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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 7 August 2015


Dear All

Consultation starts on Monday for the new park to replace Portobello High School site.  I have attached a briefing note and there was coverage in the Evening News: Evening News – New Park for Portobello

It’s Friday and the weekend is almost upon us it was a good way to say goodbye (almost!) to the working week in The White House community cafe. Mine was a bacon roll and latte this morning. The social enterprise cafe gets great reviews:  Trip Advisor Review  Including this one:  “The establishment is small, the menu choice was smaller than other venues, however the food quality was excellent and the service from the staff was really good, welcoming and friendly. Prices were good”.

The Borders Railway Project wants to hear how you will be using the railway – seeing friends, day trips, university?:  How Will You Use the Railway?

At last, the tender for the Abercorn Terrace ‘puffin’ pedestrian crossing at Portobello and Joppa Parish Church has been accepted and that work will start on site about 17 August 2015. The contract period will be two weeks and the Contractor for the works is Crummock (Scotland) Ltd. 
A date for your diary –  The annual Garden Fete will be held on Saturday 12 September from 2 to 4pm at The Gate Lodge Garden, 27 Milton Road East in aid of Post Natal Depression Services. There will be Teas and Coffees and Tables with Crafts, Gifts, Jewellery, Baking and Jams, face painting etc.  All Welcome.
This year’s Summer Bash will take place on Friday 14 August between 1300 and 1600 at the Jack Kane Centre featuring open day at the Community Garden for the first time.  This year will see the addition of the “Selfi Pod” – not to be missed – alongside old favourites such as Horse Riding and Face Painting. The Summer Bash is open to people of all ages, although children should be accompanied by an adult.
After much discussion and delay, I am advised that work on rebuilding the carriageway on Brighton Place will start this financial year.  The various bodies, including the local Portobello Community Council, Brighton and Rosefield Residents, Portobello Amenity Society, and the Council’s own streetscape team have determined the finish should involve the replacement of the historic setts. Whatever the final surface, the key to the longevity of the road will be the robustness and integrity of the foundations, which have to withstand the wear and tear of heavy double decked buses.  Crucially, we must try and ensure that concrete platform is not compromised by any planned utility works in the foreseeable future.  Hence the delays allowing for discussion with the utility companies. Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) are bringing forward work they planned in the next few years to October 2015 so as not to have to dig up the work soon after it has been completed.  If the proposals are approved by lead Council Members and senior management, maybe in the next couple of weeks, the work is likely to start in January 2016.
At residents’ requests, maintenance work is to proceed on Christians Path to clean and clear the cycle path and pathway of overhanging vegetation.  Just heard confirmation that this was completed today.
Some fabulous pictures are taken by local photographers in Portobello of our seaside and posted on social media.  Here’s one by Anna Moffat:
Want to help create a community at Tribe Porty in Windsor Place, Portobello?  See here: Tribe Porty
What is your favourite coastal sound?  Voting is open on the question:  Favourite Coastal Sound?
The Portobello Sandcastle Competition is on Saturday 29 August. It is jointly organised by Portobello Community Council and Portobello Toddlers’ Hut and will take place on the beach opposite the swimming pool at the bottom of Bellfield Street.  Registration is between 12.15 – 12.45 on the prom opposite the swimming pool.  Building will begin at 1.00 pm.  More here: Sandcastle Competition
Community gardens help people grow together in more than one sense.  Can you help deliver more community gardening in Craigmillar?  Crowdfunding towards a £15,000 target to be match funded by a charitable trust and secure the future of this great project  :  Community Garden Crowdfunder
You can keep up to date with the progress of the Edinburgh Local Development Plan now being considered by Scottish Government Reporters here:Local Development Plan for Edinburgh
Portobello High School is busy amassing photos and memories of the current building and what went on these 41 years form it’s opening in 1964.  Here’s one photo that may spark memories:  Porty History
Memories of the now lost Portobello Power Station with a tram in the foreground – or more accurately a trolleybus going by.  Photo Power Station
Lost Edinburgh – a nostalgic look at Portobello Bathing Pool and the famous raft, 1970. Porty Pool Photo
Back for its sixth year, the Big Beach Busk will take place from 12 noon on Saturday 29 August. Edinburgh’s Portobello seaside gets mixed up and musical for a day. People of all ages are encouraged to head along and entertain the public on the promenade.  More detail here: .Big Beach Busk 2015
A couple of consultations, that might be of interest: 
Add your voice to the consultation on Community Payback Orders , deadline August 31st.
Help to shape the future of Health and Social Care in Edinburgh, deadline October 31st
In addition to the three cars in Portobello, the Edinburgh City Car Club also has a Nissan Leaf electric car for members to use outside the East Neighbourhood Centre in Craigmillar.  More here: City Car Club Craigmillar  Photo Here:
Andrew Simpson provided this ‘Buggy POV’ video of the Porty Park Run  in Figgate Park last Saturday!  Inspired to run?  
Whatever you do, 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.

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.

doc icon NEW-PARK-EH15-COMMS-2-29-JULY-2015.docx

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.

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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.

Maureen Child Update 26 June 2015

Dear All

Last week’s update stated to scramble text and  links from about half way through.  I am deeply grateful to Bob Jefferson who does our community website  Portobello Online for putting them right.  The following link will take you to into the report with all links restored – we hope!  If I knew how I had made the mess of it in the first place, I would know how not to do it again, but I will be more careful to double check in future.

I finally got to see the fabulous mural in Figgate Park.  It was too dull that late afternoon for me to take a photo myself, but here’s one from Anthony Robson

Mark Carr has been working with a number of schools and they have had a huge amount of success this year’s film animation awards.  Great news as Craigmillar Arts and Environment Project scores a hat trick taking Best Animation, Creativity and Original narrative at the Edinburgh Schools film makers competition! With three more nominations in other categories. Well done to Towerbank, Brunstane, St John’s, Niddrie Mill and St Francis Primary Schools and Portobello Library! Here are links to: ‘Beware of the Books!’ by Arts and Environment with Portobello Library and children from Towerbank Primary  ‘Obi’s Anti Stinging Group’ by Arts and Environment with Towerbank Primary P5

‘The Horrific Happenings of a Hurricane’ by Arts and Environment with Brunstane Primary P7

The Towerbank Catchment Review consultation finished at 5pm last Monday.  Details of the representations received will be issued to Education Scotland for their consideration of the educational effects of the proposals. Education Scotland will issue a report on their findings and this will be included in the report on the Outcomes of the Consultation which will be presented to full Council at its meeting on Thursday 22 October 2015.  The report will also include a summary of issues raised by letter/e-mail/questionnaire or via the public meetings held at Towerbank, Duddingston, Brunstane and The Royal High Primary Schools and the Council’s response to them. The report will be published 3 weeks in advance of this meeting – on 1 October 2015 – and we will notify people who responded  when it is available and provide everyone with a link to the report online. It will also be available in print on request.

The Community Empowerment Bill was passed on 17 June.  The finalised version of the Bill as Passed is now available on the Parliament’s website

Volleyball is developing fast in Portobello with some wonderful displays on the beach.  Beach Volleyball Holiday Camp, 13-17 July 2015 (P6/7/S1 age group)

Your kids can now join in !

Come along to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s open day at McDonald Road fire station on Saturday 4 July from 11-3.30pm.

Since October 2013, a small group of staff from our Community Development team have been working with doctors to provide a new kind of support to residents in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh. Community Compass is funded by the Alliance and the Scottish Government. The project is designed to support people to connect with local services and help them overcome challenges they are facing, using an approach known as social prescribing.  Find out more:

Community Compass | Carr Gomm – supporting people and communities

Call for the third sector to contribute to litter prevention in communities. Call for third sector to contribute to litter prevention in communities | Zero Waste Scotland

There will be a road closure in Duddingston Road West from 0930hrs on Monday, 29 June 2015 until 1530hrs Wednesday, 8 July 2015.  All vehicular traffic will be diverted via Niddrie Mains Road, Wauchope Avenue, Harewood Road and Peffer Place in both directions. The reason for the closures is to allow Scottish Water to safely replace a leaking valve.

Congratulations to Kevin Brack, new Head Teacher of Brunstane Primary School.  Kevin was deputy head teacher at Duddingston Primary School and was acting head at Brunstane for six months. Here Kevin is on the right with Jody Murray, having been practicing his tennis skills. Some might also recognise Kevin’s dad, Ted Brack in the picture. Ted was a highly successful Head Teacher at St John’s RC Primary School and is also famous for writing two books on the history of Hibernian Football Club.

This is some fine area for primary aged football successes this year! St John’s Primary School’s P6 football team edged out local rivals Duddingston 4-3 to lift the Edinburgh School Board Cup. Bailey Dall scored the winner with the last kick of the ball from the penalty spot to complete his hat-trick after he had been hauled down in the box. Close, and a great result!  Undaunted, Duddingston had their come-back in Saturday though, lifting another trophy….

Portobello Community Council puts up regular information about local detailed planning applications both recently lodged and those recently decided upon:  Summary of Planning Applications and Decisions for week commencing 22 June 2015 – Public Notices

Lyall Scott form our local golf club has been in touch with me asking me to promote Portobello Golf Course as an local amenity in your next newsletter as the school holidays for primary and secondary aged pupils started today and especially as we have the bonus of The Scottish Open being held on our doorstep along the coast in Gullane from 9-12 July (including Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson amongst a very strong field)  and of course The British Open at St.Andrews 16-19 July the week after. A perfect time to get the kids interested in playing golf (I hope!).

Playday events can be all shapes and sizes. Celebrations range from street parties, festivals in parks, mass adventures in woodlands and parklands, to public events at community venues and back-garden play dates. Whether your celebration is big or small, please insert your event details in the form below and tell us about your Playday plans. If you would like to increase publicity, you can chose to publish your Playday celebration on the Events near you pages of this website. We often receive enquiries from press and members of the public to find out what Playday events are on in their area, so this really makes a difference. If you don’t want your event to appear online, select ‘No’ to the option below, and your event details will remain confidential.

If you have or have had cancer, you are protected by law from unfair treatment. Macmillan Cancer Care has a free guide can help you understand more about your rights at work and what support is available. They  also have information on this site to help you talk to your employer about returning to or staying in work after cancer. More here:

‘Too Good To Waste’ is an excellent guide to recycling in Edinburgh.  Download here:

Kids Knit Summer School is taking place at Portobello Beach, Dalriada (No 77 Promenade) Wednesday 1st July to Thursday 2nd July from 10.30am to 4pm.  Activities include felted picture, disco knitting, flower crowns, embroidery graffiti.  Cost £28 per day, includes all materials and tuition.  Bring a packed lunch.  For all primary aged school children.  Book your child’s place by emailing

From the local shops to children’s playgrounds, residents of Craigmillar are invited to look back in time at a new exhibition.

As the regeneration plans for the area are revealed at two community events at the White House, photographer Allan Macgregor will showcase 72 photographs of the area from the 1980s. Allan captured these moments while working on the Craigmillar Festival News 25 years ago, but has been waiting on the perfect opportunity to display them. More here form STV Local: Craigmillar photography exhibition by Allan McGregor at White House | STV Edinburgh | Edinburgh

Waste Watchers Holiday Club, 20 – 24 July (pre-School to P7 age group) This summer, six churches in Portobello are working together to have a holiday club, called Waste Watchers! which will be at the halls and church on Bellfield Street (formerly the Old Parish).  It will be 20 July to 24 July from 9am to 12:45pm and it is open to children in nursery school to P7.  The cost is £5 for the week or a £1 per day. We will have games, arts and crafts, drama, music, bible study, snack, gardening and other fun surprises each day.  If you are interested in registering your child, contact:

A new online directory, Edinburgh Trusted Trader, has been launched to help residents choose contractors with confidence. Thirty-six traders and businesses have already signed up to Trusted Trader, creating a new ‘go to list’ for people looking for services such as home repairs. After being checked by the Council’s Trading Standards team to ensure that they are compatible with the principles of the scheme, contractors are then accepted as members and their details added to the website. People can use the directory to find local contractors’ details with the reassurance that they are reliable and have been fully vetted.

Recent Archaeological and Documentary Research: what it has added to our knowledge of the Portobello Potteries and their Wares Tuesday 30th June, 10.30am at the Museum of Edinburgh, Canongate.  Local Portobello resident George Haggarty is recognised as an expert on the production and trade of Scottish ceramic material between the 11th and 19th centuries. He has written or co-authored in excess of 130 monographs and papers. Amongst his current projects are the publication of a book relating to the pottery from recent archaeological work carried out by AOC Archaeology at the Portobello kiln sites, and two superb medieval ceramic assemblages from central Edinburgh and Canongate.  Tickets £5 / Concessions £3.50

 The Velvet Easel in Portobello is always worth a visit.  See here:  Velvet Easel | Christine Clark – Velvet Easel


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.