A second, very successful, NTBCC meeting using the Zoom platform with members of the public both welcome and involved. Despite some last minute technical issues (& inability by some NTBCC members to locate the Zoom link-in details!) – we were happy to record 15 community councillors were present (virtually) – including one of our office bearers from the back seat of a car many miles from Edinburgh.
Also we all appreciated attendance by 5 ward councillors - many thanks to Councillors Doran, Miller & Mowat from the City centre ward (almost a full house) and also Councillors Osler & Barrie from Inverleith Ward for joining us. Having Councillors present is really helpful in many of the discussions, both to understand current council thinking as well as being able to pick up issues.
As an aside – we also regularly extend an invitation to Leith Walk ward councillors as a significant part of NTBCC’s area lies within Leith Walk ward. They would be very welcome at future community council meetings.
Last, but by no means least, almost a dozen members of the public. And we mustn’t forget the roving Broughton Spurtle editor also joining us from afar.
We would also thank Police Scotland for providing an excellent summary of their activities in the city centre – unprompted by us – much appreciated. Key messages were a continued issue with cycle thefts (incl. Just Eat hire cycles), police checks for Covid-compliance on licensed premises, reported improvements in anti-social behaviour at Waverley Mall with the temporary village now set up and increased focus on speed checks across the city centre.
The main discussion topics were a raft of transport issues – ranging from proposals for improvements to Broughton Street to support local businesses and aid physical distancing, impacts from traffic displacement in residential streets from the Leith Walk Tram works and the proposed York Place closure (for a combination of Tram works, cycle lane (CCWEL) installation & works associated with the new St James development). It was good to hear from City Centre ward councillors that Broughton Street is on a ‘shortlist’ (in reality, quite a long list…) for inclusion in the Spaces for People programme, although details of remaining funding for this are not (yet) in the public domain. NTBCC’s initial position is here. We also heard that Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Council have been in discussion regarding replacement of some ‘sleeping policemen’ (speed bumps) with speed cushions to reduce the impact of vibration from buses on these residential streets.
The main planning discussion centred on the latest application by Ediston for the ex-RBS site and the rumours circulating that the applications had been withdrawn (but seemingly only temporarily - more info on the website here).
NTBCC also agreed to progress with Instagram (supplementing their Twitter account) as this may appeal to a wider age range than more traditional communication routes.
It’s fair to say that we are still learning how to get the best from these virtual meetings and if there are suggestions for improvement from any of those taking part, please let us know.
Next meeting : Monday 14 September, more than likely using the Zoom platform - details will be communicated nearer the time..