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Maureen Child Update 20 April 2018

Dear All

The Eden Project’s Big Walk is coming to Portobello on Saturday 26 May 11am-2pm.  Four walkers are setting off from Morecombe on 15 May on four routes across each of the four nations of the UK, each covering at least 250 miles over 21 days.  They will be visiting and walking with diverse communities along the way and shining a light on the amazing groups and events that bring people together, like clean-ups and get-togethers of all kinds.  So do let your own local group’s light shine, or just come along and join us in the Big Walk on the day! More here: If your local group hasn’t yet registered interest, do contact Linda Gill to get involved: or phone 078503 266 382. Beach Wheelchairs, Portobello Timebank and ArtWalk Porty are just three of the many inspiring local organisations who are already well up for participating and showcasing what they do.  All from Portobello/Craigmillar, and beyond, are welcome to Edinburgh’s Seaside. More about the Eden Project’s community programme here:

One of the activities on our Big Walk Day is a big litter pick starting from the Seafield end towards Tumbles.  By coincidence, local people are making a small start this weekend.  Seafield may be at the end of the beach the majority of locals don’t usually use, but the litter blows down the beach and – even worse – out to sea for marine life to feed on. If you can spare even half an hour, please do come along to this clean up from Sunday 22 April, 10.30am until 1pm.  Or do as many of already do every time – pick up three bits of litter and bin them every time we walk out!

I know what you are thinking – what about the toilets when the Portobello crowds come?!  For the price of an ice cream, a coffee or a half pint of beer, all the cafes or pubs let visitors use the toilet.  Not a bad deal; they do depend on your custom! And there are places that allow visitors use their toilet facilities for free, not that they are as well advertised as they ideally should be – Portobello Swim Centre and Tumbles are two of them.  Here is the Council’s Citywide link: If you demand the Council to provide more facilities, you have to demand Council gets powers to raise more cash to meet everyone’s needs and demands – and fulfil all the legal obligations it already has, mainly in social care and education.  The provision of public toilets is not a legal Council obligation. Many other Councils have shut them all, but Portobello still has two – in Pipe Street and Bath Street.

Getting fit for the Big Walk? Walking netball starts back again at Jack Kane Sport Centre on Thursdays Jack Kane Sport Centre from 10.30am to 11.30am. Join in for a bit of  social sport and a good laugh too. Sessions are open to all – whether you have played the sport or never played netball before and cost just £2 per person each time. There is also some post-session isotonic and sports nutrition, otherwise known as tea and biscuits!

The Council’s housing and development section are preparing proposals for a new housing development in Bingham of forty homes for social rent including four wheelchair accessible flats.  The team will host a community information event on Thursday 26 April.  Do drop in any time between 1pm and 6.30pm in Bingham Community Centre to see what is proposed.  There is no planning application lodged at this early stage. When a planning application is finally lodged, all the detail will be there with opportunities for everybody or anybody to comment.

Friends of Figgate Park are having their next Spring Clean Up on Sunday 29 April from 9.30am to 11.30am.  Everyone is welcome. The meeting point is the notice board near the pond where you can pick up be litter pickers, bags and gloves. There will be tea, coffee and biscuits afterwards.

There is a massive yarn-bomb planned in Telferton Allotments in August for their planned annual Open Day. To get folk knitting there is a Knit Night in The Dalriada on Wednesday 2 May 7-9pm where you can pick up free yarn and free fruit and vegetable patterns. All levels of knitters are most welcome, so please do go along and join in!

The Council’s school crossing guides deliver an excellent and highly valued service to communities across Edinburgh and want to make sure this continues.  They have already studied existing patrol sites; surveying how many people use them, traffic levels and where they are located. They are now getting feedback from school crossing patrol guides, people using the service and groups including parents and carers. The review of the current service is intended to ensure the best possible service and that we have crossing guides where and when we most need them. The dealing has been extended to 29 April.  Please do complete the survey:

It’s great to see the progress on the new St John’s Primary School on this fab blog.  See here:

We must never forget that a lot of the grassroots community development work we try to do now was first conceived in Craigmillar by an inspiring group of women, among them Helen Crummy.  More here: This week was the anniversary of the death of another hero of mine, Patrick Geddes: We certainly do stand on the shoulders of giants in bringing our communities together!

This is another great day for a walk in the park! I walked a little bit of Craigmillar Castle Park for Greendykes yesterday, in the sun, and there is a guided walk setting off this afternoon. That’s a bit short notice, but do have a wander yourself at the weekend if you have a chance.  And if the kids anor grandkids are with you and they roll their eyes at the word ‘walk’ there is a great adventure playground to tempt them with!

More in The Big Issue recently about the urban forest being created to the south between Greendykes, Craigmillar and the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Bioquarter here:

After my brief walk, I spent a fabulous, fun hour at Castleview Primary School in Craigmillar at their P4 and P 5 Japan Day when they were learning about karate, Japanese drumming, sushi-making, robotics and origami.  It was all great hands-on learning for children and their families in partnership with the Japanese Consulate and the great people giving up their free time to broaden our horizons and interest in another fascinating culture, so different from ours.  What a great partnership, wonderful learning opportunity, and fantastic insight into how one of the best schools in Scotland operates. I have some great photos and memories of my time with them.

Timebank’s Repair Café is on again this year on Saturday 12 May 1pm – 4pm Tribe Porty. Do note the date in your diary now. Last year was hugely successful and it showcased just some of the talents of Portobello Timebank members. Visitors come in with stuff to be fixed and, if it’s fixable, they do it for free! Last year Timebankers sharpened tools, fixed clothing/fabric, jewellery, bicycles, small electrical items, IT issues, and cameras with only eight longstanding members.  This year, Portobello Timebank has many more members, so if you can do any of these things, please do volunteer to join our team of Fixers.  If you have any other skills to offer, let them know that too. This is a Timebank earning opportunity. Contact to find out more about joining as well as being a Fixer for the event.

There is a bit of a walking theme to this Update.  Did you notice? Fresh Start’s 11th Annual Sponsored Walk will take place on the 1st of June this year and we have an exciting new route! We warmly welcome anyone who would like to take part in this scenic 8-mile walk. It begins at 9.30am at Holyrood Park, Duke’s Walk entrance before walking around Arthur’s Seat, along the Innocent Railway to Craigmillar, the Thistle Foundation is the finishing point, where a well-deserved lunch BBQ will be waiting for you! For more information please contact

My contact is Beth Noble, Project Worker 0131 476 7741;  Website

A reminder that The next Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership Meeting is next Wednesday evening, 25 April at 6.30pm in the East Neighbourhood Office (opposite end of the building Craigmillar Library) 101 Niddrie Mains Road.  All are very welcome! More here:

Call Local Opportunites for Older People (LOOPS) helpline on 0131 603 8311 for information on activities and services for over 65’s in Edinburgh. They are open weekdays from 10am -4pm. More here:

Have a lovely weekend!

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

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