Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s annual general meeting, held at Broughton St Mary’s church (some attendance via Zoom), on Monday 13 June 2022 at 7pm
Actions and decisions are red italic. ND (‘no dissent’) means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.
Items 1 to 5 and item 7 were chaired by Carol Nimmo. Item 6 was chaired by Bruce Ryan.
|Mike Birch†||NTBCC||Alan Welsh*||NTBCC|
|David Clarke*||NTBCC||Peter Williamson†||NTBCC|
|Annick Gaillard†||NTBCC||Bruce Ryan†||Minutes secretary|
|Deirdre Henderson†||NTBCC||Cllr Jule Bandel†||Inverleith ward|
|Stephen Hajducki†||NTBCC||Cllr Finlay McFarlane†||City Centre ward|
|Deirdre Henderson†||NTBCC||Cllr Claire Miller†||City Centre ward|
|Simon Holledge†||NTBCC||Cllr Max Mitchell†||Inverleith ward|
|Jack Hugh*||NTBCC||Cllr Joanna Mowat†||City Centre ward|
|Ken Lochrie†||NTBCC||Cllr Vicky Nicholson†||Inverleith ward|
|Carol Nimmo†||NTBCC||Angus Robertson MSP||Edinburgh Central|
|Richard Price†||NTBCC||Irina Tavera||Edinburgh University|
|Nick Reid†||NTBCC||~13 residents/visitors†|
|David Renton†||NTBCC||~6 residents/visitors*|
† = in-person, * = online
|Laura Graham||NTBCC||Cllr Amy McNeese-Mechan||Leith Walk ward|
|Susan Macinnes||NTBCC||Cllr Hal Osler||Inverleith ward|
|Cllr Jack Caldwell||Leith Walk ward||Deidre Brock MP||Edinburgh North & Leith|
2 Submission and adoption of June 2021 AGM Minutes
Adopted as-is (proposed R Price, seconded D Henderson, ND)
3 Chair’s annual report summary
See report in NTBCC annual report (Appendix 1, item 4.d)
See report in NTBCC annual report (Appendix 1, item 8.h) and report on NTBCC website
See report in NTBCC annual report (Appendix 1, item 8.i)
See report in NTBCC annual report (Appendix 1, item 8.f)
See report in NTBCC annual report (Appendix 1, item 8.e)
See report in NTBCC annual report (Appendix 1, item 8.g)
4 Treasurer’s submission of balance sheet and annual accounts
See report in NTBCC annual report (Appendix 1, item 8.k)
Accounts were adopted as-is (proposed P Williamson, seconded D Henderson, ND)
5 Engagement officer’s annual report summary
See item 3a above
6 Election of office bearers
There were no other nominees apart from those in the following table.
|Chair||C Nimmo||S Holledge||D Renton||Nimmo elected ND|
|Vicechair||R Price||C Nimmo||M Birch||Price elected ND|
|Secretary||L Graham||C Nimmo||S Holledge||Graham elected ND|
|Treasurer||M Birch||P Williamson||D Renton||Birch elected ND|
|Engagement Officer||S Holledge||C Nimmo||D Henderson||Holledge elected ND|
7 Any other business, including provisional date for 2023 AGM
- Angus Robertson commended NTBCC for its cohesion and hard work, and welcomed all attendees. He noted he has met more times with NTBCC than with all other CCs put together, and welcomed such working in partnership
- Provisional AGM date: 12 June 2023
8 Appendix 1: text of annual report
Minute secretary’s note: formatting differs slightly from the original version but the only omission is NTBCC’s logo.
8.a Administrative information
The committee members who served as Office Bearers during the period were:-
- Chair: Carol Nimmo
- Vice Chair: Richard Price
- Secretary: Laura Graham
- Treasurer: Mike Birch
- Engagement Officer: Simon Holledge
8.b Committee Convenors
- Communications: Simon Holledge
- Environment: Peter Williamson
- Licensing: Annick Gaillard (Susan Macinnes until January 2022)
- Planning: Richard Price
- Transport: Mike Birch
- Minutes Secretary: Bruce Ryan
8.c Annual report of the New Town and Broughton Community Council (2021/22)
The New Town and Broughton Community Council is one of Edinburgh’s 46 Community Councils, established under statute, to represent the views of the community within the New Town and Broughton area, the boundaries of which are set by the Edinburgh ‘Scheme for Community Councils’.
8.d Chair’s Annual Report – New Town and Broughton Community Council – June 2022
This past year Zoom has been our ‘normal’ operating method so it seems strange, and rather adventurous, to report that our forthcoming AGM on June 13th 2022 is to be an in- person meeting back at our old location of Broughton St Mary’s. However, with our new skill set, we intend this meeting to be hybrid; so that those not yet ready to join the throng can be with us on-screen. We hope to see you there.
I am very excited at the thought of seeing my fellow community councillors for ‘real’ and to be able to thank them face to face for the incredible time and effort they have given NTBCC over the past 2 years. Community Councillors are all volunteers, and many of them have gone the extra mile to represent residents, businesses and visitors to the New Town and Broughton over the full gamut of issues affecting our daily lives; the planning applications, temporary late licenses, over-flowing bins, traffic and trams to name but some.
NTBCC works with a committee structure, and we try to match ours as closely as possible to that of the Council in the hope that we are both relevant and encompassing but it is undoubtedly a challenge to keep up. I commend the Convenors of all our committees for the thankless trawling of council papers, meetings, agendas etc. and also for their Reports below which more fully detail what NTBCC has been up to over this last year.
As a taster; Engagement co-ordinated the NTBCC response to the ’Use of Public Spaces’ consultation, which involved hours of meetings for several committee members and production of a detailed response outlining our views, as well as continuing to connect with interested parties to NTBCC.
Licensing, under the new convenorship of Annick Gaillard, continues to monitor temporary licensing allowed under emergency covid rules for a few more months, and looking at the changes Short Term Let regulations and the proposed licensing regime might bring.
Planning saw the conclusion of the application for the old RBS site (‘New Town North’) at the foot of Dundas Street in early 2021, followed by the Centrum / BUPA House proposals on the other side of Dundas Street. There were also several major applications on Princes Street (the former Debenhams store and the refurbishment and partial change of use for the Jenners buildings amongst others). Also several pre-consultations and / or applications in the Beaverhall and Powderhall area.
NTBCC also responded to the new City Plan 2030 consultation and the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework (NPF4) consultation.
Transport has had a particularly busy year with Trams, the proposed Electric Vehicle Charging stations, the (now approved) Low Emission Zone for Edinburgh and Travelling Safely (the rebranded Spaces for People initiative).
And last but not least : Environment, which has a very wide-ranging brief, considered proposals linked to Broughton Street, 20 minute neighbourhoods, public space including Picardy Place and the proposed roll-out of Communal Bin Hubs throughout the New Town World Heritage Site.
The Reports below make for interesting reading as they outline the very real changes in our area, both in a physical context and to our daily lives. I recommend them to you and again wish to heartily thank all those involved.
The Communal Bin Hub Review also brought about the establishment of a Forum Group to campaign about the proposal to do away with the gull-proof bag waste collection method, which has been very successfully used in many of Edinburgh’ s New Town streets for several years. NTBCC, along with all the affected Resident Associations in the area, have been able to co-ordinate and work together to try and change opinion and request a rethink. As a group who directly represent many residents in the area they have been able to connect with Scottish Ministers, meet with Councillors and council officials, run a Survey and work with other Heritage organisations and neighbouring Community Councils, This ‘coming together’ for local democracy in action is very much at the heart of what a Community Council can do, and I am proud that NTBCC has been able to be both part of, and support to, this Forum Group.
We look forward to the year ahead, and to representing local views where we can. To do that to the best of our ability we need to hear from you. So please do get in touch with us if there is an issue or problem of concern and we will do our best to help. We are always delighted when folk take the time to participate in our monthly meetings and look forward to meeting many of you in the future.
8.d.i Hello and goodbye
Annick Gaillard and David Renton were co-opted onto NTBCC in June 2021 – bringing welcome expertise, diversity and energy to the community council.
This year we also said goodbye to several community councillors. Susanna Beaumont who had been a member since 2013 stood down in July 2021 due to the pressure of external work commitments and Susan Duff, who joined the community council in 2019 but stood down in November 2021 after she was appointed to the sheriffdom of Tayside, Central & Fife in October 2021.
We also say goodbye to Jenni Inglis who represented the Fettes Row & Royal Crescent Residents’ Association (FRRCRA) who stood down from the FRRCRA in early 2021 and therefore relinquished her role on NTBCC.
Many thanks to all of them for their time, commitment and active involvement.
Finally, I cannot conclude without thanking the NTBCC Executive; the Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Engagement Officer and also our Minute Secretary – who actively seems to enjoy taking the Minutes! There would be no Community Council without their hard work, interest and commitment to NTBCC.
Carol Nimmo, Chair NTBCC
The last year has continued to be very demanding and at times frustrating period for the Transport Committee. We have responded to several Council consultations and submitted delegations to Transport and Environment Committee on matters of importance for our community. We have also sought ways to more effectively shape the future agenda for transport issues in our area. The following are some of the highlights of the work undertaken by the Transport Committee over the last year.
8.e.i Trams Project
The NTBCC is represented on the Community Council Together on Trams (CCTT) group that meets monthly with senior representatives from the Trams Project team. These constructive meetings have been invaluable in allowing us to better understand the work programme of the project and its impact on the community. Until this year, most of the work had been undertaken outwith the NTBCC area but that has definitely changed with work now being progressed from York Place to Annandale Street. The impact of traffic diversions, both official and unofficial, and increased traffic congestion are readily apparent. We have continued to monitor the situation and highlighted particular concerns to the Trams Team but it appears unlikely that we will see any improvement in this situation until mid-2023 when most of the tram works will be complete.
As part of our involvement with the CCTT group we worked with other Community Councils and Active Travel groups to raise significant concerns about the public realm on the East side of Elm Row. Although this is just outside our area, we were concerned about the impact on pedestrians, especially those accessing the bus stops, of the current plans for a split cycle path. Despite these widely shared concerns, the Council decided to continue with building the area in accordance with the current design but did agree to review this area once the Trams project is complete. We consider that this was a missed opportunity to put the needs of pedestrians at the top of the priorities for this important area of public realm.
8.e.ii Electric Vehicle Charging Places
The Council issued draft Traffic Regulation Orders for three on-street charging places in our area on Heriot Row, India Street and East London Street. We objected to the last two locations based on feedback from residents and concerns about the adverse impact of these locations on road safety, especially in the last location opposite a primary school. The Council decided to withdraw their plans for India Street and have relocated some of the chargers to Heriot Row. In the case of East London Street, it decided to proceed with the planned installation without further Councillor input. We will be monitoring the impact of these chargers on traffic levels around the school once they and the other units are operational later this year. The Council have also announced that they are developing plans for a further rollout of such chargers, which is generally to be welcomed given the significant increase in the number of electric vehicles that is forecast. We hope to have more input on the location of any new chargers than happened with the initial rollout.
8.e.iii Travelling Safely
The previous Council administration had chosen to retain many of the temporary changes introduced under the Spaces for People programme in our area and Council officers were in the process of creating Experimental Traffic Orders to replace the Temporary Traffic Orders that no longer have validity given the original reasons for them has now largely passed. We have argued that the creation of ETRO is unnecessary and that efforts should be focussed on making some of the changes permanent. We wait to see how the new Council administration will respond to this viewpoint.
8.e.iv Low Emission Zone
In our deputations to the Council and objections to consultations, we have repeated our concerns about the limited scope of the LEZ in Edinburgh, its adverse impact on residents living outside the area covered by the LEZ and the lack of effective enforcement plans. Despite these concerns that are shared by many other groups, the previous Council administration approved the final plans without any changes. In the last week the Scottish Government have confirmed their approval of these plans without the need for any further scrutiny. The Edinburgh City Centre LEZ is now in place but there will be a two-year grace period to allow vehicle users to adapt to the new arrangements before enforcement will commence in 2024
8.e.v Traffic Noise and Vibration Issues
We have continued to work with residents on East London Street, Bellevue and Drummond Place regarding noise and vibration issues caused mostly by buses using these streets some of which have seen additional usage due to the diversions required for the trams project. We have brought these issues to the attention of the Trams Team and Lothian Buses, but the problem continues as buses are being diverted through residential areas as a result of congestion on their primary routes. We are hopeful that there will be an improvement as the Tram project progresses but there needs to be a long-term plan that recognises the presence of a major bus depot in the middle of now mostly residential area.
8.e.vi Active travel
As noted last year, we have increased our involvement with Living Streets that has been successful in lobbying for improvements that will benefit pedestrians. Many of the issues on which they are focussed are relevant to our area including reducing pavement clutter, installing more dropped kerbs and improving pedestrian crossings. We look forward to working with Living Streets and other Active Travel groups to jointly progress a number of initiatives based on a planned street audit of our area.
8.e.vii Community Participation Request
Under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, we submitted a Participation Request to the Council at the start of 2022 seeking more direct engagement on a number of active travel and transport issues affecting our community, in particular the corridor from Canonmills to Broughton Street. After several discussions, the Council has proposed establishing a regular meeting to allow us to have the direct and proactive input that we have been seeking for several years. We are currently evaluating whether this approach is the best way forward or whether we should continue to press for a formal Improvement Plan.
I would like to thank the members of the Transport Committee for their contributions over the last year. We are determined to continue to seek to represent the views of the community and ensure that there is a joined up plan for roads and traffic in our area.
Mike Birch NTBCC Transport Convener
There was no let-up in the number of planning applications being brought forwards in the city centre such that the Planning Committee continued to be very active during the year.
As well as responses on several major planning applications early in 2021 – the most significant being the conclusion of those associated with the newly renamed ‘New Town Quarter’ on the former RBS site adjoining Dundas Street / Fettes Row, NTBCC were also involved with several further planning applications on the lower reaches of Dundas Street – the first concerning the proposed demolition of the current Centrum / BUPA House at 108, 114 – 116 Dundas Street (which was refused by the Council at committee but has been subsequently appealed to the Scottish Reporter with the final decision still to be determined) as well as a further redevelopment (including demolition) of the current buildings along Henderson Place Lane which was approved by the council.
NTBCC were also involved in several pre-application consultations for redevelopment of former retail sites along Princes Street (the former Debenhams department store and the Jenners building amongst others). Broadly, the community council acknowledge the changing face of Princes Street & the need to find long term sustainable uses for the many buildings there but the emphasis should be on quality development.
We submitted what we believed to be constructive responses to the applications covering the 2021 Christmas markets along George Street and East / West Princes Street Gardens – attempting to enable sensible and sustainable proposals to be taken forwards but with a view to minimising the environmental impact of the proposals – unfortunately, our constructive suggestions from the community council to modify where appropriate were not supported by the Council’s planning officers and these applications were subsequently approved by the Council’s Development Management Sub-committee.
We also engaged with and supported the well organised campaign by local residents in Eyre Place to the pre-consultation on the proposal to build student housing on the former Jewsons site. We do not believe that this is an appropriate location for student housing.
2021 also saw several pre-consultations / applications for a number of large sites in the Powderhall / Beaverhall area being brought forwards. Whilst we are supportive of some redevelopment and understand that there is a need for more inner city residential redevelopment on brownfield sites in areas such as these, we re-iterated our concerns about the need to retain an element of mixed uses in these areas, consistent with Council’s aspirations with respect to ’20 minute neighbourhoods’ as well as support for the many small, independent businesses that currently occupy premises there.
With regard to less significant applications, normally categorised as ‘Householder’ developments, we continue to support local residents where appropriate in submitting comments to these developments.
We continue to scrutinise the weekly Planning Lists and are willing to support concerns raised by local residents on the many applications that are brought forwards.
Richard Price, NTBCC Planning Convener
8.g.i Communal Bins
Environment concerns of the Community Council were dominated by the City of Edinburgh Council decision in April 1921 without any prior notification and consultation to introduce communal bin hubs and cease a variety of kerb-side waste collections. Given that the Council was unwilling to engage in any discussion about its proposals, much of the response to the Council’s decision was undertaken through an extensive, ongoing campaign. This was organised through a Forum Group arranged by the Chair of the Community Council and involving residents’ association from areas served by Gull Proof Sacks. The work of the Environment Committee on communal bins was therefore concentrated upon: undertaking a detailed review of the decision-making process surrounding the bins and gathering relevant information; communication with the Council to ask it to undertake genuine consultation regarding changes to the communal bins across the NTBCC area; advising and informing local residents who attended the Council’s ‘information-giving sessions only’ held in November; and making sure that residents in non-Gull Proof Sack areas were aware of the impact of the proposed changes for them. The Forum Group along with heritage bodies and other community councils at a meeting on 1 March with the convener of the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee obtained a commitment to suspend deployment of bin hubs within the world heritage area for a period of up to 12 months to examine one or more alternatives.
8.g.ii Picardy Place
Work was undertaken to enable effective community engagement to happen regarding the design for the Central Island in Picardy Place following from the Council’s decision in 2018 to put in place a gyratory road system there and subsequent works. In the early part of 2021 significant progress was achieved with Council officials to develop a process that would enable local residents, businesses and interest groups to make a positive contribution to the final design concept of the Central Island. For reasons that have never been explained, these discussions ceased. At the end of 2021 the Council began an entirely new process, details of which have been limited. Opening up the process of deciding the future of a major city centre site will be a priority in the forthcoming year.
8.g.iii Climate Strategy
Consideration was given to the Council’s Draft 2030 Climate Strategy which was consulted upon from 14 June to 12 September. NTBCC did not submit a response as there was no specific role for community councils concerning the proposals apart from raising awareness amongst local residents. However, engagement with the City Council was undertaken through the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils led for NTBCC by Simon Holledge. A number of meetings were also held with environment groups on the impact of climate change on the buildings in the New Town and energy efficiency in listed buildings.
8.g.iv Use Of Public Spaces
Members of the Environment Committee participated in the various work groups established by the Council to develop a strategy on the Use of Public Spaces for Events and Filming (formerly Public Spaces Management Plan). A public consultation based on the key principles developed within the work groups ran from 22 September through to 15 December. The outcome is to be reported to the Culture and Communities Committee in summer 2022.
8.g.v Spaces For People – Broughton Street To Canonmills
The Environment Committee worked closely with the Transport Committee on the NTBCC response to proposals for Spaces for People (Now Travelling Safely) for Broughton Street to Canonmills. A set of detailed responses was formulated, particularly in relation to Broughton Street to enhance the Council’s proposals. To support this NTBCC hosted a public discussion on 29 March 2021 concerning the future of Broughton Street and the response of the community to the Council’s Spaces for People Project traffic measures. The meeting was preceded with the distribution of a leaflet to approximately 300 residents and businesses in the area explaining NTBCC’s vision for the future of the street. The NTBCC proposals were largely not accepted by the Council, but as the members of the NTBCC Transport Committee continues to work with the Council officials to produce permanent improvements for this transport corridor.
Peter Williamson, NTBCC Environment Convener
Convenor Simon Holledge has continued to engage and link NTBCC with residents and groups across our interests and locales. As he is now also Secretary for the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (EACC) we are increasingly working together on shared issues, and information sharing.
As well as continuing to encourage and marshal local resident organisations to make their views known and voices heard on changes and other proposals in their area, we have organised further discussions for residents on , for example, options for improved energy efficiency steps relevant to heritage buildings (with expert input from HES).
A key activity has been to co-ordinate the community council’s contribution to the ‘collaborative engagement’ stage of what was then the ‘Public Spaces Management Plan’ (October 2020 to January 2021).
These included NTBCC’s contributions to the key principles: area conditions, carbon neutrality 2030, heritage, noise, and residential-area public spaces. Moreover NTBCC members also contributed to many of the underpinning guidelines to this draft plan e.g. access to parks and greenspaces, carbon footprint, greenspaces environmental impact assessment, impact on the surroundings along with several others. We’re expecting a final report to be considered by the new Culture and Communities Committee in late summer 2022.
Another recent new initiative has been community council-led walkabouts. These involve community councillors and local residents and were carried out around Gayfield and Broughton on October then Drummond Place to Dundas Street in December and most recently, the ‘Bonnington Triangle’ (East Claremont Street, Beaverhall and Broughton Road).We would to hope to involve local ward councillors in this activity in the future. They have all involved litter picking, reporting blocked drains, overflowing bins, fly tipping as well as the condition of the roads and pavements.
More details of these activities will be covered in the detailed Engagement Report which will be issued separately.
Simon Holledge, NTBCC Communications & Engagement Convener
Annick Gaillard took over from Susan Macinnes as new convenor mid-February this year. She has been joined by David Renton a recently co-opted fellow NTBCC member and Nick Reid who kindly offered to stay on the committee and may step in as and when required. Work undertaken has consisted in high-level familiarisation: First, the segregation between alcohol and civic/miscellaneous licences, and the authorities responsible (Licensing Board, Licensing Sub-Committee, Roads Authority); the list of Statutory Consultees (which Community Councils are not part of for Licensing matters, but are considered as ‘competent objectors’ instead); the different types of Licences & Permits available (some interesting ones – e.g. Pig Movement, or Venison Dealer ?!), and their associated registers (50+!); associated timelines (SLAs appear rather aspirational as far the updates of registers are concerned?)… Licensing is complex, and the Council’s ongoing processes incredibly manual, but contemporary to some of the legislation that frames them (e.g. The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982!)
A modus operandi is slowly forming for the revamped committee, with the focus set on the type of Licensing that may more likely affect local amenity. Unsurprisingly, temporary venues top the list – e.g. Christmas markets and summer Festivals. Awareness of what’s happening in the Planning space helps anticipate some of the forthcoming Licensing requirements. Some of the sites have been identified as useful ‘case study’, and are now actively monitored.
Engagement with council officers in Regulatory Services has been constructive too. Eyes on the horizon are onto the roll-out of the new Licensing system, which should bring much anticipated improvements; we’ve been advised… the golden question is: When this might be?
Annick Gaillard, NTBCC Licensing Convener
8.j Elected Community Councillors (as at end March 2022)
8.j.i Office bearers
8.j.ii Other elected and co-opted members
8.j.iii Residents’ Association representatives
8.k Annual accounts for the year ended 31 March 2022
|Receipts and Payments Accounts||£||£|
Receipts relating to main activities
|Interest after tax||1||1|
|Donations relating to the GBP campaign||27,564|
|Payments relating to main activities;|
|Web site hosting/Domain fee||14||88|
Payments relating to GPB campaign;
|Surplus for the Year||13,249||346|
Statement of Balances
|Opening bank balance||1,101||755|
|Surplus for the year||13,249||346|
|Closing bank balance||14,350||1,101|
 A grant of £1375 was received on 16 July 2021 from the City of Edinburgh Council
 As a result of a campaign organised through NTBCC to oppose the installation of communal bin hubs (‘GPB campaign’) in parts of our area, we received donations from individuals and local residents’ associations totalling £27,564. These donations were towards the legal and other costs of this campaign. Unspent donations have been treated as Restricted Reserves for the purposes of these Accounts.
 No rent costs as all meetings continued to be held on online using Zoom. There is credit for 8 unused bookings from Broughton St Mary’s Church (covering April ’20 through to December ’20 inclusive) once in-person meetings resume.
 These are paid to an independent minutes’ secretary, not the elected Secretary of the Community Council.
 All works in relation to judicial review of Edinburgh Councils Communal Bin Review including preparation, advice, drafting liaising with Counsel and attendance at the Permission Hearing.
 Surplus for the year is split between General Reserves for Main Activities and Restricted Reserves for the GPB Campaign. With regard to the Restricted Reserves, we anticipate further costs from legal proceedings and an independent Heritage Impact Assessment that has been commissioned. These costs will be covered from these Restricted Reserves and if required further fundraising efforts. There will be no campaign costs met from General Reserves.
 All receipts and payments are accounted using the Actual / Cash Basis of Accounting.