LHNCC June 2021 ordinary meeting minutes

MInutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held via Zoom, on Tuesday 22 June 2021 at 7:30pm

1 Introductions, apologies

1.a Present

Elaine DickLHNCCDouglas TharbyLHNCCBill RodgerTrinity CC
Don GilesLHNCCNeil TullochLHNCC1 resident/visitor 
Jennifer MarlboroughLHNCCCllr Chas BoothLeith ward  

1.b Apologies for absence

Stewart AuldLHNCCCllr Gordon MunroLeith wardBruce RyanMinutes secretary
Arthur YoungLHNCCSgt Elaine McArthur-KerrPolice Scotland  

2 Declaration of interests

none

3 Minutes of May 2021 meeting

Approved as-is (proposed J Marlborough, seconded E Dick, nem con)

4 Matters arising

Covered in agenda below

5 Police report

See full report PDF on LHNCC’s website. Text of this report is in Appendix 1.

  • J Marlborough noted that the number of calls about missing persons is ‘distressing’.
    • Action: Cllr Booth to check with police whether this number is typical of Edinburgh in general.
  • A resident noted that young people had been seen throwing objects at swans at Victoria Bridge. Community police are now aware of this.

6 Councillor, MSP, MP reports

6.a Cllr Booth

  • Labour and SNP CEC councillors’ group meetings are on Tuesdays, so it is difficult for them to attend LHNCC meetings.
  • CEC transport and environment ctte has referred its decision on Spaces for People to the full Council meeting (23 June).
    • There are no SfP measures in LHNCC’s area.
  • Responses to the low traffic neighbourhood consultation are encouraged.
  • I have been working on housing sustainability, e.g. CEC investment in housing insulation, higher standards for new buildings.
  • I have a put a motion to full council to suspend evictions due to rent arrears while covid restrictions remain in Edinburgh.
  • There is discussion on where secondary education in Gaelic should take place. Currently, some is taught in Gillespie’s High School. I would prefer such teaching to be in central Edinburgh, rather than in Liberton (far south).
  • Steads Place decision came back to planning committee about 2 weeks ago. The new plans do not include student housing but would retain the sandstone frontage. Permission was granted. Active travel through the site could have been better.
  • A new protocol now allows site visits under certain circumstances. I have asked for a visit to Hemmingways.

6.a.i Questions

  • D Giles: is CEC now more in favour of district heating schemes (DHSs)?
    • CEC’s standard (from November 2020) mandates that CEC buildings will meet ‘gold’ standards for carbon emissions and ‘silver’ standards for all other elements. It is not clear that this mandates DHSs, so I will probe further. The optimal route includes effective insulation and use of renewable resources.
  • B Rodger: has Gaelic teaching been raised in the context of rebuilding Trinity Academy?
    • Not to my knowledge. There may not be space in the new TA build. Edinburgh may have 3 or 4 Gaelic-medium primary schools, and thus need a ‘substantial’ stand-alone secondary school.
  • A resident: what about the Cala plastic grass?
    • CEC officers do not agree this was a breach of permissions; the plastic grass is in an area which would have had decking. I have asked for clarification on whether Cala was required to seek permission for the plastic grass, and whether they did so. Officers are seeking legal advice. I will keep digging.
  • E Dickident: Can you/CEC help with furthering work at Discovery Gardens?
    • I will try but it may be difficult if CEC has now ownership here.
  • J Marlborough: bike racks at Ocean Terminal were recently fenced off. Some have since been re-opened but these are full every day. Can safe bike racks/stores be provided?
    • I will take this up.

7 Chair, Secretary and Treasurer reports

7.a Chair’s report

See full report in Appendix 2. Key points were

  • Local businesses are getting back some custom.
  • I attended Trinity CC’s June meeting. Co-work includes a consultation on ensuring the prosperity of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region.
  • LHNCC will be in recess in July, but I will be working in July, e.g. the EACC meeting on Edinburgh 2030.
    • However, there is likely to be much planning work during this period
  • North East Locality Community Planning Partnership will meet on 19 August.

7.b Treasurer’s report

  • Current balance = £634·84 taking into account all cheques written and our monthly charge for Zoom.
  • Action: D Tharby to forward approved accounts to CEC, and hence apply for LHNCC’s annual grant from CEC

8 Standing reports

8.a Planning

All points made by J Marlborough unless otherwise noted.

8.a.i Albert Dock update

  • Full application to go to local review body (which will be viewable online).
  • It is unclear whether the local review body can approve an application which has already been refused by CEC
  • It is not easy to understand the listed building application in terms of the full application because these cover different areas.
    • Cllr Booth: In general, applications that need both listed building consent and normal planning consent cannot proceed unless both consents are granted.

8.a.ii Hemmingway’s (Commercial St)

  • A site visit may happen. This application was first refused about 18 months ago.

8.a.iii Seafield Project update

  • N Tulloch: Professor Harry Smith and colleagues of the Urban Institute (Heriot-Watt University) presented on ‘Seafield master-planning’. This challenged some of the group’s assumptions. Prof Smith’s students are welcome to join further discussions on topics of mutual interest.
  • I also met with CEO of Edinburgh dog and cat home. There are currently no definite plans for the home to move, but a land-swap is possible.
  • The group met with the chair of the sounding board, raising an issue which might otherwise have been cast aside.
  • The group had a ‘walk and talk’ with CEC officers working on Seafield – this was illuminating for both parties.
  • Next sounding board meeting is 24 August.

8.a.iv Commercial Quay Update

  • CEC had supported the problematic colour-changes at 92 CQ. This clashes with heritage principles in my opinion.
  • Water features fountains have now had pumps repaired and are working, but have been turned lower to avoid splashing people.

8.a.v Victor Hugo, The Shore

  • The owner has supplied the proposed frontage design. He is keen on Leith’s heritage The vertical strips in the design are not so favourable.
    • Action: J Marlborough to send in LHNCC’s response, including a request for a less intense red in the finished work.

8.a.vi Coallie park carpark

  • Citadel Youth Group would like a shed here to store canoes etc. There are concerns that such use of Water of Leith basins may affect wildlife.
    • E Dick: the planned ‘shed’ appears to be a big shipping container. How would this fit with current plans for the park? Has Leith Central CC (Charlotte Encombe) been informed? LHNCC take advice from the conservation trust, and ascertain the amount of canoeing etc envisaged
    • D Giles: it is of concern that more canoeing here would affect wildlife. LHNCC should keep pursuing this matter.
    • Cllr Booth: there are no current plans to site public toilets at Coallie park. I can pursue this, but CEC has just agreed a policy of installing toilets at green spaces such as Leith Links.
    • B Rodger: why is CEC differentiating between facilities green spaces and blue spaces?
    • Action: Cllr Booth to supply relevant CEC policy document

8.a.vii Ocean Terminal

  • OT is applying for permission to demolish the car-park and Debenhams branch. Then, depending on an environmental impact assessment (EIA) screening submitted, this may be followed with FUL planning application. depending on result.

8.a.viii Public toilets

See item 6a of May minutes.

8.b Licensing

No issues

8.c Transport

All points made by J Marlborough unless otherwise noted.

8.c.i Trams/Community Councils Together on Trams

  • Notification of closure of discovery gardens has been received. Details will be in the next newsletter.

8.c.ii Edinburgh Bus User’s Group

  • Covered in LHNCC annual report.

8.d Environment

All points made by E Dick unless otherwise noted.

8.d.i Discovery Gardens

  • I have followed up commitments by the Botanics to revitalize plans for the gardens, hopefully with a maritime flavour.
  • There are currently invasive shrubs. The gardens will be closed for 3-4 months.
  • Contact with CEC over tree-management (e.g. of ash die-back) have not been fruitful. It would be sensible to clear affected trees during the closure.
  • Ocean Terminal manager has suggested formation of a friends group for the gardens to undertake ongoing maintenance.

8.d.ii Tree-felling at Victoria Quay

  • It is not known who carried this out this felling, which was in the conservation area. It wasn’t CEC or Scottish Government. (SG building manager would like to know why he wasn’t informed.)
    • Can LHNCC invite a CEC tree officer to speak on protection of trees.
    • B Rodger: There is concern in the Trinity CC area about tree-felling. Protection arrangements seem weak. There are poor arrangements for tree-maintenance.

8.e Heritage

  • J Marlborough: there has been a query about the Granary’s frontage.
  • J Marlborough: other matters are covered in the secretary annual report. (See AGM minutes.)

8.f Community

J Marlborough: most matters are covered in the secretary annual report. (See AGM minutes)

8.f.i Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) (Leith Connections)

  • J Marlborough: there is a workshop about this tomorrow evening. Leith Connections seems to have morphed into the LTD.
    • It is disappointing that all planned measures are for south of Commercial St, so it is not clear how cyclists can access Ocean Terminal.
    • Leaflets were only sent to people in the marked area, rather than covering all of Leith.
    • The consultation is at https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/low-traffic-neighbourhoods. It ends on 4 July. There are some issues with consultations.
    • D Tharby: LHNCC has made its views known to CEC’s director of place.

8.f.ii Spaces for People – report

  • See Cllr Booth’s report above.

8.f.iii North East Community Planning Partnership

D Tharby: See chair’s report

8.f.iv LeithChooses

  • D Giles/D Tharby: work continues towards next year’s voting event. It is not clear what CEC’s community engagement will be, due to increasing numbers of coronavirus infections. The LC steering group is considering its future structure. New members would be very welcome.

9 Resident issues

Most such issues were covered above.

  • J Marlborough: there has been a complaint about noise from the tram-works in Stevedore Place.

10 AOCB

No items

11 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 24 August 2021

12 Appendix 1: text of police report

Summer is here and Leith CPT have been out and about engaging with the Community…

12.a Calls from 20/05/2021 – 20/06/2021

Breakdown of calls in North Leith/Newhaven:

  • Approx 289 calls in total:
  • 23 road traffic calls
  • 4 neighbour disputes
  • 20 Calls of theft/hb
  • 9 domestic related calls
  • 6 assault calls
  • 52 disturbance/public nuisance/noise calls
  • 28 concern for/missing person
  • 4 drug related calls
  • 4 damage calls
  • 5 vehicle crime calls
  • 8 abandoned vehicle calls
  • 2 hate crimes

12.a.i Local Issues we have been tackling:

  • Drug and Alcohol Misuse
    • Hostel Liaison Officer, PC Campbell, has been visiting hostels and other accommodation with Turning Point Scotland reaching out to those people who are suitable for referral for drug and alcohol misuse.
  • Enforcing Coronavirus regulations within the hospitality industry
    • Officers having been carrying out licensed premises inspections to ensure they adhere to Coronavirus Regulations

12.a.ii ASB around the Shore

Over a 4 week period Police received approximately 5 calls about amplified music/drinking (1 call) around the Shore.

Officers continue to patrol the Shore area as much as possible and deal with ASB robustly.

12.b Advice and Support

12.b.i Coronavirus Regulations

  • Edinburgh is at Level 2 and you can meet socially in groups of up to:
  • 6 people from 3 households in your home or theirs – and can stay overnight
  • 6 people from 3 households in an indoor public place like a café, pub or restaurant
  • 8 people from 8 households outdoors

12.c Looking Forward:

  • Each month we provide advice and support on initiatives we are running.
  • This month we will address “Rogue Traders”…
  • Please let us know if there is a particular issue you would like us to address in the monthly newsletter and we will do our best to accommodate.

12.c.i Questions?

  • In the temporary absence of Community Officer PC Casselden, please contact PC Campbell E0019 if you have any questions about the information provided in this report.
  • Contact details are provided on the last page.

12.d Beware of Rogue Traders!

12.d.i Who can help me?

To report a crime call 101 or in an emergency 999

If you have concerns about a purchase that you have made, contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 600

For advice on how to Shut Out Scammers please visit www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/shut-out-scammers or http://www.tsscot.co.uk/priority-areas/doorstep-scammers

12.d.ii it’s not easy to spot a rogue trader.

They look trustworthy and seem genuine. They have a branded van, a website, look professional and even have online reviews. They might look like the real deal, but cowboy traders just want to scam you. Don’t let scammers into your home. Just say no.

12.d.iii How can you spot a rogue trader?

The mast common types of work offered are roofing, driveways and gardening. They mainly operate during the spring and summer months when lots of people are looking to get work done around the house and garden.

They will:

  • Offer to do small jobs cheaper than competitors. However, once started they claim that urgent and more expensive repair work is needed on your property when this is not the case.
  • Claim they can start immediately and offer special discounted deals if you pay in cash now, trying to rush your decision.
  • Complete similar work in your area to give you confidence in them. However, scammers have been known to finish one job in order to get into a local area. They then go on to scam, mislead and overcharge additional customers in the surrounding area.
  • They can have a local telephone number and claim to have a local business premises. Telephone numbers can now be purchased and business units can be let short term. Scammers will often go to great lengths to make you believe they are local.

12.d.iv What can you do to shut out the scammers?

  • lf you don’t want any cold callers, you can request a No Cold Calling sticker from your local Trading Standards office.
  • Always ask for identification.
  • Consult your local Trusted Trader Scheme via scot and obtain three quotes for any maintenance work.
  • Never feel pressured into making a decision on the spot. Any legitimate trader will be happy to return at a later date, use this time to research their business.
  • Never agree to a trader starting work straight away and never hand over any money without seeing proper paperwork.
  • Making sure that you understand the terms and conditions, including cancellation rights. Make use of your cooling off period to think about the proposed work.
  • Never be afraid to say ‘No thank you’ and close the door.
  • You can also sign up to the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Alert system (https://www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk/sign-up-for-alerts) to receive timely alerts about local crime Prevention and safety issues from partners such as Police Scotland.

12.e About Us

  • Local Area Commander: Chief Inspector Murray Tait
  • Leith Community Policing Team based at Leith Police Station:
    • Inspector Colin Fordyce
    • Sergeant Elaine McArthur Kerr
    • Plus 8 officers dedicated to community issues in Leith

12.e.i Contact Us:

13 Appendix 2: chair’s report

It seems no time since I was writing my last update. The warm weather has brought out local residents and visitors and it is good to see many our local businesses getting back at least some of their custom, indeed it was nice to sit outside and enjoy a drink yesterday evening for the first time in what seems like ages and near the water fountains which we fought so hard to retain.

I attended the meeting of Trinity Community Council on 14th June. Besides being able to update them on issues within our LHNCC area that may or indeed have an impact upon them it was good to share with them details on the ‘Consultation on ensuring the prosperity of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region’ which began on June 14th. Following a brief but worthwhile conversation with Cllr Elle Bird, who sits on the Transport Committee, I agreed with their Chair Bill Rodger that we need a more strategic approach to mobility across north Edinburgh. Bill and I are due to meet to being this process with a meeting on 24th June. This will be on the eve of the North West Waterfront Regeneration presentation which I will be attending at 6.00 p.m. that day.

We will now go into recess for the summer until we meet again on 23rd August. I am sure that it will be no ‘holiday’ for any of us as the planning applications will continue to require our attention almost relentlessly.

The only date in the diary as yet in this ‘holiday’ period is on Thursday 19th August when the North East Locality Community Planning Partnership will meet. I will report back on this at our meeting. I have this as an ‘Action’ and will enhance the reporting arrangements for the benefit of members and local residents alike.

Stay well, Stay Safe and enjoy that sunshine while it lasts. Don’t forget to spend money in our local shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.

Please get your vaccine when you can, that is if you have not already done so. We can only hope to defeat this virus and get our lives back when we have all been vaccinated.

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