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April Minutes

Board Meeting 8th April 2014

Present  (11)

Robert Pearson, John Davidson, Eileen Carr, Emma Sipple, Amber Stronach, Karma Lennon, Nina Zieche,  Mandy Rudden (NELO), Jan Moore (Fidra Court Tenants Association), Cllr Vicki Redpath and Colin Keir MSP

Apologies  (10)

Ann-Marie Whyte, Pamela Hanlon, Fiona Smith, Jane Perrin, Fiona Burness, Belinda Orubu, Natasha Wood, Josh Hardwick, Helen Fisher and Vince Logan

Agenda Item 1 – Welcome and Apologies

Robert welcomed everyone to the meeting and everyone introduced themselves around the table

Apologies as above.

Agenda Item 2 – Previous Minutes

Proposed as a true record by Karma Lennon and seconded by Emma Sipple

Agenda Item 3 – Matters Arising from Previous Minutes
Robert stated that the dog poo issue would be covered further down the agenda.    Jan – asked what was happening with the dog poo and the rent arrears posters.   Dog poo will be discussed as part of Current Issues and John confirmed that the large lamp-post posters were in place for about 2 days before they were vandalised.   Mandy stated that the posters were part of the rent arrears strategy and there was an ongoing problem in all areas with the posters being vandalised.   Council will look at uplifting the vandalised posters and replacing them.

Agenda Item 4 – Correspondence
Bank of Scotland – TRIM statement – logged and filed
Bank of Scotland TRIM Memorial Account statement – logged and filed.
Letter (Tina Quinn) – donation of £10 for TRIM Memorial Account – logged and filed

City of Edin Council – Final Demand for 2013/13 Rates-passed onto Robert
City of Edin Council – Payment Notice for 2014/15 Rates – passed onto Robert

E-mails (sent direct to TRIM e-mail account not via social media)
20 general enquiries from tenants and residents

5 surveys completed and sent off

27 general info from NELO (relevant ones passed onto group)
15 ETF general info about training and funding

17 local organisations giving or asking for info

Phone Calls
61 over last month (averaging about 3 a day) – mostly asking for confirmation of details about Facebook posts or general enquiries about local events.  Increase in calls asking for bus routes, timetable and directions.  10 were about environmental concerns.

Agenda Finanances

As the treasurer had sent in their apologies Eileen gave verbal report on finance that included the invoices paid the past month, TRIM Bank Account, TRIM Memorial Account (which included the funds raised from the event at Telford Arms), TRIM PayPal Memorial funds and Petty Cash held.   Eileen also confirmed that the Grant Application had been completed and sent off both as a paper copy and e-mail.

John raised concern about the amount of fundraising that had been done in the community and the lack of information about amounts raised and what they have been spent on.  Robert confirmed that the only community fundraising money that had been placed in the TRIM Memorial Account was the Telford Arms Fundraiser organised by Dionne Clapperton and that no other sponsored event, fundraiser or collection proceeds had been placed in the TRIM Memorial Account.  Eileen stated that groups and individuals who organised their own sponsored events and collections had their own ideas about what they were spending their money on and TRIM did not expect their money and had absolutely no intention of telling them how to spend it but it would be good for the community to know what had been raised and how it had been spent for the sake of transparency.  Eileen also stated that she was concerned that the community assumed that all money collected was going into the TRIM Memorial account and confirmed that the total in the account came from 5 donations (Stobo Castle, Telford Arms Fund Raiser, Mikaeel’s grandfather, NELO and Edinburgh Licensees Golf Club).

Vicki asked if the family were in contact and Robert confirmed that the family are in close contact with TRIM and have had a few conversations about what they think would be an appropriate memorial (not something that could be vandalised or destroyed but would prefer the money to go towards children’s clubs/purchasing games etc. for children to enjoy).  Robert confirmed that the family will be informed of any discussions and decisions that will be made.  Jan stated that the Community Council had discussed this and would like all the groups to meet up and pool their money and decide what to do – Robert stated that we could only decide on what money we had and not for other people’s money.
Vicki asked that if anyone had questions about the family being involved she would pass on Roberts/Eileen’s details to them.   Robert confirmed that was fine.

John stated that he is in conversation with Moray Penman who is willing to fund a memorial garden with benches and a plaque on a stone which would free up any collected money for other projects.  Jan was concerned that the placing of the garden so near to the house would encourage it to be a shrine and wondered if the ring-fenced money for the memorial garden could be used elsewhere.  Mandy is not sure what budget that would be coming from but will check and get back to John about it.

Agenda Item 6 – TRIM Report

Robert gave verbal report

City Chambers – A trip to the City Chambers for the volunteers involved with the search for Mikaeel Kular was attended by Robert and shop volunteers.   It was a very positive event lasting an hour and provided the community with positive feedback and the opportunity for closer networking.   Robert thanked the Lord Provost and all the councillors for the invitation.
Fund Raiser at Telford Arms – Robert offered thanks to Dionne Clapperton who done a huge amount of work in organising this event – it was a great day event for the children and a night event for the adults and was very well attended and a great success.   The Telford Arms was a super venue and covered the cost of soft drinks served during the day (no alcohol was served during the children’s event).  Eileen confirmed that the money raised was banked in the TRIM Memorial Account and TRIM paid for the Bouncy Castle as our donation so local children could take part in the fun.
Social Media – continuing to improve and stats are growing every week.   More organisations are asking us to ‘host’ information and requests on their behalf.  It is interesting that most of the social media comments are about environmental and things that matter to the community not always about housing.   Karma asked that the bin timetable be posted again as it was a useful reminder for the community what bin to put out when.   Robert agreed to do a ‘Rubbish Reminder’.   Karma also spoke about recycling bins being stolen and passed her details onto Vicki.   Vicki confirmed this is a city wide problem and plans are being put into place to simplify household recycling.

Agenda item 7 – Community Shop Report

Robert is having talks with Pilton Health Project to bring back Community Cooking Demonstrations which proved to be very popular.   John suggested using the Muirhouse Community Centre as a venue for a community meal and group agreed it was a good idea and Robert/John to take this forward.   Jan stated that her tenant’s café in Fidra Court does that.  John asked for clarification that it was only tenants in Fidra Court that could use it and Jan confirmed that this was right but she was planning at some point in the future to extend it to the rest of the community.

Open Cafe has started again after being closed temporarily after an incident.

Canmore Housing Association has visited the shop to see how we do things.

St Serfs Church and Goldenacre Fair Trade have been donating food to the shop and the food bank.  St Serfs has chosen to support the shop for the next 12 months and Robert will be entering discussions with them in what they can do to help.

Shop Window – display will be changing to fit in with local issues and information sessions.   This is conjunction with the Centipede Project and Link-Up as well as other organisations.

The feature window display ideas include an Easter display, Domestic Abuse, Dog Fouling, Commonwealth Games, Independence Reference and Autism Awareness.

Robert thanked the new chip shop owner for donating his window cleaner on a monthly basis to ensure our windows are always clean and sparkling.

Agenda Item 8 – Action Plan
Mandy introduced herself to the group and explained that Henry has now moved to West Neighbourhood and she has taken over his role and is looking forward to working with TRIM.

Discussion followed on the usefulness of walk-about and John stated that the staff that does the walk-about with him are professional and aware of local issues but it falls down when information is passed to other departments to action and then ignored or not followed up.   Mandy confirmed that there is a new system in place where staff uses a handheld machine with phone capability to photograph and report issues and problems directly – this enables work to be confirmed immediately and followed up on by senior staff.  With the photos the council will be able to post ‘you said we did’ posts to inform the community when work was reported and fixed.   At the moment the handhelds have been used for a couple of weeks and initial feedback is good.   There is a dashboard that can be accessed to check work and this is proving to save time for staff.

John stated that now that spring was here there needs to be a proper maintenance programme for the green spaces – and it needs to continue into the summer/autumn and winter on a yearly basis.   He is concerned that with the regeneration of Pennywell, Central Muirhouse will be forgotten and starts going downhill.    John suggested that it may be an idea for the community to take over Estate Management as a social enterprise or community enterprise – it was agreed that this may be a good idea and Vicky will give details to Eileen about people who can further discuss this.

Jan asked about the weed killer used by the Council on the grass edging – Robert confirmed that although it looks bad it was approved for use by the PDSA.

John went on to speak about the football pitch needing upgraded and new drainage as a matter of priority.   He went onto talk about the need for the park area to be clean and safe for children to use at all times and thinks that the setting up of a ‘Friends of Linear Park Group’ would be helpful in achieving these aims.  Group agreed to start the setting up of the new group as a side shoot of TRIM and Mandy will follow this up by providing information to Eileen.

Amber asked why the price of a special uplift was so high and why was it not free.  Mandy stated that there is a cost involved with special uplifts but there is a free number for people to phone if they have items that can be recycled by different charities and organisations.

Agenda item 9 – Current Issues

Dog Poo – Robert has attended a meeting with Vicki, Cammy and others about this subject and at the moment there is a post on our social media site about it.

There is going to be a week long campaign about this issue with lots of information, free doggie poo bags, stencilling of left poo, hit squad of wardens and a focus window in the Community Shop.  Vicki spoke about other groups in Edinburgh who are responsible dog owners and lead by example and offer dog poo bags to other dog walkers.
Jan stated that she has spoken at the Community Council meetings about the possibility of fencing off areas that can be used as dog parks.   John said he was more concerned about fencing off areas so children can play in a clean and safe area.

Anti-Social Behaviour –

Vicki reported that she has discussed this with Cammy in his role as Community Safety Leader and he in turn has discussed this with Sue Bruce.   As a result of their conversations they have started a task force chaired by Sue Bruce with reps from Education, Social Work, Children’s Panel, area Commander of Police and Craigroyston High School amongst others.   It is not a quick fix but they need to deal with the bigger picture and although there is slight improvement at the moment they do expect a spike over the Easter Holidays.   Discussion followed about incidents of anti-social behaviour and the community not feeling safe when out.   Vicki will continue to report back on this issue.
Motorbikes – concern was raised about the speed and unsafe driving of youths on motorbikes both on the roads and in the Linear Park.  They are putting lives at risk – not only their own but the general public too.  It was agreed that high visibility policing discourages it but as police have other priorities and are not allowed to chase them the general feeling is that the incidents involving motorcycles are getting worst.  Eileen will ask a police rep to the next meeting to discuss our concerns.

Agenda Item 10 – Priorities

It was agreed to carry this over to our next meeting but a decision was made to start work on the Friends of Linear Park as soon as possible.

Agenda Item 11 – Any Other Business

Eileen showed the group a box for suggestions for the Mikaeel memorial that will be placed in the shop for the next 4 weeks.   There will be a box in the Muirhouse Community Centre too.

There is also a poster detailing how to pass on your suggestions that include using the comment slips and boxes, e-mail, phone, social media pm messaging or face to face.

After 4 weeks of advertising and people suggesting things the ideas will be collated and counted and the top 2 will be put to a meeting organised for local people/groups/organisations to make a decision on what the money in the TRIM Memorial Account will be spent on.

Eileen confirmed that John will attend the IMP trip to Glasgow representing TRIM and will report back to the group at the next meeting.

Date of next meeting Tues 13th May at 7pm in the Muirhouse Community Centre

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