Secretary’s Report January 2013

I am glad to say there have been no big issues arising since the last report in November 2012.   There are however the ongoing issues of the refuse collection and the usual road repairs.   Much of the work Community Council carries out is often background work.  Like our Councillors’ we spend a lot of time on committees but I do believe that it is important for this area that we are represented in these forums. The Council know we exist and it has become very obvious to me over the last few years that this area is now on their radar.  We still of course have some way to go.

In a recent paper the Scottish Government indicated a desire that that Community Councils would take on more responsibility in support of their neighborhoods. Such a role is very daunting and your CC would certainly need to have more financial and technical support from the Council, the government and from yourselves to be able to carry this out.

End for the moment of my non-party political broadcast.

What has been happening?

The new exciting Community Choir held a concert for the members, their families and friends this Christmas.  With mulled wine and mince pies served after the concert it was a happy sociable evening.  This was a good follow on from the Cramond Association’s Carol concert evening.

Our congratulations to Rosina Archibald and an extra special thank you to Eleanor Logan, the choirmaster and to Lesley Pendriegh, our piano player and assistant choirmaster.   What a great team they all make.

Now that the choir meets in the Millennium Hall at Cramond Kirk, some places are still available, so just come along on a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm.

The Christmas tree at Barnton

Many thanks to the shopkeepers at Barnton for promoting a Christmas atmosphere at the shops by providing a Christmas evening for us all.

The evening was a success with much community involvement and thanks to Cramond Primary for their carol singing and to Russell Barr for working with the headmistress of Cramond Primary to bring it all about.    We must not forget our two local policemen Steve and Jim for their support in dealing with the parking and traffic situation.

The shops willing, I hope we can have an even greater event next year.  I know Russell has ideas.

I can also add that the City events manager was delighted with the outcome, as he knows the work that Sally, in the pharmacy put in to get this event agreed by the Council.

Cramond’s Gathering Area Cafés.

Two more significant social events are coming up (hopefully long term).   The Community Council have at last had recognition from Alzheimer’s Scotland that we are entitled to some form of day service for those residents with dementia and for their carers.    Did you know at the moment, residents and their carers from this area are expected to travel to South Queensferry, Granton or Corstorphine for day services?

Alzheimer’s Scotland will be holding a coffee morning with soup or sandwiches for lunch on the first Monday of every month in the Gathering Space in Cramond Kirk hall.  It is a small beginning but a start.   This will allow Theresa from Alzheimer’s Scotland to advise, to support with just a chat, to have exhibitions and discuss whatever other thoughts you or we may have on the subject.

Your support in coming along is very much needed if the Council is eventually to take this issue seriously.  (I am on my political soapbox again!).

The Gathering Area cafe will open on Wednesday 16th January and we must congratulate the church members and other volunteers who are running it. It will be open Wednesday to Friday from 10am to 2pm and offers a social haven to meet old friends and make new ones. Tea, coffee, home baking, soup and rolls will all be available and there are opportunities for volunteer bakers and cafe staff.

If any of you would like the fun of helping then we would be delighted to have this added support – just come down and see us. We should like to emphasize, this is not just for church members but for the community as a whole to take part.   We hope that coming here would be less daunting than going into a coffee shop on your own.

What I hope all of these items show that this community works together and has a very important remit in providing a social calendar in our community.

Other issues affecting our lives:

Bin Collections

The problems are still not totally resolved so we suggest if you are still having problems you contact waste@edinburgh.gov.uk  or phone Pippa Milne at 0131 529 3030 and as a last resort contact Councilor Lesley Hinds at lesley.hinds@edinburgh.gov.uk.    Still problems then lets see if a phone call from the Community Council or your local Councilors’ will help.

SEPA and the Weirs:

At the time of our last newsletter we were anticipating a display of Exhibition Boards, being prepared by SEPA, on their surveys of the fishing, the ease of the fish coming up the river and the general ecology of the river to be presented to the Community for consultation.

SEPA have however withdrawn from consultation at this stage and are taking time to conclude matters with the landowners ahead of presenting their findings to the community.

We will now have to wait for a further few months until SEPA are prepared to go public on their investigations.  Again I re-iterate that If (and note at this stage we say if) they should wish to remove the weirs, Fair-A-Far Dam is listed and they have indicated they would go through due process to apply for planning permission. Scottish Heritage has informed us that Dowies Mill Dam unlike Fair-A-Far Dam will not be listed.

In the meantime the CC will continue networking with the Council and the Scottish Government to facilitate funding for new fish ladders.   Sadly while this decision remains unresolved, the Council cannot proceed with the boardwalk proposal to replace the Salvensen Steps.  We have been assured that in the meantime the Steps will be kept repaired and safe for use.

The Community Council is facilitating a number of other local issues with the Council to help keep residents informed and up to date on their concerns

Planning:

Barnton Hotel Site
Good news at last that the site officially belongs to McCarthy and Stone.  The detailed drawings are presently being prepared and sub-contractors will then be appointed.

The Architect, Michael Vipond, is intending to introduce himself to the local shopkeepers shortly.   Hopefully this development, during building will help boost the trade to the local shops.  I see Donnie in the bakery needing to make lots of bacon rolls.

In the meantime if you see any problems on the site, could be let them know so no more damage occurs, please contact ourselves or directly to Micahel.Vipond@theplanningbureau.ild.uk

Cramond Place
We wrote asking the developer if he would tidy up the area for the sake of the residents as it looks as if we may wait a long time for a development on this site.

Kevin Donaldson, the developer / architect, has replied; ‘you are correct; we are still at an impasse on our site v.v. a Nursing Home. We are aware of the problems with the fence and should have that resolved shortly. Sadly he has not mentioned the rubble.

Cammo Home Farm
The CALA application has been called in by Historic Scotland for a decision by the Scottish Government on whether the Grade C listed building can be demolished and replaced by 2 new ‘green belt’ houses.

Barnton Park Woods
An application was received to demolish the 5 houses presently on the site and replace them with 8 two storey family houses. This scheme is considerably reduced in size from the initial application of 33 flats and 9 houses. The community Council has supported the latest plans subject to further detailed consideration of road matters and aspects such as overshadowing.

The Campus
AMA is still not able to give us a report on the present position regarding their tenant negotiations.

Transport:

The New Transport Forum
This has now been formed and a representative from Kirkliston Community Council sits on it and is happy to report back to us on any matters relevant to this area.

I sit on the Transport Equalities advisory group, which deals with issues for the disabled and elderly when travelling, and will liaise with the Kirkliston representative.

I am told that SESTRAN are looking for a solution for transport to hospital outpatient visits.  We can keep reminding the Council and transport representatives that from Cramond we need to take three buses to St. John’s Hospital (unless you want to go into town and back out again) now the Nordi bus is no longer available.

Braehead Area

Volunteers wanted please to assist in re-establishing the Braehead Residents Association.

Friends of Cammo

We have been asked to advertise a talk given by Nick Benge from the Friends of Cammo.  Nick will be doing a slideshow presentation of the Cammo Wildflower Project and the Wildlife of Cammo on Tuesday 22nd January from 7.30 to 9.00pm. in the Millennium Room at Cramond Kirk.

Friends of the River Almond Walkway

I have attached a paper that describes the invasive and non-native species occurring along the River Almond that require eradication or control and I hope you find this of interest.

The next work party will take place on 20th January. Please meet at the bottom of Peggies Mill Road at 10am, where they are planning to cut back vegetation in Woodland Compartment 3.  (See:  River Almond Management Plan – on the table).

Also on the table is an article from Isla, which describes the invasive non-native species occurring along the river.  I must ask Isla when a species becomes native?
friendsoftheriveralmondwalkway@gmail.com

Cramond Chain Ferry

Many thanks to the volunteers who carried out the visitor survey from March to October this year. The results have now been analysed and despite the bad weather this year, the visitor numbers are up on the estimate in the original feasibility study by one third. This has a positive effect on the viability and the greater certainty improves the case for capital funding.

The planning application is proceeding through due process and is presently on hold whilst funding applications are made to enable a habitat survey and assessment to be undertaken.

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