Public Toilets on Leith Links

Hurrah! The temporary public toilet block for spring / summer on Leith Links has now been delivered and should be linked up for plumbing and power very shortly.

Public toilets are vital for everyone especially as the days get longer and warmer, and more people spend longer out of doors in the park. Public toilets also empower the community as a whole, because community events involving large numbers of people can be organised.

As last year, the toilet block will be manned by a Council attendant. We are very grateful to these guys for their work and we ask the community to treat them with respect. However, they cannot be expected  to do ‘everything’, especially if it involves putting themselves at risk. If serious anti social behaviour occurs in the park while they are present they will call the police.

 

Temporary toilets coming to Leith Links (Again)

You’ll recall that last year City of Edinburgh Council provided temporary toilet facilities on Leith Links – we wrote about it here and here.

Similar facilities will provided again this year, which is good news! No confirmed date for installation has been made know to us but we have been informed by a local Councillor that the timescale will be broadly in line with last years.

The long term future of toilet provision on Leith Links continue to be an aspiration shared by many people across our community, including this Community Council but as yet this is a matter which remains under robust active dialogue.

 

 

 

Additional / improved street lighting for Leith Links?

We have learnt that City of Edinburgh Council took the decision last week to fund street lighting improvements in parks, with a budget of £150,000.

It is clear that citizens across Edinburgh will hoping for some of that funding to be spent in various parks, and it is highly likely the Council officers and Councillors will already have some intentions about which parks will benefit from the cash.

Therefore, if you feel that Leith Links requires additional or improved street lighting, it is important that you make that view known as soon as possible by emailing parks@edinburgh.gov.uk, and also emailing one of the Leith Ward Councillors;

When emailing them it is important that you are specific about your request (for example, just saying the whole of Leith Links is unlikely to receive support but if you identify a particular route through Leith Links that requires lighting for example that may be better received.  You should also say why you feel the additional  or improved lighting is needed perhaps share your feelings when walking through the route currently).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leith Links Community Council next meeting Monday 28th February 6:30 online

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 28th, February at 6:30pm, online (Microsoft Teams)

The Agenda for the next meeting and minutes of January’s meeting will be issued shortly

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.

Thank you for your support

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

Funfair on Leith Links 16-21 September

Delayed since its usual June ”season’ alongside the Leith Festival, the Funfair is coming back to the Links for a short period, in its traditional location on the western edge of the park.

They will start setting up on Tuesday 14th September and will be open 16-21st September.

Following local stakeholder engagement (including with this Community Council), the following changes have been made to the conditions of the event:

  • a shorter run
  • earlier closure (8:30pm) for safety, because of darker nights at this time of year
  • an increased Reinstatement Bond, to ensure any damage done to the Links (eg by vehicles) can be fully repaired with no cost to Council / taxpayers.

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.)

Edinburgh Climate Festival,Leith Links(East) Saturday 14th August 12pm-7pm

Edinburgh Climate Festival will be coming to Leith Links on Saturday, 14th August

The event will be held on Leith Links East, 12-7pm, they have an exciting day planned. Highlights include an art installation by artist duo Bibo & Brian Keeley, upcycling workshops, sewing repairs, seed swaps, planting workshop, ebike and cargo bike trials, free bike repairs, a free shop, a live DJ and more!

There will also be some scheduled activities throughout the day:

* 12:00 Circle Dancing

* 13:00 Hatha Flow Yoga

* 14:00 Storytelling

* 14:30 Tai Chi

* 15:00 Yoga

* 16:00 Storytelling

* 17:00 Circle Dancing

* + Upcycle Bicycle Inner Tube Workshop (drop in anytime 12-15:00, 16-19:00)

Location

The Festival will be held at Leith Links East, Links Gardens EH6 7EB (grey pin on the map).

Unfortunately, they are not able to offer food, drinks or toilet facilities on site, but these can be found within walking distance from the venue. Staffed public toilets are available on the links by the tennis court here.

COVID-19 measures

Restrictions and precautions will be based on Edinburgh’s COVID-19 level (currently level 0) and the Scottish Government events sector guidance 

The organisers ask that you:

* Not to attend the event if you have COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.

* Organisers encourage you to wear a mask.

* Respect social-distancing.

 

The open day is a public event and photographs and films will be taken for use for marketing uses.

 

 

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?

Community Picnic on the Links – all welcome – Saturday 17th July, 1-3pm

           

You are invited to a Community Picnic on Leith Links, Saturday 17th July 2021
1 – 3pm, on the old bowling greens area  – entry from Links Place gate 
….. weather permitting …..

Please do come along and join in a community get together.

Please bring your own food and drink (no barbecues, sorry).

Bring your own rug, cushions, folding seats, whatever.            

Bring musical instruments if you fancy doing a ‘turn’.

For covid safety reasons, this has to be a ‘low key’ event, but there will be a wee bit of a community vibe; fun activities for children, an opportunity to catch up with folk you may not have seen for a while, and a chance to discuss and ‘cast a vote’ for your favourite ideas for the future of the former bowling greens area.
                 Numbers on the bowling greens will be limited, and free snacks and juice may run out, so come early if you want to get a spot!

For more info: contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk

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