NTBCC minutes – Monday 12 February 2018

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 12 February 2018 at 7:30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic underlined. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against the item.

1 Attendance and apologies for absence

Judy Conn NTBCC secretary Fran Wasoff NTBCC
Foysol Choudhury NTBCC Alan Welsh NTBCC
Jack Hugh NTBCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary
Allan Jack NTBCC transport convenor PC Bruce Burt Police Scotland
Susan MacInnes NTBCC PC Seona Fleming Police Scotland
Ian Mowat NTBCC chair Cllr Marion Donaldson Leith Walk ward
Carol Nimmo NTBCC Cllr Claire Miller City Centre ward
Richard Price NTBCC planning convenor Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Christine Ross NTBCC ~14 residents and visitors

1.1 Apologies for absence

Susanna Beaumont NTBCC Cllr Joanna Mowat City Centre ward
Jonathan Finn NTBCC treasurer, licensing convenor Ben Macpherson MSP Edinburgh Northern & Leith
Stuart McAllister NTBCC Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith
Lewis Press NTBCC environment convenor Cllr Hal Osler Inverleith Ward

2 Minutes of meeting of 11 December 2017 and matters arising

Approved without changes (proposed A Welsh, seconded J Hugh)

3 Minutes of meeting of 8 January 2018 and matters arising

Approved nem con

4 Police

4.1 Recent break ins in NTBCC area

Business Domestic
Location Date Location Date
NW Circus Place 18-19 Jan* Heriot Row 14 Jan
Broughton St 20-21 Jan Heriot Row 7 Feb
Frederick St 4-5 Feb India St 16 Jan
Charlotte Lane 15 Jan East London St 7 Feb
Frederick St 16 Jan Randolph Place 7 Feb
Rose St Lane North 16 Jan
*i.e. the break-in occurred at night, e.g. in the evening of 18 Jan or early morning of 19 Jan
  • No arrests have yet been made, but investigation is on-going.
  • It was noted that crime-prevention surveys are offered by the police for free.
  • It was suggested that single-glazed windows can be made more resistant to break-ins with glazing film (example).

4.2 Speeding

  • PCs Burt and Fleming acknowledged that there have been many complaints about speeding in residential streets in NTBCC’s area, especially in the New Town.
  • Community Police Officers (CPOs) now have a hand-held laser device to detect speeding. However, it is not perfect:
    • It needs a certain distance (partly for safety of the PCs, who need to stand in front of the target vehicle) giving clear sight of the vehicle, and a safe stopping place for the vehicle, so the driver can be talked to.
    • Hence use of the device in Northumberland St and Nelson St is not possible.
  • It was suggested that speeding could be detected without stopping the vehicles (using Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and appropriate notices served later. PC Burt responded that this would add to CPOs’ paperwork duties, hence severely reducing their time on the beat.
  • It was suggested that signs announcing speeding detection would deter potential speeders.

4.3 Other issues

  • F Choudhury reported that a car had been parked on a private lane, preventing access by the owner.
    • PC Burt responded that police cannot act on parking on private land, and that due [civil] process should be used.
    • It was stated that victims can find vehicle owners’ details via the DVLA, but in this case the owner lives too far away for this to be practical.

5 Filling NTBCC vacancies

It was noted that NTBCC has 2 co-optable vacancies, and that new members with social media skills would be welcome.

6 CEC’s proposal to transfer Gaelic Medium Education to Drummond Community High School

David Sterratt (DS) of Drummond Community High School (DCHS) parents’ council reported

  • In December 2017, a report to CEC suggested moving secondary-level Gaelic Medium Education (GME) to DCHS.
  • The report also suggested that with increasing demand for GME, DHCS could become GME-only.
    • See DCHS parents’ councils’ projections on their Facebook page. The ‘Drummond pupils projected roll’ numbers are from CEC, while the ‘Additional Gaelic pupils projected roll’ numbers are from the Gaelic language plan.)
  • Hence parents of current DCHS pupils (and primary schools that feed DCHS – see their statements via The Spurtle) are concerned that English Medium Education (EME) would no longer be available at a ‘community’ school.
    • That is, entry to secondary GME education requires fluent Gaelic, which rules out most local pupils.
    • They are also concerned that various facilities for diverse pupils and community use would be lost from DCHS.
  • CEC has now promised that any pupil who has started secondary education at DCHS will be able to finish it there.
  • There is a plan for statutory consultation later in 2018. However, CEC currently appears not to have a proper plan for the potential numbers of GME and EME pupils at DCHS.
  • There will be an ‘engagement event’ on 27 Feb at DCHS, where CEC will present various options.
    • However, apparently feasibility studies of these options have not yet been made.
  • CEC has a long-term aspiration for a long-term GME secondary school.
  • DCHS parents fully respect the rights to GME, but are far from convinced that DHCS is an appropriate location.

A DCHHS parent noted that DCHS parents have started a campaign to voice their concerns and to get clarity over DCHS’ future. She noted annoyance that this campaign is needed – parents would prefer to spend the time with their children.

6.1 Responses and questions

  • C Nimmo noted that there is much new housing in the DCHS area, so pupil intake may well be higher than predicted, and asked about CEC’s plans. A DCHS parent responded that plans had ‘come out of nowhere’, while D Sterratt suggested that CEC was trying to gauge the resistance to moving GME to DCHS
  • F Choudhury (FC) suggested that DCHS is currently doing very well, but that the proposals would take away from local people and put extra pressure on DCHS. He asked what CEC councillors are doing about this issue.
    • Cllr Donaldson responded that councillors are listening to parents, and is awaiting a response from CEC’s education convenor, but that the primary concern should be for pupils’ attainment rather than parents’ ‘rights’.
    • Cllr Miller responded that she is also attending meetings, and making sure parents can raise their concerns.
    • FC replied that the proposals are already causing DCHS pupils to be concerned for their future education.
  • A Jack asked whether a firm proposal has been made by CEC. (D Sterratt responded that one is due soon).
  • A Welsh asked about the point of the campaign, and noted that CEC is legally obliged to provide GME.
    • D Sterratt noted that primary GME had been at Tollcross primary school, to ‘feed’ secondary GME at James Gillespie’s High School (JGHS), but is now at Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce in Leith. There had been around 30 GME pupils transitioning to secondary while GME was at Tollcross, but now there are around 60 transitions per year.
    • DS also noted that CEC had decided not to expand JGHS, assuming that another secondary GME school would be created. However, plans to move some secondary GME to Tynecastle were legally quashed or otherwise stopped.
    • He also noted that use of an annexe at JGHS for GME had not [yet] worked, but there is a window for further development of GME at JGHS and Boroughmuir HS while a long-term plan is developed.
    • A Welsh suggested that DCHS’ playground is over a stream, and so cannot be built on.
  • A McIntosh asked which other schools had been considered for secondary GME. (D Sterratt named several schools, but also said that while these would be too big to be GME-only, DCHS – if expanded to support likely pupil numbers – is the right size.)
  • Cllr Donaldson asked whether concerns would go away if EME education was guaranteed for pupils already at DCHS and their siblings. DCHS parents (and some NTBCC members) at the meeting responded that this would not be workable if GME moved to DCHS without large (and hence impractical) extensions to DCHS.
  • B Ryan questioned the desirability of GME and EME pupils being segregated from each other, potentially leading to social divisions. A Jack responded that full immersion is needed for GME to succeed – mixing GME and EME pupils would lead to [only] English being spoken outside of lessons, thus damaging learning of Gaelic.
  • I Mowat asked whether anyone at the meeting supported the proposed move of GME to DCHS at this stage. (No-one did.)
  • Another NTBCC member suggested that NTBCC should not take a view until firm proposals have been made.

Decision: NTBCC to take a view at its March meeting, after hearing updates from the DCHS parents’ (and others), but to report this meeting in its February website précis.

Action: DS to advise whether NTBCC can attend the engagement event

7 Planning

7.1 Royal High School

  • The pre-examination meeting on 1 Feb was attended by the applicants, City of Edinburgh Council, Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Edinburgh World Heritage, the Cockburn Association, NTBCC and Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) and local residents.
  • NTBCC, Edinburgh World Heritage and the Cockburn Association have formed a joint coalition – being represented by one advocate.
  • The resulting inquiry is now not expected to start until 17 September 2018. NTBCC will take part in this inquiry, but will defer heritage questions to other relevant heritage organisations.
  • NTBCC have agreed to support the Cockburn Association’s efforts to raise money to fund expected the legal costs. NTBCC is waiting for the Cockburn Association crowdfunding appeal to be launched. Action: R Price to advise URL, he or B Ryan to advertise it on NTBCC website.

7.2 Royal Bank of Scotland

  • NTBCC’s objection has been submitted.
  • HES has maintained its objection to the amended plans.
  • It was stated that it is highly probable that because the architects believe the plans do meet heritage concerns (& HES do not), the matter will ultimately be determined by the Scottish Reporter.

7.3 Others

  • Plans for the last remaining element of the mill building in Canonmills (1 – 3 Canon Street) to be essentially demolished, removing the final architectural and heritage link with the name of Canonmills have been submitted (17/05967/FUL).
  • NTBCC has submitted an objection to the plans, as have Stockbridge & Inverleith CC and the Cockburn Association.
  • I Mowat reported that an Inverleith CEC councillor has heard local concerns about plans soon to be submitted by Edinburgh Academy. However, as plans are not yet on CEC’s portal, NTBCC will look at them when available but as yet cannot take a view.

8 Licensing

  • No applications raised concerns this month.
  • Two applications (29-33 Dublin St, 3A Dundas St) which NTBCC had submitted objections due to the likelihood of noise-nuisance have been permitted, but with a condition that ‘all amplified music and vocals shall be so controlled so as not to be an audible nuisance in neighbouring residential premises’. That is, the onus of proof of no nuisance is with the licensee; this was welcomed by NTBCC.

9 Environment

  • The next Edinburgh Waste Forum will take place on 28 February.
  • The ‘scorecard’ about the Edinburgh Festival reported high satisfaction. However, it did not report on concerns on problems around traffic, waste, noise and licensing. It also appears that the number of complaints about waste has reduced, but it is unknown whether this is due to reduced numbers of problems or people not reporting problems.
    • Cllr Miller will meet with A Herriman this week to revise the scorecard that takes into account such issues.

10 Transport

10.1 Picardy Place

NTBCC submitted its concerns last month, but CEC’s Transport & Environment Committee has decided to proceed with the latest plans. It was suggested that these plans are not as bad as previous proposals, but that CEC should have engaged sooner and better.

  • It was noted that trees have been removed already, to avoid disturbing nesting birds.
  • Cllr Miller is trying to obtain the current design brief, but this is held by Laing O’Rourke, who have contracted the designers. She will share it with community groups, including NTBCC, when she gets it.

10.2 Traffic in New Town

  • CEC’s traffic monitoring before Leith St was closed failed. CEC traffic staff wish to meet with NTBCC on 21 Feb at 9am to further discuss the details of plans for Pi9cardy Place.
  • It was suggested that post-closure data is gathered, then compared with pre-tram data which (presumably) still exists
  • Action: IM to email NTBCC members to find who can attend.
  • Cllr Mowat has asked for temporary speed-limit signs. (Cllr Miller confirmed that CEC has such signs.)

11 Communications

Action: A Welsh to donate NTBCC’s old records to CEC archives (agreed nem con)

Work on a poster is in progress. Action: Comms members to make final changes after meeting

Decision: C Nimmo volunteered to write the website summary for March’s meeting

12 Neighbourhood Partnerships and local residents’ associations

It was reported that at the recent City Centre neighbourhood Partnership meeting, the Locality Improvement Plan for the South East Locality was discussed. Locality Improvement Plans (LIPs) are different to the Local Development Plan.

There are 4 localities covering the city of Edinburgh, with the city centre council ward (and most of the NTBCC area) being covered by the South East Locality. The LIPs cover large areas, e.g. Southeast Edinburgh locality, and within this, smaller areas (e.g. the city centre) have their own Small Area plans, with specific improvements to the way aspects of the city centre are managed. However, the Locality plans continue to be revised. The NTBCC area also partially overlaps other localities (e.g. the Leith Walk council ward is within the North east Locality plan & Stockbridge council ward is the North West Locality plan: see CEC mapping.)

  • Cllr Miller noted that Localities have their own budgets for relevant matters, while Cllr Donaldson noted that LIPs are live documents, and so can be updated as needed.
  • It was noted that Neighbourhood Partnerships (e.g City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership) are advisory bodies, but will continue for the time being.

Action: Cllrs Miller and Donaldson will ensure that NTBCC is invited to attend SE and NE Locality meetings.

Action: B Ryan to disseminate SE Locality plan to NTBCC members


J Hugh is trying to get Nelson and Northumberland St Residents’ Association to register as an NTBCC-affiliated group.