January 2017


MINUTES of public meeting on 17 January 2017 at Merchiston Tennis and Bowling Club

Merchiston Community Council – Minutes January 2017 (Word doc.)

  • 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


  • Robin Morris (Chairman)
  • Tom Graveson (Vice-chairman)
  • James Geekie (Secretary)
  • Ian Doig (Treasurer)
  • Frances Hawarden (Finance Officer)
  • Michael Billinghurst
  • Daniel Cairns
  • Ian Clement
  • Guillaume Evrard
  • Hugh Halcrow
  • Joan Houston
  • Vivien Kitteringham
  • Ewan Klein
  • Bridget Stevens
  • Ted Tate

Elected representatives

Andrew Burns, Cllr

Police officers

  • PC             (Oxgangs; South West)
  • PC Jennifer MacKenzie (St Leonards; South), community officer
  • PC Johnny Wong (St Leonards; South)


  • Simon Braunholtz
  • David Hunter
  • Anne Wimberley, CEC candidate


  • Gavin Corbett, Cllr
  • Ashley Graczyk
  • David Key, Cllr
  • Ian Murray MP

3. Police Reports

Merchiston area (Edinburgh South West)

Apologies for the rough report as normal officers not available, asked to report at short notice

Report from 19 December to today

159 calls, 36 recorded crime reports

5 house breaking (HB) (3 commercial, 2 domestic)

1 serious assault (domestic)

Common assaults x3; 1 theft of motorcycle

What about Fountainbridge drug operation? Wide police presence in the area; anti-social activity seems to have receded since.

What about the traffic and building work around the new Boroughmuir Secondary being built in Fountainbridge? Lots of concerns from residents. – Police heard nothing on the matter. Signage is tricky, as there is no room on the pavement nor on the road. It’s taken quite a lot of agitation for the developer to take action.

HB at Margiotta’s in Shandon in the past week in the small hours of the morning.

Large black bins on the road, related incidents

Merchiston area (Edinburgh South)

Apologies as reports and statistics have not been updated since before the festive break

7 driving offences

Issues with occasional festive drinkers

Antisocial behaviour around Bruntsfield schools and shops

Speed checks with speed gun

Controls around St Peter’s Primary and Sciennes to enforce the signs

– How about the 20mph limit? Yes, now tickets are issued to drivers.

– Community policing seems to be reinstated. Is the force to full capacity, able to operate appropriately? Yes, things are in place.

– There are Police Scotland community open surgeries at various locations around the MCC area.

4. CEC Your City, Your Say

EK: Seems rather meaningless to think about Edinburgh in 2050. It is a shame community councils are not more used to engage with members of the public in the area.

AB: the whole exercise carries on into July. It’s been very successful so far.

DC: It’s been good to have the presentation to raise awareness and publicize on social media.

IC: People are fed up with the political class, and we should listen.

AB: It is not a council document. Edinburgh 2050 is overseen by a management body that is not CEC, but Marketing Edinburgh with about 10 other organisations.

RM: When the CEC chief executive presented to the EACC meeting, people were rather stunned with figure projections for the city’s future.

5. Edinburgh Rugby trial matches at Myreside – update

There is a briefing on Wednesday 18 January, 18h by Mr Petrie, from Edinburgh Rugby.

The hotline has not been activated; the application mentioned a phone number where residents could report issues, and that’s not been publicized as available yet.

6. Minutes of the last meeting on 15 November 2016 and matters arising not on the agenda

What’s the latest about the Meadows’ Jawbones?

There was an update from the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust circulated in November.

Find out the latest about the Jawbones’ restoration project

7. Regular reports – Neighbourhood Partnerships

South West Neighbourhood Partnership (SWNP)

Daniel Cairns is the alternate on the SWNP for Tom Graveson.

Community planning; Environmental priorities 15 February at Wester Hailes Education Centre

Problems with traffic lights around the new Boroughmuir Primary

Community grants: £50,000 budget distributed up to £3,500 per organisation. £42,000 has been distributed up to Xmas 2016. £22,000 for participatory budget, matched by Scottish Government. There is money left, so encouraging organisations to apply for funding. Grant applications to be in by 22 February 2017.

The £50,000 budget has been constant for several years, and not reduced; waiting for confirmation of budget levels ahead.

GC has applied for notice boards in Shandon on behalf of MCC.

South Central Neighbourhood Partnership (SCNP)

BMS reminds members about the Roads Capital Fund to fix streets and pavements, information must be in by 18 January 2017.

JH: South Ettrick Road needs re-tarred.

South Central Decides! runs again focusing on intergenerational projects, for grants up to £2,500.

The next meeting will take place on Monday 13 March 2017 in the City Chambers, commencing 6.00 pm.

8. Regular reports – Planning

Planning application at 1 Newbattle Terrace, for new playgroup operating from 8h to 20h in a private house. Worries about various disruptions.

Craighouse development: rights of way have been closed off. That’s being followed up by CEC (Ward 9).

9. Regular reports – Licensing

Music is Audible!: the number of cases of venues interested in licenses is already in double figures.

HMOs: property operating without license; four months on, it’s not been solved yet, and the flat is still occupied. It takes a while for CEC administration to go through the legal process, as it is a criminal offense.

There recently was a consultation about HMOs. This is a shame that this was not made public more widely and clearly.

Find more about this consultation (external link)

10. Regular reports – Health

Integration of health and social care. Trying to make people aware, and what is involved in the process.

BMS points there was a paper and discussion on the matter at the December 2016 SCNP meeting.

11. Regular reports – Treasurer

FH, Finance Officer, for MCC, presented copies of the up-to-date accounts.

Everything is in order.

12. Councillors – in advance and/or present

Andrew Burns, Cllr; Ward 9: Police operation in Fountainbridge has been very successful, with a great reduction of calls as a results

RM points out that North Merchiston residents’ association are welcome to join MCC as an associate member.

Re new Boroughmuir Secondary, there is much delay, which is also highlighted by the fact that the school should have been open roughly at the same as Portobello.

Fountainbridge planning application has been granted for housing along Viewforth, so work will start after decontamination.

CEC is voting the budget on 9 February 2017. Neighbourhood Partnership grants are likely to be carried over.

Council tax is going up by 3% over all Council tax A to H bands. For the upper bands, there is an additional rebanding for E, F, G, H, so the rise is much more than 3%. That comes after 10 years of freeze.

  1. about tram impact on Lothian Buses, who is asked to contribute to the trams budget.
  • The £20 millions are over five years, and is a dividend drawdown from Lothian Buses, and an amount that the company can afford.
  1. about care tax (? from FH)
  • It is very much a question for the Scottish Parliament to legislate.
  1. about bus trackers
  • there is a rationale for their deployment; VK commented that they might be obsolete by now as most people can have the information via their smartphones

13. Points raised by residents and members of the public

David Hunter, local resident (active with Living Streets, but not representing Living Streets tonight); interest of pedestrians; narrow pavements are an issue in various places; or too narrow for the traffic; there is also a lot of clutter

Only 1% of roads inspection are carried out while the road works are actually taking place; and 99% happen after the fact to check for appropriate reinstatement. CEC has agreed to raise controls during works to 10%.


Simon Braunholtz, involved with FCI. Involved with Boroughmuir Parents’ Council from the decision was taken to relocate the old to the new down in Fountainbridge. The traffic and lights around the school have been neglected as the school project itself focused parents council’s attention.

Traffic on St Peter’s Place is very difficult, so Mr Braunholz suggested that the bridge may be closed altogether. There has been a petition circulated on the matter. Obviously, we keep in mind that it would have an impact on nearby streets like Gilmore Place and Yeaman Place. Road safety with the school is a real issue.

Vehicles park across the widened pavement on St Peter’s Place. Traffic backs up in both directions.

This would enhance the sense of community of the whole redeveloped Fountainbridge area.

Yeaman Place would be completely overcharged, in addition to the total lack of any pedestrian crossing from Dundee Street to Polwarth Gardens.

The traffic that does not go on St Peter’s Place goes past Craiglockhart Primary via Ashley Terrace, so preserved pupils on one side may have a detrimental impact on other pupils on the other side.

14. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 21 February 2017, 7pm

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