LHNCC minutes: April 2019

Minutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held at Leith Community Centre on Tuesday 23 April 2019 at 6:30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against an item.

1 Introductions and apologies for absence

1.a Present

Stewart Auld LHNCC Douglas Tharby LHNCC treasurer Cllr Gordon Munro Leith ward
Elaine Dick LHNCC vicechair Arthur Young LHNCC PC Chris Casselden Police Scotland
Rob Levick LHNCC chair Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary Graham Hall Edinburgh Council
Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC secretary Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward 3 residents/visitors

1.b Apologies

Colin Brown LHNCC Arthur Young LHNCC Gillian Meek Victoria Primary School Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith

1.c Resignation

It was noted that Jim Duff has resigned from LHNCC. LHNCC thanked him for his work for LHNCC.

2 Minutes of previous meeting

Approved without changes (proposed S Auld, seconded E Dick, nem con)

3 Matters arising


4 Police report

PC Casselden reported

  • As reported in the Evening News, the speed camera van has been in action. It dealt with many motorists in a 2-hour period, some of whom were driving at over 40mph in 20mph zones. The van will be out over the next two months. PC Casselden is looking into whether any of the motorists seen were ‘boy racers’.
    • Cllr Booth noted that residents had been grateful for this action.
    • PC Casselden noted that times of van-deployment are chosen by the relevant part of CEC.
  • Following on from last month’s reports of youths behaving antisocially, this is still a problem at Ocean Terminal (OT) and Willowbank Row. This seems to increase at weekends and during school holidays, and includes cannabis issues.
    • Police are trying to work OT to divert youths to less troublesome past-times.
    • New intelligence has been received about times when problems tend to happen at Willowbank Row.
  • Two surgeries were well attended last month. The next is on 4th
  • There will be another bike-marking session, and there will be bike-marking kits at the next surgery.

5 Reports: secretary and treasurer

  • Treasurer: current balance is £701·10
  • Secretary: all items are covered below.

6 Councillors’, MSP’s, MP’s reports

6.a Cllr Munro

  • He noted that a CEC senior director emailed all CEC staff and councillors stating that CEC needs to save £1m per week.
    • This is likely to be reflected in service delivery over the next few years, e.g. in schools
    • He has tried to raise this with CEC’s leader because CEC receives less per capita than any other Scottish local authority.
    • LAs do not have autonomy, e.g. to levy tourist taxes. (At the soonest, this will be in place in 2020-21. Whatever it raises will not meet CEC’s needs.)
    • He has asked CEC’s leader to meet with the Scottish Government (SG) finance minister. Cllr McVey has said he will do so.
    • These conditions prevail despite the SG/CoSLA 2015 joint publication Just Change that stated that financing of LAs needs to change. No such changes have yet occurred, so LA support of their citizens will decrease.
    • SG funding of LAs is based on inter alia %age of pupils in private schools, miles of roads, property prices (from 1991).

6.b Cllr Booth

  • CEC has now abolished Neighbourhood Partnerships. There will now be Neighbourhood Networks. A report on NNs will come to next week’s full council, which should provide a little clarity about NNs. Each party’s representation on NNs will be proportional to the number of its councillors in the NN area.
    • R Levick noted that he and and J Marlborough attended a recent EACC meeting but this could not provide clarity on NNs. JM stated that NNs appear to be top-down rather than bottom-up, and that representation of CCs on NNs is limited.
    • Cllr Munro noted that Cllr McVey is leader of the Edinburgh partnership, and that a motion had been passed stating that successful features of Neighbourhood Partnerships such as LeithChooses should be retained.

7 Planning team reports and updates

See also https://lhncc.org.uk/planning.

7.a Cruz

  • This planning application is for a 19-bed hotel (no restaurant, no bar, no parking places) to use the current ‘disaster’.
  • Action: J Marlborough to submit supporting letter

7.b 198 Great Junction St. (Art Deco Cinema): 2 Ocean Drive 18/09563/FUL & 18/09850/AMC

  • J Marlborough (JM) has contacted the developer. Demolition work is HSE-approved. Any collapse will be inward.
  • This application will be before CEC planning this week, and the developers will inform LHNCC of the outcome regarding financial situation relating to the build.
  • LHNCC is still in favour of this development.

7.c Ocean Terminal Proposal: Rebranding and external alterations 19/01208/FUL

  • This application has been approved by CEC.
    • JM has enquired whether there is interest in re-siting the steel shed. The Port of Leith whisky association is very much in favour of this but have already overspent on investigating this. Forth Ports may be interested, and it has been proposed to cut up the shed and store in in Ocean Terminal (OT). There is local support for preserving the shed. However the shed does not meet health and safety requirements, and has lost its listed building status. It has also been suggested that the people of Leith might fund the shed’s re-siting and renovation, or that parts of the shed could be used in OT’s redesign.
    • A resident (representing Leith Late) suggested that there is room for re-siting the shed elsewhere in the port area and opportunity for funding for rebuilding may be investigated.

7.d 2 Ocean Drive

JM noted that this is a new application. The closing date for objections is 24 May.

8 CCTT (Community Councils Together on Trams)

JM noted that

  • CCTT’s first post-approval meeting is on Thursday this week
  • There is a petition from Save Leith Walk to put tram-construction on hold until there has been more consultation.
  • Early contractor involvement starts in May

9 Local events, news and feedback

9.a Leith festival

Action: JM to circulate information and a rota for members to volunteer to staff a joint Leith CCs stall

9.b Save Leith Walk

JM noted

  • There is a petition to reopen the Stead’s Place shops. So far it has 4000 signatures.
  • The developers appear not to be keen on any such engagement.
  • There will be a meeting on 1 June at Out of the Blue to ascertain what Leithers want to happen at this site.

9.c Newhaven Gala Day at Victoria primary school

D Tharby noted that this will take place on 1June, starting at 13:30 (when the tide is in).

  • LHNCC cannot afford to pay for first aid cover (cost ~£120) but could provide volunteers.

9.d Pedestrianisation of The Shore

Graham Hall (GH) reported

  • This proposal, from local businesses, CEC officials and CEC councillors, is to temporarily close The Shore from 7 June to the end of the Edinburgh Festival. This would enable a series of events, business promotions, and the Jazz and Blues Festival.
  • Hence this proposal is being brought to LHNCC to gauge community appetite, as suggested by Cllr Booth.
    • He would like to know community opinions on whether this would benefit Leith, the practicality/sensibility of the closure, what hours would work and whether locals could still access to their properties.
    • J Marlborough noted the closure would be southward from the bridge at Bernard St (i.e. from Truva to the Kings Walk).
  • She also noted concern for protection of the road surface and other such features.
  • When The Shore was closed previously, there was a ‘natural’ bus diversion over the bridge and around Commercial St.
    • CEC has not yet formally communicated with Lothian Buses (LB) but LB’s informally they are ‘relaxed’ about this.
    • Their formal opinion will be obtained.
    • It was later suggested that Dock St could be used for bus diversions.
    • It was noted that tram construction would not take place on Constitution St this year.
  • Some reconstruction of the carriageway will be needed. This needs to be brought to the top of the capital projects list.
  • In order to propose the necessary Traffic Regulation Order, a robust reason will be needed.
  • The Roads (Scotland) Act requires notices stating the closure dates and the reasons.
  • GH would like the closure to be in place in time for the Jazz and Blues festival, and for this to be repeated annually.
    • The effects on residents would be reduced because parking in the area has already been reduced.
  • Community engagement is needed to ensure that closure is not unwelcome, even though TROs are legally enforceable.

A resident was basically in favour but requested Constitution St residents are consulted: they are ‘bracing themselves’ for trams.

  • GH responded that CEC would seek the views of all likely to be affected.
  • An LHNCC member suggested that consultees should be told what events would take place and asked
    • whether residents would be inconvenienced
    • why not [also] close the north part of The Shore?
  • GH stated that this was not suggested previously, but impacts on local residents and traders would be ascertained.
  • GH also stated that extended licenses would need to pass CEC’s licensing requirements, and that 10pm closure of outside entertainment was being considered. Such occurrences would need to be strictly policed.
    • It was noted that current tables and chairs permits cease at 9pm and 10pm.
  • It was noted that the Jazz and Blues Festival had been ‘big and marvellous’, and went on to Leith Walk.

A resident stated that the plans should not harm Dock Place market. She was also concerned about potential litter problems.

  • GH noted that waste management would need to be enhanced, not least to make events ‘fit for pedestrians’.
  • It was suggested that there is insufficient time to tie in with publicity around the Festival, and to build community buy-in.
  • It was suggested that the road could be re-opened at nights, so long as this was safely policed.
  • It was suggested that the closure could be ‘road-tested’ over a weekend, but questioned whether LB would co-operate.
  • It was also noted that previously installing extra waste collection/management has taken CEC a long time.
  • Cllr Booth stated that he understood that closure would be implemented under an experimental TRO. He would be reluctant to put this proposal on hold for a wide-ranging consultation. Instead, future events would learn from this summer’s event.
  • Some concerns were expressed about this subject only being broached with LHNCC this morning.
  • Cllr Munro noted that traffic monitoring was due after the original Shore works, and that there is evidence of rat-runs.
  • He also noted the popularity of deck chairs in Times Square, and suggested this might benefit The Shore.
  • A resident stated that he recently found there was no room in a local pub, i.e. proposed ‘congregations’ already occur.

Decision: LHNCC is generally in favour of closure at least during the Jazz and Blues festival, but wishes to be kept informed.

9.e Edinburgh Bus Users Group (EBUG)

Its first meeting is at 6pm on 2 May. JM has circulated the Eventbrite invitation.

10 CEC new Edinburgh Partnership: discussion and feedback from EACC Meeting 18 April 2019

  • JM noted that there is concern about who will be on the EP board.
  • Cllr Munro noted that EACC decides its office-bearers, that CCs nominate their own delegates and that CEC provides venues.
  • D Tharby noted that Leith Neighbourhood Partnership had worked but others had not.


11.a Proposal regarding LRT route 21 via Western General Hospital – update

  • JM is awaiting information from Lothian Health Board on patient numbers [i.e. demand]. She will circulate it if it arrives.
  • Other CCs are still keen on this re-route, and EBUG is also slightly involved. More evidence on demand is needed.

11.b Rennie’s Dock bridge closure – resident requesting information regarding above

  • A resident noted the bridge closed in October 2018.
    • There was then correspondence between residents and Forth Ports. FP also met with Historic Environment Scotland.
    • There is now stasis. FP has stated that the issue is with HES, but HES stated today that it has received nothing from FP.
    • CEC planning has also stated that it has not heard anything from FP about this listed structure
    • Hence a designated core path is closed, forcing diversions via a pub ‘garden’ ‘littered’ with pub furniture, windlasses etc.
  • Cllr Munro suggested residents and LHNCC write to the FP’s chair, and to CEC’s head of planning because the bridge is listed.
    • A resident stated that she has done so but received no reply.
    • It was suggested that LHNCC establishes a good working relationship with FP: it needs the community’s favour.
  • Action: R Levick to contact FP CEO
  • Action: LHNCC and residents to liaise over such communications.

11.c Age-friendly Leith

An exhibition of research results is at Out Of The Blue this week. There has been research in Brazil; more will be done in India

11.d Leith Creative Making Places proposal to Leith community councils

Duncan Bremner of Leith Creative reported

  • There is much frustration about lack of consultation with the community.
  • They now have follow-on funding to develop ‘making places’. This will fit with the new Scottish Governments planning bill: this bill contains proposals of local place plans to enable local people to get what want.
  • Edinburgh’s new local development plan is being created, but this may be options appraisal rather than consultation.
  • Leith CCs are likely to be aware of where such plans succeed and fail, so he wishes to work with them to create a Leith development plan. He will have conversations with CEC planning, and has spoken with Planning Aid Scotland and Built Environment Scotland to understand how they might support this work.
  • Co-design workshops would be held in August to September. He has also been speaking with 3rdsector organisations about similar work for Great Junction St, Leith Walk and Easter Rd, and creating a Leith community planning network.
  • Decision: LHNCC supports this work in principle

11.e CC elections

JM noted these are on 31 October. Action: JM to circulate nomination etc details.

11.f Strengthening Community Councils report

Action: B Ryan to circulate this report, and channel feedback to the Scottish Community Development Centre

12 Date of next meeting

28 May

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