Last night, the community council of Marchmont and Sciennes met at the St Catherine’s Argyle Church Hal, as they do every fourth Wednesday of the month, and the members were already looking ahead to winter.

The meeting lasted an hour and a half, and covered a wide range of important community issues. First on the agenda was the need for a bus shelter on Lauder Road, outside the old people’s home. The community council agreed to send a letter making this request.

Another piece of correspondence will be sent with regard to bonds paid by outside bodies, like the circus, that use The Meadows. Following this year’s event, the damage cost £13,000. The circus has paid in full, but the community council felt it would save time and money if the outside bodies paid the highest damage cost up front, and had the unused funds returned to them. Currently these bonds are set at £6,000.

Then the thorny issue of neighbourhood tree planting. The community council will be donating four trees, at a total cost of £1000, to the Coronation Lot. In addition, members of the community council had also recently replenished the flowerpots outside the co-op.

When moving on to issues of community safety there were several items to be discussed. Firstly, the council wish to have a crossing redesigned, as it is dangerous and near numerous schools. Secondly, they wish to have bike speed bumps, or something similar, put in place on the Quality Bike Corridor, as currently, they feel the speeds that bikers travel at can be dangerous. Finally, they are concerned about the upcoming winter weather. They wish to raise awareness about the location of neighbourhood grit boxes and how to attend to snow, so as to avoid accidents.

A few other issues discussed at last night’s meeting included the upcoming Christmas Tree Lighting, which sounds as though it will be a terrific local event. Lasting from 4pm – 7pm on 10 December 2011, there will be refreshments including mulled wine, carols, Christmas lights and a raffle.

Local MSP Kezia Dugdale’s request for a public inquiry into the trams was also discussed. The community council members, however, can choose to support that issue as individuals, not as a collective group. The inquiry has already been promised, by the First Minister, and Kezia Dugdale’s aim is simply to have it begin as soon as possible.

There were a few final points of housekeeping. The Marchmont community council is disappointed by the lack of police presence at their meetings and want this to change. They are also looking to add new members to the community council. Elections will be held next year, so if any local residents are interested they can be co-opted before then if they wish. More details on the community council website.