LHNCC March 2022 minutes

Minutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held via MS Teams, on Tuesday 22 March 2022 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 N Tulloch LHNCC Lesley McGrath Holder Planning
Elaine Dick LHNCC Arthur Young LHNCC Mark Hopton LDN Architects
Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC Bruce Ryan minutes secretary ~4 residents/visitors
Jim Preacher LHNCC Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward
Douglas Tharby LHNCC Alasdair Sibbald Forth Ports

1.b Apologies for absence

Don Giles LHNCC Cllr Gordon Munro Leith Ward PC Chris Casselden Police Scotland
Neil Tulloch LHNCC Ben Macpherson MSP Edinburgh Northern and Leith

2 Declaration of interests

None

3 Minutes of February 2022 meeting

Approved as-is (proposed N Tulloch, seconded J Preacher, nem con)

4 Matters arising

  • Item 9 below: Cllr Booth was due to report on this but was absent from this part of the meeting

5 Police report

See PDF on LHNCC website, or text of report in appendix 1

LHNCC members expressed concern about continued and extended use of electric scooters.

6 Councillor/MSP/MP reports

6.a Cllr Booth

  • There are queries about road safety at the new Victoria Primary School. Progress has been delayed by utility works. When these are complete, the pavement can be resurfaced and hence improve safety. Work on a TRO for a road-crossing is in progress, but this process takes some time. CEC and cllrs are well aware that there is speeding on this road.
    • S Auld: I live near this junction, and have not seen any speeding. There are speed bumps right at this junction.
    • Cllr Booth: there have been incidents: police have issued speeding fines here.
  • A resident: has there been any enforcement at Hemmingways?
    • Enforcement officers have contacted the owner, who does not plan to remove the offending structure. Hence enforcement is needed. I will chase progress on this.

7 Chair, Secretary and Treasurer reports

7.a Chair

See full report in appendix 2

  • LeithChooses awards have now been distributed.
  • A cross-CC meeting to consider traffic flows took place on 4th More work will follow. LHNCC can have two representatives, so a volunteer is sought. Each CC is to submit up to 5 improvements in its area.
  • On 9th March, I was one of the first visitors to the temporary Leith Library on North Fort St.
  • Covid testing has now been transferred from Leith to Ainslie Park.
  • I attended Trinity CC’s March meeting, at which there was consideration of trees, parks, litter and Edinburgh Festival.
  • The Newhaven Lighthouse 10k takes place on 24 April, starting at 10am.

7.b Treasurer

  • Current balance is £480·95
  • LHNCC financial year ends on 31 March.

8 Standing reports

8.a Planning

8.a.i Albert Dock: update on perimeter boundary

See PDF of slides on LHNCC website.

Presenters: Alasdair Sibbald (Forth Ports); Lesley McGrath (Holder Planning); Mark Hopton (LDN Architects)

  • Slide 1
    • Forth Ports (FP) is in the process of making these proposals for a protective barrier (red line on slide 1) on the south of Albert Dock. From tomorrow, they will be online at https://www.holderplanning.com/albertdock
    • This online consultation will be open until 12 April 2022. Any feedback will be reported as part of the design process.
    • Stevedore Place residents will also receive a flyer – LHNCC is welcome to disseminate this.
    • FP is not legally obliged to undertake this consultation, but FP believes it is important that people understand the background to the proposals, and are able to comment on them.
    • Background
      • Originally, Albert Dock had no fences. When housing was built here, bollards and chains were installed.
      • In September 2020, a child resident of Stevedore Place (SP) got out of a back garden, across the walkway, through the bollard and chains on the edge of the dock and into the water. She was rescued unharmed.
      • A risk assessment then considered needs for enhanced safety measures. This led to a range of options being considered. The railings shown on the left of the photo on slide 1 were installed in late 2020/early 2021.
      • A retrospective listed building application was then rejected because it had not been shown that the railings were the least detrimental solution for this conservation area and the listed buildings. There were also issues about the fence’s permeability and its impact on key views.
    • Slide 2: There are many types of fencing on dock edges in the conservation area, including other edges of Albert Dock.
      • The type in use depends on the degree of risk at each locale.
    • Slide 3: the proposed solution is fencing with vertical bars that matches the garden fences on the other side of the path, but retaining the existing bollards. (Many other styles have been considered). It is believed that these provide the required level of safety, but with no serious detriment to the character and setting of the listed structures.
      • FP has been through the options with CEC planning, including a site-visit. This process concluded that the railings currently in place should be replaced with the proposed solution shown on this slide. This will optimally fulfil the health and safety requirements.

Q&A

  • B Ryan: why not install barriers all along this dock-side ? Can’t children get into the water via other parts of this side?
    • Other parts of this side of the dock are already fenced off
  • E Dick: The proposals do not address any of the listed building concerns – it’s the same as the current, contested railings apart from the colour. I have seen people sit on the other side of these railings, so they may be more dangerous than the former bollards and chains.
    • The proposed railings are not identical to the current railings. They would be shorter, and have a second horizontal railing, to match the garden railings.
  • E Dick: one reason for refusal of listed building permission was the lack of through-views.
    • The planning officer has agreed that the ‘lack’ of through-views only occurs when seeing the railings from an acute angle, and that the proposed design would fulfil the safety requirements.
  • E Dick: in much of this area, protection is provided by chains and bollards. This is part of the character of the conservation area. I do see a solid barrier. (I’m a Stevedore Place resident.) In other docks, bollards with tighter double chains are used.
    • This area is different to the Cala development because the gardens are very close to the dock edge, and there is direct access to it from the houses. FP is responding to an actual incident and hence foreseeable dangers. FP is not trying to set a precedent for other parts of the conservation area, but reacting to a unique set of circumstances.
    • E Dick: the houses do not have necessarily have direct access because their fences are lockable.
  • A resident: the Cala development is rather close to the edge of Victoria Dock. I hence fear creep of such railings.
    • The access here is different, and the houses are further from the dock than at Stevedore Place/Albert Dock. There needs to be ongoing risk-assessment as the docks evolve.
  • J Marlborough: can FP meet with Stevedore Place residents? The planned railings seem to be identical to the current ones, apart from a slight colour-change.
    • FP is giving everyone a chance to engage online (because of COVID). The detailed proposal can be seen online. FP will be happy to present to LHNCC after the consultation
  • A resident: why should these proposals not be rejected as the application for the current railings was?
    • Before now, the Scottish Government had not been convinced that all options had been considered, but recognised the need for improved safety features. Hence FP is obliged to show full consideration of all options.
    • The current railings are (in FP’s opinion) the best match to conservation and safety needs. FP then met with the planners to review options. FP and the planning officer then toured the site to look at the impact of the current railings. The planning officer concluded that the best option is to replicate the design of the garden railings, which have listed-building consent.

All further planning points were made by J Marlborough, unless noted otherwise.

8.a.ii Rennie’s Isle Bridge – FUL & LBC planning applications

  • The majority of people support these applications. Commemoration Board installed 0ct 2021 of the work by John Rennie would be complemented by restoration work
  • LHNCC will submit comments before the consultation closing date (24 March).

8.a.iii 124 Salamander Road and 1-3 Salamander Yards – PAN application

  • This site is within Leith Links CC’s area, so the developers will speak with that CC I will attend that meeting.
    • There is a lack of public transport and street lighting here, so people feel frightened. There has been contact with Lothian buses, so this is priority for Edinburgh Bus users Group.
    • Cllr Booth: I will raise this with officers

8.a.iv Seafield Project update

  • Action: N Tulloch to supply written report

8.b Licensing

  • A Young: The Granary has applied to curtail its last-admission time to 1am, and to change its sales hours (possibly to 3am). LHNCC has reservations about such late hours.

8.c Transport

All transport points were made by J Marlborough, unless noted otherwise.

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

  • In-person meetings have been good value.
  • There are still issues about the top of Constitution St, the top of Leith Walk and removal of trees and bushes.
    • E Dick has met with C Wilson about the latter issue.
      • E Dick: Many trees have been lost along the route. I walked the Leith part of the route with C Wilson to talk about detail. There were also concerns about alignment of the tram line near Tower Place: the original plans showed shrubs and plans, but these have not been implemented.
      • Trees have been lost near the Scottish Government building and the Cala development. It is not clear what will happen here. C Wilson is due to respond to these detailed queries.
    • The major concerns in LHNCC’s area are about TROs, especially for Melrose Drive/North Leith Sands. Here, road signs are difficult to understand, so many drivers carry on trying to get Ocean Drive via the carpark – but this is impossible.
      • S Auld: the signs here are huge and clear – anyone who misses them should not be driving.
    • There are also issues with road-crossings, and the derelict building on the corner of Melrose Drive and Ocean Drive. CEC has said there are no safety risks here, and the Trams Team says it’s not their problem. However the Tram Act does give the Trams team relevant powers.
      • Cllr Booth: I’ve asked officers to serve an enforcement notice. I will chase for a response.
    • There are also concerns about Discovery Gardens trees. Fencing has been installed.
    • A central reservation has been removed at the south of Ocean Drive, but will be replaced. Greenery has been removed by the hotel. Entrances to various developments have not been marked.
    • The TRO drawings on the Trams website have now been updated. Work is taking place from 7am to 7pm.
    • Final landscape designs are still dated 23 November 2021, and are still unclear.

8.c.ii Edinburgh Bus Users Group

  • EBUG continues to publicise matters via its website.
  • It will soon hold its AGM, and plans to engage with the forthcoming local elections.
  • There are concerns about TROS for the city centre, including reductions in bus numbers and increases in distances between stops. These make it seem as if the city centre is only for its residents – and tourists.
    • Action: JM/EBUG to chase for equality impact assessments

8.d Environment

8.d.i FOWLB

  • J Marlborough: there is much collaboration about developments at the Shore

8.d.ii WoL Sewage update (debris and combined outlet)

  • A resident, on behalf of SOSLeith:
    • SOSLeith has submitted samples of silt and debris. Evidence is being sought to aid prioritisation of the lower basins’ sewage outlets.
    • SOSLeith has removed King’s Walk boom, prior to the nesting season. Further thought is needed for after this season.

8.e Heritage

All heritage points were made by J Marlborough, unless noted otherwise.

8.e.i Leith Culture & Heritage Group

  • There is debate about how to use the Custom House: plans are in preparation. Many people would like a shipping heritage museum but may not be cost effective. Anything done here needs community approval.

8.e.ii Cockburn Civic Trust – NPF4 Consultation

  • See circulated briefing from CCT. The consultation finishes on 31 March.
    • D Tharby: I will attend a Zoom meeting on Thursday.

8.f Community

8.f.i North East Community Planning Partnership

  • D Tharby: the partnership will meet in late April.

8.f.ii Leith Neighbourhood Network

  • D Tharby: I am trying to arrange a meeting in late May. Delay was caused by reorganisation of CEC’s Place Directorate.

8.f.iii Leith Festival 2022

  • J Marlborough: please see circulated documentation. LHNCC plans to attend.

8.f.iv Lighthouse run

  • J Marlborough: please see circulated documentation (and details in Chair’s report).

8.f.v Community Council website information and EACC – request

  • D Tharby: EACC has requested £500 from the ~40 Edinburgh CCs to create its website. (EACC receives no funding at all.)
    • Decision: LHNCC to donate £15.
  • J Marlborough: CEC has asked whether CCs attend EACC meetings. I have replied that I and D Tharby do. CEC had incorrect details for LHNCC on its website, but these have now been corrected.

9 Resident issues: Portland Gardens/Melrose Drive derelict building – feedback

  • J Preacher: Many lights are not working here. Improvements have been promised.

10 Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (EACC)

  • See item 8.f.v

11 Any other business

11.a Advertisement towers

  • Cllr Booth: these towers do have planning permission.
    • Action: Cllr Booth to forward the applications to LHNCC.

11.b Sandy Robertson statue

  • A resident: I have reminded CEC to clean up this statue.

11.c Local Government elections

  • D Tharby: LHNCC wishes all candidates success, and thanks the current councilors for their work.

12 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 26 April 2022

13 Appendix 1: text of police report

13.a Breakdown of calls in north Leith/Newhaven area for March 2022 (approx 229 in total)

Statistics are for period 21/02-21/03/22

  • 15 calls relating to public nuisance
  • 0 covid-related calls
  • 9 neighbour disputes
  • 4 calls of theft/housebreaking
  • 14 domestic-related calls
  • 8 calls of other violence
  • 1 incidents with hate motivation
  • 11 loud noise/music-related calls
  • 25 concern-for/missing person calls
  • 6 drug-related call*

13.b Coronavirus pandemic

The Police response under Operation Talla has continued in line with the updated Government regulations

Current Government advice to stay safe in relation to COVID-19 as of MONDAY 21st MARCH includes:

  • continue to wear a face covering (unless exempt) in most indoor public spaces and on public transport
  • get the vaccine or the vaccine booster
  • if you don’t have symptoms, take lateral flow tests twice a week, and if visiting someone vulnerable or going to a crowded place
  • if you do have symptoms, self-isolate and book a PCR test
  • open windows when meeting indoors
  • wash your hands regularly, and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing
  • work from home as well as the office, if you can; businesses and workplaces should follow the ”safer workplace guidance”
  • use the apps: COVID status and Protect Scotland

13.c Some notable actions/events/incidents

  • Enquiries are ongoing into a spate of vandalisms across the Leith area, where Sky/Virgin broadband cables of private properties have been deliberately cut. These generally occur overnight between the hours of 2300 and 0100. On 3rd March 2022, plain-clothes officers spotted a male who matched the suspect’s description at Bonnington Road – the male was found to be in possession of a pair of wire-cutters and charged with Malicious Mischief. Further charges are expected to be libelled in due course.
  • Following the conflict in the Ukraine, Community & Response officers from across Edinburgh have been deployed at both the Russian and Ukrainian consulates in line with the Vienna Convention to prevent criminal disorder whilst facilitating peaceful protests. These 24-hour patrols are expected to continue throughout the conflict. Leith Community Officers have also been deployed at the Hibernian-Celtic, Hearts- Aberdeen & Hearts-St Mirren football matches, the 6 Nations rugby match, Yes2Indy march for Scottish independence and Anti-Vax demonstration.
  • On 10th March 2022 at North Fort Street, an elderly female was returning to her home address when a young male stole her handbag through misdirection. The perpetrator later attempted to use a stolen bankcard to purchase items via contactless method, however, the card was declined. Thankfully, the complainer was physically unhurt. Police attended and conducted comprehensive enquiries, through which the perpetrator was able to be identified and will be charged accordingly. All information suggests that this is a isolated incident; however, please be vigilant as to the whereabouts of one’s belongings when in close proximity with people acting suspiciously.

13.d Some of the local issues we have been tackling

  • Our Beat Hate campaign has continued with weekly visits to the Hub, Restalrig Road where we met with members of the Polish community to share a meal and discuss some of the issues they have come across as residents in a foreign city, as well as a chance for us all to practice our language skills!
  • Operation Upcycle is our response to youth disorder and theft of pedal cycles across Leith and Craigmillar. Spearheaded by Constable Johnstone and Sergeant Sandbach, this campaign involves accompanying youths to bicycle maintenance sessions in partnership with Leith Cycles, where they will learn valuable skills as well encouraging a sense of property ownership and responsibility. The sessions have been well-attended so far and have been enjoyed by the participants and officers alike.

13.e Trading Standards Scotland bulletin – recent scams

13.e.i Local council impersonations

Doorstep scammers have been claiming to work for the local council and asking to send an agent to take a sample of cladding; asking to enter people’s properties to carry out gas or smoke alarm checks; offering driveway and roofing repairs; offering new boilers, supposedly as part of a council-run funding scheme.

=> verify whether genuine by asking for identification or calling the council through a publicly listed telephone number

13.e.ii Travel documents

Consumers hoping to book an Easter or summer holiday are being warned to be wary of scams related to ongoing Covid and Brexit travel requirements.

  • Don’t click on links in unsolicited texts or emails about vaccine passports.

13.e.iii Ticketing scams – ‘line of duty’ event

A cancer charity in Port Glasgow is warning that scammers are creating fake social media profiles and trying to sell tickets for an upcoming fundraising event featuring the cast of Line of Duty. => Only buy event tickets from the venue, official promoter or agent, or a well-known & reputable ticket site.

13.e.iv Doorstep scams – driveways

Cold-callers have been knocking on doors and offering to replace or repair driveways. => Don’t deal with cold callers. Always take time to think before making a decision. Sign up for Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Alerts

13.e.v Safe giving to support ukraine

With many Scots keen to donate time and money to help those affected by the invasion of Ukraine, the Scottish Charity Regulator, OSCR, has published advice to help you provide support in a safe manner and to avoid potential charity scams. Scammers may set up fake websites or social media profiles in an attempt to obtain people’s personal and bank details.

Þ OSCR advise that the best way to help the people of Ukraine is to donate to, or volunteer with, charities that are registered in Scotland or the rest of the UK that have ongoing relief operations.

13.e.vi ‘Hello mum/dad’ WhatsApp scams

Scammers are continuing to use WhatsApp to pose as family members in order to manipulate the recipient into sending them money, typically starting messages with “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad“ and stating that they have a “new number”.

=> STOP, THINK and CALL if you receive an unexpected message asking you to transfer money or purchase gift cards. Verify that it really is your friend or family member by calling them directly or asking them to share a voice-note.

13.f Where to report scams:

13.f.i Scams

In Scotland, report all scams to Advice Direct Scotland by calling 0808 164 6000 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or online at www.consumeradvice.scot

13.f.ii Fraud

If you have been the victim of fraud, report it to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

13.f.iii Suspicious Emails

You can forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk and send links from websites which you think are trying to scam the public to the National Cyber Security Centre’s scam website reporting service at http://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about- this-website/report-scam-website

13.f.iv Suspicious Text Messages

If you receive a suspicious text message you can forward it to 7726. The free-of-charge ‘7726’ service enables your provider to investigate and take action if malicious content is found.

13.g About Us

  • Local Area Commander: Chief Inspector Kieran Dougal
  • Leith Community Policing Team based at Leith Police Station:
    • Inspector Colin Fordyce
    • Sergeant Sam Rose
  • Your local Community Beat Officer for NL26:
    • Constable Chris Casselden
    • Plus 8 officers dedicated to community issues in Leith

13.g.i Contact Us

14 Appendix 2: chair’s report

Seems to have been a very short month although quite a lot has been happening and is going to happen over the next few weeks.

£eith Chooses awards have been distributed and the Steering Group are looking forward to these monies being used to the good of our community in Leith. Well done again to those applicants that were successful, do not forget next year to those whom we hope are not too discouraged by this year.

The cross Community Council group to consider traffic flows etc. that was mentioned last month did meet on 4th March and under the Chairmanship of Councillor Elle Bird some ground work on this project was undertaken. There will be more on this at later dates. We are able to have two representatives on this group and if any Member is interest to join me please let me know. This is a good opportunity for us to work with others across the North of the City, not least with others in our own North East Locality, and raises our own profile across the City and will hopefully serve in the best interests of all communities involved. We have individually been tasked to propose up to five things that could be improved in each of our areas. This has a wide scope, could cover very specific ‘pinch points’ such as traffic lights/pedestrian crossings where sequencing is less that perfect as a well as more general remarks on parking/speed limits and other such restrictions.

I was one of the first official visitors on 9th March to the temporary Leith Library which has opened in the Fort Community Centre in North Fort Street. This is a great step forward for us all, while not all services are provided at present, basic lending is available. Sadly there are no computer facilities as yet.

It was significant that this morning I went past the Leith Library building in Ferry Road and not that COVID testing has been transferred to Ainslie Park, Pilton. Perhaps we will see our library back in full service shortly.

I attended Trinity Community Council’s meeting on 14th March. Some interesting discussion around trees/parks/litter etc. There was also some consideration of Edinburgh Festivals from perhaps the lack lustre presentation given at the EACC meeting in February but no mention of Nicola Benedetti the violinist becoming the first woman and Scot to lead the Edinburgh International Festival after this year taking over from Fergus Linehan later this year. She is also one of the festival’s youngest directors. One for International Womens Day? 8th March for those who missed it,

One future event to note is the Newhaven Lighthouse 10k which takes place on Sunday 24th April at 10.00 a.m. Beginning at Lighthouse Park the route will go via several cycle routes through Victoria Park, George V Park and St Marks Park returning to finish at Lighthouse Park. I was unaware of this event until very recently, it will bring not just ‘runners’ but others if the weather is fine. I just hope they remember to pick up all the litter that will inevitable be created. Traffic can be assumed to be restricted in the area. Can we monitor this not as killjoys but wishing success to the organisers in their management of the whole event before and after.

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

Douglas Tharby, Chair

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