Christmas newsletter from Mike Bridgman

Councillor Mike Bridgman

SNP – Portobello/Craigmillar Ward Newsletter

December 2016


Welcome to my Festive newsletter.  Please feel free to share the information with anybody you think might be interested.

Neighbourhood Partnership Update


Neighbourhood Partnerships bring together the community, Police, Health, Fire, voluntary sector and elected members, supported by officers from the Council.   These meetings are open to the public.


I chaired the Portobello and Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership meeting on 7 December 2016 at 6.30pm in the White House at Niddrie Mains Road.  The link to the Neighbourhood Partnership website is noted below.


The upcoming Neighbourhood Partnership sub-group meetings are listed below for your information and if you’d like to get involved or suggest something for the agenda please contact Graham Rowan on 0131 529 6374.


P&C NP Housing and Regeneration Sub group – Tuesday 17 January 2017 at 10.30 in the White House, 70 Niddrie Mains Road.


P&C NP Economic Development & Employment sub group – Tuesday 24 January 2017 at 2.00 pm in Cre8te, Peffer Place


P&C NP Community Safety sub group – Wednesday 25 January 2017 at 2.00 pm in the East Neighbourhood Office, 101 Niddrie Mains Road.


P&C NP Families, Children and Young People sub group – Wednesday 25 January at 10.00 in the CLD Offices, Castleview Primary School, Craigmillar Castle Road.




In May I was appointed as Convener of the Council Regulatory Committee and its responsibilities include setting policies for the Council’s licensing functions, charges and Licence fees, safety at sports grounds and Non-liquor licenses.

In addition to this committee I sit on the following committees and boards, as well as sub-groups of these main committees, which meet on a regular basis.

If you have any issues around any of these committees or the business that they deal with, please contact me regarding them.


Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership – Convener

Licensing Board (Alcohol) – Member

Communities and Neighbourhoods Committee – Member

Health Social Care and Housing Committee – Member

Education, Children and Families Committee – Member

PARC Board – Community Representative

Cre8te – Board Member

Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association – Member


In addition to the above I attend as many Community Centre Management Committee meetings and community meetings as my diary allows, and I keep up to date by reading the agendas and minutes when they are sent to me.


Month Number of Committees/Public Meetings attended
April 13
May 12
June 17
July Council Recess – 7
August 18
September 19
October 15
November 17



Ward update


Since the start of this year I have been contacted by constituents on a variety of different subjects, from Housing matters to Roads, Planning, Community Safety, Parks, Waste and more.

The total number of constituents who have made contact to the end of November this year is 204, some of whom have been in touch about more than one issue.

I’m always happy to hear from people living and working in the ward and will endeavour to assist wherever I can to achieve a positive outcome.




As always it’s great to be invited along to the schools in my ward, to meet the staff and pupils and to share their enthusiasm for learning and for their communities.


Castleview Primary School always invite me to their events and last term I was able to attend their Senior Show.  They are also award winning for their Craigmillar Castle Junior Tour Guides, a very worthwhile experience to behold.


I was also privileged to attend, along with John Swinney the Cabinet Minister for Education, Sir Tom Hunter and TV presenter Kirsty Young when the school were awarded the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Level 2 Award.  A massive well done to Lindsay Watt and her staff.


I was really pleased to be invited along to see the new Portobello High School, in advance of it opening to pupils.  At that point the new school was nearing completion.

At that time the Evening News published an article on the new school and I was asked for my thoughts.  I have included the link to the article.


Out with the old, and in with the new – the two Portobello High School’s


Just before it closed I visited the old Portobello High School and met with the Deputy Head Margaret Williamson.

I am a former pupil and so is my Mum, she was one of the first pupils to attend Portobello High School in 1964 and was in the line up to meet Princess Alexandra at the official opening so it was lovely for us to have a look around the building one last time.


Margaret Williamson, my Mum and I

I was delighted to attend the official opening of the new Portobello High School on December 2nd and it’s a fantastic 21st Century learning facility.  The wide smiles on the faces of the pupils and staff confirmed how they feel about their new school.


Council Tenancies – Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades – Update


After I took this on board and pushed for the programme to be escalated an agreement was reached to bring the proposed works forward by two years


In our ward the upgrades to Kitchens and Bathrooms have been underway in Bingham and Magdalene, with the works to be completed in the area during this financial year and next.

Since the contractor started I have received numerous complaints from constituents and witnessed their complaints for myself.

I immediately contacted the Project Officers and met with the Operations Manager of the main contractors to voice my concerns with the quality of the work and the delays to finishing people’s upgrades.

I also met with the Councils Head of Housing and other senior officers on site and showed them the issues that had been raised.

They have all taken these concerns very seriously and assure me that they will do better in the future for the remainder of the homes.


Local Housing


I met with the Council’s Head of Housing recently and we undertook some site visits in Craigmillar, where we discussed the continuity of the regeneration of the area.  I felt it was a positive meeting and would hope to keep you all updated on the progress.


Youth Issues


The very serious issue of young people throwing stones at vehicles in the Craigmillar & Bingham area of the ward has been brought to my attention, and I have been given names of a few youths that people believe are involved.

The consequences of their actions can be extremely serious and the behaviour of these mindless individuals should not be and won’t be tolerated.


If you have any information on the young people involved in the incidents, please report it to Police Scotland on 101 or to me in confidence.


Local Businesses


I was contacted by June Robertson from Favers Candy Emporium who wanted to discuss ways to promote Portobello as Edinburgh’s Seaside.

I arranged for a meeting with Lothian Buses, which was very positive and June is liaising with other local businesses in Portobello, looking at how and what they can do to supply offers for the Bus Company to promote on their tickets and media which in turn will promote the area to visitors.


It was also a pleasure to assist June who did a fantastic job organising the festive show that culminated with the switching on of the Christmas Tree Lights.

I attended the event and the amount of work this lady puts in for the community is vast.  Looking forward to next year already, and I know she’s already in the planning mode.  Hopefully there will be more lights for the High Street.


The other local business owner I was happy to assist recently is Julia Leyden from Organically Yours, who obtained her traders licence to trade on The Prom selling her locally produced organic food.


Winter Wonderland


It was a pleasure to be able to take two community children’s groups, Kids in the Street & The Venchie Children & Young People’s Project to the Winter Wonderland thanks to the generosity of local Craigmillar Businessman Keith Taylor and from Charlie Wood of Underbelly.

Thirty-Four Children enjoyed the evening going on all the rides and attractions in the gardens, then they were treated to marvellous food, sweets and hot chocolate.  A massive thanks to both Mr Taylor & Mr Wood, these kids have a memory that will last a lifetime.


Community Spirit


I have been doing my best to help this festive season within the ward and in Gilmerton by using my extra padding to play Santa.

I’ve played the role at The Venchie in their lovely Grotto, as well as at the Jack Kane Centre Grotto.  I have really enjoyed giving something back to the community and I hope we’ve been making children’s Christmases a little more special.


There will be present deliveries happening before Christmas to families throughout the ward by organisations such as The Venchie Children’s Project, Kids In The Street and Sandy Community Centre.

This has all been made possible by the Radio Forth Cash for Kids Appeal.  A big thank you to all those that have given their time and effort to make this happen.


Community Councils


Craigmillar Community Council – After the recent Community Council Elections there weren’t enough nominations received and Craigmillar Community Council unfortunately ceased to operate for the last few months, however there has been a new development and there will be a new election in January 2017.


Portobello Community Council – The next meeting of Portobello Community Council will take place on Monday 30th January at 7:30 pm in Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street.  Meetings are open to the public and all are welcome.


Local Libraries


Keep up to date with what events are running at our local libraries on their Facebook pages.


Craigmillar Library –


Portobello Library –




If you’d like to discuss any issues with me in person my surgery times are below.


Bingham Community Complex, 1st Monday 6:00pm (during school term)
Magdalene Community Centre, 1st Monday 7:00pm (during school term)
Portobello Library, 2nd Monday 6:00pm (during school term)
St Francis Primary School, 2nd Monday 7:00pm (during school term)


Outwith those times you can email or call me on 0131 529 4233.  My assistant is Sarah Davidson and her number is 0131 529 4477 or email


Best Wishes and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours.



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