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

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Marchmont at Christmas 2020

 Hello all,

 I am proud to present to you all Marchmont at Christmas 2020. If you could share to as many people as you can. The video is available to view on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube (YT link below) all through Marchmont at Christmas!

 Please enjoy and let me know what you think!

 All the best,


Thursday, 26 November 2020

MSCC October 2020 Minutes


Marchmont & Sciennes

Community Council




Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council

Meeting of Wed 28th October 2020, 7.30pm by Zoom.


Present:  – Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Elinor O’Donovan (Minute Secretary), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Michael Riordan (member of public), Cllr Ian Perry, Alison Service (MSCC), Susie Agnew (MSCC), Shane Voss (MSCC), Anne Laing (MSCC), Cllr Mandy Watt, Alastair Philp (member of public).


Apologies: – Anthony Holmes, Adam Stewart.


Matters Arising: 


Anna Nicol has been mistakenly listed on the minutes as Minute Secretary, this will be amended.


Draft Minutes from the last meeting, September 2020, were approved by Nigel, seconded by Susie.


The actions will be taken under the relevant headings.


Police Report:  None


Meadows and Bruntsfield Links: None.


FOMBL Report:


 Alison circulated the report from the meeting of 28th September, outlining the new elections of trustees, and the various projects, tree report etc. Jim Orr is re-elected as convenor.


The jawbones will be returned to Edinburgh in early October for storage until re-installed when weather appropriate.



City Councillor Report on topical local issues:


Ian Perry:


Throughout lockdown, Council only had one committee (Policy and Sustainability) which managed the city during lockdown. A lot of things had closed down that are now reopening, which means all committees are returning to their different aspects of council again.


Budget: We will be facing a deficit of £30-40 million which, unless CEC receives funding, will mean putting up fees or cutting services.


Schools: Schools reopened in August and everything has gone roughly to plan so far. Infection has been managed, and no school has had to close. There is a sense of relief that things are somewhat returning to normal.

Previously there had been no extra-curricular activity in schools, but now they are allowed to open up a bit more. Volunteers are still not allowed back into schools to limit the amount of contact.


Anne congratulates the Council for a speedy service filling a pothole outside her home. She reported it using the online system and it was fixed within 2 days.


Nigel thanks the Council for their interaction with the Grange Association in collecting bags of fallen leaves that had been swept up by the local volunteers. Alison, similarly, congratulates the Grange Association’s volunteers for their hard work collecting leaves.


Cllr Mandy Watt shares Ian’s concern about the budget challenges that the council will face, and the lack of options that they seem to have. The council are waiting to see if they will receive funding from the Scottish Government.


Items for AGM


A1: Last year’s AGM:


The minutes have been circulated, and were approved by Anne, seconded by Alison.


A2: Matters arising from the AGM Minutes




A3 Annual Report – Chair


In the last year, we managed to hold 6 of the 9 meetings that were scheduled, in spite of the pandemic.


In the last year, we have watched the progress of the Sick Kids Hospital site. There should be some movement with this in the next year.


The Astley Ainsley site has progressed quite well, although things seems to have slowed down.


The City Plan 2030 has also slowed down, due to the pandemic.


Thanks to the police for their regular reports at our meetings.


Thanks to Mike Shields from the Parks Department for his regular reports, and Alison for attending and reporting on the FOMBL meetings.


Thanks to the Edinburgh City Councillors collectively, who come along and inform us about happenings on a Council level.


Thanks to Alison as Treasurer, and for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony last year which was very successful.


Thanks to our new member Adam, who has taken over surveys and consultations, as well as noticeboards.


Thanks also to Anne Laing, for having done the noticeboards successfully for many years.


Thanks to Nigel Ayton, for continuing our connection to the Grange Association and keeping us abreast of planning issues.


Brian thinks in order for the MSCC to be truly effective, we need a functioning secretary as well as a Chair.

Brian will discuss the secretary position with Adam in the future.


A4: Annual Report – Secretary


A5: Annual Report and Presentation of Audited Accounts – Treasurer (Alison Service)


Jim Orr, convenor of FOMBL, audited the annual accounts.    The audited balance sheet and P&L for the year were circulated by Alison, showing a surplus for the year of £33 and the Bank balance at the end of the financial year was £548.46.


The donation of £175.38 to Children 1st does not go through the books, as it had been done in previous years, as the collection buckets are sealed and donated straight to the charity. 


A6: Co-option of members


This will be postponed to the next meeting.


A7: Election of Officers




Nigel nominates Brian, Alison seconds.







Nigel nominates Alison, Anne seconds.



A8       Date of next AGM


May 2021, and can be done by Zoom if necessary.  


A9       Ordinary meeting dates for 2020-2021

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


A10     AOCB 





Items for discussion


 6         Stakeholder Engagement Request


Adam has been working on this. This will be discussed at a later date.


 7         Safer Routes Proposal


The Quiet Routes proposal is to have a safe route from Greenbank to the Meadows, down Braid Terrace and along Whitehouse Loan. Part of Whitehouse Loan would be closed to through-traffic, with residents’ access only.


This is going to the Transport and Environment Committee on 12th November. If approved, it will come in under emergency COVID provisions, i.e. Spaces for People Programme.


Under the provisions of TTRO (Temporary Traffic Regulation Order), where there is a danger to the public (i.e. COVID), there is a short 7-day period where local councillors and community councils can put forward comments. Other than that there is no full public consultation on this.


A few people have been concerned about the impact on residents.


Michael is concerned that closing the roads in such a way may be prohibitive to children or adults with disabilities and/or mobility issues accessing schools and their homes in the area and is concerned that this has not been taken into consideration.  


Mandy is also concerned that increasing the amount of cyclists by the School for the Blind might be hazardous, as it is more difficult to hear cyclists.


There is a discussion about the (sometimes competing) requirements of different types of road users (pedestrians, cyclists, car drivers).



 8         City Plan 2030


Ian Perry: City Plan 2030 is in consultation which will be coming to a close soon.


 9         Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment:


Nigel: Little to report at the moment. The Council has to draft a Place Brief but are waiting on a Landscape & Heritage report which has to be commissioned by the NHS.


Nigel has seen a couple of Place Briefs which have just come out, and remarks about how well-drafted and specific they are which is encouraging.


The Astley Ainslie Community Trust are fundraising for a Community Asset Transfer.


10        Planning applications


Warrender Baths: Planning permission is being sought for a major refurbishment.

Susie believes it has only been 15 years since Warrender Baths’ last refurbishment.


For info:

11        Treasurer's report


Alison’s monthly updated monthly financial report was circulated – there were no monies either In or Out so the balance at the end of September 2020 remains at £1352.28.


The Forward Financial Plan for the coming year will be presented to members at the November meeting.  The EDC Grant was received in August, and very little expenditure is expected for the rest of this financial year.



Alison is pleased to have Jim Orr as our new accountant.


The forward plan for the coming year is estimated to the end of March. We received the Income Grant, and there will be normal expenditure (i.e. hall hire, and minute secretary) until then.


This will be discussed further at the following meeting.


12        Meetings attended


Alison circulated report about FOMBL meeting.


13        AOCB




Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 25th November at 7.30 – using Zoom or an alternative.


Monday, 23 November 2020

MSCC November 2020 Meeting Agenda


Marchmont & Sciennes

Community Council



JITSI Meet Meeting on Wed 25th November 2020 at 7:30pm


For JITSI Meet details, see the end of the Agenda




 1             Sederunt and apologies

 2            Draft Minutes of last meeting, 28th October 2020, and matters arising (not otherwise on Agenda)

 3             Police Report

 4             Meadows & Bruntsfield Links

                * Including FOMBL

 5             City Councillor report on topical local issues

                                Safe Streets developments, Sciennes & Gillespies in particular

Items for discussion

 6             Royal Hospital for Sick Children Redevelopment

                                 any update?

 7             Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment

                                -  any updates?

 8             Stakeholder Engagement Request

                                Any update?

 9             Planning (Applications & consultations)

·         Any others


Items for information

10           Treasurer's report

Including Forward Plan

11           Meetings attended

12           AOCB


Date of next meeting: 27th January 2021


All who live or work locally are welcome to attend.

MSCC is online at:


JITSI Meet Details


On Shane’s suggestion, I am trying a new way of connecting us.  This will avoid the necessity to set up 2 meetings.


This on operates in a different way (to some extent).  What it does is to set up a virtual ‘Room’, where anyone can come in and join the room. It also persists, basically, for ever.


For those of you using a PC (or similar), you can join straight from an Internet Browser. As far as I can establish, those on smart phones will need to download the app. After you have downloaded it, it is then easier to join etc.


This room exists from now, so you can test it out when you like and please contact me if you can’t get it working.


The Room link:


The name of the ‘Room’ is MSCCVirtualMeeting  (it is CASE sensitive)

Thursday, 29 October 2020

MInutes of the September 2020 Meeting


Marchmont & Sciennes

Community Council




Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council

Meeting of Wed 23rd September 2020, 7.30pm by Zoom.


Present:  – Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Alastair Philp (local resident), Susan Agnew (local resident), Anne Laing (MSCC), Anthony Holmes (Thirlestane Lane Association), Cllr Cameron Rose (CEC), Pauline Flannery (SSCC), Alison Service (MSCC), Adam Stewart (MSCC), Ed Hawkins (JGPS Travel Committee).


It was agreed that Alison Service take the minutes of the meeting but they would be done in future by the Minute Secretary Elinor O’Donovan.


Apologies:  Ian Murray MP



Matters Arising:   Nil


Draft Minutes from the last meeting, February 2020, were approved by Nigel Ayton and seconded by Anne Laing.


Police Report:  None


Meadows and Bruntsfield Links: FOMBL report.  The minutes of the last FOMBL meeting had been circulated and Alison gave the key points.  At the recent AGM all Trustees were re-elected and two additional ones were voted in and a new secretary was appointed.  Volunteers and members had done a lot of litter clean-up over the summer, plus watering and wildflower planting.  Jawbone Arch repair is completed and it is to be re-installed in the Spring 2021

Susan Agnew and Adam Stewart gave thanks all the members, volunteers and supporters who support the work of FOMBL or who work away on their own or with other groups, and to the Park Rangers and cleaners for the early morning clean up. Cameron Rose agreed the CEC early morning clean up was excellent but he’d continue to look into whether the bins could be emptied more often each day of warm weather as they overflowed very quickly.


ACTION: It was recognised that over the summer months there had been particular concerns raised by many local resident about anti social behaviour on the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, and that MSCC should seek to work with FOMBL, CEC and other local services to explore how it could take a more active role in representing local views and seeking solutions to these in future.  Alison agreed to raise this issue with FOMBL at their next meeting in the first instance.


City Councillor Report on topical local issues:


Cllr Rose: He reported that the Sick Kids would be moving out of the site on 25th January 2021 hopefully. There’s an enquiry into the new hospital problems led by Lord Brodie – but probably won’t get results for 5 years!

Re Police news, there’s been quite a few break-ins in the Marchmont/Grange area targeting sheds, bike storage areas. A large haul of jewellery was found and the Gayfield Square Police station asks that anyone who had things stolen in the past to contact them with descriptions.

The Council is relaxing it’s requirement to “Login” before lodging a comment or reporting something, making it much more user friendly.  The main Council meetings are back to “virtual” normal of once a month – people working from home. There’s a back log in licensing and Planning applications but it’s hoped they’ll be cleared soon.

Susie Agnew asked Cameron who she should contact about seeing Japanese Knotweed growing at the bottom of Chalmers Crescent – Cameron undertook to inform the correct people.

Brian Gilmore asked him about the complete closure of Sciennes Road today in front of the school. Anne Laing said there were closure signs at both ends but cars seemed to be passing through still.  Cameron gave an update saying that the closure had been proposed some time ago and was now going ahead as part of the Spaces for People scheme – on a temporary basis only, though that remains to be seen! Access only to cyclists and walkers.

Brian said there’d been suggestions that Argyle Place was to be closed but so far nothing has happened.


It was noted that there were two aspects of activity in relation to James Gillespies Primary School.  The first was in relation to the CEC commitment to introduce temporary traffic management measures to improve physical distancing on pavements around the school.  Ed Hawkins reported that cones were out today to widen the paths on both sides of Warrander Pk Rd, which was welcome.  However, it was noted that CEC had not yet undertaken the further measures that are planned, including removal of pavement fencing and widening of pavements.   


The second aspect is the Blackford Safer Routes proposals to create a safe cycling and walking route to the school. Ed provided a detailed overview of the proposals, and highlighted that Whitehouse Loan is key in this plan as it is heavily used by the JGPS Bike Bus scheme (hundreds of young cyclists). Ed presented a leaflet of the route and closures/traffic calming involved.  This would allow children to cycle or walk to school safely or potentially allow parents to drop their kids off further away from the school so they can walk/cycle in safety. 


Adam highlighted to strong support for the scheme amongst many local parents and the JPGS school leadership, and that current levels of traffic and crowding had been highlighted by the COVID-19 situation, which further illustrated the potential of the project.


Alastair Philps noted that there were often such problems on Kilgraston Road too.  Cameron said plans had been drawn up on this but due to lack of personnel it had rather died a death.


ACTION: Ed urged people to use the following link to inform themselves and to support this scheme.


It was also agreed that MSCC would continue to discuss progress and consider its potential future role in relation to the proposals as appropriate.




Items for Discussion


Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment:  Nigel Ayton said there was little to report. Council to do the Place Brief but nothing seen so far. There had been some problems with work being performed on trees with no prior approval, despite the trees being protected by Tree Preservation Orders.  Correspondence with the Council and the NHS Estates Office has now led to an application for work to TPO trees being submitted in retrospect to the Council’s planning team.  The contractors claim the trees were diseased but others disagreed!


On the Planning side, a proposal to demolish the boiler house and huts is being reviewed at present (no one will miss them), and there is good communication with the NHS overall.




MSCC AGM:   Brian said this would be held at our next meeting in October.


Communal Bin Review:    Adam said that this was a city-wide review and the plans that were being rolled out would affect every street in the MSCC which has communal bin facilities.  The current Big bins would be removed and a larger number of bin hubs would be installed on each street every 100 yards or so.  There were not plans to consult residents on how these are situated but it was recognised the community council could have an important role in seeking to ensure that current issues with bin capacity were addressed and that the new hubs were located in ways which would link to local footfall, walking routes etc to avoid potential future issues.  There would also be the loss of a few car spaces on each street but hopefully if the project was delivered effectively this would improve recycling and for residents and address some current issues in particular hot spots.


ACTION: It was agreed that MSCC should continue to monitor developments and engage with Changeworks and CEC once the roll out is scheduled, which is likely to be later in 2021.


CITY PLAN 2030:  See:   Adam said that CEC has continued to develop the new plan during the lockdown and the latest information was available to view online. 


The Scottish Govt launched their consultation on Short Term Lets which closes mid-October. Everyone is urged to participate as it is a very important issue impacting on the city and our area.


ACTION: it was agreed that MSCC would develop a submission to the consultation and that all MSCC members should consider the consultation and provide views to Adam to inform this.


Planning matters:  Nigel Ayton said all was quiet on the planning front in the MSCC part of the Grange Association area.


Adam highlighted that planning permission was being sought for major refurbishment works at Warrender Baths.  This would involve a 2.3m upgrade project involving installation of barriers in the foyer, changes to changing room layout, and wider refurbishment of the changing stalls and pool itself.  It is understood that this replaces a previous planning application that had been refused.  The works would take around 6 months to complete.


ACTION: it was agreed that MSCC would consider the proposals in more detail at their next meeting.


Treasurers’ Report:  Alison Service reported that the EDC grant had been received but as very little had gone out of the account in the last few months the balance was a healthy £1350!


Meetings attended:   None


AOCB: It was noted by all that the Notice Boards were looking very good and people were seen stopping to read them.  Thanks was given to Adam Stewart for all his hard work.  He urged people to pass info to him on local issues/businesses etc. that would be suitable for posting on the Notice Boards and also on the web page.   He said he would now be looking at how to improve the MSCC webpage. Brian thanked him for this.


Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 28th October at 7.30 – AGM using zoom.