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Saturday, 25 January 2020

MSCC Minutes November 2019

Marchmont & Sciennes
Community Council

Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council
Meeting of Wed 27 November 2019 at St Catherine’s Argyle Church Halls, 
Beaufort Road

Present:  – Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Mike Shields (Edinburgh Council Parks), Cllr Dickie (CEC), Shane Voss (MSCC), Alison Service (MSCC), Adam Stewart (MSCC), Anna Nicol (Minute Secretary), Susie Agnew (MSCC), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association)

Apologies:  Anthony Holmes, Anne Laing, Douglas Rogers

Matters Arising:

Draft Minutes from the last meeting, 23rd October 2019, have been circulated. These were approved by Alison and seconded by Shane.

Adam was talking to other council members from Morningside and Southside to share what common themes seem to be arising across the communities and could be collaborated on.   

Police Report:

No police present.

Meadows and Bruntsfield Links:

Mike Shields highlighted four points of notice following the ‘Walk About’ on 13 November. The yellow paint on the roadway forming the junction box at the bottom of Marchmont Road will be replaced. A couple of tree pits on Roseneath Street were empty or had dead trees in them and these will be dealt with in June and the dead tree will be removed. There was a bin sitting in a permit zone with a keep clear sign and over a drain which has been passed on to waste who have taken note as they are conducting a review of all bin placements. Michelle Ross was the main contact regarding the bins. The Brian Harris tree which was planted in Marchmont Crescent in memory of him has died and so the tree has been replaced.

There is a plan to reinstall the jawbones in June 2020 which are currently in storage but this has not been fully confirmed yet.  

City Councillor Report on topical local issues

Cllr Dickie:

Two current issues include the ongoing issue regarding the road outside of Sciennes primary school. Long-term solution would entail the road closure but an interim solution is that they will move out the signage and expand the pavement area in order to ensure child safety.

Long-term GME (Gaelic Medium Education) strategy will entail moving the gaelic pupils in James Gillepsie into Darroch temporarily and build a new school by 2024. Moving gaelic pupils into a new school would open up space for Darroch to become another primary school.

Cllr Dickie wanted to highlight how the council’s ongoing budget conversations are framed within their aims of poverty reduction, promoting sustainability, and promoting wellbeing.  

Susie Agnew raises the issue of unappealing temporary road diversion signs mounted in cement blocks around the Sciennes school area, such as outside the Argyll Bar, which were installed as a temporary measure at the start of Sciennes Road school-time closure scheme, and that she says no one now pays attention to and that don’t look attractive. Alison agrees and Cllr Dickie says she will look again and will enquire into the process of their removal and will provide feedback. Adam Stewart notes that a potential future item will be to think about what these road signs should be replaced with.

Election of Secretary (repeat):

No one is standing for secretary.

The Council’s revised Community Council scheme includes an additional role of Engagement Officer to try and engage with the community and determine their views on changes within the community. Adam Stewart nominates himself for engagement officer and is elected. 

There is a discussion in which Adam suggests looking into different ways to communicate with the wide variety of community members. Cllr Dickie emphasises the importance of the role regarding the diversity of the community and galvanising said diversity. Nigel Ayton notes that having an engagement officer would encourage a more active medium through which to engage with all representatives of the community in addition to the noticeboards.

Items for Discussion

Royal Hospital for Sick Children Redevelopment: update

There is no current update on the redevelopment.

Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment: update

Nigel reports that the council are drafting the brief which he hopes will be shared prior to the next meeting in January 2020. The NHS has reiterated that it won’t put the for sale sign up until the brief has been approved.

Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area Consultation:

A link was made available to the consultation circulated at the last meeting by Adam. Updated document with an overview of the area has been circulated, focusing on the Meadows in particular. Both Alison and Adam approve of the new document. Nigel notes a risk with conservation areas is that some people use it as a justification to oppose any change but notes that in order to protect how the community uses the conservation area, there needs to be change and development for it to become a ‘Place’ for all residents, young and old, to enjoy, growing and changing but retaining certain treasured aspects

Nigel raises the difficulty in finding the best way to listen to the community to represent a diverse set of views. There is a thought towards potential future investment to collaborate with the council’s sustainability aims as well as to preserve the residential element of the area.

Other Conservation issues raised:

There is a discussion regarding a previously mentioned issue of raising roof space in tenement blocks. Susie suggests encouraging community members who want to stop the installation of windows in roof space to refer to their title deeds to see who is responsible for roof care and help them take action.

Adam sees two separate issues: planning (planning permission is in keeping with the character of the tenements) and ownership, which is a legal matter and less to do with the council. Alison suggests to Cllr Dickie that the council could make a move to make the information accessible and Susie notes it might be a good idea to put it at the end of planning permission statements.

Review of Parks

Mike says that no issues have been raised yet regarding the events taking place in the parks. These reviews take place to ensure that events taking place in the Meadows, and parks elsewhere, continue to cause little disturbance to locals and are being managed correctly. Mike believes that so long as events are managed well and properly, few issues should arise.

Alison notes that toilets are the main issue but Brian suggests that FOMBL deals with it and Alison suggests she brings their report here when it is ready, to see if the MSCC wants to take part.

Brian notes that the issues relating to the Meadows have declined in the last few years, in part from the help of FOMBL. Adam suggests that the MSCC do contribute to the review as the residents do see the Meadows as part of their community.

Parking Charging changes

Brian does not think the MSCC were formally consulted on parking charging changes. He says they consulted narrowly on this issue, only around the James Gillespie area.

There is a brief discussion on whether these are city-wide changes. Shane says they are turning some yellow lines into bays and that the multi-purpose charging so that there are more pay and display bays which are also permit bays. Adam raises the issue that expanding parking bays and lifting charges could contradict a sustainability initiative. Susie believes the some of the pressure is from inaccurate boundary divisions.  

The deadline to contribute has passed and so MSCC will wait for the outcome.

Planning (Applications and Consultations)

Nothing material. Interested parties should visit the Grange Association website.

Items of Information

Treasurer's report: 

£987.25 in the bank as of the end of September. Alison has done the forward plan and estimates for the end of the year will be a deficit of £17.18. This means a tight budget and so the MSCC can’t give a lot of donations if there is little funding coming in.

Meetings Attended:

City Plan 2030

Adam was unable to attend the City Plan 2030 meeting but he thinks the activity has been paused because of plans to review.


Adam went to the AGM where they were electing new office bearers. John Tibbett was elected chair. 


Adam has circulated a draft response to the tourism strategy. It closes this weekend and so need to finalise the response in the next couple of days. Important point is the impact of tourists from the Old Town in areas such as accommodation. While there is an aim to look at it from a positive view, the volume of tourists needs to be managed and the council needs to ensure investment to make sure the area can cope. Brian notes that Airbnb has been raised before as an issue that affects the area. Nobody has objected to the draft response.

XMAS Tree Ceremony 7 December: Raffle prizes and volunteers sorted.

Date of next meeting: 22nd January 2020 (No December Meeting)

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

DRAFT Agenda for MSCC on Wed 22nd January

Marchmont & Sciennes
Community Council

Meeting on Wed 22nd January 2020 at 7:30pm
St Catherine's Argyle Church Halls, Beaufort Road


 1             Sederunt and apologies
 2            Draft Minutes of last meeting, 27th November 2019, and matters arising (not otherwise on Agenda)
 3             Police Report
 4             Meadows & Bruntsfield Links
5              City Councillor report on topical local issues
 6             Election of Secretary (repeat)
Items for discussion
 7             Royal Hospital for Sick Children Redevelopment
                                – Current position
 8             Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment: update
                                Report on consultation meetings
 9             MSCC Priorities and Objectives
10           Regulation of short term lets
11           HM Fires Service Consultation
12           Planning (Applications & consultations)
·         Any others

Items for information
13           Treasurer's report
14           Meetings attended
15           AOCB
15           Date of next meeting: 26yh February 2020

All who live or work locally are welcome to attend.
MSCC is online at:

Thursday, 9 January 2020

MSCC - October 2019 Minutes

Marchmont & Sciennes
Community Council

Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council
Meeting of Wed 23 October 2019 at St Catherine’s Argyle Church Halls, 
Beaufort Road

Present:  – Cllr Cameron Rose (Chair), Elinor O’Donovan (Minute Secretary), Karen Neilson (Police), Anthony Holmes (Thirlestane Lane Association), Anne Laing (MSCC), Brian Gilmore (MSCC), Shane Voss (MSCC), Alison Service (MSCC), Adam Stewart (MSCC), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Susie Agnew (MSCC), Stuart Tooley (University of Edinburgh), Cllr Mandy Watt (Edinburgh Council for Morningside).

Apologies:  Ian Murray, Douglas Rogers.

Police Report:

Karen Neilson:

In terms of youth issues, the policing team have been quite busy. A youth, who was already known to the police, was charged at Cameron Toll for quite a serious crime involving knives. There have also been extensive patrols of the Morningside, Meadows, Bruntsfield, Southside areas.

The police conducted road checks on Grange Rd, with a result that 3 people were charged with speeding, and 6 warnings were issued.

This week is Autumn Awareness week, during which the police raise awareness about crime prevention. An advice session was held on the Meadows, and people who came to ask questions were mainly concerned with house break-ins.

Several youths at James Gillespies High School were charged for an incident involving knives. As they were pupils, the school is also involved with tackling the issue.

The police have identified the suspect from a robbery on West Richmond street.

Adam Stewart also mentions that over the summer he noticed by the University of Edinburgh halls near Warrender Park Rd, there were bins set on fire by youths. This has been reported to police.

Report of Election: 

Cllr Rose:

There are eight members of Marchmont Sciennes Community Council- (Susie Agnew, Brian Gilmore, Anthony Holmes, Anne Laing, Douglas Rogers, Alison Service, Adam Stewart, and Shane Voss) and the roles of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are to be appointed by these eight. Cllr Rose asks everyone present to briefly introduce themselves.

As MSCC is a statutory body, it operates within Scottish government legislation, and must abide by the requirements of this legislation as it proceeds.

There are grants available to the Community Council, for example one grant of 2p per person on the electoral role within the Community Council area (Alison believes this last grant amount was circa £800), plus a grant to cover the cost of hiring a venue for meetings

Banking arrangements need to be made by the Community Council, and it is the Community Council’s responsibility to organise insurance.

Community Councils are required to hold 6 meetings per year, and there needs to be an AGM held in May or June (or other times when required). The Community Council may also organise sub-groups and assign additional responsibilities to its members.

Established groups approved by Edinburgh Council may have a representative on the Community Council (for example, from the Grange Association).

The time and location of the meetings must be decided by the Community Council, and it is required that the minutes and agenda are made publicly available and a copy sent to the Council.

There is a brief discussion on whether or not MSCC would like to consider offering office-holder positions on an interim appointment, or whether they should be offered as permanent positions. It is agreed that if someone wishes to accept a position on an interim basis, they may do so on request.

Appointments made:

Alison Service proposes Brian Gilmore, which is seconded by Anne Laing. Brian is appointed Chair.

In the absence of any immediate proposals, Brian nominates himself on an interim basis, which is seconded by Alison. Brian is appointed Secretary.

Alison nominates Susie Agnew, which is seconded by Brian. Susie is appointed Vice-Chair.

Brian nominates Alison, which is seconded by Anne. Alison is appointed Treasurer.

Cllr Rose suggests that the appointment of any other posts (for example Transport, Planning) should be held off until the next meeting.

From this point on, Brian Gilmore chairs the meeting. Brian thanks MSCC members from last 3 years for their work.

Urgent Issues:

Draft Minutes from the last meeting, 25th September 2019, have been circulated. These are approved by Alison, seconded by Shane.

Brian suggests that we contact Sciennes PTA, and James Gillespies to be Community Liaisons on the Community Council.

Treasurer's report: 
Has been circulated. At the end of September, the balance in bank was £1077.25. Nigel points out a typo where the month mentioned in the report was August, will be amended to September for audit. Nigel approves the report subject to this amendment, which is seconded Shane.

Alison is still unable to contact the Meadows Festival Association in order to give them their cheque.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony:
A report was circulated, and Alison is looking for volunteers.
The plan will be to meet at the Christmas tree and sing carols with the brass band, and then the group will move to the hall for the children and senior choirs.

Dates of meetings:
As previous, Brian suggests that there will be no meeting in December, July, and August. Otherwise, meetings will be held on the 4th Wednesday of every month.


Anne will liaise with Alison about circulating notices and agendas around the area in her absence. Anne also asks Brian to approve the copy on a notice about leaving posters in Marchmont Hardware, which Brian approves.

There is a brief discussion about the noticeboards mentioned in the last meeting. Alison has bought new Perspex windows for the noticeboard outside Margiotta, along with a spray-on, peel-off cover. She has also found a handyman, who will give a quote for the work to be done.

Anne is looking for volunteers to look after the upkeep of planters in the area and suggests that this upkeep should be done in springtime. Mike Shields has promised to re-do the planters. Adam mentions that the Gardening Club in James Gillespie’s school may also be happy to volunteer in the Spring.

Discussion about contributing some money towards erecting a Dorothy Ryle memorial bench in the Grange Cemetery. Brian proposes a contribution £50, and Alison will contact Nigel to arrange this.

Adam reminds MSCC that there is a City Plan 2030 meeting at the Edinburgh Council on November 19th, and is attending if anyone else wishes to attend.

Date of next meeting: 27th November 2019.