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Maureen Child Update 13 October 2016

Dear All

The 8th Portobello Book Festival was a great success once more, thanks to everyone involved in making it happen!  Photos here by local photographer John Davey:  Blog here:

More here about Portobello Book Festival fun at the local schools :   Inspiring!

Brunstane Primary School’s Open Day for parents/carers of P1 children starting in August 2017 is on Wednesday 2 November 9.30am-10.30am or 1.45pm-2.45pm.  More here:.

Brighton Nursery is celebrating and amazing 25 years in Portobello.  It first opened on West Brighton Crescent and then built anew at Bellfield Lane.  More here:

One of our Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership’s ‘You Decide’ grants is supporting a Poetry Competition this year, a fantastic new initiative by local resident Rose Ritchie and fellow poets. As part of Book Week Scotland, Rose is asking you to submit your poem about the place you live, so do get writing! All entrants will be invited to a prize-giving event at the World Community Arts Day next year.  Much more here:  National Poetry Day at Craigmillar Library featured Agnes Torok which was a huge success.  More about Neighbourhood Partnership (including our local one) here:

If you thing is less poetry than prose, Craigmillar Library is running a free five week prose writing course for up to 12 people aimed at beginning and intermediate writers starting 19 October. More here:

The friends we make through our children often prove to be friends for life and making these contacts through our kids can sometimes be easier for Mums than for Dads. The charity Dad’s Rock was set up to help Dads to build those strong links with their kids, and with each other.  All the nurseries and children’s centres in the Craigmillar area are now aware of the possibilities of partnership working, now that Dad’s Rock have started a new under-5s playgroup on Saturday mornings in The Venchie.  I visited there a couple of Saturdays ago, met some young Dads and realised what a benefit it might prove for more local Dads and their under-5 children. More here:

The Venchie is holding a Halloween event again this year.  More here:

And Newhailes House is going all seasonally spooky too! See here:

The longed-for provision of a bus shelter outside the side door to Jenners on South St David Street is fraught with technical problems. This stop serves home-bound No 26 and No 44 Lothian Buses services, which moved stops to around the corner and avoids the bottleneck at the east end of Princes Street.  The head of public transport in a recent update says it is not written off yet. He says that the Council’s bus shelter provider, JC Decaux, are progressing a foundation design that can work with the underlying cellar.  The success of this solution depends on moving a high voltage cable out of the way.  We are hoping for an update on this next week.

Pupils from Castlebrae Community High School were awarded first prize for the Merchant Company Initiative Prize. S4 pupils Paul Morris, Peter Wood, Robert Souter, Callum Jordan and Ryan Johnstone, aged 14-15 years, designed and built a wood-fired pizza oven at their school working with teacher, James Donald. The pizza oven was made from recycled materials. Money is to be raised by donation from those who have enjoyed pizza and will go to Macmillan Cancer Support and The Maggie’s Centre at the Western General Hospital in commemoration of Stewart Allen, a much loved teacher at the school who recently died of cancer. More here:

The Thistle Foundation are holding Tai Chi and Relaxation classes in their new Centre for Wellbeing twice every week. The classes are available between 12.30 and 1.30pm on Monday and Wednesday and are free of charge to Thistle Gym members.  Membership costs £25 for a year and you can join in person at the Thistle Centre of Wellbeing. More here:

If you live in Craigmillar and have a child under the age of four, the fabulous Craigmillar Books for Babies is running another weekly ‘Raising Children with Confidence’ course, on Thursdays starting 27 October to 8 December 1pm-3pm in Moffat Early Years Centre.  Contact Kara or Michelle on 0131 661 2621. More here:

Jim Mckenzie – Portobello resident and husband of the photographer Rosita McKenzie – is caught on camera at the centre of this great piece of work which has won a prestigious CoSLA Excellence Award last week.  Well deserved!  Rosita McKenzie’s new exhibition is starting soon called Bridging The Gap at Stockbridge Library, 11 Hamilton Place, Edinburgh  EH3 5BA  1-29 November, open normal library hours  Artists’ talk is on Monday, 7 November at 6 pm.  Bridging the Gap is a photographic exhibition  that celebrates Edinburgh’s extensive bridge network and how even a lowly foot-bridge is integral to everyday life in Scotland’s capital city.

Save the date for a new exhibition opening at The Velvet Easel Gallery, Portobello from Saturday 5 November 10am – 5pm.

A disabled parking bay has now been marked out on Sandford Gardens opposite the St John’s Parish House which will greatly assist parishioners who have mobility difficulties.  Of course, only someone with a blue badge is entitled to park there, but the space might also be helpful for someone attending weddings and other events surrounding the Portobello Market in Brighton Park.

If you have questions about cancer, there is MacMillan Cancer Support’s new drop in service, open from 11am – 3pm Mondays and Thursdays at Craigmillar Library.  More here:—Edinburgh-Libraries—Craigmillar-Library?proximity=43.49%20miles%20from%20you

Portobello resident, Rosie Nimmo is having an art exhibition is on at The Tide coffee shop, foot of King’s Road, Portobello.  There are some images on Rosie’s website art page:

You would be welcome at a Question Time event being organised by the City of Edinburgh Council as part of wider engagement about changes to Council services.  This year’s in the City Chambers on Thursday, 10 November (7.15pm–8.30pm). Over 7 weeks, people can play their part by giving their views through various channels including an online survey and dialogue page where residents can speak to other people in their own local area.  The engagement period ends on Friday, 18 November.  Residents who are unable to attend can watch via the Council’s webcasting service. Last year’s event was well attended with an additional 237 tuning in live via the  webcast and was subsequently watched by 3,759 people via the archive. To register for this year’s event, go to; Social media –  use the #playyourpart ;Email – Survey and dialogue page online –; Phone – 0131 200 2305 (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 3.40pm Friday); Write – Freepost, RSJC-SLXC-YTJY, Budget, Council Leader, City Chambers, High Street Edinburgh EH1 1YJ  More here:

If you still want to comment on the Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) application for ‘New Brunstane’ as an individual you have until 21 October, the time for comments having been extended by a month.  You might have had some input direct to the applicant, EDI Ltd and their agents over the last year or so, but it is important you also feed in what you think of any aspect of the PPP application, as submitted, to the Council’s Head of Planning.  Portobello Community Council (PCC) meets on Monday 31 October and will have the results of its own public consultation on their agenda.  The PCC have an extension of time until the following day (1 November) to put in their comments to the planning officer. The reference for the search engine is 16/04122/PPP if you go to the Council website section on ‘to comment on planning applications’. Or you can simply click this link here: 

Last, but by no means least, Portobello High School pupils are now on their October holiday but all of them will have seen round the totally wonderful new school and new sports hub which they will be returning to after the break. The school will be starting back a couple of days later than other schools – on Thursday 26 October. So very, very exciting!

That’s all for now

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.