DUKE STREET JUNCTION WORKS UPDATE

This is what is happening –

Footway widening outside former Leith Academy building from Duncan Place is progressing with new slabs being laid this week. It will stop at the existing pedestrian crossing for now until the roundabout is removed in around 3-4 weeks.

The contractor is also widening the footway outside the shops on Duke Street and they are currently laying the new slabs – will probably be completed later this week.

The contractor will then remove some of the existing islands at Lochend Road / Vanburgh place and will widen the footpath at that location. At the same time they will also start laying new ducts for traffic signals outside St. Andrews Church on Easter Road (so there may be some temporary pedestrian walkways created to facilitate this).

The new bus shelter for Vanburgh place will be installed early September,  however the existing bus stop will be kept in operation until all works are complete.

The deadline has now passed with regards the plants in the roundabout and transportation of these to new owners will be arranged.

If any local residents living near the junction would be prepared to commit to watering them regularly, some trees in giant pots could potentially be relocated to the newly widened walkway, from Leith Walk. Let us know! Quickly!

City of Edinburgh Council is currently exploring the possibility of a mural on the footway as you enter the Links from Vanburgh Place,  and also discussing the option of planting additional trees at that same location. In addition, Transport for Edinburgh are exploring the possibility of utilising the widened footway outside the former Leith Academy building to reintroduce a cycle hire station on the basis that this location is more open and may be less susceptible to vandalism.

If you have any further queries, please directly contact:

Steven Blacklaw ¦ Engineer – Transport Design & Delivery

Place ¦ Planning & Transport ¦ The City of Edinburgh Council

G4, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG

Tel 0131 529 3252  steven.blacklaw@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

 

North East Voluntary Sector – network event 15 August

From Rachel Green, Director of the Ripple project:

A while back we asked people if they would like to come together as a North East Voluntary Sector Forum to discuss possible opportunities for joint working. The Citadel, The White House and The Ripple have now together organised a first network meeting:
Thursday 15th August, 2pm to 4pm, at The Ripple, 198 Restalrig Road South, Edinburgh EH7 6DZ

This is really just an opportunity to start some conversations and get to know each other.  We will also be joined by Jen Swann from the Scottish Government Community Empowerment team who will talk about the current Local Governance Review and what this means for local organisations and the people we serve.

The meeting aims to bring together people from Leith, Restalrig, Lochend, Craigentinny, Portobello and Craigmillar, and potentially any others interested. If you wish to attend, please reserve your free place via this link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/north-east-edinburgh-voluntary-sector-network-event-tickets-67431652889

Please feel free to cascade through your networks if you think this will be of interest.

Any queries to rachel.green@theripple.org.uk

0131 554 0422     www.rippleproject.co.uk

Latest news about the Easter Rd./Duke St./Lochend Rd. junction changes

Could YOU re-home an exotic plant from the roundabout?

LLCC is still awaiting confirmation of the start date of work (‘soon’) on the new junction. The latest designs have more or less sorted out most of the problems raised by LLCC and residents, with the exception of the loss of a right turn from Lochend Road into Vanburgh Place. This raises worries about development of a possible ‘rat run’ through Burns Street/ Industrial Road/the Colonies. Council has agreed to monitor traffic here and to review the situation after an initial period with the new junction in place.

Meanwhile:

  • Any residents wishing to re-home any of the Flax and Cordylines (the palm tree-like plants) from the roundabout should contact transportdesign@edinburgh.gov.uk before 19th August 2019, as these will soon become available.
    (Sadly – and we HAVE explored this –  they cannot just be replanted on the Links as the Council experts don’t think they’d thrive there, and can’t undertake to water and maintain them. Also they can’t be planted in pots as they are too big and also would need endless watering. But if any local people can take them for their garden, allotment, plot, community garden or wherever, and will commit to watering them, they are going free to a good home. Get in touch straightaway!
  • To make up for this (sort of…) the Community Parks Officer has suggested new trees at the entrance to the Links as a way of replacing the planting from the roundabout which will be removed. His vision is to introduce blocks of colour (see example images below). A cost is still to be confirmed and agreed and any trees would be planted young and so the full effect may take some time to develop but idea is for a more striking entrance to the Links through the use of colour. Your thoughts on this?
  • The Council has the idea of considering commissioning a local artist(s) to create a mural on the ground at the entrance to the Links off Vanburgh Place, similar to works created at the corner of Albert Street / Crighton Place (Leith Walk) but still needs to work out all the details and is very much just a concept at the moment. Ideas? Suggestions about possible artists and designs appreciated.
  • The existing eastbound bus stop on Vanburgh Place is going to be kept, but will be relocated into a new layby which will also include the procurement of a new bus shelter given the poor condition of the existing bus shelter.
  • During the recent site meetings/discussion with LLCC and local residents, the traffic congestion on Duke Street was raised with emphasis on the positioning of the existing bus stops (virtually opposite each other outside Tescos) being a potential cause. Lothian Buses are currently considering the positioning of the bus stops on Duke Street in a bid to reduce congestion and Council will relay their thoughts once they have carried out this exercise.

Council will provide a further update in due course  and in the meantime any questions or comments can be sent to transportdesign@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the picture for more information.

City Transformation Plans -Only One More Day!

Please make sure YOUR voice is heard! The consultation on the ‘City Transformation’ closes on 7th July, so you have just 24 hours to submit your response. If implemented, these plans could make a BIG difference to how you get around your home city – some fantastic new ideas and some that could make life quite difficult for some people. Find the survey here and have your say

SEAFIELD SMELL WARNING from Scottish Water

Scottish Water said today –

“We have had a recent wet spell of weather and as a result rain filled the storm tanks at Seafield on a number of occasions.  When inlet flow conditions have allowed, in between rainfall events, Veolia has drained as much of the contents as possible.

Veolia continually assesses weather forecasts and has been minimising the contents of storm tanks in readiness for full draining and cleaning.  Cleaning starts Tuesday 11 June. Although the wind is forecast to be onshore conditions are due to be breezy and whilst the contents pose a lesser risk of generating odour, Veolia will seek to minimise odour emissions using all measures outlined in the site Odour Management Plan which may involve the application of odour reducing materials.  The work is scheduled to be completed by Wednesday 12 June. We will provide an update once the cleaning work has completed.”

What good is a warning? We can’t choose to switch off our noses!

The ‘odour reducing materials’ that they mention  mean applying chemicals  – usually potassium permanganate  – and sometimes the ‘antiseptic’smell of those chemicals can be just as offensive as the smell of sewage. There is also a risk of iodoform gas forming due to contact with sea water. Scottish Water says its not dangerous but other research says it is!

Seafield can’t cope with hot weather, it can’t cope with rain. Is it fit for purpose?

Your Community Council had another meeting this week with MSP Ben McPherson, who is writing again to Minister Rosanna Cunningham about the situation for local residents. It seems new investment is coming – but not nearly quickly enough.

LLCC Annual Report 2018-2019

At its AGM on 27 May 2019, Leith Links Community Council presented and adopted its Annual Report covering the past year’s activities. This report is available in paper booklet format around and about in the area, and you are most welcome to download and read here an electronic version LLCC Annual Report 2018-2019.

The ‘noise in the night’ explained…

Last Wednesday night / Thursday morning (15/16 May) was the night from hell, with both a loud high pitched continuous whining noise, PLUS a constant ear-splitting siren from Seafield sewage works keeping people awake all night from Bonnington to Craigentinny and all points in between (i.e. mainly, the Leith Links area!). This was a record high for noise complaints, and people in our community are angry and frustrated (and tired!).

Naturally Leith Links Community Council reported the matter, as did many individual residents. We have received this report from City of Edinburgh Environmental Protection Dept.

Veolia have investigated and advised me (Council officer) that they had an alarm activation. Their Sludge Import Tank reached its high level and this triggered an audible alarm.  The tank level is higher than normal in order to minimise the overall odour risk within the Seafield site.  It is rare for this alarm to trigger during the night shift as most tanker imports are limited to the day shift – however an overnight import delivery seems to have triggered the alarm.  The alarm stays on until the sludge level within the import tank is reduced (by the processing of sludge through the sludge treatment centre on site).

Veolia shall be reviewing the arrangements for this alarm further today, and will advise me on progress or future actions.  Scottish Water shall also reduce their road tanker imports to Seafield in the short term, which will reduce the rate of level rise within the Sludge Import Tank.

Veolia have apologised for the inconvenience and disturbance caused within the community, which I agreed to pass on to residents who complained.

To add insult to injury, sleepless people have had to stay indoors and keep their windows closed all day yesterday (hottest day of the year so far) due to the overwhelming smell of sewage pervading the local area. What does Seafield have to say about that? They say – we did warn you we were cleaning the tanks…

We think that while it is good to get warnings and explanations, that is not enough. Action is needed. Change is overdue. This community wants to see our Council standing up to Scottish Water / Veolia, and enforcing its own laws and ‘Code of Practice’, to protect our community’s basic quality of life from the endless nuisances caused by Seafield.

Noise Nuisance from Seafield Sewage Works – Update

For over a month now, local residents have been plagued (on and off, but mostly ON) by a distressingly loud, continuous noise, 24/7. It is driving people crazy, and making them angry. Many residents are especially distraught because they cannot sleep, even with earplugs. It is usually a continuous high pitched whine, although it can on occasion be accompanied by, or replaced by, a low pitched rumbling/pulsing.

Leith Links Community Council has been following this up vigorously, and has had (albeit slow to get started) good support so far from City of Edinburgh Council Environment Protection Dept.. Luckily noise – unlike smells – can be measured objectively, so they could not pretend it does not exist. It has been established definitively that the noise is emanating from Seafield Sewage Treatment Works, from a defective compressor on Primary Settlement Tank (PST)1, and to a lesser extent from PST Compressor 8, possibly with other ‘potential contributing factors which are being considered by the operator’.

Environmental Protection say (over a month after the first complaints)  ‘I can confirm that this matter is already under investigation. We are in dialogue with Veolia at the Seafield Waste Water Treatment works in relation to the noise. … I can advise you that Veolia are treating this as a priority and are actively looking to put short term and longer term measures in place in order to address this concern.’

The Council has requested a full report from Veolia, who run the Seafield plant, detailing what exactly is wrong and what actions they will take to ‘minimise’ (hhmmm..) the noise in the community. They expect this soon and of course we (LLCC) are urging that pressure is kept up on Veolia, for swift action!

This is just one more sign that Seafield is not fit for purpose. Since January, via this LLCC website form, there have been 76 reports of bad smells (70 of which came in between 24 February and 31 March). It is still smelling, today. Reports of the noise have been coming in since 5th March, continuing steadily until now, from at least 20 different people.

John Telfer, Head of PFI, Scottish Water, says “In the first instance I apologise for the fact that …members of the community have been inconvenienced by recent odour and noise issues….Can I assure you that Veolia are working to address the noise related issues that you and other stakeholders have made reference to. Veolia are fully aware of the inconvenience this is causing and are looking at what could be done in the immediate short and longer term to deal with these noise emissions…. Again please accept my apologies for the inconvenience these issues have caused and be assured that Scottish Water is taking steps to address your concerns.”

Is this good enough?

How come Veolia / Scottish Water didn’t start dealing with the noise problem much earlier? Would anything have been done at all if the community had not kept on reporting this? How come the Council does not seem to treat this noise nuisance as non-compliance with the Code of Practice they are supposed to ‘police’ and hold Seafield to account on?

What can residents do?

Now that the Council is finally ‘on the case’, there is no point in reporting the same noise repeatedly. That just means that the Environmental Protection Officer’s time is taken up replying to individuals, when we actually need him to spend his time  keeping up the pressure on Veolia and Scottish Water. BUT we (LLCC) would like to ask you to report it anyway – only via the form on this website. We suggest that you report the noise when first you hear it, and at daily intervals if you can be bothered. Currently the form is really only set up for smell reporting (we ARE updating it asap) but there are boxes that you can complete anyway saying something like ‘Along with the smell’ (or, ‘Not smell but’)  ‘continuous high pitched whining noise nuisance experienced’ & how loud, what effect it has on your quality of life.

Reporting via the form (see top of this page, or sidebar) means we can keep an accurate record of all complaints and compile these at intervals to keep the Council updated, without wasting their time on an hourly/daily basis.

However, just in case you want a personal response, or want an officer to visit your house, these are the correct contact points for Environment Protection:

Email – asknoise@edinburgh.gov.uk

Or use the general help lines on Tel: 0131 200 2000 or Twitter – @edinhelp

Leith Links Community Council Meeting, 25 March, 6:30pm, Leith Community Centre

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be on Monday 25th March, at 6:30pm in the Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate.

If you live in the area, you are warmly welcomed to attend.

Please find here the Agenda for the meeting and the Minutes of the last meeting (draft until adopted). Earlier papers are stored in our library.

Invitation to Polish Professionals working in Support Services

Leith info

Feniks is organising a networking meeting for Polish professionals working in support services in Edinburgh. 15th November, 10 am, St. Margarets House, Room g5

Language and lack of confidence can be barriers to accessing services for our clients. How to access to Polish speaking officers and learning about referral systems are essential to maintain good quality care and recovery for our service users. Especially in this changing and hostile environment, it is important to be up to date with the services in Edinburgh.

Please share this information with Polish workers/ colleagues. More details in attached leaflet (Polish language also)

Magda Czarnecka, Project Development Manager (part time, Monday- Friday)

m: 0788 544 2589
e: magda.czarnecka@feniks.org.uk

Feniks. Counselling, Personal Development and Support Services Ltd.
Charity no. SC039041

St Margaret’s House | 151 London Rd | Edinburgh | EH7 6AE

www.feniks.org.uk
www.facebook.com/Feniks.Support.Services
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Feniks is a charity providing psychological support to Central-East European Community (mainly Polish) in Edinburgh. We provide counselling and community development projects aiming to tackle social isolation within migrant community in Edinburgh.

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