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Maureen Reports - 27. page

Maureen Child Report November 2014

Connecting Craigmillar
On a pouring wet Friday afternoon, twenty of us interested parties got together at the The White House, 70 Niddrie Mains Road to map out what we valued about the Chronicle community newspaper in Craigmillar, now sadly no longer with us.  We discussed what we might do now, in an age of social media, to fill the gaping hole its loss has left.   Our ideas and commitments filled several big sheets of paper.  It’s now the tough task of Martin Macaulay, local regeneration manager to take it away and come back with practical ways forward.  We want to help connect the community internally, but also connect with the rest of Edinburgh with all the positive things going on in our communities and neighbourhoods.

How can we improve life for people with dementia in Portobello?  
Twenty six wonderful ideas were put forward by sixty participants who came and paricpated in an afternoon of discussions, film and talks on ‘Living with Dementia in Portobello’ recently at the Wash House community centre, Adelphi Grove. People with dementia who attended are keen find a dementia friendly café where they can meet regularly. Other ideas included awareness-raising for shops, businesses and schools; and clear signs for public toilets. A new leaflet, ‘Creating Dementia Portobello – how you can help’ was launched and is available from the library. The Dementia Friendly Steering Group, who organised the event, would like to hear from anyone in the community who interested to get involved. For more information, contact Teresa Straczynski, Dementia Adviser Alzheimer Scotland, 0131 662 1204,

Growing Communities
I paid two good visits in three days to Bridgend Farm and allotments on the southern edge of Craigmillar Country Park, off old Dalkeith Road. One was to Bridgend Inspiring Growth (BIG) on its Saturday Open Day.  This is a project which is working towards restoring the old farm house at Bridgend for use as a healthy living centre.  The other is Bridgend Growing Communities, which supports people getting into growing fruit and vegetables together, initially with NHS Lothian support. They work with people with mental health problems and those who just want to get growing.  There are an increasing number and variety of local projects and initiatives in Craigmillar and Portobello which have a lot in common – ‘growing together’ in both senses of the phrase.

Community Compass Carr Gomm Project One Year On
A local project was set up a year ago with Carr Gomm who are based in the East Local Office and work closely with Craigmillar Medical Group health practitioners and other people working locally. Community Compass, and other partners in the community, work with people who are finding life tough right now and are disconnected from the services and places that might be able to help.  Over 150 vulnerable and isolated people have been contacted within the year, with over 50 very vulnerable people contacted and actively engaged.  They have all been helped to reconnect with the community at large and move on with their lives.  Two initiatives taken forward so far are a growing space at Niddrie Mains Terrace and a group cooking healthy food together.  Funds have also been identified by Carr Gomm and the Thistle Foundation working together on a new ‘Men in Sheds’ project. To find out more or refer someone you know contact Jenny on 07920 267 502/ 0131 659 477 or email

Visit Craigmillar – The Nakba Exhibition and White House Kitchen 
An exhibition on Palestine has opened in Craigmillar Library and will be there for the next two weeks.  This has been very well received in Germany and this is thought to be the first time the English language edition has been shown in the UK.  A group of Edinburgh people with Palestinian connections has brought it to our city.  The fabulous Craigmillar Library, 77 Niddrie Mains Road, is worth a visit anyway, but this is an added incentive.  And while you are there, go and have a lovely lunch or coffee at The White House Kitchen across the street at No 70.  A lot of people from far and wide have already discovered it, so sometimes it’s hard to find a table.

Castle Credit Union Have Big Plans
Our local financial cooperative, Castle Credit Union (CCU) and its 692 members have had a quiet year because of the economic climate and people finding saving and borrowing difficult to manage.  The AGM is coming up next month. CCU welcomed 51 new members joining up to save and borrow a affordable rates since last year.  They have plans to expand so that anyone living in the EH Postcode area can join this new developing community enterprise.  They also have plans for a change of name and new smart IT systems and processes, which will be much simpler and easier for members to access.  We have teamed up with a community group that wanted to set up a Water of Leith credit union and they have brought in new energy and development expertise to our Craigmillar, Portobello and Gilmerton CCU Board.  Exciting times!

Hunters Hall Park Cycling Hub
There is a proposal to make a hub for the sport of cycling at Hunters Hall Park. The Jack Kane Community Wing and Sport Centre have gone out to consultation on their ideas. The feedback has been very largely positive.  There is some concern in the neighbourhood about the loss of green space.  But there is also a wide recognition that the development will benefit local people as well as those from outside the area.  The feedback is now available, both in numbers and comments. This information will form part of a report to the Council’s Culture and Sport Committee on 12 December.

Scottish Power Line 
The trenches being cut along Stanley Street to the north of the golf course and the overnight lane closures on Sir Harry Lauder Road at Baileyfield Road recently are all part of the need to take a Scottish Power line all the way to the Musselburgh boundary and beyond to the new Midlothian recycling site at Millerhill. They are running twin 33Kv Power cables from Fishwives Causeway to Musselburgh and beyond. The Council and Scottish Power together are trying to manage the works so as there is as little impact as possible on busy main routes. This involves night working, weekend working and off peak wherever possible. The contractor should have information boards so as the public know what is happening, as it happens. The Stanley Street Section should be complete by the end of next week.

Can You Make Christmas Decorations?
Bridgend Growing Communities and Castleview Community Centre (aka Sandy’s) in Craigmillar Castle Gardens would like to invite you to help decorate a living tree in their garden. They need decorations that can be used outdoors and can withstand wind, rain and maybe even snow! There will be a prize for the best handmade decoration. Please do come and join them on Friday 28 November at Sandy’s between 11:30am and 13:30pm. Festive food will be served.


The Fire and Rescue Service continue to have concerns about fire safety in tenement stairs and have the advice in a leaflet you can access here:

Local resident and writer Douglas Johnstone, author of ‘Gone Again’ and ‘Dead Beat’ will be at Portobello Library tomorrow.  Details here:  will be at Portobello Library tomorrow

I have recently written a blog for Compact 10 – our 10 years of partnership with the Voluntary/Third Sector.  See “Getting it right for every citizen” new read more  Want to know more about Compact and contribute?  We are all part of it in some way.  Want to add to the word cloud?  Want to add to it?  Come to the Insight Sessions! More info:

Gica Loening has asked me to give another plug for their Ceildh: Calling Fun Fiddle friends, fiddlers, families, and all! Come and celebrate St Andrews Day with Fun Fiddle and the Belle Star Band and an afternoon of live music and dance Sunday 30th November 3.30 to 5.30pm at The Wash House, Adelphi Grove. Tickets for sale at The Wild Flower Shop, 90 Porty High St, and also from Jenny and Gica at Fun Fiddle (£6 adults, and £4 children, under 5’s free). Check out last year’s St Andrews’s Ceilidh at The Wash House on youtube:

Maureen Child Update 20 November 2014

Dear All

For your interest please find attached the local Craigmillar and Portobello results of the Hunters Hall Park cycling hub survey. The result will be form part of a report to the Council’s Culture and Sport Committee on 16 December. I can send you the complete results, if you want. In summary, the attached information shows that respondents in the local postcode areas of EH15 and EH16 are broadly supportive of the project – 84% in favour, and 11% saying they would prefer the Park to remain as open green space. City wide, support grows to over 90%.

The next meeting of Portobello Community Council will take place next Monday 24 November at 7:30 pm in Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street. Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome. See link to Agenda and other information here

Social enterprise, Breadshare have secured a lease on premises in Portobello at 11-12 Seafield Road East
for a bakery and cafe. This will give the community interest company much needed space to expand production and provide a base for progressing their broader social objectives. These include franchising the Breadshare business model to help other communities establish bakeries making real bread; community engagement through workshops, volunteering and school visits; and educational programmes aimed at promoting a better awareness of real bread. More about Breadshare at

This Saturday (22 November) there will be an event at the Dalriada, Portobello for New and Expectant Parents, from 12-2pm. It will be a good source of information for new parents in the area, with a variety of local organisations and providers, and others such as the Real Nappy Project, Closer to You Slings and Better Birthing HypnoBirthing. The first 50 people who come along will also receive a free PlayTalkRead goody bag, with a buggy book and discount vouchers inside. More at: Dalriada Event

Date for your diary: Duddingston Primary School is holding a Christmas Fair on Saturday 29 November from 10am until Noon

Craigmillar Books for Babies provide Family Support at Home. See here: Family Support

Less than 5% of people are aware of trusteeship as a way to support a charity. Read Ilse’s Trustees Weeks blog Trustee Role

The Volunteer Centre Edinburgh has a new dedicated phone line for people aged 65 and over living in our local area. It gives easy access to information on a huge range of activities available to them. Using a dedicated direct dial number 0131 603 8311, lines will be open from 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday with a call back service outside of these times. Friendly trained volunteers take calls and chat through options along with an email service on 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. The phone line is part of the Local Opportunities for Older People, or LOOPs initiative which is piloting a variety of new services across Edinburgh aimed at encouraging people 65 plus. The phone line is hoping to reach out to as many as possible. See more here: LOOPS For further information, please contact Heather Yang on 0131 603 5144 or

Disability History Month Scotland Events This animation tells the story of the disability movement from WWI to the present day. Our locally crafted Memory Box containing WW1 memorabilia will be on display, along with striking photos and commentaries. With drinks beforehand and a chance to meet the makers and discuss the film, activism, history & disability followed by music, delicious food and entertainment, what’s not to like?! Saturday 6th December 4.30-9.00pm. Come along for some, or all, of this free event – drinks by donation. Edinburgh City Chambers, 253 High Street Book your free ticket at -‘’One Last Push – The Final Battle of WWI? Disability History Month Scotland’ Can’t make that or want to see it again? How about a free screening at the Filmhouse? Cinema 3, Saturday 13th December, 1-2pm plus Q&A session – ‘’One Last Push – The Final Battle of WWI? Filmhouse screening’ They are a very friendly group of volunteers, interested in education, activism and disability. For more information: email us: or call 0131 555 9329

There is a new video about Euan’s Guide to the accessible venues: Euan’s Guide Film

The Police Scotland Edinburgh HQ at Fettes has loads of lost things, just waiting to be claimed by their owners. You can report lost items directly online to police

A few people have been asking me what is going on with the road works in Stanley Street? The works are being carried out by Scottish Power. They are running twin 33Kv Power cables from Fishwives Causeway to Musselburgh and beyond. The Council and Scottish Power together are trying to manage the works so as there is as little impact on main routes as possible, this involves night working, weekend working and off peak where possible. The contractor should have information boards so as the public know what is happening and those were missing at first. The Stanley Street Section should be complete by the end of next week.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Best Wishes


Maureen Child Update 14 November 2014

Dear All

As part of the Barratt Development, north of Newcraighall Road the disused railway bridge that crosses the A6095 is to be demolished. To accomplish these works Newcraighall Road (A6905) will be closed for 7 days. This closure will start on Monday 17th November and run until Sunday 23rd November 2014. It will cause inconvenience and disruption to the travelling public. To help reduce disruption, a pedestrian footway has been construction within the Barratt development site, this footway will be tarred, fenced and lit. This will provide 24hour, 7 days a week access for pedestrian and cycle traffic.

All vehicular traffic, including public transport, will be diverted via the A1. Public Transport will divert through Queen Margaret University and pick up the route at the roundabout at Whitehill Farm Road. There will be a free shuttle bus running between this point and Newcraighall East.

I have an copy of the leaflet distributed by the demolition company to Newcraighall Village. Do let me know if you need a copy.

Some of the local Woodcraft Folk Group – Portobello Venturers – will be sleeping out at the Rock Trust’s annual event – the under 21’s sleep out (see They are fundraising via Just Giving ( They are looking for sponsorship to help support young homeless people in Edinburgh and the Lothians through the tremendous work that the Rock Trust do. £10 (the price of a cinema trip) can provide a winter fuel pack for a young homeless person in crisis. Please sponsor them if you can, if not, please send them warm wishes – they will need them!’

Papers for the Portobello and Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership meeting next week on 19 November 2014. All welcome! Please find the link to the papers for next week’s meeting at:

Craigmillar Book Festival is next week. Find out all about it at the website – which will give you more information about their projects work of the fantastic Craigmillar Literacy Trust.

Portobello Heritage Trust’s annual lecture Uncovering our National Library is on Tuesday evening, 18th November. It promises to be an interesting evening with two speakers from the National Library of Scotland: Discussing Collecting the National Published Archive, Jennifer Giles, Curator, Scottish Communities and Organisations, illustrates how the modern collections of print and digital material are developed. Andrew Martin, Curator, Literature and the Arts, looks at Scotland on Film discussing how Scots and Scotland have appeared in feature films – from stars in tartan to urban grit – using stills from films. It is being held at 7.30pm in St. Mark’s Church, 287 Portobello High Street. Bring along family and friends. Admission is free and all are welcome.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is consulting and would love your views on the future of Scottish Fire’s heritage Edinburgh has a strong interest as the fire service was ‘born’ in this city and it is very much a part of our history. This important historic legacy needs to be properly archived and professionally conserved and looked after, wherever it is based.

It may not be here just yet, but check out how you can get ready for winter: Severe Weather Information – Ready for Winter

On the 14th November 2014 the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, along with the University of Edinburgh, will host the annual Scottish Fair Trade Awards Ceremony. As well as the ceremony, this is the opening of the Fairtrade Foundation’s photography exhibition, ‘Fairtrade at 20: The Power of You’ which was created with the Guardian Media Group and celebrates their 20th birthday. See here for more information about the exhibition.

Bridgend Growing Communities is based at Bridgend Allotments 41 Old Dalkeith Rd Edinburgh EH16 4TE (near Cameron Toll shopping centre) They are running a course called Introduction to Organic Growing This course provides a brief introduction to all you need to know about growing fruit and vegetables organically. The main topics covered in this course are; Site Analysis and Design; Common Weeds and Pests; Seed Care; Harvesting and Storage; Planting and Growing; Composting. The course is accredited by Scotland’s Rural College. This course will run on Saturday 29th November from 9.30 until 4.30 at Bridgend Allotment site and will be delivered by Rob Ford. Lunch will be provided. For more information or to book a place. Please contact Robert Ford by telephone on 07974 077179 or by email on

Bridgend Growing Communities and Castleview Community Centre would like to invite you to help decorate their living tree in the garden. They need decorations that can be used outdoors and can withstand wind, rain and maybe even snow! There will be a prize for the best handmade decoration. Join in the fun on Friday 28th November at Sandy’s, aka Castleview Community Centre, 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue (Phone 661 4064) between 11:30 am and 13:30 pm. Festive food will be served. Bridgend Growing Communities are also helping to transform the garden at Craigmillar Library. There will be free lunchtime activities and workshops every Thursday between 12pm – 2pm. For more information contact Rob on 07974 077 179. This short video celebrates Partick Community Growing Project’s progress; from getting it off the ground to what they achieved after just one growing season. It really captures the energy and impact that local projects can have in the community.

And if you are feeling energetic this weekend, The Field at Duddingston Village has 420 saplings to plant – help needed! Saturday 11am to 1pm See here:

Have a good weekend!

Best wishes


Maureen Child Update 7 November 2014

Dear All

In consultation with the Council’s local neighbourhood roads team, the house builder at Newcraighall North site between Gilberstoun and Newcraighall, Barratt’s, have now confirmed the date for the closure of the A6095 to Musselburgh, to allow for the dismantling of the Newcraighall disused rail bridge. The road will be totally closed for one week, starting Monday 17 November. In addition, there will be some preparatory works prior to the 17th and some additional works for a couple of weeks after.

I am advised that Duddingston Road West, which has been closed for some weeks to allow renewal of the railway bridge, will re-open on Monday – so the No 42 bus should be back to its normal route.

The Sir Harry Lauder Road is also down for resurfacing, starting next week, with a squad working through the night. Peffermill Road will be closed for a few days in January for vital Scottish Water works.

So – lots of road chaos in store for us!

The new pedestrian crossing at Abercorn Terrace which was agreed as a Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership (NP) project this year is further delayed. We hoped it would be in place by late summer, but has to be a road safety audit. The in-house team were snowed under with other work, so the audit went out to tender which is a tortuous lengthy process, but the contract is now let. The new estimated time of arrival for the crossing is February.

Another NP project that has taken ages is the continuation of the path up to Craigmillar Castle though the country park from Craigmillar. That is almost complete and the surface should go down on Monday.

Gica Loening is hosting a St Andrews Day Porty Ceilidh for all the family at The Wash House Community Centre. Tickets £6 Adults, £4 Children (under fives free) – for sale at The Wild Flower Shop. 90 Portobello High Street or at the door on the afternoon of Sunday 30th November from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.

Making simple changes will help to keep your home warm this winter, improve your health, and may also save you money. The increasing cost of energy is a concern to us all, and the Warm Your Home awareness campaign has been launched by the City of Edinburgh Council to help people heat their homes as effectively and cheaply as possible. The campaign helps people living in Council homes to get energy saving advice from Home Energy Scotland before the cold winter weather arrives. A person is defined as living in fuel poverty if they need to spend more than 10% of their household income on heating. In Edinburgh, it is believed that around 22% are fuel poor, with pensioners often being at the most risk. The Warm Homes discount is offered by most of the big energy companies, and can save up to £140 off your winter energy bill. For advice about this discount and saving energy, contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282, free from mobile phones and landlines.

Do you know an older person living in Edinburgh who needs some practical DIY help around the home? Care and Repair can help: Care and Repair Service

How can we improve life for people with dementia in Portobello? See our new leaflet here:

Coming out of hibernation for Winter?! Well – they like to do things differently at The 26 Present: 26 Present at the Dalraida

The Porty Panto, Sinbad is coming to the Wash House on 12th and 13th December. More at

Portobello and Craigmillar Neighbourhood Plan published. See here: Neighbourhood Plan Portobello and Craigmillar

Need the police? Dial 101 any time it isn’t a 999 emergency. More info about the police 101 service available at: Phone 101 or 999?

It’s a big milestone finally passed, and I am delighted that planning has been granted for 10 affordable rent passivhaus homes for Craigmillar Housing Co-op. It has taken 15 years, but they have almost got there!

Portobello High School pupils they discover the realities of life on the home front in WW1. Listen here:

Many of Castlebrae Community High School’s achievements and activities can be found here:

You can now try Tai Chi Thursdays 12—12:40pm at the East Neighbourhood Centre, 77 Niddrie Mains Road. Tai Chi is a slow and gentle form of exercise with lots of health benefits. Why not take 40 minutes out of your day to try out one of the free classes, run through by the health and wellbeing team at the Thistle Foundation.

An exhibition ‘From Steam to Diesel’ is currently on at the Portobello Library. See here:

An exhibition is coming to Craigmillar Library from Monday 24th November- Sat 13th Dec. As this is the United Nations Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, this is a documentary exhibition entitled The Nakba (The Catastrophe), which tells the story of the dispersal of the Palestinian people in 1948 during the period of the formation of the Israeli State. The exhibition was created by the German charity “Refugee Children of the Lebanon”. It =toured extensively in Germany, but this is the first time the English language version will have been shown in the UK. As the authors write “…….we are convinced that, without the knowledge and appropriate recognition of (the Palestinian ) side of the conflict, there will be no chance of reconciliation, justice and peace in the Near East. We hope to make a contribution to this with our exhibition.”

Tickets available now for Kid Canaveral’s Annual Xmas Event at Portobello Town Hall on Saturday 13 December. See here:

A redesigned recycling service in Edinburgh is already reducing the volume of rubbish being sent to landfill, figures show. Those using the new kerbside service have seen a 30% reduction in landfill waste, with homes binning an average of 5kg a week compared to 7kg before the change. Recycling has also increased in areas with the new service, and has risen from approximately 2kg to 3kg per week, which is a 50% increase. Almost 20,000 households switched to updated collections in September, which aim to simplify recycling, expanding capacity for different materials. Now 17,000 more homes are set to receive the service, which will be rolled out in phases to 140,000 properties in total over the next year. New grey bins will begin being delivered to phase two homes this week. On householders’ start date, their existing green wheelie bin will be emptied of general waste for the last time before being used for recycling. Blue boxes will still to be used for glass as well as small electrical items and food and garden recycling will continue as normal. It is hoped increasing space and capacity for mixed recycling will support the Council’s pledge to recycle 70% of the city’s waste by 2025. In Portobello/Craigmillar Routes 9 and 13 have already had the new service introduced, covering streets in the east of the Ward – Joppa and Eastfield, Newcraighall and Niddrie.

There’s still time to get involved in the consultation on a new cycling facility at Hunter’s Hall, mainly to the south of the Jack Kane Centre and Community Wing. Would you like to see a Cycling Hub in Hunter’s Hall Park, or not? Complete the online survey monkey and let the Council know your views:

A recruitment drive is now under way for members of two groups involved in developing active travel policy for Edinburgh. Applications are now being sought from four members of the public to join the Cycling and Walking Forum (i.e. eight in total), alongside one lobby group representative for each group. The Council is also looking for a business representative to join the Active Travel Forum, to give a perspective on active travel and staff commuting. This is a great opportunity for anyone who’s interested in active travel in Edinburgh. We want these forums to reflect a broad range of viewpoints to help us develop new policies and design principles for future walking and cycling initiatives. If you’ve got ideas on how we can do things differently or if you just want to play a bigger role in the City’s active travel plans, we’d love to hear from you.” The full membership of the Cycling and Walking Forums will be made up of existing Transport Forum members, elected members and officers from the Council’s Transport division. The first meetings of the Active Travel Forum, Cycling Forum and Walking Forum will take place on Wednesday 26 November 2014. To apply, complete the online application form by Friday 14 November.

“Volunteering Changes Lives” is a short film celebrating 30 years’ work by VCE’s Health & Wellbeing Team. This is an inspiring and powerful account of how volunteering has assisted a number of people to overcome the barriers & discrimination which accompany mental illness and disability. All are volunteers with local charities, supporting the delivery of services – being a helper rather than always being helped.

Have a good weekend!

Best wishes


Maureen Child Report October 2014

Dementia Friendly Portobello
I was delighted to be asked to be involved in chairing the launch event for Dementia Friendly Portobello in The Wash House community centre. This great local initiative is seen as a community pilot for the rest of Edinburgh. The main idea is to raise awareness of what we can do to support people and how we can help ensure that those with a diagnosis – and those who are just beginning along that path – can live life to the full. The local steering group, led by Jan Killeen was very pleased with how the vent went. We expected 40 people and attracted 60. The event included the showing of two short documentary films by Christeen Winford and presentations of personal stories from people diagnosed with dementia and a local perspective from a local couple Sylvia and John Stevenson who had cared for Sylvia’s mother in Portobello for several years. After sending out my update last time, I got four notes of interest from local people who want to get involved in some way, however small and short term. We identified several priority actions to take forward in the coming months and years and there will opportunities for everyone to get involved in taking the work forward. The contact for more information is Teresa Straczynski, Dementia Adviser Alzheimer Scotland, phone 0131 662 1204 or email The event and the information leaflet were supported through a community grant from the Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership.

Local Community Plan
Neighbourhood Partnerships (NPs) bring together the community and statutory and non-statutory services including, police, health, fire, voluntary sector and all local elected members and the meeting arrangements and communications are supported by Council officers. Each of the 12 NPs has a 3-year local community plan identifying the priorities. Over recent months, NPs have been consulting on our joint priorities for the next three years, now until 2017. These cover a range of themes including health, transport, environment, community safety, youth and children’s work and services for older people. The Portobello/Craigmillar NP, convened by Councillor Mike Bridgman, has a new three year plan which will be available in local libraries, at the neighbourhood office, and on line. We would all welcome your feedback and involvement. You would be welcome at any of our meetings or to contact us through social media, in line or through your elected representatives – for Council or Community Council.

Portobello High School and St John’s Primary School
I was sorry to miss the official start to the building of Portobello High School on Portobello Park while on holiday, but it is good to see the work begun and so many happy children, parents and school staff in the pictures and media reports. It is also a big relief to see the consultation on St John’s RC Primary replacement or refurbishment and extension underway after almost a decade of delay and uncertainty. Normally a school consultation involves simply the immediate school community, until planning permission is sought, but in this case the net has been immediately thrown much wider. This is necessarily so, as the location and design of new green space at the old Portobello High School has always hinged on pinning down the needs for St John’s next door. There will also be community consultation on the use of the money set aside in the project for improvements, as originally promised, to Magdalene Glen Park.

‘Alcolols’ Project
It was a privilege to go to Queen Margaret University and hear more about the highly successful project which started at Portobello High School and has expanded to other schools. This is a peer-led project, young people talking to other younger people about their use of alcohol. Seems to me that with the shocking rise in alcohol related death , especially among the older age group, we oldies need to learn from these young people!

Duddingston Yards Meeting Rooms
Now situated in new premises between Magdalene and Bingham the social enterprise, Forth Sector are keen to promote their new meeting venue and IT training facility at Duddingston Yards. They have 6 meeting rooms with capacity for 2 up to 60 people. The media centre has 20 PCs for IT based training. Forth Sector can cater for breakfast meetings, light lunches, or do just drop in and have a coffee to Duddingston Yards, Duddingston Park South, EH15 3NT (0131 201 2450) Website:

Railway Abutment Work Starts Newcraighall
Newcraighall Road will be closed from 17-23 November to allow the demolition of the old railway bridge at least the northern abutment. There will be a fenced and lit pedestrian access through the Barratt’s construction site at Newcraighall North. Both the No 30 and Eve’s service No 128 will divert via Queen Margaret University and the A1 Bypass. The section between Whitehill Farm Road and Newcraighall will be served by a shuttle bus. The contractor will shortly be leafleting the residents of Newcraighall who are obviously those most affected.

Council Budget Consultation
The Council is deciding where to invest and where to save money. We want to know your views by 19 December. The Council faces a budget challenge which affects how much money we have to invest in our services in the coming years. Between 2015 and 2018, the Council’s annual budget will remain around £950 million. However the cost of providing services is expected to be £1.01 billion. The Council needs to save £67 million from our budget, over the next three years, to make sure it can provide the services that are important to the people of Edinburgh. More at

Towerbank Car Free Pilot
This week’s transport committee is likely to agree in principle that three of our local primary schools are among those for ‘car free’ pilots. The details of all are yet to be worked out, but Duddingston and St John’s are in the first phase and Towerbank in the second. I write about this in an email update last week, so I won’t repeat it all here, but can assure you that the detail of what this involves is still open to discussion. Towerbank parents are already very active in persuading their peers not to take a car down to the school where well over 90% of children already travel to school on foot, bike or scooter rather than take a car down as far as Wilson’s Park.

The White House
The local Community Alliance Trust is running a car boot sale in the garden area at the back of the beautiful White House cafe on Saturday 1 November. The superb cafe will be open with a brunch menu from 9am to 3pm, so you could combine it with a walk in the country park up to the Castle. To book a space for your car, phone 0131 468 1934. Cars cost £10 with a £3 deposit up front. Free entry for customers, so do come along to The White House, 70 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4BG

My Contact Details
My regular reports and updates on local issues are freely available by email. Just let me know if you want to be on my distribution list. I also put hard copies in the libraries to pick up. My contact details are: Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Direct Line 0131 529 3268 | Phone/Text Mobile 07718 666 481 or Follow me on Twitter @MaureenChild1