Present: David Benyon(DB), Joan Carter(JC) Chair, Robert Hodgart(RH), Kaaren Houghton(KH), Liz Logie(LL), Philip McDowell(PM),Svetlana Rostropova David Wood (DW)
Apologies: Deborah Charlesworth(DC), Ollie Glick(OG), Tim Pogson(TP)
Also present: Councillor Ian Perry(IP) Police Officer Johnny Wong 2 members of the Public
1. Welcome JC.
2. Police report. Officer Wong reported an increase in the street use of crack cocaine and antisocial behaviour. He particularly encouraged ensuring door security to prevent intruders sleeping in stairwells.
CCTV to be used in Haddon’s Court
There had been a robbery in Carnegie Court. Unacceptable activities in Nicolson Square and Rankeillor Street were also mentioned.
3. Councillor’s Report. Councillor Perry and SSCC members discussed the complex nature of homeless and IP stated that there 300 -400 people known to be homeless in the city.
The closure of the public toilets at Nicolson Square is of concern to the disabled, some local businesses have joined the community toilet scheme. There has been abuse reported of this amenity at the Festival Theatre(LL). One suggested action point was to write up a motion to the Localities Team.
Work at the Former Odeon is due to recommence soon.
Concerns about short term lets and Air BNB persist, Government legislation is pending.
4. Reports: Chair(TP) circulated his progress by e-mail to members. Councillor Rose suggested organising a meeting to clarify CC’s engagement with the Localities Committee( requires follow up)
Secretary(DC) submitted reports about Graffiti-good and bad, walkabouts one per year, to be arranged and workshops gathering public views about Low Emission Zones, Edinburgh Transport Strategy and Central Edinburgh Transformation. The workshops were dynamic, with many interesting ideas forthcoming and a great deal of consensus on priorities for the City.
Treasurer(SR) reported the renewing of insurance and the end of year report, details of which are on the SSCC website. An audit of accounts is required and will be arranged with TP.
Suggestions for utilising available funds included delivering a newsletter on an annual basis with further discussion to take place at the AGM in June. SR will prepare and submit a vision.
DW reported a lack of respect for and supervision of the 20 mph speed limit and circulated proposals to improve enforcement. The CC supported these proposals and DW will discuss them with Living Streets and the advisability of implementing them under Participation Request Legislation.
With planning vision points from DW but unseen before the meeting and DB’ s contribution on Transport and Landuse not yet received, discussion was postponed until a future meeting. Another small meeting group was suggested to pull it together more and find a way of discussing it more widely.
RH reported from the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils(EACC) meeting, the minutes of which are on their website. Topics include school closures, school maintenance, planning concerns and the inadequacies of the tram consultation.
JC reported about the present standing with Nelson Hall usage, the lease of which is still to be signed. PM mentioned some anecdotal evidence of groups being turned away. There are also managerial issues, JC to contact Colin Christison to discuss existing concerns.
JC attended one of the sessions discussing Key transport, mobility and placemaking issues. TP and LL also attended sessions
LL and TP attended a litter pick and gardening improvements in Nicolson Square on May 5th. Other volunteers included members of the business community, Community police officers, Councillor Dickie and local church members. Food was donated by the Festival Theatre and the Mosque Kitchen.
LL attended a meeting about Nicolson Square called by Sarah Burns, City of Edinburgh Council representative. Representatives from many organisations including ENABLE, Streetworks, Invisible Edinburgh, local councillors, local businesses, the Methodist Church, Nicolson Square residents, the Festival Theatre and Surgeons Hall were in attendance. The main concern was the effect of the closure of the public toilets particularly with the disabled. The community toilet scheme provides some alternatives but reports of abuse were reported. Maps of facilities for the disabled are on the ENABLE and Invisible City websites. Further meeting to establish a Friends group will take place soon.
Planning report: Planning committee to review weekly list, identify anything of interest, discuss the matter and circulate a response and any date deadline to all SSCC members for comment. If no response was forthcoming, agreement with the majority would be assumed. TP to ratify. DW will identify key topics for discussion at the next meeting .
Communications Report. PM will clarify the position regarding the Personal Data Protection Policy.
Any other business: Meadows Festival. SSCC have been offered space at the Festival. Volunteers are required.
SSCC website to be updated, PM.
Causey development meeting, June19th at 7pm, Greyfriars Church, DW.
“Your City-Your Say” public meeting at Central Hall, Tollcross on Tuesday May 29th at 7pm,RH.
Next meeting: Monday, June 11th