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Tuesday, 2 July 2019

MSCC Minutes of the May 2019 Meeting

mscc_logo_crop.jpgMarchmont & Sciennes
Community Council

Meeting on Wed 22 May 2019 at 7:30pm (including AGM)
St Catherine's Argyle Church Halls, Beaufort Road

Present:  Brian Gilmore (Chair), Sophia Coyne (Minute Secretary), Alastair McInnes (4/5 Livingston Pl.), Stuart Fraser (Police), Shane Voss (MSCC), Anne Laing (MSCC), Alison Service (MSCC), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Cllr Mandy Watt (Morningside), Gavin Donoghue (University of Edinburgh, Stakeholder Relations ), Anthony Holmes (Thirlestane Lane Association, MSCC), Cllr Cameron Rose (Southside / Newington)

Apologies:  Susie Agnew, Cllr Neil Ross, Mike Shields (Edinburgh Council Parks) 

Matters arising: 

Draft minutes have been circulated and amended. 

Nigel proposes an amendment to the April minutes to correct the record to reflect that the planning application for the RHSC had been passed, but that the Mortuary Chapel Building was excluded. Additionally, the record should be amended to reflect Historic Churches Scotland’s interest in receiving ownership of the chapel building.  

 Police Report: 

Alcohol related incidents in the Meadows, and several break-ins reported.  
Caution issued to make sure things are locked to create a level of protection. 

There was one serious assault reported - the victim was attacked with a bottle in the Meadows.  

There have been reports of cycle theft.  Additionally, there have been telephone scams reported – people phoning up pretending to be the fraud department at the Royal Bank of Scotland.  Caution issued to the community.  

There have been complaints concerning noisy student parties.  

Police have been working with Edinburgh City Council, Castle Rock to resolve neighbour disputes.

Police advise of drug possession arrests in areas neighbouring Marchmont.  

Police have been going around to schools to engage in discussion with pupils about how to behave and respect the community.  

Suspect identified in connection with several break ins.  New doorbell camera technology assisted in identification of suspect.  

Police caution that while drinking alcohol in public is not an offence, unsocial behaviour is.  

Police report that a drunk driver was apprehended.  Speeding drivers have been ticketed.    

A homeless man, known locally as ‘organic Jim’ has been seen in Marchmont and neighbouring areas.  

There have been observations concerning graffiti on bins. Cllr Rose commented that the council has the resources to record the graffiti tags and try to identify perpetrators 

A caution was issued that in repeated unauthorised visits by DCM Builders, the lugging of heavy materials over the wall, in the privately-owned Thirlestane Lane, may result in damage as the wall is not that well-constructed. DCM builders have figured in community council concerns in other areas.

There was a report of an altercation between a builder and a member of the community in his lane.  The building is otherwise accessible but the builders choose to use the lane. 

Police advise that while “trespassing,” as defined in English legislation, does not exist in Scottish law, “being in a building with the intent of theft” is against the law.  

Meadows & Bruntsfield Links: 

Mike Shields – apologies.  

Underbelly scheduled a community meeting which was cancelled due to lack of interest possibly as most concerns have been answered.  A contact number will be provided for any issues or incidents.  

City Councillor report on topical local issues:
Cllr Rose reports working with the local police and with the council senior officer to get a local operation on graffiti as there has been a spike in graffiti incidents in the area.  

Cllr Watt reports concerning activity in Morningside Ward.  There were proposals regarding Braidburn Terrace and Braidburn Crescent, to make traffic one way and to make things less congested.  

Items for AGM: 

Approve Note of last year's AGM - 

Brian has circulated last year’s minutes and they have been approved.  

Matters arising from the AGM minutes - 


Annual Report - Chair (Brian Gilmore) 

Brian extends thanks to the police, local councillors, Mike Shields, Anne Laing, Alison Service, and for Douglas’ work on Sick Children’s site, Nigel Ayton.  Activities planned include the Christmas tree lighting event in Sciennes, and attending to planning issues with respect to Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Astley Ainsley.  

Annual Report  - Secretary  

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

Annual Treasurer Report not yet circulated. 

Alison reported on the 2018/19 audited accounts.  The balance sheet shows £515.43 remaining.

Income and expenditure- the main Income is always a grant from the council.   Expenditures include hall hire, minutes secretary, memberships, Christmas tree event, Grange association.  

The year to March 2018 had been a difficult year due to a shortage of funds resulting from earlier outlays in connection with the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.  Savings were made in 2018 to resolve these issues and replenish the funds.  The year to March 2019 had been more secure financially, allowing the restoration of customary subscriptions and services.

A full financial plan for the coming year (2019/20) will be outlined in the next meeting in June. 

The Current Auditor, Gordon McRobert, is stepping down after 9 years of being the MSCC auditor.
Co-option of members  - 

This will be considered after the elections. 

Election of Officers

Nominations as follows:  

Chair: Brian. 

Secretary - to be determined.  

Treasurer – Alison. 

There are no more officers. 

Date of next AGM  - 

Brian proposes that it will be a year from now in May 2020. 

Ordinary meeting dates for 2019-20 - 

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

AOCB  - 

A thank you is given to Brian. 

Elections for community council are coming up this year – nomination papers will be out on the ninth of September.  

Items for discussion: 

Royal Hospital for Sick Children Redevelopment 

Apologies from Douglas who sent a note with an update that there are no significant changes since the last meeting. 

Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment: update

Meeting on Monday 27th of May with NHS Lothian, CEC planning department, and the Astley Ainslie Community Trust (AACT).  

Discussion was had concerning frustration that main players – NHS and the council -have not produced any visible deliverables since Christmas.  There were public events held by AACT in March for gathering ideas and working it up into a vision.  AACT is currently working on a spatial strategy for presentation on Monday 27th May meeting.  A lot of survey work remains to be done.  The meeting on the 27th is the next step.
Cllr Rose asked for the best estimate for the final vacation.  The final patient is not now expected to leave the site until 2025.  However, the NHS has not committed to changing its previously stated timetable for marketing the site, which contemplates an initial approach to the market in 2020.  The site will take years to develop and it is feasible that some parts of the site could be released for redevelopment while patients remain in other parts.  The NHS remains committed to awaiting approval by CEC of the Place Brief for the site prior to any approach to the market.  Hence the Place Brief must be drafted and approved by early 2020.   

Planning matters (Applications & consultations): 

There was discussion concerning application for 48A Lauder Road to create hardstanding in the front garden.  This is a listed building. A previous application for hardstanding in front of the bay window had been refused.  The revised application now includes removal of a tree and the installation of an electric vehicle charging point.  The Grange Association is minded to object to this revised application also, notwithstanding the inclusion of a vehicle charging point.   The Association would be supportive of community wide discussion about on-street placement of electrical vehicle charging points. It is an environmental dilemma to eliminate trees and gardens for private off-street electrical vehicle charging points. It is not yet feasible to connect multiple charging points to street lights without major upgrade of the electrical distribution network. 

Southside Neighbourhood Network  - Report on 1st Meeting

Neighbourhood partnership groups reported to a body called the Edinburgh Partnership. 
Decision to create neighbourhood networks – meeting of the Southside next was held on Monday night which Brian attended. There are going to be 13 of these neighbourhood networks in Edinburgh as a whole reporting to four Locality Community Planning Partnerships.  This matches the old neighbourhood partnerships.  This is space for community groups to improve quality of life in the community.  There are neighbourhood networks for both Southside and Morningside.  The Morningside meeting is coming up next week.  

Attendance at the Southside meeting included 3 out of the 4 ward councillors and a wide-ranging set of community organisations.  Community grant money to be settled at the meetings.  The emphasis of the meetings will be planning.  

Cllr Watt stated that issues to be discussed at the meetings will include community development, community initiatives, and the community grants fund.  Cllr Rose commented on the powers of the council, and legislation dealing with community planning.

Treasurer's report:

Completed as part of the AGM. £515.43 with one unpresented cheque. 

Meetings attended: 



Short term lets – Edinburgh residents are putting together recommendations and feedback concerning Airbnbs and short term let issues.   

Street and pavement decluttering project - identification and removal of obstructions for pedestrians.  Discussion had concerning Edinburgh’s narrow pavements and obstructions. 

Edinburgh shared use parking upgrade – discussion was had concerning shared use parking, review of parking ticket and resident permit parking, spaces available to permit holders.  

Edinburgh University – community relations.   Discussion was had concerning providing access for the community if there any issues and concerns.  An issue has arisen with respect to the quantity and concentration of student accommodation that has been built.

Date of next meeting: 

26 of June 2019.   

The meeting closes at 8:56 PM.