NTBCC minutes – Monday 9 April 2018

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 9 April 2018 at 7:30pm

Actions and decisions are red underlined italic. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against the item.

In I Mowat’s absence, the meeting was chaired by R Price. He announced that that the trams team had given only a few hours’ notice that they would not attend this meeting.

1 Attendance

Judy Conn NTBCC secretary Carol Nimmo NTBCC
Margaret Duffy NTBCC – co-opted at this meeting Richard Price NTBCC planning convenor
Jonathan Finn NTBCC treasurer, licensing convenor Christine Ross NTBCC
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC Alan Welsh NTBCC
Simon Holledge NTBCC – co-opted at this meeting Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary
Jack Hugh NTBCC PC Chris Green Police Scotland
Allan Jack NTBCC transport convenor Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Susan MacInnes NTBCC ~7 residents and visitors

1.1 Apologies for absence

Stuart McAllister NTBCC Fran Wasoff NTBCC
Ian Mowat NTBCC chair Cllr Marion Donaldson Leith Walk ward

2 Minutes of meeting of 12 March 2018 and matters arising

Approved without changes (proposed A Welsh, seconded J Hugh)

3 Police

PC Chris Green reported

  • He works out of the West End police station
  • Break-ins in March
    • 3 to businesses: George St, Calton Hill, Albany Hotel
    • 0 to domestic premises
    • 4 to vehicles – no observable pattern
  • Crime numbers to date this year have fallen compared to last year, possibly due to recent bad weather.
  • There has been a spate of counterfeit (missing the metal strip) RBS £20 notes. The counterfeit notes pass UV and pen tests. Businesses can decline these notes as payment and customers can decline them as change.
  • There was a day of activity targeting speeding on Regent Road and York Place: 4 antisocial behaviour (ASB) notices issued; 2 drivers charged for speeding offences; 2 cyclists were charged for careless cycling.
    • Concerning 20mph limits, PS’s general position is to educate rather than prosecute, but the two charged drivers were driving well over speed limits. One will lose his licence, the other will receive a speeding ticket.
    • This activity will be repeated monthly at different places in the city centre.
    • All West End PCs can now use speed guns.
  • all WE PCs can use speed guns

A Welsh asked whether PS were called to recent break-ins on Gloucester Lane, resulting in much damage to cars.

  • PC Green responded that he was only aware of 1 report of theft from a vehicle.

C Nimmo reported that someone is living in a mobile home parking on double-yellow lines (DYL) on Regent Terrace – the vehicle is displaying a ‘disabled’ badge, and the occupant has a flat elsewhere in Edinburgh.

  • PC Green responded that CEC can deal with parking issues. (DYL issues have been decriminalised and so are not a police matter.) Living in a mobile home is not a crime, and so PS cannot enforce against the occupant.
  • Action: PC Green to follow this up, and liaise with NTBCC
  • A resident noted that a camper van has been parked on London Rd for months, using the pay & display spaces.

4 Filling NTBCC’s two vacancies

R Price reported that NTBCC office-bearers and conveners had considered applications to be co-opted (i.e. become voting members of NTBCC). Of 2 people who applied for co-option, 1 has now withdrawn. It was also noted that an ‘unlimited’ number of non-voting associate members could be appointed.

The following co-options/appointments were agreed nem con:

  • Margaret Duffy (co-opted – the other vacancy may be filled later)
  • Simon Holledge (associate member, specialising in communications)

A Welsh asked whether smaller residents’ associations could combine to nominate a representative to join NTBCC as a voting member. A Welsh suggested asking Edinburgh’s community council liaison officer (Ross Murray) for options. R Price suggested that NTBCC should encourage this to increase its engagement with its area. J Hugh suggested that the process is overly bureaucratic.

5 Transport

5.1 Presentation by CEC ‘trams to Newhaven’ team

R Price announced that the trams team had emailed a few hours earlier that they could not go to individual CC meetings. (See appendix for actual email.) Instead they now preferred to host a meeting specifically for CCs and local CEC councillors on 24 April (time & venue TBC).

Action: A Jack/NTBCC transport committee to voice NTBCC’s disappointment and frustration at the last-minute decision not to attend CC meetings, and the resulting lack of public engagement

A Walsh reported that he had attended one of the public information events. In his observation, there were many agitated and frustrated attendees, and that the tram team’s attitude was ‘take it or leave it’ rather than being open to considering alternatives, e.g. to the proposed tram/bus interchange on Picardy Place. (J Hugh reported similar lack of consideration of alternatives around McDonald Road.) AW also noted that buses on LW are to be reduced.

A resident suggested that the team were not asking the important questions around the principle of extending the tram line, nor considering that all CEC residents would pay for this extension and would be affected by the construction. C Nimmo added that CEC has agreed to look at the business plan, and has not yet decided whether to proceed, but is presenting the trams as a fait accompli, only inviting people to tinker with the design.

Action: NTBCC members to go to public events, ask questions – and express disappointment if these are not answered.

It was also suggested that opportunities for inter-public discussion and engagement were not being given. It was noted that no CEC councillors were at this NTBCC meeting and so would not be aware of CC and public opinion.

Action: NTBCC to lobby its CEC councillors (not specified how)

A resident noted the dilemma of engaging with the process that has been set out by CEC (hence tacitly accepting this process) or not engaging (hence losing opportunity to influence the plans).

It was suggested that NTBCC’s approach should be to have an initial ‘yes’ or ‘no’ position on the proposed extension – and comment on the consultation process. (It was noted that it is unclear whether the current process leaves the ‘no extension’ option open.) If CEC’s choice is ‘yes’, then NTBCC should state its conditions/wish-list. NTBCC should communicate its position to its CEC councillors and MSP.

A resident suggested that NTBCC should consider better things to be done with the proposed £20m investment – and that this question should be opened to NTBCC/CEC citizens. R Price noted that 91% of interviewees are happy with current public transport arrangements on Leith Walk, and that 56% might use the tram extension, so public call for the extension appears to be insufficient.

M Duffy suggested that the relevant CCs should choose a date suiting co-ordination between them about the trams issue. Work towards a concerted approach/agreed position was agreed nem con.

A McIntosh asked how NTBCC had concluded that most people are against the proposed extension. A Jack responded that NTBCC had not yet taken such a position and did not yet know what its residents felt. Hence NTBCC should insist that the trams team come to an NTBCC meeting once it has consulted and decided its position, even though this would be after 29 April.

A resident suggested that NTBCC should insist on CEC explaining the full consultation process, e.g. how will consultation data be processed and presented to the public. Another resident expressed strong disbelief in the financial predictions in the business case, citing Bent Flyvberg’s report of unrealistically optimistic assumptions to the Hardie enquiry on CEC’s previous tram issues .

Action: B Ryan to promote liaison/collaboration with neighbouring CCs.

Action: NTBCC transport committee to meet asap to reach a consensus

Action: NTBCC to attend the proposed CC meeting on the 24th, noting issues with the consultation process (liaising with other CCs if time allows), and potentially submitting detailed comments later.

5.2 Other transport matters

None

6 Planning

6.1 ‘Impact’ concert venue

  • R Price reported attending the second consultation on this proposed development. This gave a clear idea of what the development would look like.
    • RP’s view is that the development would be too dominant in a small space. He suggested that the architects have done a good job of trying to provide the requested facilities (e.g. enough seats to make the venue commercially viable, rehearsal spaces, community café/hub, interconnectivity), and if there was enough space available, this would be a great facility – but it will be enormous.
    • J Conn suggested questioning the proposed finish, noting that it will hide Dundas House and the proposed new hotel. The contrast between craigleith stone (DUndas House) and Impact’s ribbing and timber surfaces would be visually very unpleasant. (Another NTBCC member agreed that the juxtaposition of modern ribbing into a Georgian context would be unsympathetic.)
    • C Nimmo suggested that there may be another consultation, and that the building will be built from the inside out, to manage its acoustics. Hence the outside surfaces may not be decided yet.
    • S Holledge asked whether the height of the proposed building was a concern.
  • Action: R Price to submit NTBCCC’s comments.

6.2 37 to 39 St Andrews Square

  • RP reported that he and C Collins attended the exhibition about this building (the former British Linen Bank), which has been bought by the Ennismore group to be transformed into a private members club.
    • The ground level will be public accessible – there will be full refurbishment, all-day dining in the former banking hall, some accommodation, and a roof terrace. RP suggested that while the banking hall is gorgeous, the outside of the building is in severe need of renovation.
    • There will be a planning application this year – no PAN is needed

6.3 Edinburgh Academy

R Price has submitted an objection, based on this application being too extensive (action: RP to put this on website). So far 100 objections and 50 supporting comments have appeared on the CEC planning portal.

6.4 Royal High School

  • RP reported that there will be another 4 weeks’ delay to the legal action. (NTBCC is in coalition with Cockburn Association (CA) and Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH). A pre-enquiry meeting had foundthat the hearing will take 4 to 5 weeks, and hence legal representation will be about twice as expensive as originally estimated. NTBCC will support the CA’s fundraising efforts (via https://www.crowdjustice.com). Action: NTBCC members to individually join the CA if they can, and encourage others to do likewise.
  • Action: B Ryan to put this on NTBCC website

6.5 Other planning matters

  • Canon St/ Canonmills– nothing happening at the moment
  • Royal Bank of Scotland- nothing happening at the moment
  • EWH at the Tron– EWH is developing a World Heritage exhibition (covering all 6 WH sites in Scotland) at the Tron, and has invited NTBCC to a development meeting on Tuesday 24th April, 6PM – 8PM at Bakehouse Close.
  • EWH day– meeting Wednesday 18 April 6 to 7pm, followed by concert, in Reid concert hall (Edinburgh University). This is part of the ‘year of young people’, and young people will be giving their views on heritage.
  • EWH world heritage skills workshop- Monday 16 April (10am to 5pm) for 16 to 24-year-olds, free admission. Action: R Price to put this on NTBCC website

7 Licensing

It was noted that CEC had refused the application for 13B Dundas St. (NTBCC had submitted an objection.)

J Finn reported that

  • There were no licensing applications of interest to NTBCC this month.
  • CEC is now consulting on its review of its licensing policy. (This happens every 3 years.) In December, NTBCC submitted what it wanted to be covered by the consultation (e.g. issues NTBCCC has raised about new ‘inaudibility’ condition, over-provision, hours, how the Licensing Forum operates, waste management, more joined-up approach with transport).
  • While it is not yet know what will be done with this submission, there will be a workshop on overprovision on 2 May (F Wasoff will represent NTBCC, and attempt to have various NTBCC streets classified as over-provided with licensed premises).
  • There will be meetings on 4th& 10thMay to discuss responses such as NTBCC’s to the licensing policy review.
    F Wasoff will attend these too.

    • A Welsh suggested finding out the format of these meetings in advance.
    • C Ross suggested that these meetings also fell into NTBCC’s environment ctte’s purview, because of issues with waste from licensed premises, noise from bottles being binned late at night etc. (J Finn & R Price suggested phoning the licensing standards department when this happens, to at least create a record of such disturbances, but CEC’s proper complaint mechanism has not been published.)
  • It was asked how the Grassmarket was designated as overprovided. (J Finn responded that he had not seen the method for making such decisions. It was suggested that views from PS formed part of the decision process.)

8 Environment

J Conn reported that apart from the licensing-related concerns above, there was nothing of note to report. However, the environment committee will meet soon.

9 Communications

  • Action: A Jack to post short note of meeting to website
  • The comms committee should meet soon to consider website improvements.
  • M Duffy, S Holledge have joined comms group.
  • It was suggested that the website should have more links to local organisations, e.g. residents associations.

o A Welsh noted that EWH has a list of residents’ organisations and gardens organisations.

o Action: NTBCC members to send links to local organisations to B Ryan, B Ryan to add these to website

9.1 Posters

  • It was noted that NTBCC members have taken posters to put up where they can – but no-one has told the comms convener where they have done so.
  • J Finn reported that an Essential Edinburgh (EE) noticeboard in Rose St is still advertising NTBCC’s 2017 AGM.
    • Action: S McInnes to give EE up-to-date posters.
    • Action: NTBCC members to disseminate date of 2018 AGM (next meeting), dates of other future meetings.
    • Action: B Ryan to add QR code to reprint
  • NTBCC chair is waiting on news about a potential rep from Drummond Community High School.

10 Neighbourhood Partnerships and local residents’ associations

  • It was noted that no NP meeting is due soon.
  • It was also noted that hard information on the development of localities is needed, and that no CEC cllrs were at this CC meeting.

11 AOCB

  • It was noted that the NTBCC website incorrectly states the date of the Northumberland & Nelson St residents’ association AGM. It is actually on Sunday May 20, at the Scottish Gallery, in Dundas St (2pm). Action: B Ryan to put this on website.
  • J Finn, in view of next month’s AGM, asked for comments on draft accounts. He noted that NTBCC has effectively broken even over this financial year.

Appendix – email to NTBCC chair from R Garriock, trams engagement manager

(It was stated a week later by R Garriock (at the tram team’s presentation to Leith Central CC) that cancellation of their presentation to NTBCC was due to illness.)