LHNCC September 2021 minutes

Minutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held via MS Teams, on Tuesday 28 September 2021 at 6:30pm

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 Douglas Tharby LHNCC Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward
Elaine Dick LHNCC Neil Tulloch LHNCC Cllr Gordon Munro Leith ward
Don Giles LHNCC PC Chris Casselden Police Scotland ~???? residents/visitors
Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC Bill Rodger Trinity CC

1.b Apologies for absence

Arthur Young LHNCC Cllr Adam McVey Leith ward
Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith

2 Declaration of interests


3 Minutes of 24 August 2021 meeting

Approved as-is (proposed D Giles, seconded N Tulloch, nem con)

4 Matters arising

Action: residents’ questions submitted via Eventbrite to be covered in appropriate agenda-items below

5 Police Report

See full report in appendix 1.

  • PC Casselden noted the statistics in the report. This is his own analysis – ‘official’ statistics only become available much later. The missing persons statistic is around double that of this time last year. PC Casselden noted that the first incident reported in item 13.c below is the only incident directly related to COVID.
  • J Marlborough: a resident has asked about antisocial behavior stemming from overprovision of homeless facilities locally.
    • PC Casselden: relevant charities and services are available. In the summer, shelters are closed, adding to difficulties. Police have attended calls around rough sleeping, working to get people housed – this is not a short process.
  • A resident: how does the burglary statistic compare to previous times?
    • PC Casselden: it’s about double that of this time last year, but this may due to the way statistics were compiled. It’s about the same as last month.it includes theft of bikes, so we try to encourage cyclists to take appropriate action.
  • PC Casselden: there has been a spate of graffiti from Victoria Bridge to The Shore in late September. This spate does not have tags recognized from earlier offences, so cannot be attributed known offenders. There are insufficient police officers to patrol against this.
    • Cllr Munro: it may help to speak with CEC housing officers, who have knowledge of permitted graffiti.
  • Cllr Munro: there is a problem with spillover-clientele of the Spey Bar intimidating Tesco customers. Police should work with the landlord to help manage these customers.
    • PC Casselden: I concur – we deal with the Spey frequently. All incidents are reported to the licensing board.
  • PC Casselden: policing COP26 is likely to abstract many Edinburgh police.

6 Councillor/MSP/MP reports

6.a Cllr Booth

Cllr Booth’s connection was intermittent. Action: Cllr Booth to email his report

6.b Cllr Munro

  • CEC will not meet in person until at least the start of 2022. Other CEC buildings are also not opening, impeding (for example) councillors’ surgeries.
  • The current SG financial position includes £631m underspend. This will be allocated to 2021-22 spend but it’s not yet been stated how it will be allocated. There is £1·1b of COVID funding received from the UK government. This could be spent on recovery, public transport etc by local authorities such as CEC.
  • Edinburgh Joint Board is making decisions today on whether to close four care-homes. I oppose such closures because they would lead to an overall increase in care-spend due to increased at-home care-costs, i.e. refurbishment would be more cost-effective. A care strategy should be developed to take into account residents’ circumstances etc. There are many vacancies at these homes, yet there is a waiting list.
    • Bill Rodger: the number of Scots suffering from dementia is predicted to double, so more care facilities are needed.
    • J Marlborough: it is concerning that the current version of CityPlan 2030 in part repeats previous local plans. For example, elderly and disabled people come under affordable housing. There is nothing about care needs/facilities such as dementia. 20-minute neighbourhoods that contain all the facilities and housing-types people need should be constructed, not just large housing schemes, to create communities.
    • Cllr Munro: I concur – this is why joined-up discussions are needed. The strategy is to enable people to remain in their own homes as long as possible, but ‘homes for life’ are needed to enable this. These need to be in suitable places.
    • A resident: in the Leith Central area, there is a new development containing both a nursery and homes for elderly people. Such developments enable mixing of generations.
    • Cllr Booth: there is a new policy in the plan to ensure that housing is accessible to all ages and mobilities.

7 Chair, Secretary and Treasurer reports

7.a Chair

See full report in Appendix 2.

  • It was very welcome to work with other Leith CCs’ members at the recent Leith Market.
  • Tram works are in progress.
  • New restaurants have opened.
  • CityPlan 2030 has much jargon. What are Leithers and CCs meant to do in response to the document? Some elements are perhaps over-aspirational, and it’s not clear who will pay to enable these aspirations to be realized?
  • The EACC September meeting on biodiversity was illuminating and thought-provoking.
  • Empty Kitchens is doing ‘phenomenal’ work.

7.b Secretary

All points are covered in other agenda items

7.c Treasurer

  • Current balance of our bank account is £763·41, taking into account all cheques written and our monthly charge for Zoom and Office for Business.
  • This past month we purchased a laptop for the CC and this will enable us to store and refer to our many documents and emails securely and be less reliant upon personal computer equipment for our business.

8 Standing reports

8.a Planning

All points made by J Marlborough unless otherwise noted

8.a.i Ocean Terminal – PAN online consultation

  • JM: Online exhibition is here; feedback form is here. It is important that LHNCC comments on this application.
  • JM: I find some of the language in the application unusual. A resident has seen there is no mention of Discovery Garden.
  • JM: printed information has apparently been distributed but I’ve not yet been able to obtain a copy.
  • JM: some ideas in the document are welcome, others are less so. For example, provision for local residents is not apparent.
  • JM: LHNCC plans to submit a written piece, as well as responding to the ‘fairly loaded’ consultation questions.
  • JM: residents’ input is welcome for compilation of LHNCC’s submission: deadline 5 October.
  • Action: JM to engage with neighbouring CCs on this

8.a.ii Victoria Bridge – Forth Ports LBC planning application

  • JM: Forth Ports submitted a planning application for restoration of the bridge. This is welcome for various reasons.
    • D Giles: there are two bridges: the one that’s not being restored (Rennie’s Isle) is historically more important.
    • A resident: I understand that the Teuchters’ landlord has leased this bridge, and that restoration will start this year. There are consultations with Historic Environment Scotland, and the bridge will re-open for pedestrians and cyclists.

8.a.iii Hemmingway’s

  • JM: local review body ‘appeal’ meeting is on 30 September. LHNCC has submitted a reminder of the issues. The site visit has finally taken place

8.a.iv Maritime Street (21/04479/FUL + 21/04480/LBC)

  • JM: a resident has contacted LHNCC about this, which needs both ‘listed building’ and ‘full’ consent. The plan is to add two more floors. The resident has concerns about lack of neighbour notification, i.e. only notifying people within 20m.
    • Cllr Booth: I have raised this type of issue with CEC. If statutory requirements have not been met, I can take this up with planners. The deadline for comments is imminent. The neighbour notification list seems to be quite large.
    • Action: JM to liaise with Cllr Booth on this issue.

8.a.v Planning Customer Forum Virtual Session 12/10/21 3.00-4.30

  • JM: these public fora are very interesting. I commend attending these.

8.a.vi Seafield Project update

  • N Tulloch: concerns reported last month about community involvement were reinforced when it was found that only Craigentinny and Meadowbank councillors could attend sounding-board meetings. (Previously Leith and Portobello councillors had attended.) Seafield group raised these concerns with CEC officers on 14 September – officers will raise them with the sounding-board chair. In brief, local representatives will withdraw if they cannot be heard.
  • NT: the consulting report has not yet been seen by the Seafield Group of CEC officers. CityPlan2030 proposals are for housing-led mixed-use development, providing it accords with the place-brief, a flood-risk appraisal, Seafield site development principles and an approved masterplan. This accords with previous announcements. The Seafield Group is acutely aware that until CP2030 is adopted, owners and developers have a free hand.
  • NT: this week the group received a draft development framework for Seafield, but it’s just a skeleton. Fleshing out is due to start soon.

8.b Licensing

  • D Tharby: nothing to report
    • J Marlborough: see Starbank items at 8.f.iii and 9.a.iii below

8.c Transport

All points made by J Marlborough unless otherwise noted

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

  • JM: the next CCTT/TT meeting is this week. It will cover various issues raised by residents, e.g. noise and vibrations.
  • JM: it is proving difficult to get details of landscaping plans, despite work having started (so there must be plans).
  • JM: TT reports that work is on schedule for completion in spring 2023, despite concrete scarcity.

8.c.ii Edinburgh Bus Users’ Group

  • JM: EBUG is launching its website. It also uses Twitter and Facebook. EBUG also plans another bus-stop audit.

8.c.iii Government Risk and Good Value Meeting: Audit Report Spaces for People

8.d Environment

8.d.i Water of Leith Conservation Trust: Coallie Park

  • E Dick: WoLCT has now created a Coallie Coalition to take matters forward. It comprises landowners and local stakeholders, including LHNCC, FOWLB, SOSLeith, a local artwork organisation and Scottish Water. It met on 31 August to consider draft results from the ‘Coallie Conversations’ consultation. There was also a site visit. Seed-funding has been obtained from the National Lottery. There will be a community event – see item 8.f.iv below. Current plans are to work on priorities emerging from the consultation.
    • D Tharby: I and J Marlborough met with W Barr of the Citadel about their uses of the water here.
    • D Giles: an ongoing issue with buddleia damaging walls is being tackled by the partnership group.

8.d.ii Friends of Water of Leith Basin

  • D Giles: engagement with Scottish Water about sewage is ongoing to ascertain sources. SEPA is also working on this.

8.e Heritage

8.e.i Leith for Ever – Dock Place Market Stall, other events and Film, 18th. September

  • J Marlborough: this was a very welcome event, enabling much engagement with local residents and other Leith CCs.

8.e.ii Open Doors – Custom House Stalls/Talk & Tours/Market

  • J Marlborough: this event also helped keep people aware of Leith’s pride.

8.e.iii John Rennie’s 200th anniversary: SoSLeith’s unveiling of Information Board by Ben Macpherson MSP 4 October 2021

  • J Marlborough/a resident: I have circulated information on this. The board looks very good. Everyone is welcome.

8.f Community

8.f.i North East Community Planning Partnership

  • D Tharby: the next meeting is on 27 October. There is no date yet for the next Leith neighbourhood network meeting.
  • D Tharby: a paper on short-term lets has been produced. There is a disproportionate amount of STLs in our area. Residents’ comments are welcome to help create LHNCC’s response to the consultation.

8.f.ii Starbank Park – Edinburgh Multicultural Festival 2021, Sunday 3 October 12noon – 7.00pm

  • J Marlborough: there will be entertainment and other enticing activities in these open gardens.

8.f.iii Water of Leith Conservation Trust: Coallie Park Funday, 3 October 1.00pm – 4.00pm

  • J Marlborough: this is on the same day as the previous item. The Citadel youth group will be on the water.

9 Resident issues

9.a.i Post Trams to Newhaven construction: management of vibration

  • J Marlborough: once construction is complete, all will be transferred to CEC.
    • Action: Cllr Booth to follow this up with CEC officers
    • Action: LHNCC representatives to raise this at next CCTT/TT meeting

9.a.ii Issues for Queen’s Quay – supporting structure for overhead line equipment wires and poles support

  • J Marlborough: Residents are concerned that decisions are being made without involving residents.
    • E Dick: Stevedore Place residents are meeting regularly with TT, while waiting for final designs.
    • Action: LHNCC representatives to raise this at next CCTT/TT meeting

9.a.iii Waste bin at Starbank roundabout

  • J Marlborough: this bin has travelled and tipped over, nearly onto the road. Residents have notified this to CEC in vain.


10.a.i EACC meeting – Community Council Reform implementation plan

  • J Marlborough: EACC is working to gain better recognition for CCs. Areas of concern include lack of engagement of CCs, lack of awareness of CCs, lack of understanding that CCs are not CEC. LHNCC would welcome any comments on this topic.
    • B Rodger: CCs are a resource for the city, and so should be encouraged. Hence I commend and support this work. Leith is a good example thanks to its sense of identity. Other CCs are suffering, so a thriving EACC is needed.


  • A resident: Living Memory Association is unveiling new premises on Saturday 2 October.

12 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 26 October 2021

13 Appendix 1: text of police report

13.a Breakdown of calls in north Leith/Newhaven area (approx 293 in total, stats for period 23/08-26/09)

  • 19 calls relating to public nuisance
  • 1 covid-related call
  • 10 neighbour disputes
  • 35 calls of theft/housebreaking
  • 10 domestic-related calls
  • 13 calls of other violence
  • 1 incident with hate motivation
  • 7 loud noise/music-related calls
  • 42 concern-for/missing person calls
  • 11 drug-related call

13.b Coronavirus pandemic

The Police response under Operation Talla has continued in line with the updated Government regulations. On 9th August, all major COVID-19 restrictions were lifted; however, Government advice to stay safe includes to:

  • get the vaccine when offered
  • wear a face covering when required
  • wash your hands regularly
  • self-isolate/take a PCR test if you have symptoms
  • take regular tests if you don’t have symptoms
  • meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors
  • keep your distance from people not in your group
  • work from home if possible

13.c Some of the local issues we have been tackling:

  • On 2nd September, Police were called to Leith Library (currently being used as a walk-through covid19-test centre) when a female reacted angrily after her test result was apparently lost. The situation was successfully diffused and no criminal complaints were made. System checks revealed that this is the only call to date of this nature to this test site.
  • On 18th September, we held a stall at Leith Market as part of the Leith For Ever celebrations. PC Campbell & I had a fantastic day, meeting plenty of local residents and visitors to the area. We were there for casual conversation, to provide advice on burning issues with neighbours/road traffic problems/drug users and to provide a bike-marking service in partnership with Bike Register.
  • On 22nd September, we visited Donaldson Court at Burlington Street and met the residents, providing advice with regards to personal safety, security of belongings and any local worries.
  • Enquiries are ongoing into a series of Thefts of spectacles from opticians across the central belt. The suspect is described as male, white, aged in his 50’s, smartly dressed wearing a light-coloured blazer or mid-length navy overcoat, Tom Ford glasses and a grey Nike baseball cap. Please contact 101 with any information, quoting inc.1384 13/08/21.
  • We have been assisting with a variety of events and major investigations over the last month including (but not limited to) the fire on George IV Bridge, the CID enquiry into the shooting at Burdiehouse Drive, the Orange March in Glasgow, the Hearts-Hibs derby game, the All Under One Banner protests and the Royal Scots Dragoons March!

13.d Operation Urram

Later this year, the UK will host the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

COP26 will be held over two weeks from 31 October – 12 November 2021 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow. World leaders, climate experts, business leaders and thousands of delegates will come together to discuss and agree actions on how to tackle climate change on a global scale.

Operation Urram is the designated name for Police involvement in terms of security & safety for the event, with officers from across Scotland brought into Glasgow to bolster local resources. This means that in Edinburgh and the other divisions outwith Glasgow, response teams will be backfilled with community and office-based Police officers.

13.e Stop, Challenge, protect

Take Five is a national UK campaign that offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud.

This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud, particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.

  • Stop: taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money and information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Police Scotland directly by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.

13.f 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
  • Your local Community Beat Officer for NL26 Constable Chris Casselden
  • Plus 8 officers dedicated to community issues in Leith

13.f.i Contact Us:

14 Appendix 2: Chair’s report

It was nice to meet up with other Community Council members at the Leith Market on 18th September for the first time in almost two years. This was part of the celebration of Leith Forever and the day was concluded with the showing of a video about the City of Edinburgh with features on the whole city and its modern history and some very thought-provoking references to Leith gone by. It was all about ‘people’ with lots of photographs taken from a variety of sources. It is people that make Leith rather a special place. As we remember them, they remember us, an example on Leith Walk is a bench erected by the family of Arthur Williams as a thankyou for looking after him all those years.

Tram workings have now crossed Bernard Street with some easing of the traffic although it is all but impossible to traverse Leith Walk.

Victor Hugo is now to open and so is Heron a new restaurant on the former site of The Raj at Sandport. The Granary still has that blue colour, looks like it is here to stay.

Yet another visitation to our Edinburgh 2030 on 26th August. I have read the document, it all sounds good if perhaps rather vague and with cliched statements. Still far too many ‘holes’ yet to be filled in and, in my view, it is far too optimistic and in any case it seems out of step with Government plans. Those nice positive words have to be taken into real actions if it is to happen. Getting people to buy into such a vision, ‘collaborate’, ‘engage’ and ‘drive change’ through ‘delivery groups and partnerships’ will not be easy. When the mention of ‘policy silos’ and some reference to issues around ‘carbon accounting’ were raised I started to switch off.

Just what can we do at LHNCC and indeed what are we expected to do? The writers will have to explain to us what these terms mean first of all, and soon because there seems a lot to do, and time will pass by as always just so quickly.

The paper states ‘Our residents (and we need this to mean Leithers) will live in high-quality net zero affordable homes that are resilient to climate change, in thriving low-traffic neighbourhoods that meet their everyday needs whether that be for work, family or leisure time and reduce the need to travel to other parts of the city’. A dream, best to start over with a new city? Who will pay for it anyway, the Council? The Scottish Government? The people of Leith? Will developers rise to this challenge?

On Thursday 23rd September we had our usual EACC meeting with speakers from Edinburgh, Copenhagen and Oslo. A great evening based on the promotion of biodiversity in these cities. Lots around green spaces, it seems that in Edinburgh 92% of residents live within 400 metres of a greenspace, although this was not defined. In Copenhagen it would mean at least 2 hectares of accessible space. Made me think about our LHNCC area, if it includes beach and waterfront most of this is not accessible.

And finally, our friends at Empty Kitchens have now served 1.25 million meal equivalents from Dr Bells or the Leith Theatre. This is a phenomenal achievement

Stay well, Stay Safe and make time for Leith where you can.

Douglas Tharby, Chair

September 2021

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