Robin Morris, who died on 4 February, was Secretary of Merchiston Community Council (MCC) from 2002 to 2006 and Chair from 2013 to 2017, remaining an active and much respected member in between. He was the ideal community councillor, being someone who not only kept his ear to the ground, talked to local people and knew what was going on in the neighbourhood, but also he never shirked from actually doing something about local issues.
This active involvement took many forms: he served on several city council committees
- South Central Neighbourhood Partnership
- the Local Environment Forum
- the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links Advisory Group
- the Licensing Forum
- the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils
to name but a few and in each of these roles he was never shy to speak up – often very passionately – on behalf of local residents.
In addition, Robin was not averse to giving practical help. Many people will have seen him picking up litter and cigarette ends from our pavements and streets or on his mobile phoning the city council to get them to remove an item of dumped furniture or unblock a drain. One of his MCC colleagues said of him “Robin’s contribution to MCC was exceptional. No action which might improve the community was beneath him”. He was on first name terms with local councillors, our MP and our MSP, and got along well with all of them, regardless of party affiliation.
Because he had lived for so long in the area and knew so many people, we used to joke that, in whatever gathering he found himself, Robin would discover at least four people he’d been at school (George Watson’s College) with!
Speaking personally, I will always remember Robin Morris as one of the nicest, kindest, most generous individuals I have ever known. He had numerous other interests besides community politics; these included all forms of sport, but especially golf and hill-running.
He was very active in his local church, Christ Church at Holy Corner, where a Celebration of his Life will take place at 12.30pm on Friday 16 February.
Bridget Stevens, a former Chair of Merchiston Community Council, has lived in Merchiston for around 25 years. In her current role as Licensing Lead, she attends CEC Licensing Board meetings and other city council meetings as appropriate. She represents MCC on the Board of FOMBL (Friends of the Meadows & Bruntsfield Links) and was in the past a trustee of Dig-In community grocer and of the Eric Liddell Centre. She chairs a small local charity, Tap into IT, which introduces older residents to the joys of the internet, while another of her volunteering activities is as an audio describer of live theatre for the benefit of visually impaired members of the audience. In 2012 she was made a Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh.