NTBCC ordinary meeting minutes 9 October 2023

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, at Broughton St Mary’s church, on Monday 9 October 2023 at 7pm

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

1 Welcome / Introductions / Attendance

1.a Attendance

Mike Birch NTBCC Jack Hugh NTBCC Cllr Jack Caldwell Leith Walk ward
Annick Gaillard NTBCC Stewart Mills NTBCC Cllr Margaret Graham City Centre ward
Laura Graham NTBCC Richard Price NTBCC Cllr Finlay McFarlane City Centre ward
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC Nick Reid NTBCC Cllr Jo Mowat City Centre ward
Deirdre Henderson NTBCC Peter Williamson NTBCC Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Simon Holledge NTBCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary ~16 residents/visitors

1.b Apologies

Carol Nimmo NTBCC Cllr Jule Bandel Inverleith ward Ben Macpherson MSP Edinburgh Northern and Leith
David Renton NTBCC Cllr Max Mitchell Inverleith ward Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North and Leith
Alan Welsh NTBCC Cllr Hal Osler Inverleith ward Cllr Hal Osler Inverleith ward

2 Approval of the minutes of the ordinary NTBCC meeting held on 11 September 2023

Approved subject to minor amendments (proposed R Price, seconded L Graham, ND)

3 Matters arising from previous minutes, and not included on agenda

None raised

4 Police report

See very minimal report on NTBCC website, and Edinburgh 2023-24 policing plan.

  • D Henderson: the report says nothing about a recent serious sexual assault on Leith St. People reassurance, via such reports, that the police are tackling such crimes.
  • L Graham: recently someone slashed tyres on Gayfield Square.
    • Action: NTBCC to review what it wants from police reports, and write to police about poor report content and lack of presence at NTBCC meetings
  • D Henderson: it is reported that police will not respond to illegal short-term lets, if CEC enforcement does not work.
    • Cllr Mowat: police do not have the resources to enforce against lack of license, but will tackle nuisance and danger.

5 Culture and Communities

All points made by S Holledge unless otherwise noted.

5.a Summary of Culture & Communities Committee meeting (5 October)

See convener’s report and item 11 below.

  • NTBCC looks forward to repair of the Nelson monument on Calton Hill.
  • Firework regulations have been tightened, using recent Scotland -wide regulations.

5.b Use of Public Spaces for Events and Filming

  • NTBCC’s request for a public information system displaying event proposals and conditions has not been fulfilled.
    • L Graham: EACC has set up a contact point – will this help?
    • Cllrs Mowat and McFarlane: a relevant IT proposal has been mandated. Meanwhile a new ‘report it’ button will be added to CEC’s website. Such reports will be logged and forwarded to the relevant even managers. This action will be reviewed after a year. There will also be a full list of filming events on the CEC website.
    • D Henderson: the budget for the information system should come from charges to film-makers.
    • L Graham: there should be a button to thank CEC – CEC has been very helpful to me recently.

5.c Trees in the City/’Million Tree City’

  • There will be annual updates to CEC about this project.

5.d Amplification of Sound in Public Spaces

  • Discussion was about options for a bylaw to control amplified sound.
    • Cllrs McFarlane and Mowat: there was insufficient evidence from the relevant survey to support such a bylaw, so CEC’s culture and communities committee decided to continue gathering evidence, and to seek ways in which CEC can enforce against amplified-sound public nuisance. (Currently, only the police can, and they will not prioritise this.)
    • Cllr McFarlane: meanwhile lamppost wraps will be deployed in hot-spots to advertise existing rules. Currently, nuisance is not defined.

6 Transport

See also convener’s report. All points made by M Birch unless otherwise noted.

6.a East London Street: forthcoming report at 12 October TEC

  • A report for the forthcoming CEC committee meeting was issued on Friday. It says there is no noise problem and no need to repair, but atmospheric monitoring will take place, as will a survey of traffic volumes and speeds (although there are concerns about the survey methods). Lothian Buses has now provided data on bus numbers using ELS, but the data do not match observations.
    • Cllr McFarlane: Cllr Mowat and I will submit an amendment because the traffic monitoring data will otherwise simply be reported in January 2024, with no resulting action. In the Janaury report, there should be consideration of options such as (1) retain status quo; (2) change to standard carriageway at the centre of ELS; (3) working with Lothian Buses to reduce the impact on the whole area of the bus depot remaining as-is.
    • M Birch: I agree with waiting for robust information to support a long-term decision.
    • A resident: there is a serious error in CEC’s interpretation of noise-measurements.
    • M Birch: NTBCC will include this issue in its deputation.
    • Another resident: hire-cars parked on ELS pavements force pedestrians to walk on the carriageway. The car-chargers are out of use.
    • Cllrs McFarlane and Mowat: we have written to the garage about this, as has the nearby school. We hope that a forthcoming review of pavement parking will give CEC enforcement powers. ELS could not be made a ‘school-street’ because it needed to remain open during tram-works, and so could not be repaired during this time.
    • M Birch: the air-quality report will come out around June 2024, because a full year of data-collection is needed.
    • An ELS resident: the issues are buses and longer-term traffic-patterns, which will be impacted by works elsewhere.
    • Cllr McFarlane: it is possible to count bus-use because CEC owns Lothian Buses, but can’t count other tour-buses, construction vehicles, big vans, SUVs which also contribute to noise issues.
    • A resident: why cannot ELS be repaired? If it is not counted a bus-route, can the tram budget be used?
    • Cllr McFarlane: the delay to repairs is because CEC can afford to repair one setted street per year. The forthcoming repairs are to Lawnmarket (2023), Victoria St (2024), the Shore (2025), ELS (2026).
    • Action: M Birch to organise deputation to TEC meeting.

6.b Low Emission Zone: recent Council briefing/update

No discussion

6.c Tram Works – outstanding issues resolution

No discussion

6.d Other transport points

  • The city mobility plan consultation has resulted in a 400-page report. There are no resulting actions for NTBCC.
  • There are safety concerns about traffic in the St James Quarter, especially that serving the W hotel.
    • Cllr McFarlane: there is insufficient political will for CEC to act on this.
    • R Price: a request for relevant controls, so that nearby residents retained access, was in NTBCC’s submission to the original planning application.
  • There will be an NTBCC transport committee meeting on Wednesday about NTBCC’s participation request.
  • D Henderson: have parking permits in the low-traffic zone for support staff and carers been agreed?
    • Cllr Caldwell: consultation results were supplied to CEC in August, but are not yet due to be considered by CEC.
    • Action: Cllr Caldwell to follow this up.
  • A Gaillard: how can landscaping plans for Blenheim Place be accessed? What communications have been issued? Yellow lines and tactile paving are expected but not the rusty planters that have appeared.
    • M Birch: the landscaping plans were insufficiently detailed to show the locations of planters and benches. NTBCC was not included in discussion with local councillors on locations. Blenheim Place is not unique in having this issue.
    • Action: M Birch to share some information received today.

7 Planning

See convener’s report. All points made by R Price unless otherwise noted.

7.a Revised applications for 72-74 Eyre Place (PBSA/7 townhouses)

  • The original applications were refused at DPEA appeal. NTBCC has objected to a new, almost identical application.

7.b Edinburgh Christmas Markets (EPSG/WPSG/George St)

  • There are applications to use East Princes St Gardens, West Princes St Gardens, George St and St Andrews Square (for the spiegel tent). The applications suffer from capacity creep compared to the 2022 versions. NTBCC did not submit objections but Edinburgh World Heritage has objected to all and the Cockburn Association to some.

7.c Summary of DPEA (Scottish Reporter) appeals

  • The Drummond tennis club lights application is now at appeal, as is the Waverley market, which is subject to a CEC enforcement notice. Normally such enforcement is ceased while matters are at appeal.
    • A resident: people may appreciate the darkness of East London St Lane, which would be destroyed by this lighting.

8 Licensing

See convener’s report. All points made by A Gaillard unless otherwise noted.

8.a STL licensing scheme came into effect on 1 October 2023

  • D Henderson: the register is hard to find. New entries do not state whether they are secondary letting or home letting.
    • A Gaillard: this is a reason we look forward to the new IT system. Currently CEC office input information manually.
    • Cllr Mowat: by the end of last week, about 3000 applications had been processed.
  • D Henderson some external notices are AWOL. Hosts and operators are responsible for displaying them, not CEC.
    • D Henderson: people can object to license applications by emailing CEC’s licensing department.

8.b Alcohol licensing

  • A draft Statement of Licensing Policy is now out at consultation, which closes on 12 November so the final version can be published by the end of that month. The draft does not mention overprovision, but is concerned with amenity and opening hours. I would welcome NTBCC members’ and residents’ views, so I can submit NTBCC’s response.

8.c Street trading and market operators consultation

  • A consultation on policy is in progress.

9 Environment

9.a Communal bin roll-out in N1 parking zone area

  • R Price: pavements have now been marked with bin locations.
  • M Birch: CEC share review phase 4’s maps with CCs on 26 September. The East London St locations are suboptimal.
    • Action: M Birch to share maps with B Ryan, B Ryan to put them on NTBCC website

10 Engagement and communications

11 Community Council Scheme and Boundary Review 2023 – Phase 1 consultation

  • S Holledge: CEC has issued a series of emails in the last few days about the statutory consultation. First they referred to a series of drop-in and Teams meetings, then later an online written consultation was announced. NTBCC should take part in both. However, regarding the boundary review, CEC has not explained how the sizes of CC areas might be decided (e.g. geographical area, number of residents). NTBCC should make a written submission after members have gone through the full process of consultations..
    • NTBCC overlaps three CEC localities and three city wards (City Centre, Leith Walk, Inverleith.There is apparently no record of how NTBCC’s boundaries were originally determined. NTBCC is the 4th largest in Edinburgh by number of residents and quite large by geographical area.
    • RP: hence boundary changes may result in NTBCC no longer representing some small areas.
    • Cllrs Mowat and McFarlane: one issue is that CEC ward boundaries and CC boundaries are not contiguous. CEC boundaries have changed since CC boundaries were fixed. Some rationalisation of ward boundaries is due.
    • S Hajducki: NTBCC handles many planning submissions each year. There is no real need to change boundaries.
    • S Holledge: residents can also respond to the consultation.
    • Action: NTBCC to make written submission to consultation by December 18

12 News from residents’ associations – GKSA update on Conservation & Adaptation

  • A resident: Great King St AGM is on 25 October. Cllr Arthur will talk about traffic displacement. Members will be canvassed on their interest in a teach-in on conservation/net-zero issues and relevant legislation. NTBCC members are welcome to participate.
    • Action: R Price to circulate information on the teach-in. EACC is doing some good work on this topic.

13 Councillors’/residents’ open forum

All points reported under previous items.


No matters raised