LHNCC October 2020 minutes

MInutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held via Zoom on Tuesday 27 October 2020 at 7:00pm

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 Neil Tulloch LHNCC Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward
Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC Arthur Young LHNCC Cllr Adam McVey Leith ward
Douglas Tharby LHNCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary 3 residents and visitors

1.b Apologies for absence

Elaine Dick LHNCC Don Giles LHNCC Gordon Munro Leith ward Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith

1.c Declaration of interests


2 Minutes of September 2020 meeting

Approved as-is (proposed J Marlborough, seconded N Tulloch)

3 Matters arising

All covered below

4 Police Report

See full report in Appendix 1. J Marlborough read out some important points. Discussion included:

  • (Fully) electric scooters are illegal in the UK. E-bikes are regulated and must meet certain conditions – principally that the motor only assists pedalling and will not move the bike on its own – to be legal.
  • Cllr McVey: I have recently met with businesses that are concerned about community safety. Police Scotland is following up on this, and may introduce more foot patrols in this area. Tram construction has changed circumstances. CEC is looking into CCTV. I have also visited Empty Kitchens Full Hearts – it is currently operating a crowdfunder
    • Action: Cllr McVey to forward details, B Ryan to add them to website.
  • M Traill: It is also worth keeping in mind the ongoing fire-raising incidents in the areas between Easter Road and Leith Walk. Rubbish was set on fire at the trams site on Constitution St a couple of weeks ago which may be linked.

5 Chair, Secretary and Treasurer reports

5.a Chair

  • The chair welcomed N Tulloch into his new role as LHNCC’s engagement officer.

5.b Secretary

See also full report in Appendix 2. J Marlborough also noted

  • There is no remembrance service this year. Action: J Marlborough/D Tharby to take a wreath to be laid at Leith Community Treatment centre
    • D Tharby: there will be seamen’s service on 15 November. LHNCC wreath will be laid at Scottish Merchant Navy Memorial in front of Malmaison Hotel
  • An autopsy of the recently deceased swan is expected. Her cygnets survive. (It was suggested that the cob has a new mate.)
  • Victoria Primary School laid a time-capsule when Ocean Terminal was being built. VPS now would like this returned if found during and tram excavation it back. JM has approached the steel sheds site manager who assured her that it was not found during their excavation work, and has tried to contact the original builder, .but they are no longer active in Scotland. From photographers taken at event it appears that it may be in or near the the Discovery Garden.

5.c Treasurer

  • Current balance of LHNCC’s bank account is £1,264·47 as per most recent statement dated 29th September 2020.
  • There are three cheques outstanding totalling £47·99 not yet presented, so the actual balance is £1,216·48.

6 Standing reports

6.a Councillors

6.a.i Cllr Booth

  • Andy Wightman MSP has submitted a detailed report on short-term lets that do not have planning permission to CEC. The recent Scottish Government consultation should result in legislation giving local authorities more powers to take action.
  • There has been a CEC report about a possible low-traffic neighbourhood in East Craigs. A proposal for Leith is being worked on by CEC – this would reduce traffic volumes, and increase space for people and non-car travel.
  • Cllr Booth has also been for better accommodation for homeless people: B&Bs offer the worst support but are the most expensive. CEC accounts for 80% of breaches of ‘unsuitable accommodation order’ by Scotland’s local authorities.
  • The new Victoria Primary School building is progressing. Completion is due summer 2021.
  • Action: Cllr Booth to look into requests for permission to film in Leith and Lighthouse park.

6.a.ii Cllr McVey

  • Concerning the incoming covid-tier system. I will speak with the deputy first minister about Edinburgh’s status tomorrow. Edinburgh will start in tier 3. Non-café businesses can mould themselves into that model. Edinburgh’s covid numbers have reduced over the last 2 weeks. If this continues, Edinburgh will move to tier 2. So following the rules pays dividends.
  • The Granton development is enormous, and is CEC/public led.A recent meeting with Scottish Government that involved cabinet ministers shows the national importance of this development. The aim is for a sustainable community with water-facing public space that belongs to all of Edinburgh. Retaining the view for everyone is an aim.
    • J Marlborough: will there be a marina?
    • Cllr Mcvey: there is planning permission to do many things. The developer isn’t being hugely constructive. Press coverage is between benign and nonsense.

6.b Planning

6.b.i Tram Stop Ocean Terminal – letter of objection regarding Discovery Garden (link in Secretary’s Report below)

  • This issue has caused much concern. LHNCC has now written its letter of objection, which includes material based on the original planning application (obtained by Cllr Booth) for Ocean Terminal (OT).
  • There was concern over extending the time to respond – LHNCC got 7 days more, everyone else got 0. Yet other applications allow everyone 21 days.
  • There have been over 200 objections. The current application had been put online in error, so all materials would be transferred to the previous application, which is near to being approved. However, both applications are on CEC’s planning portal, and nothing has yet been moved. The Planning Committee Convenor has assured JM that documents such as LHNCC’s objection will go to wherever is appropriate.
  • JM has contacted Hannah Ross (trams team: TT) TT is in negotiations with Ambassador (OT’s owners), but prior approval The case officer has stated that comments on landscape issues are not accepted, because of the Tram Act 2006.
  • Cllr McVey: I have engaged with C Wilson of TT. CW understands that OT has moved on this issue.
    • Action: Cllr McVey to inform LHNCC about this engagement
    • JM: this issue should be handled according to the conditions in the original planning application: this would require a full application process to enable changes to landscaping.
    • JM: also: who would pay for this work – TT does not need this area
  • Cllr Booth: I emailed officers a month ago but have only just received the original planning application and permission letter. The current application is a ‘prior approval’ (PA) application. These notify planning authorities that the applicants believe that a planning application is not needed. CB believes that the conditions attached to the original OT permission require that the garden is maintained in perpetuity. This applies to successor owners. The crucial question is whether the land is within or outwith the trams area. TT is agnostic about retention of the garden – OT is pushing for tis removal.
    • TT has said that it does not need this land. We needed to use FOI to obtain relevant documents.

6.b.ii Bath Road/Salamander St. PAN Application – feedback form closing date 29/10/20 (link in Secretary’s report below)

  • J Marlborough: see this link to online consultation on 3 November. The plans are not very exciting.

6.b.iii Seafield Project – update

  • N Tulloch reported:
    • we now have the planning process-statement from CEC officials. It proposes: a place brief; a subsequent masterplan.
    • Unfortunately the statement raises more questions than it answers. So the 4 CCs have compiled questions to put to CEC at the next meeting. The 4 CCs have agreed to set up a sounding-board to work with CEC officials, land-owners, developers to resolve issues.
    • The 4 CCs may set up a special purpose vehicle because CC powers are insufficient.

6.b.iv Granton waterfront

6.b.v Steads Place

J Marlborough: there has been no progress on this matter, but Drum will keep us informed.

6.c Licensing

A Young: there were three non-contentious applications for alcohol licences, so LHNCC is taking no action about them

6.d Transport

6.d.i Trams/CCTT (Community Councils Together on Trams)

  • J Marlborough: there will be a CCTT/TT meeting this week. The TT newsletter mentions Discovery Gardens. Progress appears to be rapid, with track-laying on Ocean Drive imminent. Information Board on Ocean Drive needs moved to more prominent position.
  • JM: however there have been complaints about Sunday working and noise in Constitution Street. Notification has been to a cllr. Legislation states when work should not occur.
    • A resident: notification seems to have been patchy. This may be due to access issues.

6.d.ii EBUG (Edinburgh Bus Users’ Group)

  • J Marlborough: work to support pedestrians continues. There has been a report that CEC has banned floating bus-stops.
    • Cllr McVey: floating bus-stops are still part of the Leith Walk and George IV bridge designs.
    • Cllr Booth: that report is very likely to be untrue. Well-designed floating bus-stops can be beneficial. There will be pre-installation safety audits.

6.e Environment

6.e.i OT Discovery Garden update

See item 6.b.i above

6.f Heritage

6.f.i Leith Heritage Group Meeting 19/10/20 – Update

J Marlborough: people are preparing a report into cost and what can be done with the Custom House. There were reports from the Leith History Society, on the SS Explorer. (This group cannot work on restoration just now, but is protecting the boat to keep it watertight.), on historical golfing memorial statue in Leith Links and surrounding , on Leith Chooses, and on the centenary of Leith becoming part of Edinburgh. It was noted that there are still sewage issues on the Water of Leith. Citadel Arts is doing much work to keep people involved. There was mention of the plan for a Leith Heritage Trail

6.f.ii Rennie’s Isle Bridge

A resident: the dead area behind Teuchters is an eyesore. We want to install an information board (regardless of this). Inter alia, it will show where the old docks were. Hence there has been contact with the Institute of Civil Engineers, about promoting the memory of John Rennie (who designed the docks and much else in the area). Forth Ports is happy to have info-board on its land.

6.f.iii Heart of Newhaven Community Project – update (link in Secretary’s Report)

J Marlborough: The board has been meeting and working groups have been set up to identify areas that will prepare progress plans that can continue while waiting for response from SG regarding finance application to Land Fund. Volunteers are sought to assist with ongoing work for the community

6.g Community

6.g.i LHNCC – Crown Estate Scotland – Sustainable Communities Grant update

E Dick has submitted a funding application and will report back on this at November meeting

6.g.ii VPS – Christmas lights

  • D Tharby: the ceremony has been cancelled. I have asked if the new school can be opened to enable something different.
    • Action: D Tharby and S Auld to look into doing something better than simply handing out chocolate.

6.g.iii Leith Chooses – request for CC’s support vote (circulated to members 20/10/20)

  • D Tharby: LC steering group ran a survey on LC’s future: Hence LC 2021 will happen. Application forms are now online. The first application for this year has just been received. LCSG is chasing reports from last year’s winners. Leith Central has agreed to contribute £50 to LC’s online efforts, so LHNCC will only need to contribute £50.
  • B Ryan: voting will be online, using CEC’s instance of consultation hub. We encourage applications, and will support them.

6.g.iv Jim Scanlon MBE

  • LHNCC has congratulated JS on his award.

6.g.v Response to resident regarding parking issues in Hawthornvale

J Marlborough: Cllr McVey has contacted residents to note that obstructive pavement-parking should be reported to the police, who will take necessary action. New legislation and regulations are not yet in place.

7 North East Community Planning Partnership update

  • D Tharby: I have written to NE Locality Manager about the lack of recent meetings of Leith Neighbourhood Network. Many NNs are quite precarious. North east locality has only 2 functioning NNs: Leith and Craigmillar.
  • DT: Checkpoint met on 7 October to review its work and actions. It will meet again in early November.
  • DT: North East Locality Community Planning Partnership met on 14 October. DT has written to NR Locality Manager and CEC Strategy and Insights Manager about lack of engagement with the private sector, which is key to sorting low-wage issues. There is much in-work poverty, and has been for several decades.
    • Cllr McVey: I agree involvement of private sector is crucial. Discussion is ongoing via the chamber of commerce and other business groups. Local community planning partnership work can benefit much in this regard.


8.a ECAS

This is looking for referrals. See LHNCC website for details.

8.b Noise and air pollution at Port of Leith

  • A resident had emailed that there is much air- pollution and noise from ships running their engines all the time they are docked. Recently, ships have been docked for long periods, exacerbating this problem. Also, there is air pollution from construction machinery at Forth Ports’ housing development sites next to the new school project. When the school is open, can it be ensured that this machinery will not run constantly? (The developments are due to take several years to complete.)
    • J Marlborough: there is relevant European legislation on this (IMO – Sulphur 2020)
  • Resident: CEC environmental health has been twice to my flat to measure nocturnal noise from ships. My development is possible the closest to the port – Stevedore Place may be closer. Forthcoming developments will be at least as close.
    • Resident: there is a Siemens system for supply power to ships. Forth Ports (FP) does not plan to install such systems.
    • Resident: 8 hours of 1 cruise ship’s engines is equivalent 1,000,000 car-miles. While the current ships docked at the port are smaller than cruise ships, they appear to emit as much fumes. FP has not docked such polluting ships further from housing, yet has space to do so. As of 2020_01_01, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has mandated that such ships’ fuel must have less sulphur content. Has this actually occurred here?
    • Resident: it appears that foreign-registered ships do not fall under land-rules or SEPA provisions.
    • Resident: the ships are below the threshold for ‘official’ nuisances but are in practice a real, relentless nuisance.
  • J Marlborough: A relevant reports states that docked ships should be shore-powered. It was noted that current Planning applications only consider noise from cars and port-work, not pollution from docked ships.
    • Cllr McVey: I sympathise. These issues are being reported all over this area, including FPs unwillingness to act. This will need collective effort, and possibly work by D Brock MP and B Macpherson MSP. CEC cllrs will help information-flows.
    • D Tharby: I have experienced the white noise too.
    • Action: D Tharby and J Marlborough to draft letters to the MP and MSP.
    • Action: J Marlborough to supply IMO-Sulphur 2020 materials to CEC cllrs
    • Action: resident to forward background information to CEC cllrs

8.c Water of Leith basins

  • A resident: the conservation trust has worked in the lower basins. FP will clean here this week, i.e. the agreement is working.

9 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 24 November 2020


Appendix 1: police report

Coronavirus pandemic

The Police response under Operation Talla has continued in line with the updated Government guidelines from 9th October 2020. Enforcement powers granted to Police are continuing in line with amendments to Regulations 7 to 11, namely:

  • requirement for certain premises to close in the protected area (incl. Edinburgh) to members of the public – incl. nightclubs, theatres, softplay centres, pool/snooker halls, casinos, bowling alleys, bingo halls, sexual entertainment venues
  • requirement in the protected area for licensed premises to close any part in which food & drink are sold for consumption on the premises (does not relate to off-sales or toilets)
  • requirement in the protected area for unlicensed premises to close
  • restrictions on public gatherings in the protected area also amended

As a result, dedicated patrols of licensed premises have been reinstated to ensure compliance to the regulations.

Breakdown of calls in north Leith/Newhaven area (approx 324 in total)

stats are for period 22/09-25/10

  • 28 calls relating to public nuisance
  • 27 calls of theft
  • 24 domestic-related calls
  • 11 calls of other violence
  • 28 loud noise/music-related calls
  • 26 concern-for/missing person calls
  • 5 drug-related calls

Some of the local incidents/operations over the last month

  • on 2ndOctober 2020, we ran Operation Closepass in Leith & Craigmillar to educate roadusers about driving safely in the vicinity of cyclists – 35 vehicles were stopped, two drivers were breathalysed and one person was charged with a child being improperly secured within a moving vehicle and possession of drugs.
  • between Saturday 10thand Friday 17th October as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, a range of information stalls were held at various locations across Edinburgh focussing on a different strand of diversity each day. On Sunday 11th, we held a stall at Ocean Terminal and on Thursday 16th we held a stall at Tesco Duke Street, providing information and education to members of the public with regards to open-mindedness and prejudice.
  • on 21stOctober 2020, an electric scooter was seized from Great Junction Street after the rider was stopped by Police and reported for no insurance. Under current legislation, it is illegal to ride an electric scooter on public roadways without MOT, road tax and insurance, and on pavements or cyclepaths.
  • on 22ndOctober, a serious sexual assault was reported by a 17-year-old female in the grounds of South Leith parish church and an extensive investigation was conducted, including public appeals for information; however, no criminality was established and the case is now closed
  • on Fri 23rdOctober, two teenagers who had been trapped by the incoming tide after climbing over fencing at Pier Place were rescued after a joint response between Police, Ambulance, Fire and Coastguard services

Fireworks Night

From Friday 30th October, Police officers will be conducting proactive patrols – uniformed, plain-clothed and jointly with other agencies – in relation to antisocial behaviour relating to Halloween and Fireworks night. It is imperative that members of the public report any such incidents as they are happening, either directly to Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers on 0800555111.

“Empty Kitchen Full Hearts” @ Leith Theatre, 28-30 Ferry Road

Leith Theatre are currently hosting a free, hot meal service twice a day and free food delivery scheme provided by the charity “Empty Kitchen Full Hearts” for homeless and vulnerable members of the community. On 15th October, we attended at Leith Theatre and met with staff to see their operation underway first-hand.

Appendix 2: secretary’s report & links


10 Appendix 3: chair’s report

I thank you again for attending this meeting.

It seems no time since the last meeting. I will cover most of my own activity under other sections of the Agenda.

Neil Tulloch our Engagement Officer and I had a walking meeting where we discussed this role. Secretary and myself will gradually hand over some of our initiatives over in the weeks ahead. I ask all of you to welcome Neil into this role, where the ink on the Remit may not be yet dry, and work with him to make this our LHNCC success story. I have come across a small number of Officers in other Community Councils and have yet to see a suitable role model.

The Planning Applications never stop as you will see later in Jennifer’s Planning Sub Group report. I hope that you will all have time to read these. Most of us have been involved in the Discovery Garden letter’s production. Let us hope that our heart felt remarks will not go unheeded.

Licensing applications, although mainly changes to existing, will be my personal challenge as Arthur and I develop our LHNCC resources and expertise into 2021.

Looking forward to hearing more from Elaine at our next meeting on our Application to Crown Estates.

I have news on our Neighbourhood Network and associated Partnership Meetings which are outlined elsewhere.

Douglas Tharby, Chair, October 2020

10.a Neighbourhood Networks

I regret that I have no news of there being a meeting arranged for Leith Neighbourhood Network. This is a matter of my concern as it has been such a long time since the Network met in the spring before Lockdown.

There is an underlying problem with Neighbourhood networks across the City with many being in a precarious state. Our Locality, the North East, has only two Networks at present, our own and Craigmillar represented by Alex Staniforth, CEC Councillor following the resignation of Geoff Pearson of Northfield and Willowbrae to pursue other interests.

10.b Checkpoint Group

This met virtually on 7th October to review work done to date on a Draft Strategy and consider Actions taken and to be taken in line with the Edinburgh Partnership. It is hoped that the Checkpoint Group can make a difference in the working of this and encourage more information on the Website on partners working together on community issues. The Checkpoint Group will meet again in early November and a further update will be given at the November LHNCC meeting.

10.c North East Locality Community Planning Partnership

This met, again virtually, on 14th October, the last meeting being 27th February which was Chaired by myself. As well as a review of our now established Action Tracker there were two presentations:

10.c.i End Poverty in Edinburgh – Edinburgh Poverty Commission’s Final Report

This report seeks to engage the Partnership to eliminate poverty in Edinburgh by 2030. I have written to our Locality Manager, Evelyn Kilmurry and Strategy and Insights Manager, Michele Mulvaney, expressing my concern that it appears not to engage with the private sector as they are not currently represented on the Partnership yet this sector holds the key to low wages being paid in what has been correctly described as an Affluent City. I will keep this CC informed of the outcome of this approach.

10.c.ii North East Locality Improvement Plan Progress update/Proposed High Level Actions

This largely compliments the End Poverty in Edinburgh report and translates into local Actions but extends to cover Access to Work, Learning and Training Opportunities and providing a good Place to live. These are set as Priorities. I will update on this when these are translated into Actions.

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