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.

Community Council elections 2019 – Local interest groups

Later this year Leith Links Community Council will begin its latest election period but did you know there are six spaces on our Community Council which are reserved for local interest groups? Currently, only Leith Links Residents Association are represented.

Nominated representatives are appointed to represent the interests of their group on the Community Council and to reflect the views of the community through the Community
Council.

 

From the City of Edinburgh Council website:

Registration forms for local interest groups should be returned to the Council’s Elections Team who will ensure that qualifying organisations are appropriately registered by the close of nominations (30 September 2019).  The Elections Team will inform the Returning Officer of the number of valid application forms received. Where the number of nominations does not exceed the maximum number of nominated members those nominees will be declared duly elected.

Should the number of nominees registered exceed the maximum number of nominated members, the Returning Officer will convene a meeting of representatives from all registered local interest groups and the elected members of the community council. Participants at this meeting will vote by ballot to determine which local interest groups will become members.

It is also worth noting that neighbouring Community Councils also have spaces reserved for local interest groups;

For further information email City of Edinburgh Council – community.councils@edinburgh.gov.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

What being a Community Councillor means to me: Michael Traill

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%.


I joined Leith Links Community Council (LLCC) when it held an interim election in early 2016 and was pleased to be elected to the Community Council for a three year term in the city wide Community Council elections of 2016.

 

For me, being a Community Councillor means being an active member of my community. It is a special way to volunteer my time & skills. And it’s a privilege.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of LLC since 2016 but it has had its fair share of…

 

  • Hard work.  Reading planning applications, delivering leaflets door to door, organising public meetings and writing funding applications.  Not easy tasks for the mind or the body but being able to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into something new (in a supportive environment) is all part of being a Community Councillor.  We all bring existing knowledge & skills but we do not know everything individually but as a team we are able to share and learn from each other.  You are not alone as a Community Councillor as we all support each other.  Some of us ‘specialise’ in specific areas like planning, transport, nuisance odours or community engagement but there is always a chance to try something new.

 

  • Achievement.  It might be hard work working on the Community Councils stall on gala day, or facilitating a workshop for fellow Community Councillors or spending a two hour meeting scrutinising the work of the local authority & the Police etc but, it does come with a sense of satisfaction. Being able to directly influence how services are delivered or being able to deliver an improvement in our community brings a great deal of reward (as well as community benefit).  These moments and celebrations make the hard work worth it.

 

  • Frustration.  Sometimes there are issues which will take many years to resolve but it is only by working on them month in month out, year on year that change can be achieved.  A prime example is the ongoing issue of nuisance odour from Seafield.  It might sometimes feel like nothing is changing but actually we have been working away in the background on achieving a long term solution as well as tackling the authorities on day to day issues.  An example of this is our new online reporting form which we use to notify several bodies of issues in one web form, and then which we use as evidence to hold the authorities to account.

 

  • Fun.  There is always some time for some humour at our meetings & events and it is essential to keep our spirits up.

 

I plan to stand again for election this year, and I would encourage other people to seriously think about doing the same.  I am always happy to chat to you if think you’d like to stand but have some questions.


Click on the picture for more information.

 

Volunteer as a Community Councillor

There are many ways to volunteer in our community, one of them is by becoming a Community Councillor on Leith Links Community Council.

Later this year we will be having our 2019 election, which will provide a chance for you to put yourself forward as a Community Councillor for the next three years.

 

 

 

 

To find out more:

 

 

 

Leith Links Community Council election 2019 | provisional timetable announced

City of Edinburgh Council has announced the provisional timetable for the upcoming Leith Links Community Council elections, with voting day expected to take place on 31 October 2019.

Event

Day

Provisional timeline

Notice of Election (start of nomination period)

-52

9 September

Close of Nominations (forms to Returning Officer)

-31 4pm

30 September

Withdrawal of Nominations

-31 4pm

30 September

Notice of Poll (if required)

-21

10 October

Polling Day

0

31 October

 

You may recall that in 2016 Leith Links Community Council was the only Community Council in Edinburgh to be elected by public vote, when seventeen members of community stood for election to our body of 12 Community Councillors.

Between now and the election period we will doing all we can to encourage & support people to stand as candidates, and should we require a public vote we will be doing as much as possible to get as many voters as possible to cast their votes. In 2016 588 voters had their say, this represented 6.9% of eligible voters.

‘Fascist political group plans to infiltrate Community Councils’ says The Ferret

The Ferret describes itself as an award-winning investigative journalism platform for Scotland and beyond, recently one of their contributors published an article claiming that the far right are planning to infiltrate Community Councils. Reproduced below is the article.

Edinburgh Community Councils will be holding their triennial elections this Autumn.

At the last triennial elections in 2016 Leith Links Community Council were the only Community Council in Edinburgh to hold a public poll. This was because we were the only Community Council in Edinburgh to have more candidates standing than the number of seats available, in our case we had 17 candidates for 12 seats.  If we had 12 or less candidates, they would have been given their seats without an election.  Information relating to our 2019 elections will be published soon on this website, and on our Facebook & Twitter streams.

It should be noted that Community Councils in Edinburgh are non party political but a number of Community Councillors across the City area members of political parties, pressure groups etc.


Billy Briggs wrote:

An extreme far right group modelled on Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists plans to put candidates up for community council seats in Scotland.

The New British Union (NBU) idolises British fascist Mosley whose violent supporters wore Nazi-style uniforms in the 1930s and were known as Blackshirts.

The openly fascist group is recruiting on Twitter and is led by Gary Raikes, the British National Party’s former leader in Scotland.

An official NBU document seen by The Ferret reveals that NBU plans to stand supporters as independent candidates to build support locally across the UK.

The document explains what Raikes terms as the “Quiet Revolution”. It says: “The important action is that cells should try to center (sic) around a member willing to stand in parish/local elections as independent candidates and help get them elected.

“Blackshirt cells will develop into Blackshirt units in every village, town and city in the UK. The idea is to build fascist cells of two to five people in as many places as possible.”

The document adds: “The action is true, grassroots style politics – fostering change nationwide, from the local level. The fundamental application of this philosophy is the induction of true British nationalists in all forms and level of local government.

“We at the NBU have recognised that obtaining appointment to parish and community councils is both a symbolic, and practically necessary starting point, in the pursuit of this philosophy of action.

“The NBU is a young movement, yet already has a handful of parish councillors, and one county councillor we also have a number of our people about to take up seats on Scottish community councils.”

Raikes formed the NBU in 2013 after leaving the BNP. He was also a member of the anti-Muslim group, Britain First, led by Scottish Loyalist, Jim Dowson.

At the 2007 Scottish Parliament election Raikes was a BNP candidate for the North East Scotland region. In 2015 the NBU claimed it was targeting Elgin politically prompting a backlash from locals.

The NBU uses Nazi iconography while Raikes posts sinister propaganda videos of himself speaking while dressed in a black uniform. Another video on the NBU site is of far right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, who is an advisor to UKIP.

Yaxley-Lennon is a former BNP supporter and football hooligan who has been convicted of multiple crimes including mortgage fraud and assault.

In one video Raikes says he is trying to “unite the right”.

Unite Against Fascism said: “Thankfully the far right in Britain is divided, whether this numpty has the ability to unite them remains to be seen. What can be seen from NBU website is that Tommy Robinson is the lightning rod that they are trying to use to unite the far right.

“Although the slogans and emblems of the NBU look old fashioned from the 1930’s we can see when they were used last year in the the “unite the right” rally in Charlottesville in America that they can become potent once again.

“‘Never again’ was the popular slogan after the second world war against fascism. We should never forget that and never give these dangerous idiots an inch.”

Scottish Greens justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP said: “It’s a sad reality that the Brexit mess created by the Tories has given confidence to those with extreme right-wing views. However, I’ve no doubt that communities across Scotland will continue to reject these dangerous and deluded groups who couldn’t organise a bun fight in a bakery.”

Raikes said: “We are not supporters of Tommy Robinson. We supported that specific issue not the man. We have been recruiting for six years. Social media is just one way of doing that. I fully expect you to deliver a bias twisted report detached from reality and know I will not be disappointed.

“British blackshirts fought and died for Britain in the last war just one of the many facts ignored by people like you. If you have read our website then you will know we are not a hate group we are simply offering people an alternative to failed democracy and a chance to discover the truth about Mosley and his ideas.”