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Maureen Child Update 09 June 2016

Dear All

While I manage to forget most of the time, I will be descending 167ft from the Forth Rail Bridge – with a rope firmly attached gripped with white knuckles – in aid of The Thistle Foundation this coming Sunday afternoon, 12 June.  Got the T-shirt, and the gritted teeth.  Someone told me last Sunday that she had done it for her 40th Birthday and it was the best thing she ever did. She got wobbly climbing up there, froze at the top before she set off and needed a push to start, but…..  Eeek!…don’t think about it! Thank you  so much to everyone who has sponsored me so far.  If you can and want to contribute to the amazing work of the Thistle and sponsor me to do this really bonkers thing for someone who gets vertigo up a ladder, just click on the link on my sponsorship page:

Friday 10 June – tomorrow – is the last day for comments/objections to the proposal to demolish the George Bingo in Bath Street and erect flats instead.  Link to the detail of the application is here:  The planning officers’ assessment will follow in the next few weeks before it goes to Committee for decision. The tests for demolition detailed in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP tests) have not been met, in my view.  No listed building should be demolished unless it has been clearly demonstrated that every effort has been made to retain it. The Council will only approve such applications where they are satisfied that:

  • the building is not of special interest; or
  • the building is incapable of repair; or
  • the demolition of the building is essential to delivering significant benefits to economic growth or the wider community; or
  • the repair of the building is not economically viable and that it has been marketed at a price reflecting its location and condition to potential restoring purchasers for a reasonable period.

As we speak, a group of people with significant expertise and local knowledge are working on an alternative plan for the building.

Please see Planning Application Notice (PAN) at the pre-application stage for the huge industrial site at Baileyfield Crescent.  More info is here  The public consultation is on 29 and 30 July in Portobello Town Hall.

It was an absolute pleasure to attend the final of the City of Edinburgh Basketball Club’s special tournament to mark its last game at Portobello High School – the team’s home for more than two decades. This was part of the celebrations of the old high-rise building that day where hundreds of former pupils went down memory lane together. Six teams of former pupils took part and it was a really fabulous family event.  I have also seen the recorded video messages from all over the world of people who played at Porty but were not able to make it on the day, but had gone on to play and coach at a high level.  Amelia Morgan, chair of the City of Edinburgh Basketball Club, said: “Portobello High School has been synonymous with City of Edinburgh Basketball for over two decades; it’s been our home and has seen thousands of players through its doors in that time.”  More here:

The move to make the speed limit in Edinburgh’s residential streets 20mph has begun.  Approximately 50% of Edinburgh’s residential streets are already in 20mph zones. The project extends the 20mph speed limit to the city centre, main shopping streets and residential areas while retaining a strategic network of roads at 30mph and 40mph.  A map of the 20mph network and implementation timetable is available at  Our area is to be implemented in February 2017. Maps of the 20mph network will be available to view in the Members’ Lounge prior to the Council meeting on 2 June and also distributed to each of the Group Offices. Here is some information we hope to improve walking and cycling experience in Edinburgh:

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) are on the hunt for local heroes so if you know someone in our local area who’s making a difference please let KSB know.  More here:

Scottish Water has sent a letter to local residents to let them know that they will be carrying out works on Portobello Golf Course for 8 weeks from 20 June to install a new sewer connection for the new Portobello High School. This pipeline will run across the golf course from Stanley Street to the new school and Scottish Water have been meeting with Edinburgh Leisure and the three golf clubs who use Portobello Golf Club to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum when the works take place.  The works will be done in phases to ensure that only one hole on the course will be closed at anytime to allow the course to remain open and no works will take place at weekends.  Reinstatement works will take place as they go along.  I have an electronic copy of the letter if you would like one.

Myplace: Edinburgh is a competition being run by CEC as part of Edinburgh’s contribution to activities for Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 which is focused on the Edinburgh Pavilion on The Mound. Between 1 June and 10 July, you can add a photograph of their favourite Edinburgh place to Edinburgh Collected  ( and say makes it special to you.  A fabulous way to promote the places we love.  More background here – and there are Portobello connections:  To participate, click here:

The local circus skills group Full Cirqle are having a Family Circus Day on Sunday 19 June 11am-4pm. There will be aerial, ground based circus and parkour workshops for all ages. If parents would like to join in a class they will need to book a space for themselves as well as their child. They ask that parents attend workshops along with pre-schoolers and remember to book themselves on.  Besides workshops, they have drop in supervised play available throughout the day. Follow the link to book space on a workshop, or drop in on the day: 

It was a great experience to be at the Inspiring Volunteers event hosted by Edinburgh’s Volunteering Champion Lord Provost Donald Wilson in the City Chambers on Tuesday evening and meet people from Portobello there too, among all the amazing volunteers whose great contributions were being celebrated that evening.  I already knew Euan Thomson was getting the award as a volunteer with the charity Changeworks as one of their ‘Heat Heroes’.  Euan helps vulnerable people understand their fuel bills and coaches them on how to use their heating effectively and he goes above and beyond the remit. But it was also great to meet the wonderful and inspiring Shona Black who was awarded the Lord Provost’s Volunteer of the Year for her work with Guide Dogs Scotland.  More here:

Attached a flier for an ‘herb planting’ event next week, 14 June, organised by Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT).  They will be planting herbs in some of the tree containers on the temporary greening site on the space to the east of the Craigmillar East Office – this space being designated for the new secondary school. I have a, electronic copy of the flier of you would like more detail.

Craigmillar Castle is a great place to visit, especially with children.  Much more fun than Edinburgh Castle.  See this recommendation of all ‘our very own’  castle has to offer:

That’s all for now folks.  I have quite a full day tomorrow, so this missive is coming a day earlier than normal.

Have a great weekend when it comes!

Best wishes



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

p.s. My face-to-face Councillor Advice Sessions, or ‘Surgeries’, are usually every Monday at 5.30 pm in Castleview Community Centre, 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue (Phone 661 4064) and then at 7 pm in Portobello Library, 14 Rosefield Avenue (Phone 529 5558).  Now also at Craigmillar Library, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4DT, 1st Wednesday of the month, drop-in session 5pm-5.30pm, thereafter by appointment only up until 7.30pm. Please phone me on Direct Line 0131 529 3268 or Mobile 07718 666 481, or email to check availability, make an appointment or request a home visit.

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