Incorporating Cramond, Barnton, Cammo & Quality Street (West)

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 15th February 2018 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present:  Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Gena Wylie, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Tim Mitchell, Ross Wilkinson, Michael Dick and Marion Mitchell.  Councillor Young had given her apologies.  A total of 18 people were in attendance including Councillors Lang, Hutchison and Work.

Welcome and Introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending.  The minutes of the last January 2018 meeting were approved. 

Police Report

The police report was given by PC James Loosemore and covered the month from 15 January to 15 February. Across the Almond Ward there had been 24 reported crimes, 11 of which were in the Cramond, Barnton and Cammo areas. Eight of these involved driving offences including failing to stop after an accident, driving while disqualified and driving without proper insurance.  The other three offences involved one domestic assault, one theft from a taxi and a theft from the Royal High School. 

PC Loosemore also confirmed that Sergeant Holmewood had been transferred and replaced by Sergeant Kennedy who was based at Corstorphine. It was agreed that there would be value in Sergeant Kennedy coming to speak to the CC. Tim Mitchell asked about the recent incidence of burglaries with violence that had taken place elsewhere in the town. This was a worrying trait. A team had been set up and positive lines of enquiry were being pursued and early arrests were expected. In response to a question about speeding in D’Mains PC Loosemore said that they had recently stopped and charged 2 drivers on Cramond Road South for driving at 33 mph in the 20-mph zone. 

There was a strident challenge to the continuing use of Cramond Road North, Gamekeepers Road and Whitehouse Road as a rat run alternative to the Queensferry Road. The use of automated barriers was suggested to block non-resident traffic during rush hour periods. For the CC to be working with the CEC to improve traffic flows on the route was challenged as being flawed; instead it was argued we should be resisting the continuing use of residential streets for through non-residential traffic. Braehead Road had had gates installed to prevent through traffic and there were similar measures elsewhere in Edinburgh. Peter Scott referred to the possible traffic measures and changes which may be negotiated out of the Cammo Fields development. He asked if Police Scotland had been approached for input. PC Loosemore said he would check with the PS Traffic Management Department.

Chairman’s Report

On the matter of the Airport the Chair reported that the simulation of the offset approach and northern departures was now being conducted. Concerns were expressed about the increasing numbers of night flights and the absence of any regulation, unlike the situation at Heathrow, Stanstead and Gatwick. Kevin Lang said that Christine Jardine, MSP, and he were in dialogue with Edinburgh Airport in an effort to agree a voluntary night flying policy. Failing which they stood ready to seek regulation from Government

The Chair reported on what he regarded as some positive progress in the development of Neighbourhood Partnerships and the emerging localities. He was hopeful that the delegation of powers and responsibilities from Waverly Court to the local hubs was a positive step forward albeit tempered by continuing concerns about local capacity.

Planning Report

Peter Scott reported on the meeting which had taken place in December at Waverley Court. The discussions about traffic and transport issues had been unsatisfactory due largely to the Council being unable to field the correct officials who could talk about strategic transport matters. A follow-up meeting was scheduled for 22 February and we were assured the correct officials would be present.

A proposed development at Braepark Road on which the CC had raised concerns had been rejected by the CEC citing flood risk – it may resurface!

An application had been submitted for a development at 7a Barnton Avenue West. There were to be two villas – one at the front of the site and one at the back.  They would be two storeys high with penthouse flats. The CC planned to challenge the proposals on the grounds they were not in keeping with the character of the surrounding dwellings. 

The official opening of the Fair-a-Far Fish Pass was scheduled for 3 March and members were invited to attend. In the meantime, the CC was continuing to press for a sealed path to replace the existing path which had been rendered unusable due to the impact of the works traffic. 

Concerns were raised about a development at 7 Braehead Road which looked to be far exceeding what planning approval had supported. Kevin Lang had sought an update from planning officials. 

Secretary’s Report  

Council officials were scheduled to visit Cramond Village to assess the current state of the fallen wall on to the promenade. The CC would be informed of the outcome to the visit and of any proposed action.

The Community had received notification of a TRO in support of restrictions related to the proposed Care Home (18 Whitehouse Road). John Skinner was invited to speak to a paper which he had sent to the CC and which covered his considered views on the justifications for rejecting the TRO – especially those elements concerned with the proposed egress from the site and planned home. (A copy of the paper is annexed to this minute).  The paper informed a comprehensive response from the CC to the Council.  A copy of the response will be uploaded on to the CC website.     

Councillors Reports

Councillor Lang said he welcomed the appointment of a Convenor and Vice- Convenor to the Locality Committee where neither of them were part of the Council administration and there was a continuing willingness for the Neighbourhood Partnership to operate in the NW Locality.  

Gritting on roads had been a big problem and there were issues in relation to grit bins not being properly replenished. Winter Resilience was being reviewed. 

On the road resurfacing the contractor had accepted liability but questions remained as to why the work had been so poor. Also, when it was going to be put right.

Work on the Queensferry Road was to take place over the coming weeks but would be carried out through the twilight hours in order to minimise disruption.   Mention of this prompted questions about the general state of roads and the proliferation of potholes. Councillors were asked to continue to apply pressure on officials for this to be addressed.  

Recycling provision at locations such as the Tesco’s in D’Mains was again raised reflecting a general concern about the capacity across the city.  (QUESTION – What is happening at the Sighthill Recycling Plant?).

The Secretary raised the question of whether there was a Council policy regarding single-manned commercial refuse collection lorries.  In the wake of the Glasgow bin lorry accident from 2 years ago it was clear that Council lorries in Glasgow were at least double-manned.  Yet it was clear that many commercial operators, including Biffa and Scotwaste, were operating single-manned in Edinburgh.  Councillor Lang said he would look into this.

On the AMA Brighouse development there were no signs of movement from the developer in terms of honouring the commitment towards sporting and recreational areas. They had until 2020 to deliver and in the meantime, it seemed to be limited as to what the Council could do.        

Graeme Hutchison had been pursuing many of the same issues – winter resilience, gritting, roads.   He was frustrated at the pace of progress in resolving the governance arrangements around the Neighbourhood Partnerships. Much effort was being put in yet robust working methods for conducting the local business still seemed elusive. 

Other Business

Tim Mitchell mentioned the prospective Jurassic Park animatronics that was to run in Lauriston Castle grounds in April. The engagement with the right local groups and stakeholders had been somewhat fragmented at first but clarity was now emerging.  Improvements to the paths through Davidsons Mains park were to be carried out in the coming months. Community payback initiatives seemed to be something which was not being exploited as much as it should.      

Jean Morley secured the support of all present to passing on the very best of wishes to Andrew Mather as he prepares for the prospect of surgery on a brain tumour which has been increasingly impacting on his balance. All wished him well for the future.

Acronym’s used in these minutes

  • CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
  • CC = Community Council
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order
  • AMA = AMA Homes

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 15 March 2018