Maureen Child blogs

Dear All


Castlebrae Community High School’s Red Cafe will cook you a fabulous lunch every term-time Tuesday and you’d all be welcome.

Please book in advance by contacting The menu for Red on Tuesday 2 February is: V Gratin of Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables Chilli con Carne with Rice.  Yummy!

One day I’ll be able to plan lunch on Tuesdays. Red Cafe look forward to hearing from you! More here:


On recycling, some of us reported that when we put small electrical things for recycling in the Blue Box, as directed here: the people doing the collection remove them from the box and leave them on the pavement.

I have made enquiries about why this part of the service isn’t working and I’ll let you know when I get to the bottom of it.

We still have some problems with recycling collections and provision of enough bins, although there are signs of improvement.  Do keep reporting them to  and copy me in.

There are 18 streets in Portobello/Craigmillar Ward due to get more bins for recycling as more and more people are taking part since the new system was introduced and collection capacity has to be increased.


The lone mandarin drake is causing quite a stir among the ducks and visitors at Figgate Park Pond.  Here he is among the mallards, looking quite exotic. More photos thanks to Anthony Robson on the Friends of Figgate Park Facebook page.


The Thistle charity in Craigmillar subsidise their gym memberships so we can keep the price as low as possible. Annual membership to their gym in Craigmillar is only £25. I keep meaning to join! The Thistle’s new Tudsbery Centre building was given an construction trade award recently for Practical Completion.

It’s certainly coming on nicely, with the internal fit out happening now and the new building due to be ready around Easter:  We had a great meeting of local community growing projects and volunteers in the Thistle Garden – or more accurately indoors.

It was absolutely pelting down with rain.  I am a huge fan of community gardening and all the benefits it can bring for individuals involved but also its capacity to create and sustain neighbourhoods and communities; bringing individuals and families together.

We have at least ten such spaces in Greater Craigmillar with the prospect of more.  And there are at least that number in and around Portobello and Brunstane. There’s huge potential there for working together!


It was a real pleasure to be at the second Cyrenians Breakfast on Thursday morning, hearing more first-hand stories about the work they do and discussing what we need all need to do together to tackle food poverty. Conclusion – Everybody needs something to eat and someone to eat with.  So how do we help make it happen?


As I said last week, I wanted confirmation of the Committee decision about Brighton Place – which option and the cost was decided upon at Transport and Environment Committee – carriageway reconstruction or covering in asphalt leaving the setts in place?

I also asked what process would be used to decide what projects will come forward within the budget saved.   Will the setts at the junctions of the side streets like East and West Brighton Place and Lee Crescent be retained and might they be re-laid as part of the project to retain at least some of the historic fabric in Portobello Conservation Area?

I got the reply (see below) on this and a couple of other related issues constituents have raised with me about Brighton Place.


If you live in Portobello, it’s well worth keeping up through the excellent Portobello Community Council website and/or getting on their mailing list.


The Council’s East Neighbourhood roads team have given us Councillors advance notice that Newcraighall Road will be closed for nearly a month, from Monday 8 February to Sunday 6 March for carriageway resurfacing and reconstructing the footway on Newcraighall Road between Newcraighall Primary School and the City boundary.

During this time local access will be maintained to a limited extent. Pedestrian access will be maintained for the duration of the works.  I have map and more details if you want it.


Young Musician Competition sponsored by Portobello Rotary Club took place on Tuesday 26 January in School Hall. Sadly, I couldn’t go.  I wonder how it went?


A Portobello young person has been hugely successful in winning a UK Song Writing Competition: Portobello’s ‘Momac’ scooped Under 18 award.  More here:


This Kim Kjaerside photo is stunning – a beautiful start to last weekend in Portobello:


Another great a local photographer John Davey took photos at the recent Wassailing event at the Community Orchard at Brunstane.  This one is of the dominant mode of transport the Portobello Community Choir took to get there!:


Another great photo from the archives of Portobello Pool (September 1960) Edinburgh’s biggest bathing pool until the Commonwealth Pool was built in 1970:


Tribe Porty is holding another TEDXPorty this year and is looking for nominations for speakers for their theme ‘Find Us Here’


Another reminder that World Community Arts Day will be celebrated on Wednesday 17 February 2016 at Craigmillar Library. Get creating!


Need advice on reducing the cost of energy bills? The CAB’s energy adviser can help. Info here:


Lastly, I sometimes get addressed as ‘MP’ or ‘MSP’ – which I do not see as a ‘step-up’, a ‘promotion’ or a compliment!  Here’s a guide to what each of us do at various levels of representative democracy.  Click the link: The very best job is local Councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar, by the way.


Best wishes


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Chronicle Online

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