Make sure you’re registered to vote

(adapted from an email from Edinburgh Council)

Whenever you move home, you need to register at your new address. It only takes a few minutes online and you need to do this by midnight on 17 April.

For the first time 16 and 17 year olds can vote in a Scottish local government election.  Please encourage any young adults you know to register and use their vote.

Once registered, there are a few ways you can vote:

  • in person at your polling place
  • by post
  • by proxy (someone can vote for you).

If you choose to vote in person, please be aware that some polling stations have changed.  So check your polling card when you get it in the post.  You can also check online by putting your address in to our handy search tool.

For this election you will vote using numbers – not a cross (X).  You number candidates in order of your choice using 1, 2, 3 and so on, choosing as few or as many as you like.

For more information about how to vote go to Edinburgh Council web pages.

Choose Youth Work – voting open!

(adapted from an email from Loraine Duckworth, Partnership Development Officer)

Young people in Edinburgh are being asked to vote on projects to deliver youth work across the city. During February 2017, Edinburgh Council invited groups to apply for up to £10,000 to spend on youth work activity that will benefit young people between 11-25, either locally based or citywide.

The applications were screened at the beginning of March by a group of young people and Council officers, based on priorities that were decided by young people following a consultation in 2016.

This is the first year of a three year programme, with 60k to allocate this year, rising to over 100k in year 2, and over 500k in year 3.

A total of 16 projects will now face a public vote. It is now up to you to decide which of these projects you would like to see being delivered. If you are aged between 11-21, and live in Edinburgh, you can vote for your three preferred projects.

Voting opens at 12noon on Friday 10 March and closes at 5pm on Monday 27 March 2017.

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Leith Street Closure Proposal – NTBCC submission

A recommendation for the closure of the top of Leith Street in both directions for all traffic except cyclists for up to 44 weeks is due to presented to the Transport & Environment Committee on 21 March.

At the March NTBCC meeting, a last minute briefing by representatives from the Leith Street Stakeholder Engagement team was made - prompting disappointment (that residents were ‘left in the dark’), frustration with the process and concern over the consequences in equal measure.

The Stakeholder Engagement team did acknowledge that their “stakeholder engagement“ was more communication – resulting in NTBCC being told what diversions  would happen. NTBCC were frustrated over the absence of a more useful consultation process with a reasonable time to respond.

Whilst we accept that, for efficiency and public safety, that it will be necessary to close Leith Street for a period of time to enable the work to be carried out and we also accept that considerable work has gone into the diversion routes proposed for bus and general traffic. However, it is unclear to us that a closure for as long as 44 weeks would be supported by an independent economic assessment, and we also have significant concerns on the absence of specific measures to ensure that the spill-over of diverted traffic into residential streets is minimised.

Although there is no formal consultation process, we have nonetheless submitted our thoughts on the proposal for consideration by councillors on the Transport & Environment Committee on Wednesday 21 March – the full submission is available here

This includes several further potential measures to minimise as far as possible the disruption caused by this closure as well as suggestions for continued review and amendments if required.

Former Royal High School – Revised Plans for Luxury Hotel Development Submitted

Following on from the Public Consultation in November 2016 for the proposed re-development of Edinburgh’s former Royal High School into a luxury hotel, the developer (Duddingston House Properties / Urbanist Hotel group) have unveiled a scaled-back vision for the site (see Edinburgh Planning portal reference 17/00588/FUL). New plans lodged with the city council for the project reveal that it will now have 127 rooms (20 fewer than before). The new submission’s stated aims are to pursue their original vision “to restore the unique building to prominence” and “create a world-class hotel of international standing”.

The original proposal was rejected by the Council planning officials and elected Councillors in late 2015 after the majority of heritage bodies and many residents (including the New town and Broughton Community Council )  objected to the scale of the development proposed and the adverse impact on the setting of this important listed building.

A parallel application to restore the building as a home for the St Mary’s Music School already has planning consent but cannot proceed due to contractual arrangements between Edinburgh Council and Duddingston House Properties.

Whilst we fully support in principle any scheme that will restore and safeguard the long-term future of this building , what was shown at the November public Consultation was not in our view sufficient to dispel the significant concerns we had with the previous proposal. That said, we  are currently examining  the planning application carefully before making our detailed response and we have extended an invitation to the developers to discuss these proposals in more detail with NTBCC and are awaiting their response.

We will communicate more details in the next few days but would urge everyone who is interested in the building’s future to examine these proposals and express their views to Edinburgh Council before 24 March.

Let us know what you think by contacting us through our website or attending our meeting on Monday 13 March.