Response from New Town and Broughton Community Council to proposed Low Emission Zone Scheme for Edinburgh.

Executive Summary

Having considered the information provided in support of the final scheme and in particular the Council’s responses to the comments submitted by the various stakeholders, while the New Town and Broughton Community Council continues to support the principle of introducing a Low Emission Zone, we can no longer support the current proposals due to their adverse impact on residents.

Given that none of the issues that we highlighted in our previous consultation response submitted in September 2021 have been addressed to our satisfaction, we wish to largely resubmit those comments but also highlight our concerns about the consultation process.

Despite clear reasons for change, there is no evidence that the City of Edinburgh Council has seriously considered any of the issues that we (and others) raised about the current plans. Some of the issues (lack of effective enforcement) were completely ignored and others (displacement of traffic into predominantly residential areas) are dismissed on the basis that it is too difficult to make changes to the current arrangements.

This approach is contrary to the Scottish Government’s efforts to encourage community empowerment and their intent to introduce meaningful changes to reduce atmospheric emissions from traffic in Scotland’s four major cities.

We therefore object to the current scheme for the reasons set out below.

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NTBCC meeting agenda Monday 14 February 2022

Agenda for online meeting: 6:45pm for 7.00pm start

We very much welcome members of the public joining the meeting (using the Zoom platform).

Registration will be via Eventbrite – please click link below

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/264646734507

Log-in details/Zoom link will then be emailed to all those who have registered.

Anyone who wants to raise an issue for discussion can do so either by submitting a Contact Us form or send a message via Twitter @NTBCC. Continue reading

“Business Bulletin – Communal Bin Project” – NTBCC deputation to Transport & Environment Committee

The following written deputation was submitted to the Council’s Transport & Environment Committee on 27 January 2022 in response to an item contained within the Committee’s Business Bulletin which covered an update to the Communal Bin (Hub) Project and the £7.7m grant from Zero Waste Scotland’s Recycling Improvement Fund. 

The verbal deputation and discussion along with verbal deputations from Edinburgh World Heritage and the Cockburn Association, who supported the view of the community council, can also be viewed in the webcast of the meeting, starting at 5:45 minutes in.

(A note of caution – the full discussion on this topic runs for over an hour).  


Deputation to the Transport & Environment Committee meeting  : 27 January 2022 on item 6.1 Business Bulletin

Introduction

Since April 2021 when the City of Edinburgh Council (“the Council”) made its original decision to impose Communal Bin Hubs right across the New Town, the Council has refused to consult, engage or listen to the residents, their associations, Community Councils and Heritage Organisations.

The Business Bulletin before the Transport and Environment Committee today (“TEC”) is just another example where the Council has, again, failed to listen to experts or those affected by its decisions. Based on lengthy interactions with Edinburgh World Heritage (“EWH”) and Historic Environment Scotland (“HES”), the Council had an opportunity to re-think its extremely unpopular policy and consider some small mitigating suggestions. But it has failed to do so, ignored the advice of these Heritage Organisations and taken a “we know best” approach.

The Business Bulletin misrepresents facts and has not fully explained the Heritage Organisations’ views. The Committee does not even have the opportunity today to debate the minimal amendments proposed by EWH and HES.

The Council have been made aware of the very strong objections there are to the decision to abandon doorstep collection of Gull-proof bags and recycling boxes. A recent survey carried out by Angus Robertson MSP (and Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture) shows that just over 90% of residents do not support the imposition of Communal Bin Hubs. This is supported by our own NTBCC online survey and a recent door-to-door poll on India Street. In addition, the Council’s ‘Information Events’ also demonstrated how opposed the New Town community is to these changes.

However, the Council continues to ignore those it represents.

Before dealing with the details of the Business Bulletin, it is important to remind the Committee, how it reached this current decision in April 2021.

  • There was no consultation or even engagement with residents, residents’ associations, and community councils.
  • There was no consultation or engagement with Heritage Organisations
  • The Council has not conducted any impact assessments, despite the view of experts that such assessment should be carried out. It continues to refuse to conduct such assessments despite requests from EWH and HES.

New Town residents support the Council’s ambition of greater recycling, cleaner streets and less pollution. However, the way the Committee is taking these decisions is both undemocratic and lacking in transparency. As the Council will know, only too well, effective decision making involves and does not exclude those that are affected by its decisions.

Committee members will have received last week, our ‘Five-Year plan for Waste Management’ (attached to this deputation). This aims to approach the matter of waste and recycling in an imaginative way and looks to best practice nationally and internationally. The NTBCC wish to work with the Council to develop a system that not only carries the support of the community but also looks for a long-term and sustainable solution that will not permanently scar the streetscape of this beautiful City.

As a consequence, we are urging the Committee to just take a step back, pause and consider the lasting impact its decision will have on the unique heritage of Edinburgh. Once imposed, the Council will not be able to reverse its decision or if it did – it would again cost millions of pounds. Millions of pounds of public money.

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Response to the Council’s Waste Management Strategy : Proposed ‘5 Year Collaborative Plan’ for the New Town

Adapted from an email sent  by NTBCC (acting both on behalf of and with many local residents’ associations) to all Edinburgh councillors prior to a possible further discussion on this matter at the next Transport & Environment Committee meeting on 27th January.

Thank you to the councillors who have taken the time to respond – although it’s apparent from some of the responses that further discussion may be required to ensure that the concerns being voiced are fully understood.  

We would urge all residents who would be impacted by this to read the attachments accessible in the highlighted links at the foot of this letter. 

Dear Councillor
The Council’s “Information Events” have shown that residents of the New Town are very unhappy with the City of Edinburgh Council’s plans to start storing rubbish on Edinburgh’s beautiful Georgian streets in Communal Bin Hubs.

Surprisingly the Communal Bin Hub Review did not look at how other historic cities manage recycling, so we have carried out our own research.

It is clear there are better ways forward – and the attached report sets out the details. It is possible to manage recycling well in a World Heritage City without damaging the streetscape.

The strength of residents’ opposition to the Councils plans is also clear, not least from the recent “Information Events”. The minor adjustments, which we understand are currently being considered by council officials in response to this opposition, are totally inadequate.

Imposing large numbers of bins, in beautiful, ordered Georgian streets, will be hugely damaging to these streetscapes, to the amenity of residents and to Edinburgh’s reputation. The evidence for any benefit is weak.

We are asking City of Edinburgh Council to fulfil its duty to manage the World Heritage Site – by pausing the rollout of Communal Bin Hubs to allow a new plan to be developed. This should draw on best practice both in the United Kingdom and abroad, with input from heritage specialists and residents.

To ensure increased recycling and to protect the New Town, we have prepared ‘Waste Management in Edinburgh’s New Town; a Five Year Collaborative Plan,’ a catalyst for a better approach. With a broader analysis and the opportunity to work with residents and heritage specialists constructively, we are certain Edinburgh could produce imaginative solutions in which the City could take pride.

We urge you as a Councillor to think of the example you are setting in the stewardship of the World Heritage Site and pause the rollout of Communal Bin Hubs in the New Town, and in particular, those streets currently using gull-proof bags.

We would be happy to meet with Councillors to discuss these issues in more detail.

Carol Nimmo

Chair – New Town & Broughton Community Council, working with New Town Residents’ Associations

Please see attached:

  1. Summary Report to Councillors
  2. Waste Management in Edinburgh’s New Town : 5 Year Collaborative Plan (N.B. a long read)

 

Edinburgh Council : Communal Bin Review Project – Phase 4 Engagement Sessions

Adapted from an email forwarded by Cllr Mowat to the New Town & Broughton Community Council (& the Old Town Community Council) providing details of the forthcoming ‘Engagement’ sessions proposed by the Council’s Waste & Cleansing Services team.

Please form an orderly queue. 

We would like to provide an update on the engagement events for phase 4 of the Communal Bin Review (CBR) project to allow enough time for the promotion of the events.

Broughton Broughton St Mary Church

Bellevue Crescent

Wed 17 November 2021 9:45am-1-45pm
Stockbridge Number 7,

7 Raeburn Place

Fri 19 November 2021 11am -3pm
Old Town The Crannie Community Hub

9 Cranston Street

Wed 24 November 2021 12 noon- 4pm
New Town Rose Theatre Café

204 Rose Street

Fri 26 November 2021 11am – 3pm
West End Walpole Hall

27 Chester Street

Tue 30 November 2021 12 noon- 4pm

A reminder as well that next week we will be in Tollcross area for an event:

Tollcross Barclay Viewforth Church

1 Wright’s House

Wed 27 October 12-4pm

The information on the events will be also available on the website https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/binhubs.

Erica Manfroi | Project Delivery Manager – Communal Bin Review | Waste and Cleansing Services | The City of Edinburgh Council | Waverley Court  4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG

Consultation/engagement about waste services in world heritage: NTBCC letter to CEC director of place

On 15 October, NTBCC wrote this letter to Paul Lawrence about future consultation and engagement for Edinburgh’s world heritage area about proposals for communal bins in this area: 2021_10_15 Paul Lawrence.

The text of the letter is below the ‘read more’ cut. Continue reading

NTBCC minutes Monday 9 August 2021

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held via Zoom, on Monday 9 August 2021 at 7pm

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