Update from Maureen Child

Dear All,


Lots of pre-Christmas things going on this weekend – naturally! Tribe Porty have their Tribe Christmas Makers Market at 19 Windsor Place, open 1pm- 4pm Saturday 10 December.  A great selection of 30 local makers will sell their crafts and goods, and they will also have Crumbs of Portobello selling soup, foods and hot drinks.

They are looking forward to seeing you there. There’s also a Christmas coffee morning Saturday 10 December, 11am-1pm St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 287 Portobello High Street coffee, tea, mince pies, bacon rolls, tombola, books – supporting church funds and St Mark’s charities – in the historic setting of St Mark’s church.

More details at www.stmarksportobello.org  And a reminder that Towerbank Primary School is having its Christmas Fair on Saturday, 2pm to 5pm. Can we possibly cover them all?!


The best source of information for the wonderful things going on in the ‘greater Craigmillar’ part of the Portobello/Craigmillar Ward is the on-line Chronicle.  If you are not already on the Chronicle e-mailing list, do sign up and get a handy email every time something new is published.  Click here:  http://chronicleonline.net/subscribe/

The Chronicle is entirely run by volunteers – mainly Derek Ramsay of the Community Neighbourhood Alliance (CNA). It’s not on Derek’s job description and he has been known to post way past office hours, well beyond the call of duty, so give the lad a hand – please!

Like me, Derek prepares a newsletter every week, so if you have anything to add about what you are doing, do let The Chronicle know! Click here and write a short little something  every time you have a good story to tell: http://chronicleonline.net/submit-your-story/  If I can do it, so can you!


The fabulous Health Opportunities Team (HOT) launched a new website this week which is well worth a look! They are an independent charity doing excellent work with young people across our local area.  http://www.health-opportunities.org.uk/december-2016-launching-new-website/


Please do fill in this survey to help us all shape the future of our part of the City over the next five years by letting Council and partners know what matters most to you and inform our Locality Improvement PlanAnd help spread the word a widely as you possibly can!  Click here:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/V6P39DM.

This survey is also being promoted by Portobello Community Council on its website. http://www.portobellocc.org/pccpn/2016/12/02/help-shape-the-future-north-east-locality-improvement-plan/


One of the areas of questioning in the survey is about health and wellbeing and our own part in promoting it– and this provides me with some food for thought on that front!  Click here:  http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/get-stand-health-little-movement-offsets-lot-sitting-2016081810215?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=081816kr&utm_content=blog

The 1800 people a month who use the Thistle in Craigmillar Centre for Wellbeing will have a lot to say about that!  More at www.thistle.org.uk


A family Christmas tree decorating event and an information event about the plans for Greendykes North Park will take place in Craigmillar Library on Wednesday 14 December  from 4pm to 6pm.  Everyone is welcome to come along to the Christmas tree event where you can help out with decorating the library’s tree.

You may also enjoy making your own Christmas decorations and wreaths while enjoying a mince pie. My source is The Chronicle, of course! Christmas tree decorating & info event on Greendykes North Park – Chronicle Online


More here about the future of Newhailes House, the National Trust for Scotland property closest to us, just over the border in East Lothian.  http://chronicleonline.net/2016/11/30/newhailes-estate-put-forward-for-2-4m-investment/


We have a new Aldi in Portobello, but there is a new Lidl coming to Craigmillar Town Centre which will be the first of its kind in Edinburgh.  The relocated store is due to open on Thursday 9 March next year, according to this piece in the Evening News. http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/lidl-announce-plans-for-two-new-stores-in-capital-1-4307542?utm_content=bufferee58c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer


Since the Paris attack over a year ago, and other national and international events, we have been increasingly concerned about hate crime, and the tendency for incidents be under-reported through the formal Third Party channels.

A strategic partnership led by Police Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council has come together with representatives of the minority ethnic communities most affected to combat this trend and build community resilience.  Find out more here about grants available and how to apply: http://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/hate-crime-and-third-party-reporting/shared-vision-your-decision-islamophobia-edinburgh-project

And for the bigger picture and wider context, see our Council Committee Report here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/52692/item_71_-_promoting_community_cohesion_in_edinburgh


I know there are lots of amazing photographers in Portobello/Craigmillar who might well want to enter this completion being run by Edinburgh Museums.  Go for it and get a few local wins! http://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/News/Capture-Edinburgh-Photography-Competition


Good to see the plans for Scotrail to put more carriages on the Borders Railway trains.  There are two local rail stops in Portobello/Craigmillar at Brunstane and Newcraighall and potential passengers can be left stranded on the platform at rush hour, because the train gets too full.

Hopefully this increased capacity will sort it! It should have happened long ago, in my view. http://www.bordersrailway.co.uk/news/extra-peak-time-seats-every-week-for-the-borders-railway/


Information about communal bins and recycling – useful link here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20001/bins_and_recycling/1485/communal_bins


Next week is the second of two information sessions about the new Treverlen Park, the new green space that is proposed to replace then old Portobello High School and current St John Primary School sites.  There has already been a very extensive and well documented consultation on the plans undertaken by the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT) and these plans are the outcome of that consultation.

The name was voted on by a majority of people who responded during that consultation and is an ancient name for Duddingston.  There is another chance to influence what goes there, as part of the statutory planning process. The second of two information sessions is on Thursday 15 December, 3.30pm-7.30pm in St John’s RC Primary School, Hamilton Terrace  in their current ICT Suite. All are welcome.

Today, the development management committee agreed the PPP applcation and I asked that the full detail of the consultation come forward to us when we consider the detailed planning application.


Last, but not least, Portobello High School. It was fantastic to be at the official opening event with the Lord Provost and to enjoy the universal excitement as hundreds enjoyed the Open Day on the Saturday in our new building. Well done, the Head Teacher Ruth McKay who leads a fabulous Team Porty!

What amazing people to have managed all they have done in five weeks flat! To see the building in full use by the school and community is one of the most emotional times in my last twenty years.  That’s how long it took – really and honestly – to replace that ghastly1964 monstrosity that was never truly fit for purpose and left hardly any space for sports.

A unanimous Council decision to build on Portobello Park was taken ten years ago in December 2006, but we have needed a new school for very much longer.


My joy last Friday was tinged with great sadness that the Council’s Portobello High School project sponsor, the magnificent public servant Billy McIntyre is in hospital was too unwell to be there last Friday.

I am comforted that Billy knows our thoughts are with him and I am assured he has been shown the tributes and lovely positive comments people have made about his contribution to the success of this project. And it is fitting that his name is on the unveiled commemorative plaque too.

I have worked with a lot of amazing and dedicated professional Council officers over the last twenty years, and Billy is certainly one of the very best.


That’s all for this week!


My very best wishes



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