NTBCC minutes – Monday 9 May 2016

Minutes of the ordinary meeting of New Town and Broughton Community Council, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 9 May 2016 at 7.30pm

1 Attendance and apologies for absence

1.1 Present

Audrey Cavaye NTBCC Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Judy Conn NTBCC
Lynn Henni NTBCC Local Residents
Jonathan Finn NTBCC
Allan Jack NTBCC
Chris Collins NTBCC/DCA
Ian Mowat NTBCC
Carol Nimmo NTBCC
Lewis Press NTBCC
Richard Price NTBCC  
Christine Ross NTBCC
Alan Welsh NTBCC
Jack Hugh NTBCC
Cllr Marion Donaldson Leith Walk ward
Cllr Joanna Mowat City Centre Ward
Cllr Lewis Ritchie Leith Walk Ward

1.2 Apologies

Ian McGill NTBCC Cllr A Rankin City Centre Ward
Suzanne Beaumont NTBCC

2 Minutes of Meeting of 14 March 2016 and matters arising

A Cavaye read out the changes to the Minutes from the April meeting.

3 Police

PC Chris Smart was in attendance. He provided stats for the period from 1st April to 8th May:-

13 thefts (domestic and business)       0 solved

9 Business break-ins                               0 solved

4 House break-ins                                   0 solved

15 Vandalisms                                          9 solved

He also advised that Princes Mall (aka Waverley Mall) is a particular hotspot for youths meeting and the Police are targeting that with an ongoing operation. Between 6.00 and 10.00pm is the main target time.  Also noted a big rise in the numbers of rough sleepers and beggars, etc.  Cllr Mowat highlighted Council ownership of this issue and the difficulty in dealing with the different groups when they involve alcohol, begging and homelessness and cannot be placed in one basket. Cllr Mowat to check and provide figures regarding the cuts to services.  She also noted that the Council had a duty to house someone who had been homeless for over 6 months.  L Press stressed it was a complicated issue.  PC Smart said the numbers of rough sleepers are actually small compared to those begging.  The homeless are required to present themselves as homeless, prove a connection to the city and then re-present themselves, with a view to get housing.

PC Smart advised there had been 10 thefts from vehicles, with the previous month being particularly bad. There was also a trend for youths on bikes scoping out areas where bikes were not locked.  Police are carrying out high visibility patrols.   The team at St Leonards were also working on how best to Police Edinburgh city centre.  Plan is to take police off teams to then work in an active response unit.

4 Licensing

Sam Piaccentini, from the Licensing Forum and Old Town CC attended the meeting. Concern had been raised regarding amplified music and the plan to re-word the clause governing this. Currently the test is simple; no amplified music should be audible in nearby properties. This would change to residents having to prove that the amplified noise was a nuisance. J Finn advised that an NTBCC member, Steven Hadjucki  had attended the Forum and had made points that this change would be detrimental to residents and  that there was no evidence that the present test had prevented a vibrant live music scene developing in Edinburgh.,  but his points were not accurately minuted by the Forum .  Noted that there was great concern with the operation of the Licensing Forum and the Licensing Board.  S Piaccentini also highlighted that the overprovision of licensed establishments was still to be discussed, but that he was looking for more support from the Board.

Cllr Mowat advised that there had been issues over the years of getting members elected to the forum. It was particularly difficult to get members on that represent areas of the city who have licensed premises issues. S Piaccentini agreed that he doesn’t believe the Convenor of the Board is taking on board the views of the Forum or the Community Councils.  Also advised that someone from the Community Council should have attended the last meeting to give an explanation of the clause and proposed change and that it was felt overall the change is not to benefit the musicians, it would just allow the premises to turn up the volume.

Cllr Mowat then advised that the Board cannot be removed by the Council, it stay in place until the next City Council elections. She encouraged anyone concerned to go on line, fill out the form and submit their concerns. Chair asked S Piaccentini to confirm the date of the next meeting and also ask the Forum to re-think the decision on amplified music, and to advise them that the minuting from the last meeting did not represent what was said.   Noted that the consultation on this change finishes on 29th July.

Chair and J Finn to put something together and send to Charles Booth.

24a Frederick Street – application to increase capacity from 400 to 800 – Both NTBCC and the Police have objected to this application. Licensing Board carried forward to next meeting

Festival periods/Extended hours – historically an application was required every time, but now an applicant can obtain a blanket approval, so there was no need to re-apply.

No objections were raised for other new applications.

5 Environment

Chair thanked Cllr Ritchie indicated that he would follow up on the consideration the city council was giving to the NTBCC report delivered to the Council in February. L Press will review the Council response to the report, specifically looking at what went wrong early in the year.  Some very good research into waste management had been carried out.  This report will be available publicly and L Press will present findings to NTBCC in due course.  Also highlighted the re-organisation of Waste Services.  Currently this was managed city wide, but was organised locally.  Council is devolving from Central to the 4 localities, 3 of which the NTBCC sit within.  But overall it was not clear what was happening.  Cllr Mowat advised there was a lot of transformation within the Council, and that matters should be clearer in June, and hopes to be able to feed back once more is known.

6 Planning

RBS Building – NTBCC representation had been made on the final version of the exhibited plans and copies of it were made available to the public at the meeting. Next stage will be the planning application in principle which is expected before the end of June, with 21 days to receive comments and ensure NTBCC / resident’s  views were fed into the planning process (with a resident requesting NTBCC post information once that was known).

Dundas Street Bakery – Complaint had been received regarding noise. 2 changes had been recommended to reduce the noise, but the primary change to install an acoustic ceiling had not been done.  The planning application for this business had been approved subject to the conditions being addressed.  Owner has 3 months from 23rd March to appeal.  Chair stated that he does not believe the NTBCC should be involved given owner has not complied with planning condition.   Lynn Henni said that 480 residents had signed a petition on behalf of the bakery against the Council decision.

Royal High School – noted that a number of changes had been made to the application for the Music School but NTBCC had not been in the loop. 2 major revisions had been made. C Nimmo recommended the NTBCC write to the new Head of Culture (Scottish Minister) regarding the development, and should also consider re-inviting Willie Gray Muir of the Music School development if notable changes have been made.

7 Transport

Parking action plan – comments received from the Drummond Civic and noted that if there were any concerns NTBCC can write on their behalf. Zone 5/6 were not changing the times of operation but were still looking at shared use of spaces.   Also noted a TRO had been raised regarding the Lidl store on Logie Green Road, which has been stalling this development.

Also advised that the demolition waste from St James Centre was to be treated at Leith Docks. The final route is still to be confirmed. Cllr Mowat advised that this should be known on 11th May and she will also be able to confirm where to find details on line.

8 Activities of Local Street or Amenity Associations

C Ross advised the Neighbourhood Partnership will be held on 26th May in the City Chambers and would cover Tenement living.  L Press had attended the EACC.  Noted that CC election arrangement letters had not been received.  Community Council Empowerment Act was raised regarding how that affects the NTBCC and residents and that it may be worth inviting someone to speak at a future NTBCC meeting.