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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 15th June 2017 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Ross Wilkinson (Vice-Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Tim Mitchell, Bert Scot and Paul McLaughlin.  A total of 18 people were in attendance including Councillor Kevin Lang.

Welcome and introductions

The Vice-Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from Andrew Mather, Patricia Eason, Gena Wylie, and from Councillors Work, Young and Hutchison. 

Police Report

The police report was given by PC Loosemore covering the past month. A total of 33 crimes had been committed, 4 of which had been solved. Of the 33 there had been 4 housebreaking and a further 4 attempted housebreakings, 4 acts of vandalism, 3 of shoplifting, 2 cycle thefts and various other crimes.   Residents were alerted to the presence in the area of travelling people some of whom were cold calling offering to do tasks such as gutter cleaning, garden clearing etc. Whether a realistic rate for the job was being charged and whether the work was done satisfactorily was open to question. There was also a concern that some were using the contact as a means of checking to see whether there may be valuables which may subsequently be stolen.  Vigilance was required and if valuable items were stolen then having receipts was helpful in supporting efforts to recover items.  An example was given of a court case in Elgin where the receipt had been critical in the recovery of an item stolen in a Silverknowes break-in.

A few questions were raised. On the value of house alarms there was a deterrent benefit from all alarms but beyond that much depended on the type of alarm, including whether it was linked to a security provider.  There had been some recent incidents of anti-social behaviour around the Grotto Bridge.  It was noted that this did not involve local kids but youths coming from a variety of localities some with an alcohol fuelled bravado. Here the promptness of caller information was helping to enable the police to respond quickly and minimise escalation of problems.  Where youths were apprehended there was often a variable reaction from parents which in turn was likely to influence re-offending.       

Infrastructure and Transport Sub-Group Report

Percy Feketey described the various structural changes which had led to the creation of fewer larger localities and to the continuing review of CEC sub-committees which was ongoing following the recent Council elections. This sub-committee along with the Safety Forum and the continuing movement in the filling of posts meant that the future of these groups was uncertain. He encouraged the new Councillors to be vigilant to the developing new committee structures which had provided meaningful forum on key matters. 

Planning Report

Peter Scott talked about the emerging proposals from McCarthy and Stone for a retirement living development at 6 Barnton Avenue West. The developer had conducted an exhibition at the Kirk Hall at the beginning of June. Much of the detail described is as recorded in the report tabled on 15 June (copy attached). Issues which attracted most comment included the mass of the proposed development (and in particular the 2-storey terraced houses facing the street), the need for a comprehensive landscape plan and the question of the impact on the capacity of the drainage system serving the street. There was concern about the amount of proposed off-street parking. Peter agreed to copy round the proposed draft CC reply for any further comment which members may have. 

Cammo Estate Advisory Committee

The item was about establishing principles that would underpin the inputs of the Community Council to the CEAC. The CC was one of several local groups on the Committee working with the CEC to manage the continuing upkeep and development of the Estate.  A constant challenge was maintaining the balance between the heritage of the Estate and the creation of a recreational area that was fit for purpose for those seeking to enjoy the amenity provided. This was especially important with the prospect of so many new houses being built in the vicinity.  The continuing uncertainty about the emerging new structures and committees of the Council following the recent elections meant that the significance of strong and considered local inputs into decisions affecting the future of the Estate were all the more important. The principles set down in the report tabled were approved.  The need for the local Councillors to press for clarity on the Committee structures going forward was again noted.   

Fair-a-Far Weir

Peter Scott provided a brief update on the fish pass works to be conducted on the Fair-a-Far Weir. The latest update from the River Life Project indicated that work would commence in August and an information session would be held in on 12 August. The requirement for various works vehicles to access the site was to be mitigated by the Council who would seek to restrict public access and parking in the car park accessed from School Brae.

The Hole in the Wall on Cramond Promenade

An update was provided on the continuing efforts to encourage Neville-Towle, the owner of the house where the garden wall had collapsed on to the grass verge to the promenade to restore the wall. Details are again in the report. The principles underpinning how the CC would continue to try to engage on this matter were detailed and were agreed as the appropriate way forward for the coming months.    

Representation on the Planning Committee

Kevin Lang explained that the CEC as a whole decided on who sat on the Planning Committee but with the political complexion reflecting that of the overall CEC Councillor membership. On this basis the Liberal Democrats were entitled to have one Councillor on the Committee and that was Hal Osler – with the added benefit that as she did not work full-time she had more time to fulfil the role.  Not being a member also meant for Councillors like Kevin they could be far more active and vociferous on local applications where there were genuine material concerns. And he would be making representations in the near future on the Dalmeny application.  That freedom was not enjoyed by those serving on the Committee due to the SG code of conduct guidelines.

Other Business

Tim Mitchell reminded those present of the forthcoming Davidsons Mains Gala at which the CC would have a stall. The product of the Safety Forum the new Smart Water material would be on display along with information about how application could help act as a deterrent to would-be burglars.

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 21 September 2017