NTBCC ordinary meeting minutes 8 April 2024

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s meeting, at Broughton St May’s Church, on Monday 8 April 2024 at 7pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. ND (‘no dissent’) means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.

URLs have been added by the minutes secretary.

1 Administration and welcome

1.a Attendance

Fiona Banatvala NTBCC Richard Price NTBCC
Mike Birch NTBCC Peter Williamson NTBCC
Annick Gaillard NTBCC Cllr Jule Bandel Inverleith ward
Laura Graham NTBCC Cllr Jack Caldwell Leith Walk ward
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC Cllr Finlay McFarlane City Centre ward
Deirdre Henderson NTBCC Cllr Jo Mowat City Centre ward
Simon Holledge NTBCC PC Grant Police Scotland
Ken Lochrie NTBCC Unrecorded number of residents/visitors
Stewart Mills NTBCC

1.b Apologies

Carol Nimmo NTBCC David Renton NTBCC Bruce Ryan minutes secretary
Susan Macinnes NTBCC Alan Welsh NTBCC Cllr Claire Miller City Centre Ward

2 Police report

PC Grant reported:

  • Police work in the New Town concerned youth antisocial behaviour, especially youth attracted in from the Lothians on Friday and Saturday nights, and associated low-level offending. This was being managed alongside St James’s Quarter staff.
  • Palestine/Israel protests also needed policing, with some targeting of businesses by protesters.
  • Some shoplifting, also paint-throwing vandalism on Rose St by young females.
  • M Birch asked about doorstep scamming. PC Grant recommended calling 999 if the scammer was still present.
  • A Gaillard asked about the ‘Safer Streets Reporting Tool’ in relation to the new CEC CCTV system. Police Scotland were not directly involved.
  • Some 80% of police work is to protect the vulnerable and in that connection have powers to use CCTV data.
  • D Henderson asked about aggressive cyclists; there was further discussion of floating bus-stops, e-scooters and
  • One resident asked about dog-fouling and repeat incidents located at the corner of Drummond Place and Dublin Street

3 Canonmills Owners and Residents Association

  • Daniel Hall on behalf of the Canonmills Owners & Residents Association (CORA) gave a presentation on the Association’s concerns regarding the sale by CEC of garden ground (used by residents of 1-6 Canonmills for more than 35 years) to Eyre Place Properties Ltd, and that EPPL has started development of the site (See photo in appendix 1).
  • Concern was expressed at the meeting seeming lack of openness and transparency associated with sale of the land, certainly as it affected the residents who were losing an amenity.
  • Daniel Hall agreed to share background information (see appendix 1) along with other related materials.
  • Action: NTBCC to write to the Council in support of CORA’s position.

4 Minutes of the ordinary NTBCC meeting held on 11 March 2024

Approved, proposed by R Price, seconded by M Birch, subject to the correction of typos.

5 Chair’s update

5.a Review of scheme for community councils and their boundaries

  • P Williamson has written a submission in consultation with Community Councillors. This will be submitted to the City Council by the deadline of 3 May. There is, subject to the decision of City Council, to be a final 4-week consultation period before the Council will determine approval of the new Scheme and boundaries.
    • R Price drew attention to the limits on community councillor terms set out in the paper. It was recognised that such a condition had a certain merit. However, in the light of the difficulties that Community Councils can face in finding sufficient people to become office-holders, it was decided that on balance such a provision might prove counter-productive.

5.b World Heritage Site – management plan

  • P Williamson introduced his written submission. He believed that it is not for the community council to tell outside bodies how to run their affairs, but we should hold those accountable to account. The arrangements in Edinburgh for the protection and promotion of the World Heritage site fall short on a number of important counts as set out in the paper.
    • General discussion about the WHS and EWH, involving P Williamson, S Holledge, M Birch, F Banatvala and residents, in the light of the meeting on 25 March with CEC/EWH Jenny Bruce and others.
    • Agreement on lack of clarity and transparency regarding the Steering Group, Oversight Group etc, and the ambitions for the WHS set out in the Management Plan. It was noted that EWH Trust is undertaking a review of its governance arrangements, although the exact nature of this remained uncertain. Concern was expressed that the position of Members of EWHT under the Articles of Association had been left in abeyance with nominated representatives not being appointed for those organisations who have formerly been Members, and that potential new member organisations (e.g. other active street associations, and conservation bodies in the city) have been excluded from membership.
    • The meeting understood that Jenny Bruce was ultimately responsible to the Executive Director of Place (Paul Lawrence) rather than to EWH.
    • Action: NTBCC to agree final version, then submit this paper.

6 Treasurer’s report

At the end of the financial year (31 March 2024), NTBCC had a bank account balance of £3,477·93 but this included £2,278·58 that had been donated specifically for the Communal Bin Campaign. The resulting balance for regular NTBCC activities is therefore £1199·35. Given that we have already spent £192·00 on renewal of our insurance and data protection registration, we have just over £1000 for the remainder of the current year but this should be supplemented by our annual grant from Edinburgh Council. Jim Madden has agreed to act as Independent Verifier again this year. Given the delays in the Community Council elections it was decided that our AGM will on 10 June. The full Accounts will be presented for approval at that meeting.

7 Licensing

See also report on NTBCC website.

  • Supplementary Statement of Licensing Policy on Over provision – consultation questions are basic. A draft submission will be prepared and shared in due course, which will include feedback received from local residents.
  • A trend appears to be developing whereby premises are now seeking to permanently add part of the public footway to their licensed footprint. Would this be an unintended consequence of the Licensing Board’s now scrutinising the use of occasional licences over extended periods?

8 Transport

8.a Future Streets Meeting

  • The arrangements for a special meeting with Council staff to look at the impact of the Future Streets initiative (Circulation Plan) were discussed.
    • Action: M Birch to follow up with Council staff to confirm arrangements.

8.b LEZ Implementation

  • M Birch had prepared a list of questions to be raised with Council staff at the regular quarterly Transport Meeting.
    • Action: M Birch to circulate questions and answers after the meeting.

8.c April Transport and Environment Committee

  • It is expected that the Committee will receive a report on the close out of the Trams Project that will also cover the issues raised by Councillors Caldwell and Mowat. It is likely that we will want to make a deputation to the meeting to either support or otherwise the report’s findings. Given that there will be very limited time between the report being published and the meeting, there will be little time to develop an agreed NTBCC position so this will be handled by email.

9 Planning

See report on NTBCC website

10 Culture and Communities

See convenor’s report in Appendix 2.

11 Local place plans

P Williamson: believed this was of limited relevance and urgency.


  • No matters raised

13 Appendix 1: CORA materials referenced in item 3

13.a Photo of area under discussion

See photo on NTBCC website.

13.b CORA advisory letter to CEC (21 March 2024)

See JPG on NTBCC website.

13.c Andrew Kerr’s response (22 March 2024)

See PDF on NTBCC website.

13.d CORA letter to CEC (28 March 2024)

See PDF on NTBCC website.

13.e Location map

See JPG on NTBCC website.

13.f Canonmills garden before and after

See JPG on NTBCC website.

13.g Canonmills garden images

See PDF on NTBCC website.

13.h Stage 2 investigation Acknowledgement

See PDF on NTBCC website.

13.i Photos from R Price (21 April 2024)

These show that the site/boundary wall and former Smithies have now been cleared.

14 Appendix 2 report from NTBCC Culture & Communications Committee Convener

As reported last month, all the substantial issues are held over until May.

Meanwhile the reopening of the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill continues to frustrate.

It’s been closed since 2019/2020 and the Friends of Calton Hill have been asking about it for the past year. A group visited the monument on 11 January and found the ground floor museum in excellent condition — all the exhibits complete and in situ, no stained walls, no mustiness with three working toilets.

A report was published in the Business Bulletin for the 29 February Culture & Communities Committee meeting telling us: ‘Repairs to the mast and timeball in the Nelson Monument are due commence work in February 2024, with work due to be completed by October 2024. As much of the work will be completed offsite, public access will be possible from April 2024… in addition officers are working on updating the heritage offer, improving the visitor experience and increasing footfall/income once the monument works are complete.’

However there was no work underway on site in either February or March. Karl Chapman of CEC Heritage, Venues and Museums updated us last week to say that: ‘work is due to start around now with public access from the end of April. A slight delay while colleagues finalise contractor arrangements… there will be some weather delay to contend with …’

I’ve been promised a further update later…

The next NTBCC meeting is on 13 May and by that time we should have the documents for the Culture and Communications Committee on May 16, including:

  • Ed Winter Festivals Annual Update
  • Use of West Princes St Gardens and Ross Bandstand
  • Management Rules for Public Parks and Greenspaces
  • Thriving Greenspaces Strategy
  • Provision of Public Conveniences
  • Million Tree Annual Update
  • Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals Contact Management
  • Tree Management and Flood Mitigation

Simon Holledge, 8 April 2024