Minutes of Leith Central Community Council ordinary meeting, held via MS Teams, on Monday 16 August 2021 at 7:00pm
Actions and decisions are red italic. nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.
1 Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies
- LCCC voting members: Jack Caldwell, Charlotte Encombe , Sheila Kennedy, Ian Mowat, Harald Tobermann, Lucy Watters
- LCCC ex-officio or non-voting members: Bruce Ryan (minutes secretary), Cllr Rob Munn, Susan Rae (both Leith Walk ward)
- Others: Alan McIntosh (Broughton Spurtle), ~5 residents and visitors
- Alan Dudley (LCCC), Pierre Forissier, Nick Gardner (LCCC), Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan (Leith Walk ward)
1.c to note: declarations of interest in any items on the agenda
1.d to agree: order of business below
agreed nem con
2 Approval of minutes of the ordinary LCCC meeting on 17 May 2021
- Approved as-is (proposed J Caldwell, seconded C Encombe, nem con)
- Action: June AGM minutes to be considered for accuracy in September meeting, even if this isn’t a formal approval
3 Matters arising from previous minutes (and not included on agenda below)
- Item 4.a.iv (pinch-point on Annandale St): J Caldwell has engaged with Trams team on this
- Item 11.a archaeology: C Encombe has notified CEC archaeologist that LCCC would like to hear more on recent findings.
4 Policing Matters
4.a to note: Community Police Officer’s Update
no police representative, no report
- Lack of police attendance for nearly 2 years was noted, yet police at least submit reports to other CCs
- S Kennedy: an Edina St resident has reported antisocial behaviour to the police, but has had no response.
- A resident: I have regular contact with a Newhaven-based police officer, who is responsive.
- Actions: resident and J Caldwell to forward police contact details to S Kennedy; SK to ask for at least a written report.
4.b to note: CEC’s award of contracts for IP video surveillance system and fibre network (F&R Committee, 12 August 2012)
Action: LCCC members to read documentation, then decide whether to discuss this further
5 Transport & Clean Streets
5.a to note: consultation on Edinburgh’s Proposed Low Emission Zone (deadline 20-09-21)
Action: LCCC members to read documentation
5.b to note: damage to road surface at Leopold Place due to diverted bus (prompted by tram works) – Leopold Place Residents
- A resident: I have been working with H Tobermann and NTBCC on this matter, which is causing much vibration to nearby buildings. We believe that vibration has been increased by tram-related traffic diversions, but this is not being considered seriously. How can this be resolved?
- Resident: we are on the boundary between CEC wards: the road is in City Centre ward, so we have contacted Cllrs Miller and Doran.
- H Tobermann: the resident’s house is in LCCC’s area yet the road is in NTBCC’s area. Also, neither the Tram Team (TT) nor CEC roads recognize this issue as their responsibility. Someone needs to own this problem.
- J Caldwell: Bellevue and Annandale residents have worked together on similar issues. I can put you in contact.
- Cllr Rae: these issues are widespread throughout our ward. We should work with TT on the general problem.
- Action: Cllrs Rae and Munn to pursue this with other relevant cllrs, CEC roads officers and trams team
5.c Trams to Newhaven
5.c.i to note: Tram Team’s proposals for much narrower pavements on Leith Walk, with c. 250m not meeting minimum in Edinburgh Street Design Guidance (ESDG)
- H Tobermann: giving space to public transport (i.e. trams) is understandable, as are car-, bus- and cycle-traffic. However, this narrowing does not seem right. It has only emerged this fortnight. Living Streets is pushing hard on this. Large-scale drawings have been available for some time, but these did not give enough detail to become aware of this issue. The table in the link was compiled by TT recently.
- There was some discussion/clarification of ESDG minima, and provision of cycle-paths.
- A resident: space is needed for walking, as we have been encouraged to do, social distancing, prams, wheelchairs etc. If cafes are going to have tables and chairs on pavements, pavements need to be widened.
- Action: CCTT to push this hard at this week’s CCTT/TT meeting
5.c.ii to note: any issues that have arisen for local residents or businesses that have not been dealt with satisfactorily by the Tram Project Team
- A resident: the tram route does not benefit and is not accessible to anyone not on its route, yet all residents pay for it.
- H Tobermann: no. According to the business case, it will be paid for from future revenue.
5.d to note: any other Transport & Clean Street matters relevant to LCCC area
5.d.i Controlled parking zones
- I Mowat: I learnt today that the next CEC transport and environment committee (TEC) meeting will consider approval of report receommending roll-out of phase 2 controlled parking zones (CPZs). In LCCC’s area, this includes Bonnington and West Leith. For Bonnington, on which LCCC commented, it is recommended to proceed. If would need to register any deputation on this tomorrow. There is some amelioration of concerns about Connaught Place. There is no recommendation for mews parking, despite residents strongly desiring this. There is no acknowledgement of LCCC’s representation – can local councilors reiterate it at the TEC meeting? It would be better if this decision was delayed another month so that residents have time to react to the report.
- Cllr Munn: these are good points. I have also commented on Connaught Place proposals, and raised other residents’ issues. LCCC’s submission has been acknowledged by CEC officers. Although I am not on TEC, I have met with its convenor today to raise issues. I can reiterate LCCC’s position to the TEC convenor.
- Action: IM to send LCCC’s submission to Cllr Munn
- S Kennedy: detailed plans for phase 1 are not yet available. Abbeyhill residents have also requested mews parking, but have received no response, and there is no information about this on CEC’s website. What are the regulations on mews parking? Do we need to wait for TROs for phase 1 to see the proposals? There has been better consultation about phase 2. We have also not seen bin-hub proposals – is it too late to request changes?
- Cllr Rae/I Mowat: only residents who have permits can parking in mews-parking areas. There are no permits for visitors. See https://consultprojectcentre.co.uk/parkingph3/widgets/20451/faqs#question6619.
5.d.ii Proposed on-street bin-hubs
- J Caldwell: CEC is consulting on a communal bin-review. Proposals for some areas have not yet been published, but people should watch this link.
- S Kennedy: there has only been a tiny notice in Abbeyhill about bin-changes, but details were promised. There are no
- C Encombe: bins, parking etc should be considered together.
5.d.iii Leopold Place and nearby bus-stops
- A resident: The Trams TRO implies removal of one of Leopold Place’s two bus-stops. A temporary bus-stop on lower Leopold Place has been tolerated by residents, who are concerned that the stop may be made permanent. How can suitable detail be obtained, and/or a deputation made?
- A resident: A bus-stop is preventing visibility of oncoming traffic at the Windsor St/London Rd junction. Tram-work has worsened this problem.
- Action: Cllrs Munn and Rae, which will continue after completion of tram-works, to raise these issues with CEC officers.
5.d.iv Just Eat hire-bikes and shelters for other bikes
- A resident: Just Eat hire-bike racks are empty and derelict, so do they have a point?
- C Encombe: it may be that bikes are simply elsewhere.
- J Caldwell: Just Eat bikes do not lock into racks, but are tracked by GPS. There was a problem with vandalism of racks. New racks – and dumped bikes – are now a trip-hazard.
- A resident: my street needs a shelter for parking private bikes, to avoid fire-hazards from bikes parked on stairs.
- J Caldwell: there is a plan to increase numbers of these shelters. I suggest contacting your local councillors.
6 LCCC Governance
6.a to agree: to resume future LCCC meetings at the Nelson Hall
- C Encombe: it is likely that LCCC can stream its meetings but not undertake online question sessions
- Action: B Ryan to report on his forthcoming experiences with hybrid CC meetings
- Action: B Ryan, J Caldwell, S Kennedy to experiment with streaming
- Decision: resumption was agreed (5 for, 1 against)
- It was later found that Nelson Hall will not be available for the foreseeable future.
6.b to note: update on handover of Teams admin
- J Caldwell: there have been no major challenges or bad behaviour so far. 2-factor authentication, passwords etc are appropriately available but safeguarded. Face-to-face meetings may imply less reliance on Teams.
- H Tobermann: J Caldwell, I and B Ryan have access to an online table of passwords etc. Members need to trust us.
- A resident: masks impede lip-reading.
- S Kennedy: transparent masks are of little help.
6.c to note: update on LCCC’s emerging communications protocol
Action: B Ryan to circulate current draft to all members for comment
6.d to note: response from Andrew Kerr regarding LCCC ex officio member and CEC ward councillor Lewis Ritchie
- H Tobermann/C Encombe: LCCC has effectively lost one of its 4 councillors
- Action: H Tobermann to complain to local government ombudsman about Cllr Ritchie’s behaviour
6.e to note: update on LCCC’s ex officio membership following recent Scottish parliamentary elections
- S Kennedy: I have emailed all our representatives, receiving thanks from most
6.f to note: arrangements for LCCC participation in Leith for Ever Event 18 Sep 2021
- C Encombe: I have only received one offer of help from members. More are needed. We should have a flyer.
- I Mowat: LCCC should share a pitch with neighbouring CCs.
- Action: J Caldwell, C Encombe to organise creation of an up-to-date flyer.
- Action: C Encombe to contact neighbouring CCs about sharing a pitch.
7.a to note: 21/03828/FUL | Erection of 1.5 storey 4-bedroom dwelling house. | Land South Of 1 St
- C Encombe: LCCC planning is minded to object to this application.
- I Mowat: while there may be good reasons to object, the plans look reasonable. What value does this green space have? It might be better used for a house and a well-tended garden. Can it be accessed and used well? The proposed house is what LCCC should encourage.
- H Tobermann: we have the most densely populated area in Scotland, so such green pockets are valuable and part of the area’s original design. The planned house would interfere with neighboring houses’ views. It helps with noise issues. How it is currently used isn’t material – it could be looked after.
- C Encombe: tenement-dwellers may well appreciate such spaces. Building on brownfield sites should be encouraged over building on green spaces.
- Lucy Watters: this ‘scrappy’ area could be better used. Green areas help with temperature and biodiversity.
7.b to agree: LCCC enforcement request regarding Pilrig Conservation Area infringement at 4 Arthur Street
H Tobermann: the owner has removed the front garden wall to enable more parking. This contravenes conservation rules.
- Action: H Tobermann to submit request
7.c to note: 21/03965/FUL | Conversion and extension of building Existing garage Class 5 for Class 4 Business Office Light Industry | 27A Arthur Street EH6 5DA (deadline 27 August 2021)
- H Tobermann: LCCC planning is minded to object because this would involve demolition of the existing garage. This would of itself be acceptable but it relies on a controversial planning application that LCCC has opposed. If 21/03965/FUL was approved, it would lead to the same access and safety problems as the one LCCC has already opposed.
- I Mowat: the height and massing seem to be appropriate. (H Tobemann concurred.)
7.d to note: latest update of Edinburgh Local Development Plan: Action Programme 2021
- H Tobermann: among other things, this programme would mandate developers’ contributions being spent locally.
- Actions: LCCC members to read this in detail; LCCC planning to report its position on details in this programme
7.e to note: any other planning matters relevant to LCCC area
8 Parks & Green Spaces
8.a Powderhall NW-SE Green Corridor
8.a.i to note: further delays (since May) to long overdue Stage 1 report due to ‘[staff being under] intense pressure (not just from temporary schemes) and have also been impacted by Covid related absence’
- H Tobermann: a relevant report was published a year ago, but the officer who should forward it to TEC has been abstracted to Spaces for People for a long time. CEC should concentrate on core, already agreed, desired matters such as this, which potentially would benefit 30,000 people.
- I Mowat: the best use for this corridor would be a railway, with a station at Powderhall, as part of a revived Edinburgh rail network. Is this now feasible?
- J Caldwell: Lack of maintenance by Network Rail of the bridge between Dryden St and McDonald Rd is unwelcome.
- Cllr Rae: Lack of progress is indeed unwelcome. The very recent IPCC report is terrifying, and should be part of decisions on cars, houses, land-use.
- C Encombe: many people do want reduced car-numbers. LCCC wants this corridor to be used for sustainable transport
8.a.ii to agree: to write to ward and TEC councillors, requesting resources and TEC prioritisation commensurate with the needs of our densely populated area to have access to green spaces and the North Edinburgh off-road cycle path network
8.b to note: any other Parks & Green Spaces matters relevant to LCCC area
- S Kennedy: information on Friends of Montgomery Street Park’s plan to revamp the park would be welcome.
9 Open Forum (local residents)
- All matters discussed at this point were transport matters, so are reported at in items 5.d.ii, 5.d.iii and 5.d.iv
10 AOCB (LCCC members)
- I Mowat: LCCC’s annual grant (£1049·06) was received in July.
11.a Parking: Use of Maximum Standards (Essential Evidence No.42, published August 2021 by Edinburgh Napier University’s Transport Research Institute)
Action: LCCC members to read this report.
12 Future Ordinary Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations
12.a to note: future meetings on 3rd Monday of each month at 7pm (except July and December)
12.a.i 2021: 20 September, 18 October, 15 November; 2022: 17 January, 21 February, 21 March, 18 April, 16 May (AGM)
- See also item 6.a above.
- Action: LCCC members to note these dates
- Action: LCCC web-team to advertise these meetings as ‘hopefully’ being at the Nelson Hall.
- Action: C Encombe to ascertain availability of Nelson Hall for these meetings
12.b to note: future presentations and charrettes
12.b.i to agree: to invite Steve Kerr (chair EACC) and Simon Holledge (secretary EACC) for a talk and Q&A on the Future of Community Councils In Edinburgh
- Decision: this was agreed nem con
 This agenda point allows members of the public to raise issues of public interest.
 This agenda point allows LCCC members to raise issues not covered by the agenda
 Items of local interest that may be raised at a future LCCC meeting – not for discussion at this meeting