Seafield enquiry goes ahead

This week, representatives from both the Leith Links Community Council and the Leith Links Residents Association met with Scottish Government to discuss and finalise the Terms of Reference for the forthcoming independent review of the Seafield Sewage plant. Consultants are already gathering data from all Seafield stakeholders, including members of the community. As a next step, they will set out and cost all possible ways of minimising the odour nuisance from Seafield, and Scottish Government will eventually make decisions about which they will fund and implement. We welcome the fact that for the first time there appears to be political will at government level (and hopefully some funding, attached to it) to make something happen to improve the situation.

Fingers crossed!

We will keep you posted, as the review proceeds.

Update on the ‘Seafield Stench’

by Jim Scanlon

On Tuesday, 20th June, as Chair of Leith Links Community Council, I attended a meeting with Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, regarding the ongoing odour emissions at Seafield Sewage Plant.

Also attending the meeting were Rob Kirkwood, Chair of the Leith Links Residents Association (LLRA), Ben Macpherson MSP, Professor Rob Jackson, a scientific expert who advises LLRA, Rob Munn, advisor to Ben MacPherson, and Scottish Government Civil Servants and special advisors.

The Cabinet Secretary was questioned about the CREW (Centre of expertise for waters) report on Odour Management and monitoring in Scottish wastewater treatment plants that was commissioned by Scottish Government.  The report said that odours are rare, sites are managed effectively, local councils and SEPA enforce regulations and that legislation governing sewage works is fit for purpose and doesn’t need changed.

We disagreed profoundly and suggested that the minister had been poorly briefed about Scotland’s sewage works.

Professor Jackson, appointed by Scottish Water to work with the community, said that in terms of academic research, the report was deeply flawed and the conclusions of the report were unsound:  information had been gathered only by sending questionnaires to a small sample of sewage work managers, council employees and SEPA. There had been no independent enquiries, no site visits and no consultation with the local populations. Some technical information was incorrect.

The Minister seemed sympathetic and after further discussion over the odour nuisance, possible causes, and the future effects of climate change, Ms. Cunningham has ordered a strategic review of Seafield, and of the existing Code of Practice and legislation governing odour emissions..

Terms of Reference for this review have been drawn up but we feel they have not gone far enough so we have since written to Scottish Government with our concerns (also raised by Leith Links Residents Association).

We feel that the review should not just focus on Seafield as the Code of Practice covers the whole of Scotland, and there are known problems in other plants. Also, the proposed Terms of Reference specify looking at the operation, design and management of Seafield i.e. focusing on how they ‘manage’ odours. But at the last stakeholder meeting both Veolia, who operate Seafield, and City of Edinburgh Council Public Health officials acknowledged that not only management improvements but also investment and changes in infrastructure are needed. The terms of reference should therefore include assessing the costs of covering the sewage tanks at Seafield and similar plants throughout Scotland to eliminate odours for good, rather than just to ‘minimize’ them.

Once the Terms of Reference for the review are agreed, a tender will be put out for an independent firm of constructional engineering consultants, to look at the plant procedures and equipment and to estimate the capital investment required.

Leith Links Community Council will continue to represent the community, working with LLRA, to monitor events closely, make sure the review is done quickly but professionally and that conclusions are acted on.

 

Consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system

The Scottish Government are seeking the views of the people of Scotland on proposed changes to the planning system here in Scotland.

The consultation is open to anyone in Scotland to provide comment on, with a deadline of 4 April 2017.

To download the document and to respond to the consultation please follow this link.

Leith Links Community Council are aware of the consultation and will be working to submit its response in due course.

A city free from Islamophobia

Police Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government have been working together to make £40,000 available in the City of Edinburgh for projects aimed at addressing Islamophobia.

 

34 projects are in the running to receive grants of up to £5000, with the people of Edinburgh deciding which projects get funding.

 

If you would like to take part in the decision making process, you can vote online here from today until 12noon on Monday 13 February 2017 or you can visit your nearest City of Edinburgh Council Library.

For more information, click here.

 

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