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Maureen Child Update 09 June 2016

Dear All

While I manage to forget most of the time, I will be descending 167ft from the Forth Rail Bridge – with a rope firmly attached gripped with white knuckles – in aid of The Thistle Foundation this coming Sunday afternoon, 12 June.  Got the T-shirt, and the gritted teeth.  Someone told me last Sunday that she had done it for her 40th Birthday and it was the best thing she ever did. She got wobbly climbing up there, froze at the top before she set off and needed a push to start, but…..  Eeek!…don’t think about it! Thank you  so much to everyone who has sponsored me so far.  If you can and want to contribute to the amazing work of the Thistle and sponsor me to do this really bonkers thing for someone who gets vertigo up a ladder, just click on the link on my sponsorship page:  https://thistlefoundation.everydayhero.com/uk/maureen-abseil

Friday 10 June – tomorrow – is the last day for comments/objections to the proposal to demolish the George Bingo in Bath Street and erect flats instead.  Link to the detail of the application is here: https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=O5XY9TEW0GY00  The planning officers’ assessment will follow in the next few weeks before it goes to Committee for decision. The tests for demolition detailed in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP tests) have not been met, in my view.  No listed building should be demolished unless it has been clearly demonstrated that every effort has been made to retain it. The Council will only approve such applications where they are satisfied that:

  • the building is not of special interest; or
  • the building is incapable of repair; or
  • the demolition of the building is essential to delivering significant benefits to economic growth or the wider community; or
  • the repair of the building is not economically viable and that it has been marketed at a price reflecting its location and condition to potential restoring purchasers for a reasonable period.

As we speak, a group of people with significant expertise and local knowledge are working on an alternative plan for the building.

Please see Planning Application Notice (PAN) at the pre-application stage for the huge industrial site at Baileyfield Crescent.  More info is here https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=O86UYXEW0GY00  The public consultation is on 29 and 30 July in Portobello Town Hall.

It was an absolute pleasure to attend the final of the City of Edinburgh Basketball Club’s special tournament to mark its last game at Portobello High School – the team’s home for more than two decades. This was part of the celebrations of the old high-rise building that day where hundreds of former pupils went down memory lane together. Six teams of former pupils took part and it was a really fabulous family event.  I have also seen the recorded video messages from all over the world of people who played at Porty but were not able to make it on the day, but had gone on to play and coach at a high level.  Amelia Morgan, chair of the City of Edinburgh Basketball Club, said: “Portobello High School has been synonymous with City of Edinburgh Basketball for over two decades; it’s been our home and has seen thousands of players through its doors in that time.”  More here:

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/city-of-edinburgh-basketball-club-to-play-last-game-at-portobello-high-1-4146071

The move to make the speed limit in Edinburgh’s residential streets 20mph has begun.  Approximately 50% of Edinburgh’s residential streets are already in 20mph zones. The project extends the 20mph speed limit to the city centre, main shopping streets and residential areas while retaining a strategic network of roads at 30mph and 40mph.  A map of the 20mph network and implementation timetable is available at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/20mph.  Our area is to be implemented in February 2017. Maps of the 20mph network will be available to view in the Members’ Lounge prior to the Council meeting on 2 June and also distributed to each of the Group Offices. Here is some information we hope to improve walking and cycling experience in Edinburgh:  http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20087/cycling_and_walking

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) are on the hunt for local heroes so if you know someone in our local area who’s making a difference please let KSB know.  More here: http://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/local-environmental-quality/clean-up-scotland/get-involved/nominate-a-hero/

Scottish Water has sent a letter to local residents to let them know that they will be carrying out works on Portobello Golf Course for 8 weeks from 20 June to install a new sewer connection for the new Portobello High School. This pipeline will run across the golf course from Stanley Street to the new school and Scottish Water have been meeting with Edinburgh Leisure and the three golf clubs who use Portobello Golf Club to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum when the works take place.  The works will be done in phases to ensure that only one hole on the course will be closed at anytime to allow the course to remain open and no works will take place at weekends.  Reinstatement works will take place as they go along.  I have an electronic copy of the letter if you would like one.

Myplace: Edinburgh is a competition being run by CEC as part of Edinburgh’s contribution to activities for Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 which is focused on the Edinburgh Pavilion on The Mound. Between 1 June and 10 July, you can add a photograph of their favourite Edinburgh place to Edinburgh Collected  (https://www.edinburghcollected.org/) and say makes it special to you.  A fabulous way to promote the places we love.  More background here – and there are Portobello connections: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/2068/pavilion_to_pop-up_on_the_mound  To participate, click here: https://talesofonecity.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/myplace-edinburgh-a-competition-for-the-year-of-innovation-architecture-and-design/

The local circus skills group Full Cirqle are having a Family Circus Day on Sunday 19 June 11am-4pm. There will be aerial, ground based circus and parkour workshops for all ages. If parents would like to join in a class they will need to book a space for themselves as well as their child. They ask that parents attend workshops along with pre-schoolers and remember to book themselves on.  Besides workshops, they have drop in supervised play available throughout the day. Follow the link to book space on a workshop, or drop in on the day: https://bookwhen.com/fullcirqle 

It was a great experience to be at the Inspiring Volunteers event hosted by Edinburgh’s Volunteering Champion Lord Provost Donald Wilson in the City Chambers on Tuesday evening and meet people from Portobello there too, among all the amazing volunteers whose great contributions were being celebrated that evening.  I already knew Euan Thomson was getting the award as a volunteer with the charity Changeworks as one of their ‘Heat Heroes’.  Euan helps vulnerable people understand their fuel bills and coaches them on how to use their heating effectively and he goes above and beyond the remit. But it was also great to meet the wonderful and inspiring Shona Black who was awarded the Lord Provost’s Volunteer of the Year for her work with Guide Dogs Scotland.  More here:   https://www.facebook.com/donald.wilson.1650/posts/1200159533335917

Attached a flier for an ‘herb planting’ event next week, 14 June, organised by Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT).  They will be planting herbs in some of the tree containers on the temporary greening site on the space to the east of the Craigmillar East Office – this space being designated for the new secondary school. I have a, electronic copy of the flier of you would like more detail.

Craigmillar Castle is a great place to visit, especially with children.  Much more fun than Edinburgh Castle.  See this recommendation of all ‘our very own’  castle has to offer:  http://edinburghwithkids.com/2016/02/02/activities-craigmillar-castle/

That’s all for now folks.  I have quite a full day tomorrow, so this missive is coming a day earlier than normal.

Have a great weekend when it comes!

Best wishes

Maureen

 

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 maureen.child@edinburgh.gov.uk to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.

Maureen Child Update 03 June 2016

Dear All

 Portobello Market is on Saturday 4 June. Gates open at Brighton Park, Brighton Place, Portobello, 9.30am, and we run until 1.30pm. For a full list of the traders attending see the PEDAL website:  http://www.pedal-porty.org.uk/food/portobello-market/stallholders-for-portobello-market-saturday-4-june/

When visiting the market, there is an open invitation to drop in to St John’s Church next door, which will be open till 1.30pm. Light a candle, say a prayer or simply come in to see the inside of one of Portobello’s iconic buildings. A Twende Pamoja Trust fundraising quality label clothes sale in their Hall too (more about Twende Pamoja later!).  All are welcome. 

The current old Duddingston Road Portobello High School building is open to the public today (Friday) and tomorrow, Saturday 4 June, in celebration of the old 9 storey building before the school is relocated. Come along from 1 – 4 pm today and 10 – 4pm Saturday and see the school as it stands now. Lots of memorabilia and photos. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit. There’s fantastic stuff to buy as a keepsake and ALL profits go back into the school. See you all later if you can make it. Saturday includes a basketball competition among teams of former pupils in the gym hall.  Worth watching!

You know the failed utility reinstatement on Milton Road where the metal plates go ‘Ker-dunk!’ when you drive across them?   It has taken a lot of nagging by the Council’s local roads officer, but – finally – I am told this work will be complete by the 20 June. There will be approximately six days of traffic management from 12 June. Sub-contractor McNicholas have been instructed by Scottish Power to relocate the cable in the verge and reinstate the carriageway.

Bridgend Farm AGM and Open Day. Come along on Sunday June 5 for their usual drop-in, with tile engraving and bench restoration from 11-3, ‘birdsong and guided walk’ at 12 in Craigmillar park, a BIG lunch at 2, and the AGM from 3 – 430. There will also be tours of the farmhouse, updates on the Bothy Build and the farmhouse renovation, as well as your chance to join the committee. Two weeks later we have our Bio-Blitz day, feast and celebration as part of the Power of Food Festival, which should be a great party. We hope you can make it to one of those events or any of the usual Sunday drop-in’s from 11-3.

Congratulations to Towerbank Primary School, winners of the Edinburgh Schools Interscholastic Athletics Competition held at Meadowbank on Monday 30 May. The  team of P6 and P7 pupils came home with the Best Overall School award from the competition.

Do you have a landscape photo that captures your favourite things about Edinburgh in the sunshine? Deadline is June 13. The winner will be announced and the image duly accredited. More here:  http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/blog/newsblog/post/1014/calling-all-budding-photographers

It’s the Year of the Dad and they are doing a survey of Dads and Grandads/Papas/Grandpas asking about their experiences of sharing the care of children.  http://www.yearofthedad.org/dads_grandads_survey_blog

I was delighted to be invited to hear more about Twende Pamoja’s fabulous work with children from all primary schools in the Portobello cluster and find out about their Global Vision for the world and their part in it. Our young people are totally inspirational and the Lord Provost Donald Wilson, parents and all invited guests had a really great time. Their Primary School Pupil Council Conference on Wednesday in Portobello Town Hall finished with the launch of their ‘Peace on Earth’ Programme. All 670 Primary 5 and Primary 6 pupils have just completed the 90-minute Global Vision Workshops last week and over the last 5 years the workshops have been delivered to over 15,000 young people in Scotland and Tanzania. What an achievement! The children’s statements have been distilled into one set.  More about Twende Pamoja here: www.twendepamoja.org.uk 

Save the date: June 19 at 7pm – The cast of Tribe Porty Youth Theatre’s High School Group and the fantastic dancers of Lothian Dance Academy will be performing a preview of MARY POPPINS! Tickets are only £3 and can be purchased at the door on the night at Bellfield Street Church. It will be a great night for the for the whole family to enjoy. Doors will open at 6:30pm for tea/coffee/home baking. Looking forward to seeing you all there.  It’s going to be………Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!!

This is Dementia Awareness Week and you can help cure the stigma of dementia by doing six little things. It’s just about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition. Find out more here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/dementiastigma

The Garden Globe community growing project at the Jack Kane Centre is always looking for more volunteers to help us grow the garden.  So if you have a few hours to spare then why don’t you help us grow produce for the wider community or pop in to the drop-in on Fridays at 1pm? 

We don’t have to own a car in Edinburgh to use one when we really need to, least of all in Portobello.  There is an easy car-sharing option that quite a few of us use. Having your own car, rusting and losing value on the street, or in the garage for about 97% of its working life doesn’t always make much economic sense and servicing its needs takes up valuable space in everybody’s life. There are three cars parked in central Portobello that you can sign up to use on a self drive basis for those necessary short trips when walking or cycling, bus or train just won’t work for you. The cars are parked on street in Windsor Place, Rosefield Place and Portobello High Street. And there is one in Craigmillar at the side of the East Local Office.  Find out more:  https://www.enterprisecarclub.co.uk/locations/scotland/

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes

Maureen

P.S. Don’t forget!if you can and want to – please do sponsor my Forth Rail Bridge charity abseil in aid of the fabulous caring Thistle Foundation who help people find the strength and inspiration to do things they may never have dreamt they could do.  I take the plunge, vertigo or no vertigo, just one week on Sunday!  Click here:  https://thistlefoundation.everydayhero.com/uk/maureen-abseil  Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored and encouraged me so far, raising nearly £1500 to date.

 

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.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 maureen.child@edinburgh.gov.uk to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.

Maureen Child Update 27 May 2016

Dear All

Do you want to take part in Art Walk Porty this year from 2-4 September? Local artists and makers are now invited to apply. There are opportunities for site specific art, open studios, local shop pop-ups or the Arts Market being held at the Dalriada. Five small artist awards are available to help with the cost of installation of site specific works. Please visit their website: www.artwalkporty.co.uk for more details about applying. The deadline is Sunday 5 June. 

Don’t forget the ‘Figgy Do’ tomorrow Saturday 28 May 1pm- 4pm with fun for all the family in Figgate Park, run by the great Friends of the Park Group there.  Stay away, Rain!

It’s the season to start celebrating and getting together outdoors.   Brighton and Rosefield Residents Association are holding a Big Lunch and social get-together on Sunday 5 June in Brighton Park and Bellfield Street are holding a Big Lunch on 19 June.  I hope the sun comes out for them too!

The 338th monthly meeting of Portobello Community Council will be held on Monday 30 May  at 7:30 pm in Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street. Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome. More here about what will be discussed then: http://www.portobellocc.org/

Portobello Community Council is consulting on the planning application for the George Bingo in Bath Street.  It’s a request for demolition of the existing listed bingo hall, erection of a residential redevelopment comprising 21 flatted dwellings including associated parking / garaging and garden grounds at 14 Bath Street.

The building, dating from 1938, was constructed in the Art Deco style and was formerly the County Cinema and then the George Cinema. Full details are now available on the planning portal:  https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=O5XY9TEW0GY00  And more here: http://www.portobellocc.org/pccpn/2016/05/18/demolition-of-listed-bingo-hall-and-construction-of-21-residential-units-have-your-say/

Appropriate names are needed for the new development at Newcraighall.  There are likely to be 15 new streets formed there, which all require new names.  Unfortunately, there are very few suggestions left in the street name bank for this area of the city. Most of these are more suitable for Niddrie, Craigmillar and Greendykes and many of those already ‘in the bank’ were suggested by local people.  If you have any new suggestions for new names, or you have any contacts who would like to nominate a name, please do let me know.  The Council’s street naming officer will continue to research the area to try and find suggestions to be put forward for consideration.  Any name suggested would have to comply with the criteria laid out in the Statutory Addressing Charter.  Link here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/3555/statutory_addressing_charter

Some exciting events are coming up at Bridgend Farmhouse, Old Dalkeith Road on the edge of Craigmillar Country Park.  BIG (Bridgend Inspiring Growth) Open Day and AGM June 5 from 11am to 4.30pm. This will include: drop-in work on site from 11am-3pm; birdsong and guided walk in Craigmillar woods at 12 noon; tile engraving; bench restoration; tours of the farmhouse and site; BIG Lunch at 2pm; AGM from 3-4.30pm with chance to join the committee. And the weekly Sunday drop-in continues as usual, every Sunday from 11-3pm. Much more here: www.bridgendfarmhouse.org.uk

The National Trust for Scotland property Newhailes House is on our doorstep and has lots of events and things happening, including regular and special tours and sometimes outdoor theatre. Full details here: www.nts.org.uk/Newhailes.  Upcoming events post here:  https://mobile.twitter.com/NewhailesNTS/status/735172322160607232/photo/1

The Garden Globe Project – the fabulous community garden at the Jack Kane Centre is having a ‘Get the Garden Ready Day’ tomorrow (Saturday 28 May).  Lots of planning and growing happening there, and the fund starts on Saturday at 10am.  Everybody welcome to pop in for a look or a sit down any time, whether there is an event on or not.  Some pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/maureen.child.18/posts/1034571163259192

Fresh Start’s fantastic Helping Hands community garden in Craigmillar is on the look-out for new volunteers. If you have some spare time on a Monday or Wednesday afternoon and want to get involved, meet new people and grow healthy food, contact Steph at Stephanie@freshstartweb.org.uk

There’s a demo meeting of a proposed new public speaking club run by Toastmasters International in Portobello  on Wednesday, 22 June  from 19:15 to 21:30 at the Dalriada – 77 Promenade, EH15 2EL. Toastmasters clubs transform lives by helping people gain confidence and boost public speaking and leadership skills. The initial meeting is free and as Toastmasters is a not for profit organisation, membership rates are kept low to cover training materials and room hire. Book your place at  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/porty-communicators-free-demo-meeting-tickets-25313339881

Portobello Timebank had a open day at Tribe Porty last Saturday and I was able to go along, learn a bit about book binding and came away with two chilli seedlings – which are still alive.  Monthly timebank orientation evenings are now running where members and interested parties come along, find out how to use the website, and meet timebank members. They show you how to log a request, post an offer, record your transactions and give feedback. This will give you the tools to start exchanging between your neighbours and get jobs done. Meetings usually fall on the second Thursday of the month, in the Dalriada at 7:30pm, meetings will be confirmed on the facebook site and via email to all members. More here: https://hourworld.org/bank/?hw=1201

A head up that the spectacle of beach volleyball is back soon:  Scottish Beach Volleyball Tour 2016 is at Portobello Beach on 18 and 19 June.

Details of new grants for community organisations through Comic Relief:  https://www.comicrelief.com/grants

Portobello Market is on Saturday 4 June. Gates open at Brighton Park, Brighton Place, Portobello, 9.30am, and we run until 1.30pm. For a full list of the traders attending see the PEDAL website:  http://www.pedal-porty.org.uk/food/portobello-market/stallholders-for-portobello-market-saturday-4-june/

Date for your diary: Portobello Amenity Society’s AGM is 30 June in the Baptist Church Hall at 7.30 p.m.  Den Mather of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club will give an illustrated talk on Changes in our local bird life – Portobello’s Coast and Gardens.  All welcome – including those who might want to join as Members of PAS at just £5 per household.

Child poverty awareness training is to take place at all Edinburgh schools after a successful pilot run by the City of Edinburgh Council. ‘1 in 5: Raising Awareness of Child Poverty in Edinburgh’ proved so successful it has ‘changed the culture’ of some of the six pilot schools. The project took place in five primaries and one high school, working with staff, pupils and parents to raise awareness of the scale, causes and impacts of child poverty. It also challenged poverty-related stigma and looked into what practical actions could be taken by schools to make school more affordable for families on low incomes. The report makes key recommendations relating to school uniforms, food/drink, school trips, events, raising awareness and curriculum.  You can find out more at Item 7.10 on the link to the papers.   It gives all the detail and other things discussed at the Council’s Education, Children and Families Committee this week that might be of interest:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3944/education_children_and_families_committee

Have a great weekend, whatever the weather!

Best wishes

Maureen

P.S. Don’t forget!if you can and want to – please do sponsor my Forth Rail Bridge charity abseil in aid of the fabulous caring Thistle Foundation who help people find the strength and inspiration to do things they may never have dreamt they could do.  This matters to me.  I take the plunge, vertigo or no vertigo, just two weeks on Sunday!  Click here:  https://thistlefoundation.everydayhero.com/uk/maureen-abseil 

 

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.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 maureen.child@edinburgh.gov.uk to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.

Maureen Child Update 20 May 2016

Dear All

A reminder of the Ceilidh in Portobello TONIGHT Friday 20 May starting 7pm in the Wash House, 3 Adelphi Place, Portobello EH15 1AP.  This is a fundraiser for Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland, and to celebrate their 40th Anniversary.  Tickets £10 with concessions.  Information and booking here: www.ceilidhcollective.org .

Kirsty Carver of Portobello Timebank tells me they are hosting an Open Day TOMORROW Saturday 21  May, 2 – 4:30pm at Tribe Porty, above Earthy on Windsor Place.  They would love you to come along. Kirsty says “We’ve spent time looking at how people engage with timebanks across the world and have been developing new ways for members of the Portobello community to come together and help each other. This is your opportunity to meet the people who are actively using the timebank to solve their problems, get jobs done, help their community or enhance their social life. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and show you ‘the workings’ to help you decide if timebanking may be something you could get involved in, either as an individual member or as an organisation.  See for yourself what it’s all about, there will be several activity stations around the hall, so please come prepared.

  • Upcycled World will be demonstrating book-binding throughout the afternoon, so raid the recycling box and bring along a supply of old envelopes, scrap paper, magazines and calendars to make your own notebook.
  • ‘Crafty’ members will teach you to knit without needles, so bring 3 balls of wool and complete a stylish garment in half an hour. 
  • Bring along that sewing repair you haven’t got round to, and someone will fix it for you or show you how to do it.
  • The Community Garden Group will have a display stand (we’re going to be helping them out next month), so what better excuse for a plant/seedling swap? 
  • And if you don’t have plants to swap, donations of edible goodies are always welcome!

Portobello Timebank look forward to seeing you on Saturday. If you know of anyone who might be interested in joining us, be sure to bring them along too. Look them up on Facebook or phone Kirsty on 07968 090 530

Portobello High School Parent Council is giving notice that they are running a raffle in June, raising funds for materials, instruments and equipment to enhance the educational experience of all of the pupils.  They would be delighted by any donations of prizes (e.g. vouchers, items) from any local businesses.  Tickets will be sold at the open days and those donating prizes will be fully credited.  Please do let the Parent Council know if you are happy to help and they will be in touch.  Email: ballantinedonna@ymail.com

Local resident Janet Brodie tells me that a community choir has recently formed and is held in St Martin’s Church, Magdalene Drive on Thursdays from 7pm to 9pm. “We are called the Phoenix Choir and it is for anyone who fancies singing a variety of contemporary songs. We are keen to reach out to our local community, we currently have around 20 members, so far. No need to read music, everything is taught by ear. The first session is free, thereafter £4 per week. It’s great fun, and we are aiming for our first concert to be held at the end of July”.

There’s a shortage of foster carers across Edinburgh and plenty opportunities for more people to consider becoming carers for children and young people. Fostering is a hugely rewarding and really important job.  It benefits some of our most vulnerable children, helping them build a bright and confident future. All sorts of people have the skills and qualities to foster. We hope people will use Foster Care Fortnight to find out more about becoming a foster carer. For more details, go to the Foster Edinburgh website or contact 0800 174 833 or 0131 529 2773.

There are applications lodged by the owner for the demolition of the C-listed art deco George bingo hall and the erection of 21 flats at 14 Bath Street.  The Reference is 16/02052/FUL and 16/02052/LBC. Over the last year or so, I have been lending a bit of advice and support to Rob Hoon from Out of the Blue and architect and local resident Michael Davidson in a bid to save it for community use.  This means I can’t take part in the planning committee to take a decision on this, as I have a conflict of interest. The good news is that I can and will openly lend weight to the campaign to save it. Comments and objections are open for you to write or email the Council’s head of planning and strategy. A link to the application details is here: https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/simpleSearchResults.do;jsessionid=DC7953C1D39BA844FE6D9999D8EF9F55?action=firstPage  Portobello Community Council is also consulting people on their views with a view to making their submission.  http://www.portobellocc.org/pccpn/2016/05/18/demolition-of-listed-bingo-hall-and-construction-of-21-residential-units-have-your-say/

This year’s More!fun Children’s Book Festival kicks off next week. Here’s the programme of events in all our local Libraries: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7BlU5RAH6UMUVo3RGZWWHNWWVk/view. There are still spaces available for two events taking place at Craigmillar Library On Tuesday 24 May at 6pm, author Mirabelle Maslin will give a talk about sharing stories and books with infants and children. On Friday 27 May at 3pm there’s a free screening of the animation film ‘UP’ . Bookings can be made email craigmillar.library@edinburgh.gov.uk.

A crowd funding bid has started by Artwalk Porty to help re-install Laura’ Fox’s popular Tidal Octopus sculpture at Portobello beach.  ‘Cressida’ came down in the storm last January and was rescued by passers-by and kept safe for Laura to recover. Now she is being restored to her former glory.  More here: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/art-walk-porty/.  Lots more at http://www.artwalkporty.co.uk/

There’s another of the regular Afternoon Tea Dance and Sing-along events at the lovely restored Craigmillar’s art-deco White House Kitchen, 70 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4BG. 12.30pm-3pm and the ticket includes tea and delicious fresh scones.   More here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1619261051729362/permalink/1619261055062695/

Sign up for one of the Lothian Ranger’s Bat Walks this year. There are five locations to chose from, including our local Newhailes on 29 July.  More here: https://mobile.twitter.com/NewhailesNTS/status/732556981270151168/photo/1  Book early to avoid disappointment.

A recent report shows that nearly a million pensioners are currently living in poverty. In addition, an estimated 750,000 individuals over the age of 75 are failing to claim the Pension Credit they are entitled to, with an estimated 950,000 pensioners in this older age bracket living in poverty.  Make sure you know what help you and yours can get: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/About-Us/News/New-report-on-unclaimed-Pension-Credit

There’s a new website on the job of a Councillor, which you might find mildly interesting!  To listen to some of the Councillors, speaking to camera, it is all about dealing with irate constituent complaints about potholes and uncollected bins – and doesn’t sound too inviting – but the job is actually a lot, lot more than that, which some of the contributors just begin to touch on. See here:  www.localcouncillor.scot  It doesn’t say anything about abseiling for charity, or writing weekly updates, and not much about celebrating all the fantastic things our wonderful active citizens, local groups and amazing paid staff get up to, above and beyond the normal and the expected. There’s a whole lot of different ways to ‘do the job your paid for’!

The Figgy Do next weekend is fun for the whole family in Figgate Park on Saturday 28 May from 1pm to 4pm organised by the amazing park friends group.  For the children there is lots of fun while the adults relax and enjoy tea and cake and a photographic exhibition.  More here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1719044375051634/

The I have passed on my appreciation for the police response to the sea emergency incident with the alarm called around 3.40am on 15 May. The emergency services were called and went into action immediately, including the Kinghorn RNLI lifeboat which launched within 11 minutes of the call.  More here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153753971792675#!/kinghorn.lifeboat/photos/a.10150210543327675.329609.198303212674/10153753971792675/?type=1&theater  In the event, two fabulous police officers got there first.  Local Police Inspector Neil Clyde committed to passing on my congratulations on to the officers involved. He also assured me that any future learning from incidents, like this one, would routinely be done as part of any operational debrief and would include all the relevant agencies, such as Fire and Rescue Service, Coastguard and RNLI.

 We need more foster carers for children in Edinburgh, so please help spread the word to friends and family living in and around the Edinburgh area. Our next public drop-in events are on 2 June 12 noon-2pm and 5pm-7pm in the Courtyard, Waverley Court. If you have access, like or share us on Facebook  www.facebook.com/FosterWithEdinburgh  Find out more about Fostering online or call 0800 174 833.

Please find attached link to the latest issue of the Scottish Biodiversity newsletter, which might be of interest:
http://www.biodiversityscotland.gov.uk/news-and-events/newsletter/

Have  great weekend, whatever you’re doing!  I’m intending to go out to Queensferry (well, maybe!) to take a look up at the Forth Rail Bridge ahead of my challenge to abseil down it on 12 June.  More here: https://thistlefoundation.everydayhero.com/uk/maureen-abseil 

Best wishes

Maureen

 

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 maureen.child@edinburgh.gov.uk to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.

Maureen Child Update 13 May 2016

Dear All

A reminder that developer EDI’s second consultation drop-in event for ‘New Brunstane’ is on Wednesday 18 May from 3pm to 8pm at the King’s Manor Hotel, Milton Road East. This is being held so EDI can gather views on their amended (?) plans before they put into the Council’s planners a planning permission in principle (PPP) application for the site.  At that point, everyone should take the opportunity to comment/object to the Council’s head of planning and strategy. It’s not enough to tell the developer EDI what you think of the ideas, you have to tell the Council’s planners directly – yes, again!.  These are two distinct processes and both need your input!

But that’s next week. This weekend, there is You Decide!  when about 20 local projects are asking for your vote to secure a bit of funding through the Community Grants Fund available for Portobello/Craigmillar Ward.  Please do come along to Portobello Town Hall between 1pm and 3pm to cast you votes.  You can prepare by reading up about all the projects on the website link here: 

http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/neighbourhood-partnerships/portobello-and-craigmillar/about/you-decide!/read-the-applications/

Portovelo (Portobello-based cycling club) is organising its first family ride of the year this Saturday 14 May, meeting at 2.45 pm in Longniddry. This will be a gentle bike-ride suitable for all ages and abilities, lasting 2 – 2.5 hours or so.  It will start off on the railway path to Haddington, which is flat and entirely traffic free; but for older children and adults there may be an option to extend the route onto minor roads nearby.  Everyone welcome! Full details are on the Portovelo website – www.porto-velo.com/Calendar

Garden Open Day in the Brightons, Portobello is on Sunday 15 May, 2pm-5pm.  Here is the link to Scotland’s Gardens site: : http://www.scotlandsgardens.org/gardens/garden/329bc872-6bc2-4891-a902-a514009b3c0c 

Also on Sunday 15 May, Tribe Porty is having its own Portobello TEDX event which will be live streamed and can be viewed at the Skylark in Portobello 1pm -5.30pm or on the internet wherever you are. See here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1603384443310994/

Portobello Community Council is seeking feedback on whether or not the bouncy castle inflatable should return to Straiton Place Park for the kids summer holidays.  Please do respond here: http://www.portobellocc.org/pccpn/2016/05/10/bouncy-castle-back-for-weekends-and-holidays-your-feedback-required/

The Friends of Figgate Park are inviting everyone to a ‘Figgy Do’ on Saturday 28 May 1-4pm in Figgate Park,  There will be lots of fun things to do for kids in particular.  “Bring a blanket and a smile. There will be tea and cake.”  More here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/998600936892222/permalink/1002081456544170/

I have it on good authority that the world’s most famous steam engine The Flying Scotsman will be chuffing its way through Brunstane this Sunday 15 May, probably just before 11am.  If you are looking out for it, be sure to do it from a safe place!

From bogus callers to rogue traders, doorstep criminals are cunning, creative, and very skilled at deception. They will use a number of ways to try and get into to your home to steal and trick you out of money.  They particularly target the over 60s, but they are very plausible indeed and anyone can be taken in.  Find out more and how to combat this type of crime here: http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/campaigns/2015/beat-doorstep-crime

Inspector Neil Clyde updated me on some vandalism incidents in Portobello back in March.  As reported in the Evening News and on social media a local 15 year-old was charged with the offences on Monday 9 May and a report submitted to the Children’s Reporter.  Inspector Clyde says: “Thanks to all those from the community who assisted with calls and images.”

The Food Crisis Prevention Project is a CAB partnership project with Edinburgh City Mission, funded by the Scottish Government’s Emergency Food Fund. The project aims to assist the growing number of people and families who are turning to or relying on food banks. The project seeks to help people address the reasons underlying their present financial crisis. A CAB adviser provides on-the-spot advice about debt, budgeting, benefits, housing, employment and a range of other issues. The service aims to create positive change and to help people withstand future difficulties. More here:

http://www.citizensadviceedinburgh.org.uk/food-crisis-prevention-project/

The Warblers is a singing group for anyone with a chronic lung condition run by local resident Jane Lewis. Research and experience shows that regular group singing is good for you!  Group members say: ‘Sing for your health – even if you think you can’t sing, you can!’ and ‘This group has brought sunshine to my Mondays’.  Mondays 3pm-4.30pm at Musselburgh East Community Association (MECA). They’re very welcoming to new members at any time. More here: https://www.warblers.org.uk/ or Contact Jane Lewis: 07819 582130 <jane@gn.apc.org>

“Challenge Dementia” is the theme of this year’s Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Awareness Week 30 May- 5 June. There is a fully funded workshop exploring how using tailored activities can help people to live well with dementia, helping people living with dementia and helping their caregivers too.  It’s on Friday, 3 June  from 12:15 to 13:45 at Home Instead Senior Care Unit 22 Castlebrae Business Centre Peffer Place, Edinburgh, EH16 4BB. More here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tailored-meaningful-activities-to-help-people-live-well-with-dementia-tickets-25383663220?aff=eandprexshre&ref=eandprexshre

Partnership working between the Portobello’s sea-going community and Castlebrae Community High School Craigmillar is a model of good Curriculum for Excellence practice for others to follow: Author Andy Johnstone says: “Key to the success of this partnership is the ability of the teachers to make connections and work collaboratively with people from across the community. I envisage that the benefits of this connection will help foster more understanding by pupils of their local community”. More here: http://www.teachingscotland.org.uk/education-in-scotland/curriculum-for-excellence/63-community-partnerships.aspx

A bit of history: Scotland’s “first adventure playground,” modelled on Scandinavian lines, was established in the Craigmillar in the early 1960s. Edinburgh University Settlement’s had a plan “to create in the Niddrie and Craigmillar districts a number of projects designed to make life fuller and happier for young people”, said Mr Jim Brunton, leader of the scheme, following a 6 week tour of Norway and Denmark.  More here: http://www.raggeduniversity.co.uk/2016/05/11/1960-university-settlement-plan-craigmillar-adventure-playground/

A date for your diary: Portobello Amnesty International Local Group invite you to a film showing of ‘Desert Flower’ the true story of Waris Dirie filmed by Sherry Hormann on Friday 27 May, doors open 7.15pm for a 7.45pm start at Tribe Porty, 19 Windsor Place.  £5 entry donation, drinks and snacks available.

Want to learn the basics of graveyard research with a genealogist?  A free course for beginners funded by the Big Lottery at St Marks Church, 287 Portobello High Street on Saturday 21 May 10am to 12 noon.  I can send you a poster with more details if you are interested.

As I send this off, I am off to get a tour of the new Thistle Foundation building in Craigmillar, well in advance of its official opening later on this month. Thanks to some very generous people, I am well above my original £1000 fundraising target for the work of this great health and wellbeing organisation.  All contributions still very welcome indeed, little or large!  Link to my abseil fundraising page is here:  https://thistlefoundation.everydayhero.com/uk/maureen-abseil  See more about The Thistle here: https://www.facebook.com/thistlefoundation/posts/10153400252022827:

Have a really great weekend!

Maureen

 

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 maureen.child@edinburgh.gov.uk to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.