Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council
Meeting of Wed 28th April 2021, 7.30pm by Jitsi Meet.
Present: Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Elinor O’Donovan (Minute Secretary), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Clare Hewitt (Resident), Cllr Alison Dickie, Susie Agnew (MSCC), Matt Hailey (Resident) Tony Holmes (Thirlestane Lane Association), Adam Stewart (MSCC), Alison Service (MSCC), Shane Voss (MSCC), Ian Murray MP, Anne Laing (MSCC), Cllr Melanie Main.
Clare Hewitt and Matt Hailey are in attendance, representing Roseneath Place and Meadows Place, hoping to discuss measures to prevent their streets from being used as public toilets by people frequenting the Meadows.
Minutes have been circulated; approved by Alison and seconded by Susie.
Has been circulated.
Meadows and Bruntsfield Links:.
Provision of Toilets on the Meadows
Cllr Main: The Transport and Environment Committee wants to put toilets on the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links. The Council is meeting tomorrow to find money in the budget to provide these measures. The Council will have strategy for public toilets and has set up a working group to address the issue across the city. There is cross-party support for the provision of more public toilets in the Meadows, and Cllr Main anticipates that the motion for more public toilets, as well as increased provision of recycling/bins and adequate staffing to keep parks clean will be passed.
While the provision of public toilets on the Meadows is a positive step, there needs to be more action taken to clamp down on public urination on residential streets around the Meadows, such as Roseneath Place, Meadows Place, and Sylvan Place (among others).
The Council has recently agreed to purchase more portable CCTV cameras and Cllr Main has put in a request to make sure something gets put in these lanes over specific periods.
There have been repeat offenders publicly urinating in residential streets, and this will continue unless new public toilets are more conveniently located than the residential streets. A gate on the targeted streets might work as a temporary measure to redirect people to additional toilets on the Meadows.
Greater cross-departmental organisation is needed to organize the parks, between toilets, refuse and the police’s presence.
In order for MSCC to focus on this issue, Brian suggests that one of our members takes on a leading role in organising a pressure group to hold the council to account in addressing these issues. Alison volunteers to lead the subgroup.
City Councillor Report on topical local issues:
While public urination and toilets for the Meadows have been key issues, she has also been working to address the Sciennes Primary School limited playground space, as well as other issues related to education, such as getting children back to school, and pushing for youth services to return. The road closure outside Sciennes Primary is temporary, but there is a bid for the permanent closure of the road, though this will take time.
James Gillespies Primary School have reported that the use of the quiet route has been really positive in terms of safety.
A local resident owns a police box on Whitehouse Loan and is happy for it to be used for community purposes.
Graffiti: The Council provides graffiti kits to local community councils (MSCC has one). If you notice graffiti, you can request a graffiti kit which can be used to remove the graffiti.
Libraries: It was announced this week that the first phase to reopen libraries is beginning and will move as quickly as possible into the second phase.
Sick Kids Hospital Site
Downing Group will take over from beginning of July.
Nothing to update since last month.
Just for information, in the Grange Area there has been a proposal put forward to convert a Priority Parking Area into a Controlled Parking Zone, and a leaflet has been distributed to residents in that area. This development is causing a stir amongst residents of the Grange. The consultation closes on 30th May.
Nigel: Paper has been circulated. The key things to note are that the Grange Association has agreed to fund work restoring big monuments in the cemetery, and the Grange Cemetery now has its own email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Action: Alison will find out who set up the Donate-By-Text service for FOMBL and will report back to Nigel.
Adam: Going forward, Adam would like to see MSCC become more proactive as a council and suggests that as a group we figure out what our priorities are – what improvements we wish to see in the community, and what actions we might take to achieve these improvements. For example, Adam would like MSCC to raise our visibility in the community, and make our voice heard on developments across the city.
Action: Adam will write and circulate a paper detailing his proposals.
Monthly report has been circulated. The bank balance is currently £1002.28.
Newington Safe Routes: Cameron Toll to Meadows Quiet Route
Shane: Newington Safe Routes are a pressure group set up to achieve a Cameron Toll to Meadows Quiet Route. Shane believes that MSCC should support them in this. While there are some concerns that making a quiet route will remove some of the pressure on the Council to make arterial roads safer to cycle on, in general it is a good proposal.
Shane volunteers to act as MSCC representative when liaising with Newington Safe Routes group.
Susie: Street furniture is an issue, and the council haven’t been sufficiently addressing this.
Adam suggests that this could be an issue we as a community council work on improving in the future.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 26th May at 7.30 – using Jitsi Meet.