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Maureen Child Update 24 November 2017

Dear All


Edinburgh is apparently the loneliest city in the UK for older people, so charity Vintage Vibes have launched their Cosy Christmas Project. Local lass and former Brunstane Primary School pupil Gail Porter and Vintage Vibes are asking the people of Edinburgh to write a FREE Christmas Card to brighten the life of someone who is lonely and over 60 in the city.  Find out more at and please share with as many people as you can!


Big Kid Balloon Twister’s Big Book Show is on at Craigmillar Library tomorrow, Saturday 25 November at 12.30 pm. The show is a fun, interactive reading show full of stories from big magical books, full animated balloon puppets and lots of balloon props. Followed by art activities with Artman. You are welcome to join the free fun!


Remember the fundraising Wash House Family Ceilidh with Fun Fiddlers is on Sunday 26 November, 3pm – 5.30pm.


Also this Saturday, 10am-2pm, at the Portobello Community Orchard (entrance opposite Brunstane Station) volunteers will be doing an end of season tidy-up and re-planting one of the trees they rescued from the number sadly ripped out earlier in the season.  They’ll be pruning the soft fruit bushes and improving the soil around trees in the wetter part of the orchard and planting Portobello Rotary Club crocus to make a beautiful display next spring. They hope you’ll drop in for a cup of tea and a chat – and something sweet, no doubt!


Dates for your diary:


Thistle Centre of Wellbeing is having its first ever Christmas Fair next week, Saturday 2 December.  Doors open at 12.30pm. Join in for lots of festive fun including cakes, cards, crafts and – of course – carols!


Towerbank Primary School Christmas Fair is also on Saturday 2 December 2pm – 5pm.  There will be games, craft activities, Christmas baking, raffle, toys and books, and Santa’s grotto.   Porty Maker’s market will also be there with handcrafted items, print and jewellery for. Local artists. Entry is £1 per child which includes five tokens to spend inside and adults free entry.  Book to see Santa at the stall in the playground from Monday 20 November.


A Christmas Coffee Morning on Saturday 2 December at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, High Street, Portobello, 11am to 1pm. Come and enjoy bacon rolls, tea and coffee, home baking, books, raffle and Tombola. All welcome! Then enjoy an evening of wonderful music on Sunday 10 December when Dalkeith and Monktonhall Brass Band give their Christmas concert at St Mark’s. Tickets are £8 and free for under 16s. More details at or


A new park amenity green space is planned on the site of the former Portobello High School informed by a big community consultation phase led by Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust.  Work will include the demolition of the existing St John’s RC Primary School currently on the site which will be relocated to a new build school adjacent to the park.  For details, click here:  Planning application for the new Treverlen Park reference number is 17/05217/FUL.


The public meeting about the Powerleague site at Westbank Street, organised by Portobello Community Council, last Wednesday attracted 150 people and – in case you missed it – this account appeared in the Evening News:  Portobello Community Council, Portobello Amenity Society and us four local Councillors are involved in assessing the bids at some point in the next couple of weeks, as part of our Participation Request under the Community Empowerment Act.  That will help inform the Council officers’ report to the Council’s Finance and Resources Committee in January.


Portobello Macular Group meets on the second Wednesday of the month between 1 and 3 pm upstairs in Portobello Library. Anyone who is affected by any eyesight condition is more than welcome to join the group for peer support and information. Also tea and coffee are provided, Contact Anne Dignan for further information on 0131 657 2299.


I came across the of Porty Velo, a band of happy cyclists and all their activities:


If you are considering planning a community event, small grants are now available to help fund it.  Click here: Deadline for applications is 15 December 2017.


I started last week with a resolution to walk more every day.  Health benefits are well documented as Edinburgh Leisure  know well:


For the last two meetings, in the absence of Councillor Lewis Ritchie, I was voted in as Development Management Sub Committee Convener.  This week, we had a Hearing on Scheme 4 of Baileyfield South application for 435 homes at the former Standard Life Site off Fishwives Causeway.  Committee spent over three hours hearing the arguments, and asking questions from all sides – community and professional – before coming to a collective view.  Report from the Edinburgh Evening News here: Portobello Community Council’s  report is here:


Yesterday, the Full Council voted in new Planning Committee Convener, Councillor Neil Gardiner.  I have suggested to Neil that he watch the community representations from Portobello Community Council, Portobello Amenity Society, Brighton and Rosefield Residents Association and Local Councillors to see what a fully active, engaged community can achieve in shaping new development alongside planning officers and a relatively responsive developer.  I know there are still concerns about the impact of this new development at Baileyfield on Portobello, but I can assure you we have all done the very best we could within the constraints we face.  Work on the development of this important brownfield site will start in Spring 2018.


You may have noticed the heras fencing now around both Portobello Pottery Kilns with nothing apparently happening to these important scheduled monuments.  The kilns are now both awaiting essential repairs.  The buddleia growth at the top of the eastern one required attention, but we noticed that one of the steel strapping bands had snapped on the western one and that may lead to movement of the bricks.  The site was due to be surveyed this week and we hope repairs can go ahead – and soon.

That’s all for now!  I hope to see some of you around.  Please do say ‘hello’ so I can try and put names to faces.


Kind regards




Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | The City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481 |  Twitter @MaureenChild1 | Facebook Maureen Child for Portobello/Craigmillar