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Maureen Child Update 28 August

Dear All

A day of activities for all the family a Craft Skill Festival on Saturday at Craigmillar Castle as part of the Festival. See here: Craigmillar Castle Event

Portobello Sandcastle Competition this weekend alongside the Big Beach Busk! More about the completion and this coming Monday’s Portobello Community Counicl Meeting here: Portobello Community Council

The Portobello Village Show takes place the following Sunday. September 6th .  How to get involved here:  What’s on at Portobello Village Show

The Portobello Book Festival is launching its programme next week, when it will become available on the website (  The programme will also be available at the Book Festival’s stall at the Village Fair on the afternoon of Sunday 6 September in Rosefield Park (

I have been nagging about the installation of anti-pigeon netting at the Brighton Place/Southfield Place. Network Rail is now looking to do the inspection during 6 night time road sessions between 7 – 15 September. We anticipate that the Council’s bridges team Contractor will follow Network Rail and erect the bird netting immediately after Network Rail have completed their work.

The cycling hub at Hunter’s Hall Park, Niddrie Mains Road is has reached a second stage.  Following study visit down south, the design team are considering a number of amendments to the original brief. A Stage 1 funding application has been submitted to Sport Scotland. The final design will require planning consent so there will be more opportunities for community comment and input. If all goes according to plan, the estimated completion date is autumn 2016, with any upgrading of the Jack Kane Centre Sports Centre and Community Wing later, subject to funding. Two potential sites in west Edinburgh for a closed road loop are currently being assessed. Committee report link here: Update on Cycling Hub and Closed Road Loop

Grab a Grant for Autumn!  Action Earth is helping to get people and communities busy outdoors.  The campaign has grants to give to groups of volunteers who are carrying out environmental projects in Scotland. Grants from £50 to £250 are available for practical activities that involve volunteers in improving outdoor spaces or creating habitats for wildlife. Grants can be used to purchase plants, tools and materials or to cover volunteer expenses. The campaign is run by Volunteering Matters (formerly known as CSV) from April to December each year and is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage. If you have any questions contact Robert Henderson  on T: 0131 622 7766 or For more information  and to apply online go to: Action Earth Grants

The Borders Railway open very soon.  The stops and opportunities along the way are being promoted, locally and more widely and on social media.  The train stops at Newcraighall just an 11 minute trip from Edinburgh Waverley. This former mining village of Newcraighall, is the setting of the Bill Douglas film ‘My Childhood’. The village is also home to a sculpture celebrating its mining tradition by Jake Harvey. At Brunstane Station, the trip to Edinburgh Waverley takes 9 minutes. Brunstane is billed as being near the campus of Edinburgh College and the best stop on the line for Portobello beach. A group of children form Brunstane Primary School will have the opportunity of sharing the official opening and journey with the Queen.

The changes to parking in the city are explained here: Parking Changes Explained  Read the full report to Committee here: Draft Parking Action Plan

The Portobello Market is on Saturday 5th September. The Caleerie Buskers will be on site to add some light entertainment to the day as well.

Loyal regulars are there with their organic meats, breads, fruit & veg, oils, cheeses, coffee, pies, chutneys, together with garden furniture, crafts and jewellery, sandwiches and fresh brewed coffee. 24 traders in all. Check out the PEDAL website for more details and for a full list of stallholders. 9.30am to 1.30pm, Brighton Park on Brighton Place, Portobello. Please Like and Share the Facebook page: Porty Market on Facebook

Duddingston Primary School and St John’s RC Primary School are in the first group of schools to have ‘school streets’ introduced which restricts vehicles at the peak morning and afternoon at peak times when children and going to and from school.  Information on this and how to get a residents permit: Apply for your School Streets Permit | School Streets Permit | The City of Edinburgh Council

Do you volunteer in Edinburgh? Can you spare a moment to take our short survey and help shape the future? Volunteering Survey

Are you, or is someone you know, living in Edinburgh and struggling financially? The Edinburgh Trust might be able to help. See more here: The Edinburgh Trust

You or someone you know may be bothered by high hedges that are overgrowing and casting big unwelcome shadows over neighbouring houses gardens and blocking light.  There is action that those affected can take under relatively new legislation.  To make an application for a High Hedge Notice, visit the Council web page and read the information contained there. You can access the relevant pages by clicking here. The Guidance for High Hedge Applications explains the High Hedge Notice process and what you are required to do prior to making an application.
Have a good weekend!

Best wishes



Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481| Twitter @MaureenChild1

p.s. My face-to-face Councillor Advice Sessions, or ‘Surgeries’, are usually every Monday at 5.30 pm in Castleview Community Centre, 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue (Phone 661 4064) and then at 7 pm in Portobello Library, 14 Rosefield Avenue (Phone 529 5558).  Now also at Craigmillar Library, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4DT, 1st Wednesday of the month, drop-in session 5pm-5.30pm, thereafter by appointment only up until 7.30pm. Please phone me on Direct Line 0131 529 3268 or Mobile 07718 666 481, or email to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.


Maureen Child Update 21 August 2015

Dear All

It’s Fabulous Friday at the Garden Globe project drop in today (Friday) at 1pm at the Jack Kane Centre,208 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4ND.  So if you fancy seeing the wonders of growing then do go along. I trust this young person is relaxing after a spot of digging or weeding!  My last visit inspired me to plant some late lettuce, radish and coriander seeds. Getting into gardening again!

Do you need help with the garden and fancy sharing it with someone else who is keen to grow things but doesn’t have the garden ground to do it in – or are you that keen gardener with not enough to do?  Garden Partners might be for you:

To enter the first Edinburgh Living Landscape photography competition, all you need to do is submit a photo of one of the city’s floral meadows or natural grasslands by 11 September 2015 and you could win some great prizes, including annual membership to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, exclusive prizes from Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, 6 month membership to Edinburgh Leisure, a professional photography session and tickets to the Usher Hall Sunday Classics series. Your photos can by of anything that highlights the beauty of these natural green spaces or how they can be enjoyed.

The new park to be made at the site of the current Portobello High and St John’s Primary Schools needs a name. Your suggestions, please. How does a park get its name?:  How to name a park

The Council’s parks and greenspaces people are leading a project to apply for EU funding to implement parkland in south –east Edinburgh with match funding. The Council are also exploring a first stage of works to install footpaths and cycle ways. Key stakeholders include the Council’s development company PARC, BioQuarter, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission; Edinburgh & Lothian Greenspace Trust, Sustrans and the Royal Botanical Gardens.  The current outline proposal is based on the previous masterplan, drawn up as a result of PARC’s Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan consulted and completed in 2012/13.  A PAN (Planning Application Notice) Council Proposal was submitted in July and a community event is planned for the autumn.  Meanwhile, a different PAN which includes a smaller area of parkland, housing and a two stream primary school has been drawn up by Sheraton Ltd Sheraton Proposal  I have asked at Committee that the two ‘competing’ proposals be dealt with and consulted upon in parallel and that some assistance be offered to Craigmillar Community Council to carry out an in-depth consultation on the proposals.

Two weeks to the first Art Walk Porty – 3-6 September 2015 –  bringing art to the public space of the beach and prom, along with artist open studios, and small pop-ups in many high street shops. Programme just announced – view at

Date for your family diary:  The Ceilidh Kids are planning a fundraiser in Portobello and Joppa Church on Saturday 19 September 2.30pm to 4pm.  It’s in aid of a charity providing art therapy for children with chronic illness The Teapot Trust.

Hate Crime is any criminal offence committed against an individual or property that is motivated by a person’s hatred of someone because of his or her actual or perceived race, religion, transgender identity, sexual orientation or disability.  Everyone has the right to live safely and without fear. No two individuals are ever the same, so it’s up to all of us to embrace individuality and help put an end to hate crime by reporting it.  This is the kind of thing that we need to stop happening: One Hate Crime Story .  Here’s the form for reporting this kind of crime: Hate Crime Secure Reporting

Cycling Scotland is running School Camps. Apply now for Cycling Scotland School Camps this year.  Deadline for applications is 5pm on11 September.

Fresh Start is a great initiative that provides a range of services that support the resettlement of homeless people in the community.

More about initial proposals for a City Deal that would see greater autonomy and decision making powers, increased opportunities for learning and skills development and investment in infrastructure.  Film here: City Deal

The Council’s new three year voluntary sector grant programme 2016-2019 is now open for applications in the education, children and families area of work. Please see all the details here on the EVOC website: Three Year Grant Programme

The pigeon netting at Brighton Place/Southfield Place railway bridge is proceeding to a conclusion.  The tenders came in last week and the award should be this week with the work staring end August or early September.  I will let you know of positive dates as soon as I have them.

Newcraighall Road rail bridge repairs mean there will be a night time road closure on Saturday 9pm to Sunday 9am.

The Community Empowerment Bill was passed and the Scottish Government have usefully provided answers to frequently asked questions about what it means: Community Empowerment Bill FAQs

A recent report to the Council’s Culture and Sport Committee detailed library service achievements such as a 2% increase in visits to libraries and 16% increase to special events, a 4% rise in transactions, significant upgrades to buildings and an expansion of digital services.  This includes a new library at Craigmillar, now the second biggest library in Edinburgh with lots of great things going on in partnership, not least the fabulous Books for Babies, which got a glowing independent review. Edinburgh City Libraries recently won the annual Jodi Awards for best use of technology to widen access to information, learning, collections and creativity for disabled people in museums, libraries, archives and heritage. More here: Tales of One City

As a result of a funding agreement between the Edinburgh Council and Police Scotland, the local police have two ‘named’ Council funded officers in post. The two officers for the Craigmillar and Portobello are PC Louise Gordon and PC Martin Wood.  The local police continue to have a seconded police officer placed within the East Hub to complete full liaison with the Council and work alongside funded officers.

When is high tide at Porty? You can now check Portobello Beach Tide Times

Local charity, the Thistle Foundation are expanding their service and looking holding a recruitment open day looking for personal assistants to help people with disabilities and long term conditions to live great lives on Thursday 27 August, from 10am-2pm at Wighton House, Craigmillar, EH16 4EA. Thistle Open Days

Local resident and Friend of Figgate Park, Anthony Robson was on STV stalking about their fundraising for bat boxes in the park. More here: Figgate Park on STV

Whatever you do, enjoying the Festival or sunshine or rain, have a great weekend!

Best wishes



Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481| Twitter @MaureenChild1

Maureen Child Update 14 August 2015

Dear All

Thanks for the feedback from last week! For the avoidance of doubt, the final surface will on Brighton Place will be setts – I’m 99.9% certain.

New pigeon netting is due to go back on Brighton Place/Southfield Place Bridge to keep the pesky pooping pigeons away after Network Rail have inspected the bridge and make sure they don’t have to go in and run any new netting.  That is due to happen mid August and the Council can replace their damaged netting soon after – if all goes according to plan….

This weekend, make your bicycle more secure. Sunday 16 August, the local police will be on Portobello Promenade 11am – 1pm for – Bike Marking

Next weekend is the last Scottish Beach Volleyball event of the year in Portobello, of course – where else?!  Beach Volleyball Poster

Proposals for development of housing, a park and new primary school at Edmonstone Estate Public Exhibition – Tuesday 18th August, 3.30pm to 7.30pm, Hays Business Centre, Hays Avenue Proposals have been put forward by Sheratan Ltd to deliver housing, a new primary school and parkland at Edmonstone Estate, situated at Little France.  The land is in the Green Belt.  The Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) that came to Committee on Wednesday – mysteriously – did not mention a new Primary School.  At Committee alongside the PAN for this development was a PAN from the Council in conjunction with Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) for parkland, no houses.  At Committee, I asked for the two ‘competing’ developments to be considered alongside each other and – if possible – some consultation to be parallel as well.  We should also know more about how each project is to be achieved financially.  Craigmillar Community Council should also be offered support to help consult as widely as possible with the community. It will be of interest more widely in East Edinburgh and beyond, no doubt.  Links to the two PANs are here: Sheraton Ltd and the Council/ELGT application:

Usefully, Portobello Community Council have put up on their website a summary of Planning Applications and Decisions for week commencing 10 August 2015.  Click here: Portobello Community Council

On behalf of the Council, Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) is gathering ideas, suggestions and thoughts about the design and layout of the new park on the site of the current Portobello High School and will be built alongside a new St John’s Primary School. and will running consultation sessions across the Portobello & Craigmillar and the Craigentinny & Duddingston Neighbourhood Partnership areas. They aim to reach as wide a cross section of the community as possible, and to gather all the thoughts and ideas of what the new park might look like and contain. Some of these events and activities are already planned, but you would like to arrange an event, or for ELGT to attend a community event or meeting, please do not hesitate get in touch.  As we go along, we will be promoting the events that we will be attending, and how everyone can get involved.  We will be sending out periodic emails, but you can also follow us on Twitter, on Facebook and by signing up to follow the website so that you are automatically notified of new content and news.

The new park’s website is:

The Twitter account is: @EH15_NewPark

The Facebook page is:

No matter how people take part, ELGT will ensure that every suggestion and idea is logged and taken on board – there will be a chance to look at some draft final designs and have your say before a final design is chosen. Hopefully it will be a busy few months – please do not hesitate to contact us, especially with regards ensuring that as many people as possible have the opportunity to take part. Any feedback is gladly received.

The John Muir Trust has a fab new website:

The latest Clean Up Scotland newsletter is available here: If you have any stories or pictures which you would like to feature in their next newsletter please do not hesitate to send them in.

Porty Youth Theatre have taken their show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and got a good review.  See here: Alice in Wonderland Review

Portobello resident and jazz musician, Dick Lee is also performing in the Fringe Festival including four shows at Venue 67, Valvona and Crolla’s Little Theatre at 19 Elm Row. Tickets are available from the Fringe Box Office and also Valvona and Crolla’s Box Office (0131 556 7800). More here:

The Big Beach Busk takes place next weekend.  Details here: Big Beach Busk  You can get a poster from Skylark on Porty High Street and help spread the word.

You can find out how castles were built in a fringe event next weekend run by Historic Scotland at Craigmillar Castle, a whole day of activities on 29 August: Craigmillar Castle Event

Consultation on revised Developer Contributions and Affordable Housing Guidance  The Second Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP June 2014) sets out a new approach to developer contributions and the delivery of infrastructure linked closely with the second proposed Action Programme (Updated May 2105). The Action Programme sets out the infrastructure, including education, transport, and greenspace actions, required to help mitigate the impact of strategic and planned growth and to deliver the proposals identified within the Plan.  Policies Del1 (Developer Contributions) and Del2 (Retrospective Developer Contributions) of the Second Proposed Plan require developer contributions from any development if:

  1. It will have a net impact on infrastructure capacity; and
  2. It is necessary to mitigate that impact by providing additional capacity or otherwise improving existing infrastructure.

To support this new approach, planning guidance on how the Council collects Developer Contributions and the approach to Affordable Housing has been updated.

A questionnaire has been provided on the Consultation Hub – here, to guide you through the proposed changes.

Responses to this consultation should be provided by Friday 25 September 2015.

If you have any queries regarding the consultation or the guidance please contact Kate Hopper on 0131 529 6232 or via email

Scottish Government is consulting on how our coastlines should be managed.  Scotland’s first National Marine Plan provides a framework for sustainable management of our valuable marine resource, ensuring that we all continue to benefit from it in future. Marine Scotland, the directorate of Scottish Government with responsibility for integrated management of Scotland’s seas, has identified a lack of essential information about how people use the sea for recreation and tourism. This survey aims to change that. See here: Marine Recreation and Tourism Survey

There will be a training event on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2016 Roadshow across Scotland and we have one in The White House, Craigmillar.  More here : SIMD16 Event

A plug for our wonderful Portobello Citizens Advice Bureau 8a&b, Bath Street, EH15 1EY Telephone: 0131 669 9503  Please note that we cannot guarantee to see everyone at drop in sessions so we operate the sessions on a first come, first served basis.  Please arrive as early as possible for the drop in sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, as we fill up very quickly and may not be able to see you. Opening Hours Monday 9.30 – 16.30 (Appointment Only) Tuesday 9.30 – 12.30 (Drop In) 12.30 – 16.30 (Appointment Only) Wednesday 9.30 – 16.30 (Appointment Only) 18.30 – 19.30 (Evening session is on alternate weeks) Thursday 9.30 – 12.30 (Drop In)  12.30 – 16.30 (Appointment Only) Friday 9.30 – 16.30 (Appointment Only).  More here:  CAB Info

Are you living in Edinburgh and are struggling financially? Or maybe someone you know?  The Edinburgh Trust might be able to help you.

Fifteen days to go and almost half way there with crowd funding bat boxes with the Friends of Figgate Park.  Bats are cute, they eat insects like midges, and they need good places to roost and raise their young.  Bat Box Fund

The Council recently updated the website so you can also find your bin days, request a replacement bin, request a special uplift and find more information on waste and recycling services. You can also Pay, Report and Request services on the website whenever, and wherever, you are. This makes the Council more accessible to you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They have made it easier for you to get in touch, to respond to requests faster. If it is an emergency, then please contact 0131 529 3030.  You might be asked for your date of birth, which some find strange and intrusive. You don’t have to give it, but here’s the explanation I have for why they are asking:  “The reason we’re asking for customers date of birth is to help us establish a unique identifier which will allow us to link customers records across the various customer databases we hold. This helps us build a single view of the customer which will help the customer view their own information on line and help us offer an improved service to the customer as our Customer Service Advisers (CSA) will see a complete picture of the customers interactions with us. In the future it will also allow us to develop proactive services that will be tailored to that customers needs and circumstances. If the customer registers for our on line services through MyGovAccount, this type of information is gathered during registration and there is no need to ask for it again on future on line contacts as they will be given a user id and password which serves as their unique identifier. Our CSA’s work to a script (below) and explain to the customer why we are asking for the information, they also explain that it is not compulsory for the customer to provide their d.o.b. if they do not wish to do so. ”The City of Edinburgh Council is adding new features to its website which will allow citizens to access their records online. In order to do this we require you to provide us with additional information such as your date of birth. Providing this information is optional and in doing so will enable will enable you to interact electronically with the council”

A preview of the  Art Walk Porty 3-6 September Programme

Have a good weekend.  I’m off to the Big Summer Bash at the Jack Kane Centre and the opening of the fabulous Garden Globe Project at 1pm – the community garden there.  Rain, rain, – GO AWAY!

Best wishes



Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481| Twitter @MaureenChild1

p.s. My face-to-face Councillor Advice Sessions, or ‘Surgeries’, are usually every Monday at 5.30 pm in Castleview Community Centre, 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue (Phone 661 4064) and then at 7 pm in Portobello Library, 14 Rosefield Avenue (Phone 529 5558).  Now also at Craigmillar Library, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4DT, 1st Wednesday of the month, drop-in session 5pm-5.30pm, thereafter by appointment only up until 7.30pm. Please phone me on Direct Line 0131 529 3268 or Mobile 07718 666 481, or email to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.

p.p.s.  Please let me know if you don’t want to receive emails like this from me and I’ll take you off my list.  Equally if you want to share it, please do.

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Maureen Child Update 31 July 2015

Dear All

Is this what passes for summer this year?!  Last Portobello Market was a bit wet and the one before a bit windy, so we should be in for a hot and sunny one!  All the usual traders will be on site, 21 in all. There’s everything from fruit & vegetables, organic meats, oils, bread and freshly brewed coffee, to jewellery and garden crafts. For a full list check the website:  This week BG Cycles will be back to give the bicycle a free once over. Make the most of it as they can’t make it in September. Plus the Caleerie Buskers will keep us entertained. The Market starts at 9.30am and run until 1.30pm in Brighton Park, on Brighton Place, Portobello. Bring your brolly just in case! If you haven’t already, please “like” & “share” us on the Facebook page:

I am delighted that Rosefield Park has been awarded a Green Flag.  More here: Photo I am pleased to announce that Rosefield Park has today been awarded a Green Flag Award!  This is a great achievement and recognises the hard work of the local community, volunteers, partners and staff in raising the quality of this important community park.  The Judges were particularly impressed by the range of features this venue offers which includes a play area, seating, walks, a river , pictorial meadows, a petanque court, and were pleased to meet Friends of the park during their visit.  Within their formal feedback the judges said – “For such a small green space it packs an impressive amount in to what feels like a very secure environment”.  The Green Flag Award Scheme is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK – further information on the judging criteria and this year’s winners is available here.

The Council is launching the first Edinburgh Living Landscape photography competition on Thursday 30 July. The idea is to collect images that show off the city’s natural beauty and how they can be enjoyed.  The parks team are calling on Edinburgh’s budding photographers to capture our floral meadows in bloom for the chance to win great prizes, including membership to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, exclusive prizes from Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, a professional photography workshop, 6 month membership to Edinburgh Leisure and  tickets to the Usher Hall’s Sunday Classics concert series. To enter, we are asking the public to submit a photo of one of Edinburgh’s Living Landscapes and the finalists’ images will be posted on the Edinburgh Outdoors Facebook page for a public vote to select the winner.  The closing date is Friday 11 September at 6pm and then people will be asked to ‘like’ their favourite image between the 16 and 23 September on the Edinburgh Outdoors facebook page. The photograph with the most ‘likes’ will then be chosen as the winner.

Here’s an update on the consultation for the new park which will be built on the site of the old Portobello High School, alongside a new St John’s RC Primary School. Click here:  New Park Consultation

Here we go again for another round of accommodating a growing population in South East Scotland in the coming decades.  This is the point to get really involved with planning in the City Region, well before any individual planning application or land designation comes forward. Follow the links to find out more. The Strategic Development Plan is about long-term planning, setting a vision and spatial strategy for Edinburgh and South East Scotland.  As part of the preparation of the second Strategic Development Plan – SESplan, the Strategic Development Plan Authority, have published a Main Issues Report.  The Main Issues Report is a consultation document which highlights the key challenges facing the region over the next 20 years and presents a series of issues and options on how to address them.  An Easy Read Guide has been prepared.   Key questions include –  where can growth be accommodated and should new housing development be focussed on the city or spread across the region.  Consultation takes place from 21 July 2015 until 30 September 2015.  Hard copies of documents are available in libraries and at Planning Reception, Waverley Court.  A series of events are being hosted by SESplan including drop in events,  Community Council events, touring exhibition and themed events.  Details are available on the SESplan website.   Responses should be submitted via the SESplan Consultation Portal.  Responses will be used to inform the policies in the second Strategic Development Plan.  There will be a community consultation event across the SE Scotland area covered by the plan form the southern area of Fife to the Borders.   23 meetings have been arranged so far.  The one closest to us in Portobello/Craigmillar is the East Edinburgh event on Wednesday 2 September in Portobello Town Hall,  6-8pm

Musselburgh Horticultural Society are holding their Annual Flower Show at the Brunton Hall, Musselburgh, on Saturday 22nd August 2015. The Show is open to everyone, the gates open at 1pm until 3.30pm and costs £1 entry. Do come along to see the flower exhibits, handcrafts, baking, photography section and free face painting for the kids.

Two community events coming up at The White House, 70 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4BG. Afternoon Tea Dance and Sing-along in the Red Room in White House.  Enjoy the chef’s specialist sandwiches, freshly made scones and a cuppa.  All in for only £3. On Wednesday 26 Aug 12.30 to 3pm.  Also on the Friday of that week In Concert, John Connor and Friends 28 August doors open 6.30pm.  Tickets £5.

I know we should all be warm and cosy right now, in summer, but now is the time to plan for when the heating really does have to go back on and how you can save energy and cash.  Local charity and community enterprise, Changeworks can help.  More here:  Helping householders to save energy, save money and stay warm in tenements | Changeworks

It’s all aboard the Borders Railway in a few weeks time. This new rail service from Edinburgh Waverley stops at Brunstane, Newcraighall, Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow and Galashiels, terminating at Tweedbank. Public service from Sunday 6 September. So plan your trip now.

Part of our history, Lothian Bus Garage has been at Kings Road since 1962.  What was there before?  This football ground was part of Portobello’s famous Edwardian entertainment complex, the Marine Gardens. Photo

For the last 30 years, Kenneth Welsh has been collecting champagne corks and perfecting the art of ‘corktature’. The 56-year-old coined the phrase after making figures out of the leftover bottle top, an artistic talent that he says has become an enjoyable hobby over the last three decades.  He exhibits regularly in Portobello Library.  More here: Corkature STV Article

Coastal Rowing in Scotland has seen an incredible rate of growth since the first St Ayles Skiff was launched in May 2010. In the past five years 94 of these beautiful 5-person boats have launched across Scotland.  In Portobello it has contributed greatly to making us into a even more wonderful destination for locals, city dwellers and tourists more widely, whether they participate or just watch.  More here about future developments: Porty and Coastal Rowing

One organ donor can save up to seven lives and allow two people to see again? Join the Organ Donor Register here:  It only takes two minutes and you can do it on line.

Edinburgh City Council is currently rolling out a new recycling service across the city, designed to make recycling for the average householder much more straight forward – for more details, click here: New Recyling Service

Radio 4 devoted the whole 30 minutes of this week’s ‘The Food Programme’ to Portobello’s fabulous social enterprise  Breadshare. The programme asks if the Breadshare model could be a  way to reconnect Scottish people with Scottish food. If you missed the programme, you might still be able to listen to it here.

Once again, Portobello Beach is the venue for national competitive beach volleyball, which is well worth watching – and maybe participating in future. Saturday 22 August – 7am-7pm Sunday 23 August 9am-5pm.  This is the final event in the Scottish Beach Volleyball Tour which take place throughout Scotland. The event will include on the Saturday men’s and women’s 2v2s at National standard and Junior men’s and Junior women’s 2v2s. Then on the Sunday mixed 2s and mixed 4s including juniors and recreational.

The fabulous Health Opportunities Team (HOT) run weekly drop in sessions for young people in four areas including Craigmillar and Portobello. If people want more information about the drop ins they are welcome to email or to check out the HOThoose Facebook page by searching ‘HOThoose’. They also run a service for young people who are affected by their own or their parents substance misuse. HOT also run Feel Good Groups for young people aged 13-18: “Our Feel Good Groups encourage young people aged 13-18 to engage in physical exercise, supported by health education activities, to improve well-being. The Feel Good Project supports vulnerable young people to participate in physical activities which interest them and explore health issues.  By providing them with a range of coping strategies that they can implement in their daily lives we increase confidence and self-esteem”.   There are also two groups that young people can drop in to at the office in Craigmillar. The girls group which takes place on a Monday afternoon and a boys group which takes place on a Friday afternoon.   The Coordinator for this project is Nike Oruh who can be contacted for more information:

A ferry service from North Berwick to Anstruther starts on August 7. The journey takes 45 minutes and sounds well worth a try for a day out.  More here: Ferry to Fife from East Lothian

Best wishes for a great weekend!


Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481| Twitter @MaureenChild1

p.s. My face-to-face Councillor Advice Sessions, or ‘Surgeries’, are usually every Monday at 5.30 pm in Castleview Community Centre, 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue (Phone 661 4064) and then at 7 pm in Portobello Library, 14 Rosefield Avenue (Phone 529 5558).  Now also at Craigmillar Library, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4DT, 1st Wednesday of the month, drop-in session 5pm-5.30pm, thereafter by appointment only up until 7.30pm. Please phone me on Direct Line 0131 529 3268 or Mobile 07718 666 481, or email to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.

p.p.s.  Please let me know if you don’t want to receive emails like this from me and I’ll take you off my list.  Equally if you want to share it, please do.

Become a foster carer with the City of Edinburgh Council

Join the team to get training, fees and 24/7 support

Maureen Child Update 3 July 2015

Dear All

Some peace and quiet for you while I am away on holiday for three weeks; no more updates for a while. Please find below details of who to contact in my absence, if you need to.

Portobello Market is here again tomorrow on Saturday 4 July and maybe (?) the sun will continue to shine. Gates open at 9.30am until 1.30pm at Brighton Park, Portobello. BG Cycles from Portobello High Street will be on site again with Dr Bike for a free bicycle check, and the tables and chairs will be set out for you to stay a while and enjoy the atmosphere. The will be have lots of independent traders as usual.  It’s impossible to name them all here, but there’s everything from handmade soaps, plants, garden furniture and crafts, organic mutton, cheese, condiments, oils, bread to jams, and organic vegetables! We’re spoilt for choice.

Check out the website for further details of all the stallholders.
That’s Brighton Park, 9.30am-1.30pm, Saturday 4 July. If you can, please Like and Share their Facebook page:

Whether you’re off camping in the countryside, barbecuing with friends or enjoying a picnic with the family, you can take some simple steps to protect yourself from danger. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have put together some useful information about deliberate fires, the great outdoors and advice on how you can leave your home ‘fire safe’ if you plan to leave it for an extended period of time. More here: Your Safety | SFRS They also invite you their Open Day at McDonald Road fire station on Saturday 4 July from 11-3.30pm. They could help make your home safer and fit free smoke alarms. Text FIRE to 80800

Night time appraisals of the new energy efficient lighting at St Mary’s Place and Dalkeith Street have been completed and I am told that these checks confirmed that the new lighting met the required British Standard for street lighting. All the same, because of concerns raised by residents, the light output from the new lights will be increased. The lights in St Mary’s Place and Dalkeith Street were already made a bit brighter in May. The lighting team are working through a city wide programme of low energy upgrade works and Argyle Crescent will be completed in the next six working weeks. Mid-summer is probably not the time to do this, but I can arrange for community councillors and residents groups to meet lighting engineers on site one evening to talk this through.

Funding of £36,220 from the Central Scotland Green Network Trust’s Development Fund has given the green light for a new temporary-greening project in Craigmillar being taken forward by Edinburgh Greenspace Trust near to the new kick-about area that young people from Castlebrae Community High School have constructed just to the east of the East Area Office at 101 Niddrie Mains Road.  EDI, Edinburgh Lothian Greenspace Trust and Council are working together to provide temporary greening on the town centre site next to the Neighbourhood Office. This site is earmarked for the new Castlebrae High School, due in 2020. More about Craigmillar developments here:  There are also display boards currently in foyer of The White House, 70 Niddrie Mains Road which show what has happened so far, is happening now and what is planned for the future.

The Robin Chapel in Craigmillar has a new website – – with details of forthcoming services, more images of the Chapel and more information about its fascinating history. Services are held each Sunday at 4pm and all are welcome to attend.

A constituent handed me his copy of the new Historic Scotland magazine (Summer issue) which has a really lovely four-page-long article and pictures called ‘Costume Drama’ at Craigmillar Castle. Photographs of the fabulous Castleview Primary School pupils acting as tour guides, dressed in 16th-century style.  It includes some really great comments from the youngsters and staff about the project and what it has done for the children’s learning, confidence and aspiration for the future.

Looking for fantastic full day or week camps or top class sports coaching here or elsewhere in Edinburgh? Portobello’s Tumbles have some great gymnastics and trampoline courses running in all the holidays and they are running their popular Activator Multi-Activity Camp and sports coaching. Check Out The Summer Kids Activities On Offer! |

It might not be too late to get some volleyball coaching in this year, and certainly it’s not too late to go and watch the action.  Get along to Portobello beach for some fantastic beach volleyball fun. If you are taking part, you will be guided by some of the best coaches and have the chance to play some games in the great outdoors.  More here:.Beach Volleyball Holiday Camp, 13-17 July 2015 (P6/7/S1 age group) – Public Notices

Who’s for tennis, inspired by Wimbledon? There are two excellent tennis courts and with clubhouse in the heart of Joppa. They have been run as a community facility by a voluntary Committee of local people under the ‘wing’ of the Portobello Community Council continuously for over 30 years.  The courts were re-surfaced in 2005 to a high standard providing a durable all weather surface. Find out more about Membership and you can pay to play in the summer holidays very cheaply.  More here:

There are now three City Car Club cars in Portobello (High Street, Windsor Place and at Porty Library) and one next to the Area Office at 101 Niddrie Mains Road, Craigmillar. It’s well worth checking out the many advantages of pay-as-you-drive over owning a car.   Cars available to hire all day for £25 | City Car Club

The LOOPs phone line 0131 603 8311 is a relatively new, dedicated service to help people who are 65 and over living in North East and South West Edinburgh. They can help older people find groups, clubs, social events and services in the local area. Friendly advisers will take your call, talk to you about your needs then get back to you with information as well as details on how to travel to activities. The new phone line aims to help people maintain a good quality of life by giving access to information on activities which can help keep us happy and healthy and social! More here: LOOPS – Local Opportunities for Older People | Help for Older People in Edinburgh

Report full or overflowing communal food, packaging, paper, glass, textiles or general waste bins using this link:

The Church of Scotland is selling St James Church and Hall, 2A and 2B Rosefield Place in Portobello.  Offers over £400,000 .  Details here:,_PORTOBELLO.pdf

Here’s the City’s partnership with the voluntary sector – COMPACT – refreshed for the next five years.  This is a developing partnership with ALL agencies in the city, not just the Council.  At least three of the people closely involved in getting this together (and making sure it gets all the oxygen it needs to become ‘real’ to people) live in Portobello. Surprise! More here:  Compact Strategy – Edinburgh Compact

Pupils make light work of solar power pump for kids centre High school pupils in the Capital have manufactured a solar-powered water heater which will be transported more than 1000 miles to help vulnerable children in Central Europe. Designed by youngsters at Castlebrae Community High, the pump will ensure an education centre in Bulgaria receives hot water.

Another local kids football success –  Newcraighall P7′s won the EPSA Cup beating St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School 4-3. This cup is played for Primary Schools with 250 pupils or less and considering Newcraighall has an occupancy of approx 120, it was some achievement.

Calls to 0800 0778 778, Scottish Water’s Customer Helpline number – among others – are now free from mobiles. See for info.

Lots of people ask me what happens to the recycling we put out for collection.  The answers are on the Council’s website here:

Another link that may be useful for you – to report a problem with a road or pavement:

The neighbourhood group in Magdalene have started their community growing scheme with climate challenge funding from Scottish Government  through the Community Alliance Trust, which also run the White House and the Green House on Niddrie Mains Road.  I am looking forward to the open day on the first Saturday in August. Here’s what they have been up to so far:

Lothian Buses have donated the exterior advertising space of one its buses for a year, to help promote the Company’s 2015 Charity of the Year, Fresh Start. Internal advertising panels will also appear on each of the 650 strong bus fleet with information about the charity.  More here:

Let’s find out what we can do about this! Survey results published in RNIB’s ‘Who Put That There?’ report ( revealed that a third of blind and partially sighted people across the UK had injured themselves when walking around their local areas. Overall, 95% of people said that they had collided with an obstacle.

Remember I am away for three weeks, but the alternative contacts for anything urgent are below.

I hope you have a lovely summer, whatever the weather!

Best wishes



Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481| Twitter @MaureenChild1

p.s. I will not be available to consult over the next three weeks from Monday 6 July as I will be away on holiday, returning to work on Monday 27 July. My email and phone will be answered by my assistant Lorna McCole or another member of the excellent Labour Group staff team, any of whom who will pick up and action anything urgent while I am away.  Alternatively, you have two other Local Councillors, David Walker and Mike Bridgman.  David’s email is and Mike’s is  David’s direct line is 0131 529 4972 and Mike’s is 0131 529 4233.