A month away in holiday is all very well, but I’m now back to the usual difficulties with changes to IT and 900 emails, which I am getting through very slowly as more come in on top of the pile. Thanks very much for the great support from our small team of Labour Group staff and to my Portobello/Craigmillar Councillor colleagues, Kate, Mary and Callum for taking up issues that were raised with all four of us, like the timescale for Brighton Place, traffic issues in Coillesdene and Portobello Town Hall.
I was sad to miss Portobello Market this month but accepted a kind invitation from The Welcoming to the unveiling of Nihad al Turk’s fabulous 70ft painting depicting his impressions of Edinburgh. You can still see the installation in St Andrew Square Garden. Nihad came to Edinburgh three years ago from Syria with his wife and small daughter as part of the first group of refugees under the UK Government’s resettlement programme. The family now live in Craigmillar and they have become very much part of our local community.
Portobello Open Door is busy organising this year’s Portobello Village Show for the afternoon of Sunday 1 September in Rosefield Park. More on their website: http://www.the-pod.org/. Portobello Book Festival will be there with their brilliant book stall and you can pick up a programme for this year’s Book Festival 4-6 October.
I came back from holiday to find our brilliant new Portobello bookshop had finally opened and Ian Rankin had already visited. This is a fabulous addition to our High Street and an added attraction for visitors. More here https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/people/a-day-in-the-life-of-an-independent-bookseller-we-re-not-just-building-a-bookshop-it-s-a-community-1-4971360 and here
Wednesday 31 July was Development Management Sub-Committee Meeting with many items on our agenda, including a couple of local applications. As part of the presentation on an application for housing in the Green Belt at the South East Wedege, Old Dalkeith Road aka Little France Park, we had a presentation and saw this short film: https://edinburghlivinglandscape.org.uk/2019/07/new-film-explores-little-france-park/. The proposals were for a total of 704 housing units and are contrary to the Local Development Plan policies and the Sub-Committee agreed unanimously that they should be refused (Refs: 19/01032 and 19/01481/FUL).
The other application was more tricky to decide. It was a bid for a bigger proportion of food retail to be allowed at The Range, 25 Milton Link (Ref: 18/09995/FUL). I asked for this proposal to be presented at Sub-Committee rather than simply go through, granted by Councillors ‘on the nod’. We asked all the right questions and had a discussion but could not find a planning policy reason for refusal that would knew would not easily be overturned at Appeal. The competition for the Range is food retail at Asda and B&M at Fort Kinnaird, not food retail on Portobello High Street which unlikely to be impacted.
This all emphasises the crucial need for Edinburgh to have strong Local Development Plan policies and we are in the midst of developing a new plan; City Plan 2030 further helping shape our growing city. Planning Committee agreed this week to a timetable for this plan. More here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/2709/edinburgh_sets_timetable_to_shape_future_development
A chance at The Studio in Baileyfield Road to see Richard Wells’ fantastic photos of Figgate Park wildlife and grab a coffee and cake. https://www.richardwellsphotography.com/_photo_16339874.html The Friends of Figgate Park are having a completion for the best phots for their 2020 Calendar, there’s still time to enter: http://www.figgatepark.org.uk/photo/
The Figgy is just one of the local parks nominated for Best Park in the UK.you can vote for Figgate or – indeed – another nominee Craigmillar Country Park here: http://www.fieldsintrust.org/best-park
School summer holidays are nearly over, but this is a great resource for families or after school groups of kids at the seaside and along our coast: http://edinburghshoreline.org.uk/get-your-free-shoreline-activity-pack/
If only everybody was this responsible in caring for our seaside environment: https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/beach-clean-collects-almost-20kg-of-rubbish-after-sunny-weather-sees-hundreds-descend-on-edinburgh-s-seaside-1-4971747?jkoe
Looking forward to Artwalk Porty this year 7-15 September. Click here: https://www.artwalkporty.co.uk/
That’s all for now. Do let me know if you want updated on anything else.
Best wishes for a good weekend.
Councillor Maureen Child
Labour Councillor Portobello/Craigmillar Ward
Office: 0131 529 3268
Mobile: 07718 666 481
Facebook Page: Maureen Child Standing Up for Portobello/Craigmillar