Merchiston Community Council: Minutes of Public AGM and Business Meeting (Zoom meeting)

Date: 15th September 2020

Started: 19:00

Ended: 21:00



  • Ian Doig (MCC Chair)
  • Daniel C (MMC)
  • Vivien Kitteringham (MCC)
  • Joan Houston (MCC)
  • Bridget Stevens (MCC)
  • Frances Hawarden (MCC)
  • Peter Brett (MCC)
  • Mairianna Clyde (MCC – part of meeting)
  • Jacob Horsburgh (MCC)
  • Saul Sutcliffe (Steiner School rep)
  • Cllr Melanie Main (CEC)
  • Daniel Johnson MSP
  • Mike Talbot (resident)
  • Colin (resident)
  1. Welcome and Introduction by Chair
  • Apologies for Absence
    • Helen Zeally (MCC)
    • Cllr Neil Ross (CEC)
    • Cllr Mandy Watt (CEC)
    • Ian Murray MP (represented by an assistant)
    • Sarah Boyack MSP (represented by an assistant)
  • Declaration of Interests => None declared
  • Minutes of 2019 AGM => approved
  • Annual Accounts for financial year ended 31st March 2020
    They include the following points:
    • Main expenses: Room hire for meetings, computer expenses
    • Donation to Canal Festival
    • Balance in hand at end of financial year 2019-20 = £2,045
  • Annual Report by Chair

Written report circulated presented by Chair. Noted.

  • Office Bearers for 2020-21:
    • Chair: Ian Doig
    • Vice Chair and Engagement Officer: Vivien Kitteringham
    • Secretary: Daniel Cairns
    • Treasurer: Frances Hawarden
    • Communications and Media Coordinator: Jake Horsburgh.

Proposals accepted.

  • Associate Members from local educational establishments for 2020-21
    • Chair proposed the same format as worked well in 2019. He suggested he contacts local educational establishments to ask for representatives who will become Associate Members of MCC => agreed
  • Any Other Business
    • Daniel Johnson MSP said he is available to assist MCC and his offer to help remains
    • Flooding – Daniel Johnson MSP explained he raised the issue of flooding in Scottish Parliament. He explained sewers are responsibility of Scottish Water, which includes the upgrading of the sewers system. Other drainage issues, including street gulley maintenance, are the responsibility of Edinburgh City Council

Meeting between CEC Councillors and Daniel Johnson MSP to discuss flooding problems is imminent.

AGM finished at 19:30.


  1. Declarations of interest => None declared
  1. CEC Street Changes. It was proposed at next MCC meeting to ask CEC Councillors if the intended results are what they hoped for
    1. Colin, member of public, raised an issue that a bus drove past him and hit a cone which then almost hit Colin by a couple of feet!
    1. Jake suggested we have a meeting with traders to keep the discussion balanced, agreement from Saul Sutcliffe and Daniel Cairns
  • Licensing Report – Bridget Stevens
    • McLarens attempting to extend their late licensing hours
    • McLaren’s attempted to take CEC councillors to court as they attempted to action against the extended hours. This was dropped by mutual consent
    • McLaren’s blocking the public right of way; McLaren’s instructed by CEC to restore right of way, after much complaint and pressure from MCC and residents
    • Montpellier’s: Member of staff tested positive for Covid-19 and had to close, they assured us that deep cleaning was underway, and everything is back to normal again
    • Black Ivy at Bruntsfield Links: Jake Horsburgh explained crowds are gathering at the bar because it is not possible to order drinks at the table; physical distancing is therefore problematical
  • Communication and Engagement report
    • Website is more up to date recently
    • MCC information has been posted on notice boards in Merchiston
    • Jake Horsburgh: Twitter engagement has increased
    • Daniel Cairns: Facebook engagement has increased
  • CEC Councillor’s reports
    • Cllr Melanie Main: Spoke about local flooding work and how it has affected Merchiston. Report will be written by CEC on how local improvements can be made to minimise future flooding risks.
  • Quiet Neighbourhoods discussed
    Cllr Melanie Main suggests MCC find out more about Quiet Neighbourhoods proposals
  • Planning Report – Postponed to next meeting.
  • Issues raised from members of the public:
    • Joan Houston, on behalf of resident: Complained about potholes, weeds and disrepair of pavements. MCC supports the need to improve these on South Ettrick Road.
    • Joan Houston, on behalf of a resident: Removal of graffiti on O2 telephone boxes and mast in Colinton Road. Melanie Main mentioned graffiti removal kit is available
    • Marianna Clyde raised an issue on behalf of a member of the public: Issue is limited charging points available for electric cars; resident requests MCC to investigate possibilities to increase charging points. MCC supports proposal of using lamp posts to power increased charging points. MCC agreed to set up a project to assess feasibility of increasing number of car charging points available locally.
  • Other points raised
    • Concern about lack of Covid-19 social distancing in the Meadows
    • Ian Doig will contact Police to see if they can recommence reports to MCC meetings.
      Peter Brett suggests we might swap meeting format to accommodate Police, who will not use Zoom.
      Daniel Cairns suggests we ask Police to send written Police Reports. Bridget suggests MCC checks Police website to monitor crime trends.
  • CEC Council budget shortfall and its implications discussed
  • Peter Brett raised points:
    • Peter apologised that he did not manage to submit 20mph paper to CEC regarding Colinton Road 
    • City councillors are consulting on low traffic route from top of Braid Road to the Meadows. Peter to get views from public
    • Delivery vehicles and motorists are travelling too fast near Bruntsfield Primary School. Someone is removing cones. Peter encourages MCC to take a look at the issue.
      Cllr Melanie Main suggests Bruntsfield Primary School Parents Council to give a presentation to a future meeting of MCC
    • Joan and Bridget: Spoke about Watsons Community Liaison Forum.

Business Meeting finished at 21.00

Action Points:

  • Ian to get in touch with police to ask if they can attend alternatively to future meetings
  • Peter to write up piece on low traffic corridor – Daniel will post on social media
  • Daniel to invite Bruntsfield primary to give presentation about road safety issues, and invite Bruntsfield primary to be an associate member on the MCC
  • Jake: To ask the public on social media to raise flooding issues so it can be raised in the register for the report mentioned by Melanie Main
  • Peter to do research into Quiet Neighbourhoods, liaise with Michel and Melanie
  • Joan to seek out volunteer residents to form task force with residents to deal with weed issues raised by Joan on behalf of a resident in South Ettrick Road
  • Daniel to liaise with Mairianna so she can write an article for MCC website about investigating possibilities for increased charging points for electric vehicles
  • Peter to obtain graffiti removal kit from Ian Clement.
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