Minutes of meeting on Monday, January 14th, 2019, 6:45pm

The Gray Room, Nelson Hall, 5 Spittalfield Crescent, Edinburgh EH8 9QZ

Present: Joan Carter (JC), Robert Hodgart (RH), Kaaren Houghton (KH), Liz Logie (LL), Philip McDowell (PM), Tim Pogson (TP, Chair), David Wood (DW).

Also Present: Police Officer Neil MacKay Councillor Alison Dickie 3 Members of the Public.

1. Welcome. A warm welcome and New Year’s greetings were extended to all by TP.

2. Police Report: Officer MacKay gave details of recent criminal activities in the Southside. These included attempted burglary, robbery and assault. Arrests have been made in all cases. Anti-social behaviour and homelessness continue to cause concern in the area. During the Festive Period, Road Safety Initiatives found that of drivers tested, 1 in 15 tested positive for alcohol or drugs.

3. Public Issues: None.

4. Minutes of Previous Meeting: Councillor Dickie will enquire into the wage overpayment to council staff and the reported underspend and respond soon.

5. Councillor’s Report. Long term budget discussions are on-going and challenging negotiations taking place.

Carnegie Court condition survey a matter of great concern to residents. Homelessness exists city-wide, requiring a review.

Work will commence in the Eastcrosscauseway in March to improve the road surface and bin placements. Removal of the ‘phone box is under consideration.

JC requested confirmation of a start date for the Bernard Terrace zebra crossing. Public concern was voiced about lighting and pavement condition in Drummond Street - advised to contact Steven Blacklaw in this regard.

6. Reports. Chair TP: Anti-fracking letter sent. Objection to Chicken Club and Summerhall late licence applications made. Also, objection made to change to Summerhall amplified music policy.

Encouraging response to Minutes Secretary vacancy advertisement. Interviews to take place aiming to have post filled for February (JC and KH)

Odeon refurbishment: Further delay due to works management change

Communications Report, PM: Pop-up Bob has been placed in a variety of places in the Southside and remains intact.

7. Reports from committees and meetings: At the EACC AGM held on 22.11.19, a presentation of the planned tram extension to Leith raised concerns about the planned route. (RH)

Civic Forum. Discussions took place between the Planning Department, Community Councils and The Cockburn Association. A presentation about the Planning Department took place. The felling of the trees in Princes Street Gardens was raised. (TP)

Nicolson Square. Meeting was held on 06.12.18 to discuss transport safety in the square (LL, DW). A follow up meeting will be held in January.

8. Planning Applications: There is a committee to deal specifically with conservation areas. Perceived contraventions can be reported anonymously. (DW)

9. Consultation: Southside Conservation Area. There is an online consultation ongoing. There will be changes to the boundaries in the future. It was agreed that the proposed changes were good, and should be supported. (TP).

10. Review of Community Councils Scheme Questionnaire. CC had responded to pre-consultation. Will also respond to full consultation after discussion at future meeting. The lack of engagement with young people city wide was a matter of regret and a change of approach discussed. An increase in co-opted members too

A Code of Conduct would be contained in a national document.

11. Event Nicolson Square Gardens during the Festival. The Malaysian Tourist Board would like to use the gardens in August. While events to encourage public use of the gardens are welcome, concerns were raised about safety issues (LL, TP), the impact on the space and the time needed to install and dismantle the display (JC, KH).

12. Membership of the Cockburn Association. (PM). The director, Terry Leventhal to be invited to a future meeting.

13. 20 mph outcomes of monitoring: comments and observations. Carried forward to February meeting as was a discussion of planning democracy.

14. Any other business: Further concerns about Haddon’s Court to be discussed at a meeting on January 24th 2019.

Repair of road surface in the Eastcrosscauseway planned to commence in March. Removal of the ‘phone box and reconfiguration of the communal bin area proposed. (LL)

Summerhall: Is it rubbish or an art installation?

Re-routing of buses to use Melville Drive through the Meadows (KH), will be raised by Alison Dickie at the next appropriate meeting.

The development of the Astley Ainslie site for discussion at a meeting on 14th February (KH).

Campaign for equal rights of appeal - Amendments will be introduced in Stage 3 of Planning Bill.

Next meeting: February 11th 2019