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

Monday, 25 June 2007

City of Edinburgh Council and Community Councils Joint Meeting


22 June 2007

Dear Secretary

Community Council Joint Meeting

I enclose the minute from the community council joint meeting on 25 April which focused on neighbourhood partnerships. The meeting attracted a high level of interest from community councils and generated some lively discussion on the new arrangements for neighbourhood partnerships. A copy of the minute is also available on the community council site at

Neighbourhood Partnership Membership
Thank you for submitting your nominations for the Neighbourhood Partnerships. In most cases it has been possible for preferences to be accommodated whilst meeting the constitutional requirement for community councillors and community representatives to be equal in number on a neighbourhood partnership.

In areas where community councils have sought membership of 2 neighbourhood partnerships this can be accommodated on an interim basis, provided there are sufficient places available. However this will be subject to review in the event of new community councils being established. Priority will always be given to community councils whose boundary sits fully within the Neighbourhood Partnership area.

I have enclosed a table showing the current position regarding community council representation on neighbourhood partnerships and the contact details of the 6 neighbourhood teams.

Edinburgh Association of Community Councils AGM – 30 June

The EACC AGM will take place on Saturday 30 June at 10 am in the City Chambers. There will be a presentation at the AGM from the Edinburgh University students who took part in a study of Edinburgh’s community councils.

Diary Inserts

I have enclosed diary inserts for the period September to December 2007.

Yours sincerely

Eileen Hewitt

Community Council Liaison Officer

Tel 469 3838




No of Cllrs

No of CCs

Watching brief


City Centre


3 (Old Town, West End, New Town/Broughton)

1 (Tollcross)




2 (Craigentinny/Meadowbank, Northfield/Willowbrae)




2 (Portobello, Craigmillar)




1 (Liberton)




5 (Marchmont & Sciennes, Merchiston, Tollcross, Morningside, Southside)




6 (Hutchison/Chesser, Stenhouse, Gorgie/Dalry, Craiglockhart, Longstone, Merchiston) Sighthill, Broomhouse & Parkhead tbc

1 (Tollcross)


Pentland Hills; Colinton/Fairmilehead


6 (Currie, Balerno, Fairmilehead, Longstone, Firrhill, Ratho)


Drum Brae/Gyle; Corstorphine/Murrayfield (West)


3 (Corstorphine, Drumbrae, Murrayfield)

1 (West End)




To be confirmed

1 (Corstorphine)




4 (Royston/Wardieburn, Muirhhouse/Salvesen, West Pilton/West Granton, Trinity)

1 (Drylaw Telford)




2 (Stockbridge/Inverleith, Drylaw/Telford)

2 (New Town/ Broughton &

West End)


Leith; Leith Walk


3 (Leith Harbour & Newhaven, Leith Central, Leith Links)

1 (New Town /Broughton)

Neighbourhood Partnership Teams – June 2007

Central Team

Jenni Brown – Neighbourhood Manager

1 Cockburn Street

Edinburgh EH1 1BJ

0131 529 7061

North Team

Pete Strong – Neighbourhood Manager

8 West Pilton Gardens

Edinburgh EH4 4DP

0131 529 5050

East Team

Susan Mooney – Neighbourhood Manager

86 Niddrie Mains Road

Edinburgh EH16 4DT

0131 529 3111

South Team

Susan Bruce – Neighbourhood Manager

40 Captain’s Road

Edinburgh EH17 8QF

0131 529 5151

South West Team

Graham Kitching – Neighbourhood Manager

10 Westside Plaza

Edinburgh EH14 2ET

0131 527 3800

West Team

Natalie Hoy – Neighbourhood Manager

Chesser House

500 Gorgie Road

Edinburgh EH11 3YJ

0131 529 7440

City of Edinburgh Council and Community Councils Joint Meeting

Edinburgh, 25 April 2007
Large Meeting Room, Waverley Court, Edinburgh

Those Present:

The City of Edinburgh Council: Councillor Ewan Aitken, Leader of the Council

Officers in Attendance from Services for Communties :

Angela Leitch (Head of Performance and Community Engagement); Gordon Greenhill (Head of Community Safety); Susan Mooney, (Neighbourhood Manager, East and South); Peter Strong (Neighbourhood Manager – North) Graham Kitching / Natalie Hoy (Neighbourhood Managers- West and South West); Michele Mulvaney (Community Engagement Manager) Mary Dunbar (Partnership and Information Manager – East) Beverley Burgess (West LDC Co-ordinator) Eileen Hewitt (Community Council Liaison & Development Officer) and Alasdair Fuller (Administrative Assistant, Services for Communities).

Community Council Representatives:

Community Council


Ken Shade


Robert Dearness


Sheila Ramsay


Kenneth Swinney


Giacomo Modica


Bob Ramsay


Angela Wright


Tom Crombie


Percy Fekety


Ross Wilkinson


Patricia Eason


Dave Pickering


Norman Tinlin


Louise Maguire


Peggy Wright


Maureen Nisbet


Fiona McLean


Gerry Corbett


Hugh Townsend


Mary Donoghue


Harry Sutherland


Irene Mackay


Alex Mitchell


Steve Lee


Joe Henderson


Roland Reid

Leith Central

Roisin Farrington

Leith Central

Elaine Carnegie

Leith Harbour & Newhaven

Margaret Moffet

Leith Links

Bill McCrae

Leith Links

David Hurst


Steuart Campbell


Alex Paton


Dorothy Ryle

Marchmont & Sciennes

John Simon

Marchmont & Sciennes

Hugh Leather

Marchmont & Sciennes

Bridget Stevens


Ann Royden


Robin Morris


Walter Spence


Mr Morrison


Susan Wong


Jean Thompson


Lindsay Walls


John Knight

New Town & Broughton

Stewart Kerr


Ian Murray


Christine Kerr


Keith Giblett

Queensferry & District

Jimmy Brown

Queensferry & District

Martin Gallacher

Queensferry & District

Judy Wightman


Jan Couper


Marion Gunn


Jo Scott


Robert Beaton


Colin Christison


Linda Hendry


Jack Blakey


Mrs Blakey


Edward Mulligan


David Rintoul


Mary Neilson


Ann Wigglesworth


Alyson Cameron


Leonora McAndrew

West End

John Gilmour

West End


Welcome and Introduction:

Councillor Aitken welcomed the community council delegates to the joint meeting, expressing gratitude for their efforts in their role as grass roots community representatives.

He explained that the arrangements for Neighbourhood Partnerships offer a different way of working. There was a need to ensure that the drive for local improvements was directed primarily from the community councils which had to represent a breadth of local views. No community is the same and the city contained a rich diversity of neighbourhoods which present a challenge in terms of representation.

Neighbourhood partnerships will bring a revolutionary change in the way decisions are made. People wanted to have a say in decisions which impact locally, and the Partnerships would bring about a sense of participation. Because we are entering a period of significant change, it may take some time for outcomes to become apparent. The process for improvement could be characterised by innovation and careful experimentation rather than following familiar paths. The range of areas across the city meant a need to react differently in contrasting circumstances. Neighbourhood structures would evolve in time to reflect local need, rather than follow a prescribed model.

Councillor Aitken viewed this as an exciting time of change. In thanking the community council representatives for attending, he praised their efforts in bringing forth the neighbourhood partnerships to this stage.


Services for Communities: Update on Latest Community Planning Developments

Angela Leitch thanked Councillor Aitken for his encouraging words and provided an update on the latest community planning developments.


Council Decision 8 March 2007

Council approval on 8 March means that arrangements for the neighbourhood partnerships can be introduced from June. This has also been referred to and agreed by the Edinburgh Partnership. Reference groups have been meeting with community council involvement. An induction programme is currently being developed to ensure that members of the Neighbourhood Partnership Board are familiar with the new neighbourhood partnership arrangements and how they will operate.



A standard constitution for Neighbourhood Partnerships has been established after consultation and consideration of a number of options. Partnerships will have an equal number of community councillors and city councillors and serve as advisory committees of the Council. In practice, it is anticipated that a consensual approach will be pursued.

Current legislation restrictions on developing the options for setting representation on the neighbourhood partnerships is being explored with the Scottish Executive.


Protocol Framework

A protocol framework for achieving the constitutional aims has been developed which focuses on a partnership approach to working together to develop and improve local quality of life.


Neighbourhood Management

Angela introduced the following new Neighbourhood Managers, who were present at the meeting.

  • Susan Mooney - East and South

  • Peter Strong - North

  • Natalie Hoy and Graham Kitching would both be responsible for West and South West.

Two appointments are still to be made. Each of these senior managers will have have four managers overseeing multi-disciplinary local teams under the following headings:

  • community safety

  • environment

  • housing and regeneration

  • partnership and information management.

Neighbourhood Managers would be instrumental in developing better ways for partners to work together.


Area Profiles

Area profiles have been produced, which will provide partnership members with evidence to support the identification of local priorities. While community councillors already have a good understanding of issues in their locality, neighbourhood partnerships will have a key role in consulting with the wider population to agree these priorities.


Frequently Asked Questions

In areas where there were no community councils, the neighbourhood partnerships could elect from other constituted community organisations. Moreover, the neighbourhood partnership could empower local people in unrepresented areas to work towards forming a community council.

The intention is to ensure that each community council has a place on a neighbourhood partnership. In an area where the number of community councils exceeds the available board membership there will always be avenues of input through the existing community councils on the Neighbourhood Partnership as they have a duty to engage with the wider community. It is important to bear in mind the optimal size of the board so that it does not become unmanageable.

Staff from the Council’s Services for Communities will support the partnerships but the remit of the neighbourhood partnerships will also be to look at priorities in other areas including education, health and crime.

Additional support for community councils is being explored eg the creation of a local base for community councils, with access to a full range of office facilities. Drop in sessions and surgeries were being considered within local area offices. An initial Community Engagement Fund providing £20k for community councils exclusively is being proposed.



Delegates raised the following issues:


Why do Community Councils have to sign the Code of Conduct and does this also apply to the police, health and voluntary sector representatives?


Angela explained that the standards for conduct aimed to ensure that decisions were made in a transparent and open manner. The police, health and voluntary sector have standards of conduct within their respective orgnaisations which they will be expected to follow.


Who will be entitled to vote within Neighbourhood Partnerships?


All members of the Neighbourhood Partnership will have the right to vote although it is hoped decisions will be reached by agreement.


What are the interim arrangements for the LDC Community Grants Fund?


Angela confirmed that arrangements for the provision for imminent projects have been made and gave assurances that urgent applications would be considered as a priority.


Workshops and Feedback

The delegates were invited to participate in workshops according to area. Questions were considered as follows:

  • What is the community council’s role within the partnership?

  • How do community councils ensure representation of the wider community?

  • What are the priorities for the neighbourhood partnership?

Feedback from the groups is provided in the appendix to this minute.


Closing Discussion

Angela observed that there had been a lot of good discussion and important points made at the workshops.

Council officers would now consider the points and issues raised in the workshop sessions and feedback to the Neighbourhood Partnership Induction Programme.

Angela clarified that Neighbourhood Partnerships will be chaired by a Councillor. Work was currently underway to elect a local representative from the voluntary sector to sit on each neighbourhood partnership.

It is planned to carry out a 6 month review of Neighbourhood Partnerships.

Many community councillors felt that representations to the statutory planning and licensing committee were being ignored. It was suggested that Edinburgh Association of Community Councils could use its influence to increase community council input to the statutory planning and licensing procedures.

Community councils have been asked to nominate a member and substitute(s) to represent the community on a Neighbourhood Partnership. Guidance on the process has been issued by Eileen Hewitt, Community Council Liaison Officer and forms should be returned to her by the end of May. Nominees do not have to be CC office-bearers although the community council may opt to use this as a means of selection.


Closing Remarks

Angela thanked delegates for their contributions which would be addressed in detail and progress fed back to the community councils.




Facilitator - Susan Mooney, Neighbourhood Manager, East

Scribe - Mary Dunbar, Partnership & Information Manager, East

Some members of the group are still unclear about the differential /reasons for 12 NPs and 6 CPAs. A brief outline was provided to help clarify the arrangements.

What’s the role of Community Councils?

  • To tell it how it is

  • Like to focus on issues – e.g development of NPs

  • CC doing their best to engage communities – accept that it is a requirement

What are CC concerns?

  • Need a community capacity worker in NP areas to audit groups, to build links and provide support

  • Should come from within the CEC

  • CCs like the idea of local premises

  • Need CC websites and NP websites and other options

  • Public need information on NP – leaflets etc

  • Some people have not heard of community councils

  • Group felt that local Newsletters were a good and effective mechanism for spreading information

  • Questions about why anyone would go to NP rather than just the local Councillor? This was discussed and agreed that individual issues might be best managed via councillor, but that NP was a ‘problem solving approach’ for issues impacting on the wider community. NP will focus on the needs of the wider population

  • Need to fund appropriately

  • Concerns about greater use of computers for sharing information in terms of security

  • Questions about the opening hours for accessing resources – many community council members work during office hours

  • Marchmont/Sciennes - Time required to participate on NP? Need guesstimate

  • Questions about if nominees don’t agree to sign Code of Conduct? There was some general discussion about reasons for having code, but some concerns continue

  • Susan stressed that NP must focus on key elements to be effective

  • Developing expectation of the role of community councils - What does this mean for community council members and what is the shared responsibility with NP?

  • Question re: circulation of NP Papers – Will papers only be issued to NP rep or to all community council members within a timescale for the community council to discuss for rep on Board to input views etc?

  • Are NP meeting open to the public? – NP will decide, the NP reference groups are being asked for their views. The whole group from south and east at this joint community council meeting wanted open meetings

  • Question - Induction Are substitute members to undertake induction – Yes

The groups 3 main issues:

    1. Major concerns from community council on the boundary and split between NPs – No real voice.

    2. Group felt that during review period NPs should start with all community councils who wish to participate in each NP.

    3. Group felt that there were no ‘more representative groups’ than the community councils.


Facilitator - Peter Strong, Neighbourhood Manager, North

Scribe - Michele Mulvaney, Community Engagement Manager

  • Boundary remains an issue, particularly in relation to the inclusion of Trinity within the Forth NP.

  • Acknowledge that each NP will have different priorities and starting points. Leith has well established priorities and there is a need to ensure these are taken into account (e.g. Communities that Care). Forth has well established structures. Inverleith is diverse, has a lack of existing structures and patchy CC coverage.

  • Role of CCs is to represent views of wider community.

  • Each NP takes in diverse communities resulting in issues about how to find common ground and ensuring needs of each are met.

  • CCs tend to be reactive rather than proactive due to existing pressures in terms of volume of activity. Key issue for CCs is having time and representatives to carry out work given members have other commitments.

  • Disappointment that Neighbourhood Manager will be responsible for more than one NP. Issue about how conflicting demands of NPs will be dealt with and who will decide the priorities across the CPA particularly given there are no new resources available.


Facilitator – Natalie Hoy, Neighbourhood Manager West & South West

Scribe – Beverely Burgess, West LDC Co-ordinator

General points raised

  • Neighbourhood Managers should provide more ‘clout’ for area

  • Neighbourhood Managers should attend community council meetings

  • Neighbourhood Managers and Area Managers should be well known, visible and accessible

  • Officials should be clear about whether or not they can deal with an issue

and explain the reasons behind their answer

  • Need to manage expectations

  • Need to be fair across the area

  • Not helpful to have a ‘bun fight’ over money

  • Need for transparency re where money is spent

  • CEC has poor knowledge of area in some cases – need for improved local knowledge

  • Need for open discussions

  • Cramond – walkabouts with officials had proved useful

  • Need to build relationships

  • Ratho CC requesting representation on both Neighbourhood Partnerships

  • Need to ensure that all areas of the community are represented

  • Much will need to be done outwith the NP – thematic/geographic working groups etc

  • Need for standard processes for service delivery

  • Consistency of performance reporting is vital

  • Need to agree what should be reported on and in what format

  • Council should advise on what is possible re reporting format and build up agreement on what is suitable

  • Relationship between NP and health is crucial

Workshop 4 South West

Facilitator Graham Kitching – Neighbourhood Manager West/South West

Scribe – Eileen Hewitt, Community Council Liaison & Development Officer

Graham Kitching explained that the key task for Neighbourhood Partnerships is to ensure organisations work together to:

  • improve the quality of life

  • provide effective and co-ordinated services

  • target service provision

Participants in the group expressed the view that community councils should be members of all Neighbourhood Partnerships covering their area. There was a request for clear maps showing how the CC boundaries relate to the neighbourhood partnership boundaries and concern that neighbourhood partnership areas are too big.

Gordon Greenhill, Head of Service for West/South West joined the group and outlined the following benefits that NPs can bring:

  • A fund for each neighbourhood

  • Staff team working to improve the local area

  • Community will help to set the agenda for the Neighbourhood Partnerships

  • Neighbourhood Partnerships will give community councils the opportunity to say how they want services to be delivered locally

It was noted that the Local Development Committees have been a useful source of contact for CCs and a list of contacts for the new NP arrangements would be helpful.

There was some concern that if NP meetings are not public meetings then this may lead to people feeling excluded. One member of the group suggested that at the first meeting of the NP, the community council rep as well as any substitutes should be invited to attend.

No comments: