Bob Hodgart (BH), Sakshika (minute), Philip McDowell, Cameron Rose (Councillor), Liz Logie, Joan Carter (Vice Chair), Stephen Rodger Benson, Ellie Roger (EU Communities Relations Manager), Beth Simpson (EUSA Vice President for Community)
Members of the Public:
Ruth & Paul George
|1. Welcome and apologies
Vice-Chair, Joan, welcomed all to the meeting of the Community Council.
Apologies from Tim Pogson (Chair) and Daniel Fisher
|2. Discussion on problem by Ruth George
|Ruth had written to Cllr Cameron Rose about issues at Nicolson Square Gardens but had not had a response. Issues were the familiar ones of drunken behaviour and mess. Cameron apologised and promised to respond to the email and be in touch with Ruth and the Friends of Nicolson Square.
|3. Previous Minutes
Adoption of the minutes of the meeting held on 8th June 2021
Bob pointed out that the four Climate Vulnerability Index Workshops he attended were in late May / early June.
|4. Matters Arising
4.1 Medical centre-no one had any new knowledge of progress.
4.2 Zebra crossing work will start on the 4th of October.
4.3 Permanent toilets at the Meadows are being seriously considered by the Council in conjunction with the refurbishment of the Pavilion
|5. Councillor's report (Cameron)
Consultation for Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for city centre closes on 20th September.
Consultation on Holyrood Park Road Network still happening but closes 30th September.
Consultation has happened on Cowan's Close cleansing depot site which is to be used for building Council housing suitable for wheelchair users.
Most of the Spaces for People adaptions remain but some have been taken away.
There were no issues reported for Meadows Fun Fair.
Short Term Lets: Scottish Gov legislation is in process; there will be further stages for our involvement. The whole of Edinburgh to be a controlled area.
Policing of Cop26 will take place in Glasgow but there may be some demonstrations in Edinburgh as well.
Liz mentioned about bright lights at the Cowan's Close being a problem. Cameron will look into it.
Philip raised issue about massive number of flyers and posters for Meadow's Fun Fair and suggested this needs to have implications for their permission for next year.
Bob asked Cameron if fewer traffic wardens have been employ since the pandemic started.
|6. Chair's report (Tim)
Tim has put Chair's report on the website.
Joan reviewed it as a way to cover some agenda items.
|7. Low Emission Zone Consultation
Discussion held to establish SCC's response to consultation. There were three topics covered in the consultation.
Agreed it should be bigger if possible; good if Edinburgh wide.
2. Two year grace period:
Agreed sooner better but thought it might be difficult for some people to prepare and adjust, especially if they feel they have a good, if old, car.
We accepted the logic.
Also discussed implications for global emissions - this LEZ is a very limited action. Scrapping old cars not considered in pollution and energy equation.
Nick suggested congestion charges better because large numbers of vehicles is a problem in the city centre (but we do not have that option just now).
-Discussed socio-political consequences- not entirely fair as favours well off.
-Concerns about future air quality monitoring expressed. Cameron said there had been an increased number of air quality monitors in the city.
Joan agreed to write a summary of our response and circulate, then submit when approved.
|8. Future of the Scottish Widows building
|It was agreed that we need more information about the ownership and status of the building and its grounds before we hold a public meeting for ideas on its future. Steve Burgess is investigating.
Bob is willing to facilitate such a meeting when we are ready.
Joan suggested we hold it online.
|Steve B/ all
|9. Innocent Railway Tunnel mural
Tim has been trying to find out how we progress the proposal. The main aim of it is to reduce vandalism.
Joan said it is a very long tunnel, so it would cost a lot in materials and, if an artist was employed, it would be very expensive indeed. Also, it is a listed structure so care would need to be taken not to damage or change it too much in the preparation for painting, which might be considerable as the walls are very wet. She also thinks most of the graffiti in the tunnel is okay as it is very colourful and some of it is artistic. However, if the work was done for free and someone (Joe Goldblatt?) had a way of raising the necessary funds, she would certainly not be against it!
Philip suggested putting more cctv rather than spending on the tunnel. Nick agreed with Philip & Joan.
Bob suggested using it as a public piece of artwork.
Paul suggested more police patrolling of that area.
|Tim is in talks with someone for this position.
|11. Reports from Committees and meetings attended
Joan talked about public spaces management- filming and events working group.
Bob attended on 22nd July a meeting of the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and Communities, which is establishing the Edinburgh PACT and is trying to improve community health with input from many groups in many communities.
Liz attended a webinar for the Cowan's Close proposal. She mentioned the proposal was about three-storey accommodation with lifts for disabled people.
|12. Holyrood Park Road Network Consultation
Joan mentioned that the deadline for this HES consultation is 30th September but the online consultation design is inappropriate for groups to respond to.
Beth agreed, so the student union responded by letter. She read this and agreed to forward it to the SCC to see and endorse.
Hilary, through Philip, suggested that the LEZ may divert more cars through the park unless there were restrictions. Philip made the point that HES closes the park form time to time so people do manage.
Bob mentioned the general problem of the traffic system is the limited number of main roads connecting south and north Edinburgh.
We agreed we favoured the road closures and discussed possible mitigations if compromises are needed. We agreed access for as many people as possible is important.
Joan to write a letter summary of our discussion for a response to the consultation.
|13. Planning and Licensing Applications
|Wetherspoons proposed bar/restaurant on Nicolson St: although they are planning to install large and powerful air filters to answer concerns raised about cooking odours, Philip was concerned that this filtering system is only good if it is cleaned frequently, and there is no requirement for that written in to the permission. He suggested there should be a method for residents to alert the Council if a problem arises.
Joan raised her concern, also expressed by a number of members of the public, about paths and roads in Holyrood Park being closed for a long time due to HES's fears about rock fall. She wrote to HES but has not heard back. She will pursue this issue. Ben Tindall and Julian Bukits have been very helpful.
Liz raised the question of in-person future SCC meetings, saying that she felt okay doing so if people attending are fully vaccinated if possible, and have a negative lateral flow test on the day.
We agreed that we will have to play it by ear as things keep changing. A hybrid meeting might be best. Somewhere other than the room we usually use at the Nelson Hall might be better for ventilation and Wifi.
|15. Date of Next Meeting
|Next Meeting on 12th October 2021