Consultation Report about Leith Links former Bowling Greens

Report on a consultation with the local community on possible future development at the former bowling greens area (and building) on Leith Links Spring / Summer 2021

Between May and September 2021 Leith Links Community Council led a consultation exercise with the local community about possible future development of the currently derelict ‘Former Bowling Greens area’ on Leith Links. We are now publishing in full the results and views that emerged, and this report has also been forwarded to City of Edinburgh Council. This consultation took place in three parts:

  1.    The Community Council held a series of 3 public meeting, online, that were well attended, by around 30-40 people at each of three meetings. Discussions were Chaired and semi-structured but open to all, and free flowing.
  2.    The Community Council organised and hosted, with the help of volunteers from other local community groups, a Community Picnic, 17th July 2021. This was an in-person ‘live’ community event on site, attended by approximately 100 folk.
  3.    An Online Survey was hosted on the Leith Links Community Council website and disseminated also via social media (Facebook, Twitter). The survey was open for 2 weeks and attracted 199 responses.

The Report in full is very long, but well worth reading. You can download and read the whole report here. We present a summary of the report below:

Brief Summary

The community in Leith Links has been consulted, and has engaged in large numbers (250) and with, in many cases, lengthy responses. The views of the community are that:

  • The bowling greens area pavilion should not be demolished but should be refurbished at the Council’s expense and repurposed to include permanent public toilet facilities and a mix of other facilities (details to be determined) that will be at least partially open for use by the community, not ‘private’. Security lights, cameras and alarm system should be installed.
  • The outdoor area surrounding the building, currently delineated by the hedging, should be refurbished and repurposed so that it is attractive and thus will be well-used by a mix of people (all ages, no one particular age range), which should reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour. A slight majority favour repurposing as an area primarily for outdoor activity / sport / fitness use (e.g. skatepark), although significant numbers also favoured ‘mixed use’ and a ‘quiet relaxing garden area’ – and many other possible uses, see Section 4 in the full Report.
  • This refurbishment is long overdue and should be at least started as soon as possible, rather than further delayed until the proposed Leith Links Master Plan can be completed. (It could be done in stages, as partners emerge, funding can be sourced etc.) In the immediate / short term, a cleanup, and installation of benches and litter bins is required.
  • The community must be properly consulted at all stages and properly represented as an equal partner throughout the process eg. via representation on Project Steering Group / Governance body, Master Planning team etc.. The community is also open to providing support in the form of volunteer input on agreed projects, if / as capacity permits.

The Community Council itself at this point does not have any particular stance or plan that it wishes to ‘back’ or promote, but rather sees itself primarily as a means by which information can be shared and community views collected, recorded and communicated to the Council. We trust there will be further two-way and ongoing communication with the Council.

Having said that, we should nonetheless make clear that the Community Council does have some views. We favour refurbishment of the building and the outdoor area, and we award very high priority to the installation of permanent public toilets. We do not oppose ideas for sports / activities, but would strongly argue to keep at least some of the area retained as green space, rather than being completely concreted over. Given the very wide ranging (and in some cases directly opposing) views from the community, it is clear that ‘you can’t please everybody’ and on that basis we might favour a solution that involves a degree of compromise or mixed use,  that might involve splitting the area into sub-areas, partnerships between different groups etc.

Download the whole report here

or just read on here….
» Read more

New Local Interest Groups join the Community Council

We are delighted to report that the Leith Links Community Council is growing!

As well as our elected individual members, we now have two additional new members who represent bona fide local interest groups that have completed the necessary application process and been accepted by the Council. These are:

Leith Rotary – represented on LLCC by Robert Cormack 

Leith Festival Association – represented on LLCC by Barbara Kerre

Welcome both!

We think local democracy is important and therefore welcome the opportunity for as many local voices as possible to be included, consulted, and heard.

Next meeting of Leith Links Community Council, Monday 27 September 2021, 6:30pm, online.

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 27 September 2021 at 6:30pm, online via Zoom.

Papers for the meeting can be found here:

1. Agenda for the meeting

2.LLCC MINUTES 30 August 2021 (draft until adopted at next week’s meeting)

(These are also stored for access at any time in our online Library.)

As always, our meetings are open to interested members of the public. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and you will be sent an invitation / link for the meeting.

National Care Service for Scotland – Consultation

The Scottish Government are holding a consultation on “National Care Service for Scotland” running until 18th October 2021 which may be of interest to you. Community Councils, if they wish, can provide feedback/submissions to the consultation using the following means:

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government’s consultation hub, Citizen Space (http://consult.gov.scot). Access and respond to this consultation online at https://consult.gov.scot/health-and-social-care/a-national-care-service-for-scotland. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 18 October 2021.

If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please send your response, including the completed Respondent Information Form to NCSconsultation@gov.scot or by post to:

National Care Service Team

Scottish Government

Area GE-15

St Andrew’s House

Regent Road

EDINBURGH,

EH1 3DG

Survey ends soon…last chance to add your views!

Please will you take a few minutes to fill in this wee survey, about possible futures for the bowling green area on the Links? The survey will close on Friday 10th September.

At the Community Picnic in July, we asked people to put coloured stickers on a board to indicate their views and preferences. Now we need to ask the same questions of the wider community, to try to get the largest and most representative number of responses, which we will feed back to the council.

Please fill in this wee survey – it’s really not long or difficult.

(Unfortunately, we obviously can’t guarantee that you will actually get what you tick, in the end – it’s not a ‘vote’ as such. All the Community Council can do is to consult people for views, and share ideas and information. But we do think the Council is at least listening to what the people of Leith Links have to say about this neglected area, and about the park in general. We have heard there may be a Master Plan for the whole of the Links, coming up.)

Former bowling greens area – quickie wee survey please!

Please will you take a few minutes to fill in this wee survey?

The conversation about possible futures for the bowling green area on the Links continues, and we need to feed back to the Council soon.

At the Community Picnic on 17th July, we asked all the people attending to put coloured stickers on a board to indicate their views and preferences. Now we need to ask the same questions of the wider community, to try to get the largest and most representative number of responses.

Please fill in this wee survey – it’s really not long or difficult.

(Unfortunately, we obviously can’t guarantee that you will actually get what you tick, in the end – it’s not a ‘vote’ as such. All the Community Council can do is to consult people for views, and share ideas and information. But we do think the Council is at least listening to what the people of Leith Links have to say about this neglected area, and about the park in general. We have heard there may be a Master Plan for the whole of the Links, coming up.)

Next meeting Leith Links Community Council, Monday 30 August 2021, 6:30pm online via Teams.

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 30 August 2021 at 6:30pm, online via Microsoft Teams.

Papers for the meeting can be found here:

1. Agenda for the meeting

2.LLCC MINUTES 28 June 2021 (draft until adopted at next week’s meeting).

(These are also stored for access at any time in our online Library.)

We have two speakers coming to this meeting.

Mr.Murray McAdam to talk about the Enterprise Car Club

Mr. Ross Woodside of Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspaces Trust, to talk about the results of the consultation about a proposed arboretum on Leith Links.

As always, our meetings are open to interested members of the public. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and you will be sent an invitation / link for the meeting.

Public toilets empower our community

Seems everybody enjoyed our community picnic on Leith Links on Saturday (hurrah!). Yes, we were very lucky with the weather (phew!), but what actually made it possible was the public toilets.

You simply couldn’t organise any public event without toilets –  but only big commercial events can afford to buy in ‘portaloos’, not small community groups. So public toilets are not just vital for individuals, they are enabling and empowering for the community. A local community is a life force, not just a ‘place’. Feeling part of our community can help our mental health and well-being.

Thanks for our toilets, City of Edinburgh Council! (And thanks to Steven for manning them nobly on Saturday.) Please can we keep them?

Leith Links Community Council responds to City of Edinburgh Councils Leith Connections consultation on a Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood

Leith Links Community Council has now submitted its response to the City of Edinburgh Councils Leith Connections consultation on their planned changes to how we move around Leith.Leith Connections

Our full response can be viewed by clicking here.

Previous website articles by us can be viewed by clicking here.

 

 

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