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Maureen Child Report August 2014

Local Development Plan Consultation
Edinburgh’s population is rising and the pressure is on for Council planners to release land across the city for housing sites and to encourage developers to build more densely on brown field sites. The Scottish Government insists that the Council identify a variety of sites for building houses, sooner rather than later in the decades covered by the emerging Plan. Now is the time to put in formal comments on the sites proposed which include controversial sites at Newcraighall and Brunstane. There will be copies in libraries and meetings are planned. In our area, the drop-in engagement event is on 1 September from 4pm to 7pm in the Kings Manor Hotel, Milton Road East to which all are invited. The consultation period extends until 3 October 2014. More on the Council’s website at this and related links can be found at: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20164/proposed_local_development_plan/1050/second_local_development_plan

Richard Demarco
The Community Council has organised The Demarco Portobello Lecture on Thursday 11 September, starting at 7:30pm, at the Edinburgh College on Milton Road (formerly the Jewel and Esk College), at which Richard Demarco will talk about his family’s connection with Portobello. Further details plus free registration are at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-demarco-portobello-lecture-tickets-12518265469

The Big Vote
The Community Council and Portobello Churches together have organised a discussion evening around Referendum issues, on Wednesday 27 August (tomorrow) at 7.30pm in St Marks Church. See here for more details: http://www.stmarksportobello.org/the-big-vote/

Road Safety
There was yet another road accident at Eastfield on 10 August when an east-bound driver failed to take the sweeping bend at speed and his vehicle ploughed into five cars in the middle of the night. This kind of incident, and the area’s accident history, got the reduction in speed from 40mph to 30 mph in recent years. However, local residents believe more could and should be done. I have asked police and road engineers from the Council to work together on this and they have met on site.

20 MPH Consultation
City Councillors have approved a draft network of 20, 30 and 40 mph speed limits as the basis for consultation. The proposal is to extend 20mph zones to many roads. Whatever your view might be, the Council want to hear from you. Information is available on line at www.edinburgh/gov/uk/20mph and in libraries and there will also be an opportunity to look at maps in person and have your say on 10 September in Portobello Town Hall at 7pm. All comments must be in by 17 October 2014 and the finding swill be reported back to the Council’s transport and environment committee in early 2015.

Big Beach Busk
The Big Beach Busk is this coming this Saturday 30 August on Portobello Promenade, now in its fifth year. People of all ages are encouraged to come along and entertain us on the Promenade. More at Big Beach Busk 2014

Village Show
The Portobello Village Show is a week on Sunday – 7 September form 2-5pm in Rosefield Park. More at www.the-pod.org

St Mark’s Wall
I was delighted to hear the news from the St Marks Episcopal Church Rector Sophia Marriage that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given the Church £47,800 towards the cost of repairing the east wall. Thanks to other grants through the Church’s own stalwart fundraising efforts, the restoration and archaeological work will start at the end of the August. This is really good news for residents as well as the Church. You will be able to see more on www.stmarksportobello.org

Dig Portobello
Portobello Heritage Trust has also been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund award to fund a community archaeological project called ‘Dig Portobello’. The dig is happening over the weekend Friday 29 to Sunday 31 August – this coming weekend. There is an opening lecture called Exploring Portobello’s Potteries at 7.30pm on Friday 29 August at 7.30pm at the Wash House Community Centre, 3 Adelphi Grove, which is the ‘base camp’ for the dig. More details at www.aocarchaeology.com/digportobello

Portobello High School
Work will begin in the next few weeks to build Portobello High School on part of Portobello Park, once the construction company Balfour Beatty has mobilised, a process that does take a few weeks. The new school building is due to open to open in August 2016. I have responded to a petition form residents in sheltered housing in Hope Lane to the west about improving the links there to Milton Road East and also with resident whose garden back on to Park Avenue about security there.

Brighton Place Rail Bridge
Network Rail confirmed their permission to the Council for the repair to the broken ant-pigeon netting at the south end of Brighton Place railway bridge which they own. A recent meeting at the bridge with pest control manager to establish what will be involved in carrying out the work and see if the in-house Council team can do it. If not, a specialist contractor will have to be appointed, which is a longer process. The work will involve a full road closure of Brighton Place/Southfield Place at the bridge, but this is likely to happen in the dead of night. I am being advised that it’s unlikely to happen before early November. Mean time, the pavement has been cleaned, at least. I have also raised the question of improving the pedestrian environment here in other ways, including repair or replacement of the railings under the bridge and mending the bent post on the ‘Welcome to Portobello – Edinburgh’s Seaside’ sign.

Community Orchard Work Day
For those that want to help maintain the community orchard at Brunstane, they would be made very welcome. The orchard is just past the entrance to Brunstane Station and down on the left before you get to Gilberstoun and is tended entirely by voluntary activity. Please bring something to eat and drink and wear appropriate gardening clothing for the hard graft. A thick pair of gardening gloves would be a good idea and long sleeves to protect you from the nettles. The next work day is this weekend, August 30 between 10am and 2 pm.

Next Portobello Market
The next monthly Portobello Market is on Saturday 6 September (1st Saturday of the month, remember!) between 9.30am and 1.30pm in Brighton Park. There’s always a good selection on food, local crafts and other organic products only 5 minutes from Portobello High Street and all the shops, cafes and amenities there.

‘Piano Man’ Moved to Cramond
The colourful Ben Treuhaft who set up his tent on Portobello beach – first outside the Portobello Swim Centre and then at the foot of James Street – has been forced to move his tent away from Portobello altogether. This followed a substantial number of complaints about anti-social behaviour connected to the tent, the mess surrounding it and neighbourhood disturbance from late night revellers. It was an illegal encampment and while tolerated for the first few days, the Mr Treuhaft outstayed his welcome. The Council was obliged to go to Court to get an eviction order which seemed to take rather a long time as Mr Treuhaft finally exhausted the legal appeal system. The Counicl was granted costs.

Garden Fete
The annual garden fete in aid of a Post-Natal Depression charity takes place at the Gate Lodge Garden, 27 Milton Road East on Saturday 20 September from 2pm to 4pm. There will be teas, and stalls with crafts, gift, jewellery, toys baking and children’s activities. All are welcome to come.