LHNCC minutes June 2019

Minutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held at the Leith Community Education Centre on Tuesday 25 June 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

Elaine Dick LHNCC vicechair Jim Scanlon Leith Links CC
Don Giles LHNCC, Friends of the Water of Leith Basin Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward
Rob Levick LHNCC chair Cllr Adam McVey Leith ward
Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC secretary Cllr Jim Campbell Forth ward
Douglas Tharby LHNCC treasurer PC Chris Casselden Police Scotland
Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary 2 residents/visitors

1.b Apologies

Stewart Auld LHNCC Arthur Young LHNCC Deidre Brock MP LHNCC secretary

2 Minutes of previous meeting

  • These were approved subject to changing ‘July’ to ‘June’ in item 5a (proposed E Dick, seconded D Tharby, nem con)
  • There were no matters arising not covered elsewhere in the agenda.

3 Police report

PC Casselden reported

  • It’s currently ‘event season’, so Leith community police officers (CPOs) are frequently working at events in the city centre.
  • CPOs attended Leith gala and the volunteer fair, and ran a bike-marking event.
    • The gala was a very positive engagement, with no over-consumption problems.
    • A second bike-marking event at Victoria Quay resulted in the marking of 30 bikes.
  • The next CPO monthly surgery is at Ocean Terminal (OT) on 6 July (2 noon)
  • The FS Cormorant (French navy) visited OT on 15 June. CPOs advised on security and UK laws. There were no incidents.
  • Police officers were trained by HM Coastguard on water safety (5 June). This enables officers to handle sea-incidents better.
  • The Leith youth-talk gathering (21 June) was attended by PCs, a sergeant and a CI. This was a very positive event.
  • A competition for a road-safety leaflet was won by pupils at Mannofield and Pilrig primary schools. Copies will be handed out to offending and nearly-offending motorists. Action: B Ryan to add this to LHNCC’s website.
  • A main recurrent issue is cars parking in Western Harbour without being taxed or having MOT certificates. Cars apparently abandoned in public places are a CEC issue, but can be reported to police. Cars apparently abandoned on private land (e.g. in underground car-parks belonging to housing developments) are a matter for that land’s factor, not for CEC or the police.. reported as abandoned (no tax, no MOT). If cars have no insurance, police will make enquiries.
  • There was a call about possible drug-dealing in David Lloyd’s car-park.
  • There is a forthcoming operation with trading standards at shops and off-licenses. Anyone with relevant information should email Leith CPOs or Crimestoppers.
  • There was an incident at OT. Enquiries are proceeding.

4 Reports: secretary and treasurer

Treasurer: Current bank balance £476·24. LHNCC’s grant from CEC is due soon. Hence LHNCC should be financially sound.

Secretary: Some matters have been added to AOB (below) because they were notified after she issued the agenda.

5 Councillors/MSP/MP Report/s

5.a Cllr Booth, Cllr McVey

Cllr Booth (and his family) enjoyed the Leith and Newhaven galas.

5.a.i Neighbourhood networks

  • Clllr Booth acknowledged that there are concerns about NNs. He is personally keen on grassroots, bottom-up democracy, but is not convinced that NNs yet provide this. Hence he is keen to listen to concerns, and to pass them on as appropriate.
  • D Giles supported wider community representation, but stated that the NN structure is very flat and lacks democracy.
    • Cllr Booth responded that Cllr McVey had said the one person elected by each NN is not supposed to represent the entire NN membership, but is to reflect decisions made at NN level to locality partnerships. He understood concerns that NNS are ‘too flat and too pointy’, but this structure was decided by the city-wide Edinburgh Partnership. He queried whether there had been sufficient community consultation before it was decided.
    • D Giles responded that Cllr McVey’s first point was not stated by CEC officials at the Leith NN meeting.
    • Cllr Booth stated that CEC officials at the inaugural Leith NN meeting had clearly stated that the NN is not CEC’s network – it belongs to its members. His pragmatic hope is to make the NN better than preceding structures/methods. He suggested that NPs enabled CCs to be heard but maybe were not ‘as successful as [they] could have been’.
    • D Giles suggested that it’s unreasonable to expect the community to undertake all the NN administration work without support from CEC. So far there has been no indication that CEC support is being provided.
  • Cllr Booth’s understanding is the NNs will be supported by CEC officers. Action: Cllr Booth to check this, if necessary.
    • D Giles also suggested that the NN format reduces local democracy, because of its flatness and pointiness, and because the community is being moved further from decision-makers. (Cllr Booth responded that ‘he would share many of [the] criticisms of the process’, but he was not convinced there were opportunities for fundamental changes. He later suggested that ‘we should work together to try to improve it’.)
  • At this point Cllr McVey came into the meeting. He confirmed there would be CEC officer support for NNs.
  • D Tharby suggested that CCs have been devalued in the new system because NNs include almost any group. He also suggested that while other NPs in Edinburgh may have been unsuccessful, Leith NP members had made it a success.
    • Cllr McVey responded that there had been ‘successful elements’, but that some fundamental issues which community planning should address were not tackled by actions suggested by Leith NP. Hence CEC is trying to build a community planning framework that brings everyone to the table. He cited the NN meeting having 4 times as many attendees as the last NP meeting. He didn’t see this increase as a threat to CCs.
    • D Tharby suggested that the increase was due to a larger number of invitees. Cllr McVey then cited a counter-example.
    • D Giles suggested that the comparison was unfair: the NN meeting was a new opportunity that many organisations chose to try, and that in a year’s time attendance could well be much less.
    • B Ryan suggested that CEC is trying to create Communities of Practice, and that, while CoPs may arise spontaneously, they need a structure underneath. He also suggested that networks do not arise and maintain themselves spontaneously. Hence the process should have been ‘the faults of NPs are XYZ. Therefore let’s come together to fix them, and ask the community what it can do, with CEC support, to make things better. He also suggested that changing the branding would just confuse people: the name ‘Neighbourhood Partnership’ should have been kept despite changes.
    • Cllr McVey stated that there had been much discussion about whether to rename the new structures. He also stated that the Edinburgh Partnership(EP) had discussed what to do. He admitted that this was not a ‘wide-scale consultation’. He agreed that there needs to be ‘some level of support (e.g. rooms, admin) from core members of the Partnership, e.g. police, CEC, NHS’. He stated that the EP is a structure across the city, so while there is some flexibility, the fundamental is everything is contributing to the overarching EP work.
      • B Ryan responded that EP support arrangements had not been made clear at the inaugural Leith NN meeting.
    • D Giles asked how the flat structure squared with the commitment to introduce PB.
      • Cllr McVey responded that LeithChooses would still be run from the NN, not the Locality. Asked about the commitment to introduce PB in general, he responded that if there is additional PB, it will be run at NN level. Hence the idea that one member would represent [PB] processes is not correct.

5.b Cllr Campbell

He reported that the completion date for the new Trinity Academy has slipped, due to a need to obtain SEPA’s permission around the design. However, this has now been obtained, and so there shouldn’t be any additional problems. A newsletter (PDF)will be made available to heads of feeder primaries.

6 Planning Update (circulated)

See also LHNCC planning page. J Marlborough reported as shown in items to below.

6.a S1: Skyliner. Ref. No: 19/02778/FUL

See also appendix 1: information assembled by LHNCC planning subgroup.

  • While a previous application (18/00846/FUL, involving 245 flats) has been approved, the developers have submitted a second application for 338 According to the second application, some buildings would be higher than in the original application. The top floor would a ‘party zone’.
  • Concerning neighbourhood notification, the neighbours that would be most affected would be residents of the planned Cala development. Other neighbouring streets also currently have no residential buildings – yet.
  • LHNCC planning committee believes that the new application’s plans are for an ugly, dark building. Good points include the proposed centralised heating system. However, there is a ‘dramatic’ change from the original to the new application, and the development is directly opposite the Cala development’s access point. Green space in the original application is removed in the new application.
  • It was noted that the developers had originally liaised well with LHNCC, and appeared to take on board LHNCC’s concerns.
  • LHNCC members stated that there is much local opposition, in part due to increased traffic, to this new application.
  • D Giles noted that the site is in a conservation area, and that this development would be much higher than other buildings in this area, leading to loss of amenity (green space) and to non-compliance with the local development plan.
  • J Marlborough noted that while the developers have not consulted with LHNCC on the new application, they claim to have that LHNCC has declined opportunities to engage directly with them on the new application.
  • A resident stated concerns about the proposed population-density increase.
  • Cllr McVey stated that the development is not in a protected viewing cone.
  • Decision: LHNCC will submit an objection based on the points above and in appendix 1.

6.b Baltic St

William Muir from Sundial Properties hopes to submit a FUL application in the next couple of months. Last year there was a public consultation about this proposal. He offered a meeting with LHNCC – this will be on 9 July, in the Kirkgate’s Persevere room at 6pm. JM noted that this is a difficult site, involving a grade 1 listed building in a conservation area and the former gas-works. Mr Muir is very keen to avoid upsetting the community.

  • It was suggested that there is a problem with the height ofa sectionof the proposed development.

6.c Former RBS branch at the foot of Leith Walk to become 2 flats

This application was published today. The proposed development is in the conservation at the foot of LW.

6.d Linksview/Giles St

The planning application was published 2 weeks ago included removal of 43trees, but a tree-preservation(TPO) order is now in place, and this has to be addressed together with FUL planning application not as a separate entity.

7 CCTT (Community Councils Together on Trams)

  • It was noted that the next CCTT/trams team meeting is on 27 June. A representative of the contractor will attend.
  • Ground investigation boring continues

8 Local events & feedback

See also LHNCC ‘other work’ page.

8.a Newhaven Gala Day: 1 June 2019

It was noted that this was a very enjoyable event, aided by good weather.

8.b Volunteer Fair, Leith Community Education Centre: 7 June 2019

  • J Marlborough noted that this was an interesting event, and that LHNCC representatives showed off its new banner. Also, 56 new recipients of LHNCC’s newsletter were signed up. There were further opportunities for cross-Edinburgh networking.
  • Action: B Ryan to add gathered links to organisations to LHNCC’s website.

8.c Leith Festival Gala Day: 8 June 2019

  • It was noted that (1) this was successful well-attended event; (2) sharing venues with other Leith CCs was very positive.
  • Also, a ceilidh celebrating the Kirkgate’s 50th birthday was very successful.
  • Jim and Annie Scanlon received the Leith Citizens’ award, presented at the Leith Festival Tattoo on Sunday 9 June.

9 CEC and Scottish Government Information and consultations

See also LHNCC events page.

9.a CEC Edinburgh Partnership review outcomes

  • Neighbourhood Networks: see item 6.a.i above.
  • It was noted that there will be joint meeting with LLCC, LCCC and representatives from the three NE VSFs (Voluntary Sector Fora) to address issues (date, venue TBC)

9.b CEC Edinburgh Community Council Scheme Review Final Phase schedule

  • 27 June: Report to CEC. Subject to approval, publication of final draft amended Scheme and further four-week consultation
  • 22 August: Report to Council to approve final Scheme
  • October: Final Scheme to be for CC Elections and CC Term

9.c Scottish Government consultation on short-term lets

9.d CC Elections 31 October 2019

  • See schedule in CEC’s briefing note. Action: LHNCC members to distribute flyers


  • J Marlborough noted the ‘horrendous’ amount of rubbish trapped under Victoria bridge, and how this is affecting wildlife. Residents have sought LHNCC’s support in writing to the MSP to get this issue solved. It was noted this is within the area owned by Water of Leith 2000, which is responsible for its cleanliness. Decision: LHNCC to support efforts to get the area cleaned.
  • At a recent Leith Youth talk, children from local schools showed how they should be heard. Their main concerns include: cyber-bullying, lack of meeting places, lack of green spaces, lack of a youth café, underage drinking and drugs, fear to go out.
  • A buyout of Duncan Place has been successful – a final report is due soon. J Scanlon is on the asset-transfer panel.
    • Decision: LHNCC supports this activity.
  • Concerning the Steel Shed, D Bremner reported that it cannot be moved intact, and that there is no space available on OT properties. However, OT will store the shed if it is dismantled/cut up, and parts may be used to decorate the new distillery’s tasting room. Hence DB is speaking with the SS Explorer Preservation Society. The distillery owners are happy to gift the shed to the people of Leith. It is possible to apply for funds to re-site the shed, provided a new site can be found. Ben Macpherson MSP is also trying to engage with Forth Ports about moving the shed onto its property.
    • Decision: LHNCC to work in partnership with Citizen Curator and SS Explorer Preservation Society on this matter.

11 Date of next meeting:

Tuesday 27 August 2019

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