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Maureen Child Update 31 March 2016

Dear All

Community growing is such an important part of community life and becoming more so.  This is a fantastic 8 minute film that tells the story of the Craigentinny/Telferton Allotments, past and present.  Watch here:  Whether or not half the site will be taken over for development is to be decided at a Council Planning Committee development management subcommittee hearing on 13 April.  The officers’ report with its recommendation, to refuse or grant, will be in the public domain on 7 April.

A reminder that Portobello Market is back again in Brighton Park on Saturday 2 April, 9.30am – 1.30pm. Throughout the morning, from around 9.30/10am, there will be an ongoing Easter egg hunt (until they run out!). Prepare to come along on Saturday for a fantastic array of locally produced foods, plants, crafts and campaign advice from Amnesty and RSPB.

Two local places are getting a Spring Clean this Saturday by teams of people you would be very welcome to join either one. There’s a Big Beach Clean Portobello Saturday 2 April, meeting 2pm in front of Porty Swim Centre. The Brunstane Burn is also getting cleaned further downstream from our meeting place at Brunstane Station, also from 2pm on Saturday.  All this voluntary community effort is hugely appreciated – and, of course, wouldn’t be as necessary if everybody behaved responsibly and disposed of their rubbish properly. The environment forum of our Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership recently congratulated the Council’s local task force for clearing areas in Niddrie Mains and Greendykes. 6 members of staff spent a total of 24 hours to uplift 36 tonnes of rubbish. Last year the same small team cleared 60 tonnes from Greendykes. Please help keep our open spaces tidy and if you see anyone fly-tipping please contact the environmental wardens on 0131 529 6399. 

Our local Police Sgt Gordon Duff advises that every single act of vandalism and antisocial behaviour should continue to be reported by phoning to 101 immediately.  This follows a useful discussion at Portobello Community Council about recent bit of chat on Facebook.  The police cannot be contacted through social media and the police are always the first port of call; then do warn others what to look out for through Porty Watch or the like. Do try to keep the anger and frustration out of the posts, as it really, honestly is counter-productive! The police cannot be everywhere at once and cannot react instantly although they would love to be there the very moment you call. But every single piece of information does help build up a picture of where the resource must be targeted and helps them gather all the necessary evidence for effective action with everyone involved. It’s everybody’s job to help keep people and property safe. 

A date for your diary: Musselburgh Horticultural Society are having their annual Plant Sale on Saturday, 7 May at The Hollies Day Centre, High Street, Musselburgh from 10am – 12 noon – quite a range, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, with bedding plants galore !

You may have noticed that there is a “noise notice” on some on-street bottle bank bins and it would be nice to see them on all – and the sensible advice taken! The notice asks people to be considerate to residents and only deposit bottles between 9am and 9pm.  I’ve heard of residents’ noise complaints from Bath Street, James Street and Portobello High Street and maybe elsewhere.  There have been a few instances of people depositing bottles very late at night which has disturbed quite a few residents and woken sleeping children. The council has ordered more stickers for more bins to underline the common sense message: be considerate!

Residents of have chosen the final design for the new ‘EH15’ park. Final designs for a new park on the site of the current Portobello High School have been chosen – paving the way for a Scots pine urban forest, wild-flower meadow and “boulder play area”. The name is Treverlen Park, the original name for Duddingston, meaning “settlement by the lake of reeds”.

Nice to have information to share from Portobello Golf Club at the start of the new season, thanks to Lyall Scott.  Portobello Golf Club (instituted 1856) is based at Portobello Golf Course, Stanley Street, to the north of the new Portobello High School. It’s a 9 hole golf course ideally suited for juniors, seniors and players of all abilities.  It’s a flat terrain and there’s easy access to the course (just off the A1). Due to its excellent drainage, sometimes it’s the only golf course open in Edinburgh. The course may look easy but it does provide a real challenge.  New members are always welcome and the golf club caters for all levels of ability from scratch to the total beginner. Club Membership fees for 2016/2017 (Apr- Mar) are set at £40 (concessions available), which includes SGU membership, qualification for national handicap certificate, regular weekend and mid-week medals plus ad-hoc 9/18 hole competitions throughout the year and a golf club internet application. Golf Course Green Fees are not included in this price, but can be paid on the day or by Edinburgh Leisure Golf Season Ticket (see for prices/offers). For more information contact Portobello Golf Course starter (0131 669 4361) or see the club’s Facebook page: ‘Portobello Golf Club.’ The first medal competition of the ‘summer season’ is this Sunday, 3 April.  

 Portobello High School is to have an open day on 4th June to allow former pupils to say goodbye to the eight-storey high building. Here’s a link to their Spring Newsletter:

The contractor Balfour Beatty have written to nearby residents to say that the new Portobello High School project will soon be doing some works in Park Avenue. Their project team are still in the process of securing full authorisation from the regulatory bodies, but they anticipate final approval will allow works to start in Park Avenue at the end of April, lasting several weeks. The permanent delivery vehicle access to the school will be off Park Avenue and the contractors will use this entrance from early May to finish off works at the main Milton Road entrance.

It was nice to see Portobello’s own Butternut Squash get a mention among the best places in Edinburgh to eat breakfast! The blurb says: After a brisk morning walk on Portobello beach you can stop off at comfort food restaurant Butternut Squash for what might be Edinburgh’s most reasonably priced breakfast. Unusual (but no less delicious) menu items include beans on toast, filled croissants and kippers cooked with some fantastic flavours. Dog-friendly and with genuinely welcoming staff, both this place and its breakfasts are legitimate hidden gems by the seaside. 10 Bath Street, EH15 1EY –  Read more:

And – according to the Daily Record – our own Skylark is an Edinburgh hipster hangout!

Local resident Alexis has started up her own electric cycle tour enterprise called Real Cycle Tours and one of those tours is a visit to Portobello.  Alexis has also signed up to start co-working at Tribe Porty and has dropped her leaflets in Earthy, Portobello Library, Porty Hardware, The Beach House, The Espy and Crumbs. All the businesses were really pleased that she would be bringing tourists to Portobello.  More here:

There’s lots to see on a bike when you go exploring.  See this brilliant blog posted by another local Portobello resident:

More than a quarter of people “live for the day” when it comes to their finances and half sometimes run out of money at the end of the month. The figures are published in a new by Citizens Advice. It warns that, crucially, people don’t seek money advice until they reach a crisis point, such as being unable to afford debt re-payments. The charity says money advice should be “preventative” and target people going through major changes in their lives to help them avoid rather than respond to financial difficulties. More here:

Portobello Heritage Trust AGM is being held at 7.30pm on Thursday 14 April in Portobello Baptist Church Hall. The AGM will be followed by a talk titled Portobello Gala Days by Dr Margaret Munro. The annual subscription to PHT is £10 and new members are always welcome.  The final report for the community archaeological dig at the potteries is now on the PHT website under ‘Archived Events’ –  Dig Portobello

Meet the Funders event on Thursday 12 May 5pm to 8pm at Council HQ Waverley Court.  The last one was held in Portobello Town Hall. Meet the Funders even  is a  free informal  drop-in (no booking is required) and at present there are 23 exhibitors due to come. More exhibitors will be added and the web-link to the event – – will be updated accordingly. Further details can be provided by Maureen Thompson on 0131 469 3595.

There will be another You Decide! this year so that everyone has a say in what ideas should get an award form Community Grants Fund. All details and applcation forms can  be found on the webpage!/ .   The event will be on Saturday 14 May from 1pm to 3pm  in Portobello Town Hall, and the closing date for applications is Friday 22 April.

Dementia Friendly Portobello is inviting you to a fascinating exhibition at Portobello Library. The opening is on Monday 11 April at 6.30pm. The artist, Edward McLaughlin, will give a short talk about how the impact of his dementia inspired his work. The exhibition will be on for about a month.  

I am taking a break from Sunday for 10 days.  So that’s all from me for now!

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