Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council
Meeting of Wed 28th October 2020, 7.30pm by Zoom.
Present: – Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Elinor O’Donovan (Minute Secretary), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Michael Riordan (member of public), Cllr Ian Perry, Alison Service (MSCC), Susie Agnew (MSCC), Shane Voss (MSCC), Anne Laing (MSCC), Cllr Mandy Watt, Alastair Philp (member of public).
Apologies: – Anthony Holmes, Adam Stewart.
Anna Nicol has been mistakenly listed on the minutes as Minute Secretary, this will be amended.
Draft Minutes from the last meeting, September 2020, were approved by Nigel, seconded by Susie.
The actions will be taken under the relevant headings.
Police Report: None
Meadows and Bruntsfield Links: None.
Alison circulated the report from the meeting of 28th September, outlining the new elections of trustees, and the various projects, tree report etc. Jim Orr is re-elected as convenor.
The jawbones will be returned to Edinburgh in early October for storage until re-installed when weather appropriate.
City Councillor Report on topical local issues:
Throughout lockdown, Council only had one committee (Policy and Sustainability) which managed the city during lockdown. A lot of things had closed down that are now reopening, which means all committees are returning to their different aspects of council again.
Budget: We will be facing a deficit of £30-40 million which, unless CEC receives funding, will mean putting up fees or cutting services.
Schools: Schools reopened in August and everything has gone roughly to plan so far. Infection has been managed, and no school has had to close. There is a sense of relief that things are somewhat returning to normal.
Previously there had been no extra-curricular activity in schools, but now they are allowed to open up a bit more. Volunteers are still not allowed back into schools to limit the amount of contact.
Anne congratulates the Council for a speedy service filling a pothole outside her home. She reported it using the online system and it was fixed within 2 days.
Nigel thanks the Council for their interaction with the Grange Association in collecting bags of fallen leaves that had been swept up by the local volunteers. Alison, similarly, congratulates the Grange Association’s volunteers for their hard work collecting leaves.
Cllr Mandy Watt shares Ian’s concern about the budget challenges that the council will face, and the lack of options that they seem to have. The council are waiting to see if they will receive funding from the Scottish Government.
Items for AGM
A1: Last year’s AGM:
The minutes have been circulated, and were approved by Anne, seconded by Alison.
A2: Matters arising from the AGM Minutes
A3 Annual Report – Chair
In the last year, we managed to hold 6 of the 9 meetings that were scheduled, in spite of the pandemic.
In the last year, we have watched the progress of the Sick Kids Hospital site. There should be some movement with this in the next year.
The Astley Ainsley site has progressed quite well, although things seems to have slowed down.
The City Plan 2030 has also slowed down, due to the pandemic.
Thanks to the police for their regular reports at our meetings.
Thanks to Mike Shields from the Parks Department for his regular reports, and Alison for attending and reporting on the FOMBL meetings.
Thanks to the Edinburgh City Councillors collectively, who come along and inform us about happenings on a Council level.
Thanks to Alison as Treasurer, and for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony last year which was very successful.
Thanks to our new member Adam, who has taken over surveys and consultations, as well as noticeboards.
Thanks also to Anne Laing, for having done the noticeboards successfully for many years.
Thanks to Nigel Ayton, for continuing our connection to the Grange Association and keeping us abreast of planning issues.
Brian thinks in order for the MSCC to be truly effective, we need a functioning secretary as well as a Chair.
Brian will discuss the secretary position with Adam in the future.
A4: Annual Report – Secretary
A5: Annual Report and Presentation of Audited Accounts – Treasurer (Alison Service)
Jim Orr, convenor of FOMBL, audited the annual accounts. The audited balance sheet and P&L for the year were circulated by Alison, showing a surplus for the year of £33 and the Bank balance at the end of the financial year was £548.46.
The donation of £175.38 to Children 1st does not go through the books, as it had been done in previous years, as the collection buckets are sealed and donated straight to the charity.
A6: Co-option of members
This will be postponed to the next meeting.
A7: Election of Officers
Nigel nominates Brian, Alison seconds.
Nigel nominates Alison, Anne seconds.
A8 Date of next AGM
May 2021, and can be done by Zoom if necessary.
A9 Ordinary meeting dates for 2020-2021
Proposed: 4th Wed of each month except no meeting in July, August or December.
Items for discussion
6 Stakeholder Engagement Request
Adam has been working on this. This will be discussed at a later date.
7 Safer Routes Proposal
The Quiet Routes proposal is to have a safe route from Greenbank to the Meadows, down Braid Terrace and along Whitehouse Loan. Part of Whitehouse Loan would be closed to through-traffic, with residents’ access only.
This is going to the Transport and Environment Committee on 12th November. If approved, it will come in under emergency COVID provisions, i.e. Spaces for People Programme.
Under the provisions of TTRO (Temporary Traffic Regulation Order), where there is a danger to the public (i.e. COVID), there is a short 7-day period where local councillors and community councils can put forward comments. Other than that there is no full public consultation on this.
A few people have been concerned about the impact on residents.
Michael is concerned that closing the roads in such a way may be prohibitive to children or adults with disabilities and/or mobility issues accessing schools and their homes in the area and is concerned that this has not been taken into consideration.
Mandy is also concerned that increasing the amount of cyclists by the School for the Blind might be hazardous, as it is more difficult to hear cyclists.
There is a discussion about the (sometimes competing) requirements of different types of road users (pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers).
8 City Plan 2030
Ian Perry: City Plan 2030 is in consultation which will be coming to a close soon.
9 Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment:
Nigel: Little to report at the moment. The Council has to draft a Place Brief but are waiting on a Landscape & Heritage report which has to be commissioned by the NHS.
Nigel has seen a couple of Place Briefs which have just come out, and remarks about how well-drafted and specific they are which is encouraging.
The Astley Ainslie Community Trust are fundraising for a Community Asset Transfer.
10 Planning applications
Warrender Baths: Planning permission is being sought for a major refurbishment.
Susie believes it has only been 15 years since Warrender Baths’ last refurbishment.
11 Treasurer's report
Alison’s monthly updated monthly financial report was circulated – there were no monies either In or Out so the balance at the end of September 2020 remains at £1352.28.
The Forward Financial Plan for the coming year will be presented to members at the November meeting. The EDC Grant was received in August, and very little expenditure is expected for the rest of this financial year.
Alison is pleased to have Jim Orr as our new accountant.
The forward plan for the coming year is estimated to the end of March. We received the Income Grant, and there will be normal expenditure (i.e. hall hire, and minute secretary) until then.
This will be discussed further at the following meeting.
12 Meetings attended
Alison circulated report about FOMBL meeting.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 25th November at 7.30 – using Zoom or an alternative.