Permission sought for Leith Links 5k

City of Edinburgh Council are considering an application to permit a Leith Links 5k to be held in Leith Links (organisers also plan to use the Restalrig Railway Path).

The request doesn’t contain a great amount of detail but is published here for your information, please be aware we have removed the name of the individual making the application.

If you have any views either in support or objection to the request, or just a general comment please let City of Edinburgh Council know;

 

Trams to Newhaven: Final Business Case published

Earlier today City of Edinburgh Council published their Final Business Case, in advance of a meeting of their Transport & Environment Committee due to be held on Thursday 28 February 2019.

The release of the Final Business Case to Committee is another step towards a full Council meeting on 14 March 2019 when a decision will be made as to whether to finish constructing the tram line to Newhaven from York Place.

Leith Community Centre celebrates fiftieth anniversary

On Sunday 10 March 2019 Leith Community Centre (which can be found at the Newkirkgate Shopping Centre) celebrates fifty years since it was officially opened on Monday 10 March 1969.

Leith Links Community Council holds its regular monthly meetings, and many of its occasional meetings in the Centre as does Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council and many other local groups.

A day of celebration is being held to mark the occasion and members of the Leith community are encouraged to attend.

The afternoon begins with a number of free taster sessions, followed by two parties (tickets are free but should be booked).

For more information, or to book a ticket you can pop into the Community Centre office or visit their website.

Leith Chooses 2019 – 30 applicants announced

There are 30 applicants to £eith Chooses 2019 – 8 for the ‘Food’ theme, and 22 for the ‘Supporting Vulnerable People’ theme. Lots of really great project ideas! View them all here in the ‘£eith Chooses Gallery’.

Checking out the projects online gives you a bit of background to each project, and a chance to reflect, before you come to Leith Community Centre on 23rd February, to vote. Please take a look and think about questions you might like to discuss with project groups, when you come, and which you might vote for.

The Gallery is just for ‘viewing’. There is no online voting this year.

When you come to vote on 23rd February, you will get up to 3 votes in each room (Food, and Vulnerable People). 2 votes for your 2 favourite projects, and 1 Boost Vote (optional) for your favourite from certain projects which go ‘above and beyond’ in involving members of ethnic minority communities. More voting information.

The following 8 (out of 30) project groups qualify for Boost Votes, according to the criteria laid down by the £eith Chooses Steering Group:

  • Broughton Primary School Parent Council, Saheliya & partners
  • Building Bridges
  • Creative Electric
  • Dr. Bells Family Centre
  • Hermitage Park Primary School Association
  • Multi Cultural Family Base
  • Sikh Sanjog
  • YMCA

Leith Links Community Council has been involved in developing & delivering participatory budgeting in our community for a number of years. One of our members has been a significant driving force over the course of the year and a number of our members will be volunteering at the grand voting event. See you there!

 

Clean up planned for Restalrig Railway Path

A spring clean of Restalrig Railway Path is being held on Saturday 2 March 2019 from 12:30 until 14:30. Those interested in taking part should meet at the opening of the walkway at the Restalrig Road bridge, with litter pickers & gloves being provided.

The group plan on focusing on the area between the meeting point and Leith Academy.

Local Facebook group ‘Restalrig Road + Railway Path’ often promote such clean ups, with a Facebook event created for this specific clean up.

A number of Leith Links Community Councillors have participated in previous clean up events on the railway path and are likely to be at this one too. This is a really easy way for people to help improve their community and we would encourage as many people as possible to take part.

New development planned for 111-115 Constitution Street

Plans for a development of 49 residential dwellings and a commercial unit have been submitted to City of Edinburgh Council, the plans include demolishing some buildings already on the site including the Latto vehicle repairs garage.

The two planning applications are detailed below, by clicking on the links you will be taken to the City of Edinburgh Council planning portal where you can view the documents associated with the applications, you will also be able to submit your comments on the applications.

  • 18/10297/FUL. Proposed redevelopment of existing vehicle repair centre and derelict warehouse buildings to form residential development comprising 49 units and a commercial unit. Existing listed buildings and significant historic building to be retained as part of the development.
  • 18/10298/PN. Prior notification for demolition of buildings.

In addition to commenting on the planning applications you may wish to share your views with the three City of Edinburgh Councillors for Leith Ward;

Leith Links Community Council will also be considering its response, which will be available on our website in due course.

Formal review of Scheme for Community Councils launched

Following a preliminary consultation on possible changes to the Scheme of Administration for Community Councils in Edinburgh, which we wrote about here, a formal review of the scheme begins on 11 February 2019, and runs until 22 April 2019 following a decision taken by City of Edinburgh Councillors earlier today [7/2/19].

Proposals aim to improve and update the terms and provisions of the Scheme. This will include the introduction of a complaints procedure for dealing with breaches of the Community Councillor’s Code of Conduct.

Council officers are also holding a series of drop in information events accross the City, although they will not hold any in Leith.  The nearest ones to Leith are;

  • 28 February 2019, 4 – 5 pm, East Office, 101 Niddrie Mains Road
  • 6 March 2019, 5.30 – 6.30 pm, City Chambers, High Street.

The current intention is for a revised scheme to be presented to Councillors in August 2019, with a view to it taking effect in time for the October 2019 Community Council elections.

North East Locality Events Fund – Successful applicants announced

On 23 November 2018 we let you know about the North East Locality Events Fund which was making £20,000 available for the promotion of local cultural & artistic events.

32 applications were considered by a funding panel Chaired by Christina Hinds of EVOC.

The successful applications were as follows;

Organisation

Area

Funding award

Drake Music

Craigmillar

£2,329

Artlink

Lochend

£3,329.03

Think Circus

Craigmillar

£3,846.25

Lorne School Parent Council

Leith

£2,125

Art Walk Project

Portobello

£4,165

Northfield & Willowbrae

Various areas of NE Locality

£4,182

For further information please contact the City of Edinburgh Councils North East Locality Team;

Community Councils Together on Trams: Minutes of meeting held on Thursday 10 January 2019

Leith Links Community Council is a member of ‘Community Councils Together on Trams’ alongside Leith Central Community Council, Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council and New Town & Broughton Community Council. CCTT is the coalition of Community Councils who meet regularly to discuss, scrutinise and influence the intended continuation of the Edinburgh Tram system to Newhaven.


Abbreviations

BAFO = best and final offer LW = Leith Walk
CCTT = Community Councils Together on Trams NTBCC = New Town & Broughton Community Council
CEC = City of Edinburgh Council OBC = outline business case
CPZ = controlled parking zone POLHA = Port of Leith Housing Association
CS = Constitution St SPC = swept-path contract
ECI = early contractor involvement TAPOG = CEC’s tram all-party oversight group
EIA = environmental impact assessment TfE = Transport for Edinburgh
FBC = full business case TMRP = Traffic Management Review Panel
ISC = infrastructure and systems contract TN = Trams to Newhaven project
LCCC = Leith Central Community Council TRO = traffic regulation order
LHNCC = Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council TT = trams team
LLCC = Leith Links Community Council

1 Welcome, introductions

1.a Attendance

Charlotte Encombe CCTT/LCCC Andrew Mackenzie CCTT/LLCC
Hannah Ross TT/CEC Angus Hardie CCTT/ LLCC
Darren Wraight TT/CEC Rob Levick CCTT/LHNCC
Jennifer Marlborough CCTT/LHNCC Harald Tobermann CCTT/LCCC

1.a Apologies

Margaret Duffy CCTT/NTBCC Bruce Ryan CCTT minutes secretary
Rob Leech TT

2 Review of critical dates from CCTT

A Data Room will be open to councillors. Final Business Case (FBC) plus supporting documentation will be available to all the councillors in the data room. Procurements process is already complete but not published. Councillors will scrutinise procurement through the Finance & Resources Committee in early March but any decision will be subject to Full Council approval of the FBC.

The FBC will be considered by the Transport & Environment Committee on 28 Feb 2019 wherein councillors may speak and CCs can have a delegation. FBC will be made available to the Press on 22 Feb. On 14 March full council meeting, motions can still be tabled; this may cause postponements or amendments. Political briefings will take place prior this, i.e. presentations, explaining the business case, each party briefed separately and independent councillors separately by CEC.

If the FBC is approved the Council will not award contracts until after a procurement “standstill” period meaning contracts would be signed at the end of March. After contract signing there will be a 5 month Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) stage during which time CCTT will be able to liaise with contractor.

JM was assured that Brexit should not have any effect on the tram construction (other than general confusion).

HR explained to AH that the Hardie inquiry is completely independent from CEC so they have no access. Also the main subject is TIE rather than CEC. However, HR noted that CEC have followed the inquiry throughout and as far as possible have included/are including lessons learned. Whenever Hardie publishes his report CEC will endeavour to learn from that as well.

2.a Identify opportunities for further CCTT input at various stages.

HR confirmed that CEC are following the Government Green Book Guidance in finalising the FBC and in doing so seeking to demonstrate that the project stands up in terms of costs and benefits. HR asks if there anything that CCTT would like to see in the FBC. HT: we see them all as quite important and would like to see them all incorporated into the FBC (refer to update programme/issues list inserted at end of minutes as Appendix)

AM: will FBC be specific about issues along the route? In particular Constitution Street? HR: It will probably be more general. There will be information on traffic and construction management . If there are additional problems we have had to allow in the cost plan for that. It’s also reflected in the risk, although these are all commercially sensitive details. The preferred contractor would talk more to the community. AM is still concerned that the detailed designs are still very vague with lots of areas of uncertainty. DW: disagrees, there are 2 options for Constitution St to approve. Discussion follows on how TT has approached the design process, in which DW mentions that TT ‘stands rigidly behind the current design’. HT mentions the possibility/example of changing speed limits for Constitution St. which would have an adverse effect on the tram system. The point made was that the worst case scenario from a construction cost has been reflected within the FBC. DW also mentions that changes in speed limits are not considered at all, just possible changes in hard landscaping.

JM: passes on enquiry about a resident who had a letter from CEC about wires being attached to her building. Causes confusion for residents. DW advises to ask the persons in question to get in touch with him, there is a legal team on hand to help. AM wants to know how many fixings will be attached to buildings along the tram line.

HT: proposes that CCTT should ideally look at the FBC as soon as possible once the data room opens. CCTT members need to lobby our councillors for political inputs.

2.b Update from CCTT

JM’s note was provided through the design consultation and will be closed out through this process. CCTT will be able to express views through forum however consultation is now closed.

3 Update from CCTT

See above.

4 Other items

4.a Review of traffic

In email of 27 Nov 2018 Cllr Munro requested from CEC a review of traffic volume, access and egress and parking at Ocean Terminal. This request ended up with TT as CEC did not have such information. TT has not done any specific modelling in that area because the junction is not being altered for the benefit of the tram.

RL: this letter came from a discussion at LHNCC about traffic impact around western Harbor, where we are going to have building of school, properties etc. in the next 5 years. There are difficulties in Newhaven place, the coaches service the cruise harbor; a number of major projects taking place in a restricted area. LHNCC wants to flag up these potential difficulties, the effect on traffic, which is difficult already. It could turn into a mess that cannot be fixed. DW Tram team has not done any modeling on that junction and suggests that RL gets in contact with the transport planner for that area.

A comment was made about speeding vehicles along Ocean Drive. DW has agreed to arrange a meeting with Cllr Booth and provide him with a response from a tram perspective. DW will also report the problems with noise at night to the technical work group that he attends.

 

4.b List of interdependent programmes and who is responsible

Refer to document

4.b.1 Additional comments:

CE: how could a member of the public challenge any traffic management plans? In the case of the Abbeyhill rotary, it virtually appeared overnight and there was no way for members of the public to challenge that decision. DW: communications are so critical to this project. The Contractor is contractually bound to provide a stakeholder management resource which will be defined at the ECI period. They will give ample notice of any changes in traffic management during construction. Traffic management can be a standing agenda item in future community engagement forums. HT: it will be necessary to have a number of people on the street dealing with issues as they arise. DW: TT acknowledge this and confirm that a strategy will be further developed through the ECI period.

JM: Who is going to manage construction vehicles in the dock area and construction vehicles for other construction projects? DW: There is the Dock Area Working Group to deal with this. On it are Cala Homes, S1 homes, Harrisons, Leith Distillery, Ocean Terminal and Forth Ports, chaired by DW. DW is happy to circulate a list of the various groups, their remits, members and lines of communication.

In HT’s opinion the Supplementary projects list of 10 is far more important to the users of this community than the tram itself. He notes that the construction of the tram is necessarily the most important thing to the tram team, but the above list of issues should be resolved as well as it will be this community that will have to live with the consequences. Every single item on the list should be resolved; should have been resolved a long time ago, and the council needs to get its act together.

5 Quantification of environmental benefits for CC areas impacted by tram corridor: before/during/after.

Could be part of our political case still to be made to make sure that there are some. HT to keep trying to get hold of any data.

6 Next meeting 31 January and 21 February 5.30-7.30pm

RL and DW can be there all or just for some of the time. HR offers to provide answers to any specific queries you may have. DW is also happy to answer specific questions. Next meetings might be split into two parts: first part CCTT with TT for further clarifications and updates; second part for CCTT steering group only to plan best engagement with councillors, media and the wider public.

‘Fascist political group plans to infiltrate Community Councils’ says The Ferret

The Ferret describes itself as an award-winning investigative journalism platform for Scotland and beyond, recently one of their contributors published an article claiming that the far right are planning to infiltrate Community Councils. Reproduced below is the article.

Edinburgh Community Councils will be holding their triennial elections this Autumn.

At the last triennial elections in 2016 Leith Links Community Council were the only Community Council in Edinburgh to hold a public poll. This was because we were the only Community Council in Edinburgh to have more candidates standing than the number of seats available, in our case we had 17 candidates for 12 seats.  If we had 12 or less candidates, they would have been given their seats without an election.  Information relating to our 2019 elections will be published soon on this website, and on our Facebook & Twitter streams.

It should be noted that Community Councils in Edinburgh are non party political but a number of Community Councillors across the City area members of political parties, pressure groups etc.


Billy Briggs wrote:

An extreme far right group modelled on Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists plans to put candidates up for community council seats in Scotland.

The New British Union (NBU) idolises British fascist Mosley whose violent supporters wore Nazi-style uniforms in the 1930s and were known as Blackshirts.

The openly fascist group is recruiting on Twitter and is led by Gary Raikes, the British National Party’s former leader in Scotland.

An official NBU document seen by The Ferret reveals that NBU plans to stand supporters as independent candidates to build support locally across the UK.

The document explains what Raikes terms as the “Quiet Revolution”. It says: “The important action is that cells should try to center (sic) around a member willing to stand in parish/local elections as independent candidates and help get them elected.

“Blackshirt cells will develop into Blackshirt units in every village, town and city in the UK. The idea is to build fascist cells of two to five people in as many places as possible.”

The document adds: “The action is true, grassroots style politics – fostering change nationwide, from the local level. The fundamental application of this philosophy is the induction of true British nationalists in all forms and level of local government.

“We at the NBU have recognised that obtaining appointment to parish and community councils is both a symbolic, and practically necessary starting point, in the pursuit of this philosophy of action.

“The NBU is a young movement, yet already has a handful of parish councillors, and one county councillor we also have a number of our people about to take up seats on Scottish community councils.”

Raikes formed the NBU in 2013 after leaving the BNP. He was also a member of the anti-Muslim group, Britain First, led by Scottish Loyalist, Jim Dowson.

At the 2007 Scottish Parliament election Raikes was a BNP candidate for the North East Scotland region. In 2015 the NBU claimed it was targeting Elgin politically prompting a backlash from locals.

The NBU uses Nazi iconography while Raikes posts sinister propaganda videos of himself speaking while dressed in a black uniform. Another video on the NBU site is of far right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, who is an advisor to UKIP.

Yaxley-Lennon is a former BNP supporter and football hooligan who has been convicted of multiple crimes including mortgage fraud and assault.

In one video Raikes says he is trying to “unite the right”.

Unite Against Fascism said: “Thankfully the far right in Britain is divided, whether this numpty has the ability to unite them remains to be seen. What can be seen from NBU website is that Tommy Robinson is the lightning rod that they are trying to use to unite the far right.

“Although the slogans and emblems of the NBU look old fashioned from the 1930’s we can see when they were used last year in the the “unite the right” rally in Charlottesville in America that they can become potent once again.

“‘Never again’ was the popular slogan after the second world war against fascism. We should never forget that and never give these dangerous idiots an inch.”

Scottish Greens justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP said: “It’s a sad reality that the Brexit mess created by the Tories has given confidence to those with extreme right-wing views. However, I’ve no doubt that communities across Scotland will continue to reject these dangerous and deluded groups who couldn’t organise a bun fight in a bakery.”

Raikes said: “We are not supporters of Tommy Robinson. We supported that specific issue not the man. We have been recruiting for six years. Social media is just one way of doing that. I fully expect you to deliver a bias twisted report detached from reality and know I will not be disappointed.

“British blackshirts fought and died for Britain in the last war just one of the many facts ignored by people like you. If you have read our website then you will know we are not a hate group we are simply offering people an alternative to failed democracy and a chance to discover the truth about Mosley and his ideas.”

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