Minutes of meeting on Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 7:00pm
(by Zoom)

Tim Pogson (TP, Chair), Bob Hodgart (BH), Sakshika Raghav (minute), Daniel Fisher, David Wood, Philip McDowell, Steve Burgess (Councillor), Stephen Benson, Liz Logie, Pauline Flannery (member of the public), Nicholas Oddy, Joan Carter

Agenda item Discussion Action
1. Welcome Chair welcomed all to the meeting of the Community Council.  
2. Apologies Caroline Barr, Kaaren Haughton  
3. Previous Minutes Adoption of the minutes of the meetings held on 10th March, 14th April and 19th May, 2020 with amendments noted. BH to forward amendments to PM
4. Matters Arising Tim raised the issue about the communal space in Salisbury Court student housing. This project was currently dropped.  
5. Councillor's report (SB) 5.1 Council operational staff are working on site but non-operational staff are working from home. There has been no Council recess this year due to pandemic. All councillors are meeting monthly online. Three committees of the Council have been running that are Policy and Sustainability, Finance and Resources, & Governance. Other committees of the Council are ready to start also. The focus of the Council has been maintaining essential Council services like social care, waste collection and schools getting back running.

5.2 In term of more strategic direction, in response to the pandemic challenge, the Council faces significant financial challenges. The Council has lost substantial income over the lockdown period.

5.3 Steve mentioned about sustainable recovery Green Party approaches working on this.

5.4 Joan raised issues regarding the conversions for walking and cycling in the city. Steve mentioned about work going on at Causewayside and at Buccleuch Street which have been approved.

5.5 Joan raised the issue about regulation schemes for short term lets. Steve responded that it is up to Scottish Parliament to pass enabling legislation which is expected next spring. He also mentioned that main door flats may be granted planning permission for short term let but not flats entered off stairs.
6. City Centre Community Councils Network 6.1 Tim mentioned about City Centre Community Councillor Network meeting on Thursday to discuss a paper by Cllr Joanna Mowat. It is related to the balance of tourism within the capacity of the city, regulation of tourism, establishment of the principles by which to manage the city festivals and better engage with various communities around. Tim, Joan and Bob volunteered to attend the meeting.

6.2 Philip raised the issue that enforcement has always been lacking, for example, environmental warden services.

6.3 Bob mentioned about the importance of preserving heritage property. Joan and David supported preserving and maintaining heritage property.

6.4 Steve talked about supporting tourism in a sustainable way in the city.

6.5 Liz raised the concerned about security and the early removal of the city Christmas tree last year which made locals upset.
BH and JC to feedback to October meeting
7. Innocent Tunnel 7.1 James Gilmour, chair of East Parkside Proprietors' Association, sent an email to Tim raising concerns with a Colinton Tunnel type murals project being adopted at the Innocent Tunnel. Tim was interested to know community councillors' views.

7.2 Daniel mentioned about Melbourne city having a street for graffiti. He suggested to have one in Edinburgh.

7.3 Joan agreed with Daniel to have a proper way for artist to display the art.

7.4 Bob noted that there had been a spate of late-night smashing of rear windows of cars parked in East Parkside near the tunnel entrance and that residents view it as an easy escape route for the perpetrators. This is probably one of the reasons some residents are likely to have concerns about potential improvements leading to greater awareness and use and more vandalism. He suggested closed circuit cameras at the tunnel entrance, if possible.

7.5 It was agreed that Tim would continue to explore options with Council officer, Andres Lices, for improving the tunnel and consulting with stakeholders on any proposals.
Tim to communicate with Andres Lices and keep Community Council informed
8. Office building rationalising (Lloyds Bank) 8.1 Tim raised the office building rationalisation which had been announced during lockdown by the occupants of the 'Scottish Widows' building. He mentioned that the owners of the building are looking to vacate this building. He asked for views regarding the change community would like to see in that site.

8.2 Joan suggested to use some part of that site for the Preston Street Primary School, just across the street, as a playground. Daniel suggested to make it an art library. Nick does not agree with conversion into student accommodation and could see the site being converted for hotel.

8.3 Tim suggested starting a consultation regarding this issue. For now, a watching brief would be maintained and markers of concern placed with authorities at an appropriate time.
9. Salisbury Hotel Philip raised issue regarding illegal construction at the Salisbury Hotel. The Council has relaxed the planning rules for outdoors use due to lockdown. Philip mentioned about the noise from the hotel and the fire risk, but it seems little will change while the pandemic persists.  
10. Holyrood Park Road Philip raised the issue of traffic at the Holyrood Park Road because of no sign indicating weekend road closures at the entrance to Holyrood Park Road from Dalkeith Road Philip will write to authorities
11. Chair's report (Tim) Please support FoMBL organised event to clean up Meadows on 13th Sept, 2020.

Representative of the Council has approached the Community Council to discuss talking with local business to encourage them in operating the business within social distances rules. The meeting is going to be held on 15th Sept, 2020 at 11 am. Joan and Daniel have volunteered to attend the meeting.
Joan and Daniel to feedback to October meeting
12. Meetings attended Bob attended Edinburgh Association of Community Council meetings on 8th June and 27th July. Minutes are available at

Daniel had attended Dumbiedykes working group meeting.
13. Date of next meeting (AGM) Tuesday 13th October 2020, at 7:00pm (By Zoom)