LHNCC February 2020 minutes

Minutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council meeting, held at the Leith Community Education Centre on Tuesday 25 February 2020 at 7pm

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 Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC PC Chris Casselden Police Scotland
Elaine Dick LHNCC Douglas Tharby LHNCC Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward
Don Giles LHNCC/FOWL.b Neil Tulloch LHNCC 2 residents/visitors
Rob Levick LHNCC Arthur Young LHNCC

1.b Apologies

Cllr Gordon Munro Leith ward Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary Deidre Brock MSP Edinburgh North & Leith

2 Declaration of interests


3 Minutes of January 2020 meeting

Approved subject to correction of a minor typo in item 6b (proposed R Levick, seconded E Dick, nem con)

4 Matters arising, and not covered in the items below

  • Item 6a (cladding): it was noted that the UK government has published advice for home-owners. Originally, the advice was only for blocks more than 18m high, but now covers all cladded blocks. It was suggested that there are many such properties in LHNCC’s area, and that the cost of obtaining relevant certificates is more than £4000 per property, due to indemnity costs.
    • One issue is that owners need to check that their properties were built to specified, safe standards.
    • Cllr Booth noted that CEC can provide proof of its checks, but that some lenders do not accept these.
    • It was noted that there may be issues around the type of tenure, e.g. freehold and leasehold.
    • There was discussion of how LHNCC should handle enquiries about cladding, e.g. pooling knowledge to signpost enquirers.
  • Item 7.a (Chair’s report): J Marlborough noted that the Citadel has had some funding issues.

5 Police report

PC Casselden reported

  • A person has been arrested in connection with the death of a 79-year-old person on 24 January in Restalrig Crescent.
  • On 14 February, a person was robbed outside Ocean Terminal, by people impersonating plain-clothes police.
  • Police have visited the Citadel twice to try to tackle issues around Ocean Terminal.
  • Police have run surgeries at Ocean Terminal and Leith Market.
  • There have been naval visits to Ocean Terminal by French and Dutch vessels.
  • There was joint operation with the DVLA on untaxed vehicles.
  • Two officers (Lauren Mitchell and Gemma Knox) received an award from the Community Alcohol Partnership at Westminster.
  • Police are running ‘keep fit 100’, giving 12- to 18-year-olds access to fitness equipment which they would not have otherwise.
  • Call statistics for ‘Harbour and Newhaven’ beat:
    • 10 public nuisance calls, 8 of which were youth-based
    • 11 vehicle collision calls
    • 18 calls about noise in private properties
    • 5 hate incident calls
    • 29 theft calls, including 1 attempted theft of a motorcycle and 1 theft of a bike
    • 4 house-breaking calls
    • 12 assaults/threats calls (twice the number of the previous month)
    • 13 drugs calls
    • 26 ‘concern for’ (mental health and missing persons) calls
  • There will be the beat surgery at Ocean Terminal on 14 March (12 noon to 2pm).
  • On 27 March, there will be a ‘blue light’ disco at the community centre, including drugs, alcohol and sexual health education.
  • Action: police to supply advertising materials, LHNCC to publicise these on the website

6 Councillor/MSP/MP reports

6.a Cllr Booth

  • CEC has just passed its budget. Some points include
    • reversal of cuts to library hours
    • non-reversal of cuts to music tuition, but there will be a consultation on how to achieve these cuts
    • non-reversal of cuts in qualified nursery staff and to school management funds

Because the Scottish Government budget has not yet been passed, CEC’s budget may yet be revised.

  • Cllr Booth encouraged taking part in the City Plan 2030 and City Mobility Plan consultations, closing 27 March.
    • Details of consultation events (and LHNCC’s attendance) were discussed.
    • It was asked when CEC will start encouraging ground-source heating, rather than gas heating.
      • Cllr Booth noted that there is a question about what CEC’s policy should be in the consultations, i.e. (net-zero carbon) for new-build. He noted that that ground-source heating etc can contribute to better environmental performance.
      • There was discussion of the costs associated with improving environmental performance of existing buildings.
    • Lothian Buses has announced re-routing of services during tram construction. It is not clear whether the changes will continue after the trams have been completed. Leith Links CC has asked to meet with Lothian Buses about its bus-related concerns.

7 Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-chair reports

7.a Chair

D Tharby noted

  • LHNCC members volunteered at LeithChooses voting event, for which LC is very grateful. S Auld was specifically thanked.
  • He attended a presentation at Ocean Terminal about tram-related traffic changes.
    • He noted that LHNCC’s representatives on CCTT may need other support.
  • The neighbourhood network meeting on 5th February was not as successful as might have been hoped.
  • He took part in a litter clear-up at the Water of Leith. This included recovering a bicycle.
  • The first follow-up meeting from the Leith Conference was on Thursday 20 February.

7.b Secretary

She was contacted about rubbish-bins and dog-fouling on the embankment walkway in Lighthouse Park. This is the second such complaint she has received. She has contacted Alasdair Sibbald (Forth Ports Estate Manager), who is very efficient and explained that the entire breakwater and Lighthouse Park walkway is owned by Forth Ports. and recommended that residents contact him.

7.c Treasurer

The current balance is £844·09. LHNCC now has a debit card, enabling online payments.

  • Action: D Tharby and B Ryan to ensure that website and information commissioner costs are paid/reimbursed as appropriate.

7.d Vice-chair

She has been working on the LHNCC newsletter, and volunteered at LeithChooses voting event.

8 Standing reports

8.a Planning

See also LHNCC planning pages. J Marlborough reported on planning:

8.a.i Planning subgroup report: 1 – 5 Baltic Street and 7 – 27 Constitution Street

The site was originally bought by Barratt, but has been taken over by Sundial, after being on the market for 7 years. LHNCC planning group noted the high quality of the planned development, its exciting design, good use of space, use of existing buildings, respect for architectural heritage, good landscaping and public (pedestrian and cycle) access. There will be student housing, and as the application is for HMO approval, it will be convertible to other uses in the future. There will be many bike spaces, 3 disabled parking spaces, fewer ‘affordable’ units than might be desired, and there will be some shop units.

Other concerns include

  • a possible gated community (LHNCC has enquired about this: gates will not be locked most of the time)
  • student housing, and related council-tax issues. However, without this, it may be that the site is never used. (See January minutes.) Also, this student housing would not be used for holiday lets, unlike most other student housing.
    • There was discussion of the potential effects of new legislation on holiday and short-term lets.
  • fear of large cycle-stores tempting thieves, and hence cycles being stored in ways that are fire-hazards
  • potential daylighting issues.

There was discussion of community opinions, in particular one resident’s strong objection to the development.

Action: LHNCC to submit a comment in favour of this development.

8.a.ii Cockburn Association, Edinburgh Civic Forum Meeting, City Chambers 6:00pm – 8:00pm, 3 March 2020

Such meetings tend to cover planning, and have ‘soapbox’ sessions.

8.a.iii Other points

8.b Licensing

A Young noted that LHNCC’s licensing group attended the CEC licensing board on 27 February. This covered, inter alia, applications for licenses starting at 9am. The group is currently defining its remit.

Cllr Booth noted that there have been complaints about a van that parks outside Leith Waterworld. These include noise next to a children’s play facility, possible over-provision, and potential safety issues. The license-renewal is due soon.

8.c Transport

8.c.i Trams/CCTT (Community Councils Together on Trams)

R Levick noted

  • CCTT and TT are working out how to monitor project metrics, including project spend.
  • Trams to Newhaven is currently recruiting a replacement for Darren Wraight (former deputy SRO/interface manager).
  • Traffic management on Ocean Terminal, Lindsay Rd and Melrose Drive is due to start in March.
    • D Giles added that there have already been impacts on traffic-flow.
    • It was asked whether traffic-lights can be altered to help with flow, and suggested that road markings are inadequate..
    • J Marlborough noted a resident’s letter about such issues, and the number of cars leaving Victoria Quay each working day leading to further congestion on Ocean Drive than it is already experiencing due to Tram works and diversions
      • Action: Cllr Booth to look into such issues.

8.c.ii EBUG (Edinburgh Bus Users’ Group)

J Marlborough noted that EBUG is responding to, inter alia, Richard Hall’s resignation from Lothian Buses, and the potential wider spacing between bus-stops. A new LB senior staff member seems to be very effective.

8.d Environment

8.d.i The Water of Leith Partnership Agreement

D Giles noted that the need for this agreement resurged after Forth Ports moved a boom supposed to prevent rubbish entering its area, causing build-up of rubbish near Victoria Bridge. He sought community input about the future of the agreement.

E Dick is waiting for a response from Trams to Newhaven about whether the mature trees on Ocean Drive can be retained.

8.e Heritage

Nothing to report

8.f Community

8.f.i £eith Chooses Awards: Leith Community Centre, 6:00pm – 7:30pm 18 February 2020

See Chair’s report (item 7.a) above.

8.f.ii Leith Community Development Trust – Leith Community Centre, 6:30pm 20 February 2020

D Tharby noted that this is one of three meetings. The next will be on 19 March, covering health and wellbeing. The final meeting will be on 23 April.

Action: E Dick and D Giles to attend this.

  • Concerns about the apparent increasing gap between CEC and communities/CCs were expressed.
    • Cllr Booth will be happy to feed back specific proposals for improving Edinburgh’s Neighbourhood Networks schemes.
    • D Tharby noted the new ‘checkpoint’ group that is to monitor Edinburgh’s local government.
    • Cllr Booth was formally thanked for his frequent attendance at LHNCC meetings.

8.f.iii Leith Festival Gala Day – 13 June 2020

This event was noted. LHNCC will shared a stall with Leith Links CC.

8.f.iv VE Day – 8 May 2020

J Marlborough noted that she spoke with South Leith Parish Church’s minister about potential for a commemoration in Leith.

9 Edinburgh City Plan 2030 and consultation

9.a.i Ocean Terminal – Saturday 29 February 11:00am – 3:00pm

This consultation event was noted.

10 Neighbourhood Networks

Covered in Items 7.a and 8.f.ii above.


Potential speakers were noted, including the Citadel (youth work), Cllr Lesley Macinnes/Graham Hall (transport) and James Duff (SS Explorer)

12 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 24 March 2020 (7pm– 9pm)

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