LEITH LINKS COMMUNITY COUNCIL MEETING, 24 SEPTEMBER 2018

The next meeting of Leith Links Community Council  will take place on Monday, 24 September at 6:30pm in Leith Community Centre (Shore Room). Open to interested local residents.

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF START TIME

Agenda 24.9.18

Draft Minutes Monday 27 August 2018

Response to Ladyboys / La Clique event proposal for Links

Below is the response from Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) to City of Edinburgh Council (Parks and Greenspaces Dept.) on the proposal to use Leith Links as a Fringe venue between 29 July 2019 and 28 August 2019, by Lady Boys of Bangkok / La Clique Cabaret. Leith Links Community Council itself starts from an impartial position on the matter but considers its duty is represent the interests of local residents, who have raised a number of important points and concerns. Follow the links to read those points in more detail.

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The Leith Links Community Council has considered all aspects of this application very carefully. Please see attached our policy on events outlining the general terms that any applicants (and City of Edinburgh Council) need to meet in order to be acceptable.  It is clear that for a large and exceptionally long-running event such as is proposed here, there are many key issues that would need to be addressed, on which we would need to be reassured, before even considering accepting such an application. We have also carefully read and considered the many views expressed by local residents, and these have very much informed our view as a Community Council.

Views of local residents / community

Because this proposal is unusual in proposing a much longer use of the Links than previous applications for events, LLCC decided to put this proposal out to wider public consultation. From our website, FaceBook page and Twitter accounts we provided a link to an easy-to-complete ‘form’ for local residents to give their views. In the 5 days the form was available, we received 56 formal responses (plus a number of informal comments, that are not recorded here).

We have copied and pasted from those responses into the attached document public comments . Please take the time and trouble to read these comments – or you will not be ‘listening’ to our community.

We are aware that these are popular Fringe shows in need of a new venue. We have nothing against the shows in question. We can appreciate the potential value for local businesses in bringing more Festival visitors down into Leith. However, overall, we would have to question whether that is a powerful enough rationale for granting the application, when set against the opposing arguments. It is not clear that having these shows on the Links for 4+ weeks would be in the best interests of the local community. We therefore propose that City of Edinburgh Council should not approve this proposal at least until there has been wider consultation and until all the concerns raised have been adequately addressed.

On a practical basis, there are barriers to Area 9 as a potential venue, due to the John Rattray Statue due to be installed shortly exactly on the access point for that part of the Links. (See attached picture). Also, the childrens Playpark close to Area 9 is due to be upgraded in 2019, so there could be vehicles to and fro-ing, and fairly major building works still taking place there. Furthermore, it is our understanding that that part of the Links is already booked by LAFC for football (which season restarts in mid-August).

The Links is a large park, however other areas on the Links are equally ‘booked’ or in permanent use e.g. football, cricket pitches, St. Mary’s Primary school playground, PE and sports (term restarts in mid-August), informal childrens’ play, informal sports and/or relaxation, family picnics, dog walking, cycle path, formal and informal bootcamps, tennis, future development of the ex Dry Dock area etc. etc.

In short, Leith Links is not a commercial business but a green space for relaxation, health and well-being, much needed by the community in this very densely populated area of Edinburgh. It is a busy, family-friendly, public place that belongs to the local community and that should be openly accessible to them at all times, rather than blocked off in part for a long chunk of the summer for adult shows and private profit.

Wider Consultation?

We think that the Council should undertake further consultation with the community, given the scale of the event proposed, the risk of a significant precedent being created, and the sensitivity of citizens of both Leith and the whole of Edinburgh, at the moment, about Council decisions about the use of public green spaces being imposed upon them.

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Edinburgh Mela 2018 on Leith Links next weekend

Not this weekend, but next weekend – the 2018 Mela opens on Friday 31 August (tickets needed) and runs through Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September (FREE!) opening at 12 midday both days. It will be great! Please note that it will be along at the far (Seafield) end of the Links this year (No. 12 bus goes along there). For more details of programme see www.edinburgh-mela.co.uk

 

Traffic Restrictions around Leith Links schools

Have your say on the proposed restriction of traffic around Leith Primary School, and St. Mary’s Primary School, on Leith Links. This aims to cut down vehicles on the small streets nearest to the schools for a set period around the start and end of the school day.

There is a very short survey here that is open until 31st July 2018, please do take the chance to look at the plans and contribute your views.

https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/schoolstreets-phase3/ 

 

 

Pongs from Seafield Sewage

We are all sick of the horrible smells from Seafield, and it is even worse in lovely weather when we would like to sit outside (or even just have our windows open). In spite of the recent commissioned review, there are no signs of improvement lately – we have had a very smelly week!  One thing HAS improved though. We have been asking for this for years, and at last it is now a bit easier to report these disgusting smells that ruin our quality of life. Many households have had a leaflet and contacts card delivered from the Public Health Department. Use that contact if you wish. Or, if you don’t feel like phoning, click on ‘Report it Here’ in the yellow box  (above, below, or side bar, depending on your device) to use our own new web-based form.

CCTT – JOINT STATEMENT on TRAMS

Community Councils Together on Trams

Leith Links Community Council is one member of a group of four community councils who have issued a joint statement urging the city council to reconsider the wider implications, the detail, and the timeline of the controversial proposed extension of the Edinburgh tram to Newhaven.

Read the joint statement here from the Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) –(i.e. Leith Central, Leith Links, Leith Harbour & Newhaven, and New Town & Broughton, through whose wards the extended tram will run, if given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).  These bodies approve the proposed extension of the tramline in principle,  but urge caution and highlight a number of concerns on which they are seeking reassurances from the trams team and CEC. The joint Community Councils are seeking improved communications/consultation, as a matter of urgency.

Read the joint statement here

COMMUNITY COUNCILS TOGETHER ON TRAMS – PRESS RELEASE

Community Councils Together on Trams

29 June 2018

Leith Links Community Council is one of a group of community organisations who are urging the city council to reconsider the wider implications, the detail, and the timeline of the controversial proposed extension of the Edinburgh tram to Newhaven.

A joint statement urging caution and seeking improved communications as a matter of urgency has been issued by a coalition of the four community councils through whose wards the extended tram would run, if given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).

The statement released by Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) – which includes the community councils of Leith Central, Leith Links, Leith Harbour and Newhaven, and New Town and Broughton – says that while all four groups approve the proposed extension of the tramline in principle, if it is to be done well, they highlight a number of concerns on which they are seeking reassurances from the trams team and CEC.

The statement says: “The communities that we represent are understandably extremely eager that the mistakes of the previous tram construction works should not be repeated. We think all sides can agree on that. Consequently the community is seeking a high standard of solid evidence that this time the work will be better planned and implemented.”

While the document says that the community council coalition views the proposed extension as “an important opportunity for the broader social and economic development of the Leith area and beyond”, it adds the caveat that there is “an unavoidable impression that issues are being rushed or key information is not being shared”.

It continues: “The result is that, as of the present time, the four CCs which are party to this submission do not have the level of confidence and standard of evidence that our communities seek.”

Their key areas of concern focus on the design philosophy of the extension and the route, the consequences for the local economy, the desire for a realistic appraisal of the environmental benefits of the extension, and the entire readiness of this enormous project to get the go-ahead at this time.

The Outline Business Case for the tram extension was approved by CEC last September, and the city council is scheduled to make a final decision on whether to proceed with the project, or not, towards the end of this year. If approved, preparatory works could begin next spring.

In the meantime, as the consultation process continues and the project leaders await the bids from the four joint ventures vying to win the contract to build the extension, details of which are due at the end of July, the findings of the Hardie Inquiry into the original trams fiasco are yet to be presented, although they are due to emerge in the autumn.

Sally Millar, Secretary of Leith Links Community Council, said: “Leith has seen an enormous amount of development in recent years and with more to come; we need to be increasingly mindful of all the design considerations relating to the tram extension and how these impact on the local community. And we are determined to do that.”

Carol Nimmo, Chair of New Town and Broughton Community Council, added: “The design of the tram extension should be aligned with the city’s over-arching transport and design priorities of environmental improvement, reduction of traffic, and people-led ‘place-making’.”

Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Leith Central Community Council, noted: “The proposed tram extension passes through a unique eco-system of distinct communities, businesses, cultural spaces, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and spontaneous meeting places. It is vital that a realistic compensation scheme is agreed well in advance of the tram extension project being approved by the council.”

Rob Levick, Chair of Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council, added: “Inevitably there will be disruption to community life during the construction phase. Everyone understands that, but in order to keep that to the minimum we’re looking for evidence that the key milestones have been identified and each will be achieved before proceeding to the next stage, that the community are not left with open construction work that unnecessarily impacts them any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

      

Next Meeting, Leith Links Community Council, 25th June, 7pm

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 25th June

at 7pm, in the Shore Room, Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate.

All welcome

Agenda 25.6.18

Minutes (draft until adopted) Monday 30 April 2018

 

SMELL WARNING!

LLCC has just been informed by the Managers at Seafield that essential maintenance work is being carried out at the plant on 23-24 May that may lead to bad smells, especially given the forecast for onshore winds.

See full message here.

This is obviously bad news for the Leith Links area (is the effect of smells worse when it’s unexpected, or when a warning has been issued…?)  but at least Seafield operators are taking seriously the message that they need to communicate with the local community.

AGM LEITH LINKS COMMUNITY COUNCIL, 7pm, 28 May, LEITH COMMUNITY CENTRE

The AGM and next meeting of Leith Links Community Council will take place on Monday, 28th May at 7pm in Shore Room, Leith Community Centre.

AGM Agenda May 2018

All welcome, interesting visiting speakers from (a) City Car Club and (b) Design team of the big Salamander Place development, about the next phase which will involve green spaces and public art scheme.

May 2017 AGM Minutes (draft until adopted)

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