Next meeting Leith Links Community Council, Monday 30 October, 6:30pm, online (Teams)

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 30 October at 6:30pm. This meeting will be online (MicroSoft Teams).

Agenda for meeting, 30 October 23
Previous Minutes (September 2023)

Miles Wilkinson from City of Edinburgh Council will attend to provide an update on the Low Traffic Neighbourhood, and to answer questions, and take feedback. Otherwise the Agenda covers the usual range of topics from Planning Applications to Bin hub locations etc.

Interested members of the local community are welcome to attend this meeting, and to raise any points of concern. Please email to request, and you will be sent the link.


Leith Links Activity Park Consultation – please give your views now!

You may remember a community picnic we ran in July 2021 to ask local people what they would like to see developed on the Links, and in particular in the derelict building and the bowling greens area.
Since then, a Working Group has been developing a 10yr concept Masterplan for Leith Links. The group is composed of Leith Councillors, City of Edinburgh Council staff (the ‘Thriving Greenspaces Project’), and representatives of a number of local organisations, such as Leith Links Community Council, Earth in Common, Duncan Place. The draft master plan (which was put out to public consultation in summer 2022 and received very positive support) creates a vision for the future, but in order for it to happen, it needs funding (which is currently not yet in place), resource and – very importantly – local support.
The masterplan includes suggestions for a number of interesting developments, in various areas of the park. An ‘urgent’ area for development is the old bowling greens area, and this is being addressed by a sub group of the Working Group,calling itself Leith Links Activity Park. Along with some landscape architects, they have put together a vision of what this could look like.
It includes a skatepark – which consistently came out top in all earlier consultations – but also a number of other exciting possibilities such as a pump track/bike trail, roller skate rink, bouldering rocks, petanque court, water play area etc. Now consultation is needed to see which of these are most popular.
A public consultation is live until the 10 October to get feedback from the community on the design and all the ideas. Please fill in your views! And please share as widely as possible across all your networks to make sure everyone who might be affected gets to see it and comment.:

A Letter from – the concert promoters

Regular Music, the promoters of the Proclaimers concert next weekend have written this letter to the community of local residents:

Concerts at Leith Links, Edinburgh

Saturday 17-Sunday 18 June 2023

The Proclaimers

Dear Neighbour

We would like to inform you that we are staging 2 concerts with The Proclaimers in a big top tent at Leith Links on Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June 2023.

The concert arena doors will be open to ticket holders from 4.00pm and the concerts are scheduled to end at 10pm. There will be licensed bars and food village available for the attendees. 

From Sunday 11 June until Friday 16 June we will be setting up the concert arena and from Monday 19 June until Thursday 22 June we will be removing all the infrastructure from the site. Please note that we will be checking that the sound system is working correctly on the afternoon and early evening of Friday 16 June.

If you would like to contact us in advance of the event or with any issues during the event then please contact us on the following email or telephone no.


Phone: 07983 596786

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

In last weeks Evening News, there was an article detailing where the council would be installing Christmas trees around the city this year. Leith wasn’t mentioned.

Last year because of ongoing tram works the council decided not to put one at the usual central Leith spot at the Kirkgate.  I know we all have enough on our minds with fuel and food costs going through the roof but a bit of Christmas cheer would be welcomed.

When I asked why another location couldn’t be found to place a tree, I was informed that the council had planted one in Taylor Gardens.

Exhibit 1

The council did eventually install a full size tree, which we welcomed, but could have been placed more centrally possibly at the Shore outside Malmaison or outside Bank of Scotland in the Kirkgate where many more tourists and Leithers pass during the day.

This year we had the same excuse about tram works for no tree at the Kirkgate but the council told us they had planted a tree beside Leith Library.

Exhibit 2

The council also intend to install a full size tree in Taylor Gardens but when I passed there yesterday there was one Christmas light from the bottom of Leith Walk stuck on a lamp post.

Why have I decided to moan? Because I feel the people of Leith deserve better and have stoically put up with continual disruption to their lives from ongoing tram and road works.

Having had a year to investigate alternative sites, it should have been simple for the council to find somewhere for a tree in Leith’s historic centre where more people pass including much welcomed visits from tourists.

Rightly or wrongly it does give the impression that the council really don’t care.

From an environmental point of view I applaud them for their tree planting but it could be 20 years before these trees are mature enough to be decorated.

After all Leith has been through over the last few years surely it’s not a lot to ask for a Christmas tree to be located in the heart of the community to be enjoyed by all.

Jim Scanlon MBE

Chair, Leith Links Community Council




Trees in Pots, the latest instalment….

Following the dry spell in the spring / summer when they all nearly died, some of the trees in pots at the foot of Easter Road / Academy Lofts / Leith Links have now been offered a new life. Four of them have now gone to live on a farm (sorry – in a park) liberated from their pots and free to wiggle their roots, grow, express their authentic selves, and live their lives out – hopefully – in peace and harmony.

The Parks Dept. have now taken them away from the Academy Lofts entrance to Leith Links. The big, rusty, graffitied iron pots are gone.

The trees will be relocated into the ground somewhere – either elsewhere on Leith Links (we hope) or in another park.

Overall, this is probably a good thing. We wish them ‘Bon Voyage’ and ‘Have a happy life!’

That leaves 9 other trees in pots still in the area – one outside the Persevere (dead), which we’ll keep trying to get removed, and (living) 3 outside Tesco’s car park on Easter Road, 4 outside the front of Academy Lofts on Duke Street and one on Duncan Place opposite Academy Lofts. Please can we as a local community continue to keep an eye out for them and water them next spring as and when they look like they need it? (It was amazing earlier this year how they all arose from the apparently dead and perked up,  as soon as they got watered and rained on!)

Remembering Lost Leithers

It’s always a shock when you hear about the death of a much loved Leither. 

This week has been particularly bad with the deaths of three people who contributed so much to our community.

The Queen of Leith, Mary Moriarty died last week and her funeral is on Tuesday 25th October. A service will be held in South Leith Parish Church at 12pm then on to Seafield Crematorium (limited spaces). You will then have the chance to raise a glass to Mary in The Dockers Club and share your memories with friends.

Mary was well known in Leith, not only as the owner of the famous Port of Leith pub where many a fun night was had, but also for her many years of hard work with Leith Festival helping it survive through good times and bad.

From my window I remember that on the day before the gala Mary would be out on the Links spraying and numbering the pitches for the gala day stalls.

She was always there at the crack of dawn on the Saturday and still there hours after the last stall had left with a litter picker and black bin bag making sure the park was cleaner than how she had found it.

I’m proud to say that I knew Mary for many years, and she will be sorely missed by many of us in the Leith community who will all have our fond memories of her. She could always make you smile even when you were feeling down.

I also lost another friend, Jim Tweedie recently who died over a week ago and his funeral is on Friday, 28 October, Warriston Crematorium at 2pm. 

Jim was a hard working member of the Leith Community and Chair of Leith Local History Society preserving our history and informing new residents about our rich past.

The society continue to meet on the third Tuesday in the month in the community centre and with a series of monthly talks.

Jim and I were also on the steering group to save Custom House for the people of Leith and with the help of local councillors, especially Councillor Gordon Munro the city council was persuaded to purchase the building using Common Good Funding. Work to establish a heritage display in the building is ongoing.

Finally, Davie Jeneil who ran a successful jewellers shop in Great Junction Street for over 30 years providing gifts for the many birthdays, weddings and celebrations of Leithers.

I also knew Davie as a great supporter of Leith Rules Golf Society. His family always put in a team for the Foulis Medal. A fun competition on the Links every year using hickory golf clubs which is open to local Leith businesses and community groups.

When Davie’s son in law turned up to play, I always thought we would be quicker just handing him the medal because he is such an excellent player.

Davie also supported the society by providing the quaichs and engravings for our other team events and again he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

On behalf of Leith Links Community Council, I would like to extend our condolences and best wishes to the family and friends of all these great Leithers who we will all miss.

Jim Scanlon MBE


Leith Links Community Council

Public Toilets on Leith Links will close for the winter, 28th October 2022

Leith Links Community Council has been given notice (well, actually, we had to ask for the information) that the public toilets on Leith Links will be closed for the winter on 28th October 2022. They will be physically removed shortly after that date. Enjoy them while they are still here!

This is not a change of plan – these these toilets were always intended to be temporary, as they were last year.

The design of the Leith Links MasterPlan (in discussion) does include permanent public toilets but that is a long term (10 year) plan, not a ‘quick fix’. For the moment it is up to us as a community to keep confirming to the Council that we need these mobile temporary public toilets and will be looking forward to seeing them back again next spring.



A Toilet Saga

We love the public toilets on Leith Links! People have also commented on how clean they are – thanks to the toilet attendants. So, overall, it’s a big ‘Thank You’ from us, not a complaint!

BUT  – 11 weeks to get basic information informing the local community…..can you believe it? Here’s the timeline…

12 May 2022 – temporary (Portakabin style) toilets are delivered to the Links.

Someone living locally just happens to see the vehicle delivering them. At no time did the Council officially inform the Community Council of the plan of action for the toilets, or the timescales, although we were ‘tipped off’ that they were coming sometime soon.

Sometime (unclear) in May – The toilets are connected up and made functional,  attendants are appointed to look after the toilets, and start work. No announcement, no information.

June 8 – One local reports that the toilets are open and working.

Throughout June – Numerous locals keep asking, repeatedly; Are there toilets coming? Where are the toilets? Why are the toilets closed? When will they be opening? No signs, no information, the doors are always closed, no sign of life……

26 June  – Your Community Council asks the Council, via our three elected Councillors,  for clarification and full information about the situation.

27 June – The Community Council is informed by a Council Officer working for Councillor Adam McVey that the toilets are open from 10-8pm, 7 days a week, with a full time attendant. They are just hidden from view behind hedges and look closed.

29 June – At the behest of the Community Council, the Council Officer agrees to ask toilet supervisor to put signs up detailing opening hours. A local asks the toilet attendant to leave the external door open during the day so people can see they are open. There are two attendants, each working 4 days on, 4 days off.

29 June – Your Community Council posts widely on this site, on our own social media (Facebook & Twitter) and on ‘I Love Leith’ to spread the word about where the toilets are, and when they are open, etc., attracting many grateful comments from Leithers who had been unaware of them or confused about opening hours etc.

1 July – Doubt and confusion persist. It is very clear that what is missing is signage. Your Community Council asks the Council:

“PLEASE can we have 
1. an instruction to the attendant to leave the door open when the toilets are open, so people can see they are open.
2. A sign on the door or on the outside of the toilet block announcing its opening hours.
3. Signs around the Links pointing to where the toilets are located
4. A couple of A-boards on the Links nearby ( eg at the Playpark) that the attendant puts up as he comes on shift, that says ‘toilets OPEN until 8pm’) 
Meanwhile the Community Council is doing its bit to try to raise awareness on this matter. It seems a pointless waste of Council money and effort to put toilets on the Links that don’t get used because people don’t know they are there / open.
Surely some signs must be possible?

2 July – Since the Council have not produced any signs, your Community Council designs, prints, laminates and ties numerous signs to fences around the Links. (Some of these are still there, some have blown off or been torn down.)

At some point in July (unclear) – A couple of handwritten notices go up on the back of the building, on a gate and on the toilet doors stating that opening hours are 10 – 6pm.

Your Community Council was never informed of an official change to the opening hours. However, a local person had observed that the toilet attendant was closing up earlier than 8pm on several occasions, and this was reported to the Council. A reply came back from the Council that this was due to “anti-social behaviour”. (Unclear what this consisted of, no details available.) A recent conversation with the very helpful toilet attendant reveals that there has not been any official change of hours and it should still say 8pm. The handwritten signs are now smudged and unclear.

22 July – a Council vehicle and workers are observed putting up official ‘Public Toilet’ signs around the Links  (at least in the area nearest to the playpark and toilets). Hurrah!

From this we conclude that it takes the Council almost three months to deliver the most basic of information signage, with regard to public facilities – and only as a result of  repeated requests from the community. Given that the toilets are only there for about five or six months altogether, this seems indicative of woeful carelessness if not incompetence. Yes, it’s just a small thing in the grander scheme of things, but surely Councils should be able to get the small things right (or we might just doubt their ability to get bigger things right….)

Let’s be clear – we are all EXTREMELY GRATEFUL for the public toilets on Leith Links! 

However, we know this must all cost a lot of money and it seems a pathetic waste of money to put toilets and attendants there without making the public aware of them. Could the Council do better at thinking things through fully and in a joined-up way?  – basically, if it thought about things from the point of view of the community it is there to serve, rather than from its own point of view (forgot, cheaper, easier, low priority, too busy – whatever)? And if it shared information with the community organisations  – such as the Community Council –  whose very role is to share information with the local community?

Next year, please can we have toilets again, and PLEASE (rather than being kept secret) can they be provided in conjunction with information to the local community?

Come and view Links Plan Display Boards at Leith Library

Display boards outlining the proposed MasterPlan for the improvement of Leith Links are now on view to the public in the foyer of Leith Library, Ferry Road.  Please go and have a good look, and then please do send in your response to the plans.

There should be leaflets on site in the library with a QR code you can use, otherwise you can find the consultation at 

PS There is very little funding available to actually carry out the plans, it will all have to be ‘raised’  – somehow – so it’s important that it is clear what the top priorities / favourites are from amongst the suggestions. Let your views be heard.

PPS If things get done on the Links that you don’t like, you might wish you had spoken up about them when you had the chance…..

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