Present: TP, JC, PMcD, TL-L, DC, DB, RH, DW, NO, Councillor Burgess, and 9 members of the public
1. Welcome and apologies for absence
2. Police report. PC Stuart Fraser came to the meeting.
The investigation of the sexual assault in Salisbury place is continuing, but person responsible is thought not to be from Edinburgh. The officers investigating break-in and attack near the Pleasance Community hope that they will find the person. Community officers can be contacted. DC thanked him for the help with the problems at Grange Court (people sleeping on the stair, and smoking pot). The Police will email information about how to contact police directly by email on non-urgent matters.
3. Issues brought by members of the public. Suggestion that better publicity for the community council would be helpful. It appears that the notice in Tesco has been taken down, and it will be replaced.
4. Minutes of the meeting held on October 10th and matters arising. DW has prepared an amended version, and notes explaining the changes, which were approved. RH wished his remarks about his letter to Leicester football club to be added, and this was agreed. These changes will be emailed to DC.
5. Matters arising
a. JC visited the mosque, and hopes that they will send someone to a SCC meeting at some time.
b. The council is currently reviewing the Causey proposal.
c. Ruth Davidson has not yet responded to the invitation to come to another SCC meeting.
d. Trees in Lutton Place: JC has not yet had a response from email@example.com
e. Licensing applications: PMcD suggested that we should ask our representatives who will be going to the forthcoming EACC meeting to raise the issue of getting applications sent to community councils.
f. Stair lighting: JC suggested that we should raise this at the upcoming EACC meeting.
g. The street cleaning day did not take place, owing to JC and KH having received no reply from the council.
h. RH is reading the rules about the ward boundaries, but cannot find out who draws community council boundaries. Cllr. Burgess responded that the city of Edinburgh council does this, and the CC boundaries may be changed, but this would require a wholesale review, including consultations, so no change could happen until next year, if ever. CCs can request a change, which needs to be agreed by neighbouring CCs. There is currently no community council officer. RH will raise this at the EACC meeting.
6. Councillors report: Steve Burgess
a. Provision of GP Services in the Southside. There is currently no plan in place to keep the Southside Surgery. The SCC were advised to contact NHS Lothain and our MSPs and MPs again. Gavin Douglas, head of Student experience services at Edinburgh University met JC, Fran Gifford and Moira Gibson, and appeared to acknowledge that the university has an interest in GP services in the neighbourhood, given that many more students will be living here when the new student residences are occupied. It is not clear whether or how the university will help, however, and any discussions will continue. Agreed to write to MP/MSP’s if meetings with University did not result in positive outcome.
b. An improvement plan for the waste service has been approved, including fewer missed collections, especially improvements in communication with bin lorry crews, and also with residents. A member of the public commented on the lack of a requirement to keep bins clean. It was suggested that the lorry staff might report bins needing cleaning.
c. Consultations: encourages people to participate in Town Centre Standard guidance, discussed later.
d. It is hoped that Skelf bike path building will start in January, and it is hoped that Crags Sports Centre will have a staff member to train young people in bike skills.
7. Speaker: Andy Wightman MSP Outlined desirable changes in planning, local taxation, and the financing of housing. Questions were asked about possible ways to controlling and regulating AirB&B and similar short-term letting, it was explained that rules could be introduced to require changes of use to be applied for, rather than allowed without regulation.
8. A report from the Secretary is available on the web site and there were no points needing discussion (no Treasurer’s report).
9. Reports from Committees and meetings attended: none.
10. Response to Annual Park Events Review 2015/6, including consideration of Tollcross CC’s ‘statement on length of events on the Meadows. TP introduced the questions that relate to the Meadows, and the Tollcross general proposal of a limit of at most 15 days for events (as for other parks in the city). The question was discussed of whether the money that is generated covers the costs of the restoration work necessary to repair the damage to the park, and whether the park should be used for commercial events at all. It was agreed to support the Tollcross proposal. TP will propose an appropriate response to the consultation.
11. The Southside “Place Standard”, a system to consult communities: TP reported on a Meeting with JC with CEC Planning Staff and Notice of Future Activity, in preparation for meetings next week, which will feed into Town Centre guidance and priorities for localities. The dates and time for the events, at Southside Community Centre are:
Tuesday 22nd November – 17:30 and 18.45
Saturday 26th November – 10:00 and 11.00
The council want SCC members to be present. JC feels that we should promote the “tool” (a diagram on which one can rate the importance and quality of different city functions) more widely, and not just at those scheduled events, to inform discussions by the SCC. TP will invite Council Planning Officer Daniel Lodge to speak at the January meeting.
12. Public Questions. A member of the public noted the increase in street furniture and A-boards. TP mentioned Neighbourhood Partnership meetings regularly discuss this, and that A-boards are banned in the Royal Mile, on a trial basis. The next meeting will be on December 5th, and JC will attend. It was noted that enforcement does not happen.
13. Calendar of meetings 2017. It was agreed to meet on the 2nd Monday of each month. There will be no meeting in December, so that the next meeting will be on January 9th.