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Maureen Child Update 20 May 2016

Dear All

A reminder of the Ceilidh in Portobello TONIGHT Friday 20 May starting 7pm in the Wash House, 3 Adelphi Place, Portobello EH15 1AP.  This is a fundraiser for Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland, and to celebrate their 40th Anniversary.  Tickets £10 with concessions.  Information and booking here: .

Kirsty Carver of Portobello Timebank tells me they are hosting an Open Day TOMORROW Saturday 21  May, 2 – 4:30pm at Tribe Porty, above Earthy on Windsor Place.  They would love you to come along. Kirsty says “We’ve spent time looking at how people engage with timebanks across the world and have been developing new ways for members of the Portobello community to come together and help each other. This is your opportunity to meet the people who are actively using the timebank to solve their problems, get jobs done, help their community or enhance their social life. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and show you ‘the workings’ to help you decide if timebanking may be something you could get involved in, either as an individual member or as an organisation.  See for yourself what it’s all about, there will be several activity stations around the hall, so please come prepared.

  • Upcycled World will be demonstrating book-binding throughout the afternoon, so raid the recycling box and bring along a supply of old envelopes, scrap paper, magazines and calendars to make your own notebook.
  • ‘Crafty’ members will teach you to knit without needles, so bring 3 balls of wool and complete a stylish garment in half an hour. 
  • Bring along that sewing repair you haven’t got round to, and someone will fix it for you or show you how to do it.
  • The Community Garden Group will have a display stand (we’re going to be helping them out next month), so what better excuse for a plant/seedling swap? 
  • And if you don’t have plants to swap, donations of edible goodies are always welcome!

Portobello Timebank look forward to seeing you on Saturday. If you know of anyone who might be interested in joining us, be sure to bring them along too. Look them up on Facebook or phone Kirsty on 07968 090 530

Portobello High School Parent Council is giving notice that they are running a raffle in June, raising funds for materials, instruments and equipment to enhance the educational experience of all of the pupils.  They would be delighted by any donations of prizes (e.g. vouchers, items) from any local businesses.  Tickets will be sold at the open days and those donating prizes will be fully credited.  Please do let the Parent Council know if you are happy to help and they will be in touch.  Email:

Local resident Janet Brodie tells me that a community choir has recently formed and is held in St Martin’s Church, Magdalene Drive on Thursdays from 7pm to 9pm. “We are called the Phoenix Choir and it is for anyone who fancies singing a variety of contemporary songs. We are keen to reach out to our local community, we currently have around 20 members, so far. No need to read music, everything is taught by ear. The first session is free, thereafter £4 per week. It’s great fun, and we are aiming for our first concert to be held at the end of July”.

There’s a shortage of foster carers across Edinburgh and plenty opportunities for more people to consider becoming carers for children and young people. Fostering is a hugely rewarding and really important job.  It benefits some of our most vulnerable children, helping them build a bright and confident future. All sorts of people have the skills and qualities to foster. We hope people will use Foster Care Fortnight to find out more about becoming a foster carer. For more details, go to the Foster Edinburgh website or contact 0800 174 833 or 0131 529 2773.

There are applications lodged by the owner for the demolition of the C-listed art deco George bingo hall and the erection of 21 flats at 14 Bath Street.  The Reference is 16/02052/FUL and 16/02052/LBC. Over the last year or so, I have been lending a bit of advice and support to Rob Hoon from Out of the Blue and architect and local resident Michael Davidson in a bid to save it for community use.  This means I can’t take part in the planning committee to take a decision on this, as I have a conflict of interest. The good news is that I can and will openly lend weight to the campaign to save it. Comments and objections are open for you to write or email the Council’s head of planning and strategy. A link to the application details is here:;jsessionid=DC7953C1D39BA844FE6D9999D8EF9F55?action=firstPage  Portobello Community Council is also consulting people on their views with a view to making their submission.

This year’s More!fun Children’s Book Festival kicks off next week. Here’s the programme of events in all our local Libraries: There are still spaces available for two events taking place at Craigmillar Library On Tuesday 24 May at 6pm, author Mirabelle Maslin will give a talk about sharing stories and books with infants and children. On Friday 27 May at 3pm there’s a free screening of the animation film ‘UP’ . Bookings can be made email

A crowd funding bid has started by Artwalk Porty to help re-install Laura’ Fox’s popular Tidal Octopus sculpture at Portobello beach.  ‘Cressida’ came down in the storm last January and was rescued by passers-by and kept safe for Laura to recover. Now she is being restored to her former glory.  More here:  Lots more at

There’s another of the regular Afternoon Tea Dance and Sing-along events at the lovely restored Craigmillar’s art-deco White House Kitchen, 70 Niddrie Mains Road, EH16 4BG. 12.30pm-3pm and the ticket includes tea and delicious fresh scones.   More here:

Sign up for one of the Lothian Ranger’s Bat Walks this year. There are five locations to chose from, including our local Newhailes on 29 July.  More here:  Book early to avoid disappointment.

A recent report shows that nearly a million pensioners are currently living in poverty. In addition, an estimated 750,000 individuals over the age of 75 are failing to claim the Pension Credit they are entitled to, with an estimated 950,000 pensioners in this older age bracket living in poverty.  Make sure you know what help you and yours can get:

There’s a new website on the job of a Councillor, which you might find mildly interesting!  To listen to some of the Councillors, speaking to camera, it is all about dealing with irate constituent complaints about potholes and uncollected bins – and doesn’t sound too inviting – but the job is actually a lot, lot more than that, which some of the contributors just begin to touch on. See here:  It doesn’t say anything about abseiling for charity, or writing weekly updates, and not much about celebrating all the fantastic things our wonderful active citizens, local groups and amazing paid staff get up to, above and beyond the normal and the expected. There’s a whole lot of different ways to ‘do the job your paid for’!

The Figgy Do next weekend is fun for the whole family in Figgate Park on Saturday 28 May from 1pm to 4pm organised by the amazing park friends group.  For the children there is lots of fun while the adults relax and enjoy tea and cake and a photographic exhibition.  More here:

The I have passed on my appreciation for the police response to the sea emergency incident with the alarm called around 3.40am on 15 May. The emergency services were called and went into action immediately, including the Kinghorn RNLI lifeboat which launched within 11 minutes of the call.  More here:!/kinghorn.lifeboat/photos/a.10150210543327675.329609.198303212674/10153753971792675/?type=1&theater  In the event, two fabulous police officers got there first.  Local Police Inspector Neil Clyde committed to passing on my congratulations on to the officers involved. He also assured me that any future learning from incidents, like this one, would routinely be done as part of any operational debrief and would include all the relevant agencies, such as Fire and Rescue Service, Coastguard and RNLI.

 We need more foster carers for children in Edinburgh, so please help spread the word to friends and family living in and around the Edinburgh area. Our next public drop-in events are on 2 June 12 noon-2pm and 5pm-7pm in the Courtyard, Waverley Court. If you have access, like or share us on Facebook  Find out more about Fostering online or call 0800 174 833.

Please find attached link to the latest issue of the Scottish Biodiversity newsletter, which might be of interest:

Have  great weekend, whatever you’re doing!  I’m intending to go out to Queensferry (well, maybe!) to take a look up at the Forth Rail Bridge ahead of my challenge to abseil down it on 12 June.  More here: 

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.