Trams to Newhaven – extra time – please respond!

Breaking News! Leith Links Community Council is pleased to announce that the Tram Design 2 Consultation has been extended from 28th October to 11 November. This gives everyone time to respond with their views –PLEASE FILL IN THE SURVEY if you live near the tram route, because it WILL affect you. This extension was requested by the coalition of community councils along the proposed tram route in Leith.

We also welcome that the final decision by the Council to go ahead with the tram extension, or not, has been put back to March 2019 (instead of 13 December 2018). This will allow for much-needed time to work on the many detailed questions that remain – not least, in our area, regarding Constitution Street. And all the arrangements needed during a 2 year construction period.

Trams Update – 23 October 2018

Councillors will make the decision on whether or not to proceed with the Trams to Newhaven project in March 2019.

Tenders for the project were received in early September and evaluations are ongoing.

The final stage in this process is to seek best and final offers from the bidders which will then be used to complete the Final Business Case for consideration by elected members.

It is important for the Council to have sufficient time to undertake due diligence and comprehensive evaluation of the final submissions and the Council has therefore decided to take extra time to allow this process to take place.

The Council has undertaken extensive consultation with residents and businesses in Leith and Newhaven to inform the final design of the proposed route and has proposed a £2.4m Support for Business package during the construction period.

You can view the Trams to Newhaven project designs and plans, which have been updated thanks to public feedback from consultation earlier in the summer, until Sunday 11 November on the Council’s Consultation Hub.

Tram Consultation Saturday, 13th October Ocean Terminal 12-5pm

If you want to have your say on the proposed Tram extension you will be able to view the plans at Ocean Terminal next Saturday,13th October between 12 and 5pm.

This is your opportunity to comment on the latest plans.

Love it or hate it the final decision will be made later this year so make your voice heard.

I’ve attached plans for the section from Constitution Street to Ocean Terminal to get your vocal chords warmed up!

 

Tram plan

 

 

 

What price Local Democracy?

The investigative  / fact checking online journal The Ferret recently researched just exactly how much Councils invest in its Community Councils. It seems City of Edinburgh Council invests 7p per head of local population per year, to hear views from local people. The least was Dundee – 1p – and the highest was Shetland – £6.81)  Read the full article here.

What does this mean for local democracy?

Community Councils are statutory bodies tasked by local authorities to “ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authority for its area…the views of the community it represents”. All Community Councillors are volunteers.

So what does your Community Council do? A fair question. One short answer is (slightly facetious, yes, sorry!) – we do our best….

Response to Ladyboys / La Clique event proposal for Links

Below is the response from Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) to City of Edinburgh Council (Parks and Greenspaces Dept.) on the proposal to use Leith Links as a Fringe venue between 29 July 2019 and 28 August 2019, by Lady Boys of Bangkok / La Clique Cabaret. Leith Links Community Council itself starts from an impartial position on the matter but considers its duty is represent the interests of local residents, who have raised a number of important points and concerns. Follow the links to read those points in more detail.

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The Leith Links Community Council has considered all aspects of this application very carefully. Please see attached our policy on events outlining the general terms that any applicants (and City of Edinburgh Council) need to meet in order to be acceptable.  It is clear that for a large and exceptionally long-running event such as is proposed here, there are many key issues that would need to be addressed, on which we would need to be reassured, before even considering accepting such an application. We have also carefully read and considered the many views expressed by local residents, and these have very much informed our view as a Community Council.

Views of local residents / community

Because this proposal is unusual in proposing a much longer use of the Links than previous applications for events, LLCC decided to put this proposal out to wider public consultation. From our website, FaceBook page and Twitter accounts we provided a link to an easy-to-complete ‘form’ for local residents to give their views. In the 5 days the form was available, we received 56 formal responses (plus a number of informal comments, that are not recorded here).

We have copied and pasted from those responses into the attached document public comments . Please take the time and trouble to read these comments – or you will not be ‘listening’ to our community.

We are aware that these are popular Fringe shows in need of a new venue. We have nothing against the shows in question. We can appreciate the potential value for local businesses in bringing more Festival visitors down into Leith. However, overall, we would have to question whether that is a powerful enough rationale for granting the application, when set against the opposing arguments. It is not clear that having these shows on the Links for 4+ weeks would be in the best interests of the local community. We therefore propose that City of Edinburgh Council should not approve this proposal at least until there has been wider consultation and until all the concerns raised have been adequately addressed.

On a practical basis, there are barriers to Area 9 as a potential venue, due to the John Rattray Statue due to be installed shortly exactly on the access point for that part of the Links. (See attached picture). Also, the childrens Playpark close to Area 9 is due to be upgraded in 2019, so there could be vehicles to and fro-ing, and fairly major building works still taking place there. Furthermore, it is our understanding that that part of the Links is already booked by LAFC for football (which season restarts in mid-August).

The Links is a large park, however other areas on the Links are equally ‘booked’ or in permanent use e.g. football, cricket pitches, St. Mary’s Primary school playground, PE and sports (term restarts in mid-August), informal childrens’ play, informal sports and/or relaxation, family picnics, dog walking, cycle path, formal and informal bootcamps, tennis, future development of the ex Dry Dock area etc. etc.

In short, Leith Links is not a commercial business but a green space for relaxation, health and well-being, much needed by the community in this very densely populated area of Edinburgh. It is a busy, family-friendly, public place that belongs to the local community and that should be openly accessible to them at all times, rather than blocked off in part for a long chunk of the summer for adult shows and private profit.

Wider Consultation?

We think that the Council should undertake further consultation with the community, given the scale of the event proposed, the risk of a significant precedent being created, and the sensitivity of citizens of both Leith and the whole of Edinburgh, at the moment, about Council decisions about the use of public green spaces being imposed upon them.

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Consultation: Lady Boys Of Bangkok propose to use Leith Links in 2019

We are currently considering proposals submitted to City Of Edinburgh Council to allow The Lady Boys Of Bangkok to use Leith Links as a venue during August 2019.

As we are a statutory consultee we will be submitting a response in due course, as we consider our response we are particularly keen hear & consider the views of others on the proposals.

We have created a brief easy to use web form to help people submit their views to us.

We will publish our response to the proposals on our website as well as our Facebook & Twitter channels.

 

The Lady Boys Of Bangkok propose to use area 9.

 

 

Scottish Water Apology to Community

Scottish Water finally put out an apology today after receiving several emails from me on behalf of the community council and those who live in the community.Scottish Water should we aware that there is an ongoing issue with odour emissions from Seafield due to the high number of complaints forwarded to them, local elected members, SEPA and City Of Edinburgh Council by you, the public.

The apology reads

Scottish Water is aware of an elevated level of odour related issues in the Leith Links area and would like to sincerely apologise to customers for the inconvenience this is causing. 

During the unprecedented long spell of hot and dry weather the site operator Veolia has been taking all steps to ensure the operating conditions at Seafield WWTW are optimised including management of sludge levels. Veolia has progressed and implemented the agreed network related actions contained within the Strategic Odour Review.  In addition, Scottish Water is checking operations within its wider network which connects to Seafield WwTW.

We are continuing to review what other measures may be implemented to address the situation during this period of dry weather and again we apologise for the inconvenience caused to customers.

The apology could have been copy and pasted from previous similar emails. Leith Links Community Council and Leith Links Residents Association are well aware of what causes the problem. City of Edinburgh Council sending out highly trained noses to agree or disagree with local residents over how strong and unpleasant a smell of sewage is no longer acceptable. If you as a local resident are effectively trapped in your house because of disgusting smells then that to me is totally unacceptable.

Last Tuesday there was a programme on BBC2 called Inside the Factory which showed the process of making toilet paper. During the programme they also visited the sewage works that services Brighton. What was the difference between Seafield and Brighton? All the areas that could cause odour emissions are covered.

Veolia who operate Seafield under a PFI contract from Scottish Water seem powerless to stop the stink. They are well aware of the problem because it’s not new and happens year after year.

How do we solve it? Money, lots of money to cover the settlement tanks at Seafield and reducing odour emissions by covering the areas where the sludge gathers and becomes septic. In these weather conditions sewage can become septic in the network because there’s not the usual rainfall to flush it through so it’s probably arriving at Seafield already septic and producing the honk.

I have been in contact with Ben MacPherson MSP to arrange a meeting with the community council and residents association. We will be lobbying for a move to demand that Scottish Government provide the necessary funding for work to be done on the plant.

15000 people were at Easter Road last night to watch the football and they could smell the sewage. What a wonderful advert for our capital city when visitors from Greece are greeted by the smell of excrement.

Please continue to report the Great Stink and tell your friends to do it. You can be sure that politicians do pay attention when they receive lots of emails reporting the stench especially when election time isn’t too far away.

Thanks

Jim

 

 

 

Traffic Restrictions around Leith Links schools

Have your say on the proposed restriction of traffic around Leith Primary School, and St. Mary’s Primary School, on Leith Links. This aims to cut down vehicles on the small streets nearest to the schools for a set period around the start and end of the school day.

There is a very short survey here that is open until 31st July 2018, please do take the chance to look at the plans and contribute your views.

https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/schoolstreets-phase3/ 

 

 

Pongs from Seafield Sewage

We are all sick of the horrible smells from Seafield, and it is even worse in lovely weather when we would like to sit outside (or even just have our windows open). In spite of the recent commissioned review, there are no signs of improvement lately – we have had a very smelly week!  One thing HAS improved though. We have been asking for this for years, and at last it is now a bit easier to report these disgusting smells that ruin our quality of life. Many households have had a leaflet and contacts card delivered from the Public Health Department. Use that contact if you wish. Or, if you don’t feel like phoning, click on ‘Report it Here’ in the yellow box  (above, below, or side bar, depending on your device) to use our own new web-based form.

CCTT – JOINT STATEMENT on TRAMS

Community Councils Together on Trams

Leith Links Community Council is one member of a group of four community councils who have issued a joint statement urging the city council to reconsider the wider implications, the detail, and the timeline of the controversial proposed extension of the Edinburgh tram to Newhaven.

Read the joint statement here from the Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) –(i.e. Leith Central, Leith Links, Leith Harbour & Newhaven, and New Town & Broughton, through whose wards the extended tram will run, if given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).  These bodies approve the proposed extension of the tramline in principle,  but urge caution and highlight a number of concerns on which they are seeking reassurances from the trams team and CEC. The joint Community Councils are seeking improved communications/consultation, as a matter of urgency.

Read the joint statement here

ONECITY TRUST OPEN FOR GRANT APPLICATIONS

ONECITY TRUST OPEN FOR GRANT APPLICATIONS

GRANTS OF BETWEEN £5,000 AND £10,000 AVAILABLE

The OneCity Trust is pleased to announce that its main grant programme is now open for applications. Registered charities and constituted groups based in Edinburgh and focussing their work in the city. Ideally with an annual income of less than £200,000, are invited to apply for funding for equality and social inclusion projects meeting one or more of the following priorities;

  • COMMUNITY CONNECTEDNESS
  • CULTURAL BRIDGING
  • CIVIC INCLUSION

For the third year, we are also in a partnership with Travis Perkins Managed Services and the City of Edinburgh Council. This is a Community Benefit Legacy fund offered to the Council by Travis Perkins as part of a major contract and is managed through the OneCity Trust.

Applications for this funding will be considered from organisations that involve City of Edinburgh Council tenants or from other organisations aiming to benefit geographical areas with a high proportion of Council homes. 

Overall, the Trust intends to make up to 15 grants, of between £5,000 and £10,000.

For further information and to request an application form, please seewww.onecity.org.uk, or alternatively, please telephone Elaine McCafferty on 0131 469 3856 or e-mail 1819applications@onecity.org.uk.

Please note that the Trust is supported by the council on a part-time basis.

The deadline for applications is 20 April 2018, and projects should commence on 2 July 2018 and run for up to one year.  Please note one off projects will also be considered.   A condition of this funding agreement will be the promotion, media and photographic opportunities organised with the OneCity Trust, at any time throughout the period of the fund.  You must also acknowledge the source of your funding at every opportunity, e.g. logos on websites, promotional materials, etc.

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