The Gray Room, Nelson Hall, 5 Spittalfield Crescent, Edinburgh

MINUTES of the meeting held on Monday 12 September 2016, 7pm

1)      Present TP (chairing), DC. RH, DW, DB, TLL, NO, and apologies for absence from CP (Dumbiedykes residents association, who was will be represented by their chair David Mcrae, abbreviated below to DMc), PMcD, JC. 2 members of the public were present, but they had no issues to raise.


2)      Police report

Graeme Nisbet sent his South East Area Command Update, and it was agreed in a phone call with Mark McInnes that this is the only report needed. A printed copy was available (and should maybe be put on the web site). As this report was not available to members of the SCC, the policewoman attending the meeting read it to us. The other police member explained the new arrangements that are now starting, which promise to be stable this time, and should give us community policing. DMc mentioned that no community police patrols have yet been seen at Dumbiedykes, and asked for a police visit to their meeting.

TP asked what was being done in relation to the reports of shoplifting and drug dealing in our neighbourhood, and we were told that police officers have been speaking to shop owners.

The 20 mph limit was discussed. SCC members have seen little evidence that it is being observed, and checks were requested for the junction at Summerhall, and possibly Dalkeith Road, not only at accident black spots, which are the main locations currently checked.


3)      Elaine Scott, from City of Edinburgh Council, presented an informative talk about Planning Affordable Housing Supply for the City, and will send a link to the Housing Strategy Report. Considerable numbers of social housing homes are being built, with various funding sources, and also many “affordable homes”. None of this is within our area, as little land is available, and the sites that became available in recent years were taken for student housing, after the reporter over-ruled the Planning Committee decision to reject these applications. Cllr. Perry told us that there is now a new policy that sites larger than a certain size (possible 1 acre) cannot be single use, e.g. all student housing. Instead, there must be an equal mix of social, private and (if appropriate) student housing.


4)      The minutes of the meeting held on June 13th were approved. There were no matters arising apart from the information that the Student Union president (Alec Edgecliffe-Johnson) will attend future SCC meetings when possible, or send a representative.


5)      Councillor Perry told us that it is now acknowledged that the reduction in the budget for emptying rubbish bins was probably too severe, and that it is now recognised that severe problems are being experienced all over the city. He hopes that something will be done to improve the situation.


Less damage to the grass on the Meadows during the festival is promised, but specifics are lacking.


Efforts are being made to improve the situations with respect to car parking in Dumbiedykes.


6)      Reports from Chair, Secretary and Treasurer

The secretary reported on the efforts of community councils to help councillors understand that the objection to the proposed changes to the system for dealing with loud music from venues (and the new guidelines proposed by the Music is Audible group) is rational and should be taken seriously.


A response was submitted to the airport consultation, which asked whether certain areas should have special consideration such that increased overflying does not happen. Our area has a good case to be considered in this category, as Holyrood Park should be kept as peaceful as possible.


The possible representation of the SCC in the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links (FoMBL) group was briefly discussed, along with the ongoing effort to clarify how the money obtained from holding events on the Meadows is being spent.


A request was made for our area to be considered for one of the low emissions zones announced by Transport minister Humza Yousaf. However, they are planned to start in 2020, and it is not yet even certain that they will ever happen.


The planning committee report about the area was provided, as a draft for future discussion, and comments are welcome. GL was thanked for leading this. She is willing to receive comments and incorporate them into a final version. There was a discussion about various problems in the neighbourhood, including the very large and unsightly object (possibly a mobile phone mast) behind Carnegie Court.


7)      Reports from Committees and meetings attended

TP attended the EACC. Restructuring of health services is happening, to better integrate health and social services. Areas of the city will be defined, within which services will be run in an integrated manner.

TP also attended a Neighbourhood Partnership meeting.


8)      Provision of GP Services in the Southside: An offer has been made from a firm from the South of England to buy the surgery, which could keep it open, but it is not yet clear whether this will indeed happen.


9)      TP updated the SCC in the Bus shelter Issues. The Buccleuch St one has been removed, and PMcD wrote to the Decaux company to try and make them understand the rules about the space that must be left for pedestrians.


10)   Tenement Stair Lighting: A statement has been put on the web site.


11)   Public Question time: there were no questions.


12)   Any Other Business: none.


13)   Date of next meeting: October 10th. Please note that this will be in the King’s Hall