LHNCC September 2020 minutes: annual general meeting

MInutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council annual general meeting, held via Zoom on Tuesday 22 September 2020 at 7:30pm

Please note that these minutes are draft – and will remain so until accept at the next AGM.

Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against an item.

The AGM was chaired by Cllr Booth.

1 Introductions and apologies for absence

1.a Present

Stewart Auld LHNCC Neil Tulloch LHNCC Michael Traill Leith Links CC
Elaine Dick LHNCC Arthur Young LHNCC Sally Millar Leith Links CC
Don Giles LHNCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary Lisa Clark For Ben Macpherson MSP
Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward ~5 residents and visitors
Douglas Tharby LHNCC Cllr Adam McVey Leith ward

Attendees briefly introduced themselves.

1.b Apologies for absence

Gordon Munro Leith ward Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith

1.c Declaration of interests

None

2 Minutes of last year’s AGM

There was no AGM in 2019 because all Edinburgh CCs had elections in late 2019. Minutes of the first meeting of the new membership, including election of office-bearers, are on LHNCC’s website.

3 Annual report: chair

See full report in Appendix 1

  • Last year was an election year for Edinburgh CCs
  • The CC met in the Leith community centre until coronavirus necessitated online meetings.
  • LHNCCC welcomed N Tulloch as a new member, but lost C Brown and R Levick (former chair).
  • There have been many planning applications: thanks to J Marlborough for keeping LHNCC informed.
  • Building of the new primary school has recommenced.
  • Members serve voluntarily, without personal [financial] reward.
  • LHNCC has established lead members on various topics: licensing, trams, buses, local communities.
  • One of LHNCC’s perennial events is the Xmas lighting at the primary school.
  • LHNCC continues to participate in LeithChooses.
  • Thanks to J Marlborough (secretary), E Dick (vice chair), B Ryan (minutes secretary, website manager, IT), CEC councillors, MSP and MP, the developers who have presented their plans to LHNCC and the public for taking part in meetings.

4 Annual report: secretary

See full report in Appendix 2

  • LHNCC has maintained its work, despite many changes. It has introduced new communication methods.
  • There is a spectrum of willingness of developers to engage with LHNCC. Recent matters have increased such engagement.
  • LHNCC continues to monitor many large planning applications, and has teamed up with neighbouring CCs on relevant matters.
  • Introduction of a dedicated LHNCC planning group has been very beneficial to LHNCC’s work for its community.
  • LHNCC’s internal planning update and public planning web-pages have changed to reflect the large number of developments.
  • Community and engagement has been difficult during lockdown but work is ongoing as well as possible.
  • Ocean Terminal (including the Discovery Garden) has been invaluable to locals during lockdown.
  • Volunteer recruitment fairs at the Leith community centre have been successful.
  • Leith markets have been great for engagement with locals, despite hiatuses due to coronavirus. Other regular local events have suffered from this too.
  • LHNCC continues its work on trams, with other CCs on the route. LHNCC is also represented on Edinburgh Bus-Users Group.
  • LHNCC has responded to several consultations from Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government (SG), and taken part in relevant events.
  • LHNCC has changed how it works. This has been successful.
  • Thanks to all members who have helped me with my work.

5 Annual report: Treasurer

  • Accounts for financial year 2019-20 were circulated in June.
  • Signed copies have been sent to CEC.
  • This accounts were approved: (proposed D Giles, seconded S Auld)

6 Office-bearer elections

There were no nominees apart from the following, who accepted these nominations and were all elected nem con.

Role Nominee Proposer Seconder
Chair D Tharby E Dick S Auld
Vice chair E Dick D Tharby J Marlborough
Secretary J Marlborough D Giles A Young
Treasurer D Tharby D Giles J Marlborough
Engagement Officer N Tulloch J Marlborough D Tharby
Minutes secretary, website, IT support B Ryan D Giles N Tulloch

7 Date of next AGM

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Appendix 1: chair’s annual report

Last year was an election year and after an anxious couple of weeks around the results being announced we formed the new LHNCC on 22nd October 2019. We continued to meet in the Shore room at the Kirkgate Community Centre on the last Tuesday of the month until the Lockdown in March forced us to make other arrangements which prevail until today and it looks like they will be around for some time yet.

We welcomed a new member in Neil Tulloch who is already an established contributor to our work and I wish former members Colin Brown, who has now moved away from the area and Rob Levick, who resigned to concentrate on other ventures, all the very best and hopefully they will continue to support us in the future.

2019/2020 has been as challenging as ever with a great number of pending Planning Applications relating to developments around our city’s prime site Ocean Terminal, The Western Harbour, Constitution Street/Baltic Street, Stead’s Place and the Trams to Newhaven whose works are now well under way, although never too far from controversy, and we were always alert to the implications for communities in those areas in particular. The building of the new Victoria Primary School has recommenced after a relaxation of Lockdown and serves as a reminder of the progress that we can make towards a brighter future for the whole community.

As always, LHNCC is made up of local community members giving up their time for the benefit of the wider community without personal reward and they are a credit to themselves and to the wider community we all seek to serve.

We have been looking at the way that we can better serve the community for some time now and in particular in the way that we report on our work at our monthly business meetings. To this end, I thank Elaine Dick our Vice Chair for her leadership of the initiative that has resulted in various ‘Leads’ being established covering not just Planning and Licensing but also Trams, Bus Users, Neighbourhood Networks and local Communities. This has involved each and every member of LHNCC and we look forward to developing these roles in the year ahead. Jennifer Marlborough has led our Planning Sub Group and taken time to comment of several of these Lead roles mentioned. We have already made progress on ‘Licensing’ under the ‘Lead’ of Arthur Young and Stewart Auld will take forward the enormous development which will occur at The Western Harbour which, in addition to the new school, will include a new park, sports playing fields and a broad mix of new housing all to be created over the next decade.

We have supported the Christmas Lights event at Victoria Primary school for some years now and we again supported ‘Santa’s Sack’ with gifts for the children. This year we were forced indoors by bad weather but Santa was still able to join the children in some Christmas music and give out chocolate santas and reindeer.

£eith Chooses has been our triparty CC shared Participatory Budgeting project for several years and I am grateful for all the diligence and wisdom expressed by Don Giles through the Steering Group is which I have had the privilege to witness on an almost weekly basis.

This culminated in the Voting Day of Saturday 1st February this year at our Kirkgate Community Centre. The award of over £44,600 to some ten local organisations marked the success of all the work of Don, Bruce Ryan and myself over the year, however I would like to say a special thanks also to the other members of the Community Council who gave their time on that day to assist in this great event for the whole of Leith

My particular thanks are extended to Jennifer Marlborough as our Secretary, Elaine Dick as our Vice Chair and of course Bruce Ryan as our Minute Secretary, Website manager and general IT adviser without whose support and at times tireless dedication this Community Council would not have survived. We have for many years enjoyed a ‘summer recess’ but this was not to be the case this year.

Finally I would like to record my thanks to our local City of Edinburgh Councillors, our MSP and his office, our local Westminster MP, the Developers who have taken time to prepare and make presentations to the Community Council and interested members of the public and of course all the members of our community who have joined our meetings over the last year, latterly using the Zoom Video conferencing facility that has made it possible to continue as near normal as possible in the various phases of the pandemic.

In addition to my role as Chair I have had the privilege to serve on the following:

Leith Neighbourhood Network

February 2019 saw the last meeting of the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership to be replaced by the new Leith Neighbourhood Network later in the year. This has met three times over the year supported by the three Leith Community Councils and many local organisations and is Chaired by myself. It is hoped that we will have a further ‘virtual’ meeting before the end of 2020.

North East Locality Community Planning Partnership

There is a new partnership model working across the City of Edinburgh which includes representation from the Neighbourhood Networks. Partners include the City of Edinburgh Councillors, the NHS, Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Skills Development Scotland, EVOC and organisations in the voluntary sector working together to address issues across this part of Edinburgh. The Partnership has met three times, I am Joint Vice Chair of the Partnership, and I Chaired its last meeting before ‘Lockdown’ in February 2020. A ‘virtual’ meeting is scheduled for mid October 2020.

Thank you for taking the time to read this report.

Stay well.

Douglas Tharby, Chair

Appendix 2: Secretary’s annual report

Planning

Our year started officially with CC elections in October 2019 but we still maintained our interest in active and proposed planning from June.

This has been a busy and extraordinary year for our Community Council as we continue to experience so many changes and planning has not escaped. We have tried to keep up and introduce new ways to communicate with developers, the Council planning department and the local community to maintain a democratic process where possible. This Annual report will include some recent planning information as there was not an annual report in June as our AGM was postponed due to Covid 19 restrictions.

We continue to monitor large and complex planning applications carried over from the previous year, within our own community council boundary and sometimes within our neighbours at Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) and Leith Central Community Council (LCCC).  Major local developments still awaiting planning permission include Western Harbour, Baltic Street/Constitution St, Tower St/Bath Rd. and Linksview House/Giles St. Construction work on developments, including Trams to Newhaven, that were curtailed in March due to Covid-19 have now resumed. Skyliner (Ocean Drive) has commenced recently.

More recent applications at pre-planning stage include developments within our CC boundary at 26 Bath Rd/ 63 Salamander St and Stead’s Place/Leith Walk. Development proposals and consultations across adjacent CCs that we are following include  St. John’s Lane/Constitution St., Iona St., Leith Walk/Halmyre Street Place.

The introduction of our dedicated Planning group has been successful in coordinating LHNCC actions, addressing queries from residents and we have also submitted responses on behalf of LHNCC and the community we support. We provide representation on planning proposals across North/North East Leith including Granton Marina and Granton Waterfront and more recently The Seafield Project.

Details of developments are available in the Planning Update paper circulated for monthly (excluding July & December) meetings.  This, and up-to-date information on when construction for historic developments have started/completed, is available on our website.

Community & Engagement

Ocean Terminal has been invaluable to local residents providing access throughout lockdown to M&S Foodhall, Boots, Bike Craft and  Holland & Barrett. The Discovery Garden also provided a haven for many during lockdown. Pleased to say the Centre is now open again and many other retail units are open

It has been an interesting and exciting year, despite restrictions over the past few months. Work has been able to continue through use of digital communication platforms. I have continued my work as member of the Heart of Newhaven Community steering group and delighted that it has been successful in its application to purchase the Victoria Primary School building for the the community. There is still more work to do as Stage Two application for funding towards the purchase has now been submitted to the Scottish Land Fund and needs to be approved. You can follow the journey and progress on their website https://heartofnewhaven.co.uk

A second successful Volunteer Recruitment Fair, organised by Leith Community Centre, took place in February.

Leith Market every Saturday continued to be a great place to meet local people. Unfortunately the facility was also affected by Covid-19 but they provided online services and I am pleased to say it has recently resumed. The Custom House Open Days also attracted many visitor.

The Community responded in July to major issue regarding rubbish accumulation in Water of Leith Basins with SoS campaign and intervention from FoWLB. There is also work, with support from local community, continuing regarding restoration work required for Victoria and Rennie’s Isle Bridges, and this is being addressed by Forth Ports.

Unfortunately many regular events including Leith Festival, productions and events by Citadel Arts Group and Leith Theatre were also cancelled but they did provide many imaginative online activities to compensate.  Newhaven Gala day also suffered and could not go ahead.

Transport

LHNCC continues to work in coalition with other Leith community councils under the ‘Community Councils Together On Trams (CCTT) initiative. This has been a very effective route for the questioning of Tram plans, the representation of community concerns, and gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges for all. Work is fully underway again after construction work ceased in March. There are many challenges as work progresses in Ocean Drive to Lindsay Road where Tram will terminate.

LHNCC has representation Edinburgh Bus Users Group (EBUG) and has been continuing to debate and respond to the many new CEC decisions and consultations relating Lothian Buses, Spaces for People and traffic management.

LHNCC regularly participates in a range of consultations on matters affecting the local community, and this year in particular we have contributed to discussions surrounding the future workings of Community Councils.

City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) and Scottish Government

We have responded to several consultations and participated in workshops, briefings and training events provided this year.

Communication and ways of working

In recent months we have reviewed the way in which LHNCC operates, makes decisions, and records them. The executive team implemented allocation of particular areas of interest/work to specific community councillors. That work is ongoing and resulting in a more effective, and open, method for dealing with what has become a greater amount of work for all.

Jennifer Marlborough, Secretary

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