Minutes of the Meeting on Monday October 9th 2023, 7:00pm at Nelson Hall

Action Summary
3.1 Christmas tasks 3.7 Volunteer recruitment event 3.10 SCC notice board 4.5 New local area police commander 4.7 Connected community grants 8. Enforcement Actions 9. October stall event 13. Christmas lights event 16.1 Bin locations

1. Welcome and apologies for absence, declarations of interest

CC Members: Daniel Fisher (DF), Joan Carter (Vice Chair) (JC), Neil Golightly (Webmaster) (NG), Stephen Roger Benson (Secretary) (SRB).

Minutes: Zahra Massoud (ZM).

Councillor: Simita Kumar (SK).

Members of the Public: Megan Jones (MJ), Malcolm Montgomery (MM).

Apologies from Liz Logie (LL), Philip Pinsky (PP), Betty Offerman (BO), Will Tillotson (WT).

DF welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Ascertain issues brought by members of the public: determine when and how to deal with them

2.1 Traffic Enforcement

Member of public writes in complaining about inability to report traffic violations on SCC website. SK says have had many complaints, frequently reported. Council maintains that resource issues make it difficult to enforce across Edinburgh. DF has discussed with Head of Roads and Transport; police also saying no resources to enforce issue. JC raises issue is policing - need to enforce 20mph speed limit intensely for short period (6 weeks) to change culture. JC raises example of Paris, where intensive enforcement for few weeks led to behaviour change of drivers.

3. Minutes of the meeting held on September 11th 2023 and matters arising

DF emailed minutes to those attending previous meeting. Actions arising:

3.1 Trade waste from café on Hope Park Crescent/discussion with Jim Clark (member of public) - no update from Tim on this

3.2 Hostel application Hardwell Close - Tim has forwarded information to SCC, and has looked into further. Sent letter to company who put in application. LL has expressed continued concerns based on this information. JC doesn't have concerns based on new information, although finds there is still not a lot of information available even with updates. No communal area internally on building plans. DF says window for objecting likely closed.

3.3 Previous minutes for June and AGM - Not yet been edited by DF. Megan has not made any further changes. SCC will have to amend own document. DF will try and put together before next meeting and send around for members to add to as needed.

3.4 Running red lights - discussed at 2.1

3.5 Christmas tasks from JC - Nila has agreed to do pakoras again this year. Venue has been booked. Pizza has been requested; Papa John's boss is interested but hasn't responded; Dominos unlikely to respond. NG suggests Surgeons Hall could provide sandwiches or similar.

Action - NG to enquire at workplace about providing food

Barbara (GCC funding assistant) drafted funding application for grant money; PP hasn't responded about being a contact person, so SRB has volunteered to be a contact person on application. University of Edinburgh are keen to provide volunteering staff to help on the day. SRB volunteered to be responsible for them.

Action - DF to forward University volunteers information to SRB

3.6 October event - To be discussed, agenda point 10

3.7 Volunteer Recruitment event - DF attended on 14.9.23 and found lots of people keen to do admin work.

Action - DF to look into further With Volunteer Edinburgh

3.8 Application for GCC position for Community Admin Support is now live

3.9 PP contacting Out Of Hand about Fringe advertising posters and cycling safety - unknown if progress made as PP away

3.8 DF talking to Fringe organisers about Festival issues in Southside - unfortunately the relevant people didn't attend the event as expected, so this wasn't done

3.9 Desk name plate for use during meetings - done

3.10 Key for SCC notice board - DF spoken to David Kyles, he's currently away from work so no response yet. Tim to email him, he will respond when back at work Action - Tim to send follow up email

3.11 Friends of Nicholson Square - Tim meant to contact, unsure whether done. LL intended to contact FONS, unknown if done.

4. Councillor's Report

4.1 Community council scheme and boundary review - SK to forward information to SCC. Plan and timeline have now been prepared. Next step is a consultation, followed by council approval of scheme to review boundaries. Report will come to council in April 2024. Subject to council approval, final scheme will be available for community council elections in May-June 2024. JC asks whether this will be subject to wider political events such as a General Election. SK says it may depend on GE, but will likely go ahead if GE not called. JC asks whether the Southside boundary is expected to change. SK says this is currently unknown, but will know more in next phase.

4.2 City plan 2040 - SK suggests the SCC look into these plans. Consultations have already opened.

4.3 Housing grants consultation - this underpins housing service. SK suggests SCC look into this

4.4 Short Term Lets - Short term lets application deadline now passed. Council received many applications very close to the deadline, so these are still being processed. More council resources have been allocated to deal with those.

4.5 A new local area commander for policing has been appointed - Mark Hamilton, new Chief Inspector.

Action - SK to forward details to SCC

4.6 Preston St Primary School - Parent council in discussion about air pollution with counsellors. Big issue is that the new LEZ boundary runs directly in front of the school. Modelling doesn't support idea that pollution will go up as a result of cars re-routing to avoid the LEZ; SK doesn't necessarily agree. Discussion ongoing.

4.7 3rd party grants have been repurposed into new "connected community grants". Fund within Council for children, young people and families programs. Funding pot of £3.5mn, mostly from council but also NHS Lothian, Police Scotland. 5 strands has been changed to 3. Criteria have been updated: 1) have to be Edinburgh based. 2) Applicants have to be a charity, if not can only apply for 25k over 3 years. If not a charity but will be getting charitable status, can apply contingent on status. 3) Annual turnover should be less than £2mn PA. Council says great for small charities, but many bigger charities are just on fringes of these criteria. These often provide specialist services which smaller charities can't provide. After discussion, Council decided to stick to limits. SK will forward details to SCC. Previous iterations of the scheme had received lots of criticism in previous years due to limited spread of funding, so redesign aims to improve process. DF received list of all consultations.

Action - DF to forward list of all consultations to SCC

5. Reports from office bearers

5.1 Secretary - Objected to STL applications seen. List has been forwarded to SCC, but nothing major in last few weeks. For every planning application, there should be a list of people notified. SRB has received several. JC wants to confirm that information about new applications is still being posted outside buildings; SRB and SK confirm that these are still done, although unsure about the consistency due to backlog in processing. JC suggests getting photo of this to emphasise the high number of applications.

5.2 Chair - Little to report. Actions and communications have been done by email

5.3 Treasurer - Not present

5.4 Webmaster - Nothing to report

6. Reports from Committees and meetings attended

6.1 DF attended University's conference on social and economic impact. Less useful for SCC, but good for GCC. JC aimed to attend but couldn't. Meeting focused more on economic contributions than social.

6.2 JC attended online EACC meeting on Licensing but nothing important for us to report. JC also attended online meeting about LEZ with PSPS reps, Councillors and Council officials. (SK gave relevant report.)

7. Planning and Licensing applications

Last document SRB received was last Tuesday, more due tomorrow. Mostly STLs and one in Teviot Place. University put in applications for minor work to their buildings.

Planning document came out today at 5pm - nothing major to report - trees, window replacements, etc.

Nothing notable to report.

8. Enforcement Actions

Planning enforcement - Salisbury Hotel have been told to take down their decking, DF has heard no follow up since. JC raises issue of Los Argentinos restaurant front cladding, SRB and DF confirm has been given retrospective permission. Black Rooster - no follow up, although DF thinks they have also been given retrospective permission.

Action - SK to follow up Salisbury Hotel decking planning permission

9. Cowan's Close update

LL via JC says that work has started, concerns that works affect children in nearby nursery due to particulates etc.

10. Stall

No date confirmed for October SCC recruitment/advertising stall since last meeting. JC and SRB no longer available on the 14th. DF not available on the 21st. DF has flip chart, old banner, map to contribute to stall. DF also has folding tables, although these might be easier to borrow from Southside Community Centre

LL's availability unknown.

Goal of event - for public to engage with council, meet councillors, encourage people to join SCC.

MM proposes two boards for people to add comments to - what you want to see in Southside, and what you don't want to see.

Useful for councillor to be there - SK says can attend for some of the day. Tim has also expressed interest

Action - event to be held on 21st, provisionally 11am-1pm

Action - DF to provide supplies from GCC

Action - LL has pens, post it notes, clipboards, stickers to be provided

Issue raised of GDPR for email collection to add to mailing list. DF suggests individual sign up slips, to put in an opaque box so that people can't see others' info. Using Google Forms also prevents this.

Action - DF will make google form with QR code for sign ups, SK can also help with QR code generation

Action - SRB to make physical sign up slips

Action - DF to lend mailbox for sign up slips, otherwise JC to DIY a cardboard mailbox

Attendance: SRB, JC, LL, WT; SK can do 11am-12pm if meeting is movable

Action - JC to email SCC with updated info about event

Action - SK will bring sweets or other things to give out

11. HES Holyrood Park Consultation

SCC can't answer this as an organisation.

JC wants to encourage everyone to answer individually. Aim to re-open radical road, and closure of lower road. Some other sites similarly affected have been re-opened.

Public consultation event to be held 10-5pm on Saturday 14th October.

12. LEZ and Preston Street

LEZ has been drawn to end right in front of the school playground. Concern that this will increase traffic in front of the school from drivers avoiding the LEZ, therefore increasing air pollution and affecting the school children.

DF has seen many emails about the issue.

Officers modelling suggests there won't be an impact on air pollution. SK has questions about traffic - what routes will people be taking to avoid LEZ? Holyrood park likely to be affected, as well as just outside the school. Office say they'll be monitoring this. Worry that increased pollution will impact young kids.

JC raises additional issue of thousands of students also using that road, SK raises innocent railway footpath nearby. Very high foot traffic in the area.

Traffic modelling could show that people will use cars less frequently due to LEZ. Office has been measuring traffic, air quality since 2016, say that levels of NO2 are very low there anyway, although haven't measured levels of particulates.

Council trying to have ongoing dialogue, aiming to keep asking questions. Looking to see how issue changes once enforcement date goes live.

JC raises issue of piecemeal approach, limited discussions about the "bigger picture". E.g. they promised to move the railings back and widen pavement. Also proposal to move bins off pavement, but these are only present in small area of Dalkeith Road - most communal bins are already on street, so isn't a big change.

Parent Council have been active, produced a YouTube video on the issue.

MJ proposes increasing community awareness of air pollution levels, as many community members are unaware of the issue/changes. E.g. posters/placards to visualise the issue to people, digital display of air pollution that day, similar to other cities. SK suggests trialling with LEZ and schools.

13. Christmas Lighting event

Already discussed in section 3.5.

Action - JC to disseminate grant application

Booking form - Done by SRB

Compère - Nick Wills, Minister of St Peters, suggested by PP.

Action - JC to ask Nick Wills

First aiders - Dr Jen Brogan [sic] has asked to volunteer, SRB has been forwarded email. No one yet contacted further.

Action - JC to email and ask first aiders

Application for public space event - SRB sent, no response. Lighting people have said they can do 6pm. Application has been acknowledged but not yet authorised.

Action - SRB to chase up

Public Entertainment Licence - Do we need one? DF thinks unlikely since event not ticketed and not over 250 person capacity. SK thinks changes have happened/are coming to this process

Action - SK to check whether licence is needed

Poster - last time was done by Preston Street School. DF head heard from Simon there asking whether they can participate this year. SCC keen to have them involved again.

Action - JC to respond to Simon from Preston St, ask

Carol sheet - JC to talk to Simon, decide on carols, running order, people to thank. DF to print

Action - JC to prepare carol sheet

Action - DF to print carol sheets

Singers - Preston St Primary School choir, EUMS. Tim in contact with Nancy from EUMS to arrange. Concern that EUMS may be difficult to arrange due to lack of chorus manager.

Action - DF to contact EUMS and let JC know arrangements

Light switch on - Philip McDowell to be asked (previous webmaster)

Food - pakoras have been arranged. Pizza TBD. NG to ask at Surgeons Hall for food options, and also wine. To buy: mince pies, Christmas biscuits, juice/soft drinks. Wine already bought and available from Philip McDowell - last year we had 6 bottles of each red and white, although ran out. Suggested 10 of red and 6 of white, although unknown how much wine has already been bought. Tesco to be asked for Krispy Kreme donuts.

Action - DF to ask Tesco about donuts

Last year had £200 for food. DF has asked for £500 on funding application. BO to ask about hot drinks, but SCC unsure if this is necessary.

DF suggests that if funding isn't approved, can apply to the University's small community grants fund for up to £500.

Stewards and helpers - SRB and DF to ask university volunteering staff, they have said they'd provide 6 or 7 people. High vis vests for stewards - JC thinks these might be in box with decorations.

Action - SRB/DF to ask University about volunteering staff

Insurance - DF says they have public liability insurance. Southside Community Centre also has public liability insurance. No more needed.

Informing community police - they attended last year, would be nice to invite them.

Action - SK to invite community police to event

Thanks and gifts - TBD

Distributing poster - TBD

Plates, napkins - TBD

Decorations - lots in box. Greenery from Philip's garden used last year

Action - JC to ask if greenery available again

Decorations take lots of time to put up/take down. University volunteers can do this, if they can come day before? MJ has volunteered her and friends to help with decorations

14. Festival "sandwich boards"

Email from Nicholas about lamp post festival adverts - do we think they restrict pavement too much?

DF, SRB and JC feel this is unlikely to be an issue

Festival were slow to take these down, but this year there were emergency repairs for Council which prevented them from taking down posters ASAP

General consensus that these are beneficial - visible from busses, prevent people chaining bikes to lamp posts, etc.

15. Public Question time

Already addressed, section 2

16. Any other business

16.1 Bin locations - DF received email from Erica [sic] about Phase 4 review of bin locations. Locations now decided, have been sent map. 2 zones have been selected.

Action - DF to forward information to SCC

16.2 New website - Philip McDowell has sent domain over to DF. NG proposes agenda item for next meeting to discuss website. DF aims to put up meeting minutes for previous meetings, and agenda for next ones. DF now has domain registered in his name.

Next meeting November 13th 2023. DF away, so JC to chair.