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Maureen Child Report 30 June 2014

Dear All

Please find attached my latest report which I try to do every month just in time for Portobello Community Council Meetings. How do you get your information about what’s going on locally? Facebook? Twitter? Newspaper? Please help us find out: The deadline for responses is 18 July.

I have put a local perspective on this issue in the attached report: Councillors reaffirmed our commitment to giving maximum possible protection to the Edinburgh’s Green Belt when approving the next stage of the Edinburgh Local Development Plan (LDP) project. A capital coalition motion, agreed at Planning Committee on 19 June agrees to continue exploring the prioritisation of brownfield sites before releasing land in the Green Belt. 74% of the homes within the Local Development Plan are expected to be built on brownfield sites. While agreeing the recommendations in the report, the motion further instructs officials to reassess a potential development site in the west of the city called ‘East of Milburn Tower’. Contained within the West Edinburgh Strategic Development zone, its inclusion in the Plan would give the committee more flexibility when considering future representations on the LDP. In order to give us the best chance of preserving the city’s green belt, we decided that none of the currently identified sites were removed at this stage of developing the Local Development Plan. Removing any of the current sites would mean the Council could not meet the housing target agreed by the Government, which could result in the Plan facing a legal challenge. Or worse, because we wouldn’t have an effective land supply, it would seriously undermine the Committee’s ability to prevent ad hoc development in the green belt as the Reporter would have no option but to grant applications on appeal. The new Local Development Plan scheme has info on timescales, how to find out more about the plan and how to comment, click on:

After a very successful Cabaret night in February, Portobello High School’s jazz musicians and singers received an invitation to perform at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. They will be performing at the Tron Kirk on Saturday, 19 July at 10.30 am. Their programme will include songs from the Great American Song Book as well as some Blues from The Nomads. Tickets (£2) will be available at the door. If you fancy a coffee and some music on a Saturday morning, they would love to see you!

Holy Rood RC High School won the final of the 2014 Edinburgh Schools Public Speaking Competition organised by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and held at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, in a debate over the proposition that “Being bullied for being different is part of growing up and is just part of Scottish culture”. Winners Mahnoor Shah and Carina Campanile were presented with their trophy by Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC.

Find out about this great community enterprise in Portobello and what they are up to:

Roadworks behind and ahead! Sir Harry Lauder Road had to be closed this week to allow Scottish Power safe access to carry out emergency works on the pylon insulators. I was asked why not wait until the schools were off? It was done co-ordinated this way so as not to conflict with the Wisp road closure for 8 weeks over the schools’ summer holidays. That Wisp work starts today as the bypass comes back into action.

The latest edition of the Communities and Neighbourhood Committee Business Bulletin is available online. Find out what’s happening in local communities and neighbourhoods across Edinburgh area, including a couple of headlines from Portobello/Craigmillar. Click on:

Also lots of good news and information to share from the first quarter review the newsletter online by clicking on the link:

I’ve said a bit about it in the attached report, but find out lots more about how our own local Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership works. Click on:

Find out loads of good information about the area you live in based on the 2011 Census:

Make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam. Do get advice online on how to spot and avoid them:

Have you or someone you know have a blue badge? Changes to the eligibility criteria came in recently – 28 June. More info here:

Local campaigners, led by members of Portobello Community Council, Max Blinkhorn and Lawrence Marshall, are hoping to reopen Portobello railway station that was closed 50 years ago. The last train pulled out of Portobello, in 1964 and previous bids to revive the station were derailed by engineering issues and high costs.

First Saturday of the month is time for another Portobello Market! This month we have another record attendance of stallholders, and in addition BG Cycles of Portobello will be there offering a free bike check. So bring your bike along to Dr Bike and listen to the live music by the Caleerie Buskers while you wait. Better still, take a wander and buy something from the wide variety of traders offering everything from handmade soaps, plants, garden furniture and crafts, organic mutton, cheese, condiments, oils, bread to jams, organic fruit & veg, dog treats and African vegetarian goodies! Check out the website for further details of all the stallholders. See you there, Brighton Park, 9.30am to 1.30pm, Saturday 5th July.

A proposed ban on pavement parking has stalled as Holyrood officials doubt MSPs have the power to introduce it, the MSP backing it has said. A spokesman for the Edinburgh’s Worst Drivers website, which “shames badly behaved motorists”, said: “Pavement parking is an issue I am very passionate about, and have actively aimed to discourage through my site. I would urge the Scottish Parliament to reconsider their position.”

Come and find out about Craigmillar Books for Babies and the Craigmillar Literacy Trust’s work at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival: Details at

Brunstane Bowling Club Open Day had a really good turn to our open day on 8th June with approximately 40 potential new members attending and receiving coaching. We had mixed abilities from never having thrown a bowl before to having lapsed and now thinking of taking it up again. Every rink was busy all day. The good weather, of course , was a great help! An Excellent day was had by al. The Club thanks City of Edinburgh Council and Activcity for their help

The piano tuner who set up camp on Portobello beach said he had moved back into his tent in protest at the Council’s Court action against him and I get frequent phone calls and emails about it. Ben Treuhaft appealed the Sheriff Court’s notice of eviction. It is understood that due to Mr Treuhaft’s appeal, the Council cannot act on the original decree to evict him until the appeal is heard. Meanwhile the tent stays on the beach, much to the frustration of many residents living nearby at the foot of James Street, who want very much want to see it gone and soon.

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act empowers local authorities to investigate disputes and order the removal or shortening of problem hedges, defined as a row of two or more 2m-high trees or shrubs which “form a barrier to light”. It also allows parties to appeal to Scottish ministers if they disagree with the council’s ruling. Since the law came into force on April 1, several councils, including Edinburgh, have been asked to use their new powers to resolve long-running disputes

Are you suffering from illegally and dangerously driven motorbikes in your area? Police want to know about this Motorbike Menace! Tell them who they are and where the bikes are being stored and the police will act. Phone 101 or – if you want to remain anonymous – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

That’s quite enough from me. I was going to say I am going away on holiday early on Wednesday, but those plans have had to be postponed for at least a week. I might well take my foot off the pedal a bit though! (-; Have a good summer!

Best wishes