Minutes of meeting on Tuesday 12th November 2019, 6:45pm

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

Present: Joan Carter (JC), Liz Logie (LL), Tim Pogson (TP, Chair), Philip McDowell (PM), Bob Hodgart (BH), Stuart Tooley, Svetlana Repanova, Caroline Barr, Kaaren Haughton, Rosheen Wallace, Johnny Wong (police constable), Nick Oddy, Renu Yadav, Cllr Alison Dickie
Also Present: 4 members of the public

  1. Welcome:
    A warm welcome note by TP

  2. Introduction:
    All community council members introduced themselves.

  3. Police report:

    • Reports of misbehaviour on Nicolson street but reductions in youth disorder
    • Very busy period around Halloween and bonfire night. A lot of crime reported last year but not much this year
    • Police resources are going to be switched to Princes Street during Dec - Jan due to busy Xmas/Hogmanay period
    • Last Friday incident reported - At Nicolson street, a man punched woman in burkha
    • Middle Meadow Walk- abandoned tents, needles etc issue was discussed
    Queries raised
    • Joan- About the tents---- parks people cannot do much about it; what more can be done? Response: Police cannot ask them to leave in terms of enforcement
    • Lynn - 3 break-ins in West Preston Street, any update? Response: No update yet, however, one person was caught last night
    • Caroline- Drug abuse issue in the tenements was raised
    • Alison- Massive anti-social behaviour in tenements, lack of multi-agency working. Are police finding any solutions? Response: There are successes. Police do find drugs but cannot evict.
    • Cameron- Issue of beggars on street (some possibly Romanians).Response: Police routine patrols conducting a questionnaire and enquiring whether they are involved with human trafficking etc.
    • Liz- Raised a concern on beggars potentially getting hurt by passing road traffic

  4. Action points from the Last Meeting

    • Since last minutes weren’t yet available, it was decided to discuss two sets of minutes at next meeting.

  5. Councillor's Report

    • Drug related anti-social behaviour very bad
    • Break-ins in tenements
    • Nicolson Square- transport proposal outcomes still awaited
    • Issue of racism regarding the attack was alarming
    • Implications of Council budget cuts for anti-poverty work, education was discussed. Inequality issues need to be considered.
    Queries raised
    • Liz- Cowans Close depot- Can it can be confirmed if it is getting closed? Response: Moving by January
    • East Crosscauseway- Area near nursery school has been repainted for parking and it shouldn’t be the case as rest of the country avoids parking around schools. Alison will raise.
    • Bob- Drug abuse issue- Media talks about safe drug consumption rooms. Can we do the same in these areas?

  6. Reports from Chair, Secretary

    • None

  7. Report from Treasurer

    • Annual funding of £778 received.

  8. Reports from Committees and Meetings

    Environment Group meeting:
    • Waste management issue- Discussion about trying to work with council regarding bins, cleaning of food bins, encouraging people about cleaning etc.
    • Proposal for change in ratio of landfill bins: recycle bins; no update received yet.
    • Request for information leaflets at the back of the door, not only on the bins but alongside bins, more information about recycling
    Action: To organise a regular clean- up day

    Also raised:
    • Creating the zebra crossing for Bernard Terrace.
    • Legality of council tax i.e. students don’t pay but owners do. Joan requested clarification
    • Raised awareness of @edinhelp, can tweet, post photos, etc
    • Philip- Showed a notice format to be put regarding meeting time and place information; Svetlana volunteered to make it a more visual poster. Rosheen suggested to start it with a question instead of plain text.
    • Tim suggested to invite Mike Shields to discuss management of the Meadows - agreed

    Edinburgh Assoc of Community Councils meeting, 19th September
    • Attended by Bob and main agenda included
      • City plan 2030
      • Discussion of Future of Edinburgh Association- How can it be more proactive rather than responsive

  9. Planning and Licensing Applications

    • New Wings Café- Application for permission to serve hot food
    • Newington Pharmacy (23rd Oct)- Put up a new door on Clerk Street and that application has no drawings and document
    • Benedict’s Café, South Clerk Street- Applied for restaurant.
    • All three applications would be considered and responded to if felt necessary

  10. Draft -Edinburgh Tourism strategy 2030

    • Management of tourism and places- Suggestions in the draft of Edinburgh tourism strategy document were welcomed. Discussion covered:
    • Short-term lets - Community is feeling hollowed out with Airbnb tourism.
    • Joan suggested assessment of tourist numbers i.e. what kind of tourism and how would we want it managed
    • Idea of tourist tax was raised
    • Bob- Strategy document is uncritical. A more balanced document would be welcome
    • Impact assessment- document should talk about the consequences of further tourism expansion
    • Kaaren- Police are relocated to Princes Street during busy periods and this represents unseen consequences
    • Bob- supported Tourist tax
    • Nick- Additional waste from Airbnb properties

  11. Bus lane operational hours

    • Proposal: 7am-7pm- 7 days week
    • Nick suggested why not 24 hours instead of 7am-7pm? Need to allow for un/loading was recognised
    • Joan suggested a free bus day one day a week to encourage people to take bus.
    • Pauline – impact of reasonable un/loading on hours of working needed to be recognised
    • Bob- in favour of 7am-7pm and see how it works. Public support is necessary.
    • Bob- Parking for disabled drivers was brought into discussion.
    • Deadline for response is 22nd November.

  12. NHS letters

    • NHS Lothian should be pressurised to increase the way of more GP practices
    • Joan asked How many people are affected due to change in boundaries?
    • Philip- Will put forward the comments to NHS Lothian.
    • Alison- Shortage of GP practices, please also refer matter to ward councillors.
    • Stuart- was asked about access to University Health Centre. Stuart will come back with an update.

  13. Other business

    • Old Town and Newtown and Broughton Community Councils approached Tim to know if we wish to be part of a network of city centre community councils
    • Invite representatives from the other councils to the next meeting.
    • Discussion of changes to parking regulation – if community councillors wish to raise, please email
    • SSA- Christmas event, 3rd of December, St. Patrick Square, last year donation of £100 was agreed. Agreed to make same donation this year as well.
    • Community Council to contact planning enforcement regarding IMMS poster at Parkside Bowling Club.

  14. Public Queries: None

Date of next meeting: 10th December, 6.45 PM