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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 19th October 2017 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Tim Mitchell, Bert Scot, Paul McLaughlin, Gena Wylie and Marion Mitchell.  A total of 18 people were in attendance including Councillor Kevin Lang, who was later joined by Councillor Graham Hutchison.

Welcome and Introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from Ross Wilkinson, Grant McCulloch and from Councillors Work and Young. The Minute of the last, September, meeting was approved. 

Police Report

The police report was given by Sergeant Richard Holmewood with the reporting information relating to September. There had been 42 crimes recorded in the Almond police area 11 of which related to Cramond and Barnton. These covered a variety of different crimes including a juvenile joyriding a motor cycle, incidents involving car drivers not stopping following accidents, some housebreakings and attempted housebreakings, shoplifting and theft from the Royal High School. In the case of the latter crimes the need for vigilance and taking reasonable measures to make it more difficult for would-be housebreakers was again emphasised. Motion-sensitive security lights, smartwater marking were mentioned as just some of the measures that had deterrent value. 

More significant was the spate of anti-social behaviour incidents that had occurred both in the Davidson’s Mains area and in Cramond and involving significant groups of youths.   Police called to a disturbance and gathering behind the Cramond Kirk Hall were met with a group of some 80 to 90 youths who had been drinking. They were admonished, and the group dispersed. Another large group congregated at Lauriston Castle and when confronted by the Police dispersed only to regather subsequently resulting in vandalism to some cars (windscreens smashed) and fighting breaking out within some members of the group which then spilled over to involve some patrons from the Old Inn, some of whom were assaulted. Police operation Myriad saw additional police numbers called into the area supported by ASBO wardens and CCTV vans and this operation would continue over the coming days with increased patrols across the area. It is understood that some of the members of the groups are known to the Police. Among questions asked were again those concerning when and when not to use the 101 number in preference to the 999 number. 

Chairman’s Report

Some positive interest had been received following the advertising of the potential for part of the Brighouse Estate being available for sport/recreational purposes. This would be pursued with the agents acting on behalf of AMA. 

On the matter of the airport the Chair reported that the evaluation of the submission made by the Airport to the CAA had stalled. There were two issues about which the CAA had significant concerns. The first was their concern at the absence of any information on the extent to which there was appropriate integration of national to local flights. 

The second issue concerned flight departures and in particular those flying north towards the Forth and over Cramond. The sense was that the CAA were aware that there may be a perception that because Cramond has for long enough had to endure the noise associated with the airport that it was somehow used to it and that continuing to operate with Cramond in the flightpath was perhaps the path of least resistance. More had to be done to explore the extent to which flights departing to the north could bank away from Cramond. Many local politicians, including Kevin Lang and the MP, Christine Jardine were heavily involved in striving to ensure that the issues were looked at objectively. The next definitive report would be expected in the New Year.

On the issue of noise especially from night flights Kevin Lang said that the Airport h promised to produce a Noise Action Plan. It was considered unacceptable that a present the Airport operated under no night time flying restrictions or even monitoring – unlike Gatwick and Heathrow. Then Airport now was bigger than Stanstead (which has restricted night-time flying).  Historically night flying from Edinburgh was about haulage and the Royal Mail and the numbers were not an issue. But now far more involve holiday flights.  Kevin also reported on the ongoing trialling of the offset arrival route but warned that if it were aeronautically achievable then it was like that it would only be achievable when it was rain and cloud free.      

Planning Report

Peter Scott reminded those present of the forthcoming exhibition on 10 and 11 November when Cala Homes and David Wilson Homes would be presenting their emerging vision for the Cammo Fields development. This was probably the most significant housing development to impact on the CC area in decades and therefore the opportunity should be taken to view what may be in prospect and to comment. Tim Mitchell mentioned that a planning application had been made for the redevelopment of the former Royal Bank building in Davidson’s Mains It was understood that it was to be a coffee house.  There had been some rumours about the possibility of the Tesco’s building being sold off for redevelopment, but these were unconfirmed. The DMSA had been successful in engaging with the local roads team on a number of safety issues, including road markings which had become faded and broken bollards. But it was evident that there continued to be staff shortages within the local CEC Hub.

Secretary’s Report

Ian Williamson spoke to the report which had been tabled (a copy** of which is incorporated into this minute for the record). The Community Council with the support of Alec Cole-Hamilton continued to strive to engage with Lothian Buses (and with the CEC) over bus services to the area, including the A200 (Ocean Terminal to Airport) service the route for which was seen as a lost opportunity failing to use the A90 Queensferry Road corridor to the extent expected. A meeting date had been secured for November.

On the subject of the TRO covering the consequences of the school streets initiative a meeting date with the key CE officials was secured following the CC meeting – to take place on 14 November 2017 with an update to follow. 

The concerns around the structures for engagement with the CEC were not restricted to CC members; Councillors shared the sense of processes emerging that were not as clear or as focussed as the prior arrangements had been. Nor did they allow for a drill down to actions and issues that were recognisable at CC level. The need to provide for some form of “priority issues” at a CC level was acknowledged. This had not been lost on the CEC and the new arrangements had not been endorsed at a recent CEC governance committee meeting. Neighbourhood Partnership meetings were to continue pending further considerations. Peter Strong was reported as seeing a continuing role for NP sub-groups going forward. 

Councillors Reports

Kevin Lang reported on a number of local issues he had been pursuing with the CEC.  Road markings at East Barnton Avenue and the yellow box at the junction of Barnton Grove and Whitehouse Road were 2 examples where the existing markings had all but disappeared – with traffic consequences. He was continuing to pursue the issue of the Cramond Car Park – issues including the need for repair and the incidence of overnight parking. There were also parking problems elsewhere in the Almond area including at the Dalmeny station where the on-site car park fell well short of meeting the demand for parking for people who were keen to park and ride.  

Graham Hutchison commented that he shared the concerns of many about the Cammo development and the impact on the roads infrastructure and in particular the Barnton junction which was already operating at capacity at peak times. 

Other Business

Gena Wylie commented that the Forget-me-Not Trustees were due to meet on 20 October to discuss next steps following the good news which had emerged from the CEC that a long lease could be entered into with the Trustees paving the way for the work to progress on the dementia day facility and garden. 

A number of local roads problems were flagged up including broken street furniture and illuminated traffic island signs. Also concerns were raised about the challenges that arose from overhanging trees and bushes which were both hazardous to pedestrians and obscured road signs (and on occasion lighting). The Clarence phone line was appropriate for the former. Householders were responsible for making sure that overhanging branches did not interfere with the safety of pedestrians or impair signage.

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 16 November 2017