Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting - via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Gavin King 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1. Order of Business

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1.1

Order of Business

Including any notices of motion and any other items of business submitted as urgent for consideration at the meeting.

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2. Declaration of Interests

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2.1

Declaration of interests

Members should declare any financial and non-financial interests they have in the items of business for consideration, identifying the relevant agenda item and the nature of their interest.

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3. Deputations

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3.1

Deputations

If any

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4. Minutes

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4.1

Minutes pdf icon PDF 937 KB

The City of Edinburgh Council of 19 November 2020 – submitted for approval as a correct record

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5. Questions

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5.1

By Councillor Lang - Compensation Claims pdf icon PDF 16 KB

By Councillor Lang - Compensation Claims – for answer by the Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee

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5.2

By Councillor Lang - Traffic Lights pdf icon PDF 15 KB

By Councillor Lang - Traffic Lights – for answer by the Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee

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5.3

By Councillor Booth - 15 Minute City pdf icon PDF 15 KB

By Councillor Booth - 15 Minute City – for answer by the Convener of the Planning Committee

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5.4

By Councillor Booth - Private Sector Rent pdf icon PDF 21 KB

By Councillor Booth - Private Sector Rent – for answer by the Convener of the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee

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5.5

By Councillor Burgess - Staff Action on Climate Emergency pdf icon PDF 47 KB

By Councillor Burgess - Staff Action on Climate Emergency – for answer by the Leader of the Council

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5.6

By Councillor Neil Ross - Electric Vehicle Charging Points pdf icon PDF 19 KB

By Councillor Neil Ross - Electric Vehicle Charging Points – for answer by the Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee

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5.7

By Councillor Webber - Spaces for People Continuous Improvement pdf icon PDF 19 KB

By Councillor Webber - Spaces for People Continuous Improvement – for answer by the Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee

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5.8

By Councillor Webber - Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Network pdf icon PDF 23 KB

By Councillor Webber - Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Network – for answer by the Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee

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5.9

By Councillor Rust - Edinburgh Tram Inquiry pdf icon PDF 12 KB

By Councillor Rust - Edinburgh Tram Inquiry – for answer by the Leader of the Council

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5.10

By Councillor Rust - Nurseries pdf icon PDF 21 KB

By Councillor Rust – Nurseries – for answer by the Convener of the Education, Children and Families Committee

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5.11

By Councillor Laidlaw - Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure pdf icon PDF 19 KB

By Councillor Laidlaw - Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure – for answer by the Convener of the Transport and Environment Committee

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5.12

By Councillor Howie - Care Home Admissions pdf icon PDF 49 KB

By Councillor Howie - Care Home Admissions – for answer by the Leader of the Council

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5.13

By Councillor Booth - Gaelic Medium Education pdf icon PDF 24 KB

By Councillor Booth - Gaelic Medium Education – for answer by the Convener of the Education, Children and Families Committee

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6. Leader's Report

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6.1

Leader's Report pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Leader’s report

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7. Appointments

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7.1

Appointments

If any

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8. Reports

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8.1

Review of Political Management Arrangements December 2020 pdf icon PDF 496 KB

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8.2

Treasury Management: Mid-Term Report 2020-21 - referral from the Finance and Resources Committee pdf icon PDF 849 KB

Treasury Management: Mid-Term Report 2020-21 - referral from the Finance and Resources Committee

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8.3

Best Value Assurance Audit - referral from the Policy and Sustainability Committee pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Best Value Assurance Audit - referral from the Policy and Sustainability Committee

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9. Motions

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9.1

By Councillor Lang - Controlled Parking Zones and Carers

By Councillor Lang - Controlled Parking Zones and Carers

“Council:

1)       recognises the immense contribution of carers across Edinburgh and the particular pressures they have faced this year as a result of the spread of COVID-19.

2)       notes the Council’s Essential User Parking Permit Scheme allows some healthcare professionals to be exempt from day-to-day charges in controlled parking zones, but is not available to carers registered with the Scottish Social Services Council and unregistered home care workers and personal assistants who provide a large proportion of social and personal care at home Edinburgh, often through the Council’s direct payments scheme.

3)       notes that, in addition, no support arrangements are in place for unpaid carers which means these vital and dedicated individuals can incur substantial parking costs when caring for vulnerable loved ones who stay within CPZ areas.

4)       recognises that the much needed expansion of controlled parking across the city means this issue is likely to become greater in the years ahead.

5)       therefore seeks a report to the Transport and Environment Committee within three cycles on

          (a)      widening the Essential User Parking Permit Scheme to cover           paid carers registered with the Scottish Social Services Council           and unregistered home care workers and personal assistants           and

          (b)      exempting those in receipt of carer’s allowance from paying pay           and display parking charges within controlled parking zones           when carrying out their caring responsibilities.”

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9.2

By Councillor Bird - Wardie Bay Beachwatch

By Councillor Bird - Wardie Bay Beachwatch

“Council

Thanks Wardie Bay Beachwatch and all the volunteers from across the area and beyond, that have helped to maintain this invaluable local asset and monitor levels of waste and debris for the Marine Conservation Society.

Recognises the valuable ecosystem services of Wardie Bay and the important role of biodiversity at this site.

Notes that the recent application for bathing water status for Wardie Bay, based on the noticeable increase in numbers of visitors and wild swimmers (particularly since the beginning of the pandemic), was refused.

Recognises the efforts of Wardie Bay Beachwatch, alongside other stakeholders, to submit an appeal to this decision and garner public support through an online petition which is, at time of writing, at 1384 signatures - https://www.change.org/p/sepa-include-wardie-bay-edinburgh-in-scotland-s-list-of-designated-bathing-waters-a44504df-b0a6-4452-a6b2-2f4e3ff4c6bb?redirect=false.

Appreciates the complexity of the mixed ownership of the beach but also recognises the opportunity for the Council to show leadership in this much loved urban blue space.

Agrees that the ‘Vision for Water Management’ and ‘Edinburgh Coastline - update’ reports to the November Transport and Environment Committee, outline some of the work that is already underway in the Council to protect and improve Edinburgh’s coastal communities.

Requests, however, that a report is brought back to Transport and Environment Committee in two cycles, outlining specific measures that the Council could consider to match the investment of the local community and support their calls for a cleaner, safer beach for the people and wildlife that benefit from it.”

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9.3

By Councillor Lezley Marion Cameron - Edinburgh Farmers Market Turning 20 in 2020

By Councillor Lezley Marion Cameron - Edinburgh Farmers Market Turning 20 in 2020

“Council notes:

In July 1999, following a request from the then Convener of the Economic Development Committee, officers commenced work on the feasibility for, and viability of establishing an Edinburgh’s Farmers Market.

In February 2000, the Economic Development Committee; Environmental Services Committee; and General Purposes Committee all respectively agreed to the establishment of an Edinburgh Farmers Market, initially on a pilot basis.

The Edinburgh Farmers Market, located at Castle Terrace, quickly became, and continues to be, a busy and popular way for Edinburgh residents and visitors to buy fresh food and vegetables directly from local suppliers.

In August 2020, the Farmers Market Cooperative Committee (of market stall holders) took over the running of the weekly market from Essential Edinburgh.

Council:

Congratulates the Edinburgh Farmers Market on reaching its 20th Year Anniversary in 2020;

Welcomes the transition of the Edinburgh Farmers Market into a Cooperative Business Model;

Welcomes the role Edinburgh Farmers’ Market plays in supporting the strategic aims of the Edible Edinburgh Partnership, which works to promote healthy, local, sustainable food as part of delivering economic and environmental benefits for our citizens; and

Asks the Lord Provost to express and convey the congratulations on behalf of the Council to the Farmers Market Cooperative Committee in an appropriate and fitting manner.”

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9.4

By Councillor Corbett - Former Royal High School

By Councillor Corbett - Former Royal High School

“Council

1)       Notes that the former Royal High School building is one of the world's most significant examples of Greek Revival neo-classical buildings in the world, but that it was vacated in 1968 when the school moved to Barnton and has lacked a permanent use since then;

2)       Notes that the city council granted Duddingston House Properties a 125-year ground lease on the building following an open competition in 2010, but that this lease was conditional on DHP securing planning and listed building consent for their proposals;

3)       Notes that the planning application by Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels for the former Royal High School was rejected unanimously by the council's development management sub-committee in 2017 and the appeal to Scottish Ministers was dismissed on 27 October 2020: as contrary to the Local Development Plan overall, contrary to 11 LDP policies and “that the Proposed Development would not preserve the former Royal High School listed building or its setting and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Edinburgh New Town Conservation Area;”

4)       Notes that the Cockburn Association, Edinburgh's Civic Trust, has called on the council to sever its contractual relationship with the hotel developers to allow proposals from St Mary's Music School and the Royal High School Preservation Trust to advance;

5)       Therefore agrees to a report to Finance and Resources Committee by the end of January 2021 outlining the contractual relationship with the current developer and setting out options for moving forward with a viable and acceptable use for the building; including ending the contractual relationship with the current developer; and alternative building uses and development pathways.

6)       Agrees further to review options for a viable “meantime” use which could also address some of the short-term maintenance and security issues for the building.”

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9.5

By Councillor Webber - Great British Bake Off - Peter is our Star Baker

By Councillor Webber - Great British Bake Off - Peter is our Star Baker

“Council

This is an iconic British programme that has brought much needed levity to our mundane lockdown lives on Tuesday evenings.

Should we ever be able to host receptions in the City Chambers then can the Lord Provost look to invite Peter and his family to celebrate in style with us.

Wishes to send a “telegram” from the Lord Provost to Mr Peter Sawkins, an Accountancy student at the University of Edinburgh, and ex-pupil and Head Boy from Currie Community High School to congratulate him on his sumptuous success at becoming, not only the youngest ever winner of the Great British Bake Off, but also the first Scottish winner. 

Recognises that Peter has kept this secret for quite some time and hope his flatmates are now tucking into award winning baking.”

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9.6

By Councillor Mowat - Supporting our City Centre

By Councillor Mowat - Supporting our City Centre

“Council:

Recognises:

a)       that the Scottish Government’s Protection Levels Frameworkhas been agreed to continue to suppress the virus, but notes that this has caused significant hardship to the businesses operating in the City Centre;

b)       that the Shop Local campaign is welcome, but the funding excludes areas with a Business Improvement District in place which means that there is no support for the Essential Edinburgh area which encompasses the major shopping streets in the City centre which are significant employers; and

c)       that whilst the city remains in Level 3 of the Strategic framework and surrounded by local authorities in differing levels, no one should be coming in to or leaving the city except for essential purposes;

Therefore calls for an urgent meeting of appropriate officers to consider immediate short term measures that could be put in place to support the message that this year Edinburgh City Centre belongs to us – the residents of Edinburgh -- and just as your local high street needs your support so does your city centre; which could include:

  • re-instating any parking bays in the city centre that have been removed for any reason;
  • first hour free parking – to recognise that whilst the city remains in Level 3 public transport for non-essential journeys is not encouraged or designate saving the city centre as essential;
  • a communications campaign reminding people that the city centre and its shops need us as they have no one else and that the businesses and those who work in them are relying on the people of Edinburgh to get them through to the other side of the pandemic;
  • whether on street stand-alone public toilets can be provided quickly so that resident who want to enjoy the city without the visitors are confident this provision is in place if they choose to venture in;

and any other ideas to encourage people to safely visit the businesses that remain open and which we wish to support.”

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9.7

By Councillor Mowat - Cardboard Recycling

By Councillor Mowat - Cardboard Recycling

“Council recognises that the instruction to work from home where possible has changed where waste is generated and that there is increased waste being produced from people’s homes which is further increased by deliveries which generate packaging that needs to be disposed of;

that many residents want to do the right thing and dispose of their packaging waste separately from general waste, which is to be applauded, however the increased volume of waste is creating problems especially in areas with communal bins where there is an insufficient supply of packaging containers, as identified in the project to review and enhance communal bin provision;

recognising that what is already a problem is likely to get worse in the coming weeks as people prepare for Christmas; and calls for an immediate cross-party meeting with officers to come up with quick, easily implemented, low-cost solutions to this problem to keep the streets clean and maximise the income the Council can make from collecting as much cardboard as possible which can then be recycled.”

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9.8

By Councillor Mowat - Reasons for Exclusion

By Councillor Mowat - Reasons for Exclusion

“Council is concerned that the forms required to be completed by schools when excluding a pupil require the use of  a drop down menu provided by SEEMIS to complete the reason for the exclusion of the child and that some of the categories appear to assign criminal behaviour to the child, which will remain on the child’s record for their school career and calls for a report to the Education Children and Families Committee detailing these categories, how they are set and whether the Council has the authority to alter the reasons or whether an approach would need to be made to the Scottish Government to alter them.”

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9.9

By Councillor Laidlaw - Funding of Flu Vaccine by Head Teachers for Staff

By Councillor Laidlaw - Funding of Flu Vaccine by Head Teachers for Staff

“Council:

Notes that in previous winter terms, Headteachers were permitted to use school funds to cover winter flu jabs and a number had planned and budgeted this vaccination for staff in 2020, especially as a means to help reduce absences and co-infection with COVID; noting that supply teachers are in particularly short supply due to the pressures of the pandemic.

Notes that the private provision of flu vaccination can be done quickly and at relatively low cost (circa £12-15 per head).

Notes that a new Directive from City of Edinburgh Council advised Headteachers that they were no longer to use discretionary school funds to pay for flu vaccines for staff.

Notes that this new Directive has led some Headteachers to request that vaccination funds are covered by Parent Councils.

Notes that, given the pandemic, greater numbers of people have been offered the flu vaccine by government and all those offered the vaccine are being urged to take up the offer to protect themselves and others and help the NHS avoid additional pressure over the winter period.

Notes that ordering by private providers of flu vaccination is done many months in advance of the flu season and thus schools choosing to spend discretionary funds on flu jabs for staff will not be impacting on supplies provided to vulnerable groups free of charge.

Requests that City of Edinburgh Council rescinds the directive to headteachers asking them not to spend discretionary funds on flu vaccinations and allows them to make a decision based on their perceived need and with the goal to protect staff and prevent absences in this challenging year.”

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9.10

By Councillor Booth - Accessibility of New Buildings

By Councillor Booth - Accessibility of New Buildings

“Council:

1)       Notes that in terms of newly built council homes, current policy is that a minimum of 10% should be fully wheelchair accessible, potentially leaving the remaining 90% inaccessible, thereby potentially excluding many disabled people, particularly wheelchair users. This can result in reduced contact and increased isolation for many disabled people since they are unable to visit the homes of family, friends and others;

2)       Notes that many buildings can be made at least partially and more easily accessible for disabled people, including wheelchair users by, for example, alterations to the minimum standards for width/sizes of front doors as well as all ground floor room doors, thereby enabling disabled people to enter the accommodation and move around the ground floor. Being able to reach the front door of the accommodation via ramping would be a further important factor in facilitating greater access.

3)       Recognises that investing in increased ease of access for more council homes may in some instances reduce the demand for full adaption at a later date, and thereby lead to a reduction or at least a check on the council's adaptations budget;

4)       Requests a report to Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee within 2 cycles examining accessibility in the council’s new build council homes and examining the scope to extend the 10% target and ensure that more of the council’s new build homes are at least partially accessible to more people;

5)       Requests a further report to Planning Committee within 2 cycles examining a) compliance with building regulations on accessibility, in particular on step-free access to ground floor properties, and b) examining the potential to ensure greater compliance with building regulations on accessibility and c) examining the potential to use the planning system to demand greater accessibility from developers.”

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9.11

By Councillor McVey - Public Sector Pay Freeze

By Councillor McVey - Public Sector Pay Freeze

“Council condemns the UK Government is proposing a public sector pay freeze for the vast majority of employees and a below inflation rise for even the lowest paid employees as a part of the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Council notes the role of public service workers has been critical in responding to and helping both Scotland and Edinburgh manage the impact of Covid-19 and considers that without the hard work of public servants, especially front line workers, such as cleaners and care assistants, waste and cleansing teams, we would not have been able to protect the city and support vulnerable people to the extent that we have through this crisis.

Council recognises that the economic impact of Covid-19 goes far beyond the public sector, but agrees the specific contribution of public sector employees should be recognised and appropriately rewarded.

Requests that the Council Leader & Depute Leader write to the UK and Scottish Governments to make clear that public sector workers should be paid fairly and appropriately by fully funding any future pay increases that are agreed between employers and trade unions.”

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