1 Sederunt and Apologies
Cameron Rose noted apologies and welcomed attendees to the meeting, especially Donnie Henderson Shadlerz who had come to speak to the group about the James Gillespies Oral History Project.
2 Minutes of 17 January Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved pending the following amendments:
Add ‘Susie Agnew’ and ‘Hugh Leather’ to the attendance list
Change ‘Redholme House Hotel’ to read ‘Redhome building’
(Proposed – Anne Laird; Seconded: John Simon)
3. Matters arising
There were no matters arising that wouldn’t be covered elsewhere on the agenda.
4 James Gillespie Oral History Project: Presentation by Donnie Henderson Shadlerz
Donnie Henderson Shadlerz gave a fascinating presentation, interspersed with interesting stories. She explained that the James Gillespie Oral History Project is being funded by the Heritage Lottery and James Gillespie’s Trust, and the project aims to collect stories from elderly people and others in the local community whose lives have been influenced by Gillespie’s. An open day is being held on Saturday 28th April from 10am – 4pm in James Gillespie’s library, when members of the local community are invited to share their memories of living in the local area. A further open day will be held in the library on Saturday 15th June, when there will be a screening of a 15-20 minute DVD of some of the stories collected during the project. The pupils of James Gillespie’s are involved in the project, and are doing some of the interviewing, recording and editing for the DVD. All the stories collected will be archived and entered on to a database that will be accessible to the public.
Donnie is happy to speak to any group about the project, and can be contacted by phoning: 01620 810 442.
5.1 Resignation of Secretary
Tina Cumming has resigned as the Secretary of MSCC, and the group thanked her for all her hard work over the last year.
5.2 Appointment of new ordinary members
The group was given the opportunity to nominate new members to the MSCC committee, and Hugh Leather was adopted as a new committee member.
Further spaces are still available on the committee, and the group may return to this matter at a future meeting.
5.3 Appointment of a new Secretary
The group was given the opportunity to nominate a new Secretary and Hugh Leather’s offer to take over this role was gratefully accepted.
6 Parking: Extension of Controlled Zone
6.1 Local Businesses
Monica Higgins provided an update of the activities of the Trader’s Association on this issue. The two issues that are affecting businesses are:
· Difficulties for customers in finding on-street parking to allow them to do their shopping at local shops
· The need for businesses to apply for special retailer’s parking permits.
Trader’s Association representatives have attempted to build a picture of the impact that the new regulations have had on the finances of local businesses, but have been unsuccessful in gaining figures from traders. However, Monica believes that businesses in Marchmont Crescent and Spottiswoode Road have been most affected by the changes in parking regulations. The activity of the Trader’s Association has concentrated mainly on the issue of business permits, and around 90 people heave objected to these, primarily on the basis of cost and the fact that they are only available to those businesses with liveried vans.
This issue was opened to general group discussion, and the following points were made:
· Churchill and Morningside traders seem to be having similar problems.
· There is a need to first quantify the problem and then decide what to do. If traders are reluctant to give out information about their finances, perhaps they would be happier to present the figures in percentages.
· Car-users are only one section of the Marchmont/Sciennes community, and car-parking arrangements should reflect this.
Monica Higgins further updated the group that she and Marilyne Maclaren had attended a meeting with the consultants who have been employed by the Council to do a feasibility study into possible improvements to the street landscape around Roseneath Terrace and Argyle Place. Issues discussed included parking outside shops; more bike parking; signage to show the location of shops and parking spaces; and possible locations for notice boards. Concerns were raised that this study covers too small an area, since the shopping community extends across Marchmont. However, with limited resources it was felt unlikely that this concern would be addressed.
A meeting of the Executive is taking place on 27th March, and a decision on business permits will be made then. The group voted, and it was agreed that a deputation from the MSCC would go to this meeting in support of local traders.
Marilyne Maclaren updated the group that her trip with council officials to identify unnecessary yellow road markings had been successful in identifying 50 further possible car-parking spaces, and there may be a further 10 spaces if refuse bins can be moved. A list of the spaces identified is available at: http://www.marchmontparking.blogspot.com/ If there are no formal objections, it is likely that these spaces would be made available within four to six months.
General group discussion followed and centred on issues arising from the temporary arrangements allowing residents of zones 7 and 8 to park in zone S1. The group will continue to maintain awareness of these issues and provide opportunities for discussion at future meetings.
7 Meadows Festival
Peng Lee Yap updated the group that he had previously convened a couple of meetings between representatives from the MSCC, Tollcross and Southside community councils, and Friends of the Meadows, to discuss a possible resurrection of the Meadows Festival. Though it had been agreed that, in principal, it was a good idea to resurrect the Meadows Festival, there had been differences of opinion regarding the scale of the event – whether it should be a city-wide event, or a local fete. Whatever the scale of the event, there were also barriers to overcome regarding funding. Though it may be possible to gain an LDC grant, this would only be applicable for the first year of the festival. Most importantly, for this event to happen, an individual or group of individuals would have to take responsibility for leading the organisation of the event.
General group discussion followed and the following points were made:
- Any individual or group who took on responsibility for organising the festival would be starting from scratch, since no-one with previous experience of the festival is available to provide guidance.
- Audrey Simon questioned why the previous organisers were not being required to pass records on to future organisers. She also questioned whether previous organisers had registered a charity, or had received a grant from the Council, in which case they would have been required to account for the spending of the grant.
- Further funding options could be explored by contacting council officials.
- This discussion should be opened up to the wider community, possibly through holding a specific meeting for this purpose. Such a meeting may also attract individuals who are willing to help organise or lead such an event.
A vote was taken on this issue, and the group agreed that the MSCC should continue to investigate the feasibility of resurrecting the festival. Susanna Lacey, Hugh Leather and Cameron Rose will take this forward, including contacting the other relevant organisations (other community councils, Friends of the Meadows etc).
8 Planning and Licensing Issues
Proposals for the Scottish National Heritage Building have been approved largely as recommended by council officers (concerns previously raised by the MSCC have not been upheld).
Anne Laird has sent a letter to the Planning Department requesting information about their policy on heights of new buildings and is awaiting a response.
Members may be interested to know that the Edinburgh Skyline Exhibition will run from 13 February to 13 April, and aims to find out what city residents think of the sky line.
Alastair Philp referred to discussions at the January meeting regarding sale of public buildings (item 8.1), highlighting that NHS bodies have a duty to get as much money as possible when they sell assets such as property. He suggested that the idea that one public body (e.g. NHS Lothian) can transfer an asset to another (e.g. Edinburgh Council) for less than the open market value is a non starter since they would then be sharply criticised by their auditor and by Audit Scotland.
Cameron Rose highlighted the fact that Sciennes Primary School Board is holding a public meeting to discuss the lack of accommodation at the school and the possible uses of the Sick Kids Hospital site when the hospital moves in 2012. This meeting will take place on Wednesday 14th March at 7.30pm. The group agreed to support the meeting and that it was important to canvass the views of the community on this issue.
Cameron Rose will circulate the dates and venues of the Edinburgh Skyline Exhibition to members of the group.
Cameron Rose updated the group that Melanie Main is continuing to move forward with plans to obtain funding for the erection of notice boards.
10 Meeting Venue
The January MSCC meeting trialled St Giles Church Hall as a meeting venue. The group agreed that it could not justify the extra expense of using this as a regular meeting venue, and that future meetings would continue to be held at St Catherine’s Argyle Community Hall.
11 Other Business
11.1 Treasurer’s Report
In response to a query about the MSCC accounts, it was highlighted that the MSCC receives a Treasurer’s Report annually at the AGM.
An interim Treasure’s Report will be presented at the March meeting of the group.
11.2 Warrender Park Terrace Pavements
Some local residents are currently trying to get Warrender Park Terrace Pavements returned to the original paving, and have approached the council and the Heritage Society to find ways of raising money to pay for this. The MSCC gave its general support to this initiative.
11.3 Warrender Baths
All showers and hairdryers at Warrender Baths are now working.
12 Next meeting
The next MSCC meeting will take place on Wednesday 21st March 2007, beginning at 7.30pm in St Catherine’s Argyle Community Hall, Grange Road, Edinburgh.