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Emma Dempsey, 2013 Candidate Statement

I have lived in Portobello for eight years with my husband and two young children. I work in the field of health and community development. I regularly consult and work alongside communities across Edinburgh to support change and reduce inequalities.

If elected I would work hard to represent the views of our community. Not just from the voices that are often heard, but also from those who are less confident or unable to let their opinions be known.

I want to help make Portobello the best it can be for everyone living here.

Brian Cosford, 2013 Candidate Statement

I’m a recently retired university lecturer and a Portobello resident for thirty years. My children attended Towerbank primary school and Portobello High School and during that time I was an active member of the PTA and School Boards of both schools.

I now have a granddaughter at Towerbank nursery and, since retiring two years ago, I have time to become more involved in debate and discussion about local issues and helping to represent the views of the community on these issues. I support the building the high school in Portobello Park.

Mark Cameron, 2013 Candidate Statement

I’m a native of Edinburgh and have loved Portobello since childhood. Porty was the obvious choice for bringing up my own family and has been home for 7 years. I am passionate about the potential of the strong community here to achieve positive change and believe that the Community Council has an important role in making Porty the best place it can be. I will work to make it open, inclusive and dynamic, engaging with and properly representing the views of the community on issues that matter. This includes supporting the building of a new high school on Portobello Park.

Max Blinkhorn


I love living in Porty. Since moving here in 2010, I’ve found it to be crammed with interesting and energetic people of all ages, from all walks of life.

My principle interest is the sailing club where I am an active member and with others, have worked hard at developing the very successful Wednesday night kid’s sessions. I have recently qualified as an RYA instructor so that we can train our sailing families in a more professional way and the club plans to expand this success to other nights and progressively obtain better facilities. It’s my personal wish to see the return of the Watersports centre and have a place where water users, whether rowers, fishermen, kayakers, sailors or swimmers can share the common facilities required to participate in their sports.

My involvement in sailing and rowing has given me a strong awareness of the need to look after our beach. It’s a precious thing and more than just a patch of sand. Along with others who share my passion for the beach, I intend to organise further clean ups of the areas that sometimes get neglected and ensure it’s a space for everyone to enjoy. In my work as a community councillor, I aim to represent the interests of all beach and Promenade users, protect the beach environment and find ways to get the most out of our best asset.

With a 12 year old daughter, I am a staunch supporter of “The School in the Park” but also sincerely hope that once the matter is resolved and the dust settles, the community can move on and bury its differences.

As a cycle and train commuter, I’d like to see Portobello station reopened as part of the Borders Railway project and Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement project, both of which will result in an expansion of services along the route into Edinburgh. I believe this would result in a significant reduction of traffic through Portobello centre and I urge everyone to find out how cycling and public transport can work for them.

Gilberstoun Residents Association (GRA)

The GRA have been members of Portobello Community Council since 2011.

The association was formally established in November 2010, as a direct result of green belt housing plans. The group aims are: to safeguard and promote the interests of residents in the area on matters concerning housing, and the environment of the area, along with the social and community life of the area. Working towards good relations amongst all members of the community.

Since our formation the GRA has built excellent working links with the Newcraighall Residents Association, Local Councillors, our MSPs and our MPSs, as well as the PCC.

Gilberstoun is probably the furthest away constituency from Portobello town centre and prior to our involvement in the PCC sometimes it felt that were not best connected to what is going on around us. Through our involvement however, we have been able to make our immediate community aware of wider community issues so as that our view could be clearly articulated in PCC discussions. For example articulating our views over the development of housing in the green belt, the redevelopment of the former Big W site, developments at Fort Kinnaird and proposals for the new Portobello High School.

Our position on the Community Council helps to ensure that one of Portobello’s remotest communities continues to have an influence over policy decisions that affect us all.

Contact GRA