities – with up to five times their normal use.

Data up to week five of lockdown shows increases on the Union Canal towpath, with 17% growth in pedestrian numbers at Harrison Park, whilst cycling numbers have grown by 76% at Wester Hailes. On the North Edinburgh Path Network at Rodney St, pedestrian numbers have grown by 14%, cycling numbers by 32%.  At certain times of the week, especially weekends, much bigger increases have been recorded.

While it’s great that the routes are popular and well-used, we want to make sure that everyone can undertake and enjoy their daily exercise and travel in safety and comfort.

Paths for everyone code of conduct

The campaign will direct people to the Paths for Everyone section of the Council’s webpages, where we hope to be able to display information such as busy routes/times, coming from our pedestrian/cycle counter data.  This aims to encourage people to use alternative routes if they can, or exercise at a less busy time.  Smarter Choices, Smarter Places funding for this project is gratefully received from Paths for All.

About the campaign

example of temporary signageTemporary signage (example on the right: click the thumbnail to see the full-size image) will be rolled out this week, starting on the active travel network entry points, and signage in the parks will follow.  We will be running a complementary social media campaign also, and we would really appreciate your support with sharing this content amongst your followers and networks.

Report issues

There might be local issues that you are aware of where additional signs may help. Please email your suggestions to spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Wishing you all the best and thank you in advance for your support with our campaign.

Kind regards,

Judith Cowie
‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ Programme Manager
Active Travel
Road Safety and Active Travel
Transport Networks, Place Development
The City of Edinburgh Council
Judith.cowie@edinburgh.gov.uk