The Leith Programme – email update 34, 18 October 2013
Traffic Regulation Order – Pilrig Street to Foot of the Walk
This is just to inform you that the process for the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) required to implement the proposed improvements to the Foot of the Walk to Pilrig Street section of Leith Walk is now underway and the TRO drawings containing the proposals have now gone out to statutory consultees in order to receive any initial comments.
In due course these proposals will be advertised more widely and will be open to comments, both positive and negative, from the general public over a four week period. Another update will be sent out to let you know when this begins.
Further work is required in order to refine the design for the Pilrig Street to Picardy Place section of Leith Walk, the later phase of the Leith Programme, and we will continue to work alongside our partners in Sustrans to progress this. Once again, we will keep you updated.
Alan Dean BA (Hons) MSc PGDip I Partnership Development Officer (Stakeholder Liaison and Engagement) I Services for Communities I City Centre Neighbourhood Management Team
The next meeting takes place on Monday, 28th October in Duncan Place Resource Centre, Duncan Place. The meeting starts at 7pm prompt and a city planning officer will be on hand to take questions relating to Salamander Place housing development by Hillcrest HA.
Members briefing 426: Changes to Council Tax – empty homes and second homes
There is a significant housing shortage in Edinburgh. We’re committed to reducing the number of empty homes, helping to ensure we are making the best use of housing resources. Empty homes can also increase the amount of antisocial behaviour and vandalism in an area, as well as decrease the value of surrounding properties.
Since April 2013 the Council Tax (Variation for Unoccupied Dwellings) (Scotland) Act has given councils the option to reduce, increase or maintain discounts of between 10% and 50% on second homes and long term empty properties. It also gives councils the powers to discount or increase charges on properties that have been empty for 12 or more months.
On 21 March 2013 the Council’s Finance and Budget Committee agreed to adopt a new policy, intended to reduce the number of empty homes in the city and encourage owners of empty homes to put them back into use.
The new policy includes an increase in Council Tax discount from 10% to 50% for owners as an incentive if they actively market their empty properties for sale/let. The policy also includes increasing the Council Tax due on long term empty homes by applying a 100% surcharge if they have been empty for 12 or more months or 24 months if they are on the market for sale/let.
These changes will be introduced from 1 January 2014.
There are approximately 2500 properties that will be affected by this increased Council Tax charge.
A letter was sent to each owner on 1 October 2013. This provides the customer with three months notice about the changes and the opportunity to speak with us about any questions they may have regarding the classification of their property.
We have been training staff in our Contact Centre to provide advice and support to property owners, as well as briefing staff in our neighbourhood offices. Third parties, including local Citizens Advice Bureau will also be notified. A letter to local MPs and MSPs advising them of the changes will also be sent out.
From 1 October detailed information about these changes will be available from our website at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/emptyhomes .
Should your constituents have any questions, please ask them to call our Contact Centre on 0131 469 5000 or to email us at email@example.com. Over the last few weeks staff at the Contact Centre have received training about these changes to ensure they can
Natural Neighbourhoods – What’s Your Patch?
If someone asks you which part of the city you come from, what would you tell them?
Abbeyhill or Alnwickhill, Brunstane or Bruntsfield, Craigmillar or Craiglockhart?
The Council is consulting on the “natural neighbourhoods” within the city. These are communities which local people would immediately recognise as having a distinct and important identity. We’re now seeking your views using an online survey on the Council’s website.
The survey is short, it comprises two questions:
1. Please tell us your postcode
2. The city of Edinburgh is made up of many small communities, each with their own identity. Which area of the city would you say you lived in?
We will use this information to help improve the Council’s understanding of customers, our measurement of outcomes and enable closer working with partners.
This project will inform two forthcoming consultations:
· the Fifth Statutory Review of wards by Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland; and
· the Scottish Government’s consultation on datazone boundaries.
It is expected that both ward boundaries and datazone boundaries will change as a result of these processes and the natural neighbourhoods work provides an opportunity to ensure that the outcome of both projects reflects Edinburgh’s communities.
Community Councils will have an opportunity to comment on a provisional set of boundaries which we hope to be able to share with you later this year.
Iain Bell, tel 0131 469 3852 or David Porteous, tel 0131 529 7127 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you aware of Leith Decides and work or know of a community group in Leith who could benefit from money for a project or a piece of equipment? They may be able to apply for help through Leith Decides.
leith decides poster
Explore stunning landscapes, maritime history, proud sporting legacies and the galas, festivals and diversity of modern Leith.
Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm
Who is this for? – All
Dates: 26 October 2013 – 23 February 2014
Citizen Curator celebrates Leith’s fascinating and varied heritage, through the art collections of the City Art Centre and history collections of Edinburgh Museums.
The exhibition includes artworks by well known Leithers such as Eduardo Paolozzi, and depictions of the local area by artists including Alexander Nasmyth, Jock McFadyen and Kate Downie. It also includes new works created by up and coming artists and a specially commissioned film exploring the diversity of the area. Alongside these pieces there will be historical objects and contemporary items exploring Leith’s heritage, from Hibs memorabilia, to Mela programmes, boxing gloves, to ship building tools and the skin of a catfish caught in Leith Harbour!
This exhibition is the cumulation of a project developed to give local communities, in particular young people, the opportunity to explore and interpret their local heritage. Several community groups have chosen collections items to put on display and created their own works in response to these.
Organisations taking part include: Leith School of Art, Leith Festival, Young Saheliya, Leith Late, Leith Library, Leith Academy and Home-Start Leith and North East Edinburgh.
If you are part of a community group or school and would like to arrange a visit to the exhibition or to receive an outreach visit, please contact Diana Morton at email@example.com or 0131 529 6365 to find out more.
To find out more about the Outreach Programme and Citizen Curator please visit the Outreach blog: www.edinburghmuseumsoutreach.wordpress.com
Citizen Curator has been supported by the Leith Townscape Heritage Initiative.
FUNDING BOOST FOR LEITH PROGRAMME
You will probably be aware that on Tuesday 24th September, the Transport Minister Keith Brown announced funding of £3.6m of the additional £20m recently allocated to cycling towards the Leith Programme. This will enable the Council to deliver an enhanced street scheme from Foot of the Walk to Picardy Place as part of the overall Leith Programme area.
This funding is additional to the money that the Council has allocated to the Leith Programme which runs from Old Dock Gates up to Picardy Place. The additional money means the Council can deliver an enhanced design for the street from the Foot of The Walk to Picardy Place. This will prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and sustainable modes of transport, as well as creating a vibrant and lively thoroughfare which will benefit local residents and businesses as well as those visiting the area.
The draft designs are developed in partnership with Sustrans Scotland, and responds to local aspirations for the streets that all kinds of local people told us about during the consultation process.
Key features of the design include:
· Cycle lanes from Foot of the Walk to Picardy Place. There will be significant sections of uninterrupted cycle space including sections of dedicated on and off road cycling. Cycling will be largely segregated from Pilrig Street uphill towards the Omni Centre.
· Improved pavements and junctions to benefit pedestrians and more frequent crossing points along Leith Walk.
· Redesigned, simplified junctions that are much easier and simpler for pedestrians to cross.
· Replacement of London Rd roundabout with a signalled junction to significantly enhance conditions for both pedestrians and cyclists.
· A simplified streetscape more conducive to community activity, trading and business.
· Improved connectivity for sustainable forms of travel between the waterfront and the city centre.
For further information on the Leith Programme please visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk/leithimprovements