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Maureen Reports - 35. page

Maureen Child Update 18 November 2013


Dear All


The next Development Management Sub Committee dealing with individual applications is on Wednesday morning, 20 November and there are a couple of significant local applications. The link to the papers is here,

All Council papers Committee papers – for upcoming and past meetings – can be accessed through the website.

Item 5.1 is the Newcraighall North Site – Application for Planning Permission in Principle (Ref: 10/03449/PPP) Land 335 Metres Southwest of 103 Newcraighall Road. The development includes new housing, potential mixed-use facilities, open space, access and services infrastructure. The recommendation is to grant the PPP application.

I have requested the item be considered at a Hearing where both sides of the argument are called able to speak and answer questions. A decision will be made by the DM Sub on Wednesday as to whether or not to hold a Hearing. If my Councillor colleagues agree, another date will need to be set for the Hearing.

[As an aside, this might seem a little confusing because the detailed planning application for this same Newcraighall North site is already in the pipeline (Ref: 13/03181 FUL) Consultation on the full detailed planning application just closed and the deadline for comments was last week. This is not the same as the PPP application, but is the ‘next stage’ and the detailed application has yet to be assessed by planning officers]

Item 9.2 is the application for planning permission for the erection of a shop at 99 Inchview Terrace (Ref: 13/03189/PPP). This is an applcation from Lidl. The officer recommendation is to refuse planning permission. The decision to either grant or refuse planning permission will be made by the Development on Wednesday, 20 November. It is recommended for refusal. The site is not actually in Portobello/Craigmillar Ward although it has an impact on people living here. I know that one of the Local Craigentinny/Duddingston Councillors – Joan Griffiths – has requested the Item be deferred for a Hearing.

Also up for a decision on Wednesday as Item 4.3 is a variation in the planning conditions on a piece of land at Greendykes, on the route to the hospital. The affordable element of that development is under construction at the moment.

As many of you will be aware, I serve on the Council’s Planning Committee. The rules are here – Section 7 of the Councillors Code of Conduct, the section that applies to Planning Committee Members see here: Section 7 The Councillors’ Code of Conduct Remember not to ask me to state a view at this stage. The above is all just for information and to keep you up to date and without prejudice to my position.

The new Portobello High School renewal application is a different matter! I will not be taking part in that decision, as I have repeatedly and robustly stated a strong view in favour of ‘The School in the Park’ since the applcation was granted the first time. This renewal of consent application is due to go to DM Sub Committee for a Hearing on 4 December at 10am. It will be the first time that the proceedings have been televised so you can watch the proceedings ‘from the comfort of your own home’ or on playback and local people and other interested parties don’t need to populate the public benches in the Dean of Guild Courtroom where these Committees meet.

I hope that’s all helpful!



Maureen Child Update 15 November 2013


Dear All

The 17th Craigmillar Book Festival starts on Monday with muckle monsters, crabbit grannies and murderous villains will be among the many characters appearing at Craigmillar Library. A great line up of visiting writers – Gill Arbuthnott, John Fardell, Matthew Fitt, Sally J Collins and Sylvia Troon – will weave together stories, poems, illustration and puppetry into exciting, funny and hair-raising experiences. The Festival runs from Monday 18th to Friday 29th November and has been made possible with generous support from the Scottish Book Trust Live Literature Fund, the Nancie Massey Trust and the John F Watson Trust. More at

The new Portobello Tumbles gymnastics and soft pay areas at what used to be Portobello Indoor Bowling Centre is proving very popular indeed. See

Local home care providers Home Instead are asking for support with their Senior Santa initiative this Christmas to help bring happiness to lonely and less well-off older people. They have teamed up with non-profit and community organisations to identify older people who otherwise might not receive gifts this Christmas. Gift ideas include blankets or throws; slippers and socks; toiletries such as lotions, bath soaps or toothpaste; pyjamas, nightgowns or robes; food hampers or sugar-free sweets; kitchen and bath towel;, clothes such as cardigans and sweaters; and pet food. Simply hand in your gist to the Home Instead office on 240 Portobello High Street (top of Marlborough Street). Carers will then wrap the presents and deliver them, in many cases staying on to visit the older person and chat for a while. More information from Home Instead, 0131 300 0599 or at

I’m looking forward to going to the launch on Monday of an exciting exhibition of all the work Caring in Craigmillar have been doing on the Craigmillar community’s story in pictures and film entitled ‘A Fine Place to Be’, a project funded by the Lottery Heritage Fund . It’s on for a few days in that fabulous art deco 1930s building The White House (corner Niddrie Mains Road and Craigmillar Castle Loan) which is run by the local Community Alliance Trust. Their cafe is well worth a visit in its own right – four stars on Trip Adviser, remember?

The next Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership meeting is on Wednesday 4 December at 6.30pm in the East Neighbourhood Office, 101 Niddrie Mains Road (almost opposite the White House) which houses the fabulous Craigmillar Library. All new Community Councillors are especially welcome from both Portobello and Craigmillar Community Councils. But these are open meetings, so all are welcome. Senior local area staff form all the partner agencies, with whom we work closely, will be there and we have asked the Education, Children and Families Director, Gillian Tee to come back and update on progress with the working group set up to boost the fortunes of Castlebrae Community High School and the progress with Portobello High School new build proposals. The rest of the evening will be an opportunity to network and get to know each other, and find out what partnership working is all about, and put faces to names over a glass of wine and mince pies.

Talking of Portobello High School, this is the further information provided to the Bills Committee by the Counicl which you might well find a good read.

Winter Maintenance plans are in place Portobello/Craigmillar. Edinburgh Road Services will continue to carry out all gritting activities on the cities roads, the six most heavily trafficked pavements and cycle ways. The only cycleway in the East Neighbourhood which will get routine treatment from ERS is the Innocent Railway from Holyrood Park to Asda at the Jewel. For all enquiries regarding these works contact the Winter Maintenance Team at Meanwhile, the East Neighbourhood Task Force Team will be gritting the 1B (secondary) pavements. There are two routes comprising a total of 80 kilometres of pavements to be treated. These include the majority of the medical centres, schools, sheltered housing and other high footfall pavements in our area. Maps showing these routes will be available on-line at Unlike previous years, these gritting duties will only be carried out during core Task Force working hours 6:15am – 9pm. Please note that during the festive public holidays (25 & 26 December and 1 & 2 January) there is a skeleton Task Force crew working and their priority will be the city centre. Up to date information for all the Councils winter maintenance procedures, including gritting routes, the location of grit bins and information on how to prepare for winter weather, is on the Councils website: We will provide local updates via Twitter @east­_team. For all other enquiries please contact the East Team by calling 0131 529 3111 or email

I know I keep nagging about this, but do click on the Budget Consultation links and make a response – even if it just one small line! There is an upcoming local Council Budget consultation meeting at Meadowbank 22 November at 7pm. All welcome. More here:

Another consultation to take part in is the Police Scotland Consultation on our perception of crime and local priorities. Click on:

Have a good weekend!


Let’s talk about our saving and spending.
Read about the financial challenges with the Council’s budget.
See the proposals we have for where we spend and save.
Tell us what you think

Maureen Child Update 8 November 2013


Dear All

A reminder that local Portobello Open Door is showing the film Local Hero (PG) at The Wash House community centre, 3 Adelphi Grove this Saturday evening 9 November at 7pm. Should be a fun social occasion.

Barratt Homes has submitted a revised planning application to build 220 homes and 2 commercial units on land at Newcraighall North. Portobello Community Council is asking for you to give the a steer on how they might best represent local people’s views. Click on for information and to feed back direct to them. They have a tight deadline to get a response in, so if you want to have your say at this stage, please do it as soon as you possibly can.

The last Ask Porty consultation was on which registered Local Interest Groups should be represented on Portobello Community Council. They had to choose 7 from 8 registered Groups. A summary of responses they received is online here:-

Councillors work closely with the local police as partners and have been keen to stress that communication and ‘acquisitive crime’ are local priorities for us – and things have been improving on both fronts, after a dip in April with the move to centralise operations and governance with the formation of Police Scotland. Most of you may well know all this by now. Three men (two aged 17 and one aged 20) were caught red handed by officers from Operation Murgon, Edinburgh Division’s dedicated theft unit. One night last week, they were found attempting to force open a garage door in the east of Edinburgh. These men have appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court charged with 15 separate thefts dating back 6 months. Officers from the east area have arrested and charged a 41 year old man with 15 crimes of breaking into houses and thefts from buildings in the Craigmillar, Portobello and Duddingston areas of Edinburgh after he was identified from descriptions given by the public and some great detective work. The crimes have all occurred in the last year. He will be appearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court later this month.

There is a virtual Neighbourhood Watch Facebook site called Watch Porty, which you might want to join, but do be cautious about what you post there as the criminals tend to use social media too and closed sites are not as secure as we might think.

The Council has launched its severe weather plans with all the information and contacts you need, including how to volunteer as a snow warden in your own neighbourhood – an initiative that we started in the Portobello community in 2010 and has gone city-wide. Click on : We had a briefing yesterday from the team that aims to keep the schools open if and when the winter snows come, and works with the local neighbourhood teams and the snow plough drivers to do just that.

So far there have been thousands of visits to the Council’s Budget information and some very good quality responses from individuals and groups. We do want more, about a single issue or several or the proposals as a whole. We are about half way through the Budget consultation process, for our spending plans for April 2014-17 but there is a cut-off date and so it is important you get your views into us ASAP. Plenty of face-to-face meetings you can take the opportunity to attend. Plenty of conversations through social media. Please do take part sooner rather than later and certainly before the closing date – 20 December 2013.

Whatever you’re doing, do have a good weekend!

Best wishes


Maureen Child Update 4 November 2013


Dear All

The Portobello Community Council inaugural meeting is tonight. One of the tasks will be to choose 7 form the 8 nominated community interest groups to serve on the PCC. If you are reading this before 7pm, here is still a small window of opportunity can have your say by voting for up to 7 groups at this site before tonight’s meeting. Click on

All primary schools across Edinburgh are opening their doors tomorrow as part of a campaign to get parents to send their children to their local catchment school. The aim of Primary Schools Open Day on Tuesday (5 November) is for parents with pre-school age children to have a look around and learn more about their local school. A concerted campaign by the Council resulted in the lowest ever number of parents making out of catchment requests last year as more families sent their child to their local school. Parents should be aware as birth rates continue to rise there is less space in schools which means fewer placing requests will be granted. By choosing the local school, parents are supporting their local community. Any parents with children under primary school age are welcome to attend and parents who may be thinking of moving into an area may also find it useful. Further information on catchment schools and the Open Day, including times for the different schools, can be found on the Council’s website In Portobello, Towerbank Primary School’s open days is a bit later – on 20 November.

The Council has a statutory duty to review all our polling districts, polling places and stations every five years. The Council have reviewed polling stations and are proposing some changes to ensure that they are all fairly easy to use and reach and as per guidance from the Electoral Commission. The Council are seeking feedback on their proposals between now and 22 November 2013. Full details of the proposals, including maps and a feedback form is available at or I can get you a hard copy.

Carriageway reconstruction works will on Niddrie Mains Road, from Niddrie Farm Grove to Craigmillar Castle Avenue. This work is part of the £68 million investment in Edinburgh’s roads and pavements between 2010-13. The Council spends nearly £67,000 every day improving the city’s roads and pavements and invested £130 million between 2004 and April 2010. The Contractor, Tarmac National Contracting Limited, will make every effort to minimise disruption, however some will be unavoidable during the works. Should problems arise related to the construction works the Contractor should be contacted on 01698 575 600 (ask for Contracting, Edinburgh Maintenance). It’s likely to take a week to complete. At the west end of Magdalene Drive resurfacing works begin 4 November for 5 days. A small section of Peffermill Road at the bus stop was done last year by Tarmac. The larger section will be carried out by Edinburgh Road Services over 5 days from 10 November. Road Services are extending the resurfacing of the east-bound carriageway that was carried out earlier in the year.

The Council launched a major new initiative to combat litter and it would be good to get local people fully involved. On average, over 120 bagfuls of litter is carelessly dropped by people every day in Edinburgh and 45 tonnes of litter is collected each day at a cost of daily cost of £4,500. Supported by Keep Scotland Beautiful, all of us can play our part in changing behaviour and attitudes to dropping litter and keep our streets clean. First of all, we want as many signatures as possible on the pledge to either bin or recycle litter. People can sign up here. There are also mass community clean-ups taking place at various hot spots across the city, on the same day, November 29. Find out where you can join in at, or get advice and support such as litter picking equipment for organising further clean-ups on the same day. The campaign is all about local people deciding to do something about the litter, dog dirt and other mess that blights our neighbourhoods and landscape. Portobello/Craigmillar residents can do their bit too. Some of us already do!

Edina Hibs are starting to train football juniors at Sandy’s Community Centre on Craigmillar Castleview Avenue on Tuesday evenings 6pm to 8pm starting next week. The sessions are 6-7pm for 6 year olds, and 7-8pm for 7 year olds.

The Friends of Seaview Charitable Trust are busy raising funds for a sensory garden at Seaview Children’s Unit for children with disabilities, which was at Seaview Crescent and is now in a new fantastic new purpose-built facility at Bingham Avenue. They are holding a Stella & Dot jewellery sale ay the Dalriada, 77 Promenade on Saturday 16 November from 2pm to 5pm. The website shows kind of jewellery on offer:
Wine, tea coffee also available. John Lewis store are also supporting the Seaview sensory garden. If you are in the cafe upstairs, please get some green tokens and put them in the Community Box by the entrance to the cafe.

The organisers said that a couple of people at the Portobello Market last Saturday seemed under the impression I had said that this was the last one before Christmas. I was given the words ‘penultimate’ and that means ‘second to last’. So there WILL be a Portobello Market on the first Saturday, 7 December. I trust the heavens will not open again that day as they did on Saturday.

Lastly, a reminder that local community organisation Portobello Open Door (POD) is showing Local Hero (PG) this Saturday, 9 November at the Wash House Community Centre, 3 Adelphi Grove. starting at 7pm. Tickets for the film are available now from Popeye’s Sandwich Bar Portobello High Street. £5 and £3 (concessions). They are also available online, see POD website for details ( or at the door. A kiosk service will serve sweets, juice, tea & coffee but you are very welcome to bring your own food/drink if you wish. I can send you a poster with details.

Best wishes