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Maureen Child Update 3 May 2017

Dear All,


It’s a ‘Yes!’ to the Action Porty application for Bellfield Church and Halls under the new Community Right to Buy.  Portobello is the first urban community to achieve this under the legislation introduced just a year ago. The Trustees of the Church of Scotland have accepted the offer at Action Porty’s valuation, so it is now down to all of us to make it happen.  If you would like to offer any support of any kind, do get in touch with the Action Porty team.  They will shortly be running a naming campaign with members of Action Porty given the chance to vote on their preferred name form a choice of three.  Save Bellfield will happen, so what do we call it from now on?  Please do make sure you give your full postal details if you want to be a full member, otherwise you can only be listed as a supporter.  All details on their website. Click here:


It was a pleasure (even for a slightly Hibby-leaning football agnostic like me!) to visit Craigmillar Hearts Club on Monday to find out what a Big Hearts’ Football Memories session is all about.  I enjoyed the company of  87 year old John, originally from Niddrie, oldest of six boys who was accompanied by his son.  He shared memories of his days at matches, the players and other parts of his life and we looked at photographs of these days.  This was the first time John had been to the lovely new Club premises near the Thistle in Craigmillar Castle Avenue and I think he’ll be back!  The Big Hearts Trust are still in the early stages of setting up the group and are actively looking for more participants to join them every month. Any football fan (even Hibbees?) would benefit from attending as it is not only about fighting dementia but about tackling elderly people’s isolation and making friends too! More here:


Let’s help celebrate all the great Dads, Granddads and male carers out there! Dads Rock want to share with others the joy and struggles of being a Dad, and let others glimpse a bit about their lives. Dads Rock believe it’s important that kids understand how much Dads love them.  They still need to break down some barriers and help people see what it really means to be a Dad today.  So they’ve launched the ‘Being Dad’ photo campaign! They need a photo of you (dad/granddad/male carer) with your kids and 160 words or less about the joy/struggle of being Dad.  So get creative and get involved! – Dads Rock are taking some of the photos to display in the Scottish Parliament in June  and we’ll invite families to come see their photos there. You can share your photo and words on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter Use #beingdadrocks and remember to tag Dads Rock.  Or you can email them to Dads Rock on You can see some of the first entries here:  Much more on their website on


Portovelo recently celebrated their 5th Birthday and I forgot to tell you about it last week! They had a  party in the Espy with a  good mixture of people from across the club, including quite a few who are the new “hard core” of the intermediate ride, which is developing a personality all of its own, I hear. As is traditional when cyclists gather together there was cake – in large slices – and beer washed it down nicely as nobody was cycling too far that evening!  Happy Birthday, Portovelo!  More here:


I came across this nice blog on social media and I thought I would share it with you. Portobello promoted as Edinburgh’s Seaside (but we know it’s Portobello/Craigmillar’s Seaside, actually!) Click here:


Staff from O2 at Fort Kinnaird will providing a free IT support drop-in at Craigmillar Library next Tuesday, 9 May from 11am to 1.30pm. Whatever queries, big or small, you may have with your mobile, laptop or tablet, they’ll be happy to help! Do spread the word!


Thousands of people were asked how great their city is for walking and the results showed Edinburgh came top in the UK:


It’s Spring, and time for Portobello Rotary to redesign the barrels on the platform of Newcraighall Station. “This time it’s Jenny’s choice and the idea was to have scented flowers and trailing lobelia. The lobelia plants were somewhat immature and aren’t very happy (which is code for the fact that they frizzled in the unexpected April sun, then froze in the unfortunately normal April frost), so most of them have been replaced by aubretia, which is a bit tougher. The pinks are surviving and have a lovely perfume, but the success story is likely to be the fuschias which are confined to the barrel at the far end of the platform. The rest of the station has quite a bit of unwanted Shepherd’s Purse: a pretty white flower, but unfortunately, a fast growing weed. This year, Bill and Jenny are the main gardeners, which means we’ll be there pretty well every day watering and weeding and using all the bending and stretching as a far more useful alternative to the gym.”  The local volunteers who spend many hours looking after the fabulous planting at Brunstane Station (Susan and Bobby Clark) and Newcraighall Station (Portobello Rotary) deserve our heartfelt thanks for all they do.


A regular Portobello Transition Town (PEDAL) community orchard working day took place last Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm.  The group of volunteers cleared around the trees, fed new plantings, trained the apple tunnel trees and planted wild flowers and it looks fabulous with all the blossom coming out.  Feel free to drop in at any time you’re walking along the Brunstane Burn Walkway or coming to and from Brunstane Station. Enjoy the space and maybe sign up to help?  More about it here:


Portobello Timebank is on the third round of the Magdalene Clean Up on Saturday 6 May from 1pm to 4.30pm.  Meet at the footbridge over to Asda.  All welcome to join in, bags and litter-picks provided.  Wear sensible clothes, as it can be a mucky job!  ! More on the face book page.


A survey here about cycling to work that take only couple of minutes to complete:


It was amazing that the original group who sewed the fabulous Roslin panel for the Great Tapestry of Scotland have completed another to replace the original one that was stolen from an exhibition last year.  Many hundreds of hours of stitching went into it.  Now there is to be the great tapestry of Craigmillar!  You too can spend a fun afternoon at the Thistle on the Craigmillar Tapestry which I helped launch a couple of months ago – also designed by Andrew Crummy.  Ours will be just as amazing as the Roslin panel! The Craigmillar Tapestry will celebrate the history of the local community he was born into. A growing local group are having fun on Thursday afternoons trying our hand at Tapestry – with great chat , coffee and cake.  Please feel free to come and join them every Thursday 1-3pm at the Thistle Foundation’s wonderful new award-winning building.  How can you possibly resist?


Now for some thoughts on what Craigmillar and Portobello achieved together – and how they did it – over the years.  Real vibrant communities don’t happen by accident, or by talking places or people down, but by building on the positives of what local people can achieve together.  Read on:


Lastly, there is a Local Council Elections tomorrow.  Here below is the list of candidates again that I sent you in early April.   The system is Single Transferable Vote (STV) – a form of proportional representation where every single vote counts, even your 7th preference vote.


Find out more on where and how you can vote here:  The local candidates are:


Ward 17: Portobello/Craigmillar 

BRIDGMAN, Mike – Scottish National Party (SNP)
CAMPBELL, Kate – Scottish National Party (SNP)
CAMPBELL, Mary – Scottish Green Party
CHILD, Maureen – Scottish Labour Party
LAIDLAW, Callum – Scottish Conservative and Unionist
LESLIE, Callum – Scottish Liberal Democrats
WALKER, David – Scottish Labour Party

Make sure you use your votes for as many or few candidates or you want to support.  And remember to use numbers (1,2,3,4,5,6,7) and rank candidates in order of preference – no ticks or crosses or your vote will be invalid as your preference won’t be clear.  If you are voting just for one candidate, a cross is usually OK, but as soon as you cast a vote for more than one, it has to be numbers 1-7.   Four Candidates of the seven above will be successfully elected at the Count on Friday and they will start work right away as your Local Councillors for the next five years.


My very best wishes to you and yours and thank you for your ‘support and challenge’ over the last five years in this job.  I might be back next week – who knows!




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

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