Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 10 April 2017, 7.00 – 8.45pm

Gray Room, Nelson Hall, Spittalfield Crescent, Edinburgh, EH8 9QZ

1.      Welcome. Present T. Pogson (TP), D. Charlesworth (DC), D. Benyon (DB), K. Haughton (KH), R. Hodgart (RH), L. Logie (LL), Cllr. Burgess, and 3 member of the public. Apologies for absence from Joan Carter, Philip McDowell, Dora Lola-Luz

2.      It was agreed that issues brought by members of the public will be discussed later (state of the road surface and manhole cover problems, behaviour problems at Nicholson Square)

3.      The minutes of the meeting held on March 13th were approved without change.

4.      Matters arising

a        Our response to the City Council about the Locality improvement plan was briefly discussed

b        Fly-posting: it was agreed that when the new contract with the council is discussed we should request that it include removing unwanted and illegal notices.

5.      Councillor Steve BurgessÔs report

a        The situation concerning the Southside surgery was discussed, and the suggestion that we write to NHS Lothian and Scottish Parliament about the situation in our neighbourhood, and more widely. The new situation could be acceptable temporarily, but it is not a long-term solution for the Southside.

b        Cllr. Burgess raised air quality and traffic problems at a Locality improvement plan event at Gilmerton.

c        It was agreed that the SCC would acknowledge Andy WightmanÕs briefing paper.

d        The ÒPlaying OutÓ scheme is being piloted in residential streets, and one can apply to the council.

e        KH enquired about the building in St. Leonards for which planning permission was granted for a distillery. TP will email the company to enquire about the situation.

6.      Reports from Chair and Secretary were available online.

a        TP attended the EACC meeting

i         A community councillor from Stockbridge is pressing for a Licensing portal

ii        The council will be providing small notice boards on bus stops which CCs may be able to use.

iii      The role of CCs may be reviewed by the Scottish Government

b        TP also went to a South East Locality meeting. Management structures are forming and staff are being appointed. It remains unclear how interactions will be managed, but CCs and Neighbourhood Partnerships will not be the only entities consulted. Areas of ÒstressÓ were identified, and the ÒSouthside CorridorÓ is one such area due to crime and antisocial behaviour, including constant problems at Nicholson Square (see below).

c        TP and LL attended a very helpful and open Policing 2016 Consultation Evening, at which many questions were asked, and a good impression was created.

d        SecretaryÕs report:

i         TP will invite Lindsay Robertson to come to the May SCC meeting to discuss the City of Edinburgh CouncilÕs supplementary guidance for Nicolson Street/Clerk Street Town Centre. DC will suggest some questions to ask, and circulate them to get other suggestions.

ii        The state of the roads and the Footway and Bridges Additional Investment Capital Programme for 2017/18 was discussed. This lists work that will/should be done in 2017/18, and does not include Montague St., which is in very bad condition. Cllr. Burgess suggested submitting a bid for the small quantity of money available for small improvements from the SouthCentral decides scheme. TP will write to the council asking for consideration of the serious problems in the southside. Problems were highlighted, including at CowanÕs Close (off E. Crosscausway), cobbles in W. Crosscauseway and Davie St, poor road surface at Nicolson Square, and several places with loose paving stones, including outside FarmFoods, none of which are listed in the plan.

7.      No TreasurerÕs report was received.

8.      Reports from Committees and meetings attended

a        RH attended the meeting about opposition to the hotel building behind the Central Library.

9.      Planning Applications: no applications this month caused concern.

10.   Proposed Community Clean-Up day. KH, JC and LL have decided on a date of Saturday May 13th from 11 am to 1pm. There will be a table outside Tesco, with leaflets (to be prepared) to inform people about the community council, and to encourage use of bins. 30 council litter pickers, plastic bags and gloves will be provided. Starbucks will offer cups of coffee at the beginning of the event, and the QueenÕs Hall offered 2 complementary tickets for ÒThe FuriesÓ on May 18th. The event will be advertised after the council elections.

11.   Public Questions

a        Manholes at Nicolson Square have been a continued problem for many months, and cause a major noise nuisance, despite continued efforts from residents to get the problem dealt with. There is a similar problem opposite the CoOp. One near Surgeons Hall has finally been repaired (by BT). Among other problems is the expense of digging up the wrong manhole cover.

b        Drinking problems at Nicolson Square continue.

c        Night buses are also a problem, including many buses on Sunday nights, and there are also problems with buses being blocked by other vehicles.

12.   Any Other Business

a        KH asked about stair lighting maintenance. The council has rejected requests to reinstate the service.

b        A complaint was made about ambulance noise, and running red lights when not on an emergency.

13.   The date of the Next Meeting will be May 8th.