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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 18th May 2017 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ross Wilkinson (Vice-Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Tim Mitchell, Marion Mitchell and John Dods. A total of 17 people were in attendance plus the 4 newly-elected City Councillors, Norman Work, Graham Hutchison, Kevin Lang and Louise Young.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending. The Secretary noted that David White (Speaker at previous meeting) had still to respond, see minutes of last CC Meeting.

The Chair requested a Statement on the Accounts from the Treasurer, Gena Wylie. She said that the Grant of £742 from the City Council had been received, the funds in the bank stood at £1062, however the CC was expected to pay the insurance premium in future. Andrew Mather said that the Accounts would be tabled for Approval at the next Meeting.   

Police Report

This was given by Sgt Homewood, the Community Sergeant, and covered April and onwards. There had been no break-ins or assaults, but thefts from a café and house.

Problems with ‘youth’ motorcycles in the Drylaw area persisted, 3 youths had been charged.

Dedicated officers based at Drylaw Police Station are investigating the problem. There was a risk to life and limb if Officers pursued culprits, helicopter support being used, along with CCTV evidence. Questions to be answered- where are bikes being stolen-from? Only 5 machines stolen locally in D’’Mains/ Silverknowes areas, more likely stolen in the South Side of the City.

4 vandalisms were reported, 2 in CC area, also fire-raising in Lauriston Castle grounds, some damage to trees.

‘Bogus’ caller reported in Cammo Road, became objectionable at the door.

Two days’ ago, a new property was vandalised in Barnton; Showhouse and window damaged, youths escaped.

  • Question – are motorbikes easy to steal? Smaller (125cc) machines have weaker locks. Cars not so easy to steal without a key. Bikes parked at B&Bs etc. also at risk.
  • Question – anchor-pads for motorbikes? Not a police remit. Police are contributing to Council initiatives, but problems with the justice system in dealing with youth crime.
  • Question (Ross Wilkinson) – recent pedestrian fatality in D/Mains; tragic but unlikely to be related to junction layout changes.

Introductory Session with Councillors

The Chair requested the Councillors to each give a short resume of their aspirations.

Norman Work – as a previous Councillor, he had been involved in discussions with Edinburgh Airport re flight-paths and had also spoken with a CAA rep. The Brighouse Campus was still an issue with AMA (the housebuilder) regarding further development. Funding for Salvesen Steps awaiting new Council Committee being in place. There had been no response from the owner of the damaged wall on Cramond Foreshore, he was again asking for legal action to be taken by the Council.

Kevin Lang –  wished to thank those who had elected him, he had been brought-up in the area and it was a privilege to serve this community. He would work together with the other councillors for the benefit of all. He opined that the make-up of the City Council would be very different, decisions taken may not reflect previous Council views.  He recognised the local traffic problems and there was concern by all politicians re the Airport initiatives, and was aware of the Cramond Airport Noise Action Group’s concerns and ideas on abating noise, particularly for Arrivals. (Chair intervened to say that the CAA had no objections to changes in take-off paths, offset arrival paths will be tested by computer simulation. There was to be a Meeting of the Consultative Committee next week).

Louise Young – added her thanks (she is Kevin’s sister), had had experience as a Councillor in Leith but now lived in Kirkliston. In her view, the team of 4 would be a hard-working Group,

Graham Hutchison   also added his thanks, agreeing that the four of them would co-operate and work together to preserve and improve the local area.

Question (Tim Mitchell) – what process would be used to keep people accurately updated will there be a centralised point of contact for all Councillors?

(Lang) – would a FB Group be a good idea?

(Hutchison) – has doubts about FB, too many comments could bog things down

(Chair stated that the next meeting of the NP would have to discuss how Councillors would have to work together).

(Young) – felt that at Council-level politics would be a factor but that at local level they would be able to co-operate

(Work) – one Councillor would take the lead on an issue, and keep the others informed.

Question (Marjory Naylor) – thanked Cllr Work re: keeping up the pressure on damaged foreshore retaining wall, but felt that having no rep on the Planning Committee was a problem.

(Lang) –  there were restrictions on councillors speaking-out if they had already voiced opposition to the proposals.

Question (Peter Scott) – The Community Council has no confidence in the planning system, there was no proper accountability, why couldn’t one (of our 4) councillors sit on the Planning Committee?

(Work) – if he had been on this Committee, he would have been restricted in what he said.

(Scott) – still felt that one councillor on the Committee could speak-up to represent the Community’s view.

(Work) – agreed, but felt he could do more off the Committee than being on it.

Question (Ross Wilkinson) – could a Councillor on the Committee still vote on a local issue?

(Young) – such a Councillor could be challenged if he/she had met with interested parties.

Question (Marion Mitchell) –  felt that Officials were not being sufficiently challenged by Councillors.

(Lang) – recommendations made by officials can be wrong, if the vote was ‘tight’ this suggested that opposing arguments had been taken on board.

(Williamson) – the recent Care-Home Application had been approved on a vote of 7/6 but the point had not got through that the officials’ Report was factually wrong.

(Lang) – there will be a Lib Dem Councillor on the new Planning Committee.

(Hutchison) – Councillors’ job is to take forward views of constituents and to try and influence the process.   

(Work) – processes are flexible, but Central Govt makes the rules.

(Williamson) –  still felt that the rules were being tightened and Councillors need to be more challenging, and should be aware that there was a ‘presumption in favour’ of accepting Planning Applications.

(Work) – Officials do not like the idea of being challenged!

Planning Report

This was given by Peter Scott who said that there was a Proposal to extend Dowie’s Mill Cottages.  Neighbours were concerned about loss of light to ground floor properties and roofline profiles would be affected. His Recommendation was that CC did not object, but made positive suggestions (Questioner from floor felt that the proposals were highly inappropriate, however Peter considered that if we objected we would just be over-ruled-

Chair suggested we could ask for a re-think, also comment from the floor that kitchens no longer required natural light). Peter also stated that Guidance on over-shadowing was available.

Peter Scott then referred-to the Exhibition to be held in the Millennium Hall on 1st June (2pm-7pm) by McCarthy & Stone describing its proposed development of under 50 units at Barnton Avenue West. This location is currently the vacant site at 6, Barnton Avenue West.

He then reported on his involvement on the Cammo Estate Advisory Committee on behalf of the CC (see separate Report on Planning Matters for CC Meeting of 15 May 17 He wished to have endorsement by the CC of the principles and objectives in the Separate Report.

The Chair thanked Peter and requested that Comments be made in writing to the Secretary.

Secretary’s Report

Ian Williamson stated that there was to be a Meeting with LRT tomorrow re the A200 Bus Service, which had not been routed as expected. He wished to learn how routes were determined for new/ altered services.

A bus service City Centre- South Queensferry was to be introduced by LRT on 4th June 2017 to replace the services withdrawn by other Operators. Alterations to the traffic-signal timings at the Princes Street junction with Queensferry Street were also being made to reduce delays to the buses.

He hoped that there were signs of improved co-operation with the bus operators.

Date of Next Meeting and Any Other Business

Chair thanked the new Councillors for attending and stated that the next CC Meeting would be held on Thursday 15th June 2017

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 15 June 2017