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Maureen Child Update 9 April 2014

Dear All

A volunteer group of ‘Friends of Figgate Park’ have organised two events. This coming Sunday 13 April, there is a litter clean-up between 10am and noon, meeting beside Figgate Pond. On Tuesday 15 April the group have a children’s storytelling session in conjunction with Portobello Library at 2pm, near the Hamilton Terrace Entrance. I have posters I can send you, if you want to spread the word.

The annual Spring Clean of Rosefield and Brighton Parks is on Saturday 10 May, from 10 am – 12 noon, starting in Rosefield Park.

The next film at the Wash House, organised by Portobello Open Door is The Great Gatsby this Saturday, 12 April at 7pm. Tickets from Popeye’s Cafe on Porty High Street. The last two films have been a sell-out. For more of what is happening at the Wash House, see their new website at:

Portobello Community Council are holding a consultation on should the beach have dog-free zones? See here: Dogs Consultation They will also be consulting people face-to-face on Saturday morning in Scotmid Bath Street Portobello. Between 10am and 12 noon. This will be the third of the monthly PCC consultation sessions on a range of issues. The plan is to take the dog zone consultation on to the beach as well. The Evening News picked this up See here: Dog Zones Evening News Just to be clear, it is not a ‘dog ban’ as in the headline. The plan is to develop a voluntary code of conduct for visitors to the beach and places where well-behaved dogs and their well-behaved owners are always welcome.

The next meeting to help organise Craigmillar Fun Day meeting is on Thursday 24 April, 5pm onwards at The White House, Niddrie Mains Road. Everybody is welcome. The annual Fun Day doesn’t just happen and is run entirely by volunteers in their own time, whether they live and work in the area or not. The date – 28 June – is fast approaching and there are still lots of arrangements to be confirmed. Firm commitments to lend a practical hand, on or before the day, would be very welcome indeed. Otherwise a few people will be running totally ragged from dawn to dusk which won’t be much of a ‘Fun Day’ for them!

On Monday at Craigmillar Library there will be a free talk about Mary Seacole: Forgotten Hero. Mary Seacole was a very independent minded 19th century Jamaican woman who refused to be defeated by prejudice and adversity. She supported herself by running a hotel on the isthmus of Panama and providing free medical care for gold prospectors. At the outbreak of the Crimean Warm she offered her services and expertise as a nurse and won great admiration, respect and affection from all who knew her. The event is free, 6pm to 7pm, at 101 Niddrie Mains Road EH16 4DS.

Edinburgh Choices is a directory of care, support and preventative services available on the Council’s public website. It covers Council services as well as NHS, third sector and private sector services. Services include preventative services which are free or low cost, and available to people who do not quality for more formal support. People managing a personal budget or direct payment under self-directed support can also use the directory to find out about the range of options available to them. Please see link

Some stands of trees have to be removed from Magdalene Glen next to the Brunstane Burn because they have invaded and, are beginning to clog, the main sewer that runs down there. In places almost 50% of the pipe has been blocked with roots. This will result in seepage and contamination if it’s not sorted, Scottish Water and SEPA have advised us. The work is to start on 23 April. The area will be cleared and some stands of trees have to be removed from Magdalene Glen next to the Brunstane Burn because they have invaded and are beginning to clog the main sewer that runs down there. In places, almost 50% of the pipe has been blocked with roots. This will result in seepage and foul contamination if it’s not sorted. Scottish Water and SEPA have advised what needs to be done and work starts on 23 April. The area will be cleared and reseeded with a special grass seed mix to create a meadow. Then we can look at further planting (e.g. bulbs or small shrubs). Local householders in Magdelene have been informed by a leaflet. I can send you a copy if you want. For further information please email or call 0131 529 3111

Autism affects one in a hundred people in Edinburgh. The Council published Autism Edinburgh on the website to raise awareness about this life-long developmental disorder. This is so that people can recognise the signs that someone has it and know how best to support them. This includes launching the Council’s autism plan to improve and develop our services for people with autism and their families and carers. We are also raising awareness of online training, provided by Portsmouth City Council, which gives people more information about the condition. World Autism Awareness Day was 2 April and events were held throughout Edinburgh, working with partners Autism Initiatives, Upward Mobility, Parents of Autism Spectrum Disorder Adults (PASDA), Lothian Autistic Society, Edinburgh University, NHS Lothian, Intowork, Edinburgh and the Lothian’s Aspergers Society and the Action Group.

Local community enterprise Cre8te Opportunities Ltd in Craigmillar, Council and Scottish Government in partnership have secured the future of Castlebrae Business Centre in Peffer Place. We have a substantial grant from Historic Scotland to help restore Castlebrae Business Centre (formerly the secondary modern school for Craigmillar) to its former glory. This is in addition to the over £1 million granted through the Scottish Government Townscheme Grant for the project. The official announcement said “The art deco Castlebrae Business Centre in Edinburgh is to receive £500,000 towards a major refurbishment of the 1930s school building to limit the ongoing decay of the historic exterior fabric. The building’s owners also intend to carry out considerable internal alterations to make the building more suitable for business use and encourage local business start-ups. These internal alternations will also conserve the existing historic interior features.“

The on-line Edinburgh Reporter has a sister site- click on: This is a user-generated content site which allows you – the reader – to file your story. This can be in photos, video or words – and must answer a call for a story from their editor. The content may seem fairly light, but deliberately so. The Edinburgh Reporter very much want to get you to use the site regularly and then they will either set subjects that you suggest or set more serious topics when they occur.

To beat the doorstep ‘bogus caller’ problem, thieves that tend to target elderly and vulnerable people, Police Scotland have a ‘nominated neighbour’ scheme – see here – Beat Doorstep Crime Leaflet

The consultation on the future development of Craigmillar Town Centre is ongoing and open until the end of April. See the plans here: Craigmillar Town Centre Proposals Map The questionnaire for consultation feedback is here: Questionnaire Or I can email you an electronic copy. At the recent open day, 30 people came in to the White House to give their feedback. The Youth Gathering at Craigmillar Library a week ago, led by local youngsters, also gave quality feedback on the proposals. Craigmillar Community Council have had opportunities to represent local views. More views would be very welcome.

The Community Alliance Trust (CAT) which runs The White House, 70 Niddrie Mans Road is going strong. If you haven’t visited the fabulous White House Cafe yet, you must – includes free WIFI for customers and wonderful food as rated highly on Trip Advisor. More news:
Kitchen Garden – Courtesy of the Castlebrae Community High School construction skills programme, The White House now has a kitchen garden with more than 40 raised beds.
Gardening Group – They are looking for volunteers to help us look after the Kitchen Garden. Training will be given and you can take away some of the stuff you grow or alternatively have the odd free meal in the White House.
Volunteers Wanted – Volunteers also needed to help in the kitchen and café. Training will be given.
The ‘Best Days’ project has been using The White House as a hub to meet with people regularly on Tuesday afternoons. This has been very successful and now a few of their regulars come in most days for a meal and a chat. Castlebrae Community High School Prom – CAT will soon be starting to plan this years Prom and work with the students to make it as memorable as the last one.

You might like to comment on the Council’s draft anti-social behaviour policy here: Anti-Social Behaviour

Best wishes


Portobello Online