Local traffic congestion & Links Gardens closure

At the last meeting of the Leith Links Community Council, the following motion was proposed and carried.

Due to excessive local traffic congestion, with concomitant air pollution and danger to pedestrians and cyclists, Leith Links Community Council proposes that a review is needed of the closure of Links Gardens and of the working of the redesigned junction at the foot of Easter Road. This should be carried out in the context of all the other nearby road closures, roadworks, and diversions affecting traffic across Leith, and should include full consultation with local residents and businesses.

The motion has been passed on to our three local Councillors, and to all members of the Transport and Environment Committee.

At the Community Council meeting (which was held online, but was open to members of the public to attend), the following points were raised in discussion:

LLCC is receiving many emails from local residents about severe traffic congestion problems, particularly relating to the redesigned Easter Road junction and to the Links Gardens closure. Residents are divided: many support the closure of Links Gardens for use by pedestrians and cyclists, while others are deeply upset by the traffic congestion, delays and blocked routes that beset our area currently. Recent online petitions have garnered hundreds of signatures. Currently some streets (eg. East Hermitage Place / Vanburgh Place) are actually worse for pedestrians and cyclists, rather than better, due to nose-to-tail queuing traffic and air pollution. Delays to public transport drives more people back to their cars.

LLCC is not anti-cyclist and is not demanding immediate reopening of the road, but just requesting a review. There was no consultation at the time of the closure.

A recent report from Police Scotland (Community Officer) states that “There are no highlighted concerns from Police Scotland in relation to public safety for this road [Links Gardens] re-opening. From a Police Scotland point of view we have no objections to this road re-opening and resuming normal traffic. This will hopefully alleviate a lot of traffic that is amounting along Vanburgh Place and Hermitage Place due to the new traffic light system on Duke Street.”

It is clear that the traffic problems are not ALL caused by the closure of Links Gardens, but by a ‘perfect storm’ of multiple road closures, roadworks and diversions all over Leith, and also by the new junction at the bottom of Easter road which has never worked well. Re-opening Links Gardens is the one thing that could be relatively easily achieved, and might help somewhat, even just temporarily while the Tramworks are at their most disruptive.

CEC policy is apparently to hope for “traffic evaporation” but it is not clear how this can be achieved.

Cllr McVey noted that the Links Gardens closure, along with early Covid 19 measures on other roads, is due to be reviewed at the next meeting of the Transport and Environment Committee.

           

Is your Community Council working?

Yes! The Leith Links Community Council has has met online (via Zoom) each month, since its last  ‘in person’ meeting in February 2020 and of course continues its work also by email, phone and social media.

Leith Links Community Council is currently following guidance issued by the Chief Executive of City of Edinburgh Council, which states that – in line with Scottish Government’s ‘Route Map’ -“It is our strongly recommended position that all Edinburgh’s community councils also continue to meet remotely during this period. We believe that this in the interest of safety and public health….a coordinated approach between all public sector and community partners will help reduce transmission levels and ensure that vulnerable citizens are kept safe.”

The Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (EACC) also issued a paper summarising the situation ‘Community Council Meetings During the COVID-19 Emergency: Emerging Practice’

Meeting online exclusively does exclude some people who do not have access to the appropriate technology, as we all know, and that is very unfortunate. However, there is also evidence that virtual rather than physical meetings may actually make it easier for some other people to attend, who otherwise could/would not.

Members of the public who are resident or linked to the area are welcome to attend these meetings, although we can’t always guarantee much time for discussion of your particular issue (Community Councils meet in public, rather than being ‘public meetings’ as such, and often have busy pre-arranged agendas.) Keep your eye on this website for pre-meeting announcements and click the link on there to request a link to the next meeting.

In between meetings, if you have anything to ask, tell or propose to the Community Council, please get in touch by email to contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk

You can also use the comments facility below to raise any important points, about our area.

 

 

 

Community Council elections: Information from City of Edinburgh Council

City of Edinburgh Council have this week released some promotional materials relating to the upcoming Community Council elections.

The materials are copied below for your information.

The Returning Officer for Leith Links Community Council is Councillor Gordon Munro.

Please ignore the reference to Neighbourhood Partnerships in the leaflet.  Neighbourhood Partnerships have been disbanded but the Council still had several thousand of the leaflets to use. Please also note that £eith Decides is now known as £eith Chooses.

Leith Conference | 26th & 27th October 2019 from 11am until 4pm

Leith Conference is an opportunity for local people, community organisations and businesses to explore, identify and prioritise key issues affecting life for better or worse in our community.

As a partnership of Leith Trust and Leith Creative, the conference builds on a wide body of research about the area gathered over the last five years. Not just another discussion event, the weekend is instead an opportunity to move forward and agree joint actions for a plan, shaped by the people of Leith.

Join us to share experiences and have your say at this FREE event being held in North Park Conference Centre.

Click on the image below to book your ticket’s.


For more information please click on the image.

Free stuff

Leith Community Centre has a massive amount of good quality essential household items and adult / young adult clothing looking for a new home on 19th & 20th October 2019.

Anyone can come & help themselves to anything they need, free of charge, regardless of their income or circumstances.

The partnership between Leith Community Centre Association SCIO & Recreate Scotland is aimed at reducing waste.

TV chef cooking up plans for Leith Links event

City of Edinburgh Council, who have oversight of Leith Links, are considering a proposal to host an event at Leith Links, and you are invited to submit your views and questions.

The event – ‘Tom Kerridge Presents Pub In The Park’, is proposed to take place at Leith Links from 22 June 2020 to 1 July 2020. We have also been informed that a Council officer has suggested the event be held in the same area of the Links used by the Mela.

You can view the proposal below (there is very little information provided to us by City of Edinburgh Council) then submit your views or questions.

Your views should be submitted to parks@edinburgh.gov.uk by 4th September 2019.

You may wish to copy in one or more of the City of Edinburgh Councillors who represent Leith Ward 13;

You may also wish to copy in Councillor Lesley McInnes (lesley.macinnes@edinburgh.gov.uk), who is the Convenor of the City of Edinburgh Councils Transport & Environment Committee.

Click on the picture for more information.

Leith Links Residents Association launch crowdfunding campaign

Leith Links Residents Association have launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund a solicitor to act on their behalf in relation to the ongoing Seafield odour issue.

Further information can be found on their Facebook page.

 

Nota bene:  Leith Links Community Council is featuring this crowdfunding campaign as local news, it has as not as yet given its formal backing to the campaign.

For more information please click on the image.

Leith Volunteer Fair #2

Leith Community Centre Association SCIO, which manages Leith Community Centre, 12a Newkirkgate is hosting the second Leith Volunteer Fair. Following on from the success of Leith Volunteer Fair #1 in June this year, the event will now be held twice each year.

Leith Links Community participated in the first Leith Volunteer Fair, with colleagues from Leith Central Community Council and Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council.

There is a volunteering opportunity for everyone. Come along to the second Leith Volunteer Fair to explore volunteering opportunities in Leith & beyond.

There will be number of organisations seeking one off, occasional & regular volunteers and they are looking forward to meeting you.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people & make new friends, build your confidence, try something new, get hands on practical experience, develop your CV and give something back to your community.

 

 

Leith Links Community Council Meeting, 26th August 6:30pm, Leith Community Centre

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be on Monday 26th August , at 6:30pm in the Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate.

If you live in the area, you are warmly welcomed to attend.

This is also election year for Community Councils and we hope that you may be keen to join us. If you are available to volunteer in your spare time and have an interest in a wide range of local issues we would be pleased to hear from you. The Community Council election period starts on 9th September.

 

What being a Community Councillor means to me: Sally Millar

Later this year Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) will be holding its next election.

The last LLCC election was held in 2016 when seventeen candidates stood for election (with twelve positions available). 586 members of our community voted which represented a turnout of 6.9%.


Despite living in Leith Links since 1987, I had never heard of the Community Council until I started a campaign against the giant biomass incinerator that Forth Ports proposed building in Leith Docks, in 2010. I needed to learn – and fast! – about all sorts of things like Scottish energy policies, how planning permission works, who all the key players were, in local and national politics, and how to find and mobilise friends and supporters for a campaign to fight off a threat to the local community. One staunch source of local support turned out to be members of the Leith Community Councils, (Biofuelwatch and Friends of the Earth Scotland were other important allies). We won, by the way! (2012).

After that, I really valued the work of the Leith Links Community Council and took the opportunity to become a full member in 2013, standing again for election in 2016. I have been Secretary for the past 3 years and I am intending to stand again for election this year because I feel that some experience and continuity could be useful, to balance and support input from new members.

I firmly believe that although many people aren’t even aware of its existence, the Community Council is a force for good in the local area.

Meetings are always interesting and it is a good chance to meet and get to know the local City Councillors, who usually, attend, as do the Community Police. Community Councillors are also invited to many other meetings and projects – a great way to learn about and participate in local activities and events. To be honest there’s a lot more ‘paperwork’ than ‘manning the barricades’ in Community Council work, but while that can be tiring and frustrating at times, being able to (sometimes) have a direct positive influence on important services and decisions, is a source of satisfaction and pride.

Being a Community Councillor has certainly really helped ME to truly become part of my local community, to feel active and useful, to learn new skills, and to get to know and work with so many interesting and committed local people, and worthwhile causes. It is a good way to learn how the City of Edinburgh Council works, and to learn the true facts and the complicated ins and outs of so many important matters that affect us all. (Almost nothing you read in the Evening News is a true representation of any situation!) I feel that it is privilege and a pleasure to ‘serve’ the local community to the best of my ability.


Click on the picture for more information.

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