by Chisanga Malata

The Morningside Community Council met on 18 January 2012 at The Open Door in Morningside. The meeting was chaired by Jean Thompson and nine members and six residents attended. Also in attendance were city council official, Mohamed Demnati, and Lothian and Borders Police officers, Denise Clucas and Kevin Duffy. The guest speaker in attendance was Christopher Harris from the Trading Standards department of The City of Edinburgh Council.

The meeting started with a police report from PC Kevin Duffy who told the meeting that in of December 2011 the number of crimes in Morningside and Comiston were less than last year, but there were 13 incidents of theft in Morningside and   18 similar incidents in Comiston. He explained that two men had been arrested for robbing a man at knife point earlier that week in Balcaress Street. He then mentioned the alleged murder which took place in Tollcross near the Kings Theatre. He said it was an “isolated domestic incident” and that a man has been charged and is in custody. On a lighter note he announced that since Lothian and Borders Police launched Operation Attic to combat shop lifting there had been no reports of shop lifting, although the police were called out to a shop on one occasion for another type of incident. PC Duffy also said that two high visibility cameras are going to be positioned in the Meadows to try to combat assaults, and that more lighting will also be installed.

Guest speaker, Christopher Harris. spoke about the council’s attempts to rid the area of rogue traders and explained to the council how they can make their streets a no cold calling zone. Members of the council said that cold callers and rogue builders frequently bother residents. He went on to say that cold calling was an issue that the trading standards department are trying very hard to eradicate, and that the council had recently set up a response team to help combat rogue traders.

The topic of flooding in the area came up for discussion again, with members calling for a complete reconstruction of the drainage system, but understanding that in these difficult financial times that might not be possible.

The community council talked about the long and tedious waits endured by members of the community whilst at the post office on Morningside Road. Members of the council and residents present complained that they had to wait 30 minutes and more to receive service and that this puts unnecessary strain upon the elderly, the disabled and those with young children. The council made plans to speak to the manager of the Morningside branch of Royal Mail to discuss what can be done to help alleviate these problems.

The meeting then proceeded to discuss the council’s position on the development of Craighouse Campus.It was said that the Community Council at the moment does not have a view on the situation, and are deliberately trying not to take sides at this moment in time.

Also on the agenda was the worry that the council would tar over a section in Newbattle Terrace where a tree had fallen over during a storm instead of replacing it with another one.

The Morningside Community Council meets on the third Wednesday of each month at The Open Door on Morningside Road at 7.30p.m. Their next meeting is scheduled for 15 February 2012.  All are members of the public are welcome.