This blog is where you will find community council information, including meeting times, minutes and agenda. Do please comment on postings.

Monday, 20 June 2022

DRAFT Agenda for June 2022 (including the AGM)


Marchmont & Sciennes

Community Council


Meeting on Wed 22nd June 2022 at 7:30pm (including AGM)

To be held at St Catherine’s Argyle Church hall





 1             Sederunt and apologies

 2            Draft Minutes of last meeting 25 May 2022; actions and matters arising (not otherwise on Agenda)

 3             Police Report

 4             Meadows & Bruntsfield Links: Including FOMBL report

 5           Publicity              

 6             City Councillor report on topical local issues



Items for AGM


A1          Approve Note of last year's AGM

A2        Matters arising from the AGM minutes

A3        Annual Report - Chair (Brian Gilmore)

A4        Annual Report - Secretary (Anne Laing)

A5        Annual Report and presentation of audited accounts - Treasurer (Alison Service) 

A6        Election of Officers

A7        Date of next AGM 

A8        Ordinary meeting dates for 2022-2023

            Proposed: 4th Wed of each month except no meeting in July, August or December

A9        AOCB 


Items for discussion

 7             Sick Kids site: update

 8             Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment: update

 9             Planning applications

                                Any significant?

10           Grange Cemetery update

For info:

11           Treasurer's report

12           Meetings attended

13           AOCB

14           Date of next meeting: Wednesday 28 September 2022


All who live or work locally are welcome to attend

MSCC Minutes for May 2022


Marchmont & Sciennes

Community Council




Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council

Meeting of Wed 25th May 2022, 7.30pm in St Catherine’s Argyle Church Hall


Present:  Alison Service (Chair), Rhianna Robinson (Minute Secretary), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Alison Service (MSCC), Anne Laing (MSCC), Kayleigh Gordon (MSCC), Cllr Neil Ross, Cllr Pauline Flannery, Cllr Marie-Claire Munro, Carol Howard-Williams (Resident), Douglas Rogers (MSCC), Abbie Creighton (Resident), Helen Wright (Resident/Shop Owner)


Apologies:  Cllr Ben Parker (Green Councillor for Morningside), Liane Phillips, Brian Gilmore (Chair), Susie Agnew (MSCC), Mike Shields


Matters Arising:


The minutes have been circulated; approved by Anne and seconded by Nigel.


Anne responded to a query from the previous meeting regarding whether there is a buyer for the Sick Kids Hospital site and confirms that there currently is not a buyer and things have not yet been concluded. Kayleigh has added that the crane on the site is to be present for at least one year.


Kayleigh raised the question of whether the MSCC will be present at a stall at the Meadows Festival. It was noted that in previous years, a joint stall has been run with other community councils. Alison will liaise with the other community councils (Southside, City, Tollcross etc) to see if they are participating and will report back.


Police Report:


No Police Report was provided.


Meadows and Bruntsfield Links:


The temporary toilets have now been installed in The Meadows and opened on 24th May.




There was no FOMBL meeting this month – there will be one next month.


Anne raised the issue of The Born Free Foundation who have submitted an application for their installation of the ‘Born Free Forever’ exhibition on The Meadows from 4th October 2022 to 5th January 2023. Alison queried whether anyone had any objections given that the installation will be there for a considerable period of time and has confirmed that Southside Community Council has objected on the basis of a number of points, ie setting a precedent for long term installations such as this, taking up too much space from the people using The Meadows as an open green space. The relevance of the exhibit was questioned as no social or historic relevance to the area.


Cllr Flannery provided some clarification regarding the exhibition, which helped to contextualise the application. It was confirmed that the exhibit will take up 20 square metres, with 2 sites proposed (the triangular bit of Middle Meadow Walk, so it would not then be in midst of playing fields or social activity and will also be in a shaded area so people wouldn’t want to sit). The exhibition will be present between October – January which may be a point of interest in the winter period and attract visitors, The exhibit is currently in Newcastle and plans to go to Bristol after Edinburgh. The main attraction of the exhibit is for local children as it will be utilised as an education tool and is also interactive, which will attract good publicity. The thought behind it is to do with preservation and making sure people are aware of animal extinction, aiding local children’s learning and development.


A question was raised of whether they are paying the council for use of The Meadows. Cllr Flannery was not sure on the issue of payment, however confirmed that there is a site visit next week and more information to come soon. The issue of precedent was the key theme taken from the debate.


Kayleigh added that it may potentially encourage graffiti or vandalism but equally it  could be good to get people into the area. The grass will be reinstalled following the exhibit.


No objections are to be made from MSCC.


City Councillor Report on topical local issues:


Cllr Flannery:  Cllr Flannery confirmed that the Council have not yet got administration or committees given the recent election. She confirmed that all 4 councillors from Southside/Newington have met following the election. It was also confirmed that they have reached out to parent councils in local schools to see if they want council representation. Cllr Flannery has received a positive response from parents at Sciennes and Preston Street Primary and is encouraged by this response.


Cllr Flannery detailed an application from 1 Hope Terrace (used to be a café) for a performing licence for The Lady and the Bear. This would be a yearlong licence so they would not have to apply for a separate licence for a different show.


Lastly, Cllr Flannery notified the MSCC of the upcoming Edinburgh Naked Cycle on 28th June 2022 (cyclists will be covered in body paint). Comments need to be submitted on this by 3rd June 2022.  This would be the second Naked Cycle as it was held there last year.


Cllr Munro: Cllr Munro confirmed she received an email from a constituent regarding the above upcoming Edinburgh Naked Cycle as the constituent had reservations as they use the local park with their child and raise concerns.  She expressed her intent to work together with other councillors to do as much as possible within the local area.


Cllr Ross: Cllr Ross attended a meeting on Monday regarding Warrender Swim Centre and its delayed reopening. He confirmed this was due to the continued discovery of unexpected issues in renovation such as wet rot. Due to this, they are unable to commit to an opening date, however, hope this will be at some point over the summer.


Cllr Ross spoke of the publication of the Council consultation on short term lets and licensing consultation which will occur on 10th June 2022 and is something to look into.


Cllr Ross informed the MSCC of the Canal Festival which will be taking place on 18th June 2022.


Alison emphasised the importance of the MSCC in assisting and helping with local projects as in the past with Marchmont and St Giles playgroup. She asked that the Councillors inform the MSCC of any relevant issues that are raised within our area that we might be able to help with. Cllr Ross spoke of the central application process within the Council and noted that the MSCC could potentially assist with certain ones.


Publicity/new ideas


Kayleigh provided an update saying not much that has changed regarding publicity. There will be a delay with the website given the delay in sourcing sponsorship from businesses. Kayleigh queried how best to finance the website and will liaise with Alison regarding the MSCC bank account.


Sick Kids Hospital Site Redevelopment


There was discussion regarding the Tower crane that has recently been erected given its size. Douglas confirmed that a concentre slab has been poured for the base of the crane (which later will be buried or removed, as is standard procedure for a tower crane). He confirmed that the building should be built fairly quickly as the groundwork takes more time than the actual construction on projects such as these.


Anne queried what the large black objects were on the site, with Douglas speculating that they are perhaps for the storm drain or storage to stop flooding.


Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment


Nigel had nothing to update as there is currently no further progress.


Planning (Applications & Consultations)


There was discussion of a permission sought from the Council about cutting down a  large sycamore in shared back-green in a Marchmont Road tenement. Cllr Watt confirmed via email that nothing can be done given the shared ownership. Susie Agnew’s email comments were taken into consideration that a healthy tree should not be cut down and it should be kept.

Nigel provided clarification that the tree is in the conservation area, and if you want to do work you have to notify council and give council 6 weeks to decide . They can then potentially make a tree preservation order, but this is significant and costly and rarely done. Given this tree is a sycamore tree and therefore not an impressive tree, the Council proposed that if the sycamore is removed, then a replacement tree be planted in its place – one more suitable to a back garden. Kayleigh queried whether branches could be cut off of the tree if the issue is that it is providing too much shade in the garden.

Additionally, there is the issue of legal ownership. One cannot cut down a tree if they do not own it, however this is a separate issue and would need the lawyers brought in.


Grange Cemetery


Monthly Report has been circulated.


Nigel: Nigel highlighted the role of Alan McKinney as a key member of Friends of Grange Cemetery. Alan was extremely involved in this and worked with the community pay back team doing community service, where the team gained a lot from the experience and being trained to professionally put stones back. Nigel highlighted how his death was a great loss to the community.

Nigel spoke of the ‘Doors Open Day’ that the Grange Cemetery participated in last year, which attracted hundreds of people and had the likes of a tree trail. The Cemetery are keen to host a similar event this year, provisionally the dates being 24th-25th September 2022. Nigel said that they will need volunteers if this does go ahead (manning the entrance, handing out leaflets etc) and would be grateful for any interest in this.

Nigel also spoke of the new web page that is being drafted regarding the catacombs, which will be an exciting addition and hopes this will be part of the upcoming open day. They will not be officially open to the public for quite a while yet though work is going apace on lighting etc.


Treasurer’s Report

Monthly report has been circulated. The bank balance is currently £1479.11.


Meetings attended






Home net zero in Conservation areas: Douglas raised the issue of poorly insulated houses and flats within the local area and began a discussion of how this could be improved. He has done research into the legislation and regulations regarding insulation levels in houses but feels that it is important to provide more practical solutions. Firstly, every house/flat should be draught proof, followed by insulation of one’s roof, floors and potentially windows.


Cllr Munro queried how best to promote this and tackle this issue economically, as some insulation methods are expensive, especially with fuel poverty in mind. Things that remain especially expensive is the replacement of windows to double-glazing, however Douglas confirmed that this should be the last thing you have to do after everything else in your home is well insulated.  This is a particular issue in Edinburgh given the abundance of old buildings. Douglas highlighted the central areas of importance in a house to ensure are insulated to combat draughts and heat escaping. Draught proofing, insulating one’s roof, insulating one’s walls and floors are the main areas, in addition to sealing one’s front and back doors.  


It was confirmed that conveying this information to local residents would be helpful and starting a sort of “Home Energy Efficiency Guide” on the upcoming MSCC website would be a good start. It would be useful to have information on tenements that could act as a guide for landlords and inform students on how to keep themselves warm.


Cllr Ross added that Home Energy Scotland are a particularly useful organisation and did a presentation at Morningside Community Council on how to cut carbon emissions in one’s home and prevent heat loss. Cllr Ross provided contact information to Alison and she will enquire about them speaking to the MSCC in our September meeting.


The AGM will be held at the next meeting and will comprise the election of officers followed by the normal June meeting.


Kayleigh raised the idea of the creation of a Marchmont and Sciennes Business Association and was looking for the opinion of MSCC members. She detailed that there has been interest from local businesses, however everyone would need to work together to build the Business Association. Potential issues were acknowledged, including attracting enough interest from the local traders in joining up to form a formal association and their commitment for it to be sustainable. Kayleigh highlighted that this is possible and noted Morningside’s Business Association as a good example.


Nobody objected to this proposal and the MSCC are keen to help where possible, as it is good to show links and pooled resources and emphasise the community aspect of this.

There are around 50/60 businesses in the Marchmont/Sciennes area, and it is estimated around 20 would be needed to form an Association. Kayleigh emphasised the importance of shopping local and how businesses help form and contribute to the wider community feel.


Date of next meeting and AGM:  Wednesday 22nd June 2022 at 7.30pm


Saturday, 14 May 2022

MSCC - May DRAFT Agenda


Marchmont & Sciennes

Community Council



Meeting on Wed 25th May, 2022 at 7:30pm

To be held at St Catherine’s Argyle Church Hall








 1             Sederunt and apologies

 2            Draft Minutes of last meeting, 27th April 2022, and matters arising (not otherwise on Agenda)

 3             Police Report

 4             Meadows & Bruntsfield Links

                * Including FOMBL

 5             City Councillor report on topical local issues

Items for discussion

 6           Publicity/ new ideas

7              Royal Hospital for Sick Children Redevelopment

 8             Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment

                                -  any updates?

 9             Planning (Applications & consultations)

10           Grange Cemetery


Items for information

12           Treasurer's report

13         Meetings attended

14         AOB


             Date of next meeting and AGM : Wednesday 22nd June 2022             


All who live or work locally are welcome to attend


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

MSCC March Minutes


mscc_logo_crop.jpgMarchmont & Sciennes

Community Council




Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council

Meeting of Wed 23rd March 2022, 7.30pm by Zoom.


Present:  Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Rhianna Robinson (Minute Secretary), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Alison Service (MSCC), Anne Laing (MSCC), Cllr Ian Perry, Tim Pogson (Potential Council Candidate), Michael Shields, Alistair Philp (Resident), Bob Gates  (local resident)


Apologies:  Cllr Melanie Main, Susie Agnew (MSCC)


Matters Arising:


Minutes have been circulated; approved by Nigel and seconded by Anne.


Police Report:


No Police Report provided.


Meadows and Bruntsfield Links:




Mike provided an update regarding the temporary toilets that are to be installed in the Meadows, similar to last year given their success. He attended a meeting regarding this as it is approaching the time of year they are due to be installed, however there has been no set date agreed as to when they will be installed as they are currently being procured. Mike also met onsite with Underbelly as these temporary toilet facilities will have to be shared with Underbelly for a period in late July/August. As the same utilities are to be used, agreement was sought on this with Mike reporting he is confident that this can be done. Moving forward, he plans to meet with both the Council plumber and Underbelly to agree the site and provision of water, sewage, and other utilities. This is progressing but there is still no set date as of yet, however he acknowledges good progress has been made thus far.


Secondly, Mike referenced the Jawbones and the ongoing discussions regarding what will replace them, if anything, as has been discussed in previous MSCC meetings. It is now clear that nothing will be installed on the Meadows in the immediate future. He therefore explained that he will arrange for the temporary Heras fencing to be removed and this will also enhance the look of the area.


Alistair queried the provision and source of water that was available in the Meadows for watering the new trees put in by FOMBL. Mike acknowledged that this has been an issue as it can be difficult to gain access to the water source on the meadows. There is a hydrant onsite, however there would need to be someone there to supervise as the hydrant would need to be uncovered and properly recovered given the health and safety concern that this would pose. Moving forward, it has been stated that access to the hydrant would need to be prearranged as someone needs to be in place for safety etc to ensure no injuries are caused. Mike stated that water has been accessed from the Pavilion by the Meadows’ Tree Planting Group before. Alison queried whether Mike had liaised with the Tree Planting Group on this to which he said he has not.


Anne queried whether Mike and his team would be able to provide additional flowers in the tubs at Marchmont Crescent when the ones that are currently there need replaced. More plants will be required further into the Spring. Mike asked a reminder nearer the time her to send. Anne also asking about new edges along Lovers Loan which look bare and has suggested planting her own wildflower seeds to brighten up the area, to which Mike approved. Anne queried about a tree stump in Sciennes Road, which was left from a tree cut down some time ago which looks unsightly. She was wondering if it were possible for plants to be put round this to smarten it up. Mike has acknowledged her concern however noted that tree stump stuff is not their top priority, and they are focusing on shrubs and pruning given the restricted number of staff. Mike has helpfully suggested that he can get branches picked up if anyone is willing to do the cutting back themselves.




Report has been circulated.


Alison stated that there has not been a meeting this month. FOMBL has received a £5000 grant from the Council, but she is unsure what it is for and will provide an update at the next meeting.


There was an email regarding the Perspex on notice board on Middle Meadow Walk, as the Perspex needs to be replaced. Mike reported that his Park Rangers have measured this noticeboard and are waiting to receive a quote from a business on Easter Road who will provide the replacement, however he is waiting until his new budget to move forward with this. It is expected to cost around £100 and FOMBL will provide Mike with this money to purchase the Perspex, then the Park Rangers will fit this to the noticeboard.


City Councillor Report on topical local issues:


Cllr Ian Perry:


Cllr Perry has acknowledged that given this is the period running up to the election, some of the usual council activity is currently suspended. He has provided an update that a budget was agreed which will take the form of a standstill budget, which means that there will be no service cuts next year. This year, the Scottish Government provided extra money in the budget within the last two weeks of the financial year. Normally this is a small amount, however this year it constituted £9 million. Given the two-week period to spend the budget, there was not a consultation period as this had to be agreed in a short timeframe. Brian has not yet received anything from council of how this money was spent but Cllr Perry has stated he will ensure this be sent out to provide insight as to how this additional money was distributed and spent. However, it is important to note that this cannot be changed.


Cllr Perry provided an update regarding COVID-19 given that the most recent strain of the virus is very infectious, with infection rates going up, but not so much hospitalisation and deaths. The council’s work force has been affected with schools being particularly hard hit. Dumfries and Galloway have had to close some schools due to staff shortage. However, Edinburgh Council have central staff and other staff who can be moved into schools so it is hopeful that school closures can be prevented or be minimal. To date, only Portobello High School has had to close on one afternoon, however if this keeps increasing some schools may have to be closed and go back to blended learning. Cllr Perry is hoping to avoid closures like in the Highlands; however, it is noted that rural councils suffer from staff shortages to a larger degree.


There were no questions for Cllr Perry. MSCC is thanking him for his time and attendance of various MSCC meetings and wishes him a happy retirement.


Publicity/new ideas


Kayleigh has noted that there has not been any drastic change on the social media. She uploaded a post which was acknowledged by MSCC members about how to report overflowing bins on council website, which took some time to prepare but was quite popular. She will continue to develop a similar ‘how-to’ post for other things that are able to be reported to the council. Kayleigh has proposed creating another useful post given the seasons are changing with BBQ spots on meadows with a map as this would be useful for students etc.


Kayleigh reported on her idea for a general website which would provide basic information on what MSCC do, how to get in contact with us and what we can do to help. The idea is that the website would serve as a first port of call and first point of contact. It is felt this would be a useful tool for those who do not have social media and useful as it would come up in a Google search. There is an online forum which can be linked to the website. The proposal is that the rest of the social media such as Facebook would be kept more updated with day-to-day information and the website to be used as a starter. Kayleigh would like to add a team section as it makes MSCC seem more approachable. The cost of this would be £8.50 per month (this would be reduced to £6.50 if a subscription was purchased) but Kayleigh has proposed an idea to seek sponsorship from local business.


Alison supported this proposal and thinks that it would be useful for parent associations of Sciennes and James Gillespie’s as they can link with us if they have queries and if there are any child safety concerns in our area. Kayleigh has created a forum for schools, but she needs to check if its working and how to navigate it and she will send Alison a draft email to copy and paste to provide information to parents and the schools on this.


Anne queried how to access this forum, which can be done online. She also stated that she was impressed by Morningside’s Community Council’s website and feels this could be similarly helpful to us.


Kayleigh will proceed with the creation of the website and report back when further progress has been made. Her help is greatly appreciated.


Sick Kids Hospital Site Redevelopment


No mention of any further developments.


Anne stated that she was hoping for an update but was unfortunately not provided with one in time for this meeting. She has however noticed a new noticeboard that is facing Sciennes Road however acknowledged it was extremely small and difficult to read and will communicate this to them in the hope for an improvement.


Alistair queried whether part of the site in the end got sold and what changes that is likely to bring. Anne replied that she has not heard anything further on this matter and the last information she was provided with was that there were two interested parties, but no further information has been provided since. Cllr Perry stated that if anything wanted to be changed then they would need to bring it to the planning committee, and this would need to be consulted which acts as a safeguard. Brian stated that he saw an email stating that it was nearly sold to a developer which is not unusual as the landowner gets planning permission to know what the value of the land. If they want to change any of the planning or design then it gets brought back to Planning at that stage.


Kayleigh raised concerns regarding the signs saying school safety zone, no construction traffic as there was construction traffic (a large lorry carrying rubble) between 2.40pm and 3.30pm. This is obviously concerning given the abundance of small children and the children’s safety should be priority. Anne is going to pass this on as a concern in the hope this will be addressed immediately.


Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment


Nothing to update, with Nigel receiving confirmation there is currently no further progress.


Planning (Applications & Consultations)


No further updates as MSCC can only discuss what has been reported as a concern.


Grange Cemetery


Monthly Report has been circulated.




Discussion of the report which acknowledged the leaflets and work continued to be done to restore the monuments. Another 7 headstones have been committed to be restored, with another £4,600 supporting this. In addition to what is outlined in the report, Nigel thanked Kayleigh, who set up the initial meeting with Andrew Purves. This has proved a very beneficial connection, not just financial support but the history and knowledge that can be provided by that firm which has been around for many decades.


Update on Sewer Flooding Project


Anne stated that she forwarded an email which came in a few days ago about changes to the sewer flooding. Nigel confirmed that this email was from the Scottish Water representatives recording what was discussed in the minutes of the previous MSCC meeting. The works are not yet approved but waiting assessment, which may not occur during elections which may delay the work. Tim queried with Cllr Perry as to whether the development subgroups going ahead as they are not political. Cllr Perry confirmed such groups are Quasi-Judicial as they are not political as such but will confirm whether they are still in operation.


Treasurer’s Report


Monthly report has been circulated. The bank balance is currently £1608.11.


The outgoings this month were on the Minute Secretary and purchasing of noticeboard magnets.


Meetings attended






Kayleigh informed Alison that there was graffiti on an MSCC noticeboard and that some of the traders were upset about posters being put up on windows and safety signs. Alison has since cleaned the graffiti and taken down a number of these posters however the residue of the glue used to put them up is still remaining. Alistair queried what the posters were advertising, and it was confirmed that they were for an environmental march in a few days’ time. Kayleigh spoke to the hairdresser on Marchmont Crescent who first notified MSCC of this issue. They had been in touch with the environmental group who claim the posters were not put up by them but likely taken from their flyering event at Summerhall and put up by people in support of the cause. They have apologised for any damage or disruption caused as this was not their act or intention.


Tim raised that this issue, in more general terms, has bothered him in the past with posters from the likes of the Meadows Funfair. He questioned whether it may be more appropriate for the bodies who approve such events (The Police/Council) to withdraw permission if defacing of property and local areas occurs. Cllr Perry stated that it is a more complex issue legally, as the event will say we gave this to a company/group of individuals and told them not to do it illegally. If this is desired to be prevented then the Scottish Government would have to pass a motion to ban this as the current issue lies with who is liable.  


Nigel pointed out that the next meeting should be held on Wednesday 27th April, not Wednesday 20th April.


Alison provided an update regarding the Christmas Tree Event. She stated that all schools are happy to participate as groups such as the JG senior choir, A capella choir, JB Brass Ensemble and the Pipers have started to meet and practise again. She will liaise with the schools after the summer holidays to confirm this in more detail. The Church Hall has been booked for 3rd December 2022 so the Christmas event will definitely be going ahead this year.


There was discussion as to whether the next meeting should be held on Zoom or in person. Brian has suggested at least one more meeting to be held on Zoom given the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases that Cllr Perry detailed.


Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 27th April 2022 at 7.30 – to be held on zoom.