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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 21st March 2019 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Ross Wilkinson, Jean Morley, Bert Scott, Peter Scott, Percy Feketey and Tim Mitchell.  Michael Dick, Marion Mitchell and Gena Wylie had given their apologies as had Councillors Work and Lang.   A total of 16 people were in attendance, including Councillors Young and Hutchison.

Minutes of February 2019 Meeting

The minutes of the February meeting were approved.

Police Report

PC Euan Sinclair provided the report covering February 2019.  There had been 6 housebreakings during the month resulting on the theft of pedal cycles and/or vehicles (keys having been taken from the houses.  Increased high visibility patrols were now operating in the area in an effort to deter further incidents – and reassure the public. There had been two road traffic incidents in the Barnton Park area and some shoplifting in the Barnton shops.  Problem with groups of youths gathering around Lauriston Castle and at Cammo continued.

Again, an increased police presence was promised for the coming school holiday period in particular.  Some prospective crime prevention events were highlighted including at the Gyle and the Marks and Spencers at the Gyle where Police and Trading Standards officers would be giving advice about how to manage what was described as doorstep crime.

Attention was draw to a problem in the Dowies Mill area with conflict between some inconsiderate cyclists and householders (and walkers).  With more of the 8 cottages now being occupied by long terms residents (with cars) the incidence of conflict was on the increase.  Absence of clear signposting of the lane was not helping.   PC Sinclair said he would get in touch with Dave Sinclair.     

Chairman’s Report

The refreshed Airport consultation was still to take place but there was no expectation that this would result in any change to the preferential take off flight paths that had emerged through the previous process. Nor for that matter were any changes to the arrival flight paths in prospect.

The increasing numbers of night flights continued to be a problem. The Council had written inviting the Airport to agree a voluntary code of management.  It was hoped that the increased charges being levied on operators for night flight would offer a deterrent to continuing pressure for more.   The emerging Scottish Government policy about halving passenger charges may make the situation worse.

The Chair also reported on the recent meeting with the Convenor of the Transport and Environment Committee where he and the Chairs of the other local NW CCs had met  with her in an effort to emphasise the transport issues impacting on the A90 corridor from the several developments for which planning permission had been granted with no apparent regard for the continuing pressures on traffic.  They had again re-iterated the need to consider the Barnton Junction paper which the CC had submitted some months ago.   There appeared recognition of the imperative in looking at measures to reduce the volume of vehicles coming into the city.

The paucity of current reliable traffic information was again flagged up.  Assumptions were being made in relation to developments such as Cammo Fields based on out of date and inadequate information.   A comprehensive study was required covering West Lothian, Midlothian Edinburgh and East Lothian.  Anything else was a woefully inadequate   sticking plaster.

Traffic Restriction Order – Glebe Road

Because of the nature of some of the restrictions and the numbers of objections made the Council had been obliged to refer the TRO to a Reporter for consideration.  The CC stood ready to provide evidence in support of our claim that certain key elements of TRO legislation and guidance had not been complied with and that the Order should be denied in its present form.   Or at least those elements which had been designed to secure a safe egress point from the Home did not achieve that aim – if anything creating a greater risk to road and carriageway users – and should be declined for that reason.

A further traffic survey had been drawn up for the coming Saturday and volunteers were sought to fill the rota. John Skinner said he had been checking the relevant Government website to see if the Council had in fact made its formal approach for a Reporter to be appointed and he could see no mention of the Order.  This observation later translated into a question which Councillor Young agreed to pursue (i.e. has the Council made its application for the appointment of a Reporter?).

It was also noted that with the ongoing structural and governance changes within the Council there was no clarity as to which Committee would ultimately receive and decide upon the Reporters’ findings. The Care Home planning approval was due to expire in November and there remained several legal processes to be actioned before and building works could commence.  Clarity about ownership of the pavement at the entrance to the proposed development was also required.

Report on Cammo Estate Orientation and Interpretation Strategy

Peter Scott reminded those present of the background with the Heritage Lottery Fund criteria changes and the resultant focus on smaller more affordable projects which would still improve the Estate and enrich the experience for those wishing to visit.  A fine balance in terms of improvement had to be the aspiration recognising the local amenity which it provided but also some of the challenges in terms of traffic and parking which were already present.

The Council had agreed that some of the money realised from the sale of the farmhouse could and should be used to support appropriate improvements.  Orientation and information boards were among some of the key improvement which visitors had sought based on the survey which had been conducted.

Peter spoke to a series of slides covering what visitors had said they would like to see by way of improvements and how these might be delivered including external road signs, waymarks, fingerposts, orientation boards and thoughts on what these should cover and where they should be located.  Costs were estimated at around £28k with money coming from the Council (and farmhouse sale) and from grants and sponsorship. Feedback could be given on the Friends of Cammo website where there was also an opportunity to offer donations.

Parking was seen as a continuing issue with the concern being that the improved signage etc may only intensify the pressure on parking as more come.  It was to be hoped that an additional 15 spaces would be created at the North car park – with the potential for some money from Cala Homes for the extension of the South car park.

Similarly, some of the paths were already the worse for wear and more visitors would lead to more erosion and degeneration. Again, some of the money from the sale of the farm may be used for this. The need for most waste bins was highlighted.

The strategy was supported.

Secretary’s Report

The Secretary reported on a recent update he had received from one of the officials who was dealing with subsidised bus services.  Discussions were due to take place with the Convenor to the Transport and Environment Committee before tenders could be sought for bus contractors interested in bidding for some of the services for which subsides are provided.

This included the service 13 with the possibility of an extended route to the north/north west of the City.

He also reported on the Meeting of the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils which he had attended at the end of February and where there had been much discussion about governance changes in prospect within the Council and affecting how we engage with the Council.

The Locality Committees which had emerged only last year were to be dismantled and new Neighbourhood Networks established.  Neighbourhood Partnerships which had existed for some time were also to be replaced. The EACC itself which currently enjoyed membership of the Edinburgh Partnership was also on notice that that position may not continue.

There was no question that some of structures had been labour intensive to support and there were issues of duplication, but they had had their merits in terms of offering a conduit for CCs to raise issues and it was not clear to what extent that was now lost going forward.  Watch this space.

Councillor’s Reports

Councillor Young confirmed that the Cramond Inn had re-opened albeit with a service likely to impact on customers numbers (no food at present and operating cash only).  More fun/park runs seemed to be emerging with plans for use of the promenade.

The prospect of bus Lanes on the Queensferry Road was something on which consultation was imminent.  Councillor Hutchison said that the refuse service continued to be the subject of complaint as were concerns regarding the drop off and pick up of children around the school.

Acronym’s used in these minutes
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order
  • EACC = Edinburgh Association of Community Councils

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 18 April 2019