Leith Links Community Council,next meeting Monday, 29th October

The next meeting of Leith Links Community Council takes plave in Leith Community Centre on Monday , 29th October. Please remember the new start time is 6.30pm.

Agenda and minutes will follow soon but if you live in the Leith Links area and have concerns we would be pleased to see you.

ANTI RACISM MARCH AND RALLY , SATURDAY, 27TH OCTOBER 11AM

Following a series of racist incidents in our city over the last few months, Stand up to Racism Edinburgh is organising a “Leith Stands Up To Racism” march and rally on October 27 to say refugees and migrants are welcome here and no to racist attacks in our multicultural community.
The march and rally will be followed by a music event in Leith Dockers Club.
Please see attached flyer for more information.

Have your say on… A Participatory Budgeting Charter for Scotland

Participatory Budgeting has been an important feature of community life in Leith for a number of years, with hundreds of members of community being actively involved local decision making.  Leith Links Community Council is proud to have been involved with various Participatory Budgeting processes over recent years including Leith Decides, Community Links Fund and Leith Chooses.

Nationally there has been a concerted effort to encourage & develop Participatory Budgeting and there is now an opportunity for our community to be involved.

A PB Charter would set out clear principles which could be used by strategic managers, those involved in planning PB and by people attending PB events or voting online to ensure that positive outcomes are achieved, and that good quality democratic participation is promoted in every community.

The Charter would be a formal statement of values & principles which will ensure good quality PB in Scotland.

Leith Links Community Council would encourage you take part in the brief survey being undertaken by the Scottish Centre for Developing Communities which can be accessed by clicking here.


Examples of Leith focused Participatory Budgeting

 


Examples of Edinburgh based Participatory Budgeting

Tram Consultation Saturday, 13th October Ocean Terminal 12-5pm

If you want to have your say on the proposed Tram extension you will be able to view the plans at Ocean Terminal next Saturday,13th October between 12 and 5pm.

This is your opportunity to comment on the latest plans.

Love it or hate it the final decision will be made later this year so make your voice heard.

I’ve attached plans for the section from Constitution Street to Ocean Terminal to get your vocal chords warmed up!

 

Tram plan

 

 

 

Seafield Wastewater Treatment Works work update

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Seafield WwTW site operators, Veolia, will be undertaking their annual planned inspection and maintenance works of the Thermal Hydrolysis Plant (THP) which forms part of the sludge treatment area. This will involve the partial shutdown the THP to permit the required inspection and statutory certification to take place.

As has been the case on previous occasions this activity has been discussed with Regulators and an odour risk assessment has been undertaken, setting out the relevant tasks and mitigations for the activity.
As part of our ongoing commitment to minimise any inconvenience associated with the operation
of the treatment works, we recognise the need to maintain open communication with our
neighbours. For a short period, the activity will reduce the throughput of the sludge treatment
but based on the manner in which this work has been managed previously and the forecast weather conditions (see below) the risk of elevated odour emissions and subsequent impact is ranked as low.

Work will commence on Saturday 29th September 2018 and whilst Veolia shall endeavour tocomplete this work as soon as possible it is estimated that the work will take until Thursday 4thOctober 2018 before the plant will be returned to normal operation. We shall inform stakeholders when this activity has been completed.

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What price Local Democracy?

The investigative  / fact checking online journal The Ferret recently researched just exactly how much Councils invest in its Community Councils. It seems City of Edinburgh Council invests 7p per head of local population per year, to hear views from local people. The least was Dundee – 1p – and the highest was Shetland – £6.81)  Read the full article here.

What does this mean for local democracy?

Community Councils are statutory bodies tasked by local authorities to “ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authority for its area…the views of the community it represents”. All Community Councillors are volunteers.

So what does your Community Council do? A fair question. One short answer is (slightly facetious, yes, sorry!) – we do our best….

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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Seafield Update, Good news for local residents?

Leith Links Community Council and Leith Links Residents Association received the following excellent news yesterday from local MSP Ben MacPherson that Scottish Government now realise that something has to be done at the Seafield plant. You just have to travel round the city to see the number of new housing developments and villages like Wallyford doubling in size. All these new houses feed into the same sewage network which ends at Seafield. Leaving out politics this is good news for Leith residents who for years have had to put up with the great stink from the sewage treatment plant

Although we welcome this news Leith Links Community Council will continue to monitor the situation and we ask that you play your part by reporting odour incidents through our website.

The next meeting of the Seafield Stakeholder group takes place on 28th September when we will hear directly from Scottish Water on their plans for the future.

Ben said in his email

I’m writing to make you aware, if you aren’t already, that Seafield has been referenced in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2018-2019.

https://news.gov.scot/news/delivering-for-today-investing-for-tomorrow-1

On page 58 it states:

We have identified that the sewerage systems serving Edinburgh and the surrounding area are facing particular challenges which will be exacerbated by the prospective population growth in the area and climate change. A recent study has shown how the performance of the main treatment works at Seafield is impacted by events elsewhere on the network. It is vital that a sound strategy is developed to meet these challenges and ensure that in future the networks operate efficiently and support the continuing economic growth of the area. We have therefore asked Scottish Water to work with local authorities in the area and SEPA to review future waste water treatment needs in the area in order to guide future investment planning.

This is testament to all the work that you and the community have put in to press the issues with Seafield.

While together we will keep pressing for short-term action too, this commitment from government will develop medium-to-long term strategies and solutions.

I also believe it is an opportunity for Edinburgh to consider Seafield within the wider Waterfront vision and opportunities.

We can discuss more on the 28th but I wanted to write to congratulate you both as soon as possible.

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