Minutes of the New Town and Broughton Community Council meeting held on Monday 3rd March 2014 in Cathedral House, 63 York Place, Edinburgh.
Present: Ian Mowat, Audrey Cavaye, Judy Conn, Gaby Holden, Jonathan Finn, Richard Price, Christine Ross, Carol Nimmo, James Igoe, Alan Welsh, Richard Corral, Lynn Henni, Allan Jack, Ben MacPherson, Stuart Cowie
Ex officio members present, Sgt Scott Oliver, Cllr Joanna Mowat
Members of the public Present: Allan Alstead (Moray Feu), Alan McIntosh, John Ross Maclean (Spurtle) and other local residents
- Apologies for Absence: Susannah Beaumont, Cllr Alasdair Rankin, Cllr Deidre Brock, Mark Lazarowicz MP, Cllr Karen Doran,
- Minutes of the previous Meeting and Matters Arising – Noted amendment Triados Bank not Triadas. Minutes of the meeting held on 3rd February 2013 were adopted and approved by Jonathan Finn, and seconded by Carol Nimmo.Chair raised 4-8 Market Street – release of land and the demolition and rebuild of the hotel, although that related to the Old Town ward. Invitation received from Network Rail to meet representatives regarding issues with the Railway to be held on 28th March at the Apex Hotel, Chair asked members to RSVP if interested. Thanks received from Moray Feuars regarding Charlotte Square. And George Street – would like to convene a meeting to run alongside for a 12 month evaluation. Cllr Brock – Bowling Green contamination – reported that it was not believed there was contamination at the site and was therefore good for bowls, food growing, etc.
Storage of old papers – Secretary to follow up regarding papers dated 1996 to 2005, held by Alan Welsh. After the meeting the Secretary contacted Eileen Hewitt but was advised that she did not have storage available and that papers need not be kept beyond 7 years.
- Police Report: Sgt Oliver apologized for the lack of Police attendance. Explained that under Police Scotland there were 5 operational teams, with an inspector appointed to each. There were 2 Community Inspectors based at the West End and they have introduced a managed call appointment system running between 9am and 9pm, to ensure that appointments were not missed. He advised that going forward the Police would be unable to provide a breakdown of crime statistics as the data they receive is now for the whole of Scotland and their overall performance. Their main areas were licensing, violent crime, creating a safe environment, house breaking, thefts – and they have targeted officers for these areas. It was a large period of transition for the Police, and going forward attendance will depend on who is available.The lack of statistics created a long debate but on the whole the board agreed that they were not concerned about this and were interested to hear about prioritized work and how that will benefit the City Centre, as Sgt Oliver advised that we should see this stepped up with increased Police presence. Also advised that crime data will be published annually. Confirmed an increase in officer numbers from 24 to 40 in the City Centre. It was found that historically the City Centre had been left under policed due to officers dealing with arrests, taking the person to the station, and dealing with that, which meant they were pulled off the streets. The Chair noted that it would be beneficial to see how these changes progressed and whether they are a success or not. Christine Ross asked if doorstep crime was an issue, and Sgt Oliver advised not in this area. Also advised that they were looking to resurrect the Safer Neighbourhood meeting.
- Licensing – New application - 1-3 York Place, likely to be an Indian Restaurant again, no objections noted. Variations – None of note. Jonathan Finn advised that he didn’t believe we heard about all the variations and an investigation was required.Also noted an application for a Street Trader at Cathedral Lane, requesting trading between 7am and 1am, although full details were not available. Noted that a number of stalls were increasing the number of days they are on site and that there are plans to make the market 7 days. Cllr Mowat noted that the stalls in general only operate until 3pm. Chair recommended an investigation into this application and the plans for the market going forward.
- Transport – No meeting of the Sub-Committee held. 11th/13th is proposed date for next meeting regarding George Street. Allan Jack and Carol Nimmo can attend. Carol Nimmo raised the concern about the erections of marquees in George Street and was very against it, as were other Committee members. Cllr Mowat advised this was subject to planning permission and was being run by Essential Edinburgh. Allan Jack mentioned a meeting held in Heriot Row when semi-permanent structures were discussed and Alan Welsh noted that similar discussions were held when Castle Street was pedestrianized. Ben MacPherson noted there were 2 issues – the widening of the space and the privatizing of it. Chair advised that there was around 1 week for responses and he believes that our response should be against this change being made in 2014, that changes to George Street should not happen until the trams have been operational for some time and suggested 2015 would be more sensible. It was generally agreed that George Street needs to be protected.Jonathan Finn also mentioned yellow disks seen on the road in the parking bays in George Street and Cllr Mowat advised that these were for parking monitoring purposes. Alan Welsh asked why there were new traffic lights at the junction of Heriot Row and Howe Street and Cllr Mowat agreed to check. Chair advised that if any changes to George Street parking were to go ahead, NTBCC would like to be involved and advised about the monitoring of traffic in the new Town.
Also mentioned the £3m/6m for the Leith Walk Development plan which was also involving the London Road roundabout. Carol Nimmo has details and the meeting on 20th March at 6pm to be held in the McDonald Library.
- Planning – representation was made regarding Picardy Place including confusion regarding the traffic system and the overly large building for the Thistle Hotel. Richard Price advised that he does support something being done with Picardy Place but does not believe this scheme is right. It should be more in line with Public Realm requirements, and this is not. Timescales for the plan are not clear and it may be a month or 2 until changes are available. Alan Welsh recommended that a Freedom of Information request be made to find out why the Council agreed to provide the Thistle Hotel this new space – what was the commitment made to the hotel. Cllr Mowat recommended this be sent to Greg Ward. Chair agreed to draft this.John Menzies, Rose Street office – change of use to a hotel – representation made regarding concerns that office space was being driven out of the City Centre and that this was contrary to the Local Development Plan. Cumberland Street – 2 x mews houses – rejection raised regarding the materials to be used and style. Macdonald Road – School Annex – urban space to be developed into 74 studio flats, was not granted. The developer has appealed this and a decision should be available by end April. Representation has been made.
Judy Conn mentioned St Stephen Church and that a private buyer had purchased it and there was a Charitable Trust. A letter of thanks had been received for NTBCC’s attendance at the meeting.
Logie Green Road – a re-application had been made by Lidl’s to open with the same hours as Tesco. Albany Street Lane – contemporary mews development – original application has expired and a new one made by the same Developers as Macdonald Road. Eyre Place – gap site – Royal Bank of Scotland are asking for a re-designation of the land.
- Environment – Parks Events Manifesto – may need to respond to this. Carol Nimmo and Judy Conn to liaise. Also noted the Scottish Enlightenment & New Town Gardens opening up on 24th to 26th September.
- Community Council Website – James Igoe advised that further content had been received but some was still awaited. A publishing schedule was needed, along with some design changes. Aim is to have the new site live by mid-April and suggested that the Spurtle could announce it. Chair suggested that the AGM might bring something to discuss and adopt. Richard Price also advised that he would like to take some Planning topics for the Business meeting, scheduled for 7th April at York Place at 7pm.
- Treasurer’s Report – Jonathan Finn advised on the change of Bank Account and recommended this was done in time for the financial year end.
- Any Other Business - Cllr Mowat noted that the polling station for the Euro Elections on 22nd May will not be in St Stephen Street, but would move to the Roxburgh Hotel.
- Date of Next Meeting – 9 June 2014 at 7.30pm at Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent, the Drummond Room.