Secretary’s report for 16 October 2014

The Partnership Action Plan

The action plan which was presented at the meeting on 18 September has been the subject of further dialogue and development with officials in the Almond Neighbourhood Partnership. An updated version will be on display on the 16th and copies will be available for those attending. Time has been allocated to allow for participation in the process for the continuing development of the plan (and for such explanations as may be required where the narrative may not be self explanatory).

Bus Services to Cramond

In last month’s update I reported on my exchange with Bill Anderson, Director of Operations with Lothian Buses about the need to consider what improvements could be made to the bus service between the city centre and Cramond.

The reply I received back in July advised that there were no plans at that time to change the services to the locality, that any changes made to bus routes had to sustain the commercial viability of the service, that services were reviewed on “more or less a continuous basis” and that when they came to review provision in the north west of the city they would “give full consideration to the particular concept you have proposed”. I will be seeking a further update later in October.

101 Urgent Police Service Number

Regrettably a number of people within the CC footfall have experienced house break-ins including theft from garages and sheds in recent months.

For some the unsettling experience was compounded by delays in trying to make contact with the police using the new 101 “non-emergency” telephone number.

Representations made by Tim Mitchell resulted in three of us, myself, Tim and Bert Scott making a visit to the Command and Control Centre at Bilston on the south side of the City. Here one of the Chief Inspectors – Gordon McCreadie – gave us nearly 2 hours of his time to show us round the centre and to share with us some of the plans that are being progressed to improve the resilience and responsiveness of the service to the public.

Huge change remains ongoing within the police service in Scotland, a new unitary force, a new non-emergency number and continuing structural and operational change as the Service moves towards operating as a single service replacing the 8 police forces which existed before April 2013.

Over the coming months a mixture of new IT and telephony systems combined with changes to working practices should begin to bring about significant improvement to the call handling service for 101 and 999 calls (and to the operational deployment of resources). Setting aside old operational boundaries will be essential if these changes are to realise maximum benefit.

But I believe we came away from the visit confident that there is a robust plan which if successfully implemented will bring about real improvement by the Spring of next year.

Planning Matters

The annex to last month’s Secretary’s report provided a synopsis of the Community Council’s proposed representations to the Second LDP. And Peter Scott reported on the structure of the response and of the subsequent process we expect the LDP to follow as it progresses through the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Government considerations. The final reply was returned to the Council before the 3 October deadline.

Cramond Chain Ferry

Planning consent has been achieved, albeit with a number of qualifications. Reasonable in themselves, but all adding to the complexity. A “where are we now” analysis has been completed together with an action plan to take the project forward. Currently we are seeking to establish personnel to make up a project team after which will come the minor matter of starting to raise the £ 300,000 capital required.

The Dementia Response

All in the community are asked to note that what started as a coffee morning has now moved to a lunch-time slot meeting at 1:00pm in the Millennium Hall. Still on the first Monday of the month volunteers are always welcome to make the tea and coffee and chat with the increasing numbers of people attending. Most sessions also include a presentation on a service or support of relevance to dementia sufferers and their carers. The next session on Monday 3 November will see a presentation by one of the senior nurse managers from NHS 24 on the services it provides and access it supports when GP surgeries are closed. You are welcome to attend.

The Website

With thanks to our new Webmaster we are now in a position to encourage those interested in the work and consideration of the CC to refer to the website for regular updates. On-line alerts may be sent to those who wish to receive such notifications as and when new documents or information is taken on to the site. Paper copies can be made available for those without computer access; just let me know.

Ian Williamson
16 October 2014