Coronavirus updates

As a Community Council we have taken the decision not to provide, or attempt to provide, rolling updates on the current Coronavirus situation.

As a group of volunteers we lack the time to be able to gather & share the numerous updates published each day by a variety of organisations. We are very keen to avoid circulating information that may be incomplete or no longer applicable.

Instead, we will provide very local updates as usual such as Leith Festival being postponed, or our meetings being cancelled.

But, for regular updates on the wider Coronavirus situation in our city or country we would direct you to the following sources of information, which are updated regularly;

 

You may also wish to view the following websites, although they do not have dedicated Coronarivus pages / sections, may provide useful information such as travel arrangements etc;

 

Trams to Newhaven construction work paused

The Trams to Newhaven team have announced that they are pausing construction work until further notice. The announcement made this evening explains that this is due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.Image result for trams to newhaven logo

Various members of our community have this week been discussing whether the construction works should be continuing in light of the restrictions of liberty put into effect by the UK and Scottish Governments.

The Trams to Newhaven team point out that it may take some time to close down the construction sites in a safe way and that traffic management arrangements (traffic signs, traffic signals, fencing etc) will remain in place.

Community Councils were asked to keep this information private until 6pm, although it is noted that atleast one journalist has broken the story early.

Their statement is as follows;

Formal instruction has been issued to Sacyr, Farrans Neopul (SFN) and Morrison Utility Services (MUS) to shut down the Trams to Newhaven construction site. This is in accordance with advice given by the Scottish Government over the last 48 hours.

 

The complexity of this project means that it will take a few days to action and there may be works that need to be completed in order to make the site safe and secure. Any further work that is undertaken will be done in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines around proximity working. Current traffic management arrangements will remain in place.

 

Work will continue off-site, again operating to strict social distancing guidelines, including design, planning and scheduling, as well as drawing up a remobilisation strategy for returning to the site once restrictions are lifted. We will also be closely liaising with MUS and SFN to look at ways of mitigating the impact of work stopping on the wider project.

 

The project contact centre will continue to be operational for any queries.

Leith Festival 2020 postponed

Leith Festival have this afternoon announced that Leith Festival 2020 will be postponed for the time being, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Image result for leith festival

In June, they will consider whether the festival can continue, in some form, in September.

Their statement makes a really important point, that as a community we need something to look forward to and something that will bring us together. We should keep this in mind through the dark days we are currently experiencing.

Their statement said;

As you can imagine, we’ve been giving Leith Festival Gala Day 2020 a lot of thought.
We wanted you all to receive an email ahead of us posting our decision round social media.
We recognised early on that we needed to call off Gala Day for June 2020, but have debated long and hard, and decided to leave the door open for holding an event in September 2020.
This may prove wildly unrealistic, but we will make a final decision in June, when we guess the picture will be a lot clearer for all of us. This could be a fairly simple event such as the Leith Tattoo or the Pageant (more likely), or some kind of Gala Day. Clearly a Gala Day looks implausible right now, it may be forbidden, or clearly not responsible – either to plan for it, or to hold it. 
But we feel we are all going to need things to look forward to, and things that will help bring us all back together, once this difficult, sad and worrying time is past.

 

Coronavirus precautions lead to cancellation of Community Council meeting on 30 March 2020

The next meeting of Leith Links Community Council, planned for Monday 30 March 2020, has been cancelled due to Coronavirus precautions.

The work of the Community Council continues utilising electronic tools such as email & zoom but it may be a number of months before we are able to hold our meetings in public.

The thoughts of all community councillors are with you at this difficult time.

Please keep yourself safe and up to date with rapidly changing advice.

Variation of Existing Premises Licence: 31 Duke Street

City of Edinburgh Council have made us aware that they are processing a license variation application relating 31 Duke Street, formerly known as The Dukes Head.

  • Reference:  429638
  • Applicant: Trust Inns Limited
  • Agent: John Gaunt & Partners
  • Premises:  31 Duke Street
  • License type: On & off sale
  • Last date for objections:  9 April 2020
  • Requested variation:  Commence sale of alcohol from 11:00 on Sundays; add bar meals as an activity; allow access for children.
  • Link to view licensing register entry:  Click here

If you wish to lodge an objection, submit comments or ask questions about the application you should email licensing@edinburgh.gov.uk by the deadline of 9 April 2020, you may also wish to copy us in by emailing licensing@leithlinkscc.org.uk.

Fireworks Warning – 17th March

Warning for pet owners!

There will be a fireworks display from Royal Yacht Britannia on Tuesday 17th March at 10pm, lasting around 3 minutes.

Update – bus changes around Leith Links

Leith Links Community Council (supported by all of our local Councillors) is vigorously contesting the loss of bus services to the north side of Leith Links since we heard that the 12 is to be stopped and only partially replaced by the No 1.

So far, at our request, the Convener of the Transport Committee set up a meeting between City of Edinburgh Council Transport officials and Lothian Buses – at which Councillor Adam McVey was present, also someone from MSP Ben MacPherson’s office – to ‘go through the issues’. Currently Lothian Buses have been asked to find a solution and Council officials have been ‘tasked with helping to facilitate any changes necessary to help enable a change’.

We are hoping to hear soon about another meeting with news about possible solutions. We will keep you posted!

The current situation is that, as of 29th March, the 12 will not run beyond George Street. To partially replace the 12,  the No 1 will come down Easter Road as before and then continue along the Links and on to Seafield (old Eastern General site). But it will go from the foot of Easter Road along Vanburgh Place, Hermitage Park and Claremont Park, in other words along the south side of the Links. There will be no bus serving people who live on the North side of the Links, e.g Links Gardens, Links Place, Salamander Place/Street, Elbe Street, Mitchell Street, Queen Charlotte St. etc. and Constitution St (who have already lost the No. 16 bus).This means quite a long walk across the Links for many people, which may be a problem for anybody older  / with mobility impairments  / pushing a wheelchair or buggy / carrying heavy shopping etc. There could be safety issues, at night time.

However people beyond the lights at Restalrig Road (Claremont Park, Pirniefelds, Seafield) will be served by the No 1.

Going into town,there will be no access to Leith Walk or York Place, as the 1 goes to Princes Street via Easter Road and Leith Street. So some people may need to take 2 buses, which has financial implications as well as time/effort costs.

The 25 and the 21 will continue, so if you can access Restalrig Road, that might be a better route for you than the 1. The 21 route is unchanged apart from bus stop closure on Duke Street. The 25 is unchanged going into town (apart from some bus stop closures on Duke Street and Leith Walk). Coming down from town, the 25 will be rerouted down Easter Road instead of Leith Walk.

Please read the details on the Lothian Buses web site, for more details about proposed changes, routes, timetables etc.

Please continue to use the comments facility, below, to add your voice and tell us how you will be affected by changes to the bus services around our area. We will use your comments to continue to press the case for an acceptable solution.

Changes to bus routes – Leith Links is hit hard!

The tramworks that have already closed Constitution Street are soon to also affect Leith Walk, for the next 18 months. From 28th March, there will only be one lane on Leith Walk, for traffic going south (that is, going UP Leith Walk). Buses will still go up Leith Walk but those coming down will go down either Easter Road or Bonnington Road (No.10,11).

People who live beyond the bottom of Leith Walk  / Easter Road will be especially hard hit. We are told that the No.12 bus will terminate at George Street and stop coming down to Leith at all. This was the main bus serving Leith Links (and Salamander, the Pirniefields and Prospectbanks) and Seafield, and will be a major loss.

To partially replace the 12,  the No 1 will now come down Easter Road as before and continue  along the Links and on to Seafield (old Eastern General site). But there are two problems with this:

  1. The No. 1 will go from the foot of Easter Road along Vanburgh Place, Hermitage Park and Claremont Park, in other words along the south side of the Links. No buses will go along Duncan Place / Links Place as they have been doing recently. There will therefore be NO bus at all serving people who live on the North side of the Links, e.g Links Gardens, Links Place, Salamander Place/Street, Elbe Street, Mitchell Street, Queen Charlotte St. etc. and Constitution St (who have already lost the No. 16 bus).
  2. Although we have not yet managed to get sight of a finalised revised timetable, it seems likely (since there is now only one, not two) that the overall frequency of buses along the Links will be reduced, possibly by as much as 50%.

This means quite a long walk across the Links to get to a bus stop for many people, with a particular impact on anybody older  / with mobility impairments  / pushing a wheelchair or buggy / carrying heavy shopping etc. It could also significantly increase journey times. There could be safety issues, at night time.

Leith Links Community Council is very disturbed by this change. There was no consultation at all with the local community. The population on the north side of the Links is increasing hugely with all the new flats going up – people are told to use public transport, not cars (and few car parking spaces are provided) – but now the public transport is being removed!

We have signalled our concern to our three local Councillors and to Lothian Buses in the strongest terms. We will continue to campaign vigorously and will keep you posted with whatever replies we receive.

Please use the comments facility, below, to add you voice and tell us how these changes will affect you. These comments will, hopefully, strengthen the argument for this very damaging decision to be reviewed.

You can read more about the bus diversions overall here.

 But where is the 12? 

 

£eith Chooses 2019/2020 | Your feedback is sought

The City of Edinburgh Council / Community Steering group who deliver the annual £eith Chooses local participatory budgeting process are seeking the views of our community on this years process.

Views are sought via an online survey.

It is important that as many people as possible take part in the consultation, whether they took part in £eith Chooses or not, as the collated views will inform future £eith Chooses processes.

 

To find out more information about £eith Chooses you can visit their website, their Twitter steam or their Facebook page.

Leith Links Community Council have played a key role in delivering £eith Chooses from its early days when it was known as £eith Decides.

 

 

Leith Links event application: Community Council responds to application for circus Extreme 2020

Earlier this month we let you know about plans being considered by city of Edinburgh Council for an event to be held on Leith Links by Great Russian Circus Limited, click here to view our original post.

We asked for your comments, and we have now submitted them to City of Edinburgh Council to consider alongside our own comments, which are copied below for your information.

We are not sure when the City of Edinburgh Council plan to make a decision, what information or views they will take into account or when we will be notified of their decision, but we will make a further post about the decision as soon as we know.

Please remember that comments, suggestions, questions etc relating to parks can be submitted to City of Edinburgh Council at any time by emailing parks@edinburgh.gov.uk.


Please find attached the comments from those members of the public who responded via our website. As you can see, the majority of the comments were negative towards the Circus being allowed to use Leith Links.
As for the view of the Leith Links Community Council, while we are aware that these comments are only representative of a very small number of those in our area entitled to a voice, we have concerns regarding transport, the area of the Links that the Circus may use and the need for reassurance that the Links is restored once the Circus takes place, if it does. So while we are not against the Circus using the Links, given the short time it would be there, we do need these concerns addressed.
We do not wish to be seen as ‘NIMBYS’ regarding every application that comes in. However have real concerns over the lack of information provided to ourselves to enable us to make a fully informed decision on applications to use the Links for commercial purposes.

Responses from members of the community included in our response:

“I think, given the current disruption around the area with the tram works etc, this event should be held elsewhere. Parking and traffic are already chaotic, and will be only be increased by the event.

If it weren’t for the current disruptions, I’d have no problem with the event.”

“Think this is fine, since the application is only for two weeks use and is appropriate for all ages.”

“I would rather not see this happen on the links. A full week of the summer with lorries etc on the grass. This will always wreck the turf, be an eyesore and obvious noise pollution. Leave the parks alone, send these sorts of things out of residential areas, ridiculous!!”

“Concerned by noise as I live in close proximity, also not happy about the restrictive nature of this for the public links space during peak summer time”

“This application should be refused. The amount of vehicles on the links will cause damage to the grass, many of these vehicles will sit on the grass for over two weeks. This is also the the part of Leith Links where the school children from the local school do PE, games etc. The area is also used for Cricket and football.

The volume of traffic around the links area is already a problem for local residents. Having up to 1400 more people coming into the area on a daily basis for 11? Days would cause more congestion.

This is also a commercial concern, what benefit will local people receive from this organisation. Public spaces should be used for events for local folk not commercial organisations who come and go and give nothing back to the people of Leith.”

“I don’t see a problem with this event. A circus aimed at families is a good thing upholding a fine tradition”

“Please reject.

Leith Links is for mostLeith residents the only green space left. Everything else is in vicinity is gone. I enjoy Leith Links, its green, calm and its a place where I can look around and don’t see human made things. It’s a place for kids to play, an older person to sit on a nice day, a stroll with the dog or a nice picnic. It’s a park where I charge my mental well being. It’s home to an amazing mixture of wildlife and nature. So no, leave Leith Links alone.

In addition, with the current tram works construction and many diversions etc. The infrastructure would not cope with 1400 performances. 30 vehicles on site would trash the park.

Its bonkers even considering this.”

“No Thank you, No Thank you, No Thankyou…it’s right in front of my home.”

“There is currently a lot of disruption around the leith links area due to property building works, tram construction, and other roadworks. I strongly believe the council must refuse this planning application. The cumulative effects of these construction works alongside the impacts associated with the circus events (noise and vibration, traffic and transport, local amenities, impacts on the flora and fauna in the links) would have a severe detrimental impact to the local area. Having a circus in this area with associated parking for up to 1400 attendees would put extreme pressure on the already busy and difficult to find parking for local residents. The council surely already is aware of this having proposed parking charges for locals. Furthermore the main routes required for emergency services to gain access are already diverted for to the tram works so I would put the question back to the council of what the emergency evacuation procedures would be? Can the roads around this support this? This is a predominately residential area, the links are used for sports teams, dog walkers and families and whilst the circus is present for a short time the longer term impacts on the grass of the links due up to 30 vehicles parking on the grass, toilets and the tent itself would leave a lasting impact.”

“I think this is a great idea and good use of the massive public space available.”

“I think its a great idea. Would bring a lot of people down to Leith who don’t usually go. I do however think there could be potential issues if people were to drive down because of the ongoing works on constitution street.”

“As I live within spitting distance of this event with my bedroom on the main road i feel this would be detrimental to my quality of life both in terms of noise, lights and additional cars.

As there is a metal fence running the length of the site, vehicles will need to traverse the pavent at the bottom or top of the field, causing more damage.

As people will be living on the links for the period this will be an issue 24/7. I strongly object to the site location”

“I object to this event taking place on the links across from my family home due to the detrimental affect it will have on our enjoyment of our family home (noise level, volume of traffic etc ) and also our enjoyment of that part of the links during the schools summer holidays.”

“I am against this as it will destroy the grass and the community. Look at the mess of Princes St Gardens.”

“Self contained” with generators, that means 14 days of permanent generator noise to provide power for the accommodation of the 60 people on site. No thanks. Where are the visitors going to be parking their cars? Give or take call it a 1000 capacity, say 60% come by public transport. 4 people to a car that’s still 100 cars in an area where I even struggle to park my car during the summer months due to the increase of vehicles from B&B visitors.

“I think losing the ocean terminal red gravel site has left the council with a dilemma of acomodating requests like these, but leith links is completely unsuitable due to the close vicinity of residential property as well as there being no additional parking capacity to cope with the increase in demand.”

“The traffic conjestion around Leith is already at gridlock without further inconvenience. We are quickly losing trees/ green space as a result of development and trams integration so it would be dissapointing to have further space taken up with a circus.

Leith Links should not be used to house large-scale events of this sort.”

“Pollution from the cars. Noise from the event. What are the times of operations night? Does the money charged for the rent come back to the links?. Will the park be left in the same condition that it was before the event?”

“Please reject.

Leith Links is for mostLeith residents the only green space left. Everything else is in vicinity is gone. I enjoy Leith Links, its green, calm and its a place where I can look around and don’t see human made things. It’s a place for kids to play, an older person to sit on a nice day, a stroll with the dog or a nice picnic. It’s a park where I charge my mental well being. It’s home to an amazing mixture of wildlife and nature. So no, leave Leith Links alone.

In addition, with the current tram works construction and many diversions etc. The infrastructure would not cope with 1400 performances. 30 vehicles on site would trash the park.

Its bonkers even considering this.”

“Would the pressure of stages, stands and vehicles not ruin the football pitch? There have been shows like this in previous years, but were they not restricted to areas not used for football, cricket or rugby?”

“Parking, noise, rubbish, traffic, damage to 3 well used football pitches ect This is very close to lots of housing and is possibly the worst place in the links where it could be situated Links Gardens is already a traffic nightmare during peak hours and this will seriously exacerbate the issue”

“More than enough traffic issues in the area already with various, unneccessary roadworks. This will make things worse to the point of being unbearable. Presumably the council will be removing the disgraceful caravans parked there as a present to us who have to put up with a circus we have no interest in? No, I thought not. Use area for dog-walking and general escaping from the stresses of the city. Instead CEC is bringing the city here. Would want to know what the council’s approach to animal welfare is as well if there are animals. Likely to be parking hell for the duration of the event. Once again, no regard for the people who pay their council tax only to be faced

by yet another event the money from which does not seem to be spent on anything other than the city centre or some other vanity project. Disgraceful.”

“Hi, I’m concerned that, yet again, parks and land that is there for all to use, is being commandeered for a commercial enterprise. This will take over a significant amount of the links for two weeks in the summer, while kids are off school. No doubt the grass will be all chewed up, and they estimate 1400 attendees daily; how many will use public transport? I’d guess not that many, so parking, in an area where this already an issue for residents, will be even worse. I’m not sure how any of this is a benefit to the Leith community.”

“Totally oppose this. Will destroy accessibility, usability and peace that the park destroys in one of its most popular months for residents. Terrible proposal.”

“Public space and heavily used in the summer by local residents. This is not acceptable in such a built up residential area, noise, pollution and damage to the gardens themselves. What about the wildlife? Stop commercialising green space. Have this out in Islington.”

“I am against this application on the grounds,of my business, mike English food and stacks,will be serviley affected and not to mention the mess it will make on the two football pitches that have been very well looked after over the years.may I sergest the very far end of the links,towards portobello, you whoud not have to put up with cast iron fenceing that runs alongside your proposed site, and much better access for the cars,Van’s, and hgvs that it will be needed to sett up.thankyou”

“I would hope that planners have given consideration to visitor parking. When The Mela was held in this park last year vehicle traffic was not controlled and most roads in the area came to a standstill.”

“For the past two years the Mela has resulted in dangerous parking in he streets around the event on Leith Links / Claremont Park. Pavements were blocked, forcing pedestrians onto the roads, particularly those with prams; lines of sight were blocked at junctions by cats parked on yellow lines, meaning cars had to pull out into moving traffic without looking properly. The requested capacity for the event is far too big for associated cars to be accommodated nearby, even with significant event staff directing traffic because they can’t be on every corner, and every set of double yellow lines all the time. The Mela has shown us this to be true, two years running.”

“this is a ridiculous commercial use of public space and ought not be allowed. Noise will affect nearby residential premises, and cars on the grass will affect it long term.”

“On principle, I feel that we need to keep making the point that the Links is a public space, and we need every inch of our green spaces. I am strongly against colonisation / privatisation for commercial purposes! Also this area is really struggling just now with road closures, diversion, and generalised traffic and parking hell, so it does not seem sensible to add ANY extra burden to this chaos.

Having said that, this proposal is for a fairly short period only and I have no particular problem with this family friendly show, provided that there is a curfew (for noise) of about 9/10pm, and of course the necessary toilet and litter control provision. But The large number of vehicles proposed, to drive across and then park on the Links is completely unacceptable. They need to reduce this number drastically and park /‘camp’ elsewhere. And only have the smallest possible number of vehicles for set up and take down only, and basic support.

Also the location is wrong. This site overlaps with the school playground, and an area of known defective drainage. And there is no easy or short vehicular access – they’d have to drive the full length of the Links from Seafield to get here. I would suggest putting the circus in the middle of the west Links where it traditionally always used to go. It is outside the football season, so hopefully could be accommodated.”

“In principle I’m supportive of the events being held on Leith Links but the reality is that for large commercial events there just isn’t the parking capacity to enable them to operate. There are no car parks within the vicinity so it just isn’t viable.”

“strongly oppose this”

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