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.

Leith Links Community Council AGM, 27 May, 6:30pm, Leith Community Centre

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be on Monday, 27th May 2019, at 6:30pm in the Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate.

This meeting will be the AGM of the CC followed by any urgent business.

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

Agenda for 27 May 2019

Draft Minutes AGM 28 May 2018

Draft Minutes Monday 29 April 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.

Community Councils Together on Trams: Note of meeting held on 25 April 2019

Leith Links Community Council is a member of ‘Community Councils Together on Trams’ alongside Leith Central Community CouncilLeith 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.


1. Welcome, introductions, minutes

2. Update TT team

a. Progress on CEC work on multi-year environmental cost/benefits post-tram

  • Noted: this is being progressed by Hannah Ross (HR) who will advise

b. Confirmation of official ECI period (given the delayed mobilisation)

Noted: ECI is underway, but not all senior contractor staff are in Edinburgh. ECI will end 9 October 2019. Lane closures with heras and barrier will commence from 10 October 2019. To confirm the track slab design the contractor will carry out ground and site investigation along the route[note i]. This will be carried out via trail holes and bores. These works will be carried out under minor traffic management lasting on average 5 days per location.

  • Noted: DW as ‘in-house’ stakeholder rep, and contractors are co-locating to 200 Bonnington Rd (200BR) for the period (perhaps beyond); other members of TT: HR (ca 1 day at 200BR) and RL (as required at 200BR) based at their respective main offices. New TT communication person is being recruited. Client team includes CEC tram team, Anturas, Turner Townsend, Atkins.
  • Agreed: DW to provide diagram of all entities and key personnel involved and glossary of acronyms
  • Noted: detailed trader logistics survey in progress; more info at next meeting

3. Update CCTT

  • Noted: HT had meetings with Paul Lawrence, Hannah Ross and George Lowder to prepare the ground for CCTT/TT meetings during ECI period
  • Noted: the role of the Traffic Management Review Panel (TMRP): includes representation of some but not all relevant groups (e.g. pedestrians and bus passengers – as opposed to bus operator – don’t have a dedicated voice)[note ii]
  • Agree ‘shopping list’ (see below) priority, scope, input required, date decision required
  • Agreed: see bold items in table below

4. Agree future meeting dates during ECI period

  • Agreed: monthly meetings at 200BR on last THU, apart May (date tbc) and July (holiday[note iii]): 29 (tbc) May, 27 June, 29 August, 26 September; meetings beyond September TBA
  • Agreed: due to pace of mobilisation, to meet contractors’ senior staff at June meeting
  • Agreed: to keep an eye on Constitution Street fixing points and pre-works
Priority Topic (subtopic) Scope Input required from Date decision required
TTROs in wider corridor (i.e. including diversion routes and their side streets) There will be a blanket road works embargo.
May meeting business logistics[note iv] TT will share analysis of survey.
bus diversions/stops: this will need LB input The role of TMRP was noted.
Detailed design:
May Meeting: DW to provide info on tracker timing Bus stops/shelters (this will need LB and maybe JCD input) Any bespoke shelters to be provided by JCD; integration with new tracker system (if any) to be confirmed.
June meeting with Gareth Barwell Communal bin locations along the route: may require some infrastructure (example: Albert Street) and changed waste collections procedures (regularity, times outwith tram operation hours) ‘95% complete’
‘open’ (CCTT definition) design items at Shrub Pl, Constitution Street (we discussed best approach) and Ocean Terminal bus logistics and access to private road ‘Shrub Place design issues are a locality issue and are not being dealt with by the project’; Ocean Terminal issue has been resolved
construction period: monitoring/quality control, reporting, communications To be discussed in more detail in future
Utilities: embargo on non-emergency work in wider area (?); clear deadline to complete other work during ECI There is a blanket embargo on such works.

[i] HT note: I seem to recall that exploratory digs would occupy only one lane and last 48 hrs max

[ii] DW note: Major roadworks across the city are coordinated and managed via the City Wide Traffic Management Group (CWTMG); to assist with this process a dedicated Trams to Newhaven Traffic Management Review Panel (TMRP) has been established. Membership of this group is similar to the CWTMG including Emergency Services, Transport Operators and Council Officers. Although not on the approving body, traffic management will be discussed with the Active Travel Forum which has membership from Living Streets, Spokes, Edinburgh Access Panel, Transform Scotland and Sustrans.

[iii] HT note: this leaves only four meetings to address a hefty ‘shopping list’

[iv] While operators contacted by SLTN were all positive about the project, they expressed concern about disruption to deliveries as well as a general drop in footfall for the duration of the works. Communication from the council was said to be key.
Garry Clark, development manager for Edinburgh at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Local businesses need to be able to plan in order to mitigate the impacts that the tram extension will have upon their businesses. “Whilst the council has gone out to businesses early this time around, firms are telling us that they need clarity on the timescale of the work to enable them to put these plans in place. (https://sltn.co.uk/2019/04/18/council-must-be-vocal-on-trams)

Reporting noise nuisance from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Plant

A number of months ago we introduced one handy web from on our website which allowed members of our community to report nuisance & intrusive odours from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Plan to City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Water, Veolia, Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.

As we have recently received a significant number of complaints relating to nuisance noise from the plant, we have updated our form, allowing you to report smell and / or noise from the plant.

The form can be accessed by clicking here, and can be used any time, any day.

 

 

Strengthening Community Councils: Exploring how community councils can contribute to democratic renewal in Scotland.

This report from SCDC and What Works Scotland explores how community councils can be even more relevant in Scotland’s evolving policy context, especially as public service reform continues through the Local Governance Review.

The report is over 80 pages in length but of particular interest to you may be the recommendations, which are detailed on page 4.

To view the report follow this link.

 

Leith Links Community Council Meeting, 29 April, 6:30pm, Leith Community Centre

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be on Monday 29th April , 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 the Agenda for the next meeting here Agenda29.4.19

and minutes of our March meeting  Monday 25 March 2019

 

 

 

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 Play Park

City of Edinburgh Parks Department confirmed yesterday that after discussion with the contractors work on the new Leith Links Play Park will start during w/c 21st April.

This is great news for the area as we come into summer .

The contractors haven’t confirmed how long work will take but I would hope that it will be in use by June? Watch this space for further updates.

Seafield Update

During 2017 the local community continued to suffer noxious smells and it was clear that the reporting system set up by Edinburgh City Council was ineffective. Difficult to use and response times poor.

In 2018 the CC introduced a reporting tool for the community to quickly report nuisance smells when it became clear that system set up by Edinburgh City Council (COEC) was ineffective, difficult to use and resulted in poor response times.

The link the CC set up is easy to use and we know that our locally elected politicians and public servants are aware of reports. More importantly the public servants we expect and trust with policing our complaints can’t ignore public concerns.

Between 09/07/18 and 19/08/18 there were 123 reports.

Then 09/09/18 to 23/11/18 19 reports.

During the most recent incident between 15/02/19 to 18/03/19 we received 57 reports

Scottish Water issued an update on 15/02/19 alerting the community to urgent work being carried out at Seafield due to build up of sludge. This was followed by an apology issued by Scottish Water on 26/02/19.

SEPA told the community they only received 1 complaint passed to them from COEC and they were not aware that there had been so many.

SEPA said to Leith Links Residents Association

Thanks for your email. I am sorry to hear the community have been experiencing odours. I have logged your email as an environmental event. The event reference number is ENV/0897328 and I can provide the update below.

SEPA did not receive any complaints about the site during the month of February 2019. We received one complaint on Friday 1 March 2019. Two officers attended the site on Friday 1 March and undertook an odour assessment on site and at two offsite locations.

Offsite the officers detected a faint whiff of sewage odour from the site. This was not deemed to be offensive. The odour detected offsite matched the odour detected on-site near the picket fence thickeners, which are unrelated to the activities covered by the Waste Management Licence and located outwith the Waste Management Licence boundary. Our findings were passed to City of Edinburgh Council Environmental Health on Monday 4 March.

The City of Edinburgh Council said

We can advise that we received a total of 83 Seafield odour complaints in February 2019, with 77 of these received between 24 and 28 February. Officers carried out 14 visits to the area, between 24 and 28 February, as a result of these complaints. In addition, four proactive assessments within the community were also carried out during the month and a plant inspection was carried out on 26 February.

We can confirm that mostly no or faint odours and occasionally moderate odours were witnessed on the visits made to the community during February 2019, which would not amount to what you refer to as a smell nuisance.

So although we received 57 complaint reports COEC didn’t think there was a problem. There is a problem for the local residents who have taken the time to report it.

I estimate that for every report made through the CC website there are probably 10 households who don’t

During February the CC has also been contacted by local residents because of noise which appears to have started about the same time that the most recent smell incidents were being reported. Veolia had to bring in mobile centrifuges to deal with sludge levels.

Leith Links CC received the response below from the City Council investigating noise

I refer to your emails below concerning a miscellaneous noise, causing disturbance over a wide area around Seafield / Restalrig. I’m sorry you had not received a reply, however we do not appear to have received your original email. We have now logged your complaint on our system.

With regard to the noise, I have two ongoing complaints in the
Seafield / Prospect Band area and received another from a resident in the Restalrig area yesterday. However, so far it has not been possible to witness the noise being complained off. Seafield Sewage Treatment Works (STW) were also contacted last year, however their investigations did not identify any unusual noise issues from machinery. A noise survey visit to one of the residents had been scheduled for last night, but was cancelled due to the high wind speed; as it affects noise measurements. The noise survey has been re-scheduled for next week.

Information provided from the original two residents who had complained and the fact that another two complaints have been received suggests that the noise is becoming louder and more persistent. Therefore it should make it easier to investigate the noise and determine the source.

I’ll give you an update once I have carried out the noise survey visit next week.

The noise stopped before any further investigation could take place about the same time the work stopped at Seafield.

On a balance of probability these problems are linked to Seafield.

The infrastrucure at Seafield is old and it’s failing on a more regular basis to cope with excessive levels of sludge. 

I also believe that during the most recent incidents there was a crisis at the plant that Veolia were trying to fire fight. Both SEPA and COEC have let the community down again by not investigating incidents properly.

We still have this mistaken belief by public officials that their noses and ears are better than those of the community.

Urgent action and investment at that the plant must be the way forward.

We haven’t even reached the normal smelly season during May.

Leith Links Community Council will continue to work together with the Residents Association and I promise to raise the communities concerns strongly at the next Seafield Stakeholders meeting scheduled for 260419

Jim

1 2 3 4 5 13