August 2012 Meeting Notes

Stockbridge Colonies Residents Association.

1. Present :- Isobel Bathgate, Gill Brittle, Jane Wood, Dorothy Dobson, Caro Tulloch, Jean Butterworth, Chris Lumb, Jane Smith, Morag Fitchet, Ian Cunningham. Apologies:- None.

2. Meeting note from 3rd April 2012 was accepted.

3. Dates for Your Diary.

Yard Sale. Turnover was £2,099 with £469 being donated to SCRA and £656 being donated to other charities. The day was cold but went well with good attendance. Business was not as brisk as the previous year but that could have been due to people’s reluctance to go inside the houses.

Pumpkin Planting. It looks like the wet weather has been great for snails and slugs but not so good for pumpkin plants. Jane S said that probably it’ll be their place for coffee and a chat since the pumkins don’t look great. Since it will be in October, some Halloween activities could be held too.

Jubilee Party. Costs have to be confirmed but it looks like it cost around £628. Around £200 was made from the raffle. An article must be included in the next Newsline since the party was such a success. There was lots of media coverage including the BBC. Photos were submitted for the photo competition too. There are paper plates left over, these can be given to charity or back to Hugh. Action: Jane S to write article for Newsline, website.

We also now have a gazebo that was purchased for the day. The meeting agreed that a £20 returnable deposit will be charged and that the Grapevine will remind people that the gazebo is available. If people want to make a donation then the proceeds will go to SCRA. Action: Jane W.

Garden Competition. The Judge from RBGE, really enjoyed judging but didn’t pick up on Jane’s notes so judged each street according to the name of the street. We normally do each mews with the streets on either side of the mews being judged together. However, there were lots of different winners this year. Winners received £15 RBGE vouchers with £30 Stockbridge Dog Shop vouchers being given to the judge. Since he has three dogs, this is a great idea as a thank you.

Gill to collect spare Jubilee rosettes. Action: Gill/Dorothy.

Carol Singing. This will be the Sunday before Christmas as usual – Sunday 23rd December – to be confirmed at the next meeting. Anna Jackson is thinking about advertising for a choirmaster since the Colonies Choir will reconvene in September. Amanda Bennet and Carol Hamilton are contacts for the choir. Email will be sent round to get other members but around 25 people did express an interest at the beginning. A rehearsal venue is required and Tanfield will be asked. Action: Gill.

Quiz Night. Gill to find a quizmaster but will ask via Grapevine first. It will be held in February and Tanfield will again be asked to host. A Friday night will be selected since it was a popular night. Action: Gill.

Spring Clean Scotland. Although the previous meeting agreed to postpone this event, it is possible to do in autumn if Bell Bridge and Rocheid Path are open and clear from flood defences work. Such an event would be co-hosted with Friends of Rocheid Path.  

4. Flood Prevention. Chris updated the meeting with his knowledge on the flood prevention work. Chris and others have noticed that Stuart Mackay leaving the project has been a big loss. It is almost impossible to get information from Lagan. The flood defences work is around 6-8 weeks behind due to the bad weather but unfortunately, there is no clarity around dates for opening Bell Bridge or when the old walls of the Colonies will be demolished as the new walls are now in place. Lagan and Arup do not appear to be communicating coherently either. Chris has written to John Wharrie, CEC, and knows of others who have done the same. CEC do not have the up to date information either. The river end houses who have sustained damage have an excellent coordinator in Rose Pipes who is also meeting with Lesley Hinds to seek a resolution to the numerous issues.

The sandbags are still there – they have not been removed as promised. Lagan (A. Lewis) seemed to have stopped responding to emails and phone calls from several residents and committee members. Again CEC will chase this up and may also just remove the sandbags.

Chris agreed to see if he could find the date when the Bell Bridge is due to open since it would be good to mark the occasion. Action: Chris.

5. Environment. The Snakey has been tidied up and everyone has marked that it looks very tidy. The cost was around £300 for 2-3 days work. Ian has been contacting CEC about the complaint received from Saxe-Coburg residents. A representative from CEC came to the Snakey and inspected the trees, shrubs and drainage but we have not received any update. The Snakey tidy up may also help. Action: Ian to seek reply from CEC.

Ian also agreed to contact Steve Cuthill about CEC taking over maintenance of the Snakey. Action: Ian.

There is still about £800 left from the grant received from CEC in 2002/2003. SInce the grant was supposed to last 5 years, we have made it last more than twice that time. We cannot trace paperwork stating what was to happen when the grant finished. CEC do the grass cutting but are not seeking to take over maintenance of the Snakey. The meeting agreed that we would have to progress this issue and as a first step, Chris agreed to ask CEC under the Freedom of Information Act what they know about the maintenance of the Snakey. Action: Chris. 

6. Neighbourhood Partnership. No update.

7. Friends of Rocheid Path. The strategy for the group has been set. Currently what should be done at the triangle of grass at the bend of Arboretum Avenue is under discussion. This area continues down the bank of the Water of Leith, across the water from Reid Terrace and down to the gate house. The meeting agreed that it would be useful to tell Colonies residents again that they will be directly affected by any decisions taken by Fof RP and that it would be on their interest to keep up to date with FofRP decisions. Jane W agreed to send out a note via Grapevine. Action: Jane W.

8. Newsline. The meeting agreed to issue a copy of Newsline in time for Christmas. Action: All.

9. Website. Isobel has set up a forum for flood issues but flurry of activity has decreased. Action: Jane W to send out a reminder.

10. Grapevine. Jane thanked Morag for standing in for her, especially since it coincided with the flooding when discussions got very heated indeed. We now have 172 on Grapevine. It was re-stated that Grapevine is for Colonies residents only.  Information pack for new residents. Action: Morag to finalise. Jane S suggested that a branded notice go up on the notice boards and the website. Action: Isobel to design.  

11. AOCB.

 Dorothy had been asked by a resident about help/information about drying out the cellar of her house that had been flooded. In the first instance, CEC should be contacted, then the individual’s insurance company. Ian also suggested checking that the air vents are open.

The nettles hanging onto Glenogle Road are a nuisance. Action: Jane S to contact Edinburgh Academy to asl them to sort this and remove broken poles.

Jane W said that some residents who participated in the Yard Sale wished to set up a similar event to sell gifts etc in time for Christmas perhaps at the end of October/beginning of November. A forum will be set up on the website for discussion. SCRA committee will not organise this event, it will be interested residents.

The ceilidh at the Jubilee Party was so successful that Jane W suggested a Colonies Ceilidh. It could run from 4-7, allowing all ages to take part. The Grange was mentioned as a possible venue since, if booked by a member, it only costs abut £130. One for Autumn 2013?

Hedges overgrowing are again a problem. Action: Jean to contact CEC abut inspecting and issuing letters to residents whose gardens are overgrowing onto the streets.

The pedestrians walkway over Falshaw Bridge is being abuse by some cyclists who are not dismounting. Action: Chris to ask Lagan to put up signs “Cyclists Dismount”. 

Jane S said she would like to step down from the committee and has asked Amanda Bennett (one of the great Jubilee Party organisers) if she would be keen to join the committee. Amanda has said “Yes”. Jane S proposed, Jane W seconded. Thanks to Jane S for all her work and we will miss her.

Dorothy was asked if she was happy to continue hosting the meetings. Dorothy said “yes”. Thanks Dorothy!

Date of Next Meeting – Monday 1st October. Due to the 100% turnout, the date will be checked with all attendees in the middle of September. Action: Gill.