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Maureen Child Update 29 July 2017

Sorry, I have been a bit behind on these ‘weekly’ Updates, but it is Council recess and I do have five lovely grandchildren coming and going – need I say more?! Our grandkids have been fascinated by the jellyfish washed up on the beach so it was good to see this in the local media – including advice on what to do if you get stung:


I know from my own childhood experience, growing up in a shop-keeping extended family, that retail gives you a lot of skills and experience that can be transferred to other career paths.  Nobody knows that better than Liam Smith, manager of Fort Kinnaird and the people that benefit from the skills and recruitment centre which Fort Kinnaird and Council support.  More here:


Portovelo, the local cycling club, is giving advance notice of a beginner’s ride to be held on Sunday 27 August. This is aimed at anyone who likes the idea of road cycling with a group, but hasn’t tried it before, or is put off by the idea of turning up to a ride aimed at more experienced cyclists.  The ride will start at 9 am and will be suitable for all – an ideal taster of what Portovelo is about.  Any questions or queries, contact Portovelo at


Work is starting this Monday (31 July) on the construction of the townhouses on the site of St James Church Halls between Rosefield Street and Rosefield Avenue Lane.  First, areas of boundary wall need to be made safe and some trees removed.


It’s lovely to read the Castlebrae Community High School’s summer newsletter with all the fantastic things going on in this fabulous secondary school, with lots of amazing opportunities for the young people who go there:  Looking forward to the next session, going from strength to strength.  We four Councillors have had meeting with senior officers about the pressing need for the Council to prioritise a new school building for Castlebrae and to get on with the design, the site having already been identified next to Craigmillar Library.


Good to see progress with the project to bring beach wheelchairs to Portobello making progress. They are looking for volunteers, so do get in touch if you can help: Email:


A date for next weekend: Craigentinny/Telferton Allotments Open Day is on Sunday 6 August! 2pm-5pm, £3 admission with teas, homebaking, produce & plants for sale.  I hope the sun shines on them!  More hre: and here:


Fascinating to read this study of the importance of the active travel route in Little France as part of the Central Scotland Green Network:


Some of us wondered why the pavement is still dug up on Milton Road at the top of the junction with the Big W underpass path.  This is a Scottish Power defect dating from 22/05/17.  The repair  work is currently scheduled between 14/08/17 – 16/08/17.  The local roads manager has contacted Scottish Power to ask if they can bring this forward.


The vast majority of digging up roads and pavements is utility work, not the Council and they have a statutory right to open the road to get at their kit to mend or renew it.  The Council and public just have to grin and bear it.  Here we go for this week’s batch of fun road works:


Portobello / Craigmillar DUDDINGSTON AREA SGN – gas main renewal project Phased road closures and parking restrictions on Milton Crescent, Milton Gardens North & South, Durham Road South, Duddingston Rise, Duddingston View, Bingham Drive, Bailie Terrace, Bailie Grove, Bailie Path, Magdalene Gardens, Magdalene Drive 07/11/16 31/08/17
Portobello / Craigmillar GREENDYKES ROAD Between Greendykes Drive and Niddrie House Avenue SGN – gas main renewal project Lane closures and temporary traffic lights when required 03/04/17 July 2017
Portobello / Craigmillar MILLERHILL ROAD Southwards from The Wisp Scottish Power – cable reinforcement project Rolling programme with lane closures and temporary traffic lights 31/05/17 Late July
Portobello / Craigmillar MILTON ROAD West side of Milton Link junction SGN – urgent gas main repairs Citybound lane closure 7am 12/07/17 TBC
Portobello / Craigmillar BATH STREET Between Mentone Avenue and Straiton Place Building development Road closed 17/07/17 28/07/17
Portobello / Craigmillar PEFFERMILL ROAD At Craigmillar Castle Gardens BT – installation of cables and ducting Off-peak lane closures and temporary traffic lights 24/07/17 27/07/17



And there shall be more!:


It’s that time of year coming up again and Musselburgh Horticultural Society are holding their Annual Flower Show on Saturday 26 August  at The Brunton Hall, Musselburgh. Doors open at 1 pm with the Awards Presentation at 3.30 pm.  Flowers, Plants, Fruit, Vegetables,  Crafts, Photography and Children’s Exhibits, Cake and Candy , Refreshments, Tombola, and Free Children’s Face Painting. Do come and enjoy the day!


HERE + NOW have been running a Co-Design Summer School and public life hack throughout July with the help of three teams of volunteers. Yesterday, they invited people along see some prototypes and built installations exploring the potential for the Seafield section of Portobello Promenade and see in practice some ideas for the improvement of this space. They will be back at Seafield in September for an immersive experiential audio walk exploring the Seafield area as part of Art Walk Porty.


I have been in touch with Lothian Buses plc about a few of their drivers’ inconsiderate (but perfectly legal) parking overspill form their Seafield depot in the local surrounding streets.  Lothian Buses have put up notices and talked to drivers about the need for the company’s staff to be good neighbours and have a bit more consideration for us locals as they come and go.


All day parking in Aldi car park might have sparked some local management action to curb parking there. The Council’s Planning Committee approved the amount of parking at Aldi with a condition that they allowed a facility for linked trips to the beach and other local Portobello shops. Aldi seemed to be reneging on that when the local management tried to restrict the time people could park.  Following discussions with planning and a bit of Local Councillor and Portobello Community Council pressure, this has been resolved by Head Office.  The new signage and leaflets state that 2.5 hours parking is allowed and that this is for ‘Local Shoppers Only’.  Aldi’s planning agent, Steve Robb says: “This will therefore allow customers to also visit the wider town centre within that timeframe and complies fully with the parking management document, approved by Committee.”


A new blog here is going to prove a useful source on information as the old Portobello High School site takes shape into a new St John’s Primary School and a new Park – Treverlen Park.  More here:


It’s Festival season and I am on the look-out for local connections:  We have a fabulous pupil-run main Festival venue at Castlebrae Community High School – very exciting! (see the link to their newsletter above)  and Tribe Porty Youth Theatre are going uptown to put on their show at the Fringe.  More here:



You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

at theSpace on Niddry St (Venue 9)

Tribe Porty Youth Theatre bring Schulz’s beloved comic characters to life in this crowd-pleasing classic that will keep the entire family entertained. Come sing and play along with Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang through a series of hilarious vignettes and catchy songs. After tremendous success and raving four-star reviews, this is TPYT’s eighth year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With James McAvoy and Irvine Welsh as official patrons, it’s clear that the members of Tribe Porty Youth Theatre have an extremely bright future ahead of them. ‘Excited for their theatrical futures’ (ThreeWeeks). TO BOOK.

Have a great weekend!



Maureen Child Update 7 July 2017

Dear All


There were some delays in Portobello/Craigmillar Ward collections of blue glass recycling and garden waste this week, including our street.  I got an explanation about what led to those annoying delays this week. The Council’s private sector agency partner was unable to provide the staff the Council needed to complete the job. The Council liaised with both the contracted agency provider and some off-contract agencies to fill the staffing gap and clear the backlog.  Monday 3 July was a Public Holiday for Council collection staff on which they don’t have to work unless they opt to do so.  That made collecting on the scheduled day more challenging than normal. Refuse collection worked hard to service the late collections with supervisors and managers also involved in clearing the backlog over the following two days.  When delays or missed collections happen, for whatever reason, the sound advice is always to leave the bins out while the guys catch up or come back to the missed street or bin.  Do keep on letting me know if there are any further delays  – and when those are resolved.


The wonderful social enterprise Tool Library is spreading and now sets up in Portobello Library on a Monday.  It attracted 10 new Members on its first Porty outing two weeks ago.  It will be there every Monday, just finishing up as I arrive for my weekly ‘surgery’ upstairs.  The new initiative was featured in the Evening News this week.  Read all about it here:


A date for your diary – the Big Beach Busk is on 26 August this year.  Make sure to be there and hope for sunshine!


This weekend, Saturday 8 July, the local gallery Velvet Easel is opening an exhibition called Portobello Mon Amour.  More here:


A Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) is being lodged with the Council’s planning department by CCG (Scotland) Ltd for the former Lidl retail site, off Niddrie Mains Road behind Craigmillar Health Centre.


Feeling fit for a bit of a jog along the Prom –  with or without a dog?  Get this! When Gobi joined runner Dion on his 250km run through the Gobi Desert, there began a lifelong friendship that would lead Gobi to living in Edinburgh with his new best friend. You have a chance to jog Dion and Gobi to raise funds for Edinburgh’s own stray and unwanted dogs and cats. This fun family event will take place on Sunday 13 August, starting and finishing at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. After your 2.5KM fun run on Portobello Prom, there will be food and drink stalls, raffle prizes, rehoming advice and more. All funds raised at the event will benefit the Home. Book here:


Craigmillar Literacy Trust are looking for a Literacy Programmes Co-ordinator to develop and deliver creative reading, writing and learning programmes for children, young people and families in Craigmillar, Edinburgh. The closing date for applications is 14 July. More here:


Our Councillor colleague Mary Campbell is leading on improvements to Portobello’s beach and the rest of the Portobello/Craigmillar Team are right behind her.  More here:


Bridgend Inspiring Growth, a new community hub in a historic farm building in south Edinburgh has a grant of £47,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project called ‘Place, Work and Folk’. Local people will be invited to talk about their memories of the farmhouse when it was a working farm. Learning and creative activity projects based on their stories will link past and present. The eighteen-month project will run from August 2017 and finish in December 2018.  More here:


Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust  (ELGT)is hosting a variety of free fun and educational activities in and around the magnificent woodlands of Craigmillar Castle Park.  There are events are for everyone such s guided walks, children’s activities, volunteer tasks and more.  For more information, contact Ben McCallum email or phone 0131 445 4025.  There’s Wild Art on Friday 16 July; Woodfest; Sunday 23 July; Wilderness Survival on Friday 28 July.  A good way to spend a couple of hours on a summer afternoon.


My Council colleague Kate Campbell and I have both been appointed to the Board of Craigmillar Opportunities Trust, aka Cre8te in Craigmillar Business Centre.  We’re looking forward to our first Board Meeting together next week.


A couple of people have been in touch with me, expressing concern about people begging on the streets on Edinburgh, wondering about what all the agencies in Edinburgh are doing together to address their needs.  I have been in contact with the chief social worker who leads for the Council on community safety and coordinates the multi-agency team around this issue and I will be meeting up with her to get an update and learn more about our City’s practical approach to this.


That’s all folks.  I am now off to a meeting with the Director of Place and our Portobello/Craigmillar Councillor Team to underline our solid joint determination to have the Council deliver a new Castlebrae Community High School building in Craigmillar Town Centre, as soon as possible.  Holyrood and Portobello have great buildings, filling up fast with local children. Now it has to be Castlebrae’s turn for a new building in the new Craigmillar Town Centre for a growing population.


Have a great weekend when it comes!



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

Maureen Child Update 30 June 2017

Dear All


I was delighted to see such a high profile to the community safety partnership campaign to tackle hate crime on transport.  This was identified by a number of groups as a problem. When we four Councillors met with a local Portobello group of adult with learning difficulties, People First The Wash house this week, they said they were often the butt of jokes and snide remarks as they went about their business and this has to be challenged. More about the Charter here:


A couple of people have asked about the new Treverlen Park planning process. A Proposal of Application Notice (16/05530/PAN) was submitted back in November 2016 for the development of the old Portobello High School site, which includes a new St John’s and a new Park, which was consulted upon widely.  A planning application is to be submitted in the next couple of months, with the applicant (City of Edinburgh Council Corporate Property) pulling together the required reports and information prior to submission. Once the application is submitted, there will be the usual three week period for interested parties to comment on the contents of the planning application.


Keeping young people safe is a big priority for the police – and should be for us all.  So it is heartening to see initiatives which go to the heart of preventing crimes happening and nipping appalling behaviour in the bud, as far as we possibly can.  See the new campaign here as the summer holidays begin.


Click here to complete Portobello Community Council’s (PCC) Quick Porty Prize survey for a chance to win £100 cash. Prize Draw Rules: Open to PCC area residents aged 8+ One entry per person. Winner will be drawn from all valid entries at Portobello Village Show on Sunday 3 September.


It was a joy to be able to get down to the west end of Princes Street Gardens and meet all the fabulous people supporting the Thistle fundraiser I talked about last week. It was the fabulous great Chi in the Park Fundraiser.  I managed to get a few pictures and talk to a few people, including giving Margaret and Liz and big hug.  They have done just amazingly well and deserve your support, so Thistle can help even more people get their lives back on track or keep on track.


Portobello Community Choir will have two open singing sessions during the summer break on: Weds 19th July 7-9 at Donkeyfield Community Orchard, between Brunstane Road South and Gilberstoun.

Weds 9th August 7-9 on Portobello beach by the Cake-Stand (foot of Marlborough St)

£6/£4. All welcome!


This link seems to have sparked a bit of interest on social media, so it seems worth sharing, as we hope for summer cycling days ahead:


There has been some local disquiet about Aldi’s notice of their intention to restrict parking at their store to 1.5 hours when the commitment they made at the planning stage was 2.5 hours to encourage linked trips on our High Street.  The four of us Councillors were going to write a joint letter complaining that the new store were going back on the promises Aldi made during the planning stage.  Portobello Community Council were also taking up the issue with the company.  Aldi’s agents have been in touch and confirmed to us that the shorter time of 1.5 hours was an error in the Aldi management’s part and they have relented, allowing customers the full 2.5 hours to park.


All four of us Councillors were delighted to be at the turning of the school’s skiff at Castlebrae Community High School today.  The boat will likely be launched at Portobello Beach in the Spring but it has taken shape beautifully and we all helped turn it over so that work can begin on fitting out the inside ready for rowing. Some fantastic learning opportunities for the youngsters involved and a great example of Portobello-Craigmillar partnership working.  Portobello is becoming their seaside just as much as it is Porty’s.


Tomorrow is Portobello Market in Brighton Place form 9.30am to 1 pm.  I hope to see some of you there, rain or shine.


Have a great weekend!


Best wishes





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

Maureen Child Update 23 June 2017

Dear All,


On Monday, the fabulous Edinburgh Tool Library will be launching their new service in Portobello Library and will be there with their Tool Box between 4.30pm and 7pm! It’s the answer to the DIY person’s prayers. Don’t buy expensive kit you may only use for one project – borrow it instead! Find out more at Portobello Library from 4:30pm to 7pm every Monday from 26 June onwards.


While I am not nearly as useful to anybody as a tool library, I will be there Portobello Library too – for face to face consultation meetings with constituents most Mondays at 7pm, as the Tool Library is finishing.  Give us a call or mail on the contact details below. Of course you now have three more keen new Councillors to contact and we are working well as a team to make sure you get the best possible service.  They have their own regular surgery times, places and spaces and we four have ensured we don’t overlap and have also checked we won’t be away on holiday at the same time over the summer.  We have much more in common than the few issues that will divide us as our local rainbow coalition. Contact details for Kate, Mary and Callum are on the Council website and I’ll CC them in one more time.  If you mail us all, we agreed that the first person to get to it in their inbox will take the issue forward with Council officers and copy the others in.  We agreed yesterday that this seemed to be working fairly well, but do let us know if it isn’t working from your point of view!


I dropped in for a customary cuppa in The White House on Monday and took in a drop-in information event for the public and interested parties on  about the up-coming proposal for ’21st Century Homes’ housing in the Craigmillar Town Centre, a new long-awaited development by the Council itself.  Officers provided information on the proposal and were gathering comments.  The intention is to submit a planning application by the end of the month.  I am back on the Council’s planning committee, so have to hold my tongue on what I might think of it, once the application is submitted.  Mary, Kate and Callum are not on the planning committee so won’t have that constraint.


I will be attending a Board Meeting of Castle Community Bank (CCB) on Friday afternoon.  Ours is a community based financial cooperative, a credit union offering a good place for people’s savings and fast affordable loans when most needed, keeping people out of the clutches of loan sharks. I want to hang on there for a while to make sure we absolutely stick to that core principle of meeting the needs of the financially excluded. One of our original branches is in a good place on Niddrie Mains Road, right opposite Craigmillar Library.  Our Board Chair made the big time with a piece in the New Statesman.  Click here:


We four Councillors had complaints about caravans, motor homes and camper-vans parking at the foot of Kings Road.  The Council and Police established some of them actually belong to local residents. Environmental Wardens visit the site daily.  Recently, they found four caravans and one motor home were occupied by people on short stay visits. At the time there were no concerns about antisocial behaviour, the welfare of the residents in the vehicles, or littering or fly-tipping. They have as much legal right to park there as anyone else’ If you have any concerns about it, do contact the environmental warden team leader Michelle Hood 0131 529 3989.  Any new enquiries, enquires or concerns, the generic email address is


Local hero Graham Henderson, a Trustee of Jack Kane Community Centre collected a volunteer award. Recently “Graham filmed ways of growing produce in the garden, uploading the films to show how good food can be when grown sustainably within the community, and inspired many more people to become involved. Graham’s desire to see produce grown, cultivated, and eaten within the community assists families who reside in poverty to gain new knowledge, keep within a budget and enjoy food they may not otherwise taste. Graham will travel miles in a specially adapted car to take part in our activities, represent us at events and lead 2 drop in sessions for community gardens too. With a can do attitude Graham undertakes everything with enthusiasm and passion.”  More about the fabulous Edinburgh volunteers here:


Community Compass are holding free mindfulness taster sessions for anyone that might benefit. People can attend all three sessions, or just one or two. The sessions are at the White House on Niddrie Mains Road and will be from 11am – 12.30pm, followed by lunch. Dates: Thursdays 29 June, and the 6 July. There was one last week.  If you have any further questions, contact Helena Richards, Manager, Community Compass on 07920 267564.


There is obviously a huge concern about tower block living, following the appalling fire in London at Grenfell Tower.  The lead officer Council’s housing service, Michael Thain and Edinburgh’s Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, Kenny Rogers gave all Elected representatives, Councillors MPs and MSPs a briefing first thing on Monday morning and an opportunity to answer questions about situation here in Edinburgh and in our own local areas.  People have been emailing me about this.  Click here for the full information we have sent out this week:


The brilliant Craigmillar Literacy Trust who run the truly fabulous Books for Babies in Craigmillar Library are looking for new Board Members.  Find our more here:


On Saturday 30 September, Portobello Timebank will be holding a Repair Café in Tribe Porty. The idea is that members of the public drop in with something they need fixed, and the Timebank will field a number of their members who will be on hand to tackle the repairs. They’re looking for volunteers who could offer the following skills:


Furniture repair;

Bike servicing /repair

Set-ups for phones, tablets

Clothing repair

Upcycling clothing/accessories

Tool sharpening / maintenance

Jewellery fixing / pearls restrung

Small electrical repairs


Please reply to if you think you can help out. And if you have any fixing skills that Portobello Timebank haven’t thought of that can be delivered in or in front of Tribe Porty, by all means do let them know!


The 35th AGM and 349th meeting of Portobello Community Council will be held on Monday 26 June 2017  at 7:30 pm in Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street. Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome.

35th AGM Agenda

349th Meeting Agenda


And if you complete Portobello Community Council’s Quick Porty Prize Survey, you are in with a chance to win £100 cash. Click here:  Prize Draw Rules: Open to Portobello Community Council area residents aged 8+ and only one entry per person. The winner will be drawn from all the valid entries at Portobello Village Show on Sunday 3 September.


There! – I have defeated the technology this time, even if it did take me two days longer than usual!  I aim to ‘publish’ Updates on a Wednesday. Thank you for all the positive feedback, request to include positive local news and emails.  I’ve still got quite a few of those to catch up on…..


Best wishes for a great weekend!





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

Maureen Child Update 13 June 2017

Dear All,


I’m sorry about the break in my weekly Update transmission!  I am struggling to get used to a laptop having been used to a desktop. I also took a break away for a week.  There is lots happening and I am getting behind…


The Portobello Reporter summer issue is out and being delivered locally.  Here’s an online copy:


One of my local heroines, Thistle volunteer Margaret Hendry was invited to a special awards ceremony at Edinburgh’s City Chambers where she received an award recognising all the time she gives Thistle based at the Centre of Wellbeing, Queen’s Walk in Craigmillar as a volunteer. Margaret volunteers at Thistle 5 days a week. She’s the first to welcome people through the door and make them feel at ease; she delivers Tai Chi classes to over 90 people every week; and she helps out at the exercise classes. And that’s just a few of the things she does! Thistle wouldn’t be able to do so much so well if it wasn’t for Margaret. To top it all, she’s going to lead aTai Chi marathon at Princes St Gardens on Wednesday 28th June between 11am – 1pm. Do support Margaret – and Thistle – by taking part in this exciting event! Please sign up soon – places are going fast!  If you need any help to set up a Just Giving page or just want to chat through some fundraising ideas then let us know. You can give Thistle a call on 0131 661 3366. Can’t make it on the day, but still want to show your support? Why not contribute to Margaret’s page?


You’ll find more fabulous local volunteering stories here too! Click on the link:


This looks like a lovely local upcoming event centred on the Dog and Cat Home with a wonderful story behind it – which I hadn’t heard before.  Whether you care about dogs or running or not, this is a lovely tale with a happy ending:


I am so impressed with the newsletters Towerbank Primary School produce.  They may not be as active on social media as the other local schools I know and love, but they sure do put a good few positive stories together!


Nostalgia time about outdoor swimming with Portobello’s lido as one of the big losses:


We do still have our indoor pool including the Turkish baths.


Plenty of events this weekend to celebrate community and coming together.  At Bridgend Farm; Portobello Community Orchard; Figgate Park; Bellfield Street; Craigmillar at the Thistle Foundation.  If you google, or go on social media, I’m sure you’ll find information on each of them – and more.


Some are Big Lunch events


Others organised under the banner of the Great Get Together like this local one:


The Power of Food Festival at the Community Orchard, Brunstane Road South, this Saturday, 17 June, from 12 noon – 3pm. The Power of Food Festival is an Edinburgh-wide celebration of community growing spaces.

You can see the full festival programme here: and this link to a short film about last year’s event:


The timetable is: 12.30 pm – summer pruning workshop. You can learn how to prune your fruit trees in summer to ensure maximum productivity. 1 pm and 2 pm – apple pressing and juice tasting. There will also be crafts – come along and make your own leaf-inspired bunting. Refreshments will be available throughout. Feel free to turn up at any time during the event and please tell your family, friends and neighbours about it.


Either explicitly or not, all these kinds of events and gatherings all help us realise or remember that we have much more in common as human beings than that which divides us. On that note, see here, advice on how not to be a bystander when people are being picked on simply for being who they are as a human being:


This laptop thing is definitely doing my head in, so I will leave it here.  I’ve forgotten how to highlight text and change fonts already.  Technology is grossly over-rated….


Best wishes




Councillor Maureen Child

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