Maureen Child blogs

Dear All


Spring is just around the corner. How about starting the season with a Two Minute Clean Up’ by registering for a free bag.  More here:


Or you can join others for a group litter pick on Saturday in Figgate Burn Park.  They’re starting at 9.30am from the Hamilton Terrace Entrance.  Poster here.

You might spot an otter or two in the Figgy Pond  or – more likely – that cheeky mandarin duck called ‘Jerry Mandarin’.


And/or you can watch basketball nearby at Portobello High School at 11am on Saturday.  You’d be welcome go along and support our Under 14 boys in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.


The deadline for comments and feedback on the new ‘EH15’ Park planned for the current Portobello High School site is Monday 29 February.

Please make sure you have had your say.  There are three designs to choose from, or you can suggest a variation – and there’s a name to choose too.  More here:


There’s a growing interest in the new Fresh Start Community Growing Space in Craigmillar. Their planning meeting in mid January at Hays Business Centre was very successful, made a solid growing plan for the coming year.

They are looking forward to growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables from tatties to tomatoes and much more. They’re still looking for more volunteers to help grow and maintain the space; a willing attitude is all you need!

If you’d like to get involved in any of our services please do get in touch at or on by contacting Emily on 07464 541 796.


Full Cirqle and Friends present: Portobello Loves Circus.  Their popular circus cabaret is back. A fun-filled evening of performances from acrobats, jugglers, aerialists and  more . Full Cirqle is at 8 Baileyfield Crescent Edinburgh EH15 GB.  Saturday 5th March Doors 18:00 Show 18:30 – 20:30.  Book here:


A date for your diary – Portobello Amnesty Group are holding their Coffee and Cake morning and Book Sale with Bric-a-Brac and Games on Saturday 19 March 10am to 12 noon in the Old Parish Church Hall, Bellfield Street.   £1 entrance fee includes your tea/coffee and biscuits.


Community Renewal based at Haywired in Hay Drive have funding to do some community development work in both Magdalene and Bingham areas.  They are working with local people with funding from the People’s Health Trust.

They will  be coming round doors asking people what they like about the area they live in, what they are concerned about, and what would help make their communities even better places to stay.  Sheila McWhirter and Archie Lowe have made a start and want people to share their ideas.

If you or yours live in Magdalene or Bingham, contact Sheila or Archie.  Their contact details are: (Call: 07860 272 924) or (Call: 07738 760 607) or call the office at the Haywired on 0131 629 9858.

More about Community Renewal on their website:


Scottish Power is giving notice of planned maintenance work to pylons and overhead lines in the area and this passes quite close to residential property in places, so they want to let you know.

It is anticipated that preparatory work such as cutting back vegetation and transmission tower (pylon) general inspection and maintenance will commence late February 2016 with the actual conductor replacement starting in June 2016.

The work is due to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2016. More here:


Portobello Hardware is fast becoming a favourite shop in Portobello for home wares, DIY, electrical, gardening 7-days-a-week. They are happy to order the things you might need.

Prompted by a local resident, I asked our Council’s research team to tell me if they could tell me how much our local Porty economy would benefit if everyone switched 10% of their shopping from ‘out of town’ multiples to local independents.

In pure monetary terms, Portobello would benefit by a £600,000 cash injection into our local town centre, based on a study done across the UK. That seemed a little on the low side to me, and it doesn’t include all the other social and environmental benefits we would get.  Food for thought – and further inquiry!


Meanwhile, footfall at our huge Edinburgh shopping centre Fort Kinnaird has jumped by more than 12% in the past 12 months, since the opening of the cinema, restaurants and Primark.  More here:

The traffic impact of this and other developments has meant a huge traffic impact for places like Newcraighall and nose-to-tail along Niddrie Mains Road at peak times We need a proper in-depth traffic impact assessment for this whole area, as there are more and more developments proposed.


The highly valued Health Opportunities Team are based in Craigmillar and provide services to young people across Portobello, Liberton and Gilmerton too. HOT are being grant funded by the City of Edinburgh Council for the next three years from April 2016, but at 95% of what they received this year.

This means loss of staff and a reduction in service at a time when demand is increasing.  HOT are asking recipients of their services and partners and all interested parties what is the most important aspect for them to keep.

Particularly if you or your know or use the HOT services or work in partnership with them, please do fill out this survey form:  More about them here:


Portobello Market is back a week on Saturday, 5th March 9.30am to 1.30pm at Brighton Park. See details here:


The EDI Group who are intending to put in a planning application for the very controversial Green Belt site at Brunstane are holding a drop-in public consultation session on their ‘emerging masterplan’ at the Kings Manor Hotel on 8 March from 3pm to 8pm.  There will be opportunity to ask questions and make comments.  I doubt if this will be the only opportunity, but it is an important one.


The Inspectors have returned to Castlebrae Community High School and seen what great progress has been made.  There is now a permanent senior staff team under Norma Prentice’s leadership as Head Teacher.

That is a truly fantastic achievement by the whole school community and all its many partners working together and there is a lot to build upon in the years ahead. See more here:


That’s all for now!


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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