AGM 2010

Stockbridge Colonies Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 24th March, 2010 at 7.30pm Tanfield Bowling Club

Attendees from Stockbridge Colonies Residents Association Committee:

Ian Cunningham (Chair), Dorothy Dobson, Jean Butterworth, Chris Lumb, Morag Fitchett, Isobel Bathgate, Jane Smith, Gill Brittle (Secretary).

Residents Present:

21 residents attended the meeting. The Secretary has a full list of attendees.

Guest Speakers

We were delighted to have two guest speakers. Bill Tait, who used to work at the Botanic Gardens and judged the 2009 Garden Competition, and Wendy Avinou, Glenogle Swim Centre Manager.


Jane Wood, Alison Smith.

  1. Minutes of the 2009 AGM. Copies of the minutes of the 2009 AGM were circulated. A Newsline will be issued containing these minutes and until this happens, the minutes of the 2009 AGM cannot be officially accepted. However, the 2009 minutes have been reviewed by the Committee and accepted. Actions from the minutes have been progressed by the Committee throughout 2009 – 2010.
  2. Presentation of the Annual Reports 2009-2010. Ian Cunningham presented his Chairman’s report that summarised the activities of the SCRA Committee and the major events that had taken place in the Colonies in the previous year.

    Before his formal report, Ian informed the meeting of the death of Eddie Fairfield. Eddie had been very active in the Association. He also designed and was very involved in the establishment of The Snakey taking great care in the selection of trees and plants that were introduced. He will be fondly remembered.

    In his Chairman’s report, Ian stated that it had been a good year for the Colonies. Good weather had helped make the outside events such as the Yard Sale very successful and we had held quite a range of different events such as Wine Tasting, Quiz Night an the Garden Competition. He asked the meeting to consider any other activities they would like to see the Association organise on behalf of residents. Ian then asked members of the Committee to report on some key activities.

    Flood Prevention (Chris Lumb). Chris provided an update he had received from Brian Torrance, Project Manager – Flood Schemes, City of Edinburgh Council. CEC are undertaking the procurement process to appoint a contractor to carry out Phase 1 of the main works; Bonnington to Veitch’s Square. Pre-qualification questionnaires have been sent to interested contractors who will then be invited to tender. It is anticipated that the tenders will be returned in late summer.

    Work is likely to commence on site early in 2010 and last approximately 18 months. Work in the Colonies will begin early in the contract and should take about 12 months. Residents will be given notice prior to the start of the work (at least two weeks but likely to be more). Further progress reports will be made to CEC later this year. Condition (dilapidation) surveys will be carried out in the autumn. There will be different scales of survey dependent on proximity to works. For example, gables close to the river will get detailed survey whilst those further away will get visual inspection (external only).

    A comment from Ian was that water management seems to have improved and could improved controls negate or reduce the need for many £millions worth of work.

    Web Site (Isobel Bathgate). Isobel has done a lot of work over the last year updating Newsline. All agreed that the new Newsline looks great and thanks to Isobel and Eliza Sharp for all their hard work. Isobel presented good news as the new web site was switched on that night. See Content is required and all contributions should be sent to

    Contributions can take many forms; recipes, Colonies cat stories, local history. Contributions from all are welcomed to make the site lively, interesting and relevant.

    It was asked if there would be a historical section. Isobel replied that historical information was being provided by some residents who had lived in the Colonies for many years.

    Rocheid Path (Ian Cunningham). BCTV have completed work on Rocheid Path. A fence has been erected to allow the newly seeded area to regenerate. We look forward to seeing the results and ask that everyone respects the area and allows it to regenerate so we can all enjoy it. It is hoped that the Council will put up signage informing users of the area of the work completed.

  3. Presentation of Accounts. Morag Fitchet issued copies of the audited accounts. We are £3,937 in credit of which £1,230 is allocated to the Snakey Upkeep Fund (from the grant awarded to maintain the Snaky in 2003). The Snakey costs around £400 – £500 per year to maintain. Newsline printing costs increased in 2009 as we chose to revamp Newsline and print it in colour. The Yard Sale was particularly lucrative last year, raising £385. The wine tasting of course is not to make money but to bring like minded Colonies residents together for a fun evening. The Quiz night again was very well attended and £132 was made from the proceeds and the raffle – and our thanks go to Robyn Lowe for organising this once again. Interest on the account as everyone is no doubt aware is now minimal. The meeting then discussed how the surplus funds could be used. The idea favoured and supported unanimously at the meeting was purchase of some sort of seat for the Snakey. It was agreed that although a sad reflection of our times, we must consider something that would not be easily vandalised. It must also fit in with out area. Three options for providing a bench would be progressed :-
    • Metal bench fashioned by local ornamental blacksmith.
    • Wooden bench, similar to one in Inverleith Park, obtained from Four Winds Centre.
    • Art students to produce seat/bench as part of assignment.

    It was also thought that the bench could be dedicated to Eddie Fairfield.

  4. Election of Committee 2010-2011 and matters arising. All committee members stood down and indicated that they were willing to stand again. All were re-elected to the committee. Any nominations for new committee members were also requested and John Garrick volunteered.

    Nomination of Street Convenors. Amanda Bennett volunteered to take on role for Colville High / Collins High. Dorothy Dobson asked if anyone who lived in Collins Low / Balmoral High wished to take on the role and if not, she would continue to act as their street convenor. There were no volunteers to Dorothy will continue.

    Thanks were extended to all street convenors.

  5. Any Other Competent Business. Songbirds. An observation was brought to the meeting as to the decrease in the number of songbirds in the area. This sad decline in numbers is thought to be due to aggressive magpies and sparrowhawks. A lively debate followed this topic as it emerged that sparrowhawks have been in Stockbridge and adjacent ares i.e. Botanic Gardens, Warriston, Fettes for some time. Some residents have contacted RSPB and all residents are asked to be vigilant. On the plus side, there have been sitings of an owl in Rochied Path with Pipistrelle bats also being noted.

    2011 Calendar. All residents are asked to submit photos to make up a Stockbridge Colonies calendar for 2011.

    Pavements in Glenogle Place. Despite many attempts to improve the condition of the pavements in Bell Place, CEC still ignore all requests. Ian Cunningham has been communicating with the Council and will continue pursuing this subject with the help of Inverleith Partnership too. Ian attended a tour with the Council to identify any improvements needed to the area and did obtain agreement that the pavements were in a poor state of repair. It is therefore very disappointing that there is no progress to report especially when St Bernard’s Row and Glenogle Road have been upgraded. It was noted that Glenogle Road has no ramping for wheelchairs, a matter that should be raised with Inverleith Partnership and CEC.

    2010 Spud in a Bucket Competition. Jane Smith took names for the hotly contested 2010 Spud in a Bucket Competition.

    Street Convenors. It was agreed that it would be helpful for Street Convenors to give new residents copies of CEC Planning Guideline to maintain the historical and architectural integrity of the Colonies. The Guidelines are on CEC website and we should provide a link to them from our website. A recent re-roofing did not use Welsh slates which the Planning Department approved even this goes against their own guidelines. We have raised this with the Council who have said that the matter is closed.

    The meeting discussed doors that do not conform to design and agreed that it is difficult to complain as it can harm neighbourly relations since it is easy to see who has complained about the changes. A meeting with CEC Planning Department will be sought to see if we can discuss amicably.

    Grapevine. The subject of apportioning roof repairs costs was discussed and the conclusion was that this matter should be clear in the title deeds. The tendency to sand floorboards especially in upper Colonies could make the noise level very unpleasant for those living in the lower Colony. Referring to Tenements by-laws may help neighbours to resolve such an issue amicably.

    The meeting finished by agreeing that we are all very happy to live in the Colonies and accept that respecting the history of our environment is for all of us to champio

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After a break, a warm welcome was given to our two guest speakers. Bill Tait, Horticulturist and Judge of the 2009 Garden Competition gave a wonderful slide show of the many pictures he took during the judging of our gardens. They looked brilliant! Thanks, Bill.

Wendy Avinou, Manager Glenogle Swim Centre gave an update on the work to re-open Glenogle Baths. Work is progressing well with preview dates of 26th and 30th June when we will be able to swim before the council opening on 1st July and public opening on 2nd July. Wendy is very keen to seek the views of Colonies residents to make sure Glenogle Swim Centre provides the facilities we want. A very big thank you to Wendy.