MInutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council annual general meeting, held via Zoom, on Tuesday 22 June 2021 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
|Elaine Dick||LHNCC||Douglas Tharby||LHNCC||Bill Rodger||Trinity CC|
|Don Giles||LHNCC||Neil Tulloch||LHNCC||1 resident/visitor|
|Jennifer Marlborough||LHNCC||Cllr Chas Booth||Leith ward|
1.b Apologies for absence
|Stewart Auld||LHNCC||Cllr Gordon Munro||Leith ward||Bruce Ryan||Minutes secretary|
|Arthur Young||LHNCC||Sgt Elaine McArthur-Kerr||Police Scotland|
2 Approval of the minutes of the 2020 annual general meeting
Proposed D Tharby, seconded N Tulloch, nem con
3 Annual Report, Chairman: brief review of year
See full report in Appendix 1. Main points were
- We did not expect to still be under lockdown at this time.
- Some businesses in the area have closed (some of these permanently), but others are opening
- Cycling has increased, but traffic volumes on major roads are ‘relentless’.
- Lockdown has led to the need to book wherever we go, and reduction in use of money.
- Leith is a strong community – it will persevere. It has done so in the past, and there is plenty of evidence of this.
- Leith has adapted to many changes. However, in common with many other places, it needs a food-bank.
- Housing must be fit for current and future needs. LHNCC will continue to insist on this.
- LHNCC members are volunteers. I thank all members for their work.
- LHNCC has met successfully online (via Zoom) for over a year. Leithers have made this happen.
- Leithers will voice their opinions. LHNCC thanks Leithers for their input, and convey their messages.
- LeithChooses went online very successfully, betting over 3000 votes.
- The new Victoria primary school has been delayed – look out for future reports.
- Thanks to our CEC councillors, MSP and MP, and the developers who have presented to LHNCC.
4 Treasurer’s report: accounts for FY 2020/21 (to be ratified)
See full report in appendix 2. Main points were
- Income was mostly from CEC grant: ~£845
- Increases in expenditure are mostly from paying for Zoom to enable online meetings
- Other expenditure includes poppy wreaths for memorials, support for the Victoria primary school and LeithChooses.
The report was approved (proposed E Dick, seconded J Marlborough, nem con)
5 Annual Report, Secretary: brief review of year
See full report in Appendix 3. Main points were
- Thanks to LHNCC residents, members and councillors for their work and support.
- The previous year’s AGM was delayed due to COVID.
- One of the things that has kept LHNCC going during this period is planning – it has been an ‘extraordinarily busy’ year for LHNCC, and COVID has made this work more difficult. We have expressed concerns to CEC about the cumulative workload. Extra work has stemmed from breaches of planning conditions.
- Despite this, LHNCC’s planning work has generally been successful, mostly due to LHNCC’s planning groups teamwork.
- There are concerns that developers do not know Leith and its history/heritage, leading to unsuitable plans. Some have been uncontactable, except via their agents, adding to the difficulty of LHNCC’s planning work.
- Exciting news includes the memorial for John Rennie, to be unveiled in October by Ben Macpherson MSP.
- Local residents have provided access to many valuable resources during lockdown and trams-disruption.
- Work has continued through online platforms, e.g. Heart of Newhaven steering group.
- Leith market has continued during the lockdown, even though current offerings are mostly food.
- LeithChooses was successful, with much community support. Leith Theatre has helped with food supplies.
- Community action has been very strong, involving all sorts of people. Planning applications should reflect this.
- This was Leith’s centenary year. Stories on the website are well worth visiting. Leith 100 Days – Leith Forever
- Unfortunately there will be no Leith Gala day or VPS Newhaven Gala Day in 2021.
- LHNCC continues to work on transport matters, e.g. trams to Newhaven (via CCTT), Edinburgh Bus Users’ Group (EBUG)There are some significant absent bus stops. EBUG has met with CEC councillors, and co-operates with Spokes and Living Streets. Other LHNCC transport work includes the controlled parking zone (CPZ)
- Other LHNCC work includes participation in workshops, briefings and training, and membership of Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (EACC), and co-operation with Leith Links, Trinity and Granton CCs – and with CCs involved with the Seafield project.
- LHNCC has participated in many consultations. LHNCC encourages its community to respond to these.
Action: Cllr Booth to forward CEC’s new policy on consultations to LHNCC
6 Demit of current office bearers and election of office bearers
There was only one candidate for each position. Each candidate was elected nem con.
|Chair||Douglas Tharby||Don Giles||Jennifer Marlborough|
|Vicechair||Elain Dick||Douglas Tharby||Jennifer Marlborough|
|Secretary||Jennifer Marlborough||Neil Tulloch||Don Giles|
|Treasurer||Douglas Tharby||Elaine Dick||Neil Tulloch|
|Engagement officer||Neil Tulloch||Elaine Dick||Douglas Tharby|
7 Date of next AGM
Tuesday 28 June 2022
8 Appendix 1: chair’s annual report
It does not seem long since our last AGM but it is time for the Chair at LHNCC to record the previous year for the community. I must admit that I did not imagine that we would still be having to work with restrictions. Although with so many of us now having been vaccinated (this time last year this was only a ‘dream’ that we might be) we can afford to look to a future when the restrictions on our travel, meetings with others and general personal precautions may be less and become part of what will have to be a ‘new normal’.
At the time of writing this I have already seen the report of our Secretary Jennifer Marlborough so it seems perhaps pointless to go over the same ground, so I am not going to and leave to her to remind you of all that has been done with planning, the trams and our ongoing dialogue with the City of Edinburgh. I am going to take a slightly different tack, bear with me it will work.
This had been quite a year. Last September we were hoping for a vaccine, we now have not just one but several. We thought that ‘Lockdown’ was a word we could soon forget, sadly we still have some restrictions and certainly will not be having a holiday abroad this year unless we can self-isolate, possibly at considerable expense, on our return. We saw some of our well established businesses close down temporarily and some of those are now permanently closed. On a brighter note, we have at least one bar selling a drink called Leith Juice (my thanks to the Campervan Brewery, it is only just NOT in ‘Our Area’. We see more people of all ages on bicycles of all shapes and sizes, some clearly for the first time at just a bit wobbly, and almost empty buses pass by. The traffic on our major arterial roads seems to be relentless perhaps worse than before. When we eat out we have to book a table on-line, there are no printed menus at the table, we have to order our food and drinks on our phones, we have to ‘sign in’ wherever we go and using cash seems to be a thing of the past in most places. Just how do you manage all this without a phone or bank account?
But Leith is a strong community. Our own Leith logo has the word ‘Persevere’ within it. We have had some bad times in the past as a walk around the very old North Leith Churchyard in Coburg Street will confirm. The skull and crossbones indicate dead from plague or disease. Leith has been there before.
From our local history, Leith has always been a changing community. The many archived photographs on display at the Living Memory Association collection, now moved to the top floor in Ocean Terminal, and all of the uploaded photographs and videos available on Youtube pay tribute to this. Our railways, ship building and repair yards, wine/spirit stores and factories now replaced by creative industries, artists and craft makers. Leith lives on with new skills and new employment.
While Leith is a mixed and vibrant community. At any time of day on Great Junction Street it is busy with shoppers and at later times of the day with revellers drinking in our bars or heading out on the town. Our Shore is known throughout the world, we have Michelin star restaurants and some of the finest food in the world using locally sourced ingredients. Yes, we have a Foodbank as well, but then so do many cities and large towns throughout the country, this is sadly a necessary resource in our modern world I feel ashamed to have to admit to it.
Home is everything. I was caught up in the traffic at the bottom (or is it the top) of Lochend Road this morning where that ‘controversial’ roundabout used to be and saw this on one of the larger posters, from the Charity Shelter. Leithers have made homes even in the poorest of housing in the past and will, I am sure, continue to do so in the new housing that we have around us. That housing will have to be fit for all the needs now and in the future of the Leith community. LHNCC will continue to insist that developers make sure that this happens.
8.a Our LHNCC work over the year
Please do remember that we are all volunteers, we each give of our time willingly and take no expenses from our limited coffers. As Chair, I thank each and every one of them for this and ask that all Leithers extend their thanks to us as they can and are able to do.
We have been using Zoom for our meetings for well over a year now. I am most impressed by our attendances at monthly meetings using this method. I admit I was a bit worried at the start that this would work, but it has. Leithers made it happen and also when we shared meetings with other Community Councils on issues of a common interest.
Leithers are involved in their community and very willing to voice their dissatisfaction of some future plans for our buildings as we witnessed in the Stead’s Place campaign perhaps to the surprise of many outsiders.
We at LHNCC in turn thank the Leith community for their time, their resolve and their comment on the issues that matter. We listened, we noted and we conveyed their message onwards to the right desk or computer screen.
8.a.i Our joint project with LLCC and LCCC
£eith Chooses has been our triparty CC shared Participatory Budgeting project for several years and this year we could not have a Voting Day experience but nevertheless over 3,000 votes were cast online for the £51,000 of award funding available. Leithers made their choices when asked to do so.
8.a.ii Our new school
The building of the new Victoria Primary School has continued although it is frustrated by a lack of materials and its opening is delayed as a result. The existing building has now an exciting future as the Heart of Newhaven project will determine. There will be more to report on this next 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 and the Developers who have taken time to prepare and make presentations to the Community Council.
Leithers will Persevere
Thank you for taking the time to read this report.
Stay well. Stay safe. Wear a face covering when expected to do so.
Douglas Tharby, Chair
9 Appendix 2: treasurer’s annual report (year ending 31 March 2021)
Our only source of income has been the City of Edinburgh Council Grant of £845.64 and a small amount of Interest on our Royal Bank of Scotland account.
A full year is covered enabling some comparisons to be made with the previous year.
Some increased administrative expenditure was required this past year due to the Covid 19 Lockdown to permit LHNCC to hold our regular meetings virtually.
We have received considerable support from members of our own community and beyond in the business of our virtual meetings and guest presentations over the year.
We in turn paid our respects to the Leith community in the purchase of poppy wreaths to mark:
The Gretna Rail Disaster on 22nd May, 1915 placed at the memorial in Rosebank Cemetery
The November 11th Armistice, placed in the Leith Community Treatment Centre
Following the Scottish Seafarers’s Service in South Leith Church on Sunday 15th November placed at the Merchants Navy Memorial opposite the Malmaison on 17th November.
We continued our support of the only school in our CC area, Victoria Primary School in Newhaven, with small gifts from Santa, there being no Christmas Lights ceremony in December 2020.
This year we made a contribution of £50.00 to the shared general administrative cost of £eith Chooses our highly successful Participative Budgeting project.
Douglas Tharby, Treasurer, Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council (22 June 2021)
9.a Income and Expenditure Account (as at 31 March 2021)
|VPS (Xmas lights)||32.00||268.17|
|Leith Gala etc.||–||22.00|
9.b Bank Transactions
|POS||103.20||Memorial Wreaths, Lady Haig|
|BAC||845.64||Edinburgh Council Grant (Credit)|
|601||32.00||Events: VPS, Confectionery|
|602||50.00||£eith Chooses contribution|
10 Appendix 3: secretary’s annual report
Our AGM was postponed last year due to COVID restrictions and was held on 22 September 2020 so this report reflects this.
This has been another very busy and extraordinary year for our Community Council as we continue to experience so many changes and planning has not escaped. We have continued to introduce new ways to communicate with developers, the Council planning department and the local community to maintain a democratic process where possible using digital meetings. On the whole this has been successful with public access provided, unfortunately this is not available to all. Developers have also provided online public consultations.
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 The Seafield Project and Granton North West that includes the Granton Waterfront Regeneration. Other development proposals and consultations across adjacent CCs that we have followed include Iona St., Stead’s Place/Leith Walk, Constitution St., and Salamander Road.
We continue to monitor large and complex and sometimes controversial 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). Various types of Planning applications for major local developments have been submitted and are going through the appropriate procedural stages at present. These include Western Harbour, Sandpiper Drive, Salamander St/Bath Road, Rennie’s Isle, Skyliner
We have had success in areas that were controversial.
10.a.i Breach of planning applications and letters of objection have been submitted
- Albert Dock/Stevedore Place regarding removal of traditional bollards and chains and have subsequently gone through Appeals and Planning Local Review body. The LBC breach application was upheld and refused by Appeals committee and the FUL application goes to Planning Local Review Body 23/6/21 for final consideration, this will include decision regarding reinstatement.
- Hemingway’s (Commercial St/The Shore still awaiting site visit regarding decked area.
- The Granary, The Shore frontage change of colour. The owners have been spoken to about this.
- Commercial Street application to infill water features received over 300 objections and application was withdrawn by owner. The paint colour of frontages was also questioned and is being investigated.
10.a.ii Construction work on Trams to Newhaven continues, with associated disruption across the area.
- An area of major concern was the proposed removal of Discovery Garden at OT was highly debated and attracted press coverage and support for its retention from the community groups and general public. This resulted in agreement to retain the garden.
- The removal of trees on Ocean Drive (Barrett Housing development) also attracted a great deal of concern. There was agreement made that trees would be replaced in a nearby location.
Full 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. https://lhncc.org.uk/planning/
Ocean Terminal has been invaluable to local residents providing access throughout lockdowns to M&S Foodhall, Boots, Bike Craft and Holland & Barrett. The Discovery Garden also provided a haven for many during this period. 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 for Charitable status was successful and the Trustees were successful in their application to purchase the Victoria Primary School building for the the community. There was a holdup regarding application for Scottish Government Land Fund financing due to COVID restriction and elections but a Stage Two applications for funding have now been resubmitted to the Scottish Land Fund. You can follow the journey and progress on their website https://heartofnewhaven.co.uk
Leith Market every Saturday continues to be a great place to meet local people. Unfortunately the facility was also affected by Covid-19 but I am pleased to say it been operational over the past few months.
Unfortunately many regular events including Leith Festival, productions and events by Citadel Arts Group and Leith Theatre continue to be affected by COVID but following dedicated work and on line effort they have successfully provided many imaginative online activities to compensate. This effort also included the Leith Chooses team who provided the event in a different format that proved to be very successful. Unfortunately Newhaven Gala day has also suffered and cannot go ahead this year.
Leith centenary year was celebrated with Leith Forever 100 days that remains available and has recently reached day 100 and remains available: Link. https://www.leithforever.org/100days
Newhaven Gala day also suffered and could not go ahead.
Other groups organisations that we have interest in and representation on include:
- Leith Heritage Trust
- Cockburn Association Civic Trust
- Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
- Leith Rotary and Leith Civic Trust
- Friends of Water of Leith Basins
LHNCC continues to work in coalition with other Leith community councils under the ‘Community Councils Together On Trams (CCTT) initiative. This remains a very effective route for the questioning of Tram progress and plans, the representation of community concerns, and gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges for all. Work is fully underway and we are assured completion is still on track for Spring 2023. 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. There are continuing concerns about floating bus stops and removal of some. Members of the committee undertook a Pilot ‘bus stop audit’ covering The Mound-George IV Bridge-Lauriston Place on 30/4/21. The results of this were presented at AGM on 17/6/21 and will be made available shortly, we are also planning to provide template for audit that can be used by the public and community groups. These will be available on EBUG website that should be available soon, in the meantime you can follow us on Twitter. Link. https://twitter.com/eBug_UK
10.d City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) and Scottish Government (Scot. Govt.)
We have responded to and participated in workshops, briefings and training events provided this year. We also have representation on Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (AECC)
Communication and ways of working. We continue to review the way in which LHNCC operates, makes decisions, and records them. The executive team 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.
LHNCC regularly participates in a range of CEC and Scot. Govt. consultations on matters affecting the local community, and this year in particular we have contributed to discussions and consultations surrounding the future workings of Community Council, Spaces for People, Leith Connections, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, Controlled Parking Zones, Coalie Park, Granton Waterfront and other generic ones that affect the City. Most recent ones that are still active include:
10.d.ii Scot. Govt.
We would encourage the community to take part and contribute.
Jennifer Marlborough, 22 June 2020