Draft minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s AGM, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 14 May 2018 at 7:30pm.
Please note that these are DRAFT. That is, they have not been approved by NTBCC, and may change when considered for adoption at the next AGM.
Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against the item.
1 Attendance and apologies for absence
|Judy Conn||NTBCC secretary||Alan Welsh||NTBCC|
|Margaret Duffy||NTBCC||Bruce Ryan||Minutes secretary|
|Simon Holledge||NTBCC||Alan McIntosh||Broughton Spurtle|
|Jack Hugh||NTBCC||Sgt Bob Mason||Police Scotland|
|Allan Jack||NTBCC transport convenor||PC Keith Deuchars||Police Scotland|
|Stuart McAllister||NTBCC||Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan||Leith Walk ward|
|Susan MacInnes||NTBCC||Martin Perry||THRE|
|Ian Mowat||NTBCC chair||David Cooper||CEC|
|Carol Nimmo||NTBCC||Chris Wilson||CEC|
|Richard Price||NTBCC planning convenor||~9 residents and visitors|
1.1 Apologies for absence
|Susanna Beaumont||NTBCC||Lewis Press||NTBCC environment convenor|
|Jonathan Finn||NTBCC treasurer, licensing convenor||Fran Wasoff||NTBCC|
|Andrew Haddow||NTBCC||Deidre Brock MP||Edinburgh North & Leith|
2 Minutes of meeting of previous AGM
These were approved without changes (proposed I Mowat, seconded A Welsh, nem con)
3 Chair’s report
I Mowat read this out. See section A abelow.
A resident noted that the report did not mention the tram proposal, but this was covered in the ordinary meeting ‘transport’ section.
The report was approved without changes (proposed A Welsh, seconded C Nimmo, nem con)
M Duffy requested that future years’ accounts include reports from committee convenors.
4 Treasurer’s report
See section A bbelow.
The report was approved without changes (A Welsh, seconded C Nimmo, nem con)
5 Election of office-bearers
There were no other nominees who accepted nomination apart from the people listed in column 2 below.
|Chair||Carol Nimmo||Allan Jack||R Price||This election was overseen by J Conn.
R Price was also nominated but declined this nomination.
|Vice-chair||Richard Price||Ian Mowat||S McAllister||These elections were overseen by C Nimmo as chair.
No other nominees
|Secretary||Judy Conn||Christine Ross||Alan Welsh|
|Treasurer||Jonathan Finn||Ian Mowat||Allan Jack|
There was also discussion of how the chair’s role could be undertaken, e.g. rotating chair, remit, how duties can be shared and delegated.
A vote of thanks was made to I Mowat, the outgoing chair.
6 Any other business
It was suggested that committee convenors could be confirmed or changed as appropriate at the next business meeting. J Hugh suggested that this should take place soon, ideally before the next ordinary meeting.
a. Chair’s report
The New Town and Broughton Community Council is one of Edinburgh’s 41 Community Councils, established under statute, to represent the views of the community within the New Town and Broughton area, the boundaries of which are set by the Edinburgh Scheme for Community Councils.
Since the AGM in May 2017 it met for public meetings ten times, in May (immediately after the AGM, June, August, September, October, November and December 2017, and February, March and April 2018. These meetings were open to the public, and were attended regularly by some of our ward Councillors, who along with our local MP and MSP are ex officio members of the Community Council. Community Police officers are also invited to attend each meeting and have attended regularly, as have between 10 and 50 local residents.
In addition, in January 2017 we held an Extraordinary meeting to discuss the amended proposals lodged covering changes to the proposed development fronting Fettes Row and Royal Crescent within the site formerly occupied by Royal Bank of Scotland, at which the combined attendance of residents and community councillors exceeded 100, a record for NTBCC. This was followed by a business meeting.
Since May 2017 two elected Community Council members have resigned, and steps are being taken to co-opt replacement members.
As regards planning, during the year the CC has engaged with 3 Pre-Application Notifications (PANs) and a further 3 pre-application consultations with developers that did not require a formal PAN.
We scrutinised and commented on the amended proposal for the site of the former Royal Bank of Scotland building at Eyre Terrace/ Dundas Street. We had objected to the original proposals on the grounds that the proposed buildings for which outline permission was sought were too bulky and tall and were inappropriate for the New Town Conservation area. Although the revised proposal significantly reduced the height of some, but not all of the proposed blocks, local residents maintained their opposition and we supported their stance by lodging an objection indicating that what was proposed remained overdevelopment and inappropriate for the Conservation area. Historic Environment Scotland also retained their objection on similar grounds. The planning application is still to be determined by the City Council.
We have maintained a close involvement with developing plans at 36 St Andrews Square for a new concert venue (IMPACT Centre). A planning application is expected mid-2018.
Following our objection to the amended hotel scheme for the former Royal High School, we have formed a coalition with EWH & the Cockburn for the upcoming appeal before Scottish Ministers. This is expected to commence in September 2018.
We supported the energetic engagement and well-reasoned objection by local residents to the proposed expansion at the Edinburgh Academy in Henderson Row. We believe that, although some development of the Academy campus may be possible, the proposal is too extensive and encroaches unacceptably on neighbouring listed properties.
We have also supported residents regarding many other smaller planning applications and enforcements.
On Transport we responded to proposals issued by the City Council to remodel the Picardy Place roundabout at the expense of the public space in front of St Mary RC Cathedral at an information session in September 2017 without any prior consultation by calling for a detailed and meaningful consultation with locals. The City Council’s Director of Place, Paul Lawrence, attended our October meeting and explained that the City Council had entered into a tripartite agreement (the GAM) with the St James Centre developers and the Scottish Government to unlock funding for a re-modelled junction and there was little room for deviation. He was left in no doubt about residents’ anger at this failure to consult. The City Council hastily undertook a short, further consultation and revised plans were issued in November which many, including the Picardy residents group and city wide groups such as Spokes and Living Streets, considered little better.
The CC agreed with many of their criticisms and called for further consultation and revision to take account of public concerns at the loss of public space and inadequate provision for cyclists, pedestrians and bus users. A revised plan emerged in January 2018 on which local opinion was divided. Whilst some on the CC considered it an improvement, and perhaps the best that could be achieved within the framework of the GAM, others considered that the Council’s insistence on a gyratory was short sighted and that a fundamental rethink aimed at reducing vehicular traffic was required. The CC reflected this range of views in our comments. The January proposal was adopted by the City Council, but they did agree to a follow-up session with the CC and other stakeholders on detailed design issues, of which one took place in March.
Other transport proposals which aroused local concerns, and on which the CC commented, included the City Council’s proposal to raise the cost of parking permits for diesel cars by £40 across the board, which we objected to as we felt residents should be given time to move to less polluting alternatives. We agreed that reducing emissions should be a policy priority when the Council consulted on proposals for a low emission zone in Edinburgh City Centre. We also participated in a workshop arrange by the George St and First New Town project, which the City Council has put together to take forward the George St design principles and develop them for a broader first New Town area centered on George St.
On licensing, last year we opposed the change to the standard condition for playing music in licensed premises that it must not be audible by neighbours to a weaker condition requiring that the noise must not cause nuisance. Despite our objections the Board made this change. A number of variations of licenses have since been sought seeking the ‘new’ condition and our policy has been to oppose this where the premises adjoin residential accommodation. This year we have been 100% successful with two applications being refused and the other withdrawn.
On engagement with the local community, our website has been regularly updated to show forthcoming meetings, minutes and news about planning applications/ consultations. Local residents have continued to attend our meetings and contact us by way of our online form. Our Communications Committee has been considering how we can engage better with our community, especially 16 to 25 year olds. One step we are taking is to explore with a local secondary school to whether they could identify pupils age 16 or over who might wish to do a stint with us as associate members, but this has yet to bear fruit. We have continued to attend the Board of City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership and are supporting the recently introduced Localities initiative.
On environment, we have continued to contribute to the Council’s Waste & Street Cleansing forum. A specific issue that arose during the year was the Council’s plans to change collection arrangements in streets where Gull-Proof bags (GPBs) are used. The Community Council agreed a policy to support the opinions of local residents and promote the formation of Street Associations. We agreed not to take a general position on the relative merits of containerised waste versus GPB collections. In the specific instance of London Street, we agreed not to object to council plans for the containerisation of waste collections, in line with the majority of the street’s residents as expressed in a street poll organised by the City Council.
During the period ended 31stMarch 2018, the New Town and Broughton Community Council received its statutory grant of £1075·08 from the City of Edinburgh Council.
No remuneration or expenses have been paid to any Community Council member during the year, except reimbursement of expenses incurred by members on postage, photocopying, paper and print cartridges etc, incurred in the course of community council work.
b. Treasurer’s report
Our annual accounts for the year to 31/3/18 have been signed off by the independent examiner and now need to be approved. A brief summary of the main financial features is below.
Our expenses this year have exceeded our grant by just under £100, and this has reduced our year end (31 March) balance from £775 to £689. However, we have not paid £300 for advertising so far this year. Our main expenses this year have been that of a secretary (£500) and room hire (£315), both of which were met from our annual grant of £1,075 paid to us in August by the Council.
However, our regular expenses (secretary, rent, advertising and administrative expenses) do exceed our income by about £200 a year. New expenses such as data protection registration, website hosting, and insurance against slander and libel have been introduced in recent years, and these have to be paid for from our very limited funds. Our bank balance is strong enough not to require any immediate change. However, we realise that we will have to economise in another year or two.
|Receipts and Payments Accounts||£||£|
|Grants and other income1||1,075||1,046|
|Interest after tax||1||2|
|Payments relating to main activities;|
|Web site hosting4||62||322|
|Date protection registration fee||35|
|Surplus/(Deficit) for the year||(86)||(108)|
|Statement of Balances|
|Opening bank balance||775||883|
|Surplus/(Deficit) for the year||(86)||(108)|
|Closing bank balance||689||775|
|General unrestricted funds||689||775|
|Estimated liabilities at end of year||0||0|
- In 2017, this figure included two donations of £40, being expenses paid to the Councillors for attendance at an event.
- Rent of the room used for monthly meetings for the period January to December.
- Advertising in the Spurtle magazine and their website for 2015 and 2016 was paid in 2016
- Fees to renew the new New Town and Broughton Community Council website subscription for a further 3 years. The total fee of £384 was paid in two parts, £322 in March 2017, £62 in April 2017
- Subscription to Cockburn Association
- These are paid to an independent minutes’ secretary, not the elected Secretary of the Community Council
- Insurance against libel and slander claims relating to the website was commenced in 2015/6.This was deducted directly from the grant in 2016/7
Independent Examiner’s Report to the Committee of the New Town and Broughton Community Council
I report on the accounting statements of the organisation for the period ended 31 March 2018 which are set out above and the accompanying notes thereto.
Respective Responsibilities of Committee Members and Examiner
The Committee members are responsible for the preparation of the accounts and consider that the Community Council is entitled not to have an audit. It is my responsibility to examine the accounts and to state whether particular matters have come to my attention.
Basis of Independent Examiner’s Statement
An examination includes a review of the accounting records kept by the Community Council and a comparison of the accounts presented with those records. It also includes consideration of any unusual items or disclosures in the accounts, and seeks explanations from the Committee members concerning such matters. The procedures undertaken do not provide all the evidence that would be required by an audit, and consequently I do not express an audit opinion on the view given by the accounts.
Independent Examiner’s Statement
In my opinion:
To the best of my knowledge and belief the Receipts and Payments Accounts and Statement of Balances have been properly prepared from the records and are in agreement with them.
The accounting statements comply with the constitution of the Community Council.
C P Johnston MA, MBA, ACMA, CGMA
17a Clarendon Crescent, Edinburgh EH4 1PU