February 2017


MINUTES and PAPERS of public meeting on 21 February 2017 at Merchiston Tennis and Bowling Club

  • CC: Community Council
  • CEC: City of Edinburgh Council
  • EACC: Edinburgh Association of Community Councils
  • FOMBL: Friends of the Meadows & Bruntsfield Links
  • MABLAG: Meadows and Bruntsfield Links Advisory Group
  • MCC: Merchiston Community Council
  • SCNP: South Central Neighbourhood Partnership

1. Chairman’s welcome and report

2. Present


  • Bridget Stevens (acting chair)
  • James Geekie (Secretary)
  • Ian Doig (Treasurer)
  • Ashley Graczyk
  • Frances Hawarden (Finance Officer)
  • Ian Clement
  • Mairianna Clyde
  • Guillaume Evrard
  • Hugh Halcrow
  • Vivien Kitteringham
  • Ewan Klein
  • Ted Tate

Elected representatives

  • Andrew Burns, Cllr
  • Gavin Corbett, Cllr

Police officers

  • PC Gareth Doran (Oxgangs; South West)
  • PC Stuart Fraser (St Leonards; South)
  • PC Neil Mackay (St Leonards; South)


  • Anne Wimberley, CEC candidate
  • David Gust
  • Crichton Wood
  • Susan Booth


  • Robin Morris (Chairman)
  • Michael Billinghurst
  • Daniel Cairns
  • Daniel Johnston MSP
  • Tom Graveson (Vice-chairman)
  • Joan Houston
  • Ian Murray MP
  • Ted Tate

3. Police Reports

Merchiston area (Edinburgh South West)

SW Fountainbridge

anti-social behaviour, drug abuse action

couple of house breakings (HB) in the area

couple of assaults

traffic issues because of the works around Dundee Street

The traffic issue around the new Boroughmuir is down to traffic inspectors, not down to the Police.

A man has been charged with a HB in the Shandon area, with property that has been recovered from his flat (last HB report was on 23 January, in Shandon Crescent).

Community beat officer used to post notices on stairs doors; it still does happen, alongside using communication via social media. People should refrain from leaving valuables in full sight through a front window (cash, computer, vehicle keys).

Merchiston area (Edinburgh South)

1 pedal cycle theft solved

1 fire at a church

working with St Leonards, on vulnerable children and adults

tenancy eviction and gas checks with CEC

Safety talks in schools and nurseries

Road safety, speed ticket, MOT ticket

drop off points for schools; parents are often in breach of road regulations

1 arrest related to a fight

4. Minutes of the last meeting held on 17 January 2017 and matters arising not on the agenda

JH went to a meeting with Edinburgh Rugby, and the outcome echoed the overall impression of the experience so far.

5. Regular reports – Neighbourhood Partnerships

South West Neighbourhood Partnership (SWNP)

Nothing relevant to MCC

Next meeting is Wednesday 15 March, and is public, as always.

South Central Neighbourhood Partnership (SCNP)

No SCNP meeting since last MCC meeting.

6. Regular reports – Planning

Nothing relevant.

16 trees are being removed in Craighouse by the developers. Pathways in the area have been upset by developers, in disagreement with the planning application.

7. Regular reports – Licensing

Music is Audible!

Licensing Forum is having a meeting on Thursday 9 March on ‘Stand by Fireworks’

8. Regular reports – Health

Communication from Grange Association; AGM on Wednesday 1 March, Marchmont St Giles’ Church Centre, with discussion about Astley Ainslie plans

9. Regular reports – Treasurer

FH presented reports on MCC accounts. Everything is in order. One payment is still outstanding.

Sally Lloyd explained that Kin expanded, and are not keen on cheques. The plan is to set up a regular (monthly?) direct debit.

10. Councillors – in advance and/or present

Gavin Corbett, present

Application for a new sign outside Margiotta’s on Henderson Terrace

Boroughmuir High School, handover going to be June now; there has been some concern because of noise, because the work extends over long hours to complete the work asap

Edinburgh Rugby, as a resident, seems to have gone fairly well; seems to take a responsible approach

Clean up of Shandon railway path in January; people are encouraged to use it as much as possible so it becomes more valued and more secure; past anti-social problems like fly tipping seem to have stopped.

Problem of food waste on Harrison Road from a kebab van; if someone sees anything, please report the information.

Bin and waste: there is a campaign in the Fountainbridge area with signage about fly tipping, mattress dumping, etc., with high visibility.

Polwarth Crescent, constantly overflowing bins; CEC is on the case when they are being called; there is an identified issue with collective bin collection; does it take more capacity, or more frequent pick up, it’s not decided.

20mph is expanding in the area.

Bruntsfield Gardens/Avenue, there are two different regimes of collective collection, without recycling collection in the Gardens (South East locality).

CEC should encourage instant images being sent out as a report rather than a narrative reporting system; would be more powerful and reactive.

Andrew Burns, present

Boroughmuir are progressing and rushing to make sure that they don’t go beyond the middle of June, and pupils can come in in August.

Edinburgh Rugby, most feedback has been pleasant surprise; issue of toilets has been remedied between 1st and 2nd match. They have to maintain the level of resources.

Yeaman Place/Murdoch Terrace Police efforts seem to pay off with a level of calls going down overall.

CEC budget: council tax overall increase is 3%; level E, F, G, H go up from 10 to 25%; the extra money will be kept by the local council authority, which is positive as Edinburgh has a lot of higher band properties. There are relief schemes managed by CEC when people are unable to manage with the council tax burden. The water charges evolution is separate, around about 2-4%.

Is the council tax banding to be re-valued for top-floor flat expanding in the attic? The Lothian Joint Valuation Board will look into properties where the size increase significantly to re-value the council tax band.

Where is the added income going to go from the increased council tax, in terms of service? All this information is available on the CEC website, and in the webcasts of council meetings. The additional income is not going to education because that’s a separate Scottish Government protected funding pot. Besides, the additional income is not even covering the cut in central government funding.

What’s the situation with gulls denesting? The community can get organised to get on tenements’ roofs that are meant to be accessible, and nests can be removed very humanely without harming gulls.

Vote on CEC initiating a second pilot in the North Merchiston area; there is a majority in favour of the pilot in principle, as an idea, with a proviso that it is cost-neutral; to support the initiative.

BMS to ask Kay Smith for bullet points. AB points out that there is no CEC money.

VK: Transition Edinburgh; event (Wester Hailes Education Centre) about environmental priorities for 2017-2022 in the locality.

11. Points raised by residents and members of the public

Susan Booth and Crichton Wood give a presentation on the latest ideas and development for Nardini’s on Merchiston Place for a new place called ‘Honeycomb & Co’

The plan is to open in the middle of April.

Thanks and best wishes are extended to presenters.

12. AOCB

13. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 21 March 2017, 7pm

14. Papers

31 January 2017

South West Neighbourhood Partnership (SWNP) board meeting

Report by Tom Graveson

The Convenor opened the meeting by welcoming Andy Shanks, Health & Social Care

“Health Matters” initiative

Distributing £40k to health related projects, it was regarded as a success. There were 18 applications and, after scrutiny, all were accepted for inclusion in the voting process and of those, 10 were awarded funding (the benefits to the community of those chosen will be discussed at the June meeting).

15 facilities were used as polling stations (including libraries and schools). There were some problems, the main one being that on-line voting didn’t materialise. Whilst this was described as a technical fault, it was related to data security and possible problems with Data Protection. This has wider ramifications as other participatory budgeting schemes use/will use the same system. An extra polling station was added to compensate.

The level of participation was on a par with other such initiatives – 545 voters chose three projects each giving a higher total of votes. As part of the review process participation will be compared city-wide. The Scottish Government supports such participatory schemes – £20k was given in support of this scheme.

The Convenor stressed the need to engage with younger people; it was pointed out that the 11 – 17 age group was well represented in the voter mix.

Regeneration projects in the SWNP

In North Sighthill there will be a mix of flats and houses, initially 184 for affordable renting and 132 for sale, plus flexible retail space; all dwellings will be built in similar style. Construction is expected to start within two months with rental properties ready in two years and properties for sale in two to three years.

The homes in the three small sites programme in the SWNP will be for social and mid-priced rental:

  • Calder Gdns 26+11
  • Dumbryden (all flats) 30+19
  • Hailesland Place 21+11

The Calder Gardens site is almost at the point of starting and on the Dumbryden site provision has been made for the future building of a care home.

At St Stephens Court the internal fabric of the building will be altered to provide 29 one-bedroom flats for health and social care with a view to relieving bed-blocking. The design will allow for other uses should this need disappear. A spring 2017 start is anticipated.

Locality improvement plan

The top priorities in the five work streams will be targeted Locality-wide with phase 2 looking at engagement with small areas, including discussions with communities in those small areas. The priorities in other Localities are similar.

Police and Fire Service

Police and Fire Service reports were noted with no comment or discussion.


It was noted that the SW Community Grant Fund still had £12k to disburse. There was no doubt that this would be done with “time-bound” projects considered first, funding projects which support community targets.

The Convenor closed the meeting, pointing out that it was the last meeting before the elections.

All the papers relating to this meeting are available in the City of Edinburgh Council’s Committee Library.

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