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Maureen Child Update 3 November 2017

Dear All


A great initiative from the Evening News and our fabulous local bus company.  Nominate your favourite ‘random act of kindness’ by local bus drivers! One driver stopped his Number 3 service to hop out and assist a pensioner struggling with his shoelace at the side of the road. Another on the 44 route jumped out at a stop to assist an elderly resident across the street, while another went to the rescue of a hedgehog stranded in the road. Awarded or not, bus driver or not, if we all did those random acts of kindness, we’d find our own reward!  More here:


Evidence is mounting that diesel emissions are causing serious health problems and making Edinburgh city air quality worse and many cities are already taking steps to combat this. What do you think of the idea of adding a surcharge to Edinburgh residents’ parking permits for diesel vehicles? Have your say here:


Edinburgh’s Licensing Board has begun an initial, informal consultation on the terms of its Statement of Licensing Policy.  The Board is required to agree the terms of its new policy, to be published by the end of 2018.  The details of the consultation are located on the Council’s online Consultation Hub:-


Faulty lamp post in your street? Each one has a registration number, which helps, but if you can’t get the number, the exact location will do.  Report it to


Traffic congestion might be driving you mad – and I told you so in 2003 – but even so research by the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Mobility Index has revealed Edinburgh’s transport infrastructure is the second best in the UK, only pipped to the top by London. More here:


Portobello High School Fair is on Saturday 4 November 10am-1pm, organised by the school’s Parent Council.  I’ll be on the Fairtrade stall for a while, so do come and say ‘Hello!’.


Fancy an outing to Craigmillar Castle Park? Events planned throughout autumn.  Details here:


Portobello and Leith Guides Jumble Sale Saturday 4 November in Portobello and Joppa Parish church hall 1pm-3pm.


At Portobello Market this Saturday you can place orders with your favourite trader to be collected on the 2 December market.The market is in Brighton Park, Brighton Place, from 9.30am to 1.30am. Check out the PEDAL website to see the full list of traders and any updates.

BG Cycles of Portobello is back on site, offering a free check on your bicycle, so bring it along and make sure it’s fit for winter riding. Please Like & Share our Facebook page Next market is on Saturday 2nd December. There is no market in January.


If you’re looking for a venue for a local event or meeting, Portobello Community Council usefully complied a list which is freely available on their website :


Local Opportunites for Older People (LOOPS) are open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm to answer your calls. Call fabulous LOOPS on 0131 603 8311 to speak to a friendly adviser about activities in your area. More here:


Best wishes for a good weekend, whatever you are up to.




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 26 October 2017

Dear All


It was a privilege to be able to pay a Full Council tribute to the current Head Teacher of Castleview Primary School in Craigmillar who was awarded the very prestigious annual Scottish Government Robert Owen Award, joining a pantheon of internationally renowned previous recipients. It has been even more of a privilege for me to know Lyndsey Watt, to work with her in the Craigmillar community and to learn so much about leadership from her.  This was truly inspired choice for this very Inspiring Educator for a hugely inspiring educator. More about Lyndsey and her personal and professional journey here from an Evening News article four years ago:


Also this morning, your four Portobello/Craigmillar Councillors – working together as a Local Ward team – secured cross-Party consensus on a way forward for the Powerleague site to ensure that the widest range of people in the community are fully and properly involved in getting the best possible development on the site that meets the wider needs of East Edinburgh and our own neighbourhood in Portobello at the same time.


Craigmillar Castle Park Event for Halloween is on Sunday 29 October, 2pm-5pm. This promises to be lots of fun, with spooky games and activities thanks to the effective collaboration of quite a number of people and their organisations working together! For booking, and more information, email:


Here’s a link to great prospectus put together for Castlebrae Community High School as it continues to grow from strength to strength:


Holyrood High School news is also well worth looking up regularly through their website:


Newcraighall Autumn Fair is on 10am-4pm Saturday 28 October Crafts, gifts, vintage collectibles and other stalls with live music and refreshments at Wellsprings (the old church), 71 Whitehill St, Newcraighall EH21 8QZ.


Thistle are holding cheese tasting and art sale night to raise much-needed funds and are delighted to welcome artist and printmaker, Linda Sheridan, who will be happy to talk about her work and is offering prints for sale.In 2016, Linda’s ‘Coal Fans Portobello’ was selected for an open exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy. Meanwhile Bams Deli in Musselburgh is providing a tasting with cheeses from all over Europe – Holland, Spain, Italy France – in addition to its range of wonderful Scottish fare.  Drinks will also be provided.  A Tai Chi taster session will be led by Thistle volunteer Margaret Hendry. Tickets are available at reception £10.  All profits go to support the work of the Thistle Foundation, Thistle Centre of Wellbeing 13 Queens Walk, EH16 4EA.


Another note for your diary – St Martin’s Church in Magdalene are holding their Autumn Fair on 18 November. Any gifts for the fair will be gratefully received any Sunday between now and then.


Here’s a great write up for Portobello Book Festival in the Edinburgh Reporter. This year’s was decidedly the best yet, I think, as it gets better every year.   Click and read here:


Craigmillar Book Festival 2017 is coming up 16 – 25 November, with over 40 events for children and young people in Craigmillar. All events are free.


Lothian Buses have increased passenger numbers by 50% in the last 6 months. Hundreds more have been using LB’s newly extended services to Fort Kinnaird that launched six months ago. Since announcing the changes in April, Lothian has seen a 50% rise in the number of passengers using Services 18 and 49 to travel to the shopping, dining and leisure. The half-hourly Service 18 runs to Fort Kinnaird from the Royal Infirmary via Little France and Greendykes Road, and the Service 49 connects Leith, Lochend and Portobello to Fort Kinnaird every 20 minutes. More here:


There are a few days left for you to cast your vote for your favourite park.  My vote is for the Figgate Park – of course!


The next Portobello Timebank Brunstane Burn Clean Up is on Saturday 4 November 1.30pm – 4pm.


I enjoyed my break last week, but it is good to be back!


Best wishes





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

Maureen Child Update 12 October 2017

Dear All


Portobello Timebank members completed another fantastic clean up of Magdalene Glen last Saturday – a truly magnificent effort, and all very much appreciated! A lovely sunny day brought out a dozen people, of all ages and abilities, to pick up surface litter around the Asda footbridge, and to tackle weightier problems alongside Portobello Timebank members. On a previous recce Timebanker James Carver had discovered a trolley graveyard up near Fort Kinnaird, and 18 were recovered in various states of disrepair. A couple of recently fly-tipped mattresses were also dealt with.  As ever, a Council refuse cage was filled with rubbish accumulated since the Timebank group were last there in May.  Have you seen the photos on social media yet?


Also a massive thank you to the great 18 volunteers who spent a total of 74 hours on our Bellfield’s pre winter clear up at the weekend!


Portobello Timebank is having a coffee and cake morning on Saturday in Portobello Baptist Church,10am -12noon so come along and  find out how you can get involved and help them raise some funds and find out about the next fun clean up!  TIckets are £3 and accompanied children go free.  See you there?


Our dynamic Portobello beach volleyball duo is featured again this week; great role models for women and girls taking part in sport and training on our doorstep! Click here:


The Thistle’s Monday Tai Chi classes have been incredibly busy lately, so they recently added a fourth weekly session to the timetable. There is now a session on a Wednesday at 1.30pm.  If you’ve never tried it before, and want to give it a go, do pop in and speak to the friendly reception team at Queen’s Walk, Craigmillar.


David Calder’s local podcasts are always worth a listen, and this one no less than the others about enabling children to swim: David’s Porty Podcasts now number well over 50 and are great to listen to in archive too!


As the parent of two sons who went to Towerbank Primary School and the grandparent of five Towerbank pupils and ex-pupils, I am personally delighted to contribute a little to the ongoing development of the fantastic playground by buying a ticket for their lottery. Maybe you would like to do so as well?  Here’s the link:


This week I gave a big plug for the amazing ‘Alex and Charlie’ book for children which three of the six young authors from Young Edinburgh Action who presented so confidently at Portobello Book Festival over the weekend.  Watch me in action (if you  reallywant) from 52m48secs


In my view, Youth Action shows us all how to do politics for real and make a tangible difference in people’s lives; by participating and making a sustainable change in policy, culture and attitudes.  Our representative democratic structures, like Councils and Parliaments are important, but it can also seem like ‘all talk and no action’. These youngsters show how participatory democracy can be done well. So, please do take note and learn from how they do politics!


On this topic, I just got a lovely note of thanks for this from Christina McMellon who chaired two Sunday sessions I went to in Portobello Book Festival. Christina says:   “On behalf of the Young Edinburgh Action team (staff and young people) I’d really like to thank you for your contribution at the Education, Children and Families Committee on Tuesday. We were cheering you on as we watched the live stream.  You reflected the project and our views about young people’s participation perfectly.” She also says the young people also got a big buzz out of presenting their work to Portobello Book Festival.  This was all such a fabulous learning experience – for us all!


On the ongoing  complaints about the occupation of caravans and mobile homes at foot of Kings Road, I had a walk about down there this week – in the rain – and met one of the local residents who desperately wants something done about them.  I will ask –  again –  if the Council would put up notices encouraging people to have some consideration and not to camp there overnight in their caravans and mobile homes.  It is causing some grief to immediate neighbour’s.


This week, I visited residents in the sheltered housing in Hope Lane, first thing in the morning, and saw demonstrated in practice how difficult they find crossing the busy Hope Lane to get to the new path and beyond.  There are a number of things that have to be sorted around the new school as it beds in, and some of these are being flushed out through a road safety audit.  Once that audit is complete (very soon, I hope!) and the recommendations for changes clear, work will be done to sort out the issues these residents have.  I am also well aware that the flashing lights on the 20mph signs on Milton Road are not working as they should, while the one on Hope Lane works fine!  Apparently they were connected to the wrong electricity supply and that really does need to be sorted too!  It is in hand.


On Tuesday evening, Ian Bienowski, network performance manager for Lothian Buses plc came to Craigmillar Community Council (CCC) to answer questions about the re-routing of the No 21.   Since the changes in the Spring, instead of going via Peffermill Road, the No 21 goes straight to the new Royal infirmary along the dedicated bus lane through Greendykes. Understandably, Craigmillar residents to the west of the Greendykes Road junction are upset and angry that they must now take two buses to get to the RIE and Savacentre and they are not as well served as before. This route change was to make sure the buses are more reliable, by avoiding congestion both at Craigmillar crossroads and the junction near Savacentre.  All four Local Portobello/Craigmillar Councillors were at the Community Council Meeting.  Last Spring these changes imposed on us with no notice at all, with no opportunity to protest about it.  We – and CCC – are assured of a much better dialogue in future.


Have a great weekend when it comes!


Best wishes




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

Maureen Child Update 4 October 2017

Dear All


Our community buy-out Bellfield’s Crowdfunder closed last week, and Portobello did manage to raise more than the £20,000 target.  There was a really amazing show of support from the community, so a big THANK YOU everyone who donated!  If you missed out on donating, and would still like to, you can do that on the website More about Bellfield and how to get involved in developing this great community resource here:


The first practical task is the Autumn Clean Up at Bellfield which is on Saturday 7 October 10am- 2pm.  This activity is suitable for fit adults and for children over 10 years who are keen to work. It won’t be suitable for toddlers or people who have ricked their backs or sprained their wrists.  Come fully kitted out and equipped for gardening, if you possibly can!  RSVP to or  – Bellfield need to estimate numbers for this event, so please do let them know if you intend to come!


If you haven’t had enough cleaning up at Bellfield in the morning, the first Portobello Timebank clean-up of the Autumn season is on the afternoon of Saturday 7 October, at Magdalene Glen form 1.30pm to 4pm, meeting at the footbridge near Asda.


There is a lot on in Porty this weekend! Portobello Book Festival 2017 too. Some events are already fully booked but there are still tickets left for many of them. And there will be a very limited amount for each event available immediately beforehand. To make sure of your place, head to Portobello Library before the weekend to pick up your FREE tickets.


Portobello Book Festival gets a mention on Radio Scotland as Doug Johnstone talks with Ricky Ross about his writer’s residency at a funeral directors. He’ll be talking about this at the Writers in Residence event next Saturday. Fake News and the 100th Anniversary of the Scottish Women’s Institute also feature earlier in the programme – both topics being covered next weekend during the festival. If you are picking this up on time, do listen again on iPlayer from about 1 hour 47minutes.


It’s lovely to read about all the great fun playtimes the children are enjoying at Towerbank and all the good school work going on there, much of it reported by the children themselves.  See this week’s here:


During the October holidays the Craigmillar Sport Hub are running free cycling tasters at Jack Kane Sport Centre in partnership with Edinburgh RC.


These exciting sessions are all about having fun on the bike and learning skills to make you a better rider. Sessions are 2 hours in duration with lots of challenges, drills and racing.  Sessions run on Thursday19 and Friday 20 October. Sessions both days run 10.00 to 12.00 for children aged between 6 and 10 and 14.00 to 16.00 for over tens. Friday’s sessions are open to girls only.  Bikes can be provide for those aged 8+ for those who don’t have their own. Helmets must be worn but can also be provided. To book your child, or children, into a session please complete the following booking form:

For more information, email


The fabulous Thistle Centre for Wellbeing at Queen’s Walk Craigmillar hosts a creative writing group every Wednesday morning at 11am until 12:30pm called The Scribblers.  It’s a small, welcoming group and you don’t have to share what you’ve written unless you want to. Each week they do different, ‘warm up’ exercises to get into writing and then focus on our own projects and interests. Some people write short stories and poems, others write non-fiction – it’s entirely up to you! You don’t have to join in every session, just when it’s convenient for you. The Scribblers love to welcome new members, so please do go along! For more information call 0131 661 3366.


The smell and feel of Autumn is in the air, the trees are turning, and to add even more colour to your life the next Portobello Market is on Saturday 7th October. The market is held in Brighton Park, Brighton Place, Portobello, from 9.30am to 1.30am. Check out the PEDAL website to see the full list of the traders attending:


You would be welcome to come along to Magdalene’s Mexican Sunday on the 8 October between 1pm and 4pm, at Magdalene Community Garden, where there well be lots delicious free food, music and activities for the kids. This event is open to the whole community.


Wellsprings Community  are hosting ‘Spirit Rhythms’ again at Caffe Nero, Fort Kinnaird this Sunday 8 October 5-7pm; a spiritual fair with live music. Free event


Citizens Advice Edinburgh advisers deliver welfare rights advice to registered patients at several GP Surgeries across Edinburgh including Craigmillar, supported by NHS Lothian and Edinburgh Central Health Partnership. More information on the Edinburgh CAB website website:


That’s all for now.


Best wishes





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

Maureen Child Update 28 September 2017

Dear All


It was a perfect day last Saturday on Portobello Promenade for the Richmond’s Hope Mile of Memories event.  The local charity do wonderful work with children who have suffered the loss of a close relative or friend.  They are based where they were founded, by local people, in Richmond Church in the heart of Craigmillar and were featured the night before in STV.  Listen here and marvel at the work they do! :


Portobello’s very own Bellfield Crowdfunder is closing tomorrow and we have already raised over £10,000.  We really appreciate all the support so far, but could use more help. While we do get to keep all the money donated, even if we don’t hit our target, every pound we raise will help us with our work.  You can donate to the Crowdfunder here: Any amount is helpful, no matter how large or small, and if you can’t donate anything, or already have donated, please do share it  widely with friends, family, and on social media. To achieve our funding goal we need to reach as many people as possible who want to support this community hub.


The smell and feel of Autumn is in the air, the trees are turning, and to add even more colour to your life the next Portobello Market is on Saturday 7 October a week on Saturday. The market is held in Brighton Park, Brighton Place, Portobello, from 9.30am to 1.30am. Check out the PEDAL website link below to see the full list of the traders attending. Please Like & Share our Facebook page, PortyMarket. Next market is on Saturday 4th November.  More here:


‘Recitals for Wrigglers’ is coming to TribePorty, Windsor Place on 23 October with a Halloween themed concert. If you have wee bairns go nalong and enjoy a short informal concert (violin and cello) with interactive music making.  It will be fun for the whole family! You can reserve tickets by emailing:


Towerbank Primary put up their regular weekly newsletter on social media too and it’s lovely to see and hear about all their great learning experiences and achievements for. The children themselves.  Here’s one:


Every Friday and Saturday at 2pm. Craigmillar Library welcome all children for an hour of craft.  It’s suitable for 5-10 years, but please remember under 8′s must be accompanied by a parent/carer over 12.


Our local credit union Castle Community Bank (CCB) has sponsored Newcraighall’s community football club. The nearest branch of CCB is in Craigmillar, just opposite Craigmillar Library.  But you can also find out all about CCB on line:


Craigmillar Community Cinema has a programme set up for the next three months at Craigmillar Library with monthly free film screenings for children on Saturday and for ages 15 and over on Wednesdays.  For more information and to sign up, contact or phone Dani on 07909 257 415.  Facebook @connectingcraigmillar


John Muir Family Forest Activities start in Craigmillar Castle Park on Mondays, starting 23 October form 3.30pm to 5.30pm.  If you would like to know more, please contact Ben McCallum 07824 838 364.


Have you picked up your tickets for Portobello Book Festival (6-8 October) yet?  Not long to go, and all events are free, but you do need to get your tickets from Portobello Library.  More at


On the King’s Place parked caravans issue, regular police and Council environmental warden patrols has resulted in a notice being issued that this is an ‘unauthorised encampment’ and the notice will be enforced.  These warning notices have reduced the number of caravans parked there.


Portobello community police officers are out and about regularly and they also report monthly to Portobello Community Council. PC Matt McPherson is the primary contact for Portobello.  This month, our community cops are focussing again on deterring and catching bike thieves, in which they have had some success. The number to call about any issue is 101 and Matt can be emailed on The community police will also hold a consultation session in Portobello Library on Friday 29 September and are keen to visit and talk to residents groups on request.


The community police, covering the Craigmillar part of the Ward, also regularly report to the Craigmillar Community Council, which is held on the second Tuesday in the month, 7pm at The White House Kitchen (red room at the back).  They too can be contacted on 101 about any local concerns.


There was recent arrest for doorstep crime in the Northfield area and to prevent this kind of crime we do need to be vigilant, for ourselves and neighbours.  These people prey on the most vulnerable.  Let’s beat doorstep crime, looking after friends, family and those in need of help by being a nominated neighbour. More info here:


Last Friday, I attended a great ‘graduation’ event organised by the Recruitment and Skills team at Fort Kinnaird.  Fifteen lovely positive young people had finished an amazing Bright Light course in retail and were now starting out in their careers, having succeeded at interview.  They were all brim full of a level of confidence they had not felt at all at the start of the course. Fantastic local partnership working!


Lastly, Castlebrae Community High School have put together a fantastic prospectus for their fabulous school.  Read and learn how really great this Craigmillar school community is!


Have a great weekend when it comes!



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