New MasterPlan to improve Leith Links – your views? Urgent!

Leith Links is a great park and we all love it –  BUT it could certainly be EVEN BETTER!
In
recent months, a new 10 year ‘concept MasterPlan’ for improving the Links has been developed, by a team led by the City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘Thriving Greenspaces Project’ and including representatives from a number of local organisations; ourselves i.e. Leith Links Community Council, Earth in Common / Links Activity Park group, Leith Councillors, some local residents, and consulting a wide range of ‘stakeholders’ such as Leith Athletic, Leith Franklin Cricket Club, Duncan Place, local Primary Schools etc.

The final draft has now been published and it is open to public consultation  RIGHT NOW (closing on 22 July 2022).

        
You can see the plans and give your views via the Council web site
If you don’t like using the Consultation Hub with its usual forced route through leading questions, then please feel free to write / email in with your thoughts and ideas to thrivinggreenspaces@edinburgh.gov.uk (and it’s a good idea to copy to your local Councillors),  and/ or use the comments facility below to record your thoughts and we will forward them to the project team.
Whichever route(s) you choose, please do it NOW, before the holidays, otherwise you might forget, and miss your chance!
The draft master plan is based on the conversations we have been leading and facilitating  over the past year, about what local people need and want. It lays out a vision of what could happen in the future, but there is no guarantee at this stage that it will actually happen; significant new funding is still to be found, and support from the local community is vital (if there are objections or new suggestions, there is plenty time for these to be taken into account, the details of the plan are NOT a ‘foregone conclusion’).
  
The plan includes lots of great ideas (yes, including permanent toilets!), such as nicer benches, better bins, improved lighting, wheelchair accessible picnic tables, cycle parking, wildflower meadow, use of surfaces for heritage mural, arboretum (started already), ping pong tables, a ‘trim trail’ and 3km fitness loop and a ‘natural play area’ at the east of the Links. Also a modern bandstand (or ‘outdoor performance space’), and many other upgrades.
         
To bring the old bowling greens area back into productive use, there is a proposal for an ‘Activity Park’ that could incorporate a bike pump track and a skatepark.
A skatepark came out as a very popular suggestion, in last year’s surveys that we carried out, and is likely to be heavily promoted by its supporters – but there are also issues to be explored about what impact it might have on near neighbours.
Please make sure YOUR voice is heard!
 

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

Duncan Place £300 Community Enterprise Fund

Leith Links Community Council is happy to share this great news from our friends at Duncan Place:

Duncan Place is excited to announce that we have 6 pots of £300 available to make good things happen in Leith! 

Community Ownership is awesome! Profits made at Duncan Place Community & Enterprise Hub in Leith stay in Leith! It’s not about landlords getting richer. It’s about bringing people together.

If you have an idea for a community event tell us about it and maybe we can help make it happen.We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Pots of £300 will be awarded as follows:

  • for an event for those aged 12yrs and under.
  • for an event for those aged 13-18yrs.
  • for an event for senior members of our community.
  • for a multi-generational event.
  • others.

Criteria

  1. Your community event must take place in Duncan Place and be open to the Leith community.
  2. If your event will cost more than £300 you must be able to evidence that the remaining budget is in place.
  3. All health and safety and covid guidance in place at the time of the event must be followed.
  4. Any required insurance must be in place by the time of the event.
  5. Any re-usable equipment purchased for the events will remain the property of Duncan Place for use at future community events.

Download and Complete the application form and return it by Mon 1st November 2021.

More information is available here, on the Duncan Place website.

Arboretum planned for Leith Links

Four organisations are working together to develop part of Leith Links as an arboretum, with work already having began some weeks ago when planting of the arboretum began at the Seafield end of the links.

City of Edinburgh Council, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspaces Trust are working together to develop the arboretum on Leith Links, with some funding provided by The Mushroom Trust.

An arboretum is a specially designed area of different types of trees for scientific, educational and ornamental purposes. Eighty four trees are planned for the Leith Links arboretum.

We are encouraging citizens with an interest in Leith Links to take part in the consultation, and to make their views known.

 

Citizens may also leave comments below for the Community Councils information, and they may also wish to email Councillors Booth, McVey and Munro who represent Leith Ward 13.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Councils Together on Trams: Minutes of meeting held on Thursday 28 May 2020

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.

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 28 May 2020 are copied below for our communities information.

Actions and decisions are in italic.

» Read more

About us | FAQs | How are you funded?

Leith Links Community Council revives a small grant each year from City of Edinburgh Council, less than £1,000. This grant is provided to fund our administrative costs. Every Community Council in Edinburgh receives such an annual grant however, the amount varies. This is because the grant is partly made up of an amount per head of population in the Community

» Read more

Duncan Place Resource Centre Community Asset Transfer takes another step forward

In late 2014 the council closed Duncan Place Resource Centre & subsequently proposed demolition.

The community came together to achieve the following:

  • Demolition prevented
  • Charity formed
  • Business plan developed
  • Building refurb & business start up funds secured.

On Thursday Dec 19th Jim Scanlon, Chair of Leith Links Community Council, represented the area on a panel to scrutinise the plans & finances for Duncan Places future.Image

Under the Community Empowerment Act, the panel unanimously agreed to recommend a Community Asset Transfer of building from the council to the charity. This recommendation will be put to the Council’s Finance & Resources Committee in March 2020.

This is an historic moment for Leith and so, the setting of the Historic Leith Town Hall was a befitting venue. The charity will reopen the building in early 2020 and plan to hold a community celebration in Sept, when the building itself will be 100 years old. There will be rooms available by the hour for groups & classes as well as rooms available for permanent let to charities, social enterprises & similar. A great achievement when compared to the potential demolition.

For further details please email: Info@duncanplace.org

 

 

 

 

Projekt 42 seeks community support for new Leith Links facility

Leith based charity Projekt 42 provides accessible, inclusive and affordable health & well being services in Leith.  Image result for projekt 42

The charity, led by Sara Hawkins, has requested a Community Asset Transfer from City of Edinburgh Council of the old pavilion at Leith Links with a view to using it to provide their services.

 

The building is currently not in use and has recently attracted graffiti & vandalism.

 

 

 


Re-post of message from Projekt 42 published on Facebook:

 

Projekt 42 needs a little help 🤗

Projekt 42 submitted a community asset transfer request in August 2019 to the Edinburgh Council for the Leith Links Pavilion, and the Edinburgh council has ignored our request.

The charity has plans to bring the area back to life. We want to rebuild the pavilion and create a space for family activities, yoga and meditation classes, and space to extend our mental health services. Our plans include partnering with the Judy Murray Foundation who will provide the support we need to launch family tennis activities and we hope to bring other activities to the space including volleyball, outdoor fitness and yoga.

We’re a great fit for the area. All the profit we make goes back into leith through providing training opportunities and funding towards qualifications, free and subsidised counselling, free activities for seniors, a youth fitness academy and support for people undergoing cancer treatment. Nobody personally profits from anything we do.

We’re under a really tight deadline. If we don’t receive the support of the Edinburgh Council by the 24th December, the charity loses the funding opportunities we need to renovate the space.

We need your help.

⭐️If you have Twitter, login and RT the @projekt42edi messages to the Edinburgh council.

⭐️If you can, email the local councillors and ask for their support for the community asset transfer (Chas Booth, Adam McVey and Gordon Munro).

⭐️Email the Edinburgh council and ask for an explanation to why they are not creating a safe space for families in this area, why they’re not processing our community asset transfer request and ask what their plans are.

We really need the communities support.


Photographs of the pavilion:

Image may contain: sky and outdoor  Image may contain: house, sky, grass, outdoor and nature

Leith Links Residents Association lodge formal complaint against Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in relation to Seafield odour

Leith Links Residents Association recently undertook a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to pay for a solicitor to represent community complaints regarding odour from Seafield.Image result for seafield odour

Having raised sufficient funds they engaged Ian Cowan to write to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on their behalf.

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 4 7