Skip to content

Maureen Child Update 16 February 2018

Dear All

I love reading all daily news on social media from all our our local primary and secondary schools. They all have Twitter accounts, which they use to great effect. There’s lots of great learning and teaching going on, every day in every single one of them! Tower bank Primary School also have a newsletter, which is well worth reading to find out about the highlights of their week, mostly written up by the children themselves. It’s fantastic to see the fruits of their links to Tanzanian School through the fabulous Portobello-born, inspiring Twende Pamoja Trust. More about Towerbanks’s highlights here:

If you are having persistent problems with refuse collection in your street, we would all like to get a solution. It’s not in the Council’s interest to keep on having to come back, any more than it is your interest! Brunstane Gardens residents recently came to me with their refuse collection problems and I arranged for a senior manager and the team to meet up with them on site. They are in a cul-de-sac off Brunstane Road so access is tricky and waiting on the Road at a peak commuting period is not a good thing to be doing either. The result of their all putting heads together is that they are now served by a smaller vehicle, on a different round, and the collections have all been going smoothly for the last three weeks and that is set to continue. I really do want to know about seemingly intractable refuse collection problems, like this one, so we can find sustainable solutions.

Unusually, I have declared a view on a local planning application ahead of Committee, which enables me to speak up and campaign before the application comes up for determination by other Councillors. I joined the ‘Save the George Campaign’ when the previous proposal to demolish it came up. That application was rightly refused by planning officers under delegated authority. The latest planning application for the former cinema, then Bingo Hall, at 14 Bath Street is to retain the facade but turn the rest of the building into 20 flats. It comes to Committee with an officer recommendation to grant planning permission next Wednesday morning. As in the vast majority of local matters, all four Portobello/Craigmillar Councillors aka ‘Team P/C’ will be saying our concerted piece against the proposal on Wednesday, alongside the other objectors. The building is only an eyesore now because it has been neglected by its owners. It is Category C Listed, Art Deco, well worthy of refurbishment and retention and it could have further life as a community resource, already discussed with ready and willing partners, including Out of the Blue. There are plenty of grants that would enable this to happen, once the planning situation is clarified. Report link here. It’s Item 6 on that Agenda:

The North East Locality Committee, consisting (for the present) just of all 15 Local Councillors across four Council Wards, meets for the first time on Monday at 10am in the Dean of Guild Court Room, City Chambers. You are welcome to attend or to watch live on the internet. It’s archived for repeated viewing too. What prime viewing! The papers are here: This is another step in Edinburgh, as a whole City, meeting the recommendations of the Christie Commission and the requirements of the Community Empowerment Act. We are there to lead that process and ensure that all the Community Planning Partners work together as teams to tackle the ‘wicked’ issues and problems that can only be solved effectively, efficiently and sustainably by working together cooperatively. NHS Lothian, Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and lots of other agencies and groups have all made their own firm commitments to make this emerging closer partnership work. We are all keen to work closely with citizens, families, neighbourhoods and communities to make sure people’s lives and the places they live improve – albeit with diminishing financial resources. Quite a challenging task, so we will need your help!

At Brunstane Road South there are still a few objections to the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), the tortuous legal process that has to be undertaken before parking restrictions of any kind can be put in place and enforced. These objections must either be withdrawn or a report goes to Committee to overturn them. Council officers had thought that by amending the TRO, they could restart the process, but they have been advised that by law they have to continue with the original TRO. I am pressing for letters to go out to the objectors and that this process be moved on as a matter of urgency. Inconsiderate parking outside Brunstane Station will cause an accident and this has TRO has been dragging on far too long, seemingly interminably.

There have been a number of vehicle accidents on the road at Eastfield; the latest an injury accident to the driver of the crashed car on 2 February. Not all those accidents get reported to Police and recorded by them. This time, it appears three resident family cars were written off, yet again, and local people fear there will be a fatality one day. There appears to be some consensus among Eastfield residents that the traffic island to the east of the junction with Coillesdene Avenue is unnecessary. That island, combined with the camber of the road – and drivers going far too fast for the road conditions, of course – is the root of the problem. I am having discussions with Police Scotland and the local roads authority to see what should be done to make accidents here far less likely.

World Community Arts Day 2018 is being launched at Craigmillar Library, 17 February 2-4 pm. All welcome.

Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) are bringing a Mini Zoo to Craigmillar Country Park on Sunday 25 February 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Animal Man’s Mini Zoo will have a selection of weird wonderful and cuddly animals for you to see and maybe handle, if you dare. Contact Ben at ELGT on 0131 445 4025 or e-mail Next month it’s Owl Magic!

There have been a number of recent incidents locally on motor bikes, vandalism, a serious assault, theft, robbery. Police Scotland is the first port of call, of course, contacted by ringing 999 for the response team, as an incident is ongoing, or 101 to contact the community beat officers with your information. The police always need our help as responsible citizens in preventing and solving crime, so if you ever have any information that might help, do not hesitate to call them and tell what you know. The local Police work very closely with Council and other services to keep people safe. They have set up local consultation meeting where you can talk face to face about any concerns you have with the Community Officers, which the Council pay for. Outside that time, do phone and make and an appointment. Surgeries are: EC33 (Portobello) – To be held at the Portobello Library on the last Friday of every month @ 1300hrs. Next Portobello surgery 23/02/2018. EC34 + EC35 (Craigmillar) – To be held at The White House on the last Friday of every month @ 1500hrs. Next Craigmillar surgery the 23/02/2018. Or e-mail

There is an archaeological dig currently taking place at Fishwive’s Causeway and they will be holding an open day on Saturday, between 10am and 4pm, when you can go along hear about the work and talk to the archaeologists carrying out the dig. These are extensive archaeological excavations on the site of the old bottle works. AOC Archaeology are carrying out the investigations and will have staff on hand on Saturday to explain what’s they’re doing.

Help celebrate the fantastic success of our local basketball teams based at Portobello High School in this Evening News article and spread the word. Brilliant season of sport!

I hope you have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing. I have a few emails to reply to, and phone calls to catch up on, so will now get on those cases!

Maureen Child Update 2 February 2018

Dear All

On the Powerleague Westbank site, all the due diligence is complete on the bids. Portobello Community Council and Portobello Amenity Society representatives had a key role in scoring the bids through their Participation Requests, as intended by the Community Empowerment Act.  The recommendation to the Council’s Finance and Resources Committee on 27 March will be to appoint Cala Homes as the preferred bidder of the site. Cala are well aware of the consultation that will be required as part of a place making process.  They are also aware of the Making Places process that Action Porty is putting in place, funded by a Scottish Government grant. There is an open drop-in Design Weekend, to which all are invited, in Portobello Town Hall on Saturday 3 March at 10am – 5.30pm and  Sunday 4 March at 10am – 1pm.  Much more background on the Action Westbank Facebook page, which is well worth a ‘like’.

All the community groups that put in valid applications for the small grant pot You Decide! will get their funding and there is just over £1500 still available for more applications. The Portobello /Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership decided on the grants at our meeting on Wednesday evening.  Details in the grants and other matters here:

The architect who is hoping to convert St James’s Church building in Rosefield Place into housing is holding a public consultation drop-in event in the church from Monday 12 February 5pm–7.30pm . This will give local residents the opportunity to comment informally on their plans before they are submitted.

Portobello Market is back tomorrow, Saturday 3 February. Gates open in Brighton Park at 9.30am and it runs until 1.30pm. BG Cycles are on site again to give the bike a winter check. Check out the website for a list of all the traders planning to be there:

The Rotary Club of Portobello Young Musician of the Year Competition 2018 will take place in Holy Rood on Thurs 8 February at 4.30pm. Porty Rotary welcome all parents, carers, friends and family to come and support the young people.  Admission free, refreshments from 3.45pm.

Detailed planning consent for a new £45 million sports centre on the existing site of the famous venue, built for Edinburgh’s hosting of the 1970 Commonwealth Games, will be considered by Councillors alongside a masterplan application to develop surplus land adjacent to the new stadium. The two planning applications for the Meadowbank Stadium site have ben published.  More here:

Following the closure of Meadowbank, Edinburgh Leisure (EL) have relocated all clubs as best they can. The majority of 3G pitches are in the school estate and as EL manage community access to these facilities this made it easier. Once finished, the new Meadowbank will have two 3G pitches instead of just the one in the old Meadowbank. It will also have new and improved indoor sport facilities. Two 3G pitches will be delivered at Hunter’s Hall Park and the new Castlebrae Community High School we are planning for Craigmillar, will have indoor and outdoor sport facilities for the local community to use too.

People occasionally ask about me about the planning position on protecting trees and I see the ones outside Meadowbank are getting love and affection and are being yarn bombed a with bedecked Save Our Trees posters. The Council’s planning service is responsible for controlling works to protected, private trees. Works to unprotected private trees are not controlled by the Council. Council-owned trees are the responsibility of Parks & Greenspace division. Private trees over a defined size receive blanket protection in conservation areas (TCOs) while Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) protect specific trees or groups of trees anywhere in the city. There are currently just over 170 TPOs in the Council’s area. Web link to how the system works: The statutory processes differ for TCOs and TPOs but neither includes provision for neighbour notification, a public consultation period or a mechanism for third parties to submit objections or representations.

Being a new parent can be an isolating time, so getting out of the house and making new friends is a good thing to do, but can it can be daunting.  Where to start?  Families Edinburgh have produced a quick guide for parents and carers about clubs, classes and groups focused on babies and toddlers:

That’s all for this week folks.  Maybe see you at Portobello Market tomorrow?

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/

Maureen Child Update 26 January 2018

Dear All


Portobello Community Council meets on Monday at 7.30pm in Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street.  This is the 354th meeting, believe it or not. See you there? The agenda and minutes are on their website here:


Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership meets next Wednesday at 6.30pm.  All are more than welcome to attend and find out what it’s all about. The agenda includes presentations and discussion on some of the strategic housing developments in the area, our Locality Improvement Plan and the establishment of Locality Committees and their governance and community grants.  Stirring and important stuff!  More details here:


Wassailing event at the community orchard on Saturday 27 January from 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.


Portobello Amnesty International’s pub quiz on Friday 2 February at 7.30pm, Artisan Lounge (upstairs) 37 London Road EH7 5BQ. Porty Amnesty quizzes have become an annual event and are lot of fun.  If you don’t have a ready-made team, you can easily join up with others on the night.  The music round at the end is hilarious and really makes the event, whether pub quizzes are your thing or not.  Fabulous prizes for the winning team and raffle winners.


Carriageway resurfacing on Greendykes Road next week. It’ll be closed between Niddrie House Avenue and Little France Drive from Monday 29 January for five days. Bus Services 14, 18 and 21 will be diverted


Braving the falling snow and icy temperatures last Tuesday, the first participants turned up to the newly formed Community Chat Café, where everyone spoke very highly of the Jaffle Joint’s toasted scones. As predicted, the most successful new friendship was struck up between Ben, the oldest there, and 7-month old Oscar.  The next Chat will be 6 February. Drop in if you have a gap in your morning, or perhaps suggest it to a neighbour who might benefit from a bit of company.


Portobello Beach Clean-Up is on 24 February.  This group was organised by a few members of the Wild Ones swim group who have liaised with both Marine Conservation Society and The City Of Edinburgh Council.  Meet outside porty swimming pool at 12.30pm. They should have black bags, but please wear old clothes and maybe gloves.  Families welcome!


A few people are questioning the origin of the name ‘Treverlen’ for the new public park to be created when St John’s Primary School replacement is complete.  Here it is:


Community Cook Club is Thursday from 11.00-1.00pm at Sandy’s Community Centre. Please do share with anyone who may be interested or would benefit from this group. The whole idea is not just about learning new skills but a chance to eat together and meet new people.  More from Dani Waddell, Connecting Craigmillar Development Worker ( Link Up), Thistle Foundation Tel: 0131 661 3366, Mobile: 07909 257415


The Shaw Trust are going to be running some health walks from Forth Sector in Duddingston Yards on a Friday morning from the 9 Feb.  They have a volunteer who has been trained by Paths for All and this is open this up to anyone who might be interested.  The walk will start and end at Forth Sector and there are free refreshments at the end. There is also a new Arts and Crafts session on Thursday morning at Forth Sector, again let me know if you have clients/service users/beneficiaries who might find this interesting. Details contact Jason Moyes, Email: Mobile: 07855 102 103 Duddingston Yards, Duddingston Park South, Edinburgh EH15 3NT.


A small reminder why leaving space for large vehicles to get by could be a matter of life or death, not just making sure your refuse gets collected on the due day!


The Police Scotland annual police plan seeks to set priorities for the forthcoming year and it will be laid before the Scottish Parliament before 1 April 2018. The Police Scotland operational priorities detailed in the plan are shaped by listening to what the public and communities have to say via the ‘Your View Counts’ survey, as well as their own analysis of the risks and emerging threats. They’re keen to engage with the public and partners in developing the plan.  The survey has 7 questions on the draft plan and need your feedback to help develop the final version. To comment, please complete the following survey link:


Community music night next Friday 2 February 6.30pm-8.30pm at the Thistle Centre for Wellbeing.   Performers welcome as well as listeners!


The Council’s Finance and Resources Committee contained at least two reports that might be of interest:


What wasn’t on Committee’s agenda, because all four Local Councillors asked for it to be deferred, is the outcome of the marketing of the Powerleague Site at Westbank Street and the recommendation of the preferred bidder.  We will hear about the outcome within days, but final decision won’t be made until Councillors deliberate at F&R Committee in late March.


Portobello Market is back on Saturday 3 February. Gates open in Brighton Park at 9.30am and it runs until 1.30pm. BG Cycles are on site again to give your bike a winter check. Check out the website for a list of all traders attending:


Have a 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 19 January 2018

Dear All


Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) are seeking your views and opinions on woodland management proposals at Craigmillar Castle Park. Consultations will be held on Monday 22 January at Sandy’s Community Centre, EH16 4DW and Tuesday 23 January at Craigmillar Library, EH16 4DS, from 5pm to 7pm. All are welcome.  Further information from Ben on 0131 445 4025 or e-mail him on


ELGT also have a very useful interactive map of community gardens:  It’s not comprehensive, as we know there is a lot more going on!  So if you would like to find out more about community gardening initiatives in your area, or are looking for support and advice in setting up your own garden, please do contact Rob on 0131 445 4025 or email They also have the document which lists different groups with a timetable and contact details.


Join in a day of editing Wikipedia to help improve pages on the online encyclopaedia about the people and places of Portobello. Wikipedia is the world’s most visited information resource – so do play your part to make sure information about our local area is up to date and backed up by reliable sources! No previous Wikipedia experience is required and full training and resources will be provided on the day. This event is being run in partnership by the Portobello Heritage Trust and Portobello Library.


It’s a real privilege and pleasure for me and my colleague Kate Campbell to serve on the Board of the fabulous local social enterprise Cre8te, recently shortlisted in two categories for the Edinburgh Chamber awards – Innovation in Business and Inspiring Partnerships.  More here:


I also serve on the Board of the local community credit union, Castle Community Bank.  Good to see the financial cooperative model being so well promoted here as a way of saving while borrowing:   Do call in and see Alistair during open hours at 184 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4DT, phone 0131 258 9738 or click here for more information:


Tribe Porty Family Festival is on Sunday, don’t forget. Come meet everyone on Sunday, 21 January, 3-5pm at Tribe Porty, 19 Windsor Place!


Don’t forget, next Thursday 25th January, we have the amazing Play Talk Read bus coming to Craigmillar library between 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm.


The Thistle Foundation, Sandy’s Community Centre and Cyrenians in partnership are starting a new cooking group beginning next Thursday at Sandy’s community centre 11am to 1pm. Meet new people, try new recipes and enjoy some old ones.


This week, our local Lothian Buses announced fare increases and changes to services from Sunday 25 February. The fare review will see adult single tickets increased by 10p to £1.70 while Adult and Student Ridacards, which were last increased in 2015, will also see an increase. Fares for all Day tickets, Child singles and Child Ridacards will remain unchanged, as will Airport fares and Nightbus fares. The Main service changes affecting Portobello/Craigmillar are:

Service 5

Revised timetable. Monday to Friday daytime frequency reduced from every 12-mins to every 15-mins. No change to Saturday or Sunday timetable (every 15-mins Saturday and every 30-mins Sunday).

Service 42

Revised timetable to improve reliability. Service extended to and from Craigleith later into the evening on Mondays to Saturdays, however, late evening journeys between the City Centre and Portobello are withdrawn due to low levels of customer demand. Minor timetable changes on Sundays, but no change to the number of journeys operated.

Service 69

Revised route and minor changes to timetable. Buses will now revert back to the pre-April 2017 route direct via Portobello Road. Wakefield Avenue / Fillyside and Craigentinny Avenue will no longer be served due to very low levels of customer demand.

Full details will be available on their we site:


I’ve had a few queries this week about streetlights.  To report a lighting fault, you can email with location and lamp post number (if you have it).


The 354th meeting of Portobello Community Council will be held on Monday 29th January 2018 at 7:30pm in Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street. Any additional items not already included on the agenda should be notified to the secretary in advance, if possible. Meeting papers here:


This morning, we four Local Councillors took part in a workshop with some amazing young People at St John’s RC Primary School finding out about the work they are doing with the Children’s Parliament and what we might do to help.  The highlight of our week!  More here:


That’s all for now.  Have a 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 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