Annual General Meeting held on Monday December 8th 2003 at the Unionist Club, 5 Duncan Street

Present: Rosy Addison, Elma Alexander & Mike Hunter, Ellen Gurman Bard, Philip Bennett, Irene Brown, Sandra & Ian Carter, Brian & Deborah Charlesworth, Mike & Dorothy Cloughley, Nicki Figuerola, Jackie Grant, Jane Griffiths, Robert Gurdon, Evelynne & Ron Hill, Peter McGowan, Stella Pryde, Jeff & Jane Robinson, Alastair Scouller, Colin Stevenson, Hugh Stuart, Chris Theobald, Gordon & Ann Turner Thomson, Alan Westlake, Chris Warlaw & Cathie Sudlow, Cllr Gordon Mackenzie.

Apologies: Mrs M Muir, Cllr Mackintosh

Minutes of AGM 03/12/02: Tabled and approved

Annual report (Brian Charlesworth, Hon. Secretary)

The aims of the Association are: first, to monitor and advise on planning within the West Blacket area; second, to promote social events for members and residents.

During 2003. We have succeeded in obtaining removal of razor wire in South Gray Street, with help from Cllr Fred Mackintosh. A proposed merger with the Blacket Association has been abandoned, from lack of enthusiasm on their part. We have commented on the Blacket Conservation Area appraisal documents. We have discussed controversial HMO applications in Minto Street, although strictly outwith our remit. We have objected to the speed camera in Minto Street as unsightly and intrusive. We have invited suggestions for improvements in arrangements for traffic and parking in West Blacket.

In discussion: The West Blacket area includes the whole of Minto Street on both sides. Cllr Mackenzie confirmed that in Edinburgh an HMO licence is now required for any house with 3 or more unrelated tenants: in Glasgow there is a quota of 20% such licences within a street.

Treasurer's report (Evelynne Hill, Hon. Treasurer)

This report was tabled and approved. Most income is from subscriptions (57 members in 33 households), with some donations and bank interest. Expenditure covers affiliation to the Cockburn Association, newsletters and stationery. There remains a healthy bank balance.

In discussion: Ann Turner Thomson proposed using funds to promote social events. Brian encouraged members to propose social events.

Neighbourhood Watch report (Stella Pryde)

The Watch committee regretted lack of support and crime reports from Lothian and Borders Police during 2003, despite strenuous efforts by Stella Pryde, Jane Griffiths and Robert Gurdon to obtain these. Cllr Mackenzie suggested the reorganisation of the Edinburgh police into a single division may have been responsible. With resolution of these problems expected soon, Stella invited residents to join the Watch committee.

Election of Officers & Committee

Nominations to all posts were invited from WBA members, and there was an invitation to anyone who would like to be co-opted to join the committee.

The following were duly nominated, seconded and elected:

Chairman: Brian Charlesworth, 39 Minto St, 662 1725
Hon. Secretary: Mike Hunter, 40 Upper Gray Street, 667 1767
Hon. Treasurer: Evelynne Hill, 37 Upper Gray Street, 667 0675
Planning: Ian Carter, 3 Bartholomew House, 12 Duncan Street
Neighbourhood Watch: Stella Pryde, Jane Griffiths
Committee Members:
Irene Brown, Jackie Grant, Jeff Robinson, Chris Theobald

Local History

Following the formal business of the AGM, Ron Hill gave a presentation 'Upper & South Gray Streets in the 19th Century from Maps and Census Returns'.