January 2019

Merchiston Community Council Public Business Meeting Minutes

Tuesday 15 January 2019 (19h00 – 21h00)

Merchiston Tennis & Bowling Club, Polwarth Terrace, Edinburgh

  • AACT: Astley Ainslie Community Trust
  • AAH: Astley Ainslie Hospital
  • BHS: Boroughmuir High School
  • CEC: City of Edinburgh Council
  • CC: Community Council
  • MCC: Merchiston Community Council
  • SELC: City of Edinburgh South East Locality Committee

1 Chairman’s welcome and introductions

1.1 MCC Members

Tom Graveson (chair), Mairianna Clyde (vice-chairman), Guillaume Evrard (secretary), Frances Hawarden (treasurer), Ian Clement, Ian Doig, Jim Geekie, Joan Houston, Vivien Kitteringham, Bridget Stevens, Ted Tate, Helen Zealley

1.2 Police and Councillors

PC Euan Chancellor (South West)

Cllr Nick Cook, Cllr Gavin Corbett, Cllr Melanie Main, Cllr Neil Ross

1.3 Residents

Omar Elmi, Michele Holubek, Morag Jones, Susan Logie, Michael Lugton

1.4 Traders representatives

Caroline Loudon, TLT LLP

Mhari Minto, Signature Pubs Ltd

2 Apologies for absence

Hugh Halcrow, Ian Murray MP

3 Police reports

3.1 Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart

Several operations and initiatives underway related to house breaking, patrolling the canal towpath, and preventing youth antisocial behaviour.

A case of minor assault; a few theft cases, including theft of pedal cycles

Cases of breach of the peace

3.2 Meadows / Morningside

Nobody to report

4 Signature Pubs – Mhari Minto

To keep people ‘in the loop with the purchase of the unit at Holy Corner’ – work has started with clearing the site; there were homeless people on site. Unit due to open at the end of 2019

Walk through along the road is currently closed off because of the building works, from June 2018; will reopen eventually

Will work with local producers and providers like butchers, and fishmongers. Off license application, in case a client wants to take the bottle they bought but have not completely drunk on the premises

Plans have been redrawn to accommodate the conflicting demands between the right of way, and deliveries/collections with large trucks. The manoeuvring of large delivery trucks could prove difficult, and disturbing, physically and because of the induced sound. Expecting someone having a Bloody Mary with their breakfast, as a justification for morning licence

There will be no student discounts on these premises, will be extremely family-orientated

The Licensing Board can modulate the licensing permissions from what’s applied for, to have a restricted licence until a later date. It is unlikely the venue will open beyond midnight, because the city centre venues are not open that late, so even less so in the Merchiston area.

Private kitchen in the basement and event space on the top floor, for 20-25 people max, for hire

The co-location of the premises with operating churches, with the end of a morning religious service taking place when the license has already been running for several hours is an issue for some members of the community.

5 Minutes of the last meeting on 20th November 2018 and matters arising

IC: Why are community councils not included in the membership of the current CC scheme?

Why did the Council go for white-blue LED lights rather than yellow lights?

6 Chair’s report.

The chair delivered a very brief report.

7 BHS, Viewforth Bridge etc.

Cllr Main: SELC was expecting a report; there is instead a holding report coming back; discussion with officers about traffic modelling; traffic modelling is about different options, and then roads are focused on depending on the different model options; closed/closed one way/closed at school times

Cllr Cook: a small presentation with the live modelling would be interesting. We shouldn’t assume that Viewforth bridge is going to be closed.

The scope of the modelling would be interesting for MCC/members of the community to be involved in, to know how far away it starts looking at the traffic flows.

We should be careful that the solution is not too wide a brush, because schools only operates 190 days a year, so a solution suiting with school times would be appropriate to take into account the broader context of the bridge.

Improving public transports; having a more holistic view; improving the synchronisation of traffic lights, would be possible contributing solutions.

8 Points raised by residents and public.

See papers below.

9 Planning (inc. AACT, AAH and Fracking)

MCC requested to contribute £40 for the organisation of a public meeting by the Astley Ainslie Community Engagement Group on the sale of the Astley Ainslie site. Agreed £25.00.

Fracking licences have been granted with the British government, while the Scottish government have placed a ban on fracking via the planning system.

10 Licensing

MCC objected to the licensing application for the new Holy Corner venue in the former Bank of Scotland premises.

11 Communication Group report

Nothing to report.

12 Councillors – in advance and/or present

Cllr Cook: there is progress on the tram network extension; the decision will be taken soon.

There is an ongoing review of the rubbish collection routes by CEC officers.

Cllr Corbett: the Leamington bridge is going to be upgraded. The boatel planning application has attracted 100s of comments. The silo bins in Harrison Park are going to be removed, because they have given lots of troubles.

Cllr Cook: Cala for the old BHS should be in touch soon as part of their community engagement.

13 Community Councillors (inc. F’bridge Green)

Nothing to report.

14 Treasurer’s report

Nothing to report, as there has been no activity.

The bank account signatories are not sorted yet, with the bank asking for more information. 4 meetings are owed to the Tennis and Bowling Club (£120) and an amount for a memorial tree for Robin and hosting cash is due to EK

15 Health

Community councils are left out of the Integrated Joint Board. There is a lack of community engagement across the board. EVOC do not consider community councils as third-sector organisations.

16 Citywide 20mph Programme

Monitoring and Evaluation (comments by 01/03/19)

17 Locality / NP reports

18 AOCB

Motion to remove MCC bank account signatory.

The removal of all previous signatories was proposed by Bridget Stevens and seconded by Thomas Graveson.

The motion was carried without comment or discussion

19 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 19 February 2019

20 Papers

20.1 Helen Zealley’s update on the Astley Ainslie

Community Engagement Group, 12 January 2019

There is no news to report from the NHS in relation to the AAH except to say that everything keeps being deferred.

However, the Community Engagement Group are organising a meeting in the Eric Liddell Centre on 14 February 2019 at 7.00pm.

The main purpose of the meeting is to ensure, as far as possible, clear understanding of the respective roles of the NHS, the City of Edinburgh Planning Department, the AAH Community Engagement Group (i.e. the Group on which I represent MCC) and the Astley Ainslie Community Trust (i.e. the Group with which Mairianna is involved that is exploring a Community Buy Out or Assett Transfer).

The AACT has received funding to develop their bid and they will be explaining the process involved in Assett Transfer.

They will also be providing information about their arrangements for a Community Consultation.

20.2 Bridget Stevens’s update

Since our November 2018 meeting, I attended:

26 Nov 2018 – (as an observer, from the public gallery) the South East Locality Committee Meeting. It lasted for around three hours and there was, as expected, no reference to the Viewforth Bridge closure. SELC’s area is large and most of the issues raised do not relate directly to MCC. Meadows Management Plan agenda item deferred because relevant community councils had not been notified.

27 Nov – committee meeting of Friends of the Meadows & Bruntsfield Links, on which I represent MCC. Mostly issues relating to maintenance of the Meadows.

29 Nov – Green Parks Reception in the City Chambers – awards to parks all over the city.

17 Dec (with Joan Houston) – Meeting of George Watson’s College Community Group. Discussion mainly about new Pick Up & Drop Off (PUDO) arrangements in Myreside Road. GWC trying to discourage use of Tipperlinn Road for PUDO. Headmaster keen to promote cycling safety in vicinity of school. Alan Dunlop (CEC Transport Team Leader/Area Roads Manager) said “Traffic surveys do not require a huge amount of work”. Can we remind him of this statement in context of Viewforth Bridge issue?

10 January 2019 Meeting in City Chambers to discuss new Locality Community Engagement Groups. Unfortunately, CEC sent me and several others the wrong documentation, giving an incorrect start time, so we missed the introduction and explanation of the rationale for this rather confusing exercise. In my view it was a scattergun approach which did not work, involving as it did individuals from tiny street associations to formal, constituted groups such as CCs. And some ward councilors. The range of understanding of community planning issues was accordingly huge and the outcomes very unclear. I have documents for anybody who wishes to see them.

I have submitted MCC’s objection to the very long hours of the alcohol licence applied for by Signature Pubs for their new premises at Holy Corner.