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Maureen Child Update 19 December 2013

Dear All

Yes, I’m still nagging! Friday 20 December 2013 is nearly come – TOMORROW is the deadline for feedback on the Council’s budget proposals for 2014/15. You can find out more about the budget proposals at, including a short film and presentation. There is also an online survey. Please feel free to share your views and comments on the budget proposals, and forward this e-mail to anyone who may have an interest. On 13 February 2014 the Council will agree the 2014/15 budget, taking into account the feedback received.

I thought you might appreciate note of the changes to bin days over the festive season from Wednesday 25 December 2013 to Tuesday 7 January 2014. The website or the contact centre on 0131 529 3030 for further information. Green, brown and food waste bins and red and blue box collections will not take place on 25 December and 1 January but will instead be picked up on Saturday 28 December and Saturday 4 January respectively. If they don’t pick up the bin on the day listed above, please leave it out until it is collected. Please note that unlike previous years collections that fall on Boxing Day 26 December and Thursday 2 January will happen as normal. Please ensure that bins are out by 6am on the collection day. Christmas tree recycling – Christmas trees can be recycled at any of the three Community Recycling Centres which will be open throughout the festive period (except for 25 & 26 Dec and 1 & 2 January) There is also a kerbside Christmas Tree recycling collection. If residents have a brown bin, or live in a brown bin area, they are being asked to place their tree at the kerbside, next to the brown bin, by 6am on the next garden waste day. To enable trees to be recycled residents are reminded to remove all decorations from the Christmas tree. If the tree is 6ft tall or more, then please cut it in half. Do not place trees in plastic bags, or the tree cannot be recycled. Remove any tree stands. The Council will also be collecting trees from communal bin areas during January. Residents can go to for more details. 2014 collection calendars There are no changes to collection days for 2014. Residents can download their collection calendars at or call 0131 529 3030 for a copy. Special uplifts There will be no special uplift service between Tuesday 24 December and 7 January. Normal service will resume on Tuesday 7 January.

The Fire and Rescue Service would be very grateful for feedback on their Local Plan. Area Commander John Dickie, Edinburgh’s Senior Officer – who was a great help and support throughout the crisis we had recently in Portobello – has asked that the two links below are circulated as widely as possible. The first link takes you to the Local Plan itself and the second to a short survey monkey site where your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to circulate this to assist the service in getting good quality local feedback to ensure the Plan meets our needs.


While late for the actual ceremony due to planning committee, I was delighted to meet some of the parents and carers of a fine set of 12 boys, mainly from Castlebrae Community High School, who spent eight weeks improving the access to football pitches by constructing a path at Sandy’s Community Centre in Craigmillar in place of the muddy track. The quality of the work was great, but even more important the lads “started out as boys but came back men” in the process – as one Mum proudly said of her own son. All the boys have passed an interview and been accepted on to a construction course in the New Year. Find out more about the school here: Castlebrae Community High School Prospectus

Police Scotland in Edinburgh have been listening to what we have been saying on local priorities. An early scan of feedback from the local consultation on the proposed new Edinburgh policing plan has established ‘acquisitive crime’ as a local priority. Operation RAC is dealing with housebreakings – domestic, non-dwelling and business. This is a concerted response to the rising numbers of ‘acquisitive’ crimes across Edinburgh this year. Police will have very targeted patrols, both high visibility and plain clothed, in the identified areas. The substantial police action plan around acquisitive crime also includes prevention tactics, and ensuring that housebreakings are tackled effectively. This is a very welcome move and addresses some of our own local concerns.

Following the publication of the preliminary report by the Committee set up to look at the Portobello Park Private Bill there will be an hour long debate in the Scottish Parliament on the Bill and the Committee’s findings on Thursday 9 January. Kez Dugdale MSP will be taking part in the debate and would welcome any thoughts on the key issues which should be highlighted within her allotted time. Kez can be contacted at She has also secured a number of tickets for the public gallery should you wish to come and watch the debate first hand – whatever side of the debate you might be rooting for. If you would like to attend on Thursday 9 January then please e-mail her assistant or contact Kez’s office on 0131 348 6894.

I am keeping an eye on the Christmas Tree and lights at Portobello a couple of times a day, as are nearby residents. The tree decorations got unplugged from the lighting column a couple of times, once by the storm (we think). Then the whole ‘flying cable’ which takes the power from the lighting column to the tree disappeared altogether. It was replaced yesterday – a bit higher up this time. All was well when I last looked this morning.

Off to do Christmas shopping? Portobello Transition Town PEDAL’s fantastic limited edition fair trade cotton T-shirts make ideal Christmas presents and are now available at the reduced price of only £10 for adults (previously £12.50) and £7 for children (previously £9). The adult T-shirts are available in two designs: I Love Porty and the co-ordinates for the Prom, which always get people talking! To buy one (or more!), phone or text 07712 633 342.

Best wishes and further festive greetings.


Portobello Online