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4-September Minutes

Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse




      Minutes of Meeting 10th September 2013




 Robert Pearson, John Davidson, Eileen Carr, Jan Moore, Joan Tilsbury, Natasha Wood, Pamela Hanlon, Ann-Marie Whyte, Mike Vallance,  Emma Sipple, Edward, Halima and Kirsty Sutherland                                                                                                     


In Attendance


Henry Coyle (NELO), Roy Douglas (Muirhouse/Salvesen Community council) and Billie Dunlevie (Save the Children)                                                                        



Apologies                                                                                                                               Mandy Rudden (NELO), John McGlynn, Jim McGinty and Cristina Frangulea


Agenda Item 1 – Welcome   




Robert welcomed everyone present followed by introductions around the table.


Agenda Item 2 – Apologies                                                                                                              


  As above.


Agenda Item 3 – Approval of Last Minutes                                                                   


Proposed – John Davidson              Seconded – Henry Coyle


Agenda Item 4 – Matters Arising from Last Minutes    


  • Clarification point – MHA.    Allocations for the housing on the BT site – To clarify – priority will be given to MHA tenants who are affected by the Bedroom tax through their internal transfer policy and that the remaining social units will be allocated using Edindex Register.


  • Clarification point – NELO – just to confirm that when the word ‘contamination’ is used in relation to the demolition sites it means rubble and general rubbish.
  • Jan concerned that issues she raised on the last minutes would be seen as negative – Jan was assured by TRIM that there was nothing to apologise for and that passion was welcome at TRIM meetings.




  • Mike reported a tenant was concerned about dampness and cavity wall insulation but was unable to give details to Henry to follow this up – Henry gave his details to Mike to pass onto tenant.  Mike suggested taking some photos for the site.  Robert explained that tenants concerns should be reported to TRIM officially where it can be passed onto the Council and have a 10 day response time for action.   Robert clarified that TRIM have a positive relationship with the council and we are building a good working relationship with the different departments.  Although TRIM takes photographs it is more beneficial to give the council departments time to respond to reports than to publish photographs without first giving the council the opportunity to put things right without the glare of negative publicity where it is not warranted.   




   Henry went onto explain the difference between reactive and cyclical repairs and the different budgets used for them (e.g. kitchen replacements are cyclical and dampness is a responsive).  Roy asked what the time scale is for tenants reporting repairs to the Local Office as he had tenants reporting repairs to him and were being ‘fobbed off’.   Henry clarified that it’s Building Services and not the North Office that will deal with the repairs and there is lots of variables affecting the time scale including the type of repair, what’s causing it and longer term prevention etc.  Robert stated that TRIM would deal with tenants concerns and tenants should report them to TRIM where it can be dealt with in the proper manner – not just brought up at the Board Meeting expecting an immediate response.




  • Roy asked how the council is tackling fuel poverty.  Henry stated that this is really a question for the fuel companies and the council fund Changeworks who give impartial advice to tenants on energy saving.   Robert confirmed that Changeworks is regularly in the Community Shop and the community have benefitted from home visits and lots of different energy saving advice – not just fuel but water and waste amongst others.




  • John confirmed he has been in touch with Henry and Ewan regarding Cavity Wall Insulation and he is happy with the positive response he got regarding looking at the insulation alongside the kitchen replacements.   John suggested a survey of all the properties concerned and although Henry said that it makes sense he pointed out the difficulty of managing a large survey due to homes being built at different times and due for their programme of refurbishments at different times.   It was also stated that refurbishments are done better when properties are empty.   Money for refurbishments comes from the Capital Programme.



  • Roy asked what energy company the council recommended – Henry confirmed that the Council do not promote or recommend one company over another but does recommend tenants get advice from Changeworks regarding energy consumption.   Edward spoke a bit about energy co-operatives and initiatives to help people with energy costs.   John is concerned that we are a low income community with high energy costs and people are suffering and having to choose between fuel and food.   Henry again reiterated that Changeworks give impartial advice on energy and do a full home assessment with local people getting help to change their energy usage and understand how energy can be saved.



Agenda Item 5 – Correspondence


  • ETF – leaflet – Programme of information sessions Autumn 2013 – noted and filed (details to be e-mailed to members to register their interest)
  • ETF – High Rise Group Meeting notification – noted and filed


  • Richie Fraser (NELO) – offer of help to set up Friends of Linear Park – noted and filed.   (John will get in touch with Richie to arrange further meeting and discuss this further)


Agenda Item 6 – Finance                                                                                          


 As treasurer not present Eileen gave short verbal report.   

         £300 donation from Muirhouse St Andrews for the shop deposited and withdrawn from bank when cheque cleared to fund new soup packs and increase variety of Stock.    



No other financial transactions since last meeting so funds in bank account as of today is  TRIM – £2,459.80 and Community Shop £0 (nil)


Agenda Item 7 – Shop Report                                                                            


 Robert gave verbal report on shop


  • 9 Volunteers ( 1 new one since last meeting)
  • Over 100hrs per week volunteered
  • £300 Donation from St Andrews Church allowed us to increase our stock, purchase the initial vegetables for soup packs & purchase bags.
  • Soup packs, very popular – Prices from £1
  • Trial of opening for 2 hours on a Sunday 11am till 1pm
  • Next big thing is MacMillan Coffee morning on the 27th – So far we have raised approximately £170


Robert personally thanked every one of the volunteers who help in the shop and also St Andrews Church, Muirhouse Link Up, North Local Office and Cllr Cammy Day for their continued support



Agenda Item 8 –Report from Billie Dunlevie                                                                      

Billie explained she was from Save the Children and wanted to inform TRIM about the Community Change Project.  She spoke about the project and what it would involve.                                                                                                                


  Community Change Project will involve –


  • Community Capacity Building Workshops – to raise awareness of inequality and how it impacts on children’s life chances and what changes can be made.
  • Training – people who wish to get involved will be provided with initial training that will support the formation of a new group.
  • Mapping and Consultation – community members will test out and further explore their ideas with the community and local decision makers.
  • An action plan and budget will be produced to guide the implementation stage of the project.


  • Project Implementation – the group will be supported in turning their ideas into reality.
  • Legacy and Sustainability – the final phase of the project is about sustaining activity beyond the funded project.


Discussion followed on how this could be taken forward and the importance of working with already established local groups e.g. MYDG and MY Adventure.   Lots of discussion will take place with groups of people – especially young people – on what they would like to see in the area.   Billie confirmed she is working with established groups and Total Craigroyston.   Kirsty asked if Total Craigroyston was ending any time soon and Henry confirmed that it is funded in a different way to other projects and will not be ending any time in the near future.  Billie stated there is a meeting on Tues 17th Sept in the café of the Arts Centre for any interested parties.  John said it was useful to know where/when the meeting was but not to forget that there were other meeting places in North Edinburgh too – not just the Arts Centre.   Billie thanked TRIM for allowing her to come to the meeting and for the use of the shop.


Agenda Item 9 – Walk About Report                                                                       


John reported that the walk about was very useful and resulted in an Action Plan with the lead council officer being Ewan McIntosh.   There has been an agreed plan of action covering all the areas of concern which was –


  • Clean – environmental wardens, street cleaning and ground maintenance covering (amongst other things) grass-cutting and overgrown shrubs.
  • Green – waste recycling, parks and green space, community engagement covering play equipment consultation, net installation in Play Park and the setting up of ‘Friends of Linear Park’.
  • Safe – community safety and environmental health covering neighbour disputes and concerns about accumulation and pest control
  • Well Housed – rents/affordability, estates and property, access to housing and block management  covering Wednesday drop in advice sessions, exchanges, cyclical repairs , recycling bins, fencing and cavity wall insulation.
  • Well Maintained – roads, pavements and street lighting covering potholes, signage, lighting, traffic
  • Well informed and well engaged – social media, neighbourhood partnerships and libraries.


Discussion followed about football pitch and Henry confirmed that there is money secured from the Neighbourhood Partnership and is ready to action now – Peter is having a meeting with Steve Cuthill in the next week about this                                                                            


John stated that Linear Park is the Gateway to the beach from Ferry Road down to the shore and is an important part of the community.   


Henry and TRIM confirmed that they will be working with the Action Plan and taking this forward. The action plan is fluid and can be added to as required with regular walk about and reporting.   


Discussion followed about possible social enterprises to maintain and run open spaces and garden/back garden areas.   TRIM discussed the importance of training and education in helping the community take responsibility in caring for the environment.   Henry raised a concern that the community may not be learning anything if the council quickly picks up rubbish and cleans up mess – if staff is being used for these activities they are being taken off something else.   TRIM acknowledged that this is a problem and education is key in making people aware of it.   Jan raised the possibility of a ‘Keep Muirhouse Tidy Initiative’ which can be followed through the local schools and groups in the area.  TRIM agreed that this could be a good idea and should be discussed further at a future date.   Ann-Marie stated that it is very hard to take pride and responsibility in an area that looks and feels as though it is being run down – tenants don’t want to look like the poor relations of the newly regenerated areas.


The next walk about is planned for the 8th October.


Agenda item 10 – Roads                                                                                                  


 Pennywell Road & Roads in General (Report by Robert)


  • Cars speeding in general
  • Robert personally know of 6 cats and 1 dog that have been fatally injured on our roads.
  • Drink driver last week caught drink driving going down the road the wrong way.  


Robert has seen it at least 3 times in the last year, twice nearly running over children so it’s an issue for the people in our community.  He doesn’t think it’s clearly signed as a dual carriageway which is clearly confusing people so better signage may be needed.


Tourists from the caravan park are regularly ‘lost’ on the duel carriageway and better signage would defiantly help – especially at the crossroad/turning section at the Gunner.


Some local drivers do not know how to turn side by side another vehicle – this is obvious at the turning at the Gunner and it is only a matter of time until there is a serious accident.


TRIM will ask the police to come to next meeting to discuss this and other road matters.



Agenda Item 11 – Any Other Business                                                                             


Jan asked if anyone knew of funding that could be applied for to start up a small community café in Fidra Court.   TRIM agreed that this would be a good idea and would help Jan identify appropriate funders.


Jan asked if there were any plans for a community firework display.   Emma stated that some of West Granton Housing Co-ops tenants get together and put on a firework display for West Granton.   TRIM does not have the insurance or funding to put on a public display like this and feel it is more the responsibility of the Centipede Project, Total Craigroyston or Link up to organise this type of event.


There being no other business Robert ended the meeting by thanking everyone coming and said that the date of the next meeting for their diaries is October 8th.




Date of Next Meeting


Tuesday 8th October 2013


7pm in Muirhouse Community Centre.


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