Update from Maureen Child

Dear All,


I must draw you attention to another excellent podcast recorded by David Calder who has a fantastic and informative site at Portobello Online. David spoke to our local community cops, PCs Matt MacPherson and David Love about a variety of issues.

These podcasts are something Portobello Online be looking to expand upon in the coming months, and you can listen to this month’s here: http://porty.org.uk/news/porty-podcast/  David assures me there will be a podcast soon about our new Portobello High School, including an interview with two learners and the Head Teacher Ruth McKay.


Portobello High School is sports hub run by Edinburgh Leisure after school hours and was recently featured here: http://portobellohighschool.org.uk/clubs-activities/bbc-school-report  I also thought I would share the (very) short film Edinburgh Leisure have created about their work with looked-after children and young people.

The film highlights how physical activity and sport can improve the lives of children and young people in care – providing valuable life skills, building confidence, strengthening family ties. Here it is: https://vimeo.com/188838121 Enjoy!


Those interested in adult learning classes will have noticed there are no classes this term at Porty, as there was in the old school.  This is disappointing, I know! It is not down to the school management itself, but the head of community learning and development (CLD) David Bruce and I had a conversation last night with on this.

In the run up to the new school opening, the absolute focus was on the needs of the young people in their new school.  No discussions were had with CLD, which is in the throes of a very painful Council review process, with the loss of around 50 posts to help deliver the savings we need to make to balance the Council books.

I was assured (informally) that adult learners will have a programme of classes in the new school in due course, but exactly how that will be worked out, managed and delivered – in practical terms – will be work in progress over the next few months.  It’s not a simple or straightforward matter.


One of the commitments arising for the decision to build the new school on Portobello Park, was the improvement of Magdalene Glen, the green space between the Brunstane Burn and Magdalene Gardens.  The plans have been subject to extensive consultation with local people of all ages, led by our local neighbourhood partnership environment forum and we are now – nearly – at the construction stage.

I have electronic copies of the plans for Magdalene Glen plan – for information.  They can also be seen in Brunstane Primary School, the Magdalene Community Centre, the notice board at the shops on Magdalene Drive and on social media.  If you would like a copy of the plans, do let me know, but be aware they amount to quite over 6MB!  See here too: http://chronicleonline.net/2016/12/13/magdalene-glen-improvements/


Lots of good things going on in Craigmillar this week, including the Thistle’s Santa Run this afternoon, and the decorating of the Craigmillar Library Christmas Tree when there will be a consultation on a new park for Greendykes too.  Next week, two free film showings are next Monday and Tuesday, one aimed at older people, the other more for children and families.

Just to get an idea of numbers it would be good to let the organiser know you’re coming to get an idea of numbers.  Open to all.    http://chronicleonline.net/2016/12/09/free-christmas-film-screenings/ Contact is: Dani Waddell, Link-Up Development Worker, Thistle Foundation Tel: 0131 661 3366


The whole of Edinburgh – not just the Council – are set to make big changes in how the city works together NHS Lothian, Police Scotland, Fire & Rescue as well as voluntary sector organisations – and you as citizens!

For the first time, all the key organisations have organised themselves on the same boundaries into four Localities and are working together in a locality leadership teams.  We are in the North East Locality.  We need your help in shaping the new 2017 – 2022 Locality Improvement Plan for North East Edinburgh and it’s important that you can tell us what you think needs to happen in the next 5 years.

We are focussing on the themes of Place; Health & Wellbeing; Community Safety; Children, Young People and Families; and Employment. Some of you might have been involved already but you might have something  else you wish to add to the process.

Locality Improvement Plans are to be established in each locality across the city which will help identify where key partners need to prioritise service and invest in joint resources to make a positive difference to communities. With the new North East Locality encompassing Craigentinny, Duddingston, Leith, Portobello and Craigmillar, it is clear that service needs will be very different and the Locality Improvement Plan should reflect this.

Using the link below, please consider which themes are important to you and rank your top three priorities within that theme.  If you feel we have missed something let us know in the comments box provided. Click here:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/V6P39DM

All the comments will be gathered in and we’ll be able to see where there are similarities. The ranked statements will help identify the future priorities for the North East Locality.


Another plug for the Chronicle Online so you can find out what is happening locally.  Here’s two stories they have run this week: http://chronicleonline.net/2016/12/09/help-feed-edinburghs-families-this-christmas/ and  http://chronicleonline.net/2016/12/09/saturday-playgroup-with-dads-rock/  Do sign up for regular updates and supply them with your own stories about the great work you’re doing!


In the campaign to Save Bellfield for community use, an amazing120 people attended the Action Porty event in Portobello and Joppa Parish Church.  You can click here to watch the Open Meeting https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1P4k7BMUwAHXX_Lx5596Qg/featured  and thanks to Mark Macdonald-Scott and Edward Ross for the filming and editing.

The group spearheading our community efforts, Action Porty,, has now submitted our stage 2 application to the Scottish Land Fund. If this application is successful  – and we should find out the outcome in mid-January – then this should provide funding for between 85% and 95% of the cost of purchasing Bellfield.

Action Porty have recently appointed Hazel Allen to help us develop a full business plan for the project. This includes projected timescales on when we are likely to be able re-open Bellfield and how the various development work to the property will be phased over a number of years.

Finally, it you are looking for stocking fillers for Christmas, there are lovely ‘Save Bellfield’ mugs and prints for sale, just pop into Cove on Portobello High Street.  Confession: I kept my two for ourselves! (-;


Did they do well?  Oh yes they did! Last weekend’s Portobello Panto Jack and the Beanstalk at the Porty Wash House on Adelphi Grove was fantastic and a great time was had by all – audience and  cast.  They gave 25% of all profits to Towerbank School and are also did a free (ticketed) relaxed performance on the Sunday morning for children with autism and additional support needs. Very well done, everyone!


The fantastic campaign organisation Hollaback Edinburgh has a new survey out to gauge how harassment in public spaces is affecting people in Edinburgh, especially on public transport. All completed surveys will help to influence policy decisions around public harassment and hate crime in Edinburgh – please do take a couple of minutes to fill it in, and share it with others. You can access the survey here:  https://goo.gl/forms/xhaGSjg4iYhUD8hA2 . More about Hollaback here: https://edinburgh.ihollaback.org/


This afternoon, I am out and about in Craigmillar, having fun and meeting people.  I love that part of the job most.  And this is where I will be for a while tomorrow morning:  http://andrewburns.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/december-full-council-meeting.html?spref=tw&m=1 – in the City Chambers.

Not quite so much fun. One small item on our Council agenda tomorrow is a report on a petition to the Council set up Craigmillar Community Council once again.  CCC folded in the Autumn as not enough people came forward as volunteers in October in the Edinburgh-wide triennial elections.

More than the minimum 20 people (37 to be exact) petitioned the Council to revive it and – if  the Council agrees tomorrow – I will be the Returning Officer this time around. We’ll kick the process off in the New Year and be up and running in February, I hope! Do you live in Craigmillar or have a local interest group there think about serving on Craigmillar Community Council?

Just think about what you might be able to do and what influence you might have to further promote – positively – the common good of your community and the new North East Locality. I am a huge fan of community councils, community councillors and the great work they can do – and it doesn’t have to be about planning and licensing either.  It can be – fun!  We have much more in common than that which divides us…..


Have a great weekend when it comes!


Best wishes



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