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Maureen Child Update 18 September 2015

Dear All

Thanks to people concerned about the pigeons seemingly trapped behind the wire netting that was (at last!) recently placed to the underside of Brighton Place/Southfield Place bridge. Before pigeon-proofing, 150-200 pigeons were moved out. The Council officer overseeing the project confirms that outlets have been formed in the new netting to allow any pigeons to escape. (I have photos!)  It can take 2 or 3 weeks for some pigeons to get the message and move on. This Council officer will continue to monitor it, and if the numbers of pigeons don’t drop he’ll bring in pest control and a section of netting may have to be removed – temporarily – to release them.

I will be at Portobello High School for a while on Saturday to watch some top class basketball played by local people. Entry is free to all. More here:  Porty High Basketball Day

On Sunday, on Portobello Promenade and get your bicycle marked from 11am -1pm on Sunday by the local police. The first few are free.  See here:  East Edinburgh Police Twitter and Portobello Community Council Notice

Well done to the finalists in the Edinburgh Living Landscape photo competition! Now it’s time for you to help decide the winners.  View the entries and vote for the ones you think are best. Tough choices! : See here: Facebook and here: Edinburgh Living Landscape Photography Competition

The School Streets scheme, banning cars from near two local primary schools at peak morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times, starts Tuesday 22 September and includes Duddingston and St John’s Primary Schools. More here:  School Streets Scheme

The next meeting of our local Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership is on Wednesday 23 September, starting 6.30 pm, at the East Neighbourhood Centre, 101 Niddrie Mains Road. This is a public meeting and members of the public are very welcome to attend to find out about some of the local work we oversee in a local partnership which includes local voluntary sector, NHS Lothian, Police, Fire and rescue service and Community Council – among others.  See agenda and papers here: P/C Neighbourhood Partnership

The fence on the Portobello High Street side of the Powerleague 5-a-side football pitches site is in a dilapidated condition and badly needs fixed.  The Council’s local parks and greenspace manager tells me that they have the replacement fence in the yard the start date is likely to be mid October.  The work will take about 3 weeks to complete .

Stravaigin’ have organised a coffee morning in Sandy’s Community Centre, 76 Craigmillar Castle Avenue EH16 4DW to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support on Friday 25 September 10am-12 noon. Do call in for coffee and cake! Bus routes 2,,14,21,30,42.  More about Stravaigin here: So what is Stravaigin?

After a treacherous journey, and feeing was and famine at home, men women and children are arriving in Europe scared and exhausted. Moved by their plight, Porty resident and musician Rosie Nimmo has written a song in response to the refugee crisis, with proceeds going to help those in need. If you like it, please do share it with friends: Refugee (Clouds Colliding) by Rosie Nimmo  It is also on Rosie’s third album, Scrapbook, which will be out in October.

On the same theme, Portobello Community Council’s CalAid collection took place in Portobello Town Hall next week, with over 30 volunteers gathering and sorting donations for distribution to refugees based in the French town of Calais, then making short work of packing the bundles of donations into vans the following morning. It took us just 15-20 mins to fill the two vans.  Well done to Emma Dempsey who spearheaded the whole affair!  More about Calaid here:  Some of the generous gifts were not what Calaid said was needed, and could not be sent on, so I took them to the Basics Bank for Portobello based at the Wilson Memorial Church at Kekewich Avenue to help people in crisis in our own community.  More about what the Basics Banks do here:

Apart from letting the Portobello Calaid group have the use of Portobello Town Hall on the Saturday-Sunday morning, the Council are playing their full part in the national response to the refugee crisis.

Council agreed unanimously, back in May, to take part in the UK Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme

  • we are also in active discussion with Mercy Corps (our Edinburgh-based charity partner) about assisting them in supporting an urgent appeal – please do check their main website for any developing details: and there are notices on the streets
  • Next week, the Council’s Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee, which I convene, will consider a further report and verbal update on what the City is doing – in partnership – to help. More here:


Find out more of how you can help with the refugee crisis through these links: In Scotland: Scotland welcomes refugees and at UK level:  Syrian Refugees What You can Do To Help

The Edinburgh Trust is part of the wider national charity Turn2us and helps people in financial hardship within Edinburgh by giving small, one-off grants

to help people pay for things they vitally need. A grant may cover the cost of living, or buy practical items such as essential white goods, furniture, carpet and flooring. They also help with very basic items such as clothing, fuel costs and removal costs. The Trust can also help people by sign-posting them to other charities or sources of support, and by doing a basic welfare benefits check. More here: The Edinburgh Trust

Gardeners and allotment holders at Telferton, between Craigentinny and Portobello, have won the right to legally cultivate their plots. Last week the allotment holders were granted a Certificate of Lawfulness by Edinburgh City Council, giving them a legitimate right, under planning law, to use the site they have occupied for more than 90 years. A planning application will be submitted soon to develop most of the site. There is a local campaign to stop that happening, as you will know from the front page of this season’s Portobello Reporter.  Link to more information here: Allotment Site

A celebration of Older People’s Day at Meadowbank Sports Centre from 12.30pm – 4.00pm on Thursday 1 October.  It includes: Information stalls; Demonstrations; Discussion / info corners; Tea Dance; Get Up & Go awards. Over 400 older people attended the event last year, so please do spread the word!  Any questions, please do not to contact the Ageing Well office on 0131 4582183.  If you want a poster, I can send you one.

A fabulous well-deserved rave review of The White House Cafe in Craigmillar here: A hidden gem in the heart of Craigmillar.

Before or after sampling the delights of The White House Kitchen, Craigmillar Castle is well worth a visit.  In fact it’s some people’s top favourite: Click the link Craigmillar Castle for more information

All aboard the Borders Railway Borders Railway | ScotRail Following plenty local complaints that the trains haven’t enough carriages to take all the people who want to travel to and from the Borders, the train operator Scotrail are now putting on more carriages. It’s your railway, with two station in this area at Brunstane and Newcraighall:  Borders Railway Community Partnership For train enquiries on tickets, fares and timetables contact Scotrail on 0344 811 0141 or visit their website:  By the way, Charlie Cavaye took this great photo of the steam train passing Brunstane with HRH aboard on official opening day:

The Footway Parking and Double Parking Bill is explained here:  SPICE Factsheet .  The Bill is being strongly supported by pedestrian and cycle campaigners like SPOKES and Living Streets among others, including wheelchair users. It is aimed to stop pavement parking, double parking and parking over dropped kerbs. And MSP’s are seek your views on the Bill.  More here:  BBC News Parking Bill

What do you think of parking in Edinburgh? Have your say on the Council’s Parking Action Plan proposals Parking Consultation

Little France: proposals for a new Edinburgh park  On behalf of City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh and Lothian Greenspace Trust have submitted a Pre Application Notice to create new public parkland on the open space between the Royal Infirmary and Craigmillar. With the arrival of the new BioQuarter and a range of other new developments, some under construction with others at various stages of the planning process, if accepted, the new park will provide a valuable green asset to new and existing communities. Central to the plans is high-quality cycle/walking route through the park to form a strategic active travel link connecting to/extending the city’s cycle network.  More here:  Send comments to by 26 September.

A reminder that the 7th Portobello Book Festival programme is ready to share! Programme Book Festival

A free exercise and life management course is on offer for people with long term health conditions. The Thistle Foundation’s new Nutrition-led Lifestyle Management course will support you to achieve a balanced diet by giving you lots of information on healthy eating and the roles and effects of food. Starts Wednesday, 30 September. More here: Thistle Course Information

Are you interested in being an advisor with Citizens Advice in Edinburgh?  Find out more and apply online: CAB Volunteering

If you think a friend or relative may be experiencing domestic abuse see this: CAB Campaign

There is a Craigmillar community Chronicle website now and it is very much a growing and moving feast. More here:  Chronicle On Line for Craigmillar  The workshops will start soon, with the first planned for 2 October from 1-4pm at The White House – more details will be on the website through the on-line Edinburgh Reporter very soon.

How do we improve health by supporting communities? The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership are keen to hear from you on the first draft strategic plan – Draft Strategic Plan

When the cyclists came to Milton Road for the Tour of Britain, it was blink-and-you-missed-it, but it’s captured here by John Davey:  Twitter Photo

Discover nine of the best food outlets in Scotland that do social good: Breadshare is on the List! No3.

Portobello Telly captures tightrope walking on Porty Beach:  Local Circus Skills Developing. We are developing circus skills in the heart of our community in Portobello.   Full Cirqle opened last May at 8 Baileyfield Crescent and aims to make circus more inclusive, accessible and affordable for all ages and walks of life.  Find out more here:

The Co-op recently launched a £750,000 fund for good causes collected from 5p carrier bag charges BBC News Coop Fund. Apply here Co-op Good Cause Fund Application

Just to remind ourselves that the finalised Edinburgh City Local Development Plan is now with the Scottish Government Reporter: Scottish Government – DPEA – Case Details

Best wishes and have a good weekend!



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.

p.p.s.  Please let me know if you don’t want to receive emails like this from me and I’ll take you off my list.  Equally if you want to share it, please do.

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