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Maureen Child Update 15 November 2013


Dear All

The 17th Craigmillar Book Festival starts on Monday with muckle monsters, crabbit grannies and murderous villains will be among the many characters appearing at Craigmillar Library. A great line up of visiting writers – Gill Arbuthnott, John Fardell, Matthew Fitt, Sally J Collins and Sylvia Troon – will weave together stories, poems, illustration and puppetry into exciting, funny and hair-raising experiences. The Festival runs from Monday 18th to Friday 29th November and has been made possible with generous support from the Scottish Book Trust Live Literature Fund, the Nancie Massey Trust and the John F Watson Trust. More at

The new Portobello Tumbles gymnastics and soft pay areas at what used to be Portobello Indoor Bowling Centre is proving very popular indeed. See

Local home care providers Home Instead are asking for support with their Senior Santa initiative this Christmas to help bring happiness to lonely and less well-off older people. They have teamed up with non-profit and community organisations to identify older people who otherwise might not receive gifts this Christmas. Gift ideas include blankets or throws; slippers and socks; toiletries such as lotions, bath soaps or toothpaste; pyjamas, nightgowns or robes; food hampers or sugar-free sweets; kitchen and bath towel;, clothes such as cardigans and sweaters; and pet food. Simply hand in your gist to the Home Instead office on 240 Portobello High Street (top of Marlborough Street). Carers will then wrap the presents and deliver them, in many cases staying on to visit the older person and chat for a while. More information from Home Instead, 0131 300 0599 or at

I’m looking forward to going to the launch on Monday of an exciting exhibition of all the work Caring in Craigmillar have been doing on the Craigmillar community’s story in pictures and film entitled ‘A Fine Place to Be’, a project funded by the Lottery Heritage Fund . It’s on for a few days in that fabulous art deco 1930s building The White House (corner Niddrie Mains Road and Craigmillar Castle Loan) which is run by the local Community Alliance Trust. Their cafe is well worth a visit in its own right – four stars on Trip Adviser, remember?

The next Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership meeting is on Wednesday 4 December at 6.30pm in the East Neighbourhood Office, 101 Niddrie Mains Road (almost opposite the White House) which houses the fabulous Craigmillar Library. All new Community Councillors are especially welcome from both Portobello and Craigmillar Community Councils. But these are open meetings, so all are welcome. Senior local area staff form all the partner agencies, with whom we work closely, will be there and we have asked the Education, Children and Families Director, Gillian Tee to come back and update on progress with the working group set up to boost the fortunes of Castlebrae Community High School and the progress with Portobello High School new build proposals. The rest of the evening will be an opportunity to network and get to know each other, and find out what partnership working is all about, and put faces to names over a glass of wine and mince pies.

Talking of Portobello High School, this is the further information provided to the Bills Committee by the Counicl which you might well find a good read.

Winter Maintenance plans are in place Portobello/Craigmillar. Edinburgh Road Services will continue to carry out all gritting activities on the cities roads, the six most heavily trafficked pavements and cycle ways. The only cycleway in the East Neighbourhood which will get routine treatment from ERS is the Innocent Railway from Holyrood Park to Asda at the Jewel. For all enquiries regarding these works contact the Winter Maintenance Team at Meanwhile, the East Neighbourhood Task Force Team will be gritting the 1B (secondary) pavements. There are two routes comprising a total of 80 kilometres of pavements to be treated. These include the majority of the medical centres, schools, sheltered housing and other high footfall pavements in our area. Maps showing these routes will be available on-line at Unlike previous years, these gritting duties will only be carried out during core Task Force working hours 6:15am – 9pm. Please note that during the festive public holidays (25 & 26 December and 1 & 2 January) there is a skeleton Task Force crew working and their priority will be the city centre. Up to date information for all the Councils winter maintenance procedures, including gritting routes, the location of grit bins and information on how to prepare for winter weather, is on the Councils website: We will provide local updates via Twitter @east­_team. For all other enquiries please contact the East Team by calling 0131 529 3111 or email

I know I keep nagging about this, but do click on the Budget Consultation links and make a response – even if it just one small line! There is an upcoming local Council Budget consultation meeting at Meadowbank 22 November at 7pm. All welcome. More here:

Another consultation to take part in is the Police Scotland Consultation on our perception of crime and local priorities. Click on:

Have a good weekend!


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