Forth Neighbourhood Partnership

Forth Neighbourhood Partnership
Minute of Inaugural Business Meeting
Monday 25 June at 9.30am
NELO, 8 West Pilton Gardens
Present: Chair: Councillor Elaine Morris; Councillors Elizabeth Maginnis {part
meeting} & Allan Jackson; Jenni Marrow (Muirhouse Salvesen Community Council);
Betty McVay (West Pilton /West Granton Community Council); George Gordon
(Royston/Wardieburn Community Council); Alyson Cameron (Trinity Community
Council) – {part meeting}; Hazel McDonald (Scottish Business in the Community) –
{part meeting}; Paula Aldin-Scott (EVOC); Jane Dennyson (Waterfront Edinburgh);
Kate Burton (Community Health Partnership); Ray Harris (Edinburgh’s Telford
College); Peter Strong & Martina McChrystal (Services for Communities); Ian Cooke
(Pilton Partnership); Stuart Haddon (Children & Families); Dominique Petitqueux
(Communities Scotland); Dougie Stirling (L&B Police);
Minutes: Elaine Mill
Apologies: Colin Hunter (Waterfront Edinburgh); Peter Taylor (Scottish Business in
the Community); Craig Beveridge (Community Health Partnership); Milind Kolhatkar
(EVOC); Jackie McMillan (SEEL); Councillor Steve Cardownie
Welcome and Introductions
Peter Strong welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Forth
Neighbourhood Partnership and introductions were made.
as listed.
Confirmation of Councillor Morris as convener elect
PS advised that at its first full meeting the City Council had resolved that
Neighbourhood Partnerships would be Chaired by an elected councillor, with
councillors from each of the Partnership areas agreeing between themselves
who this would be. Councillors in Forth ward had agreed that Councillor
Morris would chair the Forth Neighbourhood Partnership. This would need to
be ratified at the first public meeting of the Neighbourhood Partnership (NP).
Councillor Morris said she was very excited about the new way of working
afforded by the Neighbourhood Partnership. Forth is made up of a mix of
vibrant communities with diverse characters, cherished histories and exciting
futures. She wanted everyone to work together in partnership to identify
priorities. There was a lot of work to do – a need to target resources to bring
more jobs and apprenticeships to the area – and also to provide local people
with the services they need. Her watchwords for the Forth Neighbourhood
Partnership were
Discuss - Decide - Deliver.
Neighbourhood Partnership membership and sub groups
NEAR Steering Group ran as a shadow decision making group prior to the
establishment of NP’s and had agreed a proposed membership. In addition
the Council had agreed a standard membership of NP’s, which included the
voluntary sector in addition to those members already agreed by the NEAR
Steering Group. EVOC had been charged with establishing a voluntary sector
representative for each NP, but in the interim had agreed that their staff
members would attend to represent the voluntary sector. Community
representation on the NP would be from Community Councils, with an equal
number of CC reps as there were elected councillors. Organisations such as
the Police, Pilton Partnership, Communities Scotland and Council
departments would attend in an advisory capacity only, with no voting rights.
PS asked if this membership was right or if anyone had additions they would
like to suggest.
PS acknowledged that Drylaw/Telford Community Council (DTCC) were
unhappy with the boundary lines drawn up by the Boundaries Commission
and adopted by CEC for Council wards and Neighbourhood Partnership
areas, and had expressed a wish to be included in Forth rather than Inverleith
NP. He advised that Dave Pickering had been selected by DTCC to represent
them on Forth NP as and when required, and specifically when Community
Regeneration Funding issues were being discussed. He noted that a review
of the NP’s will take place after 6 months and boundaries can be discussed at
that time.
JM asked if a 2nd representative from each of the 3 CC’s could attend future
meetings, and PAS noted that EVOC would also favour this arrangement. It
was agreed that the named substitute from each CC and EVOC/voluntary
sector could attend all NP Board meetings but only 1 voting right would be
allowed. Some of the meetings will be public meetings in any case.
EVOC have been charged to look at voluntary sector representation and
Milind Kolhatkar from EVOC has agreed to attend future meetings until such
times as a local voluntary sector representative can be found. It was agreed
that this should not be a paid worker but a management committee member
who lives and is involved locally.
Sub Groups
PS talked to the paper circulated in advance of the meeting.
Currently there are three Planning & Implementation Groups (PIG’s). It was
suggested that we change the name from PIG’s – Action Groups was
suggested, but any better suggestions gratefully received! The 3 groups
which currently meet are Children, Young People & Families, Health & Social
Care and Learning & Employment. 2 additional groups will be formed Physical Regeneration and Clean, Green & Safe.
The North Housing Area Board will be integrated into the new Neighbourhood
structures. It was agreed that the Clean, Green and Safe Action Group
would be most appropriate. Jenni Marrow raised concerns that tenants would
lose control over decision making and spend of the Neighbourhood
Improvement Programme (NIP) budget. PS suggested that the Action Group
could allow only Registered Tenants Organisations to take decisions on NIP
spend, to mirror the Area Board set up. Councillor Maginnis noted that some
areas with Housing Association tenants, or no Registered Tenants
Organisation shouldn’t lose out and the NP should attempt to include them in
its decision making process.
The NEAR Steering Group formerly ratified all Community Regeneration Fund
Panel decisions and the NP Board will take over this responsibility.
The Pilton Partnership is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting to
propose changes to their constitution which will create the legal framework for
them to become a community development trust. These changes will include
a change of name to the North Edinburgh Trust. Ian Cooke will update on this
at the next meeting.
Action: IC
Neighbourhood Partnership business arrangements
 Frequency of meetings – It was agreed that the NP Board would
meet quarterly in public
 Time and venue of meetings - Evenings would be preferable.
Waterfront Edinburgh and Edinburgh’s Telford College are both willing
to host future meetings. LDC meetings were held in The Prentice
Centre and West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre. It was agreed that
meetings would take place in a range of locations across the whole of
the Forth ward.
 Public Sessions - It was agreed that Council officers would be
available in advance of NP Board meetings to meet members of the
public and deal with their individual enquiries, and that public question
time should be focused on the issues discussed at that NP meeting.
 Clerking of meetings/circulation of papers – NP Board meetings
held in public will be formal advisory committees of the Council and will
be administered by the CEC Committee Services. Business meetings
will be administered by the SfC Partnership & Information team at
North local office. Adequate notice will be given prior to all meetings
with papers being sent out ahead of each meeting to allow community
groups the opportunity to discuss them in advance. Agendas, reports
and minutes will also be available on the Council’s internet page.
 Business Meetings/Executive Arrangements - Additional Business
meetings will be arranged separately from Public Meetings.
 Action Groups – There was discussion on how best to ensure that
Action Groups (AG’s) genuinely took their lead from community
priorities, and the following points were made: Pilton Partnership have a support role for community reps on AG’s and
the NP Board, and to ensure communication between AG’s,
Community Councils and the NP Board
CC reps will need to be able to demonstrate that they have discussed
issues at their CC meetings
AG’s need to be able to demonstrate how they have engaged with the
wider community, not just CC’s, and taken community views on board
There may be issues about resourcing AG’s sufficiently to carry out
community consultation
The whole process should be as streamlined as possible to allow
decisions to be taken and acted on, not continually referred ‘up the line’
for ratification
acknowledgement that the work of the AG’s and NP in general is to
shape the priorities of all partner organisations, not just Council
1. PS to facilitate meeting of chairs of AG’s with Pilton Partnership
to discuss community involvement. Chairs to report back to next
NP Board on how they will achieve this.
Action: PS
2. A general meeting will be held to discuss the 2 new AG’s.
Action: PS
3. PS to meet with Ian Cooke to discuss how Pilton Partnership
can best offer support to CC reps and AG members
Action: PS/IC
Budget Holding
PS spoke to the paper circulated in advance of the meeting. It was noted that in
addition to having direct control over the budgets specifically referred to in the paper
the NP would also influence mainstream service provision by the Council and partner
LDC Community Grants
Paper circulated.
Grants will be transferred to NP Boards.
Housing Area Board Neighbourhood Improvement Programme
PS explained that the North Area Board had covered part of the new Inverleith
NP area as well as the Forth NP, but that the budget was now broken down
between NP’s based on the number of council houses in each. The Area
Board had agreed a Neighbourhood Improvement Programme (NIP) of
projects, several of which were in Drylaw/Telford, resulting in more money
being spent in the Inverleith ward than its new budget allocation. One option
was for the Forth NP to meet this overspend (£81,692) which would result in
£56,190 still to be allocated to new projects in Forth. The NP Board wanted
more details of the individual projects identified in both Inverleith and Forth
NP’s before coming to a decision. It was agreed PS would report back to the
next NP Board.
Action: PS
Community Regeneration Fund/Community Voices
Councillor Morris asked for a report on Self Monitoring Annual Reports for all
projects funded in 2006/07 to be presented at the next meeting, even if final
accounts hadn’t yet been audited.
Action: MMcC
It was noted that Capital City Partnership would be reviewing all CRF-funded
projects in North Edinburgh in the late summer.
PS advised that the CRF and Community Voices budget of £1,901,269 has
been completely allocated, although following the establishment of Services
for Communities discussion needs to take place on the £71,864 awarded to
NEAR for support costs.
Setting Priorities and Forward Planning
The possibility of a specific open day to introduce the NP and AG’s was
discussed, but it was felt that it would be more successful to publicise them at
community events which were already established.
PS noted that the Council had set up NP Induction training and Councillor
Morris gave informal feedback on the event she had attended. All NP Board
members will have the opportunity to attend future induction events if they
wish, although the preference was for a local Forth NP event, which could
include a session on Community Scotland’s Standards for Community
There was a discussion on how the NP Board and AG’s would set priorities,
and it was noted that the NP Board would set the vision and key priorities in
the Community Plan and ensure that the AG’s worked to this. It was agreed
that the chairs of the AG’s should prepare a first draft of the vision statement
based on existing NEAR planning and strategy documents and the
Regeneration Outcome Agreement for discussion at the next meeting of the
NP Board.
Action: AG chairs
Constitution and Protocol Framework
Copies of the Constitution and Protocol Framework were circulated.
Paula Aldin-Scott advised that the Edinburgh Youth Council have requested 3
seats on each NP and may have some funding for community engagement.
The meeting felt that Youth Council reps would be better advised to become
active members of their local Community Councils. SH noted that the
Children, Young People & Families AG was also looking at this issue.
Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be a public meeting on Thursday 6 th September at 7pm
(6.15pm for Council surgery and tea/coffee) at West Pilton Neighbourhood