“It’s been a busy year!” GDCC Chair’s Report 2020

Art on Gorgie Road during lockdown 2020. Image credit: Sufly9

In this post GDCC Chair Joan Gordon looks back on the highlights of 2020 for GDCC, and shares her thanks to everyone in the Gorgie Dalry community for looking out for each other during this difficult time.

It has been a great and busy year for GDCC. It has been particular spectacular for me as this was my first year as Chair. Obviously, we have been very busy with the challenges raised by Covid-19, and it was great to be recognised by the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Community Councils as being one of the first Community Councils to move our Public Meetings online. I think we only missed one meeting because of Covid-19, in April because going into lockdown happened so quickly. I would like to thank our members who got us all organised on Zoom, spread the word on social media, and reached out to digitally excluded residents with our poster and leaflet campaign. It is a bit different, it is a bit difficult, but it has also been great to continue to meet as a community.

One of my highlights this year was the big meeting about saving Gorgie City Farm (now LOVE Gorgie Farm) in November 2019. It was wonderful to see all those people coming together to save the farm, to have their say, and then creating a ‘Friends of the Farm’ group and going on to do crucial fundraising. That really shows what the Community Council is about, as being a space and place for people to meet and share information, to be a conduit for community action.

This work as a conduit has continued, despite us now unable to meet in person. What I have encouraged as chair, and what members have done with their social media skills and the new website, is for GDCC to be a source of information for local people, and to create a gathering place where local people can come to for help and assistance in these difficult
times. I am thrilled that we have become an information hub for the community, and especially our work in sharing and encouraging local community and activist groups to apply for grants.

Another prominent issue this year has been the fight about large student accommodation developments in our area. We have had plenty of developers come to present and speak with us about them, where we have asked many questions and scrutinised proposals. It has been a big issue in the past year, and is likely to be in the future. The Roseburn Link and Cycle Path plans have also generated a lot of discussion and debate, as have the Spaces for People scheme, and we were pleased to host a meeting about the scheme between local residents and business owners and the City of Edinburgh Council Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes in August.

As we begin planning a very different Christmas in 2020, I want to look back at our lovely Community Christmas celebrations in 2019. We hosted a Christmas party with local community organisations and local schools, ran our ‘Best Dressed Christmas Window’ and ‘Christmas Poster’ competition. Notably, 2019 was the first year we switched the lights on our very own planted Christmas tree in White Park! It was an excellent Christmas community event, and thank you to everyone who worked hard to make that happen.

Well done to everyone, and thank you very much. That we can still hold meetings online is wonderful, but I have to say, I cannot wait to get back around the table in the church hall!

Joan Gordon
GDCC Chair
October 5th 2020

This report was given at the GDCC Annual General Meeting on October 5th 2020.

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