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Maureen Child Update 30 March 2018

Dear All

Spring is on its way which means a community work day in the Community Orchard opposite Brunstane Station tomorrow, Saturday 31 March, 10.00 am till 2.00pm. Come along and enjoy the space, and bring your gardening gloves if you want to help. The orchard group will be checking and tidying around the trees, ready for the new growing season. Come and find out about it anyway and have a tea, coffee or juice –  and delicious plum brownies.

Many thanks to the 232 people, so far, who have replied to my request to ‘opt in’ to continue getting these Update emails.  Thanks especially to you very lovely people who have said such positive things about my efforts!  That sure has motivated me to come into the City Chambers on a public holiday to compile and send out this week’s Update! (-;

The task of plugging names, one by one, into a new opting-in Update email list, and several hours of busy meetings this week, means I am a bit behind on my replies to emails asking me to do something, answer a question, or update on something else.  I do mean to get back to you ASAP, and if you’re really fed up waiting for a reply – do please prompt me again!

We Councillors had a hugely encouraging response to our call to our Magdalene Matters workshop on Wednesday evening when three of our Team Portobello/Craigmillar Councillors, Police Scotland, Neighbourhood Alliance, Craigmillar Community Council, Portobello Timebank and NE Locality Council officers came together to share what is good about the area, what could be better, and what positive stuff we can do together to solve the problems we identified  Sandra MacAskill did a super job facilitating the workshops.  She now has the job of collating it all and writing it up into an action plan. It was really great that we had such a  good Magdalene neighbourhood turnout, including one resident who had been there since the estate was built in the 1950s and someone who had only just moved in last week.

An event I told you about last week, has been postponed from 2 April when the libraries are actually closed for Easter Monday. It’s a  free Storytelling Event at Craigmillar Library, now on Saturday 21 April, for children aged 3-8 years and their families to enjoy stories and rhymes with storytellers Mary Sutherland and Anna Schaffner. For more information, contact: Birgit Harris – or Mhairi McNeill –

A new event is coming up Celebrating Scots Language on a Braw Bricht Efternin – Wednesday 18 April, 11am – 1 pm at Craigmillar Library. Come and join this morning of hearing Scots language. The Thistle Scribblers will be reading poetry and more from their exciting range of writing. Bring a poem or a short piece of writing along, or a book of your favourite Scots writer and join in. It’s a free event. For more information email: Or phone 0131 661 6834

On 5 May The Queen’s Hall is hosting the 20th anniversary concert of Drake Music, based in Artspace Craigmillar, which nurtures the marvellous talents of musicians with disabilities.  In April, the Queen’s Hall are installing the first permanent stage-level lift in Scotland for musicians who are wheelchair users, funded by a generous benefactor.  Find out more here:

Scottish Seniors Computer Clubs is a federation run by volunteers to assist over 50′s with their devices. The group meets at Craigmillar Library every Thursday morning between 10am-12noon. If you would like to learn how to get the most from your computer device or find out what you can do with an iPad/tablet or smartphone do come along and join one of the sessions.  For more information about Craigmillar Computer Club, contact Peter Cleat on 0771 470 6307 or just call in.

The Portobello and Craigmillar ‘You Decide’ participatory budget was not competitive for 2017/18.  Applicants who applied, and met the criteria, got their funding.  The Neighbourhood Partnership are going to review You Decide for 2018/19 and we would be grateful for your thoughts and comments. Please see the Survey Monkey link below.  The closing date is Monday 16 April at 5pm. Hard copies of the feedback form can be sent to Cath Tansey, Ailish Haughney or Scott Neill, City of Edinburgh Council, East Neighbourhood Centre, 101 Niddrie Mains Road, Edinburgh EH16 4DS, on the same deadline. Click here:

How do we make ours a more age-friendly community?  Everyone in Craigmillar and Niddrie aged over 60, or working with this age group, in any capacity, is invited for a free lunch at 12 noon in The White House, 70 Niddrie Mains Road.  We’ll work in groups and identify what we might do together to do to make Craigmillar now an even finer place to be.  They are calling it an Age-Friendly Knowledge Cafe.  Not such a snappy title, but it should be fun and lunch at the White House Café will certainly be good.

The Equalities and Rights Network are conducting a survey on community transport: click here and fill in.

Portobello Timebank Spring Coffee Morning is at the Baptist Church Hall on Portobello High Street (look for the balloons and bunting!) on Saturday 7 April, 10am -12noon, serving tea, fresh coffee, delicious cake. Jams and preserves and chutney for sale too. There will be a truly huge seed swap/ exchange/ giveaway and free garden tool sharpening. It’s a lovely place to pop in on Saturday mornings. Meet your friends there!

In the spring of 2016, Portobello Timebank identified the Brunstane Burn as a local amenity they could help to look after.  With the active support of the Council, who provide the equipment and remove the collected rubbish, dozens of Timebankers have spent many a Saturday afternoon cleaning up litter, abandoned trolleys and general fly-tipping; everything from mattresses to wheelchairs. This year, they’ve progressed to a more preventative approach.  They conducted a survey to quantify the scale of the problem.  As a result, two new bins were put in the Magdalene Glen in time for the Spring clean-up last week and we Councillors and MP co-signed a letter to Asda and The Range, basically asking them to clean up their act. These documents can be downloaded from the Activities 2018 page on Portobello Timebank’s website.

Happy Easter!


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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