• Portobello Community Council
  • c/o 14 Rosefield Avenue
  • Portobello
  • EH15 1AU

Maureen Child Update 29 November 2019

Posted on: November 29th, 2019

Dear All


As you may know, Portobello won in the the Academy of Urbanism (AoU) “Great Neighbourhood” category this year.  Frazer NcNaughton, Daisy Narayanan and I went to London to learn from all the other nominations, in this and other categories, and were delighted that Portobello was announced one of the Winners.  A big THANK YOU to every Porty person who made this happen over the decades and over the period of judging which coincided with the start of ArtWalk Porty 2019. And thanks to Academician Andrew Burrell who nominated us and helped us shape the judging panel visit. More about the AoU and the award here: https://www.academyofurbanism.org.uk/awards/l. There’s a two page positive spread in the Edinburgh Evening News to day – so buy a paper! Whatever it says there, I am clear this was a community-inspired and grassroots community-led win for Portobello in Edinburgh. The City of Edinburgh Council is hosting the AoU Congress in June 2020  and it is likely a lot of of the attendees will be visiting Portobello then, if not before.


The General Election is now less than two weeks away on 12 December.  Those who would normally cast their vote in person at Portobello Town Hall, will need to go instead to The Wash House Community Centre, 3 Adelphi Grove, EH15 https://thewashhouse.org/. Portobello Amnesty and Portobello Community Council are organising a Hustings on Thursday 5 December in Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 189 Portobello High Street  at 7pm.  


Life goes on, so don’t let deciding how to vote distract you from the opportunity of shopping local. Many Porty High Street shops are open later on 5 December for Portobello Christmas Shopping. The fact that Portobello still has a vibrant local shopping scene, with lots of independent small businesses, was one of the many things that impressed the Academy of Urbanism judging panel when they visited.


Councillor Mary Campbell and I had a meeting this week with local interest group representatives and the Council’s head of corporate property, Peter Watton, about Portobello Town Hall. The situation is as before. It requires about £1 million of repairs, at a time when the Council’s absolute top priority is investment in our schools over the next five years. Historically, the hall lets have not covered the costs and by a big margin.  So, the building remains closed for the foreseeable future. We need to find sustainable way forward for it and we are going to need your help with this in the New Year.  Watch this space!


Portobello Community Orchard’s final work day of the year is tomorrow Saturday, 30 November 10am-2pm. Volunteers will do a general tidy-up, prune the soft fruit bushes and repair one of the benches. There will be the usual refreshments and goodies. Hope to see you then – entrance opposite Brunstane Station.


Do you want to learn how to go about metal detecting on Portobello beach?; who was the Portobello man who beat Marconi, demonstrating transmission of voice messages by wireless telephony from Portobello Pier before WW1?; what stories do the gravestones in St. Mark’s graveyard tell? Answers – and more – in a book called Footsteps In the Sand, now on sale at Portobello Bookshop, Portobello Frame King and Portobello Library.


Portobello Christmas Fair is at Bellfield on Sunday 1 December 10.00am – 2.00pm. Great variety of local, handmade, beautiful & delicious produce including Christmas Carols at the annual Portobello Christmas Fair! More here: https://www.facebook.com/events/575534232943396/?ti=icl


Ever wondered how The Jewel got its street name?  https://www.edinburghlive.co.uk/news/edinburgh-news/how-edinburgh-jewel-street-name-17301095


Portobello Timebank’s third annual carol singing session is on 15 December, 4:45pm – 6:30pm. They split into groups and go round local houses with great enthusiasm, no previous experience necessary and all musical instruments welcome. The money they collect will go to a local charity. Afterwards everyone meets up for mulled wine and mince pies. If you think that you and your family might like to take part, do drop a note to admin@portobellotimebank.co.uk, giving numbers of adults and children.


The East Edinburgh Singing Group for people with dementia and their carers has moved  to St Mary Magdalene’s in Bingham Avenue. The Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday each month 2.15pm-4.15pm. The Group provides an opportunity to socialise and sing, just for the fun of it. There is a chance to chat over refreshments before singing well-known songs. Also, every Monday 10.30am- 12noon at St Mary Magdalene’s, there is a new Community Café/Drop-In  for free tea and coffee and friendly chat, where everyone is  most welcome. 


Friends of Figgate Park are their fabulous 2020 calendars from the volunteer’s container near Fruity Corner (close to the Baileyfield Road entrance) every Saturday up to Christmas from 30 November.  They are also back at the Farmers Market in Brighton Park on Saturday 7 December or pick up a copy at Cove or The Mousehole Deli when you Shop Local!


A couple of people have been in touch about dark streetlights in their area.  You can raise a repair request online, but I generally email:  streetlighting@edinburgh.gov.uk.  Do let me know if you are having trouble getting it fixed or getting an explanation of why it’s taking longer than you expected.  Often they can’t get it done because cars are parked in the way.


19/03781/FUL (Planning Permission) Demolition of existing warehouse and construction of 4 storey apartments. at 73 Whitehill Street EH21 8QZ has been withdrawn.  


The Edinburgh Poverty Commission reported their interim findings to a Council Policy and Sustainability Committee this week.  Read more here:  https://edinburghpovertycommission.org.uk/2019/11/25/update-where-were-at/


Porty locals and visitors! Changeworks wants your views. Think there’s too much plastic waste on Portobello and Joppa beaches? Changeworks is looking at ways to tackle single-use items from food and drink and want to hear your views as a customer by taking our short survey http://bit.ly/PortyCustomerSurvey You could win a £30 voucher!


The National Lottery are offering people and communities with great ideas the chance to receive a grant between £100 and £1,000. Any group of two or more people with a great idea can apply. They are particularly keen to hear from people we haven’t worked with before. https://www.celebratenationallottery25.com/


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

Twitter: @MaureenChild1