Just a reminder that the festival fireworks display is tonight from 9pm onwards. If you have a pet please try to make sure they’re safe indoors. Thanks
The next meeting of Leith Links Community Council is on Monday 28th August, at 7pm in the Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate. All welcome.
The Agenda for the meeting and the draft Minutes of the previous (June 2017) meeting can be found in ‘Our Library’
During August to October ladies, aged 50-70, from Bangholm, Restalrig and Leith Links medical practices will receive appointment letters asking them to the screening centre at Ardmillan House in Gorgie. If you’re in the age group and attend Leith Links Medical Centre you should receive an appointment in the post. If you want to find out more please contact
South East Scotland Breast Screening Service, Ardmillan House, 42 Ardmillan Terrace
0131 537 7400
On behalf of the CC I attended a meeting at the Scottish Government at Victoria Quay on 1st August. Also in attendance were Ben MacPherson MSP, Rob Kirkwood from Leith Links Residents Association (LLRA), Prof R Jackson and SG civil servants.
Scottish Water have appointed consultancy firm, Amec, Foster Wheeler to carry out the strategic review of Seafield Waste Water Treatment Plant and the sewage network which supplies Seafield. The firm have been chosen to give an independent evaluation and have no financial connection to the plant and would not benefit financially from their report by awards of contracts if work was required.
Our meeting was to agree the terms of reference so that the consultants can gather information on the state of Seafield and we hope that they will be able to present their findings within 6 months but will also be in the position to give an interim report on progress to the Seafield steering group in October. The CC and Residents Association have asked to meet separately with the consultants in late September so that we can voice any concerns.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Roseanna Cunningham has ordered this review and at the meeting our local MSP Ben emphasised again that odour issues at Seafield have become a priority for the government.
The terms of reference instruct the consultants to undertake a detailed evidence based review of the operation, design and maintenance of the plant with a direct focus on the way odour is managed and to reduce as far as practicable odour nuisance under all operating and weather conditions .Using analysis of appropriate odour generation and dispersion statistics.
They will consult with community groups and relevant stakeholders (Scottish Water, SEPA, City Council) to gather information on our perspectives and what we want to achieve. The consultants have already met with LLRA and I plan to meet with them next week. They will also want to speak to members of the public about how odour nuisance from Seafield impacts on their lives.
When the review is completed the consultants will provide recommendations on improvements to infrastructure, repair, replacement or enhancement on the site.
In plain language this means that if capital investment is required the consultants will identify the areas where work could be carried out and how much each option may cost.
Reviews have been carried out at Seafield in the past but nuisance odours have continued because of lack of investment. Both Leith Links CC and LLRA have agreed the terms of reference for this latest review with some changes in wording.
We also gave our support to the review with some reservations and concerns that as in the past only the cheapest options will be considered. Over the following months I will keep you updated on progress as the consultation continues. Jim
There are a few interesting community events taking place this month:
- Thursday 10th August – Leith Neighbourhood Partnership meeting. 18:30, Nelson Hall, McDonald Road Library. There is £243,000 to be allocated for Neighbourhood Environment Projects. If you come along on 10th August you can contribute to decisions on projects to be funded.
- Friday 11 August – Leith Moves , 18:00 – 20:00, Out of the Blue Drill Hall. Film and exhibition on stories of Leith and Leithers.
- Friday 18th August – for kids and all ages – Leith Creative, with Lorne Primary & Jameson Place Sheltered Housing. Free playing out afternoon (12:30 -15:30) in Jameson Place, with a fun Street Huts building competition.
- Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August – Leith Creative Community Conference. 13.00 – 17.00 both days, Leith Community Education Centre. Over the last 6 months, Leith Creative has been asking “What would make Leith better?” This conference will allow for sharing and discussion of the main issues and themes that have come out of the research, to date. Guest Speakers and round table discussions. Please reserve your place via Eventbrite (free!)
This week, representatives from both the Leith Links Community Council and the Leith Links Residents Association met with Scottish Government to discuss and finalise the Terms of Reference for the forthcoming independent review of the Seafield Sewage plant. Consultants are already gathering data from all Seafield stakeholders, including members of the community. As a next step, they will set out and cost all possible ways of minimising the odour nuisance from Seafield, and Scottish Government will eventually make decisions about which they will fund and implement. We welcome the fact that for the first time there appears to be political will at government level (and hopefully some funding, attached to it) to make something happen to improve the situation.
We will keep you posted, as the review proceeds.
The Evening News has just published an article outlining a new strategic review commissioned by Scottish Government (Rosanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment) relating to the odour nuisances from Seafield sewage works.
The photo here shows Ben MacPherson MSP, Chair of the Seafield Stakeholders Group, who has been working with Ms Cunningham and with the local community “to properly tackle the issues at Seafield, which affect many of my constituents.” He said the review would engage with the community and also include consideration of on-site operational and capital options. “This is a strong and significant step forward towards further reducing instances of odour nuisances and working towards eliminating them. It will investigate the situation at Seafield fully and determine the necessary action that needs to be taken to deal with the issues and improve day-to-day life for the community.”
Read more here: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/scottish-government-order-review-into-seafield-stench-1-4496034
by Jim Scanlon
On Tuesday, 20th June, as Chair of Leith Links Community Council, I attended a meeting with Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, regarding the ongoing odour emissions at Seafield Sewage Plant.
Also attending the meeting were Rob Kirkwood, Chair of the Leith Links Residents Association (LLRA), Ben Macpherson MSP, Professor Rob Jackson, a scientific expert who advises LLRA, Rob Munn, advisor to Ben MacPherson, and Scottish Government Civil Servants and special advisors.
The Cabinet Secretary was questioned about the CREW (Centre of expertise for waters) report on Odour Management and monitoring in Scottish wastewater treatment plants that was commissioned by Scottish Government. The report said that odours are rare, sites are managed effectively, local councils and SEPA enforce regulations and that legislation governing sewage works is fit for purpose and doesn’t need changed.
We disagreed profoundly and suggested that the minister had been poorly briefed about Scotland’s sewage works.
Professor Jackson, appointed by Scottish Water to work with the community, said that in terms of academic research, the report was deeply flawed and the conclusions of the report were unsound: information had been gathered only by sending questionnaires to a small sample of sewage work managers, council employees and SEPA. There had been no independent enquiries, no site visits and no consultation with the local populations. Some technical information was incorrect.
The Minister seemed sympathetic and after further discussion over the odour nuisance, possible causes, and the future effects of climate change, Ms. Cunningham has ordered a strategic review of Seafield, and of the existing Code of Practice and legislation governing odour emissions..
Terms of Reference for this review have been drawn up but we feel they have not gone far enough so we have since written to Scottish Government with our concerns (also raised by Leith Links Residents Association).
We feel that the review should not just focus on Seafield as the Code of Practice covers the whole of Scotland, and there are known problems in other plants. Also, the proposed Terms of Reference specify looking at the operation, design and management of Seafield i.e. focusing on how they ‘manage’ odours. But at the last stakeholder meeting both Veolia, who operate Seafield, and City of Edinburgh Council Public Health officials acknowledged that not only management improvements but also investment and changes in infrastructure are needed. The terms of reference should therefore include assessing the costs of covering the sewage tanks at Seafield and similar plants throughout Scotland to eliminate odours for good, rather than just to ‘minimize’ them.
Once the Terms of Reference for the review are agreed, a tender will be put out for an independent firm of constructional engineering consultants, to look at the plant procedures and equipment and to estimate the capital investment required.
Leith Links Community Council will continue to represent the community, working with LLRA, to monitor events closely, make sure the review is done quickly but professionally and that conclusions are acted on.
Want to catch up and join in with what’s happening in and around our local community? You may be interested to attend one or more of the following events, all happening this week:
- Monday 26 June – Leith Links Community Council Meeting – 7 pm Leith Community Centre.
- Wednesday 28 June – Project team, former Tram Depot (165 Leith Walk) news about demolition and new plans for the site – drop in event, 4:30 – 7pm, McDonald Road Library.
- Thursday 29 June – Make Leith Better pitching event. Leith Creative offering £500 awards for the best ideas – 6 pm – 8pm, Bakers Arms, 87-91 Henderson Street.
- Saturday 1 July – Restalrig Road + Railway Path Clean Up event – 11am – meet at bus stop on bridge above the railway path, Restalrig Road.
- Sunday 2 July – Farmers Market on the Croft – 10am – 5 pm – Leith Community Croft, at the Johns Road end of Leith Links.
The Community Council received the following update email from Michael Motion, Senior Project Manager, Infrastructure, Turner & Townsend
Phase 4 (Pilrig Street to McDonald Road)
Weekly lookahead (w/c 26th June 2017) and further CEC project update
Please see below details of works to be undertaken during the course of next week:
– Complete grouting to the slabbed paving at the Library corner and open up areas to pedestrians where safe to do so
– Commence paving to the N/W corner of Croall Place (West side of Leith Walk)
– Commence paving to Brunswick Street footpath at the junction with Leith Walk
– Continue paving to the east side of Leith Walk
– Kerb realignment, and commence kerb laying at Brunswick Street junction
– Continue works to the road crossings at McDonald Road junction, excavating the tracks and installing ducts
165 Leith Walk – Former Tram Depot Demolition
The former tram depot (located at 165 Leith Walk) is due for demolition, and further communication will follow regarding the programme for these works in the coming weeks. The area will be cleared and a creative workspaces project will occupy part of this site.
The smaller building at the front of the former depot (165a Leith Walk) will be retained and refurbished to create a pilot partnership hub delivering local services. The project is a collaboration between site owners, The City of Edinburgh Council and local arts trust, Out of the Blue.
The project team intend to hold a drop-in community event on 28th June, between 4.30pm – 7.00pm, in the McDonald Road Library. At this event, there will be an opportunity to find out more about these proposals and to ask any questions.
Any queries or concerns with regards to the above, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org