NTBCC minutes – Monday 11 March 2019

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 11 March 2019 at 7.30pm

1 Attendance and apologies for absence

Susanna Beaumont NTBCC Chrissie Ross NTBCC
Judy Conn NTBCC secretary Fran Wasoff NTBCC
Jonathan Finn NTBCC treasurer, licensing convenor Alan Welsh NTBCC
Jack Hugh NTBCC Bruce Ryan NTBCC minutes secretary
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC PC Manion Police Scotland
Simon Holledge NTBCC Cllr Joanna Mowat City centre ward
Allan Jack NTBCC transport convenor Harald Tobermann Leith Central CC
Stuart McAllister NTBCC Alan Macintosh Broughton Spurtle
Susan MacInnes NTBCC Rob Leech Anturas
Carol Nimmo NTBCC chair Darren Wraight Edinburgh Council
Richard Price NTBCC planning convenor 4 residents/visitors

1.1 Apologies for absence

Margaret Duffy NTBCC Sheila Warnock NTBCC
Lewis Press NTBCC environment convenor Deirdre Brock MP

2 Minutes of January 2019 meeting

Adopted subject to noting S McAllister’s apology for absence (proposed F Wasoff, seconded S Beaumont, nem con)

3 Police report

PC Mannion reported that in the last month there had been in beat 22:

  • 20 minor assaults and 1 serious assault, all related to the city-centre night-time economy
    • Any such incident related to a licensed premise is reported to CEC’s licensing staff so CEC is aware of ‘hotspots’.
  • 10 vandalisms (4 windows smashed, 1 perpetrator caught & charged; graffiti; close door kicked in, 3 vehicle vandalisms)
  • 10 housbreakings (7 business, 3 domestic) Many florists broken into on evening of Valentine’s day. One of the business HBs was to a handbacg shop where £40,000 of goods was stolen. CID is looking into this. Also 2 attempted HBs.
  • theft of 3 cycles in one incident; 2 other thefts
  • robbery at Ladbrokes (Rose St) – suspect arrested
  • attempted robbery on Queensferry St – suspects identified & charged
  • several youth issues in city centre, e.g. at Waverley mall. Hence police are patrolling at weekends & upcoming holidays
  • several road-traffic complaints, leading to speed-checks on Drummond Place, East London St, Broughton St, London Road, Royal Terrace & Regent Road. Most of these drivers were compliant, with average speeds well below speed limits, but one driver was doing 28mph on Regent Road (20mph limit).

3.1 Questions and answers

  • There is still a night shelter for homeless people on Gorgie Road, run by the Bethany Trust (open until May)
  • Average speeds are calculated from day-time checks, so there is likely to be more traffic and hence slower speeds.
  • It was suggested that Queen St suffers from speeding. Cllr Mowat stated that if anyone does less than 20mph, they will be undertaken. Action: Police to follow this up.

4 Presentation by Rob Leech and the Tram Team: explaining the Final Business Case (FBC)

R Leech and D Wraight of the Trams to Newhaven team reported

  • They are working on completion of the ‘1A network’ from York Place to Newhaven.
  • The original tram-line is working well (7m passengers in 2018).
  • The FBC brings together much activity on economic analysis of the 2018 tendering process, and on public consultations.
    • It’s on the Trams to Newhaven website.
    • It has content on lessons learned from the original tram-line project.
    • The current team includes people who worked on the original Tram project after ‘remediation’, i.e. those who dealt with earlier mistakes.
    • It is in accordance with HM Treasury’s ‘green book’ and Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG).

4.1 Strategic case

  • Employment in Edinburgh is forecast to grow by 7%, and population by 20% by 2029 – this is 100,000 more people.
  • There is low car-ownership in the Leith Walk corridor (LWC), so there is existing demand for public transport. There is also high population density in LWC. Furthermore, there are a number of housing developments in the waterfront area, so assumptions around these are in the FBC.
  • The FBC also focuses on improved connectivity, e.g. for people in Leith & Newhaven to jobs in the city centre etc.
  • The FBC also recognises the need for sustainable development in the waterfront area, to underpin development of brownfield sites.
  • The tram should also contribute to development of Leith and Newhaven as destinations.
  • The strategic case concludes that this project complies with all regional and city plans. It connects three of four economic centres in Edinburgh. This depends on a step-change in public transport. Hence tram is a spatial strategy development project, affecting how the city will develop.

4.2 Economic case

  • The capital cost includes a quantitative risk analysis, i.e. consideration of many risks to estimate potential cost and schedule over-runs. This calculates the capital cost as £196m.
    • The outline business case capital cost was £165m. Increases are due to increased contractor prices (mainly due to Carillion’s failure making contractors more rigorous about risk); addition of support for business; some design changes; inflation; use of 2 contracts (hence more management overhead); 6 months of early contractor involvement (ECI: contractors, trams team/CEC, utility companies working together to plan actual works before work starts).
    • The capital cost does not include money already spent, e.g. on previous utility work, rolling-stock already bought.
  • Then there is an allowance (6%) for optimism bias, making a total capital cost of £207·3m.
  • Benefit to cost ratio is calculated as passenger’s time savings – operating and capital costs, giving 1·4:1 (i.e. £1·40 returned for every £1 invested). This is based on an estimated patronage of 15·7m people on the total tram line.
  • Other economic benefits which have not been prescribed a monetary value in this FBC include opportunities for employment, and using brownfield sites. (They could add 40% to monetary benefits.)

4.3 Financial case

  • The project will be funded by borrowing by CEC (to be repaid over 30 years) and a £20m extraordinary dividend from Lothian Buses bus (over 10 years). The financial case also considers opportunity costs of the £20m dividend.
  • The tram and buses should not be in direct completion.

4.4 Commercial case

  • There will be 2 construction contracts:
    • ‘swept path contract’ (SPC) is about movement of utilities, archaeology and preparation of foundations.
    • ‘infrastructure and systems contract’ (ISC) is about installation of rails, etc. This work will follow behind SPC work.
  • This differs from the original line’s ‘MUDFA’ contract where utilities were moved, then the road filled in, then dug up again for infrastructure construction.
    • Hence there will be very large work-sites, e.g. 3 lanes closed along all of LW, to allow a clear and unimpeded work site – allowing unforeseen problems to be resolved while the rest of the rest of the site is worked on.
  • The contracts follow ‘NEC 4’ standard.
  • Procurement is now concluded for both contracts, with paperwork ready to sign off.

4.5 Management case

  • This is about how the project will be done, e.g. ‘one-dig’ method, the ‘support for business’ arrangements, project governance (e.g. learning from the new Forth crossing), stakeholder management, need for ongoing communication.

4.6 Questions and answers

  • Concerning the Hardie enquiry, the tram team has not tried to second-guess Hardie’s eventual report but have followed all evidence (e.g. no optimism bias in original tram-build). In addition, the team has allowed an extra £50m contingency fund, based on the work of Bent Flyvbjerg (in addition to the £207·3m). R Leech has personal experience of fixing the original tram-line mistakes (e.g. bespoke contract). His experience is that small work-sites often lead to contractual issues.
  • Could there be difficulties from interfacing two separate contracts?
    • Both are under NEC4 mechanism, but payment differs because SPC costs depend on what is found; ISC is defined.
  • Has there been assessment of previous utility movement and of associated risk?
    • There has been a large desktop exercise, that has identified up to 1200 potential conflicts. This has been tested against information from experiences in the original built, to find possible costs for the risk assessment.
  • Has there been learning from similar projects across the UK?
    • Yes, however it is difficult to benchmark against different projects. R Leech was also involved in building the Dublin system for 11 years. Cost per km there was ‘not dissimilar’ to cost here, if inflation is allowed for. The team has also spoken with Manchester. That city has been building light rail for almost 25 years, but still finds site-specific issues, e.g. passing the Coronation Ststudios. It has also learnt from Birmingham, which appears to be slightly ahead of Edinburgh.
  • What is the chance of Edinburgh gaining a full tram network? Manchester’s light rail used existing lines while this extension would be mostly on-street.
    • The higher the density of population, the more likely that the route will be on-street, but this will lead to more patronage. The first two lines in Manchester did use old railway lines, but the build-out since then has been on-street. In R Leech’s experience of building light rail in Manchester, the build out correlates with good development.
  • Will there be penalty clauses for slow completion?
    • Yes, and incentives to finish early/below cost
  • Isn’t the patronage beyond the Kirkgate likely to be zero?
  • What about diversions of utilities on Leith Walk?
    • Utilities have been moved but some not to where they should have gone. So there is some discovery still to be done despite recent investigations. Hence the one-dig process is to do everything, including drainage, to build the foundations. Hence Leith Walk will have only 1 lane open for 18 months with diversions in place via Easter Road & Bonnington Road.
  • How many of the predicted patrons will be over 60 and hence get subsidised (free) transport?
    • R Leech stated that no patronage from over-60s was counted as income.
  • How has the strategic benefit of a cleaner, healthier city been quantified?
    • See the environmental statement, which stated that there is a net benefit to air quality.
  • Is implementation of an integrated ticketing system by the time the extension opens possible?
    • This was done in Dublin but it was difficult. It is necessary to get the back-office systems right, and create a suitable discounted fare structure across the system. Integrated ticketing is not part of this project, but it could be achieved. Experience teaches that it would be more difficult if the integrated system included regional rail.
  • During the original tram-build, all of Princes St was closed but people worked on only small sections. Will this recur?
    • No. Squads will be deployed throughout work-sites. The Issues on Princes St were about rail encapsulation.
    • The team will explain why if there are dead spaces from time to time, and so will develop a comms strategy.
  • How much money was made from the 7m passengers in 2018?
    • The tram accounts are a matter of public record.
  • What is the current status of the compensation scheme? Will it be available prior to work starting?
    • There will be a support for business package (SFB), not compensation. SFB will include having customer-service officers along the route, a tram drop-in shop, logistics centres and hubs (to assist with getting goods in and out). There will be much work on keeping the area clean and tidy (e.g. deep-cleaning some areas) to make places more attractive than they are now. There will also be business champions working with local business. There is always impact from public works but rather than throw cash at this, there will be SFB and a business continuity fund. There is much to be done, in tandem with contractors, but there was consultation last year which was broadly favourable.
  • How much of the benefits are ‘soft’ credits versus hard cash?
    • In early years, there will be debt, but no fare income. This debt will be helped by the £20m dividend. In 2024-25 there will be a dip of £1·9m from CEC reserves. After that, fare revenue is predicted to increase to pay for capital and running costs over 30 years.
  • Is there a problem with flat-fare stored-value cards?
    • There is already one for Edinburgh: the city-smart card, but it is limited.
  • The original line promised priority for trams at intersections but this is not happening. Priority will be important on LW.
    • We challenge that there isn’t priority, but we agree that priority/sequencing must be got right. The London Road roundabout will become a signalised junction.
  • There are already some nasty defects appearing on Princes St road-surfaces [where there are two lanes each way], presumably due to heavy buses. What measures will be taken to prevent this on Leith Walk, where buses will be in concentrated in single lanes each way?
    • The scheme is designed in accordance with official guidance and standards, so this may be a workmanship problem.
  • When will LW be shut?
    • Contracts should be signed at the end of March, then there will be Early Contractor Involvement (ECI), so closure should start at the end of 2019.
  • When will York Place be done?
    • Work will start just south of Annandale St. York Place is the very last phase of work. The traffic management constraints drawings on the website show the phases. These do not yet have dates – those will come from the ECI.
  • When will Hardie report?
    • When he chooses – the report has not yet been maxwelled.
    • H Tobermann added that SG cabinet secretaries can’t advise as to the date for the report being issued.
  • When does work start in other areas?
    • Phase 1 starts work in many areas – see the diagrams on the website for detail.
  • Are all diversion plans available, especially away from the main route?
    • Some still need to be developed during ECI – the contractors will have 12 weeks to design and get approval for traffic management. The team is currently working with Lothian Buses on how best to divert traffic, so that this informs the contractor. This is not yet public because it has not yet been formalised, and because the contractor has not yet contributed to the diversion plans.
  • Will CEC prevent road-works on diversions?
    • Yes – there is a traffic management review panel, chaired by a senior CEC transport manager who also chairs the city-wide traffic management group, to enable necessary co-ordination. The trams team has also been working with utility companies to understand their future plans. There will be an embargo across the network, preventing all but emergency road-works.

5 Treasurer’s Report

J Finn reminded members that the year-end is 31 March, so thought about next year’s spending is needed. Currently NTBCC receives £~1000 grant but spends £300 on rent, £500 for minutes-secretary/web-weaver, £100 on insurance, £40 on data-protection registration and £300 on advertising in The Spurtle. Hence it spends more than its income. S Holledge is investigating alternative venues. It was suggested that Stockbridge library or the City Chambers might be suitable.

Action: NTBCC members to think of possible cost-saving measures/alternate meeting locations

6 Communication

See also summary. S Holledge reported

  • the comms group is trying to raise NTBCC’s online and offline profile. Hence it has drafted a poster saying what the CC is, what it does and when and where it meets. This includes development of a new logo in scalable formats.
    • There were various suggestions on the layout of the poster, such as accompanying it with a map.
    • Action: comms committee to circulate drafts to NTBCC members
  • The comms group believes that NTBCC committee convenors should be able to tweet via NTBCC’s twitter account.
    • Action: comms group to arrange a meeting of convenors about this.

7 Planning

See also summary and post about Powderhall

  • A Welsh asked whether NTBCC would have any input into the Waverley masterplan.
    • R Price stated that there will be a consultation, and NTBCC has asked to be informed and to take part in that.
  • Cllr Mowat stated that there is very little chance of the RBS building (on Dundas St.) becoming a shopping mall (in response to news that the unofficial winning bidder has much experience in retail developments).

8 Environment

See also summary

  • R Price said that, for him, the brown bin scheme is a ‘disaster’.
  • A McIntosh noted that Leith Central CC had also had difficulty contacting CEC’s head of waste (Andy Williams). Hence Cllr McNeese-Mechan was chasing him. Action: Cllr Mowat to also chase.
  • Cllr Mowat stated that there have been many rat-sightings. It asked whether this was NTBCC members’ experience .

9 Licensing

See also summary. F Wasoff reported

  • The licensing committee has submitted an objection to a late catering licence application for 54 Rodney St (a fast food outlet).
  • Concerning 1 Haddington Place (potential wine shop/wine bar) At a meeting with the applicants, they stated that they had no plans for late opening and were aware of the concerns with The people behind this venture seemed well-informed and aware of what’s happening in the area.
  • The only worrying application is the Windsor pub on Elm Row just outside NTBCC’s area. If LCCC objects, so will NTBCC.

10 Transport

See also summary. A Jack and H Tobermann reported

  • CCTT is planning to make a joint statement on trams. This will point to the time and effort CCTT has devoted to working with the trams team over the last 9 months. These meetings have been mutually beneficial. CCTT is broadly supportive of tram (as it was 9 months ago) but remains sceptical that all required accompanying measures (e.g. integrated ticketing) are in place in order for the tram to deliver the promised benefits. CCTT is less concerned about the financial case, although it rests on patronage not simply changing from bus to tram.
  • HT noted that civil engineering projects are always expensive but some deliver softer benefits, e.g. London’s integrated travel system.
  • Decision: NTBCC will sign up to CCTT’s statement, and continue to be part of CCTT.
    • R Price suggested that future CCTT work should include a better understanding of the effects of bus-diversions on residents.
  • There was discussion of Broughton St gas-works going well and SGN communicating well,. There was also discussion of the left turn into Broughton Road.
    • Cllr Mowat later confirmed that left-turns will be banned when the street reopens, and suggested that not implementing this ban may cause difficulties due to the current road configuration.

11 Localities/local residents’ associations

C Ross and Cllr Mowat reported

  • The next neighbourhood partnership is on Wednesday (13 March). It is likely to cover Picardy Place.
  • Locality committees are to be wound up on 31 March because they use too much Council resource, have no budget and do not achieve enough. Their work will be taken up by other executive committees and other internal CEC structures.
  • Neighbourhood Partnerships will be replaced by Neighbourhood Networks, which will bring community voices into community planning. This will also involve deciding how to feed into the Edinburgh Partnership.
    • R Price noted that the Edinburgh Partnership has representation from the Edinburgh Association of CCs. Cllr Mowat added that EACC is being rejuvenated.

12 Any other business

  • Broughton St traders are having a weekend of offers and reductions on 30–31 March to celebrate the completion of the gas main replacement works.
  • Action: C Nimmo to invite David Jamieson (CEC parks and green spaces) to NTBCC’s next meeting.
  • S MacInnes has re-registered NTBCC with the information Commissioner.
  • C Collins is standing down from NTBCC because he is no longer chair of Drummond Civic Association.

o Action: B Ryan to update website and mailing lists.

o Action: C Nimmo to contact Drummond Civic Assication about potentially replacing C Collins on NTBCC.