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Monday, 7 January 2008

Minutes of MSCC Meeting, 12 December 2007

1 Sederunt and Apologies
Susie Agnew noted apologies and welcomed attendees to the meeting, especially Eriek Davidson from Grange and Prestonfield Community Council, and Reverend Karen Watson from Marchmont St Giles Church.

2 Minutes of meeting held 14 November 2007
The minutes were accepted as a true record. (Proposed: Linda Smith; Seconded: Anne Laird.)

3 Matters Arising
3.1 Meadows Place (item 5)
Marilyne Maclaren reported back that it would seem the pavements were widened at Meadow Place between 1993 and 1995. She had also made inquiries regarding the ‘conceptual plans’ for Argyle Place mentioned at the previous meeting, and apparently these are at a very early stage and there’s not much point seeing them at this stage. Council has noted that the MSCC has raised a strong objection to the Meadows Place plans and will re-examine this issue. She also reported that she and Cllr McInnes had raised this issue as a motion to Council:
“Motion to next Full Council to be remitted to the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

That this Council notes that the proposal by the City Development Department to close Meadow Place in Marchmont to motor vehicles has attracted strong opposition from residents, and in particular the Community Council.

In view of this, Council calls for a report on traffic safety, including accident statistics for Meadow Place and Melville Drive, to identify a new traffic safety scheme for the local area, examining the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

This Report should also cover the current position of pedestrian/cyclist crossings and the potential requirement for further crossing places.”

This MSCC can make a deputation to the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee if it wishes.
Mariliyne Maclaren will find out when in January the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee will meet.

3.2 Lunch Club (item 6)
It may be possible to use Marchmont St Giles church as a venue for the lunch club.
Susie Agnew, Mr Malik and Karen Watson will get together in the New Year to discuss the possibilities.

3.3 Marketing (item 7)
Hugh Leather reported that due to technical difficulties it had not been possible to distribute the questionnaires at the Christmas Tree party as planned.
The Marketing Committee will look into other ways of distributing the questionnaires.

3.4 Water Supply (item 10.1)
Susie Agnew has written to NHS Lothian about this matter and not yet received a reply. The chicken sheds have been granted planning permission.

3.5 Grant application (item 10.6)
Alastair Philp had raised the matter of the MSCC grant application at the most recent Neighbourhood Partnership meeting and the NP has not yet decided whether or not to grant this application. Someone from the Council will be in touch to inform the MSCC which aspects of this grant will not be covered by the streetscape improvements.

3.6 Events on the Meadows (item 9.2)
Cllr McKenzie and Cllr Maclaren made the following motion to Council:
“In view of the strong community concerns about the use of the Meadows as a location for events throughout the year, Council calls for a Report detailing the effects and implications of overuse of this location, and reviewing how other city parks and spaces could be better used in order to minimise the impact of events on the Meadows.”

In response, new applications for use of the Meadows are currently not being signed. A working group of the Neighbourhood Partnership is taking forward the issue of better management of the Meadows, and John Simon is the MSCC’s representative on this group, which comprises Councillors, Officials and community members. John Simon reported that this group has met once, and at this meeting there was a presentation which failed to convince him that there is currently a strategy for management of the Meadows, and there are already eight events booked for next year. At the meeting there was a general recognition that these events shut off much of the Meadows for local use, and that the community and councillors need more clarity on how the Meadows is managed. Further meetings have been arranged for January, March and May.

3.7 Cycle Racks (item 10.2)
Cherry Ledlie report that two out of four of the bicycle racks outside James Gillespie’s Primary School have been moved, but not to a very good place. So far there has still been no feedback from the Council or from Cllr Johnstone as to why these racks were place here in the first place.
Susie Agnew will write to the Council on this issue.

4 Police Report
PC Lindsey Thomson, community beat officer for Marchmont, provided an updated police report:
- There were 13 house breakings in November, which is slightly more than in October, but fewer than September. On two of these occasions, entrance was made to top floor flats through an unsecured ceiling hatch.
- Ten bicycles were stole in November, down from the October figure of 17. ‘Operation Adapt’ will be running until 21st December, whereby two plain clothes officers are in the area looking for people who might be stealing bikes. So far they have dealt with five incidents. This Monday evening there will be an open viewing session with the hope of reuniting recovered bikes with their owners.
- There have been nine assaults, roughly the same number as in October.
- There were 12 reported incidents of graffiti in November, 10 of which have been solved. 11 other vandalisms took place – six to motor vehicles (one of which has been solved) but these don’t seem to be connected.
- There have been two drugs incidents in the area, and both individuals have been charged.
- There continues to be a low number of report incidents of auto-crime.
- Operation Aura will be underway over the festive season to tackle underage drinking and antisocial and violent behaviour fuelled by drink.
- Operation Arctic is underway to deter shop-lifters.
- Operation Allegro has been working to detect and deter violence on the streets and seems to have been successful.

Group discussion followed:
- The police tape on a door in Roseneath Terrace was a prank.
- The police will look at a way of highlighting to the wider community the recent incidences of break-ins through ceiling hatches.

5 Grange and Prestonfield Community Council
Eriek Davidson spoke to the group about the newly established community council representing the Grange and Presonfield area. Although they have still to formally agree a name, the new community council of 16 members was elected in October 2007 and has had two meetings so far. The area it covers borders the area represented by the MSCC so we are likely to have some issues in common. So far issues raised include core paths and Project Argos (a police terrorism safety awareness project). They are looking for this group to be a positive and motivational force in the local community, and how they will work with the Grange Association has still to be discussed. They plan to set up a website in the near future, and still have to find a permanent place to meet, and think about a marketing strategy to inform the local community of their presence.

6 3Ms Youth Partnership
Rev Karen Watson gave a presentation to the group about the 3Ms Youth Partnership, which is a group that meets to support Lucy Howie, the local youth worker, in her work with local young people. Lucy currently works on various projects with vulnerable young people in the local area, and her work is very worthwhile and effective. A lot of what she does contributes to the safety of the local community, and she makes a big difference in the lives of a lot of young people. She also works closely with the local police on many issues. Lucy is the only youth worker of this kind in this area. However, funding is currently tenuous, and they won’t know until February whether or not the Council will continue to fund Lucy’s role. Rev Watson had come to seek the group’s support in gaining continuing funding for this project.

Individuals should write to the following people to show their support for continued funding for this role:

Cllr. Paul Edie
Convener of Community Safety
500 Gorgie Road
Edinburgh EH11 3YT

Gillian Tee
Children and Families Dept.
Waverley Court
4 East Market Street
Edinburgh EH8 8BG

Cllr. Mark McInnes
Convener Neighbourhood Partnership Meadows/Morningside
The City of Edinburgh City Council
City Chambers
High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1YT

Susie Agnew will also write letters to these individuals on behalf of the MSCC.

7 Neighbourhood Partnership (NP)
Alastiar Philp updated the group on the most recent meeting of the NP:
- There was a presentation about the Police Communications Centre. The police can arrange for community councils to be shown round the centre if they wish.
- It was agreed that Grange and Prestonfield community council should have a representative on the NP, as should the Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA).
- There was a presentation from David Wright of the Children and Families Services.
- There was talk about the Community Engagement Fund.
- The Edinburgh Joint Plan for Older People was discussed.
- There was discussion on how to do inter-generational work.
- There was discussion of ho the NP should handle planning matters, and it was agreed that NPs and community councils would look at these independently.
- There was discussion of who as the power to name new streets, and apparently the NP has some delegated powers in this area.
- They also discussed the MSCC grant application (as detailed earlier in these minutes)

8 Christmas Tree Party Report
The party went very well and had an excellent attendance. The organisers and any other interested parties will meet in early January to discuss this, and to brainstorm for next year. The MSCC expressed their appreciation to the organisers – Tina Cumming, Cherry Ledlie and Ken Dougall - for all their hard work.

9 New Secretary
Hugh Leather will be stepping down as secretary from January onwards and volunteers are sough for this role. Susannah Lacey has kindly volunteered, but it is important that this opportunity is offered to all elected representatives and put to a vote if necessary.
Hugh Leather will e-mail elected representatives letting them know of the vacancy and seeking volunteers.

10 Reports of meetings
10.1 Health Forum
Ruth Stroud will update the group on a meeting of the Health Forum at the January meeting.
10.2 Meadows Festival
Susannah Lacey reported that the AGM for the Meadows Festival committee has been held and office bearers have been elected. The dates of the Meadows Festival have still to be confirmed, and may be either 31st May – 1st June OR 6-7 June 07.

11 Any other business
11.1 Quarter Mile
Alastair Philp updated the group that it looks like the Quarter Mile development will include a small Sainsbury’s supermarket.

12 Next Meeting
The next meeting will take place on 9 January 2008, beginning at 7.30pm, at St Catherine’s Argyle Church Community Hall, Grange Road.

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