Update on the ‘Seafield Stench’

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.

 

Busy Week!

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.

 

Latest update on Leith Walk works

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 leith.programme@edinburgh.gov.uk

Leith Links CC next meeting Monday, 26th June 7pm

The next meeting of Leith Links Community Council takes place in Leith Community Centre on Monday, 26th June at 7pm. This will be our last meeting before the summer break. There’s no meeting in July but we will continue to work for you when required. Keep updated through Facebook, website and twitter.

 

Monday 26 June 2017,Monday 24 April 2017

 

 

Leith Walk Phase 4 (Pilrig Street to McDonald Road) Land Engineering Administration

The community council and other stakeholders received the following email from Michael Motion, Senior Project Manager, Turner and Townsend

We have been formally notified today that the contractor responsible for the works currently underway on Leith Walk, Land Engineering, has been put into administration.

Having carried out a comprehensive assessment of the company’s financial stability prior to signing the contract, which did not highlight any concerns, this is unexpected and particularly disappointing.  As part of any assessment the Council seeks a third party credit agency opinion of the risk of business failure, and in relation to Land Engineering the third party opinion did not raise any issues.

We appreciate how frustrating this will be for businesses and residents.

We are currently in communication with the administrator and we are evaluating options to mitigate the impact and ensure the works, which to date have been running on time and to budget, are completed as soon as possible.

I am also aware that Land Engineering had recently issued a communication indicating that Brunswick Street would close on Monday 5th June to accommodate works to that junction.  As a result of the above, this closure will not go ahead on Monday, and we will be in touch in due course with a revised closure date to complete the works at Brunswick Street. 

Further updates will be issued as more information specific to completion of the works becomes available.

Edinburgh’s only elected Community Council celebrates a busy year.

Since being elected in October 2016 Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) has worked hard for the local community and our AGM was an opportunity to recognise that work by publishing our annual report. Click here to download a copy: LLCC Annual Report 2016 2017.

 

The LLCC AGM was also an opportunity to elect our office bearers, who for the next year will be;

 

We hope you enjoy reading our annual report and welcome your feedback.

Leith Links CC AGM Monday, 29th May 7pm

The AGM of Leith Links Community Council will take place on Monday, 29th May at 7pm.

The meeting takes place in Leith Community Centre, New Kirkgate and all are welcome to attend.

General election 2017 hustings in Leith Links Community Council

With the UK General Election approaching there are two hustings events being held which are relevant to the Leith Links Community Council area.

 

 

 

 

Edinburgh North and Leith

  • Out of the Blue Drill Hall (36 Dalmeny Street)
  • 7pm – 9pm
  • Tuesday 30 May 2017
  • Organised by Leith Central Community Council

 

Edinburgh East

  • Restalrig Lochend Community Hub (Restalrig Road South)
  • 7pm – 8:30pm
  • Wednesday 24 May 2017
  • Organised by Ripple Project

If you are not sure which constituency you are in, click this link to find out.

NB: Leith Links Community Council is a non political organisation and is not affiliated with any candidate, political party or cause.

Petition calling for Duke Street improvements

A petition is currently being circulated calling for the owners of 15 Duke Street to make improvements to the now derelict building & land, which is considered by the petitioners to be having a negative impact upon the local area.

 

To sign the petition follow this link.

 

The details of this petition are being circulated as it relates to an emerging community issues within our area however, we have not taken any decision as to whether to endorse the petition, or not. Whilst the petition has been started by an elected member of LLCC, the petition has been created in a private capacity.

Are you affected by the Seafield stink?

Many residents within our area have reported that they have been adversely affected by nuisance foul odours from the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works operated by Scottish Water and Veolia Water UK.

Leith Links Community Council is aware of these concerns and we are members of the Seafield Stakeholders Group which meets regularly to discuss matters relating to the works.

We would encourage any residents who are adversely affected by nuisance foul odours from the works to ensure that this is reported, at the time, on each and every occasion. We cannot underestimate the importance of this.

We have previously distributed leaflets (pictured) to households in our area encouraging people to report any foul odours.

Please report sewage type smells to the City of Edinburgh Council using these details:

Please report burning rubber type smells to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency:

  • 0800 80 70 60 (24 hours, 7 days)
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