Leith Links Community Council public meetings move online

The next meeting of Leith Links Community Council in public will take place on Monday 6 April 2020 from 18:30 on Zoom.Image may contain: 3 people, screen

Following a successful trial meeting earlier this evening our public meetings will now be held on the Zoom online platform until further notice.

Members of our community are invited to join the meeting to watch & listen to proceedings.

Usually at our meetings we encourage public participation throughout the meetings but due to the nature of Zoom we need to change how we manage our meetings. This means at this first online public meeting that participation of the community will be limited but please do bear with us.

The required papers for the meeting are as below;

To take part in the meeting we’ll share a link on our website & social media, click on the link to take part.

New Steads Place development plans published

Developers have published information about their new intentions to develop Steads Place.

The new proposals have been lodged with City of Edinburgh Council by Drum and CAMVO 123 Ltd and can be viewed here.

The proposals follows on from Drums previous development plans for the site which were refused by City of Edinburgh Council. Drum went on to lodge an appeal with an unelected Scottish Government official, that appeal was dismissed.

Leith Links Community Council shows a significant interest in large scale developments such as this, and we will consider our response in due course.

 

Seafield – Stakeholder Update

Notification from Scottish Water of work being carried out at Seafield. If there are any odour issues please report them through the Community Council website

Further to the update we issued last week this is being sent to confirm cleaning work on the primary settlement tank is ongoing at Seafield WwTW. In addition, given the current dry conditions, a decision has been taken to utilise the contractor and other resources on site to clean the storm tanks. It is vitally important these works are carried out without delay, whilst this contractor has available manpower.

 

Veolia and its contractors are working to complete this work as quickly as possible given the current favourable weather conditions. However, please note onshore winds are forecast for a few days from tomorrow onwards. We would be grateful for continuing community support to share this message locally to provide assurance efforts continue to complete this work as quickly as possible and to minimise odour risk where possible.

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.

Leith Links Play Park

City of Edinburgh Parks Department confirmed yesterday that after discussion with the contractors work on the new Leith Links Play Park will start during w/c 21st April.

This is great news for the area as we come into summer .

The contractors haven’t confirmed how long work will take but I would hope that it will be in use by June? Watch this space for further updates.

Seafield Update

During 2017 the local community continued to suffer noxious smells and it was clear that the reporting system set up by Edinburgh City Council was ineffective. Difficult to use and response times poor.

In 2018 the CC introduced a reporting tool for the community to quickly report nuisance smells when it became clear that system set up by Edinburgh City Council (COEC) was ineffective, difficult to use and resulted in poor response times.

The link the CC set up is easy to use and we know that our locally elected politicians and public servants are aware of reports. More importantly the public servants we expect and trust with policing our complaints can’t ignore public concerns.

Between 09/07/18 and 19/08/18 there were 123 reports.

Then 09/09/18 to 23/11/18 19 reports.

During the most recent incident between 15/02/19 to 18/03/19 we received 57 reports

Scottish Water issued an update on 15/02/19 alerting the community to urgent work being carried out at Seafield due to build up of sludge. This was followed by an apology issued by Scottish Water on 26/02/19.

SEPA told the community they only received 1 complaint passed to them from COEC and they were not aware that there had been so many.

SEPA said to Leith Links Residents Association

Thanks for your email. I am sorry to hear the community have been experiencing odours. I have logged your email as an environmental event. The event reference number is ENV/0897328 and I can provide the update below.

SEPA did not receive any complaints about the site during the month of February 2019. We received one complaint on Friday 1 March 2019. Two officers attended the site on Friday 1 March and undertook an odour assessment on site and at two offsite locations.

Offsite the officers detected a faint whiff of sewage odour from the site. This was not deemed to be offensive. The odour detected offsite matched the odour detected on-site near the picket fence thickeners, which are unrelated to the activities covered by the Waste Management Licence and located outwith the Waste Management Licence boundary. Our findings were passed to City of Edinburgh Council Environmental Health on Monday 4 March.

The City of Edinburgh Council said

We can advise that we received a total of 83 Seafield odour complaints in February 2019, with 77 of these received between 24 and 28 February. Officers carried out 14 visits to the area, between 24 and 28 February, as a result of these complaints. In addition, four proactive assessments within the community were also carried out during the month and a plant inspection was carried out on 26 February.

We can confirm that mostly no or faint odours and occasionally moderate odours were witnessed on the visits made to the community during February 2019, which would not amount to what you refer to as a smell nuisance.

So although we received 57 complaint reports COEC didn’t think there was a problem. There is a problem for the local residents who have taken the time to report it.

I estimate that for every report made through the CC website there are probably 10 households who don’t

During February the CC has also been contacted by local residents because of noise which appears to have started about the same time that the most recent smell incidents were being reported. Veolia had to bring in mobile centrifuges to deal with sludge levels.

Leith Links CC received the response below from the City Council investigating noise

I refer to your emails below concerning a miscellaneous noise, causing disturbance over a wide area around Seafield / Restalrig. I’m sorry you had not received a reply, however we do not appear to have received your original email. We have now logged your complaint on our system.

With regard to the noise, I have two ongoing complaints in the
Seafield / Prospect Band area and received another from a resident in the Restalrig area yesterday. However, so far it has not been possible to witness the noise being complained off. Seafield Sewage Treatment Works (STW) were also contacted last year, however their investigations did not identify any unusual noise issues from machinery. A noise survey visit to one of the residents had been scheduled for last night, but was cancelled due to the high wind speed; as it affects noise measurements. The noise survey has been re-scheduled for next week.

Information provided from the original two residents who had complained and the fact that another two complaints have been received suggests that the noise is becoming louder and more persistent. Therefore it should make it easier to investigate the noise and determine the source.

I’ll give you an update once I have carried out the noise survey visit next week.

The noise stopped before any further investigation could take place about the same time the work stopped at Seafield.

On a balance of probability these problems are linked to Seafield.

The infrastrucure at Seafield is old and it’s failing on a more regular basis to cope with excessive levels of sludge. 

I also believe that during the most recent incidents there was a crisis at the plant that Veolia were trying to fire fight. Both SEPA and COEC have let the community down again by not investigating incidents properly.

We still have this mistaken belief by public officials that their noses and ears are better than those of the community.

Urgent action and investment at that the plant must be the way forward.

We haven’t even reached the normal smelly season during May.

Leith Links Community Council will continue to work together with the Residents Association and I promise to raise the communities concerns strongly at the next Seafield Stakeholders meeting scheduled for 260419

Jim

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