SCC CHAIR’S REPORT, for meeting of September 11, 2017

  1. South East Locality Improvement Plan - Along with a number of other councillors, I attended a drop-in consultation event on 29 June in relation to the South East Locality Improvement Plan which must be agreed and published by October 1. The proposals for Southside Corridor were broadly welcomed by most people I spoke to, but comments for further enhancement were made.

  2. South Central Neighbourhood Partnership– I attended a meeting of the SCNP on 28 August. A presentation was given of the progress that had been achieved against the Local Community Plan 2014-7. The main agenda item was further consultation on the SE Locality Improvement Plan. It was heartening to see that comments we made at the 29 June event had been incorporated. I made further comments along the lines that:
    • there was no reference to the overall standard of cleanliness of our streets;
    • there was no reference to air quality which seemed particularly remiss in a plan for the Southside Corridor, and
    • although community walkabouts are referenced, they are focussed on the identification of actions rather than the delivery of monitoring of actions.

  3. Objections to Chicken Club/Ephesus Extended Opening Hours Applications– I hand-delivered objections to both these applications. The Chicken Club application was granted in part. The Ephesus application was granted in full and I was informed that our objection to this application had been received late which is absolutely not the case, as I delivered the letter personally on the closing date for receipt of objections not after. I have expressed my displeasure at this situation to Cllr Cameron Rose who is looking into how this happened on my behalf. Be assured that whenever I deliver future objections I shall request a confirmation of receipt.

  4. Causey Development Trust – Following the June 1 event at which alternative proposals were put forward at a consultation event for a revised TRO in relation to the Causey development, members of the Causey Development Trust sought an informal meeting with some members of the Community Council to explore thoughts on future developments. This happened on 17 August. A revised TRO proposal will be consulted on widely over coming months.

  5. Nelson Hall – I attended a meeting of Nelson Hall stakeholders at which the future management of the Hall was discussed. I was volunteered to chair a meeting of users to facilitate the transition from Hall management by the Council to management by another body. However, subsequently I was advised that discussions relating to the transition were progressing effectively and our involvement may only complicate a relatively delicate situation. I did not therefore pursue this matter further.

  6. Student Association Communities Officer– Edinburgh University Students’ Association have this year for the first time appointed a Communities Officer as one of their regular sabbatical posts which I think is really positive news. I am meeting with the first postholder on 12 September.

  7. Freshers Fair– A Freshers Fair is being held on the Meadows for the new intake of students at Edinburgh University. We objected to this use of the Meadows and suggested that at the very least they should offer a free stall to community organisations. They took us at our word and Southside and Merchiston CC’s will be staffing a stall at the event on 13 September giving us a chance to raise our awareness amongst the student community as they arrive into the city. It will be interesting to see what kind of reactions we get.

  8. Edinburgh University Singapore Association– An application was submitted to hold a social event on the Meadows involving the release of paper lanterns. Along with other community organisations, we objected on the grounds of safety and the fact that the use of paper lanterns on Council-owned land is in fact banned. The application was withdrawn.

  9. Teviot Row Redevelopment– A number of councillors attended a drop-in consultation event relating to the proposed redevelopment of the Teviot Row Students union building and surrounding buildings. Subsequently the architects attended a specially organised meeting of the Community Council to consider the proposals at a preliminary stage. As ever, a range of views were expressed. Some horrified; some thinking the proposals could be bolder. Refined proposals will be brought forward for comment on the back of the consultation to date.

  10. Dermex Change of Use Application– The Community Council objected to a change of use application from the Dermex ‘beauty parlour’ for use as a restaurant. Our objection referred to the over-supply of such businesses in the area and also the problems that were being caused to drains in that tenement by the existing catering businesses on site. The application was refused.

31 August 2017