Minutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held via MS Teams, on Tuesday 26 April 2022 at 6:30pm
Please note these minutes are draft, pending notification of approval at LHNCC’s May meeting
Actions and decisions are red italic. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against an item.
1 Introductions and apologies for absence
|Stewart Auld||LHNCC||Arthur Young||LHNCC||Lesley McGrath||Holder Planning|
|Jennifer Marlborough||LHNCC||Bruce Ryan||minutes secretary||Kenneth Williamson||Forth Ports|
|Douglas Tharby||LHNCC||Cllr Gordon Munro||Leith ward||~2 residents/visitors|
1.b Apologies for absence
|Elaine Dick||LHNCC||Jim Preacher||LHNCC||PC Chris Casselden||Police Scotland|
|Don Giles||LHNCC||Ben Macpherson MSP||Edinburgh Northern and Leith|
2 Declaration of interests
3 Minutes of March 2022 meeting
Approved as-is (proposed S Auld, seconded A Young, nem con)
4 Matters arising
All dealt with in agenda below
5 Police Report
See PDF on LHNCC website or text of report in appendix 1. J Marlborough reported:
- There has been a spate of antisocial behaviour at Newkirkgate, yet police only record 2 such calls in the past month. Hence the police are concerned that incidents are not being reported to them. Also, a day of action (including high-visibility patrols) has been postponed due to lack of resources.
- Following a disturbance in February, several people have been charged with public disorder offences.
- D Tharby: North east locality community partnership is also taking relevant action.
- Concerning malfunctioning traffic lights at Bernard St/Baltic St junction, there have been no further reports. The problem may be due to the temporary lights. Community police in the relevant area will investigate.
- Use of electric scooters is an offence.
6 Councillor/MSP/MP reports
6.a Cllr Munro
- The Custom House paper is going back for further consultation. Repairs are being undertaken.
- Other Leith ward councillors are at a hustings tonight. However, this is my last CC meeting because I am stepping down from CEC. I am proud of my contributions to housing in Leith.
- Thanks to LHNCC for its work on behalf of the community.
7 Chair, Secretary and Treasurer reports
See also full report in appendix 2.
- I attended Leith Links CC’s March meeting. The main topic was an application to develop houses in Salamander St.
- I attended Trinity CC’s April meeting. Business included the waterfront development. LHNCC might do its own walkabouts.
- I attended Newhaven Lighthouse 10k – this was a well-organised event, which may become annual.
- This morning North East Locality Community Planning Partnership had its quarterly meeting. I look forward to working with Andrew Field, CEC Head of Community Empowerment.
- Part of the old sea wall at Melrose Drive has been discovered in tram-work excavations. Archaeologists are working here.
- J Marlborough. Lind and Line (Port of Leith Distillery) has now moved to Coburg St. I have been invited to the launch.
- D Tharby: current balance is 415·63.
8 Standing reports
8.a.i Albert Dock boundary plans update
Kenneth Williamson (Forth Ports) and Lesley McGrath (Holder Planning) reported on the consultation about the protective barrier. See report from LHNCC’s March meeting (item 8.a.1) for background.
- Forth Ports intends to introduce a protective barrier at Albert Dock.
- It was appropriate to approach the community as if it was a big application. Hence FP leafletted all houses on Stevedore Place to advertise the online exhibition. Public engagement was online due to Covid, setting out the need for the barriers.
- FP asked people what they did and did not like about the proposed design, and for any suggestions. This was useful.
- There were 5 responses – a fairly normal response-rate.
- Responses recognised the need for a health and safety solution.
- Responses on the format of any protective barrier varied: suggestions included heavier chains, 3 chains (instead of 2), referencing maritime heritage (ropes and chains). There was a suggestion about paint colour. These were all really useful.
- There was a comment that the proposed barrier would suit a modern housing development but not a listed area.
- There was a comment that the [proposed barrier would not differ much from what’s currently in place.
- It will be necessary to consider health and safety, the listed buildings and the conservation area. Relevant comments will be taken into the design process.
- There was comment about the consultation event – FP tried to give all relevant people a chance to take part.
- FP will now review the comments prior to finalising the protective barrier’s design. There will be consultation report submitted with the planning application.
- People always want to cross barriers, no matter how high they are, so FP must take this into account.
- FP has a duty of care in the places it controls, and takes this very seriously, so must consider the effectiveness of barriers.
- FP recognises peoples’ concerns, and an incident where a child nearly got into water here. There have been similar incidents in other parts of FP’s estate. Health and safety is about preventing/minimising such incidents, and trip-hazards.
- There are many different types of barrier/fence around the dock, including horizontal bars near the Scottish Government.
- Who is responsible for health and safety in the boardwalk?
- Whoever plans and owns the relevant buildings/developments.
- Forth Ports has a duty of care for those who may fall into the water, so will engage with relevant planning processes. It depends on the actual risks at the individual areas. People have drowned in the dock, so prevention of ingress is key. Some areas of the dock have very cold water, making people very vulnerable if they are in the water.
- Most of the nearby barriers are bollards and chains. One of the requirements for the nearby Cala development was to retain such barriers as they were. How does this fit with FP’s proposals?
- An incident has happened since then, so FP undertook a necessary investigation. That is, risks can emerge later. The standard for health and safety has been raised by the incident.
- Are people more vulnerable in Leith than in other dock areas?
- Geographical location does play a role. There is a large tidal flow at Dundee, Liverpool, London, so people could be moved far upstream or downstream. This is not likely at Leith. However, consideration must start with danger of death. Hence unauthorised people are not allowed in many parts of FP’s estate, or must wear lifejackets.
- In previous years, people could freely enter the docks
- But in 1995 there were incidents of people falling into the water.
- What are the next steps?
- FP will review consultations responses to understand how to address them.
8.a.ii 124 Salamander Street and 1-3 Salamander Yards
- J Marlborough: the consultation is on online at 28 April (3:30 to 7:30). This another very large development. I have circulated a flyer
8.a.iii Ocean Terminal
- J Marlborough: this development is now occurring in 2 phases. The current planning application is for phase 1 – demolition of the carpark, and building up the retail end of Ocean Terminal. Building of residential accommodation will be phase 2. LHNCC has until Friday to comment on the application, but there seems to be nothing major to say.
8.a.iv Industry Lane
- J Marlborough: the closing date for this consultation is 20 May. LHNCC planning will submit a comment.
8.a.v 139 Leith Walk (Old Tram Depot)
- J Marlborough: all nearby CCs have been informed about this. The closing date for this consultation is 20 May. The proposal is for student accommodation and build-to-rent. There has been much concern about the nearby bingo hall, which has been omitted from the conservation area. CEC has now decided to reconsider this.
8.a.vi Seafield Project update
- N Tulloch (via email): the Seafield group met with CEC officers on 5 April. Procurement for the masterplan is underway. Group members with procurement experience have been invited to take part in the selection process. CEC legal is working on the memorandum of understanding. Consultation documents are in preparation: the first stage will be a call for ideas. The next sounding board is on 28 April.
- A Young: there is an application for a tattoo/piercing parlour in Newhaven Rd.
- D Tharby: following new legislation, CEC will be able to licence short-term lets. CEC must publish its policy, so will consult on this in April to June.
- Action: D Tharby to engage with the consultation
8.c.i Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT)
- J Marlborough: CCTT continues to engage with the trams team. The new SFN leader attended the last meeting. Concerns centre on complaint-handling, Elm Row’s cycle-lanes and bus-stops, Leith Walk’s cycle-lane and forthcoming floating bus-stops. (Guide-dogs will not be able to tell when they are encroaching onto cycle-paths.)
- S Auld: traffic problems seem to be getting worse. Can the hotspots not be sorted quickly?
8.c.ii Edinburgh Bus User’s Group
- J Marlborough: the AGM will be on 30 July. Service 22 will be discontinued from 5 June, despite earlier promises that this would not happen.
- LHNCC is very disappointed with and concerned about this.
8.c.iii Leith Connections – TROs
- J Marlborough: LHNCC has submitted its objection. Work is already in progress at Coburg St. There is concern about lack of publicity about this. LHNCC had asked for this work to be postponed until the trams are running. LHNCC is also concerned about the lack of alternative routes if there are major incidents, and the cycle-lane on Sandport bridge.
- J Marlborough: the swans have abandoned their eggs, following the female being attacked by other swans. Facemasks in the water are a problem for the swans.
8.d.ii Scottish Water Protest – Saturday 23 April
- J Marlborough: SOSLeith did a good presentation. It aims to do a live presentation on STV.
8.e.i Leith Culture & Heritage Group
- J Marlborough: the group has been discussing the Custom House briefing. (CH was bought for the people of Leith.) The feasibility study will now go out to consultation, in line with a new CEC motion. The group received no notification of this.
8.e.ii Relaying setts (cobbles) Tower Street
- J Marlborough: When workers installing cement were questioned, they responded that CEC does not have staff with the skills to re-lay setts.
- A Young: there are tarmac ‘elastoplasts’ on The Shore.
- LHNCC questions the lack of staff.
8.f.i Northeast Community Planning Partnership
- D Tharby: This met today – see chair’s report (appendix 2). The next meeting will be in July. NECPP aims to be involved in the next 5-year plan. There will be widespread consultation on this plan. There is concern that PB might be dropped.
8.f.ii Leith Festival 2022
- J Marlborough: this is on 11 June.
- D Tharby: LHNCC will try to recruit new members. It will share a gazebo with LLCC and LCCC. Volunteers are sought.
8.f.iii Heart of Newhaven
8.f.iv The ‘Rainbow Bridge’ Lindsay Road
- J Marlborough: there are concerns about increased walking distances
8.f.v The Wee Hub, Ocean Terminal
- J Marlborough: I have circulated the relevant flyer. The items that had been set up have now been removed.
9 Resident issues
- J Marlborough: there are concerns about the positioning of road-crossings. These have been forwarded to police.
- J Marlborough: CEC parks will supply bulbs to be planted in Taylor Gardens.
- J Marlborough: a meeting with the Kirkgate’s owner is anticipated about antisocial behaviour and tidiness.
10 Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (EACC)
- D Tharby: EACC has thanks LHNCC for its donation towards website costs. (EACC has no funding of its own.)
- J Marlborough: the next EACC meeting is on 24 May.
12 Date of next meeting
Tuesday 24 May 2022
13 Appendix 1: text of police report
13.a Breakdown of calls in north Leith/Newhaven area for April 2022 (stats for period 22/03-24/04/22)
- 240 calls relating to public nuisance
- 0 covid-related calls
- 11 neighbour disputes
- 14 calls of theft/housebreaking
- 14 domestic-related calls
- 11 calls of other violence
- 1 incident with hate motivation
- loud noise/music-related calls
- concern-for/missing person calls
- drug-related call
13.b Coronavirus pandemic
The Police response under Operation Talla has continued in line with the updated Government regulations:
All covid-related rules and restrictions have been lifted in Scotland; however, current Government advice in order to stay safe as of 18th April 2022 includes to:
- get your vaccine when offered to ensure you are fully protected
- open windows when socialising indoors
- wear a face covering in indoor public places and on public transport
- wash your hands to protect yourself
- take a PCR test and isolate if you have symptoms
- take an LFD test before visiting someone in a hospital or care home
13.c Some notable actions/events/incidents:
- On 13th April 2022, the shopkeeper at Armann stores, North Junction Street was subjected to racial abuse and threatened with violence. A short time later, Police received a similar call to Tesco, Great Junction Street, with the victim being a security guard. The perpetrator made off on both occasions prior to Police arrival. Enquiries were carried out over the next two days and through CCTV enquiries and local knowledge, the perpetrator was identified as a local resident with previous for similarly abusive behaviour. He was traced to an associate’s address, arrested, charged with 5 offences and held in custody to appear at court on the next day. The male was thereafter released with bail conditions not to enter either location.
- About 0740 hours on 25th April 2022, a body was found in the Water of Leith near to Tower Place. There were no signs of life. Enquiries were made by uniformed officers and CID into the person’s identity and the circumstances, and the death was judged to be non-suspicious. If any local residents have any pertinent information regarding the matter, please contact CID at Gayfield Square Police station, quoting incident number 0487 of 25/04/22.
- Leith Community Officers have also been deployed at the Hearts-Hibernian football match, Terminal V dance event at Ingliston and National Day of Action on Water protest.
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 have 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.
- Operation Upcycle has continued to run bicycle maintenance sessions in partnership with Leith Cycles every Tuesday, and have now included test-rides of the repaired/upgraded bicycles.
- Construction Watch Scotland is now live! This scheme will enable all those involved in the construction sector to receive alerts regarding any thefts that have occurred across the country. Leith Community Officers have attended at sites in our area in order to raise awareness of the scheme and its benefits, including emerging trends that may impact their business, prevention tactics to protect sites and advice on how to secure tools, equipment and plant machinery.
- The national Fuel Theft Campaign was launched in March in response to a significant rise in fuel thefts – both at the pump and from storage tanks at domestic/commercial locations. To reinforce Police Scotland’s social media posts, Leith Community Officers attended at petrol stations in our area to provide awareness of the campaign, crime-prevention advice and management of potential drive-offs.
- On 21st April 2022, Community Officers from Leith spotted an electric scooter being inappropriately ridden at Leith Walk. The scooter was stopped at Pilrig Street, and officers charged the rider with a variety of road traffic offences and seized the scooter under insurance legislation.
- Over the past few weeks, we have conducted school parking patrols at Victoria, St Marys, Hermitage Park, Leith and Bonnington Gaelic primary schools in order to provide the pupils with safe journeys to and from school.
13.e Plans ahead
- All Out Day Of Action (date tbc) – focussing on the NL27 beat (incl. Cables Wynd & Newkirkgate) with engagement with local residents, shop keepers, licenced premises in the daytime with the assistance of CEC CCTV, Trading Standards & DVLA; and high-visibility patrols to disrupt antisocial behaviour & violence in Cables Wynd House during the evening.
- Pitchin In at Leith Academy (every Wednesday) – diverting youths from boredom / antisocial behaviour & teaching inclusiveness and team spirit through coached football sessions.
- Upcoming events include Now Scotland demonstration (30th April), Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan parade (1st May), local government elections & count (5th & 6th May), May Day International Workers parade (7th May), and Scottish Football Cup Final (21st May).
13.f 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.f.i Contact Us
- 101 for non emergencies
- Email: edinburghcptnortheast@Scotland.pnn.police.uk
- Twitter: @EdinPolNe
- Facebook: EdinburghPoliceDivision
- Web: scotland.police.uk
14 Appendix 2: chair’s report
It is a while since I attended a meeting of Leith Links Community Council and I did so on March 28th. Main interest is the Application by Cruden Homes for the development of Edinburgh Carpet and Flooring Warehouse site on Salamander Street which although NOT in our area is on the border between our two CCs. An interesting development is proposed, yet again with very few facilities for car parking and a great dependence upon cycles being the main method of transport there being as yet no bus services along this part of Salamander Street. There will also be access directly onto Leith Links for walkers and cyclists and I noted that a development further along has a similar provision.An interesting item on a petanque court (French boules for the simplest description). Such sophistication for Leith. Inverleith has a petanque piste!
I attended Trinity Community Council’s meeting on 11th April March. Update on the North West Waterfront our biggest development in the North of Edinburgh and an idea which we might adopt, a walkabout etc. around our area. This could be something that gets us together out doors and puts us in touch with all the developments.
I was delighted to attend the Newhaven Lighthouse 10k which took place on Sunday 24th April at 10.00 a.m. Beginning at Lighthouse Park the route went via Western Harbour Drive and several cycle routes through Victoria Park, George V Park and St Marks Park returning to finish at Lighthouse Park along the walkway on the breakwater. I spoke with one of the runners, from Liberton, who commented very positively on the organisers and the event seemed to be well managed on the day by Katrina Bruce, the Race Director and her team. Perhaps this does indeed become an annual event for Western Harbour.
The electric charging points on Sherriff Brae that I have mentioned previously have yet to appear although a large grey box was erected a few days ago presumeably to house the necessary link to the grid. Next time perhaps…
This morning our North East Locality Community Planning Partnership had its quarterly meeting. I will now Chair this meeting and it was nice to meet with Andrew Field who is appointed Head of Community Empowerment and will be responsible for working with Community Councils, Community Centres, Neighbourhood Networks and Locality Community Planning Partnerships. This is an important role within CEC and with a broad remit which will impact upon us as a CC and I am hoping for an early meeting with him once he is more established in his post.
Stay well, Stay Safe and make time for Leith where you can.
Douglas Tharby, Chair, April 2022