Next meeting (AGM) of Leith Links Community Council; Monday 26th October, at 6:30pm, via Microsoft Teams.

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will take place on Monday 26th October, at 6:30pm, online, via Microsoft Teams.

There will be the AGM first, chaired by Councillor Gordon Munro, followed by a short ‘ordinary’ meeting chaired by Jim Scanlon.

The link for the meeting will be sent out by email.

Here are

(1) the Minutes of the 2019 AGM

(2) the Minutes of the September 2020 ‘ordinary’ meeting. Both are draft until adopted at next week’s meeting.

(3) the Annual Report (incorporating Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Engagement Officer Reports) (also draft until adopted at next week’s meeting).

(4) the Agenda for the AGM

(5) the Agenda for the ordinary meeting.

(6) the end of year accounts for LLCC Project a/c (£eith Chooses) which is not included in the Annual Report

These will also be stored for access at any time in our online Library.

The meeting is open to members of the public who are resident, or have close links to our local area. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and ask to be sent an invitation /link for the meeting.

£eith Chooses 2021 – it’s happening!

It was unclear whether or not £eith Chooses would be able to go ahead this year or not, but the good news is Yes! It’s happening!

The application process for £eith Chooses 2021 is now open – and your community group is invited to apply.

To find out more, and to download an Application Form, head over to the £eith Chooses website.

£eith Chooses (called £eith Decides, originally) is an annual event since 2010 in which members of the local community in Leith vote to make the decisions on how community grants funds are to be allocated to local community projects. It’s called ‘participatory budgeting’ (PB) but its more than that – it’s a brilliant form of community engagement and involvement,  as local voters get to know about the great community groups and projects in their area.

Leith Links Community Council has been very closely involved with this process for many years, having been the successful recipient of Scottish  Government  funding to support PB (between 2016 – 2019) and also very actively involved in the day to day running of the organisation of £eith Chooses (via the Steering Group – a partnership between the Leith Community Councils, the City of Edinburgh Council, and community groups in Leith).

City of Edinburgh Council by-election: Ward 14 – Craigentinny / Duddingston.

Due to a vacancy caused by a resignation, a by-election is to be held to elect one councillor to the Craigentinny / Duddingston multi-member ward of the City of Edinburgh Council.

  • Register to vote, or arrange a proxy or postal vote by 27 October
  • Polling will take place on 12 November 2020.

If you live in this area, please be sure to vote!

Thursday 12 November, from 0:700 until 22:00

Although most of the Leith Links Community Council area sits within the Leith ward (ward 13) area, the Eastern part of area sites within Craigentinny / Duddingston ward (ward 14).

Candidates standing in the by-election are;

  • Elaine Ford, Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Margaret Arma Graham, Scottish Labour Party
  • Tam Laird, Scottish Libertarian Party
  • Andrew McDonald, Independent
  • Ben Parker, Scottish Green Party
  • Eleanor Price, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • Ethan Young, Scottish National Party (SNP)

For more information on the election please visit the City of Edinburgh Councils website by clicking here.

For more information on registering to vote, obtaining a postal vote or obtaining a proxy vote please visit the Electoral Registration Officer website by clicking here.

The map below details the Craigentinny / Duddingston ward area.

 

 

 

Leith Links Community Council respond to Scottish Government consultation on regulation of Short Term Lets

The Scottish Governments latest consultation on Short Term Lets gathers final views on proposed new legislation for the regulation of Short Term Lets in Scotland.Scottish Government publishes Debt Advice Routemap for Scotland | Money Advice Liaison Group

Their proposals include a mandatory licensing scheme to ensure that all Short Term Lets are safe and to address issues faced by neighbours. The regulations, if passed by the Scottish Parliament, would come into force by April 2021.  These would also give councils powers to manage pressures created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets.

The consultation closes on Friday 16 October 2020. Click here to view the consultation on the Scottish Government website.

In response to the consultation Leith Links Community Council has now submitted its response, which is available below for citizens to view. We would recommend reading our response alongside the consultation papers (available via the link detailed above) otherwise it may not make much sense!

We have went went a bit deeper that the three simple questions apparently ask. This was a very conscious decision in order to make sure the Scottish Government are clear of our position in expectation that the Short Term Let industry will be working to challenge the strength of any new regulation.

There are two principles which run throughout the consultation response;

  1. The regulation should be clear and simple to understand by public authorities, citizens and the Short Term Let industry. The legislation should not afford opportunities for it to be open to interpretation. This is problematic for everyone involved.
  2. The cost of the regulation should be entirely borne by the Short Term Let industry.  This legislation is required because the industry has failed to self regulate. Application charges should be set at a level which takes account of all costs incurred by local authorities (and other public bodies such as Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service). The public purse is under significant pressure and none of it should be diverted to regulation of Short Term Lets.

Leith Links Community Council is encouraging citizens to submit their own responses to the consultation via the Scottish Governments website. The consultation closes on Friday 16 October 2020. Click here to view the consultation on the Scottish Government website.

» Read more

Congratulations Jim Scanlon MBE!

Long serving Leith Links Community Council Chairman Jim Scanlon has become a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in this years Queens Birthday Honours for services to the community of Leith.

 

This follows on from Jim and his wife Annie being jointly awarded The Elizabeth Wardlaw Leith Citizenship Award 2019 as part of Leith Festival 2019.

 

 

 

Jim Scanlon MBE said;

On my birthday in June I received an email to tell me that I had been awarded an MBE but had to remain silent about the award until last Friday night when the embargo ended.

 

I feel very humbled and proud to receive the MBE and will continue to work hard for the Leith community.

 

Secretary of Leith Links Community Council Sally Millar said;

The members of Leith Links Community Council are absolutely delighted to hear that our Chair Jim Scanlon has been awarded an MBE.

Jim is a thoroughly great bloke, has led the Community Council steadily for many years, and is an unassuming but tireless champion of the local community and the wonderful area we live in.

 

Short Term Lets: Consultation on a licensing scheme and planning control areas in Scotland. A consultation by Scottish Government

The Scottish Governments latest consultation on Short Term Lets gathers final views on proposed new legislation for the regulation of Short Term Lets in Scotland.Scottish Government publishes Debt Advice Routemap for Scotland | Money Advice Liaison Group

Their proposals include a mandatory licensing scheme to ensure that all Short Term Lets are safe and to address issues faced by neighbours. The regulations, if passed by the Scottish Parliament, would come into force by April 2021.  These would also give councils powers to manage pressures created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets.

Leith Links Community Council is encouraging citizens to submit their own responses to the consultation via the Scottish Governments website. The consultation closes on Friday 16 October 2020. Click here to view the consultation on the Scottish Government website.

We are currently working on our response, which we will publish on this website next week. If you have any comments in relation to the consultation, which you feel we should take into consideration please submit them to us commenting below no later than 6pm on Tuesday 13 October 2020.

 

Big new building plans for Salamander Street – public consultation now open!

Today, 8th October, you can talk (online) to the developers of this new proposed development between 3 pm and 8 pm. After today, until the 29th October, you can view their exhibition online and post comments. The plans can be seen here.  PLEASE click over, have a look and say what you think.

A large site has been earmarked for development stretching from Bath Street along the north side of Salamander Street. The tenement block where the Pond pub is/was) will remain but the rest of the site will be cleared along almost half the length of Salamander Street back towards Seafield.

The proposed redevelopment is for a “residential-led, mixed-use development” which would offer approximately 300 new residential apartments of which 25% will be affordable homes in line with council planning policy.

Currently owned by John G. Russell (Transport) Ltd., the site will be on sale to potential property developers, once planning permission has been applied for and granted. At the moment, things are at the Pre Application Notification stage (PAN) and now is the time to try and influence the designs.

Leith Links Community Council met recently with the agents and architects to hear more about the plans, and to ask questions and highlight (many) concerns. The local community now needs to have a look at these plans, and to express their views.

Think about the designs in terms of suitability for the site, massing and density, building height, green / open space (or lack of), light.  Also think about the main toad alongside – air quality, noise, effects on local traffic, cycle path provision? And think about the local infrastructure – can it accommodate yet more hundreds of residents – public transport, roads, schools, GP surgeries etc.?

You can also comment below if you like and we will try to incorporate your views into the Community Council’s response to the PAN.

Next meeting of Leith Links Community Council, Monday 28th September, at 6:30pm, via Zoom.

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will take place on Monday 28th September, at 6:30pm, via Zoom.

The Agenda for the meeting, and the Minutes of the previous meeting are here, and in our online Library.

A Zoom link will be sent out nearer the time.

The meeting is open to members of the public who are resident, or have close links to our local area. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and ask to be sent a Zoom link for the meeting.

Seafield Update

Information received from Scottish Water:

“We wanted to make you aware that Veolia plans to clean the storm tanks at Seafield between Monday 21st September and Wednesday 23 September, next week.  This is the first available opportunity to complete this maintenance task following the recent heavy rainfall in the catchment area, and whilst weather conditions are forecast to be favourable.

In addition, as part of planned maintenance activities at the site, Primary Settlement Tank 1 (PST1) is to be drained and cleaned. This activity has been scheduled to commence today with work expected to take approximately one week.

Conditions are currently forecast to be favourable and every effort will be made to minimise the odour risk when carrying out these activities.

Both SEPA and the City of Edinburgh Council have been informed.

We will issue a further update once Veolia has completed the work.

Note: A link to this communication will be posted on social media and also on our website  – https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/seafield

As always if you smell any sewage it’s important that you complete our report form.

I can assure you that all public bodies and elected councillors sit up and pay attention to every complaint made. Your MSP Ben MacPherson has also worked hard on your behalf to secure a commitment by the Scottish Government to invest no regrets funding to reduce odour emissions in 2020/21 and a new state of the art sewage works will be built on the same site in 2030 hopefully to end the Seafield Stench.

Jim Scanlon

Chair, Leith Links Community Council

Local traffic congestion & Links Gardens closure

At the last meeting of the Leith Links Community Council, the following motion was proposed and carried.

Due to excessive local traffic congestion, with concomitant air pollution and danger to pedestrians and cyclists, Leith Links Community Council proposes that a review is needed of the closure of Links Gardens and of the working of the redesigned junction at the foot of Easter Road. This should be carried out in the context of all the other nearby road closures, roadworks, and diversions affecting traffic across Leith, and should include full consultation with local residents and businesses.

The motion has been passed on to our three local Councillors, and to all members of the Transport and Environment Committee.

At the Community Council meeting (which was held online, but was open to members of the public to attend), the following points were raised in discussion:

LLCC is receiving many emails from local residents about severe traffic congestion problems, particularly relating to the redesigned Easter Road junction and to the Links Gardens closure. Residents are divided: many support the closure of Links Gardens for use by pedestrians and cyclists, while others are deeply upset by the traffic congestion, delays and blocked routes that beset our area currently. Recent online petitions have garnered hundreds of signatures. Currently some streets (eg. East Hermitage Place / Vanburgh Place) are actually worse for pedestrians and cyclists, rather than better, due to nose-to-tail queuing traffic and air pollution. Delays to public transport drives more people back to their cars.

LLCC is not anti-cyclist and is not demanding immediate reopening of the road, but just requesting a review. There was no consultation at the time of the closure.

A recent report from Police Scotland (Community Officer) states that “There are no highlighted concerns from Police Scotland in relation to public safety for this road [Links Gardens] re-opening. From a Police Scotland point of view we have no objections to this road re-opening and resuming normal traffic. This will hopefully alleviate a lot of traffic that is amounting along Vanburgh Place and Hermitage Place due to the new traffic light system on Duke Street.”

It is clear that the traffic problems are not ALL caused by the closure of Links Gardens, but by a ‘perfect storm’ of multiple road closures, roadworks and diversions all over Leith, and also by the new junction at the bottom of Easter road which has never worked well. Re-opening Links Gardens is the one thing that could be relatively easily achieved, and might help somewhat, even just temporarily while the Tramworks are at their most disruptive.

CEC policy is apparently to hope for “traffic evaporation” but it is not clear how this can be achieved.

Cllr McVey noted that the Links Gardens closure, along with early Covid 19 measures on other roads, is due to be reviewed at the next meeting of the Transport and Environment Committee.

           

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