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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 18th June 2015 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present:  Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Ross Wilkinson, Marion Mitchell, Bert Scott, Percy Feketey, David Belfall, Euan Pearson and Gena Wylie.  A total of 17 people were in attendance including Councillors Lindsay Paterson and Alastair Shields.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from Jean Morley, Peter Scott and Isla Browning as well as Councillor Norman Work.

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minute of the meeting held on 21 May was approved.   As a “ matter arising” it was noted that the bus stop outside the Barnton shops had yet to be reinstated following the improvement works to the pavement.  The Secretary was asked to seek an update.

Police Report

The police report was given by PC Williamson.  With 26 recorded crimes in the 4 weeks to 17 June 2015 the incidence was down when compared with the previous months – the difference being attributed largely to the reduction in the numbers of housebreaking and attempted housebreakings (of which there were only 6).   The importance of house alarms as a deterrent had been raised at the May meeting where the question of whether alarms that were linked to security firms and to the police required a “double trigger” before a police response was initiated by the Control and Command Centre.   There were differing views on this and PC Marshall had undertaken to look into the matter and to report back. The Secretary undertook to pursue this with PC Marshall during the summer break.

Presentation from Iain Eason on the Proposed Cramond Chain Ferry. 

Iain Eason spoke to a slide presentation which charted the history of the project and its origins dating from 1662 the earliest date for which there is recorded the Coble of Cramond (including the Coble Cottage where the ferryman lived).  The loss of the ferry following the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 compounded by the need for repairs to the jetty on Lord Rosebery’s estate had led to the demise of the service.    By 2006 a proposal for a bridge had been considered but rejected; such a solution would have allowed for 24/7 access across to Lord Rosebery’s estate and that was not supported.  The notion of a chain ferry began to emerge proposed by the engineer John Carson. Examples were to be found in the Netherlands and in Norway.  There was an example in Stratford-upon-Avon.  The craft would be hand-operated and flat-bottomed with a capacity to carry 12 at a time including wheelchairs.  A lift platform to the promenade level would be required because of the tidal effect on the river at its estuary.  A feasibility study was carried out funded by £10,000 of Lottery funding.  A pedestrian survey of visitors and other users was conducted and informed the business case for the proposal.  The needs for capital funding of £340k was identified, a planning application was made and was supported and an application to the Big Lottery Fund was being pulled together and would be submitted before the end of June 2015. The Coastal Communities Fund was currently fully committed but it was hoped that the outcome to the Smith Commission would lead to the Fund being augmented.

A response on the Big Lottery Fund application was expected in August 2015.  If supported then a Community Interest Company would be established by November to inform the development of the tender specification.  The tendering process would run in the spring of 2016 with construction beginning in the summer.     However the team which had taken the proposal to this stage was small and needed to be augmented.  The CC agreed to help try to attract further assistance.  Some questions were raised about planned staffing numbers to operate the ferry and about operating hours. There was a brief discussion about expected visitor numbers.   The Chair thanked Iain Eason for his update.

Planning Report

The Chair provided a brief update on key planning developments since the last meeting.  Despite the Reporter recommending approval of the Cammo Fields application the Cabinet Secretary had rejected it on grounds of prematurity.  This was not likely to see the end to this proposal – more likely just a delay driven by political expediency.    The spectre of a further Nursing Home – most recently behind Cramond Glebe Road – was raised.  Notwithstanding the update about a reduction to the bed number concerns about the location, the tightness of the site, access and egress, traffic congestion and the further load it would bring onto already stretched medical services all remained as real concerns. While the proposal had gone cold over recent months a planning application was still expected.

Secretary’s Report

The Secretary expressed his disappointment at the pace of progress with the action plan and said that he would be writing to the West Team in an effort to instil some urgency into the process.

Councillors’ Reports

Lindsay Patterson reported on the problems which were being encountered with waste collection – her mailbag of complaints would in itself risk breaching the Council’s landfill targets!  She undertook to pursue the matter at the full Council meeting scheduled for next week.  On the proposed Care Home off Cramond Glebe Road all the local Councillors had been asked by the Action Group to meet with it and a mutually convenient date for such a meeting was now being sought.  Finally she reported on the school streets initiative and the consultation exercise around the proposed implementation around Cramond Primary.

Some 75% of those who responded had been supportive of the concept.  Alastair Shields reported that there were concerns around the management of personal data in relation to people contacting the Council, including about waste management issues.

Any Other Business

The Chair said that he would be pursuing the manner in which the Council had handled the redevelopment of the toucan crossing at the junction of Barnton Avenue and Cramond Road South.  There had been significant shortcomings with a significant absence of communication with the CC and other locality groups and the public.    The issue of street lighting was raised where in some areas the illumination was considered inadequate.  It was noted that where the new LED street lights had been introduced then the intensity of the lights could be adjusted if desired.  At point of introduction most had been set at what was described at mid-level.

Date of Next Meeting.

  • The next meeting will be held on Thursday 17 September 2015.      

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