Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council
Meeting of Wed 26th May 2021, 7.30pm by Jitsi Meet.
Present: Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Elinor O’Donovan (Minute Secretary), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Christopher Cowdy (Member of public), Cllr Cameron Rose, Cllr Neil Ross, Tony Holmes (Thirlestane Lane Association), Adam Stewart (MSCC), Alison Service (MSCC), Shane Voss (MSCC).
Apologies: Susie Agnew (MSCC), Anne Laing (MSCC), Barry Mercer (Police Representative).
Although Cllr. Ross joined the meeting, he had technical problems and was unable to participate.
Minutes have been circulated; approved by Alison and seconded by Nigel.
Shane wrote to Newington Safe Routes to tell them we had given them a general vote of approval, and that they could share this on their website.
Meadows and Bruntsfield Links:.
Alison has circulated the report, which includes the following key points:
· There is a new seesaw by the tennis courts on the Meadows, and a trampoline by the Links playground. FOMBL are working to establish a new playground for toddlers on the south Links area by Whitehouse Loan.
· The table tennis table mentioned in the last meeting is going ahead.
· The Jawbones will be erected later in the year.
Alison has been liaising with Cllr Melanie Main and the members of the public who attended the last meeting. They attended the Transport & Environment Committee Meeting where it was agreed that three units of toilets will be placed around the Meadows. These units are in the style of prefabs and can contain several toilets each. Melanie is in direct contact with the members of the public who attended the last meeting to discuss where the toilet units should be placed around the Meadows. These toilets will be for the duration of the summer.
As Covid-19 restrictions ease, the opening hours of the existing public toilets on the Meadows is likelyto be extended. Cllr Rose hopes that before long the existing hygiene measures in place will be alleviated.
Pavilion Community Hub: There is an opportunity to turn the Pavilion on the Meadows into a community hub. Cllr Rose interested in hearing people’s thoughts for the future of the Pavilion.
The Facebook page for the Pavilion is: https://www.facebook.com/PavilionCafeEdinburgh/
Underbelly Circus Planning Application:
A planning application has been submitted by Underbelly to erect a large circus tent at its usual location on the Meadows for the festival period, over a period of 33 days including set-up and take-down. This has drawn some discussion from local residents – some believe that it isn’t right for part of the community’s green space to be sacrificed to a private company, others (including FOMBL) are happy for the Underbelly Circus tent to go ahead as usual, as it generates some income which is put back into community groups like FOMBL.
Nigel believes that the reason this is drawing attention this year is because it is the first time Underbelly have submitted a planning application for the festival, following the controversy following recent recognition that the Christmas Markets in Princes St Gardens have been constructed without planning permission for many years and that large temporary structures require planning permission, even if the structure is otherwise commissioned or sanctioned by the Council.
As long as their planning application is only temporary for the period of the festival, MSCC is happy to support their application. However, it might help if the fact that money does return to the community is greater publicised to concerned residents.
City Councillor Report on topical local issues:
Spaces for People:
Cllr Rose: There has been a consultation on Spaces for People which is being assessed, and a report will come back to the Transport & Environment committee on 19th June. A review of all present schemes will be undertaken then.
Sick Kids Hospital Site
The specified date for the handover is confirmed as the first week of June.
Planning permission was given to Downing to remove the buildings which link the mortuary chapel to the main site.
The premises of the former sofa shop on Marchmont Rd are now Alpine Bikes. A planning application has been submitted for new large backlit signs and totems on the front area, and the illumination of these signs may be a concern. Edinburgh Council have published full guidelines on how listed buildings should be treated, and MSCC expects that the Council will enforce their own guidance in full, with regards to this B-listed building.
Action: Alison will relay these comments to the Council.
Report has been circulated.
The Grange Association will contribute £2000 to re-erect fallen monuments in the cemetery. Thanks to Alison’s advice on how to receive donations by text, that service is now available for use by the cemetery group.
Congratulations to the Grange Association and Grange Cemetery group on the success of the group so far, and the improvements made in the cemetery.
Adam: As discussed at the last meeting, it will be useful for us to think about how we, as a community council, are working, and what our priorities will be going forward. Adam believes our three primary goals should be to tap into local issues, become more proactive in actioning small deliverables for the community, and be representative of the whole community regarding local issues.
Social media: There is a discussion about how MSCC might use social media to engage with local residents who might not know about the community council but may still be interested in our activities. The Grange Association has had success with the forum section of their website, which has generated comments from local residents in response to the B1 controlled parking measures. Cllr Rose says that often it takes a big issue to generate interest in local community councils. Elinor recommends that the MSCC agenda is posted once a month in the Facebook groups ‘The Meadows Share’ and/or ‘The Meadows Chat’, to encourage comments from local residents on the topical issues.
Brian proposes that the AGM takes place in June.
Monthly report has been circulated. The bank balance is currently £972.28.
The audit has been done by auditor Jim Orr which will be presented at AGM, as well as our forward plan for the year.
Neighbourhood Network Meetings: the email has been circulated.
Date of next meeting: (AGM) Wednesday 23rd June at 7.30 – using Jitsi Meet.