E-Newsletter Spring 2022

Leith Ward Virtual Hustings

We are hosting an online hustings on Tuesday 26 April 2022 from 18:30 on Zoom.

This is an opportunity for you to ask questions of the candidates and hear their responses, which may help you to get to know them a little better and perhaps help you decide on your voting intention.

All candidates have been invited to attend, the candidates standing in this election are;

  • Scottish Green Party – BOOTH, Chas

  • Scottish Labour Party – FACCENDA, Katrina

  • Scottish Family Party: Pro-Family, Pro-Marriage, Pro-Life – ISSERI, Jacqueline Mary

  • Independent – MACKENZIE, Andy

  • Alba Party for independence – MCGLYNN, Euan

  • Scottish National Party (SNP) – MCVEY, Adam

  • Scottish Conservative and Unionist – PERCHARD, Teresa

  • Scottish Liberal Democrats – REA, Robin Thomas

The hustings will be chaired by Jim Scanlon MBE, Chairperson of Leith Links Community Council.

We expect all participants to conduct themselves in a dignified manner being respectful to all those participating. The Chairperson has the authority, if required, to remove any persons from the meeting.

When booking a ticket please note that the Zoom link will be sent to you on Tuesday 26 April 2022 between 12noon & 5pm. Please be sure to check your inbox and your spam/junk folder.

Please submit any questions in advance, even if you are not attending by emailing

Future of Custom House

The City of Edinburgh Council will consider a feasibility report on the future of Custom House at its Culture and Communities Committee meeting due to be held on Tuesday 26 April 2022.

The report being laid before Councillors in the name of Paul Lawrence, the Councils Executive Director of Places guides them towards the future of Customs House being ‘Mixed-use community and creative hub’, which not be in keeping in with the previously expressed wishes of the Leith community.

We at Leith Links Community Council encourage our community to read the report, and to make their views known to Leith Ward Councillors as soon as possible before the meeting. The Leith Ward Councillors are;

The meeting can be viewed live, or after the event by clicking this link.

The report being considered can be viewed by clicking here.

Leith Links Boules

When the tennis courts were installed on Leith Links some years ago now, a boules court (rink? piste?) was built alongside, between the courts and the defunct bowling green clubhouse building. So far so good!

BUT – nobody ever put signs up to tell park users that the boules court was there, or to explain what the fenced area with a lovely flat sand and grit surface was for! As a result, the court has really hardly ever been used for boules, which is very sad as boules is a great game that is accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

What is boules? (pronounced ‘boolz’ in English)

Well, if you’ve been to France, you’ve probably seen it played in every park and village square! The French call it ‘petanque’ as well as ‘boules’ The Italians also play – they call it ‘bocce’. It’s a fun and sociable game based on similar principles to bowling or curling -2 players or players in 2 teams try to get their balls as close as possible to a small jack. But instead of rolling or sliding, the balls are tossed.

You can find plenty examples on YouTube if you want to see what it’s all about, here are a couple:

A game of Boules often seems to go very well with warm evenings and a wee glass of something.

How will it work on Leith Links?

Step 1 – get the court refurbished – sadly it has been used as a dog pen, which means the surface is badly degraded, but we have persuaded the Council to refurbish it, and that is being done currently. It’s now just waiting for some weedkiller and a top dressing surface of grit.

Step 2 – try to stop people with dogs using it as a dog toilet / exercise pen / digging area, so that the surface stays flat and clean. Signs have been put up. We hope that people will take their dogs elsewhere in the Links once they realise that the court is in use.

Step 3 – have a grand re-launch of the court one day soon, when the refurbishment is complete. We will keep you posted. Everyone is invited, please come and join in! We can play some demo games, explain the rules and hopefully get some expert playing tips from the legendary Trinity Petanque Club. Then everyone can play, whenever they want to.

Sadly, there’s no seating near the court, so please bring your own chair if you feel the need to sit down in between times.

Step 4 – maybe we can set up a regular day / evening every week in the summer when people can come along and know that there will be games going on.

See you there soon!

I haven’t got any boules! How can I get some?

Well, do try to borrow some if you can but if not just come along anyway - we will try to ensure that there are sets that can be shared / borrowed on the launch day. If you decide you like the game you may want to buy your own eventually. There are various kinds of boules. Like so many things, you get what you pay for…. If you search online, you’ll find that you can get a plastic set (8 boules and a jack) for well under £10, a chrome or other metal set for around £18-£20, or a rust proof steel set from £25 upwards (and upwards….)

Any of these will do (don’t get wooden ones though).

£eith Chooses update

£eith Chooses 2021-2022 was launched on the 1st of September 2021. £46,106 from the Council’s Community Grant Fund was topped up by generous donations of £5,000 each from Port of Leith Housing Association and from Trams to Newhaven, making £56, 106 in total available for the ‘winning’ community projects.

20 community groups / charities applied, and voting was held online throughout the last week of January 2022. More than 1,000 voters took part. Participatory Budgeting!

The results were announced on 15th February. On the basis of the votes received for each, funding was allocated to 13 projects, and partial funding was allocated to one further project. The money has now been disbursed and the groups now have one year in which to carry out the project and deliver the proposed outcomes.

All the projects are very worthwhile and will benefit members of the Leith community in various ways. We look forward to hearing news of how the projects are going, as the year progresses.

Stinky Seafield

Many years of campaigning – and many of us complaining – have finally had some effect!

Over the last couple of years, your complaints via our website, have landed in the inboxes of everyone from officials at the Council, Veolia Seafield, Scottish Water, SEPA, to local councillors, MSPs, MPS, and even the Government Minister responsible.

And our MSP readily admits that our campaigning – and your complaining – have been a significant factor in these Scottish Government commitments:

· Over the next 2 years £10 million is being spent to improve the existing facilities;

· From £2029, £100 million will be spent creating a new, state-of-the-art Facility.

The planning, scoping and commissioning for the first spend has already begun, and over the next two years considerable work will be carried out to make the Plant much more effective in controlling odour. In addition, Veolia are committed to trying to restrict maintenance work to the winter months, outside April-September, to minimise smells in the summer season.

But make no mistake, this is an out-of-date, second-hand facility which it’s acknowledged is not fit for purpose. Late March’s spell of good weather demonstrated that only too stinkily!

The catchment for Seafield includes the whole of Edinburgh, and much of East, Mid and West Lothian. Add to this the growing numbers of houses being built in all these areas.

Then factor in the growing likelihood of extreme weather events caused by global warming, and we have a fairly toxic mix which it will take a truly state-of-the-art Facility to handle.

There is no doubt that we are seeing progress, but this is such a long saga that we don’t dare hold our breaths – and we will still have to hold our noses for some time!

So please don’t let up on the reporting! Click on the yellow box on the right of our home page and complete the form, it only takes a couple of minutes. And it reaches a lot of people in power!

Community news

Friends of Leith Community Centre

Leith Community Centre are inviting the local community to become a Friend of Leith Community Centre.

This new scheme introduces exclusive events, discounts and opportunities for members, as well as offering early bird opportunities or various learning, health and social opportunities. As well as being given a voice in how the Community Centre is managed.

Becoming a Friend is free,
for more information or to sign up click here.

Leith Festival 2022

Leith Festival is back for 2022.

The Gala Day on Leith Links will be held on Saturday 11 June 2022.

Keep an eye on their social media for updates and their full programme. Click here to visit their Facebook page.

Copyright (C) 2022 Leith Links Community Council. All rights reserved.

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