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

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Minutes (approved) of Meeting held on Thursday 19th June 2014 in Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Patricia Eason (Business Manager), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Ross Wilkinson, Percy Feketey , Isla Browning, Marion Mitchell, Euan Pearson, Jean Morley and Bert Scott

A total of 18 residents were present, including members. Councillor Lindsay Paterson also attended.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending.

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting of 29th May were approved as representing an accurate account of the issues discussed.

Matters arising

The Chair advised that there would be an opportunity for a discussion on the Cammo proposed development under item 22 – the Secretary’s report. That would also cover an update on the gathering momentum in supporting members of the community (and their carers) with dementia and on the SEPA considerations around the river Almond and the weirs.

Police report

A report covering crime in the community area over the 2 months from 17 April to 19 June 2014 was provided by PC Nicola Payne. A total of 62 crimes had been recorded 29 of which had been solved with the culprits referred to the Procurator Fiscal or Children’s Reporter. The remainder were the subject of ongoing enquiries. Of particular note were the 7 incidents involving drugs offences (4 of which involved vehicles stopped in the area where the drivers were found to be in possession of cannabis); 13 involving vandalism and 8 covering housebreaking or attempted housebreaking. There were also a few of fraud and attempted fraud and a mix of telephone and e-mail contact with elderly residents in the community in pursuit of payments to recognised service providers where the contact would assert that payments due had failed to be made to the companies accounts. Counterfeit £20 notes had also being presented to retailers in the area. PC Payne also reported on the new workforce arrangements which had been introduced to free up police time to deal with the lower priority crimes which required to be dealt with – albeit not as an emergency. One officer per shift was being allocated to these grade 3/4 jobs so that diary commitments could be made for follow-up with those who had reported the crime. PC Payne was thanked for what had been a comprehensive and helpful report.

Presentation by Stef Milenkovic – Local Opportunities for Older People (LOOPS)

The purpose of the LOOP networks are described as being to ensure that none of the vulnerable or at-risk older people or their carers are “falling through the cracks”. The creation of the networks reflect an understanding that if older people and their carers are not informed about the wide range of preventative and support services available in their local area then they will not be able to use them. Stef Milenkvoic (Stef) in his presentation revealed that there are some 1900 activities currently being provided for older people across the city by some 400 providers. The initiative is designed to encourage partners from the health and social care sectors, from community services from the third sector and from the independent sector to work together to ensure that the services that exists are best used and that older people do not fall between the cracks and miss opportunities which can help to enrich their lives.

Stef talked about the different groups of older people who could benefit from better access to the available services. He described the vulnerabilities attaching to each group and how greater support to access appropriate services could help these people live longer in the community and, on occasion, avoid unnecessary hospital admission. He exampled how in the North West of Edinburgh work was beginning to establish a telephone support line staffed largely by volunteers and with access to the details of the activities available across Edinburgh. These would be supported by Community Champions and other volunteers who will carry out leaflet drops through doors offering to make appointments to come back and discuss what types of activities might best help individuals. He also talked about “chums” who would work with individual people over a 16 week period to facilitate better access. In the coming weeks Stef was due to begin a new round of outreach visits to community groups and was keen to receive information about suitable contacts in these groups. The next LOOPS meeting for the North West was to be at the Pilton Equalities Centre on the 14th July between 2:00 and 4:30pm. Stef also described the different models being developed in other areas of Edinburgh. An updated version of the Council’s “Get up and Go” booklet was scheduled to be published in October 2104.

Assurances were sought – and given – about the procedures being followed to vet the suitability of volunteers who would be engaging with vulnerable people. The incidence of macro-degeneration was raised and Stef was encouraged to take this on board when information leaflets were being produced. The use of audio was suggested. As was the scope for developing a leaflet drawn from the “Get Up and Go” booklet which covered those activities available in the north west of Edinburgh.

Secretary’s Report

The Chair advised the SEPA had responded positively to an invitation from the Community Council to talk at the next meeting of the Community Council in September. The objective of the talk was to update the community on the options emerging for improving fish migration whilst recognising the challenges associated with protecting the structures of the weirs. Recognising that the scheduled date for the September meeting was the 18th co-inciding with the Independence referendum it was agreed that the meeting should be re-scheduled to the following Thursday – 25th September. Contact would be made with SEPA to check that this revised date would be suitable. (Note it was subsequently decided to remain with the original date of 18 September 2014).

The Chair reported on what had been a very positive meeting at Lauriston Castle about the scope for developing the Lodge as a meeting place for dementia sufferers and their carers along with the surrounding gardens. Fund raising had begun along with consideration as to how best to seek to access support grants towards the costs of the work needed to improve the lodge and provide a sensory garden. It was considered that Ronnie Rae’s sculpture of a baby elephant would offer a fitting centrepiece for the garden and that the fundraising should seek to include the costs of this piece.

The Chair confirmed that the Planning Committee had met earlier today and had given approval for the revised Local Development Plan to be sent out for consultation. The considerations had been lengthy and acrimonious with Councillors on the Committee demonstrating a determination to oppose many of the proposed developments citing various reasons, including encroachment on to green belt land, traffic impact and other infrastructure capacity. The Chair read out the terms of a statement which had been issued by the Councillors setting out their views on the LDP. It was clear that Councillors – and the City of Edinburgh Council more generally – were deeply uncomfortable with the planning expectations being made of them by the Scottish Government. There was a sense however that resistance would not result in proposed developments being shelved and that the best that could be expected would be delays and/or some reduction in the numbers expected on sites. Scottish Government and the Enquiry Reporters were expected to support appeals which would be likely to result should the Council refuse applications. It was noted that the discussions at the Planning Committee had secured a shared commitment to do more to put pressure on the development of housing on the many brownfield sites that existed across Edinburgh. This initself would not realise sufficient units to come near matching the numbers expected by SG. Efforts were to be made to maximise utilisation of the Murrays Garden district for more units. 1500 new units were proposed for the South Queensferry area which would again contribute towards the overall numbers expected but which would also bring added pressure to the roads network around the north west of Edinburgh.

The Community Council would be considering its response to the LDP over the coming months but more immediately it would be pulling together a response to the planning application for which an extension to the deadline for comments of 4 July 2014 had been secured.

Councillors reports

As well as commenting on the consensus that had emerged from the Planning Committee on the LDP Councillor Lindsay Paterson also advised that a further beach clean was to take place on Saturday at Cramond. The Davidson’s Mains Gala was also to take place later on Saturday at Lauriston Castle.

Any Other Business

A commitment had been made (and recorded) at the previous meeting that the Community Council would write to the Council to ask whether it would consider making changes to the route of the 41 bus. The ensuing discussion covered differing – and incompatible views – on the impact on other parts of the locality who may lose out as a result of the proposed changes. The scope for including the possibility of changes to the route of the relatively new number 43 was also raised. Further consideration was to be given as to how bus services to Cramond and Barnton might be improved and an approach would be made to the Council. Finally, it was confirmed that it was understood that the Council had decided that it would seek to introduce new and smaller “wheelybins” it having failed to meet Government targets for reduction in waste sent to landfill. It was not clear when. This received a mixed reception from members.

The Chairman wished all those attending all the best for a warm and successful summer, reminding them that the next meeting would not take place until late September – date to be agreed to accommodate the SEPA presentation.

Ian Williamson

Final Version as approved on 18 September 2014