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Maureen Child Update 12 January 2018

Dear All


Sorry about the interruption to normal Update service over Christmas and New Year, but I guess we allhad better and more important things to do with our friends and family over the last three weeks!  In that spirit, again, I wish you and yours all the very best for 2018!


Evaluation of the bids to buy the Portobello Powerleague Westbank Street site took place on Thursday 7 December 2017.  the first participation requests under the Community Empowerment Act came from  Portobello Community Council and Portobello Amenity Society.  Their bid evaluation forms part of the ongoing due diligence to select the preferred bidder for the site.  The Council officers’ original intention was to finalise the process early in the New Year, with a report to Finance and Resources Committee on 23 January 2018. However, as Local Councillors and Community requested, the report has been deferred to the March 2018 cycle of Finance and Resources Committee.  Meanwhile, Scottish Government has awarded Action Porty funding to undertake a community-led Making Places exercise for the site and will be taking that forward ASAP.


Are you looking for a fun way to get fit in 2018? Porty Netball is a fun recreational group for adults of all ages, shapes and sizes meeting at Holy Rood High School every Monday, starting the 15 January, 7:30 – 8:45pm at £4 a session.  All levels welcome.  Most of the group haven’t played since primary school, but they say it’s easy enough to pick it all back up!


Are there any budding athletes out there?  Did you put “running a half or full marathon” on your New Year Resolutions list?  Well, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is only 19 weeks away!  Would you like to run for Thistle, based in Craigmillar?  Help raise funds by completing that life time goal!  Contact for more information.  More about the really great work Thistle does here:  Thistle are well worth your support, by running or any other means!


Portobello Community Orchard is holding their annual Wassailing event on Saturday 27 January 2-4 pm. There will be the usual singing and dancing to encourage a bountiful fruit harvest in 2018, led by the community choir, as well as a bonfire and refreshments.  Let’s hope it will be drier than last year – not that it stopped people enjoying themselves!


Wellsprings Community are hosting ‘Spirit Rhythms’ at Caffe Nero, Fort Kinnaird this Sunday 14 January 5-7pm; a spiritual fair with live music. Free event.


This time last year, the Community was being asked about options for improvements to the park at Straiton Place.  The Council put all the works out to tender and appointed the contractor.  There is no start date as yet, because the equipment has up to six weeks delivery time, but the work should be completed before April this year. The double swing will have a large swing seat called a ‘mirage’ suitable for all abilities, the same as the one at the Meadows.


I have asked for the graffiti on Portobello Promenade to be dealt with and the local task force will be blitzing the Promenade area to get rid of as much as they can.  The Council has to charge for the service on private property and do need the owner’s permission, which has been given. If anyone has information that would help bring to book and stop whoever is responsible for making this kind of mess, please do contact our local community cop, PC Matt McPherson on 101.


Nice to see lots of suggestions for places to go visit in and around Edinburgh – without the need for a car –  including Portobello and Craigmillar.  Click here:


Do you know anybody who is struggling to make ends meet right now and could do with a bit of help to get them back on their feet?  The Turn2us Edinburgh Trust provides grants to people struggling financially living in the City of Edinburgh. These funds are dedicated entirely to helping local people on low incomes. More here:


It is fantastic news that Scotland’s women’s beach volleyball pair Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts have secured a place at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. All that training on Portobello beach paid off! More here:


Take care of yourselves and have  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 20 December 2017

Dear All


Local people know best what’s needed in their community. For the 3rd time Portobello & Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership are giving local people the power to decide how our £21,737 of Community Grants will be spent.  You have until 27 December to apply!!/  So, there are only a couple of days left for you to contact Ailish or Scott for guidance about your potential project to check/ensure that your proposal meets the Community Grants Fund criteria.  Their email address is Ailish Haughney or Scott Neill  0131 469 5326. All applications that meet the Community Grants Fund criteria and are approved will go to the community to vote on 3 February 2018.  Each project will have to complete a promotional template (an example will be provided on the web site next week).  This will be used in the new year to promote your project to the wider community in libraries and community centres.


Foodbanks in Edinburgh are welcoming donations this Christmas to help those in need during the festive season. Here are some of the key drop-off points where you can donate non-perishable food, toiletries and household items. Includes Craigmillar Centre, Bristo Memorial Church, 196 Peffermill Road, EH16 4AJ and  Marks & Spencer Fort Kinnaird, Fort Kinnaird Retail Park, EH15 3RD.


A reminder that the deadline for comment on the preferred site for our new Castlebrae Community High School is only two days away. The Education, Children and Families Committee agreed on 10 October that a statutory consultation should proceed on the proposal to provide a new secondary school to replace Castlebrae High School on the site identified in Craigmillar Town Centre.  The original masterplan for the regeneration of the Craigmillar area showed the site for a new secondary school and community library in the Craigmillar town centre.  The rationale for relocating the school is to: a) give it a more prominent location in Craigmillar;  b) endeavour to make it a more popular choice for its catchment population; and c) be a significant contributor to the regeneration of the town centre.   Click here to respond today:


I was delighted to be invited once again to read one of the lessons last Sunday at The Robin Chapel, Craigmillar.  I got to read the passage about Herod and the Wise Men.  People later said I got Herod ‘to a T’.  Any guesses who I might have had in mind there?  (-;


The Council operates a priority system for the treatment of roads, pavements and cycle paths within the city boundary.  Here is more detail:


A mix up about whether or not the Council would actually put up a real Christmas tree was the only thing to – very slightly – mar the start of the fabulous Community switch on event, organised by Craigmillar Community Council, Neighbourhood Alliance and the Local Neighbourhood Council team.  Choirs of children from three of our Craigmillar primary schools came together, in great voice, to sing ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ – judged the very best the two lighting engineers had heard that week! Santa was there with gifts for every child and our Local Hero champion boxer Jason Easton’s really wowed the kids and performed the official switch-on of the lights on three of the street trees right outside.  Everyone had a great time, including this local Councillor, who had to miss the mince pies go early to do other Granny-type duties.


If you have a Monday refuse collection day, you need to put bins out on the Saturday before, as the next two Mondays are public holidays, believe it or not. Can’t think why….See here:


Action Porty was delighted to recently announce that they have been awarded £12,000 by the Scottish Government under their Making Places initiative. This funding will contribute to a community-led design process they aim to use to ensure that whatever happens on Portobello’s Westbank/Pitz site takes its lead from the community. More here:


And here’s another consultation to take part in with a longer lead I time than those above.


Tribe Porty, Windsor Place, are one of the seven winning community organisations set to benefit from the latest £140k of Skills & Opportunities funding. More here:

Specifically, this funding will allow Tribe Porty to create and implement their Women in Enterprise course which they will pilot in 2018.  The Women in Enterprise pilot is about designing a specific programme for women, by women and creating a community in the process. Tribe Porty has a strong network of existing women in business already and look forward to collaborating and learning with other women experts in their fields. Want to get involved? Goto:


Paul Gardner and his merry bunch of Dookers will be braving the chilly waters of Portobello Beach on January 1st! Meet up point will be The Espy on Portobello Promenade (at the bottom of Bath Street) between 11–11:30am.  Tea, coffees and toilet facilities will be provided by Espy on the day, children and dogs are welcome too! Dooking starts at 12 noon on 1st January – sponsorship forms are available from Gail Begg if anyone would like to join in the fun!  If you don’t want to get your feet wet, come along and cheer on our team of around 12 who are braving the freezing cold sea! You can give to Paul and his team by donating on his page


And that’s all for now, folks.  I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Kind regards





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 7 December 2017

Dear All


Magical Woodland Walk on Sunday 10 December 1pm to 2.30pm!  Book by emailing  Ben at Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (details below). Rowanbank are coming back to the park for Part 2 of their Magical Woodland Walk series. Complete with musicians, story tellers and trapeze artists, they will take you on a magical journey through the forest. Booking is essential as spaces are limited. For more details and to book a space please contact Ben on 0131 445 4025 or email


I picked this up from social media about our Portobello wild swimmers. Worth a read!


Locally, we are amazing! The number of people who come together to do community clean ups, and get to know each other in the process, is fantastic. They put the litterbugs to shame. Portobello Timebank, Friends of Brunstane Burn and Kings Road Residents, Friends of Figgate Park and Brighton & Rosefield Residents Association and they many people who pledge to pick up and bit of litter or more each day – all do their bit as responsible citizens in helping keep our streets clean.  The Council can only do so much all on its own!  Here is how:


The Edinburgh Remakery is working with the City of Edinburgh Council, The Welcoming, Refuaid, and Bikes for Refugees to provide free refurbished laptops to refugees and asylum-seekers resettling in the UK.  This project has already helped 33  refugees and refugee families. But there is still more we can do and plenty more people in need of  our help. Click here:


Remember to respond to the consultation on the Licensing Boards’s alcohol licensing policy. closes 22 December 2017.


Lothian Buses festive season services are published in this leaflet, hard copies now available on each service. Click here:


They also have done their first video, which is lovely:


Craigmillar Community Cinema is showing the film Hidden Figures at Craigmillar Library 5pm- 8pm, Wednesday 13 December.  Suitable for adults and children aged 12 and over.  A free event and no need to book.  Just turn up.  More information from Dani Waddell Connecting Craigmillar Development Worker ( Link Up) Thistle Foundation Tel: 0131 661 3366 Mob: 079 09 25 7415


It’s always a pleasure when we get new issue of the The Portobello Reporter through the letterbox, keeping everyone in touch with what’s going on. And now I can also read it on my phone on the bus on the way to work!  You can get the electronic copy too, by clicking on this link:


All for now!


Kind regards





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 November 2017

Dear All


It was a privilege to be personally invited by one of my grandchildren to P6B’s Towerbank Primary School Class Assembly and French Cafe.  The pupils had done all the work themselves, including writing the scripts for the scenes they acted out, in French.  it was a really impressive display of their learning and the joy they clearly get out of working together as a team. We – the proud audience of parents and grandparents – had a lovely entertaining time, and were well fed with croissants, brioche and French bread.  Bravo, les impeccables enfants de Towerbank P6B!  More about the whole school’s achievements, which they will in common with ALL the Council’s amazing schools here:


You Decide! Local people know best what’s needed in their community.  For the third time Portobello & Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership are giving local people the power to decide how our £21,737 of Community Grants will be spent.  Local groups with a good idea about an event or a project that will benefit their community should please bid now.  Applications will close on 27 December 2017.  There are two options available.  Groups can bid for up to £1,500, or, make a smaller bid of up to £500, for example, to buy a piece of equipment the group needs.  Groups who apply for the higher amount should note that a member of the group must attend the voting event on Saturday 3 February, for their bid to be included.  The aim is to give local people a chance to speak to projects and find out more about what they are planning to do, before they vote.   On Saturday 3 February, young and old across the area will vote for the work they want to see delivered.  The groups who win the most votes will be awarded the money.   This time, the voting will take place in the East Neighbourhood Centre, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, from 1pm -3 pm.  Young people from Portobello who are aged 16 and under, will be able vote on the same day in Portobello Library. We want to encourage people to turn up, see what’s on offer and to find out what groups are hoping to do in the area.  Information is available on the Partnership website:!/


In addition, if you are considering planning a community event, small grants are available to help.  Click here: Deadline for these particular applications is 15 December 2017.


Do come along on 3 December for the Portobello Market at Christmas and get those last minute gifts or pick up your orders. Gates open in Brighton Park at 9.30 and the Market  runs until 1.30.  At 11am Portobello’s very own carol singers will get you in the festive mood, so get those Santa hats on and come and join in! BG Cycles are on site again as well to give our bikes a winter check. Check out the website for a list of all traders . If you can, please do Like & Share the Facebook page, PortyMarket. The next market is on Saturday 3 February 2018.


At Saturday’s Market, you will also be able to pick up a Friends of Figgate Park Calendar 2018, with some amazing Anthony Robson photographs of the Figgy wildlife, including our swans and ‘our’ kingfisher, nicknamed Bowie.


Portobello St Marks Church on Portobello High Street (opposite top of Bellfield Street)  is a collection point for Caring Christmas Trees sold by Bethany Christian Charity.  More here: St Marks They will also be having a coffee morning this Saturday, remember!


On Friday, the count down to Christmas really starts with the excitement of opening the first window,  I picked up this truly fabulous advent calendar with a difference  on social media which I think is the very best ever!  It’s certainly one that I will be try for to follow over the days of Advent.  More in the spirit of Christmas than the consumer-fest we sometimes get sucked into!


Working in Craigmillar, the charity Fresh Start are running a 4 week cooking course at The Venchie Children’s and Young Peoples Project, 61 Niddrie Mains Terrace, helping some of the mums gain more confidence in their cooking. The group have been brilliant and really supportive. Last week, they made stir fry and blueberry muffins for all to enjoy. Pictures here: More about the Venchie here And here’s a Fresh Start volunteering opportunity:


I reported on the Edinburgh Evening News’s Lothian Buses People’s Champion award a few weeks back. Well, we have a worthy winner by popular vote here :


Portobello Amateur Swimming Club (PASC) would like me to express their thanks to everyone who spent their well-earned money and the volunteers who helped out at their Jumble Sale last Saturday in Portobello Town Hall.  PASC raised enough funds to run a couple of fun activities for their swimmers and water polo players, all thank to the kindness of the ‘Portobello Family’.


How about the ‘Edinburgh Family’? The Edinburgh Evening News have a fantastic campaign that We should all get behind:


Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see you around at one of the very many local events in Portobello and Craigmillar!




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 24 November 2017

Dear All


Edinburgh is apparently the loneliest city in the UK for older people, so charity Vintage Vibes have launched their Cosy Christmas Project. Local lass and former Brunstane Primary School pupil Gail Porter and Vintage Vibes are asking the people of Edinburgh to write a FREE Christmas Card to brighten the life of someone who is lonely and over 60 in the city.  Find out more at and please share with as many people as you can!


Big Kid Balloon Twister’s Big Book Show is on at Craigmillar Library tomorrow, Saturday 25 November at 12.30 pm. The show is a fun, interactive reading show full of stories from big magical books, full animated balloon puppets and lots of balloon props. Followed by art activities with Artman. You are welcome to join the free fun!


Remember the fundraising Wash House Family Ceilidh with Fun Fiddlers is on Sunday 26 November, 3pm – 5.30pm.


Also this Saturday, 10am-2pm, at the Portobello Community Orchard (entrance opposite Brunstane Station) volunteers will be doing an end of season tidy-up and re-planting one of the trees they rescued from the number sadly ripped out earlier in the season.  They’ll be pruning the soft fruit bushes and improving the soil around trees in the wetter part of the orchard and planting Portobello Rotary Club crocus to make a beautiful display next spring. They hope you’ll drop in for a cup of tea and a chat – and something sweet, no doubt!


Dates for your diary:


Thistle Centre of Wellbeing is having its first ever Christmas Fair next week, Saturday 2 December.  Doors open at 12.30pm. Join in for lots of festive fun including cakes, cards, crafts and – of course – carols!


Towerbank Primary School Christmas Fair is also on Saturday 2 December 2pm – 5pm.  There will be games, craft activities, Christmas baking, raffle, toys and books, and Santa’s grotto.   Porty Maker’s market will also be there with handcrafted items, print and jewellery for. Local artists. Entry is £1 per child which includes five tokens to spend inside and adults free entry.  Book to see Santa at the stall in the playground from Monday 20 November.


A Christmas Coffee Morning on Saturday 2 December at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, High Street, Portobello, 11am to 1pm. Come and enjoy bacon rolls, tea and coffee, home baking, books, raffle and Tombola. All welcome! Then enjoy an evening of wonderful music on Sunday 10 December when Dalkeith and Monktonhall Brass Band give their Christmas concert at St Mark’s. Tickets are £8 and free for under 16s. More details at or


A new park amenity green space is planned on the site of the former Portobello High School informed by a big community consultation phase led by Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust.  Work will include the demolition of the existing St John’s RC Primary School currently on the site which will be relocated to a new build school adjacent to the park.  For details, click here:  Planning application for the new Treverlen Park reference number is 17/05217/FUL.


The public meeting about the Powerleague site at Westbank Street, organised by Portobello Community Council, last Wednesday attracted 150 people and – in case you missed it – this account appeared in the Evening News:  Portobello Community Council, Portobello Amenity Society and us four local Councillors are involved in assessing the bids at some point in the next couple of weeks, as part of our Participation Request under the Community Empowerment Act.  That will help inform the Council officers’ report to the Council’s Finance and Resources Committee in January.


Portobello Macular Group meets on the second Wednesday of the month between 1 and 3 pm upstairs in Portobello Library. Anyone who is affected by any eyesight condition is more than welcome to join the group for peer support and information. Also tea and coffee are provided, Contact Anne Dignan for further information on 0131 657 2299.


I came across the of Porty Velo, a band of happy cyclists and all their activities:


If you are considering planning a community event, small grants are now available to help fund it.  Click here: Deadline for applications is 15 December 2017.


I started last week with a resolution to walk more every day.  Health benefits are well documented as Edinburgh Leisure  know well:


For the last two meetings, in the absence of Councillor Lewis Ritchie, I was voted in as Development Management Sub Committee Convener.  This week, we had a Hearing on Scheme 4 of Baileyfield South application for 435 homes at the former Standard Life Site off Fishwives Causeway.  Committee spent over three hours hearing the arguments, and asking questions from all sides – community and professional – before coming to a collective view.  Report from the Edinburgh Evening News here: Portobello Community Council’s  report is here:


Yesterday, the Full Council voted in new Planning Committee Convener, Councillor Neil Gardiner.  I have suggested to Neil that he watch the community representations from Portobello Community Council, Portobello Amenity Society, Brighton and Rosefield Residents Association and Local Councillors to see what a fully active, engaged community can achieve in shaping new development alongside planning officers and a relatively responsive developer.  I know there are still concerns about the impact of this new development at Baileyfield on Portobello, but I can assure you we have all done the very best we could within the constraints we face.  Work on the development of this important brownfield site will start in Spring 2018.


You may have noticed the heras fencing now around both Portobello Pottery Kilns with nothing apparently happening to these important scheduled monuments.  The kilns are now both awaiting essential repairs.  The buddleia growth at the top of the eastern one required attention, but we noticed that one of the steel strapping bands had snapped on the western one and that may lead to movement of the bricks.  The site was due to be surveyed this week and we hope repairs can go ahead – and soon.

That’s all for now!  I hope to see some of you around.  Please do say ‘hello’ so I can try and put names to faces.


Kind regards




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