Portobello Community Council

Maureen Child Update 03 August 2017

Posted on: August 7th, 2017

Dear All


We are just getting back into the swing of another cycle of Council Committee Meetings after Council recess, with over 6 hours of sitting to decide on planning applications – the development management subcommittee of the Planning Committee on Wednesday.  One of the decisions – to grant consent on Agenda Item 4.14 – would have gone through without discussion if it were not for local residents having raised their continuing concerns with local Councillors. This was the old Mike’s Tackle Shop, 46 Portobello High Street for which there is a proposal for a change of use from retail to restaurant.  I had asked for a presentation from Council planning officers.  Councillors got clarification that specific measures must be put in place to mitigate noise breakout, but that no work can legally take place – at all – until the approved ventilation flue is in place. Since this flue must be attached to a communal part of the tenement building, permission will be needed from joint owners.


It’s the first Saturday of the month soon and Portobello Market again this coming weekend. Gates open at Brighton Park, Brighton Place, at 9.30 am and the market runs until 1.30pm Saturday 5 August  More detail here: .http://www.pedal-porty.org.uk/food/portobello-market/stallholders-for-portobello-market-saturday-5th-august/


The Figgate Park Friends are having a park clean-up this Sunday, 6 August 9.30am to 11.30am, meeting at the noticeboard by the pond.  Everyone welcome!


There’s a basketball taster next Thursday 10 August, open to boys and girls aged 7 and over. All abilities welcome to take part in a free two hour session. Jack Kane Sports Centre from 9:30am – 11:30am.


It has been great to see the summer success of the free fun-filled sports sessions every Wednesday.  Last one nest week on 9 August 13.30pm – 3pm at Cairntows Park, Duddingston Road West EH16 4AW for kids aged 7-12, no booking required. More information on sessions like this to communitysportshubs@edinburghleisure.co.uk


I rather like bagels, so was one of the first in the bagel queue on opening day, 1 August for a lovely late breakfast/early lunch at Bross Bagels, 186 Portobello High Street.  More here: www.brossbagels.com  Then it was off to The White House Craigmillar, another of my favourite haunts, where my colleague Councillor Mary Campbell and I were able to sit down with parents and staff to help plan Castlebrae Community High School’s Fun Day in September.  All unplanned on my part, as I only reckoned on catching up on emails over a coffee in the corner!


The fabulous Jack Kane Community Centre are having a family Summer Event in the centre and the surrounding Hunters Hall Park land on Friday 11 August, 1pm-4pm.  There will be a horse riding, soft play, bouncy castle, smoothie bike, a bungee run and more. This is a free, but ticketed event, and you have to go in to the Centre to get your tickets in advance – a fun thing to do in itself as you get to find out what more amazing JKC do!  Call 0131 657 1595 for more information.


I have had a couple of complaints about the Brighton Place pavements reinstatement after BT had done their  cable-laying work. Remember it’s the utilities that do most of the digging up the roads and pavements, and (potentially) ruining them, not the Council.  We have no powers to stop them.  I can confirm that the Council willinspect the reinstatement work undertaken by the contractor working on behalf of BT and if they judge the works are not up to standard, they will fail the reinstatement and the BT contractor will come back to do the remedial works.


Someone was in touch with me about the lights in the Innocent Railway Tunnel, which had been vandalised.  Council (and police) are aware and they have been fixed ASAP.   Should you want to report any street or tunnel lighting faults, direct by email, try:  streetlighting@edinburgh.gov.uk


Bridgend Farmhouse is having its final Hard-Hat Tour to show and talk about the renovation and the techniques used on Friday 11 August, including a Q&A session from 1.30-2pm, and half hour tours beginning at 2pm.  More here:



As part of the Festival there is a ‘Rolls and Shutters’ exhibition at Craigmillar Library of photographs by John Brown and Angie Catlin and new film by Stina Wirfelt.


The old Niddrie Mill Primary School development has been nominated for another award, so keep fingers crossed they do well: http://c-c-g.co.uk/the-schoolhouse-shortlisted-for-structural-timber-award/


Another shortlisting, this time for the Edinburgh Solar Cooperatve:  https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/amp/solar_power_portal_awards_2017_shortlist_unveiled


Very heartening to see this great local Craigmillar work celebrated: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/holiday-hunger-sports-project-feeds-deprived-children-1-4517422

We four Portobello/Craigmillar Ward Councillors have had a number of conversations and exchanges about the caravans parked at the foot of Kings Road. In response, Cllr Kate Campbell has summarised the story so far:

There are quite a few caravans parked there which are owned by local residents. Where the caravans are occupied council officers have been monitoring and there has been no reports of anti-social behaviour and there are no welfare concerns for the occupiers. It is public land and people are allowed to park there. The council has no power to put in place restrictions on one particular type of vehicle while allowing others to continue to use it. It would be impossible to parking restrictions in place because, for one I think it would be unpopular with residents if the council were to start charging for parking there, and it would also be extremely costly to enforce as there are no other controlled parking zones in the area. Wardens would need to travel a considerable distance from their other patrols and this wouldn’t be a justifiable use of council resources. If you have any concerns over the welfare of occupiers, or you witness any anti-social behaviour please do report it. Council officers will continue to monitor but as things stand there aren’t any laws being broken”. 

I have liaised again with fellow Councillors, police and Council officers about this issue and I am expecting an update in the next few days.

How about changing the way you travel – as and when and if you can?  More here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EdinburghATC_SignUp


There is a new walking group starting up from the wonderful Thistle Foundation, Centre of Wellbeing, 13 Queen’s Walk EH16 4EA on Friday 11 August 12 noon to 2pm. These are local guided walks, suitable for complete beginners.  The pace and duration can be decided by the group and there will be tea and coffee at the end of the walk,  For more information and to sign up, and information on other Thistle Community Connecting activities, contact Dani Waddell, dani-waddell@thistle.org.uk or phone Dani on 07909 237 415.


I am still getting a few complaints about missed bins, of one kind or another, and am experiencing delays myself at times.  If there is any glitch at all with your refuse or recycling collections, please don’t hesitate to let me know and I’ll do my best to get the area spotlighted and sorted.


Best wishes





Councillor Maureen Child | Labour Elected Member | Portobello/Craigmillar (Ward 17) | The City of Edinburgh Council | City Chambers | High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1YJ | Tel 0131 529 3268 | Mobile 07718 666 481 |  Twitter @MaureenChild1 | Facebook Maureen Child for Portobello/Craigmillar