Present: TP, JC, PMcD, DC, KH, NO, RH, DW, DB, Councillor Rose, and 2 members of the public
1. Apologies for absence were received from S. Repanova and T. Lola-Luz
2. A new member, Liz Logie, was c o-opted to the SCC.
3. Police report. PC Neil MacKay.
Housebreaking has decreased 30%, but there have been a few robberies in the streets. Efforts have been made to reduce anti-social behaviour at Nicolson Square. The police have been encouraging and checking the 20 mph zones, especially at places where complaints have been received from members of the public. This has been done alongside the winter drink-driving checks. Drugs have been seized on an almost daily basis.
In answer to a question, he explained that the 20 mph zone signs have not yet been fully implemented, but are being installed gradually. It was pointed out that Dalkeith Road is a particular problem for speeding cars. In response to another question, he told us that beggars are being offered help, and that aggressive or antisocial behaviour should be reported to police, including sitting close to cash machines.
4. Daniel Lodge (Daniel.Lodge@edinburgh.gov.uk) and his team from the council planning department were present to talk about the Southside “Place Standard” (similar to previous exercises in Queensferry and Corstorphine). The final presentation will be emailed, as the projector was not working. The overall picture from the survey (~ 40 people attending “events”, and 76 responses online) were consistently that the community does not have sufficient influence on decisions about the neighbourhood, and that residents perceive imbalance in the community, with an undue proportion of students' housing, and also that there is too much traffic. The results will be used in “Locality Improvement Plans” which will be complete at the end of 2017, and “Town Centre Guidance”, which will be available from March 2nd, and will deal with the main streets. Sessions with university students will be organized. KH commented on the similarity with the responses to our own survey at our “community day”.
5. Minutes of the meeting held on November 14th were approved. a Matters arising: cutting off parts of trees in the back greens in Lutton Place without permission. Disappointingly, the responsible planning officer did not get back to the residents. Other problems have also occurred concerning dirt and use of the street.
6. Councillor Rose’s report
a. The City Vision consultation is not yet closed.
b. The City region deal. The UK-Westminster spring budget (in March) will be the budget for 10-15 years for several local authorities. Themes will include growth and poverty.
c. Full time equivalent staff will be further reduced at the council, which will worsen many problems, including rubbish collection, inability to speak to council staff about problems.
d. Councillor Rose raised the idea of a mayor. His opinion is that the lack of feeling that the community can influence decisions is due to the cosmopolitan nature of the community.
e. The meeting about the Southside GP surgery will take place next week.
f. LL asked about the council cleansing department depot in Haddons Court, where engines of multiple vehicles are often kept running, causing pollution and noise pollution, in a location close to a nursery school, and damaging gardens by parking there. Cllr. Rose will raise this issue.
g. The improved plan for the waste service has not yet been sent by Gareth Barwell, as promised at a meeting with KH and JC, or implemented. A new cycle of uplifting has been agreed with unions, and named contact people will be made known to residents.
7. Reports from Chair and Secretary are available on the web site and there were no major points needing discussion (no Treasurer’s report).
8. Reports from Committees and meetings attended
a. RH attended the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils AGM. The City Vision was presented by Andrew Kerr. The point about stair lights was noted. RH raised the need for a Licensing portal similar to that for planning, and that was also noted. RH asked Michelle Mulvaney about rules for fly posting, and she later emailed RH about this. A final point concerned the new ward boundaries. Ms. Mulvaney said that CCs can decide what to do. TP will contact Dumbiedykes Residents Association to ask for their views. Cllr. Rose said that nightclubs will not do flyposting, after an agreement, and that this should be enforced again.
9. The Southside GP surgery. JC reported that a temporary solution has been arranged. Also, the cost for a space in the old Homebase site (the preferred site) has been reduced, and a smaller, more appropriate, space has been offered. It was agreed that JC will write to the Lothian Health Board in support of this site, and also to our councillors, MSPs and MP, asking them to write to the Lothian Health Board as well.
10. Choice of projects for roads funding.
a. Removal of railings at W Nicolson St/West Richmond St (although these have been promised for removal).
b. Removal of railings at E. Crosscauseway/St. Leonards St.
c. Dropped kerb at the bottom of the path down to Dumbiedykes.
d. Pedestrian crossing at Bernard Terrace.
e. Pavement at the end of W. Newington Place/Blackwood Crescent could be a less tight curve.
11. There were no Public Questions.
12. The next meeting will be on February 13th