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Maureen Child Update 14 February 2014

Dear All

As many will have noticed, the traffic signals at Bath Street/Brighton Place and Portobello High Street have been changed as a consequence of aligning the pedestrian crossings at Windsor Place and the Town Hall. This might have had some befits elsewhere, but is causing difficulties – especially in the north south routes and also at the pedestrian crossings. I have had a number of discussions with local residents, watched what is happening myself and had a chat with the lollipop lady too. The change is still very under review and I anticipate it will not stay as it is now. I will be doing a site visit with the signals team next week, so would appreciate any further feedback you can give about what your own experience has been of knock-on effects nearby and in the wider area – good or bad – so we can get the balance better.

Craigmillar Community Arts invite you to an “Arts Cabaret” tomorrow – Saturday afternoon (between 1pm and 4pm) at the centre which is on the corner near Fort Kinnaird on Newcraighall Road . This is to help celebrate World Community Arts Day and launch their new “Arts and Health Programme”. The fun event will offer opportunities for everyone to sing, paint, act, write, try some crafts and listen to music while learning how taking part in creative activities can improve your health. The event is open to people of all ages and you can drop in for a while or stay all afternoon. There will be a scheduled programme of workshops throughout the afternoon, a range of drop-in activities, a pop-up café and an opportunity to have a free health MOT (provided by Edinburgh-based social enterprise, the Centre of Health and Wellbeing). This event will also mark the start of our exciting new “Arts and Health” programme (funded by NHS Lothian Health Foundation), which will run over the next 2 years.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Rev Lorna Hood, will be guest preacher at the beautiful Robin Chapel, Craigmillar, this coming Sunday 16 Feb, at the service starting at 4pm. Music, as usual, is provided by the very talented Chapel Choir. All welcome.

Local people in Portobello, in partnership with the Council and others locally, including Romanian families settled in Edinburgh are inviting you to a party – a Romanian and Scottish Celebration on Friday 28 February 6.30 – 9.30 pm in the Washhouse Community Centre Adelphi Grove, Portobello Food, Music, Dancing Bring dish or snacks to share and – if you want – a song or a tune. All are welcome, bring the kids! Please RSVP to Gica and let her know numbers of adults and children. Tel: 669 7618 Mobile: 0781 465 7029 or email: gica@loening.com
This Hunters Hall Park local community consultation is happening now, although I made clear to senior management that local community consultation on the principle of the development should have taken place first, before any drawings were made or consultants appointed. The Jack Kane Community Wing management committee were included (at my insistence) and their representatives have also been pushing for a much wider community discussion of the principle:

David Wardrop says: “The City of Edinburgh Council recently appointed a team of external consultants to complete an options appraisal study and stakeholder engagement, in relation to options for the development of cycling and synthetic turf pitch facilities at Hunters Hall Park. The purpose of this study is to create a masterplan for the Park. The Park is presently home to the Jack Kane Sports Centre, and several grass pitches, and serves as one of the city’s multi-pitch sites for football and other team sports. Options for improvement of the Sports Centre and its Community Wing are also being reviewed as part of the study. The Park is also recognised as an important informal recreational green space for users seeking less structured informal recreation. The historic woodlands, together with the newly planted woodlands and the burnside, provide biodiversity and opportunities for people to enjoy quiet walks and rest, and it is important that those who wish to use the Park for informal recreation continue to be able to do so. The study follows discussions with governing bodies and the cycling community regarding their desire to see improved cycling facilities in the city. The commitment is part of the Council’s £1.215m investment in sports facilities, and a further £800k is available for pitch improvements, to include at least one new 3G pitch in the Park. The aim is to add to the regeneration of the area by revitalising the Park and Sports Centre with investment in new and upgraded facilities to create a sports hub, serving both the local community and the wider sporting community. The project has now reached a stage where some initial options have been developed. These reflect the brief, and the needs expressed to date by a number of sports organisations and other members of the project team. The next stage of the work is to consult with a range of local community organisations to seek views on the initial proposals, before the work progresses any further. I would like to invite you to attend a stakeholder consultation evening on Thursday 20 February. The consultation will be held at the Jack Kane Community Centre in Hunters Hall Park. The options being considered will be on display and there will be an opportunity to meet the members of the project team, to ask questions and to provide your feedback on the options. The consultation will be open and informal and will run from 4pm – 7pm. You are welcome to join us at any point during that time. This is an important opportunity for you to provide your input to the study and I very much hope you will be able to make time to contribute. In the meantime, if you have any questions relating to the consultation evening please do not hesitate to contact David Wardrop | Sports Manager | Culture and Sport | Corporate Governance | Level 2:6 | Waverley Court | 4 East Market Street | Edinburgh | EH8 8BG | Tel: 0131 529 7738”

This year is the 10th anniversary of the start of FairTrade Edinburgh. Come along to our Family Fair & Bruncheon! On 1 March, 10am to 2:30pm in Out of the Blue Drillhall pic.twitter.com/0ru6JlWpD0

You might find it useful to plug into what Keep Scotland Beautiful is doing. They run two community engagement campaignsBeautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood – which both give national recognition to, and celebrate the hard work of community groups who are cleaning up and greening up the local neighbourhoods where they live, work and visit.

To find out more about local partnership working, it’s always worth checking the Neighbourhood Partnership website for interesting things about the area and up-coming meetings – http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/neighbourhood-partnerships/portobello-and-craigmillar

The harmful effects of cyber bullying and “sexting” are being highlighted in the latest phase of the Speak up Speak out public protection campaign. The campaign launched this week, to coincide with Safer Internet Day 2014. It’s the fourth in a series of campaigns highlighting public protection issues. This time the focus is on keeping safe online and on your phone. It’s a topic relevant to everyone but particularly to:

· children (spotlighting the issues of cyber bullying and sexting)
· parents/carers (for advice on how to keep children safe online)
· vulnerable adults
· older people
· domestic abuse situations.

To coincide with Safer Internet Day, Police Scotland and the Council have arranged a series of events in schools, community venues and libraries across the city. In addition, a range of posters will be seen in venues across Edinburgh to spotlight the main issues and directing people to these contact points for help:

· ChildLine (0800 1111) or ParentLine Scotland (08000 28 22 33)
· ThinkUKnow
· GetSafeOnline
· Saferinternet
· edinburgh.gov.uk
· Social Care Direct, The City of Edinburgh Council’s social work service (0131 200 2324).

A radio advert is being aired on Forth One and Two for one week until Tuesday 18 February and a series of child-friendly posters have been developed for primary and secondary schools.

Making sure vulnerable children, some of them looked after by the City of Edinburgh, should get the same chances as other children. 302 children have completed the ‘Jump In’ swim programme since December 2012. Out of the 200 children who have received a ‘Jump In’ card, 36% have continued swimming lessons with Edinburgh Leisure this is a 15% increase compared to last term. 83% of children who complete the Jump In ASN (additional support needs) sessions have continued into Edinburgh Leisure’s core swimming lessons. A parent of one of the Jump In participants gave the following feedback: ‘When Robert first came he didn’t want to get in the water. Now he loves it. He can’t wait to come back and the staff are great with the kids’. Consultation with parents who access Greendykes Early Years Centre highlighted that they would not normally have the disposable income to access swimming lessons, so the Centre started a funded learn-to-swim session through ‘Jump In’ at the Royal Commonwealth Pool. .

It’s always worth checking the Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership website for interesting things about the area and up-coming meetings you might want to get involved in or ask about or help set the agenda – http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/neighbourhood-partnerships/portobello-and-craigmillar

Bridgend Growing Communities’ annual Potato Day is 41 on Sunday 23 February 11am until 2pm at Bridgend Farm, Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4TE. Many organic varieties on sale and all are welcome. I have a flyer with more information. Please spread the word.

Have a good weekend

Best wishes

Maureen