Marchmont and Sciennes Community Council
Minutes of Meeting held on October 25th, 2023 at St. Catherine’s Argyle Church Hall
Present: Brian Gilmore - Chair, MSCC, Anne Laing - MSCC Secretary, Douglas Rogers - MSCC, Anthony Holmes - Thirlestane Lane Association, Cllr. Neil Ross, Donald Henderson - Grange Association, Cllr. Marie-Clair Munro
Apologies: Susan Agnew - MSCC, Alison Service - MSCC Treasurer, Cllr. Steve Burgess
Attending: Nora Flynn-McIver - Minutes Secretary
Meeting began at 7:33pm
Draft Minutes of 27/09/23
Moved to delete the sentence about Meadows toilets being kept up during the winter, as this is incorrect.
Moved to correct spelling of Anthony Holmes’ name and add TLA.
Anne moves to approve, Douglas seconds, passes unanimously.
a) Actions taken by Cllr. Kumar on behalf of MSCC
i) Cllr. Kumar has asked for an impact report on bin hub placement, has been in touch with the relevant department regarding signage on Sylvan Place, and has clarified the plans for the Meadows toilets.
It may be more difficult for the police to attend without a specific reason, but are happy to come if they need to report on a specific issue.
JR Group Reporting on Sylvan Place Road closure and development (Calum Bell, Project Manager)
No report, as it was decided that there was very little to report at this meeting.
Meadows and Bruntsfield Links incl. FOMBL
City Councillor report on local issues
There have been questions on placement of bin hubs in S2, S3 - many residents have been in touch wanting to review the way things are being done. The Council previously agreed on revised criteria for assessing impact of bin hub placement, the criteria is now less strict than it was. Many residents don’t know whether bin hubs are being placed in their area. Councillors are responding by attempting to explain and possibly find alternative areas, as well as bringing along bin officers to meetings. Phase 4 has been better advertised, and people have engaged on the subject well. People are now more willing to work with the Council because they are being listened to. As long as a bin hub is within 50 metres of most people who would be using it, they can be across the street, but can be up to 100 metres away if it is on the same side of the street.
There is particular discussion on Warrender Park Terrace because people want the bins to stay where they are, but this is not allowed under the new criteria. Cllr. Ross and others are attempting to discuss this with people higher up in order to resolve this.
Astley Ainsley Group has requested that MSCC advertise events that are happening on this coming Sunday, this has been passed on to Kayleigh to put on Facebook.
Sick Kids site
A report has been circulated. Home Group has removed the substation, they are now drilling in the area and have hit the foundations, but it should be a while until they dig them out. When this happens, they expect several lorries per day to remove the soil and rocks.
Square and Crescent are moving their main access site to Rillbank Terrace and are going to stop using the top access because of the impact on Sciennes School. They are going to open a sales office in the building next to the Sciennes Primary School playground. They hope to have this open within the next year. They lost their planning application for work on the windows and balconies, and will have to put original-looking frames there. They have requested additional parking at the front of the hospital area, Douglas Rogers has emailed them saying that the community would support an underground carpark in that area rather than overground.
Downing: the pavement in front of the student block seems too narrow, Douglas Rogers plans on measuring this to confirm.
Douglas is meeting Derek Roddin and Cllr Tim Pogson to discuss the about road closures.
Three refusals to note: two proposals for 5G masts, one has already been refused, another is pending but is likely to be rejected. There are two short-term let applications that have been rejected. Brian Gilmore notes that many short-term lets have not been approved but still exist. Cllr. Ross notes that they get a lot of short term let licence applications, about half are full houses, hundreds of planning applications are put in, but many are trying to play the system in different ways in order to make the process last longer.
Update on Sewer Flooding project
A report was circulated today from Catherine Henderson. Junction on Marchmont Road will remain closed until the end of the year, traffic control is working well. Next major phase is in March, they will get in touch with affected residents.
Current balance £1920.09
Xmas tree event
Report has been circulated. The hall has been booked for 3:30 on Saturday, 25th November. A cappella Kids choir have been booked. Sciennes School has offered portable PA. Awaiting confirmation of James Gillespies of senior choir. Tree is confirmed to come in a block. Forms for the Edinburgh Council have been submitted. Charity to be supported will be Children 1st Scotland. Need helpers for the day. Suggestions for a speaker: Brian suggests asking our constituency MSP, Cllr. Munro suggests asking the Head Boy and Girl at James Gillespies to do it.
Douglas Rogers is continuing to coordinate on the Conservation Adaptation programme, and he intends to give a presentation at the next meeting on this. He will create a set of slides and forward it for approval prior to the meeting.
Cllr. Munro notes that there has been a problem with about delivery drivers on bikes and bikers acting irresponsibly. She has met with police coordinators and noted the ways that bikers are behaving in the area, especially Deliveroo drivers. The police are going to do a day in the Meadows on the 13th of November to patrol and stop cyclists and delivery drivers, they will be engaging with the community on how to cycle responsibly. This is for Ward 10 specifically. Douglas notes that many people seem to have overridden the cycling system on electric bikes, which is illegal. The police have also noted that there are limited powers and resources in this area.
Cllr. Munro asked the Council on their views on Sciennes Road being closed permanently for a playground for Sciennes Primary, the Council has positive views on this. It is noted that there are difficulties with this road being closed, but generally the Council is in favour. Anne asked if cyclists would still be able to go down the road, this is noted as another issue, but Douglas suggests having a cycling path on the other side of the road.
Cllr. Munro notes that there were people in a local playground causing issues and trying to break the playset, this is apparently a recurring issue, the police have attempted to catch them but have not been able to. The police are going to keep an eye on this issue. The people involved come from outside of the MSCC area.
Date of next meeting
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023 at 7:30pm