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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 21st May 2015 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present:  Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Jean Morley, Ross Wilkinson, Isla Browning, Marion Mitchell ,Bert Scott, David Belfall, Euan Pearson and Gena Wylie. A total of 21 people were in attendance including Councillors Lindsay Paterson and Norman Work along with Henry Coyle, Darren Wraight and Audrey Primrose from the CEC West Neighbourhood Partnership.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from Jane Neville, Mark Whittet, Percy Feketey and Robin Whitewell as Councillor Alastair Shields.

Minutes of the previous meeting

Subject to an amendment to note apologies from Councillor Work the minute of the meeting held on 23 April was approved

Police Report

The police report was given by PC Sophie Marshall.  With 38 recorded crimes in the 4 weeks to 21 May 2105 the incidence was down when compared with the previous months where the area had been hit with a spate of housebreakings and attempted housebreakings.  Operation RAC was beginning to bear fruit with increased patrols in the area comprising both uniformed and plain clothes police.  A number of criminals had been caught and criminal proceedings were underway.  The importance of house alarms as a deterrent was emphasised and a number of housebreakings had been prevented as a result.  An issue arose in relation to alarms that were linked to security firms and to the police and whether or not a “double trigger” of such domestic alarms was required before a police response was initiated by the Control and Command Centre.   There were differing views on this and PC Marshall undertook to take the question away and to report back.

Presentation from Darren Wraight and Audrey Primrose of the CEC West Neighbourhood Partnership Team

The Action Programme copies of which had been passed to those attending the meeting formed the basis of the presentation.   A copy of this will form an attachment to the minute of meeting.    The Chair reminded those present of the origins of the action programme – or matrix.  In the summer of 2014 the CC had circulated a questionnaire to the community focussing on Cramond and the promenade and seeking views and an assessment of what people saw as the issues “in need of improvement”.  That had informed the creation of the matrix which was a living document designed to support a shared understanding of issues which the CBCC and the CEC saw as issues needing to be addressed – or at least considered.     It was a key tool to partnership working.  The status of the document had been confirmed in correspondence from David Leslie dated 4 December 2014 covering the response on the issue of a possible additional traffic lane at the Barnton junction.

On the theme of partnership working the Chair expressed his disappointment at the extent to which concerns which the CC had input into the LDP process (and related planning applications) had been dismissed as if of no substance.  He referred to the submissions which had been made about the impact on traffic of the various proposed developments on the west side of the Maybury Road.  It was as if Waverley Court (WC) had no understanding of the existing pressures on traffic in the area never mind what impact significant additional housing development may bring.  Darren Wraight expressed surprise that any officials in WC would not acknowledge the existing pressures never mind potential future pressures.  As the local roads “operational” manager and therefore the individual who ultimately would be responsible for the management of the network in the area he had been clear with them in setting out the pressures and potential future pressures.  Ultimately the considerations on such issues had to take into account traffic assessments (data) as well as the views of the community.

The Chair confirmed that bigger strategic issues such as the LDP and large applications such as that concerning a possible Nursing Home on Cramond Glebe Road were dealt with separately from those issues covered on the matrix.

Concern was expressed about the traffic pressures at the junction of Whitehouse Road on to Queensferry Road around the exit from Barnton Grove.  The history around the Lyle Court development by McCarthy Stone and the expected additional (4th) traffic lane was reviewed.   Resurfacing of the carriageway on Whitehouse Road from the pedestrian crossing at the entrance to the Burgess Golf Club up to the Queensferry Road was in the Roads Capital Plan for 2016/17.   Darren Wraight confirmed that the CEC would look to see if any resource could be identified to meet the additional costs of broadening the width of the carriageway to accommodate the additional lane.  The description of the action point in the matrix would be adjusted to reflect this commitment.   Darren also confirmed that the markings for the 4 parking spaces opposite the shops would be repainted so that they were on a diagonal facing back towards Queensferry Road.    Concerns were raised about the alarming (and unlawful) practice being pursued by some drivers heading south on Whitehouse Road with a view to turning west towards the Forth Road Bridge approaches where they would drive past the traffic island on the wrong side in an effort to get to the lights quicker.  Some possible solutions were raised which the Council said they had looked at before.  The scope for adjusting the CCTV cameras at the junction to scan back down Whitehouse Road was discussed.  This was something which the CEC could do if the incidence of abuse was felt to merit directing the cameras (perhaps at set times on set days) in this way.  Clarification as to whether the cameras would pick up the registration numbers would be required.

Incredulity was expressed that the report on the fallen wall on to the promenade suggested that it was not regarded as a health and safety issue and that the Council could do nothing.  Darren agreed to look at the wall from his point of view as a civil engineer.  The point was made that the “rubble” was encroaching on to the promenade and therefore Council land; did that not give the Council a legitimate justification for approaching the owner to do something about the wall.  It was suggested that as a Conservation area there would be scope for approaching the Conservation Officer and asking them to step in to approach the owner on the grounds that the state of the wall was an eyesore (notwithstanding whatever hazard it presented) which was contrary to the amenity of the Conservation area. It was suggested that the owner could be required to address the problem or face having the work carried out and being billed for the costs.

Darren advised that that section of Cramond Road South running from the mini roundabout (where the 41 bus turns) along to the junction at the start of Gamekeepers Road would be resurfaced in the coming weeks.  On the subject of roads he took the opportunity to advise the community that the Clarence reporting system software had been improved making it possible to produce reports on jobs reported, required, completed etc. so that there was a better record (which could be disaggregated to CC area) of works progressed.  He reminded people of the role of Clarence (number 0800232323) in reporting potholes and other issues such as overgrowing foliage.

Bollards had been put in by the Council on the promenade to prevent unauthorised vehicles accessing the foreshore.  In part to prevent joyriders some of whom would drive along the promenade to Silverknowes.  Measures were also being taken along at Gypsy Brae.  These would also reduce the risk of travelling communities accessing the  foreshore and beach etc.  Henry Coyle suggested that the issue of “travellers” could be taken on to the matrix providing for a routine update to be given of any challenges and how the Council were addressing these.   A discussion followed about the extent of the powers of the Council to move travellers on especially if the recognised site on the east side of Edinburgh was at capacity.

The Chair thanked Darren, Audrey and Henry for giving of their time to come and speak to the Community about the process and the issues.

Planning Report

Peter Scott provided a resume of the somewhat unsatisfactory considerations which the Planning Committee had given to the LDP.  He praised the strident representations that had been made by Councillor Lindsay Paterson and Norman Work and Sally Chalmers for the Cammo Residents Association.  The Committee has as before deferred decisions on the LDP to the planning Reporter.  Details of some the advisements which the Committee agreed should be made to the reporter are set down in the Secretary’s report for 21 May 2015.

The work that had come out of the Interpretation Strategy was now at a stage where the CC and the various other local groups had agreed that a single grant application should be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund in support of its implementation.

The CC awaited receipt of copies of the papers and reports produced by the architectural students who presented at the last meeting on 23 April.  A small group was being established to review the papers to see what ideas and concepts could perhaps be supported and progressed.     Peter Scott reminded those present that one of the issues which the students had examined and made proposals on was that of the traffic and parking issues arising from the many visitors to Cramond trying to access the foreshore

and promenade.  Proposals had been made about trying to secure additional off street parking out of the Village encouraging visitors to follow pathways and direction signage to the front.  Peter asked Darren to consider the scope for signage about the alternative additional parking opportunities at Silverknowes.   Darren said he saw merit on looking at this.

Secretary’s Report

The Chair referred those present to the written report. The Secretary additionally advised of the recent British-Irish Council Social Inclusion report which had singled out the work in the Barnton and Cramond area as an exemplar initiative in supporting dementia sufferers in the area.  Copies of the relevant extract will be posted in the notice boards.

Councillor’s  Reports

Lindsay Patterson echoed the sentiments expressed by Peter Scott about the handling of the LDP considerations and the scant attention given by officials to the weight and strength of the representations made by the communities and supported by many Councillors.  Norman Work shared her sense of the whole thing being a depressing experience.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 18 June 2015 where there main item of interest will be an update on progress with the proposal to provide a chain ferry crossing the River Almond.

Download a Copy of these Minutes